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Elon Musk Will Usher In the Era of Electric Cars 336

pigrabbitbear writes "There's a reason why Elon Musk is being called the next Steve Jobs. Like Jobs, he's a visionary, a super successful serial entrepreneur, having made his initial fortune with a company he sold to Compaq before starting Paypal. Like Jobs, he saved his beloved baby Tesla Motors from the brink of oblivion. Like Jobs, [he has] a knack for paradigm-shifting industry disruption. Which means he's also demanding. 'Like Jobs, Elon does not tolerate C or D players,' SpaceX board member and early Tesla investor Steve Jurvetson told BusinessWeek. But while Jobs was slinging multi-colored music players and touchable smartphones, Musk is building rocket ships and electric-powered supercars. It's why his friends describe him as not just Steve Jobs but also John D. Rockefeller and Howard Hughes all wrapped in one. His friend Jon Favreau used Musk as the real-life inspiration for the big screen version of Tony Stark. Elon Musk is a badass."
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Elon Musk Will Usher In the Era of Electric Cars

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  • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) * <> on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @07:30PM (#41913437) Homepage Journal

    If someone compared me to that dick Jobs, I'd punch them in the face. And then in the nads.

  • Re:Slashvertisement? (Score:5, Informative)

    by realityimpaired ( 1668397 ) on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @07:48PM (#41913625)

    You've seriously never heard of Elon Musk? What rock have you been living under?

    He's the financier behind Tesla Motors, which has been talked about many times over the years on Slashdot. He also fincanced SpaceX, which got a lot of press during the X Prize coverage. He also founded PayPal, and got a lot of press through that. There've been documentaries about him, and about his companies, some of which are available on Netflix if you're so inclined (Revenge of the Electric Car has a *lot* of interview time with Musk, if you'd like to get an idea of what kind of person he really is). []

    Come to it, having seen that movie, and his interviews in the movie, he doesn't come off as anywhere near the kind of jackass that Jobs was.

  • Re:You forgot: (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @08:26PM (#41913957)

    Tesla depends heavily on government guarantees, not money. Much in the same way that the vast majority of Americans depended on government guarantees when they purchased their first home.

    As for SpaceX, do you seriously think Apple would exist today if it weren't for all the public schools which purchased their equipment?

    Admittedly, any business which makes it without some kind of public subsidy deserves accolades. But we don't live in some Ayn Rand, private, capitalist dystopia/utopia. The "public sector" is large, and it's hard to make it without doing business with it in one way or another. If it were smaller, it may be easier to get funding from private investors (although, in absolute terms funding might be more difficult all around).

  • by norpy ( 1277318 ) on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @08:28PM (#41913973)

    Hydraulic and transmission oil is changed far less frequently than engine oil.

    Also all-electric cars don't have the same complex tranmissions since electric engines don't have the same narrow power band

  • by robot256 ( 1635039 ) on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @08:57PM (#41914305)

    The Volt battery pack is 40 miles because that's more than 75% of Americans drive on an average day, so GM sized it to keep costs down. I know that's true for me (I've been tracking my daily miles for almost a year now). Not sure where you're getting your numbers, but the battery volume is MUCH greater in the top-end Model S than it is in the Volt. The Volt has a 10kWh battery, while the Model S has an 80kWh battery, so the Model S get 250-300 miles on a charge instead of 35-50. The Model S is actually less efficient, possibly thanks to its weight, but has enough capacity to make up for it. Plus, weight isn't as much of an issue for electric cars as gas because regenerative braking recaptures some of that extra kinetic energy when you stop.

    But I'm with you on you decision to not buy a Volt--I don't want my EV to go anywhere near a gas station. That's why I'm waiting for the 2013 LEAF to come out this spring.

  • by westlake ( 615356 ) on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @08:58PM (#41914317)

    If somebody compared me to that slimebag Rockefeller, I'd shoot them.

    The farmer bought the Standard product with the reasonable expectation that the oil lamp in his parlor would not explode when his wife when his wife put a match to the wick --- a very real possibility in the early wildcat days of the petroleum industry.

    He bought the Standard product because it was sold unadulterated in honest weights and measures.

    He bought the Standard product because it was cheap.

    The retail price of kerosene down 50% in less then ten years .

    When the Standard Oil trust was broken, customers remained loyal to the Standard's regional operating companies, each one very big, very strong and technically sophisticated competitors in their own right.

  • Re:You forgot: (Score:5, Informative)

    by pavon ( 30274 ) on Wednesday November 07, 2012 @10:26PM (#41914967)

    I won't speak for Tesla, but SpaceX does not depend on government money. The Falcon 1 was created entirely with private funding, which includes capital investments to build their entire vertically integrated production facilities (they don't contract anything), some launch facilities, and design, construction, and multiple test flights of an entirely new design of rocket. The Falcon 9 was mostly NASA funding, but it built heavily on the Falcon 1 design, and was thus less expensive to design and test than the Falcon 1 (even without including the huge facilities investments mentioned before). Furthermore, SpaceX already had financing to develop Falcon 9 when they won the NASA contract. The contract allowed them to divert that money into the Dragon Capsule instead, the majority of which is thus privately funded.

    So without government funding, they would be about where they are with Falcon 1/9, but just getting started with Dragon. Government money sped them up a bit, but they aren't even close to being dependent on that funding.

  • by Gordonjcp ( 186804 ) on Thursday November 08, 2012 @02:59AM (#41916107) Homepage

    It's rarely worth replying to ACs, but here goes...

    The Tesla Roadster needs the gearbox oil changed at every service. It's right there in the workshop manual.

    The Nissan Leaf needs its gearbox oil changed every service interval. Again, right there in the service manual.

    I'm sure all the other electric cars on the market are the same, but I'm just going by the manuals I have to hand.

"The way of the world is to praise dead saints and prosecute live ones." -- Nathaniel Howe