Tag Archives: Elon Musk

You’re in Good Hands With Elon, by Eric Peters

The point of electric cars and driverless technology isn’t to make cars safer or more environmentally friendly, but to give the government the ability to monitor and ultimately control where you go. From Eric Peters at ericpetersautos.com:

Imagine if your insurance company knew about it immediately every time you drove faster than any speed limit, anywhere. That you failed to come to a complete dead stop at every stop sign before proceeding – regardless of the need to come to a complete dead stop.

Every instance of seatbelt scofflawism.

That you drove eight hours straight to visit friends in another state; that last Thursday, you “accelerated aggressively” while trying to merge with traffic. That you turned off the traction control the other day – and squealed the tires.

And here comes the bill, custom-tailored just for you.

This is what Elon Musk has in mind next. The King of Mandated Business is getting into the insurance business – a logical thing since car insurance is the original mandated business that set the precedent for the rest of them. It’s an even better business than the electric car business because everyone has to buy car insurance, if they own a car – even if it’s not an electric car.

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“He’s Full Of Shit”: New Bethany McLean Expose Eviscerates Elon Musk’s Solar City Bailout, by Tyler Durden

A top-notch investigative reporter goes after Elon Musk. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

Bethany McLean’s reputation proceeds her, with good reason. She’s mostly known for tackling the Enron scandal and the 2008 financial crisis – two of the biggest financial frauds over the last decade or now. She co-authored Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, which was later made into a movie.

And now, she’s setting her sights on Elon Musk and Solar City, something we expected was about to happen last week.

As we said yesterday during our report about Vern Unsworth’s lawyer threatening Elon Musk, the boy wonder has created so many legacy legal liabilities, it is tough to track which ones – and when. Now, it’s appears that one of the biggest whoppers, his “bail out” of Solar City that skeptics such as this website and countless others long believed to be a sham, has finally been thrust into the limelight by an author whose gravitas simply can’t be ignored.

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The Electric Obamaphone, by Eric Peters

The main problem with Elon Musk’s and soon to be everyone else’s electric cars is there will not be enough people who will buy them at anything close to profitable prices. From Eric Peters at theburningplatform.com:

Elon just admitted something which is getting very little coverage – and no explanation.

He announced that Tesla will no longer be selling the “affordable” $35,000 Model 3 he promised would be Tesla’s first mass-market electric car. Like so many of Elon’s promises, that one’s out the window, too.

The price of the least expensive Tesla just rose to $39,000. Well, technically $38,990 – to make it go down easier.

That’s still a $4k decrease in “affordability” – and a reality check.

Elon is admittingthat electric cars aren’t mass-market cars. That after all the glitzy assurances, after all these years, in the end, they are what they have always been: Specialty cars for people with the disposable income to indulge other-than-economic considerations such as “technology” and – as Elon loves to tout – the driving characteristics of electric cars.

There’s nothing per se objectionable about specialty cars – whether electric or powered by a high-performance boxer six, like a Porsche.

But there is a problem.

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Elon’s “Compelling” New Offer, by Eric Peters

But Wait, There’s More! from master conman and grifter Elon Musk. From Eric Peters at ericpetersautos.com:

Elon Musk has just announced he’s going into the insurance business with Liberty Mutual – a partnership as natural as the getting-together over coffee of the Gambinos and Columbos.

They’re really going into the data-mining and mobility control business; the insurance business is merely the storefront.

The plan, according to Elon, is to offer “compelling” premiums . . . by compelling policyholders to let him (and the sickly-named Liberty) monitor their driving via real-time telemetry – just like the Apollo program.

And surrender it, too – by turning that over to his infamous auto-pilot system.

Which for the record hasn’t exactly got a great record.

Several auto-piloted Teslas have already piloted themselves into fixed barriers and other vehicles as effectively as any reckless human driver.

There have been losses – including of human lives.

At least two lawsuits are currently in process – including one filed by the family of Walter Huang of California, who was killed when his Tesla wandered out its travel lane and then accelerated into a lane divider – without Huang having touched the accelerator pedal or the steering wheel.

Will Elon surcharge himself for this risk?

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When Bubbles Burst – Tesla, The Everything Cycle and the End of Global Warming, by Tom Luongo

The Tesla company, its cars, and global warming are articles of faith among a certain set. That faith is going to be tested. From Tom Luongo at tomluongo.me:

As the center of the U.S. freezes this weekend, Elon Musk is trying to figure out how to save Tesla from going the way of Enron.

Religions die hard. It takes an orgy of evidence to change a person’s mind on a subject that is integral to their moral and ethical structure.

In the case of Tesla, the mania surrounding it over the past decade has been inextricably bound up with the hysteria of global warming.

For years investors ignored the obvious warning signs that Tesla would never be able to graduate from a boutique, hand-built car manufacturer and technology skunk works to a mass producer.

I’ve been very hard on Musk in the past, with good reason. But, as a guy with vision I applaud him getting Tesla off the ground and legitimizing the idea of the upscale electric car.

But it was never going to work as a mass production scheme because Musk isn’t that guy. He’s a dreamer and a schemer, not a builder. And, as I’ve said multiple times, he should have stepped down as CEO of Tesla ages ago.

A man has got to know his limitations as The Man once said.

Musk doesn’t.

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Waiting For Elon, by Eric Peters

Tesla has kept some buyers waiting three years for their cars, and they still haven’t delivered. From Eric Peters at theburningplatform.com:

Three years is a long time to wait for a new car. It makes you want to buy another car – which is exactly what a large number of frustrated Teslians are doing as they lose hope of ever getting behind the wheel of the Model 3 they put thousand dollar deposits on as far back as 2016.

