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(GigaOM)   Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk mysteriously disappears   (gigaom.com) divider line 116
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7063 clicks; posted to Business » on 27 Aug 2013 at 9:12 AM (45 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-08-27 07:58:32 AM
Toyota got him finally, didn't they?
 
2013-08-27 08:14:28 AM
seriously?
 
2013-08-27 08:17:59 AM

some_beer_drinker: seriously?


Nah. TFA is about how Tesla is the first credible threat to a largely reactionary auto production market.
 
2013-08-27 08:20:32 AM
He's not stupid. He can read the signs.
 
2013-08-27 08:22:08 AM
This is just like when that one guy created Agua Motors.  Next thing you know, he disappeared.  I bet you haven't even heard of him.
 
2013-08-27 08:33:30 AM
tomszone.com
 
2013-08-27 09:07:24 AM
General Motors could have been Tesla. But they made a conscious decision not to be.
 
2013-08-27 09:08:11 AM

Elandriel: TFA is about how Tesla is the first credible threat to a largely reactionary auto production market.


Well, the primary threat to the auto industry is that the last real innovation they ever had was the automatic transmission, and their manufacturing processes were last updated in 1982 when somebody read up on Kanban.
 
2013-08-27 09:19:33 AM
Tesla is not a threat to the old auto market. They are the only player in a new auto market.
 
2013-08-27 09:19:53 AM

I_C_Weener: This is just like when that one guy created Agua Motors.  Next thing you know, he disappeared.  I bet you haven't even heard of him.

He evaporated from my mind.  That got me steamed up.
 
2013-08-27 09:26:54 AM

WTF Indeed: Tesla is not a threat to the old auto market. They are the only player in a new auto market.


It's not really a new market. It's a pretty safe assumption that each Tesla sold is one less car sold by one of the big three.
 
2013-08-27 09:29:07 AM

t3knomanser: Well, the primary threat to the auto industry is that the last real innovation they ever had was the automatic transmission, and their manufacturing processes were last updated in 1982 when somebody read up on Kanban.


Being reassured by the federal government that you're Too Big to FailTM tends to destroy the social pressure to innovate your way out of trouble.

If anything, they've integrated it into the business model.  Now the unions, shareholders and executives can go all scorched earth on the Midwest economy because no matter how much money they burn, they've been given an unlimited lifeline as long as they don't burn up the political capital too quickly at once.
 
2013-08-27 09:30:58 AM

t3knomanser: It's not really a new market. It's a pretty safe assumption that each Tesla sold is one less car sold by one of the big three.


No it's not. Tesla's market are people who are 1)Rich 2)Live and work within the range of the batteries 3)Have another car for long distance driving.  The guy buying a Tesla also has to buy a Chevy.
 
2013-08-27 09:34:41 AM

WTF Indeed: t3knomanser: It's not really a new market. It's a pretty safe assumption that each Tesla sold is one less car sold by one of the big three.

No it's not. Tesla's market are people who are 1)Rich 2)Live and work within the range of the batteries 3)Have another car for long distance driving.  The guy buying a Tesla also has to buy a Chevy. BMW

 
2013-08-27 09:39:12 AM
You got me, made me read more Tesla propaganda. Why you think coal is a better fuel source than gasoline is beyond me.
 
2013-08-27 09:39:13 AM
If Tesla is really a serious threat to the large automakers, one of them will just buy Tesla out, either to get an easy jump on the market or to eliminate them.
 
2013-08-27 09:42:15 AM

Elandriel: Nah. TFA is about how Tesla is the first credible threat to a largely reactionary auto production market.


Thanks to tens of millions of dollars of subsidies, Tesla loses only $10,000 per vehicle they manufacture.

Yeah, some success story. Without Government assistance, the company wouldn't even exist in its current form.

Electric cars as a commercial success are a fantasy, and will be until electric cars are commercially viable without propping up from the Government. And with the terribly dirty rare earths mining and processing - as well as the extra shipping of parts around the world for assembly -  they'll never be green.
 
