Elon Musk’s dad said he turned down a free Tesla from his son

Errol Musk (left) said Elon Musk (right) offered to ship a Tesla to South Africa for him.

GIANLUIGI GUERCIA/AFP via Getty Images and Chesnot/Getty Images

Errol Musk, Elon Musk’s dad, said he turned down his son’s offer to send a Tesla to South Africa.The EV was too expensive to ship, Errol told Insider. He drives a Rolls-Royce, instead.The billionaire’s father also said he also owns a vintage plane.

Elon Musk’s father doesn’t drive a Tesla — and doesn’t plan to anytime soon.

In January 2022, Errol Musk turned down his son’s offer to gift him a Tesla and ship it to his home in South Africa, he told Insider.

His decision partly hinged on the cost of shipping and import fees, which Elon offered to swallow. The cost of the car, shipping, and fees came to a total of about 3.5 million rand — or just over $180,000, Errol said.

“They weren’t worried about it, but I said ‘Look, it’s just not worth it,'” Errol said.

It’s not surprising Elon wasn’t concerned about the cost: $180,000 represented about 0.00006% of Elon’s $278 billion net worth at the time.

“There’s no service facility here. There’s no Tesla representation yet,” Errol added, explaining why he declined his son’s offer. “No charging stations. I said, ‘Please, we don’t want to do this.'”

It cost between $3,300 and $7,000 to ship a vehicle from the US to South Africa, according to data from automotive shipping company A1 Auto Transport. South Africa charges a 25% tariff on automotive imports.

While Errol said he wasn’t sure what model Elon wanted to send, some of Tesla’s most expensive cars at the time, like the Model S Plaid, cost over $100,000.

Insider was unable to independently verify the exchange. The billionaire did not respond to a request for comment from Insider ahead of publication.

While Tesla has begun selling its EVs in Europe and China, the vehicles are not for sale in South Africa. Winstone Jordaan, the managing director of GridCars, a South African electric vehicle charging station company, told a local news outlet in May that there are about 1,500 EVs and 300 charging stations in the entire country. For comparison, there are 1.7 million EVs in use in the US, according to Experian, and over 130,000 public charging stations across the country, according to March data from the White House.

It’s not as if Errol was left without a way to get around: He said he owns a Rolls-Royce and a sports car. Plus, he has a Ryan Navion plane that was built in 1947, which he likes to take out and fly.

“I’ve always had Rolls-Royces, since Elon and Kimbal were babies,” Errol said, referring to his two sons. “I prefer to drive a Rolls-Royce. It’s much better — I mean it’s not better than a Tesla — but it’s nicer for me anyway.”

In Walter Isaacson’s recent biography of Elon, the author wrote that Errol once owned a gold Rolls-Royce Corniche convertible.

While Errol has never owned a Tesla, he said he’s done his fair share of test drives, including taking the Tesla Roadster out for a spin.

“If I lived in the US, I’d drive a Tesla without a doubt,” Errol Musk said. “You go to Austin and every time you turn around you’re at a Tesla charging station.”

With more than 20,000 Superchargers in North America, Tesla has the region’s largest network of roadside fast chargers.

Elon and his father have had a rocky relationship over the years.

Isaacson wrote that Elon and his brother Kimbal cut off communication with their father — an assertion that Errol denies.

Errol said he’d communicated with Elon Musk’s office regarding funding for a trip Errol plans to take to Florida in November just hours before speaking to Insider on September 22.

“I have the same relationship with my sons as my father had with me,” Errol said. “In other words, we are men, we don’t hang out with each other. They’re my children. I’m their dad. I’m not their pal.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *