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Q&A: Tesla Motor Co-Founder Elon Musk

Settlement of lawsuit allows EV maker to move ahead.

by on Sep.21, 2009

After facing some tough times, early this year, Elon Musk's battery car start-up, Tesla Motors, is on track to introduce a new EV family sedan by 2012 - or sooner.

After facing tough times, early this year, Elon Musk's battery car start-up, Tesla Motors, is on track to introduce an EV family sedan by 2012.

Few folks took Elon Musk seriously when he announced plans, a few years back, for an all-new electric vehicle company.  After all, he seemed to have everything going against him.  A well-intended effort, by the State of California, to mandate electric vehicles had failed, in the 1990s, and the price of admission into the auto industry, even with more conventional technology, is enormous.

But Musk, a billionaire entrepreneur, whose ventures have ranged from PayPal to SpaceX, a company pioneering private manned space flight, wasn’t about to walk from a dream he’s had since his teen years, and in late 2008, after a variety of setbacks, Silicon Valley-based Tesla launched production of its new, high-performance Roadster sports car.  Now, with a mix of fresh private capital and a big infusion from the Department of Energy, Tesla hopes to move battery power closer to the mainstream, with the introduction of the Model S, a $57,000 family sedan.

While there are still plenty of hurdles to overcome, Tesla resolved one of the thorniest, today, with an amicable settlement between Musk and the company’s co-founder, Martin Eberhard, who issued a statement, declaring, “We can now focus on the most important issue: making electric vehicles successful, something we both are passionate about.”

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While neither of the co-founders will discuss their settlement, TheDetroitBureau.com did find Musk in an expansive mood when asked about his company, battery technology, and the many critics who’re now unveiling battery cars of their own.

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