Richard Branson
Photograph by Dominic Lipinsk — PA Wire/AP
By Reuters
March 19, 2015

Billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson’s Virgin Group may take on Tesla Motors (TSLA) and other companies in developing electric cars, Bloomberg reported on Thursday.

Branson, whose empire ranges from airlines to music stores, mobile phones and spaceships, said electric cars may be next.

“We have teams of people working on electric cars,” Branson told Bloomberg TV in Miami where his Virgin Racing team competed in the all-electric Formula E race that involves battery-powered cars. “So you never know, you may find Virgin competing with the Tesla in the car business as we do in the space business. We will see what happens.”

Branson’s Virgin Galactic is a commercial spaceflight company that competes with SpaceX, which was founded by Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

Virgin group spokesman Nick Fox declined to comment.

In addition to Tesla, most of the world’s automakers sell or are developing electric cars. There are also signs Apple (AAPL) may be working on an electric car and Google (GOOG) is developing a car that can drive itself.

However, broader acceptance of electric cars has been held back by the premium consumers must pay for the technology and consumer fears about all-electric driving range.

Branson told Bloomberg TV, “Tesla is as sexy as any other car on the road today.”


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