Along the way over the last several years, both men have highlighted AC Propulsion and its tZero (above) as the inspiration for the creation of the Tesla Roadster. Here at ABG, we've written about the company and its projects including the eBox and its involvement in BMW's MINI E program. Siry also points to Tom Gage and Alan Cocconi of AC Propulsion as the ones who really gave birth to the idea. Unfortunately, (or not) Gage and Cocconi had other plans beyond building a production tZero and as a result we now have this battle of egos. In some respects Gage and Cocconi may end up being the EV equivalent of Gary Kildall, brilliant innovators, largely forgotten by those with a more business-oriented agenda.
Of course, being business-oriented doesn't necessarily mean that Musk will be as successful as Bill Gates. As Siry points out, winning this battle is unlikely to have any beneficial impact for Tesla, regardless of who triumphs.