Tag Archives: Tesla

Dangerous conclusions

We all come to them, conclusions that are shaped in the mind, usually they are based on facts making them speculations, some are based on speculations making them pure delusions, some are in-between and that is the dangerous part, are they visionary, are they speculative delusions? The point is that the writer will see them as visionary, but the writer (even me) is not the best judge in this.

For the exercise I need to grasp back to a story I did recently. ‘Trillion dollar Musk’ was written on December 3rd (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2020/12/03/trillion-dollar-musk/), I there ‘accused’ Elon Musk that his value would skyrocket to $1.2 trillion collars. I also gave the readers “The UK (via the Guardian) inform us of “Britain’s electricity will be in short supply over the next few days after a string of unplanned power plant outages and unusually low wind speeds this week”, the UK has an increasing need for Scandinavian power and soon it cannot be met. I reckon that in the next 2-3 years that shortage will be close to systemic all over the EU”, the stage was set and I still believe that we are 2-3 years away, but are we? Bloomberg (at https://www.bloomberg.com/sponsors/jll/seven-ways-to-retrofit/index.html) gives us ‘7 Ways to Retrofit Buildings for Energy Efficiency’, it is a setting and it is sponsored by JLL, a real-estate and investment firm who gives us “We’re here to create rewarding opportunities and amazing spaces around the globe where people can achieve their ambitions. In doing so, we are building a better tomorrow for our clients, our people and our communities”, I believe that we are about to hit an energy snag, a little sooner than I anticipated. 

So as the JLL gives us 

  1. Upgrade you lighting
  2. Upgrade the HVAC
  3. Optimise Performance
  4. Implement a Waste Strategy
  5. Use Continuous Commissioning
  6. Organize “Treasure Hunts”
  7. Elevator Controls
  8. Added by me: Upgrade kitchens.

Now the Elon Musk battery shows the issues, even as we are now hearing more and more on the need for carbon neutral in commercial buildings, the private places are merely one step away.

Forbes reported in August “At first, the state’s electrical grid operator last night asked customers to voluntarily reduce electricity use. But after power reserves fell to dangerous levels it declared a “Stage 3 emergency” cutting off power to people across the state at 6:30 pm” and this is only the beginning. Elon is about to get a massive increase of value and his wealth might go up well beyond $1.2 trillion. 

It is not limited to California, although they are the most visible one, New York, the United Kingdom, and parts of Europe and Australia will see a drastic need for power sooner rather than later. At that point the rich we can ignore, they will get what they need, the middle income section, that is where the massive gains are made, a lot will add a growing carbon neutral stage with the adapted Tesla battery, the power grid adaptions for lights, Air conditioning, water heaters (boilers), fridges and freezers. There will be a massive option for growth there, the adaptation of AC equipment to DC equipment, a stage where some will buy new stuff and some will need adaption with new power units for both. I came up with a new sort of roof tile, made from recyclable plastics, and each tile will have solar cells, instead of putting panels on top (some will still do that), to tiles where people can grow their power creation stage, two tiles, the highest levels which connects to the second grid and the battery and other tiles that will connect to other tiles and a highest layer tile. The benefit of that is that people do not need to splurge on massive panels, with the battery they get tiles, but it is a basic level, as some need more power more quickly, more sets of tiles can be bought, giving the people months to grow their setting and reduce their carbon footprint. In addition, some will add wind-vanes. It is a stage that is as essential and as clear as traffic jams, we have been increasing power needs with an average of 5% per year. How long did you think that the energy companies could deliver? Consider your fridge, what you had 10 years ago and what you have now. Larger families needing more boiler water and the summers require more and more air conditioning units, all set to a lower temperature burning power away and California can no longer cope with the need. They are the first, but they are not alone. How many devices require a charger? In 1990 that was 1 perhaps 2, now it is 5-8 PER HOUSE, routers, Wifi modules, and the PC went from the ‘high end’ of 300 Watts to the average PC now needing 600-1100 Watts. In 1990 there were less than 700,000,000 globally that were into gaming, now that number is 2,000,000,000 higher (globally), two billion additional devices, the consoles do not use that much, but still 150 watts, times a billion is still a lot, they also need a TV running, now, the TV is actually a massively low energy user if it is a LED flatscreen. But the numbers are not looking good and that is before you realise that PC’s were something a company had in 1990, now, for the most, nearly every employee at every firm has one, there tend to be low energy versions, but they are still there and often they are on day and night. When you see this list and do the numbers, you need to see that energy firms needed to double their options in 2000, that never happened and now they need and alternative and Elon Musk has it, and owns the IP no less.

