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Elon Musk accuses Ralph Nader of ‘lying’ in excess of statements he took ‘taxpayers to the cleaners’ with Tesla


Feb 25, 2023
Elon Musk accuses Ralph Nader of 'lying' over claims he took 'taxpayers to the cleaners' with Tesla


Elon Musk and Ralph Nader have traded barbs on Twitter.
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  • Elon Musk accused Ralph Nader of lying right after professing he took “taxpayers to the cleaners” with Tesla.
  • The previous presidential candidate explained Musk in a tweet as a “gigantic corporate welfare king.”
  • The Tesla CEO defended himself and tweeted that Nader was “lying.”

Elon Musk accused purchaser advocate and previous presidential candidate Ralph Nader of lying after he claimed the billionaire had taken “taxpayers to the cleaners” with Tesla. 

In a Friday tweet, Nader wrote that Musk “commenced Tesla with a big US government welfare grant.” On the other hand, Musk did not start off Tesla as it was established in 2003 by business owners Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning. 

Nader, 88, accused Musk of getting “taxpayers to the cleaners for his factories and for Starlink. He is a gigantic company welfare king masquerading as a capitalist businessman.”


It was not clear why Nader produced the accusations about Musk and Tesla. The tweet finishes with “-R,” this means it was prepared by Nader himself rather than 1 of his workers.

Musk responded: “Ralph Nader, you are lying – shame on you! I personally provided nearly all Tesla funding, based on my proceeds from PayPal.”

Musk got about $175 million when eBay bought PayPay for $1.5 billion in 2002.

He turned the major shareholder in Tesla following making a $6.5 million investment in 2004 and took above as CEO in October 2008. 

“In late 2008, I gave Tesla the previous revenue I had. It was that or the firm would have died. We closed that funding spherical at 6pm on Christmas Eve,” Musk tweeted. “If we had not shut that round, Tesla would have gone bankrupt 2 times after Xmas. I gave my previous dollars thinking Tesla would most likely even now die, not pondering that it would be lucrative.”

Musk included in his tweet to Nader that the “initial significant governing administration funding” Tesla acquired was in the 2nd quarter of 2010. In accordance to its site, Tesla acquired about $465 million from the Section of Electricity to speed up the manufacturing of electrical motor vehicles.  

Musk concluded that “Tesla paid back again that bank loan early with curiosity” and “taxpayers essentially built a income.” In a push launch in May possibly 2013, the EV maker mentioned it experienced repaid the financial loan nine decades early.

“I would like to thank the Office of Electrical power and the associates of Congress and their staffs that labored tricky to make the ATVM plan, and specifically the American taxpayer from whom these funds originate,” Musk at the time. “I hope we did you happy.”

In an open letter on February 17, Nader identified as on Apple CEO Tim Prepare dinner and “hedge fund titans” to use their prosperity to manage direct reduction for the victims of the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria and “other big refugee spots these kinds of as the starving children of Somalia.”

Tesla and Nader did not straight away react to requests for comment from Insider, built outdoors regular operating several hours.

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