Bill Gates can certainly afford to buy any car he wants. But the Microsoft co-founder’s recent admission that he bought the new, fully electric Porshe Taycan inadvertantly set off a Twitter spat with Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who then called his past conversations with Gates “underwhelming.”
In fact Porsche introduced the Taycan, the luxury German automaker’s first all-electric sports car, in September as a competitor to Tesla’s fleet of electric vehicles.
The electric Porsche comes at a starting price of $150,900 for the Taycan Turbo, which is more than the $100,000 starting price for Tesla’s rival electric luxury sedan, the Model S.
(Porsche did introduce a cheaper version of the Taycan, called the Taycan 4S, in October that starts at $103,800.)
The Porsche Taycan features a 93-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack powering dual electric motors that allow the Turbo to go from 0 to 60 mph in three seconds with 616 horsepower. By comparison, the Tesla Model S can go from 0 to 60 mph in 2.5 seconds.
The Taycan Turbo has an estimated range of 201 miles, compared to 348 miles for the Tesla Model S.
Much like the Tesla Model She Taycan’s interior is leather-free, with seats made from recycled materials that Porsche says “underscore the sustainable concept of the electric sports car.”
The Taycan also features a 10.9-inch touchscreen display on the dashboard that includes a voice control function.
While Musk’s reaction to Gates buying a rival electric luxury car was less than enthusiastic, the Microsoft co-founder also complimented Tesla in his interview. Gates named Tesla as “one company that’s helped drive” the uptick in electric vehicles on the road by making them more affordable.
However, when it came to buying his own electric vehicle, Gates stuck with Porsche — a brand he knows well. The billionaire has reportedly purchased multiple Porsches in the past, including a Porsche 911 supercar that Gates bought in 1979 when he first started making money from Microsoft. Gates also later purchased a Porsche 930 Turbo as well as a rare Porsche 959 sports car (only a few hundred of which were ever produced).