Episode 200: My Elon Musk InterviewFeb 27, 2020
it's worse with it with the boot with and because the cross sectional area is higher just outside so there's some manufacturing improvements for the reason that we're lower rear body we're moving to an aluminum casting rather than a series of steel and aluminum stamped parts but initially it would be two castings and I'll go from 70 parts to two and then 70 parts actually 70 parts to two plus carpenters so horror and then it will happen when we have the big casting machine it will go from 70 parts to a Wow with a reduction in weight and an improvement in MBH and a reduction in cost and a significant drop in catholic Spanish required for older robots which of course Otherwise, they would be necessary to collect those 70 boats.
How is the project going? We are making progress. Yes, are you happy? What's going on? They are happy. I intentionally didn't go all out with the model why reveal because I didn't want to convince people to buy a why instead of a three yeah so yeah if everyone decided it's ok we'll buy a why instead of a three, then we wouldn't have any clients and they wouldn't have a voi, right, he's nobody, yeah, how we flowed, we could float the company, so you know, I was kind of mean when presenting why, but I think when people get it the reaction is going to be better than they think and it's really like if you want an SUV or more and you're prepared to accept a slight increase in cost and a slight decrease in range then that's great and the advantage of said sedan is that it will cost a little less and have a little more range so it just depends if you want to be a stand-alone or an SUV what has been your thought process of where to build it because in the last two earnings calls you seemed to know need He doesn't have to make any guarantees, but he seems to say okay I think we're probably going to look at building this in the gigafactory and then on the last conference call, last earnings call, he said maybe he was more leaning towards finding a space in Freemont. to do so, is there a kind of curiosity in your thought process?
I'm sure there are pros and cons to doing it in any location. The stamping tools, just like the external body side tooling, are the long haul items, so you know if we put them in the Fremont or the Nevada Gigas, we have more time to decide that versus the amount of time it takes to mechanize these static giants. tools to the right of th I assumed that is the trigger factor and right now our default plan is actually to produce the Y in Fremont and at first I was skeptical about whether this made sense but you know my team convinced me that this is actually the fastest way to get to volume production is to make the wine in Fremont I guess, especially when you share 75% of the parts and they can have them all under one roof, yeah, too there are some advantages to doing a gig because we don't have to transport the drive units and battery pack properly and chargers as well, you know we were manufacturing on site and labor, you know the cost of living is lower in Nevada for sure, so you can have the same sound of life because you know less money the in nevada than in california and especially in the bay area so mentally reduced cost of living here is high that's why it's a bit counterintuitive but not totally clear cut decision but we are optimizing for speed of execution and on balance it looks like we could we could do things faster if we did it in fremont makes sense yeah and part of it is that I was a little skeptical at first like where are we going to put this you know we didn't have to put the ga4 in a tent it was a very nice tent you know when my car was built yeah exact times is one It's not like a cup, sort of Cub Scouts Han structural store, but we actually found that there's a warehouse space that we were using for storing parts in the main factory and then we can move things over to the west side of the factory, the road side of the factory yeah and use that wall and just add stuff in there so sort of counter intuitive but it seemed like we can we have the space and we can do it without interrupting production d the model 3 or the next production you've been having a lot of fun with software in cars lately we've seen the tari games from tesla t your love of portal and some of that stuff games you'd like to see importing the Unreal Engine Unity potentially to the cars is there another thing I hope unity works that's awesome yeah so yeah it's kind of like a beach buggy driving game oh yeah it was cool - it's like dune buggy gears oh my god yeah and that's a lot of fun and then cuphead we have really working yes I know them I know the developers in my day job yes I think they would if they know yes yes they have been helping us yes Jared the Moldenhauer family they are wonderful yes , yes it's a cool game it's insanely difficult yes by design yes yes it's sadistically difficult yes I actually have to beat the devil it's I said twisted plot yes oh yes deal with the arc correct, phenomenal, it looks like a cute little thing and busy. a bunch of other games we're going to anticipate having all these games in there so storage is basically more of a hassle but you kind of have to decide which game you want to play and then it'll download it and if you want to play other games you'll have to delete that perfect anacs another yes good on that note you know i was watching an old presentation of yours recently the open house the 2011 freemont open house before the car shipped you were showing the user interface for the original group of reservation holders of the Model S and there eight years ago for him yeah eight years ago and there you know you'll remember the original 1.0 of the Model S it had a tab for apps oh yeah ultimately. you never did anything with it so i'm curious because you know you've been doing more with games and we've seen so many amazing features this year alone.
