IF Spacex fully succeeds then launch costs to orbit could drop to about $10 per pound from $4000-20000 per pound (cost of competing launch systems). This could open up space to colonization and industry and enable the economy of civilization to expand by trillions of dollars in decades and enable large scale expansion into the solar system much the way nationwide highway and rail allowed the US to fill out from coast to coast. Note – the justification for trillions of dollars in economic activity enabled with vastly lowered costs to space is below. There is already $250 billion per year in economic activity from the space industry.
IF Tesla Motor fully succeeds then the electric car could displace gasoline cars on a global basis and set the stage for mainstream electric airplanes and other vehicles. Tesla is battling US car dealers in court for the right to sell directly to consumers. Tesla Motors has not been previously been viewed as a serious threat to the other car companies. This perception will change and I predict established car companies will attack Tesla Motors with legal and regulatory means and with attacks in the media.
IF Broad Groups factory produced skyscrapers fully succeed the cost of building construction could drop two to ten times. This will changes cities and world urbanization and the $4 trillion world construction market. Broad Group did not receive any two year delays for any of the other 30 buildings they built over the last five years using factory mass production. It was when Broad Group went for the Skycity project (202 story skyscraper) that competitors and construction worker groups used politicians to slow or derail Broad Group. Broad Group has built the 50 story Beijing Horizon Hotel and over 30 other buildings using its factory mass production methods. Broad Group was surprised by the need for additional approvals for the SkyCity when they know those approvals were never needed for any prior skyscraper or building they have made.
Spacex fight for Government and Military launches and to displace expensive competitors
Spacex with a successful reusable rocket has the potential to completely disrupt all space access competitors except those who launch national strategic payloads (Russian, Chinese military for example.) Already Spacex has the lowest cost commercial launch capacity. The Spacex Heavy will launch next year and will be able to launch over 53 metric tons and some launch configurations and missions would have a cost of $84 million or $709 per pound.
As of March 2013, Falcon 9 v1.1 launch prices are $4,109 per kilogram ($1,864/lb) to low-Earth orbit when the launch vehicle is transporting its maximum cargo weight.
Elon Musk has stated that he can get launch costs below $500 per pound of delivered payload without reusability. If reusability is achieved then the costs would go down by about half with a reusable first stage and having all stages reusable would lower costs by ten to one hundred times. Attempts to have full stage launch recovery could occur by 2015. There would be an attempted wet soft landing of a stage next year and then an actual dry landing in 2015.
In June 2013, Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX) signed a certification agreement with the U.S. Air Force Tuesday that moves the company one step closer to competing for contracts to launch sensitive national security satellites. Those satellites are all launched now by United Launch Alliance rockets.
United Launch has been trying to use political and regulatory means to block competition with Spacex. They also try to get media stories to focus any concerns about Spacex safety and use its nontraditional approach as an argument against it.
Tens of billions may still be spent on the shuttle derived Space launch system which would have costs of about $8500 per pound and would not have launch capacity beyond a Spacex Falcon Heavy into the 2030s. If Spacex continues to improve engine power beyond the Merlin 1D and makes other launch refinements then the next version of the Spacex Falcon Heavy could achieve 70 to 150 ton launches without an expensive development effort.
SLS-5, in August 2024, would be the debut of the Cargo SLS, with a new fairing and a vehicle hardware change possible – as the winner of the booster competition would debut with this HLV.
SLS-6 – August 2025 – would return to the manned configuration, although no mission other than “exploration” – possibly as part of a Near Earth Object (NEO) mission – has been cited by the information.
SLS-7 – August 2026 – a Cargo SLS launch, would see one change to the vehicle, as the expendable SSME – known as the RS-25E – would be employed on the vehicle, taken over from the exhausted Shuttle SSME stock. Again, three engines would be required, as much as all of the SLS vehicles will be designed to have “space” for five engines.
SLS-11 – August, 2030 – would be the next change, as the five engine core is filled with the two extra RS-25Es, utilizing the full core power plant.
This configuration’s debut would be a cargo based mission, followed by a crewed mission one year later.
And then, in August of 2032, the evolved SLS is expected to debut (see image left), again based on the same 5xRS-25E driven core, but this time with a full Upper Stage, becoming the 130mt+ HLV. This debut (SLS-13) would be – as expected – based around a cargo mission.
There are other cost estimates that go as high as $62.5 billion to build and operate SLS through 2015. The $38 billion estimate to 2025 has been criticized as unrealistic. Just a simple projection of maintaining $3 billion per year to 2032 is $63 billion. Given the history of this kind of rocket development costs to 2032 are more likely to be $120-250 billion and there would be delays to 2035-2045.
Trillions in economic activity from a Spacex expanded space industry
Space as an industry has over $250 billion in annual spending by governments and companies.
Most of the money ($257 billion – 2009 figure) is spent on
– satellite TV ($70 billion)
– maintaining ground stations ($74 billion)
– $17 billion fixed satellite services
– $26 billion Department of Defence (military satellites and the spending around it)
– $17 billion NASA
– $10 billion national reconnaissance office (spy satellites and spending around it)
– $8.9 billion missile defense agency
The statement of over a trillion dollars in economic activity for space would be achieved by expanding space as industry by 4 times.
Trillion(s) would be achieved by getting to $2 trillion. This would be 8 times current levels.
Reducing costs to space using the Spacex Falcon Heavy and reusability to about $20-200 per pound would open up space activity to many more companies and applications and individuals.
Telsa Motor fights to sell direct and challenges US auto dealers and established car companies
Here in point form is the case where Tesla Motors massively disrupts the entire global car market –
* Tesla will have a strong network of supercharger and battery swap stations across the US and the world.
* Tesla could have network of direct to consumer stores that are designed by the same designer as the Apple Stores.
* The Tesla model S is already 9% of the luxury car market in the US.
* The Tesla model S was the top rated (99 highest rating possible) Consumer reports car and Motor Trends top rated car.
* Tesla will have an SUV (model X in 2015) and a midrange electric car (Gen 3 for about $35,000-40,000) by 2016-2017.
* Electric cars as Tesla has designed them have more usable space inside for the volume than traditional cars. The batteries are part of the structural frame.
* Tesla could be selling 500,000 cars per year by 2017 (fill up the production capacity of the Nummi plant and have success with the model X and Gen 3 cars comparable to the sales volume of similar BMW or Audi cars) and opening multiple new factories.
* Telsa at 500,000 cars per year would likely have more market valuation than all other car makers besides Toyota and Volkswagen (Telsa has already has $15-17 billion valuation and is producing 500 cars per week and has just reached break even).
8 GM has the third-highest revenues of any automaker at $152 billion, but its $6.2 billion in profit pales in comparison to VW’s $28.6 billion. VW market value is about $94 billion And Toyota is about $162 billion. There are a few companies that are closely bunched with about $60 billion in valuation (BMW, GM, Ford).
By 2025, Tesla could be making 2 to 4 million cars and would be vying with Toyota and VW for the most profit and valuation (even though VW and Toyota would have about 9 to 12 million cars made).
Tesla is fighting the US car dealers in court
Tesla’s argument is that its Model S sedan does not fit within the traditional dealer structure, a position that BMW’s i3 may very well find itself in — it’s difficult for a salesperson to talk up one car, without being to the detriment of its differently-powered siblings.
US dealers have laws in all states to try to prevent traditional car makers from selling direct. Those laws do not exist in Europe and other countries. In North Carolina, auto dealers are trying to prevent Tesla from emailing customers and from setting direct stores. There are also legal battles in Texas. In Texas, Tesla has car display galleries but do not provide sales information in those stores.
Telsa’s electric cars are far simpler systems than traditional cars. There are fewer systems in the car. The electric motor and batteries are simpler to service.
The electric car that Tesla motors has built has a low center of gravity with a battery platform at the level of the wheels. This provides for better handling and stability due to physics.
Again media, legal and political attacks are used to fight Tesla. As Tesla gets bigger there will be more attempts and if competitors cannot compete with technology they will use other means.
Here are some citations and details regarding Tesla plans for the next four years
Musk reiterated Tesla’s plans to launch higher volume models based on a third-generation platform. The automaker has previously mentioned two third-generation models, a small sedan and crossover, labeled by Musk as “Gen 3” models.
Speaking specifically about the Gen 3 sedan, Musk described it as costing “about half the price of the Model S” and featuring a “family resemblance” to other Tesla models (Model S pricing currently starts at $62,400). Finally, he said the Gen 3 sedan would “arrive at the end of 2016.”
Being based on Tesla’s third-generation platform design, the Gen 3 sedan will also pack some interesting new technologies. Musk hinted that it may feature “some autopilot or self-driving elements” though stressed that these may not be available in time for the launch. The Tesla boss has previously said that he views the concept of an auto-pilot for cars as something that is important to the evolution of automobiles.
The Model X will arrive in late 2014 and may be followed by additional variants based on the same second-generation platform.
Elon Musk could enable the domination of the electric car and be instrumental in the popularization of the self driving car.
The Gen-3 would be priced below $40,000 and arrive on the market within the next three to four years. Elon has said it would have a driving range of about 200 miles on a single charge. (annual and quarterly result news conferences and multiple public statements)
The Gen 3-based sedan has previously been reported to be similar in size to a BMW 3-Series and both lighter and cheaper to produce than the current Model S.
The model X base with batteries and engines enable a lot of different models to share a common base.
This is the model S base
Payment plan for battery swapping equal to gasoline fill up could be used to lower Model S to $40000
By recouping the cost of the battery over its lifetime (charging $70 per swap, Tesla and not car buyer own the batter), Tesla would be able to sell its sedans at a lower price ($40,000) than the Audi A6 ($42,000), which would likely push annual demand past 300,000 units for the Model S alone. Assuming the average selling price of the Model S is $80,000 before deducting the savings from not purchasing the battery, Tesla would earn $960 million with a conservative 4% net income margin. At a $15 billion market cap, Tesla would have a 15.63 P/E ratio on Model S sales alone.
Batteries continue to improve at 15% per year
Technology appears to be on Tesla’s side.
Batteries are improving at 15% per year based on price performance.
Lighter weight materials also play to Tesla’s advantage.
If Tesla owns charging stations and battery swap stations and they have luxury and high mid-range buyers then they can make upscale reststops. The reststops can sell high end coffee, food and products.
Telsa can own the relationship with its highend clients which is how American Express makes its money.
Telsa will have most of the follow on sales market.
So Tesla profits will come not just from car sales but all car maintenance (how car dealers make most of their money) and from the charging that replaces the gas station (margin from food and drink sales and using the lower cost charging to lower the upfront cost if needed).
The advantages that Tesla has accumulated and will be able to leverage could propel them into the number 1 car company and possible complete domination of the car markets.
Broad Group and SkyCity skyscrapers
Broad Group factory mass produces skyscrapers with construction times ten times faster and costs that are up to half of low cost chinese competitors. Skycity success would enable China to make improvements in health, lower construction dust (40% of particulate pollution), safety and economics for China’s urbanization. Skycity could be a tool to reduce overall global urban sprawl in spite of increasing population. A 202 story Skycity would be 3 months to assemble on site and 4 months to build the factory components and 6 months to build the foundation.
There is potential for less onsite construction corruption and displacement of many traditional construction jobs and of many competitors. This has caused competitors and building trades and the politicians they own and the media they control to attack Broad Group and Skycity to sway legal approvals and to try to stir up sentiment and concerns in the public.
They are projecting multiple Sky cities making up the urban core and enabling a lot more green space.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
A frequent speaker at corporations, he has been a TEDx speaker, a Singularity University speaker and guest at numerous interviews for radio and podcasts. He is open to public speaking and advising engagements.