Elon Musk & J.B. Straubel Discuss Electric Cars At Edison Electric Institute Event – Video


OK, no, we didn’t watch and recap the whole 1:02:18 of this one for you, so the pressure’s on the Musk stalkers fans out there to do sift through it themselves.

Some topics in the video include:

* – Tesla Gigafactory, expectations for battery costs around $100 kWh in 2020

* – corporate culture, staffing between Tesla and Space X

* – companionship of solar technology and the electric car

* – charging demographics and residential/public/Supercharger splits

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21 Comments on "Elon Musk & J.B. Straubel Discuss Electric Cars At Edison Electric Institute Event – Video"

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Around 36:30, JB says that with the Gigafactory and other improvements, they would be “disappointed” if the price per kWh wasn’t in the $100 range by 2020. I assume when he says “$100 range”, he means $100-199 per kWh. I expect by 2020, the GF cost would be $190/kWh (30% down from $275kWh 2014 prices), and then down another 20% from the original baseline by 2025 ($137/kWh).

No, he really means ~$100/KWh when he says “in the $100 range”. Elon Musk has made similar comments in the past.

Yes, I agree. If $100 range means $100-$200 to someone then that is a pretty spacious range.
To me it indicates something around $100 almost always over a hundred: $100-$115.

Indeed, he really does mean $100/kWh, or close to that figure. According to estimates, Tesla is already paying Panasonic less than $200/kWh for its Model S batteries.

$100/kWh in EV batteries may be only five years away? Well, I hope that is true! If so, it won’t be terribly long until the EV revolution finally kicks into a higher gear, and perhaps we’ll see models of EVs approach the international sales levels of top-selling gasmobiles.

It takes about 5 year’s to go from the lab to production. They know where the costs should be in 2020. $100/kWh at the pack level is their target.

I also think that “$100 range” (per kWh) means $85 to $115 or $75 to $125.

I believe that Sakti3 is also projecting battery prices in the “$100 range” (per kWh) by the end of the decade.

Last year Strabel said that a 50% decrease was more likely with the GF, over 2014 costs.

On decreasing costs. Why is this a “hope”? Why isn’t it discrete and planned? What I mean is if someone estimates prices will be coming down – tell us how. Is it lowering of manufacturing costs? Raw materials? Added cell density? If a single cell could be double today’s density with same input costs and manufacturing costs, that is an answer. But there is not details on just how costs will be coming down – just that they will be disappointed if it doesn’t. That is not project management – that is a hype stance. A good project manager (or corporate leader) explains how a goal will be met and that they have details of the steps to get there. There is a slowing to the efficiency curve in nature and in product manufacturing. Right now, prices have come down due to some levels of mass production. But you cannot super-mass-produce something and have similar results. Changes in product benefit (ie. density) must be found in order to proceed lower. But in essence, it may turn into another cell chemistry like Li-S (Lithium-Sulfer) that does it. Once a high-recharge count is found in such cell chemistries then they can get… Read more »

I think it will be strangleholding the market and squeezing suppliers. Musk is a ruthless negotiator.

Well if it was easy to do then someone would have done it long ago. I think there is still a fair amount of guesswork in how much they can gain in efficiencies, how much they can reduce in shipping costs, how much they can squeeze suppliers, how much they anticipate increasing the market size will reduce the material costs, etc.

I don’t think they’ll hit ~$100/KWH by 2020. If they did, it would be completely revolutionary. A real game-changer. But even if they just get close, it will be a huge advance that causes EVs to cross a tipping point.

They are selling the power pack, for $250 per kWh. This includes the casing, cooling, software and a 10% margin. So we can safely assume, that the kWh price, at cell level, is at $200 already.

It’s really annoying that YouTube can’t normalize the audio of the videos. It’s a feature I’ve wanted for years. I have the volume set to max and I can just about hear what they are saying.

The problem isn’t with YouTube. Check your computer’s audio settings, and push everything up to max or near-max volume levels. If it’s still too soft, you need better/larger speakers.

The problem IS YouTube. I can’t hear sh*t either.

How come I can hear another YouTube video crystal clear but not this one? It is not a speaker problem.

Yes, the problem is YouTube and the people who upload videos. Speakers aren’t the issue. You can listen on headphones and it’s not any better. Volume is either ear-shattering loud or hard to hear. Most people don’t know a thing about video and audio, so it’s up to YouTube to step in and fix it.

Nom de Plume said:

“Yes, the problem is YouTube and the people who upload videos. Speakers aren’t the issue…. it’s up to YouTube to step in and fix it.

No, it it most definitely not the responsibility of YouTube to step in and improve the quality of audio or video recordings which people upload to their website. YouTube is a platform for free video uploads and views. If someone wants a professional or even a competent amateur to master their video for proper viewing/listening, they certainly are free to do so. If YouTube did that for all uploads, or even just where necessary, they’d certainly have to charge a viewing fee to offset the expense.

Now, to the point: If you can’t hear the audio on this video, and all (not just some of) your computer’s audio settings are set to max or near-max, then I can only assume you have either non-powered speakers or a very low quality computer speaker system. Yes, the audio is low, but I can certainly turn up the volume of my speakers to hear the conversation clearly, and not anywhere near max volume, either.

They start off talking about corporate culture, and tendencies for errors to creep in as communication layers increase. Remedies, such as skip meetings were discussed.
Also cross training between staffs of engineers at Space X and Tesla, as a methodological tool were mentioned.

Musk seemed haggard and tired, but perked up a bit as the moderator switched the topic to disruptive technologies. Evs, the bright prospects of solar, which is de rigeur for Elon and he does it well.
J.B. got in on the act adding in how the marriage ev/solar is a marriage made in heaven, (my words) really works well.
Some exposition of the jewel in the crown the s.c. network and how it fits in with long distance driving. Typical stops of 20-30 minutes is normal. J.B. elucidates on the success of the s.c. network. It’s really popular. Still 90-95% of charging is done at home overnight.
Well that is the first half hour or so.

Elon’s a slow talker, but I generally find it worthwhile to listen to him. But this guy spent more time asking questions than Elon spent in answering them, which turned it into a snooze fest.

I learned Long ago to simply download something like this (I use YTD) so I can watch it at increased speed of 130% and fully control the volume (using VLC), hope this helps others.

The first couple minutes were a bit scary RE Elon, it reminded me a bit of seeing the ‘first hundred days’ address of a president compared to the ‘last hundred days’ – haggard is an understatement, hope his candle burns slow ‘cuz both ends is obviously wearing him Physically, never a good sign. (Alfred says. “Bruce, take a Break!”)

Truly impressive presentation on the overall electrical front, hope Bill finds time and an upbeat position to comment.

Highly recommended, particularly if you can watch it in ~30 mins as I did.

He may be suffering from FWDD (FAlcon Wing Door Disease)

“* – Tesla Gigafactory, expectations for battery costs around $100 kWh in 2020”

I want to believe.

If they really hit $100/KWH, the will turn the automotive market upside down.

A 60KWH battery for $6000 plus superchargers? Who would buy a gas car?