1. Model X — It Gets Better
Elon mentioned that they are working hard on Model X product development and making it even better than the demonstration prototype that was already unveiled to the public. He said he’s spending a lot of time on the Model X, trying to get the details right. “We’re gonna push pretty hard to make it better than what people have seen,” Elon said. “I think there’s some exciting features that… that I love, hopefully other people like them, too.”
The aim is still to have a handful of Model X units delivered at the end of 2014, and then “volume production” in 2015.
The Model X is expected to become the company’s top priority in the 4th quarter of this year, according to Mr. Musk.
2. “Sort of Affordable Car”
One questioner asked when the timing of the “next-generation” Tesla vehicle would move up. I’m sure a lot of people are interested in the answer there, but the really great line was where he said, “You mean our high-volume, sort of affordable car?” The way he said “sort of affordable” was somewhat hilarious. It’s not the best quality recording of the webcast, but give it a listen here:
As I think you’ll agree, the whole answer was quite interesting, even beyond the humurous way in which he referred to the car as “somewhat affordable.”
3. Hyperloop… woops
There has been some serious enthusiasm, perhaps even mania, around Elon’s hyperloop concept (design to be released today). Apparently, Elon thinks he may have shot himself in the foot with that one.
When asked, “Are Tesla shareholders going to see any benefit from the hyperloop?” Elon gave a laugh, and then said, “Um… I don’t know, I think, uh, it’s not out of the question, but, uh,… I think I kind of shot myself in the foot by ever mentioning the hyperloop, cause I’m too strung out. I mean, I have to focus on core Tesla business and SpaceX business, and that’s more than enough, but I did commit to publishing a design… [I’m going to] provide quite a detailed design I think on Monday, and then invite critical feedback and see if people can find ways to improve it. And then it could just be out there as kind of like a… open-source design that maybe people can keep improving…. I don’t have any plans to execute it, because I must remain focused on SpaceX and Tesla. If nothing happens for a few years with that… maybe it could make sense to make the hyperloop happen with Tesla involvement, but that obviously is extremely speculative.”
Give the answer a full listen here (followed by a question about regulatory credits and Deepak Ahuja’s answer to that question):
4. Supplier parts are the bottleneck.
I’ll just throw in the recording on this one:
- 90% of suppliers are able to ramp up.
- 5% have some difficulty.
- 4% have a lot of difficulty.
- 1% “just cant”
It was also interesting to hear why some are now having difficulty ramping up — because they didn’t believe Tesla’s production predictions and relied on those from market research firms instead (which were way off).