2016 Shareholder Highlights

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Elon Musk and JB Straubel Talking About the AC Propulsion Prototype Car

I attended in person the almost four hour shareholders meeting in Mountain View, CA.  This meeting was more of a Tesla history lesson than a shareholders meeting.  At times I was very bored as I have been following Tesla since 2007, and a lot of the information was unnecessarily long.  The large recognition of a variety of Tesla employees was nice to see as Tesla is not just Elon. There were a few interesting tidbits during the history lesson and the 30 minutes of Q&A.

Model 3 Supercharging Fees

Elon stated the Model 3 will have a fee to use the superchargers.   The pricing model is unknown and could be a simple upfront fee or a pay per use model.  The 60kWh version of the Model S had a simple $2,000 fee to enable supercharging.

Model X Regrets

Elon admitted that the Model X was over engineered.  He regretted not launching a simpler Model X and following up future versions of the car with these new features.  He also admitted to a lot of problems with the falcon wing doors, and that the remaining issues are software related for a various corner cases when the doors should or should not open.

I really liked that Elon acknowledged this mistake;  I am much more comfortable with honest leaders who both recognize and publicly admit errors.  I also think that if the Model X had a simpler base version with standard doors and standard seats, a lot more vehicles would have been sold.

Model S and X as Technology Leaders

The Model S and Model X will always be the technology leaders and will be continually improved.

Building the Machines that Build the Machine

Elon also demonstrated a huge amount of interest in building the machines that build the machine. He used the analogy of integrated circuit (IC) design to car factory design.  When designing an IC, the designer and software make tradeoffs between speed, size, and power consumption of a chip.  The process is very complex today as the individual components and wires are extremely small.  During this analogy, Elon referred to both the slow rate that cars are leaving the factory and the number of layers in an IC.  With these references, I can speculate that Elon thinks that there are ways the factory robotic process can be combined.  Very simplistic ideas could be that multiple robots are working on a car at the same time; perhaps one robot is above the car, another below the car and a third on the side of the car.

The New Model S Nose

On display at front was an older Model S, a new Model S with the new nose, and a Model X.  I don’t really have a strong opinion about the new nose.  From all the Model Xs I have seen in California, I have found that the new nose looks better on some colors than others.

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7 thoughts on “2016 Shareholder Highlights

  1. Ive been wondering if the Model 3 will have CHAdeMO (or other fast charge) capability by default or if that also will come with the for-pay option for Supercharging. If they go with what they did in the past you’d have to pay for any fast charging whether you use the Supercharger network or not. Thoughts?

    • Hmmm..great question.

      If the CHAdeMO adaptor was either included or less expensive, than perhaps that would help alleviate the supercharger crowding issue. But those stations are not controlled or priced by Tesla. For the Model S and X, seems like very much an after thought, and I haven’t had any serious thoughts about buying the adaptor.

      • I don’t think they can include it since its extra cost and evidently not cheap but it would give people another option. CHAdeMO is much more popular in europe but there are many in some areas of the US too (and not all at Nissan dealers). CCS seems like its replacing CHAdeMO but other than plans not much real action yet. Will be interesting to see how it all develops as we get more EVs (Tesla and other) out there. Either way, more charging options are better for everyone.

  2. Thanks for covering these, I focused on my impressions on the improvement of the factory and velocity.

    If the meeting had been shorter, I would have tried to crash the folks from TMC that were having lunch (that turned into dinner) at the Italian place, but foolishly we wanted to head back to Southern California, and starting the drive around rush hour probably wasn’t the fastest way to do this drive

  3. Hey, just found your site, and so far so good. I disagree with you MX statements, I would not have reserved one last year if it had standard doors. I owned a minivan for most of my life, and I like the versatility gained from sliding doors. When the MX was launched, a lot of arrogant commenters suggested that Tesla should have made a version with regular doors, but I can tell you that would of meant engineering a totally different vehicle. Look at the sills and frame and roof, Tesla couldn’t of just bolted on a standard door. I am also sick and tired of having my car dinged by other people’s door. Kansas and Colorado have each put about 3 dings each into the various cars I’ve owned over my life.

    • My comment and I believe Elon’s comment at the meeting was that Tesla could have first made a version with standard doors and sell to a group of folks (perhaps like me). Then work on the falcon doors as a second later option.

      Neither comment was to dismiss the falcon doors as cool, but they were the cause of the X being hard to build. But they are very useful for a class of people.

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