The woman hired to take on Elon Musk drives a Tesla Model S

NextEV Padmasree WarriorBloomberg WestNextEV US CEO Padmasree Warrior

Former Cisco exec Padmasree Warrior, who was just hired to help Chinese electric vehicle maker NextEV take on Tesla in the US, says she’s got nothing but respect for Elon Musk.

She even drives a Tesla Model S and tells Bloomberg West’s Emily Chang, “I love the car. It’s a great performance car.”

Her new employer hasn’t yet delivered its electric vehicle — it’s slated to arrive next year — but NextEV says the car will be a high-performance sports car that, like the Model S, can go from zero to 60 MPH in less than three seconds.

One thing NextEV will do better than Tesla is cater to people who don’t have a lot of space in a bountiful garage to do overnight charging, she says.

Warrior also says that NextEV can bring to the sports car EV market “new kinds of apps, new kinds of services, not just for the driver but for the people in the car.”

Specifically, it will be all about the “mobile internet.”

“Tesla, when Elon founded it, it was in 2004 and the mobile internet was really not even there,” she says.

What exactly those apps will be, she didn’t say. But she did say the company will also focus on improving things like the car’s power usage, something that can also be learned from the mobile device revolution.

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