Home » Elon Musk’s Conference Call And The Dumb Media Reaction To It

Elon Musk’s Conference Call And The Dumb Media Reaction To It

Morning Dump Elon Musk
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I really wanted to talk today about the improving sales of hybrids and how that’s a good thing for the world and, yeah, I’ll get there. I’ll also use this Morning Dump to talk about the escalating UAW strike. But first, I’m going to do what I really don’t want to do and defend Tesla CEO Elon Musk against weaponized bad faith. This might be a theme today.

This is a car website and I like to avoid politics when I can because my faith in this world relies, in small part, on the hope that there are enough things that bind us to one another (church, sports, and especially automobiles) to keep us from entirely spinning apart. Some days clinging to that hope is like holding onto an oily drain plug.

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Politics always find you and, while talking about Elon Musk isn’t explicitly a political act, it does attract love and hate, in equal measure, from people on the capital “I” Internet. So let’s do it because there’s some real dumb dumb nonsense out there I’m just not gonna abide any longer. Also, welcome to Bizarro Day, where David Tracy is an EV soyboy (more on that later) and I’m defending Elon Musk.

Elon Musk Didn’t Cry On His Call

The Internet as we know it is a machine that is fed by outrage, and there are websites that exist to churn that outrage into clicks, which makes them money, which makes them create more outrage. That’s fine. People have to make a living. When Elon Musk does something wrong we, here, are also not above calling him out on it. But there’s a deep hypocrisy and lack of insight out there I feel I have to address.

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Brands are not your friends, though it’s fine to make ethical choices about your investments in brands, even if they won’t always work out. When you outsource your financial and emotional stability to the same thing you will very likely reap what you sow, eventually, and it won’t be pretty. Just look at all those people on the Internet who got big mad about losing their apes.

It’s in this environment that Tesla decided to cut prices in an effort to maintain some of its shrinking market share and take advantage of its lower production costs to maintain revenue as it tries to expand. Tesla has been one of the most valuable stocks to own for a long time, and an entire cottage industry has popped up on the web of people who think they’re smart because they bought Tesla at some price and they are extremely invested, both literally and emotionally, in the stock price of Tesla.

Some of these people are, seemingly, exuberant and somewhat earnest investors. Other people seem merely like showman who make some money off the stock and more money off of people reacting to the stock. When faced with a version of Elon Musk who is not a superhuman genius but rather an actual human being, it gets messy.

As I reported last week, Elon Musk was quite forthright on his Q3 investor call about the challenges of the future. He talks about interest rates and vehicle affordability. He talks about how hard it is to build the Cybertruck. You can listen to the call in the YouTube link above. Does he sound a little emotional? Sure, he’s an emotional person. Without psychoanalyzing Musk too much, the whole notion of him being an unfeeling android always struck me as based on what we think Musk should be like. The reality is far messier and he’s always seemed to me like a smart kid with a mean father who took all the wrong lessons from his various persecutions, real or perceived. I don’t hear him cry on this call. About an hour into the call he laughs about the cost of stickers, though.

The Internet, in addition to containing annoying Tesla Finance Guys/Stans, also contains a good chunk of the media that wants to always report on the worst in Elon Musk. As someone who was there during the creation of Musk as an internet persona and has had a few brief interactions with him, I’m sympathetic to the temptation. He’s wrong. Often (and of course, he’s often right, too). He exaggerates. He’s not particularly friendly to the media, and bought Twitter — which the media loved — and has basically ruined it.

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What has happened this week appears to be the unholy alliance of Tesla Finance Guys/Stans and the Anti-Musk Media, and it’s deeply hypocritical because the same media that has pretty consistently lambasted Musk for his exaggerations about self-driving and the Cybertruck are now essentially criticizing Musk for being more honest than usual about issues with building the Cybertruck and for, uhhh… arguing that vehicles are too expensive?

And where do the headlines about Elon Musk “crying” come from? A Tesla Finance Guy/Stan named Kevin Paffrath whose whole job is to bring attention to himself by constantly talking about Tesla on YouTube. The kind of guy that the Anti Musk Media dislikes. If you don’t know Paffrath, who goes by Meet Kevin, he’s a “financial analyst” whose whole schtick is like If Jim Cramer existed in the “Idiocracy” universe, complete with a Walmart Great Value Brand faux CNBC set.

He went on Yahoo Finance (a thing that still exists) and said this:

Kevin Paffrath, the YouTuber behind “Meet Kevin,” a financial analyst, and Tesla investor, had harsh words for the EV maker’s CEO Elon Musk. Paffrath called the company’s earnings call “terrible,” saying Musk has a lot going on, but “it doesn’t justify acting like Trump on Twitter, stonewalling the SEC or the European Union, and quite frankly, turning into a little baby on the earnings call. I mean, he was almost in tears. It showed a complete lack of leadership. Tesla is a leadership-less company right now.” Paffrath says Musk’s performance was a “slap in the face to everyone,” including shareholders and Tesla employees.

So a dude with Airpods and an NYSE vest apparently gets mad because Musk is going to do what he’s legally obligated to do and talk frankly about the company’s prospects for once (although Tesla came pretty close to analyst expectations). Paffrath is exaggerating for attention, which is a thing the Anti Musk Media does not like about Elon Musk. So what does some of the Anti Musk Media do? Make Elon Musk look like a baby, literally, in an article where the author pretty much admits he didn’t even listen to the actual call.

Sounds like things are going great over at Tesla. Investors have long worried that Musk’s other ventures would get in the way of running a car company, and it seems their fears may be coming true — rather than planning paths to prosperity for Tesla, Musk seems content to whine on Twitter. And, apparently, on live calls with investors.

First, just listen to the call. It’s like one damn hour. Second, you’re going to deputize this guy into your argument? This is the guy you’re going to give airtime to.

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I don’t like to use this space, or this place, to critique other media (especially the old site), but it’s nonsense like this that makes it harder to have a real conversation about what’s arguably the most important automaker in the world.

GM Walks Back Profit Guidance, Expects To Lose $200 Million A Week Due To Strike

President Biden Tours Broad Portfolio Of Evs At Detroit Auto Show
Source: GM

Speaking of quarterly announcements, GM just released its third-quarter results and the big news is that the company claims to have lost about $800 million to the strike thus far and will continue to lose about $200 million per week as the strike rolls on.

Per Reuters:

The UAW walkouts cost the company $200 million during the third quarter and $600 million so far in the fourth quarter, GM Chief Financial Officer Paul Jacobson said in a briefing with reporters.

Strike costs are now running at $200 million a week, Jacobson said. He would not discuss the potential impact should UAW President Shawn Fain order new walkouts at GM’s most profitable North American factories such as the Arlington, Texas, plant that builds Cadillac Escalades and Chevrolet Suburbans, or the Flint, Michigan, heavy duty pickup assembly plant.

Because of the uncertainty over the strike, the company also withdrew its 2023 full-year guidance until there’s a deal and the company can account for costs in its balance sheets, at which time it’ll reissue new guidance.

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Stellantis Is ‘Outraged’ At Latest UAW Strike

2018 Ram 1500 Rebel Blue Streak Crew Cab 4x4

Right before the TMD filing deadline yesterday, the United Auto Workers called a strike at the Stellantis plant in Sterling Heights that’s responsible for making the Ram 1500. It’s the company’s biggest plant. According to the UAW, the Stellantis proposal is the “worst on the table” concerning economic issues.

How did Stellantis respond? Here’s the company, via Automotive News this morning:

“We are outraged that the UAW has chosen to expand its strike action against Stellantis … The UAW’s continued disturbing strategy of ‘wounding’ all the Detroit 3 will have long-lasting consequences,” the company said. “With every decision to strike, the UAW sacrifices domestic market share to non-union competition. These actions not only decrease our market share, but also impact our profitability and therefore, our ability to compete, invest and preserve the record profit sharing payments our employees have enjoyed over the past two years.”

Not great, Bob!

Hybrid Share Growing In The United States

Hybrid share of total registrations
Chart: S&P Global

Here’s what I really wanted to talk about today. Hybrids! Hybrids are good. They use small battery packs and small motors and, for some, offer the benefits of both electric cars and gas-powered cars.

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Consumers agree, according to S&P Global, which put out this report on hybrid share and registrations:

In August, full hybrid and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) accounted for 9.7% of total registrations in the US market — nearly triple its pre-pandemic share and continuing a steady rise in consumer interest in hybrid vehicles over the past three years. Counting just retail registrations, hybrids have accounted for more than 10% of the market in two of the past three months.

This surge may be attributed to the slower-than-expected adoption of electric vehicles – at least those that aren’t Teslas – as hybrids are seen by consumers as a pragmatic half-step toward a more fuel-efficient vehicle without committing entirely to battery electric propulsion and charging.

Yes! I don’t have access to charging where I park, but I want my next new vehicle to have an electric motor. I will probably get a hybrid.

While Toyota has been slow to adopt electrification, it has 40% of the total hybrid fleet lineup with 277,017 registrations so far this year. Honda is solidly in second with 180,208 registrations. Hyundai, Kia, Ford and Jeep are all bunched together in the 3rd-6th spots with sales between 53,000 and 59,900.

The Big Question

Hybrid registration data

Here’s the order of hybrid (personal) registrations so far this year, which excludes fleets. In Q3 2024, what’s the order?

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Stef Schrader
Stef Schrader
8 months ago

In Q3 2024, what’s the order?

Look, I just need a winning lottery ticket and a Cayenne Turbo E-Hybrid with the tow package.

Space
Space
8 months ago

If Ford Mavericks have proven anything it is people want hybrids. (And small trucks)

Crash Test Dummy
Crash Test Dummy
8 months ago

I very much appreciate this article. This is what makes this site great. But unfortunately it produced comments that look too much like the old site. So much anger and hate. Most of us came here to avoid such comments.

Jakob K's Garage
Jakob K's Garage
8 months ago

My god that blue Ram truck is one ugly car!

Freelivin2713
Freelivin2713
8 months ago

Too much Tesla/Melon Husk

Not even an argument: It’s the (not most important) worst car company in the world and ever made. Well, instead of car company, would say more like plastic/electric junk about to burst into flames w/ too many stupid screens on wheels manufacturer

Knowonelse
Knowonelse
8 months ago

PHEVs for the win!

We own two hybrids with one on lease ending next year. We’ll be looking for a PHEV to buy after we turn in the hybrid. We toodle around town mostly, so the EV range will work just fine for us. That is punctuated by 700+ mile trips to family, where the hybrid comes in handy.

If there was a Sprinter-scale PHEV on the market I would get one either to use as a camper. Even a vehicle that size would work great as a EV around town, and using the hybrid system for camping power while boondocking.

We use our hybrids as a power source when the power goes out. We’re in the California burnable foothills where PG&E occasionally preventably turns power off and where we had enough snow early this year to be out of power for 10 days.

Beasy Mist
Beasy Mist
8 months ago
Reply to  Knowonelse

Been driving Volts exclusively since 2015. First a 2012 now a 2017 and I don’t know how I could go back at this point.

Beasy Mist
Beasy Mist
8 months ago

Just one day that we don’t talk about that bloviating sack would be welcomed.

Freelivin2713
Freelivin2713
8 months ago
Reply to  Beasy Mist

Yup, seconded…times infinity!

Angrycat Meowmeow
Angrycat Meowmeow
8 months ago

Stellantis Is ‘Outraged’ At Latest UAW Strike

Heartwarming. Keep it up UAW.

SlowCarFast
SlowCarFast
8 months ago

After years of bribing the UAW rep, they aren’t sure how to act.

Vanillasludge
Vanillasludge
8 months ago

Church and sports unite us..against other churches and sports teams. They are boxes to put people into so you can make them fight.

Michael Beranek
Michael Beranek
8 months ago
Reply to  Vanillasludge

Don’t “nations” put us in the same box?

Yes I Drive A 240
Yes I Drive A 240
8 months ago

Everything can put you in a box if you try hard enough. See pineapple on pizza.

MaximillianMeen
MaximillianMeen
8 months ago

Add ham and jalapeños and deliver it to me in the next 30 mins.

Yes I Drive A 240
Yes I Drive A 240
8 months ago

Omw, I’m bringing an XL so I can get some slices too lol.

Last edited 8 months ago by Yes I Drive A 240
Vanillasludge
Vanillasludge
8 months ago

Yes

Church
Church
8 months ago
Reply to  Vanillasludge

Can confirm.

B L
B L
8 months ago

there are enough things that bind us to one another (church, sports, and especially automobiles)

Gotta admit, it’s a little odd seeing church listed as a thing that brings us together when, at least in the US, it’s become a breeding ground for hatred of the other and evangelicals (the largest Christian share in the US) are absolutely a force for division.

Protodite
Protodite
8 months ago
Reply to  B L

What an amazingly online comment

Yes I Drive A 240
Yes I Drive A 240
8 months ago
Reply to  Protodite

Okay, I’ve been to church and was forced into indoctrination for most of my childhood.

While some church goers are truly good people who actually follow the bible, there are plenty of church goers who use it as a way to feel better about themselves… by looking down on everyone else from their imaginary high horse. They also use it as an excuse to be a shitty person outside of church. Pastors can set the mood, and sometimes that mood is “this is why the bible says gays are bad”, which further pushes gullible church goers into hating a group of people they don’t understand.

Don’t even get me started on all the fake people you meet at church who act nice towards you, but in reality they’re terrible people.

Not all churches are like this, some churches are progressive and for that I commend them, but the overwhelming majority of churches in the US are not progressive. Instead, they breed hate.

Last edited 8 months ago by Yes I Drive A 240
Brian Ash
Brian Ash
8 months ago

If you want to see the extreme example of this, move to Utah. You just wrote a nice summary of my past 3 yrs there.

Freelivin2713
Freelivin2713
8 months ago
Reply to  Brian Ash

Yup! Fantasyland

Yes I Drive A 240
Yes I Drive A 240
8 months ago
Reply to  Brian Ash

Oh man, I’m sorry. My dads ex-GF was a Mormon and I’ve heard some crazy stories about it.

Freelivin2713
Freelivin2713
8 months ago

Yes! Good points
Thank you, this actually made my day
It’s incomprehensible how fake and delusional some people are in organized religion and then want to force it on everyone

H4llelujah
H4llelujah
8 months ago

It always amazes me that people go to church and are shocked to find bad people there.

Church isn’t a meeting place of perfect people that do nothing wrong.

It’s a place where average people go to (hopefully) listen to how they can become better people. To go to there and find assholes should be no surprise. We do not go for those people, we go to get better.

Pay no mind to any self-professed christian (and I’m using Christians as that’s who seems to come to mind most) who uses the name of God to judge, demoralize, or persecute.

“Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.” Matt 5:11

Last edited 8 months ago by H4llelujah
B L
B L
8 months ago
Reply to  Protodite

What an amazingly blind to reality comment. 84% of Evangelicals voted for Trump, and when I think of Trump, I definitely think “bringing people together.”

Ben
Ben
8 months ago

I don’t like to use this space, or this place, to critique other media

Not sure how I feel about this. I get that you don’t want to just shit on other sites all the time, but I feel like there should be some accountability when someone posts garbage like this. Then again I’m sure no one wants to burn bridges in a relatively small and insular industry, and even people I generally respect can be shockingly bad at taking any criticism whatsoever.

(especially the old site)

That’s fair since no matter how you do it someone will perceive it as a personal thing. As far as I’m concerned the existence of this site and the way it is run is all the criticism you ever need to do of the old site.

Hybrids! Hybrids are good.

Yes.

I’d be really interested to see what the impact on emissions would be if everything just went hybrid by 2035, and what the difference from going full EV (which I still think is practically impossible in that timeframe, but for the sake of argument I’ll allow it). I bet the difference from current status quo to to full hybrid is pretty large and requires an order of magnitude less effort to actually implement than the full EV option.

Nathan
Nathan
8 months ago
Reply to  Ben

The problem with trying to argue hybrids with someone who makes unreasonable assumptions about EVs is that they also make unreasonable assumptions about how long it will take for the grid to be 100% clean. Then if you try to continue to argue they will insult you and stack on a third unreasonable assumption about the effectiveness of government intervention.

RootWyrm
RootWyrm
8 months ago

The Internet, in addition to containing annoying Tesla Finance Guys/Stans, also contains a good chunk of the media that wants to always report on the worst in Elon Musk. As someone who was there during the creation of Musk as an internet persona and has had a few brief interactions with him, I’m sympathetic to the temptation.

Matt. I’m going to be blunt. I’ve had interactions as well. I know people who have worked for him. A lot of people.
Pointing out that he is a racist, bigoted, micromanaging, utterly incompetent, spiteful manchild with absolutely no redeeming values whatsoever is just factual. It’s that goddamn simple.
His skin is microns thin, he was fired from everywhere else for cause, he is incapable of being truthful, he has absolutely no respect for the law or any other human being, and the list just goes on.
Among the people I know, some of which who still work for companies he owns, they had nothing positive to say of him. At all. And called out his bigotry, idiocy, and incompetence unprompted. Nobody likes him, and for good reasons.
And these are simply facts. It is not temptation. It is accurate reporting.
Be accurate. Fuck the cultists.

That said: holy fuck the people they give airtime to is so deeply, utterly, ridiculously irresponsible and outright misleading that it’s just… jesusfuckingchrist. You want to know why everything’s fucked? It’s because “legitimate news” doesn’t fucking exist. Goddamn.

These people need to find some fucking morals or ethics or at least a goddamn conscience.

Oh, and old Kevin there? He’s absolutely not a financial advisor, not an analyst, and absolutely not qualified. He is pure fraudster and grifter. I took a quick look at his channel and racked up a dozen lifetime-ban class ethical breaches in one video alone. I would be required to report him to legal at several former employers as his conduct crosses the lines of ‘disreputable,’ ‘misleading,’ obvious conflicts of interest, deliberate misrepresentation, failure to comply with basic requirements and standards, and failure to disclose.
Which might explain why I can’t find where he allegedly works. Because his conduct and behavior is so beyond the pale, that he would expose any legitimate financial institution to millions of dollars in fines and penalties. Especially since he can’t legally be hired as he has a documented history of engaging in discriminatory lending and fraud. Those are permanent disqualifiers on moral and ethical grounds.

Speaking of quarterly announcements, GM just released its third-quarter results and the big news is that the company claims to have lost about $800 million to the strike thus far and will continue to lose about $200 million per week as the strike rolls on.

Good. GM can afford it.
$800M isn’t even a week of revenue. They spent more than double that in September on stock buyback schemes to inflate their share price.
Management can fuck all the way off and die. Pay up or get fucked.

“We are outraged that the UAW has chosen to expand its strike action against Stellantis … The UAW’s continued disturbing strategy of ‘wounding’ all the Detroit 3 will have long-lasting consequences,”

Keep making those not even veiled threats, FCAtlantis. See how far that gets you. I’ll give you a hint: fucked. You do not hold the power here. You never did. You never will. You have fucked around, and now it is time to find out.

While Toyota has been slow to adopt electrification, it has 40% of the total hybrid fleet lineup with 277,017 registrations so far this year. Honda is solidly in second with 180,208 registrations. Hyundai, Kia, Ford and Jeep are all bunched together in the 3rd-6th spots with sales between 53,000 and 59,900.

Look for Jeep to climb significantly by dint of forcing the issue. Fact is, FCAtlantis is desperate. Their CAFE numbers are shit. (See also: only offering 4xe’s in certain markets.) Their hybrid system is also shit – the GC 4xe gets a whole 1MPG better than the 3.6 V6. Not a joke. (Because, hey dumbasses, a high strung turbo 2.0 eats a lot of gas. Just bolt the damn thing to the 3.6! Are you trying to out-Ford Ford?!)

This also came up on Masto earlier today. Jeep’s currently running promos on all the 4xe stuff, including over $8500 in lease incentives on the Wrangler 4xe and Federal match programs.

Man With A Reliable Jeep
Man With A Reliable Jeep
8 months ago
Reply to  RootWyrm

Their hybrid system is also shit – the GC 4xe gets a whole 1MPG better than the 3.6 V6. Not a joke. (Because, hey dumbasses, a high strung turbo 2.0 eats a lot of gas. Just bolt the damn thing to the 3.6!”

Thank you. Someone needs to remind these people of how the laws of physics/thermodynamics/energy/matter, etc work, evidently.

RootWyrm
RootWyrm
8 months ago

… and yet people keep insisting till they’re blue in the face that we’re a year away from BEVs with 900 mile range because density totally doesn’t translate to weight at all. And weight totally doesn’t affect range, nope, no sir…

Vee
Vee
8 months ago
Reply to  RootWyrm

To be fair, should we figure out the black magic that is solid state batteries or find a cheap way to produce nickel nitrogen carbon batteries, nine hundred is an easy number.

Until then we’re going to have to deal with the reality of being shackled to using the Boltzmann Constant for better efficiency.

SlowCarFast
SlowCarFast
8 months ago

I’m guessing that some regulation (Europe?) is based on engine size, so smaller with turbo is the answer on paper.

Carrercrytharis
Carrercrytharis
8 months ago
Reply to  RootWyrm

How much of SpaceX’s current success (high reliability, frequent launches, reusable rockets, etc) is Elon actually responsible for? At this point, the high standard of their product feels out of character for a Musk company.

I mean, if you read the Unvarnished book, he fired someone early on in Tesla’s history who wanted to take a more industry-standard approach to finding faults in their engineering processes. (Musk’s reason for rejecting the Toyota Production System was “We’re not making Toyotas”, which is about as stupid as people who say “Pittsburgh, not Paris” about the climate accords.) That doesn’t sound like the kind of attitude that lets you actually put rockets in space and then bring them down again.

