05 agosto 2017

Elon Musk News - Issue 95

Elon Musk News - Issue 95
Love keeping up to date with everything Elon's doing? Then check out our twice weekly newsletter by clicking here.
Note From The Curator
The top three stories in this issue of Elon Musk News are:
  1. Driving Tesla's Model 3 Changes Everything
  2. Tesla (TSLA) announces Q2 2017 earnings: revenue of ~$2.8 billion and loss of $2.04 per share
  3. SpaceX's first crewed NASA launches remain on schedule for 2018
It always amazes me what can happen in a week! Since last Friday's issue the Model 3 was officially revealed, and Tesla held its Q2 an earnings call. As a result, this issue is full of Tesla news! We also have SpaceX, Hyperloop, and Neuralink stories for you this week.

Thanks so much for being part of this newsletter, and enjoy issue 95!

Featured Quote
"[This is] maybe the best I've ever felt about Tesla. Last week stressed the hell out of me but I really think this is probably the best I've ever felt about the company."
— Elon Musk

Sponsored Link
Listen to 'Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future' For Free
Get a free audiobook version of Ashlee Vance's acclaimed biography on Elon Musk when you sign up for Audible.
Start Listening
At SpaceX's Hawthorne manufacturing facilities, four separate Crew Dragons are in different states of assembly. While one of those vehicles is intended solely for qualification testing, the three remaining Dragons will respectively launch into low Earth orbit throughout the course of 2018, assuming schedules remain firm. Structural testing and verification of the qualification Dragon was completed as of July 24th, and the first flightworthy Dragon has undergone testing of its pressure vessel to ensure that there are no leaks.

Possibly the most exciting of all, SpaceX has conducted the first pressurized tests of its in-house space suits with NASA crew members. While non-insiders have yet to catch a glimpse of the company's suits, those lucky enough to have stolen a glance have indicated that they look awesome. As the company progresses to actual vacuum testing of the suits, fans can likely look forward to a reveal.
Falcon Heavy is fast approaching launch readiness. Over at SpaceX's Cape Canaveral facilities, workers are busily modifying LC-39A and are deep into the reconstruction and reactivation of LC-40, which was severely damaged just over 11 months ago. SpaceX is dismantling the old pad structures used for the Shuttle, and Elon Musk has recently reported that the Rolling Service Structure (RSS) is expected to be entirely removed before the first launch of Falcon Heavy.

With this progress, we find ourselves in the pleasantly foreign situation of SpaceX beating one of Musk's aggressive schedules. In early June, he tweeted about Falcon Heavy cores arriving at the Cape within two or three months. Surprisingly, it has been confirmed that three of three Falcon Heavy cores are already at LC-39A and have been for at least a week or two. At the moment, pad readiness is the main constraint for its inaugural launch.
Zach says: This is the best review I've seen of the Model 3 so far. I highly recommend giving it a read.

The Model 3 comes in two battery types: standard and long range. In a break from the past, Tesla wouldn't disclose the size of its two battery packs. Instead, going forward, the vehicles will be identified by the miles they can drive on a charge, and the cars will lose their exterior badges that indicate battery size and premium performance options. This way, Tesla will get more credit for the efficiency gains it squeezes out of its motors and design, instead of being judged by kilowatt hours alone. Here's how the two versions break down:

Standard Battery:
  • Price: $35,000 (not including government incentives)
  • Range: 220 miles (EPA estimated)
  • Supercharging rate: 130 miles in 30 minutes
  • Zero to 60 mph time: 5.6 seconds

Long Range Battery:
  • Price: $44,000 (not including government incentives)
  • Range: 310 miles
  • Supercharging rate: 170 miles in 30 minutes (Same as Tesla's Model S)
  • Zero to 60 mph time: 5.1 seconds
Tesla released its financial results and shareholders letter for the second quarter 2017. Wall Street was expecting revenue of about $2.5 billion for the quarter and a loss of about $1.94 per share. The company released the official results today delivered higher on revenue of ~$2.8 billion and missed on earnings with a loss of $2.04 per share (GAAP). Despite the miss on a GAAP basis during the last quarter results, Tesla delivered higher on non-GAAP (loss of $1.33 per share) and gave several insights into the second half the year that the market is liking.

