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Stephen Pace

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  • Tesla's Latest Sales Projection For 2025 Is Next To Impossible To Achieve [View article]
    I take a few million to be at least 2 million. Let's say Tesla falls short and ''only" produces 1.5M cars a year at that time. Imagine the stock price! Tesla will have become a powerhouse if they can make it to that size. I have no problem with this article, though--2025 is a long way away and lots could happen in the meantime. I'd rather Elon focus people on the short term of getting Model X out the door and completing work on Model 3. If they get those things right, Tesla is going to be just fine.
    Jan 14, 2015. 01:44 AM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla Will Set A New Model S U.S. Sales Record In Q4 2014 [View article]
    @Paulo: What I think people need to realize is that it will always be something. Until advertising starts, we don't know what the peak demand for the car is, period. Last year it was AWD. This year I wouldn't expect too much more hardware wise for the Model S since Tesla said not to expect anything, but the V6.1 firmware is already great and finally adds a lot of the features owners were wanting other than valet mode, and more of the sensors will finally be turned on. Model X should make a decent splash in 2015. 2016 brings increased density to the Supercharging network and perhaps a larger battery option for the Model S / Model X platform based on Gigafactory chemistry and we'll likely get our first look at Model ≡. Reservations for Model ≡ will start and the sheer numbers will leave the doubters shaking their heads.

    If Model X is as successful as we think it will be, Tesla will easily hit 50k+ cars in 2015 and will enter 2016 doing just fine.
    Jan 13, 2015. 01:59 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How Will Tesla's Model 3 Fare Against Affordable High-Range EVs? [View article]
    @Randy Carlson: Totally agree. Bolt will offer some competition for the next generation Leaf, but Model ≡ will take away sales from BMW 3, Lexus IS, Audi A4 as well as cars like Camry on the lower end. If Model S is to be used as a guide, I'd expect a wide price range from the base $35k 200 mile range car to an $80k 500 mile range AWD monster that will make a Nissan GT-R cry. Tesla is going to be pulling sales from ICE, not other EVs.
    Jan 12, 2015. 12:07 AM | 13 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • GM's 200-Mile Electric Car For $30,000: RIP Tesla [View article]
    @watchingfromabove I think Tesla is the only auto company that sees a reasonable way forward to selling 500k EVs a year and they are putting their money where their mouth is. If GM or another OEM is worried about how many they can sell, they certainly can't negotiate a decent price on batteries from LG or Samsung, and those companies can't afford to build out plants without firm orders. I think we can all see where this is going. Tesla is building a halo brand with many who would love to buy a Tesla if they could afford one. When the Model ≡ reservation queue opens, I think the industry is going to be shocked at how fast the queue fills up. In my extended family alone we'll have at least 4 reservations. Tesla will be able to make margin based on cost savings on the cells made at the Gigafactory, and other OEMs will be scrambling for sufficient supply, that is, if anyone is actually buying their non-SuperChargeable vehicles.

    Don't get me wrong--I wish BMW, GM, and others well at trying to break into the pure EV game. Tesla needs competition to keep them on their toes. But with some exceptions, it isn't clear to me that dealers really want EVs to happen since they should require less maintenance and dealers make most of their money after the initial sale. If dealers don't want it to happen, that is still more headwind for the OEMs that aren't pure EV. Customers will walk into the dealership wanting to buy a Bolt and come out with a Volt.
    Jan 11, 2015. 09:51 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • GM's 200-Mile Electric Car For $30,000: RIP Tesla [View article]
    @Blue Ridge Buffettologist: In 2012, the top 1% in US made $435k per year which maps to nearly 1.4 million households. In China alone, there are a million millionaires. Selling to millionaires isn't a bad place to be if you only wanted to sell Model S and X and Tesla could probably comfortably sell 100k per year globally of just those two cars. That said, if Tesla is successful in coming out with a $35k Model ≡ that is half as cool as the Model S, they will sell all they can make, and they'll sell them to the same people buying $25k Camrys today. As for margin, given the current way Tesla prices, there will likely be a large range from the base $35k 200 mile car to a $90k SuperCar with 0-60 below 3s (crushing the Nissan GT-R crowd), 500 mile range, AWD, and self-drive.
    and if they can source enough batteries. I'm not convinced GM really
    What people keep failing to realize is 500k vehicles into the global automotive market is still a tiny number. We'll see how GM does with this understands the EV market yet, but if the Bolt is successful, it will likely impact Nissan more than Tesla.
    Jan 11, 2015. 09:34 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • GM's 200-Mile Electric Car For $30,000: RIP Tesla [View article]
    @Mike Holt: I only have 17k miles on my Model S, but with a 265 mile range, I can't say I've really experienced range anxiety. Even on long trips, the SuperChargers make it very difficult to pull a "Broder". Add to that the new 6.1 firmware which tells you right at the start of the trip where you may have issues, Tesla is making range anxiety a thing of the past. That said, fewer Tesla Model S owners probably cross shopped a Volt than a BMW 7, Lexus LS, or Audi A7. Tesla is stealing market share from those cars, not Volts. I don't have 2014 numbers handy, but US sales for the Model S in 2013 checked in at ~ 17,650 units, which puts Tesla’s electric sedan well ahead of its large luxury sedan competitors:

