A Tale of Two Geniuses, by Eric Peters

Henry Ford goes down in history as the man who mass-produced cars. Elon Musk will go down in history as the man who mass-produced government subsidies. From Eric Peters at ericpetersautos.com:

Elon Musk is hailed as a “genius” by some.

And he is – but not in the way they mean it.

Like Henry Ford, Musk took something he didn’t invent that was essentially a curiosity and recast it in a different way. The difference being that when Henry Ford simplified the car by standardizing parts and mass producing them on an assembly line – as opposed to hand-building them, one at a time, as had been prior practice – the result was a much less expensive and far more practical car that almost anyone could afford to buy.

Musk did the opposite.

The early electric cars were simpler as well as more practical than non-electric cars; this was a big part of their initial appeal, 100 years ago, when they were (briefly) competitive with early non-electric cars. You didn’t have to hand-crank the engine and risk breaking your wrist – because of course there was no engine. Instead, an electric motor connected to the drive wheels and an array of lead-acid batteries. The car turned off – and on – and off you went.

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