The Kiwi who worked with Elon Musk believes that he has seen one of the most important events in human history: the beginning of the end of the oil era.
Hamish McKenzie, who grew up in Central Otago in Alexandra, but is now calling San Francisco home, was poached by Musk's electric car company Tesla while working as a technology journalist in the United States.
At the time, McKenzie was working on a book about Musk Insane mode, who arrives in the bookstore on December 3, and saw Musk as a figure that would one day be seen as an equal for Thomas Edison and Henry Ford.
Like Ford, Musk started a car manufacturer in the US (something that had not been done since Chrysler was founded in 1925) and, like Edison, the investor of the light bulb, he created a technology that transforms the world.
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Working with Musk may have exposed McKenzie to the spikier side of technological genius, but it has not changed McKenzie's view of man's importance.
"You see that he is this inspiring, visionary, charming guest with an interesting, funny sense of humor, but he also comes across as this irritable, unpleasant, angry boy, incredibly demanding," McKenzie says.
Musk is not just a micro-manager, says McKenzie. He describes himself as a nano manager.
McKenzie says no one gets too much face time with Musk, but his interactions confirmed that the media and twitter personality of the genius of technology is really an accurate reflection of the man.
Musk & # 39; s record of innovation is legendary in Silicon Valley, where he has cult status. He sold his first company to Compaq in 1999, earned himself the commitment he needed to start PayPal, the money he started his space company SpaceX, and Tesla, the company McKenzie expects to change the world.
Musk has come a long way since he was so badly bullied as a schoolboy in South Africa that one day he was hospitalized after a beating that his father could not recognize him.
McKenzie's brushes with Tesla and Musk have convinced him that he has seen history up close.
"I believe this is the most important technology story of the twenty-first century," he says.
The battery technology that underlies Tesla's car is "finally putting an end to the dominance of the global energy supply by the oil industry".
Musk, McKenzie says, has a moral mission to save the world from petrol cars and the sheer force of his determination seems to drag the world with him.
Volkswagon is now going electric, and other car companies follow, to a lesser extent, the example.
It would never have happened without Musk.
Research on Thomas Edison for the book, because of the parallels that McKenzie saw between Musk and the father of the light bulb, he found something amazing.
Electric cars were something of a century ago, and an accident with history changed the world into gasoline when electricity looked better to become the fuel to drive the cars of the world.
McKenzie unveiled a 1913 photo of an electric car outside the Henry Ford plant in Michigan, and heard of the friendship between Edison and Ford, and how the pair worked together to make an electric car.
McKenzie says: "Edison could not let his batteries pass during the test phase and he even failed to develop a battery that could drive the starter of a combustion engine."
"Ford, who had other things to deal with, eventually gave up the plan to work with his friend, despite internal plans to buy 100,000 batteries from the inventor and US $ 1.5 million (US $ 36m today) in to invest the project. "
Then an electric starter motor was developed that could start a car powered by a petrol-driven car, and in combination with the discovery of vast oil fields in Texas, the world went off the gas-guzzling route.
Tesla has repeatedly flirted with bankruptcy.
And, if Tesla had collapsed, which probably seemed after the global financial crisis of 2008/2009, the world might have dropped the idea of electric cars.
"There is a real risk that people would refer to Tesla as a failure, and big oil and its carriers would have said," Look, electric cars can not work. "Let's go further and find other solutions," says McKenzie.
Fortunately, Tesla's refusal to die is fortunately his greatest attribute.
"That is the most important quality as a car company," says McKenzie.
And that has been Musk all the time.
"He wants to be seen as a hero, failure would be horrible for him on several levels," McKenzie says.
Whatever happens to Tesla, McKenzie believes that the revolution of the electric car and the energy revolution has been established, is now the future.
Musk has shown the world that electric cars can be good cars, fast, safe and clean.
"It is unstoppable, it will happen." The only variable is how fossil fuel industries can slow down the transition. "