2013-08-27 09:47:11 AM
If he disappears, it's because he got his Tesla up to 88 mph and got into some serious shiat.
 
2013-08-27 09:49:26 AM

wxboy: If Tesla is really a serious threat to the large automakers, one of them will just buy Tesla out, either to get an easy jump on the market or to eliminate them.


You can't buy out a company unless the owner agrees to sell. Musk isn't exactly desperate for the cash...
 
2013-08-27 09:49:38 AM

utahraptor2: Elandriel: Nah. TFA is about how Tesla is the first credible threat to a largely reactionary auto production market.

Thanks to tens of millions of dollars of subsidies, Tesla loses only $10,000 per vehicle they manufacture.

Yeah, some success story. Without Government assistance, the company wouldn't even exist in its current form.

Electric cars as a commercial success are a fantasy, and will be until electric cars are commercially viable without propping up from the Government. And with the terribly dirty rare earths mining and processing - as well as the extra shipping of parts around the world for assembly -  they'll never be green.


I guess that's why their stock price has increased by 400% since March.
 
2013-08-27 09:50:50 AM

utahraptor2: and will be until electric cars are commercially viable without propping up from the Government.


If gasoline powered cars are our basis, that time would be "never".

WTF Indeed: Tesla's market are people who are 1)Rich 2)Live and work within the range of the batteries 3)Have another car for long distance driving


Why have another car for long distance driving? Unless you do that regularly, it's vastly cheaper to use something like ZipCar. My wife and I share a single car. It's 9 years old and has 40,000 miles on it. At this point, we put less than 1,000 miles/yr on it. Were I in the market for a new car, I would be looking to an all-electric alternative.

Arthen: Why you think coal is a better fuel source than gasoline is beyond me


The obvious point is that an electric car is separated from the production infrastructure- we can switch to solar, wind, nuclear, or trap the hot air generated by congress without needing to change the vehicle in any way. But beyond that, centralized energy production has some advantages in terms of both economies of scale and centralization of pollution. In areas with heavy automobile traffic, you could see a massive reduction in airborne pollutants.
 
2013-08-27 09:51:21 AM
They look like cool cars.  Still want one, but I don't have the infrastructure to support it.
 
2013-08-27 09:51:49 AM

WTF Indeed: No it's not. Tesla's market are people who are 1)Rich 2)Live and work within the range of the batteries 3)Have another car for long distance driving.  The guy buying a Tesla also has to buy a Chevy.


First of all, I don't know the statistics, or if anyone has actually looked into this. But I wouldn't be so quick to assume the Tesla is just an extra car. I think people are buying them to be their primary car, or if it's a secondary car, the purchase comes at the expense of another sporty gasoline-powered car. It's not as if this is a electric golf car that people are buying for quick trips to the grocery store. It's a 265-mile range luxury sedan. It is absolutely on-par with, or better than, many of the alternatives in that category. If you're in California you have access to plenty of quick-charge stations if you need to extend that range indefinitely.
 
2013-08-27 10:02:15 AM
utahraptor2: Thanks to tens of millions of dollars of subsidies, Tesla loses only $10,000 per vehicle they manufacture. Yeah, some success story. Without Government assistance, the company wouldn't even exist in its current form.

http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/business/2013/05/28/tesla-pa ys -back-u-s--loan-nine-years-early.html
The Palo Alto, Calif., company said it wired in a $451.8 million payment to the government last week. The money, coupled with two previous payments, paid off a $465 million loan that Tesla got from the Department of Energy in 2010 to foster development of advanced-technology vehicles. ...  The repayment is good for Tesla's image because the company no longer owes taxpayers.

Electric cars as a commercial success are a fantasy, and will be until electric cars are commercially viable without propping up from the Government. And with the terribly dirty rare earths mining and processing - as well as the extra shipping of parts around the world for assembly -  they'll never be green.

It is not true that battery manufacturing is worse than years of internal combustion engine pollution. It's a myth. And seriously, you're using the argument that shipping parts around the world is bad? How do you think they manufacture gasoline-powered cars?
 
