back to article Tesla undecimates its workforce but Elon insists everything's absolutely fine

Tesla is cutting nine per cent of its workforce in a "comprehensive organizational restructuring", according to an internal email sent by its CEO Elon Musk on Tuesday. While that email was sent only to employees, Musk then tweeted the full text immediately afterwards and it is clear that the missive was designed to be read by …

  1. Mugs

    Oracle got there first

    Oracle's common practice was to do this every year. Tesla are doing it as a one off and it's a story?

    1. ST Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: Oracle got there first

      > Oracle's common practice was to do this every year.

      Still is to this day. Fire people left and right to prop up the stock price.

      Let's not forget IBM. They deserve a special mention.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Oracle got there first

        Many big American firms can the lowest 5-10 percent of their workforce each year. Sometimes when a colleague goes you think" why him" and other times you think "how did he last so long".

        1. LucreLout Silver badge

          Re: Oracle got there first

          Many big American firms can the lowest 5-10 percent of their workforce each year.

          It's not just American firms that do this. It's reasonably common in the City - many of my employers have used the 20-70-10 system: The top 20% get a pay rise, the next 70% get nothing but keep their jobs, and the lower 10% you fire, all based on that years performance review.

          To be honest, even when I tried hard to get into the 10% because I wanted a payoff it was really quite hard to achieve, so hard in fact I couldn't make it stick.

          1. tiggity Silver badge

            Re: Oracle got there first

            @ LucreLout

            Getting rid of 10% based on a one year review sounds a cracking way to encourage short term thinking

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Oracle got there first

              "Getting rid of 10% based on a one year review sounds a cracking way to encourage is evidence of extremely short term thinking".

              ftfy

              Some of these people obviously need to be hit on the head very hard with some of the books that have been written about the randomness of the finance industry. The behaviour sometimes seems like those cats in psychological experiments that, having twisted round just before accidentally pressing the food button, continue to twist round before pressing it because they don't have a valid model of what is happening. If by accident it works, keep doing it until it hasn't worked for some time.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Oracle got there first

        Special mention that IBM mostly fires old people?

    2. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      Re: Oracle got there first

      In Tesla's case, they need to slow down the cash burn and start turning a real profit. Otherwise they will join many others in junkyard of defunct car manufacturers.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Oracle got there first

        "In Tesla's case, they need to slow down the cash burn and start turning a real profit."

        The problem is that the losses are accelerating, not slowing, over a long period. The two brief periods of profitability just about paid back the preceding quarter after years of red ink. If it was a small company (admittedly it would be long dead) it would be like the owner getting a sizeable cheque and immediately spending it.

    3. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

      Re: Oracle got there first

      Everything involving Tesla these days is newsworthy, because reasons.

    4. deltamind

      Re: Oracle got there first

      The concerns that were initiated due to the flamthrower and now this is igniting a lot of news about tesla, it's like a series of events as well.

  2. Gio Ciampa

    Undecimate?

    So they're taking on lots of staff...?????

    1. John H Woods

      Re: Undecimate?

      decimate - remove one in ten (decem)

      undecimate - remove one in eleven (undecem)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Undecimate?

        undecimate - remove one in eleven (undecem)

        If that means we get a one-eleventh reduction in the public deployment of the Thoughts of Chairman Musk, then this has to be a good thing. But realistically, this is the beginning of the end for Tesla. When the boss stops thinking about his vision, starts emotively criticising the critics, and comes up with ideas like this, you know its only a matter of time.

      2. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

        Re: Undecimate?

        @John H Woods

        Not only does El Reg have the best-educated sub-editors on the planet, who combine classical education with technical knowledge, but the commentards actually understand the references!

      3. 2Nick3

        Re: Undecimate?

        Since "decimate" now seems to mean "totally destroyed" to most people, I'm going to use "undecimate" (which Chrome wants to correct to 'decimate'...) to both be more accurate and confuse people.

        Win-win!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Undecimate?

          According to Websters, a valid definition of decimate includes 'reduce in numbers drastically'. Some people use what's known as an etymological fallacy, meaning they insist that because they know the original meaning of a word, that anyone who uses it in a modernised, popularised version must be wrong.

          They are not correct.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Undecimate?

            Actually the Oxford English Dictionary does list "kill one in ten" as a valid definition of decimate, along with the more modern usages. Both usages are clearly correct.

            1. ecarlseen

              Re: Undecimate?

              Decimate comes from Latin "decimatio" - the punishment for groups of Roman soldiers who committed serious offenses such as mutiny or desertion - they would break them into groups of ten, make them draw lots (one loser per group), and then would those that lost (1/10 of the troops) would be executed.

              At least Musk sticks to only killing people who use Autopilot.

              1. Vanir

                Re: Undecimate?

                #ifdef DECIMATE

                #define UNDECIMATE ~DECIMATE

                #elif define MUSK

                #define DECIMATE employees lose jobs

                #define UNDECIMATE boss keep job

                #endif

                #endif

          2. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

            Re: Undecimate?

            @Codysydney

            Lots of people misusing a word doesn't make the misuse correct. The word has a number in it. Numbers dont change value. People say 'decimate' when they mean 'devastate'. If the larger part is destroyed, use the latter.

            Many words are commonly misused, 'chronic' for instance, many use it as a substitute for 'accute' when they refer to an ailment or pain. chronic of course means re-occuring over time, or persistent.

            'Ultimate' just means the latest in a series, it does not imply the object is the best. Does penultimate imply second best? Ultimatum means we are at the last option, not taking the best option.

            etc.

            1. This post has been deleted by its author

            2. Robert Helpmann?? Silver badge
              Headmaster

              Re: Undecimate?

              Lots of people misusing a word doesn't make the misuse correct.

              Actually, this is one of the many ways that languages change. The lexicologists that I have worked with (n=2) say that their field has become more descriptive and less prescriptive over time.

            3. Grinning Bandicoot

              Re: Undecimate?

              Having read down (display newest to old) I must at this point state this comment is one good reason to follow the comments at the Register. Somewhere in a comment section at this point in the US the point would divert away from the topic and have an extweaker inserting Biblical text and the Hillaryite and the Trumpist would start with an exchange of ad hominen steer manure (does not rise to the level of bull ); but here knowing what decimate means and how the usage differs found an erudite explanation of

              undecimate which I confess was not what I had imaged.

              For an educational exercise: The type that follow the money should compare Western US mines financing with Musk's finances

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Undecimate?

                "Somewhere in a comment section at this point in the US the point would divert away from the topic and have an extweaker inserting Biblical text and the Hillaryite and the Trumpist "

                But....Comey's emails!

          3. MonkeyCee Silver badge

            Re: Undecimate?

            Here's the definition by Websters:

            Definition of decimate

            decimated; decimating

            transitive verb

            1 : to select by lot and kill every tenth man of decimate a regiment

            2 : to exact a tax of 10 percent from

            poor as a decimated Cavalier —John Dryden

            3 a : to reduce drastically especially in number cholera decimated the population

            Kamieniecki's return comes at a crucial time for a pitching staff that has been decimated by injuries. —Jason Diamos

            b : to cause great destruction or harm to firebombs decimated the city an industry decimated by recession

            Two of three definitions use it as 10%, which also happen to be the first two definitions. There are also plenty of cases where losing 10% and drastic reduction are similar values.

            It's not an etymological fallacy if it's also used (and understood) in the original sense. It's only the case if the original meaning is almost never used.

