Elon Musk on Making Electric Cars: ‘Prototypes are Easy, Production is Hard’


Elon Musk is known for his witty responses on social media platforms. From indulging in self-deprecating humour to replying with an eggplant emoji to a tweet, the Tesla and SpaceX CEO has made us all laugh time and again. Earlier, not many even believed in his worldview or business acumen until he sent his Tesla Roadster into space in his powerful Falcon Heavy rocket on its debut flight in February 2018. Since then, his red car, “driven” by a spacesuit-wearing Starman, is moving around in a spatial orbit in a testament to the billionaire entrepreneur’s unambiguous genius and his indifference to hazards and the world’s perception of him.

So, when Musk says something, everyone pays attention — be it about cryptocurrency or colonising the Moon. On Monday, he told a Twitter user that it’s not easy to do what he has achieved with Tesla. The Twitter user, Utsav Techie (@utsavtechie), appeared to suggest that many tech companies were either manufacturing or were in the process of manufacturing electric cars – from Apple to Xiaomi, LG to Sony, and Huawei to, of course, Tesla.

To which, Musk replied, “Prototypes are easy, production is hard.”

Many Twitter users supported Musk’s comment.

When Musk joined Tesla as its co-founder and was pioneering the electric vehicle market, not many had reposed faith in him, saying electric vehicles were not a practical alternative to the polluting petroleum vehicles.

In fact, Musk had himself admitted during a discussion at the D11 Conference in 2013 that getting into the EV business was “one of the stupidest things you could do”. He said he still got into it because he “saw a huge market” and because it had become clear to him that no major car manufacturer was going to make electric vehicles.

In an earlier tweet, Musk had explained a little more on why he believed in the journey from prototype to production was so hard. He had tweeted, “Tesla and Ford are the only American carmakers not to have gone bankrupt out of 1000’s of car startups”.

To which, Ford CEO Jim Farley had responded: “Respect”.

Tesla is known as a pioneer in the electric vehicles space. Its popular electric passenger cars include the Model 3, the Model S, and the Model Y. The company is said to enter the Indian market soon.

Is Mi 11X the best phone under Rs. 35,000? We discussed this on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Later (starting at 23:50), we jump over to the Marvel series The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Orbital is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.


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