That is to say, of ever seeing the affordable Model 3 Elon promised to build for them. The one Elon promised he could sell them for $35,000. The one which – by dint of its affordability – Elon swore on a stack of battery packs would game-change the EV business, which has been financially flummoxed to date when it comes to figuring out how to build an electric car that can be sold at a price people can afford andat a profit.

It looks like Elon can’t do it, either.

H will sell you a $94,000 Model S – or a $44,400 Model 3 (the Model 3 he isbuilding and which you can buy). But he can’t afford to sell you affordable models like the $79,000 version of the Model S, which has been pulled from the Tesla lineup.

And he apparently can’t build the promised $35,000 model 3 because he can’t afford to lose the additional almost $10k difference between it and the $44,000 (to start; more like $60,000 out the door) version, which is the only version he is building.

Meanwhile, his customers grow restless.

If you want to call them that.

It is customary for a customer – properly speaking – to get something in returnfor his money. Thousands of Elon’s “customers” have only received empty promises, so far.

For example, Nevine Melikian of Phoenix, AZ- who put down cash almost two summers ago and has yet to get anything in return – except for Elon’s “pedo” Tweets. Automotive Newsreports that the Melikian family has purchased to Toyota Prius hybrids in the meanwhile – probably because they wore out too many pairs of shoes.

“They need to get their act together, ” says Melikian.

Actually, Uncle does – for consistency’s sake, at least.

How is that Tesla is permitted to get away with what any other automaker (or business generally) would be Hut! Hut! Hutted! – or at least, SEC’d – over? It is generally considered fraud to promise people things, take their money – and give them nothing.

Tesla has taken $905.8 million from Model 3 prospects, which buys a lot of cannolis.

Some customers have done the “Tesla Stretch” – the term used by Teslians themselves to describe giving up on the $35,000 Model 3 bait and accepting the $60,000 switch. Automotive News quotes Janelle Tarman, who bought the $60k (well, $58k) Model 3 which Elon is building  . . .because she fears the $35,000 version will “never materialize.”

Meanwhile, VW was literally hounded into Ned Beatty-esque squealing like a pig over pedantic “cheating” on recondite government emissions tests, which “cheating” amounted to a hill of nothing in terms of any fraud perpetrated on customers or harm to anyone or anything, including the Earth.

VW has been almost bankrupted by the government – and forced by the government to stop selling cars that people loved and which VW delivered. The company has had to finance embarrassing ads touting the products of its rivals – electric cars, of course.

Keep in mind that not one VW customer ever bitched about not getting a car – or expressed any dissatisfaction with the function of the “cheating” cars. Overwhelming, VW’s customers loved their cars – and regardless, actually got them when they paid for them.

Meanwhile, Elon…

It is interesting to speculate as to why he is given such a free hand, treated almost like a beloved child by its indulgent parent.

I think I know why.

Tesla was a kind of electric cat’s paw. Its purpose was to get EVs into the spotlight – to get the public used to the idea of electric cars, at least conversationally. To normalize them, to make them seem “cool” and “hip” – while non-electric cars were systematically portrayed by a complicit (because wholly owned by the same interests)  as “old” and – of course –   “dirty.” Which is a fraud far worse than pocketing $905.8 million from a bunch of starry-eyed rubes.

To force the issue, in other words.

EVs were going nowhere – not merely not very far – before Tesla suddenly (interestingly) became das wunderkind, with almost constant – and almost universally favorable – media coverage. The idea seems to have been to make EVs seem inevitable – The Future, as we have been hectored to accept as Truth and Fact for years now – and also to make them seem oh-so-sexy.

Note that Elon touts the speed and styling of his cars, which they do deliver. This is important; any ad man or marketing Jedi who knows his marks will tell you so.

Elon’s job, then, was to sex up the EV – which previously had been homely and boring as well as overpriced and functionally gimped. This would generate buzz. Which would create perceived pressure. And it would keep people’s minds off the overpriced and functionally gimped part, just long enough…

It would help force the entire industry to go EV. Make it seem like a grand idea. The public would never accept overpriced electric Trabants – but it might be gulled by speedy, good-looking ones.

Tesla’s job was to float the illusion– just long enough to assure the inevitability. To roll along – on government indulgence and taxpayer dollars – just long enough to get the rest of the industry to commit. To embrace the EV tar baby with both arms and hug it so tight – in terms of pouring billions into R&D and “electrification” of their lineups – that it would be nigh impossible for them to ever extricate.

This has just about been achieved.

Which renders Tesla increasingly no-longer-necessary. Expect the boom to be lowered sometime this year. Elon will be lionized as a seer, a kind of latter-day Preston Tucker.

Meanwhile, his customers will wait.

And the rest of us will get the bill.

 

$20 Million Isn’t Much, by Eric Peters

The fine recently meted out to Elon Musk is similar to the meager fines meted out to banks and bankers stemming from the financial crisis. The fines are meager for a reason: the perpetrators are politically connected. From Eric Peters at theburningplatform.com:

If you’re a billionaire.

Count it out. One billion dollars is one thousand million dollars. If you have one thousand million dollars, $20 million is of the same consequence as losing a $20 under a sofa cushion is to the rest of us.

Elon Musk is reportedly worth somewhere in the vicinity of $23 billion. For him, the  $20 million fine imposed by the SEC for fraud amounts to the same as losing a pennybehind the sofa cushions for the rest of us.

So, effectively, a slap on the wrist – for fraud. For actually causing harm.

Contrast the kid-glove treatment meted out to Elon with the NKVD-style inquisition visited upon Martha Stewart – a productive woman whose businesses didn’t have a taxpayer pickpocket division.

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