Tesla is the world’s biggest EV maker by far, which could tempt other EV startups to emulate its successes as they struggle to achieve a foothold within the industry. Nevertheless, Tesla co-founder Martin Eberhard has advised them to do the other.
Eberhard thinks too many EV makers are caught up within the race to beat Tesla, which might only lead to failure. Chatting with Insider, Eberhard said, “My advice to anybody who desires to get into the EV space now could be don’t attempt to compete head-on with Tesla. Don’t make the very same model.”
Eberhard singled out Lucid Motors, which he accused of competing directly with Tesla’s Model S with its Lucid Air sedan.
It just isn’t unnatural for Lucid to operate similarly to Tesla. Lots of the employees formerly worked at Tesla, including CEO Peter Rawlinson. Even Eberhard worked there when it was still named Atieva but left after only six weeks due to differences with the CEO, he explained. Nevertheless, a Lucid representative disagreed with Eberhard on characterizing the Air as a replica of the Model S. They said the Air is a “latest benchmark for EV sports sedans.”
Eberhard urges EV makers to explore other vehicle categories, “There’s different sorts of cars for various market segments. From the start, everybody at Tesla knew that, eventually, the auto industry would meet up with them and they’d be competing against a bunch of other automotive firms.”
He added: “The world has supported greater than a dozen successful large automotive firms for generations. I don’t see that changing.” Eberhard was smitten by Rivian, one other EV startup that pursued the electrical pickup truck segment.
Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning founded Tesla in 2003 before Elon Musk joined. He left the corporate 4 years later after being ousted by the board, which was presented with evidence of deception and fraud during his tenure.
Musk isn’t any fan of Eberhard, and the 2 haven’t spoken in 14 years in response to Eberhard. That likely won’t change any time soon as Musk has not been shy to indicate his dislike for Eberhard, calling him “by far the worst person I’ve ever worked with in my entire profession,” and saying that he almost sunk Tesla within the early days “through a mix of bad management decisions, driving out talented people, bad engineering, major blunders in supply chain & an elaborate deception in regards to the true cost & schedule of the Tesla Roadster.”
Founding story of Tesla as portrayed by Eberhard is patently false. I wish I had never met him.
Eberhard is by far the worst person I’ve ever worked with in my entire profession. Given how many individuals I’ve worked with through the years, that’s really saying something …
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 13, 2021