Author Topic: Elon Musk and Tesla  (Read 5000 times)

Travoli

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Elon Musk and Tesla
« on: June 12, 2014, 05:50:42 PM »
Elon Musk just open-sourced all of Tesla's patents.
Ballsy move.  I wonder if there are motives other than altruism.

http://www.teslamotors.com/blog/all-our-patent-are-belong-you

Rooftop

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Re: Elon Musk and Tesla
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2014, 05:53:28 PM »
I heard that he was doing something like this.  Might be a smart business move too - open source can bring dividends particularly where you are trying to break a market.  Definitely ballsy though - good on them.

littleman

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Re: Elon Musk and Tesla
« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2014, 07:31:35 PM »
Mercedes has done similar with a lot of its safety patents over the years.  I'd be curious to know the details  of the license,  It could serve to make Tesla an authority in the electric vehicle industry.  For instance, if any vehicle uses a Tesla patent it may need to disclose to the end user some that it is a derivative work -- that's how the GPL works.  So if Ford or Toyota uses a patent from Tesla it may have to in effect promote the Tesla brand.

Travoli

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Re: Elon Musk and Tesla
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2014, 08:18:28 PM »
Someone on Reddit commented that Tesla's battery technology has a big first-mover advantage.  They might have better economies of scale, and hope to sell a lot of batteries to competitors.

Brad

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Re: Elon Musk and Tesla
« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2014, 08:21:40 PM »
Musk plays the chess game 5 or 6 moves out, and I wouldn't bet against him.

ergophobe

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Re: Elon Musk and Tesla
« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2014, 03:12:57 AM »
I wonder if there are motives other than altruism.

First off, I think it's awesome and when I heard this on the radio in the car I decided to officially consider Musk a hero. Whether it's altruism or not, I think it's visionary or at least, as you said, ballsy. In the era of patent trolls, it's just so cool to see someone do this.

To answer your question, though, I think there are a couple of motives that might not be pure altruism.

1. Right now one of the big obstacles to adoption of electric cars is charging infrastructure. I think this is a case where "competition" is going to be good for Tesla. If Tesla can keep their sh## together and create "wow" electric cars, then there's huge advantage to them to getting Chevy to create electric cars for the masses that create a charging infrastructure. How many BMWs would they sell if there were no Ford Fusions to support the petroleum distribution infrastructure?

2. He claims he doesn't want to deal with the lawsuits.

3. If it's a GPL-style license (I haven't looked into it), it means that by definition any innovation that is based on these patents is also open source, so that means Tesla has effectively outsourced R&D and testing for their patents.

I haven't looked into it, but those are three things that pop to mind right away.

littleman

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Re: Elon Musk and Tesla
« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2014, 07:19:59 PM »
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/06/15/tesla-s-radical-patent-move-is-a-plot-to-take-over-the-road.html

"Tesla’s Radical Patent Move is a Plot to Take Over the Road"

Quote
And so Tesla is a niche product; it makes about 35,000 vehicles per year. And as a result, it’s more expensive and less profitable than Musk would like to be. In manufacturing, whether you are making cars or candy, scale and volume drive down cost. The more production rises, the better deal a manufacturer gets on raw materials and components. McDonald’s pays far less per pound of potato than a mom-and-pop diner. The higher the volume at a factory, the more productive it is, which lowers costs. The more Model T’s Henry Ford pushed through his ever-more efficient River Rouge plant in the 1920s, the more the price of a Model T came down.

Right now, none of these dynamics is taking place in the electric vehicle space. Teslas are expensive in large part because the batteries that power them—produced in small lots by a single supplier—are very expensive. Electric charging stations are nowhere near as ubiquitous as gas stations, which gives rise to range anxiety. Charging the vehicle at home requires the purchase and installation of expensive equipment.

Mackin USA

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Re: Elon Musk and Tesla
« Reply #7 on: June 16, 2014, 03:00:07 PM »
Another opinion:

With electricity costs destined to go up with the War on Coal, natural gas vehicles may be the future.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_gas_vehicle
Mr. Mackin

ergophobe

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Re: Elon Musk and Tesla
« Reply #8 on: June 16, 2014, 08:21:56 PM »
Natural gas is a stopgap at best. Already natural gas yields are turning out not to be as rosy as predicted a few years ago. It's the quickest way to get carbon output down, because it's a relatively easy conversion (compared to solar or wind or tidal electricity anyway), but sooner or later (and it's looking sooner and sooner) we'll need replacements for carbon-based fuels or we're quite simply screwed.

Brad

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Re: Elon Musk and Tesla
« Reply #9 on: June 17, 2014, 11:03:20 AM »
What about fuel cells, specifically hydrogen fuel cells?  They always seem to be right around the corner but never are.

littleman

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Re: Elon Musk and Tesla
« Reply #10 on: June 17, 2014, 03:18:08 PM »
It seems to be a question of who is going to jump first.  The energy distribution companies won't invest in a hydrogen refueling stations until there is a market for it, and the car manufacturers won't build the fuel cell cars in mass until their is demand, but without the refueling stations there won't be the demand.

I guess it won't happen until a large government mandates it.

One advantage electric cars have is that they can be charged up over night without having to rely on third-parties for supporting technology.

Rupert

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Re: Elon Musk and Tesla
« Reply #11 on: June 17, 2014, 04:36:38 PM »
I understand the problem with hydrogen was that it is costly to compress.  To make it liquid, it also needs freezing and something like 1/3 of the energy of the hydrogen is needed to make it liquid. 

People are working on it:
http://www.theengineer.co.uk/energy-and-environment/news/british-firm-boosts-hydrogen-compression-and-storage/1011435.article

The other option is to use a catalyst.  Again from a flawed memory, Boron is a good catalyst for holding hydrogen, and you can get as much hydrogen in a powder catalyst as you can in liquid nitrogen. (Or something like that.)  The problem with that is that the Boron gets contaminated, and cleaning it is costly.

here is a bit on it:
http://www.sigmaaldrich.com/materials-science/alternative-energy-materials/boron-hydrogen-storage.html

now if anyone has cracked that recently, then that would be great, as hydrogen is so easy to make. All our energy storage problems would be over.  solar, wind anything can be turned into hydrogen for later use in vehicles (and powering terminators) 
... Make sure you live before you die.

Mackin USA

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Re: Elon Musk and Tesla
« Reply #12 on: June 18, 2014, 01:40:34 PM »
Energy is NOT Cheep
Mr. Mackin

Rupert

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Re: Elon Musk and Tesla
« Reply #13 on: June 18, 2014, 02:17:48 PM »
Quote
Energy is NOT Cheep

I think it is :)  At the moment anyway.

Try this one.....Fill your tank with a gallon of fuel.  Drive it till it runs out.  Push it home. 

bloody hard work pushing it back, might even need levers to get it up some of those hills, and how much does it cost to get it there?

 Less than £6 in the UK. Cheaper than a packet of fags or a couple of beers.

... Make sure you live before you die.

Mackin USA

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Re: Elon Musk and Tesla
« Reply #14 on: June 18, 2014, 05:18:13 PM »

Price of Electricity Hit Record for May

http://cnsnews.com/news/article/terence-p-jeffrey/price-electricity-hit-record-may

imho
Telsa may not be the answer to transport in the future.
Mr. Mackin