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Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt...

Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt...

I get the impression that this must be the motto of The Wall Street Journal. They have posted yet another article quoting even more experts who all say that the odds are against Tesla Motors efforts with a proposed Gigafactory. Their comments are listed under the cheery and hopeful headings 'We Haven't Invented It Yet', 'A Roll of the Dice', and 'Better to Go Slow', among others.

To take a long, hard, skeptical look at the Bears' Perspective, just click this link:

Are Tesla's Plans for a Giant Battery Factory Realistic?

Dramsey | 18 maggio 2014

It didn't really strike me as FUD; note the comments from people with vast experience in the field from the likes of Toyota and the failed A123.

They're basically all saying the gigafactory is a big risk. Do you disagree with that? Tesla's business model has always been a big risk.

If it weren't, someone else would have done it long since. Nobody ever won big by playing it safe; we're just fortunate Elon's got enough money so that he can afford to take risks like this.

negarholger | 18 maggio 2014

"And to get there, it has no special plans to do anything exotic. Instead, it’s using old-school techniques like managing its supply chain better and lowering logistics costs. Musk talked of working directly with raw materials suppliers on Tesla’s recent earnings call, saying they were surprised to hear from the company and pleased to explore ways to lower costs on metals like nickel. In addition, the Gigafactory is designed to be a soup-to-nuts operation where on-site renewable power will drive an integrated manufacturing facility that will produce everything from battery cells to finished packs, minimizing transportation expenses."

Old school manufacturing principles... no magic needed.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/markrogowsky/2014/05/18/for-tesla-nissan-and...

Red Sage ca us | 19 maggio 2014

Yeah. Dudes who basically said, "If we couldn't do it, no one can!" The guy at Toyota who pushed their early FCEVs for years -- interesting that he is gone just before they are going to actually release them. A guy from a battery company that failed, because they were either "too early" or "ahead of the times", dependent on the point of view. Another guy who just doesn't see the economics working out, who probably said the same thing in 1995 about the internet. All saying, "We're uncertain, and we doubt it can happen, so you should be fearful of Tesla's plans!", between the lines.

Oh, and a total lack of editorial comment beyond the introductory, "Tesla's plan follows a largely failed effort by the Obama administration to create a large battery-manufacturing base in the U.S. Several manufacturers that built battery plants as part of that initiative went into bankruptcy after being caught with too much capacity when projected demand for electric cars failed to materialize." I really hate this brand of 'journalism'. It asks leading, open-ended, rhetorical questions intended to steer a conversation in a particular direction, no matter facts to the contrary.

Are these valid concerns? They were, until they were all answered. Is this a risky proposition? Sure, for everyone that has pushed all their chips into the ICE and Oil pile.

Remnant | 19 maggio 2014

My inkling is that Elon has a much better picture of the odds for the gigafactory. He is an entrepreneur, not an adventurer. His risk-taking, at least from his own point of view, is bound to be reasonable. The fact that Rogowski cannot see it is not a surprise.

A more specific thing Rogowski is blind about is the likely role of the Ryden battery. That battery is packed with innovations, each one of which is bound to have a positive impact on battery development, even if the Ryden package will not fully penetrate the market in its current implementation.

Dramsey | 19 maggio 2014

I see we're having a communications problem.

There is no technical risk to building the Gigafactory. We know how to build lithium-ion batteries in industrial quantities.

There is a substantial business risk. Look at it from an investor's point of view:

• Tesla has yet to turn a profit on its product, and yet wants to spend $5 billion to create this factory.
• Similar factories have failed-- several of them in fact. What's different this time around? (And why didn't Tesla buy batteries from A123?)
• What are the numbers-- how long will it take to recoup the immense capital expenditure required to build the factory? How many batteries does Tesla project they will sell, and in what time frame?

Elon thinks he can do it. Good for him. Given his track record, I'd tend to bet on him. But pointing out the record of failure of similar ventures (many similar ventures) is more prudence than yellow journalism.

It kinda reminds me of the various perpetual motion guys: sure, every other previous perpetual motion scheme has failed, but this one is different. (OK, that was a nasty comparison. But still...)

Rocky_H | 19 maggio 2014

@Dramsey, I take the "yet to turn a profit" with a grain of salt. They make a good profit margin on the cars, and if they wanted to, they could have easily turned a profit overall if they would slow down the expansion in Europe, China, Superchargers, etc. So I think they are plenty financially stable.

