Friday, April 01, 2016

Is Elon Musk the Henry Ford of Electric Cars?




Tesla has unveiled its new $35,000 (USD) car, the "Model 3." The car is said to have a range of 320 km. on a full charge.

Will the Model 3,  a name that triggers memories of the legendary Model T, make Elon Musk the Henry Ford of the electric car age? There are some who believe that Tesla's Model 3 could take off. Some think the company could spool up production to hundreds of thousands of these vehicles within just four or five years. Given that the first Model 3 won't be reaching customers' garages until 2017 that seems like a wartime-scale reach.

What sets Elon Musk head and shoulders above all others is his company's work on developing leading edge battery technology and the fact that he's willing to share many of his most important patents with other automobile producers as I understand it for free.

14 comments:

Steve said...

Mound good historical comparison, but Eldon Musk is a progressive hero, and Ford was a promulgater of bullshit in general. Just when we think all is lost we get a guy like this. IMHO Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Larry Ellison dropped the ball.

The Mound of Sound said...


Ford was certainly an anti-semitic bigot and a nasty piece of work generally but he did kickstart mass production and he did, albeit for his personal benefit, ensure that his workers earned more than the going rate - so as to be able to afford his own cars.

Musk appears to be far more altruistic and, apparently, socially-blemish free. I'm not sure he really wants to be in the automotive industry. My hunch is that he built that huge desert factory to supply automotive batteries to other manufacturers. Tesla 3 might just be his means of kicking them in the pants to transition.

John's aghast said...

April First? Is this for real?

The Mound of Sound said...

No, John, the unveiling was yesterday. I didn't get around to posting it until today. It's been in the works for some time and the unveiling was anticipated for around this time.

Lorne said...

I watched the unveiling this morning, and I agree that it seems to have really strong potential, especially at an entry price of $35,000 U.S. Here in Ontario, Mound, there are incentives up to about $10,000 for electric vehicles, and I was thinking about the possibilities three or four years hence when I need a new car; by then, the charging station infrastructure should be much more established, and who knows what further advances in lithium-ion battery technology may be made by then?

The Mound of Sound said...


Agreed, Lorne. My town and Nanaimo are constructing free rapid-charging stations to encourage the transition to electric cars.

Living on the island, 320 km. range should get me to any destination provided I can charge up once I get there.

It sounds as though that UBS forecast from 2014 is coming true. An electrical world where the family will generate their own power for their household and transportation needs. New, more efficient and vastly cheaper solar panels, new storage systems like the Tesla Power Wall and electric vehicles like the Tesla Model 3.

In my province with its abundance of untapped clean energy sources - ocean currents (Vancouver Island at the north end is one giant Venturi tube), tidal energy, geothermal (the blessing of mountains and plate tectonics), wind and hydroelectric (again, thanks mountains), we could provide clean electricity for much of the country. The wind is free, the currents are free, the tides are free, the geothermal is free, and so is the rain. The best part is that the currents, the tides and the geothermal are 24/7 options - every day, year in and year out, literally forever.

Anonymous said...

Anyong said: Ford also provided the SS with their motors by way of Portugal. My father who served in the British Armed Forces during WWII would not ever buy a ford.

The Mound of Sound said...


Well I know GM was in a joint venture with Junkers that made a lot of engines for Luftwaffe bombers involved in the Blitz.

Anonymous said...

Tesla'a cars including model 3 car are prime example of over-consumption.
So much for saving the Gaia, hi,hi,hi...
A..non

The Mound of Sound said...

@ A..non. A 'prime example of over-consumption' - why, because you say so?
If we're going to transition out of fossil fuels we will need an alternative energy vehicle. At the moment battery seems the preferred option. Perhaps not where you live.

Anonymous said...

Are cars worth 100k+ signs of modesty, eh?
Because crowds of rich, well-to-do, First World people addicted to technology, salivating at government subsidies (to which they should not be entitled to) and high on "affluenza" say so?
As for 45k+ CAD car, a similar, somewhat less vitriolic, critique applies.
A..non

The Mound of Sound said...

Well, A..non, at least you dragged yourself back "on topic." That's a start.

Anonymous said...

Well, well, it might be a deep subject, but for starters, I move the motion that I always was on topic...
A..non

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