Good Outweighs the Bad with Elon Musk | Opinion

The following is a lightly edited transcript of remarks made by Nicole Wakelin during a Newsweek episode of The Debate about Elon Musk and Tesla Motors. You can listen to the podcast here:

Elon Musk isn't terrible, but he is this cult of personality and people love him. I don't think he's going to destroy Tesla. He's done great things, like helping to make electric vehicles (EVs) more accepted by the public. But then people associate EVs with Elon Musk when he says things on Twitter that you're not supposed to say, and now the SEC is really mad at him. He does these crazy things, but in between is really good stuff. Some of the things he does aren't great for the brand, but the good outweighs the bad enough of the time — and people have almost come to expect this craziness from him.

Elon Musk Met Gala and topless
Elon Musk, pictured left at the 2022 Met Gala, and right topless on a boat in Mykonos, Greece. The billionaire has responded to the image on Twitter. Dimitrios Kambouris / ThePhotOne/Getty Images / BACKGRID

It's not out of character for Musk to act like a sound and stable executive one day, and then turn around the next day smoking a joint and putting a car into space. People have always not bought Teslas because they don't like Elon. It's going to come down to the nuts and bolts of why someone wants to buy an EV for their family: the style, the price, can they charge it easily? Elon is going to matter in some ways less as the number of options for consumers increases.

Nicole Wakelin is the co-host of the Fast Women Podcast at Newsweek.

The views in this article are the writer's own.