When Will Virgin Launch Its Own Electric Car?

Virgin, which already competes in the all-electric Formula E race, said it may develop a consumer vehicle

Richard Branson has said his company, Virgin, has “teams of people” working on electric cars and could eventually compete with Tesla (pictured) in the automotive business.

Branson spoke to Bloomberg at the Formula E event in Miami, the world’s first all-electric racing event, in which Virgin Racing Team competes.


He said that given the sizeable investment Virgin already has in electric vehicles through the event, it’s possible that could develop further into a consumer automobile business.

“You never know — you may find Virgin competing with the Tesla in the car business as we do in the space business,” he said. “We will see what happens.”

Branson’s Virgin Galactic competes with SpaceX, which was founded and is run by Elon Musk, who is also the chief executive of Tesla. Virgin also operates train lines and an airline, and is planning to enter the cruise business.

Formula E, intended to help develop and promote electric-car technology, features nearly silent, battery-powered vehicles that can reach 60 mph in just over three seconds. The vehicles currently are limited to top speeds of 160 mph, short of the more than 220 mph reached by some Formula One vehicles.

Growing competition

Apple is also reportedly working in secret on an electric vehicle, and Google has long been developing a self-driving electric car.