New war game: fuel cell vs. plug-in

War Games TeslaMondoSure looks like a war game. The latest move: Japan will heavily subsidize fuel cell vehicles, with incentives for buyers and fuel station owners. All the better for home-team players, Toyota and Honda, who are banking on fuel cells as the solution to clean motoring.

Meanwhile, Tesla is moving to build an EV alliance by giving away its patented technology. Mahindra, BMW and even Japan-based Nissan are shaping up to be “plug alliance” members. If Japan loses Nissan to Musk, well that’s a setback for the Japanese “fuel cell axis.” One war strategist, Adam Jonas from Morgan Stanley, a TSLA investor, says some automakers are pretending to throw support behind fuel cell technology rather than acknowledge their failure in electric cars.

See the gamesmanship afoot here? Musk is indeed a gamer, even referencing an old Sega video game when he declared, “All our patent are belong to you.” Forming alliances, dividing, conquering — get ready for plenty of war strategy in the coming years. It’s a good thing Musk is already making inroads in China. That’s the real mother lode by anyone’s estimation. Worth a lot of points, you could say.

But wait — this morning we hear of a crybaby in China who harmed his Tesla because it took too long to arrive, allowing others to get their Teslas first, and presumably get all the local tail. That’s one indication of just how seriously some Chinese take their frontin’. Wow.

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