Tesla gets refreshed ... SpaceX loves Texas ... Elon Musk is the wealthiest person in the world. It’s the free edition of Musk Reads #269 — subscribe now to receive two more emails later this week.
Last week, Musk Reads+ Musk Reads+ members heard from Virgin Orbit CEO Dan Hart, who revealed his vision for a future form of rocket technology. This week, Musk Reads+ members will receive an exclusive transcript and analysis of Tesla’s third-quarter 2021 earnings call. Elon Musk’s earnings call comments are legendary — out of around 100 interesting tidbits, some come true and others are diversions.
Get the full story with our annotated transcript you won’t get anywhere else. Tesla is expected to answer questions like:
* When will the first Tesla cars with new 4680 batteries get delivered?
* How will Tesla diversify its lineup to reach 20 million cars per year?
* Will the $25,000 car still launch in 2023?
This week, Musk Reads+ members will also receive an exclusive retrospective that covers five years since Musk announced the Hardware 2 full self-driving suite.
A version of this article appeared in the “Musk Reads” newsletter. Sign up for free here.
Musk quote of the week — “Starship is a hard problem.” — Elon Musk tweeted on October 11, responding to a photo of SpaceX’s Raptor Vacuum engine next to tiny, tiny humans. In addition to referencing the presumably difficult building of Starship, Musk’s tweet could also be a nod to the Federal Aviation Administration, which will begin public hearings on SpaceX’s environmental impact today.
Tesla: The people’s car
The design updates include giant touchscreens, a gaming computer, and the U-shaped “yoke” steering wheel that first debuted on redesigned Model S sedans and Model X SUVs. But although delivery has technically started, Tesla’s website indicates that the absolute earliest a new owner might receive their Model X is July 2022. Read more on Inverse.
While Tesla deals with its characteristic delays, CEO Elon Musk paid competitor Volkswagen a virtual visit, calling into a Volkswagen executive conference on October 16, reported Reuters.
At the meeting, Musk attributed Tesla’s success to his engineering background and fast-paced “management style,” a style Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess hopes to begin implementing in his own company.
SpaceX: Big love from Texas
A new, Musk-ified Texas dawn is here, and some residents are thrilled about it.
On October 16, nearly 100 Brownsville residents, many of them schoolchildren, made it to SpaceX’s Starbase to say thank you to Elon Musk. Organizer Zeke Silva was inspired to gather everyone together after SpaceX provided his coffee shop with consistent clientele during the onset of the pandemic in 2020.
“They’re really doing a lot of things,” Silva said about SpaceX. “They’re giving our youth an opportunity to dream bigger now and feel comfortable about their future here in Rio Grande Valley.”
But not everyone is feeling the love. Disappointed Starlink customers are canceling their pre-orders after sensing no end to the wait for service. The delay is, in part, due to the global chip shortage. Unfortunately, this doesn’t make Starlink’s lack of communication any easier for rural customers longing for reliable internet.
We know that many of our Musk Reads readers have been frustrated with Starlink for the same reasons. So, what do you think? Will you follow suit in canceling your pre-orders, or is patience a virtue? Let us know in the comments below.
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T-minus the internet
A ranked list of everything Musk-related and online, handpicked weekly with bionic precision.
10. Elon Musk is now nearly twice as rich as Bill Gates. Congrats! Can one of you pay my student loans?
9. I know it’s not really related to billionaires out-performing each other, but it feels related — this robot dog has a gun. Does it like rifle pats or hardwiring rubs?
8. Let’s hope the robot dogs perform better than Waymo’s self-driving vehicles, which keep congesting a dead-end San Francisco street. “I thought there was a spacecraft outside my bedroom window,” said one of the street’s residents.
7. Although Elon Musk “can’t wait to be in Genshin Impact,” the roleplaying game’s fans certainly can. After Genshin Impact attempted to host a contest that ended in “CEO Dawei [inviting] Elon Musk to visit [video game developer miHoYo] HQ,” fans tweeted at the account until any mention of the contest was deleted. Sorry, Elon. Maybe try The Sims.
6. Star Trek’s George Takei took to Page Six to deliver some backhanded compliments to his former (and notoriously difficult) castmate William Shatner after Shatner’s Blue Origin experience. “He’s a guinea pig, 90 years old and it’s important to find out what happens,” Takei said. “90 years old is going to show a great deal more on the wear and tear on the human body, so he’ll be a good specimen to study.” A trip to space is momentary, but gossip is forever.
5. Speaking of gossip, it seems that Tesla flexed the Model S Plaid’s new active aero feature at Nurburgring’s race track. One commenter said that watching it drive gave them the same feeling as seeing a UFO. See for yourself.
4. Some NASA scientists think that Mars might have once looked like Earth. There were presumably fewer Baconators.
3. Speaking of Baconators … just kidding. In an opinion piece published by Fox News, Senator Bernie Sanders criticized the American government’s interest in preserving a lower tax rate for billionaires than essential workers like nurses and teachers. That means Musk, too.
2. Auto engineer and Tesla expert Sandy Munro reacted to Tesla’s Giga Berlin factory. “It’s gonna be the Chinese and Tesla that mop the floors with the other guys.”
1. And a piece of Musk history: While we’re here, let’s take a look at Elon Musk’s finances. Observer has been tracking Musk’s progress in receiving a $56 billion bonus tied to a series of goals, like growing Tesla’s market cap “at a pace of at least $50 billion every 10 months.” His first set of bonus options were handed over on May 30, 2020, when “Tesla’s six-month trailing average market cap surpassed $100 billion.” That’s billion, with a “B.”
The ultra-fine print
This has been Musk Reads #269, the weekly rundown of essential reading about futurist and entrepreneur Elon Musk. I’m Ashley Bardhan, assistant to Musk Reads.
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