The market for alternative energy cars is not very broad at the moment. There’s much to be developed and even more to be understood. But that’s not stopping Hyundai executive Michael O’Brien (head of U.S. product planning for Hyundai) from slinging a little mud at arguably the top dog of alternative energy cars, Tesla Motors. Mr. O’Brien has suggested that Tesla Motors network of Supercharger DC fast-charging stations for their electric cars was funded using “money that has come from grants and loans from the government.” While Hyundai has paid for their hydrogen-fueled vehicle program from its own pockets.
What Mr. O’Brien is missing, is while Tesla Motors did indeed receive government funding to the tune of $465 million dollars, that loan has already been re-paid in full. Tesla continues to grow it’s network through its own financial means. Tesla had this to say in response to Mr. O’Brien.
Diarmuid O’Connell, Tesla VP Business Development
“I am furious at any allegation that any public money was spent on the Supercharger network,” he told Green Car Reports.
“Those sites have been paid for entirely by Tesla Motors–which continues to spend money in expanding the network.”
“This stands in stark contrast to certain foreign carmakers, including Hyundai,” O’Connell continued, “who have no manufacturing presence in California but expect the state’s taxpayers to spend up to $200 million to set up hydrogen stations” for their future fuel-cell vehicles
This is surely just the start of such shenanigans and mudslinging. As competition heats up in this market, we’re sure to see and hear more of these types of statements coming out. Everyone is racing to get a piece of the pie and everyone wants their idea to be what’s sold first. Go read Green Car Report’s full write up at the link below, John Voelcker makes some good points towards the end of his piece. What do you think of Hyundai’s mudslinging tactics? Let us know in the comments or on Google+, Facebook and Twitter.
Featured image courtesy LA Times.