Musk Reads: New Tesla Pickup Truck Details Emerge

Plus, SpaceX launches Crew Dragon and The Boring Company goes to Las Vegas.

Musk gives more Tesla Pickup Truck details; SpaceX docks the Crew Dragon; and The Boring Company gets chosen for a Las Vegas transit system. It’s Musk Reads #68.

A version of this article appeared in the “Musk Reads” newsletter. Sign up for free here.

Musk Quote of the Week

“I’m most excited by the Tesla Truck. Maybe it will be too futuristic for most people, but I love it.”

Read more about Musk’s passion project here.

Tesla alloy wheels
Tesla's logo on a wheel.

Tesla

The company made a slew of major announcements that outline its key plans for the coming year. Tesla released its $35,000 Model 3 while also taking its sales online only, a decision dubbed as “kind of scary” by fans. The third-generation Supercharger went online for the first time on Wednesday at 8 p.m. Pacific time, starting a new era for fast charging. The Model Y compact SUV got a reveal date of March 14, with the pickup truck set for launch later this year. All these moving parts mean a lot of manufacturing changes, and Musk has warned that the $35,000 car will take a while to reach the top of the manufacturing S-curve. Read more.

On the solar side, consumers are struggling to get Tesla Powerwall installed in their homes. Nick Liberati, communication manager for EnergySage, a solar energy system price comparison site, tells Inverse that 56 percent of installers have customers asking for the product, but just 12 percent carry and quote the Powerwall. The product forms a key aspect of Tesla’s energy business, which also covers the business-focused Powerpack and the Tesla Solar Roof. Read more.

What’s next for Tesla: Tesla is set to launch the Model Y at an event on March 14.

More Tesla reads from this week:

  • Shunned by Silicon Valley, Anthony Levandowski Eyes the Trucking Industry. Read more.
The SpaceX Crew Dragon.
The SpaceX Crew Dragon.

SpaceX

The company successfully docked the Crew Dragon with the International Space Station over the weekend, kickstarting a new era in commercial space travel. The crew-carrying pod went up on a Falcon 9 rocket from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, carrying around 400 pounds of equipment. NASA plans to use the pod to send crew to the space station, with the first manned launch expected in the summer. The successful launch of humans into space would bode well for more ambitious plans, like starting a new colony on Mars. Read more.

What’s Next for SpaceX: The firm is expected to fly the Falcon Heavy again no earlier than March 7. More concrete details are still to come, but it’s expected to be the first mission for the rocket after it first sent Musk’s red Tesla Roadster into space as part of a test flight.

the boring company
Godot, the first Boring Company boring machine.

The Boring Company

The Boring Company may be coming to Las Vegas. The city’s convention center, home to the CES annual tech show, wants to build a “loop” to help attendees avoid the two miles of walking from one side to the other. It could be a major win for the firm, which has yet to start construction of its first project beyond the Hawthorne, California, test tunnel. Read more.

What’s next for The Boring Company: The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority board is set to meet on March 12 to decide whether to proceed with the recommendation to use The Boring Company.

Musk in Pop Culture

“Thud” arrived with a thud this week. The media company, first teased by Musk in March 2018 as an “intergalactic media empire,” aims to produce more in-depth satirical “worlds” like a 23andMe DNA-testing spoof. Musk sold Thud in January to two former Onion editors, Ben Berkley and Cole Bolton, after growing concerned that the site’s output could work against Tesla and SpaceX. Although a big fan of memes, Musk will have no creative control over the internet culture outlet he helped create.

Photo of the Week

The Crew Dragon takes flight:

The Ultra-Fine Print

This has been Musk Reads #68, the weekly rundown of essential reading about futurist and entrepreneur Elon Musk. I’m Mike Brown, an innovation journalist for Inverse.

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A version of this article appeared in the “Musk Reads” newsletter. Sign up for free here.