In Part #1 of this series, I wrote about how Master Plan 3 was created for the investor.
The term “investor” was clarified by Elon Musk to mean “the broadest definition of investor, as in the people & life of Earth.” We read about how our current energy economy is dirty and wasteful. This is true because over 80% of global energy still comes from fossil fuels. Shockingly only ⅓ of that energy delivers useful work or heat. A sustainable energy economy is within reach and we can and should accelerate it. A beautiful, clean, and fully sustainable energy economy can be achieved quickly and in this article, you will read about how in the words of Elon Musk. All quotes are from Investor Day on March 1 at Gigafactory Texas in Austin.
Make your next car electric
On March 1, 2023, Elon Musk stood onstage next to Drew Baglino [Director Tesla powertrain], with the production floor of Gigafactory Texas in the background. The small audience of approximately 250 people, some of whom traveled from abroad to come to Austin, gave their full attention as Elon Musk explained,
“We are going to walk through the calculations for how to create a sustainable energy civilization.
Sometimes I want to elaborate because there’s a very wide range of technical expertise out there from people who are like, you know, level nine wizards in the subject to people who do not do engineering at all.
So if you have a gasoline car, you’re converting less than a third, often maybe only 25% of the energy in the gasoline is converted into motion and the rest is turned into wasted heat that doesn’t do any good at all.
There’s a lot of energy required even to get through all of the ground to refine the oil and to transport the gasoline to the gas station. So when you look at all that, a typical gasoline car is actually going to be using less than 20%, fully considered, of the energy from the oil that actually goes into motion.
So when we see people doing calculations for what does it take to create a sustainable energy earth, they assume that the same energy amount is required for an electrified civilization versus a combustion civilization.
This is not true, because most of the energy of combustion is waste heat.”
Drew Baglino added that a sustainable energy economy is easier to accomplish than a fossil fuel economy, “it’s actually half the problem statement of the fossil fuel economy.” Elon Musk, often making eye contact with his audience via live stream as well as engaging with the people attending in person, carefully explained,
“We’re being conservative here so it could be better than half. We’re trying to have assumptions that are reasonable and not overly optimistic, in fact, slightly pessimistic.
It’s really better than half but it’s easy to make the argument that we need half as much energy with an electric economy versus a combustion economy.”
How Master Plan 3 works
Elon Musk is known for his ability to simplify complicated things. Famous for his first principles approach, he explained the need for battery storage,
“So I think that what is needed at a very large scale that’s not currently present is a vast amount of battery energy storage. Our rough calculations are that this is about 240 Terawatt hours or 240,000 Gigawatt hours.
This is a lot of batteries but it is actually a very achievable amount. We will go into details on that. So that’s a combination of electric vehicles and stationary storage. If you’ve got solar or wind, you’ve got to store the energy when the wind is not blowing and the sun is not shining, so we are assuming an 8:1 ratio of stored energy to power. So 30 Terawatt hours of power. Our actual capital expenditure calculation for manufacturing investment is more like 6 trillion but we made it higher to make it 10 trillion.
If you look at the total world economy it’s just under 100 trillion, so if this was spread out say over 10 years it would be 1% of the global economy. Over 20 years, it would be half a percent of the global economy. So this is not a big number relative to the global economy.
As Drew (Baglino) mentioned, you need about ½ as much energy with an electric economy versus a combustion economy. And in terms of wind and solar, how much land would be used? It’s less than .2% of the land area of earth. I think generally people don’t realize how much energy is reaching us from the sun. It’s roughly a Gigawatt per square kilometer. And the sun doesn’t shine all the time but if you multiply that by 4 to get the continuous power, 4 or 5, that gives you the land area of solar. And you can put wind and solar often in the same place so in a lot of places that currently have wind, you could put solar there and you double your energy.
You could put solar [or wind as Drew Baglino mentioned] offshore. Earth is 70% water. The point is that with a remarkably small amount of earth’s land area, we can go fully sustainable.”
Drew Baglino explained that our earth has abundant resources to accomplish a sustainable energy economy. Elon Musk, sharing a hopeful and optimistic message, said, “To emphasize that again, the electrified economy will require less mining than the current economy does. Less. not more.”
In the next article in this Multi-Part series, we will start to look at the 5 areas that will need work in order to eliminate fossil fuels. Tesla shared a preview in a slide that also showed how much each area will reduce fossil fuel use. With 35%, the largest area is to “renewably power the existing grid.” Switching to heat pumps and to electric vehicles are the 2nd and 3rd largest areas.
A sustainable energy economy on Mars
Elon Musk is in his element when discussing rockets! He enthusiastically shares,
“My personal opinion is that as we improve the energy density of the batteries, you’ll see all transportation go fully electric, with the exception of rockets. That’s awkward, but you can make the fuel with CO₂ and water!
You can make methane with CO₂ and water. In fact, on Mars, if we hopefully get there at some point, the atmosphere is CO₂ and there’s water ice throughout Mars so you can take the CO₂ and H2O and turn that into CH₄ which is Methane and Oxygen.
So ultimately even rockets can be electrified.”
Empowering the world to choose sustainable energy options is within reach. With the existing technology, an affordable, reliable electric vehicle movement can take place with battery storage systems that can save and harness energy from sources like solar and wind. It’s an achievable goal – one that allows us to switch from a highly destructive fossil fuel industry to a much cleaner, kinder energy model. The investment will be well worth it, as this shift could create a healthier society with far less harmful pollutants in the air. In short, it’s now or never; let’s make this switch. Investing in clean energy not only aligns with our personal economic goals but builds towards a more balanced and stable relationship between humans and nature. I believe a beautiful, clean, and fully sustainable energy economy can be achieved quickly!
Gail Alfar, Author, Military Veteran. Exclusive to What’s Up Tesla – March 18, 2023. All Rights Reserved. My goal as an author is to support Tesla (the most American vehicle manufacturer) and Elon Musk in both making life better on earth for humans and becoming a space-fairing civilization.
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Morgan Stanley held this year’s TMT Conference in beautiful (and rainy!) San Francisco and Elon Musk spoke on March 7 about Twitter, X.com, Tesla and SpaceX. The talk was informative, hopeful, well thought out and funny! Of course you may listen to it online and you may also prefer to read Elon’s interviews so that is why I have transcribed (and categorized) the interview here on “What’s Up Tesla.”
I do this with many of Elon Musk’s talks for you. It is part of the goal of this publication to preserve these important talks in writing. A breakdown for your reference:
Mission , News happening in real-time
Public relations department?
Advertising’s incredible potential
Community Notes and the rigorous pursuit of truth
Proactively reducing child exploitation
Advertisers enjoy brand safety
A healthy national dialogue
Freedom of speech: hearing what you don’t want to hear
Twitter won’t always be a fractal rube goldberg machine
Starlink, X.com, Tesla and SpaceX’s Starlink and Starship:
Starlink: a case study in effective advertising
X.com as your everything app
Tesla Master Plan 3 and the next-gen vehicle
Starship orbital launch
The Mission of Twitter
Michael Grimes: (paraphrased) Where are you on the core principles of Twitter: Authentic, informative, entertaining, accurate, brand safe and democratic?
Elon Musk: “I think some of these are a little at odds, but ‘brand safe’ I think really means ‘where advertising is displayed’ or the advertiser gets to choose what material is near that advertising. If it’s some sort of… like a train accident or a war scene, then probably a family-friendly brand is not going to want to advertise right next to that. Or it can’t be like, ‘here’s a bleak war scene, would you like to buy a hamburger?’ it would be like, awkward, you know?
So that’s understandable you want to put advertising next to content where it makes sense. But the content in general needs to be authentic and informative even if it is controversial or jarring. I think people need to be able to choose, to some degree, what content they want to see. Of course, on Twitter, you can. But really we want it to be the fundamental place you go to, to learn what’s going on and get the real story.
