Feeds

Tesla claims founder's lawsuit is 'fiction'

Opening broadsides in electrocar kingpin wrangle

High performance access to file storage

Spokespersons for electrocar company Tesla Motors - makers of the renowned Roadster li-ion battery sports car - have roundly disparaged a lawsuit mounted against the company and its helmsman, colourful space-rocket kingpin and PayPal hecamillionaire Elon Musk.

Tesla co-founder Martin Eberhard, ousted as CEO of the firm in 2007, alleges that he has been slandered and libelled by Musk since his departure. He adds that financial and production problems with the Roadster were not his doing but Musk's, and further contends that his promised "Founder's Series" Roadster was not supplied. Rather he was given an ordinary Roadster which had been "wrecked" in a collision by a company employee.

Eberhard has mounted suit for unspecified damages against Musk and Tesla in California's superior court.

A Tesla spokesperson, contacted yesterday for comment by the Reg, supplied us with this statement:

This lawsuit is a fictionalized account of Tesla's early years - it's twisted and wrong, and we welcome the opportunity to set the record straight. As the media have already covered exhaustively, Tesla’s full board of directors unanimously fired Martin shortly after discovering that the cost of the car was more than twice what Martin portrayed it to be at the time. Incidentally, Tesla will likely be filing counterclaims and in the process present an accurate account of the company's history.

Tesla says that Roadster production is now secure, following financial troubles remedied by cash injections from unnamed investors and then from Daimler, which now has a ten per cent stake in the company. Tesla also says it has profitable work supplying batteries and drivetrain tech to other makers.

It's possible to criticise the Roadster on certain aspects of its performance - mainly the lengthy charging period required after the battery runs down - and for its $100k price, which means it will never change the driving preferences of nations on its own. However it's one of very very few advanced-tech, new generation electric vehicles which are actually on the road in customers' hands, and for now Tesla's Roadster order book seems solid.

Whether or not Tesla can secure funds to build its planned Model S electrocar for everyman - the next stage of its and Musk's plan for an electrically propelled future - it now appears a safe bet that the firm will be around for the foreseeable future, and will have enough cash to make it worth suing.

Viewed in this way, Eberhard's lawsuit might actually be seen as a vote of confidence. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Fancy joining Reg hack on quid-a-day challenge?
Recruiting now for charity starvation diet
Red-faced LOHAN team 'fesses up in blown SPEARS fuse fiasco
Standing in the corner, big pointy 'D' hats
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
Opportunity selfie: Martian winds have given the spunky ol' rover a spring cleaning
Power levels up 70 per cent as the rover keeps on truckin'
KILLER ROBOTS, DNA TAMPERING and PEEPING CYBORGS: the future looks bright!
Americans optimistic about technology despite being afraid of EVERYTHING
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.