How Tesla and Elon Musk reshaped the auto industry

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By David Silverberg | Washington Post

Journalist Hamish McKenzie spent a year working for Tesla, but he makes clear at the outset of his book, “Insane Mode: How Elon Musk’s Tesla Sparked an Electric Revolution to End the Age of Oil,” that this is no insider’s story. “I will leave that work to the gossip blogs,” he writes. Instead, he seeks to spotlight the company’s strategy in the context of the auto industry’s identity crisis. He interviews auto experts and electric-car CEOs to illuminate how Tesla paved the way for imitators seeking a foothold in the clean-energy game.

McKenzie introduces us to Musk, the mercurial entrepreneur who was bullied in South Africa and later won acclaim as a co-founder of PayPal; that success plumped him with enough capital to launch both Tesla and SpaceX, his aerospace manufacturing and transportation company. In 2018 Musk’s unpredictable nature was center…

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