Big Tech’s billionaires are beefing.
This weekend, the world’s fourth-richest man, Elon Musk, cast doubt on the superior knowledge of the world’s second-richest man, Bill Gates. After Gates suggested that electric trucks were not feasible replacements for long-haul petroleum-powered vehicles, Musk tweeted that the Microsoft founder “has no clue.”
Big and Heavy
Musk’s clap-back was in response to an August blog post written by Gates. In the post, the computer scientist-turned-philanthropist explained why he was skeptical that electric vehicles would be able to make long-distance treks. In short, Gates says, “batteries are big and heavy.”
“Even with big breakthroughs in battery technology, electric vehicles will probably never be a practical solution for things like 18-wheelers, cargo ships, and passenger jets,” Gates writes. “Electricity works when you need to cover short distances, but we need a different solution for heavy, long-haul vehicles.”
Instead, Gates suggests that automakers invest in “cheap, alternative fuels,” like biofuels, that could replace the use of gasoline and would do less harm to the environment than fossil fuels. Still, he credited some of the world’s esteemed car manufacturers for their advancements in building electric vehicles. By name, he lauded Ford, GM, Rivian, and Bollinger for their work on electric, eco-friendly vehicles. Notably absent from that list was Tesla, the EV giant founded and controlled by Elon Musk.
No Braking for Tesla
Musk’s recent pass at Gates is not the first time the two tech tycoons have publicly aired their distaste for one another. In February, Musk tweeted that he found conversations with Gates to be “underwhelming.” The swipe came after Gates revealed in an interview that he had purchased an electric Porsche Taycan instead of a Tesla.
Still, none of this is enough to slow down Tesla’s line of electric pickup trucks. The company unveiled plans for the Cybertruck last year, their first-ever, all-electric pickup. Tesla now says that it will begin production on the Cybertruck in late 2021.