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David at Imperial Beach  

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  • Futures slip as talks on Greece collapse [View news story]
    The whole point of defaulting would be to stay in the EU and continue to use the euro. If they drop out, then they can print their own currency again and avoid defaulting.

    But the problem is much bigger than Greece alone. If Greece drops out of the euro, then the precedent has been set and the euro collapses because Spain, Italy, France, Ireland and Portugal would all leave as well. The problem is that Germany is exporting far to much to its neighbors and not importing nearly enough. If you run a trade surplus, you *must* lend the difference, and now Germany no longer wants to do that either.
    Jun 16, 2015. 06:29 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Futures slip as talks on Greece collapse [View news story]
    The whole point of the game is to kick the can down the road as long as possible. Politicians are second only to cockroaches in their ability to survive for one more day.
    Jun 16, 2015. 06:21 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla Motors's (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk Hosts 2015 Annual Shareholder Meeting (Transcript) [View article]
    Yes, if you drive carefully (make full use of regen braking, rarely touch the brake, limit your top speed to about 70-80 kph and avoid jackrabbit starts), you can achieve 508 km in favorable weather. But more normal driving or more challenging weather conditions will cut down on that range. The software in the car is smart enough to adjust its estimates based upon your particular driving style and current weather conditions, so you may never see 508 km estimated driving range in *your* vehicle.
    Jun 16, 2015. 06:02 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla Motors's (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk Hosts 2015 Annual Shareholder Meeting (Transcript) [View article]
    I believe the value to customers is that the state-of-the-art paint center will paint more cars faster and more perfectly. Presumably the primary reason for the investment was to remove a production bottleneck, so future customer wait times will be reduced.
    Jun 16, 2015. 05:47 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla Motors's (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk Hosts 2015 Annual Shareholder Meeting (Transcript) [View article]
    A better link is this one, which shows the graphic in context: http://bit.ly/1JUZevj

    To summarize: Lithium is *not* listed as one of the seventeen rare earth elements.
    Jun 16, 2015. 05:41 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Tesla Needs To Increase Pricing In Asia And Pursue Fleet Sales [View article]
    Contrary to popular belief, Tesla should be trying to get better control of the China market, not turn the whole brand over to a JV that may skin them alive. It looks to me like their initial managers deliberately sold dozens or even hundreds of cars to scalpers (probably for a kickback) all across China and didn't have the best interests of the company at heart. When American management made it clear that they weren't planning to deliver the cars in first-come-first-serve order, the SHTF because the scalpers weren't able to take delivery unless they actually lived a reasonable distance from the nearest service center. If the scalpers couldn't take delivery before "real" customers, they couldn't sell to the impatient ones for the highest bid and make a profit.

    Tesla has shown that they have highly talented, adaptable management that are committed to doing whatever it takes to penetrate their major markets. They got rid of the dishonest Chinese managers. They will soon put this early misstep behind them.
    May 2, 2015. 04:33 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Tesla Needs To Increase Pricing In Asia And Pursue Fleet Sales [View article]
    American garages allow 20 feet to park a car, because a 1959 Cadillac is about 19 feet long. A Model S is 16 1/3 feet long.
    May 2, 2015. 04:11 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Net Metering Leaves Tesla Home Battery Storing A Lot Of Hype [View article]
    Tesla does not use rare earth metals. Lithium and cobalt are not rare.
    May 2, 2015. 03:04 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Net Metering Leaves Tesla Home Battery Storing A Lot Of Hype [View article]
    There are countries in Europe that do not have net metering and they have been clamoring for solutions. The Netherlands is one such.

    The Tesla announcement wasn't just about residential units. It also included solutions for businesses and utilities. At present I would expect businesses to be the most interested in these devices for load-leveling purposes. Companies often are eligible for cheaper rates from utilities if they are able to voluntarily tolerate rolling brownouts with little or no advance warning. In addition, companies are charged based on peak loads, and the time of day of those peak loads. Tesla is using their own business storage units internally to load-level some of its highest usage supercharging stations as well as its factories.

    Utilities will probably also be interested eventually, but they will be harder to convince. Probably what will have to happen is that PUCs will have to create incentives in the rate system for storage capacity.
    May 2, 2015. 02:59 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Net Metering Leaves Tesla Home Battery Storing A Lot Of Hype [View article]
    In California at least half of all blackouts occur during high usage periods on summer afternoons when A/Cs are going full blast. In the winter, a storm in California doesn't normally last for weeks at a time like in the midwest and east. A storm generally blows through in about 12-48 hours.
    May 2, 2015. 02:48 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Net Metering Leaves Tesla Home Battery Storing A Lot Of Hype [View article]
    Some California areas (e.g. the area of San Jose I used to live in) have very unreliable power. I could be pretty sure of at least one outage per year, sometimes two, because of seasonable vulnerabilities both summer and winter. In summer the A/C load would pop a transformer somewhere and black out the neighborhood. In winter, the storms would whip tree branches into the overhead lines and break them. There was also a danger of rolling brownouts that could escalate to blackouts if the utility got short of power. There's more than coolness factors at work in selling grid independence.
    May 2, 2015. 02:34 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Net Metering Leaves Tesla Home Battery Storing A Lot Of Hype [View article]
    A Powerwall unit is not exactly your average, plain-jane commodity product. It includes quite a bit of proprietary technology, in particular a lot of management software that is anything but commoditized.
    May 2, 2015. 02:21 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Coupons For Tesla [View article]
    I'm with you. I think $300M is actually a pretty conservative cash burn for as young a company as Tesla is, and as capital intensive as the fields it's competing in. If Tesla were not developing new product lines and expanding its sales network into new markets and building a gigafactory they would be making money. The fact is, they are doing all of that and spending only net $300M/yr to do so. As of that 2014 report, they still had $1.9B in cash assets, so they aren't hurting for money any time soon, despite whatever rumors you are reading on Seeking Alpha.
    May 2, 2015. 01:47 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Coupons For Tesla [View article]
    Maybe both. Panasonic for cars, Samsung for Powerwall. Or maybe both suppliers are building the exact same cell and they supply both product lines from the one pool. It would be most convenient for the factory if the batteries were interchangeable. You get in a shipment of batteries and you don't care which supplier they came from, they get used in whatever products there are orders for.
    May 2, 2015. 01:05 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Coupons For Tesla [View article]
    Actually, neither the battery cells nor the motors are standard issue commodities. Tesla makes the motors to spec in house, and the battery cells are made to spec by Panasonic.
    May 2, 2015. 12:41 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
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