As the legal battle between Elon Musk and Martin Eberhard continues to percolate, a new/old voice has chimed in publicly on the controversy for the first time. Current Peppercom clean-tech analyst and ex-Tesla SVP of Marketing Darryl Siry has penned a piece for Wired that gives a different spin on the story. Rather than come down on the side either of the adversaries in this mess, he calls out both for the mistakes made along the way, and looks elsewhere for the real inspiration for the creation of Tesla.
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.