So is my version so much more visionary because Bloomberg had a sponsored JLL article? I don’t think so, but I believe that awareness is being created at higher levels and we need to catch on sooner rather than later, because the prices of electricity will go up again and again in the next 2 years. Consider your budget and consider your energy costs will go up by 10% in 2021, how much more budget will you not have?

That is the stage I foresaw some time ago, I will let you decide how right or how wrong I am.

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Markers of identity

There are several news articles out there. They are not related, not directly, not indirectly, but the underlying events are. The first one is (on the light side) ‘Tesla announces second $5bn share sale in three months’ (at https://www.aljazeera.com/economy/2020/12/8/tesla-announces-second-5bn-share-sale-in-3-months), it is the given quote “Tesla’s shares touched a record high on Monday, pushing the electric-car maker’s market value above $600bn”, he has, as one might say, almost reached the midpoint of his directly achievable wealth. The second part is seen in ‘Christchurch massacre: Inquiry finds failures ahead of attack’ (at https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-55211468), there we see “correcting these failures would not have stopped the Australian national, who was sentenced to life in prison without parole earlier this year, from carrying out the attack, it said”, as well as “the patchwork of clues discovered by police after the massacre – including his steroid abuse, a hospital admission after he accidentally shot himself, and visits to far-right websites – would not have proved enough to predict the attack”. These issues are unrelated. It is about the markers, whether they are markers of wealth, markers of rage, markers of alleged insanity, the list goes on, but we are driven and pushed by markers, all whilst there is a larger stage where these markers matter not, not now, not ever. It is there that we need to look and we need to identify the pushed markers, the driven markers and we need to hold them out to the light and openly debate them. 

You see, prevention was actually possible (as far as I can tell), now I am not debating the 6 guns, I am a gun person myself and if I had the means and a safe place to put them, I might have them, yet no one is debating ‘more than 7,000 rounds of ammunition’, why is that? Even a gun lover like me, having more then 100 bullets per rifle is a bit of a stretch, so why would he have needed the other 5,400 bullets for and to be honest, I tend not to miss, as such, the 51 people who died, would imply 2 magazines optionally 3 and my one FN FAL (the gun I started my training with in 1981), that is 90 bullets, oh and in the military, if there is not an active war theatre, having more than one magazine is pretty much frowned on, actually it is openly questioned. As such I wonder who looked into this inquiry? Especially as he acquired ‘ammunition online’, I might buy ammunition online, yet I also accept that someone is keeping track of what I buy, and the fact that one person was able to buy more ammunition than the average base has in stock calls for all kinds of questions. The fact that more than 1 box is shipped to one address is also reason for questions. So when I see ‘The commission found no failures within any government agencies that would have allowed the terrorist planning and preparation to be detected’, I have to stop and laugh for a couple of minutes. If one man can do that, what can several lone wolves accomplish? So as I took a look at the report (at https://christchurchattack.royalcommission.nz/the-report/), I get to the setting here, the 4 documents (or basically one large one in 4 parts) is actually quite good, it is a decent piece of work and even as some state no fault was due, issues of improvement are there. I see the failing in the second PDF where I see “not for the purpose of keeping records of these purchases”, it reflect on the ammunition bought. They were seen and approved, and they were allowed. So how many documents were seen? To get this much ammunition, you would need to make purchases several times. The math is not looking good here. We see a Marker of enabling, but the marker of questioning is absent. I see this as a clear failure on some part, especially on the system, it might not have prevented the event, but it would have lessened the damage and lowered the fatality list. Volume 3 of the report gives us on page 476 “To assist staff in prioritising leads, the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service has produced a table that sets out various security indicators and the priority associated with them. For example, “Skills/Knowledge – Research into basic weapons, firearms and ammunition” is identified as a critical indicator of security relevance for assessing whether a person has the capability to carry out a terrorist act”, yet keeping records on ammunition bought (for example 7000+) is not. Who would be the larger danger, the man being able and operate a rifle with a 100 bullets, or one with 7000 bullets? I mean, most man hate their mother in law (some passionately do), but ever we think 7000 pieces of ammo is a bit much. Volume 2 gives more (42.21) “We do not know how much ammunition the individual purchased in total as most sellers do not keep records of the ammunition sold in store. We do know that on 24 March 2018, he spent $1,358.00 at Gun City Dunedin on 2,000 rounds of .223 calibre Remington 55Gr SP.” This is the smoking gun (sort of), in one purchase we see 2,000 rounds at $1,358. I would have chimes every bell possible at this point, especially if this was not a gun-shop or a federal enforcement agency. You still think there was no failure there? A marker of investigation was required and none was found, merely a commercial need to enable a person to buy, buy, buy. He was not buying two Tesla’s, he was buying ammunition. We se even more at (42.22), there we get “we are aware of 11 ammunition purchases made online between 5 December 2017 and 12 July 2018. The details of these purchases are provided in the table below. The individual completed the required New Zealand Police mail order form for these purchases” In December he bought enough to outmatch the entire New Zealand Army, and no questions were asked, failure? I personally believe that is the case. Yes, I cannot disagree with the finding that the event could not be stopped, yet I believe that the casualty list would be a lot lower if more effort had been made. As we look at the markers of identity and the markers of enabling, I feel that we all failed, not just a New Zealand administration. Someone delivered these packages, 1,000 rounds is heavy. When we see delivery from Lock, Stock and Smoking Barrel, Gun City, Aoraki Ammunition Company, Ammo Direct NZ, Ordnance Developments, and Arsenal Limited someone should have sounded the bells of worry, the alarms of wondering and in all this no one seemingly did. Well over $5,000 and no one was seemingly the wiser. He could have rearmed the larger extent of Al Qaeda (or the KKK) and it would only be known after the shooting took place. There was a failure, a larger one. 

Let me be frank, I love guns, I am not a gun nut, but I do not have to be, even I think that this much ammo is just insane. And it was at the top of the pile, there are other parts that I found which were not part of the inquiry, yet I feel that it is important to let these issues lie down for a while, I feel that certain people are looking into matters and me ringing that bell whilst they are near the door is a stupid, silly and all kinds of irresponsible, and I tend not to be any of the three (most of the time).

So why the mention of Tesla in the beginning? Commerce is strong all over, it is essential in too many places and the marker of commerce is too eagerly accepted, all whilst questions are not being asked in too many places. No one is debating that Elon Musk is a genius, optionally a visionary and he is on route being the first trillionaire, yet no one is wondering whether that should be questioned. Consider that any person being the owner of well over 1000 billion has more power than most governments, Elon Musk is about to become that person and s an achievement I wish him well, he did it by building something, as did Mark Zuckerberg, as did the late Steve Jobs (well he set the Apple horse in motion). Yet this stage is supported by a marker that is questionable and we need to see this, or failures like the Christchurch shooting will happen again and again. What if the next time it is not ammunition, what if it is something else? Part of this tragedy was enabled by commerce, I will happily sell the Saudi Government $8,500,000,000 in weapons, yet this is a government, not a person. There is a difference and we need to set the systems up to identify certain markers, if we do not do that the next event will happen and no one is at fault then either, but scores of people will be dead, how does that sound? 

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Musings

I am currently awaiting my new laptop. My Lenovo Chromebook just is not good enough (apart from the dodgy spacebar). And as I was pondering a few actions, the BBC article ‘How Elon Muskaims to revolutionise battery technology’ I remembered the idea that his car battery gave me. You see, the solar cell idea was nice, yet the setting to ADD somethig to your roof is where the issue optionally starts. My idea was to replace the roof tile in roofs, in newly built houses. This new tile based on the old one, exists in two versions, version 2.0 and version 2.0 plus The 2.0 tile is made from recycled plastics, and therefore over time cheaper and beneficial to nature, the second one has added solar cells in it and it fuels the car battery.

Now one tile is not going to hack it, yet a roof can be replaced over time with more and more cells. Fuelling that battery faster and giving it more use. Over time that battery will fuel lights, heating aircons and a whole range of appliances. Making the house first carbon neutral and over time carbon negative. Those buying houses will benefit the most, yet apartment complexes can benefit too as it fuels the common usage parts and over time we add to the electricity net making them money too. A stage where we look at a stage where we all become the power suppliers. His battery is the start of something more and in this age of power usage, we can become neutral in its needs. Consider your own needs, how much power does your console use, your TV, the router and optionally the PC, now consider that their power use is nullified by the roof, as well as the two most power intensive parts, the boiler (if you have one), and the fridge which will use power 24:7.

Now consider that usage to be nullified not by one person but by 10,000,000. That would reduce brownouts in places like California and Greece by close to 80%, from the benefits of having, we now see the benefits of providing, the electrical car being one part, you create the power it needs, implying that your personal fuel costs will diminish handing you more money every months for other matters. Consider your bills at present, now take fuel and power out of that equation. The larger benefit is not gained overnight, but over time and the stage I considered was one where we grow the creation and diminish the usage by not adding loans from the get go, but replace at easy steps without having to add loans. In this setting we can have a stage with the initial mortgage, and that makes sense, yet over time (every 2 years) you can add 20-50 tiles with spare change, giving you that in your first decade you are well beyond carbon neutral and that is only the start, as I see it the Musk battery technology can alter lives on a very large scale. His car is merely the start of something larger, benefitting billions of households.

You might think that these are simple musings, and you would be right, yet the creativity to apply someone’s creation in another way could start more creativity, more originality and applied to a much wider field. Lets face it, the weapon I created to sink the Iranian fleet was based on an offshore engineering principle (with some added physics). 

The roof idea would not have had the impact if Elon Musk did not do its duracell manoeuvre. We merely need to look at where else a battery like that one could impact us and how we fuel it, and when you walk through any city and see the billions of inactive roof tiles, consider the amount of power you get when every tile you see becomes a power creator. In this the rural people have an added bonus, they will have access to power on a size they never had before. When that becomes a thing of the past, we can focus on new fields and in other areas, there is plenty of mess to fix and a lot of it can be broomed under a rug (we all do it).

 

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The trivial and the not so

First the trivial, although $1.66 billion is no trivial matter, it is now one week that Avengers Endgame is in play (for a few countries 8 days) and it has made a staggering $1,664,151,786 so far, and it is now in 5th position on the list of biggest box office successes in the world right behind Avengers: Infinity War, It will not surpass that before the end of the weekend I reckon, yet by Sunday evening it will surpass both its older brother as well as Star Wars, the Force Awakens, less than two weeks and it will be nipping at the heels of the 20 year standing record of Titanic, the movie is going that fast and there is no stopping it, people want to see it more than once (I would really like to see the 3D version) which was not available to me on opening night. At this point 50% of the top 10 most successful box office titles are all Marvel titles. It made me think back to a conversation I had with some director on how he thought that Fantasy movies had no place to go in the 80’s at the Rotterdam ‘Lantaren Venster’ film festival. That conversation is currently making me giggle, the man was sincere in his belief and that is fine, and just like the Deer hunter is not for everyone, neither is Monster Inc.; we all have different takes on what we call entertainment and what we want to see on the big screen, yet I never forgot his view and me being the eternal diplomat remarking at that point to him on how amazing the movie Krull was (I had a mean streak in those days), and with actors like Liam Neeson (Kegan) how could it not be? He was not stricken with a sense of humour, let me assure you of that.

I never had any doubt that Endgame was going to get where it was now, yet the speed at which it did blew me away, it still does. The fact that during the week, in what is usually regarded as the lull of movie incomes, Avengers: Endgame added half a billion like it was a casual shower moment for Scrooge McDuck inside the United States Mint.

As for the not so trivial we need to take a look at Tesla. The Guardian gave us yesterday (at https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/may/02/tesla-elon-musk-raise-money-stocks-bonds) ‘Tesla seeks to raise $2.3bn after concerns it is running out of money‘, even as the newspaper is giving us: “Company announced last week it had lost $702m in the first three months of the year and sold 31% fewer vehicles in the first quarter“, that does not mean that we should go all negative on Tesla. Yet the part that does give rise to concern is: “Founder Elon Musk has previously dismissed the idea of raising more money but in the last earnings call said: “Tesla today is a far more efficiently operating organization than it was a year ago. We’ve made dramatic improvements across the board. And so I think there’s merit to the idea of raising capital at this point.”” When I see ‘a far more efficiently operating organization than it was a year ago‘ I wonder what that is based upon. Consider the cost of being somewhere, why is Tesla in two locations in Sydney, have Sydney sales given rise to a second store? They did the same thing for Melbourne, Amsterdam the Netherlands and we could go on, but when you realise that these are premium locations no matter where you are in the city, having an American approach to locations in Europe, your logistical cost will go through the roof and that is what is happening. The same for Sweden, yet there the cost setting might differ considerably and having part in Täby might make sense, although there are alternatives near Solna as well, perhaps it was a good deal. Now there is a second part, are these Tesla ‘owned’ places or are they independent dealers? No matter what, there are larger costs to consider like displays, parts to show and other items, and many of these places are in expensive areas, now we can agree that there might need to be one, but two?

