Just like any technology innovator of the last 30 years or so (namely Steve Jobs), Elon Musk is now heading to the laurels of success with his electric cars, dreaming that one day you could see one in every household’s garage. But unlike Jobs (or Apple, for that matter), Musk hopes people will be copying what he and his company are now doing and even do better, for the sake of progress.
In a recent interview with autobloggreen, Musk revealed a couple of interesting stuff about Tesla Motors. For example, he said the company is now in a good financial status and that it had a couple of hundred million dollars in reserves, so these are good times. He also mentioned that it was Daimler who saved Tesla Motors from crashing in 2009, and not the DOE loan, that came a year later, when it would’ve been too late.
Musk showed himself very optimistic in what regards the capabilities of Tesla Motors and spoke about ramping up production on the Model S. He practically inspects ever single car released to customers and sends the faulty ones back to corrections. He also says he’s a big perfectionist, but that he won’t be able to do this indefinitely. However, knowing that the CEO himself checks your car before it’s shipped is relieving enough for any client.
About the Model X, Musk badmouths the Audi Q7 (because he owned one) and says he perfected the way people have access to the third row of seats, so they’re easily accessible both to a man of his size or to a lady carrying her toddler in a child seat. His biggest satisfaction are the Falcon Wings, in that the doors can actually make it possible for opening in a very confined space. Still, I personally don’t think they’d fit in my dad’s garage – the Model X is probably designed for garages that are high enough to bear them. Or, he may be considering to install a height sensor that would warn the user about the possibility of the doors not being able to open fully (Elon, if you read this, take it as a suggestion).
One of the most important upcoming events at Tesla will release new information about their “Supercharger” – a 100 kW charger working through the same socket as the normal one, but which can fill the car’s battery in about 30 minutes with enough energy to drive for the next 300 miles. Musk says normal driving patterns regularly include driving for 300 miles and then taking a half-hour break. He says the company had been testing the charger since 2011 and it is the world’s most advanced – he even compared it to Nissan’s Leaf, that can only output 6 kWh (actually, you can’t compare them).
Musk’s biggest dream is to take the electric car industry where it’s never been before. His factories work around the clock to create the best electric cars ever – cars that are way better than gasoline ones.
Electric cars are indeed, a different beast. And Musk is not the next Steve Jobs (like it’s been said so many times) of EVs. His strategies and personal approach might just be better.
Update: Right after publishing the piece above, I wrote Elon Musk asking him about the Falcon Wings, and, unlike 99.9% of the CEOs out there, he responded in a few hours’ time.
Me: About the Model X – How will you solve the issue of people who have lower garages, like those from the basement of the building. [...] this car wouldn’t fit in my dad’s garage (and in many others, I’m sure). Will there be a height sensor warning them?
Elon Musk: The door has proximity sensors that automatically stop extension about three inches before touching, so it will not hit people, others cars or garage roofs and dynamically adapts to the environment. It also has a pinch strip, so if someone puts their finger in the gap at the last second, it will stop closing immediately.
The Falcon Wing doors can open in less space than any other door. That is how they are designed. If you can physically fit between your car and another, the door can open.