Elon Musk has come under criticism from some circles for the government subsidies that his companies utilize. Musk is the CEO of SpaceX and Tesla as well as chairman of SolarCity. Tesla manufactures and sells electric cars, and SolarCity sells solar panels. Both have received a few billion dollars in government subsidies when you include tax breaks and credits with direct subsidies. Musk points out that the oil and gas industries receive far more in subsidies than his companies. He has also stated that they can be profitable immediately by simply focusing on wealthier customers, but Tesla and SolarCity are making the investments needed to bring this technology down in cost so that electric cars and solar panels can find their way into the driveways and on the rooftops of ordinary middle class workers.
According to Kevin Seawright, Tesla is working on a newer version of their electric car that is expected to cost around $35,000, and this will bring the price down to where average consumers having a shot at an electric car. Some government subsidies and tax credits having to do with alternative energy may be ending soon and investors do wonder if Tesla and SolarCity can have affordable production scaled up before this money runs out. Musk has a good business track record, and SpaceX seems to be doing well without these subsidies. Given the state of the climate and predictions for its future, let’s hope alternative energy transportation and energy production companies like those founded by Elon Musk take off.