Daimler answers Elon Musk's Twitter challenge on EVs

Darrell Etherington
Daimler answers Elon Musk's Twitter challenge on EVs

Elon Musk uses Twitter to express his thoughts frankly and directly, and he just took issue with a USA Today story about the size of a rival automaker's bet on electric vehicle technology. Musk noted that the reported $1 billion Daimler was spending on taking on Tesla was not enough for such a large company – and Daimler agreed.

In response to Musk's tweet that the $1 billion figure cited in the USA Today tweet was too low, Daimler said that the Tesla CEO was "absolutely right" and then pointed out that it's actually investing over $10 billion, including its next generation EV spend on top of its $1 billion investment in battery production alone.


Musk didn't actually prompt any change in Daimler's plans (or not in this tweet anyway – Tesla as a company has had an impact on the EV industry at large that's hard to quantify). Instead, Musk was guilty of that cardinal Twitter sin: Not clicking through and assuming the whole story is the headline or 140 character summary. Jalopnik's Dean Kawamura pointed this out, but Musk's cheeky answer could either be a straight up joke, or a reference to the fact that Tesla has changed the game for EVs. I prefer to interpret it as the latter.