The truth, the whole truth and it’s going to be more than, hahaha, I’d like to say nothing but the truth but that’s hard, (laughter) there’s going to be a lot of BS there too. There are going to be lies, for sure, but you want to have the truth and you want to bubble up the truth and be able to sort of sort it out… you really want truth with the least amount of error.”
News happens in real-time on Twitter
Elon Musk explains Twitter’s unique place as a real-time news source,
“Well, I’m sure many of you use Twitter. Everything on Twitter is happening in real-time.
So if you contrast that to what’s happening in a newspaper, they have to learn the information, propose an article to their editor, get it approved, write the article, get it edited, figure out which day it’s going to get published on, and so the thing that happened is being reported on 3-4 days, sometimes a week late. And if it happens on a weekend then it’s at least 3 days.
You know ChatGPT was huge news for several days on Twitter before there were any news articles about it in major publications. So when thinking about investing in things, you want to have information that is as timely and accurate as possible, there’s no better source than Twitter for that.” Elon Musk
Michael Grimes lamented on the fact that people need to be “default skeptical” of any news story about Twitter and assume it’s default wrong because “not only some journalists have an agenda but the source has an agenda and it’s so easy to go through the chain of inaccuracy or outright falsehood.” He asked Elon Musk if a public relations department was a consideration,
No, PR departments… no the right name for PR is propaganda. Maybe we should have a VP of propaganda, I think that’s more honest, and also a VP of witchcraft. (laughter) Those would be two great ones.
“If you pick up any given newspaper and read the whole thing and say, ‘how many of those stories are positive about anything at all?’ Almost none. So if something is newsworthy it is going to have a negative slant, whether it is positive or not. There’s like something in journalism that, they’ve been trained to basically never write a positive story about anything. Once and a while you see a puff piece but it’s rare. So anything that’s newsworthy will get written about, anything that’s written about will go through a negativity lense and so you, therefore, have a bizarrely negative view of the world if you draw your information from newspapers. This is simply a fact.” Elon Musk
Why advertising on Twitter has incredible potential
“So on Twitter, you can get a much more balanced positive-negative situation, it doesn’t have that bias quite as much. There’s probably still a little bit of negativity bias but much less so. I’m not sure what the legacy media does, I mean at this point, really, Twitter is, by the way, the #1 news app in the world. So in terms of what people download for news, it’s #1.
There are 500M active users. 250M daily users of which I’d say there are probably 180M significant daily users, where it’s a meaningful amount of time. The average amount of time people spend on Twitter of that 250M is about 1/2 an hour or so. The thing I think that is most interesting is about 120M to 130M hours of human attention per day on Twitter, every single day on average.
I think it comes to an interesting point which is, it’s startling how poorly monetized that is because you have to say, how valuable is that attention? 130M hours of human attention per day, of people that read. So these are generally the smartest people in the world, the most influential people in the world, and you have 130M hours of their time per day, that’s a lot!
Currently, Twitter makes about 5 or 6 cents per hour of that time. I think this is poorly monetized (laughter). Like, if I’m spending 2 hours a day on Twitter, whatever ads are coming through are getting my, or yours or everyone in the room’s attention, your time is incredibly valuable. The thing is, we need to actually serve ads that are relevant and useful and I think as we do that we can probably at least get it like 15 cents an hour or 20 cents an hour, a quarter?
I think the actual potential here for Twitter revenue is gigantic. And it’s going to be a win-win situation which is if you are served advertising that you find timely and relevant with products and services that are useful to you, that’s good for you and good for the advertiser. Advertising in the limit of relevance is content.” Elon Musk
Community Notes and the rigorous pursuit of truth
Michael Grimes asked how Community Notes can be used without being hijacked by either side of an issue or political spectrum. Elon Musk explained,
“There’s a White Paper on Community Notes that I recommend reading, in fact, I’ll tweet it out so that people can have easy access to it because it’s really quite a clever idea. Think of it like page rank for pages as applied to people, which is that as people build credibility in how they review notes, they build up enough credibility to actually write notes. Those notes are then rated by others, and depending upon the credibility of the people rating your notes, your credibility score gets affected. In order to be a notes contributor, you have to be a verified person. And it takes a while to get there; when you just start out, you will start off with no credibility score.
We actively look at any attempts to game the system and shut them down. If they’re determined to be not real people or if they seem to be brigading because there are deliberate attempts to manipulate Community Notes. We also make the Community Notes source code open and available, so you can basically see everything. You can see exactly how Community Notes is calculating things, and what changes are made to Community Notes and we’ll keep iterating and the goal is to have truth with the least amount of error.
There’s always like, ‘What is truth?’ Does someone really aspire to the truth? If they really aspire to the truth they must acknowledge that there is some probability that what they think is untrue. If somebody thinks that what they say is true with 100% probability, there’s a 100% probability they are lying. Truth must acknowledge error, and you aim to minimize the error over time, that’s what Community Notes is. I think also, once someone gets Community Noted, they think twice about being dissected in the future. You start getting noted a few times, and you think ‘Uh, oh!’
The important thing is that anyone can be noted, including me, and in fact, I wanted to make a note of being noted. The point is that if I can be noted, anyone can be noted, including advertisers. We’ve had a few cases where the advertising wasn’t accurate and it got noted. This, I think will be very helpful in truth in advertising. The goal is the rigorous pursuit of the truth, aspirationally the whole truth, and the least amount of untruth.” Elon Musk
Proactively reducing child exploitation on Twitter
Elon Musk explained to Michael Grimes, “I’ve repeatedly said to the Trust & Safety team at Twitter that the #1 Priority, which will always be the #1 Priority no matter what, is ensuring that children are safe on Twitter, that there’s no child exploitation. So that is #1 priority always and forever.
What I’ve been told is that we’ve done more to eliminate [CSE material] on Twitter in the last four months than what has been done in the last ten years. It will continue to be our number one priority. A 100-fold reduction in CSE search patterns is pretty gigantic to say the least. It’s the absolute number one priority.”
Advertisers on Twitter enjoy brand safety
Elon Musk used the example of Disney. “With respect to brand safety, it really depends a lot on the brand. By the way, Disney is a major advertiser on Twitter worldwide. Apple is one of our biggest advertisers.
But Disney of course does not want to have one of their ads next to things that aren’t appropriate for a family audience. But there are other products that are kind of more R-rated if you will, so they’re more comfortable with advertising being in the equivalent of like a R-rated movie or something like that. So brand safety depends on what brand you’re talking about. Is it a family brand or a less family brand?
Advertisers can actually adjust what content they are comfortable having their advertising appear next to. The same is true on TV. The advertising that you’ll see at 7 pm is different than the advertising that you’ll see at midnight. We have the same functionality on Twitter, so it’s truly up to the advertiser where they want to put their content. But I think by far the most important thing is if the advertising is effective. That it is relevant and that it moves the needle for a company. Advertising relevance is the most gigantic thing.
This is going to sound totally bizarre but Twitter did not consider relevance in advertising until 3 months ago. In fact if you use Twitter for a long time, you should ask ‘how many products have you bought off Twitter?’ Probably zero! (laughter) Judging by the laughter, probably zero. And your time is incredibly valuable.”
Michael Grimes: Flamethrower, no one bought a flamethrower?
Elon Musk: Haha, its possible that they might have bought things from content-based tweets because the content that’s recommended is reasonably relevant but the advertising has not been. So as we shift towards advertising being relevant and timely, as I said, advertising that is relevant and timely is content. The time of 130M person-hours of the smartest people on earth is insanely valuable. Historically, with advertising being mostly irrelevant, we’ve been wasting peoples’ time and that’s not good. Going forward, Twitter will have very relevant and useful advertising. There will be a massive increase in revenue because it is now useful. So I’m very optimistic about the future. It’s been a very difficult 4 months, but I’m optimistic about the future.
