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John Bingham  

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  • Tesla Motors roundup: Gigafactory and Fremont plant hit higher gear [View news story]
    Hi Vico,

    I sure agree there! We've both been through tough times and the world has become very cynical and uncaring.

    I'm in the UK and my mother was married twice during WWII. Her first husband had a couple weeks with her after they married and was then posted to El Alamein where he served on the front line. He never returned.

    I only found out at my uncle's funeral that he died just yards from safety when his platoon was raked with rifle fire. At least it was quick - straight to the head. The full details have only recently been opened for the public, so mother never knew how he died.

    Her second husband, my father, died just after my third birthday due to slow organ failure caused by serious infections caught in the same war. His last year was spent mostly in hospital.

    I've just opened Harry's page here. He looks like a great coach. I understand his comment about fond memories very well. I taught here in the UK for all my working life and had a great relationship with the students. I still keep in touch with many of them.

    We owe a huge debt to guys like these who shaped our countries. So sad that time has dulled the respect they deserve.

    But there's nothing wrong with believing in "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness".

    We may have got most of our years behind us but, hey! Live life to the full, enjoy liberty (wife permitting!) and stay happy!

    All the best!

    Jul 19, 2015. 05:17 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla Motors roundup: Gigafactory and Fremont plant hit higher gear [View news story]
    Hi Vico,

    Greetings from an old UK TSLA long (though you've still got a few years on me!).

    Good to hear from you on these boards again, but sorry to hear that you're having problems. I recollect that you've been going through this for a long time now.

    Just went to the funeral of the last of my family's eldest generation a couple weeks ago. He and his wife both made it to 95 and passed within months of each other. Both were still leading active lives.

    May you enjoy similar, or even greater, longevity.

    Good health and good fortune!
    Jul 17, 2015. 06:36 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla Announces Model S Cars Get Driven Less Than What The Average U.S. Driver Drives [View article]
    Hi Paulo,

    "John, if these researchers are right, in 15 years or so people will be wishing for higher temps:

    Solar activity predicted to fall 60% in 2030s, to 'mini ice age' levels: Sun driven by double dynamo

    The whole thing doesn't seem unrealistic."

    The activity referred to is SUNSPOT activity and not the sun's actual radiant output, although there may be a correlation with the UV part of the spectrum.

    As for the "Little Ice Age", I don't think we need to worry too much. Wikipedia can help here:

    "Note that the term "Little Ice Age" applied to the Maunder minimum is something of a misnomer as it implies a period of unremitting cold (and on a global scale), which is not the case. For example, the coldest winter in the Central England Temperature record is 1683-4, but the winter just 2 years later (both in the middle of the Maunder minimum) was the fifth warmest in the whole 350-year CET record. Furthermore, summers during the Maunder minimum were not significantly different to those seen in subsequent years. The drop in global average temperatures in paleoclimate reconstructions at the start of the Little Ice Age was between about 1560 and 1600, whereas the Maunder minimum began almost 50 years later."

    Abnormally hot or cold seasons are mostly just noise on top of the overall trend, and that needs decades or even centuries to fully establish.

    After all, we're thinking of a "middle-aged" star (our sun) with a life expectancy of around ten billion years!
    Jul 13, 2015. 07:08 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla Announces Model S Cars Get Driven Less Than What The Average U.S. Driver Drives [View article]
    Dave, Paulo, out, et al,

    That was a mighty long discussion.

    So here's my quick take:

    Paulo made a very simple statement that increasing CO2 levels tend to increase global warming and global warming tends to increase CO2 levels.

    That's a positive feedback loop limited only when one or other factor reaches a saturation level.

    Changing EITHER factor can modify the whole response, irrespective of which is the causative element.

    So - we have no chance of reducing global temperatures per se (the energy required to give just a 1° change is huge!) but we can certainly reduce our CO2 emissions, and this, in turn, may slow or even reverse the warming effect.

    From the Keeling curve it's obvious that CO2 level increases have occurred since major industrialisation began (we are now above 400 ppm) so the sensible thing to do is to attempt to restore this side of the loop.

    That should include both reforestation, which will provide a natural carbon sink, and reducing our current extremely high CO2 emission levels.

    Yes, we can survive in higher CO2 concentrations but some species cannot. Already there are significant effects being seen in shelled marine creatures due to oceanic acidification.

    The long term trend seems clear, and just because there may be short term noise riding on top of the trend does not mean that we can blithely ignore what is happening.

    As with all long term trends, the sooner you act, the easier it is to change the final outcome of that trend.

    Acting now to reduce CO2 will be much easier than waiting to see what happens in the next few decades.

    By then it may be too late.
    Jul 12, 2015. 04:53 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla Announces Model S Cars Get Driven Less Than What The Average U.S. Driver Drives [View article]

    "Check out the LA accident. Very safe. The driver just becomes part of a giant molten Aluminium ball."

    Enough with the trash talk. I really thought we'd done with this sort of rubbish.

    Yes, the driver died. But not in the car. He died later after being ejected from the car at something like 100 MPH with no seat belt. The passenger survived because he DID wear a seat belt.

    And in the very few fires in a Tesla, all caused by serious accidents, the actual fire started after the accident and gave the drivers and passengers plenty of time to exit the cars.

    From the above article:

    "Battery fires have a longer “induction period,” Doughty [of Battery Safety Consulting Inc. in Albuquerque] said in a phone interview. “Gasoline is always ready to go. Introduce a spark and oxygen and it will go up.”"

    The only death that I know of in a Tesla was probably a suicide:

    Look at the photos. In both the LA and Sonoma Coast crashes, in spite of extensive damage to the cars, they did not become "a giant molten Aluminium ball".

    In fact the Sonoma Coast crash car did not even catch on fire.
    Jul 12, 2015. 12:49 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla Motors clarifies on Model 3 launch date [View news story]

    "WHY the deal? Is Tesla admitting that they don't have a clue on how to improve the batteries?"

    Man! You really don't know what goes on in research labs do you?

    I've been there, and I promise you that if you put two guys like JBS and JD together for a bull session in a coffee room you'll have ten times as many hot ideas ready to roll than either would come up with on their own.

    Tesla/Panasonic mean serious business here!
    Jul 12, 2015. 10:21 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Clues About The Tesla Model 3 Battery Size [View article]
    Hi Siddharth,

    "Maybe the Model S redesign will be one thing at a time every few months. New dash, new nosecone etc. one at a time whenever Tesla feels the need."

    Exactly. But to date all the changes have been "under the floor" (you can't say "under the hood" with the Model S!).

    For those who think there have been no real changes in the last three years think about this:

    Original line-up: rear wheel drive 40 kWh, 60 kWh and 85 kWh cars, plus the P85.

    Then: drop the 40 kWh car because of low demand (around 4% of the order book).

    Next: P85+ for higher performance.

    Then the big reveal: P85D with all wheel drive and a new sensor package for driver assistance to replace the rear wheel drive Performance cars. This is the start of the second generation of the Tesla Model S.

    Most recently, 70D and 85D all wheel drive and the cancellation of the standard 60 kWh rear wheel drive car.

    The ONLY car still remaining from the original line-up is the standard 85 kWh rear wheel drive model. I expect this to be dropped eventually as well. Tesla will be watching orders carefully and it is likely that this is now the lowest selling model. You already have to specifically "de-option" it on the Tesla website.

    The current line-up shows that Tesla is maturing as a manufacturer and is moving forward rapidly with improvements to the cars as and when available. No waiting for the new year's model here.

    Even the battery pack has been improved as we are now at iteration F. The latest packs can handle higher charge rates than the original type A packs.

    Very likely the next change here will be to a higher energy content (100 or 105 kWh?), and I think we may see this with the launch of the Model X.
    Jul 10, 2015. 01:25 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla Is Still Heading The Wrong Way [View article]
    Doc's Trading,

    "Surfer.....<<&l... long position also says otherwise>>>
    ALL 100 SHARES".

    Hey, That's not nice! At least surfer's an honest guy who has been perfectly clear about his position on this site.

    Just because he's not trading $millions does not make him a lesser person than you.

    A little more respect, please.
    Jul 2, 2015. 04:45 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Will Tesla's Model 3 Compete? [View article]

    "No one has sustainable advantage on new technologies. Did Sony have sustainable advantage with Betamax, or Panasonic with Video Disks?"

    First a little history (off topic but you brought it up!).

    Sony's Betamax, or rather its very close cousin Betacam (the pro variant), was developed over the years to ultimately become DigiBeta. I quote from Wikipedia:

    "DigiBeta, the common name for Digital Betacam, went on to become the single most successful professional broadcast digital recording video tape format in history."

    Not so unsuccessful after all!

    Video Discs? Well - the LaserVision/LaserDisc system was actually an MCA/Philips, and NOT a Panasonic, system. Much like the VHS/Beta (and V2000) "wars", optical discs also had three competing standards: one purely mechanical (like an LP record), one using a capacitive system, and the successful one (for more than 20 years), LaserDisc, using a laser scanned system.

    LaserDisc ultimately gave us the CD, DVD, and BluRay systems. They all build on that foundation.

    OK. Now to TSLA.

    "Overall car manufactures have seen dismal demand for EV cars."

    I think "give the customers what they want" is the problem here.

    Most of the current offerings from the Majors are either too short range or too expensive (or too ugly!) to sell well. Tesla has gone against this trend by producing a sexy, fast, competitively priced car that sells faster than it can be produced (11,507 cars delivered in Q2 2015).

    They have the recharging infrastructure in place (and growing) for long range cars, plus they are committed to improving those cars over time.

    Of all the drive train systems available a pure EV is the simplest. Hybrids, HFCVs, etc, are all much more complex. Why go for complicated when the simplest system is becoming more affordable every year?

    There will continue to be volatility in TSLA, such is the nature of a disruptive company, but the stock trend is inexorably upwards.

    As this becomes more apparent and Tesla continues to execute according to plan (yes, there will be stumbles along the way but they will have less and less effect on the price unless something truly disastrous occurs) the Majors will be forced to look much more seriously at their own future.

    There will be better EVs from other companies, but they may need a minor miracle to survive the transition.

    A brief update: Today (2 July 2015) there were well over a million TSLA shares traded in the first ten minutes after opening for the day. Looks like the shorts are on the move again!
    Jul 2, 2015. 11:02 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Will Tesla's Model 3 Compete? [View article]
    Hi Randy, geo, etc,

    I feel (no calculations, sorry) that you really are light on the needed battery capacity for the Model ≡.

    Admittedly, the smaller car will have a smaller frontal area and probably a similar drag coefficient to the Model S and this will be the principal determinant of power usage at highway speeds. But 44 kWh for the entry level car just feels plain wrong.

    The expected battery capacity for the next generation of most currently available pure EVs is 48 kWh, a doubling of the 24 kWh typical battery size used today. That should give around 150 miles real world range to those cars (they will probably claim "up to 200 miles").

    Musk has hinted that the entry level Model ≡ will have an EPA range of 250 miles, so unless the car is way more efficient (in the region of 67%!) than the cars from other manufacturers I feel that a minimum of 60 kWh would be more realistic. Tesla likes to move forward with each iteration so it is very likely that the Models S and X will have higher capacity packs than the current 70 kWh and 85 kWh by the time the Model ≡ launches.

    I would not be surprised to see as high as 65 kWh in the ENTRY level Model ≡. The battery pack could even be made using the same cells as those in the current Model S to ease Gigafactory production of the new cells while it's ramping up to full capacity. And the next generation cells could be reserved for the higher capacity models, including a Performance version, of course.

    Apart from that, an excellent article, Randy. Thanks!
    Jul 1, 2015. 06:42 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Will Tesla's Model 3 Compete? [View article]
    Glenn and GreenTECH,

    "I would give credit where credit is due and bow to the trading genius of Logical Thought."

    The last time Mark (LT) mentioned his position was when TSLA was at $210 and he was showing a small potential profit as his averaged unprotected short was then at "the high $210s".

    His technique is simply to average up and, yes, to the best of my knowledge he has been adding to his short position since TSLA was somewhere in the $30s.

    I gave him a friendly suggestion that he should close out his short, realise his profit, and go long.

    Somehow I don't think he did....
    Jun 30, 2015. 05:59 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla spotlight falls on Model 3 lineup and credit ratings [View news story]
    pot pie,

    "Guy just had his FOURTH drive train replaced".

    Well, the second one really because Tesla spotted that one refurbished unit was out of spec. or inoperative on installation: he never received that one. So he's now on his third drive unit - two replaced.

    The owner is glhs272 and the relevant post is dated 2015-06-19, 06:52 PM.

    Seems he drives around 25,000 miles a year.

    Apologies if this isn't the "fourth drive unit" owner you referred to, pot pie, but it came up on your link.

    Note: "None of the drive units ever failed outright (except of coarse the DOA one that Tesla had to deal with). They were just noisy. How noisy? Not very bad."

    But the really telling part from this owner is his final comment:

    "I love this car. I intend to keeping it going for as long as possible. Drive unit woes aside, I expect to keep it going for 250K+ miles. The car I got back today is like brand new again. Thanks Tesla."

    Nuff said....
    Jun 28, 2015. 01:31 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla spotlight falls on Model 3 lineup and credit ratings [View news story]

    "I am sure they have plenty of skunks to pull out".

    You know, you might just be right. Ever hear of "Skunk Works"?

    "The designation "skunk works" or "skunkworks" is widely used in business, engineering, and technical fields to describe a group within an organization given a high degree of autonomy and unhampered by bureaucracy, tasked with working on advanced or secret projects."

    Watch this space....
    Jun 28, 2015. 12:23 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Chevrolet Bolt EV Spotted On Test Track; Does GM Have A 1-2 Year Lead On Tesla's Model 3? [View article]
    Hi Randy,

    About Audi's cell and pack energy density:

    I think I am right here. Look at the description of the full battery pack:

    "The 7,488 cells are packed in 52 modules of 144 cells each. Each module weighs 7.8 kg (17.2 lb)."


    "Compared to the first e-tron technology platform, the energy capacity of the new 595 kg (1,311.8 lb) battery system was boosted from around 48.6 kWh to 90.3 kWh without requiring any package modifications."

    If the 7,488 cells can deliver 90.3 kWh of energy then they must contain 12.059 Wh each.

    Compare that with the 7104 cells in Tesla's 85 kWh pack which gives 11.965 Wh per cell. Close enough to be the same cells with less than 1% difference (manufacturing spreads would be greater than this).

    Similarly, Audi's complete battery system (the modules plus cooling system and interconnects, not just the cells) is stated as 1311.8 lb for 90.3 kWh, Tesla's is about 1,200 lb for 85 kWh. Within 3% of each other in terms of stored energy per pound.

    Tesla's pack is 74 cells in parallel by 6 "sheets" in series in each of 16 series connected modules. Looking at Audi's numbers their pack is 72 cells in parallel by 2 series "sheets" per module by 52 series connected modules. This matches the stated nominal 385 Volts pack voltage that would be expected with 3.7V cells.

    "Parallel evolution"? Or are Audi simply following Tesla's example (and open patents)?

    Whatever, Audi's battery pack is now at the stage of Tesla's pack at the launch of the Model S three years ago.

    But Tesla/Panasonic will certainly not have been standing still since then!
    Jun 23, 2015. 03:51 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla takes out $500M-$750M credit line [View news story]

    "... who really gives a rip when the stock price is trading near $350.

    You bears have a lot of thinking to do. I would be covering my shares before the ordering begins for Model X."

    I wonder if our permashort friend Mark (LT) will still be "averaging up" by the time TSLA hits $350 as he still seems to be absolutely certain that he will be raking it in when Tesla vanishes to zero.

    [I did warn you when you could have made a marginal profit at $210, Mark].

    LT may yet go on record as being numerically the highest TSLA share non-holder ever!
    Jun 23, 2015. 12:55 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment