Richard Branson Says Virgin is Working on Tesla EV Rival

Mar 22, 2015 09:50 AM EDT | Matt Mercuro

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As if he didn't already have enough going on, billionaire Richard Branson's Virgin Group could soon rival Tesla Motors and other EV makers in developing electric cars.

Branson's Virgin brand can be found in music stores, on trains, planes and spaceships. If he has his way, electric cars will be next.

"We have teams of people working on electric cars," Branson said to Bloomberg in Miami during the Formula E race, where his Virgin Racing team competed. "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."

Formula E racing, which is spinoff of Formula 1 racing, puts electric vehicles against one another in 45 minute long races. Since batteries lose charge quickly due to high-speed driving, racers use pit stops half-way through the race to charge up.

Virgin Racing is currently third in the Formula E standings with about half of the season left.

"Virgin Racing has shown that electric cars can be sexy," Branson said to CNN. "That's where you start, and then you create cars for twenty-five, thirty thousand dollars for everybody."

Tesla Motor's recent success has opened a lot of eyes in the business world who usually aren't associated with cars.

Google is developing a car that is capable of driving itself and Apple is supposedly working on an electric vehicle.

Apple hasn't confirmed anything yet, though as we reported last month, the Cupertino-based company has already been sued for poaching engineers away from other companies for its "Titan" project.

Tesla sells its Model S sedan for about $70,000 and the automaker plans to release a new crossover SUV later on this year. It's clear Branson has taken notice of Tesla's success.

"Tesla is as sexy as any other car on the road today," Bronson said.

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