2013-08-27 10:02:38 AM

Arthen: You got me, made me read more Tesla propaganda. Why you think coal is a better fuel source than gasoline is beyond me.


I'm guessing a lot of things are beyond you.  Here are the two main reasons.

1. Our power does not come 100% from coal.  It is actually only 37% coal generated--and that number is dropping.

2. Coal plant + electric motor is more efficient than an internal combustion engine.


Any other things that stump you that we could clear up?
 
2013-08-27 10:03:36 AM

Flint Ironstag: wxboy: If Tesla is really a serious threat to the large automakers, one of them will just buy Tesla out, either to get an easy jump on the market or to eliminate them.

You can't buy out a company unless the owner agrees to sell. Musk isn't exactly desperate for the cash...


Do you not understand the concept of a publicly-traded stock?  Musk reportedly owns about 1/3 of the stock.  If a large automaker want to buy Tesla and control it, that's possible, whether Musk likes it or not.

Not saying that it wouldn't be brutally expensive (~$15B +) and that Musk wouldn't make it messy, but that's the downside of going public.
 
2013-08-27 10:04:14 AM

utahraptor2: And with the terribly dirty rare earths mining and processing ... they'll never be green.


And what rare earths would you find in a Tesla Model S?
 
2013-08-27 10:05:44 AM
gigaom-pro-files.s3.amazonaws.com

I love what they're doing with the new DeLoreans...
 
2013-08-27 10:06:45 AM

t3knomanser: Why have another car for long distance driving? Unless you do that regularly, it's vastly cheaper to use something like ZipCar. My wife and I share a single car. It's 9 years old and has 40,000 miles on it. At this point, we put less than 1,000 miles/yr on it. Were I in the market for a new car, I would be looking to an all-electric alternative.


That's nice. You are part of a very small population of people who 1)Live and work within a confined area 2) Live in a city without good public transportation.  The majority of Americans that buy cars do not live in an area with a Zipcar.

Now lets look at cost:

Tesla 60 kWh(cheapest one): $71,070 before taxes or 916 a month after factoring in all savings from gas and tax breaks you are at $579 a month.

Now factor in rental car costs for when you drive more than 250 miles or are driving to place without a charging station/access to power.
 
2013-08-27 10:15:00 AM

WTF Indeed: Tesla 60 kWh(cheapest one): $71,070 before taxes or 916 a month after factoring in all savings from gas and tax breaks you are at $579 a month.

Now factor in rental car costs for when you drive more than 250 miles or are driving to place without a charging station/access to power.


Nobody is suggesting the Tesla is going to be the most economical solution to anything. It's a luxury car. Instead of a running a dirty internal combustion engine with something like 10% efficiency, and which that pollutes our living areas, why not pay a little more for a quiet, smooth, FAST car that transfers much of that energy generation to wind, solar, hydro, and nuclear power? Even the third of that power which comes from coal is still far cleaner that the gas engine, more efficient, and doesn't pollute directly in front of your house.
 
2013-08-27 10:18:26 AM

WTF Indeed: The majority of Americans that buy cars do not live in an area with a Zipcar.


Right now, sure. But as car-share business expands (and it's booming), and as the population continues to urbanize, as city planners continue to make more transit-friendly cities, as electric and hybrid cards drive an increase in charging stations, that's going to change. Your option is to aim at the market  as it stands now, or aim for what the market is probably going to look like  over the next decade. Businesses that do the former are going to fail. Businesses which do the latter will make bank.
 
2013-08-27 10:19:44 AM

t3knomanser: Arthen: Why you think coal is a better fuel source than gasoline is beyond me

The obvious point is that an electric car is separated from the production infrastructure- we can switch to solar, wind, nuclear, or trap the hot air generated by congress without needing to change the vehicle in any way. But beyond that, centralized energy production has some advantages in terms of both economies of scale and centralization of pollution. In areas with heavy automobile traffic, you could see a massive reduction in airborne pollutants.


More this than anyone should be able to handle.

/this is more concentrated than this and even more so than this
 
2013-08-27 10:25:24 AM
did he step into the Quantum Leap accelerator and vanish?
 
