Elon Musk appreciation thread.

Plainview

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Other than Tesla's stock tanking two day after I bought it, Musk is a pretty interesting dude. The projects he's started, that have turned into global changing, are simply incredible. People like to say "But he started out rich!" He started with a $30,000 loan from his dad. The rest is all his work. Anyway, here's a pic that sums up what he's done. Also, I think he had a lot of failures early on but he never let that deter him.

 

MisterxboxNJ

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He is definitely a forward thinking ideas person. I think his cars are borderling artwork but are just too hard to afford for the average every day person. I personally have a 52 mile round trip commute everyday, if gas prices had stayed the way they were I might have considered an electric car. You have to wonder how bad the current oil price situation is effecting his business. Either way, I have a lot of respect for the guy and what he's accomplished in a pretty short time on this planet.
 
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Plainview

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He is definitely a forward thinking ideas person. I think his cars are borderling artwork but are just too hard to afford for the average every day person. I personally have a 52 mile round trip commute everyday, if gas prices had stayed the way they were I might have considered an electric car. You have to wonder how bad the current oil price situation is effecting his business. Either way, I have a lot of respect for the guy and what he's accomplished in a pretty short time on this planet.
Once the bottom of gas dropped so did Tesla's stock. I think the cars are awesome. I see more around than I thought I would considering the price. Musk also made all of Tesla's patents free to anybody wants to use them. He wants the batter business, but releasing the patents is ridiculous.

 

MisterxboxNJ

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Once the bottom of gas dropped so did Tesla's stock. I think the cars are awesome. I see more around than I thought I would considering the price. Musk also made all of Tesla's patents free to anybody wants to use them. He wants the batter business, but releasing the patents is ridiculous.

I see a few of them here and there, but, I live in a pretty wealthy suburb. Don't see too many of them on the road outside of there. Unfortunatly, NJ has some archaic rules and regulations regarding car sales that kind of screw Tesla. Essentially the law is that you have to sell cars through a franchise rather than being able to directly buy from the manufacturer, the way Tesla sells cars. Its a major bulls*** law that's been lobbied for by the Auto Franchise lobby in NJ. I heard he's having similar problems in Texas as well.
 

Plainview

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I see a few of them here and there, but, I live in a pretty wealthy suburb. Don't see too many of them on the road outside of there. Unfortunatly, NJ has some archaic rules and regulations regarding car sales that kind of screw Tesla. Essentially the law is that you have to sell cars through a franchise rather than being able to directly buy from the manufacturer, the way Tesla sells cars. Its a major bulls*** law that's been lobbied for by the Auto Franchise lobby in NJ. I heard he's having similar problems in Texas as well.
It's because of NJ's strong ties to the gas industry.
 

MisterxboxNJ

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It's because of NJ's strong ties to the gas industry.
There are a number of refineries in NJ (Linden and Elizabeth), but, the New Jersey Coalition of Auto Retailers (NJCAR) has been out front and center in the battle against Tesla from the get go.

http://www.hybridcars.com/new-jersey-auto-dealer-association-president-challenges-teslas-allegations/

I was pretty perturbed when I read about the issue and actually called the State Legislator for my area and voiced my opinion on the issue. I actually got a response letter from his office indicating that he's on the same side of the issue.
 
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Plainview

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There are a number of refineries in NJ (Linden and Elizabeth), but, the New Jersey Coalition of Auto Retailers (NJCAR) has been out front and center in the battle against Tesla from the get go.

http://www.hybridcars.com/new-jersey-auto-dealer-association-president-challenges-teslas-allegations/

I was pretty perturbed when I read about the issue and actually called the State Legislator for my area and voiced my opinion on the issue. I actually got a response letter from his office indicating that he's on the same side of the issue.
That's cool. It's complete s***. Tesla should try hard to overturn it in all states now since gas is so cheap. Dealerships wouldn't be as scared. There are quite a few states if I'm not mistaken that have blocked them as well.
 

Z A C K

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I'd like to get a Tesla one day. Maybe when I'm a bit older and actually live somewhere where I need a car often. By that time hopefully the price will have dropped a ton or they'll just have an "everyday person" model available. Or maybe I'll just be super rich by that time.
 

MisterxboxNJ

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Or, as seems to be his plan, they will eventually be releasing a budget model vehicle. The real reason I heard the dealerships are scared of Teslas is due to the lack of maintainence (read oil changes) the vehicles need. I really dislike the idea that they cannot cut out the middle man.
 

BDaddyK

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Not exactly but he's the single most important person getting the company to where it is now.
He came aboard during the class A funding, a year or so after the company was incorporated. That line is misleading, as he didn't start Tesla cause he wanted an electric car.
 

Plainview

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He came aboard during the class A funding, a year or so after the company was incorporated. That line is misleading, as he didn't start Tesla cause he wanted an electric car.
Better way to put it is, he wanted the world to have electric cars so he invested in the future.
 

Kassen

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These inventions are nice, but they only fix the mundane problems of first-world countries. The world is in bad shape, and that's not because it lacks space trains of the future.
 

Plainview

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These inventions are nice, but they only fix the mundane problems of first-world countries. The world is in bad shape, and that's not because it lacks space trains of the future.
I think you're wrong. Look at the shape India's train system is, and other third world countries. They're nearly disasters. They'll be in those places, not immediately, obviously, but they will be in the future. Also, as electric cars advance, with solar recharging, faster was of mobility will reach places never imagined. Electric cars will be world changing in so many ways.

 
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TFX

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I went to our local Tesla store the other day (local, as in 45 minutes away) and got to see my second-ever Model S ever. I was hoping they sold those cool fobs as keychains, but the rep gave me some free Tesla logo keychains instead and that s*** is dome. That Model X is my dream car.
 
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Li Tan

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I think calling Tesla cars expensive or first world solutions is missing the point. The first internal combustion engine motorcars were not affordable for everyone, but they got the ball rolling. As technology and engineering improved, the cost came down and anyone can have a car, even if he's employed or deep in debt. (Whether that's a good situation to have is debatable).
Today it's Tesla, but in 15 years, maybe 70% of new cars will electric rather than fossil fuels and 95% of commercial heavy vehicles are electric rather than diesel, and much of our power comes from renewable sources like Musk's Solar City (I think this conversion is going to take longer than 15 years) imagine the impact that's going to have on reducing emissions and giving us cleaner air? Not to mention not having to dig into the ground and disturb the natural environment.
 

Intellivision

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I think calling Tesla cars expensive or first world solutions is missing the point. The first internal combustion engine motorcars were not affordable for everyone, but they got the ball rolling. As technology and engineering improved, the cost came down and anyone can have a car, even if he's employed or deep in debt. (Whether that's a good situation to have is debatable).
Today it's Tesla, but in 15 years, maybe 70% of new cars will electric rather than fossil fuels and 95% of commercial heavy vehicles are electric rather than diesel, and much of our power comes from renewable sources like Musk's Solar City (I think this conversion is going to take longer than 15 years) imagine the impact that's going to have on reducing emissions and giving us cleaner air? Not to mention not having to dig into the ground and disturb the natural environment.
I here what you're saying, but companies have tried electric cars many times. And every time it's a niche product, and nobody really cares. There's too many drawbacks of an electric car.

Even if electric cars were as cheap as gas cars, I still don't think people would take up on it. There's just too much hassle with the charging it up, lousy mileage, and the risk of the battery dying.

With a gas car, there's gas stations everywhere, if you run out of gas all you have to do is get one of those red cans and put in 5 litres, and you don't have the hassle of charging stations to mount on a wall at home.

If someone is running low on gas, just stop in a gas station and spend 2 minutes to fill the tank.

If someone is low on a battery, then what? Do charging stations allow an electric car to charge up in 2 minutes? Or is it an overnight charge for 6-12 hours? Not very convenient.

For example, if someone lives in a condo or apartment, how is someone going to charge an electric car? Buildings don't even have outlets in underground parking (I don't think), and even if there was it won't be the right power. Also, building management would not allow yo to install a charging stations.

Also, if something goes wrong with the battery, how many mechanics know how to fix it?
 
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Li Tan

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I here what you're saying, but companies have tried electric cars many times. And every time it's a niche product, and nobody really cares. There's too many drawbacks of an electric car.

Even if electric cars were as cheap as gas cars, I still don't think people would take up on it. There's just too much hassle with the charging it up, lousy mileage, and the risk of the battery dying.

With a gas car, there's gas stations everywhere, if you run out of gas all you have to do is get one of those red cans and put in 5 litres, and you don't have the hassle of charging stations to mount on a wall at home.

If someone is running low on gas, just stop in a gas station and spend 2 minutes to fill the tank.

If someone is low on a battery, then what? Do charging stations allow an electric car to charge up in 2 minutes? Or is it an overnight charge for 6-12 hours? Not very convenient.

For example, if someone lives in a condo or apartment, how is someone going to charge an electric car? Buildings don't even have outlets in underground parking (I don't think), and even if there was it won't be the right power. Also, building management would not allow yo to install a charging stations.

Also, if something goes wrong with the battery, how many mechanics know how to fix it?
Yeah, electrics have been tried before, but pretty half-heartedly. Not to mention that the technology aavailable today is pretty different to the technology of even 10 years ago. The capacity of batteries (=range) is improving all the time. The speed of charging is also increasing. The availability of charging is also increasing.
And as someone who has used an electric vehicle as my primary transport for the past 8 years, I can tell you, charging it each night is not any more of a pain or a hassle than charging my phone. Range anxiety is only really anxiety, it's not really a big issue any more than gas anxiety when you're driving across back roads in Arizona and you're low on gas and you're calling yourself an idiot for not filling up at the last station (a situation I've also been in.) Very few people drive over 200 miles miles day. That small segment of the population should probably stick with ICE until tech improves, which won't be long at the current rate.
Another aspect to consider is that Americans have pretty much the cheapest gas in the world or something close to it. Remember when it was considered high by American standards? That was still cheap compared to what many other countries pay. I think it's about US$6 a gallon in New Zealand and even more in some parts of Europe. Then when you consider in many countries the incomes can be much lower than in the US, the economy of an electric car makes so much sense in those places. If Asia and Europe both went with electric as the main type of car sold, you think the US would just hold out and stay with gas?
The US is a developed market and a bit stuck in its automotive ways, but looking around could provide perspective. Here in Shanghai, (read up how China is the next big auto market) there are a ton of electric vehicles on the road and it's growing all the time. It's not a funny niche or a status symbol for green celebrities. Most full time Uber drivers have electrics or plug in hybrids. There are full electrics from little city cars, affordable compact Corolla size, Teslas, SUVs etc. The city has electric tram buses, super conductor buses that charge up almost instantly and tour bus type buses that plug in like a Tesla. All it takes is a bit of pro-EV policy and it takes off like a rocket on its own. It's easier to see a change in a city where car ownership has not been the standard for the past 80 years, and there aren't any ways to be stuck in, but EVs are definitely the future.
Incidentally, of all the upcoming Chinese car brands, note that Warren Buffet, a man who does his homework and prefers long-haul investments over short term spikes, picked a small no name one with a penchant for making knock off Toyota clones and also made batteries and dabbled with combining the two. Fast forward a few years and BYD is going from strength to strength, selling a ton of cars and leading the EV charge.
 

Li Tan

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Underground parking uusually has power (overhead lighting, remember). Over here, if you buy a plug-in, the company will talk to your building management and organise installation of a charger.
Traditional mechanics might not be able to fix a battery, but the car companies do, and specialist EV garages do it. Traditional mechanics should get their s*** together or get left behind. Cars are full of electronics now anyway. Also, in general, electric cars have fewer problems (fewer moving parts).
 

Intellivision

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Until electric is a lot more convenient, it won't hit the masses. Very few people want the hassle and cost of installing a charging station at home.

Let's say I want to drive to from Toronto to Montreal for a weekend trip, how do I do that on electric when the trip is about 550 km (350 miles)?

And let's say I find a pit stop in between cities that has a charging station, how long does it take to charge?

I stop off at a gas station, fill a tank of gas, pay for it, and be on my way in probably 3 minutes.

Electric won't take off until:

- Cheaper
- Longer range. Even a gas guzzler pick up or family van probably gets better mileage than an electric on a full charge
- No need for a charging station at home
- Gas stations have charging plugs where you can somehow get a fast boost and charge a battery in 2 minutes like filling a tank of gas
 
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Li Tan

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I agree with almost all of your requirements, to some extent at least.
Cheaper - already here, maybe not in the US, but that's coming. At retail, the prices are comparable here. It's actually cheaper in Shanghai to buy electric in the near term, like within 5 months and much cheaper within a year. In 5 years you've saved a decent chunk over gas.
Longer range - that's getting better all the time. I think in 5 years you'll get 500km or more on a single charge. Won't be long til batteries get there, then get cheap.
No need for a charging station at home - You shouldn't need it, but why wouldn't you want it? It's great and you would almost never need to take a trip to the filling/charging station, unless you're going on a road trip. Just plug in when you get home and you have "a full tank" every morning. More convenient than gas stations IMO. Imagine if magical fairies lived in your garage and refilled your car with gas for free (or pennies) every single night, and you only paid for gas when you filled up outside your city?
Right now, I think they do it in 30 minutes. It's a bit long, but when you drive 550km, surely you stop for a toilet break, a snack, check messages or call someone and to stretch your legs? Would it be a deal breaker to stop at one place to do all three? Especially if it meant your gas bill was a fifth of what it is now?
 

