This week, Tesla made a new regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission to change the titles of Elon Musk and Zach Kirkhorn. Musk, who has held the position of CEO is now Technoking of Tesla, and Kirkhorn, the company’s Chief Financial Officer has the new title Master of Coin.
While it’s not clear what prompted the changed titles, it does reflect the true quirky style of Musk.
Listed under Other Events in the filing, it states:
Effective as of March 15, 2021, the titles of Elon Musk and Zach Kirkhorn have changed to Technoking of Tesla and Master of Coin, respectively. Elon and Zach will also maintain their respective positions as Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer.
The new titles do not change anything regarding their positions and responsibilities.
UPDATE ON THE TESLA SEMI
The US manufacturer has released a video showing the new Semi in action hitting the test track near Tesla’s Fremont factory. Tesla posted the footage on YouTube after it was found that a someone was using a drone to record the all-electric truck being tested. Instead of leaving it to the amateurs to publish the Semi’s update, Tesla decided to release its own video.
The Semi was first announced in 2016 and the prototype was unveiled in 2017. At the start of the year, Tesla’s Technoking said the Semi truck was ready for production but the EV company had to wait for its new batteries to be developed.
Musk told Tesla investors during the earnings call: “The Semi would use typically five times the number of cells that a car would use, but it would not sell for five times what a car would sell for. It would not make sense for us to do the Semi right now, but it will absolutely make sense for us to do it as soon as we can address the cell production constraint.”
It is expected the new Berlin and Texas Giga Factories will increase battery production once the facilities become operational.
Up until last year, it was beginning to look like Tesla would have stiff competition from rival EV manufacturer, Nikola when it came to producing an electric Semi truck. However, the competition was soon squashed after Nikola’s chairman, Trevor Milton resigned amid allegations he had misinformed investors regarding the company's technology.
Hindenburg Research released a damaging report in September 2019 accusing Milton and Nikola of fraud, but Nikola responded saying the report had made “a number of false and misleading statements”. Although they did acknowledge their promotional video of its electric truck didn’t have a motor in it – something the Hindenburg report had pointed out – but the company insisted it was designed to drive under its own propulsion.
Besides all the controversy with Milton, Nikola also sued Tesla over its patent design, claiming it had stolen design features.
The latest Semi prototype has had several changes since its first unveiling three years ago. One in particular is the wrap-around windshield being altered, which was highlighted in Nikola’s patent infringement case against Tesla.
The Tesla also updated the design for the side skirts, new door handles, smoked headlights, and updated taillights. Even though the recent footage only shows the truck’s exterior, we can expect there were also changes to the interior.
Another change was increasing the Semi’s maximum range from 500 miles to over 600 miles, as well as complying with EU regulations that has a limit on the cabin length of semi-trucks.
Musk has repeatedly said its first prototype will never look like the one that finally goes into production and goes through design iterations that are way better than the unveiled version.