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GM CEO Dan Akerson has created a small team to study Tesla (TSLA) and the potential threat it...

GM CEO Dan Akerson has created a small team to study Tesla (TSLA) and the potential threat it poses to the auto giant. Vice chairman Steve Girsky: "[Akerson] thinks Tesla could be a big disrupter if we’re not careful ... History is littered with big companies that ignored innovation that was coming their way." Akerson has been busy trying to speed up the pace at GM implements new technologies, and promised in March GM would launch an EV with a 200-mile range. Meanwhile, Tesla is working on lowering charging times at its supercharging stations to 5-10 minutes from 20. CTO J.B. Straubel cautions "it’s not going to happen in a year from now."
Comments (69)
  • A small team...what a waste. By the time GM adopts something, Tesla will be the dominate power in the space.


    If anything, this will just push Musk & Co to push harder and faster to dominate the market.


    GM has union labor. Expensive. To create Tesla's car, GM would have to sell it for $150K a unit just to break even.
    18 Jul 2013, 02:00 PM Reply Like
  • I agree, but they should start even at that cost. If they wait until tesla designs a pickup the cost will be 100X
    18 Jul 2013, 04:45 PM Reply Like
  • "GM has union labor. Expensive. To create Tesla's car, GM would have to sell it for $150K a unit just to break even"


    Why? The average Tesla employee makes more $ than @ GM...
    18 Jul 2013, 07:28 PM Reply Like
  • David G. said;


    GM has union labor. Expensive. To create Tesla's car, GM would have to sell it for $150K a unit just to break even.


    Hi David, you have got to stop listening to Faux News!


    According to several statistical sites the labor cost of building an automobile is between 4.4% and 8.5%.


    Development, advertising, parts, etc. make up the rest.


    If you really wish to reduce costs, train your employees and pay them well, the US did this for many years and had the most productive workforce in the world, which lead to the golden years of high but fair wages.


    Then some idiot came out with "tricky down economics;-)" and it's been down hill ever since.


    The true "Job Creators" are the middle class, and if they have no money to spend, well the economy suffers, no matter how much money or tax breaks you get, no one will build a factory or expand a factory unless there is a market for their product.


    And that is today's lesson in basic economics, for further explanation, watch the following short video by a billionaire yet;



    18 Jul 2013, 07:44 PM Reply Like
  • Great link, thanks John.
    18 Jul 2013, 08:22 PM Reply Like
  • Well said antiguajohn!
    18 Jul 2013, 11:45 PM Reply Like
  • About employees, the look into (TLSA) plant made me ask, where are all the employees. It looked like something out of Iron Man or Terminator. Lots of machines.
    19 Jul 2013, 09:08 AM Reply Like
  • 160 robots and 3,000 employees to be somewhat correct
    19 Jul 2013, 08:55 PM Reply Like
  • This explains why the market makers have been working so hard to stunt the growth of tTesla's stock. They have been lobbied by the big 5 to slow Tesla down in order to give them some time to come up with an answer. They can't do to Elon Musk what they did to John DeLorean, so they have devised to slow its influx of cash which would enable it to invest in it's building on their charging station infrastructure. Those Car Dealerships whom have opposed Tesla's retail model probably have received some form of incentive monies to file their frivolous lawsuits. However the plain truth is that as I have said in the past .tsla will be at $300.00 by this time next year and at $800 in five years.
    They couldn't stop IBM, They can't do anything about Microsofts dominance, They couldn't stifel Steve Job's Ingenuity, and Henry Ford of all people proved that innovation in manufacturing of Automobiles is KING! PS: the FORD motor company has played with the EV idea years for more than two decades but when your profits are held up and hedged about by investments in OIL, why would you support EV's; Lest you be SUICIDAL!
    20 Jul 2013, 10:31 AM Reply Like
  • I have been wordering about something and thought posting the question here would be the right place to post it (as opposed to other older articles on S.A.)... With Panasonic's move to 4.0 Ah cells, would this create any serious overheating problems that the 3.1 Ah cells currently aren't familiar with? Engineers here on SA, any idea?
    20 Jul 2013, 06:54 PM Reply Like
  • If Tesla elects to build a higher capacity battery using the same number of new Panasonic cells, it may increase the cooling capacity requirements slightly since the new cells weigh ~54g vs. the old cell's ~46g. I say "may" because the weight difference would only be about 134 lbs; and, the way engineers typically over-design a bit just to be on the "safe side", I would think it quite likely that no changes would be required. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if the Tesla engineers designed for a potential future 10% or so heavier battery in the first place.


    There could also be an increase in cooling capacity if they elect to increase the firmware controlled max speed (130 mph on performance). The other thing that they will need to consider is an increase in some conductor sizes if they go for top-speed or other performance enhancements as well.


    As far as needing to increase cooling capacity or conductor sizes if a Model S owner upgrades to a higher capacity battery for increased range, the firmware could make slight adjustments if necessary so no other modifications on the car would be required.
    21 Jul 2013, 05:37 PM Reply Like
  • Smartest move Akerson has undertaken yet. Tesla doesn't yet have an economically viable product, but the vertically-integrated distribution sales, service and supply chain to the consumer is precisely what the entire industry should be moving toward - and would be but for the anachronistic and irrational franchise laws dealer groups are panicking to strengthen with some degree of recent success.


    Nobody would seek to recreate from a clean sheet the sales and service infrastructure that exists today - which exists only because it was inherited and includes many franchisees who happened to be the town's wealthiest family rather than anybody even remotely qualified. Too many have operated franchises for decades based solely upon the maker-funded cycle of overproduction and hyperincentives without ever learning (or needing to learn) how to operate a viable business of their own.


    What Tesla seeks to create may not be viable for makers of the existing giants' size, but any sustainable solution would involve 80% fewer sales points and 80% more service outlets - decoupling the present irrational pairing of the two in lockstep.


    Ford had damn well better follow suit - and in fact, should've been leading this charge.
    18 Jul 2013, 02:01 PM Reply Like
  • "Tesla doesn't yet have an economically viable product"


    Really, Remford? Have you taken a close look at (or even better, test-driven) a Model S and compared it to the same level of Audi, Mercedes, BMW models? I would really be interested in your opinion after you have driven a Tesla. You know where to find us on this forum! Thanks.
    18 Jul 2013, 02:06 PM Reply Like
  • @URSF
    I think you are misreading (Or maybe I am) what you quoted.


    He is saying that the product standalone doesn't make money for the company thus if all else stands still the company would go out of business.


    It has nothing to do with actually driving a Tesla...
    18 Jul 2013, 02:11 PM Reply Like
  • @wigit5. O.k., if I misinterpreted Remford's statement, I am sorry. And I agree that the company needs to sell more cars and unlock economies of scale. But they actually started to make profits (albeit still with the help of environmental rights the were able to sell).
    But stating that "Tesla doesn't yet have an economically viable product" to me is too extreme of a statement at this point of the game. Looking forward to 2Q earnings call.
    18 Jul 2013, 02:25 PM Reply Like
  • The only other way I see reading that is that the car isn't economical to the person who bought it... but that can't be right as if you can afford to purchase it the savings in gas (assuming gas stays above $3 avg) for the life of the vehicle should certainly make it 'economical'. Add in the savings from less repairs (an assumption given how less complicated the 'engine' is).


    My parent owns a model S and is head over heels in love with it. I have driven around in it an it is quite a ride although I prefer my Benz 350 to it still.


    If I can afford it I'll give serious thought to the Model X as we have a need for an SUV....
    18 Jul 2013, 02:35 PM Reply Like
  • Wigit5 ... the only reason that Tesla "isn't making money" is because they are plowing their profit right back into the infrastructure (like the Superchargers) and new manufacturing capacity. If the money that they made from the cars, alone, were taken into account, then I think that you could say that they were making money. That is what happens with an expanding company.
    18 Jul 2013, 02:50 PM Reply Like
  • How much money will those supercharges net back to Tesla? unless they become as ubiquitous as gas stations they won't have much affect on the population as a whole...


    More superchargers *may* lead to some increased sales but then again most TSLA bulls argue that 98%+ charging is done at the home so if that is true then the argument supercharges will increase vehicle sales is somewhat muted.


    In short the company is putting money into something that they likely will not see a full return on. In the end they are just losing money. Also, you can't just ignore they are spending the money and say they are 'making money' by looking at the cost of the car vs the sales price... that is a surefire way to lose money in the market. If the company isn't profitable it isn't profitable no amount of accounting tricks or ignorance can hide that forever.


    Hopefully though TSLA continues to make money even without the ZEV credits; if nothing else they will spur change in the larger automotive companies.
    18 Jul 2013, 03:15 PM Reply Like
  • @Cassina Tarsia.
    I know you are a fan, and so am I!. I have only testdriven an S, and from some of your other postings I gather that you drive/own one. About your comment: I would agree with it but you are actually referring to cash-flow and not necessarily to profits. Cash is currently not a large issue/problem for Tesla after its recent public offering and even after paydown of the government loans. What they need now is more sales (and a think they are on the right path, especially if you include Europe and Asia, about which Elon "owes" us some updates soon) in order to increase economies of scale and profitability.
    18 Jul 2013, 03:15 PM Reply Like
  • thanks for the comment, wigit5.
    I'd be lying if I was not jaleaous for your S-access!
    And don't start me on Model X! With the twin enginges.... I am in need for a mini-van..... (and you for an SUV, and somebody else in a Porsche 911 performance car, and we all get what we want in X!)
    18 Jul 2013, 03:19 PM Reply Like
  • That reminds me, does GM and Ford gets ZEV credits with their EV?
    Just asking?
    18 Jul 2013, 03:30 PM Reply Like
  • If you think that Tesla doesn't make a viable product, just get them to advertise Tesla just like Ford, Gm, Chevy,Honda, or any of them and create a level playing or competition field and see what happens.
    I would bet you would be shaking in your shoes because Tesla would take (I'll go out on a limb) 85% of the market, and I would also bet that's exactly what your afraid of.
    In this Country we have always been proud of our competition when a consumer buys almost anything in a store, that's what keeps prices down. But what you are suggesting is to keep Tesla out of the market and somehow kill it, that is not only rotten, it's also very bad for consumers, and it should not happen.
    I would hope that everyone reading these comments should take it seriously, because if they succeed in killing Tesla, we will all be paying through the nose for years with higher and higher profits for them, and lower and lower service for consumers.
    I for one will help Tesla succeed, by buying a Tesla EV because the big three or their dealer friends never did anything for me and as a matter of fact they have tried to take more money from me or any of my family when we need a car or service.
    Buying a car that does not need service is very appealing to me and if Tesla advertises these facts, they won't be able to build enough of EV's.
    I can only hope that Elon Musk comes out very soon with a Model X or a Gen 3 vehicle in the next 6 months, so that the majority people can afford to buy one. That's exactly what Henry Ford did back in 1908, he built a car that the average worker can afford, that's what Elon Musk/Tesla needs to do NOW.
    18 Jul 2013, 04:42 PM Reply Like
  • Sounds like wishful thinking to me, superchargers are a great idea, and if they happen to be on your way to work, why would you use your home electric or grid to charge your car when you can get FREE electric or mileage? The answer is not me, I will always choose the green way of charging my EV, the superchargers get their energy from the sun so it's FREE, to bad but that's another thing that sticks in their craw.
    18 Jul 2013, 04:56 PM Reply Like
  • They do. Except, they have to use them up to compensate for the gas guzzlers they sell.
    18 Jul 2013, 05:04 PM Reply Like
  • "the only reason that Tesla "isn't making money" is because they are plowing their profit right back into the infrastructure"


    Cassina, you obviously don't understand the difference between capital expenditure and operating expenses on a company's financial statements. Infrastructure spending does not immediately affect a company's profits, it only shows up over time as an expense via depreciation.
    18 Jul 2013, 05:16 PM Reply Like
  • I knew there'd be at least one jihadi jump to defend Tesla - whose viability has absolutely NOTHING to do with product quality or any lack thereof. Tesla's not yet economically viable because it can't yet fund the development or profitable sales of its vehicles and requires massive government subsidies to support each sale.


    Tesla being profitable has nothing whatsoever to do with product viability - which ceases by nightfall if China's appetite for U.S. debt wanes by just one calorie.


    The $7,500 plus being borrowed and dumped into each EV is a phenomenon to resent, NOT celebrate, as it also keeps alive false competitors that only prolong the amount of time for a legitimately sustainably profitable EV producer to achieve critical mass beyond building CAFE-compliant loss-leading fleet equalizers. The nosebleeds resulting from the EV moral high ground are staggering.


    The number who leap to defend decisions they've simply decided to have rather than developing positions based upon observable fact NEVER ceases to amaze, especially when it's not even relevant to the matter at hand, which happens to be the retailing aspect of carmaking that transcends the vehicles themselves entirely.


    To the matter at-hand. On the scale of a Ford or GM, dealer networks are a hugely convenient, and expensive means of bridge financing inventory at the expense of adding in HUGE amounts of consumer cost. Being able to move inventory immediately off your own books and onto third parties' is hugely convenient, but not if you suddenly must compete with a business whose model is viable without it. Incentive risk is all that remains.


    You're suddenly operating at a 10% (or worse) competitive price DIS-advantage.


    If Tesla ever grows beyond the point of essentially making built-to-order vehicles on a unit by unit basis, it'll need to figure out a way to operate and maintain an internal supply chain and raise enough capital to fund its own inventory - a critical growth point more than one well-funded upstart of the greatest ever widget has stumbled upon.


    But if Tesla can, to any appreciable extent, ramp-up its JIT (just in time) production to the level of effectively perpetually building on demand at volumes capable of achieving financial critical mass, it will have revolutionized the industry.


    Akerson creating a task force is one of the first PRO-active moves GM has made despite its unfair competitive advantage and $85B endowment, and he's looking toward one of the biggest "bang for the buck" targets possible - notwithstanding GM continues to exist largely by virtue of perpetuating its traditional overproduction and hyperincentive cycles and missing the critical point that Ford mastered immediately which is the MINIMUM number of vehicles you can sustainably build matters one hell of a lot more than the MAXIMUM you're capable of producing.


    The same is true of retail sales points and GM missed a key opportunity to pare its retail footprint even further - which could've EASILY withstood another 25% reduction. But what it COULDN'T bring itself to do was to step away from the crack pipe of an outsized dealer corps to saturate with inventory and top line dollars to spend the rest of the year betting the come against needing to overincentivize them.


    By contrast, the most important aspect of Ford's success has been the business it's deliberately chosen to leave on the table. It too suffers from a too-large dealer network, though its willingness to deliberately starve down Lincoln demonstrates the kind of fundamental discipline to which it's willing to adhere, and it does a MUCH better job of maintaining a rational days' supply of all vehicle types to reap the kinds of margins GM can only dream of, all without needing to build a single extra unit or pay an hour of additional overtime.


    The fact that GM is studying Tesla which happens to make EVs is merely a footnote.
    18 Jul 2013, 06:16 PM Reply Like
  • @ PredominantlyWary


    You would be right except the type of cost Cassina is referring to is marked down as R&D by Tesla, which is immediately recognized as an expense. For example, everything the company is doing right now to get the Model X into pre-production is being marked down as R&D.
    18 Jul 2013, 11:06 PM Reply Like
  • Remford, you might resent the federal tax credit for EVs, but I resent the massive $672 billion US defense budget, perhaps half of which exists to protect America's access to foreign oil. This hidden subsidy for the oil industry dwarfs the combined cost of all EV and clean energy subsidies.
    19 Jul 2013, 12:11 AM Reply Like
  • The entire US auto industry exists because of massive government handouts. It is silly to complain about a $7500 tax credit to support the purchase of EVs without complaining about the billions given to the US automakers to keep them alive during the credit crisis. The numbers given to the US auto industry dwarf the numbers to Tesla.
    And then, of course, you have the billions and billions given to Ford, Nissan and others under the same program that Tesla received the $400 million loan (which it has now repaid).
    As far as government expense on the auto industry, the taxpayer would be in much better shape if we took back all the money back we gave to GM, Chrysler, Ford and others who only exist because of government handouts, and gave a $10,000 tax credit to EV purchasers. It would cost so much less.
    19 Jul 2013, 06:48 AM Reply Like
  • Yes they do. With GM and Ford producing these vehicles (even at a loss), it keeps them from having to buy EXPEN$IVE Credits like a lot of other makers (Chrysler, Honda, Hyundai, MB, BMW, etc.) have to do now...
    19 Jul 2013, 09:23 AM Reply Like
  • Give them a chance to pay at least half of their loans off and then take a second look at them selling the exact same vehicles. They have already paid off one of their loan off early. They ARE currently slightly profitable and that is going to improve exponentially very soon.


