We’ve posted before on the topic of the new book about Elon Musk by the writer Ashley Vance, but as the topic is interesting, I’m going to post about it again now.
I recently saw some interesting quotes from the book on the Tesla Motors Club forum and wanted to reprint them here (thanks to the user “StephenM” for posting and them and for starting the topic discussion).
This excerpt is apparently from the “Notes” section (number 17):
Othmer has lined up to be the lucky owner of the first Roadster II.
Musk has developed an unconventional policy to determine the order in which cars are sold. When a new car is announced and its price is set, a race begins in which the first person to hand Musk a check gets the first car. With the Model S, Steve Jurvetson, a Tesla board member, had a check at the ready in his wallet and slid it across the table to Musk after spying details on the Model S in a packet of board meeting notes.
Othmer caught a WIRED story about a planned second version of the Roadster and emailed Musk right away. “He said, ‘Okay, I will sell it to you, but you have to pay two hundred thousand dollars right now.'” Othmer agreed, and Tesla had him come to the company’s headquarters on a Sunday to sign some paperwork, acknowledging the price of the car and the fact that the company didn’t quite know when it would arrive or what its specifications would be. “My guess is that it will be the fastest car on the road,” Othmer said. “It’ll be four-wheel drive. It’s going to be insane. And I don’t really think that will be the real price. I just don’t think that Elon wanted me to buy it.”
While I have pretty much no doubt that Tesla will end up redoing and improving the Roadster as associated technologies continue improving, it’s hard to say exactly when that will happen. With the somewhat recently unveiled option for Roadster drivers to upgrade to larger battery capacities, I’d guess that it’s still awhile off for the time being. So, to drop a $200,000 check in order to get the first one… well, I guess $200,000 is quite disposable income to some people.
Here’s another interesting excerpt (this time from Chapter 11):
Shortly after the release of the Hyperloop plans, Shervin Pishevar, an investor and friend of Musk’s, brought the detailed specifications for the technology with him during a ninety-minute meeting with President Obama at the White House. “The president fell in love with the idea,” Pishevar said. The president’s staff studied the documents and arranged a one-on-one with Musk and Obama in April 2014. Since then, Pishevar, Kevin Brogan, and others, have formed a company called Hyperloop Technologies Inc with the hopes of building the first leg of the Hyperloop between Los Angeles and Las Vegas.
Interesting. It’s not surprising of course that a politician who made his place by trumpeting feelgood “we can do it!” sorts of rhetoric would like the Hyperloop. I’ll admit though — and I’ll probably get some backlash for this — that the Hyperloop just looks to me like the “Circuses” part of the infamous expression.
There are practical, far cheaper options out there — the only reasons to pursue something like the Hyperloop (to my eyes) is for “religious” and political reasons. Practicality just doesn’t seem to support the pursuit of that technology in my opinion. It’s too bad that Musk hasn’t made a push towards the rail/train sector rather than the Hyperloop — there are very interesting possibilities there.
Image Credit: Tesla