Thursday 19th April 2018.
Firstly hi to Simon in New York who listens every day and sent some cracking suggestions about some interviews I could do, thank you, I appreciate it. And hello to Isabelle Conner from Sacramento who says “I heard you mention Patreon recently, I would happily support your show as I listen every day, if you ever decide to have supporters, and can I ask that put the shows on Soundcloud as I use their app for all my other podcasts”. Well again thank you Isabelle and I’m investigating Soundcloud following your note, I think it’s a really great idea, and I will have answer for you in a couple of days.
Onto the news, and coming up today?an electric car fit for a king and Electrify America will solve your range anxiety ?but first?
ELON MUSK LEAKED STAFF EMAIL
- Elon sent an email to all staff at Fremont and Gigafactory 1. I think highly likely to everyone in Tesla. I’ll read you some highlights and then offer come commentary.
- “First, congratulations are in order! We have now completed our third full week of producing over 2000 Model 3 vehicles. The first week was 2020, the second was 2070 and we just completed 2250 last week, along with 2000 Model S/X vehicles. Starting today at Giga and tomorrow at Fremont, we will be stopping for three to five days to do a comprehensive set of upgrades. This should set us up for Model 3 production of 3000 to 4000 per week next month. Another set of upgrades starting in late May should be enough to unlock production capacity of 6000 Model 3 vehicles per week by the end of June. Any Tesla department or supplier that is unable to do this will need to have a very good explanation why not. Model 3 production at Fremont will move to 24/7operations. This means that we will be adding another shift to general assembly, body and paint. Our car needs to be designed and built with such accuracy and precision that, if an owner measures dimensions, panel gaps and flushness, and their measurements don’t match the Model 3 specs, it just means that their measuring tape is wrong. I have asked the Tesla finance team to comb through every expense worldwide, no matter how small, and cut everything that doesn’t have a strong value justi? All contracting companies should consider the coming week to be a final opportunity to demonstrate excellence. Any that fail to meet the Tesla standard of excellence will have their contracts ended on Monday. ? Communication should travel via the shortest path necessary to get the job done, not through the “chain of command”. Any manager who attempts to enforce chain of command communication will soon find themselves working elsewhere. Always pick common sense as your guide. If following a “company rule” is obviously ridiculous in a particular situation, such that it would make for a great Dilbert cartoon, then the rule should change.”
- And that’s where I’ll stop, and those are just some edited highlights of parts I was particularly intrigued by. You can read the full email over at Electrek. It was released out of trading hours and some internet commentators say it’s more of a press release passed off as an internet email apparently leaked ? you can decide what you make of that conspiracy theory.
- I would say that 6,000 Model 3’s per week is more than double their current rate, although that is a stretch goal with 5,000 being the minimum. It’s also clear than quality is important, and I’ve seen how forums and tweets went from picking on how bad some Tesla fit & finish was, to it being a running joke, to something which was widely regarded as fact. I’ve never seen a Model 3 up close so I can’t comment. But perhaps that stings Elon, or perhaps it’s commercially hurting them, so quality becomes the focus. And finally profitability is interesting. There was always going to be a day when the spending had to be in check, and that day was yesterday. From now on it looks like they’ve built up enough momentum to start to pick off the spending which isn’t crucial, having thrown money at things for many years to build up a head of steam.
AN EV FIT FOR A (WOULD BE) KING
- Next up, the Jaguar I-PACE is fit for royalty. I’m serious, literally. Clarence House, the office of Prince Charles, tweeted a video earlier today of Prince Charles being driven to the Science Museum in London?in the middle of the police outriders on motorbikes and his security details, was Prince Charles in a Jaguar I-PACE. Well done Jaguar PR team.
- You could say the I-PACE is fit for a king, except he’s not, because Her Majesty The Queen doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. God bless you, ma’am.
MASSIVE CHARGING BOOST FROM ELECTRIFY AMERICA
- A quick history lesson: here in Europe the punishment for VW and dieselgate was a software update to cars, because we literally had to laws no punish a company for doing what they did. So by the letter of the law, VW did absolutely nothing wrong. In America, a very different story. With cars being bought back and a massive financial penalty. Part of that being VW having to set up Electrify America, an organisation to populate the US with public EV chargers.
