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Opinion: I Will Never Understand Tesla Fans

TheTruthAboutCars 18 July, 2021 - 01:01pm

I wrote an op-ed about how I think the Cybertruck won’t sell well over the long term, though I do expect it to sell strongly at first. I said it might be the first real flop from Tesla.

Perhaps predictably, it caused quite the stir among the company’s fans on Twitter.

I got accused of being paid off by the legacy OEMs (not true, and anyone who reads this site regularly knows we’re just as critical of them), of being bought off by the OEM who hosted my dinner the night the Cybertruck was unveiled (I provided that anecdote for color/background, the dinner had nothing to do with my opinion of the truck), of being bitter I wasn’t invited to the truck’s launch (I wasn’t upset about that), of having stock in an OEM (I don’t, as knowingly owning OEM stock would be unethical. Whatever stock I have in retirement and investment accounts is blind to me), and of all sorts of other things.

I was even accused of writing “clickbait.” Never mind that a) We want you to read everything we publish and b) it’s not mutually exclusive to hold an opinion and also anticipate it might get clicks. It’s completely fine to have a take and expect it to get attention. It’s not some violation of journalistic ethics. It’s not a cynical play for clicks.

I think even Elon Musk himself either re-tweeted or subtweeted the piece.

All this kerfuffle over a prediction.

I didn’t say one shouldn’t buy the Cybertruck — I wouldn’t do that without having driven the thing, unless perhaps I was laying out a comparison of specs and pricing between the Tesla and the competition. That wasn’t the purpose of the piece. I did say I kinda find the truck to be ugly and that based on what we know about it, I don’t think it will be as useful in terms of utility as the competition. That’s it.

Yet, TTAC’s Twitter was swarmed. Swarmed, I tells ya. Again, over a prediction. Made by one automotive journalist. One of many.

I’ve never seen anything like it. I can’t imagine the response would’ve been one-tenth the same if I had said the Ford Bronco or Ford Maverick or Chevrolet Corvette C8 or Ford Lightning would be a sales flop.

I’m not complaining, mind you. We got clicks, and while the reaction from Tesla fans was over the top, I wasn’t truly harassed via either TTAC’s account or my personal Twitter (of course, I know how it might have been different if I weren’t a straight, white male).

But I am amused that a mere sales prediction could stir the stans to that level. If it were me, and a writer predicted a car I was excited about would flop, I might get annoyed, sure. But then I’d move on with my life. I don’t have that much invested (in terms of personality and/or financial stake) in any one company or product.

To be clear, I don’t mind those who actually raised legitimate, valid arguments about why I might be wrong. The whole point of writing an opinion piece is to drive conversation, to provoke thought, and to stir debate (the clicks are a nice side benefit). If I am going to argue something, I expect pushback, and as long as it’s intellectually honest and reasonable, it’s all good.

And to be fair, I didn’t get as in-depth with my arguments as I sometimes would — I wanted to keep the piece brief.

What baffles me, though, is the level of vitriol over what is ultimately just a guess made by one guy sitting in front of a laptop. It’s like being a Chicago Bears fan and wanting to take to Twitter to call some slicked-hair pundit on ESPN a brainless moron because he says the team will only win three games this year.

Yeah, you might disagree, and maybe his take is bad, but is it worth getting that fired up over?

A lot of the Tesla fans seem to think I will be upset if I am wrong. Well, I won’t be. If the Cybertruck is a sales hit and stays a hit, there’s no skin off my back. I won’t likely be fired over getting a prediction wrong. I won’t be losing sleep over it. The worse thing that happens is some people with too much time on their hands dunk on me on Twitter. I can handle that.

If I won’t be losing sleep over whether a car that I have no stake in will or won’t be a sales hit, why are the Tesla fans — especially those who have no financial stake in the company — so worried about what one journalist predicts?

that worked out so well on 1/6. so much ignorant, delusional white trash on display. stupid chuds finally getting what they deserve.

What happened on 1/6? You mean the peaceful protest in Washington?

Welcome to the brave new world, where keyboard warriors can, and will, skewer you from the anonymous safety that the internet provides.

There’s an overtone of righteousness and higher stakes with Tesla fans that I haven’t noticed among fans of other carmakers or even companies in general.

In short, Tesla is CHANGING THE WORLD and if you deign to criticize them or even constructively point out their many faults you are complicit in DESTROYING THE CLIMATE.

Ford vs Chevy or Toyota vs Honda are fun and generally good natured. Even if it gets ugly once in a while, people on Twitter just haven’t made those companies such a part of who they are and the image they want to project to the world. Add in our polarized political climate, and the results speak for themselves.

“Ford vs Chevy or Toyota vs Honda are fun and generally good natured.”

You have taken my head off more than once regarding Stellantis vs. Other. Just sayin.

If so, that was not my intention, because I don’t even really consider myself a die hard fan of theirs (I’ve only ever owned one of their products in my life). Commenting on car sites is fun for me, but I try not to take anything about it too seriously. What difference is it to me what someone else chooses to spend their money on?

Even so, I hope I didn’t come off looking as bad as some of these Tesla people have, if I did then I apologize.

No apology necessary – I am well aware that my ‘name’ here has two meanings and I often live up to the second one.

I agree that -some- Tesla… advocates? supporters? take it to the next level. But some legacy OEM fans(/employees/dealers) get pretty irrational themselves at times, especially when the topic of Tesla comes up.

In my spectacularly unsuccessful ‘career’ I often advocated for new approaches to old problems, and naturally met with resistance [until I didn’t, at which time the workload tended to become overwhelming relatively quickly]. The new isn’t perfect and neither was the old.

The only question now is will he still be in business to hire Greta Thunberg as Climate Czarina when she graduates from uni in a couple years.

Everything Tesla has produced has been a flop. They lose money on their vehicles, they are very low quality, and they’re not very good.

The CyberPuke is vaporware. It can’t flop because it won’t see the light of day.

Tesla fans are really the worst kind of people. They are so drunk on the Tesla koolaid that they refuse to see facts and reason. They will ignore the poor build quality, the endless issues, the fact they overpaid, and the fact the company is run by a snake oil sales man to talk up this pathetic brand. I don’t get it. The vehicles are garbage. Wake up Tesla mouth breathers!

On the first point, my wife just got a model 3 and I think quality was a little mixed. Interior is actually excellent quality. Exterior panel gaps and alignment were not terrible, but for a car in this price range it would have been unacceptable to me, but she didn’t seem to mind.

On your second point, although I think the cybertruck looks ridiculous, I think they’ve gone too far and committed too much to simply not build it. I think it will have massive production problems and build quality issues at first and the idiotic cold rolled steel will prove to be way more trouble than it was ever worth. Somewhat unfortunately though, they will almost certainly build it.

And yes I agree, generally, that Tesla’s fan base is a little too crazy, but it will die down eventually once they stop being the underdog.

On the first point, my wife just got a model 3 and I think quality was a little mixed. Interior is actually excellent quality. Exterior panel gaps and alignment were not terrible, but for a car in this price range it would have been unacceptable to me, but she didn’t seem to mind.

On your second point, although I think the cybertruck looks ridiculous, I think they’ve gone too far and committed too much to simply not build it. I think it will have massive production problems and build quality issues at first and the idiotic cold rolled steel will prove to be way more trouble than it was ever worth. Somewhat unfortunately though, they will almost certainly build it.

And yes I agree, generally, that Tesla’s fan base is a little too crazy, but it will die down eventually once they stop being the underdog.

The same humanoids who think Conor McGregor is a good fighter probably worship at the altar of Elon. Wouldn’t worry about it.

The people I know who have Telsa’s are ex BMW and Audi owners… and they seem pretty normal. I think there is a big difference between Telsa fans and Telsa owners. You’ll find fan boys of every brand, its just Telsa’s owners tend to be a bit louder on these interwebs. However this makes sense given the car comes with a web-browser just to use the wipers ;)

Fanboy owners…yep. I am on an Audi facebook group, and you should see the goings on. Typical post, from user “Gfunk Era”:

“In need of a good shop to take my b8 s4 that ha drivetrain faults. Getting p179e and p179f coming up for the range selector. Found a tsb on the issue but I have 150k so im well out of any warranty. Looked in to parts and if I have to tear it down that far I would change few other parts as well and im at around $2500 just in parts. Im debating on taking it to a shop even though I usually don’t trust anyone but myself working on my own vehicles but I’m being such a time consuming repair I just don’t really have the time at the moment so if anyone has any suggestions it would be much appreciated.”

Owner forums for vehicles tend to be extremely defensive places where you can’t make a negative comment without sandwiching in 3 positive ones to offset.

Meanwhile on owner forums for RVs you can’t compliment the product without sandwiching in 3 negative ones and stating how other brands are better.

Not necessarily. About a month ago, some guy posted a picture of the five-year-old A4 he was going to buy and asked for advice. I told him to buy a warranty. I also posted several times that I was sick of the bulls**t issues with my A3. I was not booted.

What’s the difference between a (Porsche-Audi-BMW-Tesla) owner and a porcupine?

Tesla fans and apple fans- cut from same cloth. There are a lot of people with apple phones who are just “ya I needed a phone, this one’s pretty cool”, then there are the people waiting outside overnight to get the next model phone.

Its the same damn thing for the Tesla stans and they’ll talk your ear off about all sorts of green initiatives they don’t even understand and just simply won’t shut up about their cars.

Everyone’s gotta have a cause I guess.

No. Not even close. Apple fans will not put up with mediocrity. They have very high expectations for the quality of the product they pay for. And for the vast majority of the time, Apple meets those high standards. Apple isn’t infallible and their fans know that.

Great point. I am Tesla owner. Was a former ICE luxury brand owner. I bought my Tesla for the vehicle it is not for any environmental mission. I am super critical of Musk but the Model 3 Performance I bought is an amazing car and I love it. I can love my car and think he is full of sh!t most of the time. Not hard!

Twitter is a septic tank inside another, larger septic tank.

I also agree. I don’t get on Twitter to often but when I do I realize how vile of a place it is and how horrible you must be to want to participate in it.

Twitter is literally Orwell’s Two Minutes Hate.

Also, I’ve met a lot of car geeks, many of whom think their brand/type is the best there is. Tesla folks also feel the need to absolutely convince YOU of it, too.

“I will never understand Tesla fans.”

Oh, but I think you do.

As a thought experiment, replace “Tesla” with “Trump”, and all will become clear. I say this as a former Tesla reservation holder and former Trump voter, having since defected to a middle ground on both.

@SCE to AUX – I would just “LOL” your comment if it wasn’t bang on correct. Social media algorithms grossly attenuate fanboyism and/or extreme ideology. You can always find validation at the detriment of truth. We crave validation. Social media gives that to you. Mouthpieces hide behind the anonymity of the keyboard.

“Social media made you all way too comfortable with disrespecting people and not getting punched in the face for it. – Mike Tyson.”

Quite true. And it’s funny to watch people twist themselves to a pretzel when they’re forced to agree with something opposite of their dogmatic view that Tesla is always right or trump is always wrong.

