Growing up from childhood with a name like Elon Musk must imbue the name-holder with a certain degree of self-confidence in the sense that the global schoolboy is not going to let that one go without a crack at a spoonerism or anagram. In the case of today’s Elon Musk, that is certainly the case.
The Rise And Rise Of Elon Musk
Seemingly, he appeared fully-formed with the ability to raise many millions from investors to build the electric car dream and he has, by and large, succeeded. The Tesla range of cars is not perfect. A colleague found that whilst the Model X offered instant power and a comfy ride, some of the interior plastics were not so good. Perhaps a minor matter.
Never mind. Tesla is continuing to move forward developing what looks very much like at least part of our driving future. I can recall that not so long ago I was unconvinced but having driven some EVs, I am persuaded. They were fun. I will just have to get over my love of that good ol’ dirty scoundrel, the V8.
All new technology starts off being expensive; that’s a given. All that R&D has to be paid for. Gradually though, prices of electric cars are becoming more competitive (with help from the grant). Range anxiety still looms large in the mirror and that continues. We know the published mileage figures are unlikely to be achievable in the real world, so until better mileage can be guaranteed buyers will still be wary.
Better Mileage From Elon Musk?
Is the range anxiety issue soon to be solved though? A team at the University of Texas led by John Goodenough, the man who played a key role in creating the lithium-ion battery all those years ago, believes it can.
The Glass battery is a type of solid state battery that is currently under development. It uses a glass electrolyte and lithium or sodium metal electrodes. Don’t ask me to explain further; look it up. Electricity has always had magical qualities for me. I use it. I pay for it.
Whatever my electrical shortcomings, this is apparently a solid-state battery that has three times the energy storage of a similarly sized li-ion power pack, can handle more charging cycles, will recharge much more quickly than conventional batteries, and won’t burst into flames if damaged.
John Goodenough is reported to have said, “Cost, safety, energy density, rates of charge and discharge and cycle life are critical for battery-driven cars to be more widely adopted. We believe our discovery solves many of the problems that are inherent in today’s batteries”.
That’s brilliant. If it works then perhaps we can all happily drive electric without having to constantly Google charging points every five minutes. Tesla now has their own battery ‘Gigafactory’. Let’s hope he supports to the full this potential new technology.
The Dark Side Of Elon Musk
You’d have thought that a project like Tesla would be more than a part-time venture but the chap seems to have time to engage with space travel too. Even then he is still obviously twiddling his thumbs. Despite being top dog of two companies, he has announced that he now wants to take over the insides of our heads.
He wants to put implants directly linked to computers into our brains to help us keep up with the world of rapidly accelerating AI advancements. Hiding this under a cloak of ‘medical research’ (Cue cackling mad scientist laugh) one day we could download the thoughts of others or uploads our thoughts (not the best idea for the average British male I suspect) and possibly even have dialogue with our Tesla Cars. ‘Neural Lace’ it’s called and to me it smacks a bit too much of BladeRunner for my liking.
It’s what happens when the British Government get hold of our implant codes that really worries me.
My other concern is, given the Elon Musk success story so far, he could very well do it. It’s science fiction made real. We will all be cyber-enhanced. Well all I can say is, if the implant doesn’t work properly, “I’ll be back”. Geoff Maxted