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Messages - Sigmetnow

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1
Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: Today at 03:32:28 AM »
...
Wow. Tesla bears are so deranged, they recommend drivers commit aggressive actions near the FSD cars, risking a catastrophe.  Proving another way in which human drivers are more dangerous than autonomy.  (Besides inattention, distraction, falling asleep at the wheel, etc.)

Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s views on Full Self-Driving safety get validated by TSLA bears
https://www.teslarati.com/tesla-elon-musk-full-self-driving-tsla-bears-autonomy-investor-day/

Not just idle threats.  Aggressive driving and personal injury have already occurred.  Tesla has filed legal action.

Quote
Nafnlaus (@enn_nafnlaus) 4/20/19, 4:28 PM
So, remember my tweet about Tesla short sellers plotting to try to make a FSD car crash to make Tesla look bad (twitter.com/enn_nafnlaus/s…)? They've already tried - enough to trigger an emergency crash evasion maneuver. Petition for a restraining order filed: https://t.co/ijZ0qSNlxS
https://twitter.com/enn_nafnlaus/status/1119699431568363521
Text images from the filing at the Twitter link and replies; or see https://t.co/ijZ0qSNlxS for the document.

2
What kind of stimulus do China’s half-idle car assemblies need to restart stalled sales in the world’s largest vehicle market? | South China Morning Post
Quote
“The most severe challenge facing China’s auto industry is not consumer demand, but the supply side,” said Paul Gong, a UBS analyst. “As every carmaker expands production capacity at a faster pace than demand, the fiercer competition will eventually affect the business and eat into the profit margin.”
https://www.scmp.com/business/companies/article/3006842/what-kind-stimulus-do-chinas-half-idle-car-assemblies-need

3
Or sooner.

Electric Cars Will Cost Less Than Gas Cars Within 3 Years
There are fewer and fewer reasons left to buy a gas-powered car.
https://www.inc.com/minda-zetlin/electric-car-ev-battery-range-cost-less-than-gas.html


Edit:
China's auto show highlights electric ambitions
Quote
By the end of next year, “it will be very difficult for a customer to decide against an electric car,” said the CEO of Volkswagen AG, Herbert Diess.
...
Global brands are linking up with Chinese partners with experience at low-cost production.

Ford has an electric venture with Zotye Auto. GM and its Chinese partners plan 10 electric models by next year. Mercedes Benz launched the Denza brand with BYD. VW’s electric joint venture, SOL, started selling an SUV last year.

Under the new system, automakers must earn credits for sales of electrics equal to at least 10% of purchases this year and 12 percent in 2020. Automakers that fall short can buy credits from competitors that exceed their targets.

Regulators say targets will rise later.

An electric’s sticker price in China still is higher than a gasoline model. But charging and maintenance cost less. Industry analysts say owners who drive at least 16,000 kilometers (10,000 miles) a year save money in the long run. ...
https://www.boston.com/cars/car-news/2019/04/19/chinas-auto-show-highlights-electric-ambitions

4
Dream on....
Details of Nikola’s plan from their presentation in Arizona.

The hydrogen fuel strategy behind Nikola’s truck dream
Water electrolysis, not methane reformation, will drive heavy-duty refueling plan.
https://arstechnica.com/cars/2019/04/the-hydrogen-fuel-strategy-behind-nikolas-truck-dream/

5
Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: April 20, 2019, 02:55:18 AM »
The German auto industry very much wants Tesla to fail. Which is in some sense ironic, because Tesla would be the best possible partner for them to successfully make the inevitable transition to EVs.  No longer do they laugh about the small EV start-up from California being a threat!

Quote
Quote
Lisa G-Punkt (@LudaLisl) 4/19/19, 1:59 AM
The German political Party @CSU just quoted a statement, closing "... It can't be [in the sense if "It is unacceptable"] that the German auto industry will lose and Tesla will win."

This shows why there is so much FUD going on in the German media to keep @Tesla down.
https://twitter.com/ludalisl/status/1119118211927007233

Quote
CSU (@CSU) 4/18/19, 1:10 PM
.@ManfredWeber: Beim Klimaschutz sind wir uns einig, dass wir Ambition brauchen. Aber SPD und Grüne riskieren mit ihren überzogenen Forderungen Arbeitsplätze. Es kann nicht sein, dass unsere Autoindustrie verliert und Tesla gewinnt. #BRextra #DeinEuropa

[@ManfredWeber On climate protection, we agree that we need ambition. But the SPD and Greens risk jobs with their excessive demands. It can't be that our auto industry loses and Tesla wins. #BRextra #DeinEuropa]
https://twitter.com/csu/status/1118924794890788865

Quote
Lisa G-Punkt (@LudaLisl) 4/19/19, 2:43 AM
...
Germany was one of the countries Elon looked at for the new Gigafactory. A bias like this doesn't seem very welcoming.
Also, the German car industry shot itself in the foot with Dieselgate. They don't deserve saving if they overslept EVs AND committed fraud .
https://twitter.com/ludalisl/status/1119129328724267010

6
The rest / Re: SpaceX
« on: April 20, 2019, 01:58:12 AM »
Longread explainer on the difficulties of getting the Orion space capsule on some sort of moon flyby by the mid-2020 target date; and why SpaceX’s options wouldn’t work with Orion’s bygone-era-design — this time, anyway.

NASA Launch Services Program outlines the alternative launcher review for EM-1
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2019/04/nasa-lsp-studies-alternate-orion-options/

“tl;dr: Orion is big and fat, for reasons better not remembered”
https://twitter.com/kaidokert/status/1119306466966376448

7
Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: April 19, 2019, 09:24:03 PM »
Article compares hardware, software/data, regulator acceptance, and market share outlook of the major competitors. 
From Seeking Alpha!

Tesla's Autopilot: Their Most Lucrative Asset - Tesla, Inc. 
https://seekingalpha.com/article/4254694-teslas-autopilot-lucrative-asset

8
BBC One on Twitter: "There is still time to hit the emergency brakes on the damage we are doing to our planet. There is still hope. Climate Change The Facts with Sir David Attenborough. ...”
https://twitter.com/BBCOne/status/1118884506927345665
Four-minute video program excerpt at the link.

9
ValueAnalyst (@ValueAnalyst1) 4/19/19, 11:19 AM
"In two years, AlphaGo improved from 'top amateur' to unbeatable, and in the subsequent two months, it became an unbeatable one-day-old baby."
https://twitter.com/valueanalyst1/status/1119259168949657600
Image below.

10
Policy and solutions / Re: Energy Efficiency: The “First Fuel”
« on: April 19, 2019, 05:06:28 PM »
NYC To Force Buildings To Cut Emissions In Own 'Green New Deal'
Quote
NEW YORK — Owners of New York City skyscrapers will have three decades to sharply cut back the amount of climate change-fueling chemicals they spew into the air under a bill lawmakers passed Thursday.