    •Mercedes-Benz S-Class: 13,303
    •BMW 7 Series: 10,932
    •Lexus LS: 10,727
    •Audi A8: 6,300
    •Porsche Panamera: 5,421
    Jan 11, 2015. 09:20 PM | 10 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Two Good Signs For Tesla At CES This Week [View article]
    I think Anton is right on with the argument that SuperChargers are a competitive moat for Gen 3 and I've made this argument many times. If Ford makes a car just as good as the Model 3 and it is $1000 cheaper (not holding my breath), many people would still buy a Tesla because they perceive they could drive long distances with it even if they never did it.

    @pdb100: Agree to disagree. If someone else creates a standard fast charger and cars actually arrive that take advantage of them, Tesla will just make an adapter. That means Tesla owners have the benefit of their own chargers plus all of the other ones.

    There is an argument to be made that Tesla will actually break even or make money on the SuperChargers over time given the cost they allocate to access them (built into the 85 kWh cars, explicit on the 60 kWh). Certainly there will be many 85 kWh Model S owners that never use a SuperCharger even once.
    Jan 8, 2015. 05:00 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • What I Would Do If I Were Tesla Motors And The Battery Swap Were A Hoax [View instapost]
    Wow. Just... wow. It takes a true believer to take it this far. You realize Tesla is a public company, right? And what you are accusing them of would land a lot of people in jail? Do you really think a world-class engineer like JB Straubel would sit by for something like this? "So what is Tesla waiting for?" My question back to you is, when this well documented trip happens in 2015, are you going to publicly apologize to Tesla, Elon, and the rest of Tesla staff for your baseless and unfounded accusations?
    Dec 31, 2014. 04:02 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Tesla Needs To Be More Like Apple [View article]
    @chipdoctor Although any major OEM that attempts to get into a lower cost BEV is likely to find they can't source enough batteries at the right price to sufficiently compete with Model ≡. "Hello, LG, can I get an order for 100k 48 kWh (minimum) batteries with options for a 68 kWh at $135 a kWh please? <click>" The difference here is Tesla, with the Gigafactory, is attempting to bring the future forward. The major OEMs are waiting for technology and pricing to catch up and pounce. We'll see which approach works best, but so far, the OEMs have been found lacking. Especially ones like Toyota that are wasting time with fuel cells.
    Dec 31, 2014. 02:56 PM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla Upgrades Roadster, Will It Meet Investor Expectations? [View article]
    @mjrickard I agree that there is no revenue to be had on this upgrade; however, I think it does a few important things:

    1) Shows some love to the Roadster owners who helped get the company off the ground and who haven't seen anything new in a while

    2) Potentially allows Tesla to test a new chemistry in the 'real world' with a small scale batch

