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Elon Musk & Tesla Omnibus Thread

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  • #31
    Agreed. Wonder how it would affect jobs. Gives a whole new meaning to the - "they are taking our jobs" argument.

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    • #32
      Originally posted by SteveDaPirate View Post
      The place I've been expecting autonomous vehicles to really take off is agriculture. Tractors and Combines should be more than capable of driving around 1000s of acres of fields, while the farmer tracks their progress from home, drinking a beer and watching the game.
      I believe they already do. Newer combines and tractors are self drive and guided by GPS to run the perfect pattern as to not waste any land.

      We may have the technology of self drive cars, but we won't allow them in crowded area just yet.
      "Only Nixon can go to China." -- Old Vulcan proverb.

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      • #33
        [Merged several Tesla threads]
        “Never let yourself be persuaded that any one Great Man, any one leader, is necessary to the salvation of America. When America consists of one leader and 158 million followers, it will no longer be America.”
        ― Dwight D. Eisenhower

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        • #34
          Full article: https://finance.yahoo.com/news/elon-...125700532.html
          Elon Musk may never deliver a $35,000 Model 3—and that would actually be great news for Tesla (TSLA)

          Everybody has been giving Tesla CEO Elon Musk a hard time for his savage Twitter ways of late, myself included. But that doesn't mean, amid all the trolling of haters and big media, Musk doesn't sometimes tweet out an insight.

          For example, Musk offered this tweet in response to a question about when the long-promised $35,000 Model 3 sedan would arrive, after he announced a $78,000 high-performance trim level: "With production, 1st you need achieve target rate & then smooth out flow to achieve target cost. Shipping min cost Model 3 right away wd cause Tesla to lose money & die. Need 3 to 6 months after 5k/wk to ship $35k Tesla & live."

          That's not exactly what I heard when I was at the Model 3 launch in July of 2017. Then, my understanding was that Tesla would first build the $44,000 Model 3 with a long-range battery pack and a single motor over the rear axle to keep things simple. After all, the company had never mass-produced the car before and had skipped a so-called "soft tooling" phase of the ramp-up, when it could fix problems with the assembly line before settling on costly gear.

          I did know that Tesla usually sells expensive trim level before cheap ones — and sometimes doesn't see very much demand for less-expensive versions of its vehicles.

          That's not a bad thing, as pricier Teslas are better for topline revenue and should eventually be a boon for bottom-line profits if the company can stop losing billions of dollars annually. In fact, a little over a year ago I argued that selling a $35,000 car wasn't such a great move for Musk.

          "It bears repeating: the Model 3 represents a move for Tesla in the opposite direction of where the money is in the car business," I wrote. "A $35,000 compact sedan brings in a lot less than a $100,000-plus mid-size SUV. For Tesla, the Model 3 is a far greater risk than the Model S or X were."

          My headline was "The Model 3 could be the worst thing that ever happened to Tesla," so I take a doleful victory lap on that one.
          Full article: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-t...-idUSKCN1IQ2RN
          Exclusive: Tesla flies in new battery production line for Gigafactory

          FRANKFURT/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Tesla Inc has flown six planes full of robots and equipment from Europe to California in an unusual, high-stakes effort to speed up battery production for its Model 3 electric sedan, people familiar with the matter told Reuters this week.

          Transporting equipment for a production line by air is costly and hardly ever done in the automotive industry, and the move underscores Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk’s urgency to get a grip on manufacturing problems that have hobbled the launch of the high-volume Model 3 and pushed Tesla’s finances deep into the red.

          “As usual with Tesla, everything is being done in a massive hurry and money seems to be no obstacle,” said one of the two sources.

          Tesla on Friday declined to comment on whether it has shipped in any new production equipment from Europe.

          Investors are closely watching Tesla and its high-profile, often brash CEO to see if the upstart electric vehicle maker can pull off high-volume production of the Model 3, a car with the potential to catapult the niche automaker to a mass producer and assure its financial stability.

          But manufacturing missteps have led Tesla to repeatedly miss production targets for the sedan, and raised doubts about Musk’s promises that the company will stop burning cash by the third quarter of this year. Tesla had free cash flow of negative $1 billion in the first quarter, and earlier this month disclosed that it could offer its Fremont, California, vehicle assembly plant as collateral for debt.

          Engineers from Tesla’s German engineering arm, Grohmann, are now reworking the battery production line at the Gigafactory near Reno, Nevada, in a bid to free up bottlenecks, the person said. The line will become more automated gradually over time, added the source, who was not authorized to speak for attribution.
          "Every man has his weakness. Mine was always just cigarettes."

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          • #35
            https://cleantechnica.com/2018/05/25...g-the-model-3/

            Why Tesla's reported incompetence with the model 3 production line is greatly exaggerated and misrepresented.

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            • #36
              Full article: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-t...-idUSKBN1JI013
              Exclusive: Tesla to close a dozen solar facilities in nine states - documents

              LOS ANGELES/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Electric car maker Tesla Inc’s move last week to cut 9 percent of its workforce will sharply downsize the residential solar business it bought two years ago in a controversial $2.6 billion deal, according to three internal company documents and seven current and former Tesla solar employees.

              The latest cuts to the division that was once SolarCity - a sales and installation company founded by two cousins of Tesla CEO Elon Musk - include closing about a dozen installation facilities, according to internal company documents, and ending a retail partnership with Home Depot Inc that the current and former employees said generated about half of its sales.

              About 60 installation facilities remain open, according to an internal company list reviewed by Reuters. An internal company email named 14 facilities slated for closure, but the other list included only 13 of those locations.

              Tesla declined to comment on which sites it planned to shut down, how many employees would lose their jobs or what percentage of the solar workforce they represent.

              The company said that cuts to its overall energy team - including batteries to store power - were in line with the broader 9 percent staff cut.

              “We continue to expect that Tesla’s solar and battery business will be the same size as automotive over the long term,” the company said in a statement to Reuters.

              The operational closures, which have not been previously reported, raise new questions about the viability of cash-strapped Tesla’s solar business and Musk’s rationale for a merger he once called a “no brainer” - but some investors have panned as a bailout of an affiliated firm at the expense of Tesla shareholders. Before the merger, Musk had served as chairman of SolarCity’s board of directors.

              The installation offices that the internal email said were targeted for closure were located in California, Maryland, New Jersey, Texas, New York, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Arizona and Delaware.

              The company also fired dozens of solar customer service staffers at call centers in Nevada and Utah, according to the former Tesla employees, some of whom were terminated in last week’s cuts. Those employees spoke on condition of anonymity because making public comments could violate the terms of their severance packages.

              “It’s been a difficult few days - no one can deny this,” a Tesla manager wrote in a seperate internal email, sent to customer service employees shortly after the cuts were announced.

              Tesla has been burning through cash as it tries to hit a target of producing 5,000 Model 3 electric sedans per week after production delays. The company faces investor pressure to turn a profit without having to tap Wall Street for additional capital.

              The total number of cuts to the solar workforce remained unclear. Some personnel at facilities closing down were being transferred to other sites, the current and former employees said. SolarCity employed about 15,000 people at the end of 2015 but has since cut thousands of workers.

              Ending the Home Depot partnership, which allowed for solar sales in about 800 stores, is part of Tesla’s larger effort to absorb SolarCity into its high-end brand and sell through 90 of its 109 U.S. retail stores and its website, the company said.

              “Tesla stores have some of the highest foot traffic of any retail space in the country,” Tesla said.

              Analysts questioned Tesla’s plans for the solar business in light of the latest cuts to staff and retail operations.

              “In effect they seem to be saying, ‘We have no strategy for selling solar,’” said Frank Gillett, an analyst at Forrester Research, adding that the SolarCity purchase “looks pretty awful right now.”
              "Every man has his weakness. Mine was always just cigarettes."

              Comment


              • #37
                So, he's basically running out of money?

                SolarCity was ruined by Musk shifting business focus from combined financing and installation to installation only, basically eradicating their defining feature on the market and pushing them down into competition with hundreds of SMEs.

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by kato View Post
                  So, he's basically running out of money?

                  SolarCity was ruined by Musk shifting business focus from combined financing and installation to installation only, basically eradicating their defining feature on the market and pushing them down into competition with hundreds of SMEs.
                  The ending of the partnership with The Home Depot, and the concentration of SolarCity sales in Tesla retail stores, he might be taking a gamble to leverage SolarCity sales into Tesla auto sales by getting combined foot traffic within the same space. I don't really know what else to make of it. Seems like a very risky move to me. Tens of millions, if not a hundred million or more Americans shop at The Home Depot every year. Seems like a no-brainer to continue the relationship with them.

                  I'd had the feeling that merging SolarCity into Tesla wasn't the best move to begin with. It goes without saying that if Tesla were to go down, it could very well drag SolarCity down with it. Musk has always been a gambler, it'll be interesting to see which way the chips fall.
                  "Every man has his weakness. Mine was always just cigarettes."

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Originally posted by Ironduke View Post
                    The ending of the partnership with The Home Depot, and the concentration of SolarCity sales in Tesla retail stores, he might be taking a gamble to leverage SolarCity sales into Tesla auto sales by getting combined foot traffic within the same space. I don't really know what else to make of it. Seems like a very risky move to me. Tens of millions, if not a hundred million or more Americans shop at The Home Depot every year. Seems like a no-brainer to continue the relationship with them.

                    I'd had the feeling that merging SolarCity into Tesla wasn't the best move to begin with. It goes without saying that if Tesla were to go down, it could very well drag SolarCity down with it. Musk has always been a gambler, it'll be interesting to see which way the chips fall.
                    Its still not clear how things will fair with solar city but the impression I get with musk is that he wants to win big. They have been testing the panels for years and he has no interest in making money in the present moment if the idea isnt a killer in the long term. They play the long game developing the tecnology and the business model. And can leverage the panels with th powerwall battery system once they can figure out how to scale battery production beyond the demand for cars.

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                    • #40
                      Gasoline is becoming worthless

                      You still have to pay a couple bucks for a gallon of gas (more in California, as always), but automakers are discovering that gas-powered cars may be a liability that detracts from their valuations, instead of an asset that enhances values.

                      New research from Morgan Stanley argues that traditional internal combustion engines—the mainstay of automobiles for more than a century—are destined to become money-losers as early as 2030. “We believe the market may be ascribing zero (or even negative?) value for ICE-derived revenues at GM and Ford,” auto analyst Adam Jonas wrote in a Jan. 29 analysis. He lists a variety of factors likely to “transform what were once profit-generating assets into potentially loss-making and cash-burning businesses.”

                      In late January, General Motors (GM) said it plans to stop selling vehicles with tailpipe emissions by 2035. That means GM won’t sell any gas- or diesel-powered vehicles, the types of cars that now account for nearly all GM sales and profit. That would require an all-electric fleet, powered off the electrical grid, as with most current electrics, or perhaps through on-board fuel cells powered by hydrogen. While most automakers are developing electric vehicles, GM is the first big one to commit to a full transition.

                      Ford (F) hasn’t gone as far as GM, but it, too, plans an aggressive rollout of EVs to complement and replace current models. Most other automakers are doing the same. Dozens of EVs will flood the market in coming years, including a Ford F-150 pickup, the Ford Mustang Mach-E, the GMC Hummer and the Cadillac Lyriq.


                      Shares of GM and Ford have surged recently, as investors seem to believe each old-line automaker is progressing toward EVs in earnest. GM shares are up 51% during the last three months, with Ford up 41%. Neither can touch Tesla (TSLA), up 126% during the last three months and a stunning 575% during the last year. But investors are now giving Detroit’s Big Two more credit for electrification plans they’ve been skeptical about, until recently.

