Beyond Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)’s production of a near perfect car, the Model S Sedan, is an image of a company that wants a brighter future. Its CEO, Elon Musk, is viewed as a pioneer who is looking to make the world a better place. But according to Ecotricity, a UK utility company that both builds windfarms and operates an “electric highway” of charging points alongside the country’s highway, Tesla is trying to muscle the company out of six of its best-located charging sites.
With Tesla making deliveries of its Model S with right-hand drive, the company now needs to gets its “supercharger” network up and running. Tesla is expected to open the first part of the network next month. In the last year, Musk was appointed as the electric vehicle “tsar” in the UK last year and just three months ago Musk entered into an agreement with Ecotricity to help Tesla build its charging network in the UK. Details of the deal are not known due to a non-disclosure agreement (NDA).
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The existence of a proper charging network in the UK makes the Model S a great buy given the tax credits available to potential customers and the size of the nation makes it possible to motor around nearly anywhere on a single charge. Tesla’s largest market outside of the United States is Norway, a nation of similar size and affluence.
“Shock and disappointment”
However, Dale Vince, the founder of Ecotricity, has just come out as saying that he received a “very dark” and “brutal” email from Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) on Sunday informing of Tesla’s designs on a number of his sites that he is calling a “smash and grab.”
He is also accusing Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) of trying an end around with a company that has signed an exclusivity agreement with Ecotricity based on information it gleaned from the partnership between Tesla and Ecotricity. As a consequence, Ecotricity has sought an injunction against Tesla using this information.
“We are shocked and disappointed that a company like Tesla, with its aura of new world technology and challenger brand status, could behave in such an old world way – shame on them and shame on Elon Musk,” said Vince in a statement.
A Tesla spokesman said the company had received the injunction and would “respond accordingly” but did not elaborate further.
Effect on Tesla stock
Presently, Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) has over 100 “superchargers” in service throughout the United States, Germany, France, Austria, and most recently China. These “superchargers” are capable of providing a full charge in just a half an hour rather than the more typical overnight charge. Musk has said that these will be solar powered in the UK and that Tesla will begin making cars for the European market in Europe in the not so distant future.
While it might shock some readers that Tesla is bullying others and may hurt ultimately hurt it’s images, investors seem to like the idea of Musk being capable of doing business with “lead pipe cruelty” and his willingness to play hardball. Tesla is trading at $205.85 up $6.40 or 3.21% after this news broke.