Jul 30, 2017

If successful, Musk's new car would be bigger than the iPhone

Steve Jurvetson / Creative Commons

Elon Musk pulled off another in his streak of glitzy product debuts, producing an outpouring of exultant reviews from wowed journalists riding in his new mass-market electric, the Tesla Model 3, late Friday evening.

  • Musk updated the count of pre-orders for the $35,000 electric — more than 500,000, each putting down $1,000 for a place in line to buy the car.
  • Why it matters: If consumers truly embrace electric and autonomous cars, it could be more important in the big picture than the debut of the iPhone a decade ago: not only a seminal moment in tech and culture, but a transformation of energy and transportation, the biggest industries on the planet.
  • Hence, let's watch but withhold judgement: The mark of an indisputable shift will be millions of orders for multiple years running. As it stands, we have Tesla's cachet, built on years of setting the standard for vehicular cool; an impressive number of orders for a single year; and a thumb's up from the car's first riders. What we do not have is definitive proof of a mass market.

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Coronavirus spreads to more countries, and U.S. ups its case count

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The novel coronavirus continues to spread to more nations, and the U.S. reports a doubling of its confirmed cases to 34 — while noting those are mostly due to repatriated citizens, emphasizing there's no "community spread" yet in the U.S. Meanwhile, Italy reported its first virus-related death on Friday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 2,359 people and infected more than 77,000 others, mostly in mainland China. New countries to announce infections recently include Israel, Lebanon and Iran.

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Wells Fargo agrees to pay $3 billion to settle consumer abuse charges

Clients use an ATM at a Wells Fargo Bank in Los Angeles, Calif. Photo: Ronen Tivony/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Wells Fargo agreed to a pay a combined $3 billion to the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday for opening millions of fake customer accounts between 2002 and 2016, the SEC said in a press release.

The big picture: The fine "is among the largest corporate penalties reached during the Trump administration," the Washington Post reports.