Well, that bad sci-fi vehicle might have a weakness

The bad news: in the future, rich people are dreaming of driving around in fugly brutalist armored trucks from Tesla, lording it over the masses in their slabs of cold gray metal.

The good news: they are easily cracked open to reach the soft, pampered sweet-meats inside.

Bad demo, Elon, bad. That’s not going to light up the eyes of the wealthy people who can afford to buy your dystopian style.

Although, to be fair, the 500 mile range is a very appealing feature. Our standard long drive is about 150 miles to the Twin Cities, and most electric cars would get us there, but not back.


  1. says

    Say hello to the fad SUV of the 2020s. Everything about this thing reminds me of the HUMVEE back in the 90s. Back around 1992 or so Arnold Schwarzenegger bought a Hummer for the low low price of about $100,000. It kicked off a fad where everyone in Hollywood just had to have one. Despite the fact that they are incredibly uncomfortable vehicles and you would have to be a masochist to use one as a daily driver.
    My spidy sense is tingling. I think history is about to repeat itself.

  2. fmitchell says

    Maybe he should have gone with Simone Giertz’s Truckla, which already exists, mostly. But then he’d have to admit he’s not as smart as the self-described Queen of Shitty Robots.

  3. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    And his rocket blew up, too. Eli’s problem is that he thinks you can be a visionary without understanding the fundamentals.

  4. christoph says

    Not a fan of Elon Musk, but to be fair-if that’s bulletproof glass, it’s supposed to crack like that, then envelope the bullet or whatever projectile is fired without letting it get all the way through.

  5. says

    @aspleen @7:

    And Hyundai, Toyota, and Nissan make money from selling cars; with Nissan alone selling far more electric vehicles than Tesla does.

    Meanwhile; Tesla continues to lose money (despite having received $450 million in low-interest loans backed by the US government) and Musk encourages racist & sexist harassment and actively endangers worker safety at Tesla’s facilities.

    None of which the devotees of the cult of Elon Musk like to acknowledge.

  6. jimnb11 says

    Demo opinions aside, the Tesla truck is comparably priced to what Ford and GM are offering. As for range, even using the short-range version would be perfectly acceptable for a person driving from Morris to MSP. The Clearwater and Robbinsdale Tesla superchargers are readily available for university professors traveling to and from their home to the Twin Cities.

    After living outside MN since the early eighties, I’m returning home and plan to use my Tesla Model 3 for daily use. Unless I want to vacation in North Dakota, supercharging during long trips will not be an issue.

  7. jimnb11 says

    Michael: Your comment concerning Nissan sales is without merit. As of September 2019, Tesla has outsold all other manufacturers of EV and PHEV vehicles sold in the U.S. combined. As for global sales of EVs, Tesla out produces Nissan by a considerable margin. The only reason more Nissan EVs have been sold worldwide is they were in production since 2010. Tesla didn’t start limited production of the Model 3 until mid-2017. Am I gloating about Tesla? No, I’m not an Elon Musk fanboi. The Tesla domination of EVs is simply the result of other manufacturers being out of touch, lack of a supercharging network, etc.

  8. Kandosii says

    Having side windows that can’t be broken open can be a safety issue if a vehicle is submerged. There’s already models that use laminated glass on side windows, and while it keeps them coherent when they shatter, breaking them to permit escape is much, much harder. I don’t know the over-under on safety vs. risk there, but it’s worth mentioning.

    …Especially given that breaking the windows to escape a crash or malfunction is a bigger issue for Teslas. Crashes or defects have led to battery fires before, and a man was killed last year in a crash that he couldn’t be promptly retrieved from before the battery fire consumed the vehicle, because of a malfunction with another Tesla feature: the door handles were retracted into the body of the car, and wouldn’t come back out.

    (Those door handles, by the way, were put in the design on the personal insistence of Elon Musk. They’ve since been fraught with failures, despite being very shiny and interesting to look at.)


  9. says

    #8: That’s interesting. If that’s the case, though, why did Musk have a public demo in front of reporters in which he had a heavy object thrown at the windows? Does he not understand his product?

  10. says

    @jimnb11 @11:

    I was commenting based on mid-2018 sales figures, at which point Nissan-Renault was selling far more vehicles than Tesla was. That may have changed by now; but I was not able to find reliable sales figures for this year. The links you gave explicitly say that the numbers they are giving for sales this year are not yet reliable. From your first link:

    Latest Editor’s Update: At this point, it appears we won’t have a reliable method for reporting monthly sales figures for some models going forward.

    As of now; Tesla is still losing money.

    And Elon Musk is still a horrifically bad boss who is encouraging racist & sexist harassment and actively endangering the safety of workers at Tesla – who are the ones who are actually building the cars. Musk’s interference has also made Tesla’s vehicles less safe for passengers than they could be (see Kandosii @12).

    Part of how the cult of Elon Musk operates is that his fans pretend that Musk is responsible for what tens of thousands of other people have done despite Musk rather than because of him. Don’t perpetuate that pretense for them.

    And I am done.

  11. pipefighter says

    Dammit, I just want an eight foot box, a small second row, vinyl interior, and a 4wd option. I don’t want flash and I don’t need new, it’s a wheel barrow that tows things. I miss my 1995… I wonder how much it would cost to convert one to electric?

  12. christoph says

    @#13: I think he expected it to bounce off, kind of like the bullets bounced off of KITT without a scratch in the Knight Rider TV series.

  13. jimnb11 says

    InsideEvs has data for 2018 global sales as well. Guess what? You are wrong. Of course. Outside of China, Tesla far exceeds all other competitors. I wish this was not so. I have absolutely no brand loyalty, what you would call cultish behavior, when it comes to cars. As for the InsideEvs editor’s comment about not having reliable figures for some models, do you really think they under-reported sales of the Nissan Leaf by 80,000? It boggles the mind. And for your information, the Leaf has dominated sales within the Renault–Nissan–Mitsubishi Alliance and they are still far behind Tesla in yearly global sales. My Tesla is most likely the last car I will ever purchase. But it would be nice to know others will have a greater selection than I had last year.


    P.S. Seems most everyone has been predicting the collapse of Tesla for almost ten years. Yet they survive and continue to enhance their product line through-out the world. It would be nice if other manufacturers had EVs with a 300-mile range and a dedicated supercharging network. But for now, Tesla is the only game in town.

  14. says

    Musk has said that this thing won’t be everyone’s cup of tea but he’ll probably release a more conventional looking one later. The platform underneath is what counts after all. And judging by the comments elsewhere they’ll still sell in reasonable numbers, especially at the price quoted. And despite all the merchants of doom as usual predicting his imminent demise, his company makes and sells around a thousand fully electric cars each and every day.

  15. aziraphale says

    a_ray_in_dilbert_space @4:

    One test article failed in a pressure test. recently. There have been, I think, 2 actual explosions in the course of development. Meanwhile his Falcon 9 rockets are routinely performing to spec and recovering their first stages for re-use to drive down launch costs, which no-one else is doing. He makes mistakes, but he also achieves things.

  16. methuseus says

    I was seriously considering getting one of it didn’t look idiotic. Well, I’m not considering one anymore, and an updated, more conventional version will be around to late for me to wait to but it. Maybe in 8 or so years

  17. Nemo says

    You don’t need 300 miles of range, you just need to recharge in the Twin Cities for the return trip. It looks like there are a couple dozen fast chargers in the area to do the job.

  18. wzrd1 says

    I remember back when, for once, our rockets lacked a reverse gear.
    PZ should recall when our rockets largely had a reverse gear or simply collapsed upon the pad, destroying everything around them. Oddly, despite being willing to walk and run men through nuclear hell, that was halted.

    Musk having a bad hair day, a given, do look up Gates’ fuckups.

    The concept vehicle, claiming excess of a current pickup truck, son, please urinate in this cup, before a witness, then sign the chain of custody form…

    I’ve had a few rockets that I designed and launched fail, that, laughably, lower than our LEP program of our highest advanced students. Missed by them, specific impulse, shearing forces, significant forces upon acceleration vs angle of attack, insufficient compensation for acceleration pressures in various component systems and a few other issues.
    My rocket, despite my own design, worked, always.
    Does that make me some godling?
    Nope, I simply had a better comprehension of overall forces that were applied to a rocket.

    Still, I trivially comprehend impulse, mass, velocity and capabilities of a specific surface. Barely.
    He obviously missed even barely, as did his engineering team.
    Frankly, looked the same as how many times Bill Gates failed on product announcement.

    Either he lied about window composition or it was replaced, without his knowledge, due to low availability.
    Given the chemical description, it was swapped for cheaper and available, rather than expensive and unavailable and simply that information was lost before the “demonstration”.

    Otherwise, I’d not trust the SOB to give me a glass of water.

  19. anchor says

    Its so damned ugly it should draw plenty of rock throwing and gunfire.

    Wonder why he hasn’t yet defended its provocative angular ‘design’ (with its lack of aerodynamic efficiency) by saying it is stealthily resistant to radar detection. Perhaps his real calling is in fashion.

  20. steve1 says

    The unusual shape is due to the fact it is a unibody truck and it needs a sail pillar for towing. The first generation Honda ridgline trucks (unibody) unusual body was due to the sail pillar.

    I think I know why Elon Musk fears artificial intelligence, he fears AI will replace him.

  21. flange says

    I have to believe that a touted 300-500 mile range for an electric car would have to be at least a third shorter in Minnesota. At least, in the winter. Imagine driving a battery-run car when it’s -10˚F., heat’s running full blast, lights on, and with all the other electric accessories running. Could one make it from Morris to Minneapolis in one swell foop in January?