Green Car Manufacturer Tesla calls for “Volunteers” to Prove the Haters Wrong

Image from Tesla’s website

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Electric car manufacturer Tesla has called for people to volunteer their time, to help Tesla hit production targets and prove the “haters” wrong.

Tesla Asks for Model 3 Factory Volunteers to Prove ‘Haters’ Wrong

By Dana Hull
30 March 2018, 01:12 GMT+10 Updated on 30 March 2018, 02:55 GMT+10

Tesla Inc. exhorted its factory workers to disprove the “haters” betting against the company and is letting a small number of volunteers join the effort to ramp up output of the crucial Model 3 line.

In a pair of internal memos last week, the heads of engineering and production spelled out measures to free up workers for the Model 3 line and challenged them to reach production goals. Doug Field, the engineering chief, told staff that if they can exceed 300 Model 3s a day, it would be an “incredible victory” at a time when short-sellers and critics are increasingly doubting the company’s ability to fulfill CEO Elon Musk’s vision of building a mass-production electric-vehicle manufacturer

“I find that personally insulting, and you should too,” Field wrote in the March 23 email. “Let’s make them regret ever betting against us. You will prove a bunch of haters wrong.

Read more: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-03-29/tesla-urges-workers-to-prove-haters-wrong-ramp-up-production

The “haters” in this case seems to be a reference to shareholders and investors. Tesla has recently seen its share price collapse, in part because of failure to hit production targets. As a result a lot of traders have reportedly shorted Tesla stock in anticipation of further falls in value.

If Tesla collapses, the failure will represent a remarkable destruction of US taxpayer’s funds. In 2015 LA Times reported Tesla had received over $4.6 billion in government subsidies. $4.6 billion of public money which could have been spent repairing roads or helping poor people ended up being used as green corporate welfare for a private company.

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163 thoughts on “Green Car Manufacturer Tesla calls for “Volunteers” to Prove the Haters Wrong

    • Can you imagine the reaction if Ford or GM were to publicly ask their union workers to voluntarily “work for free” because production rates were slowing?

      When slavery is the only solution you can think of for you manufacturing costs, you’re in big, big trouble.

    • The truth in how to make money off the backs of tax payers using, AGW hype, tax laws and expensive legal assistance.

      1. Form two primary companies, maybe several addition supporting foreign companies as needed, making sure you have invested some of your own money in each company. Make sure to have a larger percentage of your money in the second primary company.
      2. Make sure the two companies are seen as inovative and able to qualify for government loans.
      3. Make the two companies appear to be successful beyond investors wildest dreams.
      4. At some point, after making the stock profile appear that the companies are going to be wildly successful, convince the stock holders of company one to buy company two.
      5. When company one fails, file the appropriate IRS tax forms for the horrible losses you incurred in company one.
      6. Keep the money you made off the backs of tax payers from the sale of company two to company one.
      7. Live happily ever after, perhaps in a country without an extradition agreement with the USA.

  1. It’s so much as even if they do well they will still fail. The Model 3 was forecast at falling battery prices that haven’t manifested as quickly as Elon thought, it still costs too much to make and they are losing money on even the more expensive ones as none of the base models can be bought yet. The Semi is another albatross as they won’t be able to make money on them without a massive breakthrough in battery technology, even then it’s hard to see how they will make money on them. Elon is a salesman, he knows at what price he needs to sell them at, he doesn’t seem to care that he has to make money doing it. Giving away value like that isn’t sustainable and I don’t see a way out anymore. Likely dead within 2 years, where the name lives on but under a different stewardship where someone picks up the pieces. It’s not worth the debt to buy, only through bankruptcy will the Tesla brand maybe be successful, we shall see.

    • “We lose money on every unit we make, but we’ll make up for it with volume!”…innumeracy at its finest!

    • This is the new land of the unicorns. You don’t have to make money to be obscenely valued. Hey, it was good enough in 2000, so it’s good enough now.

      BTW, Uber is in exactly the same boat. They subsidize every ride. Once they run out of capital, they’re done.

      • And when the drivers do their taxes they learn they are not making near the money they think they are. Independent Contractors means YOU pay both half’s of the SS and Medicare tax (Self and Employer), Heavy mileage means extra payment on your lease or big payment when you trade it in. Maintenance expenses goes up. etc. etc.

    • Yes, and the semi? I saw an article where somebody did a back of the envelope calculation scaling up an electric car to the size of a semi. It turns out that the batteries would weigh more than the payload. And as a comparison, if I recall correctly, a diesel powered rig has 2 saddle tanks that carry 50 gallons each. 100 (Imperial) gallons of diesel weighs about 800 pounds, so on average (fuel half full) on a 5-600 mile trip, the fuel weighs 400 pounds. No contest.

      • I am not that quick to dismiss the Semi out-of-hand.

        Its proportions were estimated at 8-10 extended-range automotive battery backs, so yes, you are probably talking about an extra 12,000 lbs taken out of the payload capacity of the truck, but I believe the electric motors are lighter than the equivalent Diesel engine. Yes, there is an economic cost to the reduced payload, but the battery back is nowhere near weighing more than the remaining payload.

