Kimbal Musk Leaks Gigafactory Images, Tesla Model S Modification


Kimbal Musk's Tesla Model S Prior To Modifications

Kimbal Musk’s Tesla Model S Prior To Modifications

Kimbal Musk, brother or Elon and one of several members of Tesla’s board of directors, took to Instragram recently to reveal images of his modified Tesla Model S and of the Tesla Gigafactory.

First, we’ll focus on the modified Tesla, because it’s been subject of intense debate.  Note that Kimbal’s Tesla is modified and that’s what sparked most of the scrutiny and debate.  If Kimbal can do it, then why can’t we?

In Tesla’s recent annual filing, there’s a lengthy section devoted to “risks:”


You should carefully consider the risks described below together with the other information set forth in this report, which could materially affect our business, financial condition and future results. The risks described below are not the only risks facing our company. Risks and uncertainties not currently known to us or that we currently deem to be immaterial also may materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and operating results.

One of the listed “risks” is vehicle modifications.

If our vehicle owners customize our vehicles or change the charging infrastructure with aftermarket products, the vehicle may not operate properly, which could harm our business.

Automobile enthusiasts may seek to “hack” our vehicles to modify its performance which could compromise vehicle safety systems. Also, we are aware of customers who have customized their vehicles with after-market parts that may compromise driver safety. For example, some customers have installed seats that elevate the driver such that airbag and other safety systems could be compromised. Other customers have changed wheels and tires, while others have installed large speaker systems that may impact the electrical systems of the vehicle. We have not tested, nor do we endorse, such changes or products. In addition, customer use of improper external cabling or unsafe charging outlets can expose our customers to injury from high voltage electricity. Such unauthorized modifications could reduce the safety of our vehicles and any injuries resulting from such modifications could result in adverse publicity which would negatively affect our brand and harm our business, prospects, financial condition and operating results.

This passage led to a whole slew of articles being written on how Tesla believes it’s risky to modify its cars.  Truth is, these types of “risks” are listed in the annual reports of most all automakers.  It’s a risk that’s beyond Tesla’s control, so rightfully it’s a risk then, since Tesla cannot guarantee the compatibility, functionality, safety, etc. of any of these aftermarket products.  Basically, the modification risk is just standard stuff.  It’s there to protect Tesla from the various modifications the cars will undergo once in the hands of owners.

Problem is the whole “risk” statement got blown out of proportion.  The media covered it with headlines like this “Tesla To Owners: Please Don’t Pimp Your Ride.”

Concerned Model S owners wondered if their modification compromised safety, while the modifiers wondered if Tesla was now off limits.  Again, we repeat, the modification risk listed in the annual report is standard stuff.  It’s there in most automaker’s annual reports, so it’s not cause for concern.

Regardless, Unplugged Performance, one of the leading Tesla tuners, was asked for response to this modification risk issue.  Here’s that response:

Statement from Unplugged Performance:

Unplugged Performance Tesla Model S

Unplugged Performance Tesla Model S

Here are our thoughts in response to the current media topic stating Tesla’s caution towards irresponsible upgrade risks with the Model S:

We are neighbors with Tesla and we indeed talk with our friends at Tesla often to seek out their off-the-record advice with each step we take in our product development. We feel this is essential because our philosophy is to work collaboratively in harmony with Tesla and to enhance the brilliant result they have created with the Model S. Doing so requires a great deal of experience with the car, a considerable long term investment and a willingness to take slow incremental steps. For this reason, Unplugged Performance is a Tesla-only company and we are doing all development, design and production in-house in Hawthorne, CA steps away from Tesla. There are no shortcuts to this work and our team of Tesla specialists spend all day every day working on mastering this. We began Unplugged with the blessing of staff members of Tesla and although we do not have and do not claim any official endorsement from Tesla, we do enjoy the friendships we have and the mutual inspiration we share with them on the amazing Model S.

Ultimately the perceived risks Tesla themselves face are likely originating from a profit motivated aftermarket industry which contains many companies who see an opportunity to exploit a growing Tesla marketplace and who manufacture products sometimes without the knowledge, responsibility and safety constraints needed to protect Tesla owners and their investment into their vehicle. One thing which is certain is that modifying a Tesla is unlike modifying other vehicles. There should be a degree of caution when a growing number of companies start making products for the Model S without having owned the car for a period of time and without having researched and tested their products. In this respect, the caution is with a fair amount of reason.

What works on other cars does not always translate on the Model S. In this respect we are not even talking about the obvious challenges with the electrical system. We have learned over the past years a staggering number of small complexities that are unique to the way each Tesla is produced. These complexities apply to not only the challenging upgrades, but also the seemingly simple ones. We continue to keep an internal resource database and we continue to ask Tesla’s technicians questions on a weekly basis as we incrementally expand our upgrade offerings. We also have had dozens of Tesla’s at our shop which we have disassembled and evaluated to ensure our knowledge is as detailed and refined as possible.

With every product we make we test fit it on a wide range of cars to ensure we account for every variable that comes with varying production months, varying trim levels and with the industry standard variability range from car to car off of the assembly line.

As Tesla does not follow yearly product revision cycles, we have seen changes both big and small occur often without public notice given. Decoding VIN’s, studying production months and learning all of these details are our responsibility as a Tesla-only specialty parts manufacturer. Frankly, I don’t know how the typical aftermarket parts manufacturer could responsibly achieve this depth of knowledge without a serious long term dedication to the Model S. We’ve seen continual changes ranging from big things down to even something as simple as floor mats have evolved and changed without public notice.

The aftermarket as a whole, as we all know, is an unregulated community of enthusiasts and small businesses who seek to personalize and upgrade their car to their liking. Naturally each Tesla is property of the car’s paying owner and the owner has the rights to do whatever he/she pleases. We would suggest of course that each owner do their own due diligence of who to trust and how to responsibly upgrade their car if they choose to go down that path of further enhancement. It is absolutely possible and achievable to upgrade the Model S without detriment to reliability, usability and performance. However for every correct way, the market is indeed unregulated and may introduce a number of wrong ways as well.

From our point of view, we feel validated in our long term investment and focus strictly on the Model S – for without it we would have not been able to learn the dozens of lessons we’ve already learned that have allowed us to make safe and responsible products that take into account the complexities of the Model S.

Ultimately every car manufacturer in a perfect world would like to remove external variables that change the product they manufacture. If you look historically there are many car manufacturers who have also expressed caution with the aftermarket and have been protective of their product. That being said, we believe it is in the Tesla owner’s interest to have safe and responsible methods to enhance their enjoyment, individualization and driving satisfaction of their cars and ultimately if the owners lives are more enriched by a responsible aftermarket then it translates favorably into Tesla’s brand value and enthusiast base.

Best Regards,
Unplugged Performance

KImbal Musk's Tesla Model S After Modifications

KImbal Musk’s Tesla Model S After Modifications

Lastly, we’ll conclude with these images of the Tesla Gigafactory via Kimbal Musk on Instragram.

Tesla Gigafactory

Tesla Gigafactory

Tesla Gigafactory Scale Model

Tesla Gigafactory Scale Model

Tesla Gigafactory

Tesla Gigafactory

Tesla Gigafactory Roof

Tesla Gigafactory Roof

Tesla Gigafactory

Tesla Gigafactory

Categories: Tesla


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74 Comments on "Kimbal Musk Leaks Gigafactory Images, Tesla Model S Modification"

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“If Kimbal can do it, then why can’t we?” Seriously… If someone is stupid enough to ask that question, he/she shouldn’t even be behind a steering wheel.
“Well, if Evel Knievel tried to jump the Grand Canyon in a motorcycle, Why can’t we?” Because there are consequences to every action… If you are willing to accept them and deal with them, by all means do whatever you want.

Snake River Canyon, Idaho.

I am a Firm Believer In “Factory Original”.. Things Are Engineered A certain Way, To Function in “Harmony” A Certain Way….Unless Extras are Ordered & done when the car is Built at the Factory…Any Mods Done To a New Car In My View Is “TAMPERING”. The Only Modification I would ever have done To Any New car Would Be.”In A Re-Call Situation” Or “add a Pin Stripe” if I want the car “Appear Sleeker & Longer”.. Other than that, From My Past Experiences “Factory Original” Is Always the Only and Best way to Go….Cheers

In most cases, I would agree. But I did add an EV mode button to my Prius years ago. The button was available in the European and Japanese market, but removed for the US market for some reason. If I owned an BMW i3, I would also install some of the firmware hacks available for it too. Again, these would simply be adding features that were removed for political reasons for the US market.

I did the same on mine. Reinstalled an EV only button that was removed by Toyota to sell in PetroLand (North America)

The error in your logic is the belief that factory engineers are anything approaching infallible. Not all mods are made to make a car faster, some are done to improve the factory build with newer technology, materials, tighter tolerances, etc. For example, one of my cars had an appetite for wheel bearings, caused by the factory seals allowing water into the races. Aftermarket bearings come with an improved seal that prevents this.

Another example would be the 96-99 Ford Taurus SHO. The cam sprockets are swaged to the camshaft, and many have failed resulting in catastrophic engine damage. A non-factory modification is to weld the sprockets to the camshaft.

Not all mods make the car faster or flashier, some just fix problems that the manufacturer didn’t see coming.

So the solar panels are on the roof??? I thought they were stand alone and the factory was a separate building.

What’s the Gw per year number for this building when it’s fully utilized?? I smell a rat.

What sort rat do you smell, GeorgeS? Would you explain please?

Can they make the full (35Gwh/yr) in this building if it is fully decked out? It looks like MAYBE they have combined the Solar field and a smaller building under 1 roof and that it is not fully capable of the 35 Gwh/yr.

The current construction project occupies only 20% of the planned area of the finished Gigafactory. It was the plan all along to build the factory in stages. It certainly makes sense to build just part of the factory, get that up and running and fine-tune the production, then replicate that when building out the remaining sections of the factory. Crawl before you walk; walk before you run.

So this building is a 7 Gwh facility.

Well, your math is correct, but that doesn’t necessarily mean 7 GWh is a meaningful number. The rule of thumb is that it takes about two years for a new factory to be built and fine-tuned for maximum efficiency and output. So I doubt there will be any 12 month period in which this section of the Gigafactory-in-progress produces exactly (or even particularly close to) 7 GWh, before other sections begin operating.

And remember, that 35 GWh in 2020 is just an estimate of the full production capacity, and when it will be reached. In any large construction project, there is always some uncertainty about the final outcome and just when it will be finished.

The LG Chem Holland site is good for 3.2 Gwh/yr so I don’t want to hear you guys bad mouthing GM because they don’t have the battery manufacturing capacity. Looks like Elon’s giga factory is only twice the size of Holland.

Heh. 🙂

But it’s worse than that. LG Chem is apparently planning to supply multiple EV makers, not just GM. But okay, on the bright side: LG Chem already is producing 10 GWh of batteries per year, altho I don’t know what percentage of that goes into EVs. (There are lots of other markets for li-ion batteries: Laptops, cellphones, iPods and iPads; heck, even electric shavers.)

The -good- news is that non-Tesla/Panasonic battery makers keep announcing new plans to build battery factories (mostly in Asia) to supply increasing production of EVs… hopefully longer-range EVs!

The catch-phrase for investigative journalists is “Follow the money.” When it comes to separating actual plans to build long-range EVs vs. just talking about it… follow the GWhs of battery production!

Great Idea for a monthly article here at IEV’s.
“The battery Report”

Broken down in as many ways as the master data cruncher Jay Cole can think of. 🙂

I would -love- to see that as a regular monthly, or even quarterly, report!

If you look at other sketches of the gifafactory you’ll see that there is a plan of a wind farm in close proximity to the factory.

So it’s supposed to run on renewable energy. My guess is though that the factory is also connected to the grid for redundancy.

On this picture we see that the roof is entirely covered with solar panels, and there is a wind farm beside of it.
They can add other solar fields if they wish to.
I heard they might use geothermal sources as well. Somebody has more infos?

That wind farm is definitely the work of an artist not an engineer.

It would be the worst sited wind farm in the last 20 years. Also the turbines are clearly not to scale, unless the GigaFactory is now ~400 feet tall.

YOu are right.

Anyone who has been to those area would know exactly what Josh is talking about.

Those would be the worst area for Wind farms. Nobody puts wind farms in the backside of the mountains (right underneath the back side of Sierra Nevada mountain range).

Even Geothermal is limited here unless they are talking about a simple geothermal for cooling/heating which is basically a geo-heat exchanger.

If Tesla is serious about fully powering the factory from solar and wind, then they’ll need to have a lot more surface area covered with solar panels than just the roof of the factory. They’ll need to have solar power “farms” nearby, along with wind power “farms”. Solar power simply doesn’t provide that much power per square foot.

