Who killed the electric car?

Most of us know that phrase as the title of a documentary that explores factors that limited production of EVs, specifically General Motors’ EV1. The actions of automakers, specifically those of GM, are one of those factors blamed in the film.

Now one of today’s key figures in the EV world is also blaming GM, claiming the genesis of his company was inspired by the automaker crushing EVs.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk took to Twitter to take investors to task for shorting his company’s stock. In so doing, he said that he and others started Tesla in 2003 as a response to GM sending electric vehicles to the crusher.

SEE ALSO: Elon Musk Is At It Again With Another Wild Transportation Idea – Video

He further asserted that since large “legacy” automakers were busy killing off whatever EV programs they had, the only chance for EVs was for him to start his own company, even though, in his opinion, any new company started to sell EVs was certainly doomed to failure.

SEE ALSO: Elon Musk Adds Details On What To Expect From Model 3

Musk says he didn’t start Tesla to make money or chase government incentives, and he thought Tesla was the only chance for EVs, despite what he calls a 90 percent probability of failure. On that note, he also claims the company almost failed “many times.”

Musk’s Tweetstorm brings back memories of the 2006 film referenced above.

Certainly, Musk had already made plenty of money before Tesla, so perhaps he’s telling the truth about not starting Tesla to make money, but on the other hand, just about all businesses aim to turn a profit at some point.

Maybe Musk was simply on the defensive after reading an article that claimed Tesla is the most shorted stock in the U.S. equity market, with short interest in the company totaling around $10.4 billion.

If so, he might be cheered to know that as of the end of the day Thursday, Tesla stock was at $370 a share, which was an all-time high. The company’s stock is up 73 percent since the beginning of 2017 and 61 percent over the past 12 months. Much of that is based on anticipation of the upcoming Model 3, which is set to launch this year.

The rise of Tesla’s stock has caused consternation among industry observers, as legacy automakers have taken hits on Wall Street amid sales that are leveling off and dropping after the industry hit its post-recession peak. This despite the fact that legacy companies like GM are seeing record earnings, sales slump or not, while Tesla has yet to show a sustained profit.

Tesla has a lot riding on the Model 3, and a history of development delays caused by defects and other problems. Perhaps Musk is feeling a little punchy, knowing that any launch problems with the Model 3 will cause critics to pounce – and be a boon to those who shorted the stock.