Healthy national dialogue on Twitter
Elon Musk: I think the objective reality for anyone looking at Twitter for a long time was that Twitter had a massive thumb on the scale on the left side. Twitter would ban and suspend accounts on the right 10 times more than on the left. This is naturally what you would expect, frankly, because we are in San Francisco, which is deep deep blue.
So, Twitter was controlled by the far left. So the natural thing that would happen then was the suppression of moderates, not just suppression of the right but even suppression of moderate voices. But that’s not conducive to a healthy national dialogue.
In order to have a healthy national dialogue, you have to represent the whole country, and you have to represent everyone in other countries too. That’s the only way to have a Town Square.
Freedom of speech: hearing what you don’t want to hear
Elon Musk: There were disproportionately more accounts unsuspended and un-shadowbanned on the right because Twitter had a huge thumb on the scale in favor of the left. But if you say, ‘Have we been suspending accounts on the left? Have we been shadowbanning accounts on the left? No, no we haven’t.’ No, because exactly what I said we were doing which is to make it an even playing field and you know something is Freedom of Speech when you’re hearing speech from someone you don’t like and you don’t like what they’re saying.
Otherwise it’s not free speech. And if you don’t have that ability, then sooner or later that suppression of speech is going to be turned on you. It is a good sign if you’re seeing people you don’t like say things you don’t like. That is a good sign, not a bad sign… provided you can say your piece too! I think this is fundamental.
The reason I did the Twitter acquisition was not because I thought this would be some lucrative goldmine, and in fact, it has been arduous and difficult with being dumped on [by mainstream media] every day. That’s not the most fun thing in the world. But if we do not have a strong foundation of free speech, I fear for the future of our civilization. We must have this. That’s why I did it.
Twitter won’t always be a fractal rube goldberg machine
Elon Musk: The codebase is like a Rube Goldberg Machine and when you zoom in on one part of the Rube Goldberg Machine there’s another Rube Goldberg Machine and then there’s another one! That’s what I mean by the fractal. As you zoom in there’s another fractal and another fractal and a fractal Rube Goldberg Machine. It’s quite difficult to keep this thing running and then also difficult to advance the product because it is really overly complex. We’ll make what appears to be a small change somewhere that then causes a massive disruption. For example, yesterday we made what we thought was a small change, we want to be in full disclosure including gruesome details. There was what was supposed to be a small change to 1% of the Twitter user base ended up being a catastrophic event to 100% of the Twitter user base. We don’t have enough time to go into the details but there was a Boolean flag in the Twitter front end that should not have been there.
I’ll give you an example. At one point there was a problem with Twitter Spaces where suspended users were able to join conversations even though they were suspended and so we temporarily turned off access to Twitter Spaces which then made anyone who is using the Twitter Android App unable to like a tweet. Now how those things are connected is not clear, haha. So if you had an iOS app you could like tweets, if you’re on the Web app you could like tweets but not if you had an Android app because of Spaces.
There’s a lot of work behind the scenes and simplifying the code base, getting rid of extraneous features and enabling Twitter to evolve more rapidly in the future but it requires a lot of cleanup.
Looking forward to Twitter being cash flow positive
Michael Grimes: You’ve grown users [on Twitter] despite a lean engineering team and cutting out a data center.
Elon Musk: Yeah, I think on balance we’re doing okay. Just to give you a sense of where things were at the close of acquisition on October 29th, Twitter was tracking to a negative 3 Billion dollar a year burn rate and had 1 Billion in the bank. That’s a pretty dire situation.
If 2023 had been a normal year, Twitter would have done something on the order of 4.5 Billion in revenue and 4.5 Billion in cost, roughly break even, but when you add 1.5 Billion of debt servicing to that and a massive decline in advertising, some of it cyclic, some of it political, but call it at roughly a 50% decline in revenue, you’ve got over 3 Billion dollars negative. Twitter has some revenue that’s not advertising-based, data subscriptions and what-not, but in the absence of action, Twitter would have had 6 Billion in costs and 3 Billion in revenue so minus 3 Billion and there was 1 Billion in the bank, so it would have gone bankrupt in 4 months. Immediate and drastic action had to be taken, which was.
We actually have now cut the non-interest burn to roughly 1.5 Billion. So we’ve got 1.5 Billion of debt servicing and 1.5 Billion of expenditures. We went from 3 data centers to 2, and reduced our cloud expenditures significantly, while at the same time having the fastest product evolution in Twitter’s history. So overall, not bad. There have been a few bumps along the road obviously but this is to be expected. And now I think we have the opportunity to grow it into something quite spectacular. We had the highest total user minutes in Twitter history.
The real numer to care about is actually not the MDAU (Monetized daily active user) but its user time. How many total user hours per day do you have? That’s the real figure of merit because one could for example go to 300 Million daily active users but if they spent less time on the system cumulatively that would actually be a downgrade. Its how much human attention are you worth?
That’s why I think the really profound thing is what Twitter has is roughly 130 Million hours of the smartest most influential people on earth, every single day. There’s nothing else that has that. I mean there are social networks that have more users but they do not have the smart, influential people, they don’t have you!
Michael Grimes: After doing the math, Twitter is EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization) profitable today and then you’re looking for break even after debt services. When do you get to cash flow break even?
Elon Musk: Well it’s EBITDA profitable but the “D” is quite big! (laughter)
Michael Grimes: When do you get to cash flow break even after that “D”?
Elon Musk: This is where we need to focus on the “E” part. (laughter) Yeah, I hope we pay taxes. So like I said, we’re getting to the point where we’re close to having the total expenditures for the company excluding debt roughly equal to the debt. I think we’ll be there in Q2. I definitely don’t want to count chickens before they’re hatched or jinx it or anything but I think we’ve got a shot at being cash flow positive next quarter.
Twitter has huge advertiser value
Michael Grimes: Twitter has great advertiser value with 147 Billion global impressions of the World Cup 2022 conversation.
Elon Musk: What I say to advertisers and brands is ‘use Twitter yourself and believe what you see on Twitter, not what you read in the newspapers.’ Because what you see on Twitter is the real thing, and what you read in newspapers is not. And I’d like to thank Mark Read and WPP for their support and publicists and others that have stuck with us like Disney and Apple.
Michael Grimes: When do you introduce performance-based advertising and scale it?
Elon Musk: Performance-based advertising is really just advertising that is relevant, in fact we should realistically have zero nonperformance-based advertising.
We want advertising that matters, people’s attention is precious. We should not serve them ads that are annoying or irrelevant or strident or ugly. It was interesting you should mention White Lotus, I was talking today with David Zaslav, it was great, and he was like, ‘Why can’t we put a White Lotus trailer every time someone mentions White Lotus on Twitter?’ I’m like, ‘Absolutely!’
So one of the super-obvious but profound things that we’re doing is enabling keyword advertising so that can the keywords, like ‘White Lotus’ and if somebody mentions White Lotus, you put the White Lotus trailer there. I mean, that sounds very obvious.
We don’t need advanced AI for this one (laughter). It’s sort of just google Adwords that apply to tweets and the home timeline and replies and everywhere else because you often have sort of long, deep conversations with people going on talking about movies, TV, products and whatnot and that’s the perfect opportunity for advertisers to provide their message.
Starlink: A case study in effective advertising
Elon Musk: You know, if I think about something, for example, like Starlink, which does advertise in various media you want to advertise to users in a region that are not already saturated. So Starlink tends to be saturated in urban areas but it is not saturated in rural areas. What Starlink would like to do is say, ‘Please show the ad to rural users with a slow connection. And the simple message is, ‘Do you want faster internet for less money? Click. Probably you do. Twitter needs to be able to do a simple thing like that. And it will. It is already able to do that, we just haven’t fully rolled it out. So I think we’re around 20%-ish but by the end of this year almost all advertising should be reasonably relevant.
Elon Musk: Even if you say nothing about that ad, after its dropped in the Twitter system and it has 10,000 views, you populate the parameter space of the ad and then you correlate the user parameter space and the ad parameter space and then you don’t need to do any demographic targeting because you could be like, say its a gardening ad or you could be 20, 30, 40, 70 years old, any sex, whatever, it doesn’t matter.
What matters is you like gardening and that’s the ad that should be shown. I think we can get away from the ad targeting by age range and sex in favor or targeting by interest. Alot of this demographic tageting was done coming from a TV or newspaper era where you don’t have interaction with the user, you just have to kind of guess because its a one way street in TV. But on Twitter its not a one way street, there’s continuous interaction. I think we can have a profoundly more useful advertising experience.
The everything app: X.com
Michael Grimes: Tell us about your vision for X, the everything app.
Elon Musk: I think its possible to create a very powerful finance experience basically. Paypal is kind of like a halfway version of what I think could be done in payments and finance. You want to be able to send money easily from one account on X / Twitter to another account effortlessly with one click. You want to be able to earn interest on the money, you want to be able to have debt so your interest can grow negative. Basically, I think it’s possible to become the biggest financial institution in the world just by providing people with convenience and payment options. We don’t have time to go into detail here except if we just make the app more and more useful, people will use it more and it will be great. I mean, you’ll see!
Michael Grimes: The Tesla team is nice and built out, the Twitter executive team is perhaps a bit leaner. Maybe there’s a meme that’s accurate.
Elon Musk: He does have a black turtleneck, haha! Do you need anything more? I don’t think so.
Michael Grimes: So when does that Twitter management team have that bench like you showcased at the Gigafactory?
Elon Musk: Well I think it takes a lot of time to build a strong management team. We built the Tesla management team over 20 years. I think Twitter is an easier problem than Tesla by a long shot. But it will take some time to build the team, probably a few years.
Tesla Master Plan 3 is a message of hope grounded in physical reality
Michael Grimes: You shared Master Plan 3 at the Gigafactory and the edit that came to my mind was ‘Master planet! after your first piece there in sustainable energy for all earth. Can you take us through that positive, optimistic, mathematically underpinned vision?
Elon Musk: Okay, there’s not a lot of time to do that but I guess the overall message is that we can absolutely turn earth into a sustainable energy economy, fully sustainable, using lithium-ion batteries, solar, wind, as well as geothermal, nuclear and other things but primarily it’ll be solar and wind and lithium-ion batteries.
And to our calculations, you need roughly 240 TeraWatt hours of lithium-ion batteries. Most of those will be iron phosphate for the primarily iron cathode which is a plentiful material. In fact, the #1 element on earth is actually iron — a little factoid. I think earth by mass is about 32% iron and about 30% oxygen and then everything else is miscellaneous. So we’re like a mighty rust ball. So, plenty of iron. Basically, the materials needed to make 240 TerraWatt hours of batteries are actually plentiful on earth. We don’t need to mow down the Amazon or anything like that!
We don’t need to do anything terrible to the environment to create 240 TerraWatt hours of batteries, in fact, there will be less mining required in a sustainable energy economy than is currently required. Really, this is a message of hope and optimism grounded in physical reality, it is not wishful thinking. We should be excited and inspired about the future.
And I am not suggesting complacency or anything like that and getting there faster is better than getting there slower, but we don’t need to live some terrible austere life and give up the things that we like. You can have the things that you like, in fact, even more of them, and the environment can be good. All the good things are possible, that’s what I’m saying.
Elon Musk: We should be excited and optimistic about the future. We need to go build this, its a lot of work but you should not feel sad about the future regarding sustainable energy, it will happen! We just want to make it happen faster rather than slower.
Tesla’s next generation vehicle
Michael Grimes: That was the first big takeaway, the next one that I had was your next phase of vertical integration, the relentless first principles thinking on vehicle design, battery design, factory optimization. Could you talk more on this?
Elon Musk: There’s a clear path to making a smaller vehicle that is roughly half the production cost and difficulty of our Model 3. That vehicle will really be used almost entirely in autonomous mode. The thing that is really gigantic for Tesla is autonomy and if people have used the Tesla full self driving and gave seen how rapidly the full self driving capability has been evolving, it should be obvious that that is by far the most profound thing.
Elon Musk: The total addressable market stuff, it’s like, guys, this is actually not the right way to think about it. Passenger vehicles right now only see about 10-12 hours of use per week. There’s 168 hours in a week, if those vehicle are autonomous they’re probably going to get used for 50-60 hours a week. That’s a 5x increase in the value of a car and it costs the same to make the car. At that point you basically have software margins in a hardware product, it’s the same. Total addressable market is everyone, all humans. Powerful.
Why Starlink’s speed is fast
Elon Musk: The Starlink team is doing an amazing job.
More than half the satellites in orbit right now are Starlink satellites. So if you add up all satellites launched cumulatively, they are less than Starlink. Starlink is currently providing global connectivity, you can get connectivity anywhere on earth from the most remote part of Antarctica to San Francisco. Anywhere. Full-level connectivity, high bandwidth, and low latency.
The latency is important because unless you’re in low earth orbit you cannot get a low latency. The geostationary satellites are very high, you’ve sort of got sometimes up to a second of latency from a geostationary satellite, all things inclusive. With Starlink satellites, we believe we can get the latency under 20 milliseconds.
For international communications, an interesting thing is that in fiber, light travels much slower than in air or vacuum. So in rough approximation, light travels about 300 kilometers per millisecond in air or vacuum but only just roughly over 200 kilometers per millisecond in fiber. So you’ve got roughly a 40% increase in speed of light going through the Starlink system than through fiber and it can also follow a more direct route.
Instead of following the coastline of the continents, it [Starlink] can actually have a more direct route. It’s a shorter route and inherently faster from a physics standpoint so it connects the world way better than fiber and is providing connectivity to people that either never had it before or where their options were extremely expensive or very low bandwidth.
So [Starlink] is helping out a lot of communities that never had access, especially when you consider that education is digital these days, that’s really how you can learn anything. You can basically learn anything for free on the internet if you have the internet! In terms of providing education abilities to remote communities, Starlink is doing a lot of good in that regard.
Starship going orbital
Elon Musk: We’re getting ready for the first launch of Starship. This is a very difficult program. The rocket is roughly 2.5 times the thrust of a Saturn V so if and once it reaches orbit it will be by far the biggest rocket that reaches orbit, but more importantly it is designed to be the first reusable orbital rocket ever so that the key to extending life beyond earth is a fully and rapidly reusable orbital rocket.
This is a very hard problem given the constraints of earth. Earth has a thick atmosphere and strong gravity, it is literally barely possible to do this, that’s why its not been done before. We are getting close to our first orbital attempt of Starship, hopefully in the next month or so we’ll have our first attempt. I’m not saying it’ll get to orbit but I guarantee excitement. (audience laughter) It won’t be boring. I think it’s hopefully above a 50% chance of reaching orbit.
We’re building a whole series of Starships in South Texas and so I think we’ve got, hopefully, an 80% chance of reaching orbit this year. It will probably take up a couple more years to achieve full rapid reusability, which I can’t emphasize enough, is the profound breakthrough that is needed to extend life beyond earth because it lowers the cost of access to space by orders of magnitude. In the same way, let’s say there were no airplanes that were reusable, how expensive would air flight be? It would be insane. You’d have to buy a new airplane every time you flew somewhere and you’d have to tow a small airplane behind you for the return flight. That’s not going to scale.
So if things go well there, this vehicle could make life multi-planetary, that’s a really big deal. And it could make life on Mars real and that’s one of the great filters that any civilization has to pass through which is, ‘does this civilization become multi-planetary or not?’ This is one of the elements of the Fermi Paradox. I mean I sort of wonder that, if we are able to get to multi-planetary that will be a forcing function to improve spaceflight to become multi-stellar, to go to other star systems and I think we may discover that there are many long-dead one-planet civilizations. We don’t want to be one of those. We don’t want to be one of those lame, one-planet civilizations!
Gail Alfar, Author, Military Veteran. Exclusive to What’s Up Tesla – March 12, 2023. All Rights Reserved. My goal as an author is to support Tesla (the most American vehicle manufacturer) and Elon Musk in both making life better on earth for humans and becoming a space-fairing civilization.
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Did you watch Tesla Investor Day on March 1 live from Gigafactory Texas in Austin? Master Plan 3 was created for the investor and Elon Musk said he meant “the broadest definition of investor, as in the people & life of Earth. It will be a message of good hope & positivity for the future.”
This article is part 1 of a series that will examine the message of good hope and positivity for the future. The “investor” is considered the people & life of Earth instead of only retail and institutional investors.
The People of Earth
You may have heard Elon Musk explain how our earth is like a small vulnerable candle in vast darkness and that we must not let that candle blow out. Each of the 8 billion people who are alive today has a unique story and their life is amazing. The generations that come after yours can live in a clean beautiful future. Master Plan 3 explains how to make this a reality.
The Life of Earth
The life of earth takes on many forms as depicted in the header picture of this article. All life should be preserved so the earth can remain healthy. Non-human life forms need us humans to work to preserve them. It is easy to destroy the earth and we should stop doing so. Tesla shared a picture of our current state and this is what needs to change to protect the life of earth.
Message of Good Hope
No one feels great after listening to a message of doom and gloom. If we want to inspire the young generation to raise a family then the older generations can start by sharing a message of good hope.
Tesla shared a pretty gloomy photo at the start of Investor’s day of our current dirty and wasteful energy economy that leads to a polluted world and the goal is to change humanity from depending on fossil fuels to one of clean-energy use exclusively.
Tesla also shared what seemed like an infinite number of stamped vehicle body parts. I was first hit with how cool and artistic it looked and then later I was hit with the message that Tesla may one day be able to create limitless vehicles that are affordable for people to own or ride in. What a message of good hope this really is!
The new Gigafactory in Mexico will build a new vehicle that is expected to be a huge volume product.
Elon Musk highlighted the challenges, which may explain why Mexico was selected for the next gigafactory,
“Demand for our vehicles, in terms of desire to own them may as well be infinite, it’s indistinguishable from infinite at this point.
The affordability is what matters so as you make the car more affordable we will have to amend go crazy basically. The hard part is building the cars. I can’t emphasize that enough.
The hard part is building the cars and the entire supply chain that goes with the cars. this is a logistics challenge of extraordinary difficulty.
All the things that have to go into the car have to scale with the car while everything is doing an exponential ramp and if you miss even one of those things — and, it doesn’t matter why, earthquake, fire, revolution, I thought I’ve heard them all! If any part of that supply chain gets interrupted, then you have a seizure.
The hard part is building the cars in the supply chain that goes with it.” Elon Musk
Gigafactory Mexico is a message of hope that Tesla will be able to build affordable vehicles faster and at greater volume.
Tesla has the magnificent support of the government of Nuevo León, Mexico and Mexico is home to many automotive clusters that have grown up throughout the country as a way to more effectively support local manufacturers through economies of scale.
Message of Positivity for the Future
Positivity means you have an optimistic attitude. Master Plan 3 is achievable. It is fitting that the Tesla HQ is in Texas. Texans are known for having a “CAN DO” attitude. Elon Musk said,
“The thing that is needed at a very large scale, that’s not currently present, is a vast amount of battery energy storage.
Our rough calculations is that this is about 240 TeraWatt hours — 240,000 GigaWatt hours. It is actually a lot of batteries, but it is actually a very achievable amount that’s a combination of electric vehicles and stationary storage.” Elon Musk
Elon and the Tesla team explain how battery storage can be achieved and I’m going to add that it will create endless job opportunities so the road it takes to get to a clean energy future is a bright one. I will write more about this in Part 2 of this series.
Master Plan 3
On the lifestream, Elon spoke about the most important message, Master Plan 3,
“There is a clear path to a sustainable energy Earth.
It doesn’t require destroying natural habitats.
It doesn’t require us to be austere and stop using electricity and be in the cold or anything.
The story, and I think this holds together quite well – it will be actually published in a detailed white paper with all of our assumptions and calculations — is that there is a clear path to a fully sustainable earth with abundance.
In fact, you could support a civilization much bigger than Earth and much more than the 8 billion humans could actually be supported sustainably on Earth.
I am often just shocked and surprised by how few people realize this. Most of the smart people I know actually don’t see a clear path, they think that there’s not a path to a sustainable energy future or at least there’s not one that is sustainable at our current population or that we have to resort to extreme measures. none of this is true.
So we are going to walk through the calculations for how to create a sustainable energy civilization.”
To be continued…
In my next article, I’ll write more in depth about Master Plan 3 and how it affects you and future generations. Please subscribe to my blog to get a notice of when my articles publish.
Gail Alfar, Author, Military Veteran. Exclusive to What’s Up Tesla – March 5, 2023. All Rights Reserved. My goal as an author is to support Tesla (the most American vehicle manufacturer) and Elon Musk in both making life better on earth for humans and becoming a space-fairing civilization.
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On March 1st, Tesla hosts Investor Day at Giga Texas in Austin and it will be livestreamed for everyone to watch. But this won’t be your typical investor event. According to CEO Elon Musk, this is an event for investors in earth—a chance to learn how we can all make a difference and create a fully sustainable energy future. It’s time to have optimism and hope for the future!
Tesla is leading the way in accelerating earth towards sustainability, with electric cars that are a pleasure to drive, solar roofs that can strengthen the power grid and massive battery storage. But what else does Elon Musk have up his sleeve? If you want to get a glimpse of Tesla’s vision of the future, then you’ll want to watch the Investor Day livestream on March 1st. It will begin at 3 pm CT and here’s a link to Tesla’s Livestream!
At Investor’s Day, Tesla says, “Our investors will be able to see our most advanced production line as well as discuss long term expansion plans, generation 3 platform, capital allocation and other subjects with our leadership team.”
Tesla Investor Day agenda (March 1):
11:00am – event check-in
11:00am – 2:45pm – Factory Tours and Plaid Demo Rides
3:00 – 4:30pm – Keynotes (livestream)
4:30 – 5:30pm – Q & A (livestream)
5:30 – 7:00pm – Meet & Greet
Elon Musk’s Master Plan 3 is highly anticipated by people around the world. Thus far, Elon has shared,
“Looking forward to Tesla Investor Day on March 1. By this, we mean the broadest definition of investor, as in the people & life of Earth. It will be a message of good hope & positivity for the future.” Elon Musk
Tesla has been expanding its presence outside of just cars; their projects like artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics will help automate processes within factories so humans can focus on more creative tasks. Tesla is also constantly improving and developing batteries that store clean energy for use when renewable sources aren’t available—like at night or when there’s no wind —so we can still have access to clean energy even during stormy days or calm winds.
I believe Tesla has the best plans on the planet for sustainable energy production and I think we all possess a collective ability to make the world a better place through renewable energy sources like solar and wind power. I know we can reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and that we’ll live to see the world switch from gas-powered vehicles to electric ones.
