Why this is Elon Musk's moment
Is there anything that Elon Musk enjoys more than shaming his haters? Here he is at Wednesday's D11 conference, reveling in running one of the few remaining electric car startups, one with stock that just passed the $100 mark, enjoying calling out all those who said it couldn't be done. "Before we were able to get the roadster out, they'd say you couldn't possibly make the car work. When we did, they said: Well, nobody's going to buy it. And people did. Then, when we announced the Model S, so many people called bullshit on that it was ridiculous. We were able to bring it to market, they said we wouldn't be able to produce at volume, we did that, and then they said we would never be profitable, and we did that in Q1. So I'm hopeful that people will observe that there is a trend here." After a pause, the audience cackles and applauds.
Musk went on to consider bending space to allow for faster-than-light travel, Mars settlements, and a rapid transit system called a Hyperloop that is three or four times faster than a bullet train, would never crash, and is immune to weather. No small dreams for this guy. But perhaps the biggest news was the announcement of a rapid expansion of Tesla's Supercharge stations. Soon -- within two-years, he said -- Tesla owners will be able to drive cross-country using Supercharge, filling up a 200-plus mile battery in a little under an hour.
I've written about Tesla (TSLA) and the importance of a rapid-charging network before, mostly to say that, as exciting as the Supercharger is, it's really mostly a marketing tool, a way to alleviate the biggest issue surrounding electric car ownership, which is range anxiety. Musk's announcement feels like a direct rebuke. The company is building a national network! But a national network is overstating things. The ability to drive cross-country in an electric vehicle that's as fast and fun to drive as the Model S is certainly neat. How many people will? Not many, is my guess (though: sign me up!). As several owners of electric vehicle charging companies told me , the Supercharger is a bit of Musk magic: a great add-on to help sell more cars and a way to move the industry forward but by no means a comprehensive piece of EV infrastructure. That, unfortunately, will take time. More time, most likely, than the $30,000 EV Musk promises in three years. By the time all our cities and places in between have enough charging stations to make EV ownership no question at all, Musk will have moved on. To Mars, maybe.
之前，我曾写过一篇文章，介绍特斯拉和快速充电网络的重要性。文章的大意是，虽然超级充电桩令人兴奋，但它实际上只是一个营销工具，只是为了缓解围绕电动汽车的一个最大的问题——里程焦虑。穆斯克公布的消息就像是对我的直接回击。他的公司正在建造一个覆盖全国的充电网络！说全国范围当然是有些夸张。能开着像Model S那样的电动车横穿全美，速度飞快，而且充满乐趣，这当然很有吸引力。但有多少人会这么做？我猜不会很多（但是，我一定会加入!）。一些电动汽车充电公司的老板曾对我说，超级充电桩只是穆斯克的一个小花招：它是帮助提升汽车销量的一个附加设备，是推动行业向前发展的方法而已，绝对不属于电动汽车基础设施的一部分。电动汽车基础设施建设需要耗费很长时间，或许比穆斯克承诺在三年内推出30,000美元价位的电动汽车的时间还要长。有一天，我们所有城际区域都将拥有足够的充电站，购买电动汽车将不再有任何问题。或许到那时，穆斯克又会瞄准新的目标吧，比如说，火星。 【已有很多网友发表了看法，点击参与讨论】【对英语不懂，点击提问】【英语论坛】【返回首页】