Jesus Xing Musk
May 12, 2024 2:19 AM   Subscribe

Musk is not a tech visionary with a side interest in politics these days, nor is he just another bored billionaire with a nativist streak; the political activism and the technological ambitions are inseparable. He believes his work is part of a civilizational struggle in which woke progressives pose an existential threat to humanity. And he spends most of his days inside a feedback loop that’s radicalizing him even more. from I Read Everything Elon Musk Posted for a Week. Send Help. [Mother Jones; ungated] [CW: Elon Musk]
posted by chavenet (163 comments total) 32 users marked this as a favorite
 
I really didn’t enjoy reading that. Thank you!
posted by Phanx at 3:35 AM on May 12 [21 favorites]


Musk tweeted “DefundNPR” at Rufo three times in two days, like a man at a ballpark by himself, trying to start the wave.

I'm not 100% convinced that writing about Musk in ways that really highlight how pathetically alienated his behaviours appear from the outside is going to do anything to meaningfully change those behaviours, but at least I got a chuckle out of the image.
posted by terretu at 4:03 AM on May 12 [10 favorites]


It is hard to appreciate just how thoroughly one of the world’s richest men has been red-pilled

Not sure I understand, "red pill" is bad? A metaphor from as SciFi plot point where the blue pill is to pull the wool over your eyes. Is this a criticism of Musk or our society? Has there been a co-opting drift of the scifi concept?
posted by sammyo at 4:35 AM on May 12 [3 favorites]


...
posted by Audreynachrome at 4:37 AM on May 12 [10 favorites]


Sammyo, redpilling was co-opted a long time ago to mean waking up to the "truth" of the manosphere, Q-Anon, and any other execrable right wing/chud ideology.
posted by TheKaijuCommuter at 4:40 AM on May 12 [53 favorites]


sammyo: yes, it’s been heavily co-opted by the American right-wing – don’t forget that the Republican Party is usually represented in the media using the color red – and that was especially true of their “alt-right” movement attempting to welcome younger bigots. The “Men’s Rights Movement” loved the metaphor so much that a documentary about them was termed The Red Pill because they constantly use the term.
posted by adamsc at 4:41 AM on May 12 [12 favorites]


Has there been a co-opting drift of the scifi concept?

Yes. It's become associated with incells. For example The Red Pill, a site that gives "dating advice" to incells. The next step into even more intense and crude misogyny is black pill.
posted by Zumbador at 4:44 AM on May 12 [6 favorites]


Musk is flailing in large part because his mismanagement of Tesla has given the stock the trajectory of a jart as the markets are realizing that Tesla is not a tech company, but a car manufacturer that has major production issues headed by an absentee manchild. This in turn has material effects on Musk, as his use of Tesla stock as loan collateral means that as the price drops, more of his stock is needed as a backstop. The result is he is getting more and more unhinged, especially as the shareholder vote to reinstate his stock bonus comes up - and the likelihood is growing that it will fail.

Hence what we got such public owns like his firing the entire Supercharger team over the (female) division head pushing back on headcount cuts, only to backtrack a week later after people pointed out how asinine the move was - though in a silver lining he did manage to cut the legs out from people like Sandy Munro tossing their reputations away arguing the Supercharger firings were a galaxy-brain move with his backpedal.
posted by NoxAeternum at 4:49 AM on May 12 [28 favorites]


He tweeted 389 times in five days.

I know it's not a novel observation, but how do people find this guy aspirational? He has access to an unfathomable level of privilege and luxury, and instead chooses to spend nearly all his waking hours shitposting while (allegedly) high rather than trying to improve himself or even go out and participate in the glamourous kind of decadent fun. As disgusting as Donald Trump is, he at least has some charisma and buys himself gaudy apartments and gold-plated toiletry kits, Elon Musk's life genuinely seems chaotic and unpleasant.
posted by nanny's striped stocking at 4:52 AM on May 12 [44 favorites]


"becuz shitposting is life you beta cuck"

(/s in case it's not obvious, but this is..... the answer the internet's Ids ultimately come down to)
posted by lalochezia at 4:56 AM on May 12 [6 favorites]


Let’s round this to 80 times per day to make the math easier. Then, let’s assume 60 seconds on average per tweet (including him reading the thing, I thinking about the thing, then posting his dumb idea). That’s an average 1.3 hours daily spent on Twitter. At minimum. I would have to assume he spends a decent amount of time scrolling as opposed to just waiting for notifications to come in, as well.

Given the amount of money he ‘makes’, that’s a lot of cash the companies he runs are paying him to fuck around on his phone.
posted by Room 101 at 5:05 AM on May 12 [17 favorites]


Also this week in social media moguls showing their asses, we had Jack Dorsey leave both BlueSky and reality to claim that moderation is the enemy and free speech is when he gets to force people to listen to him.
posted by NoxAeternum at 5:09 AM on May 12 [26 favorites]


average 1.3 hours daily spent on Twitter

I'm not trying to defend...anything. But let's not pretend it's necessarily Elon pushing the buttons.
posted by Reasonably Everything Happens at 5:23 AM on May 12 [1 favorite]


Ahhhhyes, the ten thousand year old struggle between strong manly men who are all straight, superhuman and of the dominant race and culture, and the weak, liberal and accepting Everyone Else who keeps somehow defeating our armies in battle and being way richer as a civilization than us. Somehow. Probably by corruption of the Youth. Won't someone think of the straight, majority culture children????


Metafilter favorite Bret Devereaux absolutely destroyed this trope in a large series of blog posts. Tldr, bigotry and isolation is not the way to success, but fashy types keep trying, because they are special.
posted by Jacen at 5:28 AM on May 12 [29 favorites]


is going to do anything to meaningfully change those behaviours,

The purpose of a bear warning is to mitigate the risk some one gets mauled by a bear not to change the bear's behaviour. The chances Elon reads this is essentially zero.
posted by Mitheral at 5:29 AM on May 12 [18 favorites]


I swear, I believe that in his own mind Musk actually fancies himself a real-life Paul Redeker from World War Z.
posted by non canadian guy at 5:48 AM on May 12 [5 favorites]


I know it's not a novel observation, but how do people find this guy aspirational?

Based only on what I have seen in Metafilter comments, people credit him with popularizing electric vehicles.

(I personally have a lot of problems with that narrative.)
posted by tofu_crouton at 5:57 AM on May 12 [7 favorites]


Based only on what I have seen in Metafilter comments, people credit him with popularizing electric vehicles.

The most generous statement of the facts would be to say that he bought the company that manufactured the first mass-market electric automobile to catch on in the United States.
posted by Faint of Butt at 5:59 AM on May 12 [11 favorites]


Looks up definition of Charisma.

People still - in the year 2024 - think that Trump has any Charisma?

HOW?

Looks up definition of Repellent: Ah yes that is much more applicable.
posted by Faintdreams at 6:01 AM on May 12 [6 favorites]


"2. a divinely conferred power or talent." People don't think Trump is attractive, they think he is the instrument of God's plan (to own the libs).

They are willing to "hold their nose" around his distasteful personal qualities, because he serves a greater purpose.
posted by I-Write-Essays at 6:34 AM on May 12 [4 favorites]


> Elon Musk's life genuinely seems chaotic and unpleasant

This is what he likes!

I read the Walter Isaacson book about hit and it’s story after story about Elon not being able to enjoy anything but chaotic situations so he just manufactures them.

There’s one where it’s like Christmas Eve and he realizes there might be something that could be improved with a rocket that won’t launch for 18 months. He gets everyone to drop what they’re doing, travel to the factory, and work on it round the clock until it’s fixed. Then another 16 months go by and the rocket launches.
posted by paulcole at 6:50 AM on May 12 [14 favorites]


Given the amount of money he ‘makes’, that’s a lot of cash the companies he runs are paying him to fuck around on his phone.

Given the decisions he makes when actually tries to run his companies, they probably wish he would spend more time fucking around on his phone.
posted by TedW at 7:01 AM on May 12 [26 favorites]


That's part of the job.

But one subject came to drown out all the rest. During the week Tesla recalled its CyberTruck for a faulty accelerator pedal, Musk’s most urgent public concern was Katherine Maher.

So, the “E-ack” Effective Acceleration described in one of the article’s links is actually the opposite?
posted by HearHere at 7:04 AM on May 12 [1 favorite]


One of the best perks of being independently wealthy is that you have the ability to marginalize, minimize, dismiss, fire and demonize every person who dares to even think "that is a stupid idea and you shouldn't do it" in your direction, and to cozy up to however many sycophants are willing to think "yes, yes yes yes yes yes" at you instead.

One of the best ways to stop being independently wealthy is to use only that ability.
posted by delfin at 7:12 AM on May 12 [9 favorites]


I know it's not a novel observation, but how do people find this guy aspirational?
He was fairly effective at marketing himself as a sci-fi industrialist with electric cars, rockets, brain implants, flamethrowers, etc. who dates rockstars and postures about rejecting mainstream corporate culture (engineers run the show, etc.). If you’re a young, technically inclined, (likely) male who hasn’t thought too carefully about the libertarian messaging people much wealthier than you promote you’ve basically been groomed to think of him as a hero standing up to the “stupid” people. Since that’s a lot of people in the tech and gaming worlds, it’s especially over-represented online.
posted by adamsc at 7:13 AM on May 12 [26 favorites]


The most generous statement of the facts would be to say that he bought the company that manufactured the first mass-market electric automobile to catch on in the United States.

The company was very new when he joined and they didn't ship their first car for five years, so even if he wasn't technically the founder, he was with the company since basically the beginning and everything after the Roadster was done with him as CEO.

No man is an island, etc, but I'm prepared to give him that one.

However, it appears that many of his other successes are despite him and not because of him.
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 7:24 AM on May 12 [11 favorites]


> but how do people find this guy aspirational

Starlink satellite internet service, SpaceX, Model 3 & Y are fantastic works of entrepreneurial capitalism.

Elon took a decrepit factory in the East Bay off of Toyota's hands for $40M and managed to get it running full tilt in 10 years, and now you literally can't throw a rock here without hitting a Tesla, at least in the wealthier parts of the California.

(before I go too far with this I think there's more Trevor Milton in Elon than Henry Ford.)

other people above nailed the psycho-social difficulties with Elon, but I also think his heel-turn is driven by the very real threat democratic government has to his accumulated wealth.

I think most of us would love to see a zero lopped off of Elon's net worth to help get this nation back on track. He knows his one vote against that is pissing in the wind so has to deploy his strategy against that across more dimensions, like his turning twitter into Xitter.
posted by torokunai at 8:33 AM on May 12 [9 favorites]


A quarter trillionaire bottomless well of need is a bottomless well of need indeed.
posted by y2karl at 8:58 AM on May 12 [9 favorites]


"fantastic works of entrepreneurial capitalism"...all heavily funded by taxpayer subsidies, if I understand correctly.
posted by agentofselection at 9:05 AM on May 12 [26 favorites]


Oh, there's plenty of Henry Ford in Elon, but not what we usually think of as the good parts.
posted by mhoye at 9:07 AM on May 12 [41 favorites]


redpilling was co-opted a long time ago to mean waking up to the "truth" of the manosphere, Q-Anon, and any other execrable right wing/chud ideology.

One of my fave lines about all of this came from a guy (forget his name) who was briefly connected with the Jordan Peterson crowd, but quickly bailed.

"Man, I took the red pill. I took one. Not the whole fucking bottle."

I fear Mr. Musk, being rich beyond comprehension, has been mainlining the stuff for years now.
posted by philip-random at 9:10 AM on May 12 [5 favorites]


>all heavily funded by taxpayer subsidies, if I understand correctly.

true but irrelevant : ) (since anyone could have gotten them)

AFAICT all of Elon's factories were funded with energy credits, where manufacturers not making BEVs have to pay $1000 or so per car to those who are. This has been about $8B collected so far, just about what the 4 factories cost, more or less.
posted by torokunai at 9:20 AM on May 12 [4 favorites]


true but irrelevant : ) (since anyone could have gotten them)

No, it's not irrelevant whatsoever. If it wasn't for government subsidies and contracts, most of Musk's businesses would have failed or be much smaller today. His "success" is very much built on government largess, and as we've seen with Tesla's latest performance (and a NASA head bluntly pointing out that they work with SpaceX because it's Shotwell calling the shots that matter), a lot of that success is despite Musk.
posted by NoxAeternum at 9:26 AM on May 12 [14 favorites]


Nah, those govt credits and incentives had been around in some form for a while, but the established automakers were too dumb to try to get them. Remember GM's cynical EV1 project?
posted by ryanrs at 9:38 AM on May 12 [3 favorites]


I think most of us would love to see a zero lopped off of Elon's net worth

I'd certainly like to see ... something ... lopped off. I've been very disappointed at his failure to engage in extreme sports and other risky behaviors.
posted by aramaic at 9:41 AM on May 12 [19 favorites]


Every time I read anything about Elon Musk, I just have to marvel at how insane it is that this lunatic has as much power as he does simply by virtue of the amount of money he's lucked into in life. Yes, lucked into. I know even people who aren't slavishly adoring of him might argue that wealth comes from smart business moves, but being the son of a rich, politically connected businessman who bankrolled your first attempts at entrepreneurship-- that's lucking into money.

And now he uses that money to add rocket fuel to the increasingly anti-democratic right-wing impulses in America, all because he can't bear the thought of maybe losing a little bit of that money, and the rest of us pay the price, and there's basically no accountability mechanism whatsoever. And with Starlink in his portfolio, it isn't just Americans who suffer for his nonsense. Remember when Russia used Starlink to hit Ukrainian civilian centers, or when Musk wouldn't let Ukraine use Starlink to hit Russian vessels that were actively blocking badly needed grain shipments to famine-stricken areas?

I don't really care if people admire him, or even necessarily if he wants to have lots of money. But nobody should have this much power for no reason other than that he was born with money and used that money to create more money.
posted by Method Man at 9:42 AM on May 12 [36 favorites]


he bought the company that manufactured the first mass-market electric automobile to catch on in the United States.

Wait, he bought the Anderson Electric Car Company, makers of 13,000 Detroit Electric cars from 1907 to 1939? That pretty much tracks with muskreality ...
posted by scruss at 9:45 AM on May 12 [11 favorites]


To create a small Mars colony, leave the jerks on Earth was an article from Popular Science magazine that appeared on my phone awhile back. At the time, it had a comments section. Where I wrote 'I take it then that Elon Musk's name will not be appearing on the crew manifest.' Boy, did I get a huffy note back stating that my comment was removed for being inappropriate. Now the article lacks a comment section entirely, which makes me think I was not alone in making such an observation.
posted by y2karl at 9:49 AM on May 12 [20 favorites]


Imaging going back in time to the 1990s and telling policymakers, "Hey these EV credits will bring about the first cool, popular mass-market EV, but the company will be run by a total asshole!"

Them: "Sounds great! Moving to EVs is important for the environment!"

You: "No, he's really an asshole. And the car's self-driving AI is not nearly as good as he claims."

Them: "OK, but normal people are buying and driving them?"

You: "Yeah, they're fucking everywhere, god damn it."


As much as I hate Elon, those EV credits were a policy choice intended to bring about a major change to the automotive industry, and they delivered those results, through Tesla.
posted by ryanrs at 9:49 AM on May 12 [12 favorites]


Stunning how Nissan had it all, but for some reason dropped the ball after introducing the LEAF.

Just picked up my 2018 LEAF after bringing it in for a recall and to fix the front axle click issue that Nissans tend to get.

They had a yellow 400Z there that looked absolutely gorgeous and man I would love to drive an electric version of that instead of my MY.

(I don't think dealers like electric cars all that much since the $300 for this fix is the first money I've spent on the car in 6 years, other than a new set of tires in 2020)
posted by torokunai at 10:02 AM on May 12 [4 favorites]


He tweeted 389 times in five days. That's 3.24 per hour. Dude needs to take a walk in the forest.
posted by Liquidwolf at 10:12 AM on May 12 [4 favorites]


NUMMI was a very productive plant the GM closed in spite of being offered Prius tech to keep open.

How GM managed to fire-sell it to Tesla, who then proceeded to eat GM’s lunch in the EV space, has always been a source of amazement to me.

The list of Elon’s other supposed single handed accomplishments are similarly misguided.
posted by pdoege at 10:45 AM on May 12 [6 favorites]


I'm not saying it was good that we made GM give money to Tesla, specifically. But it was good we made GM give money to some EV maker, because they sure as shit weren't going to build one themselves. They'd have kept on making bigger and bigger pickups and SUVs.
posted by ryanrs at 10:53 AM on May 12 [6 favorites]


It upsets me that despite Elon seemingly doing everything he can to ruin Twitter (not calling it 'X'), a lot of people are still there, including many voices that should know better. Mastodon and Bluesky exist, you don't have to stay on the platform with the Musky odor.

I guess it just goes to show how fundamentally uninterested in changing sites many people are. Folks just want to learn one thing and never deviate from it. It's yet another argument against letting any one site gain too much power.
posted by JHarris at 11:00 AM on May 12 [6 favorites]


We leased three LEAFs. They were awesome. But 100 mile range doesn't get you very far. Especially not without Tesla's superchargers. We can now take road trips in our EVs. Ms. Windo is currently picking up our son from college in LA. Totally non-doable trip in our old LEAFs.

And Elno fired all his charging team. What a dumbass.
posted by Windopaene at 11:09 AM on May 12 [3 favorites]


A big part of Musk’s appeal is he’s a Prominent Rich Person, and the US, poisoned by the Prosperity Gospel, equates wealth with virtue and ability. It’s the form class subservience takes here. Regular people don’t realize how, once generational wealth gets beyond a certain point, you have to be very dedicated to lose it. So, no matter how many bad business decisions Musk makes, he’ll always be wealthy, and lots of people assume that means he successful. And smart. And, heaven help us, wise.
posted by GenjiandProust at 11:27 AM on May 12 [30 favorites]


...Twitter (not calling it 'X')

I go with Xitter, myself. It’s jam-packed with schadenfreude.
posted by Thorzdad at 11:30 AM on May 12 [5 favorites]


“Once you see that the true battle is expansionists vs extinctionists,” he wrote, “you can’t unsee it.”
He's not completely wrong about this, though "extinctionists" is purposely inflammatory, and he's proudly on the wrong side of the battle.

Do we keep using up the earth's resources at an ever-increasing rate, or do we find a sustainable path forward? Many political battles today, from climate change and fossil fuel usage to abortion and women's rights, are centered at some level around whether we should be expanding with maximum possible acceleration or putting the brakes on.

Spindle recommended Caliban and the Witch to me a couple of weeks ago, and Musk's opinions reminded me of the book's discussion of Mercantilism:
This policy, as we have seen, had an "intensive" side consisting in the imposition of a totalitarian regime using every means to extract the maximum of work from every individual, regardless of age and condition. But it also had an "extensive one" consisting in the effort to expand the size of population, and thereby the size of the army and the work-force.