This Investor Day is sure to inspire hope in many for a bright future! Join Elon Musk on March 1st on the livestream as he talks about his vision of a sustainable future 100% powered by clean energy — and find out what other innovative projects Tesla has in store for us!
We should all take heed of Musk’s advice and believe in a bright future. After all, if we don’t believe it ourselves first, who will? Let’s join together and create a brighter tomorrow starting today!
Gail Alfar, Author, Military Veteran. Exclusive to What’s Up Tesla – February 28, 2023. All Rights Reserved. My goal as an author is to support Tesla (the most American vehicle manufacturer) and Elon Musk in both making life better on earth for humans and becoming a space-fairing civilization.
Cybertrucks (lots of them!) on the roads are essential for Tesla’s mission to accelerate the transition to sustainable energy.
As we await delivery of first Cybertrucks, it’s worth looking at the ecosystem forming in anticipation. This article takes us on a journey into our future cyberworld and looks at,
Travel, hunting and camping applications
Military, law enforcement & apocalypse mods
Travel, camping and hunting applications
Tesla has people excited with their beautiful render of a camping addition. Camping enthusiasts are ready to reserve this the moment Tesla makes it available.
Cybertruck Hunting mode has been suggested, “One of the things I’m really looking forward to in my CT is hunting Elk on southern Montana public lands. My dad’s truck was modified to disable all lights (interior, headlights, brake lights, blinkers, etc., with the flip of a couple of switches. Has anyone given any thought as to what a “Hunting Mode” might do? It would be great if all lights could be disabled from the control screen, and the screen itself dimmed, once you were off road.” (Michael Jorge, Cybertruck owners club)
StreamIt, Inc. created the CyberLandr, a retractable camping add-on that has solar panels mounted on top allowing you to stay off the grid for days. The Green Product Award went to this American company for creating a distinguished product in sustainability, innovation & design. For information regarding CyberLandr visit https://cyberlandr.com/features.
One South African company is already putting a Cyber-inspired camper-trailer on the road. Edgeout won the Red Dot Design Award 2022 in the category Product Design. Red Dot jury panel said, “With its innovative construction and distinctive exterior design, the EdgeOut conveys robustness and mobility,”
Military, law enforcement and apocalypse technology
Police forces in Mexico and the United Arab Emirates placed early reservations for Cybertruck.
San Luis Potos, Mexico with its 2.8 million people may enjoy 15 Cybertrucks for local law enforcement and logistics. Cybertruck is “common sense,” – Adrian Esper Cardenas, Mayor
When Adrian Esper Cardenas announced the purchase of 15 Cybertrucks the media questioned the maintenance of the vehicles, to which the mayor pointed out that maintenance costs are “zero.” Cardenas assured the press that if an engine fails, the guarantee will be applied for replacement; If a headlight breaks, you can order it online. “It’s very easy,” he said.
Jay Leno asks Elon: "But why make it bullet proof...?"
Elon to Jay: "Do you want your Cybertruck to be bullet proof or not?"
Jay: "Yea, I guess I do want my Cybertruck to be bullet proof!"
Military applications are natural for Cybertruck. The dreamer in me imagines Giga Texas with an underground facility where apocalypse, combat ready and law enforcement Cybertrucks with accompanying drones are assembled. Tougher wheels and suspension are needed for these applications.
CyberMonster, safe loading and artistic expressions
Monstertruck owners make up a small but enthusiastic market. Expect to see websites that will guide you on the best ways to convert Cybertruck into CyberMonster.
Ramp for safety and practicality
Tesla makes safety a top priority and loading truck beds is difficult and dangerous. Cybertruck reduces the chance of injury with a retractable ramp and elevated front suspension. Tesla says,
“Raise and lower suspension four inches in either direction for easy access to Cybertruck or the vault, while self-leveling capabilities adapt to any occasion and assist with every job.”
“Every job” will include harp transportation,
“Harp transportation! Our daughter plays the harp. It’s big, it needs to be wrapped up and put on a hand truck every time we move it (multiple times a week for practices). When I saw that ramp off the back, and the size of the bed confirmed it would be large enough….. that’s when my pre-order went in. It will save my back.” (reddit user MotorFloating)
My take is that Tesla needs to get Cybertrucks on road fast as possible by scaling production for hundreds of thousands of eager reservation holders. This will greatly accelerate Tesla’s mission. I believe people will receive a high-quality utility vehicle that will be open to many aftermarket modifications.
An ecosystem is starting in anticipation of Cybertruck and will get bigger as people take delivery. This article covered fantasy mods and practical ones that can be reserved or purchased now. If you know of an accessory or mod that I should include, please let me know!
Gail Alfar, Author, Military Veteran. Exclusive to What’s Up Tesla – February 12, 2023. All Rights Reserved. My goal as an author is to support Tesla (the most American vehicle manufacturer) and Elon Musk in both making life better on earth for humans and becoming a space-fairing civilization.
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Welcome back to my blog. It’s been 12 months since I first rented a shared office space to start “What’s Up Tesla.” I am committed to doing more to support the mission of Tesla and Elon Musk, as there is a long road ahead. In the coming year, I’ll keep dedicating time to this blog and my Podcast as we watch Tesla move with success through uncertain times and prove they are the only OEM that will thrive in 2023 and beyond.
I asked 14 Tesla owners who use FSD beta three questions,
Did you purchase or do you subscribe monthly to FSD beta?
What made you decide to use FSD beta?
What do you like about FSD beta?
I was surprised at their answers and you will be too! This is one of my longer articles and I hope you’ll take time to enjoy it and even share it with others. It contains many heartwarming stories, among them are Nancy Larson’s, Jonathan Yokley’s and more. Relax and enjoy this good read!
Nancy is extending her ability to move about independently at age 78 and beyond!
Nancy Larson helps people look forward to being independent longer through her story. She wrote,
“In 2016 we traded in our 2014 green Model S for one with the new Autopilot feature as I saw the increased safety it could provide. And when I purchased my silver Model 3 in 2018, it also included FSD in the purchase price because I wanted to follow the advancing technology forward. So when Beta testing began, it felt like one of those rare opportunities to make a contribution to the safety of the whole world through Elon Musk and the Tesla Mission.
As a 78-year-old, I also see a personal benefit by extending my ability to move about independently over time. While using Beta I can see some situations that don’t appear to be solvable with FSD, but for the most part, I am delighted by what my car, Easy, can do. What fun when she displays a new ability or makes what I thought was a mistake that turns out to be the right thing. Supervising her in town with heavy traffic takes extra effort, and being a part of a revolution is never expected to be stress-free.”
James Bond would drive a Tesla
Shawn Ξ from Granite Bay finds tough routes to challenge FSD beta. He enjoys contributing to Tesla’s data collection. Shawn explained,
“FSD beta testing is one way every Tesla owner can give back to humanity and support our children’s future. The positive disruptive impact FSD (all Tesla AI) will have on saving lives, via preventable motor vehicle accidents (MVA) has yet to be fully appreciated. Tesla FSD will eliminate the billions of dollars spent on healthcare costs contingent to MVAs.
What I like most about FSD is that it illustrates what mankind is capable of creating. Tesla’s engineers are implementing AI with a discipline focused on safety, prevention, humility, and caution. FSD is the epitome of caution when considering AI. They are showing us that AI can be used to aid mankind and help advance the light of consciousness, instead of controlling it. It’s also really cool. James Bond would drive a Tesla!”
This Texas Dad will be remembered as a beta tester
Jonathan Yokley of San Antonio Texas knows how important it is to Tesla’s mission to have people testing FSD beta,
“I’ve driven my 2019 Tesla Model 3 for four years and almost 80k miles. I’ve had beta since October 2021 and use it nearly 100% of the time. Prior to that, I used Autopilot and NAVoAP everywhere possible. I could never go back to driving manually. I use FSD beta nearly 100% of the time I’m driving. I purchased it back when it was $7,000. I’ve had FSD since the 100/99%ers got it back in October of ’22. I wanted to be part of the coming-of-age of autonomous driving. It’s been my way to contributing.”
