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  • Audi Confirms 300-Mile Range EV, Plans To Compete With Tesla [View article]
    "In addition on Feb 20th they claimed that Asia and Europe would account for two thirds of demand by the end of this year. They now say that NA will be over 50% of total demand."

    That's a very good point. Suddenly the new markets (especially China) are not so relevant (replay the last conference call) and TSLA says it can sell the same revenue into North America.
    Nov 23, 2014. 12:01 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple And New Markets: IPayments? [View instapost]
    Square will accept Apple Pay in 2015 with new readers:

    http://bit.ly/1HBKlNb
    Nov 23, 2014. 01:23 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Audi Confirms 300-Mile Range EV, Plans To Compete With Tesla [View article]
    PGVO, do you have any sources for that battery 2.0 with details pr are these just rumors?

    As long as TSLA doesn't change the chemistry, simply using a slightly larger cylindrical cell is not revolutionary, as others pointed out.

    The big change will come with different chemistry (Li-S, Li-Air...) or at least different cathodes and anodes, that is some years out for mass production.
    Nov 23, 2014. 12:15 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Audi Confirms 300-Mile Range EV, Plans To Compete With Tesla [View article]
    To add a number to my comment above:

    VW will invest over 100 billion (!) USD in its cars and brands over the next five years, that includes various EV programs

    http://bit.ly/1HBuFtd

    100 billion USD within five years is an incredible number, they can ramp up EV and PHEV production or build charging networks etc. as needed for a fraction of that sum.

    Underestimating VW and other car giants is dangerous, they may be slower to change and adapt to new trends, but once they are in motion they can crush smaller competitors.
    Nov 23, 2014. 12:04 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • The Fallout At GTAT - Lessons Learned (And The Impact For Apple) [View instapost]
    "Existing Apple suppliers say GT Advanced promised too much, didn't diversify enough

    In the wake of the collapse of sapphire maker GT Advanced Technologies, longtime members of Apple's supply chain have characterized the iPhone maker as a tough but fair partner who offers component makers a chance at success, provided they take proper precautions.

    Officials from Pegatron and other unnamed Apple suppliers spoke with The Wall Street Journal about their relationship with the Cupertino, Calif., company, and gave some of the lessons they've learned over the years. The key takeaways were that suppliers should not promise things they cannot deliver, and that Apple partners should diversify and make arrangements with other companies.

    ..."

    http://bit.ly/1y1W576
    Nov 22, 2014. 04:13 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • SolarCity: How Much Value Does Elon Musk Add? [View article]
    SII wrote: "He was talking about standard efficiency panels, Silevo will be making high efficiency panels."

    But as I pointed out above, many Chinese solar companies are already offering >20% efficiency panels (as of today, late 2014) well before SCTY can source from its new plant in 2016.

    Large US solar companies (SUNE, FSLR and SPWR to name the biggest three) also have in-house panel production and will be upgrading their lines if/once the market demands so.

    Solar equipment vendors such as Meyer-Burger will offer hardware to all solar makers to achieve >20% efficiency on new production lines:

    "The target upon further process optimisation is to reach a PV module efficiency of 21% but with a production cost below 0.6CHF/Wp (US$0.62/Wp). HJT cells are said to achieve an efficiency of more than 22% in lab conditions. "

    http://bit.ly/1F8oqcp

    I don't see SCTY's / Silevo's long-term advantage in this market with low margins and very intense competition.
    Nov 21, 2014. 09:26 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Long-Term Macro Trends Supporting $310 Price Target For Tesla Motors [View article]
    "We didn't go for "proper DCF" methodology"

    So why do you call it DCF in the article? That and the 2035 timeline assumptions will create huge variations in TSLA's valuation.

    As I outlined above, the car industry could look VERY different in 20 years (we may have automated pods in many countries, less car ownership etc.)

    Why project car sales 20 years out? Even 5-10 years is quite hard given the delays Tesla is facing with each new car model and competitor dynamics.

    I will have to repeat myself:

    Ramping up is VERY hard and VERY cap-ex intensive in the car industry, especially since TSLA also vertically integrates its battery production.

    PS: And what about battery storage in the DCF by 2035? Many Tesla bulls dream that will be the major revenue source for TSLA long-term. Will Tesla still create cars in 20 years? Will it even be around? Nascent industries are full of risks...most pioneers don't make it.
    Nov 21, 2014. 03:58 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Long-Term Macro Trends Supporting $310 Price Target For Tesla Motors [View article]
    "Of course it will expand to 7 vehicles. A pickup truck is a necessary component, and will be very profitable."

    It's nice that someone has a pefect crystal ball until 2035. I don't have one, but autonomous cars and car sharing networks could have a major influence on the industry and car sales and design within 20 years.

    To create DCF models beyond 2025 or talk about 7 future models doesn't help value TSLA in my opinion when even the Model 3 car hasn't been shown publicly.

    Otherwise:Why don't we all buy Honda shares because they will sell x number of small aircraft and jets and y millions of robots by 2035?

    PS: CEO Musk may not even be with TSLA (at least in an operational role) after around 2020. Mars seems to interest him much more longer-term.
    Nov 21, 2014. 03:47 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Audi Confirms 300-Mile Range EV, Plans To Compete With Tesla [View article]
    "And highly unlikely for Audi to spend 30 -100million on <1-2% of their car production."

    Again, Audi is part of VW Group, it's not a small stand-alone company. VW, like all Western car brands (except for Tesla) has opted for the CCS plug for fast charging.

    Building CCS stations in the thousands globally won't be a problem for car companies, it's pocket change for them as Frank pointed out. They can rolll a charging network out in 1-2 years.

    But there will be innovations and wireless charging standards soon, so it makes sense to wait with a huge global roll-out until EVs get more marketshare and battery prices come down / range improves.
    Nov 21, 2014. 02:34 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • SolarCity: How Much Value Does Elon Musk Add? [View article]
    VSLR has a much lower market share but a more experienced sales force (coming from home alarm systems). I can't explain the short-term drop-off in VSLR compared to SCTY either.

    I would also not count out the more experienced publicly listed competitors such as FSLR, SPWR and SUNE for larger solar installations and turn-key projects.

    If you don't believe in a solar panel shortage in the coming years, VSLR will also have less risk exposure because it will continue buy its panels from third parties (see my longer comment below on SCTY constructing its own giant panel factories in the US for details).

    PS: Not that I would invest in VSLR either, but it looks unloved compared to SCTY; that may in part be because of the Elon Musk premium, which in my view is largely unwarranted.
    Nov 21, 2014. 01:54 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • SolarCity: How Much Value Does Elon Musk Add? [View article]
    Author wrote: "Elon Musk's forecast of the commoditization of the solar panel industry, as many are painfully aware, became a reality just a few years after the founding of SolarCity. He even once stated that "making standard efficiency solar panels is about as hard as making dry wall. It's really easy. In fact, I'd say dry wall's probably harder." In this instance, Elon's unique manufacturing insights have benefited the company immeasurably."

    So how come SCTY is soon (2015-2016) building huge solar panel plants with 1 GW capacity (with future plans up to 10 GW!) and trying to catch up with Chinese panel makers and local competitors such as vertically integrated SPWR, SUNE or FSLR?

    Why are they now in fear of a panel shortage instead of a supply glut? And what happens when the next glut or price war in solar comes (and it will come, the market structure is similar to chips or computer memory, a rollercoaster of boom and bust)?

    PS: The newest/best Chinese panels already get >20% efficiency today, we will see how much SCTY can improve upon such benchmarks using Silevo's technology. The other open question is of course efficiency and production costs compared to established competitors and their economies of scale.
    Nov 21, 2014. 01:38 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Fallout At GTAT - Lessons Learned (And The Impact For Apple) [View instapost]
    A detailed look at what went wrong at GTAT, longer article in the WSJ:

    TECHNOLOGY
    Inside Apple’s Broken Sapphire Factory
    How $1 Billion Bet on iPhone Screens Failed; the ‘Boule Graveyard’

    http://bit.ly/1t651Dk
    Nov 20, 2014. 07:05 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Audi Confirms 300-Mile Range EV, Plans To Compete With Tesla [View article]
    Audi is not some small stand-alone company. As Audi releases more PHEVs and EVs, so will the other VW brands such as Volkswagen and Porsche.

    There will strong competition and economies of scale by 2018-2020 in alterantive drivetrains. VW is already one of the EV sales leaders in Europe today (and it only started selling cars this year globally) and VW has a very strong market position and manufacturing base in China to cover Asia.

    Underestimating VW and its 12 global brands in EVs and PHEVs is a dangerous game longer-term.
    Nov 20, 2014. 02:03 PM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Tesla Is Just Another PayPal [View article]
    "...a much bigger change is coming in how we operate cars."

    That I agree with long-term. Buzzwords like "Transport as a service" (for example, less and less human taxi/delivery drivers and truck drivers) may become a reality within 10-15 years.

    However, what's the point of having an ultra-fast car with 0-60 in 3.2 such as a Model SD when it's all automatic? How many younger people will still want to buy and own a car (except for car lovers and older people who grew up with cars (a car is very emotional object for many people)?

    That's hard to predict, in some regions (see e.g. China) a car is still an important status symbol. In these countries, cheap automated (rented) cars may be rejected.

    In other regions, more and more people may just view cars as an utility and rent them: the car will arrive by itself, drop you off at your destination and charge itself at a station waiting for its next customer.

    But that is at least a decade off in my opinion (also, legislation will take years around the world to approve such autonomous cars). All big car makers will have access to this technology, they also have billions to write cheques to MBLY or similar companies.

    Nissan, Daimler and Audi etc. and new entrants such as Google have all demonstrated their near-autonomous cars already between 2010-2013.

    I don't see advantages for TSLA in this scenario, TSLA is a customer to MBLY like many other car makers. Overall car sales may fall in this scenario (renting autonomous cars on-demand vs owning them).
    Nov 19, 2014. 01:25 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Tesla Is Just Another PayPal [View article]
    Ad van der Meer wrote: "Talk is cheap! Show me the 150-200mi EV from Nissan and/or GM! Show me they can sell it at a price point that can compete with Tesla Model III."

    Show me the Model 3 then. Where can I buy one today? Is there even a mule or sketch?

    I would agree to your points IF the Model 3 was available today at $35k with all the promised specs. But it's years away from launch (I suspect additional delays because of the latest Model X delays, a launch may only come by 2018-2019).

    I have no reason to believe that TSLA can ship a long-range EV at mass-market prices ahead of Nissan, GM or others given the publicly available information.
    Nov 19, 2014. 12:41 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
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