RootWyrm
RootWyrm
8 months ago

How much of SpaceX’s current success (high reliability, frequent launches, reusable rockets, etc) is Elon actually responsible for? At this point, the high standard of their product feels out of character for a Musk company.

Exactly fucking none of it, and then some.

And that comes direct from multiple SpaceX employees. It’s SOP when “the boss” is in the office to stay until 10-11PM minimum, literally playing games, lest you get quite literally screamed at for not being at work. He also continually bitches that people aren’t underpaid enough. The official unofficial motto is that they get things despite Melon.

Any time he shows up, they literally have to drop everything and set up a bunch of stage props he can poke and prod at, the exact way you would distract a toddler. (Which I didn’t come up with – that’s how two of them referred to it.) Otherwise he’d go around smearing fingerprints all over cleanrooms and yanking cables out of things (like he demonstrably did at Twitter and Paypal before that.)

If it wasn’t for Shotwell, the fact is, SpaceX would have a flawless record of blowing things up on the launchpad. At best. As is, he’s the reason she’s now having to deal with multiple FAA investigations and fines. Because he will not accept no for an answer on anything, because it’s his company and his money and his rocket and nobody can touch him because he’s the richest man in the world so he’s damn well gonna rain debris wherever he likes.

Man With A Reliable Jeep
Man With A Reliable Jeep
8 months ago
Reply to  RootWyrm

And that comes direct from multiple SpaceX employees. It’s SOP when “the boss” is in the office to stay until 10-11PM minimum, literally playing games, lest you get quite literally screamed at for not being at work. He also continually bitches that people aren’t underpaid enough. The official unofficial motto is that they get things despite Melon.”

He sounds like the living embodiment of Late Stage Capitalism.

...getstoneyII
...getstoneyII
8 months ago

The Arlington Plant strike announced this morning is a pretty big deal for GM (as someone else already mentioned).
https://www.detroitnews.com/story/business/autos/2023/10/24/uaw-adds-gms-profit-rich-arlington-texas-suv-plant-to-strike/71299337007/

As far as Elon goes, think whatever you want about some of his goofier projects but SpaceX and Starlink are legitimately major advancements for humanity.

Here is the thing about Twitter and those of the opinion (including the esteemed Matt) that Twitter is ruined. I am of the opposite opinion. I follow a few auto writers, a bunch of comedians, lots of my favorite musicians, my home team’s beat writers, my local meteorologist, and a sprinkle of folks I find generally interesting. I don’t try to get followers and never post. It works perfectly fine for this use case. I hardly ever go to the trending section unless it’s some major breaking news. No politics takes topics or pop culture celeb stuff or any of that other nonsense. The point is, the people who claim it’s ruined are the same ones trying to keep their clothes clean in the pig sty and complaining about the filth. You are just hanging out in the wrong area, it’s not that complicated.

Last edited 8 months ago by ...getstoneyII
Matt Sexton
Matt Sexton
8 months ago
Reply to  ...getstoneyII

This is always my defense to my continued use of Facebook as well. My feed is littered with automakers and race series I follow, and my close friends. It’s possible to avoid the noise if you use it correctly.

Angrycat Meowmeow
Angrycat Meowmeow
8 months ago
Reply to  Matt Sexton

I’ve unfollowed almost all of my FB friends. My feed is 95% cat memes, car memes, and owners groups for the cars I own/local C&C events. I don’t see anything I don’t want to see except for the awful “suggestions”.

SlowCarFast
SlowCarFast
8 months ago

I’m the opposite. I can’t get past the FB crap to see what my friends and family are posting.

Arturia
Arturia
8 months ago
Reply to  ...getstoneyII

There’s a pretty good argument to be made that Starlink is a huge net negative. making satellite constellations a private business endeavor, commercializing LEO and paving the way for other companies to do the same could have some disastrous consequences.

SpaceX is the ultimate “Do the ends justify the means” moral dilemma, a lot of the same arguments used to promote SpaceX as a net positive can be said for Tesla (propagation of EVs).

I’ve started to see this sort of trend starting where “Tesla Musk is bad but SpaceX and Starlink Musk are good” and honestly, I don’t think that’s a fair distinction.

Last edited 8 months ago by Arturia
Ranwhenparked
Ranwhenparked
8 months ago
Reply to  Arturia

Satellite constellations have been a private business endeavor since they first started being used for television broadcasting and telephone services, the difference with Starlink is that they launched such an insane amount of them and in such low orbits. I mean, AT&T had a pair of communications satellites in operation in the 1960s

RootWyrm
RootWyrm
8 months ago
Reply to  Ranwhenparked

Yep. And commercially viable, readily-accessible satellite data has been a thing since the 1980’s. Back before it was HughesNet, Digital Communications Corp got bought by Microwave Associates and started developing satellite products.

Their first big winner? VSAT – Very Small Aperture Terminals. The foundation of every modern satellite system. Suddenly instead of needing a 3m+ parabola for a few kilobits on Ku, you could throw up a 1m or even smaller dish on a roof and get usable narrowband.
Wal-Mart was the first customer, buying nearly all the capacity in 1985, to connect rural stores for point of sale and inventory. Shortly after that, Hughes Aircraft (yes, that Hughes) bought them, and they became HughesNet. Which first offered satellite internet for consumers in 1996. (They had the rack next to my cabinets, once upon a time. Very bleeding edge hardware, was always surprised it was an open 4-post and not a cabinet.)

And contrary to what many would have you believe, they never really stopped innovating or developing. Satellites are expensive. Consumer services are low margin. Do the math. But you know how you can get the Internet while you’re flying in a plane?
That’s HughesNet (now part of EchoStar) JUPITER. VSAT plus high geostationary satellites made it possible. ViaSat has a competing product as well, but they have more of a focus on military and managed services.

And they’ve deployed quite literally orders of magnitude more terminals than everyone else combined. HughesNet sits at over 10 million terminals serving over 100 countries on every continent. Yes, every continent. Quietly providing services like critical cellular backhaul, government infrastructure and point to point links, community-level connectivity, and more. With most people none the wiser.

...getstoneyII
...getstoneyII
8 months ago
Reply to  Arturia

I’m not sure what that argument would entail. In my eyes providing internet access to desolate areas in places like Africa or in the many archipelagos like Indonesia is a huge benefit to humanity. Those users aren’t surfing social media, they are using it for education in schools, multiple uses in medicine, government warnings regarding emergency communications, general communications, etc. It’s hard for us in the West to not take it for granted, but having connectivity means the difference between life and death in many cases.

Ineffable
Ineffable
8 months ago

Dios mio.

what an emotionally charged hurricane of an article.

any time a journalist writes about Elon, it makes me cringe.

can we do an emotion embargo on Tesla and Elon? Just the facts? This goes for
stans and journalists.

Parsko
Parsko
8 months ago

Toyota: 397k
Honda: 241k
Kia: 97k
Hyundai: 90k
BMW: 120k
Ford: 90k
Lexus: 80k
Jeep: 53,047
Volvo: 41k
VW: 40k
GM: 30k
Chrysler: 7k
Tesla: 0

I expect my free shirt in medium.

WaxhawFive
WaxhawFive
8 months ago
Reply to  Parsko

I don’t get it.

Parsko
Parsko
8 months ago
Reply to  WaxhawFive

I took the big question one step further and gave numbers behind my suggested order.