If you want to talk about fanbois, don’t exclude Mustang and Corvette owners. When it comes to sanctimonious, self righteous twits, nothing compares to a Prius owner.

Tesla has accomplished more than any startup in decades. Just realizing they needed the Supercharger network to make their cars viable showed greater vision than any of their competition. Consider how many basically good cars have fallen by the wayside in less than a century. Tesla is ahead of all the other manufacturers despite starting from scratch with no experience building automobiles let alone automobiles with a new form of propulsion technology. At the beginning, Tesla had to choose between developing electric propulsion or building refined vehicles. The picked, wisely in my opinion, the former and are now catching up on the latter.

I’m not sure if I will buy a BEV. If I do, it will be a Tesla, most likely a long range Model 3. They are just that far ahead of all their competition.

@Kendahl: “When it comes to sanctimonious, self righteous twits, nothing compares to a Prius owner.”

Unless it’s a former Prius owner that’s switched to a Tesla car.

Witness Bob Wilson, bwilson4web. He defines that. Even Tesla stans look at Bob and say, “wow, dude…”

I ain’t on Twitter and I have little interest in what happens on Twitter.

[As far as Tesla, I like some things about Tesla and dislike other things about Tesla.]

It’s a very expensive toy sold to people who love very expensive toys, the margins will be huge and they know how many to build. The numbers may say ‘flop’ but the profits will keep it afloat as long as Musk needs it to make it to the next very expensive toy for people who like very expensive toys.

Tesla has never made money on their vehicles despite the amazingly low quality. Why will the CyberPuke be any different?

100 years from now if we haven’t destroyed ourselves Musk will be as reviled as much as Edison is today.

Doubtful, Musk will have been deified by then.

“100 years from now if we haven’t destroyed ourselves Musk will be as reviled as much as Edison is today.”

Exhibit A of your typical rabid Tesla fanpersonism (<—gender neutral for the snowflakes here)

Thing is, reality is far different. Musk has not done a single thing that would put him on par with Edison’s underwear let alone Edison himself. Musk, at best, is a mediocre business man. At worst he’s a deceptive snake oil sales man.

It’s insulting to compare him to Edison.

Which is an ironic thing to say since Edison’s second biggest claim to fame is how flagrantly he stole from Tesla…

No, I believe it was Marconi who stole from Tesla.

Tim, i am no fan of EV anything in general or Tesla specifically. And while the internet is rift with fanbois of all kinds, as someone who regularly reads your car reviews, i would suggest you spend less time predicting the future and more time learning to craft a meaningful review. About 2/3 of your reviews simply regurgitate mfger spec sheets-lazy and low effort. And assuming people want to read the ill informed potificating predicitons of an internet writer, i’d simply say ‘tell us your historical predicition accuracy rate’ so i perhaps might care what you think. For the record i slways laugh at predictions by pseudo experts including those i might foolishly offer from time to time. And if you have no stake in it we should assume you did it for the clicks knowing full wellvthe reaction it would get. Did you write this piece before the initial ‘insight’ was posted? My BS meter says you did. Alfred E Nueman said it best though about ill informed opinions with no skin in gthe game-suitable for framing or wrapping fish.

PS i wouldnt be caught dead in a cybertruck or any EV until they can fully charge from E in 5 minutes, you know like a car. I value my time.

That’s why I charge my EV at night. It costs me about 5 minutes a month.

“That’s why I charge my EV at night. It costs me about 5 minutes a month.”

I love that people spend $50K+ for cars to commute with.

I used Tesla’s trip planner to tell me how I would go from my house to the beach. It’s a 10.5 hour drive, and I stop once for gas. But Tesla would have me stop 5 times, and says it would take me 12.something hours. (And I don’t have the flexibility of routes or even last minute route changes should traffic screw up, which happens.)

And when I get there, there’s one supercharger and one destination charger at a brewpub. So I have two weeks of dealing with THAT.

And of course, I drive around regionally as part of my job–nothing on the market supports that today.

So go ahead and spend your 5 minutes a month plugging and unplugging in your garage. The rest of the world has a life to live that doesn’t involve being pinned to home.

“The rest of the world has a life to live that doesn’t involve being pinned to home.”

Exactly how does having only a 300 or 400-mile range keep you pinned to home??

Lets analyze what you are saying. You decided to make it harder for us by not giving locations or distances, but no problem.

Let’s assume 10.5 miles means 735 miles. Stopping 5 times means 147 miles average between charges. A long range Model 3 using independent 70-mile range testing is a little more than twice that range at 300 miles.

Indianapolis Indiana is about 710 miles from the beach at Asbury Park NJ, which I suppose is a typical trip to the beach for ” The rest of the world has a life to live”. Using the Tesla web site planner, you get 5 stops and 13 hours. Using a real EV route planner like abetterrouteplanner it drops to 4 charging stops with a total of only 1 hour and 11 minutes charging time. So that’s an average of 15 minutes per stop with the longest at 28 minutes at Breezewood PA. That’s not far from what I assume most reasonable people would do with an ICE. A Model 3 standard range+ brings the stops up to 6 with a time range of 8 minutes to 31 minutes adding up to 13.5 hours for the trip. The same trip in an ICE in reality would probably be 4 stops of at least 15 minutes and probably the same total time as a Model 3 long range.

It’s ridiculous to claim that most of the world needs to make 700-mile trips to the beach and has to do it with only one stop or it’s a deal-breaker. So absurd. How is that being pinned to home? But, that’s the tactic, isn’t it?

“I love that people spend $50K+ for cars to commute with.”

Are you referring to F-150s, Honda Pilots, or my Hyundai EV?