2013-08-27 10:27:36 AM
Man, Utahraptor2 sure is taking a long time finding the rare earths that the Tesla's electric drive train requires it to use.

Can anyone help him out?
 
2013-08-27 10:36:00 AM
If your worried about range on your electric car, just order it with the optional trailer hitch. Then go to Harbor freight and get the trailer hitch carrier and a generator. Problem solved! You may have to stop occasionally and fill the generator with gasoline. But, the generator will be using the gas, not the car, so you will not fall our of favor with your eco weenie friends.
 
2013-08-27 10:36:05 AM

Hollie Maea: Man, Utahraptor2 sure is taking a long time finding the rare earths that the Tesla's electric drive train requires it to use.  Can anyone help him out?


YOU REQUIRE MORE MUSK VESPENE GAS
 
2013-08-27 10:37:50 AM
They had a story about Elon this weekend. About him SpaceX, his solar company and Tesla. It was rather intresting and he was talking about how the next model Tesla that gets released will be the "Model T of electric cars".
 
2013-08-27 10:40:36 AM

Pick: If your worried about range on your electric car, just order it with the optional trailer hitch. Then go to Harbor freight and get the trailer hitch carrier and a generator. Problem solved! You may have to stop occasionally and fill the generator with gasoline. But, the generator will be using the gas, not the car, so you will not fall our of favor with your eco weenie friends.


Telsa doesn't make the Volt though.
 
2013-08-27 10:41:14 AM

Pick: If your worried about range on your electric car, just order it with the optional trailer hitch. Then go to Harbor freight and get the trailer hitch carrier and a generator. Problem solved! You may have to stop occasionally and fill the generator with gasoline. But, the generator will be using the gas, not the car, so you will not fall our of favor with your eco weenie friends.


The risk of snark is that if you're stupid, you don't look clever; you just look stupid.

I wouldn't attach a trailer-mounted generator just because of the offensive aesthetics, but this is actually the concept behind the "series hybrid" (as opposed to the Prius which is a parallel hybrid).  The idea is that because the engine is only used to charge batteries, it can be both smaller and run at peak efficiency.  And, in fact, it works.  The most famous series hybrid currently being mass-produced is. . . the Chevy Volt.
 
2013-08-27 10:43:09 AM

t3knomanser: WTF Indeed: Tesla is not a threat to the old auto market. They are the only player in a new auto market.

It's not really a new market. It's a pretty safe assumption that each Tesla sold is one less car sold by one of the big three.


I would venture to say that not one person who is buying a Tesla owns a car made by one of the big three, unless it's a Chrysler minivan that the soccer mom drives to transport the kiddies.

West Coast, wealthy, likely in high tech or medicine, married with kids or life-long single person...those buying demographics are BMW, Audi & Benz's sweet spot...or Prius.
 
2013-08-27 10:43:33 AM
I think y'all are missing the bigger picture here. Google Ventures is one of the main VC firms invested in Tesla. Take the self-driving car technology Google has developed and stick it in these cars. It's much more likely that Google's technology stack can be integrated in whole if they are buddy-buddy with the manufacturer rather than rely on the big 3 to adopt the technology and not try to make changes / roll their own solution (which won't be as good).

Soon, it won't make sense to own a vehicle anymore. Think about it - how much of your day is spent driving? The average daily commute is 51 minutes, or 3.5% of your day. Then you have to spend land resources to house the car when it's not in use or purchase gas and insurance and all the ancillary costs of car ownership. Google could build a fleet of self-driving Teslas and roll them out city by city. Like a Zipcar subscription service, these cars would just roam around until summoned, take you where you need to go, and then resume roaming until the next fare comes up. Little to no need to park. They could even offer incentives to subscribers such as reduced costs for allowing cars to park in their driveway and/or charge. Now there's no longer a need to have 1 vehicle per American. We could get by on a lot less.

If I were a CEO in one of the big 3, this would be my worry. Not so much Tesla, but self-driving cars and the pooling effects of a car-sharing service.
 