        But unless green initiatives drive up the cost of electricity to German levels, the electricity cost relative to diesel fuel is a bargain that has many fleet operators drooling. Again, there has been little discussion of recouping the substantial road tax paid by trucks through the purchase of diesel fuel, but the cost savings are still substantial.

        A valid criticism is that the announced purchase price of the Semi depends on lithium batteries continuing to decline in dollars per kWHr stored and the number of recharge cycles that can be obtained in this heavy-duty service.

        Spec sheets claim that lithium batteries in laptop computer are good for 400 full-charge cycles. At a projected price of $100/kWHr of storage, this would add 25 cents to, what, 10 cents/kWHr average retail price of electricity in the U.S.? On the other hand, I have seen it claimed that Tesla’s computerized control over the battery charging and discharging process makes their battery packs good for 3000 cycles? Then, you are talking about a 3 cent/kWHr cost for the battery pack on top of the 10 cents of the electricity from the power company, which makes the economics of the truck very good.

        The concern with the Semi is not that a battery powered truck is unworkable; the concern is that Tesla has offered specs that make a battery powered truck plausible, and herein is the problem discussing it. Were one to question whether battery prices will dip below $100/kWHr, one will be labelled a price-trend denier. Were one to question the large number of cycles from a Tesla battery pack, one is a science-and-technology denier.

        I think that Tesla has done an amazing job using the capabilities of the lithium battery to make the electric car plausible. Instead of some tinny, tiny glorified golf cart, their cars are substantial vehicles with a lot of power, enough range for most person’s everyday use and a means of rapid charging to make long distance trips at least plausible for some people. They have claimed that their Model 3 can also make the electric car affordable, and the jury is out on that one, especially since they are only selling expensive “optioned-up” Model 3s and they appear to be struggling to produce them in the promised numbers.

        As Model 3 production clunks along, the postings of the “believers” in Tesla over at the Seeking Alpha investment website are taking on an air of desperation. The affordable electric car or the electric semi-trailer truck may be plausible, but are they achievable?

      • I don’t think the semi would cut the mustard here in Oz. With the advent of ‘B’ Doubles, and now the introduction of ‘A’ doubles, the industry is looking at ways to maximise payload and productivity. Combined with the large distances that our trucks run, electric is not gonna even come close! When I was driving interstate back in the ’80’s, the truck I was driving carried enough fuel to go from Melbourne, to Brisbane, and part way back, where I would top up to continue home.
        I now drive a tonne van, actual capacity, 1280 Kg. Think electric, halve the payload, and reduce the range to maybe 20%? I only fuel my van once a week! Be a right royal pain to charge it everyday!

      • The biggest problem with the semi is, that you need some seriously massive chargers. If you try to charge the truck with normal chargers, it takes way too long. You can only invest in the truck if you drive fixed routes and install heavy duty chargers at your garage. A better idea is to have a hybrid semi.

      • Those are small tanks. Dad’s semi has 2 saddle tanks carrying 250 gallons each. It’s not an unusual configuration for long-haul trucks. The tanks you quote are more for across-town operations, say from a warehouse to a retailer.

      • Battery prices have dropped below $100/1kwh. I just bought 4 “Econo Power” 12V, 110AH deep cycle marine batteries for $50 each at Interstate battery, and 12V * 110AH = 1320 watt/hours.

        Oh, you meant new lithium ion battery prices, as opposed to “blem” lead-acid battery prices? Yea, just amazes me how much cheaper the lead-acid batteries are for the capacity.

      • I have no animosity toward any electric car. My feelings are much more personal. Elon, I’ll offer you the same deal as I offer all crony Capitalists. If you build and sell cars, solar panels, or Utopia WITHOUT USING ANY OF MY MONEY, I won’t hate you. As long as you require my tax money, well…

        Now, I understand that rockets are a special case, as they have been a function of government spending, and as the US currently has none of their own, and we need to resupply the ISS, and so forth, a reasonable mark up on space flights ordered by the government is one thing. But government hand-outs for electric vehicles and solar panels and special rules and property liens and the like, all that must stop completely. Nor will I be satisfied if stay silent while fanatic greenies or weaselly politicians “give” you the money. You must not lobby for it, you must not accept it if it is offered. You must enter voluntary contracts with willing buyers, ONLY, and the buyers also must receive no subsidy from my tax dollars. The only way to avoid being hated for being a cronyist, is to not be a cronyist.

        That’s my deal for you, Elon. Take it or leave it.

    • I think the BIg Battery Breakthrough will happen some day – but that day may still be 60 or 70 years away, and anyone who bets on it happening before it does is going to go broke.

    • All that needs to happen now is Elon being caught with cases stuffed full of cocaine.

      Back to the future?

    • The Tesla fiasco is another fine illustration of why government should never pick winners and losers. The taxpayer always loses, first of all, and the only ones who benefit are the snake-oil salesman subsidy and mandate miners and the government officials whose pants pockets/campaign coffers get lined.

      Elon Musk should pay back every nickel received from taxpayers with interest, or have everything he owns confiscated.

  2. Makes you wonder how much additional government money Tesla has received in the last three years.

  3. WOW if I was a Tesla investor I would be running for the door as fast as my little feet would carry me. How would you like to own a car and/or battery pack put together by volunteers who most likely do not even own a screwdriver. He is not a charity and minimum wage laws will apply. This appeal shows how desperate he really is.

    • It’s not random volunteers. He’s asking for unpaid overtime. That’s a classic desperation tactic.

      • He could try putting the people in management to work on the factory floor. Salaried positions like those generally don’t have to be paid for overtime. :]

      • That unpaid-overtime part is not obvious from the article. It sounds like he’s asking workers from the temporarily-shut-down production lines to shift over to the Model 3, at regular hours and pay (for two days). If they don’t shift, which is their option, hence “volunteer”, they will be unpaid (for doing nothing) or can take accrued vacation days. That’s not the same as free labour, which is a common usage of “volunteer”, but not in this example.

  4. 4.6 billion lost to this part of the multiple CAGW shams is a lot less than what they’ve cost all of us.
    I’ll name the first and easiest: Solyndra.
    (PS It went belly up, but it’s executives didn’t.)

    • Ron Pelosi, brother in law to The Witch, was Executive Director of PCG that invested with Solyandra.
      Fed gov loan guarantees prevented losses to this group.

    • I think those will simply be footnotes when the final story of the green debacle is written. At least three full chapters will probably be devoted to The Train to Nowhere.

  5. At first glance, I thought Tesla was letting volunteers have a free Model 3 to drive around town and show off to their friends. There’s something I could get behind! ;-)

    • Corrosion protection costs extra, my 2000 Ford Mustang GT had the tie rod ends fail after 53,000 miles, I thank the Almighty it happened at 5 mph rather than 75 mph…

      • Two spots down-thread, why trying to save weight and/or cost on critical steering and/or suspension components causes disasters. Teslas are built by Silicon Valley engineers who seem to think that a car is a computer that moves, read reviews of the dashboard/touch-screen of the Model 3, ignorant amateurs with government subsidies. Just Say No…

      • Make the bolts from chrome-vanadium steel — not as expensive as stainless but last nearly as long.

    • “Where in all that is right and proper he found bolts that die in 3 years anywhere is beyond me.”

      In the mid 80’s GM found hinges for the drop down Suburban tailgate that failed in two years. Those failing bolts today just show that Tesla is well down the manufacturing learning curve, if the current article doesn’t already make that obvious.

  6. Reminds me of some WWII firearms.
    Person A: It was innovative, ground breaking, a whole new direction.
    Person B: True, it was also a piece of JUNK!

    Teslas have some real issues with the mechanicals.
    1) Some sort of suspension failure where the whole car body falls down onto the wheels. Further damage is done by the falling.
    2) A front end steering/suspension failure where the front wheels splay out. A part similar in function to a tie rod connector is made of aluminum and fatigue fails.
    3) The motor which provides power assist to the steering falls off. The hold down bolts are made of aluminum and shear off. As the motor loosens, the drive sprocket and power transfer belt both get ruined.
    What insane engineer makes a hold down bolt out of aluminum???
    My guess is that the battery packs are so heavy that they thought it wise to underbuild the whole rest of the mechanicals in an effort to bum out every last possible ounce. If production does ramp up, so will these problems.
    The suspension problems outlined in 1) and 2) seem to be causing auto insurers to total out the vehicles as opposed to repairing them. And these are $60K-$80K vehicles. Apparently, fixing a Tesla is an issue in itself.

  7. Reality is surpassing the hype. Tesla has never produced product on time or to the promised low cost point. Despite all the glowing reports from the MSM a quick read of the forums and occasional news report that slips past them show quality is an issue. I would love to see them become successful but without the subsidies and I doubt it’s feasible given their lack of experience producing automobiles. It looks like it will become another failed company in a long line of nouveau riche start ups out of Silicone Valley that collect rabid followers until they don’t.

  8. What, no singing of the company song by the workers? i don’t quite see the connection between a financial analyst’s negative evaluation of a company and “hatred.”

    • I don’t think the haters are the analysts. The haters are the ones who hate to see taxpayer money squandered on market-destroying subsidies by politicians who don’t have a clue. Count me in as part of that group, by the way.

      • Count me in, too. Especially when the supposed justification of the government subsidies or mandates is in any way related to “climate” BS.

  9. “Tesla Asks for Model 3 Factory Volunteers to Prove ‘Haters’ Wrong”

    Another low in the eco-looney world for fantasy spin!

    A) Just who/whom are the haters? According to Tesla, it’s tesla’s failure to reach promised manufacturing goals.

    From WSJ:

    “Tesla also has managed to flatter (flatten) its operating cash flow picture by stretching its working capital.
    ‘Accounts payable grew by nearly $530 million in 2017 to about $2.4 billion, while accounts receivable grew by just $15 million.
    The difference generated more than half a billion in cash.
    That was a smart move to conserve resources, but the trouble is that eventually these suppliers will demand their money.
    They won’t be comfortable if Tesla can’t meet its forecast production rate of 2,500 Model 3 cars a week by the end of the first quarter.

    Production issues are only one part of the Model 3 problem, however.
    The car doesn’t seem to be in as high demand as Chief Executive Elon Musk once promised investors.
    Analysts at Bernstein said in a research note last week that fewer than 30% of customers who have been invited to take delivery of the Model 3 have actually done so.”

    Tesla is making suppliers wait to receive their payments.
    A practice that usually moves purchasers from receiving premium products and treatment to getting the bottom of the barrel goods, whenever.

    Now Tesla (Musk) wants their employees to work harder for the same salaries. When Tesla makes their employees wait to cash their paychecks, that will really hammer quality.

    Which goes a long way towards explaining why less than 30% of potential Tesla Customers taking delivery of their cobbled Model 3 cars.

    Not that other tesla problems help fan desire to own Tesla:

    “Tesla Recalls 123,000 Model S Cars Over Bolt Issue
    Car maker discovered that certain corroding bolts in cold weather climates could lead to power-steering failure

    https://electrek.files.wordpress.com/2018/03/download.jpeg?quality=82&strip=all&w=496&h=371&zoom=2
    That metal mesh looking thing on the floor is the top of the battery.

    A better view:
    https://electrek.files.wordpress.com/2018/03/download-3.jpeg?quality=82&strip=all&w=746&h=559&zoom=2

    Which brings up the topic of <a href=lithium atmospheric combustion by-products:

    “Lithium oxide is formed along with small amounts of lithium peroxide when lithium metal is burned in the air and combines with oxygen:

    SECTION 2. HAZARDS IDENTIFICATION Lithium Oxide
    GHS05 Corrosion
    Skin Corr. 1B H314 Causes severe skin burns and eye damage.
    Eye Dam. 1 H318 Causes serious eye damage.

    “Hazard statements
    H314 Causes severe skin burns and eye damage.
    Precautionary statements
    P260 Do not breathe dust/fume/gas/mist/vapors/spray.
    P303+P361+P353 If on skin (or hair): Take off immediately all contaminated clothing. Rinse skin with water/shower.
    P305+P351+P338 IF IN EYES: Rinse cautiously with water for several minutes. Remove contact lenses, if present and easy to do. Continue rinsing. ”

    Chemical Names: Lithium peroxide (Li2(O2)); 12031-80-0; Dilithium peroxide; Lithium oxide (Li2O2);

    “Signal: Danger GHS Hazard Statements

    H314 (100%): Causes severe skin burns and eye damage [Danger Skin corrosion/irritation]
    H318 (52.27%): Causes serious eye damage [Danger Serious eye damage/eye irritation]

    Health Hazard
    Excerpt from ERG Guide 143 [Oxidizers (Unstable)]: TOXIC; inhalation, ingestion or contact (skin, eyes) with vapors, dusts or substance may cause severe injury, burns or death. Fire may produce irritating and/or toxic gases. Toxic fumes or dust may accumulate in confined areas (basement, tanks, hopper/tank cars, etc.). Runoff from fire control or dilution water may cause pollution. (ERG, 2016) ”

    “Antidote and Emergency Treatment
    Basic treatment: Establish a patent airway (oropharyngeal or nasopharyngeal airway, if needed). Suction if necessary. Watch for signs of respiratory insufficiency and assist ventilations if necessary. Administer oxygen by nonrebreather mask at 10 to 15 L/min. Monitor for pulmonary edema and treat if necessary … . Monitor for shock and treat if necessary … . Anticipate seizures and treat if necessary … . For eye contamination, flush eyes immediately with water. Irrigate each eye continuously with 0.9% saline (NS) during treatment … . Do not use emetics. For ingestion, rinse mouth and administer 5 mL/kg up to 200 mL of water for dilution if the patient can swallow, has a strong gag reflex, and does not drool … . Cover skin burns with dry sterile dressings after decontamination … . /Lithium and related compounds/

    SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS/ Acute intoxication can occur in the initial phase in a course of therapy, but also at any point of time during long-lasting treatment or after an acute overdose. At plasma levels between 1.5 and 2.5 mmol/L, signs of toxicity include anorexia, dry mouth, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, tremor of the hands, faintness of musculature, thirst, leucocytosis, and concentration and memory disturbances (especially with older people). These phenomena are often seen in the initial phase of a course of treatment and usually disappear when treatment continues, except with the tremor of the hands. In elderly people, reversible delirious conditions can occur with confusion, restlessness, and ataxia. At plasma levels above 2.5 mmol/L, serious toxic symptoms occur; fasciculations, muscle contractions, hyperreflexia and hypertonia, drowsiness, confusion, sometimes epileptiform insults, hypotension, coma, collapse. Independent of the plasma level, changes can occur in the ECG and in the EEC, with symptoms such as polyuria and polydipsia, seldom nephrogenic diabetes insipidus, ulcers of the leg, enhancement of acne and psoriasis, transient hyperglycemia, pruritus, and a metal taste. In about 5% of the cases, a (usually reversible) hypothyroidia develops. /Li+/
    Chang, L.W. (ed.). Toxicology of Metals. Boca Raton, FL: Lewis Publishers, 1996, p. 455”

  10. “Factory Volunteers”?
    I guess free labor is the only way they can get Musk’s business model to work.