ATPs are over $40k now. Somehow spending $50k on an empty pickup is acceptable, but spending that on a Model Y isn’t. OK.

Says the person who drives 50 miles a day in warm climates. LOL. Try it in winter if you drive consequential distances. I repeat EV’s will be ready when physics permits 5 minute charging. Til then another foolish distraction.

In the meantime, Still trying to understand all that albeit substandard charging infrastructure out there. Must be a mirage or modern art.

Carcomment you are 100% correct. Foolish distraction is a perfect descriptor.

@carcomment: “Says the person who drives 50 miles a day in warm climates. LOL. Try it in winter if you drive consequential distances.”

6 years in new England with an EV driving it 100 miles on sub-zero days.

“I repeat EV’s will be ready when physics permits 5 minute charging. ”

Actually, the laws of physics do allow it. What you can do is split the pack electrically and run multiple chargers in parallel. Tesla semi appears to be doing just that by the looks of its connector. I’m doing dual chargers in several custom applications. It works great.

Congrats on driving a pitiful 100 miles in your little Power Wheels.

I can get hundreds and hundreds of miles from an ICE engine in sub zero temps and can fill it in 5 minutes. ICE is so much better than EVs its astounding.

Or do you understand them quite well? Seriously how can one exist as a automotive journalist, or someone even remotely interested in the auto industry not know that the Tesla fans will attack at the slightest provocation?

Tesla fandom is just like every other kind of automotive fandom.

Jeep guys like Jeeps for reasons that don’t make sense to the rest of us, pickup truck guys like pickups for reasons that don’t make sense to the rest of us. Tesla guys like Teslas for reasons make sense to me, but not to all y’all. [shrug]

An automotive writer’s job is to understand these things and say insightful things.

I left Twitter when they decided the man holding the nation’s nuclear codes couldn’t be trusted with an account.

I could Tweet that water is wet and 300 dorks would pile in telling me I’m wrong. Who cares?

I see this being a flop, too. Oh sure, the True Believers will flock to it, but Ford will sell tons more F-150 Lightnings, and GMC’s Hummer will siphon off some of the high-end (at least until the Hummers start breaking down and falling apart, thanks to the high percentage of Chinesium in them).

Will Tesla become the EV version of Checker or American Motors, continuing to sell the same-looking stuff, without a styling refresh?

Really was a pointless undertaking as it was delivered, would have done a little better with an actual Mustang for a number of reasons but I doubt it wouldn’t have been much better in terms of volume. F-150 EV is all that matters, in hindsight all resources squandered on the Mach should have gone into getting F-150 EV to market faster. The people who line up for these things seem to be tolerant of post-sale problems, look at Tesla buyers. Limited F150 EV sales, hell even of prototypes, probably would have worked and those early customers forgiven QC issues so long as Ford was on the case. There was never a need for a non F-150 vanguard model, be it a Mustang or a Not Mustang.

“Will Tesla become the EV version of Checker or American Motors,”

Likely, but even they will run into machinery issues as Ford did with Panther and eventually change some stuff up.

The Tesla truck beats the F-150 Lightning in the paper-specs battle. But the Lightning is likely a better drop-in replacement for an ICE-powered F-150.

Of course, we won’t know how it all works out until real customers get real trucks. It’s all just talk until that happens, at least from my vantage-point as a likely-customer.

There are inherent advantages to EVs that should make them attractive as an alternative to Internal combustion engines. Electric motors can be manufactured to be extremely durable. I work with 20 year old equipment used daily that have the original servo motors still working flawlessly. I also have a Hotpoint refrigerator in my basement that came with my house decades ago which has been running continuously for over 60 years and is still ice cold. Compared to ICE motors there are far fewer parts to fail.

That being said some disadvantages are obvious:

– it takes much longer to charge an EV compared to fueling an ICE vehicle

– There seems to be a relatively high incidence of battery fires in EVs which are very hard to extinguish and need special procedures in order for FD personnel to deal with (including risk of electrocution)

– The electric grid cannot now handle the increased demand if the EVs become a larger proportion of total vehicles and the increase in demand will probably be met by burning more fossil fuels. Remember that electricity from solar and wind power is anywhere from 3x to 5x more expensive.

– Independent car repair shops will need to learn to service these vehicles as they increase in numbers and will have to transition as the ICE vehicles decrease both as a check on the dealer network and as a way to keep a very significant portion of our economy going. That also applies to gas stations as they presumably add charging stations.

It will be a great challenge for all of us If the government and car manufacturers go forward with this plan to replace the internal combustion engine

Good regurge of the internet talking points.

– A properly designed and manufactured battery will not burn unless it is punctured, which requires the same high speed impact that will incinerate an ICE car.

– A decade into the modern EV era, very few batteries have required replacement.

– My EV adds 20% to my electricity use. BEVs are maybe 2% of new car sales, and far less in the total vehicle pool. The grid can easily keep up.

– I service my own EV. Brakes, wipers, cabin air filter, wiper fluid, etc are all the same. Tires are the same. A/C and steering and suspension are the same.

Safelite replaced my windshield and an independent body shop repaired some rear end damage. Monro Muffler does my annual safety inspection. Repair manuals are available for anyone to fix the drivetrain after the warranty is up. They’re not really so exotic after all.

“I spend about 5 minutes a month charging my car, because I don’t have to stand there while it charges at night.”

gregtwelve’s comment about charge time apply to road trips; you should know that. Your garage charger doesn’t help much when you’re crossing the Nevada desert in 110° heat where gas stations are 100 miles apart.

“A properly designed and manufactured battery will not burn unless it is punctured,”

How do you know the battery in YOUR EV was properly designed and manufactured? Answer: You don’t.

“My EV adds 20% to my electricity use. BEVs are maybe 2% of new car sales…”

20% additional electricity use is significant. His point was that if and when EVs become a large share of car sales, the grid will be strained. CA already has rolling blackouts because they’ve shuttered power plants.

I’m glad you like your EV, but let’s not pretend they are the best solution for everyone.

I’ve never said EVs are the best solution for everyone, and I don’t believe that.

California’s rolling blackouts aren’t due to EVs, but rather a host of regulatory and political reasons.

“If and when” EVs dominate the landscape will be a very long time from now. The grid won’t remain static until then, and it can keep up.

Extremely valid points Greg. The problem is that those disadvantages are huge and not solved anytime soon. The solution is also extremely expensive too.

Upgrading the grid to handle all of these compliance vehicles would be a massive undertaking. And then you have to do it all over again so people can charge while on the go. Talk about waste. Electric vehicles were garbage 120 years ago and nothing has changed. They are still full of huge compromises that make them very unappealing as a replacement for a proper ICE vehicle.

I suspect that many of the fanbois are overweighted in Tesla stock and see any criticism of any Tesla product as a threat to their wealth, which would make their accusation of YOU having a conflict of interest hypocritical.

I own a Tesla and I like it but I also have two non-Teslas and I like them as well. I am interested in the Cybertruck but I doubt we’ll see any in Australia anytime soon because all the RHD Teslas come from Shanghai and I don’t see their interest in a big pickup. I enjoy variety. It annoys me that every new BEV either is or isn’t a Tesla killer. Let’s have them all. Change is good. Progress is fun.

“Change is good. Progress is fun.”

Not when it comes to EVs. Taking so many steps backwards for these glorified Power Wheels is insane.

Frankly, your piece made me reconsider a bit. I now wonder if Cybertruck sales won’t follow the pattern of niche vehicles like the AMC Pacer. Sales were really strong for a year so so, but the design is so polarizing that you quickly exhaust the pool of enthusiasts.

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Musk Provides Tesla (TSLA) Cybertruck Design Updates

Investopedia 18 July, 2021 - 01:01pm

On Twitter, Musk's favorite social media platform, the CEO wrote that the car's doors would not have handles. Instead, it would simply recognize the owner and open the door. He also said that the Tesla team was planning to retain the same design as the one that was displayed during its 2019 launch. "Just some small tweaks here & there to make it slightly better," he wrote.

When it was launched, the truck's unconventional trapezoidal design and yoke, instead of a steering wheel, drew puzzled responses from analysts and Tesla watchers. Toni Sacconaghi, senior technology research analyst at Bernstein, wrote that the cybertruck was "weird ... like, really weird." 

But the launch event’s highlight was the shattering of a demo Cybertruck's glass windows by Tesla design leader Franz von Halzhausen with a metal ball. Musk had said the glass windows could withstand bullets from a 9mm handgun.  

As with most Tesla products, however, the public lapped up the truck and immediately submitted the $100 pre-order amounts. Musk, not one to shy away from free publicity, touted the numbers at public events and on Twitter.

But his mood on Thursday was more cautious. He said there is a chance that the all-electric truck may not succeed "because it is so unlike anything else." He wrote, “Other trucks look like copies of the same thing, but Cybertruck looks like it was made by aliens from the future." With a starting price of $39,900 for a rear-wheel drive (RWD) model, the truck is slated to start production later this year. 

According to sales data from Motor Intelligence, pickup trucks constituted 20.1% of total sales of new cars last year. The market for pickup trucks is dominated by established car makers. With a 36.1% share of the overall market, General Motors Company (GM) led the market, and Ford Motor Company (F) was second with a 33.8% market share.

Even as Tesla is gearing up to manufacture its truck, Ford has already raced past it to launch all-electric versions of its pickups. It released an all-electric version of the F-150, its best-selling gasoline-powered truck, earlier this year. General Motors also entered the market with its GMC Hummer EV, slated for delivery in 2023. While it does not feature the unconventional design of Tesla’s vehicle, Ford's all-electric truck has been well-received by the market. A startup, Rivian, has also entered the all-electric pickup truck fray with the R1T, which delivers a range comparable to Tesla’s Cybertruck and also qualifies for a federal tax credit.   

Given Tesla's previous problems with releasing products on time and increased competition, the success of its electric truck is far from given. But that is not a source of worry for Musk. "I don't care," he wrote on Twitter, referring to a prospect of a failure for the electric truck. "I love it so much even if others don't."

Twitter.com. Twitter.com/elonmusk. Accessed July 16, 2021.

CNBC. Tesla Unveils Its First All-Electric Pickup, the Cybertuck, Starting at $39,900. Accessed July 16, 2021.

Youtube. Watch the Tesla Cybertruck's Windows Get Smashed. Accessed July 16, 2021.

CNBC. Elon Musk Suggests Tesla Has Received 250,000 Pre-Orders for its Cybertruck. Accessed July 16, 2021.

Forbes.com, As Auto Sales Fall, Shoppers Snap Up Pick-Up Trucks. Accessed July 16, 2021.

Ford. The Truck of the Future is Here. Accessed July 16, 2021.

Ford. Ford F-150 Lightning. Accessed July 16, 2021.

GM.com, Hummer EV. Accessed July 16, 2021.

cnet.com. 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning first ride review: Electric Brawn, Bright Future. Accessed July 16, 2021.

Kelley's Blue Book. Tesla Cybertruck vs. Rivian R1T: A Comparison. Accessed July 16, 2021.

