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Stephen Pace  

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  • Audi Details Its First Proper Tesla Competitor, The 310-Mile Range SUV [View article]
    Very fair article. EV fans should be happy that Audi is trying to make a run of it, although I personally don't think they'll be successful. For the the reasons Anton mentions and a few others. I'm really on the fence--ultimately I think Audi should probably create a separate brand to do this. Not that the 2016 Audi R8 e-tron isn't cool looking, it is, but at handbuilt volumes, $150k nicely optioned, and slower than a Model S, it isn't going to move the needle for EV sales in any meaningful way. The Audi A3 e-tron isn't differentiated enough from their other cars to make many regular Audi people switch (not to mention the electric range isn't great), and the dealerships aren't going to be pushing hard either. We'll see about the SUV but Model X will likely outsell it even at a higher price.
    Aug 19, 2015. 02:04 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Here's My Prediction For Tesla's 2015 Deliveries And More On Model X Foibles [View article]
    "Furthermore, there are internal reports in Tesla-associated forums providing the same kind of information, confirming it." "Internal reports" is a bit of a stretch. Some guy named "Eds" joined on 7/17, posted a rumor, then left. Then he asked for his postings to be removed. Who knows why? But there are a lot of people shorting TSLA and it wouldn't be above one of them joining TMC to throw some FUD around. If it were someone that had a track record, maybe you could put some stock in something like that, but a 'first post' from an unknown user using a pseudonym? A lot less likely and certainly you'd want a lot more confirmation on before posting a story referencing it.
    Aug 17, 2015. 03:35 PM | 10 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A Possible Solution To The Tesla Supercharger Accounting Puzzle [View article]
    Telsa says you get free SuperCharging for life, but not at what rate. If someone abuses it and ignores the warnings, Tesla can just drop the rate to that car to 20 amps at that particular SC. Problem solved. They still get free charging but at a rate that makes it non-advantageous to do it.
    Aug 10, 2015. 01:44 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • With Android Auto, Google Goes After Tesla's Infotainment Advantage [View article]
    @Anton: I certainly agree that most infotainment systems in cars today are terrible, so any improvement along those lines will be welcomed. It does help close the gap with Tesla in that area. That said, I firmly believe Tesla will support both Android Car and Apple CarPlay at some point, although there will be a question if current cars can be updated for that or it will require Tesla Infotainment v2. Other continued Tesla advantages:

    1) Screen size contributes to ease of use, and Tesla still dominates there. Having effectively two screens with the ability to switch them around or join them is very handy. On nav, double-sized Google map is great with the turn by turn direction able to use more space in that mode.

    2) You list no 'embedded cellular modem' as an advantage for the automaker (and Fiat Chrysler is probably wishing they didn't about now), but it certainly is an advantage for usability. Living in Texas, I can tell you that the ability to cool down the vehicle remotely before I arrive is something that I would miss if it wasn't there. Also, what happens if you forget your phone one day? Is your nav and infotainment experience severely degraded? It isn't in a Tesla.

    3) Since you had the car for a week, did you experiment with turning off your phone to see what the effect would be if you drove out of cell range? In a Tesla, the system drops back to Navigon supplied maps. That is, the system works even if you aren't in cellular range. What did Android Auto do in that case?

    4) Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are essentially screen reflectors. One advantage that Tesla apps will have is they will be able to have a deeper integration with the vehicle (although no doubt Tesla will provide limits to this).

    5) One minor thing: in a Tesla, the phone can stay in your pocket. In these other systems, you need to plug them in. Not a show stopper by any means, but sometimes you just want to sit down and go.

    I think it is pretty sad that my 2012 Tesla Model S still has better infotainment than a 2015 vehicle--it shows you how far ahead Tesla was and how slow the OEMs can be to change. But I'm happy to see improvements for sure, and maybe it will give Tesla the kick in the pants they need to get to the next level.
    Jul 28, 2015. 10:59 AM | 11 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • High anxiety in China's auto market [View news story]
    @ghobud: Far from it. Tesla sold 1055 cars in 2015 Q1 alone, and there are now 70 SuperChargers live up from 0 just 12 months ago. With the inventory cars out of the way, Model S clicking with recent upgrades, and Model X about to hit China early next year, China outlook for Tesla will continue to improve.
    Jul 19, 2015. 12:45 PM | 18 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 2 New Premium Electric Car Companies Take Aim At Tesla [View article]
    @Anton: On valuation, I don't think so based on what happened with Fisker. Didn't Wanxiang Group pay something like $149M for them in bankruptcy? If so, it didn't seem to impact Tesla valuation one bit.

    As for your other question, I'm under NDA so I don't think I can give a complete answer. But I would bet money that Model X configuration opens within the next 30 days. I know the market cares more about this than I do, but the reality when my car was built in Sept 2012, Tesla was making 50 cars per week. Ramp up happened pretty fast after that. Whenever the ramp starts makes a huge difference on how many vehicles will be completed by the end of the year. I would hope that Tesla's experience to date will allow them to ramp faster, but we are talking about an entirely new line which will have a break-in period and lots of robots to program. In the end, though, I personally don't care if production shifts a few weeks either way as long as the end product is great. I think people are going to be surprised when they can see what the new line can do once it really starts chugging.
    Jul 16, 2015. 01:00 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 2 New Premium Electric Car Companies Take Aim At Tesla [View article]
    @Anton Wahlman Thanks for pointing out these companies, I hadn't heard of them previously, but I'll put them on my radar. I'm part of the Tesla faithful for sure, but I love that others are taking these types of risk to bring EVs to the masses. I wish them the best. That said, we all know there are challenges with starting any new car company. Having just toured the Tesla Factory for the third time, I'll just point out:

    1) While the 2008 financial crisis almost killed Tesla, it provided a unique opportunity to pick up a $1B 5.3 million square feet plant for $42M. Has someone written a book about that yet? Lots of fascinating stories there. In short, Toyota was desperate to unload the overvalued plant, but couldn't, and even Fremont was asking for ~$100M to take it off their hands. Tesla swoops in and Toyota saves $100M, gets a token amount of money, and Tesla gains a $1B plant. Fixer upper? Sure. But they are certainly leveraging some of the existing assets there (the overhead 60s era car mover, cranes, etc.) and the plant is now fully built out. When else in history could this have happened? How is FF or Atieva going to build a plant to scale for less than $1B? If their goal is to build 10k cars per year, maybe they don't need to, but if they want to have a major impact on the car market, scale is key.

    2) One of the articles mentioned contract manufacturing, and certainly this is Apple's approach. However, based on the Tesla experience, building a car is exceedingly more difficult than building an iPad. Low volume, this may work. But in a world where 1 part can delay shipment of an entire car, a company needs to be able to take extreme measures which Tesla has done (buying suppliers and bringing them in-house, air freighting tires at huge expense, etc). Could a contract manufacturer do that? For some things, sure. But I don't think they could go to the extremes that Tesla has done over the past 3 years.
    Jul 16, 2015. 11:15 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla: The Only Thing 'Luxury' Is The Company's Stock Price [View article]
    @Scott Tzu says "How about we sell some vehicles consistently first?"

    @Rasberry Lint above beat me to my comment. Seems pretty consistent to me. Consistent growth, that is. By the way, today I toured the Tesla factory for the third time. The first time I saw it they were occupying a small part of the former NUMMI plant. I'm under NDA, but let's just say this: it appears they are now occupying the entire footprint of the original plant. The growth seen since 2011 is nothing short of amazing and the build out of the second line that will build both S and X simultaneously dwarfs that of the original line. You may doubt their seriousness and ability to execute but I don't.
    Jul 11, 2015. 03:00 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla: The Only Thing 'Luxury' Is The Company's Stock Price [View article]
    @Logical Anton: I started to make a reply but then realized your post was entirely satire. Well done. :-)
    Jul 11, 2015. 02:46 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A Look At Tesla's European Sales And Gigafactory Growth [View article]
    @Duane Byron Carlson: Not sure who you are directing this to, but if you mean Tesla, they have the car you describe now. 265 miles range rechargeable in your garage at ~30 mph at 40 amps or ~60 mph at 80 amps. No reason to believe the Model 3 at base $35k will be any different in terms of recharge rate.
    Jul 8, 2015. 07:08 PM | 12 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla: Good Job, Now Follow Through [View article]
    @yanming_sv: I don't think Toyota announcing the Mirai range at 312 has any bearing on what Tesla is doing any more than a VW Golf TDI Diesel having an 814 mile range. At least with the Golf, you could drive across the country and fill up when you were empty. The Mirai would be hard pressed to drive 312 miles and find another H station when they needed it given how few of them there are in the country at the moment outside California.

    No, the Model S will get an 100 kWh battery to streamline the offerings. If Model X needs that much to achieve the desired range, then Tesla goes with 100 kWh and drops the 85 kWh leaving it with just two battery sizes for both Gen 2 variants.
    Jul 8, 2015. 12:47 AM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla deliveries surge 52% to company record [View news story]
    What's your point? Demo and loaners don't count as sales. Only final delivery to customers do.
    Jul 2, 2015. 10:15 AM | 17 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla deliveries surge 52% to company record [View news story]
    @Valueseeker: I don't think state incentives sell many cars for Tesla. Also, what is the angry taxi driver to do? Sell his or her car and go back to gas? Doubtful. More likely just invests in an HPWC if they don't have one already.
    Jul 2, 2015. 10:04 AM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla spotlight falls on Model 3 lineup and credit ratings [View news story]
    @Plain Common Sense: I would agree with you except for A) Tesla realized this years ago and B) embarked on a Gigafactory project in an attempt at pushing prices down another 30%. Without the Gigafactory, pricing and cell availability would have taken significantly longer to happen.
    Jun 15, 2015. 06:10 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Debate stirred up over government incentives for Tesla Motors [View news story]
    To quote from another post on SpaceX savings: "NASA is paying the Russians $75 million each to take our astronauts to the ISS. They just hired Boeing and SpaceX to create a capsule and rocket to ferry astronauts to the ISS. NASA is paying Boeing $4.2 billion for their system. NASA is paying SpaceX $2.6 billion for their system. So NASA is paying Boeing $1.6 BILLION extra to do the same thing as SpaceX. The kicker is that Boeing will be using the Russian made RD-180 rocket engine in their rocket while SpaceX is made in the USA. [...] The Air Force pays $360 million to ULA (Boeing and Lockheed) to send military satellites into orbit. SpaceX costs $90 million to do the same thing. That is four times as much."
    Jun 1, 2015. 07:59 PM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment