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  • The electric vs. hydrogen debate just got interesting [View news story]
    Temperest.
    70% of the worldwide demand for oil is for gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel.

    5% of world electricity generation comes from oil (less than 1% in the USA). Those are facts look them up.

    So no battery cars are not an oil company agenda. They are lobbying hard to slow EV development, funding rubbish "research reports" to discredit EV's, basically everything they can do because EV's = the death of oil.

    Oil companies love promoting hydrogen however because they know it will never happen and they also know that if it does happen they will be the primary producers as most hydrogen currently comes from fossil fuels.

    USA electricity is 37% coal and falling. Solar and wind are the fastest growing sources.

    The hydrogen economy is a pipe dream. Many books have been written about it. The clear and realistic path that is actually achievable in the next 15-20 years is 100% EV only new vehicle production and all new electricity production plants being 100% renewable. The sooner we throw in the towel on hydrogen the better.
    Jan 28, 2015. 08:28 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla Roadster Upgrade Is A Very Big Deal [View article]
    Well sure if you want to change the argument to plug-in hybrids that is another battery demand story. Which is why I emphasised "IF big auto is serious about mass producing a long range BEV" in my whole argument!

    Bottom line IF they are there ain't enough battery...and please don't try to tell me that the entire 2013 world's production of lithium ion is just sitting idle somewhere, waiting for a flick of a switch to just bring it back to life. Anyone sitting on that much spare capacity is out of business. Period.

    Another bottom line. IF any of the big auto boys are serious about making long range EV's in model quantities over 200,000 per year then they will need a Tesla like gigafactory.
    Yes for all the reasons I mentioned which you ignored. The boys with the "sharp pencils" at VW haven't allowed for mass production of long range EV's. They are calculating at maybe production in the tens of thousands per year. Things change when you get serious about EV mass production....and VW has proven they are far from serious...the e-Golf?? What a joke.

    While I think the plug in hybrid is a great first step to full BEV I have my doubts as to the longevity of those smaller batteries.
    For instance my brother just bought a Mitsubishi Outlander plug in hybrid which is supposed to have 50 kms of full EV range.
    This is about my brothers average daily commute so he is constantly charging the battery up to full and depleting it to near zero everyday.

    If you know anything about lithium ion batteries they really don't like that type of use. This is a full cycle everyday.
    As a result in the course of two months my brother is already down to 46.5 kms per charge when full. A loss of 7% capacity over just two months.
    Hopefully the loss in capacity will stabilize but if it keeps the same trajectory that battery will need to be replaced in two-three years max.

    The Tesla or the long range (200+mile) BEV however is different. If my brother drove that car instead, his 50 km daily commute is just over 30 miles or just 15% of total battery capacity. Essentially putting no stress on the pack as a whole. This is how Tesla will get its 10+ year battery life for most people.
    The Tesla pack is big enough to take the 5-10% of trips that might totally drain it from full to zero, supercharging, etc.
    I think if you tried the same things with a smaller plug in hybrid battery pack you will be very lucky to get more than 4-5 years out of it.

    This could be the difference in the end. IF Tesla can build the Model III with 200+ miles of range for the stated $35k people may go for it, over the plug-in hybrid, if they know the pack can go for the long haul whilst doing all their driving electrically and never having to stop at a gas station ever again.
    Jan 28, 2015. 07:11 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla Roadster Upgrade Is A Very Big Deal [View article]
    Davewmart...I think you missed my point...obviously all battery makers can expand production and I fully expect them to. However the facts are clear...Tesla needs to build a 50 GWh factory in order to support production of 500,000 long range (200+ mile) EV's. Remember this ONE factory will produce more lithium ion batteries under one roof than the ENTIRE WORLD produced last year. See chart here:

    http://bit.ly/1gCWEcD

    Therefore IF Nissan, GM, etc are serious about making long range EV's in significant numbers then they will need to make significant progress in securing their battery supply. If they leave it up to the battery makers there will be a massive bidding war for batteries towards the end of this decade and cost per kWh will skyrocket for everyone EXCEPT Tesla of course.

    One should also remember that an automaker is going to want a consistent extremely high quality/ high reliability cell. My guess would be that MAYBE 20% of current total world production of lithium ion cells would pass the grade for automotive use (remember most lithium batteries are currently used in cell phones, laptops, power tools, etc - which are only expected to last for 2-3 years, not the 10 years or more for an automotive cell).
    So Tesla is really increasing world automotive grade lithium ion cells by 5-10 times when looking at the chart above.

    Again a consistent cell will be paramount for an automaker. They cannot afford to source cells from different suppliers who may be using different chemistries, cell formats, etc. Eg. You can't just call up Energizer and Duracell and order 20 GWh worth of rechargeable batteries in size AA, C, D and mash them into a vehicle and hope it will work out. What will result is widely differing ranges, charging times, and battery life from vehicle to vehicle. Obviously that would be unacceptable for any automaker.

    Therefore Tesla has it right in sourcing all of its cell needs from one massive factory, with strict oversight on consistent quality control on everything from raw materials going in to rigorously testing cells before they go out.

    In addition if big auto really wants to compete with Tesla in terms of cost per kWh then they will have to bring their vehicle manufacturing facilities much closer to the battery cell production. It is very expensive to move around heavy/bulky battery cells from battery factory to automotive assembly plant. You need to make that journey as short as possible, especially when you are talking about many gigawatts of cell production. Shipping cells from China for vehicles built in North America or Europe may work fine for compliance EV's built in low volume but the game changes rapidly when you get into mass EV production.

    All of the above (and more) is what you need if you want to make long range EV's in serious numbers at an affordable price.... and NOBODY has anything close except Tesla.

    In terms of big auto Nissan is closest and probably understands this better than all the rest.
    I expect them to be first in announcing their own gigafactory battery plant...again if they are indeed serious about making a long range EV in serious numbers.
    Jan 16, 2015. 04:15 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • The electric vs. hydrogen debate just got interesting [View news story]
    Hydrogen is a joke. It just shows that big business (Toyota) and big government (Japan and others) are in bed with big oil.
    EV is the only real threat to seriously reducing the demand for oil.
    Hydrogen will NEVER HAPPEN and big oil knows this. Even if it does most of the hydrogen will come from burning fossil fuels. The infrastructure costs are in the TRILLIONS to support a hydrogen refuelling network. Whereas we all have plugs in our homes or can install one for a few hundred dollars.
    They won't win though...EV will dominate despite their efforts. Just a shame that companies and governments continue to throw away money on the hydrogen fool cell. They should be spending that money on battery research, renewable electricity generation, and supercharging networks.
    Jan 16, 2015. 03:13 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla Roadster Upgrade Is A Very Big Deal [View article]
    Hi Tom, there is no way Nissan, LG Chem, or anyone can make enough batteries for significant numbers of 200+ mile EV's with their current factories.
    Current max worldwide capacity for Nissan is around 300,000 Leaf's per year. That is combining all their vehicle and battery factories and is assuming all expansion plans due to be complete by end 2015 are actually carried out (which is doubtful).
    Now recall that a Leaf has a real world range of around 90 miles and only about 40% of the battery capacity of the Tesla Model S 60 kWh (and only 28% of the 85 kWh car)
    Therefore simple deduction concludes that Nissan MIGHT be able to produce 120,000 long range EV's similar to the Tesla 60 kWh car.

    The bottom line is that if anyone plans on making long range EV's in significant numbers (500,000+ a year) then they will require massive battery factories (a la the Tesla gigafactory)...when big auto or big battery decides to realize this and copy Tesla this will be the time to buy graphite, lithium, cobalt, and nickel stocks hard as demand is set to skyrocket...this is my plan...and you can have it for free ;-)
    Jan 11, 2015. 07:12 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • GM's 200-Mile Electric Car For $30,000: RIP Tesla [View article]
    Show me the battery factories GM and LG Chem!?!?
    You can't make enough batteries for 200+ mile range EV's in any significant numbers without MASSIVE battery factories.
    Just to make 500k EV's with a 200+ mile range Tesla is building a battery factory which will make more batteries under ONE ROOF than the ENTIRE WORLD produced last year.
    Get it?
    Unless this is a compliance car that GM only plans to make a few thousand of then this is no real competition to Tesla.
    This is how you separate the hype EV automakers from the real thing...battery factories!
    Show me how you plan to make enough battery and then I will believe!
    Tesla is ahead of schedule on their battery gigafactory...where are all the other battery factories from big auto? Non existent or too small to make any long range EV's in any real numbers.
    Jan 11, 2015. 06:34 PM | 13 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla Roadster Upgrade Is A Very Big Deal [View article]
    I'm not sure where any of this 400 mile Model S talk is coming from??? Certainly not from Elon. He said the Roadster upgrade would enable it to travel nearly 400 miles on a charge. He said there would be a battery upgrade for the Model S eventually but didn't say anything about the Model S going 400 miles/charge. Think people are getting a bit mixed up.

    I do see your point about Tesla having to be careful about announcing upgrades though. If you announce a 500 mile range car will be available next year for instance you might just kill your current year's sales as most people would be willing to wait a year for the next generation.
    Jan 3, 2015. 09:56 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla Roadster Upgrade Is A Very Big Deal [View article]
    As much as I love Tesla Elon has a history of over promising and his final prices tend to be higher than as advertised. Remember how the Model S was supposed to be a $50k car?
    I expect Model III to start at $39k with options quickly taking it to over $50k.
    I am also getting worried about the timeline for Model III.
    Elon has been saying it's "three to four years" away for quite a few years now (at least since 2012). So its time to start coming up with some concept drawings at least.
    We know the big boys take at least 3 years to bring a brand new car from drawing board to production so Tesla really needs to get a move on.

    I am also a bit worried about the delays on Model X...I mean shouldn't people be spotting Model X test vehicles all over the factory and surrounding roads by now? Haven't seen any pictures of that as of yet like you do with other new cars due out this year.
    It all doesn't bode very well for the Model III...thinking late 2018 now probably at best. Unless they are being very secretive on their progress on Model III.
    Jan 3, 2015. 08:07 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla Roadster Upgrade Is A Very Big Deal [View article]
    CparmerLee. Your right I shouldn't have said Nissan MUST build battery gigafactories. But they will need ACCESS to gigafactory amounts of cell production if they are going to compete with the Tesla Model III in terms of battery cost per kWh and in any significant number of vehicles produced.
    Just do the simple math on how much battery is needed to produce 500,000 EV's with a 200+ mile range. It is enormous.

    If ANYONE expects to compete with the Model III they will need to either build battery gigafactories on their own or convince a battery manufacturer to build one so that their massive cell supply is secure at a very competitive cost per kWh (a la Tesla).

    If you don't want to build batteries yourself then you will have to pay a middle man who will want to make a profit. I imagine once the Tesla gigafactory is up and running and Model III production is purring along Tesla will buy out Panasonic's interest in the gigafactory and become a full fledged battery maker in its own right and will then break ground on many more battery gigafactories across the globe.
    As I said we need about 200 of them to turn all new auto production to EV.
    And that says nothing about solar energy storage requirements from SolarCity and others.
    Gigafactory #1 in Nevada is truly just the tip of the iceberg.

    So until battery manufacturers and/or auto makers come out with plans for a Tesla sized gigafactory then there will be no competition for the Model III in any significant numbers.
    Jan 3, 2015. 06:53 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla Roadster Upgrade Is A Very Big Deal [View article]
    South America is producing most of the world's lithium currently. However there are considerable deposits in North America and around the world as well...I expect as demand increases more mines will come online as the price rises.
    Wait until the next battery gigafactory is announced (big auto will need one if they want to compete with the Model III) then invest in graphite, lithium, nickel, and cobalt.
    We will need 200 battery gigafactories if all new auto production is to go EV....this is just the very tip of the iceberg.
    Dec 27, 2014. 05:48 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla Roadster Upgrade Is A Very Big Deal [View article]
    Wrong Tom...Nissan also has to build battery gigafactories to mass produce long range (200+ miles) EV's...it also needs to build a worldwide supercharging network.
    I still give the upper hand to Tesla in the EV market.
    Nissan could catch up by throwing billions into a battery gigafactory and supercharging network now...but they need to act quickly to be ready to compete with Model III by 2017/18.
    Dec 27, 2014. 05:32 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • America's SUV Sales Boom Vs. Tesla's Negative Growth Rate [View article]
    How so Anton? It means people are misreading the data..thinking that because there are fluctuations in delivery numbers from country to country that demand must be falling. They are dead wrong. It is only because Tesla is building and shipping cars out to other markets, one area gets starved one month while another area gets its backlogged orders filled...get it? It is a difficult game to satisfy worldwide demand with one production line. This wont stay the same for long though as Tesla will soon have multiple production lines for both Model S and X by the end of 2015.
    We will see true worldwide demand for S and X then as the superchaging network will also cover most of the developed world by then....the short sellers will not be happy I can guarantee it.
    Dec 27, 2014. 04:49 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla Roadster Upgrade Is A Very Big Deal [View article]
    That is true...the performance, looks, storage capabilities, safety, etc, etc also need to be vastly improved on the Leaf even if it could match Tesla's range.
    Basically Nissan needs to make a whole new car and try to copy the Model S as much as possible...along with the rest of automotive world.
    Dec 26, 2014. 07:54 PM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla Roadster Upgrade Is A Very Big Deal [View article]
    Where is Nissan's battery capacity to build 200-500k Leaf's per year with a 250 mile range? Oh that's right it doesn't exist.
    Where is their worldwide supercharging network to enable FREE and easy long distance travel? Oh that's right it doesn't exist.

    Tesla however is working on battery capacity that can satisfy production of this magnitude for long range EV's...it is the Nevada gigafactory which will produce more lithium ion batteries under ONE roof than the WHOLE WORLD produced last year.

    Think about that for a minute and the scale of battery production that is required to build long range EV's in meaningful numbers.

    You will see that until other manufacturers start announcing battery factories of a similar size/scale that Tesla is going to be on its own in terms of building long range EV's at an affordable price (or cost per kWh).
    Dec 26, 2014. 07:19 PM | 10 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • America's SUV Sales Boom Vs. Tesla's Negative Growth Rate [View article]
    This whole article forgets the fact that as Tesla only has ONE factory it has to strategically allocate its production to satisfy demand all over the planet.
    Tesla could most likely sell all its production in the USA and mainland Europe alone. But it is branching out to China, Japan, UK, Australia, etc so that people become aware of the Tesla brand and vehicles through the Model S and X.
    As they don't advertise this is part of a strategic plan to stoke demand and brand awareness worldwide in anticipation of the mass market Model III release in 2017/18.

    Each of these markets have their own vehicle specifications (right hand drive for example in Japan, UK, and Australia). With only one factory Tesla needs to shut down production for one market in order to satisfy another.
    This is why US sales might be down when comparing one period to another.

    The overall picture however is clear...massive increases in overall demand and production/deliveries worldwide year over year for the foreseeable future.
    Dec 26, 2014. 07:00 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
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