Richard Branson is challenging Elon Musk in yet another arena.
The billionaire's private space-travel company, Virgin Galactic, already rivals Musk’s SpaceX. Now, the Virgin Group founder says he may take on Tesla Motors.
“You may well find Virgin competing with Tesla in the car business as we do in the space business,” he said in a segment on Bloomberg TV.
Speaking from an all-electric Formula E racetrack in Miami, Branson said he may use technology developed by Virgin Racing engineers to enter the consumer auto industry.
Branson is a fan of Tesla. Two years ago, he published a blog post criticizing U.S. states that blocked the direct sale of the electric automaker's cars to consumers.
Neither Virgin nor Tesla responded to requests for comment.
Virgin would add another significant player to the electric-car market. General Motors, BMW and Nissan are among the traditional car companies already competing in the business.
For his part, Musk may welcome a new rival.
“Our true competition is not the small trickle of non-Tesla electric cars being produced, but the enormous flood of gasoline cars pouring out of the world’s factories every day,” Musk wrote last July in a blog post announcing that Tesla would give away most of its patents. “We believe that Tesla, other companies making electric cars, and the world would all benefit from a common, rapidly-evolving technology platform.”