            "The exception proves the rule" is a pretty good example, since the original meaning is "the defect demonstrates that the ruler is functioning correctly", but my experience is that it gets used in quite different ways.

            "that anyone who uses it in a modernised, popularised version must be wrong."

            Often it feels like someone is trying to use a $5 word they don't quite understand to make themselves sound more sophisticated. Which usually has the opposite effect, like calling all malware "a computer virus" or insisting your computer needs defragging.

            Insisting that *your* version is correct because you use it is in a particular way is just daft. I'd also strongly advise against picking a word fight with writers or journalists, since non professional users of the language tend to be be quite sloppy and imprecise.

            Here's Lewis Carrol's take on all this:

            "When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean- neither more nor less."

            There's also nothing wrong with, when you come across a word you think means one thing, and can mean another, in finding out what is what. English was mongrel language even before being the lingua franca for the British and American empires, and the resulting word pillage :)

            A few years back there was a chatshow on the wireless with a well known actor and a lady who runs a very successful logistics company. She summerised her business as "moving pallets* around" and the actor was genuinely confused, since he knew of an artist's palette** and a tasting palate*** but had never come across the wooden base. The ensuring clarifying conversation was quite entertaining.

            * wooden platform for moving goods around, so a forklift can pick it up. Required for delivery any any piece of HP kit weighing more than five grams, along with two miles of plastic wrapping. Origin word means straw, then straw bed.

            ** board for mixing paints on or a range of colours. Origin word means spade.

            *** flavors or tastes, also the roof of the mouth. Origin word means sense of taste.

            1. The Indomitable Gall

              Re: Undecimate?

              @MonkeyCee

              " It's not an etymological fallacy if it's also used (and understood) in the original sense. It's only the case if the original meaning is almost never used. "

              Yes it is, because the previous poster was talking about the etymological argument being used against the modern one. That's fallacious -- just because one version matches the etymology, doesn't mean the other version is wrong.

          4. Hans 1 Silver badge
            Thumb Up

            Re: Undecimate?

            They are not correct.

            They are wrong ? No, both are right!

            Basically, undecimate is a pun, a clever pun at that, imho!

            Language relies on context, is rich and ever evolving. The word "decimate" can mean any of Websters definitions. The word decimate comes from the latin decimus, a tenth, and undecimus means, you guessed it, an eleventh.

            El'Reg cleverly took one meaning of decimate, noticed an off by one error and hence came up with undecimate, which, ironically, also means the contrary -> El'Reg loves these pun's and so do I, one of the reasons I read their articles ... the other being above average technical boffinry in the tech journalism world and their cos^Hmic units of measure!

          5. IHateWearingATie
            Stop

            Re: Undecimate?

            Websters is a tool of the colonials who are corrupting the language and is not a valid reference point.

            The only source that should be accepted is the unabridged Oxford English Dictionary.

            Or whatever that lovely lady on Countdown says.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Undecimate?

              Websters is a tool of the colonials who are corrupting the language and is not a valid reference point.

              More to the point it's unprotected, anyone can publish a "Webster's" dictionary.

            2. Grinning Bandicoot

              Re: Undecimate?

              OBJECTION: The Earl Cornwallis came in second to GW so after a bit of political wrangling the United States was documented. Often noted as US which is the object case of WE properly what you call colonials should be WEians. Canadians might qualify as colonial but that is one for you to fight with them!

        2. caffeine addict Silver badge

          Re: Undecimate?

          Listen well, my fellow commentards...

          Just because something is in the dictionary, doesn't make it "correct" or "acceptable".

          All English dictionaries (unless someone knows otherwise) as descriptive not prescriptive. They list English words as what she is spoke in common usage, not what a word actually "means" according to history, word structure, or pedantry.

          If enough people used the word "government" to describe the act of monkeys flinging poo at each other, the dictionary would (eventually) pick it up. If enough people describe a gigabyte as a thousand megabytes, the dictionary will reflect it. If enough people take a billion to mean a thousand million instead of a million million (as it always was when I was a kid) then the dictionary reflects it.

          The fact that the dictionary lists logically incorrect definitions for unique, decimate and literally doesn't mean they are right... just common

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Undecimate?

            "If enough people used the word "government" to describe the act of monkeys flinging poo at each other, the dictionary would (eventually) pick it up."

            I thought we were already past that point.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Undecimate?

        "decimate - remove one in ten (decem)

        undecimate - remove one in eleven (undecem)"

        The Romans themselves were pretty imprecise, though. For instance a centurion was notionally in charge of 100 soldiers (a century...) but in fact centuries were almost always less than this, with the top centuries of a legion perhaps being 90, and lower ones 80 down to 60. After a battle, of course, the numbers were smaller still.

        1. Grinning Bandicoot

          Re: Centuries

          Units were formed as a 100 recruits and remained that unit through its life. As men died or left wounded the unit shrank.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Centuries

            "Units were formed as a 100 recruits and remained that unit through its life. As men died or left wounded the unit shrank."

            Ah, no. Not nearly as simple as that. After a battle where senior NCOs had died along with other soldiers, it would be necessary to re-form legionary structures. Replacing trained legionaries with new troops would never be easy and new units would need stiffening with experienced soldiers, so the real strucrture of any legion at any time would be fairly mixed.

            One cause of unit deflation is that generals like to have lots of units, and if there are not enough soldiers (or materiel) the components may shrink. This was one of Hitler's problems; as the German army was more than decimated during WW2, formations got smaller and weaker but the Fuhrer didn't get to know. Towards the end in Berlin he was still issuing orders to units that had more or less ceased to exist.

      5. Smooth Newt
        Headmaster

        Re: Undecimate?

        decimate - remove one in ten (decem)

        undecimate - remove one in eleven (undecem)

        But that immediately causes the problem that there is now no verb for reversing a decimation. Even worse, a company which announces a decimation, followed shortly by one of an undecimation, is announcing that things are even worse for the their serfs. Whilst El Reg readers are clearly clued up on Latin, the same cannot be said of Sun and Daily Mail readers, or even parliamentarians, so this neologism will serve to have catastrophes praised as U-turns.

        1. John H Woods

          Re: Undecimate?

          "But that immediately causes the problem that there is now no verb for reversing a decimation" --- Smooth Newt

          How about 'cimate' --- I'm pretty sure the tithesis society would be gruntled with that.

        2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: Undecimate?

          that there is now no verb for reversing a decimation.

          Wouldn't that requre reincarnation?

          1. Valheru

            Re: Undecimate?

            Not if they come back as a hillbilly...

            ..Thats reintarnation

        3. Uncle Slacky Silver badge
          Headmaster

          Re: Undecimate?

          > But that immediately causes the problem that there is now no verb for reversing a decimation

          Dedecimate?

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: Undecimate?

            > But that immediately causes the problem that there is now no verb for reversing a decimation

            Dedecimate?"

            Resurrection? (based on the original meaning of decimate)

            1. Chris Tierney

              Re: Undecimate?

              This thread is way off on a tangent.

      6. Gio Ciampa

        Re: Undecimate?

        Thanks for the clarification - all who mentioned it.

        I didn't even consider "undec" = 11 (or spot the 1-in-10 meaning of decimate as used by Harold Saxon in "The Sound of Drums" when I (re)watched it the other day...).

      7. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: Undecimate?

        "undecimate - remove one in eleven (undecem)"

        Everyday is a school day at El Reg Commentards forums :-)

  3. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "some kind of journalist rating system"

    Oooh what a threat that is. How's he gonna do that ? A website called IsHeHotOrNot ? With article links so people can go read (ha!) and then judge ?

