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Randy Carlson  

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  • Will Tesla's Model 3 Compete? [View article]

    The 20700 cell - i.e. 20mm dia x 70mm long was chosen as an exemplar for a cell of 10% larger dimensions. For purposes of scaling and looking at the number of cells in a pack, the critical thing is cell volume.

    A cell with 10% greater dimensions will have 1.1^3 = 1.33 times the volume.

    (20 x 20 x 60) / (18 x 18 x 65) = 1.33, so the '20700 cell' has the correct volume relationship for a cell 10% larger dimensionally than the 18650.
    Nov 30, 2015. 09:18 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla Acquires Surprising New Allies: Traditional Auto Dealers [View article]
    Tautological Thought,

    VW is going to do everything in their power to 'settle' the 'DieselGate' issue quickly and cheaply. They already have a tentative solution for German market cars that looks incredibly cheap - a little software and a piece of pipe... Why they didn't just do that same simple, cheap thing in the first place, and how it happens that the German Government apparently has 'bought it off' is something we might all reflect on. This looks to me very much a master stroke of 'political engineering' to solve a problem that would be inconveniently expensive to address by 'conventional means'.

    VW looks to be exhibiting implacable single mindedness when it comes to 'rescuing' their diesel engines and the associated sunk engineering and tooling investment. Had the Government in Germany held VW's feet to the fire I would agree that they might pursue a more robust electric / electrified vehicle development process.

    As it is, there will now be a number of internal 'heroes' at VW who were able to 'save the company's bacon'. These folks will rise very rapidly through management (if they are not already at or near the top of the VW food chain) and will be shaping company strategy going forward. It is of course obvious that these individuals prefer expediency and 'political engineering' to actual engineering and investment in technology.

    Imagining that these same individuals will seek to 'turn VW inside-out' to accelerate electric cars' is at variance with their demonstrated proclivities and values.
    Nov 29, 2015. 01:22 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla Acquires Surprising New Allies: Traditional Auto Dealers [View article]

    Have you tried that salesmen to shoppers comparison at a Tesla store?...
    Nov 25, 2015. 10:39 PM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla Prices Model X From $81,200 To $151,450 [View article]

    That would put the full performance Model III (AWD, 300 mile range, performance / ludicrous mode) on par, or below the corresponding BMW M3. Looks pretty good to me.
    Nov 24, 2015. 04:07 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla Prices Model X From $81,200 To $151,450 [View article]

    The Bentley SUV, with a starting price nearly THREE TIMES that of Model X doesn't even offer trick doors.

    For heaven's sake! Driving up to your son's or daughter's soccer game in that Bentley with old fashioned doors will make you look like a fool just in from the provinces or someone who recently fell off a turnip truck.

    It has been said that one can't 'test' quality into a product. This Bentley, with its last-century doors shows that you can't test the future into an SUV, either.
    Nov 24, 2015. 02:26 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla Prices Model X From $81,200 To $151,450 [View article]
    Well, the interesting question here might be a simple one.

    Is the $151,450, full-up Model X over priced?

    Even the author argues that this is certainly the most desirable configuration. Interestingly he mentions nowhere what a similarly high performance, 7-seat ICE SUV from Mercedes, Audi or Porsche might cost. Of course none of these companies make an SUV that good, but I'll bet they all make one that can be optioned up to $150k...

    So, the question might be re-phrased a bit. With Tesla offering the world's highest performing SUV, who will get those premium, high margin SUV customers. Tesla or the legacy guys??

    Model S has historically sold a very high proportion of their high-end configured models, and it looks like - according to Anton Wahlman - that they are positioned to do the same with Model X. I see exactly NOTHING wrong with that as a Tesla shareholder. I am also unsurprised that my company continues its winning strategy.

    I don't expect Tesla to sell many of the X70D configuration, much as they didn't sell many S60s. But battery improvements are coming - as Tesla has said and as the 90kWh and 70kWh upgraded batteries demonstrate. By the time Tesla works down the order book to the X70Ds, I expect that they will bump the battery a bit as they did with the S70/S70D to hit the ~240 mile EPA range 'sweet spot' with, say an X75D for $81k. This would, of course, imply the arrival of of something like an X100D high end configuration. And I'll bet Tesla might just find a few buyers for that model, too. Even if it costs $150k.

    The author does have a point about those doors. Doors like these haven't ever been used on any car and therefor there is not an extensive base of experience with such doors in the hands of ordinary car owners. Had Tesla stayed with warmed-over door technology from the last century they would have many years and millions of vehicles of industry experience to draw upon. The problem with 'new' is, and always will be that it is 'new'.