As Eli Hecksher noted, "an almost fanatical desire to increase population prevailed in all countries during the period when mercantilism was at its height, in the later part of the 17th century".
The idea that the most socially responsible thing a person can do is squeeze the maximum amount of labour out of the maximum number of people, and that everything must be done to continuously increase the size of the population no matter whose rights might be trampled in the process, is a very Muskian point of view.
posted by clawsoon at 11:33 AM on May 12 [10 favorites]


I'm genuinely astounded at the sheer number of Teslas I see (I live in Toronto). Now, I'm not a car owner so really don't understand the EV market but I can only assume the competition is shittier and more expensive because I cannot fathom ever wanting to financially support that asshat and I cannot believe there are that many people comfortable with it. What gives?!
posted by dobbs at 11:40 AM on May 12 [10 favorites]


He believes his work is part of a civilizational struggle in which woke progressives pose an existential threat to humanity. And he spends
Come on, people.

Musk left South Africa in 1988 to avoid compulsory military service, just ahead of the beginning of the end for the apartheid regime:
Defenders of the Apartheid regime, both inside and outside South Africa, had promoted it as a bulwark against communism. However, the end of the Cold War rendered this argument obsolete. South Africa had illegally occupied neighboring Namibia at the end of World War II, and since the mid-1970s, Pretoria had used it as a base to fight the communist party in Angola. The United States had even supported the South African Defense Force's efforts in Angola. In the 1980s, hard-line anti-communists in Washington continued to promote relations with the Apartheid government despite economic sanctions levied by the U.S. Congress. However, the relaxation of Cold War tensions led to negotiations to settle the Cold War conflict in Angola. Pretoria's economic struggles gave the Apartheid leaders strong incentive to participate. When South Africa reached a multilateral agreement in 1988 to end its occupation of Namibia in return for a Cuban withdrawal from Angola, even the most ardent anti-communists in the United States lost their justification for support of the Apartheid regime.
Musk sees the rise of 'woke progressives' in the US as similar to the rise of the ANC in SA, and is determined to keep the ruling white minority here from suffering the same fate their counterparts did in SA.
posted by jamjam at 11:45 AM on May 12 [23 favorites]


I go with Xitter, myself.

This is even better in Portuguese, where the letter X is pronounced "sheesh" and thus Xitter is ... well you do the math
posted by chavenet at 11:59 AM on May 12 [3 favorites]


Now, I'm not a car owner so really don't understand the EV market but I can only assume the competition is shittier and more expensive because I cannot fathom ever wanting to financially support that asshat and I cannot believe there are that many people comfortable with it. What gives?!

1. A lot of Tesla owners bought in before Musk's assholery was well known - to the point that "I Bought This Before We Knew He Was An Asshat" is a popular bumper sticker. Part of why Tesla's Q1 was so utterly dire was because he has singlehandedly poisoned brand recognition, causing a dropoff in sales.

2. The efforts to keep NACS a closed (or licenced) standard helped stunt non-Tesla EV growth as the NACS/CCS experience is day and night. With the IRA pushing Tesla to make NACS an open standard, this is going to change the EV market once NACS becomes standard.

3. In China, BYD is eating Tesla's lunch, with the $10k Seagull being a popular option there, and there are plans to bring it to Europe. In the US, well...the fact that Michigan is a battleground state is all the explanation you need to know why BYD is facing 100% Son Of Chicken Tax tariffs.
posted by NoxAeternum at 12:21 PM on May 12 [11 favorites]


> That’s an average 1.3 hours daily spent on Twitter.

what is time to an entity such as myself, one whose life has under the influence of this corpulent pre-worm body been extended far past its natural limit? one whose humanity just as much as his human form has been consumed under the interlocked sandtrout that surrounds it and invades it? my inhuman life is full of thousands upon thousands of tedious years, and what is a day in this life when each second must be lived in a distributed-ganglion brain filled with the chattering of generations upon generations upon generations of ancestors?

what is time to the one entity who has sampled every moment from the millions the past has to offer, has sampled all of them again and again, and has thereby become bored, intolerably bored, with all that the universe of man has yet produced? what is time to me, knowing that centuries more will pass before i may give up my grossly extended half-human form, before i can shed the painful flippers that were once my legs and become a pearl of consciousness without memory in each and every one of the great beasts that will after my dissolution forever roam the surface of this my world, my world once again made all but inhospitable to man and all his works?

what is 1.3 hours on twitter to one for whom a month is a mere blink of an eye?

p.s. women are evil, also homosexuals.
— ELON MUSK, THE STOLEN DIARIES
posted by bombastic lowercase pronouncements at 12:29 PM on May 12 [11 favorites]


I was skimming through TFA when my eye snagged on "the father of 11" and I had to stop and seriously consider whether the man literally had eleven kids, or if one of the kids was named "11".

(I mean, stranger things have happened.)
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 12:31 PM on May 12 [17 favorites]


I guess it just goes to show how fundamentally uninterested in changing sites many people are. Folks just want to learn one thing and never deviate from it. It's yet another argument against letting any one site gain too much power.

At this point, I am mostly on Twitter for a few specific discussions I know will happen there (especially around media, music, and politics), and for the same reason I am on Facebook: To keep casually in touch with a set of friendly acquaintances, institutions, etc. that I don't follow elsewhere and who may not be active anywhere else. Some of them I might not even actively re-follow in another context because it could be awkward for one reason or another even if we interact pleasantly on existing channels (former bosses, coworkers, romantic partners, slightly odd people I might not want to signal interest to, people who have thought that about me, etc.).

I have accounts on Bluesky, Threads, and at least one Mastodon server, but I'm not sure I'm even really in the market for a drop-in Twitter replacement or that the world at large is. Or rather, Twitter replacements for various purposes include Bluesky and Mastodon but also Instagram (for announcements and photos), TikTok (for humor and certain kinds of commentary), LinkedIn (for worky stuff), Reddit (for talking about certain subjects and places), group chats, Slack, and Discord. Lots of things that would have been on Twitter in 2010, 2015, or 2020 are somewhere else now, but they haven't all moved to the same somewhere else.

Ironically, Musk might have been able to just follow the usual private equity playbook and bought Twitter for a more reasonable premium over market price, cut staff, and extract profit from its waning days, but instead he had to do... all of this.
posted by smelendez at 12:36 PM on May 12 [5 favorites]


Musk sees the rise of 'woke progressives' in the US as similar to the rise of the ANC in SA, and is determined to keep the ruling white minority here from suffering the same fate their counterparts did in SA.

I have always thought of him as being a stereotypical white South African of the old order.
posted by y2karl at 12:47 PM on May 12 [6 favorites]


I have always thought of him as being a stereotypical white South African of the old order.

Remember - his grandfather moved from Canada to South Africa because Canada wasn't racist enough.
posted by NoxAeternum at 12:51 PM on May 12 [13 favorites]


"true but irrelevant : ) (since anyone could have gotten them)"

I'm actually going to agree with you here, becaus my comment is off-topic for this thread criticizing Musk. My argument is against the concept that "entrepreneurial capitalism" has any responsibility for these successes, which were publicly-funded. I will back off that to avoid a derail, because I really do enjoy the central premise of the article and thread, and would hate to detract.
posted by agentofselection at 1:22 PM on May 12 [6 favorites]


I cannot believe there are that many people comfortable with it. What gives?!

I'm in this group with a 2023 Model Y purchase

I was hoping Tesla can grow beyond Elon's footprint, eg all these people here a year ago:

https://www.youtube.com/live/Hl1zEzVUV7w?si=2ep8P3BSsaJP01vb&t=11005

(but more than a few of the people in this line-up have been fired or quit in disgust)

Elon's recent erratic/autocratic actions have proven this hope unfounded. Elon wants to retain control of this enterprise and it's going to be his way or the highway. There could be some C-suite Kremlinology dramas going on now for all I know, too.

From the looks of it now, Tesla is locked into the Rearden Steel story-arc. I probably should have kept occasionally renting Teslas for $200 - $300/wk from Hertz but I was getting tired of the hassles after a year of doing that ... hopefully there will be a better BEV I can trade the MY in for in a year or two . . .
posted by torokunai at 1:27 PM on May 12 [2 favorites]


The guy sounds like an ass. His judo trick of re-aligning (almost) the auto-industry on its own dime was pretty cool and, BEV's are likely better than ICE for the environment... but that was it. His behaviour is everything I fear my own kids will turn towards (though I know they won't, they're not dummies).
At least Howard Hughes kept out of sight. A-fucking-men. You contrived to suck a billion dollars out of society? Good for you now sit down, shut up and remember - no pockets in a shroud. ("Every billionaire is a policy failure" should go on his tombstone.)
posted by From Bklyn at 1:44 PM on May 12 [4 favorites]


>My argument is against the concept that "entrepreneurial capitalism" has any responsibility for these successes

Nissan under Ghosn's leadership had the inside line for this but dropped the ball last decade.

https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/us-electric-vehicle-sales-increase-by-81-in-2018

Nissan sold 15,000 LEAFs and Chevy sold 18,000 Bolts, while Tesla sold 190,000 cars in the US that year.

I don't necessarily buy the hagiography of Elon sleeping on the factory floor to save the company stuff, but however the team did it they did manage to ramp up the volume to make the government incentives pay out for them.

These billions of dollars didn't come free, they first had to sell the cars that people wanted to buy.

No doubt the company has cut a lot of operational corners to maximize customer intake at the expense of the quality of follow-on support service, and is doubling-down on that now as Musk wants to purge 20%+ of the company.

This is certainly going to be a make-or-break decade for Tesla and/or Musk.

Same story with Starlink:

Starlink approaching 60% of all active satellites

Since 2000, touchscreen phones, drones, electric cars, and Starlink are the top 4 innovations AFAICT, and Musk has 50%+ market shares in two of them.
posted by torokunai at 1:46 PM on May 12 [4 favorites]


He was a pretty effective hype man for a while, and while I don't discount that as a skill -- Apple definitely would not be where it is today without Steve Jobs' ability as a hype man -- it doesn't make you a technical genius. And now that his brain has curdled, he's no longer effective as a hype man for the general public. Though he can still do plenty of damage.
posted by tavella at 1:54 PM on May 12 [5 favorites]


What gives?!

Just wait until you see your first cybertruck ...
posted by scruss at 2:11 PM on May 12 [2 favorites]


If you think Tesla is a success, think again.
posted by The River Ivel at 2:52 PM on May 12 [6 favorites]


I was skimming through TFA when my eye snagged on "the father of 11" and I had to stop and seriously consider whether the man literally had eleven kids, or if one of the kids was named "11".

He has his own Great Replacement Theory.
posted by y2karl at 4:13 PM on May 12 [2 favorites]


I go with Xitter, myself.

This is even better in Portuguese, where the letter X is pronounced "sheesh" and thus Xitter is ... well you do the math


I think it also works for certain Chinese dialects.
posted by TedW at 6:42 PM on May 12 [1 favorite]


The world would be much better off if he'd never been born.
posted by mike3k at 6:45 PM on May 12 [8 favorites]


Looks up definition of Charisma.

People still - in the year 2024 - think that Trump has any Charisma?


This is silly. He's the unquestioned leader of a cult of personality of tens of millions of people, that isn't based on his beliefs or ideas. He definitionally has charisma, no matter how awful he is.
posted by Sebmojo at 6:56 PM on May 12 [13 favorites]


All grifters have charisma. It is what they are selling instead of a downside. Every time a desperately trusting person considers the downside, there is the blindspot that a scammer could never be so magnetic and confident, and besides, only homeless people impersonate saviors.
posted by Brian B. at 7:31 PM on May 12 [2 favorites]


Musk's business skills are actually interesting, if you care about that sort of thing. I'm not saying you should! But they aren't zero. Looking at any of the many stupid things he's done and assuming it's all stupid is the flip side of a fan looking at some success and assuming he's a genius.

I had started typing a long analysis, but the short version is (in addition to the hype man) he seems to have a legitimate Henry Ford style drive for efficiency in manufacturing. The gap between the public image among fans as an innovator vs. his actual talent as an incremental improver is partly why it's interesting.

Of course, his success means the flim flam man side of personality has been devouring the competent side over the last decade.

Since 2000, touchscreen phones, drones, electric cars, and Starlink are the top 4 innovations AFAICT, and Musk has 50%+ market shares in two of them.

This definitely seems skewed by a bias towards stuff people talk about online. Just in the pharmaceutical world (my own bias) there've been medications that have saved over tens of millions of lives on HIV, we have cures for HCV, vaccines for a pandemic virus that didn't even exist in 2018, and new cancer treatments. Renewable power sources and batteries have dropped over 90% in price. That's not even getting into more "pure science" like single molecule genetic sequencing, cryoEM, CRISPR, the spread of LIDAR in archaeology, etc., or "modest" consumer improvements like the spread of LEDs.

I'm not sure I'd put Starlink in the top 100 innovations of the millennia. I'm not trolling or even especially negative on Starlink, it's just a lot has been done.
posted by mark k at 7:45 PM on May 12 [26 favorites]


There could be some C-suite Kremlinology dramas going on now for all I know, too.

The big thing is the vote in a month (literally - IIRC, it's on June 13th) on reinstating Musk's stock option awards that the Delaware Court of Chancery had removed and to reincorporate Tesla in Texas. Especially in light of the company's horrendous Q1 report, there's a sense that the institutional investors are going to vote no, because why would you reward the person driving the company into the ground. This is part of why he seems driven to show everyone that he really is in control at Tesla, and why he's doing things like the 20% headcount haircut (the number which, let me remind you, he came to because Tesla's sales have dropped by the same amount.) This in turn has lead to things like the Supercharger fiasco, where he eliminated the team behind a major profit center for the company because the (female) division head did her job and pushed back against Musk's call for indiscriminate headcount cuts, which has thrown Supercharger operations and expansion into a tailspin.

I had started typing a long analysis, but the short version is (in addition to the hype man) he seems to have a legitimate Henry Ford style drive for efficiency in manufacturing

Which he mates to a lack of actual awareness of how manufacturing works and a belief that he actually does, alongside a "my way or the highway" attitude. Which results in fun things like demanding SpaceX build engines it had no need or use for, purely to have the production line operating. Tesla's tight vertical integration sounded great when they were selling every vehicle they made - but now as we're seeing reports on their inventory piling up, the downsides are starting to catch up to the company.
posted by NoxAeternum at 8:53 PM on May 12 [7 favorites]


he seems to have a legitimate Henry Ford style
- mark k at 10:45 PM

This is true:
Just like Henry Ford, for a brief while Musk was viewed as an absolute genius of industrial innovation;
and now - again, just like Henry Ford - Musk is now viewed as a public embarrassment, a dangerously crazy bigot and crank.
posted by AsYouKnow Bob at 9:00 PM on May 12 [12 favorites]


The efforts to keep NACS a closed (or licenced) standard helped stunt non-Tesla EV growth as the NACS/CCS experience is day and night . With the IRA pushing Tesla to make NACS an open standard, this is going to change the EV market once NACS becomes standard.

I think It’s a mistake to conflate NACS as identical to the Supercharger network. I have full faith and confidence that with hard work and dedication, the other networks can maintain their crappiness even if they have a different plug.
posted by zamboni at 9:27 PM on May 12 [6 favorites]


And to cross the streams a bit, it's worth remembering that the ADL compared Musk to Ford on Twitter as a compliment - a move that they widely got dragged for, as people pointed out that the comparison was accurate, just in a manner that runs counter to the ADL's stated mission.
posted by NoxAeternum at 9:28 PM on May 12 [7 favorites]


I don't think being a good businessman excuses bad political views, and it's certainly weird for a businessman to be devoting so much time to alienating one side of the political spectrum, when most businesses try to placate both sides, but denying Musk's prowess as a businessman doesn't strengthen your critique of his politics, it just makes you look like someone too ignorant to critique anything reliably.

No one has done anything in the car market in the past 50 years comparable to what Tesla has done. No American has done it in the past century. (The Japanese guys who revolutionized the auto business in the 1970s are comparable in my view.)

SpaceX is the most impactful new American aerospace company since the 1930s.

PayPal was an incredibly important product/service. If Musk and Thiel hadn't made PayPal, someone else probably would have made the equivalent (it was just that time in the market), but it was them.

Twitter was a political/ego move, and not a business thing at all. But if he somehow manages to make money after that trade...
posted by MattD at 11:44 PM on May 12 [1 favorite]


I don't think being a good businessman excuses bad political views, and it's certainly weird for a businessman to be devoting so much time to alienating one side of the political spectrum, when most businesses try to placate both sides, but denying Musk's prowess as a businessman doesn't strengthen your critique of his politics, it just makes you look like someone too ignorant to critique anything reliably.

No, the problem is that you're buying into his press. His lack of business acumen is pretty well documented.

For PayPal, Musk was such an anchor on/threat to the company with his insistence on moving to a Microsoft tech stack (at a time when doing so would have basically been suicide, as it was not capable of handling PayPal's backend) that Thiel and the other members of the "PayPal Mafia" waited for Musk to go on his first honeymoon out of country, then ejected his ass from the company. (The fact that Musk almost killed Thiel with his McLaren may have been a contributing factor as well.)

Tesla was created and initially founded by two of the automotive engineers behind the EV1 - Musk was purely a money man who initially rejected funding the company in their first wave of VC funding, and once he did buy in would proceed to force out the original founders. A lot of the mythos of him making the company what it is got severely deflated with the court case that killed his stock option grants, and a large part of the company's valuation is based on treating it as a tech stock - as it's becoming more clear that things like FSD are vaporware and that Tesla is in the end just a car maker with an aging lineup and pricing not commensurate with the quality of their vehicles (seriously, a truck that can't go through the car wash without putting it into a special mode?), the stock price has been plummeting back to Earth.

Of all the examples, SpaceX is the closest I would say to the myth, but even then the lion's share of the praise goes to Shotwell and her team (as the current NASA administrator pointed out recently.) Musk's influence on the company includes things like the aforementioned production of Raptor 1 engines that were scrap the moment they came off the production line (because SpaceX had already committed to moving to the Raptor 2 engine, and were waiting for retooling to finish before restarting production before Musk got involved); as well as SpaceX being a leader in aerospace industry injuries thanks to his hate of safety measures (his hatred of Safety Yellow at both SpaceX and Tesla has been well documented.)

(It's worth mentioning that Reuters recently received the Pulitzer for their coverage of his mismanagement of his companies leading to injuries, harassment, and damages for both employees and customers.)

Twitter is the moment that the cover came off for a lot of people, in part because unlike the aforementioned two companies, Twitter did not have Elon Management Systems in place to manage the mercurial manchild, so they got the brunt of his "management acumen"; and in part because for a lot of reporters, Twitter and social media was something they understood, and thus could grasp how he was a problem in leadership in ways they couldn't before. I don't think it's coincidence that SpaceX and Tesla have faced much more critical eyes after his desecration of Twitter.
posted by NoxAeternum at 12:53 AM on May 13 [27 favorites]


I have full faith and confidence that with hard work and dedication, the other networks can maintain their crappiness even if they have a different plug.

And on the flip side, I have similar confidence that with continued interference, Musk could eventually run the Supercharger network into the ground.
posted by zamboni at 5:21 AM on May 13 [4 favorites]


but denying Musk's prowess as a businessman doesn't strengthen your critique of his politics, it just makes you look like someone too ignorant to critique anything reliably.

Neither does crediting Musk's prowess as a businessman for that matter.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 5:45 AM on May 13 [6 favorites]


At SpaceX, worker injuries soar in Elon Musk’s rush to Mars

His safety record is fucking abysmal. That's not a leader to revere.

Reuters documented at least 600 previously unreported workplace injuries at Musk’s rocket company: crushed limbs, amputations, electrocutions, head and eye wounds and one death. SpaceX employees say they’re paying the price for the billionaire’s push to colonize space at breakneck speed.
posted by tiny frying pan at 5:46 AM on May 13 [10 favorites]


Besides being a neo-nazi, homophobic, transphobic, racist asshole, I think that Musk's (please don't normalize calling billionaires by their first name; it humanizes them) success at pushing electric private cars in the US is a net negative for the environment, which is 10× better served by electric public transport, which he has directly worked to thwart.
posted by signal at 7:23 AM on May 13 [23 favorites]


>a truck that can't go through the car wash without putting it into a special mode?

my Model Y has that too. It's a mode to close internal dampers to prevent water ingress to the cabin air filters, plus so it rolls like in neutral, etc.

(the real water issue with the cybertruck is that it the origami steel approach is allowing water to penetrate down to the aluminum subchassis parts underneath, which then pools in concave parts, apparently shorting out the wiring running through that area)

> like FSD are vaporware and that Tesla is in the end just a car maker with an aging lineup

FSD has gone through like 10 waves of Elon publicly promising the moon (going to be an interesting criminal trial on that!) and while never of actual 'beta' quality I am going to pay the $99 for it next month for a trip up to Idaho ('Autopilot' is OK but FSD is a bit smoother now).

The Model 3 was for some reason allowed to fall behind the MY, but I don't consider my 2023 MY to be technologically deficient in any way.

Same boring look as when it was introduced in 2019, but I actually like that, in that spending time to modify the fascias and swoops just to make it look 'new' is silly.
posted by torokunai at 7:23 AM on May 13 [2 favorites]


my Model Y has that too. It's a mode to close internal dampers to prevent water ingress to the cabin air filters, plus so it rolls like in neutral, etc.

So what? My 2010 Honda Fit is so advanced, it will automatically switch into car wash mode to protect the cabin air filter and prevent wires from shorting out. All I have to do is put it in neutral.

(the real water issue with the cybertruck is that it the origami steel approach is allowing water to penetrate down to the aluminum subchassis parts underneath, which then pools in concave parts, apparently shorting out the wiring running through that area)

And this isn't a design defect because?
posted by RonButNotStupid at 7:53 AM on May 13 [7 favorites]


(it was a defect)

>I think It’s a mistake to conflate NACS as identical to the Supercharger network

speaking as a 9 year veteran user of EVgo etc, one of the "superchargers" great strengths is no display screen. Just plug in and go.

if you see a screen, they're doing it wrong. Unfortunately, the gov't IRA money requires a screen for some dumb reason.

(screenless moves the UI to the app or in-car UI, where it belongs)
posted by torokunai at 8:56 AM on May 13 [3 favorites]


Starlink approaching 60% of all active satellites

I thought the whole deal with Starlink is that it’s a product that requires a large number of satellites? It doesn’t seem fair to treat this number as “market share.”

It looks like the SpaceX market share of satellite launches in general is nothing to sneeze at, though.
posted by atoxyl at 9:16 AM on May 13 [1 favorite]


(Actually I think I misread that comment, presumably they do have the majority of the market for Starlink-like tech, though I also think it’s pretty early to call it as a top technology of the era)
posted by atoxyl at 9:27 AM on May 13 [1 favorite]


if you see a screen, they're doing it wrong. Unfortunately, the gov't IRA money requires a screen for some dumb reason.

The screens are for "pay at the pump" capability, because you shouldn't need an app to fuel your vehicle.
posted by NoxAeternum at 9:52 AM on May 13 [8 favorites]


No one has done anything in the car market in the past 50 years comparable to what Tesla has done.

The personal car market isn't the goal for me, but personalized transportation on demand is. He is selling an extra ton of luxury product loaded with imported copper, lithium, nickel, manganese, cobalt and rare earths. It would be revolutionary if it wasn't for one person's commute across town (the previous car still burning its fumes somewhere else, we presume). His success was to slant the belief that environmentally better means only emissions, minimizing recycling and desert water waste and new freeway construction based on the status quo consumer model. Point being that a 20% solution swap out is not worth the tax credit subsidies that makes room for more cars, unless subsidizing joint ride hailing and least car solutions directly. We need to reduce the new car status addiction itself.
posted by Brian B. at 10:07 AM on May 13 [5 favorites]


The screens are for "pay at the pump" capability, because you shouldn't need an app to fuel your vehicle.
You should just plug it in and have it work. No screens or apps required.
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 10:27 AM on May 13 [2 favorites]


Elog's ride-hail-Mary (heh) – should it succeed – is going to increase traffic not decrease it, but also reduce parking. More cars on the road, less cars sitting in parking lots and garages.

It would work pretty well for the last-mile problem of getting people from where they are to the nearest transit center I guess; bicycling like in Antwerp and Japan is great, but I sweat too much for that now :(
posted by torokunai at 10:30 AM on May 13 [1 favorite]


>The screens are for "pay at the pump" capability, because you shouldn't need an app to fuel your vehicle.

Why not?
posted by torokunai at 10:30 AM on May 13 [1 favorite]


Why not?

Because you should be able to, if you choose, treat charging your EV as a one off event requiring nothing more than you providing a payment method to the charger operator. And note that nothing there precludes you using an app - if you want to, more power to you. But the other option needs to be available as well.

(And to head off the question, no, you cannot use the user's car UI as an interface either for Security 101 reasons, most notably never trust the user.)
posted by NoxAeternum at 10:48 AM on May 13 [7 favorites]


>But the other option needs to be available as well.

I charged my LEAF at an EVgo charger on Saturday. It was the O.G. Nissan -only dispenser and the display was cracked (somebody punched it apparently) so it was free.

I don't find your view here – while it certainly matches the Biden admin's –convincing. I'm OK with requiring pre-registering the car with a payment method and just plug in after that wherever you go; that's how the app works.

I can see an argument for screens to more clearly show the current kWh cost (to match current law with gas stations), Tesla currently makes all that a mystery in their UI.
posted by torokunai at 10:52 AM on May 13 [1 favorite]


And in unsurprising yet hilarious news, Tesla is now rehiring some of the Supercharger staff they let go.
posted by NoxAeternum at 10:58 AM on May 13 [3 favorites]


You should just

And why does Ross, the largest "Friend,"
not simply eat the other five?


Every time I find myself starting a sentence with Why don’t you just…, I pause, take a deep breath, and try to examine my assumptions and the system as a whole.

Superchargers work more or less seamlessly with Plug And Charge because Tesla controls all sides of the equation, car, charger and payment network. To have all chargers simply work with all cars would require everyone involved- car companies, chargers networks, owners, to voluntarily give up a remarkable degree of control, and do things like update old models.
CCS has had affordances for charge authorization, but pretty much no-one was interested in playing well together.
ISO 15118 is creeping towards implementation, so perhaps the lion will lie down with the lamb sooner rather than later.
I believe that federal funding requires a charger to have the capability for both Plug and Charge and pay at the pump, so people aren’t completely screwed until everyone is willing to play nice and we can enter the glorious future of universal Plug and Charge.
posted by zamboni at 11:00 AM on May 13 [3 favorites]


I'm OK with requiring pre-registering the car with a payment method and just plug in after that wherever you go; that's how the app works.


Cool - I'm not, for reasons ranging from data privacy to network effects and access control. And again, pay at the pump policies don't stop you from making the choice to use an app - all they do is say that chargers have to allow singleton transaction capability.

Frankly, I think that - given that one off transactions are the existing model - the task of making a convincing argument as to why people should be forced to tie themselves to apps and networks is on your side.
posted by NoxAeternum at 11:04 AM on May 13 [7 favorites]


My latest experience was with an Electrify America charger late at night. It had a screen (and a useless mouse cursor lol) but it had a deceptive UI. It gave you a big "thumbs up" after swiping and began to charge, but 30 seconds later the card was denied for some reason and charging stopped -- at that time my friend and I had already walked away. There was another guy there with a leased vehicle that he was planning to return due to this experience, he was basically stranded.

I'm not sure what the moral is here... maybe the laid-off Tesla group can start their own charging infra company?
posted by credulous at 11:12 AM on May 13 [2 favorites]


My experiences with EA's shitty UX vs the trouble-free experience with 15,000 miles in Teslas since 2022 is more than enough for me.

Same thing with ChargePoint. Before I figured I could just stop the charge session by tapping my RFID key again I had a helluva time stopping sessions on the screen, since the anti-tampering overlay prevented taps from being registered in certain locations on the screen.

I just don't understand the hurdle here. When I rented Teslas from Hertz, the car was attached to the Hertz corporate card and they rebilled me when I brought the car back.

When I got my Tesla, I gave them a credit card # to bill my charging activity to.

Like I said, if you see a screen they're doing it wrong.
posted by torokunai at 11:12 AM on May 13 [1 favorite]


I had the bright idea of driving the 300 miles from LAX to home overnight (in my 40kWh LEAF) last year. ALL the EA chargers at one location were not working, and the next stop 30 miles up the road had the one Chademo charger not working. This was at like 3am and fortunately there was an EVgo charger across the street that worked, but it was then I said f--- it, I'm getting a Tesla.
posted by torokunai at 11:15 AM on May 13 [1 favorite]


The whole problem with Electrify America is that it's a company as punishment (it was created out of the Dieselgate scandal.) Hence you have Robert Dunn of Aging Wheels going to the EA chargers at the Chattanooga VW plant and finding them just as broken as the others on the road.

I just don't understand the hurdle here.

The hurdle is that mandatory appification is bad. Drivers should be able to pull into a charger and use it without any intermediary or prior connection, and without needing to establish any connection beyond a one time payment. And the reality is that pay at the pump laws will make apps better - no longer able to force their use for access, the apps now will need to incentivize their use.
posted by NoxAeternum at 11:32 AM on May 13 [9 favorites]


IME the screen adds to downtime and maintenance expense.

You're typing words to defend it but I don't understand their actual benefit.

I booped myself all around Japan with a pre-paid JR transit card attached to my Apple Watch, and it was wonderful, no screens or interaction with ticket machines required for the hundreds of miles of buses and trains I took (other than the Shinkansen rides and one legacy coin-only streetcar trolly in Matsuyama).

Just boop my watch and get on (and off, the billing is a two-boop process). Tesla's screenless approach is the same idea. I just don't see why being able to physically swipe a card for the BEV I'm charging is at any way advantageous.

Either it's a rental and the company can take care of it on their back-end, or it's mine and I've pre-assigned the credit card either on the web or via the app.
posted by torokunai at 11:38 AM on May 13 [1 favorite]


IME the screen adds to downtime and maintenance expense.

Aren't you doing the same? There are lots of self-service gasoline pumps that have screens and in the past ten years I've seen maybe one or two that were inoperable because their screens were busted?

You're typing words to defend it but I don't understand their actual benefit.

Count me as someone else who doesn't want to install an app just to use a charger. Why should I have to accommodate someone else's app on my personal phone and agree to give them whatever permissions they "require" in order to interface with their equipment? We already have a system where I can go up to pretty much any gasoline pump, swipe (or even tap!) my credit card and everthing Just Works(tm) without me having to host any gas company's app on my phone.

I just don't see why being able to physically swipe a card for the BEV I'm charging is at any way advantageous. Either it's a rental and the company can take care of it on their back-end, or it's mine and I've pre-assigned the credit card either on the web or via the app.

A friend borrows my car and they graciously want to top it off before they return it to me. If the car was always linked to my accounts, no matter where they charged up I'd get billed.

You're putting an awful lot of effort into denying that any use case other than your own is legitimate and honestly it's getting a little annoying.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 12:04 PM on May 13 [15 favorites]


My best guess is that the charging companies see vehicle charging as a temporary distraction from more profitable markets and want the charging stations to morph into all-singing-all-dancing advertising kiosks, etc. Thus the screen.

And/or they want to do white labeling, so you gotta have the screen at least to show the customer's logo, if for no other reason. Yes, this is how sales/VP brain works.
posted by credulous at 12:12 PM on May 13 [3 favorites]


>Count me as someone else who doesn't want to install an app just to use a charger.

I can understand that, I much prefer ChargePoint's RFID fob-card vs. their app.

And EA doesn't even offer RFID cards AFAIK.

Speaking of which, when I got my first LEAF in 2015 it came with an EZ Charge card, which is supposed to be cross-network compatible (I use it on EVgo chargers).

Thing is, even if setting up the credit card for your car requires an app, you can uninstall it once you do that step. But I'd be Ok with the administration mandating this setup should be available via web browser, too.

My mom never ever once entered her credit card online, so I guess people still feel that way, but it's totally alien to me now, 100% of my billing is paperless and automatically hits some card.
posted by torokunai at 12:18 PM on May 13 [1 favorite]


>no matter where they charged up I'd get billed

if only there was a method to exchange these things we call 'dollars' between people! Somebody should get on that.
posted by torokunai at 12:22 PM on May 13 [1 favorite]


torokunai, just admit you want everything to be appified. Isn't it better to have venmo, rather than cash?

Why does it make more sense to do it your way, instead of exchange my own money for electrons, rather than having to settle up later?

This some straw-grasping par excellence, or at least a weirdly aggressive series of comments ignoring the possibility that other people have entirely different needs than a person who is all-in on electrification.
posted by sagc at 12:30 PM on May 13 [9 favorites]


if only there was a method to exchange these things we call 'dollars' between people! Somebody should get on that.

Doesn't that add a level of complexity though? Instead of just paying for the charge in the first place, now my friend has to keep their receipts (if they even get them!), tally up their debt, and remember to stop at the ATM and get some cash before they return the car to me?

It's great that you think apps are swell and save time, but you don't represent the sum total of possible experiences and perspectives.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 12:33 PM on May 13 [5 favorites]


I'm trying to understand these 'needs'.

The 8+ years I've been dealing with screens on chargers informs me they suck and can be deleted.

People want to tap-to-pay an alternate payment method at the pump; I understand that but that doesn't come free and again IME this extra functionality introduces more points of failure.

I don't understand the big deal of just having to pre-assign a payment method to your car instead of wanting to futz with other cards at the pump.

I guess people who have to juggle credit card balances will experience more hassle. Tesla requires going through the app to change your billing details, but there's so much functionality attached to the app already (like cardless entry) that that's NBD for me.
posted by torokunai at 12:37 PM on May 13 [1 favorite]


In God we trust...all others pay cash.
posted by Captaintripps at 12:38 PM on May 13 [1 favorite]


>and remember to stop at the ATM and get some cash before they return the car to me?

the depreciation on the car for the miles driven (~20c/mile) far outweighs the charge cost (~10c/mile).
posted by torokunai at 12:42 PM on May 13 [1 favorite]


I'm trying to understand these 'needs'.

No you aren't. Plenty of examples have been provided, but you're still pretending that they don't count.

I guess people who have to juggle credit card balances will experience more hassle.

I guess that's what it comes down to, huh? Anyone who doesn't agree with your vision of convenience must be saddled with credit card debt.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 12:52 PM on May 13 [7 favorites]


I don't understand the big deal of just having to pre-assign a payment method to your car instead of wanting to futz with other cards at the pump.

Because it's not just about payment methods. It's about not needing to tie yourself to an app and its associated database structures. It's about prohibiting companies from using their apps to force lockin on end users by mandating that they have to allow singleton sessions paid per session. And in doing so, it forces apps to be better because they can't use "you have to use the app" to force its use, so they have to actually incentivize it.
posted by NoxAeternum at 12:56 PM on May 13 [8 favorites]


I understand that but that doesn't come free and again IME this extra functionality introduces more points of failure.

[....]

the depreciation on the car for the miles driven (~20c/mile) far outweighs the charge cost (~10c/mile).

You're arguing that it's too expensive to stick an LCD screen on a charging station, something that every gas station pump has had for the past decade-and-a-half and when amortized over whatever period they amortize those things over probably costs pennies per day to install/maintain, while also arguing that keeping a vehicle charged is so cheap it's not worth bothering to reimburse the cost when borrowing it.

Maybe both of these things are true, but taken together it seems like cost is only an issue when the system doesn't work the way you envision it to work.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 1:11 PM on May 13 [6 favorites]


I booped myself all around Japan with a pre-paid JR transit card attached to my Apple Watch, and it was wonderful, no screens or interaction with ticket machines required for the hundreds of miles of buses and trains I took

You’re glossing over the cultural and historical environment that led to the JR Group offering unified ticketing in that way. The situation with Plug and Charge is different, and will restore significant legal, legislative, and technical ingenuity to improve things, particularly in the US. The US can’t even unify toll collection systems, for crying out loud.
posted by zamboni at 1:18 PM on May 13 [2 favorites]


>Anyone who doesn't agree with your vision of convenience must be saddled with credit card debt.

I assume my Tesla account can be tied to a debit card. Plus I'd certainly like to see an EZ-Charge card-like alternative to anonymize people accessing chargers for whatever reason.

It's not like there's going to be a Rowe bill acceptor at the pumps yaknow.

> It's about not needing to tie yourself to an app and its associated database structures.

this again just bounces off me like the teacher in Peanuts cartoons. It's just 16 digits on a card, people.
posted by torokunai at 1:20 PM on May 13 [2 favorites]


this again just bounces off me like the teacher in Peanuts cartoons. It's just 16 digits on a card, people.

If you think that's the only information these apps are gathering...you have not been paying attention.
posted by NoxAeternum at 1:24 PM on May 13 [9 favorites]


It's just a 16 digits on a card, people.

No. It's not just that. It's yet another app on my phone that potentially has access to my data. It's another app where I'm completely at the mercy of developers for what broad permissions they want in order to run on my property. It's another database containing my information that could be breached or shared with a "business partner".

Please don't be so dismissive.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 1:26 PM on May 13 [12 favorites]


I assume my Tesla account can be tied to a debit card.

Supercharger Support: What payment methods are currently supported?

The following payment methods are supported:
  • American Express
  • Discover Card
  • JCB
  • MasterCard
  • Visa
  • Diners Card
posted by zamboni at 1:26 PM on May 13 [4 favorites]


VISA debit should work (I say hopefully?) As for the "Welcome to the Machine" stuff, once you tap the card the system's got you.

I will allow though that giving Tesla your credit card can be dangerous to your financial health.

Tesla should be required to quarantine your designated charger payment method from all other 'in-app' purchases. (Like Apple's business model, this is how they're trying to get you)
posted by torokunai at 1:31 PM on May 13 [1 favorite]


AIUI, pay-at-the-pump has some special legal carve outs to support it. That thing where you swipe your card first, get charged $1 then the real amount when you're done filling up, has some non EV-friendly time limits on it for example. The public L2 charger I used for a couple of hours last week had a card reader and a little LCD screen, but I failed to figure out the impenetrable UI on it, so I ended up installing the app anyway. At least you don't have to stand there while the car fills up, so there's limited potential to blare ads at you.
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 1:36 PM on May 13 [1 favorite]


My old model S came with free supercharging, Ms. Windo's newer 3 did not. She has to pay for charging and navigation and such. And yes we had to set up our account with Tesla, and they bill her. And yes, you have to have the Tesla app, as that it the only way you can get a service appointment. I turn off the "mobile access" stuff since I leave my phone in the car not infrequently. Luckily, my S came with an actual fob, not just the stupid key card.
posted by Windopaene at 1:45 PM on May 13 [2 favorites]


The biggest problem with putting all your charging in Musk's hands is what happens when he gets the bright idea to fire 20% of the IT workers who keep it running (that would never happen /hamburger) and then it stops working.

Or Musk decides to turn it off for shits and giggles like his shit emoji response to questions.

Or Musk goes full Putin toady and shuts it off because Putin asked him like how Starlink stopped working for the Ukrainians.

Or Musk shuts it off as a stock price manipulation tactic for some sort of reverse pump and dump.

Or Tesla just fucks up some involuntary over the air update that turns off charging for your car/account.

Or Musk decides to make charging your car a subscription service.

Or Tesla goes bankrupt and the service is discontinued.

There are so many ways having charging dependant on a single company could go sideways.

he depreciation on the car for the miles driven (~20c/mile) far outweighs the charge cost (~10c/mile).

While there are dozens of people I'd take that depreciation hit for they are all of the mind that it's a dick move to return a vehicle with anything less than a full tank/charge on simple politeness grounds. I've certainly never done it.

he seems to have a legitimate Henry Ford style drive for efficiency in manufacturing.

In big part by rolling back worker protections and compensation. Musk is rabidly anti union and even refuses to accept government safety regulations. Being a line worker in one of his plants sounds horrific. The guy is even building a company town for fucks sake for the explicit purpose of enabling the abuses it allows.

his grandfather moved from Canada to South Africa because Canada wasn't racist enough.

And considering that was at a time of federal residential schools and laws outlawing aboriginal culture that could be described as attempted genocide that really saying something.
posted by Mitheral at 2:48 PM on May 13 [12 favorites]


And in a demonstration of that "business acumen" people say Musk has, Reuters reports that SpaceX is stiffing contractors on money they're owed.
posted by NoxAeternum at 3:28 PM on May 13 [6 favorites]


Mitheral: And considering that was at a time of federal residential schools and laws outlawing aboriginal culture that could be described as attempted genocide that really saying something

Ah, yes, but see at the time we were ignoring all that and congratulating ourselves for how wonderfully we had treated First Nations, while South Africans were very vocal about their commitment to never do any such thing.
posted by clawsoon at 5:04 PM on May 13 [3 favorites]


it's a dick move to return a vehicle with anything less than a full tank/charge
This is an interesting point, and I'm not sure full tank is interchangeable with full charge here. Since you're already out, spending the time and money to fill the tank is reasonable and expected, because it's saving me from having to go out and do it and spend the money you would have. I don't think I'd expect someone to spend an hour or so and a bunch of extra money at a fast charger to fully recharge my car when it's just getting plugged in at home anyway; I don't have to do anything in that case, and it's costing me much less money than it would cost you, so I'd feel bad about it. I guess if I need the car soon after you get back, and you'd otherwise leave me with a low state of charge, then I might ask you to top it up, but probably not in the general case.
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 6:43 PM on May 13 [2 favorites]


Does the ap require internet? Is it provided by the charger? I know I'm like, five levels of Too Poor to be relevant to the EV discussion, but requiring my phone to have WiFi would be a huge financial barrier
posted by Jacen at 7:10 PM on May 13 [3 favorites]


for a Tesla, you don't need the app at all. I didn't have one when doing the occasional weekly rental from Hertz. Just plug in the charger and walk away (don't try this with EA, though IME ChargePoint and EVgo are almost as reliable).
posted by torokunai at 7:12 PM on May 13 [1 favorite]


i go with the hope that Musk won't do something as stupid as taking his charging network offline. Can't imagine him agreeing to letting plebes use his chargers, but we will see. He still thinks he has enough fuck off money to do whatever he wants.

And building those supercharger stations has to cost a ton of capital, which is only going to be paid back over many years. I'd buy some if they fail, but don't quite have the cash for that...
posted by Windopaene at 7:23 PM on May 13 [1 favorite]


I'm not sure but it seems to me they may be getting sweetheart deals from shopping centers and strip malls to take over a corner of their lot as a draw to shoppers.
posted by snuffleupagus at 7:32 PM on May 13 [1 favorite]


I didn't have one when doing the occasional weekly rental from Hertz.

This is because Hertz does all the backend stuff for you - they have their cars set up so they get billed and then bill you in return - I've rented Teslas from Hertz, so I know how this works. It is worth noting that this this does not always work out well for the renter (but we are talking Hertz, the rental car company facing a class action suit over falsely reporting their cars as stolen when they weren't.)

Anyways, if it's your own Tesla, Rivian, or Ford EV currently (with more brands to come), you're now required to do that backend work yourself and register your car and payment method with Tesla to use the Supercharger network. This is the whole problem, and the whole point of "pay at the pump" regulations - you should be able to (like you currently can with gas pumps) roll up to a charger, plug in your car, provide a payment method, and happily charge without giving anything else to the company.
posted by NoxAeternum at 8:49 PM on May 13 [4 favorites]


The only time I was in a Tesla, a friend was supposed to be giving me a 20 minute lift. We got there over an hour later, after multiple attempts to charge at different stations, which kept not working, not recognising things, they kept resetting, getting out and re-plugging, idek.

Yes, she should have charged it beforehand! But as my only experience with a Tesla, that people are here arguing that the charging system works great, and apps and logins are fine comes off a bizarre.

I hope to never own another ICE than the one I've been driving since I was 17, but right then, I really appreciated that diesel pumps reliably discharge diesel in moments in return for cash or card.
posted by Audreynachrome at 9:57 PM on May 13 [2 favorites]


The only time I was in a Tesla, a friend was supposed to be giving me a 20 minute lift. We got there over an hour later, after multiple attempts to charge at different stations, which kept not working, not recognising things, they kept resetting, getting out and re-plugging, idek.

This is actually surprising to me, and makes me wonder if she was trying to use non-Supercharger chargers, because my personal experience with the Supercharger system is that it for the most part "just works". This is also part of why people reacted to the news of the wholesale canning of the Supercharger team with such surprise and shock, as the Supercharger network is something that Tesla has genuinely gotten right for the most part.

That said, charging (and Level 3 charging in particular, considering the voltages in play) is more complicated than just pumping fuel into a tank, which is what makes the chargers messy. That said, I do agree that mandatory appification is bad and encourages bad behaviors like data capture and user lockin, which is why I support "pay at the pump" and note the pushback by the charging companies as illustrating why it's necessary.
posted by NoxAeternum at 10:44 PM on May 13 [6 favorites]


>you're now required to do that backend work yourself and register your car and payment method with Tesla to use the Supercharger network.

They actually get your super-secret credit card # when you put the $250 payment down on the order.
posted by torokunai at 11:37 PM on May 13 [1 favorite]


>and user lockin

I gave EVgo my credit card # 8.5 years ago now. I really don't understand why I'm locked into their network now.

If I had a new BEV in my driveway every day, then setting up the CC payments on all the networks I'd be charging the car on would be a PITA, but my 2023 MY is the 4th car I've owned, after 40+ years of driving.

Tesla is already tracking the car's driving down to the centimeter so giving them information on where I'm stopping & charging is not something I'm particularly concerned about.
posted by torokunai at 11:49 PM on May 13 [2 favorites]


I gave EVgo my credit card # 8.5 years ago now. I really don't understand why I'm locked into their network now.

Because, as it may surprise you, not everyone else is as cavalier with their financial information as you are, and as such may not be willing to install random apps and sign up for charger networks just to have access. This was one of the points Dunn made in his road trip video which I linked to earlier - many of the apps neither have guest access nor allow use of a payment processor like Google Pay (and I will note that for me at least, these are things that will make me tell an app to kindly fuck off.) This is the point of "pay at the pump" - to force charger operators to allow one off transactions, so that charger operators cannot use access to force end users to sign up.

Tesla is already tracking the car's driving down to the centimeter so giving them information on where I'm stopping & charging is not something I'm particularly concerned about.

This statement here really illustrates why your argument is falling flat, as many people - myself included - do not find this behavior by Tesla acceptable, (especially given that it has come out that Tesla employees have abused this data harvesting) and feel that it should be regulated into oblivion, either through outright banning or HIPAA For Everything data regulations that would add liability for this data and in turn make its capture less attractive. As such, the argument that we should be okay with the app giving our data away because the car is already doing the same winds up not addressing the actual issues involved.

In addition, your argument throughout this has been "I'm OK with this level of data harvesting - and that means you should be too, and if you're not, then that's a problem with your position." Hence your demand that we "justify" our position to you, instead of you understanding that not everyone has your tolerance for tech industry bullshit, and they also should be catered to.
posted by NoxAeternum at 5:00 AM on May 14 [19 favorites]


In addition, your argument throughout this has been "I'm OK with this level of data harvesting - and that means you should be too, and if you're not, then that's a problem with your position." Hence your demand that we "justify" our position to you, instead of you understanding that not everyone has your tolerance for tech industry bullshit, and they also should be catered to.

Exactement. Techy people just assume that people who do not want to hand out their data willy-nilly are keeping them from progress. I fucking hate appification. I certainly don't want to tie myself to a racist's electric car model that would ask me for that info.
posted by Kitteh at 6:41 AM on May 14 [8 favorites]


And returning to the subject of the thread and his begging for the shareholders to give him his stock options back, apparently Tesla threatened to fire one of the law firms they use if a consultant that works for them didn't withdraw his amicus curiae brief against the reinstatement. Said consultant has in response broken ties with the firm in order to file the brief.
posted by NoxAeternum at 7:07 AM on May 14 [5 favorites]


Certainly we can agree adding a tap-to-pay option isn’t going to fatally compromise chargers.

My viewpoint is colored by never needing them and seeing the difficulty EA has keeping their chargers with the tacked-on card readers available, but if people want to tap your own payment cards, knock yourselves out
posted by torokunai at 9:22 AM on May 14 [1 favorite]


(please don't normalize calling billionaires by their first name; it humanizes them)

Well, I don't know about that -- if there is ever a congressional investigation, which title is more memorable: Muskgate or Elongate?
posted by y2karl at 9:37 AM on May 14 [4 favorites]


I'm sure he'd prefer the latter for the dick joke.
posted by jenfullmoon at 11:29 AM on May 14 [5 favorites]


Knows one to be one.
posted by y2karl at 12:15 PM on May 14 [2 favorites]


Techy people just assume that people who do not want to hand out their data willy-nilly are keeping them from progress.

#notalltechypeople

I used to work for the panopticon but having seen firsthand how greedily some of these companies siphon up user data and how cavalierly they handle it once they have it, I weigh all of my tech interactions more carefully now, i.e., what do I give up for this service, and what do I get in exchange for it. Sometimes the exchange is worth it, sometimes it's not.

There is something to be said for set-it-once-and-forget-it, and if you're someone who's likely to buy a Tesla to begin with you're probably already on board (so to speak) with them having ongoing access to a significant chunk of your life. And that's fine, as long as it's a considered choice. When a company already knows where I live, where I work, where I spend my free time, what I look like from multiple angles, what my friends and family look like, what my credit report and financial health are like, how carefully I drive and how much or little I respect traffic laws, what music or podcasts I like, who my phone contacts are and what I say to them when I call them, and what I do in my car when I think nobody's watching -- when they already get all that by virtue of me buying and using their car, I guess having them tuck my credit card number into their massive database doesn't seem like much. Why not go all in at that point?

I was a fan of Tesla early on, in fact I had an early deposit on the Cybertruck (back when it seemed like that might be something exciting and not... what it is). And it's not like I'm totally opposed to Faustian data deals with tech companies, I'm deeply in bed with Apple for example. But increasingly Tesla does not seem like the kind of company that I want to trust with half my life, so if I ever find myself renting a Tesla or using their charger network, I'll be opting for whatever payment method gives me and my data the smallest possible exposure to them.

(edited to add: more than half my life I guess, if I opted to trust FSD on top of everything else)
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 12:19 PM on May 14 [4 favorites]


Tesla doesn't even seem like a company you'd want to trust with your BODY, much less your private financial info and data.
posted by tiny frying pan at 12:39 PM on May 14 [5 favorites]


All day I kept thinking I said that backwards, like your body is more important than the other stuff. Anyway.
posted by tiny frying pan at 6:08 PM on May 14 [5 favorites]


To create a small Mars colony, leave the jerks on Earth was an article from Popular Science magazine that appeared on my phone awhile back. At the time, it had a comments section. Where I wrote 'I take it then that Elon Musk's name will not be appearing on the crew manifest.' Boy, did I get a huffy note back stating that my comment was removed for being inappropriate. Now the article lacks a comment section entirely, which makes me think I was not alone in making such an observation.

And here it is. My comment violated community guidelines. Obviously, irony is not dead.
posted by y2karl at 10:44 PM on May 14 [1 favorite]


My viewpoint is colored by never needing them and seeing the difficulty EA has keeping their chargers with the tacked-on card readers available,

The problem is that your viewpoint lacks empathy for others and their needs and desires. Just because you don't need some capacity doesn't mean that others don't, and they deserve to have their needs met as well. Thus why your demand that others justify their position to you rubbed people the wrong way, as it demonstrated that lack of empathy. "Pay at the pump" is good policy from an electrification position (as barriers to using chargers in the wild will slow the electrification drive) as well as pressuring charger operators to behave (without having access to force people on the app, they have to actually incentivize its use.)

Also, Electrify America's charger issues (as illustrated by the Chattanooga chargers being just as problematic as the others in the system) reflect not a problem of the technology, but of corporate will - a result of EA existing purely out of punishment, and as a result there being no real corporate will to maintain the network. And the reality is that this could happen even at Tesla - which is why Reuters' reporting on the Supercharger fiasco is so alarming.

The TL,DR is that a lot of why the division was as successful as it was stems from it not getting a lot of Muskovian attention thanks to an executive running interference - but once he left (part of a larger leadership drain at Tesla thanks to things like return to office mandates), the department wound up under the Eye of SauronElon and even after executing his ridiculous haircut he demanded further cuts. When the division lead pointed out that would risk the department's goals, he responded with the wholesale elimination of the department, and...we've discussed the rest. Apparently, Musk is now looking to fold the Superchargers under the company's home power division (a.k.a. the old SolarCity crew, which if you know about that particular fiasco should fill you with a sense of dread.)

In short, after this stunning display of grabbing the golden goose by the throat with both hands and wringing, any argument that Musk is a "good businessman" should be laughed at.
posted by NoxAeternum at 6:46 AM on May 15 [3 favorites]


So is it impossible to charge an electric vehicle and pay in cash?
posted by Captaintripps at 7:57 AM on May 15 [1 favorite]


Currently, no. Most chargers are app-based, requiring you to use the app to authorize the session. Even the few that have "pay at the pump" use electronic payment systems.
posted by NoxAeternum at 8:02 AM on May 15 [1 favorite]


Ridiculous!
posted by Captaintripps at 8:03 AM on May 15 [3 favorites]


I'd bet accepting cash would double the cost, at least for un attended machines, of a charge. Dealing with cash in a vending situation is hugely expensive on both the front end (buying and maintaining coin mechs and bill readers) and on the back end (regularly collecting the cash, sorting and counting it, and then moving it to the bank). Especially considering you wouldn't be paying anyone to restock.

It would also make them a target for thieves.

Requiring chargers to accept cash/gift cards that can be bought with cash gets you most of the advantages while mitigating the costs.
posted by Mitheral at 9:19 AM on May 15 [4 favorites]


It would also make them a target for thieves.

They already are - the cables are regularly cut off for the copper.
posted by NoxAeternum at 9:26 AM on May 15 [2 favorites]


For at most $10 worth of copper.

Anyone making charging stations where the cord retracts like on a canister vac and is only released when a transaction has been initiated?
posted by Mitheral at 9:52 AM on May 15


The problem is that those cords need to be thick, because a Level 3 charger is pumping out a lot of electricity. So it's not something that can easily be coiled.
posted by NoxAeternum at 10:45 AM on May 15


Weirdly, I saw a cybertruck on the road this week. It’s kind of embarrassing, since it looks like a prop from a not very good SciFi movie from the early 80s, which the prop makers thought would look really cool on screen but realized, when they saw the dailies and it was far too late, that it did not.
posted by GenjiandProust at 6:37 AM on May 16 [4 favorites]


There's a photo of a Cybertruck missing a back panel and it's just...how was this thing engineered? (The answer being most likely "it wasn't.")
posted by NoxAeternum at 7:08 AM on May 16 [1 favorite]


I have to admit I had a good chuckle at reading this article: Maine Cybertruck Owner Sad Everyone Hates His Truck.
posted by Kitteh at 7:25 AM on May 16 [3 favorites]


There's also the Cybertruck owner who got stuck in Nantucket, Kitteh.
posted by NoxAeternum at 7:32 AM on May 16 [1 favorite]


"There was once a Cybertruck in Nantucket
Whose owner's wealth was a drop in the bucket
But then the truck encountered some sand
And ruined his plans
To which Elon replied, fuck it"
posted by Kitteh at 7:44 AM on May 16 [9 favorites]


https://www.cybertruckownersclub.com/forum/attachments/tesla-cybertruck-body-casting-chassis-frame-4-jpg.27082/

picture of the chassis. Inner bit is steel, front & back are cast aluminum.

Contrary to Elon's promises back in '19 about the exterior being "load-bearing" it's clear they had to back off on that and just skin the truck in stainless steel panels.

I was looking forward to the Cybertruck 2020-22, but when the roll-out came last year it was clear the company bit off more than they could chew with it, or the engineers had to under-deliver on Elon's over-promises.

I was briefly tempted, but the six-figure price tag has the reality that I can buy a Model Y AND a Tacoma, though apparently Toyota kinda screwed up their refresh of that this year.

The cybertruck is what happens when you let Elon get too involved in the design of something.
posted by torokunai at 9:01 PM on May 17 [1 favorite]


So it's not something that can easily be coiled.

One just needs a bigger spool.

But for this usage case it would be better to use a wire rope attached to the centre of the cable and retract them vertically like how some gas pumps work though with cable inside the enclosure.
posted by Mitheral at 6:37 AM on May 18 [1 favorite]


Remember Musk's claim that a Cybertruck pulling a Porsche was faster than the same Porsche in the 1/4 mile?

Turns out that even after Tesla put their thumb on the scale by using an ultra light trailer not rated for the Porsche's mass (and using the absolutely slowest 911) that was a lie. Not only is that combination not quicker, Their video showing it was only a 1/8 mile. And even at that distance the car was faster.
posted by Mitheral at 9:51 AM on May 18 [4 favorites]


The UN should start issuing Musk parking tickets under the space objects Registration Convention until he runs out of money.

That's gonna be an expensive tow.
posted by snuffleupagus at 3:26 PM on May 18 [1 favorite]


Even after the past month of mismanagement, Musk continues with his "give me a quarter of Tesla or else" threats, most likely in a bid to have enough control to ram things through.
posted by NoxAeternum at 10:44 AM on May 20 [1 favorite]


Coming back to Why Appification Is Bad, a hacker has demonstrated how Teslas are particularly vulnerable to social engineering attacks, in large part because of bad choices the company made in generating "phone key" credentials (in particular that key generation doesn't require multiple factors to perform, and that key creation isn't flagged by default.)
posted by NoxAeternum at 3:58 PM on May 21 [2 favorites]


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