A. Barth
A. Barth
8 months ago

The Internet as we know it is a machine that is fed by outrage, and there are websites that exist to churn that outrage into clicks, which makes them money, which makes them create more outrage. That’s fine.

But is it really “fine”? I don’t think it is.

Because of the incessant drive to capture attention on the [I,i]nternet, it seems like people are losing the capability of nuance: everything is either the BEST EVER or the WORST EVER, with apparently no middle ground available for calm and rational discussion.

Bob Boxbody
Bob Boxbody
8 months ago
Reply to  A. Barth

If society collapses, I will blame whomever invented the internet comment section.

Parsko
Parsko
8 months ago
Reply to  A. Barth

Correct, I am the best, you are the worst. Did I do that right?

My 0.02 Cents
My 0.02 Cents
8 months ago
Reply to  Parsko

Yes you “absolutely destroyed” him.

The number of articles that use that type of phrasing is no longer off the charts, it has destroyed the charts.

We are doomed…

Automotiveflux
Automotiveflux
8 months ago
Reply to  A. Barth

Very true

Ben
Ben
8 months ago
Reply to  A. Barth

But is it really “fine”? I don’t think it is.

Agreed. There are plenty of ways to make money that are not, in fact, fine. Inciting internet riots is one of them.

Dar Khorse
Dar Khorse
8 months ago
Reply to  A. Barth

So you’re saying it’s the best of times and the worst of times? Seems like I’ve heard that somewhere before. Maybe it’s not a new situation at all. Perhaps it’s just that the internet magnifies human faults and negative proclivities as well as human goodness and positive aspects. In the end, humans are gonna human.

Dogisbadob
Dogisbadob
8 months ago

Elon Musk has always been childish.

All Tesla needed to do was make a Model 3 or S with a pickup bed. In other words, just make a regular truck that happens to be a Tesla.It would cost MUCH less to build and would basically print money for Tesla.

For example, the F150 Lightning is an F150 that happens to be electric. Unfortunately, it’s still a Ford 😛

Rivian is the best. An EV truck that’s not a Detroit legacy brand but is still run by an adult.

Michael Beranek
Michael Beranek
8 months ago
Reply to  Dogisbadob

Elon Musk has always been childish.”
He just offered a billion dollars to Wikipedia to change their name to something a 6th grader would call it. ‘Nuff said.

Doctor Nine
Doctor Nine
8 months ago

They should do it. Then after the check clears, change it back.

Because that would be a d#ck move. Elon would love it.

Stef Schrader
Stef Schrader
8 months ago
Reply to  Dogisbadob

Truckla: Production Edition

Matt Sexton
Matt Sexton
8 months ago

Dude if you think church binds us together then you’re going to have to think about the reasons behind most of the wars in humanity’s history.

Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
8 months ago
Reply to  Matt Sexton

*Sees line about religion bringing people together*

*reads current headlines*

(John Cena voice) ARE YOU SURE ABOUT THAT?

Parsko
Parsko
8 months ago
Reply to  Matt Sexton

You mean…. EVERY war?

Michael Beranek
Michael Beranek
8 months ago
Reply to  Parsko

Most of the wars since the mid-18th century have been motivated by money or land, with religion only serving as a mobilizing mechanism.

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
8 months ago

One way you can tell that many wars touted as proximately about religion actually didn’t have faith as their underlying cause is that, in many cases, the practice of the defeated side doesn’t really change much.

wrong forum to go on about orthodoxy vs orthopraxy (simplisticly, ‘right thought’ vs ‘right practice’), so I’ll just note the likely best known cases: in many parts of the Roman Empire which were forcibly converted to Xtianity, the practices of gifts/prayers to pagan gods morphed into the same practices in the names of the Saints. I find this fascinating, nerd that I am.

Vetatur Fumare
Vetatur Fumare
8 months ago
Reply to  Matt Sexton

Worrrrddddd.

Citrus
Citrus
8 months ago
Reply to  Matt Sexton

I’m not sure what percentage of the problems in my life were caused from growing up religious but I think the answer is a really big number.

Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
8 months ago
Reply to  Citrus

My mental health issues probably would’ve been cut in half had I not been raised in a conservative Catholic household….and I’d even go so far as to say I’m not entirely sure if I would have wound up a raging alcoholic if it wasn’t for Catholicism either, because binge drinking is very much normalized in the Catholic circles I came up in.

It took a lot of therapy to undo what religion did to me.

Col Lingus
Col Lingus
8 months ago

Best of luck to you.

Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
8 months ago
Reply to  Col Lingus

I’m actually doing really well these days, thanks for the well wishes 🙂 I have 3.5 years sober and my mental health issues have been well managed for years at this point. I can’t recommend therapy enough.

Last edited 8 months ago by Nsane In The MembraNe
TOSSABL
TOSSABL
8 months ago

As someone who has been in&out of therapy for decades and has gone a couple decades since my last drink, kudos. Simple certainly doesn’t mean easy—but life just keeps getting better in my experience.

-a Friend of Bill’s (fwiw)

A. Barth
A. Barth
8 months ago
Reply to  Matt Sexton

Religion binds us in the same way as the One Ring, and with similar side effects.

My Goat Ate My Homework
My Goat Ate My Homework
8 months ago
Reply to  Matt Sexton

Not saying I disagree with your initial assertion. But, I don’t think most wars are driven by religion. Religion is just the institution they use to control their people and convince them to go to war. It’s a means for its leaders to gather wealth and power and control its people through generational indoctrination and fear of the unknown.

Most wars are battles over resources in reality. Some are about pride or glory. I do agree that religion often has an important role though.

Protodite
Protodite
8 months ago
Reply to  Matt Sexton

Ahhh, the classic reddit edge lord comment

Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
8 months ago

I don’t love the click/sensationalism economy we live in much either and I personally loathe social media, which is responsible for quite a bit of it. Do I think it’s fair that things got blown out of proportion for Musk? I mean…maybe not? But as much as I love it here and love y’all (and believe me, I do ❤️) we all know adding Elon to an article is click city.

That being said, he’s a gigantic piece of shit. He has fascist leanings that he’s quite open about. His company has a long and documented history of racism. He was raised in apartheid era South Africa and conspicuously hasn’t returned since. He’s so thin skinned he bought Twitter so he could try to stop people from pointing out what a gigantic piece of shit he is, which is straight out of the fascism playbook.

If I recall correctly he has double digit children with several different women and has been accused of being an absent father many times over. He’s anti labor, a union buster, and Tesla’s work conditions are terrible. I mean there is a literal mountain of evidence that he’s a dangerous, selfish, abhorrent person…and to make things worse, he’s brought this all upon himself. He doesn’t HAVE to be in the spotlight 24/7/365. He doesn’t HAVE to try to be the CEO of multiple companies. He doesn’t HAVE to be terminally online.

He’s decided he wants to be because he’s an incredibly selfish megalomaniac…and I respectfully disagree with your emotional assessment of him. I don’t think he feels emotions like normal humans do. I think he has a personality disorder of some sort and can put on assorted masks when it’s convenient. He doesn’t have a shred of empathy either, so I don’t feel any obligation to feel any towards him.

So…all I have to say at the end is Karma’s a bitch. I’m not going to shed a tear over god emperor Musk getting dragged around on social media because he’s done this to himself and he’s victimized others in the same way many times over. Remember when he called people he didn’t know pedophiles on social media? That’s way, way worse than being falsely accused of crying.

The sooner Musk fades into irrelevance the better. He isn’t a brilliant inventor. He isn’t a brilliant business mind. The one thing I’ll give him is that he is a brilliant investor. He’s been ahead of the curve many times over on that front and knows where to put his money (which I’d like to add he was born with a fair amount of to begin with). He is, in fact, very very skilled on that front. But this idea that he’s some brilliant inventor and mind is deeply silly to me.

He’s a brilliant capitalist….and with global economic conditions and the rampant wealth inequality in the US in particular right now in mind….is that something we really want to celebrate?

Last edited 8 months ago by Nsane In The MembraNe
Citrus
Citrus
8 months ago

I’ve said it before, but if it was 2023 Musk that invested in Tesla and Space X they would have been failures. The guy became much less intelligent the more he believed the people who thought he was this brilliant genius, and the choices he’s made since are proof that he’s not tethered to reality anymore.

Drew
Drew
8 months ago

All of this. His latest vendetta is against Wikipedia, which has its limitations and problems, but definitely does more for public knowledge than Twitter. I’ve ignored all the “crybaby” articles and would love to see him fade from public view, but he’s certainly going to try to keep his name in the news at all time, and if it occasionally results in unfair criticism (in addition to all of the fair and accurate criticism), it seems mostly self-inflicted. I suspect he tries to get bad press so that he can claim to be a martyr, since there’s a certain portion of the population who really buy into that sort of narrative.

Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
8 months ago
Reply to  Drew

It’s another thing right out of the modern fascist playbook. Act like a complete and utter ass of a human being, get called out for it, claim to be the victim/SO MUCH FOR THE TOLERANT LEFT, etc.

Musk is just Tech Trump.

Edit: I forgot to mention he’s a raging transphobe as well

Last edited 8 months ago by Nsane In The MembraNe
Wuffles Cookie
Wuffles Cookie
8 months ago

Musk derangement syndrome, like it’s cousin Trump derangement syndrome, presents in a similar fashion to late-stage syphilis, rendering it’s poor victims totally incapable of exercising rational faculties in any contextual reasoning capacity and reduced to regurgitation of invective regardless of any actual facts or circumstances. The current best practice for treatment is to remove the patient’s access to modern media sources for a minimum of six months and provide a steady diet of classical literature and the arts to restore minimum functions of nuance recognition and appreciation of the humanity shared by us all.

Documented treatment-resistant cases of MDS/TDS are hypothesized to result from projection of the patient’s deep-seated narcissism to the target of their ire and a sadly ironic refusal to recognize their own blatant bigotry. One practitioner notes T-R MDS/TDS most commonly occurs in subjects described by all acquaintances as “fucking intolerant assholes who think they are right about everything.”

Michael Beranek
Michael Beranek
8 months ago
Reply to  Wuffles Cookie

Nice try, but…

  1. I salute that creepy jerk Musk for advancing battery technology and electric car acceptance.
  2. I thought Trump was a lying, cheating charlatan decades before he entered politics- even when I thought he was a Democrat.

I couldn’t make either of those statements if I had the fake affliction you just invented.

Wuffles Cookie
Wuffles Cookie
8 months ago

Happily, you are capable of the nuanced take that sufferers of MDS/TDS are not. There are any number of legitimate criticisms that can be directed at them. But the whole point of today’s Dump is that on occasion criticisms leveled at them are simply disconnected from reality, and that is a dangerous state of mind. Unfortunately some of our fellow members of the commentariat are stuck in that disconnected mire.

...getstoneyII
...getstoneyII
8 months ago
Reply to  Wuffles Cookie

Here’s a funny thing about some of the “regulars” around here that jump at every opportunity to re-hash their same tired “insults” about Musk, None of them have ever met him and don’t have a real clue what he actually thinks.
Also, the “always in the limelight/spotlight” thing is funny as well. Dude is top 2 or 3 richest people on the planet so of course people are paying attention to his every move. Just like the Euro media is all over the Arnault LVHM “Succession” drama, or hell, even every time Buffet coughs an opinion.

I’m not defending the dude, but I’m not gonna go scorched earth on him, either. It’s a waste of energy and a bad vibe to put out in the universe to be judgemental about strangers all the time.

Wuffles Cookie
Wuffles Cookie
8 months ago
Reply to  ...getstoneyII

Yeah, it’s a bummer, it detracts from the mood in general and it’s one of the fastest ways to ruin a site. I’m getting sick of putting up with bigotry in general, so I’ve started to just call it out whenever it rears it’s head. “EVERYONE WHO DOESN’T THINK JUST LIKE ME IS EVIL AND BAD” leads to a very boring world.

Vetatur Fumare
Vetatur Fumare
8 months ago
Reply to  Drew

Oh dear, what is he trying to do to WP?

Drew
Drew
8 months ago
Reply to  Vetatur Fumare

He’s big mad at them and claiming that a cellphone could hold all of their data (untrue, of course), so he doesn’t know why it costs any money to run. He has offered them a billion dollars to change the name to dickipedia.

Vetatur Fumare
Vetatur Fumare
8 months ago
Reply to  Drew

Oh, so just trolling and being himself. I hope he sticks to that.

Parsko
Parsko
8 months ago

Dude knows a good idea when he sees one, that’s called being a good innovator, not inventor. Inventors turn money into ideas, innovators turn ideas into money.

You make a similar argument I have with my wife a lot. If you don’t want public scrutiny, then don’t be in the public. He chose to be the head of companies, actors CHOOSE to be actors, politicians CHOOSE to be politicians. With all of those jobs comes public scrutiny, because you CHOOSE to make yourself so public. And, ya gotta take the good with the bad.

RootWyrm
RootWyrm
8 months ago
Reply to  Parsko

No. He doesn’t. Full stop. This is not up for debate.
It’s historical record. Don’t like it? Too fucking bad.

He started a shitty newspaper that failed and then he got thrown out of because his ‘ideas’ were so utterly stupid.
He started a ‘everything’ company that got bought by Paypal. Which he was then fired from because his ‘ideas’ were so utterly stupid and he refused to listen.
There’s a long, long list of idiotic ideas that failed spectacularly that trace directly to his brain worms.

Then he realized he could go back to his roots and just steal credit when it’s successful and pretend he wasn’t involved when it was a failure.

The man wouldn’t know a good idea if it walked up and smacked him with a brick.

Wuffles Cookie
Wuffles Cookie
8 months ago
Reply to  RootWyrm

Well, I don’t have strong feelings on him either way, but I do happen to have personal knowledge of more than a few good ideas he came up with to go with the bad ones, and a few more he pushed when no one else would. So I can safely conclude, that as is the case with most of your Musk/Trump rants, you are completely 100% full of shit.

I never expected the Musk haters club to be vastly, vastly more full of immature, spiteful bigoted manchildren then the fan club, but somehow you and Nsane carry the standard for that particular canard. Fucking grow up.

Ed Note: Swing and a miss, folks. This is not how you treat your fellow Autopians. There are ways to disagree without doing whatever this is. Thanks!

Last edited 8 months ago by Mercedes Streeter
Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
8 months ago
Reply to  Wuffles Cookie

There’s so much projection going on here that it might as well be a film festival

RootWyrm
RootWyrm
8 months ago

More projection than a theater operator’s convention and Cannes put together, with the added hilarity of pathetically claiming to be part of his inner circle.

I’d feel some measure of pity for them if they didn’t continually demonstrate how irredeemable they are.

Ottomottopean
Ottomottopean
8 months ago
Reply to  Wuffles Cookie

It’s just the standard procedure and always tiresome: Rant at large and claim everything you say is irrefutable fact.
I would suggest never acknowledging any of his comments as they are giving this community too much of the old site comment section vibe.

Wuffles Cookie
Wuffles Cookie
8 months ago
Reply to  Ottomottopean

Very true, and a good point. Thanks for being reasonable.

RootWyrm
RootWyrm
8 months ago
Reply to  Wuffles Cookie

No, you don’t have personal knowledge of ‘a few good ideas’ he came up with. You’ve never even met the man. Because you aren’t worth his time in his eyes and never will be. Because nobody is worth his time except to berate and insult them.

You’re just another pathetic hanger-on who pivots to absolutely pathetic ad hominems, which you’ll predictably double down on for being called out on your bullshit.
I hear Twitter’s hiring.

Wuffles Cookie
Wuffles Cookie
8 months ago
Reply to  RootWyrm

I hear Twitter’s hiring.

And I presume the above invective whining about ad hominems without a shred of self-awareness is your resume? Seems like a shoe-in to me.

Mercedes Streeter
Mercedes Streeter
8 months ago

But as much as I love it here and love y’all (and believe me, I do ❤️) we all know adding Elon to an article is click city.

It may help to know that we have an unwritten policy regarding anything Elon Musk. The editors and staffers ask each other if a certain Musk story is worth publishing to our pages and if such content will provide value to you, the readers.

Indeed, talking about Musk raises the temperature of a room and sometimes it seems simply adding “Tesla” and/or “Elon Musk” to a headline makes the SEO gods happy. So, we try to pick subjects that are actually worth talking about. We don’t want to enrage people! 🙂 Shoot, my blood pressure is high enough. In the past, there have been editor Slack battles over whether something regarding Musk was worth writing up.

Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
8 months ago

Oh I know all the content is picked with love and I remain a happy Autopian member 🙂

Last edited 8 months ago by Nsane In The MembraNe
Ottomottopean
Ottomottopean
8 months ago

I’m not in the camp of saying that anything should be avoided. I think a better policy is always double checking that the headline isn’t too click-bait styled.

Any news should be reported on. I know Musk is a lightning rod for both pro and anti sentiment but I can’t imagine anyone would claim that it isn’t news when he does something with some of the biggest companies around in the auto and space arenas.

Chronometric
Chronometric
8 months ago
Reply to  Ottomottopean

The Five Things about Tesla That Elon Musk Doesn’t Want You to Know

Mercedes Streeter
Mercedes Streeter
8 months ago
Reply to  Ottomottopean

Unfortunately, even a relatively dry headline (this headline doesn’t even say anything bad about Musk) seems to pull strange reactions out of the ether, so we try to be careful, anyway.

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
8 months ago

As much of a pain that must be doing these evaluations constantly, I, for one, appreciate it. No, seriously; I hadn’t thought about the back room discussions over whether any particular EM thing was worthy of being included here, and, when I did, my reaction was basically that I’m really glad you do. >>That attention to detail separates The Autopian from the old site and is a solid part of why I’m an enthusiastic supporter.

Keep questioning: don’t slip into the corporate muck!

Arch Duke Maxyenko
Arch Duke Maxyenko
8 months ago

People of the internet doing a big mad about Elon? Well, maybe he can offer to buy them a horse to cheer them up.

Spikedlemon
Spikedlemon
8 months ago

Why the long face?

10001010
10001010
8 months ago

I, too, find myself defending Elon from time to time, usually against my D friends who all hate him these days. I’m one of those people who bought Tesla at some price and have plenty of criticisms against the guy, almost entirely having to do with him Tweeting some nonsense (seriously we need to cut off his thumbs), but I have to give him credit. The shit he’s done with rockets and EVs is awe inspiring and not something I thought I’d see in my lifetime.

Ben
Ben
8 months ago
Reply to  10001010

I think the important distinction here is that you’re not defending Elon the person, you’re defending some specific things he has done. It’s possible for bad people to do good things, and vice versa, which is a fact that gets lost a lot in modern discourse where nuance is a quaint thing of the past.

Mthew_M
Mthew_M
8 months ago

Would not have guessed that many hybrids for Honda. I guess a large percentage of Accord and CR-V buyers are choosing the hybrid powertrain?

Still baffles me that they’ve never put any effort into hybridizing their large/truckish vehicles. Seems Toyota has had quite a bit of success there, but Honda refuses to follow.

Drew
Drew
8 months ago
Reply to  Mthew_M

A Ridgeline hybrid would really invigorate sales. It can be hard to justify the Ridgeline when a full-size pickup gets better gas mileage.

Angel "the Cobra" Martin
Angel "the Cobra" Martin
8 months ago
Reply to  Drew

1,000% this. I had a 08 Ridgeline and I loved everything about it, but the gas mileage was TERRIBLE. A unibody V6 that get worse mileage than my Yukon XL? Come on Honda, you can do better. Sold it to my friend and I warned them that the mileage was bad. They didn’t believe me then, but they do now.

Mthew_M
Mthew_M
8 months ago
Reply to  Drew

Yep. Always hoped the MDX system would ‘trickle down’ to the mainstream models, but, with its fancy dual motor RWD system, I always figured it was a long shot.

Jdoubledub
Jdoubledub
8 months ago
Reply to  Drew

I was given the choice of a Tacoma or Ridgeline as a rental vehicle for a road trip and I chose the 2023 Ridgeline since it’s more car-like and was shocked that I averaged 27mpg on mostly highway and some suburban driving.

I’m sure it’s thirsty in the city where a hybrid benefits most, but I was completely blown away by that efficiency.

Der Foo
Der Foo
8 months ago
Reply to  Jdoubledub

Yes, highway is pretty good’ish compared to other trucks and SUVs in the same size category. City driving is in solid V8 fuel economy territory.

Drew
Drew
8 months ago
Reply to  Jdoubledub

You made the right call. The Tacoma gas mileage is horrendous. It’s supposed to be a lot better with the next gen, but the longer they go without releasing the data, the less confident I am that it’ll be decent.

Vic Vinegar
Vic Vinegar
8 months ago
Reply to  Drew

I’d love a Ridgeline hybrid.

And seeing that Toyota can’t keep Highlander hybrids on the lot, you’d think Honda would look at a system for the Pilot that could also go in the Ridge (or Odyssey…seeing Toyota Siennas also sell before they hit the lot)

Ranwhenparked
Ranwhenparked
8 months ago
Reply to  Mthew_M

There’s not really a great reason why all ICE vehicles aren’t hybrids at this point, IMO

Brandon Forbes
Brandon Forbes
8 months ago

He would not discuss the potential impact should UAW President Shawn Fain order new walkouts at GM’s most profitable North American factories such as the Arlington, Texas, plant that builds Cadillac Escalades and Chevrolet Suburbans”

Well this hasn’t aged well this morning. They closed down the Arlington factory this morning.

LTDScott
LTDScott
8 months ago

I’m surprised I haven’t seen anything reported about Stellantis backing out of this year’s SEMA show due to the strikes. This is probably more of a blow for SEMA than for Stellantis since Ford, Chevy, and Honda pulled out of the show last year and I don’t think they’ll be back this year. This will be my first time in like 4 years that I’m not attending either.

V10omous
V10omous
8 months ago

where David Tracy is an EV soyboy (more on that later)

Is this coming in a separate post?

Spartanjohn113
Spartanjohn113
8 months ago
Reply to  Matt Hardigree

I hope this leads to a story on how Soybeans are the secret ingredient that really ties the interior of the i3 all together. Who am I kidding, I would read the shit out of that.

Mercedes Streeter
Mercedes Streeter
8 months ago
Reply to  Spartanjohn113

You know, the Illinois Soybean Association regularly sends me press releases…

(I had no idea soybeans were that big of a deal!)

Geoffrey Reuther
Geoffrey Reuther
8 months ago

Dear lord, I haven’t had enough caffeine yet to process that information there…

Diana Slyter
Diana Slyter
8 months ago

I’m just a lowly blogger with a few readers and I get PRs from the local soy and corn groups as well as the “Work Truck Show”!

Peter d
Peter d
8 months ago

87 million acres of soybeans were planted last year – that is big deal ;-).

And the analysts are hoping that soybeans will be the source of renewable, bio-diesel fuels (going into the future), so keep your eyes on this space…

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
8 months ago
Reply to  Peter d

Hmmm..

“Based on a yield of 44 bushels per acre, an acre of soybeans could yield 66 gallons of biodiesel, compared to 69 gallons for a 1,300-lb per acre canola yield, 84 gallons for sunflower and over 600 gallons for palm oil”

“When including overhead costs for land, insurance, etc., the total is approximately $200 per acre. Total costs for irrigated soybeans are around $400 per acre (Klein and Wilson, 2010).”

https://farm-energy.extension.org/soybeans-for-biodiesel-production/

So under the absolute best case scenario it costs $200 to raise 66 gallons of soy biodiesel or $3/gallon and $6/gallon for irrigated fields vs a typical price over the past few years (recent price spikes notwithstanding) of about $2/gallon for wholesale diesel.

https://www.eia.gov/dnav/pet/hist/LeafHandler.ashx?n=PET&s=EMA_EPD2D_PWG_NUS_DPG&f=M

So on its own making soy based biodiesel for $3 to $6/gal to compete with $2/gal dino diesel seems to me – for now- to be a non starter.

My followup question is how valuable is that soy “waste”? As a comparison brewers grains from corn based ethanol fermentation is good stuff, better for animal food than the original corn. Is it feasible for the byproducts of biodiesel production to be its own significant source of revenue? Or does disposing of that waste add to the costs of production making the maths even worse for soy biodiesel?

Peter d
Peter d
8 months ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

Thanks for the learned info – as I said “analysts” are “hoping,” and I expect that this will just be a small part of overall biodiesel market. The same report that I was referring to noted the biodiesel applications and then proceeded to estimate little or no expansion of acres planted over the next half dozen years.

From a quick search it looks like the leftover soy materials are presently mostly baked and sold as animal feed – especially for poultry. But these things tend to be in a precarious balance and significantly increasing supply might disrupt this market.

It is amazing to me the insights that the commentariat here can bring – the Autopians have attracted an impressively smart group of fans!

Peter d
Peter d
8 months ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

Also, the sunflower oil production per acre is surprisingly high – sunflowers seem happy to grow just about anywhere. My CSA always has lots of sunflowers for us.

Now I need to figure out why my friends say to avoid palm oil (I think it is more political than environmental) – if this number is true we should want to replant lots of domestic acres.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
8 months ago
Reply to  Peter d

According to this the environmental problems of palm oil are thus:

The tree is native to West Africa and likes dry soil. A bit over half the worlds palm oil now comes from Indonesia where those trees are growing on former wet jungle. The soil dries out and the peat releases CO2 negating the climate advantage of this fuel.

Worse is when a strong El Nino creates dry conditions as happened in 2015 and the trees burn. Given all that oil they burn quite well and are hard to put out. The 2015 emissions from the Indonesian fires were as high as all of Germany’s for that year.

The clearing of the jungle to create plantations is also problematic for endangered native species, those poor orangutans!

https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20211025-palm-oil-the-everyday-ingredient-that-harms-the-climate

My 0.02 Cents
My 0.02 Cents
8 months ago
Reply to  Matt Hardigree

He doesn’t have enough hair though surely?

Chris Stevenson
Chris Stevenson
8 months ago
Reply to  V10omous

There’s a video on Instagram, David talking about the response to a previous video and all the assumptions people made about him.

V10omous
V10omous
8 months ago

While I never believe in calling someone names over what car they drive, I guess I can see their point a bit.

When you move from the Midwest to LA, stop writing about rusty Jeeps and start writing about cats, electric city cars, and California life, it does give off a different impression.

David Tracy
David Tracy
8 months ago
Reply to  V10omous

To be clear, it’s not because I live in California — it’s because I run a company and (to a lesser extent) have a partner; there’s just very little time to wrench these days. And that’s not a bad thing for me, tbh!

Though I do miss it, and plan to get back on the horse soon when we hire someone to help us around here a bit.

V10omous
V10omous
8 months ago
Reply to  David Tracy

Completely understand, and sympathize.

Hoonicus
Hoonicus
8 months ago
Reply to  David Tracy

Chang Li made some assumptions IIRC. Have you been handing out business cards again?

Parsko
Parsko
8 months ago
Reply to  David Tracy

Something I learned 5-10 years ago is that it is rare to get back to what we used to do. Life has a way of redirecting us to new stuff. Not saying you won’t ever wrench again, but your next wrenching “level” is not going to be nearly what you did in the past. This is a good thing, as we can’t always keep up the same habits and stamina as when we were younger. YES, we will hold this against you in (hopefully) nice ways. Life evolves. My life is so much better and happier that you are now running this new company. You have found some good folks to fill your void, but I would suggest finding the next David Tracy for us to read about. SMG is close, but he still has a day job. You need to hire him full time.

Mercedes Streeter
Mercedes Streeter
8 months ago
Reply to  Parsko

Something I learned 5-10 years ago is that it is rare to get back to what we used to do.

Wise words, Parsko! I used to buy $500 motorcycles and get them running again just for funsies. I used to import obscure Chinese phones and try to get them to work on U.S. networks. A huge former hobby of mine was buying destroyed iPhones and rebuilding them, doing hardware mods along the way.

I keep telling myself I start doing those old hobbies again. Maybe I might get a taste by fixing a friend’s iPad or buying a slightly broken motorcycle, but the days of having six project bikes under a tarp and a Chinese phone from a brand you never heard of are seemingly gone.

PaysOutAllNight
PaysOutAllNight
8 months ago

When money is more valuable than time, we spend time.

When time is more valuable than money, we spend money.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
8 months ago

If that were true I could have saved myself the better part of a decade and paid someone else to go to graduate school for me.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
8 months ago

“A huge former hobby of mine was buying destroyed iPhones and rebuilding them, doing hardware mods along the way.”

I can relate. For a brief time during the lockdown I got into buying obsolete Samsung phones and removing the Bayer matrix on the cameras to make them ultraviolet sensitive.

Why? Because at $1/camera why not? And it worked…mostly.

I only stopped because my curiosity was sated and I already had a much better UV camera.

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