Tesla's CEO, Elon Musk, has definitely made some bold statements over the years. However, many would argue that you have to be bold when your goal is to change the world. You need to aim high when you're trying to accomplish things that nobody has done before.
Therefore, with such lofty goals, you're not always going to hit every deadline or accomplish every prediction. Our friends over at the YouTube channel E For Electric recently took a close look at four of the claims Elon made during the Model S beta unveiling in October of 2011, to see what he got right and what didn't materialize.
The first statement that E For Electric looks at from the unveiling was Elon's claim that the Model S would be the best car in the world, bar none. The Model S was and still is an incredible car, however, whether or not it's the best car in the world can be debated. The E For Electric host, Alex Guberman, said he believes that Elon's prediction and goal of building the best car in the world became the foundation for the brand's success and the reason why he bought a Model S.
"Our goal here with the Model S was to create not the best electric car, but actually the best car of any kind." Said Elon at the Model S unveiling "An electric car is not almost as good as a gasoline car, it's way better"
The next Musk claim Guberman looks at is happens at about the 6-minute mark of the video. That was Musk's claim that there were outside forces that didn't want the Model S to exist. He doesn't really elaborate on exactly who those groups were, but did say that in some cases they are funded by big oil. Guberman agrees with Musk that over time it became apparent that there were (and still are) groups that are trying to slow down EV adoption. He also includes the existing car dealership network in the group of people that didn't want the Model S to ever come to market.
There's definitely some truth to the claim that many people, and even industries that didn't want electric vehicles to proliferate. At the time the Model S was really a game-changer for the EV-industry. That's because unlike other EVs at the time, the Model S could compete head to head with fossil-fuel vehicles and there were definitely those that felt threatened by that.
The next thing Guberman brings up is that Elon said the electric car revolution was still on extremely tenuous ground and still may "stall out". He stressed that we can't let that happen because this was just too important. I don't think Elon really went out on a limb for that claim. Back in 2011 when this event was held the electric vehicle industry was in its infancy. In fact, nine years later and that's still true. Electric vehicles still make up a tiny percentage of car sales in most of the world, although there are some exceptions like Norway, for example.
"We're going to allow a whole series of apps to be developed for the car. So over time as people come up with good ideas and cool things that can be added to the car we can just add it in. If somebody has developed an app for an iPhone or an Android phone and it makes sense to add to the car, it's very easy to adapt it for that." Elon Musk
The final claim looked at was Elon's statement that Tesla would allow app developers to make apps for Tesla and that they would incorporate them into the cars. This is the one claim that Guberman points out never happened. Well, it kind of happened, but not exactly as Elon describes it. Tesla's do have apps, but Tesla isn't incorporating apps that people make for IOS or Andriod into its vehicles. There are Tesla data logger apps out there that owners find very useful but Tesla doesn't incorporate them into the vehicles. Personally, I think Elon got that one half-right.
So check out the video and let us know what you think about Elon's claims and Guberman's analysis. As always, let us know what you think in the comment section below.