My take on it is that they know they have a huge amount of demand, even with their prices and profit margins as extremely high as they are right now. They know that lack of battery supply is THE thing that will be holding them back over the next few years, so it's something they have to do something about.

Brian H | 19 maggio 2014

Internal demand will soak up the output as soon as Model E is in production. "Selling" batteries is not the issue.

Dramsey | 20 maggio 2014

@RockyH: I agree with your comments on Tesla's profitability, and that they're plowing all their income into expansion, Superchargers, and new model development.

In other words, they're growing really fast. And that's the part to watch out for.

History is littered with the corpses of initially-successful companies that couldn't handle fast rates of growth.

SamO | 20 maggio 2014

I think the big risk is if they DON'T have a big battery factory. The front pages of many papers are likely to second guess NOT having more factories when the GENIII begins to go on sale.

What happens if MS/MX sales go above 100,000 by the end of 2015. Their contract with Panasonic won't be able to keep up with demand.

Seems a much more likely problem than they can't make a commodity lithium ion battery in volume.

Red Sage ca us | 20 maggio 2014

Tesla Motors is handling its growth just fine. It is the rest of the automotive industry, competing energy industries, and Wall Street that can't handle their growth.

Tesla has been given a lot of very good, reasonable, even-handed, wise, free advice. Much of it should be considered, weighed, balanced, weighed, and subsequently discarded. Not because it isn't good advice, but because it doesn't apply to them.

Dramsey inquired:
"What's different this time around? (And why didn't Tesla buy batteries from A123?)" - The difference is that Tesla has the demand internally with their current and upcoming product lines. - They have it externally with residential, commercial, and industrial level storage systems for SolarCity. - They also hope to have demand as a supplier to other auto manufacturers, should they ever wake up, and smell the ozone. - They didn't buy from A123 because, quite simply, they didn't trust them.
"What are the numbers-- how long will it take to recoup the immense capital expenditure required to build the factory?"I would guess they have chosen to mark that at about twenty-five years. They will be perfectly happy if it turns out to pay for itself within five-to-ten.
"How many batteries does Tesla project they will sell, and in what time frame?" - As Brian H pointed out above, "Internal demand will soak up the output as soon as Model E [nee, Generation III] is in production. 'Selling' batteries is not the issue." Tesla will be building and selling cars -- lots of them.

Rock_H wrote, "They know that lack of battery supply is THE thing that will be holding them back over the next few years, so it's something they have to do something about."

Precisely how I feel about the situation. Imagine if General Motors had a single supplier for gas tanks for all the vehicles they sell in the world. Would Wall Street be up in arms if General Motors, after being turned down by that supplier upon asking for an increase in production, thought it would be a good idea to build their own gas tank factory, to match their own projected needs, just in case? Probably not. It would probably be seen as a good business decision. So why isn't it a good idea for Tesla? Simple. It is too good an idea for Bears and Shorters to accept.

Dramsey wrote, "History is littered with the corpses of initially-successful companies that couldn't handle fast rates of growth."

And history shows that the grand majority of them couldn't handle the growth because they didn't prepare for it. Issues can arise because of legal inquiries and journalistic sleights, among others.

History also shows that people who start car companies may well be the targets of unwarranted legal attacks to ruin their reputations. Tucker was held up by false allegations of impropriety just long enough to make sure they couldn't get off the ground. DeLorean was arrested on trumped up drug charges that were later dropped. Tesla has been accosted by The Lemon King.

I checked out documentary videos on YouTube that covered Preston Tucker and John DeLorean. It is truly amazing that the Olde Guard still uses the same tired, old tactics to attack a newcomer to the automotive market. They can't seem to understand that in today's world, they just don't work. Elon Musk is smart enough, and determined enough, and informed enough, to know full well what was done to besmirch and ruin the reputations of those men and the car companies they founded. So he has succinctly prepared for such eventualities at every turn.

