Tesla Motors chairman and CEO* Elon Musk told an audience at a Wired Business Conference on Monday that a Toyota “Prius is not a true hybrid, really” and added that gasoline “should probably be about $10” per gallon to compensate for all the damage it has done to the planet.
CBSNews.com quoted Musk as saying, “The current Prius is like, two percent electric. It’s a gasoline car with slightly better mileage.”
Musk’s position on the Prius is hardly a surprise, given the fact that Tesla Motors has promised to roll out an all-electric sedan in 2011 that will travel 300 miles between charges. Similarly, his views on $10-per-gallon gasoline are assumed to be an outgrowth of his company’s efforts to build electric vehicles. “I’m not paying for the true cost of gasoline at the pump,” he reportedly said. “Since nobody’s explicitly paying for CO2 capacity of the oceans and atmospheres, it’s getting consumed. We will pay for it down the road, but we are sort of ignoring it for now.”
At the conference, Musk also criticized Detroit auto makers for failing to focus sufficiently on innovation. Musk, who made his fortune after co-founding PayPal, said that the path to the CEO’s office “needs to be through engineering and design.”
*Thanks to commenter “doh” who pointed out that Musk is not the founder of Tesla.