Penguin Putnam “You’ll tell me if it ever starts getting genuinely insane, right?” --Elon Musk, TED interview
Hamish McKenzie tells how a West Coast start-up’s audacious dream came true. Elon Musk created a car company that would go up against not only the might of the government-backed Detroit car manufacturers, but also the massive power of Big Oil and its benefactors, the infamous Koch brothers.
The new Tesla Model 3, now on sale with a price tag of $35,000, is set to transform the public perception of Tesla. Around 400,000 people put down $1,000 to preorder the car; meanwhile Tesla’s debt is teetering on “junk bond” status, and some on Wall Street are betting the company will fail under the pressure to deliver. . . .
As McKenzie rigorously reported story shows, Tesla has triggered frenzied competition, but it remains ahead of the pack because it is building the highest-quality cars and infrastructure that a new era of transportation will require. The popularity of electric cars is growing around the world, especially in China, and McKenzie interviews little-known titans who have the money and the market access to power a global electric car revolution quickly and decisively.
Insane Mode is not just a button on the dash of the Model S that gave you acceleration like a Ferrari; it isn’t even just a description of the 24/7 energy of a visionary car company—it is a story about the very best kind of American ingenuity and its history-making potential.