Tesla Cybertruck and new Roadster star in absolutely insane game trailer

Teslarati 18 July, 2021 - 09:31am

Tesla does not advertise in the traditional sense, but the company’s vehicles sure have no problem inspiring some amazing projects. One of these was recently created for Tesla China and Tencent Games, and it is arguably the coolest game trailer that has ever been made featuring the Cybertruck and the next-generation Roadster. 

Tesla China attracted a lot of attention this weekend after a two-minute trailer for Game for Peace (the Chinese version of PUBG Mobile) made the rounds online. The clips were remarkable, and they were overflowing with references to Elon Musk’s numerous projects. Needless to say, even the Tesla CEO himself stamped the trailer with his seal of approval on Twitter. 

Cybrrrtruck pic.twitter.com/rdiMFdYOS6

The trailer, which was made by @NutT4y with INFINI for Tesla China and Tencent Games, opens with a shot of the next-generation Tesla Roadster traveling in space and landing on Mars, where it was joined by the steel Cybertruck. The two all-electric vehicles then time-traveled 15 years into the past, where they were drop-shipped into an intense battleground riddled with deadly droids and other threats. 

The rest of the trailer was a feast for the eyes, featuring scenes that would not be out of place in a legitimate action flick. One of the most notable was the Cybertruck using its heavy steel body to crush multiple droids at once while it was drifting, as well as the all-electric pickup truck jumping into the air and straight into a wormhole as it made its escape with the next-generation Roadster. It’s all dumb fun, but there’s no denying that the whole two-minute sequence was absolutely cool. 

Being a company that does not advertise, the public’s perception of Tesla tends to be skewed at times. Thanks to an immense amount of negative media coverage as well as the usual criticism from traditional auto fans, a significant amount of the general public are largely unaware of the safety offered by Tesla’s electric cars or their sheer dominating performance. One of the best ways to address this information gap is to advertise, of course, though this is something that Elon Musk has been quite hesitant to do. 

Despite this, however, Tesla’s reach is impressive. Very few in social media are likely unaware of Tesla due to Elon Musk’s large following on Twitter. References to Tesla in popular games such as PUBG Mobile (or Game for Peace in China) also help greatly in ensuring that the company’s vehicles are as visible as possible. 

Watch Game for Peace‘s recent Tesla trailer in the video below. 

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‘Never Said The Word Sell’—Elon Musk Boosts The Price Of Dogecoin As Bitcoin And Crypto Lose Billions

Forbes 17 July, 2021 - 12:38pm

The dogecoin price, down around 75% from its April peak, climbed off lows of under 17 cents following Musk's Twitter post.

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"Lil X is hodling [a crypto twist on the word "holding"] his doge like a champ," Musk replied to a meme posted by a Musk and dogecoin fan account. "Literally never said the word 'sell' even once!"

Musk has previously said he bought his son, whose name is X Æ A-12, dogecoin "so he can be a toddler hodler" and has also said he holds dogecoin himself though it's not known how much.

The tweet is the latest in a long line of cryptocurrency posts and market interventions made by Musk through 2021. Earlier this year, Tesla revealed it had bought $1.5 billion of bitcoin while Musk said his rocket company SpaceX would "put a literal dogecoin on the literal moon."

The dogecoin price began surging this year after traders frustrated by restrictions placed on meme stocks in January piled into the "joke" cryptocurrency and the likes of bitcoin and crypto exchange Coinbase added support.

Dogecoin is up almost 6,000% on this time last year amid a broader crypto rally that's seen the bitcoin price add around 250% and hit an all-time high of around $65,000 per bitcoin.

However, the price of bitcoin and the wider cryptocurrency market has fallen sharply over recent months, with the combined market losing $300 billion since mid-June.

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This week, the world of bitcoin and cryptocurrency was rocked by an attack on crypto by one of dogecoin's creators—something he said he made as a "joke."

In a series of tweets, Jackson Palmer, who developed the tongue-in-cheek dogecoin in 2013 only for it to grow to a value of $25 billion, branded the entire crypto market "an inherently right-wing, hyper-capitalistic technology built primarily to amplify the wealth of its proponents through a combination of tax avoidance, diminished regulatory oversight and artificially enforced scarcity."

The Tesla Model Y Long Range Has Sold Out

CarBuzz 17 July, 2021 - 08:10am

The base version of the crossover has been immensely popular.

The Tesla Model Y was subjected to a price increase in May and another in June, but company CEO Elon Musk still said he expects it to become the world's best-selling car next year. Well, it seems that despite the cost of ownership constantly rising, his clairvoyance may be proven true. Checking out the car's online configurator, it seems that all of the allocations for the Model Y Long Range Dual Motor have already sold out for both the US and Canada. The configurator shows that this model now has an estimated delivery date of October 2021, meaning that if you order one now, you'll only receive it in the final quarter of the year.

Fortunately, that doesn't mean you can't get your hands on a Model Y at all. The Model Y Performance is still available in both countries and has an estimated delivery date of 7-11 weeks, but if demand is as great as it appears to be, we wouldn't be surprised to learn that the top-tier version of the Model Y sells out soon too. Musk's comments about the dominance of the Model Y may have seemed premature when he made them, as the Model 3 was the best-selling premium electric car worldwide, but thus far this year, the Model Y has outsold the Model 3 here in the States.

As a reminder, the Long Range model starts at $52,990 before any incentives or the $1,200 destination fee, while the Performance model will cost you at least $60,990. The former model offers a range of 326 miles and a top speed of 135 mph, while achieving 0-60 mph in 4.8 seconds. The Performance model drops range to 303 miles but only tops out at 155 mph. Its 0-60 time is lower too, with a claim of just 3.5 seconds. With bigger wheels, upgraded brakes, and aluminum alloy pedals, the Performance model is also better looking. While the shortage of vehicles may be a bit annoying to some, we expect that completion of another factory will help prevent this problem in the future.

