Elon Musk is "deeply wounded" by a comment from Sarah Palin.
In a Facebook post on April 5, the former Alaska governor compared Tesla, Musk's electric car company, to Fisker Automotive, an electric car maker that recently laid off most of its employees and currently owes $192 million to the government.
"This losing tax-subsidized venture joins other past losers like the Obama-subsidized Volt that gets 40 miles per battery charge, or like the Obama-subsidized Tesla that turns into a 'brick' when the battery completely discharges and then costs $40,000 to repair," Palin wrote. "This is really just the latest manifestation of the administration's crony capitalism as their green energy buddies benefit from this atrocious waste of taxpayer money. Americans really need to get outraged by these wasteful ventures. As we've seen time and again, We the People are always stuck subsidizing the left's 'losers.' "
This "bricking" occurs when the vehicle is unplugged for an extended length of time, but according to Tesla, a Model S can't be bricked.
The insult isn't the first that Elon Musk has sustained regarding Tesla. Mitt Romney called Tesla a "loser" during the presidential debates in October. In response, Musk said that Romney "was right about the object of that statement, but not the subject."
That said, a comparison between Tesla and Fisker is somewhat warranted. Both drew significant funds from the government in their early stages and focused their attention on the high-end market. However, while Tesla has successfully found corporate partners and sourced parts, Fisker has encountered significant regulatory delays and had trouble meeting demand. It has also fallen short of Tesla's ability to capture the public imagination, something partially accomplished through Elon Musk.