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John Petersen is the executive vice president and chief financial officer of ePower Engine Systems, Inc., a Kentucky-based enterprise that has developed, built and demonstrated an engine-dominant diesel-electric hybrid drivetrain for long-haul heavy trucks that promises fuel savings of 25 to 35... More
My company:
Fefer Petersen & Co.
My blog:
ipo-law.com
  • Musings From The EV Black Knight 55 comments
    Jul 13, 2012 10:43 AM

    In June an anonymous blogger at Clean Technica dubbed me the "EV Black Knight," the mortal enemy of electric cars. While I was flattered by the tribute, I was deeply offended by the suggestion that I might be foolish enough to impale a lithium-ion battery pack with the burnished broadsword of economics.

    Seriously, anybody who's spent any time studying battery safety knows that shockingly bad things can happen when you puncture a lithium-ion battery pack with a conductor and even a full metal jacket wouldn't be enough to protect a knight errant from the kind of explosive thermal runaway that did about $5 million of damage to a GM battery testing laboratory that was designed to safely manage catastrophic battery failures.

    Truth is I'd rather have an e-bike than a horse, I find pens mightier than swords and I think green eyeshades enhance vision while face visors lead to the kind of tunnel vision I find so appalling in ideologues and Tesla (TSLA) stockholders who apparently think we can waste massive quantities of metal for the dubious luxury of powering a car with coal instead of gasoline.

    I think the basic problem is that we're painfully aware of energy costs but blissfully ignorant of the cost of making the machines that either produce or consume energy.

    In the case of the family car, we know it burns 400 gallons of gas a year and hate the fact that each gallon costs $3 to $4. Heck, over a 15-year useful life we'll spend $18,000 to $24,000 on fuel alone. Spending as much for fuel as you spend to buy the car seems outrageous until you consider that the cost of fuel includes the cost of:

    • Manufacturing the machines that drill for and produce crude oil;
    • Manufacturing the machines that transport crude oil for refining;
    • Manufacturing the machines that convert crude oil into fuel; and
    • Manufacturing the machines that transport fuel to market.

    I've never seen a detailed analysis, but I'd give long odds that if you start with the purchase price of the family car and add a proportional share of the cost of the upstream machinery, equipment and processing facilities that keep it running, you'll find that machinery represents at least three-quarters of total ownership costs.

    While I can't pin down a precise number, most reports that discuss the economics of wind power claim an all-in power production cost of $.05 per kWh. In the typical analysis 25% of total power production cost is attributable to operations. The remaining 75% is attributable to capital cost recovery - the cost of manufacturing the turbines that turn free energy into useful energy.

    With the exception of simple devices that burn fuel directly for heating and cooking, the cost of every useful form of energy pales in comparison to the cost of the machines that use the energy and the cost of the upstream machinery, equipment and processing facilities that deliver energy to our machines in a useful form.

    If you spend enough time thinking about the supply chain, the issues become obvious.

    We don't have an energy cost and supply problem.

    We have a machinery cost and supply problem.

    Energy from wind, sun and water may be free, but machines to make that energy useful are anything but free. The same is true for coal, oil, natural gas and uranium. The in-place energy resources cost nothing, but the machines that extract, transport, refine and use those resources are expensive indeed.

    Last year we produced 1,996 kg of energy resources for every man, woman and child on the planet. We also produced 214 kg of iron and steel per capita and 19 kg of nonferrous metals.

    While energy resources are single use commodities, ferrous and nonferrous metals are essential for the manufacturing of:

    • EP - machines that produce energy and convert it to useful form;
    • EU - machines that use energy to perform useful work; and
    • NM - non-mechanical essentials of modern life including buildings, power distribution grids and an infinite variety of durable and disposable consumer and industrial goods.

    The essential conundrum of modern life is that EP + EU + NM can never exceed total metal production. If we increase metal consumption in one category we have to reduce it somewhere else unless one believes in natural resource fairies.

    According to a recent McKinsey study, "Resource Revolution: Meeting the world's energy, materials, food, and water needs," the planet supports 1.8 billion middle class consumers. Over the next 20 years that number will increase to 4.8 billion, a gain of almost 270%. Every one of them will demand energy produced by machines, energy using machines and the non-mechanical essentials of modern life. The problem, of course, is there simply won't be enough raw materials to go around.

    Something's got to give!

    Simply stated, the great challenge of our species will be overcoming persistent global shortages of water, food, energy, building materials and every commodity you can imagine.

    The McKinsey report argues that available resource productivity improvements could:

    • Offset 100% of the expected increase in land demand;
    • Address more than 80 percent of expected growth in energy demand;
    • Offset 60 percent of anticipated growth in water demand; and
    • Address 25 percent of expected growth in steel demand.

    Unfortunately the report is completely silent on more troublesome resources like nonferrous metals that are absolutely essential for:

    • EP;
    • EU; and
    • NM.

    Whether we like it or not, supply chain shortfalls will have to be overcome by wasting nothing, recycling everything and making the most efficient possible use of every natural resource.

    That doesn't leave much room for idealists that want to use non-recyclable 1,000-pound battery packs so they can choose coal instead of gasoline to power their car.

    In the battery industry the strain on metal supply chains will be immense. The problems won't be overwhelming for metals like lithium and lead that are abundant in nature but require major new investments in mines and infrastructure, but they'll be crippling for metals like copper, nickel, cobalt, vanadium and rare earths, which are already in short supply and likely to encounter even more daunting supply chain disruptions over the next two decades.

    I'm not a Black Knight wantonly attacking peaceful, frugal and righteous peasants. I'm humble scrivener with enough mining and oil and gas experience to know when the specious assumptions of aspiring eco-princelings can't work.

    I'd certainly never waste hundreds of pounds of steel to protect myself from starry-eyed fools in motley who didn't endure the cruel tutelage of Sister Mary Angelica in their formative years.

    This article was first published in the Summer 2012 issue of Batteries International Magazine and I'd like to thank editor Mike Halls and cartoonist Jan Darasz for their contributions.

    Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

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Comments (55)
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  • Bill Burtchaell
    , contributor
    Comments (413) | Send Message
     
    JP, as student and teacher of positive attitude development over a long career of sales training, I have always felt I had an ability to break down seemingly complicated concepts into simple, easy to understand explanations that eager minds could comprehend and prove out for themselves into a believable and beneficial personal as well as sales production improvement.

     

    I say this, that after reading hundreds (probably thousands) of posts on your articles,many of which you and others comment on concepts that leave my non technical mind wondering, "what the hell did you just read" read it again! This article in IMHO breaks down the components that you write on and many thousands comment on to a powerful and simple to understand conclusion.

     

    I would never have thought that the EP= 25% while EU+ NM = the 75% and the totals cannot exceed metal production! The ability to recycle literally becomes the lifeline to the future. Powerful stuff John and simply, superbly composed and delivered.
    13 Jul 2012, 12:32 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30456) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Thanks for the kind words Bill. For reasons I can't explain the editors decided that this article wasn't good enough for the main pages. I disagree but it's their website.
    13 Jul 2012, 12:48 PM Reply Like
  • DRich
    , contributor
    Comments (4825) | Send Message
     
    >JP ... Maybe, even the SA editors tire of the Tesla nonsense crowd.

     

    I like the article. Thanks
    13 Jul 2012, 02:13 PM Reply Like
  • Bill Burtchaell
    , contributor
    Comments (413) | Send Message
     
    perhaps they didn't read it? I liked it very much, it paints the big picture quite vividly, to me anyway!
    13 Jul 2012, 05:03 PM Reply Like
  • vimala
    , contributor
    Comment (1) | Send Message
     
    I agree that the potential surge in demand of non-ferrous materials that is used extensively in daily life is being ignored. I have never seen a article before that has connected it so well to the battery technology in EV's. Thanks for sharing it.
    In addition, as the electricity being generated for charging the batteries in EV's is mainly from thermal power stations, the carbon discharges are not going to decrease as expected and consequently it will not serve the purpose of a clean technology. The EV's seem to be a false positive to the consumers and environmentalists - who seem blatantly oblivious of it.
    13 Jul 2012, 03:19 PM Reply Like
  • minorman
    , contributor
    Comments (236) | Send Message
     
    John,

     

    I've just written an article about availability of chemical elements - where I review the entire periodic table. I think you might find it interesting (Jack Lifton might too).
    http://bit.ly/M9oXDl
    Executive summary : Terawatt scale energy conversion is a *hard* problem to tackle, and there really are only 25-35 elements available in any reasonable amounts.

     

    I think the paper is free access, but if you can't get the download to work, let me know and I'll send the pdf to your personal email.
    14 Jul 2012, 04:40 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30456) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » It was well worth registering with the site to get download access.

     

    My analysis is not as elegant as yours, but the conclusions are very similar. Congratulations on a beautifully crafted piece of work.

     

    I've already sent copies to Jack Lifton and Gareth Hatch.
    15 Jul 2012, 01:00 AM Reply Like
  • minorman
    , contributor
    Comments (236) | Send Message
     
    Thanks for the kind words, John. I'm glad you liked it.
    15 Jul 2012, 05:00 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30456) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » There aren't many out there who understand the difference between a resource and a reserve, and there are even fewer who know what a load of hokum "crustal abundance" is. One of my favorite examples is the immense known mineral resources in Afghanistan that have zero net present value because the cost of building the infrastructure to access, mine and produce the metals is several times greater than the value of the metals. Those dynamics may change if scarcity drives prices high enough, but there's a lot of crustal minerals that simply aren't worth the trouble.
    15 Jul 2012, 08:09 AM Reply Like
  • Rick Krementz
    , contributor
    Comments (2807) | Send Message
     
    Wow, your report is fantastic! Full documentation, rational, no BS, assumptions clearly stated, and clearly indicates areas of concern for scalability. Thank you. Thank you.

     

    Loved the calculation for the 25 TWh lead battery.
    15 Jul 2012, 11:11 AM Reply Like
  • ARGE
    , contributor
    Comments (724) | Send Message
     
    OK, but all those resources currently being wasted on dirty oil will be redeployed for use in clean and green EVs, all managed by a massive and efficient government bureaucracy!
    Hey, where did all my plastic go?
    16 Jul 2012, 11:46 AM Reply Like
  • fprefect
    , contributor
    Comments (12) | Send Message
     
    Here we go... People have told you time and again that modern EVs DO NOT use rare earth metals and they have the same numbers of computers and such as an ICE car so EV or not we still need metals for cars so no difference there. Hybrids however do use permanent magnent (ie rare earth) motors. you need to read this excellent article by your SA colleague: http://seekingalpha.co...

     

    And my grid is worst-case 23% coal (http://bit.ly/NDRLjy) so on a pollution basis my Tesla is better than any other car on the road. Also, the money I save in fuel will MORE than pay for a new battery at 100,000 miles. If fuel prices rise the payback is even sooner. These are the realities on the ground. Sorry to burst your castle-in-switzerland bubble.
    16 Jul 2012, 05:05 PM Reply Like
  • froggey77
    , contributor
    Comments (2813) | Send Message
     
    Fpre

     

    "Here we go... People have told you time and again that modern EVs DO NOT use rare earth metals and they have the same numbers of computers and such as an ICE car so EV or not we still need metals for cars so no difference there."

     

    If you look rerhaps you will notice that EVs weigh hundreds of pounds more than than their non EV counter parts. Perhaps you should consider what weighs so much. (Hint: find out the materials in the battery) the article you posted even talks about it. Did you read it?

     

    "Hybrids however do use permanent magnet (ie rare earth) motors. you need to read this excellent article by your SA colleague:at...."

     

    EV's do not have to use rare earth permanent magnets no one said they did. However ...for most Automotive use automakers consider them better. Which is why most manufactures use them, at present and will for the next few years. at least.
    That you have found the one company that doesn't is not very impressive.
    Also Hybrids do not need to use Rare earth permanent magnets either. Did you think the choice of magnets was somehow dependent on what it is called? Both vehicles deliver electricity to an Electric motor.

     

    A word from Tesla on which one is better. Answer sometimes one some cases the other. Both will be used if RVs are considered viable.

     

    http://bit.ly/SDmLFq
    "My conclusion is that DC brushless drives will likely continue to dominate in the hybrid and coming plug-in hybrid markets, and that induction drives will likely maintain dominance for the high-performance pure electrics. The question is what will happen as hybrids become more electrically intensive and as their performance levels increase? The fact that so much of the hardware is common for both drives could mean that we will see induction and DC brushless live and work side by side during the coming golden era of hybrid and electric vehicles."

     

    "And my grid is worst-case 23% coal (http://bit.ly/NDRLjy) so on a pollution basis my Tesla is better than any other car on the road."

     

    Try learning a bit about what you are talking about before making silly statements.
    Recent Analysis From The Union Of Concerned Scientist Is Garbage. "
    http://bit.ly/LJiV9b

     

    Because someone tells you what you want to hear does not make them right.
    You either know nothing about what you are talking about or you are a deliberately obstructive. I'd prefer you start learning.
    16 Jul 2012, 07:20 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30456) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Cars from Tesla don't use rare earth permanent magnet motors, but all of the others do. I've read the article and think the assumptions absurd beyond belief.

     

    Pointing to a 2010 average delivered mix says nothing about the plants that are running while your car is charging. Nuclear and coal are base load power 24/7. Natural gas, large hydro and others are added as demand ramps during the day. While you're charging your Tesla, the mix is closer to 50% coal and 50% nuclear, although if you focus on the plants that are tuned up and down to satisfy your personal demand, it's more like 100% coal.
    16 Jul 2012, 11:45 PM Reply Like
  • fprefect
    , contributor
    Comments (12) | Send Message
     
    "If you look rerhaps you will notice that EVs weigh hundreds of pounds more than than their non EV counter parts. Perhaps you should consider what weighs so much. (Hint: find out the materials in the battery) the article you posted even talks about it. Did you read it?"

     

    Yes. I never said EVs are made of air. My point is that very little of that weight are rare earths which is JP's point above. JP's fundamental argument is that rare earth and other metal supply constraints will hamper EV production/adoption. Nick's article does a pretty good job debunking that. There are no current supply constraints for EVs and as demand rises capacity can rise with it. And an EV is still more efficient than an ICE even though it weighs more.

     

    "EV's do not have to use rare earth permanent magnets no one said they did. However ...for most Automotive use automakers consider them better. Which is why most manufactures use them, at present and will for the next few years. at least.
    That you have found the one company that doesn't is not very impressive.
    Also Hybrids do not need to use Rare earth permanent magnets either. Did you think the choice of magnets was somehow dependent on what it is called? Both vehicles deliver electricity to an Electric motor. "

     

    Wow, that paragraph makes no sense at all. What are you trying to say? Yes, both types of motors work but since Tesla (and by extension, Toyota and Mercedes) doesn't use permanent magnet motors they don't use rare earths and so JP's argument is invalidated. Hybrids use rare earth motors because they're cheap and they don't need much performance out of them. JP likes hybrids because they are a market for Axiom batteries but since hybrids use rare earth motors his view of the world will see more rare earths being used than if EVs dominated.

     

    At the end of the day, the long-term trend for electricity generation is cleaner and cleaner. The long-term trend for oil is dirtier and dirtier. We are having to go after more and more difficult to reach oil which means it will keep getting more expensive and we'll end up having more Deepwater Horizon style accidents.

     

    EVs are true flex-fuel vehicles as they can be powered by wind, solar, nuclear, hydro, fusion, natural gas, whatever. ICE's do not have such flexibility and that will be their downfall.
    17 Jul 2012, 02:07 AM Reply Like
  • fprefect
    , contributor
    Comments (12) | Send Message
     
    "Cars from Tesla don't use rare earth permanent magnet motors, but all of the others do."

     

    So just because "all of the others" are doing something a certain way today means they'll continue doing that forever? Give me a break. If that was true we'd all still be living in caves.

     

    The others will do whatever is cheapest so if we do end up having supply constraints on rare earth magnet metals the others will switch to motors that don't use them. Else if Tesla proves there is a market for EVs and the others keep getting their butts kicked they'll change. That's my competition is a good thing.
    17 Jul 2012, 02:32 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30456) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Nick is a bright lad but he has no grasp of real world realities. Unfortunately experience is what you have 15 minutes after you need it.
    17 Jul 2012, 03:52 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30456) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » There's nothing that would please me more than to have Tesla prove me wrong and build a successful business. If it survives another 24 months I'll happily congratulate the team for beating impossible odds. That doesn't change my view that the odds are impossible on July 17, 2012,
    17 Jul 2012, 03:59 AM Reply Like
  • froggey77
    , contributor
    Comments (2813) | Send Message
     
    Fpre
    Perhaps I could have been clearer.

     

    "People have told you time and again that modern EVs DO NOT use rare earth metals"
    True people have told him, not that he has said otherwise, but uninformed people do keep saying that.

     

    It is a false statement any way.
    Every vehicle built in the last ten years has REEs in it EVs or not.

     

    " and they have the same numbers of computers and such as an ICE car so EV or not we still need metals for cars so no difference there."
    This is absurd. It' is possible ICE even have more computers but the materials between them are not equivalent.

     

    If you only look at CO2 pollution (as the article you tout did) caused by building an EV without the battery, is nearly equivalent to building an ICE completely.
    A 30KwH battery (A bit bigger than Leafs at 24KwH) is 43.1% of a mid sized EVs total of 8.8tCO2 A mid sized ICE is 5.6 t CO2
    http://bit.ly/zWspC9

     

    pg53
    If you add in the other types of pollution EVs get ugly quick.

     

    "What are you trying to say? Yes, both types of motors work"

     

    Then why did you say?
    "that modern EVs DO NOT use rare earth metals"
    and
    "Hybrids however do use permanent magnent (ie rare earth) motors. "
    If they both work then why this claim?
    This was a nonsense which I was attempting to point out you were talking nonsense from the beginning. Perhaps I did it badly.
    Of course you git the idea I was making then went back into nonsense again.
    "Yes, both types of motors work"
    Good
    but since Tesla (and by extension, Toyota and Mercedes) doesn't use permanent magnet motors they don't use rare earths and so JP's argument is invalidated.

     

    The article says;
    "they'll be crippling for metals like copper, nickel, cobalt, vanadium and rare earths,"

     

    So you invalidate an entire list because one is not absolutely necessary?
    back to total nonsense
    " Hybrids use rare earth motors because they're cheap"
    Permanent magnet motors are more expensive than a similar AC induction motor.

     

    " and they don't need much performance out of them."

     

    Permanent magnet motors are more efficient per kWH.
    Here is an article from Tesla you can start there.
    Induction Versus DC Brushless Motors
    http://bit.ly/q7Ok4V

     

    You have admitted both motors work so this next argument is you going back to nonsense again.

     

    JP likes hybrids because they are a market for Axiom batteries but since hybrids use rare earth motors his view of the world will see more rare earths being used than if EVs dominated.

     

    EVs such as the Coda, IMEV, Leaf, Focus electric ...

     

    "you need to read this excellent article by your SA colleague: http://seekingalpha.co..."

     

    He read the article, and commented in the comment stream. Didn't you read it?
    17 Jul 2012, 07:55 PM Reply Like
  • froggey77
    , contributor
    Comments (2813) | Send Message
     
    The Leaf appears to be in trouble.
    The battery of Leafs in Hot states such as AZ. and TX. and a new one from CA. appear to be dying.
    30 Leaf owners have reported loss of one capacity bar.
    Of those 30, 6 have reported a loss of 2 bars.
    The first bar means 15% loss the rest of the bars are an additional 6.25% loss.
    "Despite the fact that ‘the loss’ is to be expected, it cannot really be predicted as it is not a linear process, and according to Nissan, batteries encounter higher loss early on in their operational lives, with the curve flattening afterward in a more linear fashion. “Our internal results indicate that the battery will have 80 percent of its capacity under normal use after 5 years, and 70 percent after 10 years,” according to Nissan officials. "

     

    The 6 with 2 bars lost have passed below the 80% 5 year mark.
    (78.75%) It seem to be under 3 months from first report of a capacity bar to the loss of a second one.
    Of the first 8 reports 6 are now reporting 2 bars lost.
    Of the 30 reports 6 have happened in July so far.
    If you find the person who's car died the soonest the report came in on June 19 but says it happened 2 weeks earlier. (Sept. 4 11 to June 4 12 this car was not yet owned over the heat of the summer. Meaning if the car was some where hot before you bought it. Even if you bought it new, as they did. The battery may be irrevocably damaged.

     

    http://bit.ly/Q0jjpq

     

    "EDIT: 7/14/2012
    Summary of thread: This is definitely a problem in hot climates. There appears to be NO correlation to car color, air conditioned garages, 80% charging, driving efficiency, miles driven, quick charging, or anything else beside outside ambient temperature. In other words, cars are being treated exactly as outlined in the owner's manual. We personally know at least a dozen leaf owners, many not mentioned below that have lost at least 15% capacity. According to the ScanGuage, the 2 that haven't lost one, are in the 80's and will be losing one soon. Nissan still claims this is normal, gradual loss and not covered under warranty. Phoenix has now seen up to 30% loss in one year, 25,000 miles of driving."
    http://bit.ly/SD9D30

     

    In the last few weeks, we've lost one of the 'available' bars (see picture). We've put 17,000 miles on it in 14 months. I immediately called the dealer, and he said it's normal, we'd lose one bar and then won't lose any more, and he's seen it in cars with only 6 months of use. He's had Nissan Engineers evaluate it and it's 'normal'. Battery test from 3/28/2012 was normal, 12 status bars, 5 stars. "

     

    6 Months?
    That there are apparently many others who have not reported their loss makes one wonder what the real numbers are.

     

    It seems 1 year old, low capacity Leafs don't fetch good prices either. 23K?
    http://bit.ly/SD9AUV

     

    " Worked out a deal
    on the phone (with the Leaf trade-in) and arrived at the dealership.
    They said everything was good except that THREE of their buyers for the Leaf had all backed out!
    I'm saying this to benefit other MNL members if they are considering trading in, the value
    is falling like a rock. Waited for a couple of hours while they made calls (I could hear them)
    finally found a buyer for $23K. Completed the deal and drove home in the new Sonata."
    " Its no Leaf, but hey
    I don't have to worry about range any more."

     

    I wonder how long before they start sending used or just cars that were originally sent to AZ, TX, CA. ...??? this summer, around the country?

     

    The Tesla TMS (Thermal Management System on the Roadster uses a lot of energy to avoid degradation but seems to work.
    However If the owner leaves it unplugged out in the heat, in the hot areas, for a few weeks or more, the battery might degrade from heat. (say summer vacation) The same would likely be true of S models.
    However I have not heard of any such stories and if there are many I would think that the high profile the bricking stories, any stories such as this, would have hit the media as well.
    16 Jul 2012, 06:32 PM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13589) | Send Message
     
    That 132 page forum on the topic is amazing. The mass confusion over "lost bars" never ended but just kept going in circles.

     

    Sad but almost hypnotic reading...
    16 Jul 2012, 06:54 PM Reply Like
  • Rick Krementz
    , contributor
    Comments (2807) | Send Message
     
    Interesting tidbits if you Google Tesla bricking since 3/31. Posts and blogs that have been deleted or "invalid link". Just about all the negative posts have simply disappeared. The few remaining have endless fanboy comments...

     

    I suspect Tesla has fought back hard against the bricking stories, probably replacing bricked batteries at no charge but with a draconian non-disclosure document. Plus a team of commenters crowding out the negatives and forcing page rankings up.
    16 Jul 2012, 07:08 PM Reply Like
  • froggey77
    , contributor
    Comments (2813) | Send Message
     
    TripB
    There are a few other topics at the forum, others are trying to get a handle on it.
    If you have an interest.
    Google:
    nissan leaf capacity loss
    The Forum link (about 5 down) will give you a few threads. I've Googled other combinations and come up with other threads as well.
    16 Jul 2012, 07:13 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30456) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » The fanboys won't be able to do a thing about the June 30th financial statements which will look like an absolute train wreck. You see the SEC doesn't give a whit about opinion - "Just the facts Ma'am"
    16 Jul 2012, 11:51 PM Reply Like
  • Carnardie
    , contributor
    Comments (259) | Send Message
     
    Tesla's Q2 earnings come out Aug 8th, and yes, the numbers won't look good because Q2 will have continued assembly line development costs and only about 10 Model S cars delivered (plus some Roadsters in Europe plus some powertrain development revenue). However, that's all expected and factored into the current stock price.

     

    The market's reaction will be entirely future-focused: What does the assembly line ramp-up look like now? How confident is management in reaching its 5000 car goal for 2012? How is the gross margin per car working looking? How many more reservation deposits have been taken, and what is the current deposit to final order conversion rate?

     

    The reviews of the car have varied from very good to outright great. The stock these past few days has been rising on rising volume, and overall the stock has been making higher highs and higher lows - all positive technical signs. But, the fundamentals are ever stronger.

     

    I know you believe there will be a "going concern" note, but that seems unlikely to me given the previous liquidity amounts, assembly line run rate costs, and what deliveries will have already occurred. We'll know for sure either way in less than a month.
    17 Jul 2012, 02:03 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30456) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » I disagree with your assessment of Tesla's short- and long-term future, but it won't cost me a penny if I'm wrong. Unfortunately, I don't think you can make the same claim.
    17 Jul 2012, 03:51 AM Reply Like
  • magounsq
    , contributor
    Comments (990) | Send Message
     
    Rick

     

    "Posts and blogs that have been deleted or "invalid link". Just about all the negative posts have simply disappeared. The few remaining have endless fanboy comments...
    Plus a team of commenters crowding out the negatives ..."

     

    Curious...I've noticed the same.
    17 Jul 2012, 08:40 AM Reply Like
  • froggey77
    , contributor
    Comments (2813) | Send Message
     
    Rick
    Just wondering if you have tried Google cache?
    You can find copies of articles and send people to the cached version.
    19 Jul 2012, 04:02 PM Reply Like
  • Dan Fichana
    , contributor
    Comments (1921) | Send Message
     
    Ouch- that's really going to hurt Nissan, maybe the people can claim "lemon law" on them. From what I understand, Nissan was considering putting liquid cooling in the battery packs for the Middle East, but did not do it for the US. They knew ambient/air cooling was not enough in "hot" climates, I guess they failed to comprehend that places in the US get hot.
    23 K isn't too bad for over a year old car that cost 35.2 K grand (34% depreciation), 27.7K if they got the tax break (17% depreciation). Just for curiosity I typed in my car, a 2011 Corolla, put in the same mileage, and I got a 33% depreciation with the dealer trade. I don't think the Nissan deprecation is obscene.
    From what I can find with the Tesla, I'm not too critical, at least they knew they could have heating and degradation problems and designed for it, unlike Nissan. They did have a handful of "bricking", but from my understanding all but one was the owners' faults. I think with the Model S just being released and the "bricking happening a year ago, I think they would be foolish not to design for people leaving it months on end without charging. I would be curious to see the "range" loss also.
    I do not think car failures are isolated to EVs. I had random BS happen to my cars too and have been costly repairs. Not fun when a coolant line blows or the thermostat fails closed while going 70 mph on a highway- those are costly engine repairs. Or when the chekc engine light comes on and the dealer says it's nothing, bring it in whenever and something serious happens. I think one car had 12,000 miles, the other 8,000. In both cases they required a "new engine". I like when the dealers try to say that you somehow caused the car issue.
    I will say, for certain people who forget to fill up their gas tanks, but are OCD about plugging in their cell phones an EV is perfect. I know someone whose replaced numerous fuel pumps because of this, but their cell phone is always 90-100%.
    21 Jul 2012, 03:20 PM Reply Like
  • froggey77
    , contributor
    Comments (2813) | Send Message
     
    Dan
    “Ouch- that's really going to hurt Nissan, maybe the people can claim "lemon law" on them. “
    I doubt it as Nissan has clearly stated degradation of the battery was not covered under its warranty. A comment I only partially quoted (The guy who sold his Leaf.) stated:
    “4. Scanned through the warranty documents, Texas Lemon Law statutes, statements by Nissan officials spoke to a couple of attorneys to see if I had any legal options. Concluded that as long as Nissan stated that they do NOT warranty capacity, we did not have much recourse other than to wait for a PR disaster to happen in order for them to rectify this problem.”
    You said “From what I understand, Nissan was considering putting liquid cooling in the battery packs for the Middle East, but did not do it for the US. They knew ambient/air cooling was not enough in "hot" climates, I guess they failed to comprehend that places in the US get hot.”
    I don’t see how Nissan could have been blindsided by this. It seems very strange, as Nissan has a proving ground about 50 mi south of Phoenix. The use for which is testing vehicles in the heat.
    "23 K isn't too bad for over a year old car that cost 35.2 K grand (34% depreciation), 27.7K if they got the tax break (17% depreciation). Just for curiosity I typed in my car, a 2011 Corolla, put in the same mileage”
    Indeed? How did you put in the same millage? Neither my comment, nor the original post, has any millage listed.
    “, and I got a 33% depreciation with the dealer trade. I don't think the Nissan deprecation is obscene.”
    The quote says “The Nissan dealer we bought it from offered us $23K and then backed out.”
    The Hyundai dealership (where they traded it in) would only take the car after they found a buyer.
    This isn’t a dealer trade in, the Nissan dealer backed out and refused to buy. Even tho Nissan says it’s “normal”. Apparently they said this to a guy with threes bars lost. (72% left.) Hyundai didn’t even consider buying it. This is only the 3rd Leaf with capacity loss that we know has been sold. The others have no information on the sales.
    The quote said:
    “They said everything was good except that THREE of their buyers for the Leaf had all backed out! I'm saying this to benefit other MNL members if they are considering trading in, the value is falling like a rock. Waited for a couple of hours while they made calls (I could hear them) finally found a buyer for $23K. Completed the deal and drove home in the new Sonata.”
    It’s clear that the local dealers want nothing to do with them. If they had no purchaser it seems the Hyundai would not have taken it as a trade in. One car (with capacity loss) in AZ was delivered approximately Sept.5 (after the heat of summer was over.) Which means it likely was new on the dealership lot when the damage would have occurred.
    FUD until proven either wrong or right but questions such as:
    Where was the car stored before you got it? How long does it take in the heat before damage starts accumulating? What will happen to the battery in its second summer? According to the forum members even a cooled garage didn’t make a difference.
    “From what I can find with the Tesla, I'm not too critical, at least they knew they could have heating and degradation problems and designed for it, unlike Nissan. They did have a handful of "bricking", but from my understanding all but one was the owners' faults. “
    “I like when the dealers try to say that you somehow caused the car issue.”
    I think you would have to apply this opinion to the Bricking of Teslas as well.
    “I would be curious to see the "range" loss also.”
    Here is a thread on the Tesla forum
    http://bit.ly/PJaegn
    It seems to be minimal from what I’ve read. (10% or less) Thanks to the TMS (Thermal Management System) That said, most Tesla Roadsters are toys for the rich who may rarely drive them. On May 10,2012 Tesla had 22 million miles on their website. Now they have a bit under 24.6 million miles. 2.6 million miles. In 73 days. From May 10 to July 22
    According to their SEC filing they had sold 2250 at the end of Q1 and 2300. This makes this number slightly on the high side.
    2,600,000/ 2,250 = 1,155.5 / 73 = 15.8 x 365 = 5,778 miles per car per year average.
    http://bit.ly/P2vZdu
    I had random BS happen to my cars too and have been costly repairs
    The Leaf’s battery problem will at present cost more to fix than replacing your Toyota Corolla with a new one. How many problems have you had in year old cars that are that expensive? A problem which is apparently is not your fault? If you followed care and maintenance as the company describes it? etc. Also as long as summers are hot in AZ. and TX.; a new battery is likely to degrade in a year or so. (With the present set up)
    23 Jul 2012, 11:32 AM Reply Like
  • froggey77
    , contributor
    Comments (2813) | Send Message
     
    Nissan has begun to do testing on "half a dozen" Leafs that have capacity loss. I think all are from AZ.

     

    http://bit.ly/P42VlR
    As replacements until the testing is done Nissan gave them all ICEs.
    lol
    23 Jul 2012, 09:49 PM Reply Like
  • froggey77
    , contributor
    Comments (2813) | Send Message
     
    The Leaf has continued to increase the number of cars that have lost capacity. 44 now.
    208 pgs on the my-Leaf-forum.
    a new addition is that a 2012 model Leaf has lost a capacity bar.
    http://bit.ly/NHWgzA
    There were no reports of problems until May 2012. Speculation was that it took months for the damage to accumulate over time and be apparent.
    2012 Leafs were not sold until November 2011 and wasn't subject to last years summer heat. While Nissan redid some battery work to make them better for northern climes. Clearly they need changes for the heat.
    All of the Leafs sold are now in question for heat related problems.

     

    An additional note:
    The first report of capacity loss included a claim that the 'mechanics' had seen many others Leafs with a bar of capacity loss. Some with under 6,000 mi. He was told it was normal.
    Of the 13 who reported losing one bar most have reached 2 bars, in months. (I think they are all in the first 20 who reported one bar lost.)
    If the mechanics are correct there may be many with 2 or mare bars lost.
    The person with the lowest miles is 7,000 When he lost his second bar.
    No mileage given for his first bar.
    Three have under 10,000 mi. with one bar lost.
    31 Jul 2012, 09:12 PM Reply Like
  • Rick Krementz
    , contributor
    Comments (2807) | Send Message
     
    Yep, tried that too. They have been "refreshed" with "invalid link" pages, too.

     

    Not to hard to do. Change/delete the page, then tag it for re-indexing.

     

    I read most of the comments and blogs about the brickings a few months ago, and almost all (with one exception - the original complainant) have disappeared. Plus, there is no followup articles or comments.

     

    It is not an accident. Usually one find tons of out of date articles and stuff, then mostly silence as everybody gets bored. This "curiosity" is that the original posters have disappeared. Like in USSR, when photos were edited to remove "disappeared" people.
    19 Jul 2012, 04:46 PM Reply Like
  • Dan Fichana
    , contributor
    Comments (1921) | Send Message
     
    John,
    If Axion takes off or any other company that makes lead/carbon batteries or any company that replaces the plates with a different material- a significant amount of lead will NOT be needed since they are using carbon instead, as long as the batteries are not significantly larger.

     

    I noticed you focused on copper and other non-ferrous metals. With copper in some, but not all, industries there are viable alternatives. Historically when copper became too expensive, new home contractors used aluminum and PVC in the 1960's and 1970's to save about 400 lbs of copper in homes.

     

    One of my biggest concerns would be the platinum used in regular cars. Currently we mine about 130 tons/year and use 230 tons/year; 113 tons which are used in cars, 78 tons/jewelry, remaining 54 tons in medicines/medical/cata... and "other". If we multiply the middle class population by 2.7, those platinum numbers jump up very fast and there is no viable alternative. There are no alternatives, least for cars catalytic convertors, O2 sensors, and cancer medicines. Care to comment on your take on platinum resource availability. I would think that would be more pressing than copper.
    20 Jul 2012, 02:37 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30456) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » About the only metal that I don't worry about is lead. It only has one primary use and while global reserves are only 85 million tons, identified resources are closer to 1.5 billion tons. http://on.doi.gov/x6Am9R

     

    Platinum is close to the top of the constrained resource list. I have no earthly idea how the planet will adjust to these looming metal shortages, but it will most certainly have to do something.
    20 Jul 2012, 02:51 PM Reply Like
  • Dan Fichana
    , contributor
    Comments (1921) | Send Message
     
    Just for curiosity, I did set up a goal seek in excel to figure out how many "new cars" with catalytic convertors we can produce each year. My information was as follows:
    35 tons/ medicines and increasing at the same rate as the middle class, they will demand medical treatment for cancer (removed Pt from metal circulation)
    78 tons/jewelry; which is really 1 out of 300 middle class currently have a only one Pt ring, the ratio stays the same, but the tons increase as the middle class population increases (that Pt is effectively removed from circulation)
    98% currently recovered from JMI
    Up to 4% mining increase/year as per metal refiner Johnson Matthey.

     

    We as a society are in deep trouble. Our current and projected platinum supply is only good for an increase of 2.5 to 4 million vehicles per year. Unfortunately some governments are also requiring catalytic convertors for alcohol, CNG, and LNG vehicles. I think we are capped with platinum.

     

    In order to meet the demand for platinum, we need between a 13-14% yearly increase in production. That's a huge increase. Unless we get really smart as a society and say "no more platinum/paladium/rodium for jewelry", but that's probably not going to happen, specifically when you throw the culture of India into the mix, whose primary method of showing wealth is precious metals jewelry.
    21 Jul 2012, 03:20 PM Reply Like
  • Dan Fichana
    , contributor
    Comments (1921) | Send Message
     
    More information on copper:
    As per the 2010 World Copper Factbook, page 46:

     

    Here's the 2009 uses for copper (million metric tons)
    Plumbing- 1.336
    Building plant- 0.133
    Architecture- 0.324
    Communications-0.193
    Building electrical power- 5.273
    Utility power- 2.541
    Telecom- 0.725
    Industrial- 2.742
    Automotive -1.590
    Other transportation-0.967
    Consumer products- 1.814
    Cooling- 1.330
    Electronic-0.768
    Diverse- 2.359

     

    1.590 million metric tons goes towards the current automotive sector. This may seem like alot, but consider that 22 million metric tons are used for everything, so the current automotive sector uses 7%.

     

    The mine production of copper is 15 million tons/year and increases by 4% per year and typical used European copper is around 43% recycled and 57% new. That means we have 26 million tons going into the system per year.

     

    Currently we have a 4 million ton/year cushion, even if EVs replaced every car on the road today going forward, we would still have a 2.4 million ton cushion.

     

    If copper became so expensive or rare, I can see numerous items on that which could be substituted with other materials without any impact to quality of life.
    23 Jul 2012, 01:45 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30456) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » You can't take the source composition of copper used in Europe and apply that ratio to the rest of the world. A simple Google search will tell you that there is already a global copper shortage. Doubling per vehicle copper demand from the automotive sector can only make a bad situation worse.
    23 Jul 2012, 02:16 PM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13589) | Send Message
     
    Recycling copper also is not the same as mine production, particularly when estimating supply availability year after year. Recycling will clearly peak as a function of turnover in inventory for major infrastructure like housing and long-lived durable goods. Periods where 40 year old units are plowed under and valuables like copper reclaimed follow a curve that has little to do with mining results or the demands of new technology.

     

    Counting on recycling for a "cushion" is building your expectations on a very shaky foundation.
    23 Jul 2012, 03:59 PM Reply Like
  • Dan Fichana
    , contributor
    Comments (1921) | Send Message
     
    Ok, 42%, Europe, may have been a little high. The world "recycle" rate is really 37%. That still puts us at around 23.4 Million

     

    http://bit.ly/OjEXB9

     

    There's much bigger places to hit with copper replacements than cars. I would go after the low laying fruits, such as plumbing and building. It's very easy to substitute in plastic and aluminum for copper in traditional buildings. A 25% reduction or substitution in the "building" would free up more than enough copper. I know in my home, which was built in the 1960's, all the wire is aluminum and most of my piping is PVC or steel (gas lines). In a typical new construction house, you normally have 400 lbs of copper, including appliances. You can reduce the copper by 300 lbs by simply using PVC and aluminum for pipes and wires.

     

    I can see contractors and concerned home owners moving away from the 100-200 lbs of copper pipes in there house to PVC based on health concerns and lawsuits specifically in the US due to health concerns. Which will decrease the copper demand.

     

    http://bit.ly/OjEZc1

     

    http://bit.ly/OjEZc2

     

    My point is when copper becomes rare or there is some downside, economics forces companies to use alternatives and in some cases, there are viable alternatives to copper.
    23 Jul 2012, 04:01 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30456) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » In Jeremy Grantham's April 2011 quarterly letter, he had a table that showed China currently uses 38.9% of the world's copper.

     

    http://bit.ly/OjHN94

     

    Arguing about how easy it is to double per vehicle demand from the auto industry indicates a profound lack of understanding about how resources are used around the world.

     

    I think we've taken this conversation about as far as we can and unless you can get realistic with your expectations, I don't want to waste any further time with you.
    23 Jul 2012, 04:22 PM Reply Like
  • Damian Taylor
    , contributor
    Comments (2) | Send Message
     
    Mr. Peterson,

     

    It appears that I'm a bit late to this this exchange of ideas. I apologize in advance for the below exhibit of verbosity. My comments include comments in response to your "Using Hype as Deception" as well as your response writing to "EV Bl

     

    I may not quite that bestow the "honor" of "EV Black Knight" t title upon you but, "Mr. E.V. Naysayer" certainly comes to mind after only reading 2-3 of your articles.

     

    As small-cap and emerging technology investor, not to mention a genuine interest green technologies, I'm intrigued promising, cutting-edge technologies, especially those connected to renewable energy. Right now, the race is on for a true front runner in Li-ion battery technology. Looking through the business "survi abilti lense," the current state appears nothing short of dysmal. With the recent Chapter 11 filing by Valence Technologies and A123 not too far behind, lithium energy company leadership must tell the "good" new when they can even if for no other reason, their inherent need to survive as a business. Your arguments were insightful and most were valid but it seemed as if you allowed JRP3 too push your buttons. Deception, strong language in my eyes. You are quick to identify the negatives of batteries but each can be me with far worse reason to reduce fossil fuel consumption-CO2 pollution, foreign oil, massive oil spills, etc.

     

    Yet another criticism of batteries... punctures hazards, what's next? Fume, radiation? You do know that simply the act of driving a car is a risk, the fumes inhaled when refuling has been shown to cause cancer in lab rats. I live and work in the DC/ Northern VA region and typically travel by way of metro rail. On the rare occasion I drive to the office, my 20 mile drives turns into a 75-minute stop & go "adventure" that I dare not to lower my windows for fear of the "tailpipe perfume"

     

    Let's not forget, cigarettes cause cancer but yet, they they remain legal and readily available.

     

    I've deduced that one or more of the following must be a contributing factor to your continued quest to discredit EV's:

     

    1. You are compensated by big oil
    2. You took accumulated a massive stock position and lost bod, and now its payback time
    3. You now have a large Nvia short position
    4. Your daily consumption of "Haterade" has created

     

    Whether a technologocal breakthrough occurs during in controlled laboratory setting or in a more realistic operating environment, the occurrence shows promise nonetheless. Although, I don't see eye to eye with Henk Mol more technical analysis, for the sake brevity (and perhaps to avoid being embarrassed), I'll forgo counter arguing his discussion regarding diminishing capacity and stress due to swelling; after all, my area of expertise is Cybersecurity, I'll be the first to admit that my materials science and nanotechology knowledge is probably not "smarter than a fifth/grader." I can see how Nvia Systems' overzealous portrayl of the Lux graph stretches ethical boundaries but,
    I ask you and others, isn't this practice of "hyping" a common business practice? As an example, consider the leading petroleum companies, most are claim there fuel ,results in better mpg's due to the addition of their "secret sauce" aka additive "x" to their formula. I'd agrue that 80% or more of these purported benefits are only achieved in a lab setting.

     

    As a youth, my father instilled in me the "two wrongs don't make a right" concept so, my intent is not to suggest that what took place is justifiable. Wear the other shoe for a moment; most CEO's whom witnesses what appears to be a leap forward in their core product development is going out and tell the world, wouldn't you? I chose the oil industry because of its relevance but also because they executives, corporate strategists, etc., must have a growing fear of a day that comes where a majority of society relies on non-combustion engines devoid of gasoline and recurring oil. More than likely not to be seen in my lifetime but, just thought of knowing such a shift will eventually manifest, is in and of itself disruptive and mindboggling. I could spew out several examples similar product claims that many could easily see as baseless. My goal was to offee some food for though and a different perspective. I truely hope production costs decrease dramatically because like you alluded to,thats only way in which widspread adoption will take place and pushes EV's beyond a staggnated position on the "Hype Cyle".

     

    Just as an FYI, I am an active-Naval Officer and have recently spending some of my off-duty hours on refining an all-electric, tactical vehicle concept that I believe could potentially benefit our special operation forces' ability support key mission objectives. In the spirit of lifelong learning and as a part of my research, I've consumed, collected and analyzed am vast amounts of Li-ion batterry data and read various experiences of early adopters (perhaps I've now graduated from grade 5 to 6). Since the project isn't a government funded initiative, (yet), I've expended my own resources (time, effort, money) thus far; however, I'm putting the final touches on a proposal for corporate sponsorship in which I plan to ask Envia Systems to contribute by supplying an adequate supply their new 400 W/h batteries as the power source for the prototype / proof of concept. Teststind will occur outside the the confines of the lab. If they are willing and/or able to provide the project with these cells/packs, during the prototype testing phase, I'll be am unbiased source of investigation. I propose a gentleman's wager....if testing yields 400 Wh/kg +/- 25Wh/kg then you agree to "turn down" the "Nvia hate campaign." If the results are nowhere near those numbers, then I'll clearly tell the world (or at least, those who follow your blogs), that your are, without a doubt, spot on in your previous analysis.

     

    "I've not failed, I've just discovered 10,000 that won't work

     

    Best Regards,
    Damian R. Taylor
    Cyber Federal Executive Fellow
    21 Jul 2012, 12:45 AM Reply Like
  • magounsq
    , contributor
    Comments (990) | Send Message
     
    Damian

     

    I'd suggest you do more, even a little, due diligence before you assert such incendiary, inflammatory and accusatory remarks, especially assuming your purported position is credible.
    21 Jul 2012, 04:46 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30456) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Damian,

     

    I think you misunderstand what my position is and why.

     

    Envia is years away from a production cell. The laboratory tests involved one off cells that they fabricated for the purpose of those tests and the stories made it quite clear that their target of 400 wh/kg is at least five years off. The general experience in the battery industry is that innovations take a decade to move from Eureka! to product and well over 95% of widely touted discoveries turn to shit when the developer learns that they can't be cost-effective.

     

    I have a very close relationship with Lux and rely heavily on their work product. I know that Lux gave Envia permission to use their graph and was incensed when Envia modified the graph to convey a message that Lux never conveyed. Using somebody else's data in its original form is sensible PR. Modifying somebody else's data without disclosing that you've modified it is deceptive per se.

     

    I've been board chairman of a battery developer and know first hand how difficult, time consuming and expensive the process is. EVs are years if not decades away from being economically sound. The reason is simple. Batteries are wonderful efficiency devices when they're used in small quantities to reduce total energy consumption in an HEV. They are unconscionable waste when total energy consumption is not reduced and the only impact is moving emissions from a tail pipe to a power plant.

     

    Investing wisely is one of the most difficult things on the planet. Even if a company has a great technology, paying too much for a stock is a great way to get your head handed to you. I'm generally quite careful to avoid criticizing somebody's "technology" because in most cases I'm not able to make those judgments. I have no problem criticizing their spending habits, their financial condition and the reasonableness of their stock price in light of their underlying business fundamentals.

     

    At the end of the day I don't write my blog for investors. I write it to draw the attention of industry professionals who need a lawyer that understands the depth and complexity of the challenges they face. This is a business development tool for me and I'm very careful to stay with the unvarnished truth because the people I want to work with know and understand the difference.
    21 Jul 2012, 01:16 AM Reply Like
  • magounsq
    , contributor
    Comments (990) | Send Message
     
    Interesting, if not short term...

     

    Cutting Back: Wealthy Car Buyers Trading Down

     

    http://bit.ly/Oer84X
    22 Jul 2012, 03:58 PM Reply Like
  • froggey77
    , contributor
    Comments (2813) | Send Message
     
    More Leaf owner problems:
    Leafs Encounter Charging Problems; GE’s WattStation Blamed

     

    http://bit.ly/NMuqk8

     

    "GE Energy says that it is working with Nissan to determine why owners of the Leaf electric vehicle have encountered charging problems, following complaints about GE’s WattStation charger.
    There have been reports that the WattStation is damaging the on-board chargers of some Nissan Leafs. The problem has so far affected 11 Leafs, a New York Times blog reports.
    One San Francisco-area dealership emailed customers last week warning them that using the WattStation may make it impossible to recharge the car, reports PlugIn cars. The email, sent by Hanlee Hilltop Nissan of San Pablo, Calif., said that Nissan had documented multiple occurrences of Leafs losing their ability to charge after using the WattStation.
    GE says its current analysis does not point to the WattStation as the cause of the reported failures. Nissan North America told the Times that it has no official policy instructing customers not to use the charger.
    According to AutoblogGreen, the problem is probably related to a diode on the car’s on-board recharging system. The problem should not affect other models of electric vehicle, AutoblogGreen reports."

     

    An earlier article claimed Nissan told owners to stop using the charger.

     

    http://nyti.ms/MWzwpo
    "A representative of a Nissan dealership in the San Francisco Bay Area sent an e-mail to Leaf customers on Thursday, warning them to stop using the charger.
    In the message, Rafael Carballo, the E.V. sales leader at Hanlees Hilltop Nissan in San Pablo, Calif., said Nissan had “documented” cases of the G.E. station’s damaging Leaf charging systems. “It is recommended that you don’t use G.E. charging stations at this time,” he wrote."
    23 Jul 2012, 12:13 PM Reply Like
  • froggey77
    , contributor
    Comments (2813) | Send Message
     
    Well more bad news for Leaf owners:

     

    In Discouraging Trend, Nissan Dealers Discount LEAF Price

     

    http://bit.ly/MWDxu0

     

    "In the past few days, I’ve started seeing reports that some Nissan dealerships are offering steep discounts on the Nissan LEAF. While this could mean great deals for a few EV buyers, the move to drop the price—by as much as $5,000 off MSRP—could call the long-term health of the EV market into question. These spiffs are on top of a federal tax credit of $7,500, and a $2,500 rebate in California.
    The website homepage of Fontana Nissan in San Bernardino, Calif. Advertises a LEAF available for “$13,000 off MSRP.” GreenCarReports said that Fontana, as well as North Bay Nissan in Petaluma, Calif., and are offering $5,000 off MSRP for any in-stock LEAF. Campbell Nelson Nissan in Seattle, Wash. is offering charging equipment bundled with a lease.
    Paul Scott, a long-time EV advocate turned LEAF salesman, doesn’t like the trend. “As with any product that is not selling as fast as producers would like, the price needs to soften to increase sales. I believe these cars are worth the MSRP, but clearly, most of the public does not,” said Scott. “Here at Nissan of Downtown LA, we are negotiable, but the $5,000 figure seems way out of line. I think that degrades the product in people's minds.” "

     

    This next part is something John has predicted.

     

    "Scott attributed slow demand to anti-EV media coverage, the recession, and falling gas prices. “All of these things have depressed sales,” he said. Scott still sees the LEAF as a great car, and said that his customers are “all in agreement that it's a fantastic vehicle that works as a primary car for virtually all of their needs.”
    Nonetheless, the need for dramatic price reductions is discouraging. “We all know what the end game is, but it's frustrating as hell to have gone through those years trying to get the carmakers to build EVs,” said Scott, “and then when they do, the public yawns and says, so what?” "

     

    It is possible the guy below is right but it's not the side I would put my money on.

     

    Alan Baum, an auto industry analyst with 25 years of experience, said it’s too early to read a lot into these dealership incentives. “There are always dealers that have too much of one vehicle and not enough of another,” he said. “That’s not news.”
    Baum suggested that perhaps a couple of dealers “got ahead of themselves” by taking more volume than they wanted. “Now, they’re trying to deal with it.”

     

    Dealer to dealer they can't do better than $5 grand? On a limited availability vehicle? No. I can't say I buy it.

     

    "Baum believes the verdict on EV popularity won’t be determined until electric vehicles are available in a wide range of styles and segments."

     

    Total EV segment won't be clear but everything I've read says the Leaf was a decent new car and just wasn't selling. That's before the recent capacity problems became apparent.

     

    "The discounts are emanating from dealers, and not from Nissan. “If prices are going to change, Nissan wants to be the one to do it, so they can control the markeing.” said Baum. “Nissan would want to put a program behind the shift, coordinating it with new vehicle features or giving away charging equipment. Otherwise, it all becomes a hodgepodge.” "

     

    $5 grand off a new Leaf will do wonders for a used Leaf's resale value.
    23 Jul 2012, 12:46 PM Reply Like
  • KCN
    , contributor
    Comments (399) | Send Message
     
    JP,

     

    We are going to mine asteroids to supply all the REE we need and also all the water, and anything we can think we are short. Besides, Japanese researchers found that most of the ocean floor is littered with REE and there will be no shortage of REE.

     

    There is one problem with lead. It makes people go crazy. That is why we took it out of our gasoline.
    25 Jul 2012, 09:26 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30456) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Mining asteroids and the ocean floor for materials may well happen, but it won't be fast or cheap. Lead is a health hazard if proper safety and environmental protection protocols are not implemented in both the manufacturing and recycling process. That's why lead batteries are the most widely recycled product on the planet and about 80% of current lead needs are met from recycled batteries.
    26 Jul 2012, 12:11 AM Reply Like
  • KCN
    , contributor
    Comments (399) | Send Message
     
    There is a space venture or two being organized to do the asteroid mining. Surprisingly it is less costly because of the concentrated nature and also no real environmental impact. Besides, cost is relative otherwise we would not be paying $1500 for an oz of gold.

     

    Lead is like asbestos, even a small amount in the environment is dangerous as it accumulates in bodies. Lead is still mined, first to meet 20% of unmet need for the batteries and for many other applications. Much of the production is in the parts of the world where the ragulation are lax. By the way, lithium slats are used to cure mental diseases.
    26 Jul 2012, 08:57 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30456) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Your grasp of economics and relative environmental risks is absolutely breathtaking.
    26 Jul 2012, 09:07 AM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13589) | Send Message
     
    The rare concentrations of rare earths which we mine here on earth result from planetary forces, ie, the action of an active biosphere wrapped around loads of volcanic activity. These conditions do not occur in space, and the presence of rare earths in asteroids really isn't in doubt, though the commercial concentration might be.

     

    John Ringo's new book series examines how asteroids might be mined on a mega scale, including literally "spinning off" the more rare metals like platinum, but I wonder how this would work with inherently stubborn rare earths which are extremely difficult to separate.

     

    Perhaps a Mars base seperation plant with access to loads of water in a gravity field could be built.

     

    I'm an old line sf fan, so I love this stuff, but a country that can't even retain a manned space program has me thinking that mining space is a goal which I will never live to see realized...
    26 Jul 2012, 09:20 AM Reply Like
  • KCN
    , contributor
    Comments (399) | Send Message
     
    Only you could as you are much deeper in the depth than I am.
    26 Jul 2012, 10:45 AM Reply Like
  • KCN
    , contributor
    Comments (399) | Send Message
     
    tripleback,

     

    Asteroid mining and material separation technologies are going to be significantly different. These will exploit near zero gravity and near vacuum of the space. I wish I had time to explore these fascinating areas of sciences and technologies. Earth is unique as it is really a molten ball that recycles its solidified skin. Even so, many deposits of precious metals and other rare earths appear to originate from impacts. If not, we do not understand solidification process and why it is not homogeneous. These are fascinating studies.

     

    Further, many or most asteroids could possibly go back to a time where our knowledge is limited or nonexistent. So what concentration of RE we would encounter is unknown.

     

    Thanks for a thought provoking comment.
    26 Jul 2012, 11:02 AM Reply Like
  • froggey77
    , contributor
    Comments (2813) | Send Message
     
    It seems the I-MiEV is not selling up to expectations.
    Mitsubishi Halts Production Of The Peugeot-Citroen Rebadged i-MiEV Due To Slow Sales

     

    http://bit.ly/NqYSwZ

     

    Mitsubishi has said the halt is temporary in nature, but with burgeoning inventories at PSA, there was no scheduled resumption date.
    I ran across a dealer in CA. about 1/3 off. $30,000 MSRP for sale $20,000.

     

    http://bit.ly/NhNuGS

     

    Cars dot com has some new 2012s cheap too.
    http://bit.ly/NqYSNf

     

    Also they seem to have some airbag problems:
    Mitsubishi recalls i-MiEV electric cars due to air bag problems

     

    http://bit.ly/NhNuGY
    9 Aug 2012, 09:25 PM Reply Like
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