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Old 11-19-2012, 08:40 PM   #61
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Go on, give us one or two?
You don't like solar cells? The Tesla Supercharger network is solar based. Wind and hydro are low pollution, if not necessarily low-impact.
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Old 11-19-2012, 09:31 PM   #62
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The main problem with EVs is the rare earth elements in the batteries. With current EV battery technology, the known supply of the elements cannot replace more than a small fraction of the ICE cars currently in operation. For EVs to rule, either battery technology must change or large, new supplies of the rare earth elements must be discovered.
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Old 11-20-2012, 12:17 AM   #63
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The main problem with EVs is the rare earth elements in the batteries. With current EV battery technology, the known supply of the elements cannot replace more than a small fraction of the ICE cars currently in operation. For EVs to rule, either battery technology must change or large, new supplies of the rare earth elements must be discovered.
It turns out that the rare earth elements aren't really rare, just... Diffuse. They don't tend to occur in concentrated veins, but in deposits where lots of ore has to be moved and chemically processed. Rare earth mining operations are expensive to start up and run.

Until recently, Chinese companies were supplying large amounts of rare earth elements worldwide very cheaply. There was a change in policy where China wanted to hold more of the product for internal use. The resulting spike in prices made it worthwhile to open new mines and reopen older, closed facilities. There are some 35 mining operations starting up, from Malaysia to Mountain Pass, California.

Don't forget that the materials in a battery are not consumed. Old vehicle batteries can be recycled (they are really rich ores...).
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Old 11-20-2012, 07:46 AM   #64
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The main problem with EVs is the rare earth elements in the batteries.
The main problem is people hear this misinformation and them consider it true

DC electric motors use permanent magnets which use rare earth metals. The Model S, Roadster, and I am pretty sure at least some of. The others use induction motors which use no rare earth's.
The nickel batteries used in hybrids also used rare earth metals. However they are starting to move away from nickel to far lighter and smaller lithium ion batteries.
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Old 11-20-2012, 09:21 AM   #65
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You may be a little ahead of yourself. Have they turned a profit yet, or even had a breakeven quarter. Don't get me wrong, they seem to be headed in the right direction and I'm a fan of Elon Musk, so I wouldn't bet against him. I really hope SpaceX is successful, and it's good that there are folks developing EV's even though the pure economics aren't all that helpful just yet. But it may be premature to declare victory...

Tesla: Profit Point - Seeking Alpha among tons of analysis/articles out there.
Oh they are definately still in the start up stage of a business. Victory can't be declared yet on a business sense.
However, breakeven is projected to be by the end of this year. They have also started making payments on the DOE loan they received, 5 months early.

Edit – Removed totally incorrect information on my part
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Old 11-20-2012, 09:52 AM   #66
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As for the seeking alpha link, you should know John Petersen is rabidly anti EV.
I'm confused - the link that Midpack posted was an article by Nick Butcher, who appears to be pro-EV (though I would not say 'rabidly').

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Old 11-20-2012, 10:37 AM   #67
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I'm confused - the link that Midpack posted was an article by Nick Butcher, who appears to be pro-EV (though I would not say 'rabidly').

-ERD50
DOH!
Total screw up on my part.
I agree mostly with the article. And yes, I am sure that the 8000/year is just when the Model S line breaks even.
They are actually past that point in terms of quantity, however, I suspect they aren't quite at break even quite yet (pure guess here) as they are wrapping up some quality issues with a supplier or two.
Within a few more weeks they are expected to reach 400/week or 20,000/year which will be a great landmark. And should bring the entire company into positive cash flow.
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Old 11-20-2012, 10:45 AM   #68
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Yes, it is priced much higher than the average car.
However, it is priced competitively with other luxury cars which is what it is shooting for.
For our family, it is our primary car. In the last 6 weeks about 85% of both m wife and my driving miles has been in the Model S. the most we have put on it in a single day has been about 130 miles (this is not in the base model). It very well could be our only car if push came to shove

I do agree though that electric cars in general don't work for everyone. I just think the number of people it does work for is enough to support a business plan.
You say: "It very well could be our only family car if push comes to shove", my question, how would you take it on vacation? Why not save some money and buy a chev Volt that can run on either gas or electric. And, if you want a luxury version, next year a similar powertrain will be in a Cadillac....but it won't be cheap I'm sure. And, it isn't all about money....you do save a lot of time avoiding gas stations, if you drive 1000 miles a month and charge it at night.