The accusations fly, like:
In It for the Money -- Nope. He was already rich enough, and squandered it all for a dream -- two of them -- in fact.
Only for the Rich -- Nope. Raising funds to release affordable cars for everyone.
It CAN'T be Done -- Nope. Lookit. Ten years and already caught up with everyone else.
Just a Toy -- Nope. Not just a go-cart. Best car ever.
Unsafe, Untested, Unreliable -- Nope. Safest car ever. Confirmed by everyone that matters. Minimal maintenance.
False Advertising -- Nope. No advertising at all.
Huckster, Charlatan, Jive Turkey -- Nope. Programmer, Engineer, and Physicist.
Bull Dog -- Nope. Don't attack him, then act as if you were all innocent and $#!+.
Market Disrupter -- Meh. Just doing his thing.
Hot Wife -- Well, a man has to have a reason to go home eventually.
Meanwhile publications such as the Wall Street Journal, Forbes magazine, and The New York Times all seem to have it in for Tesla Motors. Similarly almost every mention of Tesla on television is accompanied by video of a car fire and the slightest hint that the cars just might spontaneously explode. Writers in many an automotive magazine put Tesla in the same category as VECTOR, at best -- until they drove the Tesla Model S. At least that shut them up.

BMW touts their cars as 'The Ultimate Driving Machine'. Acura once used the tagline 'Precision Crafted Performance'. Tesla Motors strives for much the same, which Elon generally calls, 'The Best Car in the World'. Tesla can borrow my motto if they like:

'Artistic Expression by Technical Expertise'

SamO | 20 maggio 2014

@Red Sage,

Fastest (thanks HOV lane)
Cheapest (to Fuel and Maintain)
Safest (5.4* and no serious injuries or deaths - yet)
Quickest (step on the peddle and feel it go)
Funnest

Best Car in the World?

Best I've driven.

blue adept | 20 maggio 2014

Tesla Motors and in particular, Elon Musk, has always been up for a challenge, just as they've/he's always been known for doing what others have profusely claimed couldn't be done.

I have no worries, none. No fear, uncertainty, or doubt, whatsoever.

Rocky_H | 20 maggio 2014

@Dramsey: "History is littered with the corpses of initially-successful companies that couldn't handle fast rates of growth."
Red Sage covered most of it about being prepared for growth, but I'll add this. I think most of those companies were putting the cart before the horse. They usually tried to grow things big, thinking that enough customers would come. With Tesla, it's huge amounts of customers driving them forward with a whip (only in this case, the whip is fistfuls of money). And still, Tesla is only touching the premium market (a small portion of the total auto market), and they have a lot of demand. There are many more people who want one, but can't afford it yet. So when there is already huge customer demand driving the growth, I think a company will do OK with growing in that scenario.

Damian | 20 maggio 2014

The car leads the way. Period! DO I have $102,000 to spend on a P85 plus? I could but my apartment doesn't have the extension cord to reach the street. DO I have $35,000 to spend on the next generation? Does a medium rare steak make my mouth water? I can not wait for that car to come down the pike, and with that car and a few more local charging stations, YOU BET THAT FACTORY WILL NEED ALL THE CAPACITY IT WILL GENERATE and more!

We the people, have spoken!

i.mx | 21 maggio 2014

I have been concerned about the dual carbon battery news. So concerned that I wanted to call them and tell them about what I read.

If the claims are true, that would make the "gigafactory" project defunct in a way. While PJP claims that the existing systems need minimum modification to switch from Li-ion battery production to dual-carbon battery production, it still would be a cost for Tesla if dual-carbon batteries are what PJP claims they are and Tesla decides to switch to making them.

I am sure the Tesla team would have done due diligence before plunking $5bn into this project. For Tesla motors' sake, of which I am a huge fan, and for the sake of a lower-cost easy-to-run electric car - I hope the dual-carbon tech is for real AND that Tesla Motors gigafactory produces it :D

drax7 | 21 maggio 2014

I've been reading the wall st journal since 1975, cannot recall ever
Reading an article that lead me financial gains. Barron's the sister
Publication poo poohed the apples iPhone 1 . After that I stopped
Reading that publication.

In time I've realized Most business journalist are clueless, and
Mostly what they write about tesla reflects that.

DonS | 22 maggio 2014

The fact is that most businesses fail, even ones that look promising. The thing I've observed is that the experts are not any better than the average Joe at guessing which companies will prosper. The only thing for certain is that 10 years from now, we will be able to look back and see that most of the predictions were wrong.

Red Sage ca us | 22 maggio 2014

shensierra moderately chastised, "Of course he's in it for the money."

Perhaps, but not in it for "a quick buck", which is what a lot of skeptics presumed about Elon Musk at the outset. They thought he was just building a company to frighten one of the Big Three in Detroit into buying him out, and subsequently dismantle the company. They mistakenly presumed that was his entrepreneurial mindset.

They didn't realize that Zip2.com and PayPal.com were really only sold because his partners, and angel investors, wanted to make a quick buck. Elon would have kept them forever. That is why SpaceX is not a publicly traded company -- it is Elon's baby. Period.

One dollar salary per year. None of his stock matures unless Tesla Motors makes a certain bare minimum profit for an extended period, by a certain date. His fortunes are literally tied to the company's success or failure. He has stated that his was the first money into Tesla, it will be the last money out.

Hence, NOT in it for the money.

SamO | 22 maggio 2014

There is no (near-term) future for dual carbon batteries. I could post thousands of links to the next "battery breakthrough" which have amounted to nothing.

Even if this battery is real, it's vaporware until it's being made in quantity.

carlgo | 22 maggio 2014

SamO is right: NOT building the battery plant is the big risk. The batteries will be needed and they need not be magical.

Tesla obviously knows how to build a compelling car. Millions of people will want an affordable Tesla if range anxiety is addressed.

If a better battery comes along, Tesla will buy the battery building machines needed and make them.

Nobody cares what the battery technology is. It could be made of dog poop but if it is affordable, gets you to where you want to go and can be charged up conveniently, it will be fine.

Don't have the perfect battery technology? Simply put in lots of fast chargers. A Brand X rival might have a better battery, but if you need an extension cord and hours of your time to charge it, it is a terrible battery in actual use. Charging facilities and the speed of battery charging is far more important than somewhat better technology.

Likely it will be awhile before a future super battery is actually much better than the expected improved and cheaper versions of the present technology.

The big risk is either doing nothing or in chasing after something unproven. And of course in being inflexible and not being ready to move on new and better technologies when it is time to do so.

Brian H | 22 maggio 2014

"In it for the money" doesn't mean the same thing to billionaires it does to the rest of us. It's a way of keeping score, shaping the world, and tool to get things done, not just a source of personal indulgence.

Remnant | 22 maggio 2014

Here is an excerpt from

http://www.dailyfinance.com/2014/05/19/memo-to-tesla-motors-inc-use-our-...

How marketable is the battery? Power Japan Plus says that it is cost competitive.

[It] slots directly into existing manufacturing processes, requiring no change to existing manufacturing lines. Even more, the battery allows for consolidation of the supply chain, with only one active material -- carbon. Additionally, manufacturing of the Ryden battery is under no threat of supply disruption or price spikes from rare metals, rare earth or heavy metals.

Obviously if Power Japan Plus' assertions are true, this could quickly make Tesla's planned Gigafactory obsolete [unless it was intended to use the Ryden technology from the getgo.

Would Power Japan Plus partner with Tesla Motors? Absolutely. The company's chief marketing officer, Chris Craney, provided The Motley Fool with these statements:

Power Japan Plus could certainly enter a licensing agreement with Tesla Motors or any other automotive company that is interested in moving beyond lithium ion batteries to a battery chemistry that is safe, sustainable and cost effective.

And on the Gigafactory:

Tesla is building the Gigafactory because lithium ion batteries are so expensive [incidentally, the drawings supplied by Power Japan indicate that the Ryden could well be a Lithium-ion battery as well]. The only way a mass market electric vehicle powered by a lithium ion battery pack will be feasible is to drive down the cost of the battery by reaching very large economies of scale. The dual carbon battery is cost effective from day one, without even needing to reach large economies of scale, because the only active material is carbon, which is abundant and cheap.

Power Japan Plus would not comment on whether or not it is in talks with Tesla but did say that after coming out of stealth mode on Tuesday it is already taking meetings with multiple parties interested in the technology.

Red Sage ca us | 22 maggio 2014

I've said all along that the Tesla Gigafactory would be set up in such a way that they could move to a different battery technology in a fraction of the time anyone else could. That will be a fundamental part of its design. The ability to stop everything and change course as needed.

The biggest issue facing Tesla Motors, should they move to another technology, would be getting the software right. The system software is currently designed to manage the benefits, deficiencies, attributes, and failures that are inherent in the use of lithium ion batteries. Those same balancing, charging, measuring, and stabilizing algorithms are not guaranteed to work as well with a different configuration of battery tech. So something else would have to be designed and tested thoroughly before being released 'wide'.