I talked about it on my podcast all the time just in one with sentinel mode and all sorts of things is is there any idea that maybe you know to open things up and have an app store selected as a situation where people can write apps for the car as you had originally stated ok for someone to write an app that has to be enough of an install base to warrant the effort even if you can't report something it still has to be a worthwhile kind of work worth it yeah so as our number of vehicles grows and you also need to have a consistent platform So as the number of vehicles grows then you start to know that it potentially makes more sense to develop games of jackpot games or other apps for Tesla but we just need a lot of cars like we are good if we have millions of cars then its thoughts how is it bi en, that might make sense, especially since the center screen is an intel platform and you know it runs linux basically so if you have something that runs linux and intel linux then you have where it runs on a touchscr In that case you don't have to do a lot of work to port it, but I think it doesn't make sense for us to put a huge amount of effort into an app store until the number of vehicles is higher, so I think for now. what makes sense is just working with some great game and app developers that just got put off by interest in curiosity or just thought it would be cool yeah to port their stuff that there's no money in it right now you know not you can compete with whatever there are like five hundred million iPhones or two billion Android devices or the UK it's like we're ordering the magazine to get away from that so it's like you already have something and it's pretty easy to port so it could be fun to do and especially if they're driving the car then it's cool so they're like some kind of demo apps that are fun especially if they increase the level of fun in the car was there something cool was it do you keep trying? o Work to get Netflix and/or a YouTube portal in the cars for a future software release.
You mention that maybe it's a v10 thing, well I could certainly, it would be pretty straightforward to allow access to Netflix because it just happens. a browser yeah any kind of browser interface is going to work because we have chrome running so chrome i guess oh yeah yeah so the problem is that the bandwidth consumed will be significant for video so we just can't afford to have liked Tesla too much to pay huge amounts of hay to get people to see a movie about ourselves yeah running up that bill with AT&T that would be an expensive movie so if I think we could do it I could just enable it to that you know if you're connected to Wi-Fi or something then certainly make video work very easily you know on that note I see a lot in the community that North American test loners are jealous of their European count erparts because they have slacker or is it part of me they have spotify in their cars and we have slacker no good don't shoot the messenger here sir is that so there is some kind of contract with slacker so is that why there is no spotify here or is it just your preference or insert i guess i have to ask that one on behalf of the community. priority list yeah two other things google can suddenly play spotify over the bluetooth connection on your phone you know and yeah so you know when we first did this in 20 2010 or we're in 2012 production , TRUE? it was kinda crazy to have streaming audio in a car like no car ever got that call of any song with voice activation yeah yeah that was like some crazy magic trick back in 2012 it's like just seven years ago like that that the idea of being able to say play any artist or any song or any comedy routine like Monty Python, whatever, and it'll just sound like, was kind of cool in 2012, obviously it's a lot less cool in 20 20 19, so that it's what you know so it's just um we've got a lot of fish to fry and then and giving people the option of Spotify is something we'll probably do in the future but it's not a high priority right now it's understandable and certainly the present you know.
I have a lot to solidify at present and so on the subject of priority with the drive for autonomy and the Tesla Network coming online in the near future, yes, and your call, your belief that people will call for the flyer to be removed at some point sooner than later is i'm curious as to how you think you know you've talked a lot about Tesla being the most exciting product line in the world and me as a test enthusiast for the longest you certainly don't disagree with the most f part from a product roadmap standpoint yeah it's hard to add it's hard to think of what the second or third would be you know it's like saying you got the best, as the most exciting product line of a long shot from any company that publicly announced something so With that in mind, but with the autonomous future coming your way, you guys are working so hard to deliver, it's kind of like a blueprint even cheaper, more affordable, you know, in quotes, like a compact sedan, is it something like that even on the roadmap or do you think that autonomy will not even cause the need for autonomy to be certainly the priority, as if it were just a car, it becomes dramatically more valuable when it's self-driving versus not, as it probably goes up I think it goes up in value by you know the effect or five or something crazy, or just think if you can with thirty grand a year of a car and say you know even like a Model S you know you know the finance payment could be a thousand bucks a month so there will be like 12,000 bucks like you basically you could get pretty good performance even on a Model S or a Model X I guess I'm a little curious about the balance between the freelance future and the ultimate goal of your company.
You know, just by electrifying the world and promoting sustainable transportation, you know I've seen in my own office that three of my coworkers have bought standard plus range models because there's an incredible difference between a $40,000 Tesla and a $40,000 Tesla. $50,000, yeah, so I Kind of, you know, do you want to keep moving up the roadmap and do you know how to drive lower cost cars to market? they're just arbitrarily choosing not to because we hate evil for 20,000 cars we don't know how to do that certainly now so you certainly know the original kind of secret master plan that it's incredibly hard to make a can out of picking Riccar at a price you know at priced at the same level as a gas car and has the same features and functionality okay you know gas cars have had trillions of dollars literally trillions andlike 150 years to refine internal combustion engine technology and i mean the 70s it wasn't even like obviously you can start your car like you go to a car and there's like turning the key it doesn't always start like that you know today , that would be super weird yeah even though you have all these old movies where like the killer is chasing you with an ax and whether the car starts or not it's a bad luck device I know I don't know it could start but there all these years it seems like a lot of are not equal and and and tremendous scale Economies have gone into making low-cost gasoline cars.
It's crazy how low they cost given how complex they are, so more is just needed. It takes longer for electric cars to get there. past like 20 I don't know much yeah and we're basically on you know four says a stamp order like version three of the tech yeah yeah yeah I mean we have the toaster sx rig and hillary rig of 3 wires. the recessed one i like that's just version three so there's that and yeah but but with autonomy i think it makes the economics of buying a car dramatically different you know you could get sort of a model three you know renting you at least like four hundred bucks a month maybe finance it for 450 or 500 bucks a month and say ok so that's basically you know maybe a little over $100 a week and how many trips you would have to have an autonomous car earns $100 a week very few yes like if it is if i just spent you know you know a few hours taking rides you've made your lease payment so you know for a few hours a week and and so who doesn't you can afford that luxury as long as you are willing to let your car take trips like anyone could afford it really yes and indeed it would be a source of income so instead of being like a uber or enough driver driving a car stuck mobile or could you could be managing a fleet of cars and where each of those cars is making money for you and you could manage like 10 cars or 20 cars or something and that will be so much better and then more like a shepherd taking care of a fly everything you're not the sheep so that seems like a lot better to do than always be driving the car and so I think that's definitely what people will choose to do is just run a fleet run a small fleet and like you know how to take care of cars when they get flat or need some service or something like that you know it needs to be cleaned or taken care of somehow so you manage your fleet and then it's like a small business basically you've been so excited about the truck k you just you feel like you can't wait to show that thing you know you sneaked into the teaser at the model event and we all missed it before you posted it on slater wait too long subtle yeah i heard the noise and i spun and missed it at the event and i was like what was that but i know from everything you've said i mean this sounds crazy because you've mentioned on twitter like titanium components a some like the cool suspension stuff with you know the weight of your cargo in the bed it's reasonable to expect the truck to start out on a more snx-like trajectory or it could start with a little higher cost before maybe going down on the market with it we don't want it to be very expensive I think it's under $50,000 stock but it's going to be like forty nine thousand dollars top designer price you know ideally less getting to even carry it it just made a lot of people really happy who are into the truck saying g yeah yeah it's just it can't be unaffordable you know it has to be something that's affordable so now the rollback is the car that is more expensive, but I will track that they are more expensive, p But the one who has to be able to get eight a really cool truck for $49,000 or less and knows that it's going to have amazing functionality from a hauling standpoint it's going to look awesome but it's not going to look like a normal truck truck so it will look quite sci fi meaning it won't be for everyone for example if someone just wants to have a truck that looks like trucks have looked for in the last 20 years then 30 years or 40 years so this is probably not for them yeah but this, this is going to be a truck that's more capable than other trucks like it's a better truck so then then you know say an equivalent like If you only knew that the goal is to be a better truck. than an f-150 in terms of truck-like functionality and being a better sports car the standard 911 that's the aspiration I like it yeah I don't know if you're willing to help the internet right now or if we'll have to wait for the proper reveal, but in that teaser image whose end of the truck was the front, okay, uh, people were convinced either way, sure, I don't know if he followed any of the talk, but it was people like the rear is front no one is quite Sure, I mean the idea is like a truck from Blade Runner, but like I said, it won't be for everyone. truck I don't buy it and you know it's like safe ok you know when they came out with cars like you're like oh I like the horse and carriage it seems safe ok keep your horse and carriage but you go to get an order to go later, these don't know, superchargers v3 have the beta view, can they?
Do you talk more about deployment? Are you aiming for more types of rural road trip places still at first or would you prefer your thought process behind the rollout? Yeah so we'll be focusing on this long route so if you're in a hurry to get from one city to another you might know you can go as fast as you can yeah and we're also replacing some of the superchargers from version one of the older superchargers will also get priority so I give them if you have a b2 supercharger you're charging it like you know 140 145 kilowatts and it's not full then you're actually getting the max in a hundred for not sharing it more than 140 kilowatts Yeah, that's pretty fast, but there are some out there where they're still at 75 kilowatts, so we'll replace the first ones on the legs and tether up the long-distance rats.
So has anyone touched this here and there? Have you been approached by other manufacturers over the supercharger network to get you there? because you have me. You said you're open to the idea. I think JB commented on that as well, but to me that's the electrification in the industry. but i can't really go anywhere so you know no one seems to be investing or not enough, maybe network investment. they contacted other people's company and they haven't mentioned it to me but none of the manufacturers have contacted me it is and for them to want to use it like that we do require that the car be able to charge at a high rate and and then obviously share the cost of the system and we'll probably get some takers in the future but they just don't seem as keen right now it's a real challenge for the supercharger network to stay ahead of the rolling wave type of you you know you're on putting out thousands of new cars every day and you know, easing congestion and trying to make sure it's still a good usable experience, yeah absolutely we can't afford to get too far ahead of congestion because we don't have the money to do it. yeah, so we know having a bunch of idol superchargers wouldn't be a great use of company money, so we try to stay ahead and make sure we stay ahead of demand as much as possible and get ahead of who we hope to be. higher demand and then making sure that we're covering all the routes that somebody would want to take so there's a congestion of addresses and Friederike trip readers to travel, yes, yes, but any of some cases was a little slow because as a burn construction poem that doesn't come out or something that can't just expand them instantly because there's a lot of you that have to get the utility and building permits and everything to agree so we put a lot of supercharges though I mean it's nice ty nutty you see that binggrae map map and oh yeah lobby lobby it's amazing it's crazy you know it's like all over europe all over north america all over china japan australia the semi is the only vehicle i haven't touched yet how much of the business He doesn't like a percentage of numbers.
Things I'm a little curious about is if he sees that as a buildup to a potentially massive part of Tesla's business or is it some kind of d e let's see how this goes a little bit I think the semi truck is going to be a very important part of this business just like the van they are very important fundamental use cases so you think we have a you know at least you have one , you know what I think is an amazing product in key use cases that won't click so you know kind of full size sedan full size SUV mid size sedan Messiah Jessie SUV and you know semi to commercial truck These are very fundamental but it only makes sense to add new products in volume if we have the battery cell capacity to support them, otherwise we are actively adding complexity but not putting more vehicles on the right track. you have the star of the power side of the business last year he said he would buy car batteries yeah yeah We had to convert all the battery cell lines for the Power One Power Pack to make sales since 103 and even then often we were missing cells, so we want to make sure that doesn't happen again and that the cell's capacity actually comes back.