Most families have a couple of cars.....I'm sure the Tesla works well in combination with another car......but if you can only have one and want electric.....my vote is for the Volt.
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Old 11-20-2012, 10:51 AM   #69
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Within a few more weeks they are expected to reach 400/week or 20,000/year which will be a great landmark. And should bring the entire company into positive cash flow.
I'm curious - do have any numbers on what the overall market is for cars in that price range? Just wondering what kind of market share of that segment they need to hit to sell 20,000 annually.

There will be the early adopters who wouldn't part with the $100K for the Roadster (and a few who will want both!), most of those would be in the first year, I'd guess. I wonder after that.

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Old 11-20-2012, 11:31 AM   #70
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You say: "It very well could be our only family car if push comes to shove", my question, how would you take it on vacation?
Our vacations tend to be within 150 miles. Those that are further are mostly more than 500 miles, some overseas. We don't take the car on those anyway, so requiring a car to be able to make that trip is rather silly in our case.

If push did come to shove though, we would check ahead of time that our vacation spot either had a 110 or 220 outlet available, or that there were RV parks or superchargers along the way. Right ow the superchargers are rare, but over the next few years I expect them to cover 85% or more of the USA.
A number of couples already take cross country trips in EVs. Yes, it takes some planning but it is possible if push comes to shove.
If our Volt were out of the picture, and we had to take a vacation by car, beyond the range of our EVs we would rent a car.

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Why not save some money and buy a chev Volt that can run on either gas or electric. And, if you want a luxury version, next year a similar powertrain will be in a Cadillac....but it won't be cheap I'm sure. And, it isn't all about money....you do save a lot of time avoiding gas stations, if you drive 1000 miles a month and charge it at night.
Because driving the Volt after driving the Model S is little better than riding a horse drawn carriage;-P. I know because our second vehicle is a Volt. I love the Volt for its smooth ride and acceleration under electric power. But I refuse to contribute to our trade deficit if I can help it.
I have no interest in the luxury aspect, although it is nice. I will be looking at the Cadillac ELR only if it has a greater EV range than the Volt when it comes out.
However, the Volt and Caddy are incredibly complicated machines. I prefer the elegant simplicity of a pure EV. And the additional cargo capacity is phenomenal!

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Most families have a couple of cars.....I'm sure the Tesla works well in combination with another car......but if you can only have one and want electric.....my vote is for the Volt.
Agreed that EVs work best in two car households. My driving patterns are such that one 200 mile range vehicle would suffice as my only vehicle and serves well as our primary vehicle.
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Old 11-20-2012, 11:55 AM   #71
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I'm curious - do have any numbers on what the overall market is for cars in that price range? Just wondering what kind of market share of that segment they need to hit to sell 20,000 annually.

There will be the early adopters who wouldn't part with the $100K for the Roadster (and a few who will want both!), most of those would be in the first year, I'd guess. I wonder after that.

-ERD50
Great questions! I did some digging and the first somewhat decent information I found was at Auto Sales - Markets Data Center - WSJ.com.

They list YTD luxury car sales at a bit over 800,000. Annual sales should hit at least 900,000. However, I don't find their definition of 'luxury'.
We also don't get a picture of how much of a market there is outside the country.
Even if we are very conservative and assume a total world-wide market of 500,000 worldwide, 20,000 is only 4% of that.

I completely agree that initial adopters are giving a very big bump to sales. Of course, many people not being able to see one and the 7-10 month wait for the car, and the 'I'm nervous about buying new technology' aspect aware all depressing sales.

It should be a very interesting year for Tesla. I thin the next 12 months will be extremely interesting to watch.
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Old 05-09-2013, 09:17 AM   #72
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According to Consumer Reports the Tesla model S is the best car they have ever tested. Not the best electric car, but the best car of all. They do add that given the need to recharge it every 200 miles or so it is probably not the best car for cross country trip. Still, since it was designed from the ground up as an electric car, the designers were able to take advantage of that fact to make it right.

Video: The Tesla Model S is our top-scoring car
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Old 05-09-2013, 02:20 PM   #73
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The news seems to have triggered a jump in the stock price of Tesla. I a guessing that people are hopping a bigger car company will buy them out.
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Old 05-09-2013, 02:48 PM   #74
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While I am sure this didn't hurt the stock price, the 1st quarter financials had more to do with it. There may also be some short squeeze action going on.

Tesla announced their first quarterly positive quarter ever in the first quarter (both GAAP and non-GAAP). Beating expectation, and raising production numbers for the year.

Aftermarket action was already up around $68-$70 before the news of the CR review came out.
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Old 05-09-2013, 03:58 PM   #75
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Bit of contrast to the NYT times article from back in Feb,

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/10/au...anted=all&_r=0
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Old 05-09-2013, 04:42 PM   #76
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According to Consumer Reports the Tesla model S is the best car they have ever tested. Not the best electric car, but the best car of all. They do add that given the need to recharge it every 200 miles or so it is probably not the best car for cross country trip. Still, since it was designed from the ground up as an electric car, the designers were able to take advantage of that fact to make it right.
Still, once every 200 miles is 3-5 times better than most other strictly plug-in electrics, so there's hope the technology can get cheaper with economy of scale and mature production. Of course, cruising range is only one of three major concerns with purely electric cars, the others being the time required to recharge and the ability of charging facilities on the road. (Battery life, cost and disposal are also concerns, but not everyday driving types of concern.) We'll know the technology has arrived for the masses when you can feasibly do a cross-country "road trip" in one that doesn't cost as much as a house. I think that will happen in my lifetime, but not really soon.

If the wealthy who can afford to subsidize early adoption want to drive down the costs of producing better EVs for the rest of us, so be it. They've certainly done it elsewhere, with computers, flat-panel TVs and cell phones among many other places.
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Old 05-09-2013, 05:11 PM   #77
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Certainly the model S is still a rich person's toy. But, it does offer hope for a future where electric cars will a viable option. Will Tesla survive? I am normally a skeptic, thinking that the big boys will copy what works well and run the little guy out of business. But this little guy is also the only private person who can deliver supplies to the ISS and bring things back safely. Time will tell.
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Old 05-10-2013, 05:06 AM   #78
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Certainly the model S is still a rich person's toy. But, it does offer hope for a future where electric cars will a viable option. Will Tesla survive? I am normally a skeptic, thinking that the big boys will copy what works well and run the little guy out of business. But this little guy is also the only private person who can deliver supplies to the ISS and bring things back safely. Time will tell.
I also will add that I was very impressed with his Elon's third company SolarCity. They gave me a very competitive quote for a PV system, without the need to ever send a salesman out to talk. Google Earth, Goto Meeting, and some proprietary software.
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Old 05-10-2013, 08:05 AM   #79
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I also will add that I was very impressed with his Elon's third company SolarCity. They gave me a very competitive quote for a PV system, without the need to ever send a salesman out to talk. Google Earth, Goto Meeting, and some proprietary software.
If you count Paypal, Solar City would be his 4th "success". But he has continued to demonstrate he is willing to risk whatever he has, you really could not say he has achieved FIRE.
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Old 05-11-2013, 04:33 AM   #80
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If you count Paypal, Solar City would be his 4th "success". But he has continued to demonstrate he is willing to risk whatever he has, you really could not say he has achieved FIRE.
He had a company before that Zip2 which he and his brother sold to Compaq for $314 million, plus computer software programs that he made as a teenager. So I'd give him credit for 5 or 6 successful companies.

But you are right, the concept of an SWR isn't part of his DNA, and early retirement well I just don't see him doing it ever.
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