You’re safer using FSD beta than not using it
Robert McLaughlin purchased FSD to help advance the technology so he can remain independent as he gets older and for the advanced safety features to reduce the risk of getting in an accident. Robert says,
“I love that I can pull out onto my street, dictate a destination, put it in FSD beta, and the majority of the time it will get me to my destination with few or no critical disengagements. A critical disengagement includes the need to take control to prevent an accident or otherwise create a dangerous situation. I also find it necessary to take control to not hold up other cars. The most frequent intervention is hitting the accelerator in certain situations like phantom braking or advancing at an intersection. It has been fascinating to watch the evolution of technology.
With each new software update, FSD beta gets a little better. The visual representation of what the car “sees” gets cleaner and more detailed, and the ride quality is smoother. To really appreciate this technology you need to spend a few months using it. I also like that it has a 5-star safety rating and that it proactively tightens seat belts and pre-deploys the airbags if the software determines that a crash is unavoidable. Only Teslas’ have this capability. So less likely to be in an accident, and less likely to be seriously injured if you are in an accident. This is a significant increase in overall safety. As FSD beta technology keeps improving, the risk of getting into an accident continues to go down.”
FSD beta testing contributes useful data to Tesla
Dirty Tesla loves to contribute data to Tesla. He uses FSD Beta as much as possible for 95% of off-highway driving. He shares that,
“Being invited into the FSD beta program as one of the original testers was an honor and opportunity. I felt I had the chance to really do some good by helping feed data to Tesla to improve their self-driving software which would eventually lead to safer roads for everyone. I also love tech and find it all very fascinating. It makes driving fun and interesting.
I do a lot of driving and I enjoy using it to find edge cases and contribute data to Tesla. It also feels like an extra set of eyes while driving. It’s common for FSD Beta to see something that I do not and react to it before I do.”
FSD is underrated
Douglas, a Model 3 owner in New Jersey candidly explained he bought FSD without telling his wife because of the extra safety it provides. He says it’s underrated and unappreciated. It helped him avoid a collision with a deer. In Douglas’ words,
“The most dangerous thing that most people do is drive so often that they don’t think about it. I try to talk my friends into Tesla not just because they’re electric but because of the safety. People don’t realize how easily distracted they are even if for a few seconds whenever they’re driving. Obviously, everyone knows that texting and driving is dangerous and so is tinkering with your music stream or whatever. It only takes a few seconds for someone to drive in front of you unexpectedly or for a pedestrian to cross the road or a deer for that matter. Tesla FSD literally has your back, front, left and right. 360° coverage.”
FSD beta is safer, acts like a chauffeur and makes driving enjoyable
Ryan Cave of North Texas and dad of two used Autopilot daily for 3 years in his Model S and is excited about the future when cars will drive humans. He wrote,
“I can envision the day when those who can’t drive will be given a newfound freedom. Even those who can will be free to use their travel time more productively. Driving is fun, but I like that FSD beta makes driving enjoyable in a different way. It does most of my driving now, and using it is like watching your children learn. You get to see how far it has advanced, and how interventions generally decrease over time. I also feel more relaxed after long drives or commuting in traffic.”
Chris Barberich of Encinitas, California also told me he’s excited about the future of driverless cars,
“It’s fun to see the software make progress towards that future. Also, in most situations, I think FSD plus a human observer is safer than a human driver. I like that it’s there in case I want to use it and I can easily turn it on and off. I like that it often notices cars slowing down before I do.”
Dave Smith, a Model X and 3 owner in Arizona told me FSD Beta feels like a chauffeur. He said,
“It does 99.9% of the driving for me and the 0.1% is where I would intervene or take over. Using FSD makes my mind free up to focus on the real emergencies when driving rather than focus on how to keep the car in the lane, where is my next turn or next exit. The fact that it does everything and I just need to supervise saves you from a lot of mental fatigue. This is huge because it increases safety a lot and also you reach your destination without any fatigue from driving.”
Michael Phan agrees,
“I like that FSD Beta can be my chauffeur. It’s like having a personal assistant ready to take over driving duties as needed. What’s not to like about it? The hybrid mode of FSD Beta driving with a human over-seeing makes me feel like I can keep myself and my family safe in the car while we travel.”
FSD Beta lets the public see development progress firsthand
Dan Burkland has been using and testing FSD Beta daily since October 2021 across every kind of road and weather condition imaginable in Minnesota. Dan told me his decision to use FSD Beta came from losing friends & family to motor-vehicle accidents that he felt could have been avoided if the proper autonomous driving technology had been active in their vehicles. Dan said,
“I’m a techy at heart and my curiosity peaked when Tesla came on the scene and described their approach to bringing autonomous driving technology to the masses. I recognized the heavy lift something like Autopilot requires not to mention the large operational domain it is expected to excel in. As a result, I wanted to do my part by extensively testing FSD Beta in Minnesota by establishing several test loops and regularly testing FSD against these test loops (in all sorts of weather conditions).
What I like most about FSD Beta is how the public has the ability to see the development progress firsthand. Confidence in creep behavior, path planning, unprotected left turns, etc. are things that immediately pop out at me when I compare my recent 10.69.25.2 videos against my early 10.2 videos.”
Tesla owners are closely involved in providing important data to the Tesla AI team and many are motivated by a sense of urgency to help future generations move faster toward a much safer and more autonomous future. When fathers tell me they are thinking of their children’s futures it reminds me of the impression I had when I met Elon Musk at Gigafactory Texas in June 2022. Elon radiates kindness and a strong sense of urgency. He’s kind to the people around him and when he speaks it is with a clear and well-thought-out vision of how we can advance humanity. This article and the people I got to meet through it really touched my heart. We’re in good hands with people like this who care so much about our futures.
Here’s a chart that contains all 14 owners’ responses and I also included myself, since I also love testing FSD beta!
Special thanks to these Tesla owners for making this article possible!
Gail Alfar, author. Exclusive to What’s Up Tesla – January 22, 2023. All Rights Reserved. My goal as an author is to support Tesla (the most American vehicle manufacturer) and Elon Musk in both making life better on earth for humans and becoming a space-fairing civilization. Updated 1/22/23 3:53 pm to correct statement on tax credits. FSD purchase does not impact the tax credit limit, its only added options like paint, etc. that count towards the limit.
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Elon Musk spoke on StockMKTNewz (Dec 22, 2022 in a Twitter space) and his words were notable so I am sharing his talk with you. Some highlights are,
Elon aims to see Tesla grow quickly in a recession, “Let’s grow as fast as we can, without putting the company at risk”
Tesla is like no other car company. Elon explains, “the cars are upgradable to autonomy, and arguably an autonomous car is worth many times what a non-autonomous car is”
Elon says he aims to see Tesla grow quickly in a recession, “Let’s grow as fast as we can, without putting the company at risk”
When asked if Tesla can sustain its current growth rate in the next few years or so (in a predicted recession), Elon Musk stated on StockMKTNewz,
“I’m just laying out what I see as, this is just my best guess at the future. It’s not like I have some incredible crystal ball that’s an exact predictor of the future, so with all appropriate caveats but the reality is, if we are in a recession, and I think we are in a recession, and I think 2023 is going to be quite a serious recession and it’s going to be, in my opinion, comparable to 2009.
I don’t know if it’s going to be a little worse or a little better, but I think it is likely to be comparable. It means demand for any kind of optional discretionary item, especially if it’s a big-ticket item will be lower with the FED increasing rates.
Like when you are heading into a recession you should be reducing the FED rate not increasing it. So that amplifies the difficulty, so now you have a sort of structural demand which is obviously going to be lower in a recession and you’ve amplified the effect of the cost of a car because they’re almost all bought with debt, so you get a double whammy is what I’m saying.
So the obvious choice in that scenario is you want to grow unit volume which case you’ll have to adjust prices downward or you want to grow at a lower rate or go steady, there’s sort of a choice there.
My inclination would be to still grow. Let’s grow as fast as we can, without putting the company at risk which would mean in that scenario profits would be low to negative during a recession, provided the cash position is okay.
I think that’s still the right move long-term because there’s something that Tesla possesses that other car companies do not which is extremely fundamental. That is the cars are upgradable to autonomy, and arguably an autonomous car is worth many times what a non-autonomous car is.”
Tesla is like no other car company
Elon Musk continued,
“So even if you’re margins are extremely low in selling the car, the subsequent upgrade to it being autonomous is worth a lot.
That’s something that no other car company can do. Only Tesla can do that.
I stand by my prediction that long term, Tesla will be the most valuable company in the world. I’m actually fairly confident that this will be what happens.
What I cannot predict, because there are many things outside of my control, is what will be the valuation along the way there. That is subject to a lot of emotional elements on the stock market subject to lots of macroeconomic conditions.
But I would say, long term Tesla is probably, my best guess, the most valuable company in the world in less than 5 years.”
We are likely heading into a difficult recession in 2023. Elon Musk will not put Tesla, Inc. at risk and at the same time he will “grow unit volume in which case you’ll have to adjust prices downward.” This is a smart move as Tesla possesses something that no other car company has. Teslas are all upgradeable to autonomy. Elon said an autonomous car is “worth many times what a non-autonomous car is” and I agree.
I have been using Tesla autonomy for over 2 years now and it is advanced to the level where I can transport across the city of Austin during “rush hour” with zero disengagements. There are many Tesla owners that are having the same experience in different cities across the USA. However, the most valuable thing that no other car company has is Elon Musk for CEO. This is Tesla’s number one asset.
Read about the magic of Tesla autonomy in these articles
Exclusive to What’s Up Tesla – This article was created by Gail Alfar with the goal to preserve this interview in text or written form for the purpose of 1. education and 2. preserving the brilliant insight and words of Elon Musk. January 15, 2023
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Motortrend just released the results of their tests for fastest electric car. They tested EVs in order to see which one has the fastest acceleration. The Tesla Model S Plaid, came out in the number one spot. Here’s what MotorTrend had to say, and here’s how the other competitors stacked up.
2021 Tesla Model S Plaid: 0-60 MPH in 2.3 Seconds
“The 2021 Tesla Model S Plaid is the fastest EV, and the fastest car for that matter, we’ve ever tested in 0-60 acceleration, despite the drama surrounding getting data that matched the standard conditions of our other instrumented tests.
How does a Tesla Model S Plaid accelerate so fast?
It’s fitted with three extraordinarily efficient and powerful electric motors, all-wheel drive thanks to those motors with two at the rear to further bolster the power shove, and an advanced traction control system that interacts seamlessly with said electric motors.
Add it all up, and you get a monstrous 1,020 horsepower and 1,050 ft-lb of torque.
When experiencing the acceleration of a Plaid, it’s abundantly clear that virtually the only force you feel is the Tesla’s seatback hurling you forward to a degree that genuinely makes the horizon the floor.
Except that floor is rushing up at you far faster than any free fall ever could.” – Motortrend
The 5 Fastest Electric Cars From 0-60 MPH – Motortrend January 2023
You can read more about Tesla’s Plaid Model S on their website here.
Breaking New Ground on the Racetrack: Plaid Model S at COTA The Plaid is an example of great craftsmanship and superior technology. It is Tesla’s best vehicle. Being both a four-door family sedan and a vehicle that can compete on the racetrack is a huge achievement. It is the fastest production car in the world. It is also proudly made in the USA.
Gail Alfar, author. Exclusive to What’s Up Tesla – January 7, 2023. All Rights Reserved. My goal as an author is to support Tesla (the most American vehicle manufacturer) and Elon Musk in both making life better on earth for humans and becoming a space-fairing civilization.
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A few days ago I was out with my daughter and she said, ‘Have you seen this?’ We were in Starbucks sipping hot chocolate and it was freezing outside she turned on YouTube and we sat and watched the new video released by Tesla of the cars being tested in the snow in New Zealand.
This is a dream come true to me because my favorite kind of Tesla videos is the ones with the cars drifting in the snow. So this article is going to feature some images from that and hopefully, you’ll enjoy reading it as much as I did writing it.
Snowy Tesla Proving Grounds | July in New Zealand
When it’s hot in Texas it’s freezing in New Zealand and Tesla tests software updates that are created in part by the team in the USA and are uploaded to the cars in New Zealand for testing.
Tesla shared a wide shot of the proving grounds, and they are magnificent in the below photo!
This Looks Fun, I Want to do it!
Not so fast. Well, maybe you could do it. And Tesla engineers in the video were shown shoveling snow, getting up early in the dark, installing tires in the snow, driving in rain and snow, analyzing performance, cleaning dirt and ice off tires and explaining that they do everything, from driving the car to writing the code to calibration to “improve the software using a super quick feedback loop.”
One Tesla engineer explains that he gets up at 5 am, works 12 hours, and is pretty much busy the whole time. I know what that’s like. Registered Nurses have a similar 12-hour schedule, and it is hard work. These Tesla employees know they are doing work that will save lives and they were willing to share their thoughts in the video. Here are a few of their comments,
“Where else are you going to find snow in July and August? It’s crazy! It’s confusing for the body and it’s always been that way. But it puts a smile on your face every single day. No matter how many weeks you’re working here!” – Tesla engineer in a Texas Buc-ee’s shirt
“A day in New Zealand starts at 5 am. You wake up. You go go go as soon as you get here, we’re usually here from 7-7 and we’ll drive back with the data, compare the build to the next day and hopefully grab some dinner.” – Tesla engineers
“Obviously fun and important work” – Tesla engineer
“We go all over to test the cars to the extreme so that no matter where the customer takes the car the vehicles are going to be stable.” – Tesla engineer
“It’s super cool to talk to people in California, send that update halfway across the world, you go on top of a mountain and you test that update. That’s something that I’ve never experienced before.” -Tesla engineer
Here are some of the projects that Tesla worked on in July!
Model Y track mode. A new development for the Y performance package that enables wild maneuvers and drifting
Winter TESLA improvements for all four S3XY cars
thousands of runs and extreme conditions to test each new software before it’s released
UPDATE: On January 11, 2023 Tesla shared a video of Model Y drifting in snow, enjoy it!
Tesla shared a rare behind-the-scenes look at how they test and improve vehicle performance in winter conditions. Tesla engineers also shared their personal experiences and spoke about what it is like to do this kind of work. I would say the best part about their job is taking the Model Y onto the proving grounds on a sunny day and having to test track mode on the snow hundreds of times! Enjoy the video!
Love to read more on other topics?
Read Miss Go Electric’s live Twitter thread on her experience traveling in severe winter weather here.
Check out Drive Tesla Canada’s Tweet about success in freezing weather in a Model 3 here.
TESLA ELECTRIC IS HERE TO STAY Read how Tesla has unveiled Tesla Electric in Texas. Tesla Electric is a new product offering. Just like you can buy a Tesla vehicle or purchase Tesla solar + Powerwalls, now many people in the state of Texas can purchase their electricity exclusively from Tesla Electric.
Gail Alfar, author. Exclusive to What’s Up Tesla – December 24, 2022. All Rights Reserved. My goal as an author is to support Tesla and Elon Musk in both making life better on earth for humans and becoming a space-fairing civilization. Header image Courtesy Tesla, Inc.
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