The Early Days of Tesla – Elon Musk Interview with Silicon Valley Tesla Owners

There’s a new interview with Tesla CEO Elon Musk. Leaders of Tesla owners in Silicon Valley have been invited to interview Elon Musk, and the first part of the interview is now available. The group that interviewed Elon included Tesla Owners of Silicon Valley Club president John, club vice president Kelvin Gee, Tesla Owners Club My Tesla Adventure president Eli Burton, and Ryan Levenson of The Kilowatts.

In the first part of the interview, the band covered the supply chain, why Elon chose electric vehicles, Elon’s energy storage studies at Stanford, who actually founded Tesla, the foundation of Zip2, departures of Tesla founders, engineering of the original Tesla Roadster, and financing Tesla.

You can watch the video above. I’ll dive into a few key points that I found interesting.

Setting the record straight on who founded Tesla

John pointed out that there is a lot of misinformation around Tesla and that the interview would help set the record straight.

Personally, I think this is essential because I see a lot of misinformation on Twitter about Tesla. And not only on Twitter but also on TikTok.

Part of the constant stream of misinformation dictates that Elon Musk never founded Tesla. John pointed out that these critics always try to correct Elon on this when he talks about the founding of Tesla. John asked,

“What was it really about? Because, I think a lot of people think it was someone else who started it, you joined later.

Elon agreed with John that this is actually not true and shared his thoughts.

“The reason people think it’s because Eberhard engaged in a relentless campaign to effectively earn Tesla exclusive credit for himself. And he’s the worst person I’ve ever dealt with. worked and that means something. I’ve worked with some real assholes. OK, so for someone to be by far the worst person I’ve ever worked with, it’s not easy.

“The real origin of Tesla goes back to 2003 when I had lunch with JB in El Segundo and we started talking about electric cars and JB said, ‘hey, have you tried the tzero AC Propulsion?'”

Elon said no and added that they had talked about battery technology and how lithium-ion batteries would finally enable a long-range car. At this point, Elon had never heard of Eberhard. Later he tested the tzero, which he thought was pretty cool. He asked AC Propulsion to make him a tzero but the company wouldn’t make another one.

The tzero, Elon pointed out, had all the properties that Tesla later incorporated into the Roadster. He wanted AC Propulsion to market the tzero, saying the world needed to see it was possible to have a viable electric car

Elon said he pestered AC Propulsion to bring the tzero to market, but they, oddly, wanted to make an electric Scion. So, Elon offered to fund 10% of it if they could find the other 90% that would fund it. Elon then emailed Tom Gage saying that if AC Propulsion doesn’t want to market the tzero, then maybe they should let him.

“I’m going to start a business to market the tzero.”

After that, Elon was introduced to Martin Eberhard, Marc Tarpenning and Ian Wright.

“Eberhard keeps trying to erase Ian Wright from history too because they hate each other. But all they had was that the plan was marketed. They had no employees. He There were no offices. There was no IP. There was nothing. Literally nothing. There was nothing you would call a business.

Elon added that there is an empty shell society that has no value. The company had no intellectual property or even any designs. All he had was the general idea of ​​marketing the tzero, which was also his idea that he had before he even met them.

“If I hadn’t met them, I would have just gone ahead, started a business with JB, marketed the tzero and continued on our way. And that’s actually what happened at the end of the day. Except with a lot of heartbreak along the way.

“After about a year, Martin Eberhard and Ian Wright couldn’t stand each other and they made me choose which one would go, basically. They can’t both be in the same company, so I had to choose one And then I talked to JB and I was like, ‘what’s our least bad option here?’

The two decided to say goodbye to Ian Wright and keep Eberhard.

“I think the key point here is that when someone says, for example, you’re invested in a business, that money that I provided was the least important thing that I provided to the business. There was no company. And if I hadn’t met them, I would have just gone ahead and created Tesla and I think it would be indistinguishable from what it is today.

“You wouldn’t be able to tell the difference. I think we could have avoided a lot of drama early on as well.

“If there’s one thing I could go back in time and say, I wish, I wish I had never met Martin Eberhard.”

You can look the full video of part 1 here.



Do you appreciate the originality of CleanTechnica? Consider becoming a member, supporter, technician or ambassador of CleanTechnica – or a patron on Patreon.


Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise or suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

About Dwaine Pinson

Check Also

San Jose honors Rod Diridon Sr. at October fundraiser

Rod Diridon Sr. has worn many hats in his 83 years: he served two combat …