Wednesday, December 05, 2018

This Week in Musk World

Another busy week in Musk World.

Tesla has now achieved production rates of 1,000 Model 3's a day. If Tesla is able to keep this up then the $35,000 Model 3 could be a reality as soon as May of 2019.

1,000 Model 3's a day is impressive but that's nothing compared to the 3.5 million battery cells produced by the GigaFactory which as this video points out is Elon Musk's key to Tesla's future.

Solving production issues has allowed the Model 3 to become the 4th best selling car in the US by volume and the best selling passenger car by revenue. The success of the Model 3 has spelled doom for hybrid electric vehicles like the Chevy Volt. GM vows that they will be jumping into the all-electric car market with both feet in the coming years. But based upon the continued progress of Elon Musk and Tesla - they might be too late.

The cars Tesla is producing are getting used in the real world with the company announcing over 10 billion miles have been driven in Tesla cars already. With an amazing 1 billion miles being driven while under the autopilot feature. And Tesla keeps on rolling out improvements to its Navigate and Autopilot functions. 

It wasn't all roses this week in Musk World though. Elon was once again chastised for smoking pot on the Joe Rogan podcast. This time by NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. As NASA starts launching new moon based initiatives it will be interesting to see if people like Mr. Bridenstine emerge as villains in Musk World as behind the scenes politics may require NASA strongly leaning toward established partners like Boeing and Lockheed Martin's ULA instead of SpaceX.  I wouldn't bet against Elon and SpaceX though. Their more nimble approach has already allowed SpaceX to become the world's most prolific launcher of rockets and they also have the backing of Wall Street and Google. Remember the government also invested heavily in GM and the Chevy Volt - how did that work out?

And now your very cool moment of the week - double sonic booms as the SpaceX Falcon performs its vertical landing.

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