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Elon Musk Wins $1 Million Tesla Model S Bet, Donates $1 Million to Charity Anyway

Ah, one of those feelgood, feelgood stories. Apparently, back on May 1 or so of 2009, Tesla CEO Elon Musk and auto journalist Dan Neil made a bet about whether or not “the Model S could be built, within the technical specifications Mr. Musk laid out, before the end of 2012.”

The bet was that, if Neil was correct, Musk would have to donate $1 million to the charity Doctors without Borders. If Musk won, he said Neil would just have to donate $1,000 to the charity. The bet was made.

And, well, it turns out Musk won. But he’s decided to donate $1 million to the charity anyway. Neil also made his $1,000 donation.

“The new Model S is exactly the car he described, delivered six months before the end of 2012,” Neil writes.

“So, I lost, and happily so. As a proponent of electric mobility, I have said many times that I wanted to lose the bet; in other words, I wanted Tesla to succeed. As a critic, I’ll reserve judgment on the Model S until I get a chance to drive it. Regardless, Mr. Musk and Tesla’s achievement – birthing a radically different kind of car, and essentially a brand-new car company, in three years – is nothing short of astonishing. And I congratulate him.”

Certainly, congratulations to Musk and his whole team! Astounding accomplishment. And let’s hope that Musk is correct about his latest bet, as well — that 50% of new cars will be EVs in 20 years or fewer.

And, I know I’ve already shared this twice, but here’s a fun video on the Model S (many more videos here):

Source: Wall Street Journal | h/t TreeHugger
Image Credit: Elon Musk via Phil Stafford /

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Written By

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA], NIO [NIO], Xpeng [XPEV], Ford [F], ChargePoint [CHPT], Amazon [AMZN], Piedmont Lithium [PLL], Lithium Americas [LAC], Albemarle Corporation [ALB], Nouveau Monde Graphite [NMGRF], Talon Metals [TLOFF], Arclight Clean Transition Corp [ACTC], and Starbucks [SBUX]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.


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