It’s well-documented that Tesla Motor’s CEO Elon Musk is a certifiable perfectionist, which makes it surprising that he’s admitting the that the Tesla Roadster was pretty much a hot mess. Speaking at the recent World Energy Innovation Forum, which was held at Tesla’s factory in Fremont, California, the fiery CEO opened up about a lesson he learned from the early days of his car company.
Musk admitted that trying to outfit a Lotus Elise with an all-electric powertrain was a big mistake, stating that the company should have just designed a car from the ground-up, like it did with the Model S, a car that has garnered considerable praise since it was launched. Instead, the Tesla Roadster has been derided by many, which certainly did not help with Tesla’s image in the early days.
Using an electric powertrain produced by AC Propulsion was another mistake Musk admitted to. Because of these fundamental flaws, the company made the Roadster in very limited quantities and has stopped producing it. He also remarked on the design of the Model S, which is the first modern car to be designed from the ground-up for pure electric propulsion, stating that design features like having the battery pack situated as low on the vehicle as possible helped make the car a roaring success.
During his comments, Musk once more lobbed some shots at every other type of propulsion technology, at least for cars and virtually every other type of transportation. Known for his unbending view on the subject, he declared that the design of internal combustion engines is “ridiculous” as well as “absurd” when it comes to engineering. Musk went on to consult his crystal ball, predicting that in the future all forms of transportation except for space ships will use electric propulsion. How exactly the very pertinent issue of limited battery technology would be overcome to make such a prediction reality was not expounded upon.