    Sorry buddy, if it's not a 5 minute YouTube clip, you have no chance.

    Besides, even if that does happen, the obvious response is a website called IsMuskHotOrNot, with every singe Tesla failure called for vote.

    You don't look on stable terrain there, Elon.

    1. veti Silver badge

      Re: "some kind of journalist rating system"

      It's way better than that. He wants to call the site "Pravda".

      No, really.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "some kind of journalist rating system"

        Ponzi scheme destined to go pop, but will survive for a longer time than Theresa May's Bubble of Diarrhea Brexit strategy.

      2. Naselus

        Re: "some kind of journalist rating system"

        "It's way better than that. He wants to call the site "Pravda"."

        It also only took him about 3 days from declaring his intention to police the media before he linked to a conspiracy site literally connected to a cult, too.

        https://slate.com/technology/2018/05/elon-musks-crusade-for-media-accountability-lasted-three-whole-days-before-he-recommended-a-news-site-affiliated-with-a-suspected-sex-cult.html

  4. Gene Cash Silver badge

    They're also not renewing the residential sales agreement with Home Depot where they were selling solar roofs and powerwalls.

    Thank fucking god. It made going to HD even more of a pain in the ass, as the salespeople would jump out and harass the hell out of you if you showed the slightest interest in the display.

    1. J. Cook Silver badge
      FAIL

      I got as far as getting a quote from them when I first got my house. turns out that I wouldn't save a dime, but would be splitting my energy costs between the existing power company, and paying the lease on the system. After five years, I'd have the option to buy it. Oh, and they would get all the tax credits and offsets, not me. Not worth it at the time, and even less worth it now five years later. (because who would want to buy a five year old solar system that's likely to be obsolete or near the end of life for some of the active components for full price?!)

  5. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

    New Offshoring Venue

    Given time, we'll have from North Korea,

    Rocket Scientists and Tunneling Engineers looking for work.

    That's 2 out of 3 for Musk's businesses

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    sustainable, clean energy

    there's the issue right there. complete BS. Though perhaps only complete BS for the learned?

    1. Stoke the atom furnaces

      Re: sustainable, clean energy

      'sustainable, clean energy'

      Nuclear power ticks both boxes.

      1. Multivac

        Re: sustainable, clean energy

        It does until it goes wrong and you send a massive radioactive cloud over half the planet, what would really be useful is if you could build a massive nuclear reactor somewhere far away, maybe 150 million km away or there abouts, then use some sort or receiver on earth to collect that energy.

        1. Nial

          Re: sustainable, clean energy

          "It does until it goes wrong and you send a massive radioactive cloud over half the planet"

          Won't happen with Small Nuclear Reactors which can be designed to fail safe with no backup power.

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

            1. MonkeyCee Silver badge

              Re: sustainable, clean energy

              "It's also the safest form of energy."

              It's not that simple. Many nuclear projects are covered by national security, and they simply do not publish the deaths and injuries. Taking that to mean "there were no deaths and injuries" is what a lot of pro-nuke types use. Allowing for a reasonable estimate of deaths in construction, mining and refining it is pretty safe (relative to hydrocarbons) but with a big question mark over disposal.

              The equivalent would be to declare hydro power the safest form of energy, as long as you ignore dam failures.

              Same goes for reactor meltdowns. Once it goes wrong, you can get it to a stable (ie not blowing up) state, but you're still left with a pile of radioactive steel, as well as a mess of fuel rods.

              If you want some scary reading, check out the status of B30 and B38 at Sellafield (nee WIndscale). Storage ponds with unknown amounts of fuel rods, cladding and parts from a meltdown, from the 70's, with a hopeful cleanup date of 2050. Not disposed off, just sorted, refined back into uranium, plutonium and 3-5% "sludge of doom". I think they've stopped dumping waste in the Irish Sea, but it's a difficult and unsolved problem.

              Even the most optimistic views on a reprocessing still result in 2-3% of highly radioactive material that we can't feed into a nuke, and is problematic to store (it's a mix of materials and isotopes). Currently we mix it with glass and fuse it all together, then stick it in shielded containers.

              With the current waste stash at Sellafield (~200 tonnes) that's several tonnes of sludge of doom. With a half life equivalent to roughly the existence of homo sapiens. I'm not sure anyone is able to estimate how safe that is.

              1. ArrZarr Silver badge
                Coat

                Re: sustainable, clean energy

                All we need is a space elevator and we can fire the nuclear material off into the icy vacuum of space, which it's mathematically impossible for us to clog up.

                I call this the IPv6 strategy.

          2. Jim84

            Re: sustainable, clean energy

            ""It does until it goes wrong and you send a massive radioactive cloud over half the planet"

            Won't happen with Small Nuclear Reactors which can be designed to fail safe with no backup power."

            In addition, if the Small Modular Reactor is a molten salt reactor, the spent nuclear fuel could be cheaply reprocessed, resulting in no long term waste. Unlike with today's PUREX reprocessing, you can just keep cycling the transuranics (basically plutonium) through reactors until it is all fissioned.

            Why governments will spend billions on renewable subsidies but won't fund this research is beyond me?

        2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: sustainable, clean energy

          "It does until it goes wrong and you send a massive radioactive cloud over half the planet, what would really be useful is if you could build a massive nuclear reactor somewhere far away, maybe 150 million km away or there abouts, then use some sort or receiver on earth to collect that energy."

          What a brilliant idea! Now all we need to is to invent some of those energy collectors you mentioned that are way more than 4% efficient and don't require enormous amounts of energy to produce and don't result in lots of pollution from mining and processing of the more exotic elements currently used. Oh, and a way to store all the excess energy for those days when the sun don't shine. Or those winter days where even when the sun does shine, it's for barely 6 hours out of 24 and at a very low angle where I live.

      2. jmch Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: sustainable, clean energy

        "Nuclear power ticks both boxes."

        An asterisk needed for both 'sustainable' and 'clean', but for all practical purposes it's sustainable enough to have supply measured in thousands of years rather than decades. As to 'clean', it depends what you're measuring. Neither of the 2 is directly producing CO2 (just indirectly in manufacture / commissioning / maintenance of plant). Renewables don't generate nuclear waste but typically require large infrastructure footprint. Newer nuclear plant designs can burn previously used nuclear fuels and have very little waste, but that still has to be contained somewhere. In my view, burying them in an unused mineshaft and sealing them in is as good as getting rid of them forever, but others seem to take a different view.

        The other 'strike' against nuclear tends to be cost, but actually this is partly because there are various subsidies for oil / coal / renewables and none that I know of for nuclear, and because other plants are not required to have the same safety.

        I'm all for nuclear, yet I am aware that to succeed it needs to operate on the same level playing field as other generation types

        1. MonkeyCee Silver badge

          Re: sustainable, clean energy

          "actually this is partly because there are various subsidies for oil / coal / renewables and none that I know of for nuclear"

          Have a closer look then :) nuclear is one of the more heavily subsidised power generation industries, because national security. The disposal and cleanup costs are borne by public funds with private contributions. No-one will insure them either (hundreds if not thousands of years of liabilities) so again public funds will cover that.

          While it is somewhat true for all energy companies, all the nuclear generators are either state owned or state guaranteed.

          Which make sense, because we don't build reactors for power generation, we build them so we can have plutonium. We don't have large scale thorium reactors because they (probaby) won't scale down small enough to use them to power a CV or submarine. So we have scaled up PWR becasue the public purse isn't going to pay twice when the priorities are weapons, small size and power.

