Extreme Temperature Diary-May 21, 2019/ Tesla And Elon Musk…Big Delays Fighting The Climate Crisis

Tuesday May 21st … Dear Diary. The main purpose of this ongoing blog will be to track United States extreme or record temperatures related to climate change. Any reports I see of ETs will be listed below the main topic of the day. I’ll refer to extreme or record temperatures as ETs (not extraterrestrials).😉

Tesla And Elon Musk…Big Delays Fighting The Climate Crisis

Sometimes corporations try to bite off more than they can proverbially chew causing delays with expanding, hiring more workers, or building more outlets and factories. Unfortunately this is now the case with Tesla, which earlier this decade promised to bring affordable all electric vehicles to the world, helping to alleviate some of the climate crisis. Elon Musk, in my opinion, could be the 21st century version of Henry Ford but is fighting some strong head winds. I sincerely pray that what I am reporting today for the main topic will just be a blip in the overall performance of Tesla Incorporated in the long run. I am reposting this Bloomberg article:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-05-20/elon-musk-has-downsized-his-dreams-to-end-climate-change

Can Elon Musk Still Stop Climate Change?

By Austin Carr ‎May‎ ‎20‎, ‎2019‎ ‎6‎:‎45‎ ‎AM‎ ‎EDT Updated on ‎May‎ ‎20‎, ‎2019‎ ‎11‎:‎57‎ ‎AM‎ ‎EDT

Last week, Tesla Inc.’s stock dropped to its lowest level in almost two and a half years following another fatal vehicle crash involving its much-touted autopilot navigation system, and a vow from Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk to introduce more “hardcore” cost-cutting measures to save the company from running out of cash in 10 months.

So it should come as no shock that Tesla, yet again, appears to be delaying its plans to ramp up its solar business. Reports surfaced last week that Tesla is exploring different products for its solar Gigafactory in Buffalo, New York, due to slumping sales, and that the vast majority of solar cells manufactured at the plant by its partner Panasonic are actually shipped to overseas rivals, instead of being used in Tesla’s “Solar Roof.” With so much scrutiny focused on delays and shortcomings in Musk’s vehicle portfolio, it’s easy to forget how core this solar product was to the automaker’s sustainable future just a few years ago, back when Musk sold it as the missing piece of his clean-energy vision.

In October 2016, at a launch event in California, Musk showed off new textured glass tiles Tesla designed to look like regular rooftop shingles, but ones that, with solar cells embedded inside, could generate electricity. The Solar Roof wowed media and audience members, and followed a now almost cliché Tesla formula: The company accepted big deposits for customer preorders, only to delay the product’s delivery multiple times due to some variation of “production hell” and technical complexities. As Bloomberg Businessweek reported in a recent feature on the endeavor, the company was producing barely enough Solar Roof shingles at its Buffalo factory to cover around three homes per week.

In Tesla’s perpetual state of product triage, critics often highlight such issues as evidence of Musk’s unfortunate habit of overpromising and underdelivering on his commitments. The risk, the conventional wisdom goes, is that shareholders might one day no longer buy into Musk’s magnetic hype. But there’s a sense this danger runs deeper: This isn’t merely a matter of a faltering reality-distortion field, but actually a question of Tesla’s underlying mission. After all, as Musk outlined in his 2006 “Master Plan,” the company’s success was premised on developing an affordable high-volume sedan (the Model 3) and then rolling out solar power to the masses; Musk even revised his master plan with “Part Deux” in 2016, in which he reoriented Tesla’s future entirely around the Solar Roof, a justification for his controversial, multi-billion dollar acquisition of his cousins’ struggling solar company, SolarCity.

Yet since then, it’s clear Musk has strayed far from his grand strategy. Though Tesla hasn’t fully delivered on the promise of a $35,000 Model 3 and thousands of customers are still waiting for their Solar Roof preorders to be fulfilled, Tesla has embarked on new plans to develop a Model Y, a semi-truck and a high-end roadster. Meanwhile, as of November, Musk still hadn’t visited his Buffalo solar factory, the company recently laid off a subset of plant workers there and has continued gutting its solar sales channels. (Musk has since made a trip to the Buffalo facility.)

When Musk first pitched the public on adding solar to Tesla’s already complicated roadmap, he called the plan a “no-brainer.” It’s now increasingly feeling like a head-scratcher. 

As mentioned on past posts I am seeing many more Teslas on the road in Atlanta. Let’s hope that this trend continues, but I do know that it won’t unless Tesla models get cheaper in order to become more competitive with internal combustion vehicles. A big P.S. here that was perversely funny. I saw a video add for a big gas guzzling picup truck right in the middle of the Bloomberg article.

Certainly Tesla’s foray into solar has encountered unforeseen delays, hurting the company. Do remember that corporations like Apple have brought many good products into this world but have had their ups and downs. Perhaps for a big change climate conscious people reading this post, who may also frown on big corporations, need to ask what they can do to help a green company like Tesla. I look forward to seeing your opinions.

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Here are Wednesday’s maxes. A low level heat wave will continue to simmer in the South:

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Here is more climate and weather news from Tuesday:

(As usual, this will be a fluid post in which more information gets added during the day as it crosses my radar, crediting all who have put it on-line. Items will be archived on this site for posterity. In most instances click on the pictures of each tweet to see each article.)

(If you like these posts and my work please contribute via the PayPal widget, which has recently been added to this site. Thanks in advance for any support.) 

Guy Walton- “The Climate Guy”

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