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John Bingham

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  • Department of Energy plans to offer $4B in loan aid for renewable energy [View news story]

    "when is the vitriol against Tesla Motors going to stop?"

    Not for a very long time.

    And it will only be replaced by a sullen silence when Big Oil, Big Auto and the assorted haters realize that the future is here right now and they've all missed the (electric) train!
    Apr 17 03:54 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla: Don't Say You Never Had A Dip To Buy On [View article]

    Maybe you're the only person still left who doesn't know that the UK Top Gear program featuring the Roadster was scripted before they even had the car. In reality the car still had plenty of range left at the end of the test run and did not fail. But then, Top Gear UK is an entertainment program and does not need to be factual (according to the court ruling) and Jeremy Clarkson really does not like EVs (to put it mildly!).

    I haven't seen the US show but apparently Top Gear USA (different presenters) DID like the Model S.
    Apr 14 05:18 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla: Don't Say You Never Had A Dip To Buy On [View article]
    Hi chip,

    Zelaza and JRP3 are right. Even though a wheel motor is simpler it has disadvantages.

    If you only need a small motor and want as much space as possible for the battery then a wheel motor is fine. That's why many small electric motorbikes use a wheel motor, but they only need typically 6 to 10 k for a 125 cc to 200 cc equivalent bike.

    In a car you need much higher power, and even with a motor in each wheel you're looking at 25 to 50 kW or more for each motor to give a performance comparable with an ICE car. Unfortunately that's quite a heavy motor and the combined motor/wheel gives a large "unsprung mass" to each wheel.

    Ideally the wheel needs to be as light as possible so that it will ride easily over any unevenness in the road. The suspension ("springs") isolate the "sprung mass", the car and you, from the bumps in the road.

    Heavy wheels have a high inertia and cannot follow the bumps in the road as easily as light wheels. This can lead to a rougher ride and higher tire wear. A wheel motor also needs electrical connections with heavy cables, and these would be difficult to design to withstand the continuous flexing caused by a wheel that may be moving up and down by a significant amount as you drive along. That's compounded by the front wheels that also need to turn!

    A separate motor/inverter with it's own drive shaft for each wheel may be better as this would remove the need for a differential. It would even give the possibility of still being able to drive the car, albeit with limited performance, should a motor fail.
    Apr 14 04:55 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla - 20 Key Risks That Longs Are Ignoring [View article]
    Hi pvenkate,

    Yes, the e-Golf is a pure EV.

    Here's another overview of the e-Golf. It includes a more comprehensive look at Volkswagen's electric line-up via their press release.

    The battery is 24.2 kWh which puts it as a direct competitor for the Nissan Leaf. Range is quoted as "up to 190 km" (118 miles) but the normal driving range will undoubtedly be less than this, again I would expect it to be very close to that of the Leaf.

    No Model S competitor, then, but at least there is now another car of the same class as the Leaf for those who like the VW brand and styling. I expect it to be a good seller in similar numbers to the Leaf.

    Hopefully VW will reconsider the battery size and offer a higher energy pack in the future. Doubling to 48 kWh, as in the proposed future Leaf, would make for a very nice short range car (a higher powered motor/inverter would also help in that case).

    And I'm pretty sure that without the example of Tesla none of the majors (with the possible exception of Nissan) would have bothered to produce EVs beyond the level of compliance cars.
    Apr 14 06:41 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Tesla's Gigafactory Becoming A Gigafarce? [View article]
    Hi Rick,

    I'm not up on the legislature for crash testing, but I don't see this as a difficulty.

    Any new car using a new battery type will need to be crash tested so this will validate the new chemistry or internal physical structure. The Model S, and presumably all future Tesla cars, is essentially modular and the battery is a unit that may be easily substituted with a compatible future battery.

    The complete battery pack is a structural member of the car so the physical outer shell cannot be significantly changed even if the cells themselves are a different shape or chemistry. If Tesla brings out a Model S 110 kWh version in the near future then this will be crash tested like any new model, and older cars could be very simply switched to the new battery if the owner would like an upgrade.

    As I said, I don't know the NHTSA ruling on this, but a small number of Tesla owners have upgraded from the 60 kWh battery to the 85 kWh pack and I believe that the current battery has already gone through several iterations. As far as I know the earliest batteries (type A) can only charge at 90 kW, but the latest packs (I think type D) can take the newest 135 kW supercharging level.

    With different designations there is obviously something that has changed with the batteries but I don't think the NHTSA has undertaken any new crash tests, or even run separate tests for the 60 kWh and 85 kWh cars which obviously do have different battery packs. If you know otherwise I would appreciate the information.
    Apr 12 07:06 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Tesla's Gigafactory Becoming A Gigafarce? [View article]
    arondaniel, lordramadan, etc,

    The planned gigafactory will undoubtedly contain a large number of production lines working in parallel. If there is a change in cell construction or chemistry the whole factory does not need to be changed overnight.

    Surely it is quite possible to replace one line at a time as the new cells come onstream. The first new line will need to be thoroughly checked to ensure that it is working at optimum efficiency and delivering reliable product. Then, and only then, the other lines can be changed over time. The first line could even be a separate part of the factory allied to the R&D section.

    Tesla's cars can use any cell technology that provides the required energy in the floor mounted battery form factor. This gives new cars the improved battery (at a higher cost, like most new models) while the existing models and cheaper cars can continue to use the older battery type.

    As the gigafactory switches line by line economies of scale and recovery of development costs will ultimately enable all Tesla cars to use the new cells at a realistic price.
    Apr 11 09:21 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Tesla's Gigafactory Becoming A Gigafarce? [View article]
    Hi Nat,

    I've quoted from Arthur C. Clarke previously, but for JP here it is again. Please check out Clarke's Three Laws. The second states:

    "The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible."

    Tesla is venturing into what many think is impossible, but they are very likely to succeed given their track record so far.
    Apr 11 06:35 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla And Texas: A Solid Plan For The Gigafactory [View article]
    Old news, bailout.

    Apparently the fire was caused by a faulty circuit breaker in the garage. In other words it was a GARAGE fire, and the garage just happened to have a Tesla in it. Look at the photo in the link you provide. The fire crew are looking at the wall, not the car.

    If there had not been a Tesla in the garage the fire would still have happened, but it is unlikely that you would have ever heard about it.

    Such is the power of the media.
    Apr 9 04:27 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is The Model S A Disruptive Innovation And Tesla Motors A Disruptive Company? [View article]
    Hi winfield,

    With you 100%.

    In view of by far the primary source of H2, maybe we should start referring to HFC vehicles as "Frackmobiles".

    It's a lot more honest than saying " only emits WATER VAPOR".

    Thanks for nothing, Big Oil....
    Apr 9 04:02 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • GM's Ignition Vs. Tesla's Titanium And 'Befuddling' Peak Deliveries [View article]
    renim and David,

    Sound like they're trying to protect their own short range EVs. The only cars capable of using high wattage fast chargers (ac or dc) are the Teslas!

    Unfortunately the general opinion in Europe is that EVs ARE only short range vehicles. Here in the UK a "fast charge" station is generally 230V/32A (just over 7 kW) - about 20 miles per hour of charge. But you can find the occasional faster charger at the dealerships (notably Nissan)!

    And yes, with the exception of Tesla, the highest speed chargers in Europe are probably the CHAdeMO units which can deliver up to 50kW dc and 43kW ac. Europe sees no need for faster charging even though the standard includes the FUTURE capability of higher charge rates.
    Apr 9 05:58 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Model S sales level off [View news story]

    You're living in the past! I bought my first DVD/HDD recorder more than a decade ago and I've not been plagued by ads since then. Just set to record a program, edit out the ads later (a very quick job) and watch when you want without any annoying interruptions.

    If I need information on new products or technology, or even the best pricing for a product, I'll look online. I choose what I look for and I don't rely on the advertisers to "guide" my buying decisions.

    Tesla may never need to advertise. The best products sell themselves.
    Apr 9 04:05 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla And Texas: A Solid Plan For The Gigafactory [View article]

    Big Oil already has a wonderful plan to take your mind off EVs and still keep you tied to the pump even without ICE vehicles. It's called the Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicle.

    That's why you can see so many Auto companies bringing out their HFC concept vehicles, with cars to buy very soon.

    The only problem is that they have told everybody, including the World Governments, that hydrogen is the most plentiful element in the universe, and the only "exhaust" from the car is water vapor. Both these statements are 100% true and gain the manufacturers many zero emission credits.

    Unfortunately what they don't tell you is that hydrogen does not exist naturally on earth in any quantity as pure H2, but only as part of other molecules. Somehow that hydrogen has to be extracted from its parent molecule, usually a hydrocarbon. The vast majority of the hydrogen to be used in a HFC car is made by steam reforming of natural gas, and that, in turn, is obtained by fracking. Both processes are extremely energy intensive and result in a huge amount of pollution and environmental damage.

    And fracking is brought to you by guess who? Big Oil.
    Apr 7 07:42 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • We Have March Numbers For Tesla And A Prediction For The First Quarter [View article]
    Logical, bubba, tom, et al,

    To the best of my knowledge two things are happening in Q2 that should accelerate production in the second half of the year.

    Firstly, Panasonic will be increasing shipments of their cells during Q2, but the actual time that this is expected has not been specified. Secondly, a new "finishing line" is scheduled to begin operation in September.

    The new line is unlikely to lift production numbers in Q2 as it will only begin running at the end of the quarter, but it should have an effect in Q3 and somewhat more in Q4.

    This is in line with Tesla's guidance that the rise in production numbers per week will be heavily loaded towards the end of the year, with an expected run rate by the end of 2014 of 1000 cars a week.
    Apr 5 06:09 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Does Tesla Have An Inventory Problem? [View article]

    "If TSLA were trading at $40-75/share we would be having a completely different discussion, but the amount of 'ifs', 'whens', and 'maybes' surrounding the incredible hurdles TSLA has to conquer to become a serious player in the automotive game are simply too speculative for me to swallow".

    This is the wonderful thing about "20 - 20 hindsight"! One year ago Tesla did have a $40 - $75 price and shot through that range pretty quickly. Would you have bought then? In fact, were you even aware of Tesla then?

    Most doubters and bears only saw what was happening when TSLA took off, whereas many longs had already been following Tesla, and understood the rationale behind the company, for several years. I had certainly been following Tesla's progress from well before the IPO. And, yes, I am long and holding.

    The same arguments are being put forward today about the Gen 3 platform as were said about the Model S before its launch. "Vaporware" and "Cannot be done" were commonly heard. But Tesla DID bring the Model S to market and gave us a car that was even better than most of us imagined.

    This company has a habit of delivering what they promise, and I do not think they will underperform on the Gen 3 either. Again, yes, that is my opinion, but based on Tesla's track record so far I do not believe that they will fail at this stage. The biggest hurdles of bringing a new design of car to market were passed in the Model S. Tesla now knows how to run a production line (including lining up the suppliers) and has a very successful chassis design that can be scaled for other vehicles.

    As for Toyota: they are very good on hybrids, no doubt about that. But they have no desire to manufacture a pure EV. Hydrogen Fuel Cell cars are really a non-starter. No point in restating all the information in other posts in this thread. Both hybrids and HFC cars tie you straight back to Big Oil, and EVs are the only way that the fossil fuel stranglehold can be broken in personal transportation.

    The only time Toyota has shown an interest in EVs has been to comply with California's various emission directives in the last two decades, and both times they have produced the bare minimum of cars with drive trains manufactured outside the company. Interestingly, the same car was used as well. The first generation RAV4-EV had a drive train designed by Panasonic and the new car has a Tesla drive train. Search online and you may have difficulty finding references to the first version unless you scroll down several pages. Maybe Toyota don't want you to know about it (about 700 are still on the roads today with the original drive trains), hence the use of the same name.

    Why did Toyota buy in drive trains instead of manufacturing their own? Simple: very little R&D spend needed for a car they never really intended to market in any quantity. Such is the nature of compliance cars.

    Again, TSLA is a risky investment, especially at today's prices and the volatility shows that. But the biggest challenges are now behind Tesla and they are on track with their long term plans.

    Unless you're a competent day-trader I would say buy on any dips and let Tesla do the hard work for you. This company is here to stay and one day, when they are fully established, you may even get a nice regular dividend. But I'm mighty glad I got in in the early days!
    Apr 4 06:26 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Tesla's 'Not A Recall' Victory Will Crush Q1 Earnings [View article]

    There is a very small chance that if you are in a severe accident the battery pack in the Tesla may ignite. Tesla have just made that chance even smaller. Even if there is a battery fire you will be given plenty of time to exit the car safely as the fire will build slowly. In the cases investigated by the NHTSA both the drivers had plenty of time to pull over, and the passenger cabins were internally shielded from the fire.

    The Mexico accident was a high speed crash (the car's diagnostics showed 110 MPH) and the driver and passengers walked away from it.

    I would remind you that to date there have been ZERO deaths or serious injuries in ANY Tesla car, including the Roadster. As more Tesla cars are on the road that statistic will, sadly, almost certainly change. But with some 30,000 cars on the road so far over the many years since the first Roadster it really is beginning to look like Tesla will hold the safety crown.
    Apr 1 07:42 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment