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Nick Butcher  

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  • A $43 Billion Tesla: Musk's Incentives Of Interest [View article]
    Thanks for the feedback :-)
    Oct 27, 2014. 07:27 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • In The Land Of Irrelevant Numbers, Tesla Puts Down A Stake [View article]
    It doesn't make sense to compare superchargers to conventional gas stations given the entire concept relies on superchargers providing the minority of total energy delivered to the EV fleet.

    It's much more relevant to look at the level of engagement with the superchargers, as this provides an indication of the level to which owners are using them to overcome range limitations for those longer trips *which are the exception to the normal use profile*. Which is the whole point of superchargers in the first place.

    How many cars do Tesla have on the road in total by now? 35,000-ish? So instead of interpreting the 3.7million miles as 100% of the energy needs for 3,700 cars for a month (which would be a really anonmalous usage profile for those 3,700 cars), you could instead interpret it as 10% of the total monthly energy consumption for 37,000 cars (i.e. the entire Model S fleet globally)... which would mean:
    a) Superchargers being used in exactly the manner they're intended to be used, and
    b) Extremely high ModelS owner engagement with Superchargers, suggesting that they're enabling long distance trips for the average owner, as intended.

    So, while I agree numbers out of context are just hype, I think you're putting them into context incorrectly and drawing overly negative conclusions. These are good numbers that have positive implications for the success of the supercharger network.
    Jul 10, 2014. 06:11 PM | 23 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla's Fuel Cell Threat [View article]
    I feel like you're coming at this from the wrong angle Randy. The life cycle economics of fuel cells vs batteries are going to be pretty important. Up front cost matters, yes, but consumers aren't complete idiots and the main reason people haven't been switching to BEV in droves is that they've been more expensive *even considering* the lifecycle costs.

    Focussing on the weight, and/or what the automaker wants to build, seems misguided. I don't care very much what my car weighs, and I certainly don't care what Toyota *want* to make. As long as someone like Tesla is making alternatives I'll just choose the better car according to *my* preferences.
    Jul 8, 2014. 05:12 AM | 19 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is TaaS the key for Tesla Motors? [View news story]
    Yes. Much, much cheaper. Like cheaper than owning your own car.
    Feb 5, 2014. 04:58 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Is The Tesla Model S Green? [View article]
    The losses in converting coal to electricity are already considered in the gCO2/kWhe for coal (or gas, or whatever). Bearing this in mind, the diagram you linked to shows 2 units of transmission losses from an initial 38 units of electricity... or 2/38= 5.3% losses.

    The Bloom Energy model works, sort of, for other reasons (energy economic stability, independence, etc).
    Oct 9, 2013. 04:31 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • The Financial Upside Of Self-Driving Vehicles [View article]
    Excellent article! Thanks!

    I suspect autonomous vehicles are going to totally transform the whole 'mobility as a service' thing. Google are obviously (given their recent investment in Uber) thinking in the same direction. I just hope the market is competitive enough that the massive economic gainst don't accrue to Google alone (by charging the rest of us handsomely for using the service).
    Oct 7, 2013. 02:38 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Short Tesla: Hopelessly Overvalued For A Free Cash Flow Negative Company, Avoid At All Costs [View article]
    Your peer group average calculations and associated premium/discount percentages are way off. Tesla is a clear outlier, so you shouldn't include it when calculating the peer group average. You'll get more meaningful results if you use the median value for comparison. In the case of Price/Sales, this gives Tesla a premium of 2,525% to the median.

    I also think it's overvalued by most conventional metrics. I'm not long, but I'm not short because (as mentioned above) the time premium on puts is huge... and it's hard to say how long it will keep flying up. It's not yet valued as anything like a truly disruptive company.

    It's true that all the other automotive OEM's have far more resources available and could beat Tesla at their own game. But that was true before Tesla built a great EV as well... and we know who won that race. There's not a single OEM who wouldn't like the Model S in their stable, but none of them have it.
    Sep 30, 2013. 05:16 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Responsiveness Report - Bad News For Apple? [View article]
    speed/dollar is a lot better walking than driving, but you'll find a lot of people still buy cars.

    Similarly, while Xiaomi may be enjoying huge growth, more people are buying iPhones than ever before, and they're buying them at premium prices because they still want them more than anything else. Result: Apple is STILL making money hand over fist. The Appleocalypse is 100% future speculation, 0% present reality.
    Sep 23, 2013. 03:51 AM | 17 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla: The $64 Billion Question [View article]
    Many Europeans park on the street, but many Europeans also *don't* park on the street. For those that do park on the street there are numerous curbside slow charging options (many already in use for existing pilot EV fleets).

    Supercharging in Europe will have much the same usage case as in the USA - when you want to drive a long distance without a significant wait for recharge. The vast vast majority of energy delivery will be through standard slow chargers.
    Sep 12, 2013. 03:50 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Tesla Had To Repay Its DOE Loan [View article]
    As an exercise goes it's a pretty cheap one, and no vitriol from me (as I've said, I'm also tempted to buy puts at this price). I definitely wouldn't buy them at a $30 strike though. Is that what you meant above? Why did you choose $30?
    Sep 8, 2013. 07:57 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Tesla Had To Repay Its DOE Loan [View article]
    China also has one of the most active nuclear programs, both in deployment of GenIII and III.5 technology, and development of GenIV. They know they have a problem and they're working to fix it. Electric cars are part of their solution, and they're not stupid.
    Sep 8, 2013. 04:36 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla's Crushing Battery Supply Constraints [View article]
    That, John, is because I actually understand how markets work... whereas you seem to think there is some metals ombudsman who must be persuaded to allocate resources to one application from another by appeals to the social merit of the application.
    Sep 5, 2013. 10:27 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla's Crushing Battery Supply Constraints [View article]
    Good Nicu, that's a much more scientific approach. And if you look back at the article I wrote a bit over a year ago you'll see that I drew a similar conclusion then: not enough cobalt.

    Thank god that there are plenty of alternatives for batteries already in mass production, and others on the way.

    We don't actually need to be having this argument because, as Dave pointed out above, market economics inherently prices all this stuff up for us. And battery prices have been falling for a long time and aren't showing signs of a reversal anytime soon. Quite likely we'll change chemistries at some point in the next 10 years. But it won't indicate the decline of the EV; quite the opposite.
    Sep 5, 2013. 10:26 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla's Crushing Battery Supply Constraints [View article]
    MRTTF - I didn't really forget so much as try to limit myself to JP's 'critical substance' list. As you say it's hard to estimate everything. But running through your expanded list...

    Al : who cares?
    Cu : yeah, but not that much more than a normal car
    Electrolyte: Basically lithuim plus non-rare stuff; so who cares?
    PVDF: Not much, and not feedstock limited
    Rubber: who cares
    Cellulose: who cares?
    Stainless steel: trivial compared to global consumption
    Separator: Who cares? mass is minimal, and the feedstock actually IS an oil derivative.

    The fact remains that comparing MASS of the two solutions is almost meaningless.
    Sep 5, 2013. 07:16 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla's Crushing Battery Supply Constraints [View article]
    The active cell components of Tesla's 85kWh pack might require on the order of:
    20kg lithium
    130kg nickel
    23kg cobalt
    5kg aluminium

    So, call it 180kg.

    This 180kg of materials (plus the various overtly abundant stuff that goes into holding them together and cooling etc) acts as an energy carrier enabling approximately 300,000 miles of driving.

    Driving that same 300,000 miles, getting 40mpg, and using gasoline as the energy carrier would require 7,500 gallons (or around 26,500kg) of material.

    This is before any recycling is done.

    So, your reasoning in directly comparing the production of oil vs metals is absolutely absurd. It's not even close. I find it hard to imagine you even believe it yourself. I think you're relying on the emotional impact of two grossly dissimilar numbers to create a sense of fear.
    Sep 5, 2013. 06:11 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment