The announcements made by Tesla Motors’ CEO, Elon Musk, are oftentimes met by skepticism. It’s likely because Musk has released statements that the company would later fail to accomplish or would turn out to be untrue. For instance, Musk has said that the 2012 Tesla Model S all-electric sports sedan will be launched before the end of next year. Pulitzer winner Dan Neil, who writes for the Wall Street Journal, is one of the most prominent of his detractors.
In April 2009, Tesla allowed several people to test out a prototype Model S. Neil had said in his article in the Los Angeles Times that the car would be “far more ambitious” and “unlikely” than Tesla's Roadster.
Neil said that Musk has an “audacious timeline” that many in the car industry don’t have any confidence in, according to Greencarreports.
He said that even Tesla officials are “leery” about the schedule. One week later, Musk sent an e-mail to Neil to tell him how wrong he was. After several e-mails were sent back and forth, Neil then challenged Musk to make a bet.
This spring, Neil and Musk talked about the bet again at a panel that was arranged after the premiere of the ‘Revenge of the Electric Car’ movie where Musk is a main character and Neil is a narrator.