Tune in just in time for the bottle. Why do I stay if we rehabilitate the white model today? taken a lot from that let me say about Mike both personally on behalf of anyone listening to my podcast or everyone in the Tesla community just thank you for your efforts in making these amazing cars that we all love and have so much fun with and keep our families safe and pave the way for a better and brighter future. I really can't thank you enough. I love my Model 3 and being a part of the community that you and the company have fostered.
Great, it's such a wonderful thing to be a part of you. my nights and my weekends doing a podcast about it. I just love it and thanks for everything. I appreciate it. Yes. I'm glad it brings you joy. you're happy you know subscribe for you it's like yeah how many things do you do How many products can you buy that you really love? It's so weird, well I end my podcast every week with something you said on the Joe Rogan podcast which is that the Tesla should be the funnest thing you've ever bought that's the last one yeah those are the last words you hear on every
episodeof my podcast because that just resonated with me that's our goal is to make the car is to make how the car makes you as happy as possible ible mission accomplished yes Elon Musk thank you very much thank you there you have it.
I still can hardly believe that it really happened here. I'm recording this part 24 hours later, so the
interview, as you heard me in the intro, took place. at Tesla's corporate headquarters in Palo Alto California and took place on Wednesday, May 29, 2019 at about 8:00 p.m. that's why you heard Ilan at the beginning there for context reference hey it's the end of the day he had to reboot his brain a bit before going into the
interviewso it had been a long day for him he was extremely nice with his time and just to do that, so I want to thank Elan Musk once again that was so generous of him and so kind to sit down with someone from the community and you know I'm honored and grateful for the opportunity to be able to do that. , you know, I interview people in my day job at IGN, I interview regularly, I interview game developers all the time and I love that part of my job, it's really my favorite part of my job and getting to apply those skills, the interview skills and the passion I have for interviewing people too Elon Musk after doing a podcast about Tesla every week for the last 40 almost four years now it's just surreal again I'm so honored and grateful for the tunity opportunity, i also want to thank the communications team at Tesla and the staff at Elon for a lot of emails and a lot of patience as we spent a lot of time, many months, trying to put that together and it finally happened , so I'm very grateful to them and most of all I want to thank people well a group of people and one specific person I want to thank CJ Gibson he's a friend of mine and a video producer at IGN he volunteered his night to come with me and be my audio producer you know this was going to be an audio podcast no video but you know CJ is so savvy he had my recorder I bought a new one just for this make sure you have a better one than I used to have before when I used to do the show on a tape recorder a couple of years ago and CJ would just take care of all the AV stuff so I could focus on the interview and not have to worry about anything technical so what ue CJ I owe you I owe you onedebt of gratitude thank you so much for everything and t Then the other big thank you sincerely goes out to everyone listening to this people who have heard ride lighting whether this is your first time or your 200th this would not have been possible without you guys this podcast could never have done it. become what it has become without your support, without the time you so generously give me listening each and every week.
This is incredible. This must have started almost four years ago. what happens because i was so passionate about Tesla and the company and the products and the mission to have come this far to have had a one hour meeting with Elon Musk is just amazing and again I am honored thanks to all of you listening and just a note Quick Before I Go If this is your first time listening to this podcast, I invite you to stay with the new
episodes that are released every Sunday at 9:00 am. m., Eastern time, at 6:00 a.m. m., Pacific time. and answer any questions you may have about the interview or a little behind the scenes of it but until then i'll just let them go now and let the interview speak for itself this week thank you all for this amazing episode 200 Elon the Tesla CJ team all of you happy electric motorsports to all of you and I'll see you next week I mean I think a Tesla is the most fun you could ever buy that's what it's supposed to be good our goal is to make it not exactly a car, actually it is something to maximize enjoyment oyment make us maximum fun
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