It goes further that; it is not merely about the stores, it is about awareness to a much larger degree. You see charging the car is still an issue and yes there are solutions. Some look at the home charging solution. Yet consider the amount of energy required, your electricity bill will skyrocket. Now, there are alternatives, first there are solar panels and there we see: “This is why pairing a charging station with a solar panel system is a great solution for EV owners and solar panel owners alike“, I am less optimistic. Depending on several factors you could need up to 70 panels (low end 1kWh a day panel), and when we start looking at the options, when we go for a generic 7kWh solution, we get an annual average of anywhere between the numbers of 20 – 29 kWh daily created. Now this is merely one third of your battery, the question becomes, so you need a 100% every day? When we go commercial sized (30 kWh) we see that the production get to be between 86-133 kWh a day, so basically that takes you off the grid and give you a daily 100% charge, yet the price is also there. At prices that go up to roughly $30,000 – $40,000, now this is not to scare you. Consider that the car ‘fuel’ is free from thereon after, also your house electricity bill is reduced to almost zero, even better you can sell your excess energy to the energy provider, so there is that, but is that what you were after?

Why does this all matter?

It matters as I went to see a Tesla a few weeks ago, merely because I was curious and the Black Men’s Corp Jacket looked appealing for the upcoming winter ($120, which I did not get), and the Models looked pretty cool too (so did the Roadster), yet when I looked into charging, there was a little vagueness (unintentional mind you) they showed the charging unit, and it got me to think things through. I got from more than one source relative the same results “the average petrol car in Australia uses 11.1 litres of fuel to travel 100km (Australian Bureau of Statistics). That’s a cost of $16.65 to travel 100km at $1.50 per litre2. Even a very efficient diesel vehicle (5 litres per 100km) will cost $7.50“, most sites were all about how much cheaper the electricity was, not how much it would cost, so I got one result giving me “the average price for electricity per kilowatt hour (kWh) in Australia is about $0.25 and it takes around 18 kWh to travel 100km in an average EV. So, it will cost approximately $4.50 in electricity charges to travel 100km“, now we have something to work with. If you take the average annual driver distance (20K and divide that by 100) we now see that you are facing an optional saving of $900, not something you can ignore, but we all forget the infrastructure and now my panel viewing becomes important. If we see the brownouts that are going on all over, the switch to Tesla means that the price of electricity goes through the roof at some point, a shortage will do that for you, when everyone needs more electricity, prices go up, and that initial 30 kWh solution now becomes a more interesting money maker, but overall it is not the only path or method to rely on. You see, when the price changes we suddenly see that the $900 savings become a mere $420 savings, yet on the other side your electricity bill rises steadily and with the panels you avoid that 100%, optionally adding income to your household. I do believe that for now the 30 kWh is overkill and as we might not need a full battery every day, we could start with the 10 kWh solution, or even better if they have the plus package (double paneling). The initial $10,000 will earn itself back over 3-4 years and more important it will aid in lowering the electricity bill as the panels can do more than just reload the car battery. More important the larger issue will be the 40 panels, so apartment owners are almost directly out of the race for now, more important, when you have a solution that sets the stage for a doubling down the road with minimum extra you would be looking at reducing the bulk of your electricity bill which is not the worst idea in summer (AC’s swallow electricity like sponges) and that is where we need to look at with Tesla, as we can use Tesla battery power in other ways, the solution becomes an actual larger solution.

