Tesla, electric cars

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Elon Musk on Innovation, Physics, and 'First Principles' Thinking

“I think people’s thinking process is too bound by convention or analogy to prior experiences. It’s rare that people try to think of something on a first principles basis. They’ll say, “We’ll do that because it’s always been done that way.” Or they’ll not do it because “Well, nobody’s ever done that, so it must not be good. But that’s just a ridiculous way to think. You have to build up the reasoning from the ground up—“from the first principles” is the phrase that’s used in physics. You look at the fundamentals and construct your reasoning from that, and then you see if you have a conclusion that works or doesn’t work, and it may or may not be different from what people have done in the past.

I think it’s important to reason from first principles rather than by analogy. So the normal way we conduct our lives is, we reason by analogy. We are doing this because it’s like something else that was done, or it is like what other people are doing… with slight iterations on a theme. And it’s … mentally easier to reason by analogy rather than from first principles. First principles is kind of a physics way of looking at the world, and what that really means is, you … boil things down to the most fundamental truths and say, “okay, what are we sure is true?” … and then reason up from there. That takes a lot more mental energy.

Somebody could say — and in fact people do — that battery packs are really expensive and that’s just the way they will always be because that’s the way they have been in the past. … Well, no, that’s pretty dumb… Because if you applied that reasoning to anything new, then you wouldn’t be able to ever get to that new thing…. you can’t say, … “oh, nobody wants a car because horses are great, and we’re used to them and they can eat grass and there’s lots of grass all over the place and … there’s no gasoline that people can buy….”

First principles thinking example about battery packs:

… they would say, “historically, it costs $600 per kilowatt-hour. And so it’s not going to be much better than that in the future. … So the first principles would be, … what are the material constituents of the batteries? What is the spot market value of the material constituents? … It’s got cobalt, nickel, aluminum, carbon, and some polymers for separation, and a steel can. So break that down on a material basis; if we bought that on a London Metal Exchange, what would each of these things cost? Oh, jeez, it’s … $80 per kilowatt-hour. So, clearly, you just need to think of clever ways to take those materials and combine them into the shape of a battery cell, and you can have batteries that are much, much cheaper than anyone realizes.”

'Tesmanian' Vision

“Tesla should really be thought of as roughly a dozen technology startups, many of which have little to no correlation with traditional automotive companies,” says Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

Musk explains that he views each product line and factory as a separate startup. This allows all divisions to develop, taking into account their own characteristics, to compete with other companies and become a leader in the areas in which they operate. Each department is like a separate body, the excellent work of which guarantees the rapid and quality development of the entire company.

Tesla currently operates in three main areas: Automotive, Hardware and Software, and Energy. In addition, the company began development in a number of areas in which it will revolutionize and become the sole leader: a platform for real-time trading and control of energy, Manufacturing, Automation, Mining, and this list will constantly continue...

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July 2021

Tesla launches its own virtual power plan

Linking up Powerwalls to create a power grid

Tesla is launching its own virtual power plant in California to help the state’s grid:

“The California grid operator forecasts a continued need for Californians to support the grid through 2021. Help create the largest distributed battery system in the world and avoid dependence on the least efficient fossil fuel power plants. Opt-in to the Tesla Virtual Power Plant (VPP), and Tesla will dispatch your Powerwall when the grid needs support while continuing to maintain your energy security.”

California’s grid is expected to have an exceptionally difficult few months, with record high temperature increasing energy demand on the grid and a significant drought affecting hydropower plants, like the Hoover Dam.

Tesla... More than Electric Cars

SpaceX - SolarCity - Batteries and the Power Grid - Hyperloop... On & On

Elon's thinking: planet citizen, planet citizen thoughts

From GreenPolicy360: Elon Musk spoke of how the iconic whole earth "Blue Marble" photo of Earth had inspired him to dream and to move his technology plans toward a space & earth connection...

Elon speaks of the danger to Earth's atmosphere, our planet's 'thin blue layer': "We’re running the most dangerous experiment in history right now, which is to see how much carbon dioxide the atmosphere can handle before there is an environmental catastrophe.”

"The greater the change to the chemical composition of the physical, chemical makeup of the oceans and atmosphere [due to increased carbon emissions], the greater the long-term effect will be... [W]hy would you run this crazy experiment to see how bad it'll be? We know it's at least some bad, and the overwhelming scientific consensus is that it'll be 'really bad'."

“As far as Earth is concerned, I think the biggest problem that humanity faces is one of sustainable energy. If we don’t solve that problem this century, independent of any environmental concerns, we will face economic collapse… This is obvious.”

On consciousness: *"I came to the conclusion that really we should aspire to increase the scope and scale of human consciousness in order to better understand what questions to ask. Really, the only thing that makes sense is to strive for greater collective enlightenment."

On vision: "Going from PayPal, I thought well, what are some of the other problems that are likely to most affect the future of humanity? Not from the perspective, 'what's the best way to make money,' which is okay, but, it was really 'what do I think is going to most affect the future of humanity.'"

"We need to figure out how to have the things we love, and not destroy the world."

"[Physics is] a good framework for thinking. … Boil things down to their fundamental truths and reason up from there."

  • "I have tried to learn as much as possible from prior attempts."
  • "Good ideas are always crazy until they’re not."
  • "The answer was we thought it could be done."

Elon Musk proves the naysayers wrong

(Video Interview / 60 Minutes)

From zero to hero in 18 years: How SpaceX became a nation-state

SpaceX's momentous Crew Dragon launch is a sign of things to come for the space industry, and humanity's future





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Tesla, Electric Vehicle 'Magic'

Electric Goes Mainstream... Tesla Opens Up

Stock Value accelerates as Global Market sees an EV Future

Tesla roars past Volkswagen to become the second most valuable car company in the world

The stock price of the California-headquartered company is up more than fifty percent since December 2019 and has tripled since August. Tesla is now (February 1, 2020) worth about USD $117 billion...

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Tesla went public ten years ago today, pricing shares at $17, higher than its expected range of $14 to $16.

The company raised around $226 million in its IPO, with shares surging that day by around 41% to close at $23.89. Today, shares in the electric vehicle maker closed at $1,009.35, meaning Tesla’s stock has risen by 4,125 % since the close of its first day as a public company.



New Tesla Cyber Truck

"Acceleration and handling better than a base Porsche 911"

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Tesla EV Semi-Truck delivers Tesla EV Cars


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Traveling Ions Beyond Electric Cars

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Elon Musk wows with newly unveiled Tesla Model 3, nets 133,000 pre-orders and counting

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Musk: The car represents the culmination of a long-held dream to bring affordable, zero-pollution vehicles to the world's highways.

With CO2 levels and global temperatures at record highs, the Model 3 will help bring engineering solutions to the climate change problem.

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Model 3 review by Dan Neil

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Elon Musk announces -- "All Our Patents Belong to You Now - We're Open Source"

"Yesterday, there was a wall of Tesla patents in the lobby of our Palo Alto headquarters. That is no longer the case. They have been removed, in the spirit of the open source movement, for the advancement of electric vehicle technology.

"Tesla Motors was created to accelerate the advent of sustainable transport. If we clear a path to the creation of compelling electric vehicles, but then lay intellectual property landmines behind us to inhibit others, we are acting in a manner contrary to that goal. Tesla will not initiate patent lawsuits against anyone who, in good faith, wants to use our technology.

"When I started out with my first company, Zip2, I thought patents were a good thing and worked hard to obtain them. And maybe they were good long ago, but too often these days they serve merely to stifle progress, entrench the positions of giant corporations and enrich those in the legal profession, rather than the actual inventors. After Zip2, when I realized that receiving a patent really just meant that you bought a lottery ticket to a lawsuit, I avoided them whenever possible.

"At Tesla, however, we felt compelled to create patents out of concern that the big car companies would copy our technology and then use their massive manufacturing, sales and marketing power to overwhelm Tesla. We couldn’t have been more wrong. The unfortunate reality is the opposite: electric car programs (or programs for any vehicle that doesn’t burn hydrocarbons) at the major manufacturers are small to non-existent, constituting an average of far less than 1% of their total vehicle sales.

"At best, the large automakers are producing electric cars with limited range in limited volume. Some produce no zero emission cars at all.

"Given that annual new vehicle production is approaching 100 million per year and the global fleet is approximately 2 billion cars, it is impossible for Tesla to build electric cars fast enough to address the carbon crisis. By the same token, it means the market is enormous. Our true competition is not the small trickle of non-Tesla electric cars being produced, but rather the enormous flood of gasoline cars pouring out of the world’s factories every day.

"We believe that Tesla, other companies making electric cars, and the world would all benefit from a common, rapidly-evolving technology platform.

"Technology leadership is not defined by patents, which history has repeatedly shown to be small protection indeed against a determined competitor, but rather by the ability of a company to attract and motivate the world’s most talented engineers. We believe that applying the open source philosophy to our patents will strengthen rather than diminish Tesla’s position in this regard."

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Tesla and Elon Musk

How Tesla Will Change the World -- and Your Life

Part 1: The Story of Energy
Part 2: The Story of Cars
Part 3: The Story of Tesla

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Elon Musk, planet citizen

Tesla, SpaceX, SolarCity ... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elon_Musk



Energy Storage - Batteries and Grid

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On Solar and Renewable Energy

  • "By definition we must move towards renewable energy... How can people argue against that? To argue that is to say that eventually we will run out of energy and die or civilization will collapse."

  • "When you have an unpriced externality, you can’t quite rely on the market to do the right thing. So in order to have electric vehicles come sooner than they otherwise would — electric vehicles were always going to be the long-term transportation mechanism, but to make that day come sooner — you have to bridge that gap with innovation."

Next stage of Solar Power? "Massive volume of stationary battery packs"


Solar Power + Gigafactories / Newly Designed NextGen Storage Batteries

Tesla isn't just a car company. Musk is building a $5 billion Gigafactory (see image above) to produce 35 gigawatt-hours of lithium-ion batteries per year -- more than the capacity of all the batteries on the planet today combined.

"This will allow us to achieve a major reduction in the cost of our battery packs and accelerate the pace of battery innovation," Musk said in a Tesla investor newsletter. "This will also allow us to address the solar power industry’s need for a massive volume of stationary battery packs."

(Circa 2016)

"Powerwall 2"

"Powerpack 2"

(Circa 2015)


"Battery Walls"


The first Tesla 'Gigafactory' in Nevada is the centerpiece of its mass-market electric car strategy

The Gigafactory to be biggest building on Earth?

The Gigafactory will be a 'net zero' energy consumer and have carbon neutral operations...

Read more about the Gigafactory

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  • Solar power [with] batteries will be the primary means of sustainable energy production...
  • Solar power will be the single largest source of electricity generation by the mid-point of the century..."

Tesla Powerwall (Wikipedia))

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Wiki article on SolarCity

Quotes from Elon on Energy & Solar --

CleanTechnica Interviews Elon

Elon on perseverance: "If something is important enough, even if the odds are against you, you should still do it."


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