          It's also quite hard to accurately estimate the harm done by nukes. Even getting the figures for number of people who died in construction of plants is not possible. Or they are the only large scale buildings that are amazingly safe and no-one died or was injured during the construction phase. There's also not a clear way of costing the decommissioning, since it's mainly more can kicking than anything else.

          I'm a fan of hydro dams, which are both fairly safe to build and operate. But when they go wrong they can kill tens of thousands directly, and hundreds of thousands indirectly.

          "burying them in an unused mineshaft and sealing them in is as good as getting rid of them forever"

          Except it doesn't. There are some places (Nevada IIRC) where you can do this, but many mines need to be pumped out otherwise you end up leeching into the groundwater. I live in an area that was heavily mined, and each year the council finds another excuse why they shouldn't have to pump as much of the old mine tunnels clear, preferring to spend more on water treatment after the mine water ends up in the aquifers.

          Since many mine shafts are in areas that have been fucked over by the PTB, I wouldn't want them used as dumps. First we get to dig the coal out, but the profits go elsewhere. Then we get the heavy industry and coal power plants situated here, so coal dust in the mines then coal smoke above the surface, profits elsewhere. Then we get the mines and industry closed off, less pollution, and less jobs. Then it's "oh noes, we're not getting enough tax from you" so no more pumping the mines, leading to groundwater contamination. Next up we'll get to have all the nuke waste dumped on us, and again the profits from this will end up elsewhere....

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
            Joke

            Re: sustainable, clean energy

            "Next up we'll get to have all the nuke waste dumped on us, and again the profits from this will end up elsewhere...."

            Sounds like where you live is already so badly fucked, you might as well take all that nuclear shit too anyway. Better you than me! Bloody NIMBYs!!!!

          2. MachDiamond Silver badge

            Re: sustainable, clean energy

            "The disposal and cleanup costs are borne by public funds with private contributions. No-one will insure them either (hundreds if not thousands of years of liabilities) so again public funds will cover that."

            In the US, it was decided that the government would be responsible for nuclear waste disposal. The government generates a fair quantity from weapons and from reactors used on naval ships. It's also, theoretically, better to not trust a for-profit, private company that may just continue dumping 55 gallon drums of waste into the sea instead of properly disposing of it to "maximize value for the shareholders". I see it as also putting the screws on the government to get on with it and there is the faint possibility of getting around NIMBY complaints, etc.

      3. BigSLitleP Silver badge

        Re: sustainable, clean energy

        Erm, no it doesn't? Radioactive elements are not renewable. Sure, there are a lot of them and we definitely wouldn't run out of them any time soon but to say they are sustainable is just not true.

        Let's back nuclear power for the right reasons rather than making stuff up.

        1. petur

          Re: sustainable, clean energy

          Neither are solar and wind, because after 20+ years you need to replace the infrastructure. I'd bet the junk this creates has a higher volume than nuclear waste ;)

          1. MachDiamond Silver badge

            Re: sustainable, clean energy

            "Neither are solar and wind, because after 20+ years you need to replace the infrastructure. I'd bet the junk this creates has a higher volume than nuclear waste ;)"

            20 years is optimistic. Not too far from where I live is a wind area (it's windy right now) with derelict turbines only 10 years old. Once the manufacturer updates their products or loses out to other companies and shuts down, there aren't spare parts to be had to repair existing infrastructure. The new turbines are larger and on bigger pylons so the old ones have to be completely torn down one rusty bolt at a time. I'm not sure if it isn't cheaper to install them over tearing them down. New parts go together much easier and faster than torching a tower structure apart.

      4. The Indomitable Gall

        Re: sustainable, clean energy

        The biggest issue with nuclear is that all current practical economics models emphasise short-term outcomes, and the last thing a nuclear reactor needs is a management team that can't see the bigger picture. This really comes out into play when the reactor hits the end of life, as decommissioning hasn't historically always been budgeted for, meaning the operator goes bust and leaves the cleanup to the public purse.

        I reckon nuclear operators should be obliged to buy government bonds to insure the cleanup, and if they can do it cheaper and cash in the bonds, good for them.

        1. Naselus

          Re: sustainable, clean energy

          "The biggest issue with nuclear is that all current practical economics models emphasise short-term outcomes"

          No, the biggest issue is that the public hate them, since they all grew up reading comic books about multi-tentacled super-mutants and nuclear meltdowns that turn the planet into Mad Max World. The reality of nuclear power is basically irrelevant as long as the general population has effectively zero understanding of them, and zero interest in learning about them.

          1. sabroni Silver badge

            Re: sustainable, clean energy

            Ooh, someone spotted that people in the comments know their stuff so decided a quick derail was in order?

  7. PigFucker

    Unfortunately necessary

    I believe Tesla Inc. needs to survive. Their idea for electric vehicles is a great one, but they're operating in an oil rich world right now so there's no shared collaboration.

    I hope the people let go have the wherewithal to form their own electric car companies and Tesla allow them to compete, in order to drive progress in electric and autonomous cars.

    Like Nikola himself (one of my heroes), I think Tesla electric cars are about 100 years too early to their own party.

    1. veti Silver badge

      Re: Unfortunately necessary

      Virtually every major car manufacturer has their own electric vehicles, either on the road already or scheduled for launch within the next 2-3 years. And, unlike Tesla or some hypothetical new company, those companies have a profitable existing business to support their R&D.

      With or without Tesla, electric vehicles are coming. I predict, within 10 years, at least one car in three on the roads will be electric. Probably more. Tesla as a company will never have more than a small fraction of that market even in the best case - they're a niche product, and their pricing pretty much guarantees they'll remain so.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Unfortunately necessary

        I predict, within 10 years, at least one car in three on the roads will be electric.

        I doubt that. Maybe 1 in 1000. EVs are like nuclear fusion, "only 30 years away" and always will be. Renewable liquid fuels that can be delivered via the current infrastructure are much more practical.

        1. rg287 Silver badge

          Re: Unfortunately necessary

          I doubt that. Maybe 1 in 1000. EVs are like nuclear fusion, "only 30 years away" and always will be. Renewable liquid fuels that can be delivered via the current infrastructure are much more practical.

          Nonsense. We're already past that.

          In 2016 EVs accounted for 1.2-1.5% of new vehicle registrations. In the last three quarters that's risen to 2.5-2.9% and is accelerating.

          EV's account for ~0.5% of the UK fleet, so we're already at 5/1000. That includes plug-in hybrids mind you, but when you break out the numbers, the Tesla S/X, Nissan Leaf and Renault Zoe account for >20% of EV sales, so they're past your nominal 1/1000 mark.

          Just by way of anecdotal example, there's a Zoe on our street, a Leaf in the office car park and there were two Teslas and a Leaf at our old business park. When you add up the population of our street, and the tenants of our old office unit and new office unit, you come to a bit under 1000 people - more or less exactly as the numbers suggest.

          And this is out in the provinces - not the Home Counties or M25.

        2. David Nash Silver badge

          Re: Unfortunately necessary

          "Renewable liquid fuels that can be delivered via the current infrastructure are much more practical."

          Such as?

        3. MJB7 Bronze badge

          Re: Maybe 1 in 1000

          40% of all cars registered in Norway in 2017 were electric or hybrid.

          In Europe as a whole, plug-in electric cars were 1.4% of new registrations, which means we are probably not far off your "1 in 1000" of cars on the road already. (It will vary how you count it - electric vehicles probably do shorter journeys, so a lot fewer than 1‰ miles will be by electric vehicles).

