Published on February 8th, 2014 | by Zachary Shahan


Elon Musk & Tesla CTO JB Straubel Answer Questions In Amsterdam (VIDEO)

February 8th, 2014 by  

Originally published on EV Obsession.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk and CTO JB Straubel recently stopped into Amsterdam for a 1-hour townhall meeting with Tesla Model S owners and enthusiasts. A video of the meeting was recorded (natch) and is embedded above.

Questions related to navigation, charging in Belgium, vehicle-to-grid technology and plans, song availability in Europe, solar + Tesla, and much more. Some key notes, imho, include:

  • Tesla is now installing close to one Supercharger per day!
  • Tesla Superchargers are projected to get up to a 135 kW level soon (a bit more than the ~2 kW a typical house uses at one time).
  • Elon and Tesla’s CTO think “smart conductive charging” is going to win out over inductive charging, largely due to efficiency issues, but they’ve had numerous conversations about this.
  • Version 6.0 software with “real-time” traffic information and better suspension control is coming soon (probably within the month).
  • The San Francisco to Los Angeles battery-swapping service is supposed to be up within a few months.

If anything else in the video is particularly interesting to you, feel free to chime in below!

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About the Author

is tryin' to help society help itself (and other species) with the power of the typed word. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor, but he's also the president of Important Media and the director/founder of EV Obsession, Solar Love, and Bikocity. Zach is recognized globally as a solar energy, electric car, and energy storage expert. Zach has long-term investments in TSLA, FSLR, SPWR, SEDG, & ABB — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in these particular companies and feels like they are good cleantech companies to invest in.

  • CaptD

    I think the next big thing in marketing Solar will be making the decision to go Solar much simpler by guaranteeing payback of the total install costs over a fixed number of years! This way homeowners (and other roof owners) could plan on future savings and perhaps even borrow money now now based upon their future returns.

    Imagine if Tesla tossed in a new car with each new 25 year Solar installation contract, think what that would do for both Tesla’s and their Solar business’s bottom line!

    A Solar Win-Win for sure.


    Here is my wish e Vehicle:

    Offer an electric version of a Caterham 7/Lotus 7 or even an eLotus Elon lightweight 2 seater for around town fun…

  • jonesey

    Off-topic: Zach, something broke your RSS feed starting with this post. All of the posts show up as only three or four lines, instead of showing the whole post. Please ask your web guru to fix your RSS feed so that it shows the whole post, as it always has.

  • Jim Seko

    Demand is far ahead of supply without (paid) advertising. It will be quite interesting to see what happens as production grows. Who knew it would take a self-trained rocket scientist to shake up the automotive industry.

  • jlgh

    I’m not sure that JBS altogether understood the significance of the question about vehicle-to-grid (V2G). There is a HUGE potential dividend here, once EVs reach critical mass.

    Electricity generation has to be able to ramp up and down in seconds (if not milliseconds). Think a million households putting the electric kettle on at half time in a football game. This means that they have to keep some spinning reserve on line: i.e. generators that are rotating but not actually putting much power into the grid. V2G has the potential to replace that, turning a fleet of EVs into a huge buffer. This doesn’t mean flattening the EVs batteries: it means pausing charge or taking power out for a few seconds or minutes until slow-start reserves can be brought on line. The electricity suppliers would pay good money for this.

    • Bob_Wallace

      EVs can be very valuable to the grid even without them flowing power back to the grid.

      If there are a bunch of EVs on line and not fully charged and if the grid can control the charging then they become dispatchable load.

      The overall amount of solar and wind can be increased which will increase the amount of time that the grid will not need “spinning reserve” or fill-in supply. When wind/solar output exceeds demand the extra supply can be sent to EV batteries rather than thrown away/curtailed.

      If we move to wireless charging then many EVs will be available for charging while parked.

  • Jouni Valkonen

    Have not yet listened this, but Elon And JB had also in Oslo similar Q/A session and there was also quite a bunch of interesting points. I should have written down them, but one in particular interest is that Tesla is preparing a paper on the total Model S lifecycle energy costs. JB said that energy payback time is well under 10 000 miles.

    And of course JB and Elon confirmed again that supersonic all-electric jet would be cool idea!

    • Jouni Valkonen

      Another good point that was that in lab tests, Model S battery as survived about 500 000 km with less than 20 % degradation. This is of course lab test but it should be good enough that Tesla does not end up in troubles with eight year battery warranty.

      • Yeah, good catch. Thanks. 😀

      • Taisto Lehti

        I am a happy Tesla owner in Finland since end of dec. 2013. Since charging stations hardly exit yet I am wondering the alarm in the screen that chaging too often lowers the life time of the Battery (85). I do not want to leave it in the Garage with only half-charged. Next trip may be longer and I need full battery. By experience in winter conditions safe range is appr. 300 km.

    • Thanks. Yeah, me too. Was going to do a piece on that one as well once I listen to it. 😀

  • Ross

    Have to agree about the conductive charging not losing its complete dominance because of where most charging will take place (home or work) and the very occasional use that most owners will make of public charging.

    • Yep, i agree. Think inductive charging is overhyped. But who knows?

      • Bob_Wallace

        I’ve been spending a few days in the non-green world. I don’t think the small additional use of electricity required by inductive charging will stop many from going wireless.

        People who leave lights on over night for “aesthetic” reasons are going to opt for not having to plug in.

        Superchargers may need to stay plug in. In order to get cars charged quicker, if for no other reason. There’s going to be a need to speed people through.

        • Ross

          I’m not so sure, I think that when it is mass market the cost savings will be enough to motivate most EV car owners who will also usually be paying the electricity bill to prefer a wired connection.

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