Tesla Motors CEO resigns but electric vehicle industry likely to stay on course

October 15 2008 / by Garry Golden
Category: Transportation   Year: 2008   Rating: 2

Tesla Motors is reporting a bump in the road along its journey to build affordable electric vehicles.

Founder Elon Musk (of Paypal fortune; SpaceX rocket fame) is now leading the company replacing CEO Ze’ev Drori. In the company’s blog Musk reports the anticipated closing of its Rochester Hills office near Detroit, and new growth focus on its Roadster sports car and sales of its powertrain.

Only a month ago the company brought joy to the California Cleantech community by announcing plans to build a $250 million facility to manufacture a zero-emission lithium ion powered sedan in the heart of Silicon Valley. Now this Model S version of Tesla’s electric car might be delayed until 2011 depending on a number of conditions.

The change in leadership is related more to ‘extraordinary times’ rather than the core vision of Tesla’s business plan. The electric vehicle market is just getting started and Tesla could certainly emerge as a specialty vehicle maker or powertrain designer.

In recent days, we have highlighted the steady stream of media commitments of production vehicles (2009-2011) from automakers GM, Nissan, Tata Motors-, BYD, and Chevrolet

Electric infrastructure investments are also not likely to slow down unless automakers divert from recent plans. In recent weeks electric vehicle infrastructure startups like Better Project have had their business efforts validated by Warren Buffet’s $233 million investment in Chinese battery maker BYD, and $500 million plan to extend France’s grid to vehicles by utility giant EDF

The future of electric vehicles based on a combination of batteries, hydrogen fuel cells and capacitors should not be completely derailed by an economic slowdown. So despite the bumps ahead, we expected Tesla to stay on its course.

Image Credit Tesla Motors

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