ELON Musk – the sometimes controversial but always boundary pushing boss of Tesla – has been named Person of the Year by the FT, the financial newspaper.
Almost single-handedly, Musk has moved the epicentre of the automotive industry from gasoline vehicles to electric cars and vans.
Where once electric cars were oddballs, along came the Tesla Model S with whiplash acceleration, great range, an arsenal of technology, and the method for filling up swiftly depleted batteries. Early adopters were swept away.
But the real breakthrough in the UK was the launch of the Model 3, appealing to executives more normally attracted to premium German offerings, here was a vehicle that could fulfil their business requirements, and with a benign benefit in kind taxation system, cost virtually nothing to run personally. For SME fleets, the costs also reduced dramatically, not only in terms of NIC but also in terms of whole life running costs.
Now every car maker wants to have a Tesla beater. From Volkswagen to Ford. If you don’t have an EV, you’re not in the game.
And that’s the significance of Musk’s achievement, recognised by the FT in its article, saying:
He has triggered a historic shift in the world’s auto industry towards electric vehicles. Even if Tesla were to somehow collapse next year – something that, unlike two years ago, no one is now predicting – Musk would have transformed one of the world’s most important industries in ways that could have profound implications for governments, investors – and for the climate.
To read the full FT article on Musk, click the link below
FT Person of the Year: Elon Musk [paywall]