Tesla said that it expects to start making positive gross margins on Model 3 starting in Q4 2017 and it guides 25% gross margin in 2018. The company says that they are also seeing more Model S orders since the Model 3 event last week and a steady net gain of Model 3 reservations. They spent almost $1 billion last quarter to support expansions for Model 3 and they are now down to a $3 billion cash position.
Tesla has confirmed that accessing and starting the Model 3 can be done through the use of a keycard but also through one's smartphone. Tesla has ditched the ubiquitous Tesla key fob in the Model 3 for a pair of near-field communication (NFC) keycards. The cards are embedded with a tiny chip that acts as a digital signature for the vehicle. Since NFC technology generally has a limited transmission range of roughly 4-inches, Model 3 owners will be required to tap the B-pillar to unlock the door, followed by a tap between the front seats to start the car.

Tesla has also incorporated a digital key that's transmitted through a driver's smartphone using Bluetooth LE, a low energy standard for Bluetooth that's supported by most smartphones. Unlike Tesla's current keyless entry system that requires drivers to access a sequence of buttons on its mobile app, Model 3 will use a unique bluetooth signal from your phone to unlock the car as you approach it, and start it when you get inside.
During a press briefing on Friday, Franz von Holzhausen, Tesla's Chief Designer, "The interior is the most innovative part of the design. We took away everything that is not necessary. What we delivered on the interior is unlike any other car out there. It will age gracefully."

Straight lines never really go out of style, which is where the model 3's unique dashboard comes into play. Instrument clusters, buttons, and air conditioning vents are vulnerable to design changes. By removing the instrument cluster, placing all the controls on the steering wheel and a center touchscreen, and replacing vents with a single one running the entire length of the dash, Tesla is removing those vulnerabilities. The trick is removing those vulnerabilities without making it look cheap. Doug Field, Tesla's Vice President of Engineering, called it "simple and economical, but elegant."
Tesla has now posted a long-needed "Model 3 Reservations FAQ" on their support site with a few of the answers which people hoped they would get tonight during the delivery event. The most notable answer, of course, is: we can't tell you exactly when you'll get your car, but we'll give you a window of a few months.

Other important ones include: early cars will start at $49,000 with lower option configurations coming within the next few months, supercharging hardware is standard but supercharging is not free, financing (loans) will be available but not leases, owners can only use their owner priority on one Model 3 for each Tesla they currently own, and international orders will not be filled until at least late 2018, or 2019 for right-hand-drive markets.
Elon Musk revealed when consumers can expect to get their hands on a high performance edition of the Model 3. "Is a Performance version coming at some point for Model 3? It has not been mentioned since you tweeted about it last year. Please!" Asked Ryan McCaffrey over Twitter. "Probably middle of next year," Musk responded. "Focus now is on getting out of Model 3 production hell. More versions = deeper in hell."
In its shareholders letter, the company gave some insights into the current access to the Model 3 online configurator: "Since the handover event last week, we are averaging over 1,800 net Model 3 reservations per day. We opened the Model 3 configurator to the thousands of our employees with reservations so they could begin ordering their vehicles. Soon, non-employee customers will begin receiving invitations to order their cars in small groups based on when they placed their reservations, with existing Tesla owners receiving first priority. Deliveries to non-employees will begin in Q4."
Model 3 is using the company's high energy density 2170 cells in its battery pack. This confirmation puts to rest previous speculation that Tesla was producing a lithium ion cell with a much larger form factor specifically for Model 3. Tesla had begun mass production of its 2170 form factor cells earlier in the year for use in its line of commercial and home energy storage solutions – Powerpack and Powerwall.

Tesla's proprietary 2170 cells replaces the more common 18650 form factor cells currently used in the Model S and Model X. The decision to maintain two types of battery cells might have something to do with being able to maintain production and supply chain efficiency. With commodity 18650 form factor cells readily available and production lines for Model S and X well established at the Fremont factory, creating new production lines as they did with Model 3, and reworking the factory to accommodate a different Model S and Model X battery specification is likely something that might take place down the road.
Musk explained that expanding the network, which he claims will triple by the end of 2018, is more than just adding more superchargers, it's also figuring out where the superchargers should go.

