A new Powerwall program kicks off and Jay Leno previews the Cybertruck. How would the robo-taxi work amid coronavirus? It’s Musk Reads: Tesla Edition #164.
Musk quote of the week
“Pace of innovation is all that matters in the long run.”
- Read more about Musk’s goals for innovation.
Are new Tesla Roadster details imminent? The second-generation supercar was announced in November 2017 with dazzling specs like 0 to 60 mph in 1.9 seconds and a range of 620 miles per charge. But it’s unclear when the vehicle will launch, and other aspects, like production plans, are still unclear. This week, Musk stated the team will “probably” do an update later this year on the status of both the Roadster and the Semi truck. Read more.
Tesla Autopilot has racked up a staggering 3 billion miles. It’s a huge amount and takes the company halfway toward the 6 billion figure cited by Musk in 2016 as the approximate amount needed for worldwide approval. Read more.
Tesla owners love to drive: A survey by British breakdown services firm RAC shows owners of the electric vehicles drove an average of 12,459 miles per year during the first three years of owning the car. That’s more than any other brand.
Australia’s new battery program has kicked off with a Tesla Powerwall, Teslarati reported Monday. The battery is paired with a solar energy setup, and it’s the first in what could be 300,000 installations with an interest-free scheme. The 12-month pilot offers an interest-free loan of AU$14,000 ($9,137) for a solar and storage setup.
What’s next for Tesla: Tesla shared its first-quarter 2020 earnings on Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. Pacific time. It comes as Tesla reports its best-ever first quarter of production and the Model Y reaches consumers. It also comes as the world faces the coronavirus pandemic, which the International Monetary Fund has predicted will lead to a three percent global economic contraction. Read more.
In other Musk news…
“Give people their freedom back,” Musk wrote on his Twitter page Wednesday, sharing a link to a Wall Street Journal report questioning the effectiveness of coronavirus lockdowns. Musk later urged governments to “reopen with care & appropriate protection, but don’t put everyone under de facto house arrest.” The posts were shared the day after six counties in the San Francisco Bay Area extended the lockdown to the end of May, pushing back Musk’s planned reopening of the Fremont factory that has been closed since March 23.
Musk previously predicted on March 19 that there would be “probably close to zero new cases” in the United States by the end of April. On April 24, USA Today reported a new daily high of 36,200 cases.
Musk Reads mailroom
Judith Crutcher writes:
Watching the development of self-driving cars - it occurs to me that because of the pandemic, if I stepped into one of these taxi services - what guarantee have I that the interior of the car has been disinfected?
What is a practical way to do that? Seal the car when fare exits and fill the car with an atomized disinfectant? Is it possibly harmful to the next occupant? Hmmmm – perhaps Musk has the answers?
This is a tricky question. Autonomous car development has been shaken by the coronavirus outbreak, and Axios suggested this month that it could discourage automakers from continuing development. Amit Nisenbaum, CEO of autonomous vehicle technology firm Tactile Mobility, told VentureBeat that autonomous car firms are developing solutions, and that robo-vehicles could maintain cleanliness through “strict cleaning schedules and maintenance checks, along with already existing technologies like in-cabin monitoring solutions.” One for Tesla’s internal camera, perhaps paired with a local team to disinfect, but will the public be reassured?
Monte Lamer writes:
How about a solar generator? I have been trying to buy one over 1200 KW and everyone is out or back ordered. Can’t Tesla make one?
You may be in luck, to an extent. Tesla is planning to fit the Cybertruck with solar wings that could add up to 40 miles of range per day. Paired with the 120-volt and 240-volt power outlets, the Cybertruck could make for a nice portable generator. Perhaps Tesla could work on one without the rest of the car attached?
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Video of the week
Jay Leno’s Garage, which premieres on May 20, looks set to include a look at the Tesla Cybertruck and Cyberquad.
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The ultra-fine print
This has been Musk Reads: Tesla Edition #164, the weekly rundown of essential reading about futurist and entrepreneur Elon Musk. I’m Mike Brown, an innovation journalist for Inverse.