                      Marketplace support
                      Joe Biden’s win in the November presidential election is part of the EV equation for GM and Ford. Biden supports an aggressive transformation toward green energy, with a goal of achieving net-zero carbon emissions in the U.S. economy by 2050. Tailpipe emissions are a major source of carbon pollution, with sharp reductions necessary for meaningful progress on climate change. President Trump questioned the science on climate change and instituted policies meant to favor carbon energy, such as lowering fuel economy standards that his predecessor, President Obama, raised.

                      Part of Trump’s pro-carbon policy was a lawsuit meant to force California and several other states, which have gas-mileage standards higher than federal levels, to lower them to the national standard. GM joined the Trump administration’s suit against California. But GM flipped after Trump lost in November, withdrawing from the suit on Nov. 23, when it was clear the Biden administration would end the suit anyway. Since then, GM has announced a variety of electrification plans, with investors bidding the stock higher.

                      Marketplace support for green technology is crucial, because government policy alone will fail if it raises costs, inconveniences consumers or creates inefficiencies. The Morgan Stanley analysis suggests market forces may now drive a move from carbon-fueled vehicles to electric ones, at least as much as government policy.

                      The investing firm recently surveyed institutional investors on the value of internal-combustion technology at GM and Ford. Seventeen percent said ICE technology had no value or negative value today. Sixty percent rated ICE technology as slightly positive, while 23% said it was a significantly positive value. That’s with electrification technology still in the early innings: total market share for fully electric vehicles is still less than 2%.

                      Risk in adapting too slowly
                      But essentially all of the growth in powertrain adoption in coming years will be electric, while ICE powertrains are certain to decline. The risk for automakers isn’t adapting too quickly and getting ahead of the market. It’s adapting too slowly and becoming overly reliant on dying technology consumers may no longer want as electrics get cheaper and range improves. That extends to factory capacity, with ICE assembly lines possibly becoming stranded assets with no market value. It would cost automakers money to disassemble or convert them to valuable use, thus the possibility of negative value.

                      “We fall into the camp believing that ICE technology is worth near zero today, which could potentially crystalize into a net liability,” Jonas wrote.

                      GM has better prospects than Ford at the moment. It’s been building EVs since the Chevy Volt went on sale in 2010, and its Ultium battery technology could become an industry standard used by other automakers. It also owns 70% of Cruise, the self-driving venture experimenting with new types of transportation. Seventeen equity analysts surveyed by S&P Capital IQ have an average 12-month price target for GM of $61, about 16% above the stock’s current level.

                      Ford doesn’t seem to be as far along on battery and self-driving technology, which may be why it hasn’t yet fixed a date on its plans to go all-electric. Seventeen analysts surveyed by S&P Capitalist IQ have an average price target of $10.34 for Ford, slightly below the current price of $10.90.

                      Investors, of course, are looking further into the future than most consumers are, and guessing about changes that haven’t happened yet. Most people who buy a car during the next five years will buy a gas-powered vehicle. Electrics still have premium prices and are inconvenient for long trips, which have to be structured around charging opportunities. They’re still nowhere near as convenient as gas models that can be fueled at almost every highway exit in five minutes.

                      But changes at the laboratory and factory level will presage changes in the showroom. With investors viewing internal-combustion powertrains as a dying technology, there’s likely to be little new investment, with research dollars flowing instead to the electrification efforts investors value. That will speed innovation and lower costs. Charging stations will proliferate and get faster, minimizing the inconvenience of electrics. At some crossover point, gas stations will start to disappear, and electric cars will start to seem like the obvious choice for just about everybody. Whenever that happens, it will be the wrong time to be hawking V-6 and V-8 engines.
                      __________

