“PLATYPUS” – go figure. I don’t think Old GM had a platypus car…
Posts Tagged ‘elon musk’
They Call Me MISTER Platypus! – GM’s Self-Driving Car has a New Name, for Some Reason – My White Whale Spotted, AgainFriday, September 2nd, 2016
As seen in the SoMA on Folsom near 12th right, by the SF Eagle, not that there’s anything wrong with that:
No, it’s not sucking the data off of your cell phone – it’s Cruise Automation, baby. And it looks like they’re on the right path, unlike, say, so-called Elon Musk and his so-called “Autopilot.”
Play us out, SLATE’s Will Oremus:
I’ll tell you, there was a time when most of the Lotus Eliseses I saw in the Bay Area were Lotus Eliseses. Then a few years back, most of the Elises I saw were Tesla Roadsters. And then, starting a year or two ago most of the Lotus Elise I’ve seen on the Bay Area went back to being actual Lotus Elise. Isn’t that funny?
Like here, for instance. Is this the first Tesla Roadster I’ve seen this year? The past year? I think so.
Man, they’re hard to tell apart, the gas and electric versions. The Tesla version is less stubby, but I generally need to see the “T” logo to be sure. Isn’t that sad?
I guess having a Roadster isn’t a thang anymore. So they sit around garages, aging, slowly discharging, and gathering dust. They never really were practical, you know?
Now let’s hear some government-subsidized propaganda from yesteryear:
“One of the more common misconceptions about the Tesla Roadster is that it is an electrified Lotus Elise. This has been an interesting problem to deal with because the Tesla is vastly different from an Elise and it is important that people are aware of this.”
But in fact, the Tesla Roadster is/was an electrified Lotus Elise. Exactly. Take an Elise, stretch the chassis, throw out the Toyota engine (frankly, the best thing about the vehicle, you know, with billions invested over the years, coming from what’s still the best car manufacturer in the world) add a very heavy battery pack and a motor and boom there’s your Tesla Roadster.
The dude what wrote all that back in aught-eight shortly later quit / got fired / resigned – it’s hard to say.
The question now is whether you’d rather operate the original gas powered version or the newer electric kind. Certainly the gas-powered one handles better, due to its lightness. But both versions are impractical two-seaters, so maybe that’s why most people don’t own/use/garage either kind. Oh well.
Anyway, that’s the sad end to the vaunted Tesla Roadster – it’s still in the back of your closet, but you don’t wear it anymore…
[UPDATE: Herb Caen eventually recanted re: the Frisco Issue – see Comments. Or here’s the short version:“Balderdash,” Caen wrote. “The toughest guys on the old S.F. waterfront, neither rubes nor tourists, called it Frisco, and no effete journalist would have tried to correct them.”]
“Person that comes to your house to remove your used AA batteries because you’re too lazy to ‘dispose of them properly.'”
Here you go – they’ll come right to your place for pickup if you put your used batteries in a baggie:
“Curbside Battery Recycling Service – Most residents may place their batteries in a sealed plastic bag taped to the top of their black bin for curbside collection.”
This baggie system is news to me, as I’m accustomed to the Big Orange Bucket:
“Residents of multi-unit homes (4 units or more) should place batteries in their Orange Battery Bucket. If your building does not have one, ask your building manager to order one at (415) 330-1300. For more information on battery recycling, please visit: SFEnvironment.org/ecofinder
So who says our local garbage monopoly is all bad?
*As opposed to the actual Elon Musk. I’ll tell you, BEM is much cheaper for us than the real deal:
How Tesla CEO Elon Musk is WRONG WRONG WRONG About How the Fremont Assembly Plant Has Been in Operation for “Over 60 Years”Wednesday, November 26th, 2014
Here’s the background:
Which you can swallow or not, but I have a beef with this part in particular:
“However, the 20 year mark is simply when the last of the incentives expires. The Gigafactory itself will continue contributing economically to Nevada for much longer. Our automotive plant in California has been in operation for over 60 years with no foreseeable end in sight.”
Well, first of all, there’s nothing to stop Tesla or its successor from threatening to move away unless it receives another massive subsidy from the people of Nevada, right? So that’s just wrong.
But, more importantly, what’s up with this “over 60 years” thing? Let’s take a look.
Fremont Assembly began operations in 1963, right? 2014 minus 1963 = 51 years, right? 51 years is less than “over 60 years,” right?
And that doesn’t mean that this place was “in operation,” all that time, right?
And actually, it didn’t make sense to have such a big old GM factory in the Bay Area so it shut down in 1982. Let’s get some more deets:
“Operated as GM plant from 1963 to 1982, then became the site of NUMMI, GM’s joint venture with Toyota and the only major auto assembly plant remaining in California. Closed April 1, 2010, partially reopening as the Tesla Factory, an automobile assembly plant for Tesla Motors”
So Fremont Assembly was massively downsized when Toyota was coerced into starting up NUMMI, which lasted just 16 years.
Then NUMMI got massively downsized and now what’s left has been a Tesla factory for a couple years.
Now you might think that that’s good or bad, but this record sure doesn’t match what Elon Musk has to say.
END OF LINE
Ah look, from Marin it’s a red Fisker Karma plug-in hybrid in red and in the background it’s a silver Tesla Model S electric car.
Don’t they look super similar?
Click to expand
“On 14 April 2008, Tesla Motors filed a lawsuit against Fisker Automotive, alleging that Henrik Fisker stole Tesla’s Model S hybrid technology and was using it to develop the Karma. Tesla’s suit claimed that the design work done for the Model S sedan by Fisker Coachbuild was substandard, and that Fisker Automotive diverted its best ideas to the Karma. On 4 November 2008 CNET News reported that Tesla Motors would discontinue its suit after an interim ruling in favor of Fisker et al. A news release on the Fisker Automotive website stated that Tesla was ordered to pay US$1,144,285 in costs.“
Check this out:
“MODEL S IS PERFECT FOR WINTER Model S is an all-electric, rear wheel drive sedan designed to perform exceptionally in winter conditions. In fact, all-wheel-drive is not necessary. The state of the art liquid thermal control system dynamically heats and cools powertrain components to maintain range and power.
Cold Weather Performance – Additionally, the Tesla mobile app allows drivers to remotely heat the passenger cabin and battery from the comfort of their home or office. Watch Tesla’s VP of Vehicle Engineering Chris Porritt explain why Model S redefines what’s possible in cold weather. Book a test drive now to experience the supreme handling capabilities of Model S for yourself.”
I don’t know where to start. Uh, if you don’t have four wheel drive, you’re not going to get a pass from chain control during snowy days on the way to Tahoe, right? And are 21 inch wheels on a “sports car” “perfect” for snow? And ground clearance?
If Tesla is trying to say that the Model S is acceptable for winter, well that would be fine.
But Tesla is saying that its electric Porsche Panamera with 21 inch wheels and RWD is “perfect.”
I cry foul.
Uh Oh, Is Elon Musk Going to be In Trouble with the SEC? Should He have Disclosed Fires Investigation News?Wednesday, November 20th, 2013
Hey, what do you call this – would you call it the start of a federal investigation of the recent Tesla Model S fires, or at least the ones that occurred in America?
Hey, when did certain people at Tesla learn about it?
Hey, when did certain people at Tesla disclose it?
Is this time gap relevant to the people at the Securities and Exchange Commission?
It would be interesting to hear from somebody from Tesla about all this, non?
Investigation: PE 13-037 Open Resume Page 1 of 1
Investigation: PE 13-037
Date Opened: 11/15/2013
Investigator: Will Godfrey Reviewer: Scott Yon
Approver: Frank Borris
Subject: Fire – Propulsion Battery – Road Debris
MANUFACTURER & PRODUCT INFORMATION
Manufacturer: Tesla Motors, Inc
Products: 2013 Tesla Model S
Population: 13,108 (Estimated)
Problem Description: Deformation/intrusion into the propulsion battery by roadway debris may result in a
thermal reaction and fire.
FAILURE REPORT SUMMARY
ODI Manufacturer Total
Complaints: 0 TBD TBD
Crashes/Fires: 2 TBD TBD
Injury Incidents: 0 TBD TBD
Number of Injuries: 0 TBD TBD
Fatality Incidents: 0 TBD TBD
Number of Fatalities: 0 TBD TBD
ACTION / SUMMARY INFORMATION
Action: A Preliminary Evaluation (PE) has been opened
The Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) is aware of two incidents occurring on US public highways in which the
subject vehicles caught fire after an undercarriage strike with metallic roadway debris. The resulting impact damage
to the propulsion battery tray (baseplate) initiated thermal runaway. In each incident, the vehicle’s battery monitoring
system provided escalating visible and audible warnings, allowing the driver to execute a controlled stop and exit the
vehicle before the battery emitted smoke and fire.
