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Despite being a relatively small car company in terms of output, Tesla is one of the most well-known automakers in the world right now, and part of that is due to its CEO, Elon Musk. With that being said, Teslas are not perfect vehicles, and many of them have issues. A new book has put the spotlight on Tesla’s other issues. Here’s a look at Ludicrous: The Unvarnished Story of Tesla Motors, the book that claims it’s exposing Tesla’s lies.

Tesla and Elon Musk’s successful cult of personality

While Tesla and Elon Musk are both equally very well-known, what is less known is that Tesla has had many financial issues despite its supposed popularity. For example, according to Forbes, Tesla once had a higher market value than well-established automakers like Ford and General Motors. This is, of course, in contrast to the fact that the Ford F-150 continues to outsell every single Tesla model combined.

That lack of sales has forced Tesla to go into the equity and debt markets to raise new capital, and by 2019, Tesla had raised $19 billion in new capital in total. One of the reasons why Musk and Tesla have been able to do that is because of the cult of personality around Musk. Musk has millions of followers and plenty of fans, and that’s helping keep the future of Tesla bright.

A look at this explosive book about Tesla and Elon Musk

Elon Musk introducing Autosteer as a new Tesla Autopilot feature in Beijing, China
Elon Musk speaking about Tesla’s Autopilot | Visual China Group via Getty Images/Visual China Group via Getty Images

According to Current Affairs, Ludicrous: The Unvarnished Story of Tesla Motors, which was written by Edward Niedermeyer, gives a history of Tesla as well as some insights into the company’s lies. In a recent Twitter post, Niedermeyer described how this all started for him: “In 2015 I decided on a whim to check out Tesla’s battery swap station that was earning the company 9 figures in California ZEV credits, and found it wasn’t real. Instead, Tesla was using diesel generators to charge cars. Here’s how this changed my life.”

The book described some more boring things, such as the company’s origins, as well as some of the more scandalous stuff. For example, a good portion of the book is about the safety of Tesla Autopilot and how, according to Niedermeyer, Tesla and Elon Musk are lying to people about Autopilot’s capabilities

Another thing that the book covers is Tesla’s manufacturing process. Tesla had a philosophy of starting everything from scratch, and while that’s led to some nice innovations, what it’s also done is cause Tesla to experience many problems that’ve already been solved. This is especially true in the manufacturing aspect of things, as Tesla’s factories have had their fair share of issues that you don’t often see from more established and streamlined automakers.

The author is a pretty credible source

While this book may sound like a hit piece on Tesla, Niedermeyer is a credible investigative journalist who has a lot of years and expertise in the automotive world. As a result, his findings and research may very well be legit. For example, Current Affairs states, “Edward Niedermeyer is the former editor in chief of The Truth About Cars blog. He has been a contributor to Bloomberg View, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and other outlets.”

The outlet continues by writing, “There is probably no greater expert on the career of Elon Musk and the development of Tesla. Niedermeyer is an expert on the auto industry, with a specialty in electric and autonomous cars. He’s the host of the Autonocast podcast, which is about the development of autonomous cars.”


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