Los Angeles Times: Column: Is Elon Musk a genius or an idiot?
“(Elon) Musk has fallen into the trap of hubris by misreading the success of Tesla and SpaceX as testaments to his personal wisdom. Both companies, however, have relied on unusual, if not unique, advantages.
Tesla has collected enormous government subsidies — $3.6 billion in federal and state grants, rebates and tax abatements dating to 2006, according to the subsidy tracker at the nonprofit Good Jobs First. That figure doesn’t include a $465-million loan issued by the Department of Energy in 2010 to help fund Tesla’s electric vehicle technology development, which has been repaid.
Nor does it include the federal rebate of up to $7,500 that Tesla buyers received through the end of 2019, a total of more than $1.5 billion spent to make Teslas more affordable. The credit expired after Tesla sold its 200,000th vehicle. It will resume next year, albeit applicable only to the company’s least expensive sedan, the Model 3.
Tesla buyers have also received a total of $436 million in California state rebates; at least 18 other states have had some sort of incentive program in place.
Those subsidies saw Tesla through periods in which its financial weaknesses might otherwise have led to the company’s extinction.”
Read the full story at the LA Times.