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Stephen Pace  

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  • Who Will Sell Uber 100 Million Cars? [View article]
    @Tetragrammaton: Price-wise you could be right, but a few weekends ago at a Connected Car event I played around with Pioneer's latest CarPlay and Andriod Auto aftermarket radios and they are very well done. The radios fit standard double-DIN (4"-tall) dash openings, have nice screens, and are well integrated with the phones. Uber and Lyft could easily get apps working for those platforms (if they don't already). Around $600 now, so it would be pricey now for the average driver, but maybe Uber could defray the cost or do a group buy to get the prices down.
    Mar 27, 2015. 03:54 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Who Will Sell Uber 100 Million Cars? [View article]
    @Anton: If Elon comes in again for the Texas legislative hearings, the first question I'll ask him is about this type of thing. A lot hinges on the much delayed Software Development Kit. Once Tesla puts out the SDK, Uber and Lyft would be able to put out their own apps without having to wait for Tesla (other than AppStore approval of the app itself). I know of a few Tesla owners doing Uber driving on the side, so it isn't unheard of. City based SuperChargers could help a bit. For instance, JFK airport has a SuperCharger. You could do airport runs all day charging recharging as you went.

    I'll be interested to hear how the Uber BYD pilot goes in Chicago. I hear BYD is asking for Chinese spec chargers to be installed, but I'm not sure that is going to get much traction. BYD would find a network of existing chargers that could be used if they took more of a Tesla approach (e.g. make adapters to anything out there).
    Mar 27, 2015. 03:43 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Who Will Sell Uber 100 Million Cars? [View article]
    @Anton: Tesla hasn't announced support for either Apple or Google's solution, but I eventually expect they will support both. That said, Tesla is the only company at the moment that could press a button today and push out an Uber app to 60k vehicles immediately. It also has the biggest screen to allow for both a nice size map and all of the Uber connect stuff at the top, and the steering wheel buttons could allow for accept and connect without the driver even having to touch the screen.
    Mar 27, 2015. 11:37 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Model S demand in China still a work in progress [View news story]
    Monthly numbers don't matter as much because of how Tesla ships over the cars. Tesla imported 10 cars in January, 63 in February, if March is 500 it doesn't mean demand increased significantly, it just means shipments were batched earlier in the quarter and arrived later. That said, none of these numbers are great.
    Mar 27, 2015. 11:27 AM | 14 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Elon Musk Giving Up On Battery Swaps? [View article]
    @drewstefer: In the video you cite, Elon said "we will have battery swap at every SuperCharger locations where customers want them". As predicted, though, most customers are happy with free SuperCharging and aren't clamoring for them as the default method for range charging. Elon doesn't say there will be a swap at every SuperCharger, that would be ludicrous. Only where customers want them, and customers don't want them at many places.
    Mar 22, 2015. 05:36 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Elon Musk Giving Up On Battery Swaps? [View article]
    Nice proof of concept, but battery swaps were never likely to be a popular option compared with free SuperCharging and I don't think anyone thought they would be (other than Better Place), even Tesla.
    Mar 19, 2015. 02:43 PM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla's: Marketing Machine Continues To Deflect Demand Discussion [View article]
    @tomfrompv: Hanging out at home and charging while you sleep is always easier than going somewhere else to do it, even if it only takes an hour. And the cost per fill-up at home, even if you paid your in law $10 for the $7 of power you probably used to fill up, is still a bargain over filling up with gas.
    Mar 17, 2015. 05:36 PM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla's: Marketing Machine Continues To Deflect Demand Discussion [View article]
    @Skeptic84: I've used SuperChargers to easily drive from Houston to Dallas and Austin with no range anxiety whatsoever. Before the SuperChargers, I had to arrive in the city, decide where to leave my car overnight, and have someone ferry me to a slow charger, and bring me back in the morning to get the car. Now I can plug in for 30 minutes and have lots of spare miles to drive around once I'm in the city and return to the SuperCharger. It cannot be overstated: SuperChargers make long distance travel via EV easy vs. something that is possible but very inconvenient. And as more SuperChargers arrive (Texas is no longer an island), the easier it gets. By contrast, I would not want to try and drive a BMW i3 across the country, even with the motorcycle 'range extender'. And a Leaf is a no-go. Any car company attempting to deliver a 200 mile EV without the ability for full charging in an hour or less is going to find out just how much the competitive advantage of a SuperCharger really is.
    Mar 17, 2015. 05:34 PM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla's: Marketing Machine Continues To Deflect Demand Discussion [View article]
    @davep007 Fair enough, I don't think anyone is saying EVs are just as convenient as gasoline cars for very long trips. But honestly, if I'm driving over 500 miles, I'm probably thinking about flying. And for some people, stopping for an hour every 200 miles is a fairly minor inconvenience given a) Tesla is paying for your fuel vs a $50-$80 fill-up and b) needing rest stops and eating anyway.
    Mar 17, 2015. 05:25 PM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla to unveil Model S software update [View news story]
    @arondaniel Actually, this is another reason to get the pano-roof option. Not only does the pano-roof have an unactivated microwave energy receiver, you get a nice tan while you drive. Tesla calls this feature the "Ionizer":