What would you buy with Elon Musk's $164B fortune?

Teslarati 17 July, 2021 - 06:59am

Elon Musk’s massive (roughly) $164,000,000,000 fortune makes him one of the richest people in the world. Despite most of his funds being locked up in Tesla shares and other assets, Musk’s incredible wealth has been put into an online game where the player has complete control over what to buy with the money if stocks and assets were cashed out. The game begs the question, “What would you buy with Elon Musk’s $164 billion fortune?”

The game is simple: you have $164 billion to spend, and you have 44 options to choose from. Anything from plastic surgery, to an apartment, to an NFL franchise, to a mega yacht is available. But don’t worry about losing track of how much, or how little, of the massive fortune you’ve spent. A toolbar at the top tells you how much you have left, and what percentage of the massive net worth you have left to play around with.

Interestingly enough, the game really puts into perspective how much money Musk is truly worth. Despite his massive fortune, which grew incredibly over the past 18 months due to Tesla stock’s monumental climb on Wall Street in 2020, the CEO of Tesla, SpaceX, the Boring Company, and Neuralink doesn’t have much to show for it. “Possessions just weigh you down,” Musk once said, after revealing he had sold his numerous California properties.

Don’t need the cash. Devoting myself to Mars and Earth. Possession just weigh you down.

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 1, 2020

Despite this, many of us can be dreamers, and use the game to imagine what possessions we’d purchase with that massive amount of money. There isn’t too much that isn’t available to you, because nothing on the list eclipses the NFL franchise cost of $3 billion. The cheapest item is a Nintendo Switch, starting at just $299.

The designer of the game, who is listed as “nino” at the bottom-most portion of the page, gave a little shoutout to Tesla in the game too. While there are seven available automobiles for purchase in the game, the most notable is definitely the Tesla Model S Plaid, the revamped version of the automaker’s flagship sedan. The vehicle was recently delivered for the first time at the Fremont Factory in Northern California on June 10th, and it is the fastest production vehicle in the world.

I bought every NFL franchise, all 32 of them, and still had $68 billion left to play around with. I added one Mega Yacht, priced at $300 million, a Gulfstream Jet (just like Elon has), an LA Mansion so I could bump elbows with Leo DiCaprio while picking up the morning paper, and five Model S Plaids, one for every day of the week. I still have 41.3% of the fortune remaining, but I will likely hold onto it for a rainy day.

Be sure to tell me what you would buy with Musk’s fortune!

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Here's why Elon Musk lives in a rented, $50,000 prefabricated studio home in Texas

USA TODAY 17 July, 2021 - 06:01am

To free up assets to fund Tesla and SpaceX, Musk sold off all but one of his mansions and calls a 400-square-foot prefab unit home in Texas.

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Tesla's CEO Elon Musk has told The Wall Street Journal he's moved to Texas because California has 'taken innovators for granted.' USA TODAY

You read that headline correctly. Centibillionaire Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) and SpaceX, the second-richest man in the world with a net worth of $162.8 billion, lives in a $50,000 home -- not a $50 million home, a $5 million home, or even a $50,000 a month rental home. We're talking about an actual house that costs $50,000, which Musk rents.

If you didn't even know there are houses available at that price, you might be wondering why Elon Musk of all people chooses to live in one and whether this might be some sort of trend coming from this visionary entrepreneur. Let's find out what's up.

NASA's SpaceX Dragon cargo freighter undocks from the International Space Station; heads backs to Earth for splashdown in Atlantic. (July 8) AP Domestic

When a man who can buy any house in the world chooses to rent (without mincing words) a box that costs less than your average manufactured (mobile) home – which is around $88,000 in case you're interested – there must be a reason. And in this case, there is.

Elon Musk is on a mission, two in fact: To make the Earth greener through electric cars (Tesla) and to put people on Mars through his company SpaceX. To do this, Musk wants to free up his assets, and that includes selling all his mansions (except for one California Bay Area event space that he keeps). Musk calls his rented box near the SpaceX test site in Bosa Chica, Texas, home.

Musk lives in a Boxabl Casita, a 400-square-foot prefabricated and foldable home, so compact that a Tesla Model X luxury SUV can tow it. It's made of concrete panels and steel and is easy to install and move. People can customize a Boxabl Casita any way they like, but Musk chose the base unit and set it up like a studio apartment. There's one 'large' room that's partitioned off to include a living room, bedroom, full kitchen, and bathroom with a shower/tub.

Boxable makes accessory dwelling units (ADUs) that you can set up anywhere that allows them. For $50,000 you get a place to live, but you need to have the land on which to put this house, including utility hookups.

Tesla might not be as green as the company would have you believe. According to Forbes, Tesla doesn't disclose its overall greenhouse-gas emissions, while General Motors and Ford do. This lack of disclosure doesn't necessarily mean Tesla isn't as green as the company would have you believe, but it does beg the question as to why the company won't reveal what its carbon emissions are.

Regarding the space-travel mission of Elon Musk, some residents of Boca Chica aren't too thrilled about Musk's SpaceX launchpad being located amid a wildlife refuge in a sleepy beachside community. Prior to Musk's SpaceX arrival, Boca Chica was as unspoiled and 'green' as you could get. Now bird populations are threatened and public beaches are often closed in the name of progress. Of course, fallout is bound to happen with progress, but Musk is seemingly living quite the contradictory life if he claims his mission is that of making the planet green.