But is Tesla really serious about that? They talked about using solar power to power the SuperCharger system, but so far what’s been done along that line is not much more than a drop in the ocean. Most SuperCharger stations don’t even have a solar panel roof, and for those which do, the amount of electricity provided by that is only a tiny fraction of the power consumed.

And to answer your question: The GF is projected to produce 35 GWh of batteries per year when it’s in full production, initially planned to be in 2020, but according to recent reports that schedule has been accelerated.

Maybe not a so big “a lot more” than you say… With +200W per panel… how many panels? Have you seen the surface of this thing? in the middle of the sunny desert? It would be interesting to make the calculations … as tesla surely did before.

They didn’t add solar fields on the scale model, so probably because the wind farm and the roof panels will suffice.

Yes, I’m sure Tesla did the calculations. But I’m seriously questioning that they actually intend on fully powering the factory with solar and wind, even on a sunny summer day. Yeah, the factory will be connected to the grid… and my guess is that it won’t be just for a bit of extra power on rare cold winter nights, either. Certainly Tesla engineers can do the energy-per-square-foot calculations for solar power. But we -all- can do the calculations which show that no high-production, hi-tech factory can possibly be fully powered by solar power on its roof. There’s no magic way to increase the amount of sunlight falling on the Gigafactory’s roof! And wind power isn’t reliable. What about calm days? What about days when the wind blows so hard the wind turbines have to be shut down? Where is the supplemental power gonna come from? From the grid, of course. I know that Tesla’s contract with Nevada makes it clear that they only get their tax abatement if they actually do hire the number of people they propose, and only if those are actually long-term jobs. Is there any provision for Tesla not getting everything the State of Nevada has… Read more »

Perhaps Tesla has a technology capable of storing excess power generated on the sunniest and windiest of days?

Ryan: You are, of course, snarkily referring to the fact that Tesla says it plans to build stationary electrical energy storage packs at the Gigafactory, not just battery packs for Tesla cars. Sure, and SolarCity (another of Elon Musk’s companies) is in the beta testing stage of selling battery packs for home/commercial energy storage. But let’s not confuse the -ability- to build something with a company being willing to spend the money to do so. Tesla -could- build offsite solar farms to power the Supercharger network (or more practically, offset the amount of grid power used). You will note that they haven’t done so, nor even built one single solar farm to power the Supercharger network. And even if Tesla was willing to spend the money to install enough storage battery capacity at the Gigafactory to store enough power for the whole factory on a windless night, or even enough for two or three whole cloudy days followed by windless nights, that doesn’t magically give the solar panels the ability to generate enough power to run the factory 24 hours a day. As I said: There’s no magic way to increase the amount of solar energy hitting the roof. Yeah,… Read more »

As i said, (did you read my earlier replies?) they are waiting for the SolarCity Gigafactory and will use geothermal and wind power as well, all with battery storage, which they will have plenty of.

Musk said the GF would be Zero carbon footprint.
Dear Lensman, all your arguments were obviously taken into account. Who are we to know better what power they will need or what is the mean amount of annual power generated by the wind and the sun.
Besides, cold weather is good for the efficiency of the solar panels (not darkness) to about ~0.5% for each -1°C (if we take as nominal power 25°c (75°F).

And new panels are also efficient on cloudy days. Not really an issue at this location, but good to know.

It is not physically possible for the Gigafactory to have a zero carbon footprint. Just pouring the concrete foundations for the Gigafactory has violated that “promise”, if you really consider such hype to be a promise. Heck, just running the mostly diesel-powered construction vehicles to clear and level the site wasn’t done with a zero carbon footprint.

Nor will running the trains and freight trucks carrying raw materials and other supplies to the Gigafactory have zero carbon footprint; nor the trains carrying Tesla’s battery packs to their Fremont plant, either.

Now, let me move beyond well-established fact to opinion. Here’s my prediction: Running the Gigafactory — even if you just consider the carbon footprint from the moment things come in the door to when they leave, and ignore the carbon costs of offsite mining, suppliers’ manufacturing, and shipping, and also ignore the carbon footprint from building the Gigafactory and all the machines and equipment installed inside — even just the day-to-day production at the Gigafactory itself won’t have a zero carbon footprint, or anywhere close to zero.

I don’t confuse hype with meaningful promises. Perhaps you might consider doing likewise.

“Facts” as you say, are good to know, but only if we have them all. Construction footprint is ONE shot only and will be absorbed in the first years of operation.

You have a large definition of facts when it suits your purpose.
The promise of a carbon neutral gigafactory never included the transport of the new batteries to Freemont, nor the ecological costs of raw material, and yet, you include this in the carbon cost of the GF itself.

It’s like saying your carrots are not organic because the farmer use a gas truck to take them to the market.

Hype or promise, this is something that is easily achievable regarding to the money involved and the ease to add Windmills and Solar fields at will, if necessary.

Lustuccc said: “‘Facts’ as you say, are good to know, but only if we have them all. Construction footprint is ONE shot only and will be absorbed in the first years of operation.” Please explain to me exactly how the Gigafactory will “absorb” the carbon generated by the construction. What mechanism will be put into place at the Gigafactory to absorb carbon from the air, water and soil? 😉 I think you meant to claim the carbon emissions from construction will be -offset- by the generation of “green” power at the Gigafactory. Well, we shall see just how much of that power generation is actually built out. And let us please note the non-trivial difference between “carbon neutral” and “zero carbon footprint”. * * * * * * * * * * car·bon-neu·tral adjective making no net release of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, especially through offsetting emissions by planting trees. * * * * * * * * * * If the Gigafactory really does have sufficient “green” energy production built out to power the entire factory, contrary to my prediction, then one can describe running the plant as “carbon neutral” -only- in comparison to a manufacturing plant powered… Read more »

“Net Zero Energy factory by 2020” That’s Tesla’s goal. not carbon neutral, Net Zero.
We have 5 years to debate it 😉

If carbon emissions were actually zero, there would be no need to specify “net”. To be kind, this is misdirection. To be blunt, it’s greenwashing.

“But we -all- can do the calculations which show that no high-production, hi-tech factory can possibly be fully powered by solar power on its roof.”

OK show me the math you’ve done.

I’ll just cite figures from someone who has actually researched the question:

Energy consumption of the Gigafactory: 2400 GWh / day

Energy production of the rooftop solar array: 850 GWh / day

The good news is that this analysis assumes a “trifecta” of solar, wind, and geothermal power, which (according to the writer) can generate 20% more power than the Gigafactory actually uses.


Of course, that’s an average. obviously on windless or cloudy days, the GF won’t have a “zero carbon footprint”.

Will Tesla invest the money and resources to build out that much “green” energy capacity? Well, let us hope so. But given Tesla’s track record on similar hype for the Supercharger network, I’m highly dubious.

Priorities first if you will. Getting enough SCs must be more important than have them all covered with solar panels and fitted with batteries that are not even built yet. Give it a chance to finish the GF then we will speak batteries and solar canopies.

I have most confidence that uncle Musk has a good plan and schedule, and that he and his team knows better than you and me.

Lensman said: “Is there any provision for Tesla not getting everything the State of Nevada has offered if they don’t really power their factory 90-100% (or even 50%) with solar and wind? My guess is “No”. (And if you know otherwise, dear Reader, please comment with a correction!)”

Unlike the tax abatements that Tesla received, the subsidies/grants that Tesla received from Nevada appear to have absolutely no strings attached.

Tesla received an $8 million subsidy from Nevada to pay for grid electricity used by the Gigafactory. Industrial electricity in Nevada currently costs about 5.94 cents per KWh. That works out to 134.7 Gigawatt hours (134.7 million KWhs) of grid electricity that the Gigafactory will be using to make batteries.

Tesla also received an additional $308 million in subsidies in the form of transferable tax credits (ie: cash equivalents), 980 acres of free land, right-of-way easements, prepaid construction expenses, and a four-lane highway.

Oops, the above should read kWh, not KWh. It’s been a long day.

Lensman, the addition of solar to supercharger sites is a work in progress. All of the Tesla efforts to use renewable energy will happen but will lag the rapid expansion of Tesla. I think they are waiting for the Solar City Giga Factory to really ramp this up.

Hmmm, let’s see, there are now at least 2000 Supercharger stations worldwide. How many have solar roofs? Looks like a year ago there were only 5, including two in China.

That’s not a “work in progress”; it’s not even much of a fig leaf. Even if every single one had a solar roof, they still would provide… what? Only 10-15% or so of the energy used by the Superchargers?

I love Tesla, but I wish they’d stop hyping and over-promising. Sure, business plans do change, but obviously they were never serious about making the Supercharger network solar powered.

Getting the entire country blanketed with Superchargers has ALWAYS been the priority over making them solar powered. Solar power has always been phase 2. They can only spend so much on infrastructure and the dollar goes further on new stations. People are already going nuts over the amount of money Tesla is spending.

“You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.” –Abraham Lincoln

Which categories do you fall into? I’d like to think I’m in the first and third, but not the second.

So you wont be able to always fool us? 😉

Are you saying that as you say, you love tesla but think Musk is trying to fool us!
Ain’t this a contradiction?

He surely fooled us with the best car ever made and started clean the atmosphere.
81,000 times he dis it, and put a smile on the face of every owner.

A contradiction?

Only if you confuse the reality — as you say, Tesla makes the best car ever — and the hype… like “solar powered” Superchargers that are less than 1% solar powered, and an “autopilot” that can do automatic lane changing — just not in real-world traffic!

As Christians say: “Hate the sin, but love the sinner.” 😉

Sorry, instant gratification isn’t going to happen on this issue. They are far to busy building up there company and the RE will lag.

And since they will be installing a very large amount of panels eventually I’m sure their plan is to have a secure source at the right price for the panels.

That source will be from Solar City’s Giga Factory when its built.

You are confusing. There is 407 SuperCharger stations and 2233 stalls total as of today world wide.
Musk said that it will be a reality when there will be storage batteries to go with the panels.

There are well identified peak demands at the SCs and with storage of the gallons of sun to be used at later times, there will be 100% clean efficiency, and maybe a little left to return to the grid, who knows? You lensman?

You took into account the new efficiency density of the newly acquired Silevo panels that will roll out the Solar GF did you? and the ongoing improvement of the solar panels in general from year to year?

You are missing the point entirely. Even if solar panels were 100% efficient in converting solar energy to electricity, there wouldn’t be sufficient energy available just from the roofs of the size they have put on a very few Supercharger locations. Sunlight simply doesn’t provide that much energy per square foot. Even at 100% efficiency, you’d need several times the surface area of those solar canopies to supply all the power drawn by an average Supercharger station. The only realistic way to do that would be to build solar farms offsite, in remote locations where land is cheap, and provide that power to the grid. You could then truthfully say you had -offset- the power used, altho that still wouldn’t make Superchargers directly solar powered. And since even the well-established science/engineering facts in my posts are being challenged here, by those who, apparently, don’t realize that a lot of the claims of solar power advocates are mere wishful thinking, just look at the Tesla Motors Club discussion thread on this subject: * * * * * I don’t promote nuclear power because I have some sort of political axe to grind against the environmental movement. I promote nuclear power… Read more »

Fukushima… Chernobyl… it would take only one like this here to ban nuclear forever! This is the stupidest of all time technology man developed. And nobody knows what to do with ever accumulating wastes…
It will only take 22,000 years before humans can live around Chernobyl. The radio-active waste waters contaminate the west coast and all the livings. Tons of this water is dumped into the pacific each day in fukushima, and it will take 40 years to cool down the reactor.

The under ground heat exchange, the wind, the water and the sun are the only ways to go! Only greed promote this insane nuclear nonsense.

Lustuccc said:

“Fukushima… Chernobyl… it would take only one like this here to ban nuclear forever! This is the stupidest of all time technology man developed.”

Thank you for a perfect example of unthinking hysteria over “RADIATION!”

Lustuccc continued:

“And nobody knows what to do with ever accumulating wastes…”

That’s not at all a technological problem, it’s just a psychological and political one. (See citation 1 below)

Lustuccc continued:

“It will only take 22,000 years before humans can live around Chernobyl.”

More hysteria. Here’s the truth:

[quote; see citation 2]
20,000 years… is the time before the area within the cement sarcophagus – the exact location of the blast – becomes safe. The surrounding area varies between 20 years and several hundred due to uneven contamination

In the meantime, you may note there are a lot of sites contaminated by hazardous waste deemed unfit for human habitation a lot longer than 20 years. Again, one way the hysteria over “RADIATION!!” makes itself known is how people seem to think contamination by fallout is somehow worse than other forms of pollution from industrial accidents.

Citation 1:

Citation 2:

Funny, when we speak EVs, you treat me equally, but on my very first comment about nuclear dangers, I suddenly become “hysterical”… I know a lot more about nuclear dangers than you might think. “The surrounding area varies between 20 years and several hundred due to uneven contamination” … or several thousands of years … ” SEVERAL HUNDRED YEARS” does not ring any bell in your head?!? BTW a quote is a perfect copy of a text. You did not. Your first “quote” refer to a very long text, can you be more specific? I have a life beside InsideEV. “That’s not at all a technological problem” How can it NOT be?!? with half lives of thousands, millions of years of the uranium and plutonium wastes (and diregarding Tritium leaks) What can we do To REALLY neutralize them? Throwing them in Volcanos? Shipping them into the sun? We nearly spent 1 billion here in Quebec only to re-wrap the concrete blocs around the wastes, only because any manipulation of nuclear material take the costs to easily factor 10 increased levels. It’s the same that happens everywhere, like in Chernobyl They spent 5 billions for the new sarcophagus that only purpose… Read more »

Oh, 2000+ Supercharger stalls, but only 400+ stations?

Thanks for the correction.


There wasn’t much unique about any of the “leaked” photos.

It’s hard for me to imagine that there was a single thing that the EV community didn’t know.

In other words, Unplugged Performance wants everybody to believe that modifying a Model S is very problematic and perhaps dangerous, in order to convince them to pay their company instead of doing the modification themselves.

Well, no doubt there is a certain amount of truth to that. Increasingly, modern cars (not just EVs) are more and more complex, and so it’s increasingly hard for a “shade tree mechanic” or a do-it-yourselfer to modify the cars in a manner which will actually result in an improvement.

But the idea that such after-market modifications will somehow give Tesla a bad reputation, or cause a drop in sales, is pretty silly, and I suspect the only reason it’s a meme floating around on the Internet is because Tesla bashers are so desperate for something, -anything- bad to say about Tesla. Grasping at straws, really.

I agree very strongly with your last paragraph. Tesla is a polarizing entity, whether because they make EVs, their ongoing legal battles with car dealer associations, Uncle Elon being a vigorous spokesman for the company, or whatever. A large part of that I think is due to nothing more or less than the age we live in. Someone does something highly visible, and one group of people leap on board, which means another group that normally opposes the views of the first group must also oppose this new thing. It’s self-imposed identity politics. “I’m on THIS part of the political/ideological spectrum, which I have to love these things and hate those things, even if I have no evidence to back up my positions.” IMO, some of the Tesla haters are nearly reaching the same level of absurdity as those in the anti-vaccine or climate change denier camps. Personally, I love Tesla, simply because they’re pushing the old guard car companies to do things that society at large needs (electric cars) at least a little quicker than they would otherwise. There’s no Tesla dealership near me, and buying one of their current vehicles would definitely amount to an out-of-budget experience. But… Read more »

Some of the polarization in political attitudes toward Tesla Motors are certainly not the fault of Tesla or Elon Musk. Mitt Romney mentioned Tesla in a list of “Obama’s failures” during a debate with our President during the last election campaign. I’m sure every President would like to have more so-called “failures” like Tesla Motors! 🙂

I think President Obama has also mentioned Tesla in public speeches, which of course is something else to rile up those suffering from “Obama Derangement Syndrome” (ODS). 🙂

It’s an article of faith on the Hard Right that the “Green” loans made by the Dept. of Energy were a bad deal and a waste of taxpayer money. “Solyndra, Solyndra, Solyndra!” they cry. Nevermind that the program has been an overwhelming success, with a return much better than the average investor earns; they point to one big failure and convince themselves that it’s typical, rather than the outlier it is.

Tesla Motors is a shining example of a resounding success in one of those DOE loans, a living refutation of the “Solyndra!” cries. And that makes those suffering from ODS simply furious!

The federal government should not be in the role of supplying venture capital. There is too much opportunity for crony-corruption and bad decisions. And that has nothing to do with ODS.

Demand-side incentives? Yes.
Supply-side venture capital? No.

Don’t forget that it was an economic stimulus program following the financial crash.

The federal government should very much be in the role of performing long-term planning, and providing support for those plans being realized. Including plans for weaning us off our addiction to burning oil for energy, which would boost our economy by reducing the shipping cost of raw materials and finished goods, thus increasing the real buying power of the Dollar.

