Prime Minister Of Japan Rides In Tesla Model S With Elon Musk – (w/video)

MAY 6 2015 BY MARK KANE 30

Elon Musk & Shinzo Abe

Elon Musk & Shinzo Abe

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe recently visited Silicon Valley.  During his visit, he swung by Tesla Motors and met up with Elon Musk.

The highlight of his visit was driving in a Tesla Model S P85D in Insane Mode.

“The two drove slowly out of the parking lot at Tesla Motors Inc. before racing out of sight on a Palo Alto road.”

“I don’t think he gets driven fast in a car very often,” Tesla Chief Executive Officer Musk told reporters after the spin on Thursday. “I did say: Is it OK if we go fast? He said: ‘Yes.’ It was like, OK, boom!” the 43-year-old billionaire said moments after Abe departed.”

According to Bloomberg, Musk broached the subject of charging points in Japan:

“Musk said Abe had fun on the ride, which was joined by two security officers in the back seat. “We talked about what are the challenges with electric vehicles.”

Musk said he spoke to Abe about having parking lots in Japan where electric cars can be charged. Musk has said he plans to have 30 charging stations in Japan this year, the Nikkei newspaper reported.”

Shinzo Abe earlier tested the autonomous Nissan LEAF and the hydrogen fuel cell Toyota Mirai in Japan, which means that he already has a strong overview of alternative drive technology.

“Abe’s brush with Silicon Valley royalty was part of a week-long trip to the U.S. that included a stop in Washington to meet with President Barack Obama and address a joint session of Congress. His visit is aimed at showcasing the world’s third-largest economy as a close ally, willing and able to help advance shared economic and strategic goals in Asia and beyond.

Abe’s day in Silicon Valley and San Francisco included stops at Stanford University and Facebook Inc., and meetings with venture capitalists and California Governor Jerry Brown. Abe showed the 77-year-old Democrat a bullet-train simulator as part of his nation’s bid to sell high-speed rail to California.”

Source: Bloomberg

Categories: Tesla

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30 Comments on "Prime Minister Of Japan Rides In Tesla Model S With Elon Musk – (w/video)"

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Excellent. Lobby for BEVs. Explain to Abe why Hydrogen for cars is retarded…

Oh, and congrats to SpsceX for a great Pad Abort Test this morning.

Yes Tesla may now be ready to take up the challenge of off-cliff driving. 

Elon could try to change Abe’s mind on hydrogen, but I don’t think he will succeed. Elon didn’t do a good job convincing Toyota and Mercedes that hydrogen cars are a really bad idea. Tesla built EV powertrains for Toyota’s RAV4 EV and Mercedes’ B-Class EV, then Toyota went all in on hydrogen FCVs, and Mercedes is now building hydrogen filling stations on the autobahn.

Japan’s population, faced with rapidly rising costs of supplying its electricity for day-to-day needs – let alone what extra electrical energy they will need to make their H2 economy a success, will very quickly forget Fukushima and will re-start their nuclear generating industry. Next, people will realise that, really, BEVs make much more sense and H2 FCEVs will wither away into history.

Wow, Abe wasn’t even born when the WWII atrocities occurred. Time to let it go.

It’s interesting to see Abe get a ride in a Tesla, whereas Obama won’t be allowed to while he is in office.

Unless the White House picks up a Tesla and makes it bullet proof. Call it Model S One.

I don’t know if it needs to be bullet proof? It tends to be very hard to hit a bullet with a bullet.

Didn’t Abe get the first Mirai back in December? After 5 months months he is looking at a Tesla.

When driving the prime minister in the Mirai, I did say: Is it OK if we go fast? He said: ‘Yes.’ It was like, OK, fizzle. He said: ‘OK you can go fast now.’

To understand why the Japanese (gov’t) is supporting the H2 infrastructure, you have to know the Japanese society (not the culture). The political environment is, in a way, similar to US. Big corporate support MUST happened (so if you have the support of Toyota, you are in a very good position). Gang support is a must too (well, not necessary the case in the US). Thus, if Toyota pushes for H2, gov’t pushes for H2. Moreover, since the earthquake of 2012, and the nuclear reactor incident, it’s been extremely difficult to get the support from Japanese to restart their nuclear power plants. Current coal power plants can barely supported the need of the Japanese society (Japan switched to nuclear power due to an utter lack of resource on everything). Elon really needs to do his homework when outside of his US turf. Driving fast in a electric car? Does he know that Nissan (Japan) has the LEAF and various sports EV capable of very fast speed? Yes, all concepts, but it’s not like, “oh, so EV can be fast? I wish I knew that.” This is NOT to mention the GT-R, Acura NSX – Concept, IS-F, etc. that, well, though… Read more »

A real puzzle to me why the Japanese don’t resort to renewable energy like wave power with all the coastline they have, photovoltaic energy, wind power and last but not least geothermal since they are literally sitting on volcanoes. Japan has a potential excess of renewable energy!

No one has been able to build an economical wave system that can withstand the beating out in the ocean yet.

But Japan has jumped into solar & wind big time. They have massively built out their renewable structure in the past couple of years.

Tsunamis tossing ocean wave generating equipment back onto land, would not be good…

““oh, so EV can be fast? I wish I knew that.”
That is exactly what it was. The Leaf is not fast. He was demonstrating EVs can be fast/fun.

You did read the part about the concepts, right?

In case if you don’t know, Nismo LEAF RC, Nissan ZEOD, etc.

Those are Nissan’s electric concept vehicles, tuned to racing specs, show casing numerous times in Japan.

And I’m pretty sure the prime minister has not rode in one.

I don’t know. I mean, he’s the prime minister of Japan, so he basically can “ride” any vehicles he wants, in Japan.

He did ride the autonomous drive LEAF.

But my point being, it may not be news – it may be – that EV can go fast, because of the development of EV in that country.

Tesla is being sold in Japan, so who knows, he may have tried one himself already.

The ZEOD is a hybrid and a racing car, nowhere close to an all-electric family sedan.

You may want to look that up and verify.

Hint: it is capable to complete a lap on the Le Man using electric power alone, and it did last year.

I’m sure he mentioned the range, but how would he demonstrate it with a Prime Minister? Drive for three hours? Not an option, is it? He had to make a point fast, so he made a fast point.

Remember one of those old infomercials on cooking apparatus, you know, like how they make a roasted chicken in 30 minutes, when the TV screen time is only 5 seconds?

Maybe he could have demonstrated that by something similar, like, when Mr. Abe arrived the HQ, Musk already has a Tesla driving around circles, with a big display showing range at that time, then by the time he leaves, that display would have shown how many circles made, the distance, and the charge? Just some random thoughts here, of course 🙂

Meh . . . let Japan wander down the wrong path of fuel cell cars. That will give GM a CHANCE to regain its title as biggest carmaker on the planet. GM will still probably find some way to screw it up though.

Forgive me for asking but have you actually been out for a soon in an MS? It isn’t just that it is fast but everything else that goes with the experience that sets it entirely apart from anything that has gone before.

I find it very telling indeed that Mr Abe has taken the time to visit Tesla. To take a decent chunk of his immensely important trip to the US to do so is, frankly, shocking.

I was there a few weeks back and was shocked at how low the speed limits are in Japan that everyone seems to ignore.
It’s a really pity for all the fast cars as they seem to be a image status thing for the wealthy as you can’t drive them fast at all there.
Was also surprised how the wealth clamour for the German / English and American Luxury cars as I thought they were Japanese loyal.
Appears to be a fashion / wealth thing instead.

Lots of solar farms I saw, but some of their houses are so energy inefficient…. maybe they need to start Eco house renovations first?
Centre of Tokyo is one standard, country and average person is another, real shock to see they have long way to improve in some places in Japan.
But then again look at their High speed clock work trains and high tech toilets… Australia and US is like a 3rd world country by comparison on the trains..
Japanese trains are much more efficient than any car travel that we are used to. Different mind set.

Love their vending machines – ratio: 1 machine for every 23 Japanese!

I want video of Abe’s face when they launched the car in “insane mode”.


Dear Prime Minister
Please ask your countrymen to buy more Teslas. This will cut down your country’s oil consumption.

Tesla has built many superchargers as well which can charge the vehicle quickly.

A few thousand more expensive Tesla cars will not make any difference to oil consumption in Japan.

Japan has enough excellent domestic car makers to produce mass-market EVs and PHEVs as battery costs come down.

I hope Abe understands how much better a real plug in is for the environment & the society than the Hydrogen Mirai he drove a few months back.