Tesla Has A Powerful New Fanboy — Vladimir Putin

Chris White | Energy Reporter

Tesla’s “light, fast and efficient” electric vehicles are impressive and could become the new big thing for those worried about climate change, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday.

“Why not?” Putin said during a discussion at an energy forum in Moscow when asked if he would consider buying a Tesla. “What do you think — that we’ll only be riding in carts or something? No, we won’t be riding in carts.”

Tesla vehicles are great, Putin said, before reminding the audience that electrical cars are virtually useless without fossil fuels like coal generating the electricity needed to charge their batteries. He also touted natural gas as the energy source of the future.

“That’s why a motor fuel such as natural gas, in our view, is ultimately much more environmentally friendly than electric cars,” the Russian president said. Russia is among the world’s largest producers of natural gas.

One of the country’s largest state-run company, Gazprom, is now the world’s top energy company, according to a report in September from S&P Global Platts, which ranks the financial standings of firms on their asset worth, revenues, and profits.

Gazprom has essentially monopolized Europe’s market for natural gas, while its competitors slowly drift away. The Russian gas giant’s ability to capture the market comes as the U.S. and other Western nations level sanctions on the company over Russia’s involvement in Crimea.

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