That’s much, much more worthy of tax money being spent than nearly everything our government actually spends money on… such as the trillions of dollars spent to protect Big Oil’s overseas supply lines of petroleum.

A few billion more spent on subsidizing EVs and developing alternative energy production, for a return on -trillions- less wasted on military spending? That would be a thousand-to-one return on investment. One of the best investments of all time!

Or subsidising Big Oil.

Lensman, did I say “government should not be involved” or anything similar? No I did not, so why are you debating that straw-man?

I said … support for the desired directions should be implemented using demand side incentives. That way, competition and the free market will pick the best companies.

When government throws money at specific incompetent but well-connected companies, not only is the money wasted, but it also destroys opportunity for more competent non-connected companies that may have been able to compete. They got lucky with Tesla, but I think demand-side incentives would have also led to Tesla’s success.

Open-mind said:

“When government throws money at specific incompetent but well-connected companies, not only is the money wasted, but it also destroys opportunity for more competent non-connected companies that may have been able to compete.”

Hey, if you have a crystal ball that can tell in advance what’s an “incompetent” company vs. a “competent” one, then please loan it to the rest of us! If it was possible to separate one from the other, then we wouldn’t need venture capitalists, and investing wouldn’t be a gamble.

Let’s keep in mind that Solyndra was doing just fine until Chinese manufacturers significantly undercut their per-watt prices. I don’t define that as “incompetent”, nor as “crony-corruption”.

“Let’s keep in mind that Solyndra was doing just fine until Chinese manufacturers significantly undercut their per-watt prices. ”

IMO, squandering millions while completely ignorant of your competition and market demand is the very definition of incompetent. This article explains it pretty well:

The money lost on Solyndra alone could have doubled the Federal EV tax credit for 67,000 cars. And Solyndra was just the tip of that iceberg of failures.

That place (factory under construction) looks like a great storage place. Would I be Musk I would ship back those 2,300 unsold Model S from China and park them there.

Unsold Model S’s, or just unregistered? Nearly all cars Tesla makes are for customers’ orders; only a relative few are made to be demos or loaners for their service departments. The idea that there are 2300 Model S’s in China that haven’t been sold is pretty silly. It’s difficult to get a license plate in China. There is a national lottery to assign a limited number of those. If you don’t get one in the lottery, and you can’t find someone else to sell you theirs, then you can’t register your car. I get the impression that the reason some Tesla bashers are claiming there are thousands of unsold Model S’s in China is simply because a lot of them haven’t been registered, while others are still in transit to their owner, so have not yet technically been “sold”. That is, Tesla prefers to collect payment on delivery, and not before. Given the problem in recent months with a work stoppage on West Coast ports in the USA, it’s entirely possible that several hundred Tesla cars were stuck in transit, waiting to be shipped to China. The work stoppage has ended, so those cars should be well on their way… Read more »

Maybe it would be better to ship Henry to China?

After all, its easier to buy a Tesla in Communist China then it is in that model of freedom, the great state of Texas and Ted Cruz.

That was sarcasm BTW.

Cruz has never been a Texas lawmaker, so he’s not responsible for the state’s current laws. And his platform supporting open free-markets would make him *against* intrusive dealership laws like the one in Texas.

Maybe you have him confused with somebody else.

all he did was wrap the chrome window trim and door handles black and rims lol

Boy, those “leaked” photos are, um, startling indeed.

Open-Mind said:
March 23, “And Solyndra was just the tip of that iceberg of failures.”

Well, clearly this is something you do -not- have an open mind about.

Here’s the truth:

Overall, the agency has loaned $34.2 billion to a variety of businesses, under a program designed to speed up development of clean-energy technology. Companies have defaulted on $780 million of that — a loss rate of 2.28 percent. The agency also has collected $810 million in interest payments, putting the program $30 million in the black.

Now, where I come from, “Open-Mind”, we call a program which actually earns more money than it costs, a “good thing”. A thing we need -more- of, not less.

Apparently things were different in the school you went to? 😉


Nope. Losing money. You quoted some well-executed government spin.

Regardless, the government should not be in the role of picking the winners and losers, because it opens the door for corruption and waste.

How did he modify his Model S?

Looks like he covered some of the chrome with something black – not the most dangerous modification…