Elon Musk

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Elon Musk
Mon Aug 12, 2013 1:18 pm
  • Just got done browsing over Elon Musk's latest plan for the "Hyperloop" Subsonic transport system. Hard not to be impressed by this guy! Entire project is to be open source! talk about making the railroad tycoons roll over in their graves.

    http://www.teslamotors.com/sites/defaul ... -alpha.pdf
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Re: Elon Musk
Mon Aug 12, 2013 2:09 pm
  • I sorta like the guy, but his cars suck.
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Re: Elon Musk
Tue Aug 13, 2013 7:35 am
  • The Hyperloop looks like a great idea, and way cheaper than bullet trains.
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Re: Elon Musk
Tue Aug 13, 2013 12:09 pm
  • With taxpayer awareness at an all time high( I hope) wouldn't you think that the State of California would at least entertain the thought of building this for 1/10th the price of (and many times safer than) the Bullet train they are pursuing now?
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Re: Elon Musk
Tue Aug 13, 2013 7:28 pm
  • Elon Musk is awesome.

    @Smokin': Even if Teslas suck, you have to admire what he has done for public perception of EVs and that kind of thing.
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Re: Elon Musk
Tue Aug 20, 2013 9:46 am
  • Highest safety testing in history...

    http://www.latimes.com/business/autos/l ... 0024.story

    Also pretty interesting numbers at the bottom. Expect to sell 20,000 of them this year, higher than expected profits. They got a good thing going on down there in Palo Alto.
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Re: Elon Musk
Tue Aug 20, 2013 9:49 am
  • Musk is my hero.

    Smokin, you're nuts about the cars. Those things are beautiful.
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Re: Elon Musk
Tue Aug 20, 2013 10:07 am
  • RolandDeschain wrote:Elon Musk is awesome.

    @Smokin': Even if Teslas suck, you have to admire what he has done for public perception of EVs and that kind of thing.


    Disagree. He has helped foster a public perception that EVs are ready for the mainstream, of which they most certainly are not. The public focus should have been occupied with long-range diesel-electric hybrid concepts, not pie-in-the-sky, purely electrical, vehicles.

    There is a reason why trains get the equivalent (when considering mass vs. the energy required to accelerate and maintain velocity) of 400-600 miles per gallon. They have two-stroke diesel engines which generate polyphase electricity, which is then fed to large electrical motors, which in turn spins the wheels. This same operating concept could be applied to virtually any vehicle and I would argue the only reason we have yet to see it (outside enthusiast, hobbyist circles) is due to the automobile manufacturers' reticence to retool. They would much rather continue to profit from existing tooling, so long as it falls just within the boundaries of the most is recent federal regulations.

    Elon Musk is brilliant blowhard with sucky cars and backwards thinking. We don't need to get entirely away from internal combustion, we just need to get our fuel utilization to a sustainable level.
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Re: Elon Musk
Tue Aug 20, 2013 10:30 am
  • I find it funny that you just argued for electric vehicles (trains) powered by fossil fuel while railing against electric vehicles.
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Re: Elon Musk
Tue Aug 20, 2013 11:31 am
  • Carbyne and graphene are going to shit on fossil fuels.
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Re: Elon Musk
Tue Aug 20, 2013 1:58 pm
  • RolandDeschain wrote:I find it funny that you just argued for electric vehicles (trains) powered by fossil fuel while railing against electric vehicles.


    Trains aren't purely electrical vehicles. They are diesel-electric hybrids, which is what I think we should be gravitating towards for everything from long haul tractor trailers, to the econoboxes people use to commute to work.

    In the end, I'm all for development of purely electric vehicles, but I'm realistic about the fact that they're still 5-10 years from being a complete, direct, 1:1 replacement for what we have now.

    You're reading too far into my words. Diesel does not necessarily mean petroleum, just as internal combustion doesn't automatically imply fossil fuels.

    Eventually, hybrid vehicles could become so efficient that they are not only a suitable replacement for what we have now, they would also be a carbon-neutral, indefinitely sustainable, replacement. In that case, they would actually be superior to all-electric vehicles in nearly every way, unless we can somehow devise a charging solution capable of flowing several hundred amperes into a bank of batteries, without making them go kaboom.
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Re: Elon Musk
Tue Aug 20, 2013 2:51 pm
  • I want nuclear-powered EVs. Also, I'm not reading too much into your words; you know what I meant by what I said, I'm pretty sure.

    Regardless, trains get a lot of their efficiency from maintaining momentum. Ask a conductor what their miles per gallon equivalent would be if they had to get up to speed, stay at it for 10 minutes, then stop, rinse/repeat, the whole time. I don't know what it would be, but it'd be a gigantically drastic downfall.
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Re: Elon Musk
Wed Aug 21, 2013 1:07 am
  • I think 5-10 years is a realistic number only because batteries are simply not effective at storing enough energy as well as being able to be charged quickly. Those will be solved soon on a mass scale and we'll quickly move to electric.
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Re: Elon Musk
Wed Aug 21, 2013 6:36 am
  • SmokinHawk wrote:
    RolandDeschain wrote:Elon Musk is awesome.

    @Smokin': Even if Teslas suck, you have to admire what he has done for public perception of EVs and that kind of thing.


    Disagree. He has helped foster a public perception that EVs are ready for the mainstream, of which they most certainly are not. The public focus should have been occupied with long-range diesel-electric hybrid concepts, not pie-in-the-sky, purely electrical, vehicles.

    There is a reason why trains get the equivalent (when considering mass vs. the energy required to accelerate and maintain velocity) of 400-600 miles per gallon. They have two-stroke diesel engines which generate polyphase electricity, which is then fed to large electrical motors, which in turn spins the wheels. This same operating concept could be applied to virtually any vehicle and I would argue the only reason we have yet to see it (outside enthusiast, hobbyist circles) is due to the automobile manufacturers' reticence to retool. They would much rather continue to profit from existing tooling, so long as it falls just within the boundaries of the most is recent federal regulations.

    Elon Musk is brilliant blowhard with sucky cars and backwards thinking. We don't need to get entirely away from internal combustion, we just need to get our fuel utilization to a sustainable level.


    At what point has Musk said we have to get entirely away from internal combustion? Who says that the public can't pursue diesel-electric hybrid AND purely electric vehicles?

    Jeez. Talk about a blowhard. :roll:
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Re: Elon Musk
Wed Aug 21, 2013 8:00 am
  • volsunghawk wrote:
    SmokinHawk wrote:
    RolandDeschain wrote:Elon Musk is awesome.

    @Smokin': Even if Teslas suck, you have to admire what he has done for public perception of EVs and that kind of thing.


    Disagree. He has helped foster a public perception that EVs are ready for the mainstream, of which they most certainly are not. The public focus should have been occupied with long-range diesel-electric hybrid concepts, not pie-in-the-sky, purely electrical, vehicles.

    There is a reason why trains get the equivalent (when considering mass vs. the energy required to accelerate and maintain velocity) of 400-600 miles per gallon. They have two-stroke diesel engines which generate polyphase electricity, which is then fed to large electrical motors, which in turn spins the wheels. This same operating concept could be applied to virtually any vehicle and I would argue the only reason we have yet to see it (outside enthusiast, hobbyist circles) is due to the automobile manufacturers' reticence to retool. They would much rather continue to profit from existing tooling, so long as it falls just within the boundaries of the most is recent federal regulations.

    Elon Musk is brilliant blowhard with sucky cars and backwards thinking. We don't need to get entirely away from internal combustion, we just need to get our fuel utilization to a sustainable level.


    At what point has Musk said we have to get entirely away from internal combustion? Who says that the public can't pursue diesel-electric hybrid AND purely electric vehicles?

    Jeez. Talk about a blowhard. :roll:


    Musk is also working to get charging stations installed where Teslas are being sold. We might still be 5-10 years away, but without Tesla doing what it is, it might be 15-20.

    However, I'm biased about Tesla for reasons I've already mentioned in previous threads.
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Re: Elon Musk
Wed Aug 21, 2013 11:51 am
  • volsunghawk wrote:At what point has Musk said we have to get entirely away from internal combustion? Who says that the public can't pursue diesel-electric hybrid AND purely electric vehicles?

    Jeez. Talk about a blowhard. :roll:


    He hasn't said that, so to speak. He just embraces his EV concepts like they're manna from heaven. He's also been rather dishonest about the efficiency of the Tesla cars. How is a car which gets less than 200 miles per charge in any way a direct replacement for internal combustion tech which gets 400+ miles per fill-up, and can be recharged in 5 minutes?

    There are some pretty incredible technological hurdles which must be cleared before any of this tech is truly viable. Right now, his EVs are nothing more than toys for rich kids. A true, daily driver EV is still 5-10 years away.

    Battery technology still sucks. No amount of Elon Musk's grandstanding will change that. We need to somehow invent a power storage device which can be charged with several hundred amps, without exploding into a ball of flame.
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Re: Elon Musk
Wed Aug 21, 2013 12:00 pm
  • RolandDeschain wrote:I want nuclear-powered EVs. Also, I'm not reading too much into your words; you know what I meant by what I said, I'm pretty sure.

    Regardless, trains get a lot of their efficiency from maintaining momentum. Ask a conductor what their miles per gallon equivalent would be if they had to get up to speed, stay at it for 10 minutes, then stop, rinse/repeat, the whole time. I don't know what it would be, but it'd be a gigantically drastic downfall.


    I take it you haven't ridden many trains. They stop quite frequently, either to pick up new passengers, or to enter a queue as you can only have so many trains occupying the same rail. Sometimes they stop to let a train pass as it's going the opposite direction. Mind you, it's nowhere near the toils of stop-and-go traffic, but we don't tow tens of thousands of tons of materials behind our cars, either. The hybrid drive present in modern trains was chosen for efficiency purposes. Granted as you scale up or down, errata begin to taint the projected gains or losses, but the point remains that a hybrid drivetrain is superior in pretty much every conceivable way. Fewer moving parts, less inefficiency, simpler maintenance.
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Re: Elon Musk
Wed Aug 21, 2013 12:03 pm
  • SmokinHawk wrote:
    Battery technology still sucks. No amount of Elon Musk's grandstanding will change that.


    But his grandstanding draws buyers. And if the buyers return favorable verdicts on his cars, that will draw more buyers. As will the reports of a lower-priced, smaller sedan that Tesla has planned for a few years down the road.

    And with more buyers comes more incentive to improve battery technology, which is a win for everyone whether you want an EV or not.

    You've clearly got a stick somewhere it shouldn't be regarding this.
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Re: Elon Musk
Wed Aug 21, 2013 12:07 pm
  • SmokinHawk wrote:I take it you haven't ridden many trains. They stop quite frequently, either to pick up new passengers, or to enter a queue as you can only have so many trains occupying the same rail. Sometimes they stop to let a train pass as it's going the opposite direction. Mind you, it's nowhere near the toils of stop-and-go traffic, but we don't tow tens of thousands of tons of materials behind our cars, either. The hybrid drive present in modern trains was chosen for efficiency purposes. Granted as you scale up or down, errata begin to taint the projected gains or losses, but the point remains that a hybrid drivetrain is superior in pretty much every conceivable way. Fewer moving parts, less inefficiency, simpler maintenance.


    I was referring to freight trains. Also, I rode Amtrak from Seattle to Wisconsin once. (Amtrak to Portland and back a few times too, so not much overall; but I did have the one long trip.) If you think that train stopped frequently, you need to call 1-800-Amtrak right now and ask how many stops there are between Seattle, WA and Columbus, WI, which will set your record straight.

    I'm not saying it isn't wildly more efficient. It is; but the size and weight make a huge difference, too.

    Also, Volsung is right. His grandstanding attracts attention, and therefore money for research, etc. Plus, if he can get a good percentage of the American people to WANT better battery technology for EVs, that will only help it happen faster.

    It really confuses me as to why Smokin' would dislike Elon Musk for this.
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Re: Elon Musk
Wed Aug 21, 2013 12:32 pm
  • It's the private sector forcing change with a viable product option. How could Smokin not like it?
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Re: Elon Musk
Wed Aug 21, 2013 1:28 pm
  • volsunghawk wrote:
    SmokinHawk wrote:
    Battery technology still sucks. No amount of Elon Musk's grandstanding will change that.


    But his grandstanding draws buyers. And if the buyers return favorable verdicts on his cars, that will draw more buyers. As will the reports of a lower-priced, smaller sedan that Tesla has planned for a few years down the road.

    And with more buyers comes more incentive to improve battery technology, which is a win for everyone whether you want an EV or not.

    You've clearly got a stick somewhere it shouldn't be regarding this.


    There is better technology available right now, than what is presently being used in the Tesla. There has been better tech available for several years now, in fact. My issue with Musk is that he toes the line between hype and dishonesty with his claims, but the average Joe reading the daily news takes his bullshit at face value.

    Here's an example of what I'm talking about.

    Per: http://www.teslamotors.com/models/facts

    * Tesla uses automotive-grade, Lithium-ion battery technology. These batteries do not suffer from “memory effect.”

    Complete horseshit. Lithium-ion batteries develop a memory like ALL other batteries. Elon Musk's creations are still subject to the second law of thermodynamics (summarized as entropy). There is also no such thing as "automotive grade lithium-ion battery technology". The batteries used are simply a bunch of Panasonic NCR18650A cells, which are nickel and lithium based industrial batteries. Nothing special or groundbreaking as these are just off-the-shelf components.

    Here is another example.

    *The Model S battery will not lose a significant amount of charge when parked for long periods of time. For example, Model S owners can park at the airport without plugging in.

    Obviously, Elon wants to make money through parts and services as well, since this statement is not entirely true. If you were to store the battery with a full charge, it would undergo major degradation in just a month or two. It's very, very, very bad to store Lithium-Ion batteries with a full charge, at room temperature. The chemistry inside them goes to absolute shit when stored, fully charged. This is why new rechargeable batteries bought from the store are shipped with a 25%-50% charge. Li-Ion batteries will lend themselves to being stored much more readily when they are at about a half charge, and especially if they are refrigerated, though the latter solution is not available to Tesla car owners.

    Allegedly, their "supercharger" system, which will be implemented at proprietary charging stations, can charge the battery halfway in 30 minutes. 30 minutes, for 100 miles of driving (assuming you even get that from a half charge). I imagine a full charge would take on the order of 60-90 minutes. This is so far from where it needs to be, yet Elon Musk is here trumpeting his creations as though they are ready for the mainstream. If it took me 30 minutes to pump a half tank of gas, I think I'd probably prefer to ride a bicycle. The charging system is limited by how readily the batteries will undergo the chemical processes to break molecular bonds formed during the generation of electricity. Pushing the power into them too quickly will cause an explosion.

    So, we can't drive more than 200 miles on a charge, and it takes more than an hour to recharge the system, yet pure EVs are somehow going to be the way of the future?

    Elon Musk's company is not driving battery technology with their hype and miniscule sales figures. Not buying that one bit. Now the tablet, smartphone market on the other hand, certainly is driving the R&D. Unfortunately, his hype is drawing attention away from vehicles which could actually help - gas (or diesel)/electric hybrids. We already have the technology to produce renewable fuel for these platforms (be it biodiesel, or even alcohol), it's just a matter of scaling that production to meet the needs of a growing nation of people.
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