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Tag: Tesla

The Tesla shock

Tuesday, 22 November, 2016 1 Comment

Global gasoline consumption is topping out predicts the International Energy Agency. The reason: more efficient cars and the advent of electric vehicles from new players such as Tesla Motors. Javier Blas and Laura Blewitt of Bloomberg put it like this: “Tesla Shock Means Global Gasoline Demand Has All But Peaked“. Snippet:

“Gasoline has been the world’s choice to power automobiles. From the 1950s onward, when Henry Ford’s dream that every middle-class American could own a car became reality, gas stations sprung up next to drive-through restaurants and strip malls and transformed the landscape of America and economies across the globe.

Now, however, car companies — most obviously Tesla, but also incumbents such as General Motors Co., BMW AG and Nissan Motor Co. — are putting their money, and reputations, behind electric vehicles.”

Note: David Stern, energy and environmental economist and professor in the Crawford School of Public Policy at the Australian National University, tweets “This article isn’t an accurate representation of what the WEO says.” Here is the WEO (World Energy Outlook) 2016 presentation.


Don’t pray or cry for Apple

Wednesday, 27 April, 2016 0 Comments

On 12 December 1980, the Apple IPO saw 4.6 million shares being offered at $22 each. Steve Jobs made $217 million that day, and when the closing bell rang on Wall Street, the stock price had jumped 32 percent to $29, giving the company a market value of $1.7 billion. Lotsa bubbly. Champagne times.

Fast forward to this day, 27 April, in 1997, and sobriety had set in. The Apple share price closed at $17 and the doomsayers were so emboldened by this decline that Wired magazine published a famous cover story in June urging distressed Apple fans to Pray. The company needed divine intervention due to “a confusing product line, little inspiration from the top, software developers fleeing.” 101 solutions were offered, starting with, “1. Admit it. You’re out of the hardware game. Outsource your hardware production, or scrap it entirely, to compete more directly with Microsoft without the liability of manufacturing boxes,” and ending with, “101. Don’t worry. You’ll survive. It’s Netscape we should really worry about.”

In between, there was “27. Relocate the company to Bangalore and make it cheap, cheap, cheap,” “52. Return to the heady days of yore by insisting that Steve Jobs regrow his beard,” and “81. Merge with Sega and become a game company.”

All of this is by way of background to the news that Apple has reported a fall in quarterly sales, the first time its revenue has fallen in 13 years. Apple shares were hovering around $104 when the company released its report yesterday. Half an hour later, the stock price had declined eight percent to under $97. For those prone to panic, it’s worth noting that Apple has a cash hoard of $233 billion, which is more than all the foreign currency reverses around the world, and with a market capitalization $575 billion, it’s the world’s most valuable publicly traded company. Hold those tears.

People have become impatient with Apple because it doesn’t produce something amazing every 12 months. The reality, however, is that major technological innovation is the exception, not the rule. Iteration of the existing product line is the pedestrian norm. Apple has some big cards up its sleeve, however. The company is said to be working on an electric car, stealing engineers from Tesla and looking for test locations in California. It is also filing patents that suggest it’s toying with some kind of a virtual reality device. There’s no need to cry or pray for Apple.

Wired Apple Pray


Elon Musk and the Quest for a Fantastic Future

Wednesday, 13 May, 2015 0 Comments

Coming next week: Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future by Ashlee Vance, a technology writer for Bloomberg Businessweek based in Palo Alto. From the Amazon blurb:

“Written with exclusive access to Musk, his family and friends, the book traces the entrepreneur’s journey from a rough upbringing in South Africa to the pinnacle of the global business world. Vance spent more than 30 hours in conversation with Musk and interviewed close to 300 people to tell the tumultuous stories of Musk’s world-changing companies: PayPal, Tesla Motors, SpaceX and SolarCity, and to characterize a man who has renewed American industry and sparked new levels of innovation while making plenty of enemies along the way.”

While we wait for delivery, Tim Urban of Wait But Why is conducing a series of interviews with Musk. The first post is titled: Elon Musk: The World’s Raddest Man.

Talking about delivery, yesterday Musk tweeted: “It is total BS & hurtful to claim that I told a guy to miss his child’s birth just to attend a company meeting. I would never do that.”

This was in response to the publication by the Washington Post of a list of the 22 most memorable quotes from the Vance book. #6. “My mentality is that of a samurai. I would rather commit seppuku than fail.” But the WaPo adds: “Update, May 12: Since publication of this article Musk has said he has never called himself a samurai.”

Musk, the visionary and perfectionist, has been busy on Twitter disputing his supposed quotes and preparing the pre-publication battleground: “Ashlee’s book was not independently fact-checked. Should be taken w a grain of salt.”

Salt or not, it will be taken next week here.

Elon Musk


Tesla: All Our Patent Are Belong To You

Friday, 13 June, 2014 0 Comments

Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, has announced that the company will let anyone use its patented technology: “Yesterday, there was a wall of Tesla patents in the lobby of our Palo Alto headquarters. That is no longer the case. They have been removed, in the spirit of the open source movement, for the advancement of electric vehicle technology.”

The devil is in the details, however: “Tesla will not initiate patent lawsuits against anyone who, in good faith, wants to use our technology.” But what does “in good faith” mean here exactly?