They are all about the car and rightfully so, but when did you look around for a battery charge point? That matters, because when there are no options and it must be done at home, you need to have the proper electricity contract, even if that is not the case now, it will be in the future. In Australia, we see Energy Australia giving us: ‘first 10.9589 kWh of peak usage per day‘, then we see ‘Next 10.9589 kWh of peak usage per day‘ and ‘Balance of Peak usage > 21.9178 kWh‘, the prices are all the same for now, but when that changes, which it always does over time? When we see that those in the highest range are charged an additional 5-15 cents per kWh? That will change the cost of living picture real fast and real direct. Now the electrical car is another matter and there is no way that these fears are not with every consumer looking at an electrical car the day after they receive their energy bill, fuel is still more expensive for now; yet when we see it against the Tesla that starts at $112,000 and the highest performance model at $137,000, the math does not work for the largest extent of people. I got here the long way round because it is not the buying of a Maserati that breaks the bank account (for those who can afford it), it is the annual insurance and fuel cost that grab you by the tender spot and makes you regret the choice. Now that we see that and we see that a new 2019 Infiniti Q70 is a mere $48,712 and that is not even close to the cheapest solution, so there is a saving of no less than $63K, if you put that in your super and use the interest to pay for the insurance and fuel you’ll end up paying the cost and growing your fortune, and that by merely banking the additional cost for a Tesla. So no matter how ‘environmentally aware’ you are, the entire saving part becomes a myth and when we see that and we consider that Musk is running out of cash in a myth based created car need that shows that there is a market, yet not with the hardworking population that makes up for a little over 65% of all workers, Elon Musk has a car that is supposed to be for those who prefer high end cars, all whilst we see that the new 2019 Jaguar XF Starts at $50,960, we see that there is a market for people, but is it with Tesla? Consider the question ‘when was the last time you could afford to handover $60K for keeping environmental principles?‘ I met two last year, one was driving a Lamborghini, the other has a black Mercedes-AMG, I reckon they will not join the Tesla community any day soon.

So as I took you on the scenic route towards the drive that Elon Musk requires us all to take and the fact that he seeks $2.3bn, implying he might pressingly need $1.5B by quarter end is a matter for concern, not because of the innovation he created, that is clear and down the track he will be the first; where would Henry Ford be if he never created the Model T? Elon Musk might be the next Henry Ford down the line, yet when we see certain steps taken, we need to see that ‘a far more efficiently operating organization‘ sounds as nice as seeing an organisation grow by 100%, yet when the reality is that they grew from 4 members to 8, we need to seriously consider where we are at and that is where I see Tesla at present. It looks great, yet it is for the bulk of all of us too unaffordable and the bulk of those who can afford it can get the luxury Nissan (Infiniti) or a new Jaguar at half the price and that is where Elon Musk is stationed, in a small niche and in all this.

I do not see the market going his way and that remains to be the sad part, because if he pulls it off and creates a large enough market it will be a historic day for him and for America, they need a win like this in the United States of America where they are in a technology drought. They currently lack of true innovation in too many fields and they show a lack of true new technologies, not amendments or mere iterative steps from the old models that exist. Elon Musk has that one true new technology and I hope that the US can stage it to an actual large enough market, I truly do.

 

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The Tesla orator

The issue has been out for a little while, yet up to now it didn’t really interest me. Cars come and go, some cars have flaws, and others have merely a dent in its design. There are consumer laws and there are legal paths for those buying the wrong product, or better stated a flawed article. Like below, the T7 transporter, a space ship costing 17 million, its manoeuvrability is so bad that an opponent flying something at the cost of 5% of this ship can destroy it without too much hassle.

Worst buy ever (at 17,472,252 credits)

 

So why a game reference?

Does it matter what you bought, what it was for or why you bought it in the first place? Cars are like video games to most people; their marketing is about look, about sensation, about satisfaction and about joy. When was the last time that a car was actually marketed or sold to you with only a focus to get you from point A to point B?

So when I saw the article (at https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/jun/21/tesla-whistleblower-sabotage-elon-musk-gigafactory-martin-tripp), with the title ‘Tesla whistleblower claims company is ‘doing everything it can to silence me’‘, I started to wonder what this was actually about. The subtitle gives us “The electric carmaker is suing a former technician for alleged hacking, but he says he’s being scapegoated for leaking concerns“.

So the two parties, is this one side about ‘leaking concerns (whistleblowing)‘ or is this about ‘alleged hacking (industrial espionage)‘. As the Guardian treats us to “By the end of the day, he had been sued by his former employer for alleged hacking and theft, engaged in a hostile email exchange with Elon Musk, come out as a whistleblower, and was being patted down by sheriff’s deputies over allegations that he was threatening to go to his former workplace and “shoot the place up”“, we need to wonder what this is actually about. You see, from my point of view, if there are concerns you take them up with the ‘right’ parties. Those who know me know that I did just that, straight to the CEO and I was not nice about it. I had customers to protect, I had their data to protect and I did just that. The real deal is not now, or was ever the issue to anyone outside the company. That is what a caring employee does. A caring employee does his job to the best ability and to the degree where he sets the proper stage to be able to do this. We see allegations left right and centre and when we see ““I’m a scapegoat because I provided information that is absolutely true,” Tripp told the Guardian on Wednesday evening. “This is obscene … It feels like I have no rights as a whistleblower.”” This is where we get the questions that matters:

  1. I provided information that is absolutely true‘ yet, who was this information provided to?
  2. I have no rights as a whistleblower‘, might be right or wrong depending on who you provided the information to.

At times the equation can be that simple. The Washington Post gives us “But Tripp, who says he became a whistleblower after seeing what he called dangerous conditions in the company’s car batteries, told The Washington Post“, gives less valid light to Martin Tripp, depending on the path he took. Any company has its own path to take. Are their emails that Martin Tripp took to the bosses, to his boss, to the legal department of the firm and to the QA division? Even if it was the subtle “Are you out of your effing mind to put such a battery in a car?” Did Martin do any of that?

In opposition the Washington Post gives “The showdown has exposed deep rancor at a tech giant famous for its head-turning cars, high-pressure workloads — and Musk, its unyielding boss. It also marks a new depth of suspicions from Musk, who recently sent companywide emails urging workers to stay vigilant against shadowy “outside forces,” saying, “Only the paranoid survive.”” (at https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2018/06/21/saboteur-or-whistleblower-battle-between-elon-musk-and-former-tesla-employee-turns-ugly-exposing-internal-rancor), You see, we might be triggered by ‘high-pressure workloads‘, or ‘stay vigilant against shadowy “outside forces,”‘ in this we need to accept to some degree and realise that all the other brands are petrochemical driven, so any Tesla success will hurt them all. The Dow Jones Index is set by 30 companies, they include Chevron and Exxon, as well as a few financial institutions doing business with those two and as such a success on one site, is in the long term implies diminishment on the other side, so being paranoid is not the worst mindset to have, yet in all this, an unreceptive CEO (or should that be: unperceptive) is never a good thing. In all this it becomes a slight issue that neither side is bringing home the bacon on actual safety concerns or documented interaction other than the emotional one in the Washington Post. The other part we see is “He said he and his family have temporarily vacated their home after their address was posted online.” The question becomes, which person thought that doing that was a good idea ever? The Washington Post does give a link to the Business Insider (which had issues for me). It does give something else, which does not bode well for Martin Tripp. When we see: “Tripp said he tampered with no systems and shared information with the media only after seeing things that alarmed him within the company, including what he says were dangerously punctured batteries used in Tesla’s latest Model 3 sedans“. Here my question becomes, why the Media? Why not openly give this to the authorities? You see, a claim like ‘dangerously punctured batteries used in Tesla’s latest Model 3 sedans‘ implies that there is optionally a federal crime at the very least as production is national, in addition to allegedly endangering lives. So why not go to the FBI? Perhaps that was done, but the articles do not seem to give light to that part.

Yet another Business Insider article (at https://www.businessinsider.com.au/tesla-model-3-production-in-2018-so-far-2018-6), gives us:

  • Tesla has completed about 30,000 of its Model 3 sedans in 2018, according to internal documents viewed by Business Insider and two Tesla employees.
  • The company is trying to ramp up its output of the car to 5,000 a week, but that effort has been beset by challenges.
  • Tesla has made about 6,000 Model 3 cars in June, so far, according to a person familiar with the matter.