- And yesterday we heard a lot more about it. Volkswagen AG unit Electrify America said on Tuesday it has selected several suppliers, including Switzerland’s ABB and South Korea’s Signet EV Inc., to install more than 2,000 high speed electric vehicle chargers in the United States by the end of 2019″ report Autonews: “The chargers will be installed at 484 charging stations across the country. Electrify America said the fast chargers will deliver 20 miles of range per minute of charge, seven times faster than chargers currently in operation. VW has agreed to spend $800 million in California and a total of $2 billion nationwide on clean car infrastructure.”
- The charging systems will offer the FIrst-ever cooled-cable 150/350 kilowatt (kW) DC Fast Charger” says Electric Cars Report: “An L2 AC charger will also be offered at a majority of metro DC fast charging stations to accommodate plug-in hybrids and non-DC-charge capable EVs. All charging stations will offer a CHAdeMO (50kW) connector The chargers will have an all new intuitive and informative 15-inch touch screen display, to provide a simplified “Plug-Pay-Charge-Go” experience”
- An ABB press release added: “Electrify America’s plan to place chargers on its highway routes at intervals of no more than 120 miles (195 kilometers) means that drivers can be confident they’ll be able to reach their destinations. ABB’s Terra HP chargers are compatible with both the CCS and CHAdeMO DC fast charging standards, enabling drivers to buy the electric vehicle of their choice with confidence that it will work at all of Electrify America’s charging sites.”
VEHICLE TO GRID ARRIVES IN U.K.
- Vehicle To Grid (V2G) technology has been operation in countries like Japan but certainly not here in the UK ? until now. One of the energy companies called OVO Energy held a press conference in London yesterday to publish their move into V2G. They’ll be working with Nissan starting this Summer with a 2 year project to allow LEAF drivers to sell power back to the grid at time of high demand.
- The charger to enable this was part of a suite of products announced – which also included a 7kW smart Charger for electric cars, a ‘Heat Dynamo’ for optimising a home’s electric storage heater, and a home battery.
- OVO CEO Stephen Fitzpatrick said that the bi-directional charger would help “to solve one of the biggest challenges facing the energy sector”: “We’re enabling thousands of EV batteries to help balance the grid in times of peak demand, more renewable energy to come onto the system, and households to reduce their electricity bills. This is the first step in building the distributed energy system of the future,” he added. “One that is truly customer centric and built around households and their connected energy storage devices.”
- Alphr reports; “The Vehicle-to-Grid charger is a part of that wider picture. It has a 6kW charge and discharge power rating, and would be fitted into a customer’s home for them to power up their vehicle as well as discharge it back into the grid. In theory, a customer should be able to buy power during times when energy is cheap, then sell it back during peak periods ? potentially making a profit from the transaction. OVO’s chargers and batteries to adapt to shifting demands on the grid, as well as customer usage. It remotely connects OVO’s electrical devices across its distributed power grid, effectively turning the scattered home batteries and EV chargers into a virtual power plant. The idea is that, with VCharge, your home’s power generation and use will be able to automatically respond to system stress, and adjust electricity flow so that customers get power at affordable rates. In terms of the Vehicle-to-Grid charger, for example, this may involve exporting energy or pausing charging at certain times to balance demand.”
BUICK ANNOUNCE ONE REAL CAR AND ONE FANCY CONCEPT
- Earlier this week Buick unveiled it’s Enspire electric SUV concept which is good for 370 miles on a charge, and fast enough for any normal driver not wanting to lose their licence, at 0-60 in 4 seconds. And although it’s only a concept, given how the Buick brand is far more popular in China than America, you probably won’t be buying one soon.
- I do love a concept as long as you take the specs too seriously ? they could say it runs on magical fairy dust or has a flux capacitor, they never have to prove it.
- However a new Buick which does exist is the Velite 6 plug in hybrid, coming in September and yes, you guessed it, China only. The engine will be a 1.5 liter coupled with a motor, and expect lots of crossover with Chevrolet Volt technology. There will be a full BEV in 2019. What is certain is that they’re building in wireless Software Over The Air (SOTA) updates ? good, there’s no excuse for all new cars not to have that feature ? and you cell phone is the key.
I’d love to spread the word about electric cars so, if you can, share this somebody who might be interested.
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