    3) Will help with battery availability for Roadster owners who don't want the additional range but would like a reconditioned pack due to failing sheets. I've looked at a few used Roadsters and at least two have had issues with one or two battery sheets (which generally means you can charge at 110v but not 240v and can affect range).
    Dec 29, 2014. 11:52 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • No Excuses: Falling Gasoline Prices Are Impacting Tesla's Sales [View article]
    @jamesfreiley We drill for oil, pump it out of the ground, transport it to refineries, refine it, transport it to local markets, mix in the additives per different state requirements, truck it to your local gas station, and pump it into your car where you then immediately waste 80% of the energy in an inefficient ICE motor and help add to poor air quality days. We also know we'll need to do something when we run out (even if it is 100 years from now) and before we destroy the planet if it isn't already too late. By contrast, we mine lithium and the other components for a battery and then use them for many years. None of the components are consumed, and they can be recycled at the end of their life (likely after moving from the car to some type of grid storage before being ultimately recycled). There is no comparison and there are many studies, the recent (poor) MN study not withstanding.
    Dec 29, 2014. 12:47 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Do Not Short Tesla Stock [View article]
    @cashchain: "Reality only Gen III in high volume could support stock... but... if batteries are that capable every major auto mfgr will have an EV - fierce competition." Tesla was well aware that there aren't enough affordable batteries in the world for Gen III. Tesla could have said "we'll wait for that to happen" and been a quite successful niche high-end provider of EVs, but that isn't Tesla's goal. Tesla wants to make sustainable transportation the norm, not the exception, so instead they are taking the much riskier approach of being an active player in forcing the price of batteries down with the Gigafactory. While others are sitting around waiting, Tesla is acting. Success is by no means assured, but if Tesla reduces the price of the existing batteries by 30% EVEN IF THE FACE OF NO OTHER IMPROVEMENT (which will no doubt also occur), Gen III makes it to market. As I have said many times, if the Tesla Model ≡ is half as cool as the Model S and gives a BMW 3 series value for the cost of ownership of a $25k Toyota Camry, Tesla will sell all they can make. People don't realize how small 200-500k cars is into the global market. My extended family will have 4 reservations in the second Tesla opens the queue. Many other owners have told me similar stories. One more thing. Even if Ford made a Ford Fusion EV with the same costs and features (looks, auto-update, AppStore, driver assist, performance) as Tesla Model ≡, would you buy it without SuperChargers to support your long distance trips? Let Model X be your guide--if Model X is as awesome as projected, it bodes well for Model ≡.
    Dec 21, 2014. 08:00 PM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Do Not Short Tesla Stock [View article]
    @Skeptic84 Like Navy Man, those of us who provided Tesla with "interest free loans" as you describe it were happy to do it to help play one small part in the success of the company. It was much riskier in the early days as Tesla could have failed and we would have more than likely lost our deposits. However, there is 0% chance of Tesla going under prior to Model X, so other than the frustration of waiting, the ~20k or so who have already put up $40k or $5k for a reservation for Model X have little to worry about. Given the interest rates at the time I reserved mine, it wasn't like we were losing out on much interest either.
    Dec 21, 2014. 07:44 PM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla Motors testing battery swap program in California [View news story]
    @pot pie: "The fact is, other companies now have to give them cash because some crazy politicians concocted this scheme in CA." Maybe you don't live in LA, but in my view, politicians are well within their mandate to protect their citizens from things that are killing them. Smog in LA was terrible before California required improved emissions, and ZEV credits are part of the same idea: require cars that don't contribute to the smog issue. You can say that makes them "crazy", but if you lived in a city like I do with a terrible number of bad air quality days, you might think otherwise.

    MIT Study: Air Pollution Kills 200,000 Annually in US:
    Dec 19, 2014. 02:23 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla Motors testing battery swap program in California [View news story]
    @pot pie: "45 minutes" I know you are trolling, but I'll give you the real answer. It takes around 20 minutes to get back half your range from almost empty on a SuperCharger (say, 120 miles). However, if you wanted to drive 180 miles (say, if your destination was 90 miles from the SuperCharger and you wanted to go there and return to the same SuperCharger), you'll need more than 20 minutes worth of juice. Hence me saying 45 minutes. With tapering, an hour tops for "full". But if you plan charging with your meal, not much of an inconvenience plus your fill-up is free vs. the $80 I used to spend on my previous vehicle that required premium fuel.
    Dec 19, 2014. 02:17 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment