Friday, January 21News That Matters

Tag: Musk, Elon

Why Tesla Soared as Other Automakers Struggled to Make Cars

Technology
For much of last year, established automakers like General Motors and Ford Motor operated in a different reality from Tesla, the electric car company.G.M. and Ford closed one factory after another — sometimes for months on end — because of a shortage of computer chips, leaving dealer lots bare and sending car prices zooming. Yet Tesla racked up record sales quarter after quarter and ended the year having sold nearly twice as many vehicles as it did in 2020 unhindered by an industrywide crisis.Tesla’s ability to conjure up critical components has a greater significance than one year’s car sales. It suggests that the company, and possibly other young electric car businesses, could threaten the dominance of giants like Volkswagen and G.M. sooner and more forcefully than most industry executiv...

Tesla Reports 87% Increase in 2021 Deliveries

Technology
Tesla reported Sunday that it delivered 936,000 cars in 2021, an 87 percent increase from the year before, despite the computer chip shortage that has disrupted auto production around the world.In the fourth quarter alone, the company delivered more than 308,000 vehicles, a 71 percent increase from the quarter a year earlier. The overwhelming share of the deliveries were of the Model 3 sedan and the Model Y hatchback.Tesla does not break out its deliveries by country. Much of its recent growth has been propelled by sales in Europe and China.The jump in deliveries capped a momentous year in which Tesla saw its stock and profits soar. It has also worked to open factories near Austin, Tex., and Berlin, in Germany, in hopes of sustaining its rapid growth.In October, Tesla’s market value for th...
Tesla Agrees to Stop Letting Drivers Play Video Games in Moving Cars

Tesla Agrees to Stop Letting Drivers Play Video Games in Moving Cars

Technology
Tesla has agreed to modify software in its cars to prevent drivers and passengers from playing video games on the dashboard screens while vehicle are in motion, a federal safety regulator said on Thursday.The agreement came a day after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opened a formal investigation of the game feature, which is known as Passenger Play. The investigation was announced after The New York Times reported this month on the potential safety risks the games posed.“Following the opening of a preliminary evaluation of Tesla’s ‘Passenger Play,’ Tesla informed the agency that it is changing the functionality of this feature,” the safety agency said in a statement. “In a new software update, ‘Passenger Play’ will now be locked and unusable when the vehicle is in motio...

SpaceX Reports 132 Covid Cases at Headquarters in California

Technology
At least 132 employees at SpaceX’s Southern California headquarters tested positive for the coronavirus, according to information posted on a Los Angeles County website. It was the highest number of cases currently reported among private companies in the county.The outbreak erupted as a wave of infections spread throughout the country, driven mainly by the Omicron virus variant, and also as the private space company founded and led by Elon Musk is conducting a rapid series of rocket launches at sites in California and Florida.Some 6,000 employees at the company’s headquarters in Hawthorne, Calif., build and manufacture SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rockets and Crew Dragon capsules. The rockets are the dominant launch vehicle used by private companies and governments to put satellites in orbit, and the...
Elon Musk’s Latest Innovation: Troll Philanthropy

Elon Musk’s Latest Innovation: Troll Philanthropy

Technology
Mr. Musk did not respond to an email asking him to discuss his philanthropic giving.The notion that rich people have a moral obligation to give is an ancient one. Mr. Soskis, a historian of philanthropy, notes that wealthy citizens in ancient Rome tried to outdo one another paying for public baths and theaters. The inscriptions on those edifices could count as a form of early donor lists.The idea that the richest might need charity to improve their public relations is also longstanding, driven home in the Gilded Age by the 1882 outburst by railway magnate William Henry Vanderbilt, “The public be damned!” that shadowed him to the end of his days.Updated Dec. 10, 2021, 11:05 a.m. ETEfforts to track the charitable giving of the very wealthy in the United States date to the late 19th cent...

