Electric Vehicles
Electric Vehicles
Upside: Entrepreneur Elon Musk defies critics by building unit number one of his new Tesla Model S (above) in an old General Motors plant and getting it into the hands of its first buyer. Despite limited test drives, automotive journalists rave about the speedy acceleration and uncanny quiet produced by its electric motor

Downside: Now Musk must learn assembly line manufacturing on the fly as he prepares to build Tesla units number two through 5,000. Watching from the sidelines, car reviewers will push for longer test drives, exploring cruising range, and other issues.

By Alex Taylor III, senior editor-at-large @FortuneMagazine - Last updated July 19 2012: 5:13 AM ET
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