Tesla CEO Elon Musk has almost certainly ensured the co-founder of Microsoft Bill Gates will never buy one of his electric vehicles.
Bill Gates, now retired, agreed to an interview with Marques Brownlee, which was posted on YouTube five days ago, where Brownlee has 10.4 million subscribers.
In a wide-ranging interview, entitled Talking Tech and 2020 with Bill Gates!, Bill Gates spoke about the advent of electric vehicles and said that the distance travelled between battery charges, the time taken to recharge the battery, and the “premium” cost of electric vehicles were all factors stopping people buying the vehicles.
Gates though pointed out that Tesla as a business had helped to grow the electric vehicle market.
“And certainly Tesla, if you had to name one company that’s helped drive that, it’s them,” Bill Gates said.
He then said he had not chosen Tesla himself.
“You know I just got a Porsche Taycan, which is an electric car, and I have to say, it’s a premium-priced car but yeah, it is very very cool,” Bill Gates said.
Porsche launched Porsche Taycan, the luxury German automaker’s first all-electric sports car and pitched it as a real alternative to the Tesla Model S, in September last year.
Bill Gates has always been a Porsche fan. The billionaire has owned multiple Porsches, including a Porsche 911 supercar that Gates bought in 1979 when he first started making money from Microsoft, CNBC reported. Gates also later purchased a Porsche 930 Turbo and a limited-edition Porsche 959 sports car.
To this writer, Gates’s comments were fairly positive to Tesla.
But when a Tesla fan expressed surprise at Gates’s choice of car to Musk on Twitter, because they said, he was “really smart”, the Tesla CEO responded and described his conversation with Gates as “underwhelming”.
The responses to Musk’s comments backed Gates, BBC News reported.
“He’s only saving millions of lives around the world …” wrote one.
“You want to be underwhelmed … call Tesla customer service,” wrote another.
Musk has a reputation for shooting from the hip. Previously Musk tweeted that Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s understanding of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is “limited” and said Amazon and Blue Origin CEO Jeff Bezos’ ideas about living in space as “mak[ing] no sense”.
Musk famously got Tesla inhot water in 2018, when he tweeted that he planned to make Tesla a private company and had secured funding to ensure it happened.
Musk later said he was joking but both he and the firm were ordered to pay US$20 million by the US financial regulator for disclosing information that had affected the market.
He then went back on Twitter to blast the regulator – the Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC) – describing it as the “Shortseller Enrichment Commission”.
The SEC was not happy and Musk was warned not to share information about Tesla in any form without approval, and had to agree to resign as chairman of Tesla.