  11. Tesla is a remarkable car in terms of engineering – I test-drove the gull-wing SUV recently and was truly impressed by how it handled, especially in the snow. I tried and could not make it misbehave.

    There are certain design possibilities with an all-electric car that just make good sense. The cost and life of batteries is still the issue.

    I hope Musk and Tesla succeed, and I will not be one of those who try to pull him down.

    Regards, Allan MacRae, P.Eng.

    • Allan I think you will agree, remarkable engineering –that is not worth it to consumers –without the huge subsidies bringing cost down enough so that they can be priced low enough to equal the value such that they will be purchased without the company making profit.

      • Allen. I am with you on the engineering and performance potential of Tesla and other electric drive vehicles. I was at a Tesla showroom yesterday, actually, in Calgary kicking the tires of one of their “samples”. I was quite impressed with what I saw. Of course you don’t know how long the bolts are going to hold it together unless you buy one and learn the hard way. They will undoubtedly have growing pains and quality control issues as they age (assuming that they make it that far before implosion, which may not be far off). The downside is significant but I hope they pull through it. I’m not a Musk fan and I deplore the public trough offering drinks to corporate bums. Interesting times……….

    • Nobody has to try to pull him down. The laws of economics are as inviolable as those of physics.

      Elon Musk May as well be trying to travel beyond the speed of light.

      • I certainly wouldn’t go up in one of his spacecraft – in fact I wonder if his “recoverable boosters” are an illusion. IOW I wouldn’t trust the man further than I could throw him.

    • Macrae,

      Did you know that the battery for the Model S weighs 1,700 lbs? Sure, all wonderful, but more than twice the weight of the Engine + Gas Tank of any sedan you could name? Not to mention the battery fires the fire department Cannot extinguish. Can’t wait to get my first one, NOT…

    • Well, so is a Williams F1 car. That doesn’t make it a practical means of transport, though.

    • There are certain design possibilities with an all-electric car that just make good sense. The cost and life of batteries is still the issue.

      I hope Musk and Tesla succeed, and I will not be one of those who try to pull him down.

      Completely agree. There is a certain brashness about Musk which many consider arrogance. I’m sure the original Tesla provoked similar reactions. Sometimes new technology needs a P.T. Barnum to win general acceptance and Musk certainly fills that role.

      Electric vehicles have progressed to the point where they are a practical choice for some people. Now if we could solve the problems with liquid fuel cells, that would be a game changer.

      In the meantime, I’m keeping my IC vehicle.

      Investors put down their money willingly and if it goes bust, that’s the risk they take. Subsidies from the public treasury are another matter and so far we have seen no benefits from Tesla sufficient to justify the “contributions” our government has so generously provided from our pockets.

  12. $4.6 billion of public money which could have been spent repairing roads or helping poor people ended up being used as green corporate welfare for a private company.

    Or given back to the productive taxpayers who have proven an ability to make profitable products that the market wants.

    How ’bout we keep the government out of private markets altogether? It’s so crazy it just might work.

    • “How ’bout we keep the government out of private markets altogether? It’s so crazy it just might work.”
      That’s not something socialist driven governments, in the search for utopia will adhere to. They will however. Continue that blinkered search. All the while still attempting to “pick winners”……….. till other peoples money runs out.
      Your fortunate in America to have a leader who knows a scam/fraud and is willing to call it out. As evidenced by him in turning of the money tap to the UN. He politely refers to them as “bad deals”.. His leadership might just save you from tipping anymore into these “planet saving schemes”.

  13. Nobody is hating, they just are tiring of subsidizing this company, which is not green at all. Massive mining to make the batteries…

    • “Massive mining to make the batteries…” And so, must we also eschew all elements in the Periodic Table because they too are produced by the mining industry?

    • They can rail against negativity all they like, but no amount of positive thinking is going to make an aluminum retaining bolt withstand the same amount of repetitive stress as a steel one. :|

  14. Another +$4.6 Billion US taxpayer dollars sluicing down the green sewer created by the corrupt Obama regime….

  15. Ken Lay (Enron’s founder and CEO) made an analogy between the short sellers/negative media and the NYC terrorists. In about October 2001, this was two months before Enron’s bankruptcy. It was at an all-employee meeting–and it was the first time the employees did not buy his story.

    • My favourite Enron quote was that Enron went bankrupt without ever posting a losing quarter …. an amazing accomplishment when you think about it ;-)

      • An amazing accomplishment of book-cooking on the part of Enron’s accountants, you mean. ;)

  16. If you were pitched a business model as an investor that relied upon volunteer labor and subsidies to make it work, would you be sold? If the pitch never mentioned the need for free labor, would you feel you’d been had?

    • They have paid back loans, but they do not have to pay back the subsidies awarded to them for being so called, green. I also hate seeing Teslas and other so called green cars with “Access OK” stickers allowing them to drive in the “Commuter” lanes.

      • Yup – get rid of all the subsidy BS. Let the product sink or swim on its own merit, and at a realistic price that reflects the cost of manufacture.

      • I would like to say one more thing about engineering. Engineering is the art of compromise in the quest for performance. In manufacturing, cost is part of engineering. The distortion here is subsidies, which enable the fine engineering to succeed, while the product that was designed could not be sold otherwise. That is, the “value” of the engineering is lower than its cost.

  17. If a company can’t meet its production targets by paying people it seems unlikely that it will suddenly achieve them by asking people to do something extra for free. Appeals to emotion didn’t save previous car manufacturers when faced with more efficient competitors. The footsteps of doom are becoming quite loud now.

  18. Someone should clue Elon that bumping his keel along the bottom occasionally is survivable; making a habit of it is unsustainable.

      • Recalibrate.
        Driving south from Pittsburgh to Florida my average speed is 65 mph. Typically, I drive 13 hrs the first day, but 15 would be entirely possible. Done it numerous times.

      • JPP,

        Yes, I to like to go as far as I can (1000 mile goal) in a day.

        NN,

        (I drive a careful 37 mph on the highway so I too have to drive 27 hours a day.)

      • NN:
        There are significant sections of our country where 70+ mph is the legal speed, with drivers pushing over the limit.

        Montana did not have speed limit on many roads, until the Federal Government withheld transportation and highway funds.

        Now, Montana has limits on all of their roads.
        Which does not mean Montana enforces the limits frequently.

        Back in the tricky Dick era, Nixon arbitrarily declared the nations maximum speed limit at 55 mph. An order that ignored vehicle’s most efficient speeds. Instead of saving fuel, Nixon’s order wasted it.
        My car broke down in Missouri. I left the car at a mechanic’s shop, then hitchhiked miles to stay in a Missouri State Park.
        Hitchhiking did not work, at all.
        However, just walking down a rural road caused people to stop and ask if I could use a ride.
        That rural road had prominent signs stating a 40 mph speed limit. Over several days traveling back and forth, not one person went less than 60 mph. Including the County’s deputy Sheriff who picked me up the second day.
        It was the Deputy Sheriff who invited me to come watch Friday night drag races; after we talked cars and engine modifications.

        1,000 miles, 70 mph –> 14-15 hours driving. Easy, though YMMV.

        Personally, driving across America’s West, I start driving between 7AM and 8AM. Depending whether I camp or not, I stop around 11PM. Earlier if I get sleepy, later if I’m fine. Driving times that attain at least 500 miles in distance and often 800 miles.

        Professional drivers, even those constrained by law to limited times and miles often drive much further than I achieve.

      • You’ve never heard of Iron Butt riders? Some 60,000 motorcyclists in the US alone have qualified for that distinction – and I’m one of them. Rough on the back. Much easier in a car. Stopped every 150 miles to get forgiveness from the back. The Dakotas and Montana really helped with speed limits of 80 mph on the interstate. Since I always drive 10 – 15% over the speed limit, you can really eat up the miles.
        We considered a relaxing day a mere 600 miles. Gave us lots of time to barhop in the evenings – especially going East to West.

      • I remember a very close call when I fell asleep behind the wheel. Just woke up in time to be able to put things right again, with the help of skyrocketing adrenaline. Since that event, I’m having a break, a KitKat and a nap regularly. Occasional speeding is fine, but there are so many idiots on the roads who never learned to even handle a pram.

    • At what temperature And at what battery age? When new at 20C, the $35k model 3 is advertised as 215 miles. Colder or older makes it worse by up to half for both.

  19. Still, I believe Elon has a goodly few billions left in his personal fortune? He has done well on OPM. Can he carry on without it?

  20. There was a reference to Tesla from a commentator “Joseph” on JoanneNova’s site 2 days ago which I find difficult to believe . The reference was to a blog from a financial entrepreneur discussing Tesla’s finances and the extraordinary fact ( if it is a fact )that Musk has been awarded a bonus of billions at a time when he is apparently asking people to work for nothing:
    https://www.sovereignman.com/trends/tesla-without-any-doubt-is-on-the-verge-of-bankruptcy-23219/

    some quotes :
    -“Just a few days ago, shareholders of Tesla approved an almost comical pay package for their cult leader CEO Elon Musk that could potentially put $50 BILLION in his pocket over the next decade.
    Let’s put this figure in perspective: at $5 billion per year, Musk would make more than every single CEO in the S&P 500. COMBINED.
    In other words, if you add up the salaries of all the CEOs of the 500 largest companies in America, it would still be less than the $5 billion per year that Mr. Musk stands to earn.
    That’s pretty astounding given that Tesla’s own 2017 4th quarter financial report (page 24) states that Elon “does not devote his full time and attention to Tesla”.-”

    —“Or more importantly, that under Musk’s leadership, Tesla’s chronic financial incontinence has racked up more than $4.97 billion in operating losses for its shareholders.
    Or that the company has been under SEC investigation (without bothering to disclose this fact to shareholders). (Is this true?- MW)
    Yet they saw fit to reward him with the largest CEO pay package in the history of the world.
    This is precisely the type of behavior that is only seen during periods of extreme irrationality when financial markets are at their peak… and poised for a serious correction.-”
    and a comparison with Ford:

    . -“As a reality check, Tesla is worth twice as much as Ford* yet Ford made 6 million cars last year at a $7.6 billion profit while Tesla made 100,000 cars at a $2 billion loss.
    Further, Ford has $12 billion in cash held for “a rainy day” while Tesla will likely run out of money in the next 3 months.”–

    As I said before I do not know how much credence can be put on these comments , and I should stress that I have no problems with EVs . I would like every car or truck passing our house on a busy road to be electric and would love to have a Nissan Leaf for local journeys but cannot afford a new one , and how reliable would be a 3-4 year old pre -owned one?

  21. The target for these EVs is to make them as much like petrol/gas/diesel as they can, especially refill/recharge time.
    Does a forecourt petrol pump move 20 litres per minute?
    That equates roughly to a 3 mega-Watt power flow.
    Compare: UK’s biggest, fastest & powerful ordinary passenger train (the West Coast Pendolino) in normal usage burns 6 mega-Watt on full chat.
    (One quite impressive machine for those that understand electrics, electronics and feedback control systems. Italian of course, they’re the REAL engineers around this part of the world.)

    Our elders and betters in Europe have decided that us plebs are unable to handle a home vacuum cleaner with a power rating of over 1500 Watts but expect to fit, and everyone to handle, a power connection that is 2000 times more powerful into most people’s homes.

    Get it now?
    A CO2 level of 10,000,000ppm would be the very least of our problems. The real one is here and now= Congenital Stupidity.
    One of these days, these muppets are going to inflict upon themselves (and us) what they did to the Rapanui and countless other little tribes.
    Extinction.

  22. “Enron” Musk’s scams are starting to unravel and the rats are leaving the sinking ship.

  23. I made a quick calculation. If you wan to quick charge 1000 Tesla S, you have to fire up a complete semi-sized power Station with 500 MW. Wind turbines will not turn quicker, if you connect some Teslas to them.

    Quick Charging with 400 Volts needs 250 Ampere Lines. Don’t ask me wo will build them and pay them. Here in Germany I guess, the payer will be the simple man on the street – the electricity customer who can never afford such toys.

  24. This reminds me of a machine tool company that I worked for 50 years ago.

    They would get all the parts onto the assembly floor and built the machine in record time, then the supervisor says, “now we have to rebuild it to make it work”.

    They went bankrupt less than 10 years later.

  25. Buy one Tesla bond today and receive 10 cyptocurrency credits in Venezuela, a ticket to Mars, and a free autograph.

  26. I do think that the headline could be misleading when it refers to “volunteers.” None of the following quotes cite a call for volunteers, only cooperation and a willingness to switch to the Model 3 line. (Instead, I suppose, of just being re-assigned to it.) It certainly doesn’t say they won’t be paid.

    I take it more like the meaning of a call for volunteers in the military, not a call for free labor, and especially not from outsiders. If there was some clarifying detail in the original source, it should be added to the article here.

    • It certainly doesn’t say they won’t be paid.

      Elon the stinker Musk will electrocute them if they dare to ask for fair pay. Just firing his workforce won’t do any more. Foul play, that’s it!

    • I agree. I’m one of the Original Tesla Haters ™, but there is no evidence that they’ve asked anyone to work for free. Tesla is such a disaster that there’s really no need to lie about it.

    • Not unpaid then. But still…why can’t they just hire more people to fix the production problems?

      • Their production problems aren’t a matter of short staffing. They are a matter of a Silicon Valley computer merchant’s inability to make a car.

  27. I have often said that Elon Musk is the PT Barnum of the 21st century. I have then been shouted down by the “faithful” who claim that he is the all benevolent Saviour of the planet. Sometimes I hate being correct, not so much this time…

  28. Tesla. A very good example of Western Democratic crony corruption. Of course defence contractors and war profiteers are just the same (recall Halliburton in Iraq). The Green movement is really just a sort of peacetime war – an excuse to slosh billions around to the favoured few.

  29. It’s a common pattern in technology. The bleeding edge often truly bleeds. It’s those who come afterwords with common sense and sound business practices that make the real money.

  30. If so-called “greenies” could ever pull their heads out and accept reality they might realize the most practical and efficient personal vehicle must be powered by a combination of sources. The vast majority of the country requires a vehicle that can operate in the cold, dark winter as well as the hot summer. That means powering the lights, heater, defroster and air conditioner separately and together for more than 250 miles at a time. It also means refueling can’t take more than 10 to 15 minutes. The simplest way that would be possible with present technology is by powering the drive train with an electric motor, supplied by fast charge batteries, charged by an alternator, powered by a small but efficient multi-fuel engine. I would also cover the roof with efficient, and replaceable, photocells capable of charging during use and while parked. So long as sane people are forced to listen to the incoherent ranting of semi-educated fools who deny the climate is always changing, can’t tell what gender they are, feel communism is good for us all and detest all things internal combustion we will continue to circle the drain with these nut cases. It’s way past time for the adults in the room to push them off into the corner and take over the conversation.

  31. If so-called “greenies” could ever pull their heads out and accept reality they might realize the most practical and efficient personal vehicle must be powered by a combination of sources. The vast majority of the country requires a vehicle that can operate in the cold, dark winter as well as the hot summer. That means powering the lights, heater, defroster and air conditioner separately and together for more than 250 miles at a time. It also means refueling can’t take more than 10 to 15 minutes. The simplest way that would be possible with present technology is by powering the drive train with an electric motor, supplied by fast charge batteries, charged by an alternator, powered by a small but efficient multi-fuel engine. I would also cover the roof with efficient, and replaceable, photo cells capable of charging during use and while parked. So long as sane people are forced to listen to the incoherent ranting of semi-educated fools who deny climate is always changing, can’t tell what gender they are, feel communism is good for us all and detest all things internal combustion we will continue to circle the drain with these nut cases. It’s way past time for the adults in the room to push them off into the corner and take over the conversation.

    • …feel communism is good for us all…

      Now they are trying something similar: cow’s manure ist good for us all, all these flies can’t be wrong. The same with battery-powered vehicles: they are gooood because everybody says so. Dear supporters, get a life.

  32. So when Tesla Inc. exhorted its factory workers to disprove the “haters” betting against the company and is letting a small number of volunteers join the effort to ramp up output of the crucial Model 3 line, wasn’t that basically an admission that the “haters’ were right? Seems to me that a successful company would never have to say something like that.

  33. It’s dangerous territory to start renaming tax breaks as ‘subsidies’. Tesla is at least producing something that folk want to buy. His difficulty is in meeting demand.

    • Jasg: It is only “dangerous” to use the term subsidy the way others may use it. I use it to denote “giving others’ money”. The only dangerous way to use subsidy is to denote letting people keep their own money by paying less tax. Tesla would not have much of anything people would want to buy without them being given other people’s money.

      • Tesla were allowed to keep more of their own money by tax breaks and they were allowed a low interest loan that they paid back. People who buy Teslas are currently allowed to keep more of their own money by tax credits. Yes that stimulates demand – maybe we should all get more tax breaks for all cars. Or maybe you like higher taxes that stifle demand? If you are arguing it may be an unfair playing field for Tesla owners to get tax credits and others don’t then what about the fact that Tesla have natural barriers to entry to the car market and that is unfair too. Every story has two sides to it. GM were rescued by the taxpayer and now they are back at full strength, paid back the loan and are paying taxes. So was that ‘subsidy’ a good idea? By calling tax breaks a subsidy then logically we are all being subsidised because we could be paying more taxes. Were you prevented from buying a GM truck by Tesla getting a tax break? Think about things a bit deeper!

      • JasG: you: I understand that you’re probably not aware that, revenue from ZEV credits per vehicle sold stands at about $6,250 per car sold/ They are given other people’s money. Yes, people also get tax breaks from buying Teslas. The point is without all of the preference given, Tesla would not be in existence. Teslas up to this point have been a rich person’s toy that they would mostly not otherwise buy if the cars were not subsidized by other people’s money.

  34. This is like commissars in Stalinist Russia exhorting the workers to turn out more tractors. Where you got sent to the Gulag for being 15min late.

  35. I have my order in for a Jaguar I-Pace. After I have driven it for six months I will make comment on here (I will be driving it to places in the Australian bush so that should test it. If I go missing at least readers here can alert the authorities as to my intentions and alert them to bring a charger).

  36. How can the man who has revolutionized rocket boosters be so stupid about the automobile? His dream of electric cars totally blinds him to the number of new coal and gas-powered generating stations that would have to be built to support his dream. Having seen a picture of of a five year old boy working in lithium rich soil in Africa with his family will forever stay with me. What will that do to his system as he absorbs that lithium? That blood is on Musk’s hands.

    • 1) Lithium does not come from soil. It is pumped from a brine well, mostly from South America.
      .
      2) Lithium is often prescribed as a drug to control manic-depression, so don’t worry about absorbing it.

      • Lithium, despite being used as a drug to treat bipolar conditions, is toxic. Indeed, the toxic dose is dangerously close to the theraputic dose.

    • Cobalt is present in vitamin B12. The LD50 for a 100 kg person is about 20 grams.
      .
      LD50 for lithium is about 50 grams for a 100 kg person.
      .
      Moral of the story, too much of a good thing can be bad for you……have another beer

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