Boxable builds mass-produced houses that could be the answer for affordable housing in the future. And Elon Musk does what he does best: innovate. If you're a commercial real estate investor, keep your eye on mass-produced factory housing and whatever Elon Musk is doing.

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The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. Editorial opinions are ours alone and have not been previously reviewed, approved, or endorsed by included advertisers. Editorial content from Millionacres is separate from The Motley Fool editorial content and is created by a different analyst team.

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Analysis | The two sides of Elon Musk

The Washington Post 16 July, 2021 - 06:00am

Musk said he caught the allusion but took it as simply a bit of humor, not a prophecy of doom. “It should have been called Project Daedalus,” he added, smiling — perhaps implying that Musk, like Daedalus, would escape the ordeal unscathed.

The trial is, on one level, a business dispute over the SolarCity deal, which some Tesla shareholders view as a boondoggle that Musk forced through for his own purposes. (SolarCity was run by his cousins, he was part owner, and it was in financial crisis when Tesla bought it.) But for Musk, the stakes are higher. It’s a referendum on his own leadership, integrity and vision. Put another way: It’s about whether he’s Daedalus, the resourceful mastermind, or Icarus, flirting with disaster and bound for a tragic fall.

The answer matters to more than just Musk. He now leads two companies, Tesla and SpaceX, whose products people literally entrust with their lives. Both have pushed the boundaries of what’s considered possible — and safe. Like Daedalus’ wings, Tesla’s “autopilot” technology and SpaceX’s crewed space missions require enormous faith in technology and expose their users to novel risks. So the question of Musk’s trustworthiness is, in a real sense, life-or-death.

The trial’s most illuminating moments were the ones in which the central questions that have long haunted Musk’s career were made explicit. Is he a visionary or a huckster? A marketing genius or a narcissistic troll?

The world’s second-richest person, by some counts, easily could have afforded to settle the SolarCity case out of court, as all of his fellow Tesla board members did last year. Instead, he chose to fight it. And so he spent Monday and Tuesday in a dreary Delaware courtroom, defending his reputation against a lawyer bent on exposing him as a self-dealing fraud, even as his fellow billionaires Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos were in various stages of adventuring to space. (Jeff Bezos owns The Washington Post.)

The cost of that defense is fresh scrutiny of Musk’s record, and by implication, his fitness to lead. On Monday, Musk did himself no favors by calling Baron “a bad human being” — or by insisting that “I rather hate” being CEO of Tesla. But his exchanges with Baron did on several occasions offer insight into how Musk views himself, and how he justifies actions that others find troubling or incomprehensible.

For example: Why does Musk routinely make unrealistic promises? And does that make him dishonest, or is it crucial to his success?

Specifically, Baron pressed Musk on his grand plan for a “solar roof”: a house roof that’s literally made out of solar panels. He unveiled the idea in 2016, partly to justify the SolarCity deal, and at one point claimed that it would be ready for widespread deployment by the following year — a bold claim for what was at the time a nonfunctional concept. Five years later, it still isn’t in mass production, though Musk hasn’t given up on it.

“I have a habit of being optimistic with schedules,” Musk said. “If I wasn’t optimistic, I don’t think I would have started an electric-car company or a rocket company.”

Baron wasn’t buying it. “This is more than optimistic,” he said of the solar roof timeline. “This is just plain-out false.”

So is Musk an optimist or a liar? The truth may be some of each: Whether it’s his prediction of a solar roof by 2017, a fully self-driving Tesla by 2018, or one million robotaxis on the road by 2020, Musk often fails to deliver. And yet it’s that same outrageous ambition that has driven his companies to achievements that few thought possible, from leading an electric revolution in the automotive industry to pioneering commercial space exploration.

Similarly, Musk’s bizarre tweets and antics — from crowning himself “Technoking” of Tesla in a federal filing to selling flamethrowers to smoking weed on Joe Rogan’s podcast to naming his child X Æ A-12 — can be viewed in two ways. One view is that he’s an immature, entitled jerk with no self-control. The other, which Musk himself hinted at in court this week, is that he’s an ingenious marketer and showman.

Baron held up the “Technoking” maneuver as an example of Musk’s willingness to put his own whims above the interests of his firm. Musk countered that his whimsy is actually strategic. “If we are entertaining, then people will write stories about us, and then we don’t have to spend money on advertising that would increase the price of our products,” he said.

That might sound like a stretch, particularly when it comes to some of Musk’s more ill-advised stunts, such as the “funding secured” tweet that cost him his Tesla chairmanship, or his unhelpful meddling in a Thailand cave rescue effort. But there’s no denying that he has succeeded in making Tesla a household name worldwide without commissioning a single car commercial. Again, both can be true: Musk is a reckless, self-aggrandizing loudmouth and a master of earned media.

Of all the crises Musk has weathered so far, the shareholder lawsuit over his SolarCity acquisition seems unlikely to be the one that brings him down. Unseemly as the deal appears from many angles, it hasn’t kept Tesla’s stock from soaring, and Musk made a persuasive enough case that solar energy remains a plausible long-term bet for the company. Even losing the case wouldn’t put much of a dent in his bank account.

But to return to the metaphor of Daedalus and Icarus, there was one key point that Musk seemed to overlook. Daedalus may have survived the flight — escaping from a labyrinth of his own making, by the way. But Icarus’s death was on his hands, and it haunted him. Elon Musk has made it this far, flying as close to the sun as any figure in the modern business world. Not every Tesla autopilot driver has been so lucky. And as more and more people rely on his companies’ technology, his brash approach raises justifiable concerns about whether he gives safety its due priority.

After all, it’s not Musk’s survival that the rest of us need to worry about most. It’s the survival of the people who use his contraptions.

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