Elon Musk Rebuts Bill Gates’ Opinion on EVs

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Tesla CEO Elon Musk sharply criticized Bill Gates’ opinion of Electric vehicles. In a response to a Twitter user inquiring about Gates’ views, Musk bluntly stated that “he has no clue.”

The Background of Bill Gates & Elon Musk

On August 24, Bill Gates published a lengthy blog post. The philanthropist extensively laid out his thoughts on Electric Vehicles and how they can tackle climate change.

Gates stressed the importance of using clean electricity to run as many vehicles as possible. The billionaire, however, casted his doubts on the potential of EVs being long-haul vehicles.

It should be noted that Gates was not outright dismissive of Electric Vehicles as a whole. The billionaire stated that “EVs excel at short-haul travel.” Gates also asserted that “they’re great options for personal cars and even medium-duty vehicles, like city buses and garbage trucks.”

On the other hand, Gates dismissed the viability of EVs as long-haul vehicles. The philanthropist argued that the batteries that power EVs “are big and heavy”.

Gates also estimated that “the more weight you’re trying to move, the more batteries you need to power the vehicle.”

As a result, Gates concluded that “electric vehicles will probably never be a practical solution for things like 18-wheelers, cargo ships, and passenger jets.”

The billionaire proposed the usage of “cheap, alternative fuels”, particularly biofuels, as a potentially viable solution for commercial vehicles.

Biofuel is essentially living matter, such as algae, that can be converted into liquid fuel. Biofuels are thus considered to be renewable energy.

Battle of the Billionaires? Bill Gates vs. Elon Musk

It can be ascertained that Elon Musk and Bill Gates will not be sharing an Electric cab anytime soon.

In his August op-ed, Gates commended “legacy companies” GM and Ford and “new carmakers” Rivian  and Bollinger for their contributions in producing electric pick-up trucks.

Microsoft’s co-founder made no mention of Tesla in his blog post.

Back in February, Musk stated on Twitter that conversations with Gates were “underwhelming”.

In an interview with CNBC last July, the philanthropist called Musk’s comment about the COVID-19 pandemic “outrageous”.

“Elon’s positioning is to maintain a high level of outrageous comments,” Gates said. “He’s not much involved in vaccines. He makes a great electric car. And his rockets work well. So he’s allowed to say these things. I hope that he doesn’t confuse areas he’s not involved in too much.”


All in all, Elon Musk and Bill Gates traded barbs over different subjects during the past few months.

As far as Tesla goes, the company is preparing for Battery Day. The event, scheduled to take place on September 22, is expected to feature discussions about Tesla’s next-generation battery cells.

Tesla’s all-electric semi-truck, the Semi, is expected to be fitted with the aforementioned cells.

Mass production of the Semi is expected to begin in 2021. Should the semi-truck be embraced by long-haul companies due to its performance, technology and operating costs, Musk’s rebuttal of Bill Gates’ opinions may be very well in place.

Time will tell!


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