Based on these incidents, NHTSA is opening this preliminary evaluation to examine the potential risks associated with
undercarriage strikes on model year 2013 Tesla Model S vehicles.
Tesla CEO Explains His Recent Change of Course Regarding the Recent Spate of Fires – Calls for NHSTA InvestigationTuesday, November 19th, 2013
November 18, 2013
The Mission of Tesla
By Elon Musk, Chairman, Product Architect & CEO
Our goal when we created Tesla a decade ago was the same as it is today: to accelerate the advent of sustainable transport by bringing compelling mass market electric cars to market as soon as possible. If we could have done that with our first product, we would have, but that was simply impossible to achieve for a startup company that had never built a car and that had one technology iteration and no economies of scale. Our first product was going to be expensive no matter what it looked like, so we decided to build a sports car, as that seemed like it had the best chance of being competitive with its gasoline alternatives.
FAIR ENOUGH, ELON.
I suspected that this could be misinterpreted as Tesla believing that there was a shortage of sports cars for rich people, so I described the three step “master plan” for getting to compelling and affordable electric vehicles in my first blog piece about our company. This was unfortunately almost entirely ignored.
AW, POOR ELON! NOBODY PAID ATTENTION TO WHAT YOU SAID? ACTUALLY, YOUR MASTER PLAN IS TO HAVE GLORY FALL UPON … ONE ELON MUSK, RIGHT? YOU’VE CONSISTENTLY OVERPROMISED AND UNDERDELIVERED, RIGHT? YOU’VE RELIED UPON GOVERNMENT SUBSIDIES AND YOU’VE STILL FAILED AT YOUR PROMISES OF AFFORDABILITY.
In order to get to that end goal, big leaps in technology are required, which naturally invites a high level of scrutiny. That is fair, as new technology should be held to a higher standard than what has come before. However, there should also be some reasonable limit to how high such a standard should be, and we believe that this has been vastly exceeded in recent media coverage.
FIRST OF ALL, ELON, WHO IS “WE?” SECOND OF ALL, ARE YOU PROPOSING A CHANGE TO THE FIRST AMENDMENT? SEEMS THAT WAY.
How Does the Tesla Model S Fire Risk Compare to Gasoline Cars?
THIS IS THE WRONG QUESTION, ELON. THIS IS LIKE SAYING THAT THE BOEING 787 IS PERFECT BECAUSE ITS NEW-SCHOOL BATTERIES HAVEN’T KILLED ANYBODY YET. THIS IS LIKE BOEING ASKING, “HOW DOES THE BOEING 787 FIRE RISK COMPARE TO AIRCRAFT WITH OLD-SCHOOL BATTERIES,” RIGHT? WELL ACTUALLY, BY THIS STANDARD, THE 787 HAS A PERFECT SAFETY RECORD. YOU SEE WHAT I’M SAYING HERE, ELON?
Since the Model S went into production last year, there have been more than a quarter million gasoline car fires in the United States alone, resulting in over 400 deaths and approximately 1,200 serious injuries (extrapolating 2012 NFPA data). However, the three Model S fires, which only occurred after very high-speed collisions and caused no serious injuries or deaths, received more national headlines than all 250,000+ gasoline fires combined. The media coverage of Model S fires vs. gasoline car fires is disproportionate by several orders of magnitude, despite the latter actually being far more deadly.
ALL THESE FACTS ARE IN RESPONSE TO THE WRONG QUESTION. ALSO, WHY DON’T YOU COMPARE YOUR NEW MODEL S CARS TO NEW GASOLINE CARS OF SIMILAR TYPE? LIKE, HOW MANY BRAND-NEW PORSCHE PANAMERAS CATCH FIRE AFTER RUNNING OVER TRAILER HITCHES? THAT WOULD BE USEFUL INFO COMPARED TO ALL YOUR BLATHER.
Reading the headlines, it is therefore easy to assume that the Tesla Model S and perhaps electric cars in general have a greater propensity to catch fire than gasoline cars when nothing could be further from the truth.
IT’S TOO EARLY TO MAKE THIS CALL, ELON. AND DO YOU THINK YOUR CUSTOMERS ARE STUPID, YOU KNOW, TO BE SO EASILY MISLED?
Journalists with a deep knowledge of the car industry, such as the news editor of Automotive News, understand and attempt to rebut this notion, but they have been drowned out by an onslaught of popular and financial media seeking to make a sensation out of something that a simple Google search would reveal to be false. I would also like to express appreciation for the investigative journalists who took the time to research and write an accurate article.
SO, PEOPLE WHO AGREE WITH YOU ARE JOURNALISTS WITH DEEP KNOWLEDGE AND THOSE WHO DON’T ARE THE HATED “MEDIA,” REALLY? AND WHAT’S REVEALED TO BE FALSE? YOUR CARS CAUGHT ON FIRE, RIGHT? THE FEDS ARE LOOKING INTO THIS SITUATION, RIGHT?
The degree to which this is outrageous is described well in the above-mentioned Automotive News article. There are now substantially more than the 19,000 Model S vehicles on the road that were reported in our Q3 shareholder letter for an average of one fire per at least 6,333 cars, compared to the rate for gasoline vehicles of one fire per 1,350 cars. By this metric, you are more than four and a half times more likely to experience a fire in a gasoline car than a Model S! Considering the odds in the absolute, you are more likely to be struck by lightning in your lifetime than experience even a non-injurious fire in a Tesla.
WELL THIS IS YOUR LINE, ELON, BUT WE’RE GOING TO HAVE TO WAIT AND SEE HOW THINGS SHAKE OUT, RIGHT?
Those metrics tell only part of the story. The far more deadly nature of a gasoline car fire deserves to be re-emphasized. Since the Model S went into production mid last year, there have been over 400 deaths and 1,200 serious injuries in the United States alone due to gasoline car fires, compared to zero deaths and zero injuries due to Tesla fires anywhere in the world.
AND YET, YOUR MODEL S DESIGN HAS ISSUES, RIGHT? THERE’S STUFF YOU CAN DO TO MAKE THINGS BETTER, RIGHT?
There is a real, physical reason for this: a gasoline tank has 10 times more combustion energy than our battery pack. Moreover, the Model S battery pack also has internal firewalls between the 16 modules and a firewall between the battery pack and passenger compartment. This effectively limits the fire energy to a few percent that of a gasoline car and is the reason why Dr. Shibayama was able to retrieve his pens and papers from the glove compartment completely untouched after the recent fire (caused by a high speed impact with a tow hitch). It is also why arsonists tend to favor gasoline. Trying to set the side of a building on fire with a battery pack is far less effective.
IS THAT A BAD THING, ELON, THAT GASOLINE HAS SUCH A HIGH ENERGY DENSITY? AND HEY, ELON, IF YOU’RE SO CONCERNED ABOUT SAFETY, WHY NOT VOLUNTARILY LIMIT THE SPEED AND ACCELERATION OF THE MODEL S? HOW ABOUT 0-60 MPH IN 8 SECONDS AND A TOP SPEED OF 80 MPH? ‘CAUSE IT SEEMS LIKE YOUR PRODUCTS AND YOUR CUSTOMERS ARE A BAD MIX, RIGHT? DRIVING AROUND SO FAST AND ALL. WHY ARE THE AMERICAN TAXPAYERS SUBSIDIZING YOUR COMPANY – SO IT CAN BUILD FAST CARS? WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO BUILD REGULAR OLD “AFFORDABLE” SLOW CARS? NEVER?
What About Safety Overall?
Our primary concern is not for the safety of the vehicle, which can easily be replaced, but for the safety of our customers and the families they entrust to our cars. Based on the Model S track record so far, you have a zero percent chance of being hurt in an accident resulting in a battery fire, but what about other types of accidents? Despite multiple high-speed accidents, there have been no deaths or serious injuries in a Model S of any kind ever. Of course, at some point, the law of large numbers dictates that this, too, will change, but the record is long enough already for us to be extremely proud of this achievement. This is why the Model S achieved the lowest probability of injury of any car ever tested by the US government. The probability of injury is the most accurate statistical figure of merit, showing clearly that the Model S is safer in an accident than any other vehicle without exception. It is literally impossible for another car to have a better safety track record, as it would have to possess mystical powers of healing.
CALL US WHEN THE SHUTTLE LANDS, ELON. DOES THE NHSTA APPROVE OF THE WAY YOU CROW ABOUT MODEL S SAFETY? NO IT DOES NOT? WHY IS THAT, ELON?
While we believe the evidence is clear that there is no safer car on the road than the Model S, we are taking three specific actions.
WELL, THAT’S REFRESHING! AFTER ALL THIS JIBBER JABBER, YOU’RE GOING TO CHANGE COURSE? LET”S TAKE A LOOK!
First, we have rolled out an over-the-air update to the air suspension that will result in greater ground clearance at highway speeds. To be clear, this is about reducing the chances of underbody impact damage, not improving safety. The theoretical probability of a fire injury is already vanishingly small and the actual number to date is zero. Another software update expected in January will give the driver direct control of the air suspension ride height transitions.
BUT WON’T THIS MOVE, WHICH “THE MEDIA” HAS BEEN CALLING FOR FOR A WHILE NOW, IMPROVE SAFETY? I THINK IT MIGHT. ANYWAY, IT LOOKS LIKE YOUR ALUMINUM “ARMOR PLATING” SCHEME DIDN’T WORK OUT AT THE RIDE HEIGHT YOU ORIGINALLY DESIGNED FOR. THIS IS CALLED A MISTAKE ELON. YES ELON, SOMETIMES YOU, THE GREAT AND POWERFUL OZ, MAKE MISTAKES.
Second, we have requested that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration conduct a full investigation as soon as possible into the fire incidents. While we think it is highly unlikely, if something is discovered that would result in a material improvement in occupant fire safety, we will immediately apply that change to new cars and offer it as a free retrofit to all existing cars. Given that the incidence of fires in the Model S is far lower than combustion cars and that there have been no resulting injuries, this did not at first seem like a good use of NHTSA’s time compared to the hundreds of gasoline fire deaths per year that warrant their attention. However, there is a larger issue at stake: if a false perception about the safety of electric cars is allowed to linger, it will delay the advent of sustainable transport and increase the risk of global climate change, with potentially disastrous consequences worldwide. That cannot be allowed to happen.
[UPDATE: WELL, IT TURNS OUT THAT THE NHSTA ALREADY DISPUTES WHAT YOU’RE SAYING, ELON.] DID OJ SIMPSON CALL FOR THE LAPD TO INVESTIGATE THE DEATH OF HIS EX-WIFE AND THAT WAITER GUY? MAYBE HE DID. TRUTH BE TOLD, THE NHTSA WAS GOING TO INVESTIGATE YOUR DESIGN ANYWHO. SO YOUR REQUEST IS WORTHLESS. YOU’RE NOW BATTING .500 ELON. AND IF THE MODEL S GETS RECALLED YOU WILL COMPLY AND NOT CHARGE YOUR CUSTOMERS ANY MONEY? WELL THAT’S WHAT A RECALL IS, RIGHT ELON?
Third, to reinforce how strongly we feel about the low risk of fire in our cars, we will be amending our warranty policy to cover damage due to a fire, even if due to driver error. Unless a Model S owner actively tries to destroy the car, they are covered. Our goal here is to eliminate any concern about the cost of such an event and ensure that over time the Model S has the lowest insurance cost of any car at our price point. Either our belief in the safety of our car is correct and this is a minor cost or we are wrong, in which case the right thing is for Tesla to bear the cost rather than the car buyer.
FAIR ENOUGH, ELON. HEY WHAT ABOUT CHANGING THE DESIGN OF YOUR ARMOR (HEH) PLATING? OH, THAT WOULD COST TOO MUCH AND BE TOO EMBARRASSING? WELL, WE’LL SEE HOW THINGS GO. CERTAINLY OFFERING A FIRE WARRANTY IS CHEAPER THAN A REDESIGN, THAT’S FOR SURE.
All of these actions are taken in order to make clear the confidence we have in our product and to eliminate any misperceptions regarding the integrity of our technology and the safety of our cars.
WELL, ELON, IF I WERE YOU, I’D LOOK INTO REDESIGNING THE THIN SHEET OF ALUMINUM YOU’VE GOT BETWIXT THE ROAD AND YOUR THERMAL RUNAWAY DEVICE. I, FOR ONE, DON’T BUY YOUR BS. WE’LL JUST HAVE TO WAIT AND SEE WHAT THE FEDS COME UP WITH.
BUT PARTIAL DENIAL IS BETTER THAN FULL DENIAL, SO YOU’RE MAKING PROGRESS, ELON.
BABY STEPS, ELON. BABY STEPS.