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.