|From: Eric||11/8/2019 12:15:30 PM|
Tesla Chief Designer Franz von Holzhausen talks EV design on Ride the Lightning podcast
Posted November 7, 2019 by Charles Morris & filed under Newswire, The Vehicles.
It’s rare for any current Tesla exec whose name isn’t Musk to speak to the press, so Ryan McCaffrey pulled off a coup when he scored an interview with Tesla Chief Designer Franz von Holzhausen for his Ride the Lightning podcast.
Holzhausen, the designer of Models S, X, 3, Y and the Tesla Semi, discusses Tesla’s design language and the challenges of creating compelling EVs in a lengthy interview that’s well worth listening to in its entirety.
Holzhausen worked for VW, GM and Mazda before being personally recruited to Tesla by Elon Musk. Why leave a steady gig for what was then a shaky startup? “Designers always want to figure out the next thing, and the next thing at Mazda was not as interesting and alluring as what Elon was selling,” Holzhausen tells McCaffrey. Furthermore, “Everywhere else in the industry, sustainability, which was important to me, was kind of a side thing…and Elon was all in, it was do or die – we make it work or we are not a company.”
Another thing that Holzhausen found frustrating at the majors was their habit of designing concept vehicles that are never destined to go into production (a frustration shared by certain journalists). At Tesla, his masterpieces went from the design studio to the street in record time.
Designing Model S was a challenge no auto designer had faced before. With no need to design around an engine, transmission tunnel or exhaust system, Holzhausen had endless possibilities. However, that unprecedented freedom was also a bit “scary.”
The electric powertrain allowed Model S to be designed with a tremendous amount of interior space – more than many SUVs.
Unlike earlier EV designers, who created goofy-looking “spaceships,” Musk, Holzhausen and their team understood that car buyers wanted elegance, but also conformity. Superlative aesthetics have always been very much a part of their quest to build “not just the best electric cars, but the best cars.”
Tesla’s famous self-presenting door handles reflect a desire to make a driver’s first point of contact with the car a memorable experience, as Holzhausen told GigaOm in 2013. “It’s such a shame when you see other vehicles that that’s one of the first elements that they cost-reduced. The first contact you have is the cheapest part on the car.” (I know exactly what he means – both of the plastic door handles on my 2015 LEAF are already falling apart, although otherwise the car is in fine shape.)
Holzhausen’s involvement with his creations is ongoing. Model S has undergone continuous improvement, and both the exterior and interior have been updated several times. Tesla’s vehicles will “never be constrained by something we’ve done in the past,” Holzhausen told Ride the Lightning – there will be no “Tesla Bible” that has to be followed. It’s all about creating “beautiful products.”
Source: Ride the Lightning
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|From: Road Walker||11/10/2019 5:58:19 PM|
|UPDATE 1-Siemens CEO deplores admiration for 'pot smoker' after deputy praised Elon MuskPUBLISHED 12:38 PM ET SAT, 9 NOV 2019REUTERS|
praised Elon Musk@ (Adds Kaeser's tweet from Saturday)
FRANKFURT, Nov 8 (Reuters) - Siemens Chief Executive Joe Kaeser on Friday lamented Germans who fail to recognise true visionaries and instead admire pot smokers who talk about space travel, only days after his deputy praised Tesla CEO Elon Musk.
"Amusing opinions in our country: When a German chief executive proactively orients his company toward the future, he is regarded as 'lofty' and 'philosophical'. When a pot smoking colleague in the United States talks about Peterchen's moon ride, he is an admired visionary," Kaeser tweeted, referring to a German children's story about space travel.
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Kaeser's statement sparked a lively debate on social media, with the Siemens CEO later seeking to clarify his comments.
In an exchange with a journalist from a business daily, Kaeser said in a tweet on Saturday that there was no need for wild speculation and efforts to draw references to Busch's remark about Musk.
"This is NOT AT ALL about Mr. Busch and/or Mr. Musk," Kaeser said, adding that his aim was rather to draw attention to entrepreneurial spirit in Germany and the declining relevance of German companies.
Musk provoked a Twitter storm last year after briefly smoking marijuana on a live web show with comedian Joe Rogan.
In September Siemens promoted Busch to deputy CEO, putting him in pole position to replace Kaeser as head of the German engineering giant.
On Oct. 31, Busch tweeted, "Great to meet w/ zelonmusk, a true visionary of our times. Talked about #FutureofMobility, rapid deployment of car charging enabling #electric mobility, advanced manufacturing & rocket engineering. We're proud zSiemens #technology is supporting Elon's most exciting dreams."
At the company's annual news conference this week, Busch said Musk's electric car maker Tesla and SpaceX, which makes rockets, are big customers for Siemens' digital industries businesses.
(Reporting by Edward Taylor and Michael Nienaber Editing by Louise Heavens and Helen Popper)
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|From: Eric||11/11/2019 7:06:20 AM|
| Watch Tesla’s new over-the-air performance update put to the test |
- Nov. 11th 2019 6:00 am ET
Tesla recently increased vehicle performance by ~5% through an over-the-air update, and today we have a video confirming the improvement with some side-by-side testing.
The video was posted to youtube by Tesla owner Jenny Walsh, and was conducted on two identical performance Model 3s, one with the update and one without.
Both cars had their batteries at the same state of charge – 190 miles on the range meter – and their tires inflated to the same psi. Both cars drove with the windows down. The owners are good friends and have drag raced their cars against each other before, and always ended up with pretty close races.
However, the cars did differ in terms of weight – the red car without the update had a passenger, whereas the white car with the update did. But Walsh said “I (the passenger) only weigh 115lb and the driver in the red car also weighs less than the white car driver.”
The difference in occupant weight (<115lb) probably accounts for ~2% of the weight of a ~4,000-lb Model 3, which is smaller than the 5% power difference promised by Tesla’s update.
So this wasn’t a perfectly scientific trial, but the three tests show a clear winner:
Tesla Model 3 2019.36.2.1 performance upgrade test race
•Nov 10, 2019
130 0 Share
Our friend got the software update that supposedly increases performance by 5%, and we don’t have it yet. Since we have raced with our friend before and matched evenly every time we thought this was the perfect opportunity to truly test this new update and it’s claims at a performance boost. Both Model 3s are long range dual motor. Both were charged to 190 miles left on the battery and had the same exact psi in the tires. We raced with both of the front windows down and both cars. The passenger counted down.
In all three, the updated white Tesla pulls significantly ahead, showing an increase in power.
Others have tried putting the power increase to the test and have shown improved results as well. Reddit user 22marks posted results from Dragy, a GPS-based performance monitor. He found that the update resulted about a tenth of a second improvement in 0-60 times.
Tesla was able to increase power delivery because they found optimizations for motor control, which meant they were able to increase both range and power delivery for all cars in the fleet. This update started rolling out a couple weeks ago.
Tesla has promised that the update will improve Model S drag race performance even further, after a drag race test surfaced showing the Taycan beating the Model S Ludicrous. Some Tesla fans pointed out that the drag race test may have been an anomalous result, as the Model S performed worse than expected.
We’d like to see the last couple differences taken away and have a test with truly equal cars, including the same weight load inside them. Perhaps swapping drivers, doing a few more trials in the opposite direction, and so on.
But this is the first side-by-side we’ve seen, and it’s clear that there was a significant difference between the two cars, probably more than can be explained by the small difference in weight.
Plus, the white car even managed to overcome the red car’s natural advantage of being painted red. As we all know, the red ones go faster.
This just goes to show that Tesla’s software advantage is a really big deal. Not only can Tesla update UI elements, but occasionally they’ll even improve performance through a simple, free, over-the-air update.
No other manufacturer is doing this kind of over-the-air update yet, and the concept of giving customers free power seems like the kind of thing traditional manufacturers wouldn’t do. They would likely rather sell a new model year car with some minor performance improvement than give existing customers something for free.
But we’d love to be proven wrong.
It's just that simple...
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|From: kidl||11/11/2019 8:15:38 AM|
|Tesla shows off Model 3s in Shanghai|
Nov. 11, 2019 7:25 AM ET|About: Tesla, Inc. (TSLA)|By: Clark Schultz, SA News Editor
Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) unveiled its first vehicles built in China and allowed local media to take test drives, according to Bloomberg.
The first Model 3 sedans shown off were blue and displayed Tesla's name in Chinese characters.
On Wall Street today, Jefferies keeps a Buy rating on Tesla and lifts its price target to $400 from $300.
Shares of Tesla are up 0.43% premarket to $338.59.
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|From: Eric||11/11/2019 8:43:02 AM|
|UPDATE: Tesla's first-mover advantage over rival car makers should only get bigger|
9:13 AM ET 11/9/19 | MarketWatch
|4:00 PM ET 11/8/19|
|Real time quote.|
UPDATE: Tesla's first-mover advantage over rival car makers should only get bigger
By Vitaliy Katsenelson
Traditional auto companies are chained to an outdated business model
Let's go back in time to June 2008, when Apple introduced the iPhone 3G. Nokia then was the world's largest phone maker. What we did not know at the time was that Nokia was actually the largest dumb phone maker and that Apple was about to become the largest smartphone maker -- a crucially important nuance.
The mistake many investors made back then, including yours truly, was missing the fact that the iPhone is not a phone, but a portable computer that also makes phone calls. Apple (AAPL) did not dethrone Nokia(NOKIA.HE); Nokia did that to itself. Nokia should have looked at the iPhone and thanked Apple for showing the future of the phone -- then gone on to develop its own smartphone.
Which brings us to Tesla (TSLA) and traditional carmakers. The transition from internal-combustion-engine (ICE) cars to electric vehicles (EV) is not just a technological shift within a domain, like the transition from two-wheel-drive sedans to four-wheel-drive SUVs. This is a radical shift into a new domain. In theory, nobody knows more about making cars than the traditional ICE carmakers, and so EVs made by these companies should be the ones busying our streets a decade from now. Yet the success of ICE car manufacturers in this new domain is anything but guaranteed.
ICE cars are Nokia phones; Tesla's Model 3 is an iPhone 3G. Cars last about 12 years and phones two to three, so this transition will happen slowly. During this time, many of the assets and much of the knowledge from the old domain will become liabilities in the new one.
Tesla broke out of the domain of existing auto manufacturers. Because Tesla created the EV industry, it had the advantage of acting from first principles. It could start with a blank piece of paper. As Musk once told an interviewer jamesclear.com "I tend to approach things from a physics framework ... physics teaches you to reason from first principles rather than by analogy."
This first-principles approach allowed Tesla to build EVs that are free from the limitations of gasoline-car thinking. No gears, a skateboard chassis, two engines, a "frunk," a credit-card key, a mobile app that works as a key and controls the car, and no start button, among others. Tesla applied first-principles thinking to how its cars would be sold and serviced.
Today's ICE auto manufacturers are basically wholesalers of their cars to auto dealers that are their franchisees. This business model is a Great Depression relic autonews.com that went basically unchallenged until Tesla came along. Tesla decided that the traditional business model was not appropriate for the new EV domain. Instead, it borrowed from Apple, which controls the full customer experience, from buying a phone to servicing it to upgrading to a new one.
Consider: My purchase of a $51,000 Model 3 was as easy as my purchase of a $900 iPhone. I test-drove the car. A few days later, I called the Tesla store and told the salesperson I wanted to buy it. My information was already in the system. A few days later, I got an email confirming the delivery date and asking me to schedule a pickup time. One morning this past June, I showed up for my car at 9:30 a.m. -- 10 minutes later I was driving home. It was that simple.
Tesla changed how a car is serviced, too. A few weeks after I bought the Model 3, its speakerphone stopped working. I went into the Tesla iPhone app and requested service. I was given a choice between bringing my car to the Tesla service center or having a service technician come to me. I chose the latter. Two days later, the technician showed up at my office. I gave him my car key and went back to work. An hour later my car was fixed. Tesla's technician had simply restarted my computer. In hindsight, I could have called Tesla and my speakerphone issue could have been fixed remotely.
Now compare this experience with buying and servicing an ICE car. It is difficult for traditional car companies to adapt first-principles thinking, as it requires them to unlearn what made them successful in the old domain. They are going to have to retool their factories and go through a significant and painful change of their workforce. Their current employees have a different skill set and look at the world through petrochemical lenses (one reason perhaps why General Motors's(GM) initial foray into EVs was the Chevrolet Volt, an electric car with a gasoline engine).
Auto dealers, an asset to car companies today, are tomorrow's liabilities, as Tesla's direct distribution and service model should provide a cost advantage once it gets to scale. Tesla's model is more customer-friendly and efficient, allowing the company to capture the profit that ICE carmakers share with their dealers. Because a good number of Tesla's cars are built to order, the company doesn't need massive inventory sitting on parking lots. Moreover, ICE manufacturers may not be able to replicate Tesla's direct-sales business model because they are stuck with the franchise agreements they signed with their dealers.
Read: Tesla's competitors find that going electric has its own set of problems marketwatch.com
Some ICE automakers are waking up to the importance of electric vehicles. Recently, for example, BMW (BMW.XE) announced that it will bring 12 electric cars to market in 2023, two years earlier than expected. Still, it won't be easy for ICE carmakers to adapt first-principles thinking to their EVs -- but they may not need to: they can copy Tesla, as Nokia should have done with Apple.
So existing ICE companies are not automatically doomed. William Durant, who turned struggling Buick into General Motors, originally made his millions on horse-drawn carriages. Samsung Electronics (005930.SE) , which was a large dumb-phone maker, transformed into one of the world's biggest smartphone makers. Samsung did a great job of copying the iPhone with help from Alphabet's(GOOGL) Google; instead of developing its own operating system, Samsung used Google's Android.
Given the enormity of the needed investment, carmakers are creating alliances. Ford Motor (F) and Volkswagen , for instance, are working together on artificial intelligence and skateboard chassis for EVs. Yet such alliances in the auto industry previously have had mixed success.
Traditional car companies do have strengths in designing, assembling, and marketing cars. They use legions of suppliers to make the parts that go into their cars. They can do the same thing when it comes to EVs. They can outsource the battery to LG Chem (051910.SE) or Samsung. They can outsource software design to the likes of Cognizant Technology Solutions (CTSH) and DXC Technology (DXC) (we own both of these stocks in our portfolios). They can use Alphabet's Waymo self-driving software and Nvidia's (NVDA) self-driving hardware. Plus, traditional automakers are in their best financial shape in decades and have capital to finance the EV adventure. They can afford to make an enormous investment in EV and absorb the losses that come with them. But will they?
To some degree, their job is more difficult than Tesla's. They have to keep innovating as they make ICE cars because ICE cars pay their bills. At the same time, they have to focus on the future and invest enormous amounts of time and capital into EVs.
For ICE automakers to succeed in electric vehicles, they should set up separate EV units with management reporting to the board of directors. The EV management team should be given a blank check, equity in the new company, and the ability to hire people from inside and, most important, outside of the company. The existing ICE business should be run with a focus not on growth but on maximizing cash flows. It will be difficult to do, considering that these companies will need to introduce new, exciting cars every few years and entice consumers to buy them, just to keep financing their losses on EVs.
Read more: contrarianedge.com How electric vehicles will disrupt the auto industry, including whether Tesla and traditional automakers will survive in the long run, and who's right in the Tesla bull vs. bear debate.
Vitaliy Katsenelson is chief investment officer at Investment Management Associates imausa.com in Denver, which holds shares of Cognizant Technology Solutions and DXC Technology, but no positions in any of the other companies mentioned in this article. He is the author of "Active Value Investing" (Wiley) and "The Little Book of Sideways Markets" amazon.com.
How does one invest in this overvalued market? Our strategy is spelled out in this fairly lengthy article contrarianedge.com.
Read: Why Tesla's future might not be in Elon Musk's hands marketwatch.com
Plus: Tesla's solar-roof sales will grow 'like kelp on steroids,' Musk vows marketwatch.com
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|From: Eric||11/11/2019 9:00:28 AM|
|Is The Chinese Tesla Model 3 Better Than The U.S.-Made Version?|
Nov 11, 2019 at 8:49am
By: Gustavo Henrique Ruffo
Made-in-China Model 3 First Drive: the Miracle
•Premiered Nov 8, 2019
48 0 Share
Welcome to witness the debut of the first Made-in-China Tesla Model 3.
This reviewer definitely thinks so. And he owns a made in U.S. car to compare both.
Chinese journalist Yan Chang says the Tesla Model 3 made in China is a miracle. Not only because the factory was not even there on January 7th, when Elon Musk laid its cornerstone: his central allegation is that the Chinese Model 3 is better than the American one. And Chang has strong arguments to support that.
Gallery: This Journalist Says The Chinese Tesla Mode 3 Is Much Better Than The American One
The first one is that he is a Tesla Model 3 owner himself for some time already, which gives him a reliable comparison basis. Secondly, Tesla provided him with information that supports the Chinese version is better in terms of water and sound insulation. It would also not have the same manufacturing defect the American version has, but what would Chang be referring to?
More Chinese Tesla News:
Tesla Shows Off First China-Made Model 3s: Model Y At Gigafactory 3?
Tesla Gigafactory 3 Construction Progress October 31, 2019: Video
He does not provide any information about that in the video. Still, he shows images of trunk hinge that allow us to compare the Chinese unit to the one produced in Fremont and sold to Joni Savolainen, in Finland. The first pictures of these vehicles we have seen suggest otherwise.
In other words, Chang suggests the paint is much better than the one on the American vehicle without calling a spade a spade. We will try to contact him to check precisely which defects he attempted to address.
Chang credits that to the Chinese expertise in manufacturing, and the broad experience in such the workers at Gigafactory 3 have. We wonder where they managed to acquire that experience since Shanghai has many factories from mainstream carmakers, such a VW and GM.
Chang says the Model 3 Standard Range will cost RMB 355,800 as a Standard Range derivative with Autopilot. That is equivalent to US$ 50,765, more than Tesla charges for the Long Range in the US, at US$ 48,490. In fact, you could even get a Performance version with US$ 6,225 more. Price is a definite disadvantage the Chinese customers will have, at least for now.
The Chinese journalist says that the insulation improvements related to water and noise are pretty noticeable, even after a short test drive, and that the Chinese factory will be able to correct production flaws very rapidly.
Chang states that the production is traceable, so Tesla knows when each defect may originate and avoid them quickly. The company just did not state what it will do to correct the defective units already in the hands of customers. Will they be repaired on Tesla's account? Or will Tesla say the warranty does not cover them, as it already has in multiple cases?
One good thing is that the rust issue on the left A-pillar will probably not show up at Chinese units of the Model 3. At least the vehicle Chang filmed does not seem to have it: the top of the left front fender does not seem to touch the body frame, as most units we have seen so far in Portugal and other European countries.
If that is confirmed, we would not call that a miracle but rather customers getting proper attention. We just hope these changes reach the Fremont plant as soon as possible. Or that Chinese Model 3 units are the ones slated for export to markets with no Tesla factories.
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