Musk Reads: Tesla electric aircraft concept

Tesla Semi starts deliveries and Musk supports a basic income. Tinting glass for the roof?

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Tesla Semi starts deliveries and Musk supports a basic income. Tinting glass for the roof? It’s Musk Reads: Tesla Edition #182.

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

Musk quote of the week

“Major Supercharger increases are underway for the greater LA area”


How about a Tesla Model V? A concept for a vertical takeoff and landing craft, created by student Tom Abbot-Davies, got the attention of Musk last week. The concept has three motors powered by lithium-ion batteries, a 1,250-kilowatt rear motor paired with dual 650-kilowatt brushless motors geared with rotor blades. It’s designed to carry one person, but can be modified for two. Musk, who has said before he has an idea for an electric jet, wrote that it “looks pretty cool.” Read more.

The Tesla Semi is already helping the firm out. The all-electric truck, first announced in November 2017, is now expected to be entering volume production. Fans have spotted the red truck delivering Tesla vehicles for the company in the San Francisco Bay Area. Although it’s not a consumer-facing vehicle, its zero-emissions approach to car delivery could have a giant effect on consumers. Read more.

What’s next for Tesla: Tesla is expected to host its planned Battery Day soon. Comments from Musk this week suggested the event could take place on September 15 alongside the shareholder meeting. Visitors are expected to receive a tour of the cell production system. The event is expected to be one of the most important in the firm’s history. Read more.

In other Musk news…

Elon Musk has voiced his support for a series of universal basic income trials. Michael Tubbs, the 29-year-old mayor of Stockton, California, announced the Mayors for a Guaranteed Income coalition this week in response to the coronavirus pandemic and the killing of George Floyd. Los Angeles and Atlanta are two of the cities taking part. Read more.

The Volvo Car Group will work exclusively with Waymo to deliver level four autonomous driving, the two firms announced last week. The deal means that electric car brand Polestar, partly owned by Volvo, will use Waymo technology to drive its vehicles point-to-point autonomously. Waymo, which started life as Google’s self-driving car project, has been running a trial taxi service in Phoenix Arizona. Full autonomous driving is one of Tesla’s key goals with the Autopilot system.

Musk celebrated his birthday on Sunday, June 28. The CEO was born 69 days after 4/20.

Musk Reads mailroom

Doyle Cox writes:

Suggestion to include on your vehicles. Make the sunshade out of prescription self-darkening glass so that drivers with impaired vision would not be required to wear glasses.

Another option could be electrochromic glass to let occupants turn the glass opaque when the sun is too bright. With a flick of the switch, the glass roof could block out the light.

Bryan Seagondollar writes:

I like the truck. I put down a deposit. I have doubts that as configured it will not be useful on my farm.

You’re not the only one with concerns. Ahead of the car’s unveiling, truck owners spoke to Inverse and explained how they needed specialized features to meet their needs. California-based farmer Kyle Kootstra said the truck “needs range while under a load” and needs to offer high repairability. While Tesla is advertising the high-end Cybertruck has offering range over 500 miles, it remains to be seen how much it will offer when under heavy load.

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Photo of the week

Model 3 at sunset.

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The ultra-fine print

This has been Musk Reads: Tesla Edition #182, the weekly rundown of essential reading about futurist and entrepreneur Elon Musk. I’m Mike Brown, an innovation journalist for Inverse.

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

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