Ion Yadigaroglu

Capricorn CEO: VW Should Only Build E-Cars in U.S.

Tesla xcar Source DPA
Should VW build them too? The new Tesla X model in September, 2015.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    More investment in battery technology will drive the price of electric vehicles down, according to a major investor, who suggests VW’s fine be converted into investment for the technology.

  • Facts


    • Tesla aims to make e-cars available on the mass market; it is also investing in battery manufacturing facilities.
    • In the recent VW scandal, the carmaker admitted to manipulating software to suggest emissions for 11 million cars were lower than they are; Volkswagen may face fines of $10 billion.
    • Capricorn Investment is a privately owned investment company which manages $4 billion.
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Ion Yadigaroglu is a big believer in the future of electric cars. The Capricorn Investment Group, which he leads as chief executive, claims to be one of the largest clean-tech investors. It is engaged especially with new battery technologies, an area where some in Germany are pushing automakers to compete more seriously.

In general, Capricorn specializes in sustainable investments and manages, among other things, the assets of the philanthropist and former Ebay president, Jeff Skoll. Mr. Yadigaroglu talked to Handelsblatt about Tesla, where Capricorn is a major investor, as well as the barriers to e-market car growth and his hopes for the future of this industry.


Handelsblatt: Mr. Yadigaroglu, are you happy about the scandal at VW, as a Tesla investor?

Ion Yadigaroglu: I never thought about it that way. It’s a massive market and there’s never been anyone at Tesla who would think of the demise of competition as an opportunity. It’s not as though by removing one option from the competition that even more people are going to buy Teslas. Tesla’s founder Elon Musk would be absolutely delighted if there was very strong competition.


He is so confident that they can continue to have an outstanding product and they can continue to innovate that for him, the issue is, how do you get more people to drive EVs [electric vehicles], to reduce some of these barriers to growth and scaling.

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