    Of course experience with a legacy component or configuration is not in itself assurance that a carmaker will 'get it right'. Without a pro-active approach to getting things right - like Tesla has demonstrated over and over again with Model S - can experience and great engineering be translated into the astronomically high customer satisfaction seen among Tesla customers. (>90% say they will buy another one...)

    One may usefully contrast Tesla's pro-active approach to introducing new automotive technology and supporting owners with the complacency that pervades legacy carmakers who mindlessly cling to old 'proven' components and configurations. We see the limitations of legacy technologies that breed complacency among legacy carmakers in their packaging of BEVs into ICE vehicle platforms yielding less interior volume and poorer crashworthiness than achieved by Tesla. We also see it in cases like GM's faulty ignition switches where complacency and inertia that develop in companies clinging to the 'old' end up killing people.
    Nov 24, 2015. 08:57 AM | 18 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla Prices Model X From $81,200 To $151,450 [View article]

    You have just argued that Tesla can get more for their SUV than for their sedans, unlike Mercedes and other legacy carmakers... You further point out that Tesla isn't going to have to discount their SUV by 7-10% like their competitors routinely have to do.

    And you short this company?

    Your further concern that Tesla faces imminent demise of the $7,500 tax credit on their US cars when they reach 200,000 cumulative sales is a curious 'concern' in that their reaching this level of sales soon suggests that the company will be performing very well, perhaps even ahead of their announced plans. This is another reason to be short the stock?
    Nov 24, 2015. 08:05 AM | 19 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla Motors eyes Germany for new battery factory [View news story]
    And he merry well may get some. That would be good for the German auto industry and great for TSLA shareholders!
    Nov 17, 2015. 09:25 AM | 41 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla: Something Is Rotten In The State Of Denmark [View article]
    Always dubious,

    "It may or may not be illegal, but it is clearly not a righteous scheme."

    from your post here:

    So, if it is legal, then what about it is not righteous?
    Nov 16, 2015. 06:56 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla: Something Is Rotten In The State Of Denmark [View article]
    Always dubious,

    In an earlier comment, you asserted that an act of 'tax avoidance', even if it were legal, would not be 'righteous'.

    I ask again, why would such a legal act not be righteous?
    Nov 16, 2015. 12:15 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Something Rotten With Tesla? Doubtful [View article]
    Many cars in this class in Europe are leased. When a customer leases a car, it is the leasing company, not the customer who pays Tesla. Now, if a leasing company were to acquire a number of cars prior to the tax deadline there *might* be a way by which the tax advantage could be passed to their leasing customers, and that would give the leasing company a competitive advantage.

    Is this what's going on? Who knows...
    Nov 15, 2015. 03:35 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla: Something Is Rotten In The State Of Denmark [View article]
    Always dubious,

    And, why is it exactly that the deliberate (and legal) avoidance of an arbitrarily imposed tax is somehow not righteous? Or is it not righteous simply because it is an instance of some left-coast, elitist, forward-looking company getting ahead within the framework of rules you don't especially like?
    Nov 15, 2015. 11:38 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla: Something Is Rotten In The State Of Denmark [View article]
    Why is it 'un-democratic' to apply subsidies equally to all buyers? And, why is it in any way unethical?

    A big, heavy, high performance Tesla Model S subsidized into the market gets a similarly big, heavy, high performance ICE car off the road. This provided significantly greater environmental benefit than does a small, short range BEV like the eGolf that displaces a much smaller, lighter, lower performing ICE car. It is only reasonable that the Tesla receive a greater absolute amount of subsidy in light of its greater environmental contribution.

    What is unethical, even a bit stupid, is to remove subsidies from the very cars (Teslas) that are making the greatest contribution to environmental quality - which is the purported reason for these subsidies in the first place.
    Nov 13, 2015. 02:24 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla: Something Is Rotten In The State Of Denmark [View article]

    EXACTLY what is it that is illegal?

    Getting a license and registration with just a VIN number?

    Getting a license and registration prior to physical delivery of the car?

    Where is the line drawn?

    Remember, Tesla doesn't write the rules, they just play the game...
    Nov 13, 2015. 02:16 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla: Are The Bulls Losing Hope? [View article]
    Here's what to expect for Model 3 pricing and performance.

    Based on Tesla's pricing for Model S, expect fully optioned versions to cost a bit shy of double the base price.
    Nov 13, 2015. 02:08 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment