It used to be a territory only Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) explored, with its famous press releases detailing everything but what investors really wanted to know. But today, Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) decided to pull a page out of the same book.
After stopping data on orders, and then stopping data on the geographical breakdown of sales - which would have highlighted a year-on-year drop in U.S. sales, Tesla found it useful to put out a blog post about a "Supercharging Milestone", including these numbers:
In June, Tesla's Supercharger network passed a charging milestone, delivering more than 1 GWh of energy to Model S vehicles in a single month. That energy accounts for a collective 3.7 million miles driven, 168,000 gallons of gas saved, and 4.2 million pounds of carbon dioxide offset. That's like driving to the moon and back seven and a half times, and nixing a day's worth of CO2 from 73,684 Americans.
1 GWh! 3.7 million miles driven! 168,000 gallons of gas!
Those are pretty large numbers. Damn, they look good in a blog post. It's like stacking books and reaching the moon, for Amazon.com.
That's what one thinks, if one shuts down the brain and eats the thing at face value. But what do those numbers really mean? The average car gets driven for around 12,000 miles per year, or 1,000 miles per month. So 3.7 million miles is just… 3,700 cars. So all of that supercharger network served just the equivalent of 3,700 cars! I think there are fuel stations out these that single-handedly serve as many in a month as that entire supercharger network!
Wouldn't it be better to save these communications to divulge something really important? Like orders numbers, or the geographical breakdown of deliveries?
Furthermore, Tesla always repeats this:
At a Supercharger, Model S customers can get half a charge in as little as 20 minutes, and it's totally free. Supercharger routes now span the entire width of the United States, from Los Angeles to New York, as well as up and down the East Coast and the West Coast. By the end of next year, 98 percent of the U.S. population will be within 100 miles of a Supercharger. We are also aggressively expanding the network in Europe and Asia. Last week alone, we opened eight new Supercharging sites in Europe, bringing the total number of stations on the continent to 32. We unveiled China's first Superchargers in June and more are coming soon.
This is another misleading statistic. Being 100 miles from the nearest supercharger means very little - you certainly wouldn't make a 100 mile trip to charge your car, would you? That's the reason why the supercharger network will need 1000 times more charging spots to really compete with gas stations.
Now, I believe EVs will eventually rule. I believe EVs are better for the environment, are more economical and will ultimately be more reliable than ICE cars. I also believe for many countries, EVs are the only solution to produce a balanced trade balance, which then allows for higher internal income. This is so because the energy component (crude) is what drives many countries into the red.
But believing all of this stuff and being favorable to EVs does not preclude that there's no reason to promote stock using anything other than the relevant fundamentals. Tesla is expensive enough as it is, it doesn't need this mindless promotion.
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