Musk Calls Out Gates' 'Hypocrisy' on Tesla Stance Amid Discussions on Climate Philanthropy

By Kevin Armstrong
The ongoing feud between Elon Musk and Bill Gates
The ongoing feud between Elon Musk and Bill Gates
Kuhlmann/MSC

Many Tesla and Elon Musk stories will be made public with Walter Isaacson's recently released Musk biography. Another excerpt posted on CNBC has already produced a fresh escalation in the strained relationship between Musk and Bill Gates. The renewed dispute centered around Gates' alleged ongoing massive short bet against Tesla.

Musk Defended Tesla Then and Now

While the usual suspects, mainstream media, painted Musk as a mean bully to Gates, Tesla's CEO took to X to clear the air in a fiery post defending Tesla and attacking Gates. Musk expressed his dismay at Gates, accusing him of holding a short position on Tesla stock, a tactic where gains are maximized if the company faced bankruptcy. Musk emphasized the contradictory nature of Gates seeking cooperation on philanthropic environmental endeavors while potentially profiting massively from Tesla's downfall, a company at the forefront of green technology.

Just so that the public understands: Taking out a short position against Tesla, as Gates did, results in the highest return only if a company goes bankrupt!

Gates placed a massive bet on Tesla dying when our company was at one of its weakest moments several years ago. Such a big short position also drives the stock down for everyday investors.

To the best of my knowledge, Gates *still* has that massive bet against Tesla on the table. Someone should ask him if he does.

The lack of self-awareness and hypocrisy of Gates who had the nerve to ask me to donate to his mostly window-dressing environmental causes, while simultaneously aiming to make $500M from Tesla's demise, boggles the mind …

Taking it a step further, Musk, responding to a follower's comment, encouraged interviewers to ask Gates about his favorite Caribbean island, hinting at a darker angle to the feud, referencing Gates' ties to Jeffrey Epstein. This provocative stance has stirred a buzz online, urging followers to anticipate Gates' response or the possibility of this query being raised in future interviews.

Background of the Dispute

The discord between the two billionaires is not new; it took a serious turn when Gates visited Musk in March 2022, as narrated in Isaacson's biography. Gates had shorted Tesla, a move that didn't sit well with Musk, who viewed it as a bet against the sustainable future Tesla is working towards. The meeting ended on a sour note, with Musk unable to look past the financial move Gates had made.

While the antagonism is evident, their relationship has had moments of respect and acknowledgment for each other's achievements. Despite criticizing Musk's focus on Mars and other technological advances, Gates has praised Musk for pushing the boundaries of science and innovation. This complicated dynamic adds depth to their ongoing feud, painting a picture of two titans with deep-seated differences yet mutual recognition of each other's impact on the tech industry.

Public Reaction and Speculations

The X post generated a lot of reactions, with the public eagerly dissecting every aspect of this disagreement. While some support Musk's standpoint, others are apprehensive about the aggressive approach adopted in calling out Gates publicly. Speculations are rife on whether this would usher in a new era of openness in billionaire disputes, shedding the veils of diplomacy.

As the book is devoured by fans, critics, enthusiasts and haters, many more stories will be coming out that may need more explanation. As the world watches this feud unfold, the fundamental question remains — what is the nature of Gates' current investment in Tesla, and how will he respond to Musk's public calling out? The saga brings to light the intense competition and different philosophies guiding two of this era's most influential tech moguls, with the world eagerly waiting for Gates' next move. The stakes are high, not just in financial terms but in the clash of ideologies over philanthropy, climate change, and the roadmap to a sustainable future.

Tesla Targets Sentry Mode Vampire Drain: Upcoming Update to Slash Power Use by 40%

By Kevin Armstrong
Sentry Mode Update is Coming
Sentry Mode Update is Coming

In an exchange on X, Drew Baglino, Tesla’s Senior Vice President of Powertrain and Energy Engineering, addressed the concerns regarding the power consumption of Tesla’s Sentry Mode. Responding to a user inquiry, Baglino confirmed the company’s commitment to reducing the feature's energy use by approximately 40% through a software update expected in Q2, which begins on April 1.

This announcement follows feedback from Tesla owners regarding the 'vampire drain' experienced when using Sentry Mode, highlighting Tesla's responsive approach to customer feedback and its dedication to continuous improvement. Another X user stated that there should be a breakdown or battery usage. This information already exists, but Baglino politely responded: The energy app provides a wealth of information about where your energy goes. He also linked to our Not a Tesla App article explaining that system.

Understanding the Drain of Sentry Mode

Sentry Mode is an advanced security feature for Tesla vehicles, leveraging the car’s cameras and sensors to monitor and record surroundings for potential threats when parked. Sentry Mode has proven invaluable for vehicle security by activating various deterrents, including pulsing headlights and alarm sounds.

Despite its benefits, the feature’s energy consumption, referred to as “vampire drain,” has been a concern, with estimates suggesting a small yet consistent drain on the vehicle's battery life. By optimizing Sentry Mode's power usage, Tesla enhances the feature's efficiency and extends the usability for owners, particularly when parking for extended periods without access to charging facilities.

Battery Management: Recognizing the importance of battery preservation, Sentry Mode automatically deactivates when the battery level falls to 20%, ensuring that the vehicle remains operational for essential travel.

Activation and Customization: Owners can activate Sentry Mode via the vehicle's touchscreen or mobile app, with options to customize settings, such as disabling sounds or excluding specific locations, tailoring the security feature to individual preferences and requirements.

Tesla's forthcoming software update aims to significantly reduce Sentry Mode's power usage, making it more adaptable for various situations without impacting the car's range or battery longevity. This enhancement aligns with Tesla's commitment to continuous improvement via over-the-air updates, directly responding to customer feedback with practical solutions. Owners looking forward to this change appreciate the balance between maintaining Sentry Mode's security benefits and preserving battery life for everyday needs.

Tesla Adds 'Rose Gold' Cybertruck Wrap and Two Other New Colors

By Kevin Armstrong
Tesla now offers Cybertruck wraps in five colors
Tesla now offers Cybertruck wraps in five colors

Remember when there was concern that the appeal of a Cybertruck would die down because there would be too many stainless steel beasts on the road? True story. If there was a concern, it appears to have been handled with wraps; not only Tesla’s wraps but more customized wraps are showing up on social media daily.

More Tesla Wraps

Firstly, Tesla has expanded its palette of Cybertruck wrap options, introducing three vibrant new colors. The chic Satin Rose Gold, the deep Satin Abyss Blue, and the sleek Slip Grey are joined in the lineup alongside the classic Satin Stealth Black and Satin Ceramic White. However, several Cybertruck owners are not waiting for Tesla wraps as more unique Cybertruck wraps are showing up on social media.

Priced at $6,000, while the newly introduced Satin Rose Gold and Satin Abyss Blue wraps are slightly pricier at $6,500. This differentiation in pricing reflects the unique appeal and quality of the new wrap colors.

Tesla outlines several key features and advantages of their Cybertruck color paint film, including:

  • A self-healing, urethane-based film that is significantly more durable and twice as thick as the average vinyl wrap, ensuring superior protection against scratches.

  • An environmentally friendly alternative to traditional vinyl wraps, covering all exterior stainless-steel surfaces of the Cybertruck, enhancing its aesthetic appeal and resilience.

Customized Wraps are Taking Off

Since Tesla wraps were introduced, the company has been criticized for the price point being far too high, while consumers can go to other wrap companies and get their own customized look. Even the unique wraps spotted on the Cybertruck before the delivery event are unavailable. But that is not stopping consumers.

It was after Investor Day in 2023 that Morgan Stanley's managing director, Adam Jonas, a well-known figure within the investment community and someone who has been dubbed a Tesla Bull. Jonas outlined several reasons why he believed the Cybertruck might not fulfill the grand visions held by Elon Musk and the Tesla team, describing it as potentially becoming a "financial side-show," a marker of cultural zeitgeist, and a niche product for enthusiasts.

Jonas argued that the Cybertruck, with its avant-garde design, might not align with this broader affordability mission. He believed that the unique aspects of Cybertruck would be lost and that "indescribable something," when several were on the street,

Yet, the landscape around the Cybertruck and Tesla's position within it has continued to evolve. Contrary to concerns, the burgeoning market for custom and aftermarket wraps for the Cybertruck tells a different story. This vibrant ecosystem of personalization options highlights the vehicle's position as a mode of transportation and a canvas for individual expression.

The concern that the uniqueness of the Cybertruck could diminish with its popularity overlooks the creative solutions that owners and enthusiasts have embraced. From bespoke wraps that offer myriad designs outside of Tesla's offerings to the DIY spirit that has taken hold among the Cybertruck community, it's clear that individuality remains a cornerstone of the Cybertruck experience.

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