Elon Musk, the guy leading the company that proved electric cars could be cool as hell, just won the 2010 Automotive Executive of the Year Innovator Award. He snagged the award for what the judges called %u201Chis enlightened vision for the automotive industry%u2019s future.%u201D
It seems fitting given that Tesla Motors, under Musk%u2019s leadership, has been credited with pushing the entire automotive industry toward EVs. Even Bob Lutz, the chief rabble-rouser at General Motors, has hailed the company for giving the industry a swift kick in the ass and proving lithium ion battery technology could work in cars.
%u201CTesla gave us a major impetus,%u201D Lutz said a few months back during the Los Angeles Auto Show. %u201CI%u2019m thankful to Tesla for giving those of us who championed the Chevrolet Volt proof that lithium-ion batteries would work.%u201D
Musk joins Lutz and other noteworthy industry execs including former Chrysler honcho Lee Iacocca, Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn and Daimler boss Dieter Zetsche in winning the award, which has been presented annually since 1964.
%u201CElon Musk is a man who came from humble beginnings to accomplish the extraordinary,%u201D said Robert Djurovic, executive director of the Automotive Executive of the Year Award program, which is sponsored by DNV Certification. %u201CWe are thrilled to present him with our Innovator Award, and see him as someone who has not only already accomplished so much in his young life but also as one to watch for future technology breakthroughs.%u201D
The award was announced Wednesday shortly before a plane crash killed three Tesla employees. Musk, in a statement issued before the crash, thanked his peers in the auto biz for honoring him.
%u201CThis award is a tremendous honor, in particular because the nomination comes from my respected peers and colleagues,%u201D Musk said. %u201CIt demonstrates not only the influence that a relatively small startup can have on the global auto industry, but also the speed with which other car companies and suppliers are joining Tesla in the electric vehicle revolution.%u201D
Photo: Jim Merithew / Wired.com
congrats to elon. it has been a tough week for tesla.