|Lots Of Flash Can Create A Passionate Reaction|
It would be unfair not to make an effort to put this into proper context. This all comes after recent news headlines and articles about all the problems Musk must solve before he can take us to Mars. To clarify, I'm not writing about the "Mars" that is located in a borough located in Butler County, Pennsylvania, with a population of 1,699 during the 2010 census, I mean the planet Mars. The problems surrounding travel to Mars, however, did not stop Musk from unveiling his plans last Friday in Adelaide, Australia, where he announced a new rocket that would allow passengers to travel from one continent to another in about 30 minutes. During the presentation, Musk showed a video of images of a rocket taking off in New York and landing in various places around the world, including Tokyo and Shanghai. He said the New York-Shanghai trip could be done in 39 minutes, while a trip from Bangkok to Dubai would take 27 minutes and Tokyo to Delhi would be 30 minutes.
|Give 'em the old three ring circus, Stun and stagger 'em!|
These stories follow articles about Musk's plans to build a hydroloop or a "conceptual high-speed transportation system" incorporating reduced-pressure tubes in which pressurized capsules ride on an air cushion driven by linear induction motors and air compressors. A bing search of hydroloop system brings up a link to the https:/the website, hyperloop-one.com which allows people to see just how much travel time they will save when they zip along between their starting point and where they are going at nearly 700 miles an hour. Seriously, the damn thing doesn't even exist and this website has people typing in unrealistic destinations. Latching on to this idea and expanding the hype another website declares that "When it comes to the competition to the build the world’s first hyperloop, Missouri won’t take no for an answer." It seems someone proposed a route linking Kansas City, the college town of Columbia, and St. Louis that didn't make the cut when Hyperloop One announced the 10 winners of its Global Challenge, an initiative to identify the most promising sites for the world’s first hyperloop route.
Missouri's proposal lost out because of an apparent lack of support from state officials and local business leaders. But they claim that has changed with the announcement of the Missouri Hyperloop Coalition, a partnership of public and private interests with the goal of raising $1.5 million to fund a feasibility study for the project. From a logistical perspective, they claim their hyperloop proposal was one of, if not the strongest in the United States. The 250-mile route running along Interstate 70 between Kansas City and St. Louis takes nearly four hours to drive the hyperloop would cut that to 25 minutes. Andrew Smith of the St. Louis Regional Chamber has been one of the key architects of the Missouri Hyperloop Coalition declined to give a precise timeline for when the feasibility study would happen, but he said the coalition is optimistic they will be able to raise the $1.5 million from the Missouri business community in the near future.
|Give 'em the old hocus pocus!|
With his plate more than full of tasks that would stress any other mortal Elon Musk has announced that Tesla is again postponing the electric truck event that was initially moved from the end of September to October 26, it has now been switched to November 16 which will allow it to focuses on Model 3 production and Puerto Rico. The CEO went on a quick Twitterstorm about the Model 3 on Oct 6th where he stated that Tesla is still in “production hell” when it comes to the Model 3. Even with this acknowledgment, the CEO seemed to not outright announce any delay in the delivery timelines for the regular customer deliveries. Of course, Tesla shares continued to shake off the bad news even with Goldman Sachs rating Tesla a sell with a six-month price target of $210, which represents downside of about 40% compared with Tuesday prices.“We continue to maintain our more cautious Model 3 ramp, which is far below company target,” they said.
Musk spoke for Tesla a while back saying it aimed to build 1,500 of the Model 3 in September, with plans to dial that up to 5,000 by the end of the year and 10,000 a week by the end of 2018, however, they only managed to finish 260, with only 220 of them reaching their new owners. The company blamed the shortage on "production bottlenecks" but failed to reveal, at least according to sources quoted by the Wall Street Journal (paywall), is that production went on at a much lower rate partly because a special area of the plant was assigned to hand assembly where workers put various pieces together manually. Tesla was supposed to use these initial months as an extended testing period, but the idea was to test the production cycle as well as the vehicle. With the former failing to perform, that means we might be looking at further delays in the promised ramp-up. It borders on insanity that since less than one vehicle in five thousand is a Tesla that the company is valued only second to Toyota as the most valuable car manufacture in the world. Many Americans have never seen a Tesla driven down the street.
Adding to the show Musk has created which many admirers find "so splendiferous" it now comes out that the governor of Puerto Rico has signaled his support for Elon Musk’s plan to use solar to restore power to the hurricane-stricken island. On Friday, Governor Ricardo Rossello made plans over Twitter to speak with the Tesla CEO further, describing the idea as potentially turning into the company’s “flagship project.” This is just one day after Musk outlined an idea to restore power to the island. Some parts of the Island were expected to spend the next four to six months without energy after Hurricane Maria. While Tesla has already shipped some Powerwall batteries to the island Musk’s plan to use solar to get all of Puerto Rico back online is far more ambitious. On Thursday Musk put out on Twitter that “The Tesla team has done this for many smaller islands around the world, but there is no scalability limit, so it can be done for Puerto Rico too,” he continued, “Such a decision would be in the hands of the PR govt, PUC, any commercial stakeholders and, most importantly, the people of PR.”
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Footnote; My apologies to any Elon Musk fans I may have offended. Below are several other posts concerning both Musk and Tesla.