Somebody SuperPoke Tesla

Silicon Valley darlings Facebook and Tesla both have cash problems. These days, who isn’t? But these are Big Deal companies. Apparently Facebook’s rapid growth, and subsequent spending, has it worried enough that it’s looking for more investors, most recently in the Middle East. And Tesla has only $9 million left — a disgruntled employee told Valleywag — which led founder and CEO Elon Musk to tell Reuters today that he’s expecting a $20 million investment from existing investors to close in the next week. Musk also declared: “I’ve gone on record as saying that I am personally standing behind delivering the cars and the deposits for the company.”

GMSV personally goes on record to say we send good karma to Facebook and hope it can keep its costs down even as everyone and their grandma all around the world (how do you say SuperPoke in French?) signs up so they can be cool and have lots of “friends.” And that Tesla eventually delivers all those cool electric Roadsters — Reuters says it has delivered 60 of 1,200 orders — and gets around to working on that sedan, which is supposed to be more affordable for those of us who aren’t governors or actors.


Share this Post

  • kevin

    Wrong. Facebook is probably a Big Deal company. Tesla is a Big Flash company not a Big Deal company. Obama has personally gone on record that he is going to end the “war in Iraq”. He and Musk will be finding out that there is a lot more to getting things done than “going on the record.” The audacity of hope often turns out to just audacity, when you have to manage the real world. Mr. Musk, meet Mr. DeLorean.

  • RedRat

    Many months ago I wrote here that Tesla Motors business plan was weak in that they were building basically hand made cars for a very steep price that would appeal to a limited audience. There are only so many software millionaires who can afford these vehicles. Certainly in the current economic climate such limited, hand-made craft industries are going to find it tough sledding. After all, if I have $100K to 200K burning a whole in my pocket, there are other automobile marks that have more cache than Tesla, e.g., Ferrari, Maserati, etc. And in those old standby marks, I don’t have to buy a new battery every 5 years or so.

  • James Anderson Merritt

    Those other marques mentioned by RedRat will be competition for Tesla when they make hybrids or pure electric vehicles. For now, up to its top speed, the Tesla Roadster is a rocket, and that is very attractive to a great many well-heeled car enthusiasts. But beyond that, the pure EV Tesla is a “green” automobile, which is more or less impervious to the ups-and-downs of the oil and gasoline markets, as well as lowering effective greenhouse gas emissions to their practical minimum (to zero if, like Tesla founder Martin Eberhard, you use solar-generation or some other renewable method to produce your electrons). A not insignificant number of Tesla purchasers are trying to quell envrionmental guilt pangs: they can live large as the rich are supposed to do, and burn up the road without heating up the planet! That’s definitely worth $100K or so, if you have it to spend, and is something that Ferrari and Maserati cannot yet deliver: Good KARma and green street cred.

  • James Anderson Merritt

    “And in those old standby marks, I don’t have to buy a new battery every 5 years or so.”

    I forgot to add: At the rate that battery technology is advancing, it is likely that the first full battery replacement for the Roadster will be the last one needed, or at least that subsequent replacements will be MUCH cheaper and result in a pack that will propel the car MUCH farther than the original one.

    The sedan, I believe, needs to have a modular battery design, which would make physical replacement of all or part of the battery pack quick, easy, and reliable. This would enable the establishment of battery “charge and swap” centers, as we now have for propane gas tanks. Normally, one would “keep the tank topped off” through plug-in charge while the car was parked at home or work (or while dining at restaurants, seeing a movie or ball-game, sleeping in one’s hotel room, etc.). On long trips, however a quick “fill-up” or “top-off” could be accomplished in minutes, without special high-voltage, high-current equipment, through physical swapping of depleted battery modules for freshly-charged ones. There would be no need for extensive, expensive infrastructure for “fast-charging.” The module-swapping stations could be established immediately, practically anywhere, and could be just as easily shut down and eliminated when no longer needed (for example, as increases in battery longevity and capacity reduce or eliminate the need to replace or quickly “refill” automobile battery packs). The “charge and swap” approach is a much more economically flexible and sustainable model than the usually-imagined “fast charge” approach, which involves electric works similar to those at a power substation, feeding huge electric “pumps” that refuel EV batteries with high-voltage, high-current torrents of electrons.