What, you thought Elon Musk was going to sing the praises of other plug-in vehicles? Nope, the Tesla Motors CEO didn't disappoint in a recent interview with Bloomberg News, offering a "meh" when it came to his opinion of models such as the Nissan Leaf EV and Chevrolet Volt extended-range plug-in. The interview came on the heels of the Tesla Model S receiving high crash-test ratings from regulators earlier this month.

Musk said the Volt is "OK but not great" and the Leaf's "battery pack range is just way too low."

Of the Volt, Musk said that Chevy "sort of created something that's a bit of amphibian," adding that the General Motors division "essentially split the baby between gasoline and electric, so it's OK but not great." As for the Leaf, Musk, whose Model S can go as far as 265 miles on a single charge, said that the Nissan's "battery pack range is just way too low." Musk wasn't real complimentary of either car's handling, quickness or looks either. No GM or Nissan cocktail parties for you, Mr. Musk. Check it out in the Bloomberg video below.

Musk has reason to be boastful when it comes to comparison shopping. Despite the Model S having a pricetag than can run two-to-four times as much as the Volt or the Leaf, the Tesla has been holding its own, sales-wise. During the second quarter, the Model S moved about 5,150 units, compared to an even 6,300 for the Leaf and 5,611 for the Volt.



I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 166 Comments
      Joeviocoe
      • 1 Year Ago
      --"I am sure Tesla will do it when the batteries cost come down, but so will other manufactures..." And here we are with another round of underestimating Tesla.
      Spec
      • 1 Year Ago
      Well Jeff, it is a moving target. I think a 200 mile range EV for $50K might be possible right now but it probably would not sell because it would be a $50K econobox stuffed with batteries. For example, you could take one of the ~80 mile range EVs, sacrifice the back seat, and stuff in $20K more of batteries. But who would buy that? $35K? No way is that possible right now.
      RC
      • 1 Year Ago
      I think Elon missed the mark with his answer. What sets Tesla apart is its culture. People buy the Model S are buying into Tesla's vision and want to be part of the solution. GM doesn't have that vision.
        CoolWaters
        • 1 Year Ago
        @RC
        It's the Product. At that price you have the luxury to build a great car. Cut the price in half, and try again, to compete with the Volt. I'll be happy for Tesla to take that challenge.
          RC
          • 1 Year Ago
          @CoolWaters
          When I considered buying a volt, I thought about where my money would go. GM is more concerned with the combustion engine than anything else. On the other hand, for me Tesla's vehicles have value that extends well beyond the sheet metal. Investing in Tesla is investing in its vision of a world without tailpipe emissions.
          archos
          • 1 Year Ago
          @CoolWaters
          You're suggesting you can only build a great car if its priced expensive. Don't buy that.
          Ricardo Gozinya
          • 1 Year Ago
          @CoolWaters
          There's cars that cost significantly more than the Model S, that are nowhere near as good. And there's cars that cost a lot less than the Leaf, that are way better. It's more than money.
      • 1 Year Ago
      GM president hints at Corvette Stingray hybrid Thursday 29th, August 2013 / 10:28 Category chevy, Corvette, News Post tags C7, Corvette, energy recapturing system, General Motors, GM, hybrid, interview, LA Times, Mark Reuss, president, stingray General Motors president Mark Reuss said in an recent interview with the L.A. Times that consumers could see A Corvette Stingray hybrid. “Actually, don’t laugh,” Reuss said with a telling smile. “Using an energy recapturing system like that found on hypercars such as Ferrari’s LaFerrari or McLaren’s P1 — both hybrids — presents many advantages. … I think it’s a very attractive idea, actually,” Reuss said. “I think it would be really fun to do, I think it would build capability inside our company and I think people would love it.” (Photo Credit: LA Times)
      • 1 Year Ago
      Ampera Beats Model S; Model S Better Than Volt? Posted by Jeff Cobb in: General with 91 CommentsShare: It’s not every day that you hear of the Tesla Model S taking back seat to a Chevy Volt in a head-to-head comparison – except regarding price, and potential range anxiety – but in Europe this was the case for the Volt’s Opel-branded cousin. The extended-range electric Opel Ampera was awarded the “Green Mobility Trophy 2013” by the readers of the trade magazine Auto Zeitung, and it beat 17 other electrified vehicles in the process. The overall selection of vehicles in consideration for the magazine’s awards was large, with 134 models and engines from 34 brands as candidates in seven categories. To take the top honors in the electric vehicle category, the Opel manufactured in Detroit-Hamtramck beat 18 competitors, including the closest two competitors, the Model S and BMW i3, which reportedly placed “well behind the Ampera.” This acknowledgement was the result of 18,000 readers participating in the vote for the the award intended to honor models and propulsion concepts that are trendsetting in their class in terms of particularly eco-friendly use of resources. “What customers expect from electric cars is clear: they want technology that is more environmentally friendly while offering all the benefits of conventional propulsion systems,” said Andreas Marx, director of marketing for Opel Germany. “The ‘Green Mobility Trophy’ is latest proof that we more than meet these expectations with the Ampera.” Just like the Volt, the Ampera has accrued a fair number of awards besides this latest one, some of which include “Car of the Year 2012,” “World Green Car of the Year,” and readers’ choice awards from Auto Bild and Autoscout24.de.
      Marcopolo
      • 1 Year Ago
      I admire Elon Musk ! (hell, it's impossible not admire his achievements) However, I feel a little disappointed when I see him being carelessly disrespectful of other companies products. It reveals the character flaws, in an otherwise, great man. The argument that he was asked to give his opinion, and gave it, maybe valid, but to be so negative is ungracious and petty. Both the GM Volt and the Nissan Leaf have positive, practical aspects making them more suitable for certain applications than any Tesla product. There are some fanatical Tesla fans whose idolization of Elon Musk and Tesla, is becoming frighteningly like a cult !
        • 5 Months Ago
        @Marcopolo
        Are you kidding? He's a CEO visionary talking about what he thinks are inferior products in a direct and honest way with valid points when asked a direct question.
        Joeviocoe
        • 5 Months Ago
        @Marcopolo
        --"There are some fanatical Tesla fans whose idolization of Elon Musk and Tesla, is becoming frighteningly like a cult" The people who hate on Musk FAR OUTNUMBER those who idolize him. THEY are the cult. Do you realize how subjective your interpretation of Musk's comments are?
        VL00
        • 5 Months Ago
        @Marcopolo
        I'm a Volt owner, and his comments are accurate.
      Technoir
      • 1 Year Ago
      Elon, Don't talk about competitors like this! There's more tactful (and credible) ways of pointing our their shortcomings. This just makes you sound arrogant.
        VL00
        • 5 Months Ago
        @Technoir
        I'm a Volt owner, and I agree with his statements. There is nothing dishonest or untrue in his comments
          Technoir
          • 5 Months Ago
          @VL00
          VL00 The Volt is very much liked by millions of people and many owners. Cars are designed not only to look good, but to fit within an existing brand that features other models. You are asking yourself why GM didn't make the Volt as pretty as the Tesla, and the answer has to do with product positioning first, and brand positioning second. Tesla is a new company, they were able to define it from scratch. A sexy curvy Volt might not have sold better because of the existing brand image. Such car would have stood out from the existing Chevy lineup and been unrecognizable as a Chevy product. Moreover, it would have looked better than higher-prices GM products (cadillac etc..) and likely cannibalized their sales. Humans hate surprises....no matter how good the product. Conclusion: It's not all about styling. The issue is far more complex than you think.
          VL00
          • 5 Months Ago
          @VL00
          You think the Volt is recognizable as a GM product (if the badge was missing)?? It look like literally nothing else GM makes, and nothing like the concept car. The Volt doesn't share a single body panel with anything else GM makes, they effectively started from scratch. You think a better looking Volt would reduce Cadillac sales? What are you smoking exactly?
          VL00
          • 5 Months Ago
          @VL00
          He said no aspect of the Volt is great in and of itself, and he's correct. The Volt is pretty ugly compared to a Model S, and GM's excuse that it had to look that way because of aerodynamics was proven false by the Model S. Are you really going to pretend the massive criticism about the design when the production Volt was revealed didn't happen?
          Technoir
          • 5 Months Ago
          @VL00
          Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. There are plenty of happy Leaf and Volt drivers who are completely happy about the looks of their vehicle.
      raktmn
      • 1 Year Ago
      Every comment he said is absolutely true from the context of driving around in a $70K+ Model S. Just like from the seat of most cars, the first comment about the Model S is that it is way to damn expensive. Also an absolutely true comment from that perspective. I don't see the controversy here. All this proves is that a huge bung-load of money goes a long ways when you are trying to build a perfect car.
      HVH20
      • 1 Year Ago
      I bought a Volt this week for sub $25k, thats about the price difference between the base model and higher end model S. I drive 80+ miles per day and have so far used 0 gallons of fuel. This weekend I'll be driving it several hundred miles, much beyond the range of a model s. Some might say that range is too short too, its all a matter of perspective. I get it, Elon is obviously going to praise his car over everything else in the world. But his smug attitude is getting old.
        VL00
        • 1 Year Ago
        @HVH20
        Its not smugness, he delivered a phenomenal award winning car. (and I own a Volt)
        eric.sales
        • 1 Year Ago
        @HVH20
        I own the Module S I did drive a Volt .. sorry not in the same galaxy. 25K for a car with a 15K interior no thanks.
          jeff
          • 1 Year Ago
          @eric.sales
          So basically you are saying that you prefer to drive a $70,000 to $100,000 car over a $40,000 car...... Who would have thought that would happen???
          jeff
          • 1 Year Ago
          @eric.sales
          No...
          jeff
          • 1 Year Ago
          @eric.sales
          By the way, I built my own electric car... It only has a 80-90 mile range but I love it...
          VL00
          • 1 Year Ago
          @eric.sales
          You don't own one, stop posing
      VL00
      • 1 Year Ago
      He's simply commenting on the overall design decisions in the Volt - "Its not great in any dimension" - and he's accurate. And I can say this because I've been driving a Volt for 24 months. Aesthetics - The Volt was pretty much a disappointment when the production version was released. Its ok, but its not great. Performance - Electric power: Its ok up to 50 MPH, then the torque drops off precipitously. Gas power: Its not even ok, its about on par with a 4-cyl Malibu. In either case, don't try to pull out and pass someone on a 2 lane road unless you've got plenty of room. Electronics - The info screens are small, and the UI design is ok at best. Compare it to the Model S, and its wanting. Interior - Lots of plastic. I'm not against that, the design is interesting, it wears well, but its only ok, its what you'd expect to find in a cheap car, its not great. Packaging - The T-shape battery is just dumb compared to the flat floor in the Model S, even the biggest Volt fan would admit that. Charging - 3.3 kW is not fast, its only ok. And there you have it, in every category the Volt is less than great. As a whole package, it works well though.
        Rotation
        • 1 Year Ago
        @VL00
        The flat floor in the Tesla reduces the headroom, critically in the rear seats. The T-shape has it's problems, but the Tesla battery placement has its problems too. It removes almost 6" height from the entire interior. I'll take the heater system in the Volt over the Tesla S any day. The Tesla center screen is pretty but it's bad to use. If Chevy had gotten the center stack in the Volt right (they didn't, the touch buttons aren't as good as real buttons) it would kill the Model S one in every way.
          VL00
          • 5 Months Ago
          @Rotation
          How can a flat floor reduce headroom in the room? That's a function of the roofline. Are you spatially unaware? Removes 6" of height? So no human being besides Seth Green can fit in a Model S. Give me a break. Are you talking about the heater function when the gas engine is running? Because in electric mode it pretty much sucks. And the center stack "would kill the Model S" if it was done right? So in other words, its deficient? Nice try
          jeff
          • 5 Months Ago
          @Rotation
          It is not really the flat floor that is the issue. The floor has to be thicker than normal to house the batteries. This reduces head room assuming that you want to keep the roof line low for wind resistance...
        jeff
        • 1 Year Ago
        @VL00
        And is cost about $40,000 less...
          jeff
          • 1 Year Ago
          @jeff
          By the way VL00, If price is irrevelent, as you say, why did you buy a Volt and not a Model S or sell your Volt and buy a Model S? I mean after all you truly believe that price is irrevelent....
          jeff
          • 1 Year Ago
          @jeff
          What I said was that you CANNOT compare cars in ANY realistic context with such drastically different prices... OF COURSE a $30-40K Car will not be as nice as a $70-100K car... However until Tesla offers a lower price car to compete with the Volts, and Leafs, etc... He has no real ground to trash the competition in my opinion... You are the one that made the idiotic comment that price is irrelevant....
