Dec 14, 2021 - Economy

Lucid Motors CEO blasts Elon Musk for Tesla "revisionism"

Former top Tesla engineer Peter Rawlinson — now CEO of rival Lucid Motors — tells "Axios on HBO" that Elon Musk is guilty of “historical revisionism” for downplaying Rawlinson's role in developing the Tesla Model S.

Why it matters: The rivalry between the two companies is intense. Tesla has dominated the global market for electric vehicles for a decade. But Lucid's debut model, with an unprecedented 520-mile driving range, represents a real threat.

Driving the news: Rawlinson tells "Axios on HBO" that Musk asked him to be chief engineer for the Model S and "I took that from a clean sheet with just about six engineers to the car that you know and love today."

  • He left Tesla in 2012, he said, because his elderly mom needed him "and I had a boss that wasn't treating me too well" — refusing to elaborate.

The intrigue: In a May 3 tweet, Musk downplayed Rawlinson's role:

Image of an Elon Musk tweet downplaying the role of Lucid Motors CEO during his days at Tesla

The bottom line: Rawlinson says he's got the business cards and the Securities and Exchange Commission documents to prove his role.

  • "I think it's sort of historical revisionism, isn't it?"
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