Tim 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.


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  • 169 Comments
      MONTEGOD7SS
      • 2 Years Ago
      As much as I like the Model S, I would buy a Volt before I bought a S. For an everyday driver I can't think of a better setup than the Volt.
      Adrian
      • 2 Years Ago
      So let me get this straight......an INVESTOR in Tesla, who's own personal interest is to further the company's sales numbers, is telling the Detroit 3 to get out of the electric car business and leave the market for Tesla? Right, he's a reputable source. Move on, nothing to see here.
        SatinSheetMetal
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Adrian
        I bet Tesla wished Tim wouldn't have rolled out of his bed for this interview.
        Adrian
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Adrian
        whose*. Man I wish you could edit comments here.
      Bjorn
      • 2 Years Ago
      "A Tesla investor".... So, just like anyone that has invested money in anything, of course you're going to pump your own book! What else is he going to say??? A real news headline would be "A Telsa investor has said the Detroit 3 have beaten Tesla in the electric car arena...".
      Ryan
      • 2 Years Ago
      If Tesla can brand itself as the EV car maker equivalent to Apple while the big three are producing the same beige boxes, then they have a point. However, the Volt and C-Max Energi will be more affordable and useful for normal people. Tesla will be better and more desirable, but not the same.
      Brian D
      • 2 Years Ago
      GM and Toyota don't need to rely on preorders because they both have mass produced plug-in vehicles in the system. By this december, GM will have sold over 30,000 plug-in Volts over the past 2 years. To call the D3 irellavant is ridiculous.
      Brian D
      • 2 Years Ago
      It's delusional to think the D3 are out of the EV game when GM has sold 20,000 volts, and is averaging over 2,000 volts a month. GM is the plug-in hybrid leader right now.
        SatinSheetMetal
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Brian D
        Woah buddy, you must not have read the article. "The well-reviewed car is just getting underway, having built OVER 100 UNITS (!) so far (it has orders for more)." Move over Chevy, your days are done.
      Marcopolo
      • 2 Years Ago
      Just as I feared, does the appearance of these 'AB' articles, along with troglodyte comments, portend the merger of ABG back into AB ?
        Gabbo
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Marcopolo
        Any comment that does not agree with yours is a "troglodyte" ? That's a handy definition for a shallow thinking individual.
      Brian D
      • 2 Years Ago
      GM is in full blown mass production of the Chevy volt, and still ONLY has a 32 day supply in California.
        Gabbo
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Brian D
        I LOVE the Volt .... and this VC guy is an idiot shill ....but to call GM's current situation "full blown mass production" would be quite an exageration. Let's keep the facts on our side, and leave the exagerations to knuckleheads like Tim Draper ( by the way ...classy outfit, Tim ).
        Brian D
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Brian D
        Gabbo, I don't think it is an exaggeration to say the Volt is in "full blown mass production" when they sold 2,800 of them last month. GM is producing and selling more Chevy Volt than Chevy corvettes.
      Level4
      • 2 Years Ago
      Yeah and I poop gold eggs too...What a dreamer...When any automaker can buy you right out, I would not be making such idiotic claims...Unless that's their real goal; to be bought out by one of the D3...
      • 2 Years Ago
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      • 2 Years Ago
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      • 2 Years Ago
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        Spec
        • 2 Years Ago
        Pure electric cars: GM 0 Ford ~37 Chrysler 0 Tesla 100
          Grendal
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Spec
          How about watching one work as well as a Porsche Panamera for about $25,000 less in price. http://www.insideline.com/porsche/panamera/2013/porsche-panamera-gts-vs-tesla-model-s-track-test.html That's an Edmunds review.
          carguy1701
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Spec
          SPOILER: pure electric cars don't work.
        • 2 Years Ago
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