          Norway plans to ban new petrol/diesel cars by 2025 (which is 8 years away, not 30).

          Even France and the UK plan to ban new cars by 2040 (which is rather less than your "30 years", but is distant enough that it could easily slip).

          I think one in three by 2028 is quite plausible.

          1. imanidiot Silver badge

            Re: Maybe 1 in 1000

            EUROPE != THE WORLD!! Yes, SOME countries in Europe are seeing a decent uptake of electric vehicles. Pure EV's (electric only) are however only a small part of the uptake, as plug-in hybrids are also counted, while they should imho be counted as slightly more efficient (depending on measurement method) fossil fuel powered cars.

            The uptake in the rest of the world is only marginal at best. An electric car is useless in most of Afrika currently. Or most of India. Most of Australia, the pacific region, Asia or South America are also unsuited or far from ideal. Most of North America is too (only the major metropolitan areas) This means uptake will slow down again and will be poor in the rest of the world. And I think that 1 in 1000 might be correct if we're looking at global numbers.

          2. MachDiamond Silver badge

            Re: Maybe 1 in 1000

            "Even France and the UK plan to ban new cars by 2040 (which is rather less than your "30 years", but is distant enough that it could easily slip)."

            I expect that many of those bans will be pushed some more years out until it's mostly unnecessary to implement them. There will be some that need liquid fueled cars/trucks for towing and other heavy work. The massive additional energy density of petrol/diesel over batteries will still be relevant for years in certain applications.

      2. jmch Silver badge

        Re: Unfortunately necessary

        "they're a niche product, and their pricing pretty much guarantees they'll remain so"

        Tesla's Model 3 is exactly their attempt to get out of the niche and go mainstream. It's understandable that they are having difficulties scaling up, other auto manufacterers have years of experience in producing cars in the millions rather than the thousands. But more competition is better so I hope that they manage to iron out their problems and get the Model 3 out at their target $35k price while being able to turn a profit. Note that while $35k is still a premium price for electric compared to Ford or Renault etc, it's cheap-ish compared to Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Volvo etc who are their real competition in this space.

    2. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
      Childcatcher

      Re: Unfortunately necessary

      Their idea for electric vehicles is a great one, but they're operating in an oil rich world right now so there's no shared collaboration

      Not quite. Tesla is operating in an 'oil rich country' with a moron for a president. A president who would rather Tesla cease to exist today.

      I say moron because of his statements such as 'Good Clean Coal' and 'Mexico will pay for the Wall'.

      He is clearly clever in some areas. His family are raking in the money like there is no tomorrow. He'll be wanting to put a Trump Golf Resort in North Korea next year but he denies climate change and the impending disaster that will befall US farmers in the next year or so.

      Trump needs to 'think of the children' rather than himself and enriching his family.

      1. jmch Silver badge

        Re: Unfortunately necessary

        "Trump needs to 'think of the children'"

        Given his policy of separating children of any age from their parents if the parents are suspected illegal immigrants as a punishment/deterrent for future immigrants, I doubt that "the children" rate highly in his thinking.

      2. src

        Re: Unfortunately necessary

        When has Trump stated stated that he would "rather Tesla cease to exist today"? You are making it up. Another hysterical liberal fantasy.

      3. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: Unfortunately necessary

        "Trump needs to 'think of the children' rather than himself and enriching his family."

        And Ms. Clinton would have been different how?

    3. PickledAardvark

      Re: Unfortunately necessary

      "I believe Tesla Inc. needs to survive."

      That's like saying that Charles Duryea made a decent buggy so we don't have to try harder.

      Tesla is in a pickle; it doesn't earn cash and investors aren't sure whether Tesla is a long term brand or owns substantial intellectual property.

      Two companies who made the first internal combustion engined cars exist today: Daimler and Benz, who merged in the 1920s.

      1. DougS Silver badge

        Re: Unfortunately necessary

        EVs are obviously more attractive in European countries where petrol costs FAR more than it does in the US. While electricity generally costs more there as well, its cost is generally more stable and bounded by the cost of renewable generated electricity.

  8. Blockchain commentard Silver badge
    WTF?

    No profit in 15 years? Is he soon going to have to wake up and smell the roses?

    1. Vanir

      No profit in 15 years? Is he soon going to have to wake up and smell the roses?

      Well, some nvestors would like to smell any roses from Telsa's utopian garden.

      Star Citizen's / CIG 'investors' (mugs?) are in a similar position.

      Still, I hope things go well for all.

      1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

        Re: No profit in 15 years? Is he soon going to have to wake up and smell the roses?

        I doubt it. So this

        profit is obviously not what motivates us.

        is a problem. I'm fairly certain that a duty of any corporate officer is to maximise shareholder and investor's benefits. It may be an acceptable mission statement for a company incorporated as a non-profit, but Tesla isn't structured that way. I'm also not sure how this official company statement would sit with risk managers looking at things like pension portfolios, or anyone thinking of injecting the fresh capital into Tesla that it needs. Or refinancing existing debt that's due in the next couple of years. At least Musk and Trump have debt financing and financial engineering in common.

        1. Uncle Slacky Silver badge
          Stop

          Re: No profit in 15 years? Is he soon going to have to wake up and smell the roses?

          > I'm fairly certain that a duty of any corporate officer is to maximise shareholder and investor's benefits.

          Nope, it's a myth:

          https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2014/01/myth-maximizing-shareholder-value.html

          1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

            Re: No profit in 15 years? Is he soon going to have to wake up and smell the roses?

            Nope, it's not. Fiduciary officers still have a duty of loyalty to the company, even in Delaware. Whilst it may be true that the first duty is to the company, it also extends to the body of that company, ie it's investors and creditors. And there's abundant case law where officers have acted in their own or against company interests, and been held personally liable for it.

            That aside, here's an old statement from Tesla:-

            Capital Efficiency . We believe our rapid product development process, our modular and adaptable powertrain, our plan to design and manufacture multiple product types on a singular platform, and our ability to hold lower inventory levels while still meeting customer demand will help reduce the capital required to reach operating efficiencies. <b.This approach is designed with the aim of allowing us to achieve profitability at relatively low volumes and create a viable long-term business.</b>

            From their 2010 s.1 IPO prospectus. Forward looking statements aside, it seems a pretty clear statement of intent.. Which they're still working on delivering. Like many thousands of Model 3's. But as the old joke goes, if they're losing money on each car now, I'm sure they'll make it up in volume.

  9. HungryMan

    I personally love electric cars, however the problem with electric cars has always been the capacity of the batteries and the speed at which they recharge. electric cars first came about around 1884, shortly after Karl Benz invented what we consider the first car. one of my favorites is the Baker Electric. Jay Leno has a 1909 model that is Absolutely spectacular. however early electric cars suffered from the same things that hamper todays electric cars. range and recharge time. while tesla and others have made great strides, it still takes hours to recharge them even with a tesla super charger and the range is still to low for any thing but day to day city use. they are very impractical for long distance trips. In order to compete with gas/diesel powered cars in the US market, they need to have a range of around 350-400 mile and recharge to 95% in less than 15 minutes, they also to be able recharge at 95% of the refueling stations, in every city and in every state and not just a designated recharge locations. they also need standardization on charging connector so any electric car can use any changer. with a gas or diesel car I can pull in to any station and refuel. Tesla has made incredible progress in all these areas except for the recharge rate of the battery and connector standardization. they should really open source the connector to other manufactures, that way more refueling stations would be inclined to install one and change the driver by the amount of energy they use to refill the battery. the speed of the recharge is also needed. you can have someone sitting around for hours with their car plugged it waiting for it to recharge.

    1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      @hungryman - Excellent synopsis of the problems of EVs since 1884. I would quibble that range is a solvable problem with bigger battery packs using high charge density batteries. But the recharging time is the Achilles heel for EVs. This effectively limits a day trip to one charge; not always practical. The problem of connectors really only requires the industry to pick a set of standards for different voltage connections that every will use; something done in other industries.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Range solution: "...using high charge density batteries..."

        That's a good idea, because all this time they've been using low charge density batteries.

      2. tiggity Silver badge

        The simple solution is common battery packs (common size, connections, power output etc) and easy way to swap them in and out. Then a "fuel visit" would not be a charge up but swapping out low charge batteries for fully charged ones.

        Drawback is garage needs lots of storage for all the batteries

    2. MacroRodent Silver badge

      Why not just switch the batteries

      you can have someone sitting around for hours with their car plugged it waiting for it to recharge.

      One would think the obvious solution is to have standardized interchangeable battery packs. The service station would charge them for hours, but switching can be done in a minute. Like back when cellular phone batteries had worse capacity (in the pre-lithium days). I used to have two batteries, one charging, one in the phone.

      1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

        Re: Why not just switch the batteries

        standardized interchangeable battery packs. The service station would charge them for hours

        That just moves the problem, the service stations would need grid connections able to supply the energy for that, which might be feasible for motorway stations but not for ones in towns. Then you have the fire hazard issues of a warehouse full of on-charge aging Li-Ion cells in every service station, getting planning permission for those all over the country might be tricky.

        Lastly, how do you cope with the fact that as they age the storage packs lose capacity? Will a garage charge less money for an older pack that doesn't hold as much? Will drivers insist that they only get a newish fully-charged pack?

        On the plus side it would be easier for a government to tax, just add 60% fuel tax to each battery pack swap bill. Then it would be no cheaper than petrol/diesel, of course.

        1. LucreLout Silver badge

          Re: Why not just switch the batteries

          Then you have the fire hazard issues of a warehouse full of on-charge aging Li-Ion cells in every service station, getting planning permission for those all over the country might be tricky.

          Petrol stations seem to have managed it, so I don't agree that planning permission will be an obstacle.

          The rest of your post I agree with.

          1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

            Re: Why not just switch the batteries

            Petrol stations seem to have managed it, so I don't agree that planning permission will be an obstacle.

            Petrol station fires rarely reach the tanks, they tend to be on the surface where they can be dealt with relatively easily with conventional firefighing means. I wouldn't be so sanguine about dealing with, say, a Tesla battery pack catching fire in the middle of a warehouse full of others like it.

    3. Raj

      Your post is factually wrong. Is also is extremely short sighted, and apparently that of a person who hasn’t used the car he’s talking about, at any length . And yes, I know - I drive a Model S.

      It doesn’t take ‘hours to supercharge a Tesla’ . The time to gain a functional charge is counted in *minutes* . You can go from 20% to over 80% charge in under 30 minutes . Over 90% in between 30-45 minutes . Beyond that, charge rate tapers .

      BUT - charging 100% is usually pointless . Regen braking is turned off due to high charge level, so you don’t gain what it would otherwise offer . Superchargers in most urban areas with lots of Tesla’s are 50mi apart or less.

      Another gaping hole almost every non EV owner discounts - because they’ve never experienced its worth - is that having a plug in the garage means you wake up every morning to a full tank . And no, it doesn’t take 10-12hrs . A NEMA 14-50 pushing a sustained 40A gets you an approx 30 miles/hr charge rate . My 75D is typically done in 5-6hrs, using the ToU rate starting midnight , with anywhere from 10-20% initial charge and 90% limit setting .

      And the 255mi range ? That is not the range you get by babying the car . Rather, it’s what you get when you do 70-75mph on the freeway . If you putter along at 35-45mph around town, you’ll get a higher range than advertised : https://insideevs.com/heres-how-speed-impacts-range-of-the-tesla-model-s/

      I’ve driven mine two years now . Well north of 50K miles in those years . My round trip commute is almost 200 miles, and I can do it on one charge . I’ve driven up to the Canadian border and back from LA . It just works . Supercharging plus destination chargers meant I woke up more than once with a full tank in the car .

      Range anxiety is a normal thing for those who aren’t familiar, or even EV newcomers . Most other EVs are not yet functional , but Tesla’s are . The supercharger network is a force multiplier that no one else has, as yet .

      1. jmch Silver badge

        "In order to compete with gas/diesel powered cars in the US market, they need to have a range of around 350-400 mile and recharge to 95% in less than 15 minutes, they also to be able recharge at 95% of the refueling stations, in every city and in every state and not just a designated recharge locations"

        "It doesn’t take ‘hours to supercharge a Tesla’ . The time to gain a functional charge is counted in *minutes* . You can go from 20% to over 80% charge in under 30 minutes . Over 90% in between 30-45 minutes "

        You're both right, just talking about different requirements. How many people, in reality, use their car for long 400-mile trips to random locations that are 'in the middle of nowhere' enough to not have an electric socket available. Maybe 5-10% of road users? The other 90-95% are covered by Raj's description of what the Tesla delivers. Of course 45 minutes for 90% charge is still a lot compared to 5 minutes for filling a tank, but most people on long journeys stop for lunch at some point, so again it's a case of electric cars catering for maybe 80-90% of the population, while the rest stick to hydrocarbons.

        Long-term, given breakthroughs being made in using (possibly renewable) power to capture CO2 from the atmosphere and use it to create hydrocarbon fuels, I expect that ICE cars will still be a large percentage of vehicles. But electric still gives advantages of zero-emission at the tailpipe, quietness and better overall efficiency so I expect them to gradually take over as technology matures and becomes cheaper and infrastructure gets better.

        1. MonkeyCee Silver badge

          Trees

          "given breakthroughs being made in using (possibly renewable) power to capture CO2 from the atmosphere and use it to create hydrocarbon fuels,"

          I'm pretty sure shrubs and trees aren't exactly breakthroughs, but they use solar power to capture CO2 and can be then used as hydrocarbon fuel :)

          Bamboo and willow charcoal, or whatever we're clear felling these days :)

        2. rg287 Silver badge

          so again it's a case of electric cars catering for maybe 80-90% of the population, while the rest stick to hydrocarbons.

          Or indeed Extended Range Hybrids that run on batteries for 90% of the time and kick in the genset for the one day a month they run off on a long distance trip.

        3. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

          How many people, in reality, use their car for long 400-mile trips to random locations that are 'in the middle of nowhere' enough to not have an electric socket available. Maybe 5-10% of road users? The other 90-95% are covered by Raj's description of what the Tesla delivers.

          You're confusing road users with journeys.

          Maybe only 5-10% of my journeys are long drives to places where I can't conveniently recharge, but that still means that an electric car doesn't meet all my needs, and an IC one does. An electric car is therefore of no use to me, except as a second car. If I only have one car it needs to meet 100% of my needs, not 90%.

          And before you suggest renting an IC one for that 5-10%, remember that for that to be possible requires someone to make those IC vehicles, and maintain a refuelling network for them, just like today. That is unlikely to be practical if it's only for 10% of journeys, many of which will be bank holidays and summer weekends, when everybody will be trying to hire at the same time.

          EVs certainly have a niche market in pollution-conscious places like cities, although it will be interesting to see how popular they remain once they are taxed as heavily as all other vehicles instead of both them and their fuel being subsidised.

      2. fandom

        " is that having a plug in the garage means you wake up every morning to a full tank"

        If I lived in a house with a garage I would buy an electric car or, at least, a plug-in hybrid.

        But I don't, these cars aren't for everyone, but then, no car model is for everyone.

        1. Raj

          I’m glad you acknowledge the impact of your own constraints on carbuying choice . Too many criticisms of EVs related to inability to home charge, conflate the persons own constraints with that of the car .

          A contractor or foreman clearly shouldn’t buy a Kia Rio or Toyota Yaris, and then complain it can’t handle the piles of lumber he tried to stick inside at Home Depot . Similarly, it isn’t the smart choice to buy an EV if you’re clearly constrained from easily charging it .

          However, when you live/work someplace where the charging infrastructure works for you, at least with a Tesla and it’s network of chargers, I find practically no compromise . Quite the opposite, since my energy and overall operational costs are way lower .

    4. Vanir

      batteries: 350-400 mile range, recharge to 95% in less than 15 minutes

      That's quite a current required to do that at low to medium voltages. The latter for public safety reason, the former requiring thicker cables for safety and efficiency reasons.

      Thicker cables usually means more copper / aluminium. Costly infrastructure, more mining etc. More energy expenditure and so it goes on.

      There's no such thing as 'clean energy'. It seems to be a phrase that is used to convey a 'free from bad consequences energy'.

    5. Whitter
      Boffin

      the problem with electric cars has always been ... the batteries ...

      the problem with electric cars has always been the capacity of the batteries and the speed at which they recharge

      Those are certainly the biggest current issues but, should we try to scale-up electric cars, the delivery of enough electricity to recharging stations (@home, @work, @'petrol' stations) - with massive spikes in typical demand times (after driving to/from work) - will become an extremely difficult problem to address.

    6. rg287 Silver badge

      In order to compete with gas/diesel powered cars in the US market, they need to have a range of around 350-400 mile and recharge to 95% in less than 15 minutes

      Whilst I appreciate that the US in spread out, who on Earth is doing 300-450miles on a daily basis - that 80,000 miles a year (for 200 working days). The vast majority of the population live within 250miles of the coastline (which is why Tesla's Semi truck is designed with a 300 mile range - they don't care about ice road truckers or people doing trans-continental trips. They've done their market research and know that the majority of freight travels less than 100miles from port to distribution/sorting centre).

      This isn't an all-or-nothing deal. Many households have two cars - it is entirely practicable to run an EV for your every day driver and have an ICE or Hybrid for longer commutes or weekends away - which moves to a 50% fleet of EVs.

      I've seen people saying "but what about when I drive 500miles to my family at Thanksgiving?", and my response is "You're going to run an ICE car for 364 days of the year just to go to Thanksgiving?". Once capital costs come down, it'll be cheaper to run an EV most of the time and just rent an ICE/Hybrid for the once or twice a year you go away. The tipping point in the US is further away because they pay nothing for petrol, but it's coming - especially if states or cities start to legislate in the absence of Federal pressure. LA and California are ahead of the game. Eventually New York and Chicago will decide to clean up urban air quality and start introducing congestion zoning which will rapidly move urban delivery vans, taxis and other vehicles over to cleaner alternatives.

      1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

        just rent an ICE/Hybrid for the once or twice a year you go away.

        That works while ICE vehicles are still in a majority, but who's going to maintain a refuelling network for them if they are only used occasionally? How do you manage the economics of a fleet of ICE cars that lie idle for months, but everyone wants to rent one at Thanksgiving?

        The tipping point in the US is further away because they pay nothing for petrol

        Hardly nothing compared to, say, Venezuela, but that's even more true for EVs. Their "fuel" is cheap because it isn't taxed like petrol/diesel, but no government will abandon that revenue. If EVs take over from ICE vehicles you can be sure that they'll be taxed just as heavily, with no more subsidies.

    7. MachDiamond Silver badge

      The needs of travelers in the early 1900s was much different than today. People weren't driving their cars daily, towns were smaller and electricity wasn't as ubiquitous. Electric cars were preferred since they were quieter, cleaner and easier to drive. Another issue was that petrol came in tins purchased at the chemist rather than pumps. The chemist frequently could be out of stock and not know when the next shipment would come in.

      A visit to a forecourt for a petrol/diesel can take 15 minutes if there is a queue. If you want a vehicle that will charge from flat to 95% in 15 minutes (80% would be a better target), you have to be prepared to hoist a large cable with a massive connector to handle the currents involved. That's rarely needed, though. The vast majority of people are NOT driving further than 250 miles in one go and since it's possible to easily charge an EV each night and have a full charge each morning, it's far different in having greater range in a petrol car to reduce the number of trips to the gas station. Your comment about having to visit a "designated recharge location" is silly. You've just described a petrol station. If you are in Europe or the UK, Shell is installing rapid chargers in their forecourts, so there you go.

      The battle of the plugs is between Tesla, which have gone with their own proprietary charging scheme and the two other standards that everybody else uses, ChaDeMo and CCS(?). The latter two are commonly available at all DC fast charger locations and Tesla is having to install their own network since they chose not to go with an industry standard. A Tesla can use ChaDeMo with an adapter, purchased separately. This is no different than choosing between petrol and diesel to match what your car needs. Unless you buy a Tesla and then need to visit a Tesla station. Tesla likes it that way. They could have been making loads of money on charging if they didn't go with their own scheme. Beta vs. VHS.

      For many long trips, a long range EV can work just fine. At the distances where charging times are adding a significant amount of time, you will have probably wanted to fly anyway. If you have other people with you, especially children, you are going to be stopping more frequently than you NEED to recharge anyway, so plugging in at those short stops is worthwhile with a longer stop for meals where a bulk of recharging can be done. I drove half way across the US for the 2017 total eclipse and kept track of my stops and mileage (ICEV). I would have added about 1.5-2 hours each way with an EV, but I would have shaved 75% of the fuel cost from the trip. Sadly, while taking the train was only twice as long, it was twice as expensive too.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Also,

    The stats from the USA and places like Norway and Holland show that most people charge their cars at home.

    I do just that. Having Solar Panels means that I can charge my car right from the electricity that my home makes. Later this year, I'm having 17KW of Battery fitted so that I can charge my car at any time from my own leccy. That will give me 50% charge for my Leaf (made in sunderland).

    There are now plenty of Charge Points around in the UK. Just go to www.zap-map.com and see for yourself. Some are even totally FREE to use. Yes folks, you plug in and charge and it does not cost you a penny..

    Getting an EV is more than just changing a vehicle. It is a lifestyle change. You start to look at things differently and notice how smelly many Diesels can be.

    1. G R Goslin

      Re: Also,

      I doubt that semantically speaking, the Leaf is actually "made" in Sunderland. Strictly, it is more likely to be merely assembled in Sunderland, from parts made elsewhere. In many cases, "Made in Britain" is one of the 'weasel' phrases to get round national constraints on what may be imported. As someone who once worked in Britain's once proud commercial vehicle business, the assembly gang were considered to be a bunch of overpaid monkeys. The real skills were in the machine shops, the foundries and forges, where the parts were really "made"

      1. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: Also,

        "I doubt that semantically speaking, the Leaf is actually "made" in Sunderland. "

        Many Tesla Fanbois make the "made in USA" claim. The ugly truth is that there are lots of parts coming from Asia. Some recent stories about Tesla having to re-machine loads of parts showed crates piled up with Asian "from" labels. I also think that Munro & Assoc. did a breakdown of parts sources for the Model 3, but the full report costs a big pile of money so it's not something that can be easily searched. Sandy Munro has shown a bunch of parts that were from outside the US in interviews.

        Having the assembly in country is a good thing. That's where many of the jobs are had. Lots of the sub-assemblies might be coming from automated lines. The first world governments are trying to ban the foundry and forge industries since they are "high carbon impact" businesses. Metal processing in the US has gone to the dogs with most metals coming from overseas. The President can add all the tariffs he likes on imports, but the horse has already left the barn. The remaining problems are the companies themselves. They make a limited range of alloys and will only cater to very high volume markets such as automotive manufacturing. If you want a low carbon alloy for magnetic applications, they won't talk to you at all. If they do give you 10 seconds, you would have to promise full mill runs (that's a S-Ton of metal). The next round of "carbon" taxes will kill off most of what's left in the US and move it just over the border to Mexico where pollution limits are highly negotiable (in cash, to the right inspector). Bad news for Texas when the wind is from the southwest.

    2. Colabroad

      Re: Also,

      I'd be all over a leccy car, I can't physically drive more than 30 miles in any one direction without ending up in the sea so range isn't what I'd call an issue :P

      Unfortunately my parking space is two houses away and there's no charging at work, I'm going to have to buy a bigger house first...

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not amped up...

    I find it shocking that an electric car company is letting people go, watt is the world coming to? Hopefully the employees that get terminated will have a chance to recharge, and will be able to find new jobs where their skills are still current.

    1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

      Re: Not amped up...

      Glad you're not being negative.

    2. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: Not amped up...

      Let's hope that they can get out of their leases without too big of a penalty. Being unemployed in the Silicon Valley is a fast ticket to also being homeless due to the costs.

  12. Kevin C

    I find it shocking that an electric car company is letting people go, watt is the world coming to? Hopefully the employees that get terminated will have a chance to recharge, and will be able to find new jobs where their skills are still current.

  13. flilotuk

    Undecimates is not a word.

    1. Sam Therapy

      It is now.

    2. Norman Nescio Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Undecimates is not a word.

      It's a perfectly cromulent word.

      And as decimate, meaning reduce by 1 in 10, comes from the Latin decem, meaning 'ten', then a reduction of 9%, which is near enough 1 in 11, by the same process, would come from the Latin undecem, meaning eleven. Reducing the workforce by 5% (1 in 20) would be vigintimate by the same process.

      1. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

        I think you created a brand name,.....

        ... but 'vigintimate' sounds like a cream. :- |

  14. RobertLongshaft

    The media's hardon for Elon Musk continues.

    This is normal opperating procedure for just about every company in the world every few years or in some cases every year.

    But lets use it as a stick to hammer away at the man who dared call out the 'journalist' profession for the degenerate, lazy lie spreading junk fest it has become.

    1. fandom

      Yes, indeed, you can tell because here at The Register they never comment on companies like Oracle or IBM firing people.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Easy fix make more flamethrowers

    So his Boring company sold 20k limited run of flamethrowers to fund his tunneling startup. Rumours of an ice blaster next.....

    Not a BFG please

    1. LucreLout Silver badge

      Re: Easy fix make more flamethrowers

      So his Boring company sold 20k limited run of flamethrowers to fund his tunneling startup.

      I know lots of people on here don't like the man, but making a simple popular product with the staff, materials, and skills you have in order to find what you want the company to really do, is quite a clever way to fund your startup. Worst case, you restructure and spin out the inadvertently more successful flamethrower startup.

      Obviously that ignores the difficulty in achieving the simple popular product step, given that most companies fail in the first 12 months....

      1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

        Re: Easy fix make more flamethrowers

        The really clever trick was to take a $50 weed burner/roofing tool and sell it for $500. Although it was re-skinned and branded, which means it would have involved some R&D, tooling and other manufacturing costs.. So possibly not as profitable as it would appear on first blush. But it generated a lot of publicity for something that's readily available in a cheaper form. And then there's an issue about how much revenue to set aside for litigation costs.

        But the media loved it, so worked as a marketing stunt. Even though it had nothing really to do with TBC's core business of tunnelling. Unless they're using organic, sustainable pine resin as a tunnel sealant instead of filthy tar..

  16. Joe 99

    Back to the Future II?

    DeLorean ...

  17. Multivac

    Pretty standard for a US company

    We have a forced ranking system, top 10% get a pay rise, middle 80% get a token pay rise, bottom 10% get put on a performance plan and get the boot 12 months later or as soon as the company feel they can do it without getting sued. You should see out management structure though, it's a thing of beauty, it must have been based on the design for the Eiffel tower it even has a dotted line lattice work!

  18. spold Bronze badge

    i guess they are firing those that aren't Boring enough...

  19. PickledAardvark

    Contradictory to the Musk business model?

    I have read many times that Musk's managers pay attention to details. Teslas are designed so that they use the minimum number of types of fastener -- it means that a factory requires fewer tools or employs tools which can be reused. Everything is supposed to be as efficient as possible.

    But the firing of 9% of white collar workers suggests that Tesla is inefficient. Or maybe people were employed in the expectation that Tesla would be building more cars? Either way, it doesn't look good.

  20. katrinab Silver badge

    "These cuts were almost entirely made from our salaried population and no production associates were included, so this will not affect our ability to reach Model 3 production targets in the coming months."

    So the workers on the production line don't get paid?

    1. Colabroad

      I'm guessing that means they're paid by the hour rather than salaried.

  21. Jim84

    Alternatively

    Build a pebble bed or molten salt small modular reactor with an output temperature of 600 celcius or greater, use that to make ammonia from seawater and air, burn that ammonia in internal combustion engines, job pretty much done.

    Unfortunately billions per year are spent on renewable subsidies or grid priority, while governments won't fund much nuclear research (except for China's government).

  22. Mike 125
  23. G R Goslin

    Nine percent

    What surprises me is that the nine percent was taken from "Salaried" people, and that none of these worked in a productive capacity. Having spent a lifetime in manufacturing, I'm surprised that there are even nine percent of the workforce in a non production capacity. It was once said by a (Victorian) ship builder, "If I could hire twenty more shipwrights, I could build more ships. If I hired twenty more accountants, not a single extra plank would be fitted".

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Tesla is like Concorde

    Decades ahead of it's time but too expensive and not ready for the mainstream.

  25. Moog42

    Bored waiting.

    I cancelled my Model 3 reservation last week. 2 years and 2 months waiting, no customer communications of note, no sign of any RHD models yet, the AWD version costs north of £60k. Bought a new LEAF instead and they were hugely apologetic for the 12 week delay.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I Blame brexit

    Anything negative in the world can be traced back to Britain's vote.

    1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

      Re: I Blame brexit

      I blame the bloody awful Warsaw Concerto.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How about

    apple buys into tesla say 5-10 beellions worth ? Solves both their prblems ...

    1. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: How about

      How about Apple buys the Model 3 and Model S tear down reports from Munro & Associates ($150kish, maybe less), Buys a few different EV models to tear down themselves ($300K) and puts $2billion into producing their own car?

      Tesla needs profits or they would just be swapping debt from one place for debt in another. It's a gamble to think that putting more money in is going to get them to profitability. There is no advantage for Apple to make a huge investment in them.

  28. RobertsonCR7
    Gimp

    things are going to get bad

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