A New Tesla Safety Concern: Drivers Can Play Video Games in Moving Cars

Business
Not long after buying a Tesla Model 3 this summer, Vince Patton saw a YouTube clip highlighting a feature that took him by surprise: three video games that can be played on the large touch screen mounted in front of the dashboard — while driving down the road.“I thought surely that can’t be right,” Mr. Patton, a retiree in Lake Oswego, Ore.But in a parking lot, he gave it a try, and he was able to play a solitaire game on the Model 3 while in motion. “I only did it for like five seconds and then turned it off,” he said. “I’m astonished. To me, it just seems inherently dangerous.”The automaker added the games in an over-the-air software update that was sent to most of its cars this summer. They can be played by a driver or by a passenger in full view of the driver, raising fresh questions a...

Inside Tesla: How Elon Musk Pushed His Vision for Autopilot

Technology
In May 2016, about six months after Mr. Musk’s remarks appeared in Fortune, a Model S owner, Joshua Brown, was killed in Florida when Autopilot failed to recognize a tractor-trailer crossing in front of him. His car had radar and a camera.Mr. Musk held a short meeting with the Autopilot team and briefly addressed the accident. He did not delve into the details of what went wrong but told the team that the company must work to ensure that its cars did not hit anything, according to two people who were part of the meeting.Tesla later said that during the crash, Autopilot’s camera could not distinguish between the white truck and the bright sky. Tesla has never publicly explained why the radar did not prevent the accident. Radar technology, like cameras and lidar, is not flawless. But most in...

He Helped Build Tesla. Now He Hopes to Do the Same at Lucid.

Technology
But mass producing automobiles is a challenge of a different magnitude. Initial versions of the Air cost almost $35,000 more than a top-of-the-line Tesla Model S Plaid. To be profitable, Lucid must appeal to more than just a superwealthy elite.“Lucid’s biggest risks are getting to scale and capacity,” said Daniel Ives, a senior analyst at Wedbush Securities who follows the electric car industry. “The first phase has been significantly successful. Now it’s about the next level of adoption.”Lucid plans to offer a version of the Air next year that will cost $70,000 after a federal tax credit, and produce 500,000 cars a year by 2030, with a lineup that will include a sport utility vehicle and a pickup. The company had burned through $4.2 billion by June, and its prospectus noted that it might ...

JPMorgan says Tesla owes it $162 million because of an Elon Musk tweet.

Technology
Elon Musk’s Twitter post about taking Tesla private is still dogging him, more than three years later.On Monday, JPMorgan Chase sued Tesla in federal court, seeking $162 million that the bank says the electric automaker owes it under a stock options contract the companies signed in 2014. At the heart of the dispute is a provision in the contract that allows JPMorgan to tweak its details after any “extraordinary events” at Tesla.The bank is claiming that an Aug. 7, 2018, tweet — in which Mr. Musk, Tesla’s chief executive, said he had “funding secured” to take Tesla private at $420 a share — filled the bill because it significantly lowered Tesla’s share price. Tesla’s leaders disagree.JPMorgan’s lawsuit says Tesla sold JPMorgan stock warrants in 2014 “as part of a larger capital markets tran...
Elon Musk Sells $5 Billion in Tesla Stock

Elon Musk Sells $5 Billion in Tesla Stock

Technology
Elon Musk, the chief executive of Tesla, disclosed on Wednesday that he had sold about $5 billion worth of Tesla shares, in part to cover his tax obligations after exercising options on a large tranche of stock.Mr. Musk sold about 4.5 million shares between Monday and Wednesday, according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Tesla’s stock closed trading on Wednesday at $1,067.95, which would value the shares at about $4.8 billion, but some were sold for slightly higher prices.In the filings, Mr. Musk said he had sold about a million of the shares “solely” to cover taxes on 2,154,572 in stock he picked up at $6.24 each. Those shares he acquired, for a total of $13.4 million, were instantly worth about $2.3 billion. Later Wednesday, he disclosed the sale of an additional 3...