Intellivision

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I agree with almost all of your requirements, to some extent at least.
Cheaper - already here, maybe not in the US, but that's coming. At retail, the prices are comparable here. It's actually cheaper in Shanghai to buy electric in the near term, like within 5 months and much cheaper within a year. In 5 years you've saved a decent chunk over gas.
Longer range - that's getting better all the time. I think in 5 years you'll get 500km or more on a single charge. Won't be long til batteries get there, then get cheap.
No need for a charging station at home - You shouldn't need it, but why wouldn't you want it? It's great and you would almost never need to take a trip to the filling/charging station, unless you're going on a road trip. Just plug in when you get home and you have "a full tank" every morning. More convenient than gas stations IMO. Imagine if magical fairies lived in your garage and refilled your car with gas for free (or pennies) every single night, and you only paid for gas when you filled up outside your city?
Right now, I think they do it in 30 minutes. It's a bit long, but when you drive 550km, surely you stop for a toilet break, a snack, check messages or call someone and to stretch your legs? Would it be a deal breaker to stop at one place to do all three? Especially if it meant your gas bill was a fifth of what it is now?
Charging a car is an overnight thing.

I wouldn't bet on electric car range improving anytime soon. No doubt Tesla's $100,000 car can go about 200-250 miles..... which is only about 320-400 km.... still not even the range to go from Toronto to Montreal, but the avg $30,000 or so basic electric car has a range of about 100 miles, which is no different than the EV-1 electric cars from 20 years ago.

Never mind Toronto to Montreal. Toronto to Ottawa is about 450 km... about 280 miles. That's still outside of Tesla's range and that car has the best range. And that's only a driving of about 3.5 - 4 hours.

Most e-cars have about 100 mile range. That's about 160 km. To go to Ottawa would require TWO overnight charges on the way there, and a charge at the hotel. And then driving back, two more charges somewhere and another when you get home.

Nobody will put up with this.

The most realistic audience is eco friendly consumers who don't drive a lot, have short commutes, and never drive out of town.... or they have a second car which is a traditional gas car that has range.
 
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Li Tan

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"giving the 90 kWh Model S an additional 170 miles (270 km) of range in about 30 minutes charge and a full charge in around 75 minutes"

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tesla_station#Supercharging

Regarding the average e car getting 100 miles and the EV 1 from 20 years ago, doesn't that already show improvement?
The EV1 cost $100,000-250,000 depending on who you ask, it was a state of the art prototype that was not even for sale, only lease. They had to make it out of aluminium and have a super low drag design to get it to 100 miles a charge.

Now you can get the same performance for 30k by dropping a motor and some batteries into a Corolla.

I'm not saying you are wrong or your concerns aren't valid. I'm just saying technology always gets cheaper and better with time, and technology is already taking care of some of your concerns. And there is so much money and research going into battery tech now, you'd be crazy to think it's not going to keep improving.
 

Intellivision

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"giving the 90 kWh Model S an additional 170 miles (270 km) of range in about 30 minutes charge and a full charge in around 75 minutes"

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tesla_station#Supercharging

Regarding the average e car getting 100 miles and the EV 1 from 20 years ago, doesn't that already show improvement?
The EV1 cost $100,000-250,000 depending on who you ask, it was a state of the art prototype that was not even for sale, only lease. They had to make it out of aluminium and have a super low drag design to get it to 100 miles a charge.

Now you can get the same performance for 30k by dropping a motor and some batteries into a Corolla.

I'm not saying you are wrong or your concerns aren't valid. I'm just saying technology always gets cheaper and better with time, and technology is already taking care of some of your concerns. And there is so much money and research going into battery tech now, you'd be crazy to think it's not going to keep improving.
Personally, I don't think e-cars have advanced much at all in 20 years.... at least not for the mainstream models. The cars look better and probably have better performance, but the range is still about 100 miles.

Tesla S is in a different class. That car is $100,000, so of course it has better performance and battery range and faster charging times. Also, the super charging stations are limited in number and not a home installation thing. If your tesla isn't near a super charging station, you're out of luck.

The mainstream $30-40k cars take overnight to charge.
 

Li Tan

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Again, all your issues are very short term concerns, mostly related to the industry being very young.
Tesla's next release is going to be 35k basic price without options, 40-ish with options then less any subsidies or rebates, and will be supercharger compatible.

In China we have 40k (before subsidies & rebates) all-electric cars that do 300km on a charge and they aren't some fancy prototype that's limited to a few thousand.

The practical electric car lifestyle future is already knocking on the door. It's not a far-flung what if, like the hyperloop. It's already here for many people and it's a next year kind of thing for most.
It's like Nintendo with the Gamecube saying they're not going to do online because not everyone has broadband. They weren't lying, but they weren't looking forward. MS pushed through anyway, and in part, helped usher in universal broadband.