          VL00
          • 1 Year Ago
          @jeff
          Explain how making the UI screens better costs more money. Explain how packing the battery in a flat form factor costs more money. You keep moving the goal post to "its a great package for the money", and NOTHING Elon said contradicts that. Is it really that hard to understand?
          VL00
          • 1 Year Ago
          @jeff
          Exactly. Elon said no particular aspect of the car is great, he wasn't commenting on the whole package, did you watch the video? Answer these questions honestly: Is the interior of the car great? ( No, its plastic, its not great, its just average) Is the performance great? (No, the Spark has more torque, its adequate, not great) Is the packaging great? (No, the oddly shaped battery caused it to be a 4 seater, something Tesla got right) Are the display screens/UI's great? (No, there below average, and don't hold a candle to the Model S) Is the handling great? (No, have you looked under the car? It has a beam rear axle and low friction tires) Is the charging rate great? (No, the Leaf is already at 6.6 kW) So Jeff, you think all those items are great in and of themselves? Forget about the total package, comment on each of those aspects and convince me why anyone of them are great...
          jeff
          • 1 Year Ago
          @jeff
          Really? Do you honestly believe price is irrevelent?
          VL00
          • 1 Year Ago
          @jeff
          Price is irrelevant. If the Volt was $10,000 it would still NOT be great in any of those categories. Is it really that hard to understand?
          JakeY
          • 1 Year Ago
          @jeff
          @jeff He's saying price is irrelevant in comparing which car is "great". He's not saying it's irrelevant when car shopping. For example, when car magazines or shows try to find the "best car" they rarely take price into account (an economy car can win and a expensive luxury car can win, it's not a given either are the winners).
      imoore
      • 1 Year Ago
      " Musk wasn't real complimentary of either car's handling, quickness or looks." Looks, huh? Well the Model S is no prize winner itself.
        VL00
        • 1 Year Ago
        @imoore
        Its one of the best looking sedans on the road. What's better?
        Ele Truk
        • 1 Year Ago
        @imoore
        Um, yes it is a prize winner: Car of the Year - Motor Trend Magazine Car of the Year - Automobile Magazine Popular Science Auto Grand Award Winner Yahoo! Autos Car of the Year 2013 AutoGuide.com Reader's Choice Car of the Year 2013 Consumer Reports - Highest rating EVER I'm sure there's a few I missed.
      • 1 Year Ago
      My 2012 Leaf's range, even with 80% charging, is adequate for all my daily local driving. With the approximately $30,000 price difference between the Leaf and the Model S, one could buy maybe 3 additional 24 kWh Leaf battery packs and, assuming one could connect them and had room to carry them around in the Leaf, one could quadruple a Leaf's range. I think it's great that the Tesla company is out there competing with other EV makers, we'll all benefit from it. The more the merrier. As the battery technology improves, range anxiety will be a thing of the past, and Tesla's competitive edge on range will no longer matter. GM and their partner are reportedly testing a battery pack with double the energy density (kWh per pound/volume) of the Tesla pack and about triple that of the Leaf. Someday I expect to be able to swap out my 24kWh battery pack and expand my Leaf's range. I also expect that someday, fast charging stations will proliferate, and I'd be able to drive coast to coast as conveniently in an EV as in an ICE vehicle, although maybe I'd rather fly? Exciting times ahead.
        Ele Truk
        • 1 Year Ago
        I am hoping Nissan decides to offer a higher mileage battery as an option for 2015. I just don't know if there's room for twice as many batteries.
          GR
          • 5 Months Ago
          @Ele Truk
          Ditto Ele Truck. If Tesla can offer a 300 mile range car, then surely Nissan can offer a Leaf that has at least 150 miles of range, even if it is optional. Likewise, GM should work towards shrinking the size of the ICE in the Volt and increasing the battery range (and finally put in that 5th seat!).
    • Load More Comments