"We'll also be experimenting with our first, I dunno what you'd call it, mega Supercharger location, like really big supercharger location with a bunch of amenities so we're gonna unveil the first of those relatively soon." Musk said. "I think we'll get a sense for how cool it can be to have a great place if you've been driving for three four hours to stop, y'know have great restrooms, great food, amenities, hang out for half an hour then be on your way."
Tesla CEO Elon Musk surprised people earlier this year when he said that Model Y, Tesla's upcoming small SUV, will be built on a new platform for production in "late 2019 to 2020". That was a change from their previous plan to build the vehicle on the Model 3 platform in order to bring it to market faster. Now Musk said that he walked back on his latest announcement and Tesla will go back to its original plan in order to bring the car to market sooner.

He added that it would make sense to try to bring the vehicle to market faster since SUV is the fastest growing vehicle segment and Tesla should aim to release a more affordable all-electric vehicle in it. Unfortunately, Musk didn't update the timeline, but it could come quite soon since the timeline for the new architecture was "late 2019 to 2020" and now it should be sooner.
Tesla Energy
Tesla has completed its first solar roof installations, the company reported Wednesday as part of a second-quarter earnings report. Just like the first Model 3 customers, who took their keys last week, the first solar roof customers are Tesla employees. By selling to them first, Tesla says it hopes to work out any kinks in the sales and installation process before taking it to a wider public audience.

"I have them on my house, JB has them on his house," Musk said, referring to Tesla's Chief Technology Officer J.B. Straubel. "This is version one. I think this roof is going to look really knock-out as we just keep iterating." Production of the tiles began at Tesla's Fremont solar plant in California, but will shift later this year to its new factory in Buffalo, New York, with additional investments from Tesla's partner, Panasonic.
Zach says: This articles gives an excellent overview of where Neuralink is at in their development, and where they are going.

Neuralink, Musk's brain-computer interface company, is in the process of expanding rapidly and has several new technical job openings on their website. There is heavy focus on applied engineering, particularly in the context of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), also known as micromachines. Not only is this a rapidly growing field of study and application as of late, but MEMS as a priority implies that in the near term, Neuralink is structuring itself as an advanced nanotechnology incubator, with a focus on biocompatible (safe for humans) applications.
Zach says: For a long time it seemed as if Hyperloop was only Musk's brain child. Now with the Boring Company, it is becoming clearer that he intends to build one himself.

A person close to Musk said his plan is to build tunnels and the hyperloop system. Musk also holds a trademark for "Hyperloop" through SpaceX, which could be used to prevent other companies from using the term, according to U.S. public records. "While we're encouraged that others are making some progress, we would like to accelerate the development of this technology as fast as possible,'' Musk's Boring Co. said in a statement. "We encourage and support all companies that wish to build Hyperloops and we don't intend to stop them from using the Hyperloop name as long as they are truthful.''
Hyperloop One achieved record-breaking speeds in its first test using an actual pod. The 28.5-foot-long XP-1 pod magnetically levitated and accelerated down the 1,500-foot track to reach 192 miles per hour.
Afterward, co-founder Shervin Pishevar called the test "the dawn of a new era in transportation."

This latest test is a huge step forward. It marks a major advancement toward the company's goal of getting three Hyperloop systems operating by 2021. The company's announcement noted that every component of the system "performed successfully, including the efficient linear electric motor, power electronics and controls, magnetic levitation and guidance, pod suspension and vacuum pumping."
Answering a Twitter user's question about Musk's "amazing life," Musk replied "The reality is great highs, terrible lows and unrelenting stress. Don't think people want to hear about the last two." Musk even gave a recipe for dealing with all that stress: "I'm sure there are better answers than what I do, which is just take the pain and make sure you really care about what you're doing." Finally, Musk summed up by implying that taking on so many stress-inducing responsibilities is his own fault. "If you buy a ticket to hello, it isn't fair to blame hell…"
Get Apparel
New Tees, New Store
Check out our one of a kind tees & posters. All at a cheaper price, in a new shop, with higher quality garments!
Shop Now

Elon Musk News Anson Ave Coquitlam, British Columbia V3B 2H6 Canada

Nessun commento: