You might recall this site began with Episode 1: The Impostor. Well, yesterday marked the start of Episode II. Tesla’s plot to violate inviolable ground is now open and gross. Yesterday’s news boils down to three words from Musk: “Nevada is it.” So there’s no backup plan. All eggs are in the final basket, despite suggestions from New Mexico’s governor and even Tesla PR chief Simon Sproule. If the horse’s mouth sayeth the final site is already selected, four months ahead of target, then bang the gong and declare it so.
Coupled with an incentive package of about $1.3B — far better than observers were expecting — yesterday was a good day for TSLA longs. The Gig is ahead of schedule and may cost Tesla less than imagined. To boot, we received a new artist rendering of the Big Gig. She’s a beaut. And she looks to have an impressively low drag coefficient. Her Cd can’t be higher than 0.30, what with those clipped corners. One concern, however: Will she be partitioned such that a disaster in one part of the plant could be contained? Hope she’s set up like a WWII submarine, with them step-through flood doors. Wait — we’re in the desert. OK then, with really good firewalls. And another concern: At Tesla’s Fremont plant, workers ride around using shared bicycles. This plant will probably warrant a few hundred Segways, no? Or maybe Tesla is on a mission to have a staff with super-strong quadriceps and chronic bike butt.
Here are some questions raised in the press yesterday, with handy answers from TeslaMondo:
Q: Couldn’t this factory become obsolete quickly, as battery tech marches on?
A: That came up at the latest shareholder meeting. Quickly, obsolete? No. Eventually obsolete? Of course, says JB Straubel, but there’s plenty of time to have a royal feast with Li-ion. And Musk has said the plant will be plenty adaptable. But remember, the Toyota Prius is doing just fine using stone-age NiMh technology. You don’t need the very latest battery tech to sell cars en masse.
Q: If this factory makes sense, why hasn’t LG done it? Why hasn’t Panasonic done it?
A: You sound like Princeton University’s Daniel Steingart. Applying that question to anything in life leads to paralysis, for it invites the thought that everything worthwhile has already been done, so we might as well stay in bed and catch up on the soaps and mourn Joan Rivers. Luckily, Musk didn’t attend Princeton, so the factory will proceed. And so will reusable rockets and high-performance electric cars, both of which didn’t make sense to other companies.
Q: Will this factory REALLY result in the targeted economies of scale sufficient to pull off the 200-mile Model 3 for $35K?
A: First of all, watch your language. Second, Musk says he’s highly confident about this goal. And third, it probably wouldn’t matter if Model 3 ends up at $40K as long as it’s on time. Tesla will have such brand cachet, thanks to Mothra X, that it will have no trouble selling the M3. Wait, M3 is enemy nomenclature. Let’s both wash our mouths with soap.