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Is Tesla A Game Changer?

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  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,999

    Tesla may require some licensing fees as part of the "sharing". If the fees are modest then maybe the industry would standardize on one setup. That would be nice if you want to see the EV industry grow.

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  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,116

    Well you wouldn't be the first person to notice that Tesla may finally end up making money as a utility company rather than a car builder.

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  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,999
    edited June 15

    "A bill that would allow Tesla Motors Inc. to open four sales outlets selling the company’s electric cars in New Jersey gained approval from an assembly committee Thursday amid strong support from the environmental community."

    Bill to allow Tesla to sell cars in New Jersey advances (NorthJersey.com)

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  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,116

    I wonder if Tesla is ever going to turn a profit? 1st quarter 2014 was a net loss of $49.8 million bucks. The plan is to "make money by spending money".

    depends on the burn rate I guess, if time is on your side or not.

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  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,209

    @Mr_Shiftright said: I wonder if Tesla is ever going to turn a profit? 1st quarter 2014 was a net loss of $49.8 million bucks. The plan is to "make money by spending money".

    depends on the burn rate I guess, if time is on your side or not.

    I believe Tesla could be profitable, and probably will be, but the potential range of profitability varies greatly. It depends on how well they execute, favorable legislation, and some luck.

    You could also say that Amazon's plan is to make money by spending, to get and stay out in front.

    The more relevant question, in my opinion, is whether Tesla's earnings will justify it's current valuation within the next many years. I don't think anyone knows the answer to that, although many, both those who are long and short the stock, presume to know.

  • texasestexases Posts: 5,616

    I've yet to see why Tesla's battery factory will be a money maker. So much of the cost is materials, nothing like making cheap computer chips. We'll see...

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,116

    I don't think Tesla earnings could justify their current valuation unless it produced about 20X the number of cars it makes now. If you use the ratio of stock value per car produced, Tesla's ratio, compared to other automakers, borders on the ridiculous at the moment. As for shorting the stock, well over 1/3 of Tesla's investors are doing just that right now, I've read.

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  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,999

    Think dealers are over-reaching?

    "At the request of local dealer groups, states set up a labyrinth of protectionist laws that make the car-buying experience difficult and costly for our customers," said Gloria Bergquist, a spokeswoman for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, which represents 12 automakers but not Tesla.

    "It's understandable why Tesla or future competitors would want a simpler sales process. When we look at the big picture, we may be at a tipping point. If dealer groups continue their push for more onerous franchise laws, we will be forced to keep an open mind about how best to serve new-car buyers in the future."

    State franchise laws, sparked by Tesla, go too far, other automakers charge (autonews.com)

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  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,209

    Cadillac sold 52 (electric) ELRs in May, according to Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jones. He added that Tesla sells more S models than that in one day.

    Jones also stated that, "in his view, the push for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles is a 'diversionary tactic' aimed at disrupting regulation to support mass adoption of electric vehicles."

    It should be noted that Jones has been, and continues to be, very bullish on Tesla.

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,116

    Well the ELR isn't the same type of vehicle as a Tesla. It was designed to relieve the range-anxiety issue in full EVs. Tesla sort of leap-frogged the ELR--- I view the ELR as more of a transitional technology.

    It's also not as powerful as the Tesla---but it's certainly just as good-looking, if not more so.

    Once again, GM is there...too little, too late.

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  • bwiabwia Boston Posts: 1,248

    @Mr_Shiftright said:

    Once again, GM is there...too little, too late.

    I agree to a certain extent. The ELR is certainly late to the party but I believe the Volt is exactly what the market wants. An EV without the range anxiety at a reasonable price. With a target price of $31,500 (Carsdirect.com) less the $7,500 federal tax credit, that is a net price of $24,000, and even lower with state tax credits.

    Why isn't Chevy selling more of these is a mystery. Nonetheless, I hope Harley Davidson does much better with their EV bikes. A bike without pipes is like an opera singer on a diet.

  • texasestexases Posts: 5,616

    Biggest problem with the ELR (besides the astronomical price - $75k base!) is those stupid TV ads...

  • laurasdadalaurasdada Posts: 2,660
    edited June 27

    And the ELR is a different type of vehicle, functionally/demographically. The Volt would be more Tesla-functionally competitive (if not as luxurious or performance oriented) as it is a four door hatchback vs. the 2+2-ish design of the ELR. Unfortunately for GM, the ELR is a Volt in a (very, very nice) tuxedo at twice the cost and half the functionality. I wonder if GM will put a different, perhaps ICE in the ELR at some point?

    And, if anyone is interested, Boston area Caddy dealer taking $15k off the msrp of their ELR inventory. Good start!

    '13 Jaguar XF, '11 BMW 535xi, '02 Lexus RX300

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,116
    edited June 27

    Part of the problem is the marketing of the ELR. (what a surprise!) It needs to stress the car's strong points over a Tesla--and it has some. I think a super salesman could sell an ELR over a Tesla if they were being cross-shopped. Biggest stumbling block is that Cadillacs arent "cool", in the same way that a Kindle Fire is not as cool as an iPad.

    I think you have to sell these EVs and hybrids as technologies, not as cars.

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  • laurasdadalaurasdada Posts: 2,660

    Yes, market the ELR's relative "freedom" factor. Don't have to follow the Supercharger highway! As long as the dinosaurs keep giving up their ghosts, I kinda like the plugin hybrid concept of the ELR/Volt/i8 et. al. Enough electricity for my daily commute, and the dino-generator for road trips. Cool. Maybe if Caddy started a space program, that would add to their cool factor? Although, would you trust hopping on a GM spaceship? ;)

    Test drove the ELR at the Greenwich Concours. Nice interior, quiet (all the way in electric drive), not as torquey as I expected. Brakes took a bit of getting used to. Of course, it wasn't my $80k car, so I didn't really put it through any paces, but if I had the disposable income, I could add such a toy to the fleet. To me,though, stress Toy. For that much coin, a lot of cool cars to be had, with likely much more of a fun factor (I'm looking at you, Jag F-Type!).

    '13 Jaguar XF, '11 BMW 535xi, '02 Lexus RX300

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,116

    the ELR is not quick like the Tesla. It's a leisurely performer.

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  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,209

    Toyota's announced this week that it will begin selling a new hydrogen fuel cell powered car in Japan and California later this year. Coupled with it's previous announcement that it will discontinue it's cooperative arrangement with Tesla for electric RAV 4s, it seems that a competitive race for green car supremacy lies ahead. The issue is which technology will prevail over the long term. Several of the major auto manufacturers, including Toyota, Nissan and Tesla, consider hybrids to be an interim green vehicle solution.

    My take is that Tesla is trying to head off Toyota's and Hyundai's potential success with hydrogen fuel cell cars by rushing to build its network of supercharging stations as quickly as possible. Meanwhile, California expects to have 60 hydrogen charging stations by year end.

    Toyota is expected to price it hydrogen fuel cell car competitively with Tesla's Model S.

    Because of price and the fact that most people are resistant to change, the market for non polluting cars is expected to remain small for the next few years. If Tesla and Nissan, the primary manufacturers of pure EVs currently, can achieve economies of scale at the expense of Toyota and Hyundai's Hydrogen fuel cell cars, it'll be a major competitive advantage for them. The reverse is also true, of course. It'll be an interesting contest, for sure.

    Does Tesla's $29B market valuation suggest that Tesla bulls are underestimating Toyota and Hyundai's bet on hydrogen fuel cell vehicles?

  • texasestexases Posts: 5,616

    I have no idea how folks could economically get hydrogen. There is zero infrastructure. And I don't see how there's a major advantage over EVs. I don't get it.

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,116
    edited June 28

    The ace in the hole here is carbon emissions reductions. As the climate change situation becomes more glaring and obvious you'll see more and more countries putting the squeeze on the internal combustion engine. If I were a betting man, I'd bet on hybrids and biofuels up to about 2030, then push all my chips onto EVs and hydrogen power, when both will be much improved.

    This all reminds me of the "great race" around 1900--when nobody knew if ICE, diesel, steam or electric power would propel the world's automobiles. To us 100 years in the future, the answer seems obvious, but it wasn't then. Gasoline cars were "cranky" (literally), EVs were short range, and you had to be a junior engineer to operate a steam car without blowing yourself up. Yet EVs were reliable, gas cars were cheap to build and steam cars were tremendously more powerful than the other two.

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  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,209

    @texases said: "I have no idea how folks could economically get hydrogen. There is zero infrastructure. And I don't see how there's a major advantage over EVs. I don't get it."

    I certainly wouldn't presume to guess how the competing technologies will evolve in the next 20+ years, but I'm confident that Toyota, Hyundai and others (I believe GM also has a hydrogen fuel cell research program) understand the challenges of hydrogen, and believe they can be surmounted. Similarly, the major EV manufacturers understand their challenges. Maybe both technologies could coexist, and serve different markets. However, if I were to guess, I'd bet that at some time in the future one technology will prevail over the other(s), just as occurred 100 years ago, when the ICE won out..

  • texasestexases Posts: 5,616

    I'm not concerned with using hydrogen, it's the generation step that I don't see being efficient. I'm a chemical engineer, and the costs involved to generate hydrogen are large. Using electricity seems like a waste of electricity, just plug in an EV. Getting it from natural gas creates CO2, and makes me ask why not use the natural gas in a CNG vehicle. So I don't see where using hydrogen is better than EVs or CNG.

  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,209
    edited June 28

    @texases said: I'm not concerned with using hydrogen, it's the generation step that I don't see being efficient. I'm a chemical engineer, and the costs involved to generate hydrogen are large. Using electricity seems like a waste of electricity, just plug in an EV. Getting it from natural gas creates CO2, and makes me ask why not use the natural gas in a CNG vehicle. So I don't see where using hydrogen is better than EVs or CNG.

    I'm not an engineer, so I understand your point from a layman's perspective. You may be right, but logic suggests that Toyota and Hyundai must believe that they can compensate for the inefficiencies you listed.

    Please let us know if you come across new information to support or refute your current position regarding hydrogen powered vehicles.

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,116

    I think someone has to figure out how to make hydrogen "fuel" efficiently, without burning fossil fuel to do it---or, to make the net gain worthwhile enough to burn the fossil fuel.

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  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,999

    "Considering that Tesla Motors' site claims: "With just one moving piece in the motor, compared to hundreds in a gas engine, there are fewer things that can go wrong. That translates to less maintenance and service over time," the road test results ... aren't the best news.

    If Edmunds.com's problems with its Model S were an outlier, it'd be easy to say this singular car is a "lemon." Unfortunately, when MotorTrend.com also tested the Model S, it too had to have the drivetrain replaced"

    Will a Major Drive Unit Problem Decimate Tesla Motors, Inc.? (fool.com)

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  • texasestexases Posts: 5,616

    Yeah, I was stunned by Edmunds having to replace 3 drive units. Not 3 different problems, but 3 problems drive units, all completely replaced, which isn't the 'lemon' kind of failure. And a battery pack on top of it. Yikes!

  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,999

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  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,999

    "Here’s the litany of complaints according to Edmunds: The touchscreen froze twice, the steering wheel starting creaking, the sunroof wouldn’t open at one point, the hinges on the vanity mirror cracked twice, the taillights fogged up, and the car simply died on the side of the road on two different occasions, requiring a drive unit and a main battery. Perhaps most ominously, the driver-side door spontaneously opened, which Tesla addressed by installing a new handle.

    All the fixes were covered under warranty, but people spending six figures on a cutting-edge car don’t have much tolerance for these kind of glitches, no matter how beautiful and green and fast the vehicle is. The solace for Tesla drivers (and shareholders) is that Edmunds got one of the earlier sedans. Many of the problems it encountered have been ironed out in the months since."

    As the Oldest Teslas Turn Two, Nagging Questions About Reliability (businessweek.com)

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  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,999

    "A 17-month review of the $105,005 sedan, published this week by car-critic Edmunds.com, yielded one chief complaint -- parts of the car needed to be replaced too frequently. Tesla's chief executive countered the critique, saying the electric carmaker's Formula 1-trained service teams were overattentive, swapping out parts that had even the potential to be faulty.

    “This maybe ended up being counterproductive, but the service team was ultra proactive with the Edmunds car, so they were doing their best to make Edmunds happy,” Musk said during an hour-long call with analysts after announcing the company's second-quarter earnings. “Unfortunately that resulted in them changing things out just on the off-chance that something might go wrong.”

    Elon Musk Defends Tesla After Getting A Terrible Review (huffingtonpost.com)

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  • texasestexases Posts: 5,616

    Well, the 'grinding noises' indicated some kind of problem, right?

  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,999

    Are you referring to the drive unit or Elon's teeth?

    Have to wonder if Tesla will "lose" Edmunds' deposit on the Model X. :p

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