Interesting read: "Elon Musk's sleight of hand"

Interesting read: "Elon Musk's sleight of hand"

Jonathangarner | 07. oktober 2015

EVino, thank you for sharing this article. Very easy interesting indeed. Perhaps a glimpse of the Master Plan. Cheers!

carlk | 07. oktober 2015

My take is this will be the greatest chauffeur driven car ever. You will see a lot of them in Hollywood, NYC or Beijing. Can you imagine any celebraties or tycoons would want to bend down to get into the back seat of a car anymore?

Farmer Dave | 07. oktober 2015

Thanks for the interesting read, EVino.

Sheridan overthinks the purpose behind the doors and seats, however, trying to find ulterior motives behind the door and seat designs.

Elon is a complicated guy who is a bit mischievous. What ulterior motives would Sheridan ascribe to "Ludicrous Mode" and Bio Weapon Defense Mode"? They are just Elon having fun while working hard to accomplish incredible things.

That said, I think carlk is absolutely correct. Watch the arrivals at the next Oscar presentations.

Red Sage ca us | 07. oktober 2015

And the NFL Playoffs, NBA All-Star Game, ESPY's, Emmy's, Grammy's, Golden Globes...

David N | 08. oktober 2015

Very interesting | 08. oktober 2015

An active imagination at work. Dream on.

EVino | 08. oktober 2015

You have to admit, though, that the Model X is capable of the scenario that the author is imagining. Passenger ingress/egress is easier because of the FW doors, driver entry is wirelessly associated to the designated driver (renter using app?), autopilot will follow programmed routes, etc--not far fetched. | 08. oktober 2015

Self-opening driver's door may be useful someday when people who are physically unable to open a car door want to get into the driver's seat but can't drive the car as well. Until then, it's just for show. The other day I was showing off my car to the Eye Doctor's receptionist and, as I approached, I said " Wake up, Whitey" and the door handles magically popped out. You can imagine what she is going to tell everyone who comes into the Eye doctor's office about the Tesla.

DTsea | 08. oktober 2015

If i lay out over $100k for a model x i am DEFINITELY NOT going to rent it out ESPECIALLY without me there to supervise.

Ridiculous article. | 08. oktober 2015

@DTsea - While I agree that I don't think I'd be comfortable renting out my car, it could make a lot of sense.

Let's say your payback is 3 years. This might mean anyone can own Model X even though it may be $100K car (if they can come up with the down payment). I think a lot of people would jump at that opportunity. After 3 years you could start making a healthy profit or keep the car for yourself at that point that ends up costing you nothing.

carlk | 08. oktober 2015

My take on the self opening driver's door is so many people complaining that Model S does not have soft closing doors that their Mercedes or whatever have. We all know Elon. When he's doing something merely good is never enough. He always says Tesla needs to lead and not merely catching up. The same goes for all the noises about the Model S lacks TACC. Elon decided what the heck I'll give you the autopilot. The pedestal 2nd row seat in the X is the samething when people, especially people in China, say those back seats are not luxury enough for car like this. OK I'll give you the sculptural piece of art pedestal seat which no one has ever done in a production car if you want good seats.

Then again like the article and many here said he likely have something in mind for the future instead of just providing gimmicks. People who say the "snake" is a gimmick should really think hard what that could do in five or ten years when cars, infrastructures and how we use them would be very different from what we know today.

Remnant | 08. oktober 2015

Gavin Sheridan's article left out what for me was the most surprising feature of the MX reveal, the enormous HEPA filter that would enable an MX G to cross bio-hazardous areas, at the level of an Operating Room sterility and freedom from chemicals and allergens.

What do you think of it?

How about an Amphibious Mode?

Or how about a Zombie Apocalypse Mode?

What do you think about an EMP-Proof Mode? Shouldn't we be prepared for an EMP attack?

Bottom line is that I agree with GS view, that the MX seems to be much more than an immediately utilitarian vehicle. On the contrary, it seems to be an esoteric travel device, designed to face peculiar transportation conditions, more adequate to extreme theoretical circumstances rather than day-to-day common ones.

Remnant | 08. oktober 2015

MX G is a typo. I just meant MX.

Roamer@AZ USA | 08. oktober 2015


The future takes so long to get here it doesn't really feel like the future when it arrives.

carlk | 08. oktober 2015

@Remnant Here is what you need to know about the HEPA filter. Hint: Which country that happens to be the largest market of cars like Cayenne that also has the immediate need of the filter the most? Elon is much smarter than you are.

aesculus | 08. oktober 2015


the enormous HEPA filter that would enable an MX to cross bio-hazardous areas, at the level of an Operating Room sterility and freedom from chemicals and allergens.

My wife, who is a Dr, stated that Elon gave her the environment of an operating room, but without the folding rear seats, no place to operate. :-)

Tâm | 08. oktober 2015


That's the best answer for the seat-gate ever! | 08. oktober 2015

@Remnant; the EMP threat is overblown by defense contractors so they can run a bunch of simulations to bilk the DoD. The Al bodies of the Tesla S and X provide ample shielding to protect the control modules from EMP induced surges. I happen to be one of the world's leading authorities on EMP(self-proclaimed...). :-))

BTW I think you may be just as smart as Elon. He has just been luckier. Lucky that he cashed in on Zip2 and PayPal, lucky he didn't kill himself when he totaled his sports car, lucky that he invested in Tesla, SpaceX, and Solar City, lucky that he kicked out the founders of Tesla and took over as CEO and chief product designer, lucky lucky lucky. Some guys have all the luck.

Also BTW the HEPA filter is part of the design for the MX to operate on Mars. Equipped with a closed system for oxygen replenishment, the X will be an excellent Mars rover. Try that with and ICEV. | 08. oktober 2015

@Roamer: here comes the future. Here it comes. Get ready.
Oh sh*t, there it goes. I missed it. Wait a minute. Here it comes again...

aljjr2 | 08. oktober 2015

Wow... wow... wow... I feel "awakened" -- I thought it was just "fun".

Good connection of the "dots".

Ross1 | 08. oktober 2015

You are all forgetting one thing:

Elon Musk is possibly the smartest AND most capable person in the world with proof in spades.

Forget Hawking. Forget Obama. Forget Queen Elizabeth. Forget me and you.

So what would the smartest proven guy in the world be doing making a car for with "fun features"?

"Fun" is wimpy.

Why did he laugh in the car? Why did he not answer the Q from Jonas, but called it "insightful"?
He was having his own fun, in his own way.

What could/ would/ should a car do if made by the smartest guy in the world who also controls a rocket (read interstellar space capability), and USAs biggest solar energy plant and USAs biggest battery plant?

Why would the smartest guy in the world keep you waiting for what you think is just a battery operated SUV. Maybe SUV stands for SpaceX Universe Vehicle. Did the SGINW ever say it stood for Sport Utility Vehicle?

Time to buy more stock while it is tanked, from the SGINW (smartest guy in the world)

He is probably even smarter than me, Red, Carl, Ankit and George all put together.

So what is the Master Plan? Sounds like Germany all over. No, I am positive I am positive I really am.

Remnant | 09. oktober 2015

@ (October 8, 2015)

<< [The] EMP threat is overblown by defense contractors ... >>

Well, the EMP threat is given as an extinction level contingency for the whole continent. Hence, the worst scenario approach to preparing for it is legit.

However, EMP-proof vehicles and decentralized energy generation would seem to prevent most of the catastrophic developments following a high-altitude EMP. MX may well represent the former, while PV power could provide the latter, and EM is a key character in both fields.

Ankit Mishra | 09. oktober 2015

@aesculus & @Tam
Getting chummy, eh? Good, combine your powers to unlock special attack. | 09. oktober 2015

@Remnant: for power distribution systems designed to survive direct lightning hits, EMP is nothing. The Induced energy produced by EMP under the hood of an ICEV pales compared to that produced by spark plugs.

For a smart guy Elon really says some dumb things to the press. Is he trying to motivate Apple?

carlk | 09. oktober 2015

Elon has the habit of saying what he really thinks and later regret it. Those deleted twits are just another sample. The Apple comment is not a smart thing to do but it might just be true. If you are a smart and ambitious engineer do you want to go work for an all out future car company or you want to work for a big electronic device company that want to take look at making cars?

Ankit Mishra | 09. oktober 2015

Whatever he said about Apple is supported by facts. Apple has been churning out same old products since last few years. And their hyped watch was a disappointment in my opinion. Elon only extrapolated on the basis of mediocre products released by Apple (which still sell) that he isn't bothered by Apple car prospects. Still he wished them good luck.

carlk | 09. oktober 2015

@Ankit Mishra Wnen I say not smart I meant not politically correct. Elon/Tesla haters would not miss the chance to attack him as being arrogant or he's worried. What he said is likely all true. Tim Cook is no Jobs and certainly no Elon Musk.

I speculated in another post there is a possibility that eventually Google will buy Tesla. Actually it would be the Alphabet company that will buy Tesla and makes it one of the company it owns. See? it has all pretty much set up that way. On the other hand there is little chance that Apple will buy Tesla even before this recent comment. No CEO is dumb enough to buy a company with a better CEO than him/her. He should know what happened when Apple bought NeXT.

Ankit Mishra | 09. oktober 2015

Apple buying Tesla would be disastrous for humanity in my opinion. Tesla must remain independent and become a company with strong ethics. All eggs should not be in one basket. Hence, in my opinion Tesla should become another force in aresnal of humanity (like Google) instead of combining with Google.

vandacca | 09. oktober 2015

Back to the original posting...

Tesla will spin-off a new division to compete directly with Uber within 5 years. They won't be renting our Model-S/X, but rather develop a fleet of their own. That's why Uber is investing heavily in self-driving cars.

Ross1 | 09. oktober 2015

Why wouldn't Apple want someone smarter than them?

My son is recruiting world experts for his startup: he says he wants to be the dumbest person in the room.

Not like Julius Caesar who wanted fat useless people around him so he didn't feel threatened. And how long did that enterprise last?

(Yon cassius has a lean and hungry look, let me have men about me that are fat..) Shakespeare.

grega | 09. oktober 2015

Remember renting out your car doesn't have to be "renting" per se.

You could have a pool of close friends and family who you allow to use the car, with the advantage that the car will take care of itself (no hooning, safe driving).

deeageux | 09. oktober 2015

Deleting a tweet is not necessarily regretting a tweet.

It can be part of standard guerilla marketing.

Pungoteague_Dave | 10. oktober 2015

You are all aware the Elon has previewed his plan to leave Tesla after the 3 is rolled out, and his contract reflects that plan? And that all of his stock vests at that point? I think he is getting tired of having to execute vs being a visionary. From the latest proxy:

"Each of the ten vesting tranches requires that the Company meet a combination of an operational milestone achievement and a significant increase in our market capitalization of $4.0 billion. For example, since our average market capitalization for the 30 trading days prior to August 13, 2012, the date of grant, was $3.2 billion, the first tranche would vest only when we have more than doubled our market capitalization as of such time to $7.2 billion and any one of the operational milestones described below is met. The second tranche would vest only if there is another $4.0 billion increase in our market capitalization to $11.2 billion and when any two of the operational milestones described below are met. The remaining tranches are structured in a similar manner, so that the 2012 CEO Grant would be fully vested when we achieve a sustained market capitalization of $43.2 billion and all ten operational milestones described below have been achieved. Market capitalization for purposes of milestone achievement will be determined based on a rolling six month historic average (based on trading days only). "

"In addition to the market capitalization milestones, vesting for each of the ten tranches requires achievement of certain operational milestones. To illustrate, vesting of the first tranche requires the achievement of any one of the ten defined operational milestones, vesting of the second tranche requires the achievement of any two of the ten defined operational milestones, etc. The ten operational milestones for the 2012 CEO Grant are:

• Successful completion of the Model X Alpha Prototype;

• Successful completion of the Model X Beta Prototype;

• Completion of the first Model X Production Vehicle;

• Successful completion of the Model 3 Alpha Prototype;

• Successful completion of the Model 3 Beta Prototype;

• Completion of the first Model 3 Production Vehicle;

• Gross margin of 30% or more for four consecutive quarters;

• Aggregate vehicle production of 100,000 vehicles;

• Aggregate vehicle production of 200,000 vehicles; and

• Aggregate vehicle production of 300,000 vehicles.

As of the date of this filing, six market capitalization milestones for the 2012 CEO Grant have been achieved, and the following two operational milestones were achieved and approved by the Board of Directors:

• Successful completion of the Model X Alpha Prototype; and

• Successful completion of the Model X Beta Prototype.

Consequently, as of the date of this filing, two of the ten tranches of the 2012 CEO Grant, representing options to purchase an aggregate 1,054,980 shares, have vested. "

Note that he can now claim two more vesting events due to the stock issuance and the first "production" X having been delivered. The 30% margin target will never happen, so his remaining potential vesting events are the 3 alpha, beta, and production models, and aggregate delivery hurdles. At current production levels that should hit at least 120k through YE15, plus 60k+ per year for '15 & 16, he will hit all the available targets by the end of 2017, maybe earlier if they hit their 2017 target for the 3. Elon isn't one to let grass grow anywhere, and Mars is calling. A partnership or intervening capital event in the interim is a real possibility, and would fit his prior pattern.

Ankit Mishra | 10. oktober 2015

What is this? He has said he isn't going to leave before Model 3. Even Google selloff story in 2013 said he wanted 6-7 years as CEO. So production in 2018 and then take 4-5 years for sustainability of Model 3. Also I think he will start selling cars in India and Brazil in these years. Take 3-4 for them. My guess he isn't going anywhere till 2025. (Your post is confusing to me, so pardon me if I misunderstood what you wanted to say)

carlk | 10. oktober 2015


Maybe there are exceptions but most (ordinary) people would not hire people who will be a threat to their position. That's just the human nature. On the other hand real smart people would not feel threatened but those people are very few and far between.

BTW I said in an earlier post:
Elon has the habit of saying what he really thinks and later regret it.

He did send a few twits later to say he thinks Apple is a great company and he wishes them to succeed on the Apple car. His first comment was still what he really thinks about Apple though.

Son of a Gunn | 10. oktober 2015

Pungoteague_Dave, isn't it a stretch to say that "the 30% margin target will never happen"? Excluding CAPEX, Tesla cars are hitting those margins now. When the Gigafactory goes live, it will get even better.

In any case, a scenario of having the Model 3 and selling over 100k cars a year is mind-blowing good, whether it's Elon or JB Straubel at the helm.

Red Sage ca us | 12. oktober 2015

Elon has consistently said since early 2013 that he was committed to remain as CEO of Tesla Motors through the successful launch of Generation III vehicles. He told us that one that is done he will evaluate whether it is necessary for him to continue in that role. He has also stated that he will remain involved at Tesla even when leaves the CEO position, and that he will never retire. Finally, he has said emphatically that his money was the first in Tesla, so it will be the last out.