Elon’s Top 7 Statements From Friday’s Tesla Motors Press Conference (Quotations)

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Tina already had a great post wrapping up some of the key issues Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk discussed in Friday’s press call (in particular, the Zombie Apocalypse and 4th-generation Tesla car design), and I published an announcement about the greatly expanding Tesla Supercharger network before the call (the main focus of the call). But the whole call was full of interesting tidbits and statements from Elon. Plus, I like using exact quotations as much as possible. So, I listened to it again (and again and again and again — driving my wife crazy) in order to pull out the quotations below. Here they are:

1. Boosting The Supercharger Network Size

“We’re making a dramatic increase in the deployment of our Supercharger network…. We’re not just adding, actually, in terms of geography, we’re increasing the density on well traveled routes. So, on well traveled routes, there’ll probably be a supercharger probably every 80 to 100 miles. And in terms of coverage, we’ll be covering most of the major metros by the end of this year, and moreover, you’ll be able to travel all the way from Los Angeles to New York just using the Supercharger network.”

From this:

To this:

2. Boosting The Superchargers Themselves

“We’re increasing the maximum charge rate from 90 kW to 120 kW…. If you reference this relative to the standard Model S, which has a 60 kWh pack, … a typical case would be a 2/3 recharge in just over 20 minutes. And what that allows somebody to do is to drive for roughly 3 hours, stop for 20 minutes, grab a bite to eat, some coffee, hit the restroom, whatever the case may be — in other words, it allows people to stop for the normal amount of time they’d stop for anywhere on a road trip.

“Although the max charge rate is increasing by roughly a third, the actual experience that people will have in a lot of cases is gonna be almost twice as good, because, when we first deployed the supercharger capability, the charge rate would taper quite quickly, so it would charge at the max charge rate only for a short period of time, and then it would rapidly taper off. We’ve been able to improve the supercharger technology in the algorithm to the point where that tapering point occurs much later in the state charge.”

Tesla expects to have that rolled out to all supercharger stations in about three months. Right now, the company is doing some beta testing on the superfast new chargers. “We expect the average charge rate to drop approximately in half.”

3. Just Hit The Lightning Bolt To Find The Nearest Supercharger

Elon also noted a cool feature about finding the Superchargers — you don’t really have to. “On the Model S, if you just tap the lighting bolt on the nav screen, it’ll automatically route you to the nearest Supercharger.”

4. Grid Storage At Supercharger Stations

Elon said he was saving this announcement for a later date, but just went ahead and made it during that call since they’d been having so many announcements lately. Here you go: “We actually have grid storage going on at some of our supercharging stations. So we’ve got stationary battery packs that take in energy through the week from the solar panels. … So the solar panels actually charge the battery pack, and then that stationary battery pack charges the Model S’s. So it’s actually capable of going completely off grid. And this is something we expect to probably roll out to all the supercharging stations.”

5. Zombie Apocalypse

And this is where he got into the Zombie Apocalypse talk that Tina highlighted: “I think something that’s sort of very cool is that these stations will even operate if the national grid goes down. So, you know I was joking with someone, even if there’s, you know, the Zombie Apocalypse — seems to be a popular theme these days — even if there’s a Zombie Apocalypse, you’ll still be able to travel throughout the country using the Tesla Supercharging system, because even if the entire grid goes down, it still going to work. I can see the headlines now: ‘Elon Musk Predicts Zombie Apocalypse.’ ” (The last line noted in a fun, TV voice.)

6. Serious Power

Elon noted that the off-grid systems are “1/2 megawatt-hour” systems and “capable of putting out a full MW if need be.”

7. Next 3 Vehicles.

In reference to the affordable EV that is supposed to come out following the Tesla Model X, which Tina asked about, Elon said: “We’re just at the early design stages of that vehicle … would be closer in size to an Audi A4 or BMW 3 Series, in terms of external dimensions, but then of course, we have a lot more room in the interior and have a front and a rear trunk as the Model S does, and it would be at an order of magnitude greater volume, so you’d have economies of scale, and it’d be a third design iteration, so we’d have more opportunity to design the car to be easier to manufacture. So those are kind of the obvious elements. So we’ll do at least those things. But, I certainly would like to come up with something in addition to that, but so far we don’t have anything firm on that front.” Following another question from Tina on styling, Elon added: “It’ll be in the same family of the Model S, the Model S and the Model X.”

And he added some notes on the Model X, of course noting its falcon-wing doors. “And trying to address with an SUV, with an SUV-sort-of-looking vehicle, a market that is normally covered by both minivan and SUV. So we want greater than minivan functionality, and something with the aesthetics of an SUV, and the performance of a sports car. That’s the goal with the Model X.”

“On that 3rd-gen platform, there’d be a smaller version of the Model X, so it’ll have a smaller sedan and a smaller SUV. Those are kind of the obvious moves on that front.”

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Zachary Shahan

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA], NIO [NIO], Xpeng [XPEV], Ford [F], ChargePoint [CHPT], Amazon [AMZN], Piedmont Lithium [PLL], Lithium Americas [LAC], Albemarle Corporation [ALB], Nouveau Monde Graphite [NMGRF], Talon Metals [TLOFF], Arclight Clean Transition Corp [ACTC], and Starbucks [SBUX]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.

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