Last week in an interview with noted tech vlogger Marques Brownlee, Bill Gates revealed that he had purchased Porsche's new Taycan electric sports sedan. It's a little bit disappointing that Gates pronounces Porsche as 'Porsh', but he's definitely a smart guy and I guess he can pronounce it however he wants. In his comments about the car, he referred to it as being very very cool, and had a bit to say about the range and charging infrastructure of electric cars. Admittedly we're still in the growth phase of EVs, and they aren't quite perfect yet. It takes a good bit more time and planning to take a long road trip in an EV, but just because they don't work for everyone, doesn't mean they won't be perfect for someone.
You can watch the full interview below.
Particularly if you live in the suburbs and have a house with a garage, an EV is a great commuter tool, as it can be charged up overnight and get you back and forth to work all week without too much issue. Even with the relatively short 200 mile range of the Taycan, the average American could commute for over a week on a single charge.
A clearly Tesla-focused twitter account @Tesletter saw the comments in the interview as inflammatory, concerned that this would turn some people off of EVs altogether. Their reasoning was that Gates is a smart guy, and average Americans will consider him an authority figure worth listening to. In fairness to Gates, I don't think his comments on charging and range anxiety were disparaging toward EVs, simply a reflection of reality.
Elon Musk—an early investor and current CEO of California-based electric car manufacturer Tesla—however, saw things differently.
My conversations with Gates have been underwhelming tbh
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 18, 2020
Does Musk consider the co-founder of Microsoft to be a really smart guy? According to this tweet, he's "underwhelming". I wonder if that's because he thinks himself more intelligent, or simply because Gates chose a Taycan instead of a Tesla?
Remember, Bill Gates has a long history with the Porsche brand. He was integral to the development of the Show and Display laws that allowed him to import and drive a Porsche 959 in the late 1980s. Perhaps the choice of Taycan was an extension of his love of the Porsche brand and not really a dig on Musk or his company in any way. That seems more plausible. Not to mention Musk's history of being petty on Twitter.