His future depends on electric cars.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who in the past year has dealt with the firing of two top executives, a stock offering, and the debut of his Supercharger network, will take the helm of yet another energy storage company: Lucid Motors.
Lucid announced Friday that it will soon partner with Musk’s deep-pocketed, electric car company to build new batteries for electric vehicles and other products.
Tesla has an 18.9 percent stake in Lucid. The value of that stake was not disclosed by Lucid, and a spokesperson for the car company declined to comment on valuation.
Musk brought Tesla to Silicon Valley and pushed to make it a $30 billion company. In the process, Musk wooed Tesla board members, impressed investors, and helped make the cars more technologically advanced. He remains considered one of the most charismatic leaders in the technology world. Tesla touts its ability to make electric cars, as well as its charging network, more affordable.
But Musk’s eccentric personality has opened him up to criticism in the past year. Since March, one of his biographer’s have been suing him over a tweet about funding for his Space X rocket, which Musk himself said was “100 percent” accurate. Earlier this year, Tesla announced that Musk was being investigated for possible securities violations by the Securities and Exchange Commission after an email he sent in May to employees about possible production problems with the Model 3 nearly caused the company’s stock to plunge.
Since the Supercharger network launched in the U.S. in 2013, Tesla executives have talked about expanding the network to Europe and Asia. Meanwhile, Musk has also been promising customers that he will launch a new, smaller version of the Tesla Model 3. The company said Friday that it is planning to start building those cars in 2020.
Lucid says it expects to bring new batteries to market by the end of 2020. “As this revolutionary technology expands to other markets and uses, we will develop additional products and services,” it said in a news release.