2013-08-27 10:47:57 AM

utahraptor2: Elandriel: Nah. TFA is about how Tesla is the first credible threat to a largely reactionary auto production market.

Thanks to tens of millions of dollars of subsidies, Tesla loses only $10,000 per vehicle they manufacture.

Yeah, some success story. Without Government assistance, the company wouldn't even exist in its current form.

Electric cars as a commercial success are a fantasy, and will be until electric cars are commercially viable without propping up from the Government. And with the terribly dirty rare earths mining and processing - as well as the extra shipping of parts around the world for assembly -  they'll never be green.


imageshack.us

Also, they can't go very fast or very far!  And if you drive them, people will think you're gay!
 
2013-08-27 10:49:06 AM

groppet: They had a story about Elon this weekend. About him SpaceX, his solar company and Tesla. It was rather intresting and he was talking about how the next model Tesla that gets released will be the "Model T of electric cars".


Well T does come after S.  I'm glad he knows the alphabet.
 
2013-08-27 10:51:16 AM
I think I saw two prototype Cadillacs today near Ann Arbor.  They had those weird non-perforated grills that the Volts have.  So they're testing the electric Caddy.
 
2013-08-27 10:51:42 AM
Luxury cars, no matter how successful, don't represent a large enough segment of the increasingly impoverished market in order to pose a real threat to the large volume manufacturers. What they really represent is a threat to the parasitic dealership middlemen, whom the large manufacturers would be more than happy to eliminate as well.
 
2013-08-27 10:55:32 AM

Lost Thought 00: Luxury cars, no matter how successful, don't represent a large enough segment of the increasingly impoverished market in order to pose a real threat to the large volume manufacturers. What they really represent is a threat to the parasitic dealership middlemen, whom the large manufacturers would be more than happy to eliminate as well.


Companies like GM are a lot more scared of the Tesla Bluestar than of the Model S.
 
2013-08-27 10:55:47 AM

Coach_J: I would venture to say that not one person who is buying a Tesla owns a car made by one of the big three, unless it's a Chrysler minivan that the soccer mom drives to transport the kiddies.


Even if we grant that this is a second or third car, the person who buys a $70k luxury car as a second or third car is the sort of person that would be owning a second or third car no matter what. Instead of buying a traditional car, they've purchased this. That's a lost sale.

Lost Thought 00: What they really represent is a threat to the parasitic dealership middlemen, whom the large manufacturers would be more than happy to eliminate as well


Which is why Tesla is having such a hard time getting started in many states. Dealerships have legal protection against direct-to-consumer sales.
 
2013-08-27 11:00:54 AM

t3knomanser: WTF Indeed: Tesla is not a threat to the old auto market. They are the only player in a new auto market.

It's not really a new market. It's a pretty safe assumption that each Tesla sold is one less car sold by one of the big three.


It's a new market strategy. Direct sales instead of the dealer middle man. THAT is what is threatening. Most states have laws in place that don't allow car manufacturers to sell directly.

Tesla's model IS a threat. The auto industry is doing everything they can to prevent Tesla from changing the industry.
 
2013-08-27 11:01:23 AM
What they really represent is a threat to the parasitic dealership middlemen, whom the large manufacturers would be more than happy to eliminate as well.

Which is why Texas dealers are suing Tesla using "franchise" laws -- even though the company doesn't have dealers anywhere.  Link
 
2013-08-27 11:02:54 AM

t3knomanser: Right now, sure. But as car-share business expands (and it's booming), and as the population continues to urbanize, as city planners continue to make more transit-friendly cities, as electric and hybrid cards drive an increase in charging stations, that's going to change. Your option is to aim at the market  as it stands now, or aim for what the market is probably going to look like  over the next decade. Businesses that do the former are going to fail. Businesses which do the latter will make bank.


Look hippie, charging stations need to be profitable. So we have a small market, with really high demand and very low supply meaning charging stations can charge whatever they want for their electricity and electric car owners will be forced to pay it. Which will then mean gas-powered cars will the more economically viable mode of transportation. The market does not and will not bare out the cost that would make profit for the companies and fiscal sense for the owner.
 
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