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How The Fertile Ground Of The Santa Clara Valley Sprouted The Re-birth Of The Electric Car

Discussion in 'Tesla Motors' started by CoastalCruiser, Jul 25, 2016.

  1. CoastalCruiser

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    On The Road To Tesla Ownership . . .

    We all know that Tesla Motors is tied into Silicon Valley, but did you know that the context for the kind of thinking that gave birth to Tesla dates back to the 19th century? This article explains.
     
  2. N5329K

    N5329K Member

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    Interesting read. Thanks! But there's Silicon Valley history, and Silicon Valley mythology. Most of the article stays pretty close to the first, but then when the founding of Tesla Motors arrives in the story chronology, they drift away from historical fact and into myth.
    Tesla Motors was absolutely a product of SV culture, so they got that right. But the act of creation happened a little before Mr. Musk arrived on the scene. It did not spring fully-formed from his brow (though it's success is certainly his baby). For all the tremendous achievements that he can legitimately lay claim to - and there are many- it was a pair of skilled, entrpreneurial engineers- Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning- (Eberhard was a gearhead from childhood) who shifted the first spades of dirt. Their motivation? Eberhard wanted a fast, cool car that had nothing to do with internal combustion, and he wanted to use that fast, cool car to end (or as is now fashionable, disrupt) the Age of Oil. Tarpenning was the practical, realistic prove it guy, Eberhard the visionary. The first Secret Master Plan was theirs, and it soon fell to Mr Musk to find a way to bring that SMP into being, which he is clearly on the cusp of achieving today.
    I love history, but the article got a little too soft focus when it came to Tesla's birth.
    Robin
     
  3. cpa

    cpa Member

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    Alas, I yearn for the simple days of yore when the Santa Clara Valley was ripe with stone fruit and pome orchards and truck farms. I recall the pleasant smells wafting from the Del Monte cannery on Auzerais Avenue in San Jose when they were making pickles or canning peaches. Now it is condominiums. Yuck.

    There were nectarine, apricot, peach, pear and cherry orchards tucked all around San Jose, Santa Clara and Mountain View. The climate in this area is probably among the most ideal anywhere in the US, with long coolish springs, warm-to-hot summers and enough winter chilling to set the buds for the next year's crop. No freezes after late February either. The growing season extended to early December for truck crops.

    Not that I am against what has transpired in the last 80 years. Progress is good. But so is food--especially the food that was produced in and around San Jose.
     
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  4. CoastalCruiser

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    Robin, thanks for filling in the blanks. Those gentleman don't get enough credit. I am going to ask the editor to append that last timeline point in the article to include their names. If I had been thinking I would have definitely included them.

    cpa, that is a really good point. There is certainly a flip side to "progress". As compelling as the story of SV development is, I too long for those simpler days. If only we could travel back in time, and bring our iPods and electric cards with us! :>
     
  5. cpa

    cpa Member

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    Not to spoil anything, Cruiser, but when the orchards were yanked out of the Sta. Clara Valley in the late 50s-mid '60s, a lot of those crops moved to the San Joaquin and Sacramento Valleys. Today is going to be 111 degrees in Fresno. San Jose is going to be 93, and Mountain View 88.

    The amount of water that is needed to keep these trees alive is staggering once temperatures exceed about 95-100 for a long period of time. Moreover, these plants all undergo C3 photosynthesis which begins to shut down at extremely high temperatures. That is why the leaves wilt even though there is ample moisture in the soil. (Desert plants like cacti and succulents have a different sort of photosynthetic cycle called CAM, so extreme heat is not much of a factor.)

    Anyway, enough of my soapbox. I am working on the Tardis as we speak. ;)
     
  6. CoastalCruiser

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    LOL.

    btw - When you read 'Cadillac Desert' you are told that one of the original agreements to provide the central valley with water precluded "permanent crops".

    Maybe society should relocate SV, the Tesla factory, and the Gigafactory to the central valley... and move the fruit trees back to the Santa Clara Valley. If your time machine includes geo-repositioning (as any time machine worth its salt should) maybe it can help with the move.
     
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