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Transportation Apple

Elon Musk Talks Tesla, Apple, Model X 99

Nerval's Lobster writes "Tesla CEO Elon Musk admitted in a Bloomberg interview that he had engaged in 'conversations' with Apple, but refused to disclose the content of those talks. Rumors have circulated for several days that Apple executives met with Musk last spring about a possible acquisition. An anonymous source with knowledge of those discussions told that discussions included Adrian Perica, who heads up Apple's M&A division, and possibly Apple CEO Tim Cook. 'Both [Tesla and Apple] have built brands based on advanced engineering and stylish user-friendly design,' the newspaper noted. 'And each company has become a symbol of Silicon Valley innovation—even among people who don't own their products.' But in the interview, Musk framed an acquisition as 'very unlikely,' mostly because it would distract Tesla from its goal of building an affordable electric car. 'I don't see any scenario,' he added, in which Tesla could juggle the issues associated with a takeover while producing vehicles that met his perfectionist standards. He did suggest, however, that Apple's iOS and Google Android could find their respective ways into Tesla's in-vehicle software. Tesla executives once considered integrating an early version of Android into the company's first electric cars, but the software ultimately wasn't ready to serve as an automotive application. Nonetheless, Musk could see iOS or Android within the context of a 'projected mode or emulator' that would allow someone to use applications while driving, although 'that's peripheral to the goal of Tesla.'"
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Elon Musk Talks Tesla, Apple, Model X

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  • Re:Truly (Score:5, Informative)

    by czert ( 3156611 ) on Friday February 21, 2014 @04:42AM (#46302361)

    Why haven't the workers taken over and socialized the means of production yet? Why is our destiny as a species tied to the whims of a handful of super-wealthy idle parasites?

    They did, in my country. And our destiny as a nation became tied to the whims of a handful of super-powerful idle parasites.

  • by DragonWyatt ( 62035 ) on Friday February 21, 2014 @05:24AM (#46302473) Homepage

    They're buying off-the-shelf batteries from the same suppliers that build batteries for the rest of the portable electronics industry. Since batteries are a resource intensive product (they're made from commodity materials that must be mined and processed), there is always going to be a fixed cost associated with their production. Here's a free hint: more electric cars being sold will only put more demand on battery manufacturers, and I don't have to explain how supply and demand works.

    You are dead-on with with the reflection on the maturity of electric vehicles. They've been around a LONG time.

    But regarding battery manufacturing, you may have missed the recent news about Tesla's plans for building the world's largest battery factory this year - it seems that Musk has anticipated your concern: []

  • by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Friday February 21, 2014 @06:36AM (#46302723) Homepage

    Unlike personal computing, cell phones or flat panel televisions, electric cars are not a new technology. They have been around in one form or another, since the 1880s. (...) The technological limitation that's holding back electric cars has always been a lack of energy density in the batteries.

    Sure, but the power grid was extremely different back then. If you had it - which by far most didn't - it was barely good enough to power light bulbs, not cars. Sure you could wire up a bunch of car batteries, drive it a little while but then it'd take a month to recharge. Between stoves, refridgerators, dish washers, washing machines, computers, TVs, power tools and whatnot it's only recently come to a point where in-home charging of a car is feasible. Even now they're suffering from growth pains just like the Internet adapted to Napster and YouTube, but they will pass. The other things is that there was no public charging grid, even if you got yourself an industrial size electric connection at home you'd be stuck in your little range circle. And unlike at home were you can reasonably be expected to let it charge overnight, on the road chargers must be much faster and stronger.

    Tesla's superchargers do 120 kW/car (here in Norway, I understand slightly lower in the US at the moment) and by their nature you want them in the middle of "nowhere" between cities. I don't know their total capacity - probably some oversubscription - but again I think it's something that only in very recent times has become feasible. Not to mention the rapid charging technology itself is very much state of the art. In short, even if we can't make miracles on density we are making huge advances in distribution and delivery. And as EVs become more popular, the grid will become more fine masked.

    I think there's really four ranges to an EV:
    1. Round-trip range - just charge at home, drive around and plug in when you get back home. No fuss, can use any parking spot.
    2. One-way range - if you have a charger at the office or cabin or shopping center parking lot or whereever you're going.
    3. Range with charging(s) - hopefully not too many snack breaks.
    4. You just can't do it. Go rent an ICE.

    If you break it down to percentages, most people's commutes and general shopping are in the first one. I know the Tesla has pushed interest in getting more power to cabins - not the "deep in the forest/mountains" cabin but the beachhouse and alpine skiing cabin that are in populated areas with a decent power grid. The third one is the one with most advances, it's not pretty or easy but you can do it the 1% of the time you need to. Really, if you can get rid of #4 and fulfill the 90%+ of driving inside #1 it's a winner. And they are making a lot of progress on shifting #4 into #3 through chargers, I mean it wouldn't be my first choice but that you can drive a Tesla coast to coast means you don't have to get an ICE.

Competence, like truth, beauty, and contact lenses, is in the eye of the beholder. -- Dr. Laurence J. Peter