FREMONT (CBS SF) — Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk defended his business practices following an LA Times report that his three companies have taken billions in government subsidies, saying “the article makes it seem as though my company is getting some huge check, which is fundamentally false.”

The story reported that Musk’s companies including SpaceX, Tesla Motors, and SolarCity have benefitted from an estimated $4.9 billion in support from the government.

Musk told CNBC’s “Power Lunch,” that the subsidies his companies have received exist because “voters want a particular thing to happen, and faster than it might otherwise occur.”

Musk also defended the $1.3 billion Tesla could be awarded for its planned battery factory in Nevada.

“The $1.3 billion that Nevada may wind up awarding Tesla is actually spread out over 20-years,” he told CNBC.

Musk refused requests from the LA Times for a response after their story was published.


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