In this edition of ‘Something for the weekend’, we have news stories on Tesla’s renewable energy plans, Honda’s plans to eliminate combustion engines from its production line, Facebook’s controversial cryptocurrency and the UK governments plans to fund AI and Data Science conversion courses. Read the news stories from this week with comments from Starcount’s experts!
Elon Musk predicts Tesla Energy will be bigger than its EV business
Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, has predicted that Tesla’s energy business could be on course to overtake its EV business as the company pumps more time and money into growing its solar and energy storage products.
The energy side of Telsa’s business was forced to take a back seat as the EV giant focused its energy on the new Model 3. Powercell production was diverted from its Powerwall and Powerpacks to produce enough cells to meet the demand for the Model 3.
But now the Model 3 has hit the roads, Telsa’s energy business appears to at the forefront of the company’s plans. Most recently, Tesla installed 43 megawatts of solar generation, a massive 48% increase from the last quarter.
Observatory Scientist, Hannah Poskett – “I think this totally makes sense and is in alignment with the work we have been doing. By looking into the Electric Vehicle market, we have seen that environmental & climate issues are no longer fuelling the industry. Tech Enthusiasts & Savvy spenders are more likely to engage in EV’s than Climate Conscious individuals. If we want to see big changes in climate change, it will be important to focus on energy and its renewable sources.
UK government to pledge £13m to AI and Data Science conversion courses
This week, the UK government has announced plans to invest £13m in postgraduate conversion courses in data science and AI. The proposed scheme will see higher education institutes partner with the industry to create new courses that will train non-STEM graduates with the skills to begin a career in the data industry.
The funding is part of a bigger £400m investment in maths, digital and technical education through the Government’s AI sector deal. The deal was agreed last year in order to protect the UK’s technology sector ahead of Brexit.
The deadline for applications for funding is 10 January 2020 with courses starting in the autumn of the same year.
Starcount Data Engineer – “This is an exciting opportunity, particularly with the current political uncertainty of the UK. We have already seen efforts to revamp areas in London such as Kings Cross to keep up with global technological developments and it would be great to see the UK become a tech-hub for the world. If the UK becomes an independent state, there will be an increased threat of the banks leaving Britain so it’ll be even more important to have a healthy tech industry to support the economy. C’mon the nerds!”
Honda announces all its cars will be electrified by 2022 as they reveal the all-new Honda Jazz
Honda has come out and set the bar high for car manufacturers by announcing all of the cars in its range will be electric by 2022, slashing its previous target of 2025. The announcement came in conjunction with the release of its all-new Honda Jazz.
The Jazz is one of the Japanese’s firms most successful models, and Honda also revealed the Jazz will only come in two hybrid models that will go on sale in 2020. Honda, which is the world’ largest engine manufacturer, has also said it is committed to ending all non-electrified petrol and diesel engines for Europe by the end of 2022.
James Lamburn, Client Development Director – “Honda, much like the rest of the car industry, recognise the need to rapidly expand their electrification capability and statements such as ‘all-electric by 2022’ will grab headlines. There is still a nervousness from the man/ woman on the street about the adoption of electric vehicles, the rate of sales haven’t been as expected with combustion engine vehicles still dominating the market. It seems as if automotive brands are trying to force through their electric car agendas (presumably because they don’t want to be making multiple engine variations), and they don’t want to push too hard if the consumers aren’t ready.”
Thursday briefing: US government grills Zuckerberg over Facebook’s cryptocurrency plans
The United States government is concerned over Facebook plans to challenge the dollar with its Libra cryptocurrency. Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, sat before dozens of members of the US Congress on Wednesday, charged with the goal of convincing them that the company’s foray into cryptocurrency is a good idea. However, it soon became clear that nearly all the members did not trust him.
Starcount Data Scientist – “Cryptocurrencies have, so far, been in the preliminary stages of development, showing themselves to be volatile and unpredictable. Banks and governments have been happy to let them experiment, make mistakes and slowly evolve into a system that works. As of yet, cryptocurrencies are still not adopted en masse. Mark Zuckerberg with Facebook’s Libra is an example of a cryptocurrency that has the potential to be well designed, adopted on a global scale, and most importantly, usable for consumers to buy products with. This could be scary for both regulatory establishments such as the US government, and for the international economy.
There is huge potential for both customers and brands who use Facebook as an advertising platform. Sales could start to be directly traceable from end-to-end giving further clarity to the customer journey. The danger is that the currency would be corporately controlled and outside from government regulations.
Would you trust Facebook with this power?”