                      Annoying hyperbolic clickbait title aside, what really caught my eye was GM planning to completely phase out ICE cars by 2035. That's pretty damn forward-looing and aggressive.
                      “Never let yourself be persuaded that any one Great Man, any one leader, is necessary to the salvation of America. When America consists of one leader and 158 million followers, it will no longer be America.”
                      ― Dwight D. Eisenhower

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        Annoying hyperbolic clickbait title aside, what really caught my eye was GM planning to completely phase out ICE cars by 2035. That's pretty damn forward-looing and aggressive.
                        it is, for a legacy car manufacturer. Toyota, for instance, is completely behind the power curve: its chief says EVs are "overhyped".

                        however, that means Tesla will have a significant amount of time where they continue to dominate the market. and it's not just going to be a question of the engine tech, the autonomous driving tech is every bit, if not more, important.
                        Last edited by astralis; 08 Feb 21,, 05:16.
                        There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

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                        • #42
                          Originally posted by TopHatter View Post

                          Annoying hyperbolic clickbait title aside, what really caught my eye was GM planning to completely phase out ICE cars by 2035. That's pretty damn forward-looing and aggressive.
                          The devil is always in the details. GM is already in the process of phasing out passenger cars just like Ford except for the Mustang. GM could easily have no cars by 2030 simply because there is no money in them from their viewpoint. Looking closely at what GM said is that they will be phasing out ICE on their light duty vehicles under 8,500 GVWR. That means all their HD versions of their top selling popular trucks are exempt. As a side note their Suburban, at 7,700 GVWR, only needs to gain 800 lbs. to hit the 8,500 lb. exemption. Not saying GM would do that but now is now and then is then.

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                          • #43
                            Originally posted by astralis View Post

                            it is, for a legacy car manufacturer. Toyota, for instance, is completely behind the power curve: its chief says EVs are "overhyped".

                            however, that means Tesla will have a significant amount of time where they continue to dominate the market. and it's not just going to be a question of the engine tech, the autonomous driving tech is every bit, if not more, important.
                            Which is a complete reversal from the progressive and forward-thinking and technologically-advanced Japanese and the stodgy comfortable-with-decades-old-technology American automakers.

                            Originally posted by tbm3fan View Post

                            The devil is always in the details. GM is already in the process of phasing out passenger cars just like Ford except for the Mustang. GM could easily have no cars by 2030 simply because there is no money in them from their viewpoint. Looking closely at what GM said is that they will be phasing out ICE on their light duty vehicles under 8,500 GVWR. That means all their HD versions of their top selling popular trucks are exempt. As a side note their Suburban, at 7,700 GVWR, only needs to gain 800 lbs. to hit the 8,500 lb. exemption. Not saying GM would do that but now is now and then is then.
                            Definitely a fair point, but still a pretty odd role reversal
                            “Never let yourself be persuaded that any one Great Man, any one leader, is necessary to the salvation of America. When America consists of one leader and 158 million followers, it will no longer be America.”
                            ― Dwight D. Eisenhower

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              Originally posted by TopHatter View Post
                              Annoying hyperbolic clickbait title aside, what really caught my eye was GM planning to completely phase out ICE cars by 2035. That's pretty damn forward-looing and aggressive.
                              GM is operating in a market in which plenty of (US state) governments want to introduce bans on ICE for private cars exactly around that time. Toyota isn't really under the same kind of pressure.

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                Originally posted by kato View Post

                                GM is operating in a market in which plenty of (US state) governments want to introduce bans on ICE for private cars exactly around that time. Toyota isn't really under the same kind of pressure.
                                True enough, but it's still a little jarring for the head of Toyota to claimed that EVs are "overhyped". Especially when you consider the green culture of Japan...not to mention their notorious lack of domestic petroleum resources.
                                “Never let yourself be persuaded that any one Great Man, any one leader, is necessary to the salvation of America. When America consists of one leader and 158 million followers, it will no longer be America.”
                                ― Dwight D. Eisenhower

                                Comment

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