Elon Musk may be standing on top of the world today, but it was not always so. In yet another Twitter blast, Musk revealed that Tesla was not started to milk government subsidies and it was not about making money. In fact, he thought the company had a 90% chance of failure. This is something longtime Tesla followers know, but the ever-growing list of Tesla fans surely needs a Twitter catch-up course once in a while.
Who Killed The Electric Car?
“Few people know that we started Tesla when GM forcibly recalled all electric cars from customers in 2003 & then crushed them in a junkyard. That was done against the will of their owners, who held a candlelight vigil all night to protest the death of their cars.” That decision by GM was chronicled in the 2006 movie Who Killed The Electric Car?
In the past few months, Tesla’s stock valuation has soared past that of GM. Is it true that General Motors killed its innovative electric car program in order to protect its core business based on the internal combustion engine? No one knows for sure, but if it did, it was certainly one of the biggest blunders in history.
“Since big car companies were killing their EV programs, the only chance was to create an EV company, even tho it was almost certain to fail. Nothing to do w govt incentives or making money. Thought 90% prob of losing it all (almost did many times), but it was the only chance,” Musk tweeted. Asked if he now considered Tesla a success, Musk tweeted back, “Long way to go, but we’ve convinced most of the auto industry to start EV programs & gave them all our patents to help, so that’s something.”
Indeed, it is. With production of the Model 3 set to begin in a few weeks, the Tesla Semi reveal coming this fall, the Model Y under development, and a Tesla pickup truck in the pipeline, Tesla has certainly come a long way in a very short time.
Live Streaming & Voice Commands Added
Musk also tweeted that live streaming and a new voice command feature have been added to Tesla cars. “Just tap the voice button on the steering wheel and say ‘Play Monty Python’ or ‘Navigate home’ or anything. Voice commands work pretty well.” Musk is a huge Monty Python fan. Now Tesla owners can watch any Python skit on the 17″ touchscreen embedded in the dashboard of their cars using only voice commands. The new feature only works within the United States at this time.
More Model 3 Spy Shots
Meanwhile, more and more pre-production Model 3 sedans are showing up on public roads near the Fremont factory, leading to lots of new spy shots on the internet. The white car above was the subject of a video by BGR that went live on YouTube yesterday.
Then this video of a black Model 3 with the numbers “007” on the rear window and an odd sensor mounted on the roof appeared online.
Elon Trolls Short Sellers
Model 3 fever is gripping the automotive world and driving Tesla stock into the stratosphere. Musk took a moment yesterday to level a broadside against those who are shorting Tesla stock. A story published by Investopedia this week says that more and more investors are betting against the company.
“These guys want us to die so bad they can taste it,” Musk tweeted. “Just wish they would stop sticking pins in voodoo dolls of me. That hurts, ok?” So far, market watchers estimate short sellers have lost over $5 million betting against Tesla. Now the total of short positions is approaching $10 billion, according to Investopedia. Some people never learn. Et tu, GM?