Business & Technology

ELon Musk

The mogul trying to kindle a Chinese love affair with an electric car.

CEO, Tesla

As part of its push for breakneck economic growth, Chinese planners have fully and unabashedly embraced the personal automobile; China is now the largest auto market on the planet. But what 20 years ago would have been a dream for many Chinese consumers has become a nightmare, with spectacular round-the-clock traffic jams sending pollution and stress into the air of every major metropolis.

Enter Elon Musk, the brash and brilliant South African-born CEO of California-based Tesla, which churns out high-concept electric cars. China is already the second-largest market for his company’s new Model 3 — a more affordable iteration than its gaudy forebears — and the company is reportedly kicking the tires on opening a factory in Shanghai. China already has over 332,000 electric cars, some from Chinese-backed firms like Faraday Future that aim at the higher end of the market, but none have Tesla’s élan. Musk may yet do for electric vehicles in China what Steve Jobs did for smartphones.

(Photo credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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