One of the fun things about the Periodic Table of Elements is seeing the relationships of elements to each other. They really are in sort of 'family groups' with each other. Science Fiction often looks at Carbon (C) on the periodic table and hypothesizes that perhaps lifeforms could be built around its neighbor, Silicon (Si). In fact, if someone has figured out a way to make a battery that is solid Carbon... What's to stop someone else from using a similar technique to make a solid Silicon battery?

Brian H | 23 maggio 2014

The Japan Plus battery is not solid carbon; the two electrodes are both carbon, but lithium and "Anode" atoms still carry the charge and current internally.

Red Sage ca us | 23 maggio 2014

Ah. That makes more sense.

blue adept | 27 maggio 2014

As the alternative fuel/BEV market heats up, as do its detractors, it only stands to reason that the best move that Tesla could make at this stage would be to internalize all ancillary operations towards the goal of becoming self-sufficient/dependent to insure product integrity and technological propriety.

In otherwords, the Giga-factory is a logical move in any sense.

Remnant | 28 maggio 2014

Here is a serious concern I have also raised regarding Google's driverless EV:

In an age of hackers, worms, root-kits, Trojan horses, "cookies" and CPU backdoor access, one should wonder about the risk of digital hang-ups, crashes, imprisonment, kidnapping, and assassination.

Security in such a vehicle must include a variety of credible overrides, stoppages, reboots, and escapes for the passengers. Warranty should include a chapter on these issues.

This is one of the inquiries I would make about a Tesla, before I purchase it.

Brian H | 29 maggio 2014

The point EM repeatedly makes, "We are production constrained" is the rock on which the company's future is built. The product is so good and the gross margin so high that TM has many more "degrees of freedom" (useful choices) than any automotive competitor. Hence the market cap.

SamO | 30 maggio 2014

@remnant,

You worry about a speculative fear, hacking, when in reality, driving is a more dangerous than almost any other activity.

http://www.riskcomm.com/visualaids/riskscale/datasources.php

Remnant | 30 maggio 2014

@ SamO (May 30, 2014)

<< You worry about a speculative fear, hacking, when in reality, driving is a more dangerous than almost any other activity. >>

Interesting statistics, but we have to take into account that a driverless car is a game changer. No one knows what statistics can spring out of that.

Think about it: a mere digital prank could kill a person who has become a passenger on such a contraption. I've lost hard disks, computers and cell phones to malware and digital accidents. There is no evidence at this point that a driverless car could be immune to such accidents, not to speak about willful cyber-sabotage.

At any rate, I would have serious misgivings about getting into a cage that can be locked up from a distance and then hurled at high speed over a cliff, into a wall, or just into pedestrians and vehicles around.

Do you have statistics on that kind of occurrence? And what do you think about its possible investigation?

Guess what! No evidence of foul play. It's been safely erased.

SamO | 30 maggio 2014

Autopilot or driverless must be AS safe and likely order of magnitude safer. I wouldn't be surprised if you go years without fatality and no at fault collisions.

Google has at least 750,000 miles without incident.

Hacking is putting the cart before the horse. They can already be at least as secure as RSA http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RSA_(cryptosystem)

Brian H | 31 maggio 2014

Until the evolution of a global AI with a taste for Bump-Em cars and access to quantum decryption ... >:)

Remnant | 31 maggio 2014

@ SamO (May 30, 2014)

<< Google has at least 750,000 miles without incident. >>

Did they try to cause one though?

<< They can already be at least as secure as RSA ... >>

If this were true, they would say so.

Red Sage ca us | 4 giugno 2014

Wow. I missed these before... More FUD, from about three weeks ago.

Bloomberg Video:

Tesla Results Disappoint: Is This a Warning? (5:10)

Has Tesla Reached Limits of the Millionaire Market? (3:14)

jonlivesay | 4 giugno 2014

Appraising someone or something from inside the box, when they operate so far out of it is meaningless. Let them talk that's all it is.

Red Sage ca us | 4 giugno 2014

That one guy, Cory Johnson, simply infuriated me. I wanted to hit him with the nearest available chair. Is that wrong?

Timo | 4 giugno 2014

@Remnant:

@ SamO (May 30, 2014)

<< Google has at least 750,000 miles without incident. >>

Did they try to cause one though?

Yes, they have tried. Surprise pedestrian turning in front of car and that sort of things. Car reacts (way) faster than human. In city speeds and traffic that thing is actually a lot safer than most human drivers would be. It can actually see multiple directions at same time which is obviously impossible to any humans.

Most of time though car just drives safely and avoids accidents simply by not getting into situations where those could happen.

<< They can already be at least as secure as RSA ... >>

If this were true, they would say so.

Who cares if the thing has no encryption whatsoever. I want to see a person that can remotely hack a computer that has no network connection to outside world. That's what is required to crack into those things.

Timo | 4 giugno 2014

Dang typos at italic tags. These are originally from Remnant message where he quotes SamO:

----------------------------------
<< Google has at least 750,000 miles without incident. >>

Did they try to cause one though?
----------------------------------

Brian H | 8 giugno 2014

Timo;
tag trick: type opening and closing tags together, the type or paste content between them. Dun!

Brian H | 8 giugno 2014

typo! ;p "then type"

blue adept | 16 giugno 2014

@Red Sage

No, it's not wrong to "want" to hit someone with a chair, only if you actually do.

That said, I wanted to hit him with one as well, then I recalled how he lobbied to be the one to get the interview with Musk out of the other Bloomberg crew and then sharted himself when Elon took him for a spin in his Roadster (you can see it on his face in the video).

He's (Johnson) been dropping snide remarks about Tesla Motors every chance he gets since then...I'm seriously thinking about lobbying to have Jon Erlichman replace him just to get him (Johnson) out of the main San Francisco studio where he likes to indulge his narcissism by inserting himself into any conversation he can and trying to steal the lead from the show's actual main host, Emily Chang.

Red Sage ca us | 17 giugno 2014

Tesla Motors To Construct Manufacturing Plant in Europe - "Mind our frankness, but this is just the typically unrealistic Elon Musk jibber-jabber."

Naysayers will never understand.

Red Sage ca us | 26 giugno 2014

Surprise! The FOOLS got it wrong again:

The Motley Fool - Why Tesla Motors Inc.'s 'Open Source' Offer Is Not What You Think
⇒ "Tesla is yet again creating a positive, altruistic image of itself for consumers through the guise of 'open source' good will toward the people, business, and governments of earth."

Those guys will never get it.

Red Sage ca us | 26 giugno 2014

Almost, but still no cigar for the FOOLS...

The Motley Fool - Why Tesla Motors' Dealer Fight Doesn't Even Matter -- Yet
⇒ While headlines regarding Tesla's battle with lobbyists and state dealership laws are generating heated debates and decisive opinions, it won't matter for years.

The main point of the article is correct. The reasoning behind it is not. They seem to believe that eventually Tesla Motors will simply have to relent to the demands of the traditional methods of selling cars.

Their cars don't have to be 'sold'. Their cars are ordered, manufactured upon request, and delivered. They will never sit en masse on a lot, hoping that someone will come by to look at them... and maybe buy them.

Even though the author admits in closing that other industries have moved online from brick & mortar, the article leaves the feeling that he doesn't believe that will happen with Tesla.

SamO | 26 giugno 2014

@RS,

Elon has said that when GEN III releases, that they "may" use the dealership model.

That being said, I'd put together a nonprofit dealership as a passthrough if Elon wanted to sell using the same model. Tesla employees, Tesla design, Tesla direction . . . Tesla profits.

Brian H | 26 giugno 2014

Outfitting and staffing enough stores to move the GenIII may be more than TM wants to take on. A conumdrum, or SLT.

Red Sage ca us | 27 giugno 2014

Here the thing is... If they would like to 'get in the game' when Tesla Generation III launches, Dealerships would have to make a proper commitment to selling electric cars. That is, dealers would be required to order enough vehicles to ensure they intend to, and in fact must, sell them through to end users en masse. In other words, they have to prove to Elon Musk that they are not full of [BORSHT], by properly answering the question, "How many cars do you want to order?"
Think you can move two, maybe three cars per quarter?
⇒ Get out.
Think it would be cool to put in a standing order of 10,000 per year?
⇒ Tesla can move that many in under three months, in Los Angeles County alone.
Projecting a 150,000 unit minimum target over the first three years?
⇒ Now you're playing with electricity!
It isn't worth Tesla potentially losing the ability to sell direct in a state, and thereby controlling their own destiny as a result, if Dealerships aren't able to commit to buying & selling at least as many cars -- or more -- than Tesla projects they can sell on their own. Without that commitment? [SIERRA] them.

vgarbutt | 30 giugno 2014

Regarding the carbon battery- Elon musk has checked them out and the energy density is too small for the Tesla, so thats a bust.

Red Sage ca us | 3 luglio 2014

Well, it looks as if at least one battle is over for now:

Tesla to Fortify Pennsylvanian Presence

Once it's signed by the Governor, Tesla Motors will be fine in Pennsylvania.

Interestingly, the article by Zacks Equity Research concludes with:

"Tesla currently carries a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell).

"Some better-ranked automobile stocks worth considering are Fox Factory Holding Corp (FOXF), Gentherm Incorporated (THRM) and Meritor, Inc. (MTOR). All these stocks sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy)."
FOX is one of the primary sponsors of motocross and offroad racing...
⇒ Recent insider trading allegations are sure encouraging.
Gentherm Incorporated, formerly called Amerigon, created the first thermoelectrically heated and cooled seat system for the automotive industry...
⇒ Hey, look! Insider trading here too!
Meritor, Inc. is an American corporation headquartered in Troy, Michigan which manufactures automobile components for military suppliers, trucks, and trailers...
⇒ Reports of a 'Dead Cat Bounce' in its stock price are hopeful.
Why do I get the distinct impression that analysts want to scare the world away from TSLA, so they can buy it all for themselves at a steep discount to hold for the next 50-60 years?

Red Sage ca us | 3 luglio 2014

A slanted title, gleaned from what were probably leading questions...

Tesla Motors Inc Ex-Chief Engineer: Regulations Driving EV Demand, Not Consumers

Vikas Shukla wrote, "Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)'s former Chief Engineer Robert Feldmaier, who worked on the Model S, says that electric vehicle demand is largely driven by regulations rather than consumers. During a conference call with UBS analysts Colin Langan and Philippe Houchois, Feldmaier said he wouldn't be surprised if Model S demand in the U.S. slows after initial adoption. Offering a cautious outlook on sales volume, he said that Roadster demand too fell after early adoption."

Meh. Whatever. I believe that the only 'slowing' that will occur with Tesla Model S sales will be: 1) as a result of Tesla Motors ramping up sales of Tesla Model X; and 2) due to impending production of Tesla Generation III. There will not be a decrease in demand for the Model S at all. People will still want to buy it... they'll just have to wait for it. And they will.

Tesla will purposely limit annual production on Model S to about 50,000 units. They will halt annual production on Model X at perhaps 150,000 vehicles. All the rest of their annual production will be dedicated to the rollout of Generation III cars.

In other words, all the capacity of the Fremont facility above 200,000 units will be dedicated to GIII. Don't expect an increase of worldwide sales on Model S and Model X beyond a combined 200,000 units annually until there is at least one new factory built in Asia, Europe, or the Americas -- and a Gigafactory (or two) is in full form.

Vikas Shukla wrote in conclusion, "Tesla will have to use smaller battery packs, which would reduce range, to bring down the cost."

Tesla Motors uses battery packs that are filled with 18650 form factor lithium-ion battery cells. In the four years between the launch of the Tesla Roadster and the Tesla Model S capacity of individual cells improved by 40%. So the number of battery cells that yielded only 53 kWh capacity on the Roadster allowed 85 kWh capacity in the Model S. With a similar increase in capacity prior to the release of Tesla Generation III vehicles, it would require fewer battery cells to achieve a 60 kWh capacity -- the lowest capacity used currently, in the Tesla Model S 60.
Vehicle # Cells
S 85 ~7000
S 60 ~5000
GIII 85 ~4200
GIII 60 ~3000
Combined with a projected 30% lower cost of batteries with the opening of the Gigafactory, that means that as time goes by, Tesla's margins on the GIII will go up. That will allow the cars to be affordable, while allowing Tesla to put more cars on the road per cell count.

In this example, the GIII 60 would use only 60% of the battery cells that were originally in the Model S 60, while the GIII 85 would use only 60% of the battery cells that were originally in the Model S 85. That would make for a weight savings of around 500 pounds with the 85 kWh version and over 350 pounds off the 60 kWh version.

Since the GIII 60 would also weigh substantially less than a Model S 60, it would also have a longer range -- not shorter. So instead of an EPA rated range of 208 miles, it would be closer to 250 miles instead. No Tesla Motors vehicle will ever be released with a range less than 200 miles minimum ever again.

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