Elon Musk is a genius at figuring out how to get the government and his competitors to underwrite his business. From Eric Peters at ericpetersautos.com:
Elon Musk is said – by some – to be a “genius.” Arguably, a more accurate honorific would be king, used in the Elvisian sense.
Elvis, of course, was the King – of rock n’ roll. There was no else like him, insofar as his persona especially. His jump-suited image has become an icon of Americana. Even people who don’t know his music know him – and that is what makes him the King.
Musk is like that in his own way. He has become synomous with the electric cars that bear another man’s name and riff off the legacy of the man who created what was arguably the very first volkswagen (lower case) or people’s car.
That car being, of course, the Model T. Which nomenclature Musk uses to create a false assocation with his Model 3 (and other Models). False – because nothing could imagined that is more contra t everything the Model T was than what the Model 3 (and other Tesla models) are. The T was an everyman’s car. The 3 is a rich man’s car. The T got less expensive to buy with each successive model year; the Model 3 just got more expensive – again. The T was designed to give ordinary people the freedom to go anywhere they wanted, anytime they liked. The 3 is designed to force most people back onto the bus – and tether the few to a cord.
No one heretofore has been as colossaly successful at becoming a billionare (several times over) by using the government to – on the one hand – force his rivals to finance his operations and thereby, their competition and – on the other – to use the government to create a “market” for his products, which would otherwise have a very small market (being very expensive and very impractical).