The city's largest buildings — such as the Empire State Building — will have to meet strict benchmarks with the goal of eventually reducing their emissions 80 percent by 2050 under the City Council-backed measure. The worst offenders will have to start cutting emissions by 2024, and all those that fail to meet the goals would face fines.

The bill — which Mayor Bill de Blasio has said he would sign — is one of five pieces of legislation in the Council's Climate Mobilization Act, which Speaker Corey Johnson called the city's version of "Green New Deal," a proposal to shift the nation to renewable energy sources.

"Who knows what we'll prevent — the storms that we'll prevent, the climate change we'll prevent, the flooding we'll prevent, the environmental justice that we'll achieve — by doing this now," Johnson, a Democrat, said Thursday.

The emissions bill aims to shrink the carbon footprint of the massive buildings that produce a disproportionate share of the city's greenhouse gases, said Councilman Costa Constantinides (D-Queens), the bill's lead sponsor. Just 50,000 of the city's 1 million buildings are responsible for 30 percent of the emissions here, he said.
...
The measure would also establish a new Office of Building Energy and Emissions Performance within the Department of Buildings to help implement the targets.

It's likely to be an expensive undertaking for property owners — the necessary upgrades would cost more than $4 billion, though owners would get that money back because they would have smaller expenses, The New York Times reported.

Another bill passed Thursday would set up a program to help more building owners make such alterations. The so-called Property Assessed Clean Energy program would allow efficiency and renewable-energy projects to get financing with a small down payment or none at all, the Council says. ...
https://patch.com/new-york/new-york-city/nyc-force-buildings-cut-emissions-own-green-new-deal

11
The rest / Re: SpaceX
« on: April 19, 2019, 01:38:01 PM »
Falcon Heavy could launch STP-2 as early as June 22nd.

SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy flies a complex mission for the Air Force in launch video
Quote
SpaceX has gone to unique lengths for the third launch of its Falcon Heavy rocket and made an exhaustive webpage dedicated to the mission, reviewing its importance to SpaceX and the United States and discussing most of its 23 manifested spacecraft.

Known as the US Air Force’s Space Test Program 2 (STP-2) mission, Falcon Heavy Flight 3 will be a critical pathfinder for the US military’s systematic utilization of both Falcon Heavy and its flight-proven boosters.

The STP-2 mission will be among the most challenging launches in SpaceX history with four separate upper-stage engine burns, three separate deployment orbits, a final propulsive passivation maneuver and a total mission duration of over six hours. [It] will demonstrate the capabilities of the Falcon Heavy launch vehicle and provide critical data supporting certification for future National Security Space Launch (NSSL) missions. In addition, [the USAF] will use this mission as a pathfinder for the [military’s systematic utilization of flight-proven] launch vehicle boosters. ...
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-falcon-heavy-next-launch-video/

https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=qLEuCn8RT14

12
Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: April 19, 2019, 04:03:42 AM »
Quote
LVC (@lourencovc) 4/16/19, 9:04 PM
There is a huge gas crisis in Portugal due to a truck drivers strike. Getting home this is the scenario. A never ending line to the gas station. It can impact all of us if it’s not solved soon, but at least I’m good knowing my Model 3 has nothing to worry about
https://twitter.com/lourencovc/status/1118319185782890496
< The entire argument of “I can just go to a gas station and fill up in a few minutes”.
It’s like dudes, I don’t have to go to the gas station at all, my car is all filled up in the morning before I even get to it.
Photo below; video clip at the link.

13
Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: April 19, 2019, 02:47:35 AM »
Special trucks have been designed to transport wind turbine blades up the steep and winding mountain roads.

Massimo (@Rainmaker1973) 4/15/19, 9:20 AM
How to transport wind turbine blades in difficult terrain - Baoding mountain in Yunnan province, China 
https://twitter.com/rainmaker1973/status/1117779804592451586
Video clip at the above link; full video below.

C&C trucks carrying wind turbine blades to the mountaintop


14
And can it withstand freezing and baking, and hitting potholes out in the wild?  Storage of energy is one thing, but how fast can it accept (charge) and deplete (performance) energy, without suffering from degradation? 
However, even if it is not usable for vehicles, that doesn’t mean it couldn’t be a game-changer for stationary storage.

15
Policy and solutions / Re: The Boring Company
« on: April 18, 2019, 07:46:42 PM »
DOT Completes Review of Draft Environmental Assessment for the Proposed “Loop” Tunnel Project Between Baltimore and Washington, D.C.
Quote
Today, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) announced the availability of a draft version of the Environmental Assessment for the Washington DC to Baltimore Loop Project, the first step in a joint federal-state review of a non-traditional transportation technology. The Boring Company, of Hawthorne, CA, is considering the future development of a privately-funded, underground, high-speed tunnel facility to help alleviate area congestion. The proposed project would consist of twin, underground tunnels approximately 35 miles in length between Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, MD, which in part would follow the right-of-way under the Baltimore Washington Parkway. The proposed station terminals would be located on New York Avenue (northwest of Union Station) in D.C. and in the Camden Yards area in downtown Baltimore. ...
https://www.transportation.gov/briefing-room/dot-completes-review-draft-environmental-assessment-proposed-%E2%80%9Cloop%E2%80%9D-tunnel-project

https://www.dcbaltimoreloop.com/#dea

Below is a link to the report.  500 pages! :o Details about how and where the Loop would be constructed, and how it might impact the environment and the surrounding area.
https://www.dcbaltimoreloop.com/DraftLoopEA.pdf

16
China's declining auto sales may be obscuring a demand shift
Quote
• New energy vehicle sales in China have been growing, while the overall auto industry has seen sales decline.
• Some in the auto industry say it will be the smartphone-like interface of electric vehicles that will really attract buyers.
• Young people’s positive views on technology will “thoroughly revolutionize the traditional auto industry,” says Victor Ai, head of China Everbright’s new economy fund.
https://www.cnbc.com/2019/04/18/chinas-auto-sales-slide-may-be-obscuring-a-demand-shift.html

17
Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: April 18, 2019, 03:43:15 PM »
Tesla's Impact Report gets nod of respect from corporate sustainability firm
Quote
Trillium Asset Management, a firm that tracks corporate sustainability, stated that Tesla’s Impact Report went beyond superficial metrics. Allan Pearce, a shareholder advocate at Trillium, took particular notice of the company’s inclusion of its full greenhouse gas footprint, a metric that is rarely covered in first-time reports. “With any first report there’s always going to be room for improvement, though this is kind of a step above most first sustainability reports we see,” Pearce said.
...
The results of Tesla’s first impact report revealed an encouraging picture of a young company that is working hard to achieve the very ambitious goal of accelerating the world’s transition to sustainable energy. The report covered several important points, including the amount of C02 saved by the company’s fleet of all-electric cars. With around 550,000 vehicles on the road since the days of the original Tesla Roadster, the company noted that its zero-emissions fleet has driven over 10 billion miles to date, helping prevent more than 4 million tons of C02 from polluting the environment ...
https://www.teslarati.com/tesla-environmental-impact-report-corporate-sustainability-review/

18
Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: April 18, 2019, 03:42:16 PM »
Quote
The average vehicle today costs $34,000 and for many EVs, the battery costs $34,000.”
This claim is so ridiculous it hurts my brain. EV batteries even at the pack level cost about $150-200/kWh, and even less for Tesla or anybody who bothers to mass-produce them.

Well, Toyota is the same company who spends million$ for ads calling their non-plug-in hybrids “self-charging,” so truth about EVs is definitely not a priority for them. 
Or perhaps because of their all-in bet on hydrogen, they are so far behind that the billions they would need to spend acquiring the resources they need to build a battery factory for the limited number of EVs they could produce would amount to around $34,000 a car.  The world’s current EV battery capacity is tapped out — for example, Audi just announced they will be short 10,000 cars this year due lack of batteries.

19
Policy and solutions / Re: Solar Roadways
« on: April 18, 2019, 02:36:37 PM »
How Technology Can Pave The Future Of Our Roadways
Quote
By most reports, by 2020 there will be 10 million semi and fully autonomous cars on the road. And according to Stanford Magazine, by 2030, passenger vehicles will drop to 44 million down from 247 million in 2020.

Dr. Andrew Dubner, Business Leader, 3M Connected Roads says that with an anticipated fleet change that could take decades, roads will need to accommodate both human and machine navigated vehicles.

"Existing safety materials on roadways today in the form of lane markings and traffic signs help safely guide drivers through visual cues such as shape, color and retroreflective properties for nighttime driving," said Dubner. "But these same materials can be optimized for machine navigation, as well."

Dubner says that having the right technology on the road surface is critical for the effective and efficient performance of machine vision systems, especially in challenging weather and light conditions such as rain at night.

Many vehicles on the road today are equipped with advanced driver assistance (ADAS) technology, such as lane-keep assist or lane departure warning. In 2016, 5,281,385 cars (30%) had blind spot detection. These safety features use machine vision or cameras to 'see' the roadway, similar to how the human eye sees the road.

Brusaw says that their solar road panels under the third DOT contract were subjected to the same kinds of tests that concrete and asphalt are exposed to such as freeze/thaw cycling, moisture conditioning, shear testing and advanced loading performed at the civil engineering department at Marquette University.

"We’ve always planned for roads to be our final application, but we want to learn our lessons on non-critical installations like walkways or parking lots first," added Brusaw.

Brusaw says he also sees the roads of the future as dynamic charging tools for electric vehicles and possibly becoming the guidance system for autonomous vehicles and make autonomous cars safer. …
https://www.forbes.com/sites/jenniferhicks/2019/03/29/how-technology-can-pave-the-future-of-our-roadways/?fbclid=IwAR3rmIgN4TcKoC8DQA2SVd25pTVbka4wvtB_GrgsQYt_WVp0VG4HWg2eKzM&r=slt-eml-bck-a2e0&utm_source=sailthru

20
Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: April 18, 2019, 02:09:37 PM »
Addressing Tesla’s rise from a niche electric car maker to a company that is now attempting to breach the mass market, Keogh stated that “we have not seen in the history of the auto business, a company going from zero to fourth place in luxury in a matter of a few years.”
- Scott Keogh, the chief executive officer of Volkswagen AG’s US unit

“On electrification, we see an opportunity in North America, but it’s much further down the road. The average vehicle today costs $34,000 and for many EVs, the battery costs $34,000.”
- Toyota Motor Corp. executive vice president of sales Bob Carter.

Tesla Model 3 becomes focal point of EV debate between VW and Toyota
https://www.teslarati.com/tesla-model-3-debate-vw-toyota/

——-
Audi lowers 2019 EV production forecast by 10,000 cars. Europe car sales sink for 7th straight month.
https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,438.msg195960.html#msg195960

——
Tesla Impact Report: 4 million tons of CO2 saved, 13.25 TWh solar electricity generated
https://www.teslarati.com/tesla-impact-report-2018-results/

Read Tesla’s full Impact Report here:  https://www.tesla.com/ns_videos/tesla-impact-report-2019.pdf

—-
Wow. Tesla bears are so deranged, they recommend drivers commit aggressive actions near the FSD cars, risking a catastrophe.  Proving another way in which human drivers are more dangerous than autonomy.  (Besides inattention, distraction, falling asleep at the wheel, etc.)

Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s views on Full Self-Driving safety get validated by TSLA bears
https://www.teslarati.com/tesla-elon-musk-full-self-driving-tsla-bears-autonomy-investor-day/

21
Battery shortage forces Audi Brussels to slow down
Quote
Audi has lowered the 2019 production forecast for its Brussels plant by more than 10.000 cars to 45.242 units. While Audi does not officially comment, internal sources say battery deliveries are not going as planned.

…the plant is running 6 hours a day instead of 8 to match production to parts availability. But soon, the plant will go to a 4-day working week with one day of technical unemployment. …
https://newmobility.news/2019/04/16/battery-shortage-causes-lower-production-at-audi-brussels/

———
Quote
ValueAnalyst (@ValueAnalyst1) 4/17/19, 10:17 AM
“German luxury carmaker Daimler’s sales slipped by 13.3 percent”
ValueAnalyst (@ValueAnalyst1) 4/17/19, 10:22 AM
@WPipperger how many more months can Daimler survive at this pace?
https://twitter.com/valueanalyst1/status/1118520169377226754

Europe car sales sink for 7th straight month
https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/europe-car-sales-sink-for-7th-straight-month/2019/04/17/be606a00-60e4-11e9-bf24-db4b9fb62aa2_story.html?utm_term=.2b23662f1e8a#click=https://t.co/W2SUfkfquk

22
China’s NIO expands mobile charging service to all electric cars
Quote
… NIO owners have used the service over 93,000 times since the company started vehicle deliveries last year. Approximately 70% of NIO owners have used the One Click for Power service, indicating that there is a real desire for flexible charging solutions.

On the same day that NIO announced the expansion of their power services to other EVs, NIO was charging up a customer’s Tesla (the customer owned both a Tesla and a NIO ES8). Other EV owners, including Tesla owners, will be able to pay just 280 yuan ($42 USD) through NIO’s WeChat mini-app to have their vehicle charged. The company has more than 510 mobile charging vans across 95 cities in China. ...
https://www.teslarati.com/tesla-nio-mobile-charging-services-china/

Great idea for serving EV owners who have limited access to charging infrastructure.  But from the photos, it looks like the charging vans use fossil-fueled generators. :(

23
Sono Motors have announced the partner who is going to build the Sion (the goal is at least 260 thousand in the coming 8 years)! The company is called NEVS (I kind of like that name  ;) ) and they're in Sweden. They've also announced that it will take longer to bring the Sion to market, second half of 2020.

Here’s a video....

NEVS bought out Saab in 2012.  This is great news for the region’s auto workers, and Sono gets a talented workforce and factory to launch their EV.  “200 cars a day” (per the video) sounds like a good target.

24
Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: April 17, 2019, 02:19:41 PM »
Demand stories
Quote
Ret34 (@ThoughtsbyGabe) 4/15/19, 2:20 PM
Just ordered my @Tesla Performance Model 3. So excited and happy that Tesla and @elonmusk opened up the leasing market on this model. As you can see this was a reservation conversion from a couple of years back. I expect other serial leasers will do the same!
https://twitter.com/thoughtsbygabe/status/1117855213488988162
(Screen cap at the link: trade-in is a 2018 Toyota Camry.)
———
Quote
007 (@TrendTrader007) 4/14/19, 4:49 PM
And the demand is huge. I kid you not within the last week I’ve had at least 5 total strangers stop me and ask about my Tesla and I’ve spent several minutes answering all their questions. Shorts and skeptics have no idea-Tesla is a worldwide under the radar phenomenon ….
https://twitter.com/trendtrader007/status/1117530314908360704

About Toyota’s non-plug-in hybrid “self-charging” ::) ads:
Quote
Robert Llewellyn (@bobbyllew) 4/15/19, 3:41 AM
Yesterday a woman asked me if my car was electric. I said 'yes.' She then asked 'is it one of those new self charging ones?'
She was a sensible, well educated person who's not interested in cars, after my brief explanation she said, 'so the advert is a lie.'
I said 'Yes.'
https://twitter.com/bobbyllew/status/1117694460140425216

Quote
Tesla Driver  (@m_xalher) 4/16/19, 12:57 PM
MAJOR @Tesla demand catalyst in Europe: Gas savings
Petrol is very costly here. Norway: NOK 17/liter (USD 7.8/gallon). Electricity cost moderate
Model 3 gas savings abt USD 18,000 in first 5 years
SR+ pays for itself in 10-12 yrs by GAS SAVINGS ALONE
https://twitter.com/m_xalher/status/1118196640261787650
 Screen cap of Tesla gas savings screen in Norwegian at the link.

Tesla Driver  (@m_xalher) 4/17/19, 3:44 AM
Price of petrol now above NOK 17/liter”. News from Norway’s e24.no today. 
https://twitter.com/m_xalher/status/1118419976413642752
Screen cap of story headline at the link.

——- ‘Tis the season for gas price hikes in the US, as refiners switch to more expensive summer blends.  Also, more refineries are off-line than usual this year.
Quote
Serious Callers Only (@EthicsGradient) 4/15/19, 11:52 AM
Gas prices in San Diego now.
https://twitter.com/ethicsgradient/status/1117817959706021889
Photo at the link: $4.35 to $4.55/gallon
Quote
Dr. Joel Murray (@JRMurray) 4/16/19, 2:22 AM
@EthicsGradient Highest gas prices in North America here in Greater Vancouver, Canada: $1.699 per litre = $6.43 per US gallon. Glad I drive a #Model3
https://twitter.com/jrmurray/status/1118037028887613440

California Gas Prices Climb 50 Cents in 1 Month Ahead of Gas Tax Increase Slated for Summer
Quote
DeHaan forecasts the average price in California will hit $4 for a gallon of regular gasoline by the end of this week — something no state has experienced in nearly the past five years.
https://ktla.com/2019/04/08/california-gas-prices-climb-50-cents-in-1-month-ahead-of-gas-tax-increase-slated-for-summer/

—- Below:  the changing of the guard for the perceived “green car” of choice in the US.

25
Proterra scales up battery leasing for electric bus adoption
Quote
Proterra announced it is partnering with Japanese company Mitsui & Co. to create a $200 million credit facility in support of the company’s battery lease program. The investment will help to make Proterra’s electric buses more affordable for more transit customers, and should help fleets go electric on a larger scale.

The most obvious benefit to Proterra’s program is its savings in upfront costs. While some municipalities and organizations are reluctant to buy electric buses due to a higher upfront price compared to diesel buses, Proterra’s program allows transit customers to purchase the electric bus separately from its battery, which the company says makes its electric bus “roughly the same price as a diesel bus.”

Customers pay to lease the battery separately, and Proterra points out that operating funds which would have gone toward fuel in diesel buses can now be earmarked for the battery lease payment.


The battery lease program lasts 12 years, which Proterra owns and guarantees the performance of “through the life of the bus, decreasing operator risk.” The batteries also come with a performance warranty and a midlife replacement. ...
https://electrek.co/2019/04/16/proterra-battery-leasing-program/

26
Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: April 16, 2019, 09:44:17 PM »
Lake Turkana Wind Power on Twitter: "#LTWP is injecting #cleanenergy into the Kenyan national grid and helping to power celebrations this Easter. As Africa’s largest wind farm, we have an installed capacity of 310MW & therefore supply up to 17% of Kenya’s peak demand & 30% off peak. #WindPower #Renewables”
https://twitter.com/LTWPOfficial/status/1118041936236093441

27
Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: April 16, 2019, 09:34:19 PM »
Musk tweeted
Quote
Very much so. There are 2.5B cars & trucks on Earth. Even replacing 1% of that fleet would require making 25M vehicles per year. Tesla will make over 500k cars in next 12 months, but that’s a mere 2% of 25M or 0.02% of global vehicle fleet. Car industry slow -> demand >> supply.

A problem for SEC negotiations?
Or is it just deriving an approximate 0.02% figure/talking in general terms?
Or is it just a different period perhaps 1 May 2019 to 30 April 2020 rather than calendar year of 2019 and as this is likely to include more time with China factory working, it is logical to expect more production....
Or .... ?

Even with deriving approx 0.02% figure and expecting more in a later period, the 500k still seems optimistic and seems like it might be seen as positive news by investors.

What are the chances that Musk got this tweet reviewed? Low , I imagine.

Musk meant what he wrote.  He’s also said it in interviews lately, IIRC, so this is not new information. :)

Consider:
Quote
StatsTesla (@StatsTesla) 4/15/19, 3:42 AM
Q1-19: 77K production
Q2-19: 93K (est)
Q3-19: 109K (est)
Q4-19: 125K (est)
Q1-20: 173K (est)

With these numbers, the total for 2019 will be 404K and 500K for the next 12 months. GF3 needs to produce about 50K cars in Q1-20, or 3850 per week.
https://twitter.com/statstesla/status/1117694705150697473

28
Here’s Audi marketing the e-tron at a Tesla Supercharger.  Not sure what they they are thinking with this.
Photos below.

...Demand issues?
https://twitter.com/alex_avoigt/status/1116767507988144128

stromerleben (@stromerleben) 4/12/19, 2:24 PM
@alex_avoigt And now look at this picture! (Photo by Facebook from SuC Salzburg)
https://twitter.com/stromerleben/status/1116769121528467456

29
Tesla began with high-priced models, then moved to more affordable ones. 
China EV maker BAIC BJEV had great success with low-priced, low-range cars, but now appears to be slowing production of those and is concentrating more on mid-priced, longer range models (in line with China government regs).

Quote
...BAIC BJEV is gradually having its product position improved, at least in March, the sales mainstay became the mid-end EU series rather than the lower-priced EC series.
https://insideevs.com/baic-new-energy-vehicle-sales-surge-march/amp/

——-

The Audi e-tron tried to start near the middle, but its disappointingly high energy consumption may mean its attraction will be primarily Audi fans and other ICE car owners, not discerning EV shoppers. 

Audi E-Tron Disappoints On Energy Consumption: Places Last Among EVs [in U.S. market]
Just 204 miles (328 km) of EPA range
https://insideevs.com/audi-e-tron-disappoints-on-energy-consumption-is-now-last-among-bevs/
Graph below.

Edit:  Although that’s not stopping them from using an even smaller battery in the China market:

Audi Announces Q2 L e-tron With 38 kWh Battery For China
https://insideevs.com/audi-q2-l-e-tron-china/

30
Policy and solutions / Re: Batteries: Today's Energy Solution
« on: April 16, 2019, 04:16:09 PM »
Battery Recycling
From Tesla’s just-released 2019 Impact Report. 
Quote
A common question we hear is, “What happens to Tesla vehicle battery packs once they reach their end of life?” An important distinction between fossil fuels and lithium-ion batteries as an energy source is that while fossil fuels are extracted and used once, the materials in a lithium-ion battery are recyclable. When petroleum is pumped out of the ground, chemically refined and then burned, it releases harmful emissions into the atmosphere that are not recovered for reuse. Battery materials, in contrast, are refined and put into a cell, and will still remain at the end of their life, when they can be recycled to recover its valuable materials for reuse over and over again.

Since Tesla battery packs are made to last many years, we are only just starting to receive these batteries back from the field. Currently, most of the batteries for recycling come to us through R&D, manufacturing, quality control and service operations.

Today, we work with third-party recyclers around the world to process all scrap and end-of-life batteries to recover valuable metals. Our recycling partners work with us to ensure that non-valuable or non-recoverable materials from the batteries are disposed of responsibly. At Gigafactory 1, Tesla is developing a unique battery recycling system that will process both battery manufacturing scrap and end-of-life batteries. Through this system, the recovery of critical minerals such as lithium and cobalt will be maximized along with the recovery of all metals used in the battery cell, such as copper, aluminum and steel. All of these materials will be recovered in forms optimized for new battery material production.

The closed-loop battery recycling process at Gigafactory 1 presents a compelling solution to move energy supply away from the fossil-fuel based practice of take, make and burn, to a more circular model of recycling end-of-life batteries for reuse over and over again. From an economic perspective, we expect to recognize significant savings over the long term, as the costs associated with large-scale battery material recovery and recycling will be far lower than purchasing and transporting new materials.
https://www.tesla.com/ns_videos/tesla-impact-report-2019.pdf

31
Tesla Semi competitor Nikola set to unveil battery-only semi-trucks at launch event
Quote
Tesla Semi Truck competitor Nikola Motor Company will unveil battery-only versions of the Nikola Two and Nikola Tre semi-trucks at its two-day Nikola World 2019 event in Scottsdale, Arizona this week. Previously, hydrogen-electric versions were announced, including the Nikola One, unveiled in 2016. A track demonstration of the Nikola Two will be part of the Nikola World activities, and a functioning version of the company’s coming solar powered hydrogen fueling stations will be on display. ...
https://www.teslarati.com/tesla-semi-competitor-nikola-motor-battery-only-trucks/

Nice.  But I have to wonder how much interest there would be if they had limited themselves to only their hydrogen trucks.

32
Autonomous Vehicles Won't Save Uber and Lyft
  If anything, they're a threat.
Quote

The numbers don't add up

At both Uber and Lyft, driver compensation makes up approximately 75% to 80% of the price of a ride. In other words, the driver's labor makes up the vast majority of the cost of a ride. Autonomous vehicles would eliminate that expense, so an AV rideshare should be significantly cheaper than what Uber and Lyft charge today, provided the cost of the technology isn't prohibitively expensive.

That could upend Uber and Lyft's entire business model and eliminate the industry's greatest barrier to entry, which is the companies' large base of drivers.

Continuing to burn through billions of dollars a year is not sustainable for either company. They need to raise prices and build a sustainable model while they still have time. Soon enough, they'll be greeted with a new wave of competition and the disruptive force of self-driving vehicles.
https://www.fool.com/investing/2019/04/15/autonomous-vehicles-wont-save-uber-and-lyft.aspx

33
Cheating continues:  automakers gamed new emission test results to be worse than normal, to give themselves more time to comply with the regulations.

WLTP emissions loophole closed by EU lawmakers
March 26, 2019
Quote
The European Commission has tightened the WLTP test regime for new cars sold in the bloc after claims that automakers were gaming the tests.

The updated regulation, which came into force in February, requires automakers to switch on all emissions-saving technology, such as the stop-start function, and use the same driver-selectable modes for each model tested, for example Eco mode instead of Sport mode.

The Commission discovered that automakers were turning on functions during tests that increased emissions in the runup to the introduction of WLTP testing on Sept. 1, the green pressure group Transport and Environment said.

The Commission found that some automakers were manipulating tests to burn more fuel and increase emissions with methods such as switching off the start-stop function in cars being tested, adjusting the gear-shift patterns, using the Sport instead of Eco mode, T&E said.

By artificially increasing their CO2 emissions now, automakers hoped to weaken future reduction targets, T&E said.


The manipulation partly explains why there is a huge disparity in average emissions between different automakers, T&E said.
CO2 emissions increased when homologation tests in Europe switched to WLTP from the former NEDC homologation regime. The range of the increases was between 1 percent to 81 percent depending on the automaker, T&E said. It did not name the brands. ...
https://europe.autonews.com/automakers/wltp-emissions-loophole-closed-eu-lawmakers

——-
Twitter user Walter MacVane provided a thread with ten links to related articles:
Walter MacVane (@EcoHeliGuy) 4/13/19, 2:49 AM
1/ app.handelsblatt.com/today/companie…
https://twitter.com/ecoheliguy/status/1116956502890168321

Included:

New Study Says Even ‘Clean’ Diesels Are Failures
https://www.motor1.com/news/244144/diesel-pollution-higher-than-realized/

7/24/2018. HANDELSBLATT
Caught black-handed: Automakers under suspicion of fresh cheating in new emissions test
https://app.handelsblatt.com/today/companies/caught-black-handed-automakers-under-suspicion-of-fresh-cheating-in-new-emissions-test/23582854.html

May 2, 2018
Most carmakers will meet their 2021 CO2 targets. Here's how
https://www.transportenvironment.org/news/most-carmakers-will-meet-their-2021-co2-targets-heres-how

34
Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: April 15, 2019, 06:59:00 PM »
Tesla (TSLA) to hold Q1 2019 financial results and earnings call on April 24
Quote
What is rather interesting is that Tesla is conducting its Q1 earnings call earlier than expected. Tesla usually releases its first-quarter earnings call in early May, as could be seen in the date of Q1 2018’s Q&A session. The company previously held earlier-than-expected earnings calls in October 2016, October 2018, and January 2019, and those quarters all proved to be profitable.

It should be noted that while the early date of Q1’s earnings call is a rather bullish sign, Elon Musk himself has been very conservative about the first quarter. When Tesla launched the $35,000 Standard Model 3 in March, Elon Musk noted that he does not expect the company to be profitable in the first quarter. “Given that there is a lot happening in Q1, and we are taking a lot of one time charges, there are a lot of challenges getting cars to China and Europe, we do not expect to be profitable. We do think that profitability in Q2 is likely,” the Tesla CEO said.
https://www.teslarati.com/tesla-tsla-q1-2019-earnings-call-date/

Quote
ValueAnalyst (@ValueAnalyst1) 4/14/19, 3:36 PM
It's been 45 days since $TSLA paid off $920 million for convertible bonds in cash, and it's yet to file for bankruptcy as $TSLAQ long predicted.

Go figure
https://twitter.com/valueanalyst1/status/1117511861786877952

———

Tesla’s inclusion of Autopilot on every car unravels a long-term Full Self-Driving strategy
https://www.teslarati.com/tesla-autopilot-on-every-car-full-self-driving-strategy/

—-
Why Tesla Defines American Luxury, Not Cadillac or Lincoln
The soul of new American luxury is in California, not Detroit   
https://www.motortrend.com/news/why-tesla-defines-american-luxury-not-cadillac-lincoln/

35
Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: April 15, 2019, 06:55:52 PM »
Quote
When the media talks about Model S and Model X deliveries, which were smaller in Q1 versus Q4, it is again looking at a tree while overlooking that Tesla had its third best quarter in history for all models combined and all of these three best quarters happened to be in the last 9 months (the last three quarters). The forest has grown significantly in that short period. To look at just a month or even a quarter is too short a time to evaluate the company, but if you want to pick that period, you have to at least take that month a year ago or that quarter a year ago to compare and assess — as the auto industry is a seasonal business that goes up and down like the weather does through the four seasons. What these analysts are doing is akin to comparing the average temperature in summer with the one in winter and calling the winter a big miss.
https://cleantechnica.com/2019/04/14/the-mystery-of-tesla-model-3-demand/


Musk Says Tesla Will Make Astonishing 500,000 Cars In Next 12 Months
Quote
Let’s take a look at the production rate – Tesla’s 12-months rolling output was at the end of March 2019 at around 297,000, including over 206,000 Tesla Model 3. Sales during the period amounted to about 280,000.
To achieve 500,000 in 12 months, Tesla needs to produce and sell at least 125,000 cars per quarter. The automaker’s production record was 86,555 in Q4 2018. In Q1 2019 production was 77,100, including a record 29,950 Model 3.
The increase from almost 300,000 to 500,000+ requires growth of about 67% year-over-year. Assuming that the Model S/Model X will stay at around 100,000 per year, Model 3 production and sales need to double to 400,000 per year.

If Tesla does manage to produce and sell 500,000 per year, and additionally significantly increase the revenues because of the autonomous driving capability, profitability should reach high levels. The FSD option is sold for $5,000 per car and is expected to be priced higher in the near future.
Just 100,000 cars (20% of planned) with the $5,000 option for robot taxi alone would provide $500 million of revenue.
https://insideevs.com/musk-says-tesla-will-make-500000-cars-in-next-12-months/amp/

36
Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: April 15, 2019, 06:47:04 PM »
—- MUSK RE THE PANASONIC ANNOUNCEMENT AND GIGAFACTORY CELL CONSTRAINTS
Tom Randall (@tsrandall) 4/11/19, 10:46 AM
Tesla shares fell after Nikkei reported that Panasonic is freezing spending on more Gigafactory expansion. Panasonic said it reached 35 GWh/yr capacity in March. That's already enough to build over 500k Model 3/yr+Powerwalls—more than Tesla can handle bloomberg.com/news/articles/…

Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 4/13/19, 3:17 PM
@tsrandall Incorrect. Pana cell lines at Giga are only at ~24GWh/yr & have been a constraint on Model 3 output since July. No choice but to use other suppliers for Powerwall/Powerpack cells. Tesla won’t spend money on more capacity until existing lines get closer to 35GWh theoretical.
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1117144865299501056

Tom Randall (@tsrandall) 4/13/19, 4:56 PM
@elonmusk To be clear, you're saying that Panasonic did not achieve 35 GWh/yr capacity by the end of March as reported and that total Model 3 production in Q1 was limited by cell availability?

Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 4/14/19, 4:42 AM
@tsrandall There is 35 GWh/yr “theoretical capacity”, but actual max output is ~2/3. It was physically impossible to make more Model 3’s in Q1 due to cell constraints.
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1117347290585243648

Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 4/14/19, 4:58 AM
@tsrandall Wow, a lot of people don’t know much about how manufacturing works! If you have peak capacity of X, actual average weekly output will necessarily be less than X. First 6-12 months, it will be much less than X. Impossible to predict exact production ramp S-curve.
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1117351334452142080

37
Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: April 15, 2019, 01:26:17 PM »
“I’ve always thought that the fundamental good of Tesla should be measured by the number of years by which it accelerates the transition to sustainable transport & energy”
- Elon Musk

Long-read on Demand, By Alex Voigt:

The Mystery Of Tesla Model 3 Demand
Quote
Demand is a mystery that can only be measured once supply is provided, and at that point, it’s not demand anymore. You only know what demand you really had after its gone. Supply is a fact you can easily measure, while demand is never really known or completely understood. Even worse, the supply you measure is usually only a part of the demand you once had, and the closer you get to the moment of supply, the more you know how real the demand is.

A simple definition of demand is: “what people want.”
“If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have asked for faster horses,” Henry Ford is reported to have said (or not).

This polarizing sentence is an expression of consumer imagination limitation with a touch of arrogance. If you ask consumers, they tend to request better existing features instead of a new kind of vehicle or product that did not exist before. The very same that has been true for the transition from horses to cars is today true for the transition from gas combustion engines to electric cars.

You can rightfully state what Henry Ford really said is that consumers are dumb and he as a visionary knows better what they want than they do themselves. Admittedly, he was more polite, and admittedly, his success probably proved he was right. Once people had experienced the superiority of the Model T versus their horse, they suddenly knew that they wanted one, and they knew it with certainty. ...
https://cleantechnica.com/2019/04/14/the-mystery-of-tesla-model-3-demand/

Quote
Quote
Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 4/14/19, 11:55 PM
Buying a car in 2019 that can’t upgrade to full self-driving is like buying a horse instead of a car in 1919
cleantechnica.com/2019/04/14/the-mystery-of-tesla-model-3-demand/
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1117637496517603329

< Well.. horses do have pretty good autopilot
Quote
Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 4/14/19, 11:59 PM
Haha true. I actually love horses.
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1117638448171692033
Wild horses roam around the land outside Gigafactory 1 in Nevada....

38
Startup Nikola Bets Hydrogen Will Finally Break Through With Big Rigs


https://www.forbes.com/sites/alanohnsman/2019/04/14/can-a-15-billion-bet-on-fuel-cell-big-rigs-be-a-game-changer-for-hydrogen/#6e5dfa39fe4c

Quote
The 4-year-old maker of hydrogen tractor trailers is extolling a vision as brash as the one Tesla’s founders unveiled 13 years ago with its pricey all-electric cars: Nikola will act as a catalyst to bring hydrogen to the mainstream, building tens of thousands of hydrogen-powered big rigs and a coast-to-coast hydrogen station network to fuel them. It also wants carmakers like Toyota, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai and Daimler to use those stations to expand their hydrogen fuel cell vehicle sales beyond California.

Go Nikola!

The odds are heavily against them; they are hedging their bets (or, admitting the obvious) by developing a pure electric truck, as well.

Unfortunately, by the time it takes them to build out their hydrogen infrastructure, electric trucks will have proven to be a workable solution, even for most long-haul routes.

Nikola Motors announces all-electric version of the semi truck as Tesla Semi changes the game
https://electrek.co/2019/02/08/nikola-motors-electric-trucks-tesla-semi/

39
Policy and solutions / Re: What type of transportation do you use?
« on: April 15, 2019, 01:26:04 AM »
I was an early adopter of the then-considered-ugly Honda Element, and it has served my car and truck needs for 15 years now, but has not yet hit 100,000 miles.  Biking or walking is not feasible due to distance, cargo, and road considerations.  I was this close to leasing a LEAF a couple years ago; even installed a J1772 charger in the garage, but I decided the better investment was to save and wait for a Tesla Model Y, which should be a better fit for my needs and allow me to ditch ICE entirely, as I have with all my lawn and garden equipment.  Plus, the Tesla’s tech will continue to improve through the coming years of the EV revolution, important because I normally keep my car at least ten years.  (Admittedly, I’m waiting to place an order until after I see the specs and the price of the Tesla pickup truck, to be revealed this summer. ;) )

I have grid-tied solar, but my goal is to add solar and batteries to the garage and drive the Tesla completely on sunshine.

40
Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: April 13, 2019, 11:40:37 PM »
A rare positive article from Business Insider.
Granted, “Better than Theranos” is a very low hurdle to surmount.  But he did find 10 reasons! :)

Tesla isn't the next Theranos — here are 10 reasons why
Quote
   •   Tesla and Theranos are sometimes discussed in the same terms, as Tesla CEO Elon Musk has jousted with the SEC and former Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes faces criminal charges for accusations of fraud.
   •   The Tesla-Theranos comparison, like the Tesla-Enron comparison, makes for fiery debates, but the comparison falls apart on closer scrutiny.
   •   At base, Tesla has a product that's relatively easy to understand — cars — while Theranos product was shrouded in secrecy. ...
https://www.businessinsider.com/why-tesla-is-not-like-theranos-2019-4

41
Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: April 13, 2019, 08:20:39 PM »
The Addressable Market for Utility Energy Storage Could Scale to $800 Billion
Quote
In the future, underutilized electricity generation probably will be replaced by batteries. As shown below, while the average utilization for natural gas plants in the U.S. is roughly 55%, many plants are utilized less than 25% of the time. ARK’s work suggests that replacing all of those plants would be an $83 billion energy storage opportunity in the U.S. and an $800 billion opportunity globally. As shown in the second chart below, 5,000 gigawatt hours of storage capacity would take the place of all of the underutilized facilities – whether natural gas, coal, or liquids powered – around the world. Moreover, if battery costs continue to fall below $150 per kWh the addressable market could scale well beyond $800 billion.
https://ark-invest.com/research/utility-energy-storage

42
Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: April 13, 2019, 08:16:55 PM »
The Addressable Market for Utility Energy Storage Could Scale to $800 Billion
Quote
Elon Musk has stated that Tesla’s energy storage business will be as large as its car business in the long-term. ARK’s research shows that foregoing planned gas peaker plants and replacing them with utility scale energy storage could generate roughly $10 billion in revenues per year, more than six times Tesla’s $1.5 billion utility energy storage revenue in 2018. As battery costs continue to fall during the next five to ten years, the global addressable market for utility energy storage should expand to $800 billion.

Last July, California utility PG&E proposed four energy storage projects to replace natural gas plants in the South Bay.2 Two of these projects are the largest utility energy storage projects ever proposed – 1,200MWh and 730MWh – dwarfing the current record holder, Tesla’s 129MWh battery in Australia. As battery costs continue to fall, utility energy storage will begin to compete with existing natural gas peaker plants, reaching a price point that will motivate utilities to shut down underutilized plants.
...
In the future, underutilized electricity generation probably will be replaced by batteries. As shown below, while the average utilization for natural gas plants in the U.S. is roughly 55%, many plants are utilized less than 25% of the time. ARK’s work suggests that replacing all of those plants would be an $83 billion energy storage opportunity in the U.S. and an $800 billion opportunity globally. As shown in the second chart below, 5,000 gigawatt hours of storage capacity would take the place of all of the underutilized facilities – whether natural gas, coal, or liquids powered – around the world. Moreover, if battery costs continue to fall below $150 per kWh the addressable market could scale well beyond $800 billion.
...
While many are familiar with Tesla’s success in energy storage in South Australia, few analysts assign any value to this portion of its business. One explanation is that most analysts covering Tesla are either traditional auto or technology analysts with little experience in utilities. Another is that stationary energy storage is complicated to analyze, as electricity prices vary by geography and the source of energy; regulation and business models vary by company; and residential use cases differ significantly from utility scale use cases. In addition, lithium-ion batteries may not be the best energy storage technology in the long run and, with low barriers to entry, could be commoditized. That said, ARK’s research suggests that these are early days and that the total addressable market for utility energy storage could approach $1 trillion during the next 10 to 20 years.
https://ark-invest.com/research/utility-energy-storage

43
Record number of plug-in cars on UK roads as ownership surges by a quarter
Quote
The number of plug-in electric cars on British roads grew by three quarters last year, according to new Motorparc data released today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

The UK’s largest automotive analysis shows there is now a record 195,410 plug-in vehicles on our roads, reflecting the growing choice of models now on offer. Overall ownership of alternatively fuelled vehicles (AFVs) increased by almost 30% last year, with more than 620,000 hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and battery electric cars now in use.

As drivers take advantage of the latest low emission vehicle technology – whether petrol, diesel or AFV – average CO2 emissions for the UK Motorparc have fallen to the lowest on record, down -17.8% compared with 2008.

Elsewhere, the data reveals that female car ownership remains at a record high, surpassing 2017’s level by 1.4%, with more than 12 million cars now owned by women. Cars registered to men also rose moderately by 0.5% to almost 17.9 million.

– Superminis remain the biggest segment and are most popular with women, accounting for 48.8% of female ownership. Small family cars, meanwhile, are most favoured by men (27.4%). …
https://electriccarsreport.com/2019/04/record-number-of-plug-in-cars-on-uk-roads-as-ownership-surges-by-a-quarter/

Edit:  Per Musk, RHD (Right Hand Drive) Tesla order page should be live within a few weeks. Deliveries start hopefully June/July.

44
Consequences / Re: Climate change, the ocean, agriculture, and FOOD
« on: April 13, 2019, 03:23:06 PM »
Why the 2018 heatwave was the last straw for Scotland’s farmers | HeraldScotland
Quote
MAKING hay might be easier when the sun shines, or so the old adage goes. But cutting enough straw, it turns out, can be a lot harder.
Scottish farmers were not long in to last year when they realised they had less straw, and that the stalks they did have were shorter than usual.

They had suffered a wet autumn in 2017, hitting their winter crops, before a big winter and spring freeze and a scorching, grass-drying summer.

The result? Their animals had less grass to eat in the summer and so needed more cut feed, such as straw. But the farmers had less straw. 2018 was, literally, the year Scottish farmers pulled a short straw. ...
https://www.heraldscotland.com/news/17571200.why-the-2018-heatwave-was-the-last-straw-for-scotlands-farmers/

45
Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: April 13, 2019, 02:58:18 PM »
Rather balanced article.

“82 per cent of buyers last year didn’t even take a test drive”

Can Tesla keep selling cars with no ads and shuttered showrooms?
The electric car firm has cut showroom staff in favour of an online-first sales approach. But this is less about disrupting cars sales and more about cutting costs
https://www.wired.co.uk/article/tesla-store-closures-staff-cuts-elon-musk?utm_medium=applenews&utm_source=applenews

46
The rest / Re: SpaceX
« on: April 13, 2019, 01:43:52 PM »
The 30-second video at this link is more distant than the usual clips, and shows how crazy fast the boosters are descending at this point until they slow with their final landing burn.  Bonus: audio of crowd reaction and the double sonic boom!

Quote
Glenn Wester (@glennwester) 4/11/19, 7:51 PM
#SpaceX Falcon Heavy boosters returning to the cape with sonic boom! @elonmusk
https://twitter.com/glennwester/status/1116489083340107781

47
The rest / Re: SpaceX
« on: April 13, 2019, 01:14:55 PM »
Helping prevent one kind of planetary catastrophe

Falcon Heavy soars; SpaceX lands critical NASA double asteroid redirect launch
Quote
To say 11 April 2019 was a banner day for SpaceX would be an understatement.  The private space company that has soared into the public’s imagination and trust not only succeeded in launching its Falcon Heavy rocket – the most powerful currently operational rocket in the world – on its first commercial flight, but also – just 70 minutes before that launch – secured yet another first: the launch contract for the first-ever spacecraft impact asteroid redirect mission.

A marked difference from last year’s debut, this Falcon Heavy did not undergo a staggered start sequence of its 27 Merlin 1D engines.
Instead, all 27 engines lit at once at T-2 seconds, imparting 5.1 million lbf of thrust into LC-39A before leaving the launch pad.  The Block 5 Falcon Heavy’s thrust then increased to a maximum of 5.5 million lbf of thrust as the rocket ascended out of Earth’s dense lower atmosphere and into  vacuum.

After a 32 minute 4 second flight, Falcon Heavy deposited the ArabSat-6A telecommunications satellite into a super-synchronous Geostationary Transfer Orbit – sending the satellite on its way to a 15 year operational lifespan to bring phone, TV, voice, text, and digital communication services to the Middle East, Europe, and Africa.
   …

Quote
Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission:

Falcon Heavy wasn’t the only success SpaceX had on Thursday.
Just 70 minutes before Falcon Heavy took flight, NASA announced the U.S. space agency had awarded SpaceX a critical contract to launch the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission.

DART will be the first mission to demonstrate and test the effectiveness of slamming a spacecraft into an asteroid to change it orbit.
The mission is considered a critical step in planetary defense preparations should the need to deflect an asteroid on a collision course with Earth arise.


Per the NASA announcement, the launch contract with SpaceX is worth $69 million and will see SpaceX launch the DART spacecraft on a Falcon 9 rocket from SLC-4E at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, in June 2021.
A launch in that time frame will allow DART to intercept the asteroid Didymos, specifically its small moon, in October 2022 when the asteroid will be within 11 million kilometers of Earth.
This intercept time is crucial as ground-based telescopic observations and planetary radar will have to be used to measure the change in momentum imparted into Didymos and its moon to determine the effectiveness of the asteroid kinetic impact deflection technique.
Therefore, the mission’s entire purpose is to slam the 500 kg DART spacecraft into Didymos’ small moon at a velocity of approximately 6 kilometers per second. …
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2019/04/falcon-heavy-spacex-nasa-asteroid-redirect/

Video explainer for the DART mission:


48
The rest / Re: SpaceX
« on: April 13, 2019, 02:49:44 AM »
Sharp-eyed FH webcast watchers may have noticed the brief, unexplained, strange image below.

Quote
Rishvan (@iamrishvan) 4/11/19, 7:12 PM
What am I looking at @elonmusk? #FalconHeavy
https://twitter.com/iamrishvan/status/1116479118986469378

Quote
Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 4/11/19, 7:12 PM
Liquid oxygen
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1116479251669078016

Another possibility:  a Stargate. ;)

49
Minor point it seems to me some on this forum assume that it will take as long for companies to catch up as it took for the leader to make progress in the first place. Reverse engineering can dramatically reduce the time it takes to catch up.

Reverse engineering does not provide mass-production quantities of lithium, or battery packs, or electric motors, or computer hardware and software, or production lines fit to produce and assemble them.  Nor does it solve the problem of billions of euros in ICE assets and jobs that are becoming worthless just as the company needs to spend billions to switch to EV manufacturing.

Tesla opened its patents, years ago.  If that were all manufacturers needed, we’d be flooded with EVs.  Instead, Tesla’s big investments in its gigafactory are a large part of what makes their production numbers possible.

50
Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: April 13, 2019, 12:46:07 AM »
In Norway, Model 3 now starts 377,020 Kroners, which is equal to about $44,375 USD.

Quote
Tesla Driver (@m_xalher) 4/12/19, 5:34 AM
«Now you can get a Tesla for less than 400,000 NOK». Headline news in Norwegian business daily DN now.
This will sell like pølse med lompe!
Full story: dn.no/motor/tesla/el…
https://twitter.com/m_xalher/status/1116635715994095616
Image below.

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