Elon Musk: 2019 Will Be “the Year of the Solar Roof”

During the unveiling of Tesla's highly anticipated Model Y, CEO Elon Musk announced that the company would focus on its Solar Roof and Powerwall in 2019.

Looking Up

During the unveiling of Tesla’s highly anticipated Model Y Thursday night, CEO Elon Musk shared his vision for his company’s immediate future — and it had little to do with cars.

“This is definitely going to be the year of the Solar Roof and Powerwall,” he told the audience, according to Inverse — a sign that Tesla is shifting its focus from the road to the home, with the ultimate goal of creating a fully sustainable future.

Pretty Picture

In August 2017, Tesla gave the world its first glimpse of an installed Solar Roof, and it looked, well, a lot like any other roof. But that was the point — Tesla’s solar tiles didn’t have the jarring appearance of many home solar panels.

That aesthetically pleasing design — combined with the tiles’ affordability and “infinity warranty” — had solar energy expert Senthil Balasubramanian predicting Tesla would be a “game changer” for clean energy.

With the exception of the occasional massive battery project, though, we haven’t heard much about Tesla’s home energy products since then. The company spent much of 2017 and 2018 focused on getting through the Model 3’s “production hell” and dealing with the fallout from Musk’s latest public misstep.

Under One Roof

But now that Model 3 production is humming along, Tesla has the bandwidth to shift some of its engineering focus back to its Solar Roof and home batteries, according to Musk — and that should go a long way toward helping the company meet its ambitious goal of a more sustainable energy system.

“Solar plus battery plus electric vehicles, we have a fully sustainable future,” Musk told the audience Thursday. “That’s a future you can feel really excited and optimistic about. I think that really matters.”

READ MORE: Tesla Solar Roof: Elon Musk Declares 2019 Will Be the Year of the Roof [Inverse]

More on Tesla: Solar Expert Predicts Tesla Will Be a “Game-Changer” for Clean Energy

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Elon Musk: 2019 Will Be “the Year of the Solar Roof”

Elon Musk: $47,000 Model Y SUV “Will Ride Like a Sports Car”

A Familiar Car

First, it was supposed to feature Model-X-style “falcon wing” doors, and then it didn’t. It was supposed to be built in the Shanghai factory, but that didn’t work out either.

Tesla finally unveiled its fifth production car, the Model Y, at its design studio outside of Los Angeles Thursday evening.

“It has the functionality of an SUV, but it will ride like a sports car,” Tesla CEO Elon Musk said during the event. “So this thing will be really tight on corners.”

Bigger than the 3, Smaller Than the X

Yes, acceleration is still zippy: zero to 60 in 3.5 seconds.

But the vehicle is less than revolutionary. It’s arguably the company’s second crossover sports utility vehicle, after the Model X, and it borrows heavily from the company’s successful Model 3. In fact, 75 percent of its parts are the same, according to CEO Elon Musk.

The back of the Y is slightly elevated in the back for a roomier cargo space. A long-range model will feature seven seats — just like the Model X, despite being slightly smaller. Range: still 300 miles with the Long Range battery pack, thanks to its aerodynamic shape.

It will also be “feature complete” according to Musk, referring to the fact that the Model Y will one day be capable of “full self-driving” that he says “will be able to do basically anything just with software upgrades.”

10 Percent Cheaper

As expected, the Model Y is ten percent bigger and costs roughly ten percent more than the Model 3: the first Model Y — the Long Range model — will be released in the fall of 2020 and will sell for $47,000. A dual-motor all-wheel drive version and a performance version will sell for $51,000 and $60,000, respectively.

If you want to save a buck and get the ten-percent-cheaper-than-the-Model-3 version, you’ll have to wait: a Standard Range (230 miles) model will go on sale in 2021 for just $39,000.

Overall, the Model Y seems like a compromise: it’s not a radical shift, but it seems carefully designed to land with a certain type of consumer — and, if Musk is to be believed, without sacrificing Tesla’s carefully-cultivated “cool factor.”

Investors seemed slightly underwhelmed, too — the company’s stock reportedly slid up to five percent after the announcement.

READ MORE:  Tesla unveils Model Y electric SUV with 300 miles range and 7-seats [Electrek]

More on the Model Y: Elon Musk: Tesla Will Unveil Model Y Next Week

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Elon Musk: $47,000 Model Y SUV “Will Ride Like a Sports Car”

Mitsubishi’s New Hybrid Can Power Your Home During a Blackout

Bi-Directional Charging

In the future, your car will charge your house.

That’s according to Japanese carmaker Mitsubishi, which is working on a solar platform — including a sizable home battery, charger and solar panels — called Dendo Drive House. The twist: it can use the company’s lineup of plug-in hybrid cars to store extra power.

It’s a futuristic concept: when the sun shines, both your car and home charge up at the same time thanks to a “bi-directional charger.” If you’re stuck with no power from the electric grid, your home is able to use up your plug-in hybrid car’s remaining battery reserves.

In its promotional video, Mitsubishi argues it might even save you some money — you can chose to charge your home from the grid at night, when electricity prices are lower.

The Engelberg Tourer

The reveal came alongside the announcement of Mitsubishi’s Engelberg Tourer, a “next-generation crossover SUV concept” at this year’s Geneva Motor Show.

The Tourer is meant to skip the need for charging infrastructure altogether, according to the press release, thanks to its generous battery pack — and of course the Dendo Drive House platform with its bi-directional charging capability.

It’s not the first time the idea has cropped up: Tesla CEO Elon Musk mentioned the idea in a July 2018 tweet, pointing out it might make sense for his electric vehicle company to “revisit” the idea.

Like many concepts of its kind, there’s no guarantee Mitsubishi’s SUV and the Dendo Drive House platform will ever be released to the public.

While Tesla has already shown the benefits of mounting a massive home battery packs to your garage wall, the efficiency of home solar panel technology still has a way to go.

But who wouldn’t want to save some money on their energy bills while ensuring that their energy demands are met even during a power outage?

READ MORE: This SUV powers your house–and your house powers this SUV [Fast Company]

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Mitsubishi’s New Hybrid Can Power Your Home During a Blackout

SpaceX’s Crew Dragon Spacecraft Splashes Down in the Atlantic

Welcome Home

Mission Demo-1 is officially complete.

After successfully undocking from the International Space Station in the early morning hours and burning through Earth’s atmosphere, SpaceX’s passenger spacecraft slowly descended back down to Earth, before safely splashing down into the Atlantic Ocean — and right on schedule at 8:45 am EST.

.@SpaceX’s #CrewDragon returned to Earth with a splash in the Atlantic Ocean off Florida’s eastern shore at 8:45am ET, completing an end-to-end flight test to the @Space_Station and back as part of our @Commercial_Crew Program. Learn more: https://t.co/MFB7dVb60c pic.twitter.com/8lFL6X3Tue

— NASA (@NASA) March 8, 2019

The Descent

Crew Dragon’s descent was slowed thanks to four large parachutes it deployed once it re-entered Earth’s atmosphere.

Astronauts loaded roughly 300 pounds (136 kg) of cargo from the ISS into the spacecraft on Thursday to send back down to Earth.

SpaceX successfully launched the spacecraft on Saturday. It marks the first time a passenger spacecraft launched from American soil to the ISS — and returned safely back down to Earth — since the end of NASA’s Space Shuttle program in 2011.

Mission Accomplished

SpaceX’s Crew Dragon docked itself, with no robotic arm required, to an open port of the International Space Station early Sunday morning. It then spent five days docked to the station while astronauts checked out the inside of what could one day become their ride back home.

A lot could’ve gone wrong. The cargo Dragon variant featured a different parachute system and had a differently shaped hull.

“I see hypersonic re-entry as probably my greatest concern,” SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said during a post-launch press event on Saturday.

In July, SpaceX is hoping to send the Crew Dragon capsule back into space — but this time with NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley on board.

READ MORE:

More on Crew Dragon: Expert: SpaceX Just Made Russia’s Space Program “Null and Void”

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SpaceX’s Crew Dragon Spacecraft Splashes Down in the Atlantic

Elon Musk

Musk was accepted to a graduate program at Stanford, but deferred attendance to launch his first business, software company Zip2.

In 2015 Musk gifted 1.2 million Tesla shares to his foundation, which spent $480,000 in late 2018 to provide clean drinking water to schools in Flint, Michigan.

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Elon Musk Doesnt Need to Be Tesla CEO, Top Shareholder …

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Tesla stock has been falling since Thursday, when CEO Elon Musk said the company would be closing its stores in favor of an online-only sales model.

On Tuesday, with the stock down again, the companys largest outside shareholder expressed its support for Musk, but acknowledged that it was open to a different role for the Tesla (ticker: TSLA) founder and CEO.

We wouldnt be against him having a different role, James Anderson, head of global equities for Ballie Gifford, told Barrons. I dont think he needs to be CEO.

Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou is set to face extradition hearings in Canada after the U.S. charged her with crimes related to violating sanctions against Iran. WSJs Shelby Holliday explains three things to know about the case. Photo: AP

Anderson was answering a question about how Musks circumstances could change given the Securities and Exchange Commissions request to a federal court to find Musk in contempt.

Tesla stock closed down 3.1% Tuesday, to $276.54 per share, as the broader S&P 500 was flat.

Anderson said Musk was essential to Tesla, but he suggested that the companys founder could play some other role within the company, such as taking on a chief ideologue position.

A Tesla spokesman didnt immediately respond to a request for comment.

Tesla stock is down 13% since the company made its online sales announcement last Thursday. On a call with reporters, Musk also acknowledged the company would not be profitable in the first quarter.

The new sales strategy came only days after the SEC said it was asking a federal judge to find Teslas CEO in contempt of court. The SEC action followed a recent round of Musks tweets where he seemed to mislead investors about Teslas 2019 production, before correcting himself a few hours later.

Investors have long traded alongside Musk, with shares falling in and out of favor based on his behavior. Through it all, the companys largest outside shareholder, Baillie Gifford, has remained a steadfast supporter. The firm, based in Edinburgh, Scotland, currently owns 13 million shares, or 7.7% of Teslas stock, valued at $3.8 billion. Baillie Gifford is Teslas second largest shareholder, behind Musk, who owns 19.7% of the stock.

The firm has been building its stake in Tesla since 2013, according to FactSet, rarely selling shares.

On Tuesday, Musk tweeted that the companys decision to hold a press-only call to announce its lower priced Model 3 and its change in strategy with regard to sales was a mistake.

Write to Alex Eule at alex.eule@barrons.com

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Elon Musk Doesnt Need to Be Tesla CEO, Top Shareholder …

Elon Musk

Musk was accepted to a graduate program at Stanford, but deferred attendance to launch his first business, software company Zip2.

In 2015 Musk gifted 1.2 million Tesla shares to his foundation, which spent $480,000 in late 2018 to provide clean drinking water to schools in Flint, Michigan.

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Elon Musk

SEC options to rein in Elon Musk include leaning on Tesla and …

The Securities and Exchange Commission is between a rock and a hard place, experts say, in deciding what to do about what it told a judge on Tuesday is Elon Musks violation of the clear and unambiguous terms of a legal settlement the Tesla CEO made in October.

You cant stop Tweeting Elon from tweeting, but that might not be such a big problem if he exercised good judgement, Matt Kelly, editor of the Radical Compliance newsletter and a long-time observer of corporate governance and compliance issues, told MarketWatch. Instead, he repeatedly displays a deliberate, open and defiant attitude towards the role of the SEC in protecting investors from his recklessness.

SEC Chairman Jay Clayton argued at the time of the original October settlement that taking Musk out of Tesla may also harm investors, since he is so important to the company. That would be anathema to the regulators mission to protect investors.

The October settlement with the SEC resolved a fraud charge resulting from tweets Musk made about a potential Tesla take-private transaction. The SEC said in its legal filing that the requirement was necessary to prevent Musk from recklessly sending out false or inaccurate information ever again. Musk and Tesla TSLA, -3.20% had promised the SEC that the CEO would start getting pre-approval for any communications, including tweets, that might contain information material to Tesla or its shareholders.

But four months later, on Feb 19, Musk tweeted out a forecast of automobile production that was not consistent with what the company had reported in its recent earnings release and conference call.

The companys attorney, Brad Bondi, confirmed to the SEC that Musk had not sought or received pre-approval for the inaccurate tweet that was sent out to his 24 million Twitter followers.

On Tuesday U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan ordered Musk to explain by March 11 why he should not be held in contempt for violating the settlement agreement.

The SEC enforcement action was ultimately settled not just against Musk but also against Tesla, Kevin LaCroix, an attorney and executive vice president at RT ProExec, an insurance intermediary focused exclusively on officer and director liability issues, told MarketWatch.

I would think the SEC has the right to return to court to reopen the matter as to the company, too. The settlement with the company agreed to a number of measures regarding the companys board (Musk to step down as chairman, independent directors to be appointed). The SEC could say that the companys boards is falling short on supervising Musk and that violate the purposes and intent of the agreement, LaCroix told MarketWatch.

Read: Tesla finally launches $35,000 Model 3, and moves all sales online

See: Opinion: Elon Musk thinks layoffs will keep Tesla profitable as $35,000 Model 3 arrives

Tesla, the company, also agreed to adopt a senior executives communication policy that would spell out who would approve Musks communications and how that process would work. The policy, dated Dec 11, 2018, says that the board would appoint its general counsel and disclosure counsel, or in the case of unavailability, its CFO, to be the ones who could pre-approve Musks utterances.

Neither Tesla nor Bondi responded to whether the board appointed Jonathan Chang, the companys new general counsel, and Zach Kirkhorn, the companys new CFO to be Musks tweet-minders.

The SEC also required Tesla to add two new independent board members as part of the settlement. Oracle founder Larry Ellison and Kathleen Wilson-Thompson, who spent 17 years as an executive at the Kellogg Company, and currently serves as the executive vice president and global chief human resources officer of the Walgreens Boots Alliance, joined the Tesla board.

Ellison disclosed he owns 3 million shares in Tesla and has also admitted he and Musk are close friends.

The SEC has more power to force change than it lets on, Kelly told MarketWatch. It wasnt that long ago that the SEC forced Elizabeth Holmes to relinquish her control of Theranos, as settlement for fraud allegations. The board has the power to rein in Musk, even fire him. The SEC could use its enforcement leverage against Telsas independent directors to force more discipline.

The SEC can inform the board they want them to take a more active role in reigning in Musks tweets and other social media activity, said Betsy Atkins, a leading public company director serving on the board of Wynn Resorts WYNN, +0.36% , Schneider Electric SBGSY, +0.48% and Volvo Cars.

However, if I were the regulator, I would leverage Musks desire to stay on as CEO and a board member. I suspect hed be very unhappy with a 5-year ban on serving on a public company board, including Tesla.

Thats one of the SECs potential remedies, she said.

Atkins believes that market forces will cause the correction needed before any regulatory sanction, even a bigger fine for Musk, does. If I were on that board, I would be very concerned and want the company to buy additional liability insurance for directors, Atkins told MarketWatch. Plaintiffs attorneys are already circling and at some point the current directors and officers insurance carrier may become fatigued and potentially unwilling to immunize the board from the public and private litigation.

See also: Tesla makes record $920 million payment for convertible bond

Read: Even if guilty of contempt, Teslas Elon Musk unlikely to get harsh penalty, experts say

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SEC options to rein in Elon Musk include leaning on Tesla and …

Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic …

“Ashlee Vance’s new book, ‘Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX and the Quest for a Fantastic Future,’ is a tremendous look into arguably the world’s most important entrepreneur. Vance paints an unforgettable picture of Musk’s unique personality, insatiable drive and ability to thrive through hardship.” – The Washington Post

“It is the book I have enjoyed most this year.” – Tyler Cowen, famed economist and best-selling author

“The best business book I have read in years.” – Don Graham, former publisher of The Washington Post

“Exhaustively reported . . . this work will likely serve as the definitive account of a man whom so far we’ve seen mostly through caricature. By the final pages, too, any reader will sense the need to put comparisons to Steve Jobs aside. Give Musk credit. There is no one like him.” – The New York Times

“Ashlee Vance’s portrait of the entrepreneur at mid-life is an essential read . . . a riveting portrait of Silicon Valley’s most driven entrepreneur since Steve Jobs.” – The Financial Times

“The result is a book that is smart, light on its feet and possesses a crunchy thoroughness. . . . Mr. Vance delivers a well-calibrated portrait of Mr. Musk, so that we comprehend both his friends and his enemies. It’s a book with many ancillary pleasures. Mr. Vance brings us up to date on the states of green energy and space launches. He also veers away from his subject just often enough, offering profiles of the frequently brilliant people who work alongside Mr. Musk The best thing Mr. Vance does in this book, though, is tell Mr. Musk’s story simply and well.”- The New York Times

“Really good biographies stand out in two ways. First, they provide lots of zesty stories that haven’t been told before. Beyond that, they explain all the zigzags and false clues of a prominent person’s life, in a way that makes the total picture come into focus. . . it’s clear that this new Musk bio delivers the goods in both respects. . . Ashlee Vance provides a wealth of insights about how this tech titan operates.” – Forbes

“Vance’s lively book yields all manner of fascinating insights about Musk’s companies, his vision, and his personal life.” – Slate

“Of the many profiles of business leaders, Vance’s take on Musk is among the best. The author’s objective and unbiased viewpoint captures Musk’s good and bad, his achievements and failures.” – The Motley Fool

“Vance’s book is a masterful piece of reporting.” – Vice

Continued here:

Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic …

Is Elon Musk trying to commit suicide by SEC by taunting …

Most amazingly, Musk continued to poke at the SEC with further tweets Monday and Tuesday, starting within a couple of hours of the agencys contempt motion. He claimed his Feb. 19 tweets merely reiterated earlier disclosures by the company SEC forgot to read Tesla earnings transcript, which clearly states 350k to 500k. How embarrassing, he tweeted Monday night. Then, on Tuesday at 4:25 a.m., he tweeted, Something is broken with SEC oversight.

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Is Elon Musk trying to commit suicide by SEC by taunting …

Johnny Depp Claims Amber Heard Cheated on Him With Elon Musk …

Johnny Depp is accusing ex-wifeAmber Heard of “spending time in a new relationship” withElon Musk a month after they got married, while the Tesla founder says he and the actress started seeing each other only after the marriage ended.

The 55-year-oldPirates of the Caribbean star made the claim in a $50 million defamation lawsuit he filed against the 32-year-old actressafter she wrote a Washington Post op-eddepictingherself as a domestic abuse victim. He has denied her allegations of domestic abuse, which she had made while filing for divorce in May 2016 to end their 15-month marriage.

Depp and Heardwed in February 2015. His lawsuit, filed on Friday, states, “Unbeknownst to Mr. Depp, no later than one month after his marriage to Ms. Heard, she was spending time in a new relationship with Tesla and Space X founder, Elon Musk.”

“Only one calendar month after Mr. Depp and Ms. Heard were marriedwhile Mr. Depp was out of the country, filming in March 2015Eastern Columbia Building personnel testified that Ms. Heard received Musk ‘late at night’ at Mr. Depp’s penthouse,” the documents say. “Specifically, Ms. Heard asked staff at the Eastern Columbia Building to give her ‘friend Elon’ access to the building’s parking garage and the penthouse elevator ‘late at night,’ and they testified that they did so. Building staff would then see Ms. Heard’s ‘friend Elon’ leaving the building the next morning.”

The lawsuit adds, “Musk’s first appearance in Mr. Depp’s penthouse occurred shortly after Ms. Heard threw a vodka bottle at Mr. Depp in Australia, when she learned that Mr. Depp wanted the couple to enter into a post-nuptial agreement concerning assets in their marriage. Ms. Heard’s violently aimed projectile virtually severed Mr. Depp’s middle finger on his right hand and shattered the bones. Mr. Depp’s marriage to Ms. Heard came to an end in May 2016.

Media-Mode / Splash News

A rep for Musk told E! News, “Elon and Amber didn’t start seeing each other until May 2016, and even then it was infrequent. Their relationship didn’t become romantic until some time later.”

Musk, 47, and Heard were first photographed togetheras a couple inApril 2017 andbroke upthat summer.

Heard’s rep has not commented directly on Depp’s accusations of cheating. Her lawyer commented on his lawsuit in general, saying in a statement, “Thisfrivolous action is just the latest of Johnny Depp’s repeated efforts to silence Amber Heard. She will not be silenced.Mr. Depp’s actions prove he is unable to accept the truth of his ongoing abusive behavior. But while he appears hell-bent on achieving self destruction, wewill prevail in defeating thisgroundless lawsuit and ending the continued vile harassment of my client by Mr. Depp and his legal team.”

Depp’s attorney said in response to the statement, “‘They want to silence Amber Heard’ doesn’t sound like a denial by Ms. Heard of Mr. Depp’s 40-page, evidence-packed complaint. We hardly intend to silence Ms. Heardto the contrary, we intend to subpoena and compel evidence from her, her three hoax-assisting friends, andElon Musk. We look forward to holding the overwhelming video, photographic and eyewitness evidence we finally possess up against Amber Heard’s (so far silent) attempts to explain the inexplicable.”

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Johnny Depp Claims Amber Heard Cheated on Him With Elon Musk …

Elon Musk changes Twitter name to ‘Elon Tusk’ amid SEC …

Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s strange week on Twitter took another turn Tuesday night.

Shortly after tweeting that “some Tesla news” would be announced at 2 p.m. PT on Thursday, the billionaire changed his name to “Elon Tusk” and added an elephant emoji to the end.

Musk began his week with an accusation from the Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday evening that he had violated his $20 million agreement to be monitored by a designated securities lawyer on tweets that could affect Tesla’s stock price.

The stock market regulator alleges that Musk may have misled investors last week when he tweeted that Tesla would produce 500,000 vehicles this year. He corrected himself a few hours later, lowering that number to 400,000.

“SEC forgot to read Tesla earnings transcript, which clearly states 350k to 500k,” he tweeted. “How embarrassing ”

That response, however, lived on Musk’s Twitter timeline next to memes about Musk’s name that could have sparked the rhyming name change.

Elon Tusk memes were already popular on sites like Reddit, where members of the fandom Musk has amassed were already coming up with their own pun versions of his name. Elon Tusk rose in popularity roughly a week ago, next to classics like “Elongated Muskrat.”

It’s also possibly a reference to the scam cryptocurrency accounts that would try to emulate Musk’s verified account one of which went by the name Elon Tusk shilling coins to those fooled by the name. Eventually, it prompted a tweet from Musk.

Last week, Musk hosted the latest episode of “Meme Review” with the megapopular YouTuber PewDiePie. You can read all the highlights here.

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Elon Musk changes Twitter name to ‘Elon Tusk’ amid SEC …

Hive: Elon Musk News, In-Depth Articles, Photos & Videos …

Most entrepreneurs are lucky to have one billion-dollar company to their name. Elon Musk, Americas real-life Tony Stark, has four. Perhaps best known as the C.E.O. and founder of the private aerospace company SpaceX and C.E.O. and co-founder of electric carmaker Tesla Motors, Musk isnt shy about his ultimate ambitions: helping to save the planet by shifting the world economy to sustainable energy. But, like any savvy billionaire, Musk is hedging his bets, too, by working actively to establish a human colony on Mars.

If anyone can bring humanity into the interplanetary age, its Musk. Born in South Africa to an electrical engineer father and model Maye Musk, he developed an interest in computer programming at an early age, selling the code to a video game he had developed to a magazine when he was just 12 years old. In 1992, Musk moved to the United States, where he received a dual degree from the University of Pennsylvania in physics and economics, before flying west to Stanford to begin a Ph.D. in applied physics. Two days into his program, he dropped out to become an entrepreneur. His first start-up, a software company called Zip2, sold to Compaq four years later, in 1999, for more than $300 million in cash, with more than $30 million in stock options.

A millionaire many times over at the age of 28, Musk didnt hesitate before starting over again with X.com, a financial services business that quickly merged with the company that would become PayPal. Two years later, the payments processing start-up was acquired by eBay for $1.5 billion in stock, netting Musk another $165 million. But by then, Musk was already dreaming bigger. In 2002, he poured $100 million of his fortune into founding SpaceX, a private aerospace company with the goal of making spaceflight affordable by building the first reusable rocket. And in 2004, he got involved with Tesla Motors, leading a series A funding round and joining its board as chairman. That limitless ambition nearly cost him everything. During the financial crisis in 2008, after he had become C.E.O. of Tesla, both companies were on the verge of failure and Musk was deep in personal debt trying to keep them afloat. But Musk is the most risk-immune person Ive ever met, recalled venture capitalist Steve Jurvetson, a friend and managing partner at Draper Fisher Jurvetson, the renowned venture capital firm, who has backed both efforts, in an interview with Esther Dyson for Business Insider. Hes really an American hero, more than anyone Ive ever met.

SpaceX and Tesla both pulled through, thanks to Musk and an assist from the U.S. government, which gave him a $1.6 billion NASA contract and offered generous green energy subsidies on Teslas first production car, the blistering fast, all-electric Roadster. Today, SpaceX is the largest private producer of rocket motors in the world, and Tesla is onto its third-generation vehicle, the Model 3, which has already secured about $15 billion in pre-order sales, according to the company. SolarCity, another company Musk co-founded and for which he is the largest shareholder, is now one of the top two residential solar contractors in the U.S. Musk, obviously, is not taking a break from success. His next mission? Landing a rocket ship on Mars, as early as 2018.

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Hive: Elon Musk News, In-Depth Articles, Photos & Videos …

Elon Musk

Musk was accepted to a graduate program at Stanford, but deferred attendance to launch his first business, software company Zip2.

In 2015 Musk gifted 1.2 million Tesla shares to his foundation, which spent $480,000 in late 2018 to provide clean drinking water to schools in Flint, Michigan.

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Elon Musk

Tesla’s biggest problem is not Elon Musk’s Twitter – Business …

Tesla’s latest crisis was provoked by CEO Elon Musk making what, in the context of the global auto industry, would be a rounding era. He tweeted that the company would make 500,000 vehicles in 2019, while Tesla had earlier communicated that it would produce just 400,000.

Musk corrected himself, but by then the Securities and Exchange Commission was investigating whether he’d violated the terms of his 2018 settlement over a failed plan to take Tesla private. Ultimately, the SEC asked a court to hold Musk in contempt.

Auto-industry executives speculate all the time about how many vehicles they might produce and sell, but nobody cares because the global auto industry is good at dialing up and cutting back production. In the US alone, 17 million vehicles were sold last year. Investors, analysts, and journalists take for granted the competent management of this aspect of the business.

Read more: I put Tesla’s high-performance Model S and Model 3 up against the BMW M5 and M3 to see how they compared here’s the verdict

The auto industry is also constantly introducing new vehicles and refreshing old ones. Myself and my colleagues at Business Insider can joyfully expect to report on a test drive dozens of cars and trucks each year that have updated stories attached to them.

Elon Musk at the unveiling of Tesla’s new Roadster. Tesla

Tesla, by contrast, introduces a new vehicle every year or so and infrequently makes significant physical changes to its lineup while pumping out a steady stream of software improvements. This is because Tesla is a small carmaker it has just three vehicles for sale that believes one of its cars should serve an owner for a long time and consistently get better over time not through hardware, but through computer code.

That, unfortunately, is pretty boring. This month, by contrast, the auto industry will convene at the Geneva motor show to show off all manners of thrilling sheet metal. Auto journalists will have plenty to keep them busy for a few weeks.

Tesla won’t be at Geneva and isn’t cranking out anything in the way of product news. In this information vacuum goes the attention span of the small army of money and media folk who obsessively monitor the carmaker of the future. All they really have to work with that’s substantial i.e., not Musk’s weird Twitter musings is production and deliveries. It’s literally the only simple, hard data available.

True, Tesla is a very new car brand; GM and Ford have been around for over a century. Tesla’s history goes back a decade and a half, and it’s really just been making automobiles in meaningful numbers for about three years. With so little to go on, and with a disproportionately enormous market capitalization, it’s understandable that investors would cling to every scrap and twig.

Except that most of Tesla is owned by Musk (he has over 20%) and a few major institutional shareholders. They expect Tesla to make more cars in the coming years. They also figure that the annual totals could be volatile, given that Tesla’s manufacturing footprint is relatively modest. They can ignore the noise and think long-term.

The Tesla Model 3. Hollis Johnson/Business Insider

Maybe you can figure out where I’m going with this, given that I’ve freely complained before about Tesla being treated like a veteran carmaker when in fact it’s a rookie. The fixation and I stress fixation on production is a shining example of demand for Tesla news rather than actual Tesla information.

The bottom line is that Tesla can’t produce that much news. Nor should it. If it produced four times as many models, it would still be unable to satisfy the non-news appetite. And if Musk were suddenly inactive on Twitter and my colleague Troy Wolverton thinks Musk should hang up his handle there would be a reckoning. Tesla would then have to be scrutinized as a business, rather than as a media phenomenon.

To be honest, while I think Tesla would benefit from this, it’s not clear that Musk really wants things to chill out. He’s the company’s biggest marketer, its chief salesman. Tesla spends effectively zero on advertising and sold 250,000 vehicles last year.

Minus the constant, free buzz, Tesla would probably have to commit millions to marketing. The company is a stupendous example of Sean Parker’s view that advertising isn’t cool and that you can succeed wildly without it while supporting some epic mojo.

But regardless of that motive for Musk to keep on tweetin’, what we’re dealing with here is a company with a dramatic mission than as an enterprise isn’t capable of doing something fantastic and shiny every single week. Don’t forget, Tesla primarily makes cars and increasingly, mass-produced cars. Mass-production isn’t interesting, except to scholars of manufacturing, for a reason: it’s the background noise of a successful industrial economy.

With each passing year, Tesla becomes a bigger part of that economy. So prepare yourselves the better Tesla gets at making cars, the less news it should logically generate.

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Tesla’s biggest problem is not Elon Musk’s Twitter – Business …

Elon Musk

Musk was accepted to a graduate program at Stanford, but deferred attendance to launch his first business, software company Zip2.

In 2015 Musk gifted 1.2 million Tesla shares to his foundation, which spent $480,000 in late 2018 to provide clean drinking water to schools in Flint, Michigan.

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Elon Musk

Elon Musk

Musk was accepted to a graduate program at Stanford, but deferred attendance to launch his first business, software company Zip2.

In 2015 Musk gifted 1.2 million Tesla shares to his foundation, which spent $480,000 in late 2018 to provide clean drinking water to schools in Flint, Michigan.

Read the original:

Elon Musk

Elon Musk | Speaker | TED

Live from TED2017

April 28, 2017

In conversation with TEDs Head Curator Chris Anderson, serial entrepreneur and future-builderElon Musk discusses his new project digging tunnels under LA, Hyperloop, Tesla, SpaceX and his dreams for what the world could look like. Below, highlights from the conversation. Why are you boring? Were trying to dig a hole under LA, and this is to []

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Elon Musk | Speaker | TED

Elon Musk: Starship could make migrating from Earth to Mars …

SpaceX’s “test hopper,” an experimental stainless-steel ship, in Texas. The person at the bottom is for scale.Elon Musk/SpaceX via Twitter

Elon Musk is trying to make it a no-brainer for you to move to Mars.

Musk, the founder of SpaceX, shared his thinking on cost-effective space travel on Twitter over the weekend.

“I’m confident moving to Mars … will one day cost less than $500k & maybe even below $100k,” Musk tweeted on Sunday. “Low enough that most people in advanced economies could sell their home on Earth & move to Mars if they want.”

He added that if anyone decides they don’t like Mars (there are plenty of reasons to hate it), a “return ticket is free.”

The comments came after Musk revealed new details about his rocket company’s truck-sized rocket engine, called Raptor, and the launch system it’d propel to the moon and Mars, called Starship.

On Sunday, Musk said the Raptor engine has been fired more than a half dozen times at a SpaceX facility in McGregor, Texas. He also shared technical data from those tests, including the engine’s efficiency, chamber pressure, other details.

Raptor engines are crucial to making Starship work. Up to six of the engines will power the roughly 18-story Starship. Meanwhile, the system’s 22-story rocket booster, called Super Heavy, may use up to 31 Raptor engines.

SpaceX plans to fix the first Raptor engines onto a “test hopper” prototype at a site near Brownsville, Texas, then launch it on short “hops” up to a few miles high.

An illustration of spaceships from SpaceX’s Big Falcon Rocket system, or BFR, helping colonize Mars.SpaceX

Musk’s ultimate goal for the future of Starship and SpaceX is to enable humans to live on Mars. He began sharing that vision in 2015, saying he wants to back up the human race like hard drive in case something terrible befalls Earth.

Since then, Musk has worked toward replacing SpaceX’s mainstay rocket, Falcon 9, with a larger but dramatically lower-cost system. (That’s Starship, though it has gone by other names most recently “Big Falcon Rocket.”)

“This will sound implausible, but I think there’s a path to build Starship / Super Heavy for less than Falcon 9,” Musk said.

SpaceX charges about $62 million per launch of a Falcon 9 rocket, which can carry payloads weighing up to 25 tons into low-Earth orbit. On Sunday, Musk predicted that Starship would cost “at least 10X cheaper” to send up the same sized payload.

Starship is designed to take about 100 tons of cargo and 100 people to Mars. Part of the reason Musk expects it to be so cost-effective is the system’s size launching more at once can lower costs.

But the biggest reason Starship could be so much cheaper is that it’s designed to be fully reusable. This prevents losing multimillion-dollar hardware after a single use (a typical practice in the rocket-launch industry) and limits launch costs to refilling fuel and refurbishing parts. Starship’s reusability may also allow it to refuel on liquid methane and oxygen once it has landed on Mars (Musk said this fuel can be manufactured on the red planet’s surface) for a return trip to Earth.

Musk also confirmed on Sunday that a recent and “radical” shift in the design of Starship will be a “big factor” in keeping costs down. Instead of making the rocket ship out of lightweight, super-strong carbon-fiber composites, Musk has asked his engineers to use low-cost stainless-steel alloys.

Read more: Elon Musk says SpaceX has built a stainless-steel rocket ship in Texas that looks ‘like liquid silver’

Steel costs about $3 per kilogram, Musk told Popular Mechanics in December, while carbon fiber can cost about $200 per kilogram a 66-fold difference. Musk tweeted in January that using steel could counterintuitively make Starship lighter, allowing it to carry more cargo at a time.

SpaceX’s “aspirational” goal is to launch the first cargo mission to Mars in 2022 just three years from now. Then in 2023, Musk hopes to send the Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa and a crew of artists on a trip around the moon. If all goes well with those two launches, he wants to send the first crewed Starship missions to Mars in 2024.

Excerpt from:

Elon Musk: Starship could make migrating from Earth to Mars …

Elon Musk: Starship could make migrating from Earth to Mars …

SpaceX’s “test hopper,” an experimental stainless-steel ship, in Texas. The person at the bottom is for scale.Elon Musk/SpaceX via Twitter

Elon Musk is trying to make it a no-brainer for you to move to Mars.

Musk, the founder of SpaceX, shared his thinking on cost-effective space travel on Twitter over the weekend.

“I’m confident moving to Mars … will one day cost less than $500k & maybe even below $100k,” Musk tweeted on Sunday. “Low enough that most people in advanced economies could sell their home on Earth & move to Mars if they want.”

He added that if anyone decides they don’t like Mars (there are plenty of reasons to hate it), a “return ticket is free.”

The comments came after Musk revealed new details about his rocket company’s truck-sized rocket engine, called Raptor, and the launch system it’d propel to the moon and Mars, called Starship.

On Sunday, Musk said the Raptor engine has been fired more than a half dozen times at a SpaceX facility in McGregor, Texas. He also shared technical data from those tests, including the engine’s efficiency, chamber pressure, other details.

Raptor engines are crucial to making Starship work. Up to six of the engines will power the roughly 18-story Starship. Meanwhile, the system’s 22-story rocket booster, called Super Heavy, may use up to 31 Raptor engines.

SpaceX plans to fix the first Raptor engines onto a “test hopper” prototype at a site near Brownsville, Texas, then launch it on short “hops” up to a few miles high.

An illustration of spaceships from SpaceX’s Big Falcon Rocket system, or BFR, helping colonize Mars.SpaceX

Musk’s ultimate goal for the future of Starship and SpaceX is to enable humans to live on Mars. He began sharing that vision in 2015, saying he wants to back up the human race like hard drive in case something terrible befalls Earth.

Since then, Musk has worked toward replacing SpaceX’s mainstay rocket, Falcon 9, with a larger but dramatically lower-cost system. (That’s Starship, though it has gone by other names most recently “Big Falcon Rocket.”)

“This will sound implausible, but I think there’s a path to build Starship / Super Heavy for less than Falcon 9,” Musk said.

SpaceX charges about $62 million per launch of a Falcon 9 rocket, which can carry payloads weighing up to 25 tons into low-Earth orbit. On Sunday, Musk predicted that Starship would cost “at least 10X cheaper” to send up the same sized payload.

Starship is designed to take about 100 tons of cargo and 100 people to Mars. Part of the reason Musk expects it to be so cost-effective is the system’s size launching more at once can lower costs.

But the biggest reason Starship could be so much cheaper is that it’s designed to be fully reusable. This prevents losing multimillion-dollar hardware after a single use (a typical practice in the rocket-launch industry) and limits launch costs to refilling fuel and refurbishing parts. Starship’s reusability may also allow it to refuel on liquid methane and oxygen once it has landed on Mars (Musk said this fuel can be manufactured on the red planet’s surface) for a return trip to Earth.

Musk also confirmed on Sunday that a recent and “radical” shift in the design of Starship will be a “big factor” in keeping costs down. Instead of making the rocket ship out of lightweight, super-strong carbon-fiber composites, Musk has asked his engineers to use low-cost stainless-steel alloys.

Read more: Elon Musk says SpaceX has built a stainless-steel rocket ship in Texas that looks ‘like liquid silver’

Steel costs about $3 per kilogram, Musk told Popular Mechanics in December, while carbon fiber can cost about $200 per kilogram a 66-fold difference. Musk tweeted in January that using steel could counterintuitively make Starship lighter, allowing it to carry more cargo at a time.

SpaceX’s “aspirational” goal is to launch the first cargo mission to Mars in 2022 just three years from now. Then in 2023, Musk hopes to send the Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa and a crew of artists on a trip around the moon. If all goes well with those two launches, he wants to send the first crewed Starship missions to Mars in 2024.

Read the rest here:

Elon Musk: Starship could make migrating from Earth to Mars …