Venture capitalist Tim Draper at Palo Alto Film FestivalTim Draper, co-founder of Draper Fisher Jurvetson, a multi-billion venture capital firm that supports Tesla, came to Detroit on Thursday slinging either inspiration or insults, depending on what side of the fence you sit on.

"Don't live in your reality distortion field here in Detroit," Draper told the Detroit Free Press in an interview during Teleconomy conference at Wayne State University. "You've got to look at it and say, 'Yeah we could do something here. We can innovate.'"

"Create a flying car," he added. "Create something different because you've lost the electric car battle. See if you can win another."

Accord to Draper, Detroit's automakers are just too far behind to be competitive in the EV field: "They have not innovated nearly enough in the auto industry here... they really should wake up."

Of course, given that Draper and his VC firm are big Tesla backers, it's perhaps natural that he would prefer that potential competitors would step aside and give Tesla Motors some breathing room, especially as the company has never turned a profit.

Of course, the Palo Alto-based Tesla says it will sell 5,000 examples of its all-new 2013 Model S electric sports hatch this year. The well-reviewed car is just getting underway, having built over 100 units so far (it has orders for more). Next year, Tesla projects it will sell 15,000 units and the company's head, Elon Musk says the carmaker will finish in 2013 in the black. Of course, that doesn't include all of the losses it has incurred so far.