    Mar 16, 2015. 11:19 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla to unveil Model S software update [View news story]
    @pdb100: All the 'articles of the week' about X company killing Tesla are just noise. VW can sell more EVs, no problem with that. The question is, can Tesla sell all of the cars they make or not? Tesla sold 22,477 cars in 2013 and 31,655 cars in 2014, all without advertising. Of COURSE Tesla needs to beef up the sales team given the increased numbers sold. Does anyone seriously think Tesla will not sell over 50k vehicles in 2015? Does anyone think that Tesla wouldn't have 40k pre-orders for Model 3 if they opened the reservation queue tomorrow given they have 20k reservations for a crossover that will have an average selling price of 2X the Model 3?

    Quick math for Tesla Model ≡ cash if they turned on reservations:

    1000 Sig @ $40k = $40M / 39,000 Std @5k = $195M

    Total: $235M. Cash money in the bank. No dilution.
    Mar 16, 2015. 11:12 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla to unveil Model S software update [View news story]
    @Anton: I'm pro-Tesla and pro-Elon, but even I don't expect anything transformative. I've read people saying ridiculous things like "the battery has hidden capacity that will get unlocked" or "the car will be able to drive X more miles". Really? In reality, I expect this announcement will be a change to the navigation system to not only warn you that you don't have enough range to get to your destination (which it does now to prevent Brodering), but automatic rerouting to SuperChargers and possibly Tesla 'destination chargers'. I also think it can't be Plugshare integration (too much noise, although that could certainly be selectable) but because I would still have anxiety if the car directed me off the highway to recharge at a slow plug. Even some of the chargers on the Tesla destination charging program should be better marked. For example, I went to the C3 Connected Car event in Austin Saturday and dropped my car at the Hyatt. Valet plugged me in, charging was free--that part was great. But the chargers were limited to 30 amps instead of 80 amps. Fortunately the event was 7 hours and I got almost a full charge, but while it is great Tesla is providing free chargers to companies who agree to install them for customers, the car should help me to determine which available charger gets me the most available miles per minute. It doesn't do that now but easily could.
    Mar 16, 2015. 11:00 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla's 'Real' China Problem [View article]
    Wyoming and Nevada are going to be likely sources of Lithium for the Gigafactory. Otherwise, regarding Bolivia, read: Bottled Lightning: Superbatteries, Electric Cars, and the New Lithium Economy
    Mar 16, 2015. 10:48 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Pulling The Plug On Tesla [View article]
    @Ole: "Consequently, Tesla vehicles could cost as much as 2.5 times more [in Norway]." Even if some of the perks of EVs go away in Norway (e.g. free parking), the government is unlikely to charge the punitive tax that gas cars enjoy. Some incentives may drop, but a Model S is still likely to be half the cost of a BMW 5 series in Norway. And now that Tesla offers AWD, that removes yet another perceived barrier for sales in Norway. Not to mention you can now drive from the Arctic Circle to the south of France for free on the SuperCharger network. Call me biased, but I think you'd have to be crazy to buy a BMW or Audi in that country as the rules currently stand.

    "US government does not look set to offer incentives to buyers." While the US federal government would never be able to offer the incentives (or punitive tariffs) that Norway does, the current $7500 federal tax credit is good for the first 200k vehicles from an OEM. States offer further incentives. I'm not saying this is a massive boost for Tesla (certainly it helps Leafs and Volts more), but every little bit helps. And if Hillary wins, we could see some form of carbon tax that helps swing more sales towards EV, and maybe the gasoline tax could be raised to help fix infrastructure.
    Mar 11, 2015. 11:29 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla Motors: Recent Press Reports From China Confirm Over-Production Of Model S And Indicate Larger Issues [View article]
    @pdb100 Many early cars did not have the quick hose disconnects which explains the battery swap issue with Pongoteague Dave where he needed fluid replacement. Additionally, Tesla added the titanium shield which was not there initially. Basically, this is the difference between 'right tool for the job' and an automated, repeatable system. At the factory, the batteries rise up and get screwed in. Easy. We'll see it with the battery swapper, but I'm in agreement that we won't see the swappers widely deployed. But that is primarily because most people are happy with free Supercharging and are willing to wait for a few minutes rather than spending ~$80 twice (once for the initial swap, and again to return to pick up your own battery).
    Mar 10, 2015. 12:02 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment