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Electric Bike Company’s ‘made in America’ e-bikes are key to its success. Here’s why

Earlier this month I had the opportunity to visit the sprawling new production facilities for California-based Electric Bike Company (that’s an advantage to being an early mover in any industry, you get to pick the good names). The company has been building electric cruiser bicycles in Newport Beach since the mid-2010s. And as founder Sean Lupton-Smith proudly explained to me as I toured the factory grounds, they wouldn’t have it any other way.

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Elon Musk goes on a ‘machines building machines’ rant about the future of manufacturing

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Tesla’s 2016 Shareholders Meeting yesterday was an unusual one. CEO Elon Musk and CTO JB Straubel were on stage for close to 4 hours and went through the bulk of Tesla’s history – recounting stories from the early days with longtime employees of the automaker.

We already reported on important nuggets of information the execs released about the Gigafactory and the Model 3 during the event, but what probably stands out the most from the event – from my perspective at least – is Musk’s rant about the importance of the “machine that makes the machine.”

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Will human hands ever touch Tesla Gigafactory battery cells?

Tesla battery cells

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An interesting fact about lego bricks: the first hands to touch a Lego brick are the hands of a customer since the entire manufacturing process is automated.

Granted, plastic blocks are significantly less complicated than li-ion battery cells, but since Tesla hired a long-time Lego manufacturing executive to lead the Gigafactory effort, it is an interesting analogy for the potential level of automation at Tesla’s battery factory.

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