There are clearly issues with production, yet is it about managing expectations? Keeping the hype up and adjusting delivery times? Is there a resource issue, which we see with “CEO Elon Musk has called it a “production hell” on more than one occasion! The effort has been beset by bottlenecks, and the company has gone as far as flying equipment from Germany to speed up the process“. There was a news article last week on a battery catching fire, yet this is merely one instance, one instance on thousands of cars made. It does not give light to anything serious, not when it is merely one. This whilst in opposition there are more and more articles given claims that do matter, you see the element is not the car, it is about something entirely different. We see that when we consider the following: “cobalt has been a key ingredient in building high-energy-density lithium-ion batteries, like those used in electric vehicles. In some batteries chemistry, cobalt makes up as much as a third of the chemistry in a lithium-ion battery. Around half of the world’s cobalt production goes into rechargeable batteries, and concerns about supply constraints and the environmental and human impacts of cobalt mining have made it a controversial component of electric vehicles“, then we get “But Tesla CEO Elon Musk dropped a bombshell on the industry earlier this spring when he revealed that the battery cells in the Model 3 use less than 3% cobalt, a fraction of the amount that other state-of-the-art battery chemistries are using” (source: thestreet.com). The issue is not merely the battery; it is the Cobalt in the equation. If that is true in any way shape or form than Tesla is sitting on the hottest tech in decades. Well over 30% of our daily need is dependent on batteries. Your smartphone, your iPad, iPod, torches, compact camera, movie camera’s, Car batteries in general, batteries for motor cycles, so when we see that Cobalt is $42 a pound, and there has been reported lack of supplies, the one solving that problem is sitting on hundreds of billions of IP, and now Martin Tripp does not look so holy, he does not seem to be this concerned citizen. It is like someone publishing the recipe of Coca Cola. Once it is out, it is gone to public domain and in that Elon Musk is very correct to go ‘slightly’ overboard. People have been assassinated for a hell of a lot less.

Yet in opposition of this, we do see from Ars Technica: “I then had to provide numbers to a group of engineers/production every morning and asked several times if anything was being done to rectify the issues. [I] even [had] a few meetings with my HR rep and brought the issues up.” At that point, he began leaking to the press, specifically to Business Insider, which wrote a June 4, 2018 story entitled: “Internal documents reveal Tesla is blowing through an insane amount of raw material and cash to make Model 3s, and production is still a nightmare”“. It is clear that errors were made in action and reaction on both sides, yet, for Martin Tripp the issues should have stopped to some degree after he went to HR, and even if it makes for good ‘publicity’ from a media point of view to report ‘production is still a nightmare‘, as well as ‘Tesla is blowing through an insane amount of raw material and cash‘, they are issues that fall well above the pay grade of a technician, especially whilst we see clarity that this entire matter is being evolved to more and larger plants. A company in motion, no one denied that. Even as we see that there are production issues, they are not for us to opt on (unless we want to sell Elon Musk a solution). In all that I see, I see two parts. The first is that Martin Tripp is not and should not receive whistle blower protection. The second is that if the given presentations are true, Elon Musk is not merely sitting on some electrical car, he is sitting on an optional battery solution that might be the biggest desire for every mobile implementer around the globe. You only need to talk to half a dozen camera men working around the globe for news organisations to realise that their lives revolve around a better battery. Elon Musk might be in a stage where he is on top of a new IP. Sony had the same option in the early 90’s and with their battery (which was loads better than anyone else had) they conquered several battery dependent markets overnight. In a little over 25 years that dependency has only grown and it implies that the better battery can own the market share of whatever opposes it.

So as we saw that the confirmation was for the current batteries to have less than 3% (it was tested to contain only 2.8% cobalt), the claim “Musk recently doubled down, saying on Twitter that Tesla’s next-generation battery will use none of the element” would have an astronomical impact. In this the science is twofold. if less cobalt is an option, yet costs size (not an issue for cars) we see the first, now consider the second setting that with cobalt, the battery is even smaller and more powerful, this in equal measure counts, because when you consider the current players (iPhone 7, Samsung Galaxy 9, Google Pixel 2 XL and Huawei P20), when one of them has that solution now offering the same phone with 5200 MAh, which one would you buy? All same sized, yet one has a battery span 40% longer? What would you do?

Consider the last time you needed a power bank or you were low on battery power, now consider some dumb individual makes that IP public knowledge and that was by right your property, what would you do?

I see no evidence that Martin Tripp is on some holy crusade. Him going to the Business Insider and not to the FBI, NY Times, LA Times or Washington Post gives me that conviction.

Feel free to disagree; this is merely my point of view on the matter.

Have a great weekend (to recharge your own internal battery) everyone!

 

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