Thursday, December 11, 2014

Favorite business writing linked to - on Tesla Motors / electric cars

With the last post made in this series on my favorite business writing linked to having been on solid writing about power generation and management, it's a natural segue to now write on my favorite business writing come across about Tesla Motors and electric cars:

“Tesla’s Electric Man” for The Economist in Dec 2014 – an interesting piece I hadn't previously written about on production of battery packs at the forthcoming Reno gigafactory along with corresponding technological improvements in energy storage. Really interesting piece that features the following from Tesla Motors co-founder and CTO JB Straubel, “I see us more as an energy-innovation company. If we can reduce energy-storage prices, it’s the most important thing we can do to make electric vehicles more prevalent. Add in renewable power and I have a direct line of sight towards an entire economy that doesn't need fossil fuels and doesn't need to pay more to do it.” Reference is also made in the story to home energy storage options from the company SolarCity and information from the piece is echoed in and reinforced by the Dec 2014 Bloomberg story “Why Elon Musk's Batteries Scare the Hell Out of the Electric Company,” which notes how the gigafactory along with batteries for Tesla cars will “also churn out stationary battery packs that can be paired with rooftop solar panels to store power.”

"Inside Elon Musk's $1.4 Billion Score" by Peter Elkind for Fortune in Nov 2014 – on how Tesla Motors went about deciding on Reno as the location for the forthcoming electric car battery gigafactory.

"Tesla Grabs a New (Old) Spokesman From Square" by Ashlee Vance for Businessweek in Nov 2014 – on Ricardo Reyes returning to head Communications at Tesla. The background that Reyes has is fascinating, particularly in relation to the idea of narrative and storytelling within business communication.

"As Software and Hardware Advance Together, the Next Innovation Wave Rises" by Ashlee Vance for Businessweek in Sept 2014 – on the great advantage held by companies like Apple, Tesla Motors and Nest (now part of Google).

"Why Everybody Loves Tesla" by Ashlee Vance for Businessweek in July 2013.

"Triumph of His Will" by Tom Junod for Esquire in Nov 2012 – on Elon Must and really well done writing about a fascinating individual. Junod starts off the profile with a great hook alluding to Musk's audaciousness and then in the piece shows his drive in looking forward, and often past what others want from him, and having a remarkable willingness to place huge bets.

"Elon Musk, the 21st Century Industrialist" by Ashlee Vance for Businessweek in Sept 2012.

"Why Tesla Motors Is Betting On The Model S" by Jon Gertner for Fast Company in Mar 2012 – on the much anticipated and planned for July 2012 launch of its sedan. Tesla’s CEO Musk is a fascinating guy and the thing that stood out from this piece was his mention of needing iterations (three progressive car models) to reach his ultimate goal of a low priced mass market vehicle. This translates to the Model S sedan as the mid-point between the high priced roadster and the planned for the future third model.

"Electric Cars Get Charged for Battle" by Eric Pooley for Businessweek Dec 2010 – focuses on entries to the field from Nissan and General Motors. The Leaf from Nissan has a higher green credential being all electric, but the electric/gasoline hybrid Volt from GM follows in the already proven to be successful footprints of the Toyota Prius. Reading the piece, it seemed to me that Nissan will have a tougher road to success (pardon the pun) with its higher reliance on the availability of public charging stations. Even if the places to charge are available, consumers have to feel comfortable enough that they won't get stuck or the car purchase will never happen.