    "if all else stands still the company would" NOT "go out of business."!!!
    20 Jul 2013, 06:28 PM Reply Like
  • Even if they do loose money on superchargers, they won't loose much in the greater scheme of things. This has already been discussed on this website before.


    Also don't forget that "98%+ charging is done at the home" for most customers - but NOT all customers. Some (maybe 20-30 percent of people) will do almost as much charging at superchargers AS WELL AS AT HOME because they often do long trips.
    20 Jul 2013, 06:35 PM Reply Like
  • You have obviously never started your own company before - all companies are not profitable for the first few years. The high price we all pay for credit (loans and interest) :-( Doesn't mean every company goes bankrupt because of that!!! It's not an "accounting trick" !!!
    20 Jul 2013, 06:37 PM Reply Like
  • I expect they will only have 85kW batteries at the swap stations for the simple reason that the time to swap is less than getting a starbucks coffee and they are such a hurry they cannot wait 20-30 mins for the super charge.
    21 Jul 2013, 10:10 AM Reply Like
  • To the Tesla non-believers: IMO, just the fact that GM is concerned is huge:


    (long tsla)
    18 Jul 2013, 02:07 PM Reply Like
  • "The big boys shaking in their boots." Sorry, I couldn't help but....
    18 Jul 2013, 02:09 PM Reply Like
  • Nice to read some calm and measured comments on a Tesla article without any sign of the usual trolls...
    18 Jul 2013, 02:29 PM Reply Like
  • The Tesla model in fact does drop the number of sales points to just one. You order on line. No surplus inventory, and it's all manufactured to order just for you. Regarding the service centers, all complicated machines will require service for the foreseeable future, however the Tesla drive train is a much much simpler device. I'm guessing (based on my experience as an owner) that service hours per unit sold over the life of the vehicle will be much, much lower.
    18 Jul 2013, 02:42 PM Reply Like
  • What I would like to know ... is ... when are the new batteries coming out with Tesla that will extend the range to 800 to 1,000 miles? Probably when the other carmakers bring out their brand new 200 mile range EVs, hopefully. It seems like Elon is always a little ahead of the others here.
    18 Jul 2013, 02:45 PM Reply Like
  • 800 to 1,000 miles would be a truly magnificent feat, maybe some combination of advanced solar energy + battery technology could make it happen.
    18 Jul 2013, 03:16 PM Reply Like
  • Elon Musk said over the weekend that they could produce a 500-mile range car but it would be widely expensive.
    18 Jul 2013, 04:11 PM Reply Like
  • Hi Cassina I am surprised that a Tesla owner would see the need for a 800-1000 mile range vehicle? How often do you ever travel this kind of distance in ONE sitting without the opportunity to charge or supercharge? Seems extremely impractical to me.
    500 miles seems like the max we are ever likely to see. There is a reason we don't have 1000 mile capable gas tanks in cars today. Mostly because the weight of lugging around all that gas would make the vehicle very inefficient, heavy, slow, and dangerous (the more stored energy you carry around the more likely you are to blow up in spectacular fashion if there is an accident or fault).


    This is the same for EV's. Batteries are heavy and expensive. Putting a 1000 mile battery in a car when a 300 mile one (combined with a rapid charging network) is adequate for 99.5% of all trips doesn't make sense to me.
    In fact I believe the supercharger network is Tesla's biggest asset.
    Since it will have its own high speed charging network (every 150 miles or so) it won't ever need to produce cars with more than 200-250 miles of real world range. This way they can keep their cars light, with less batteries offering higher performance vehicles with more storage capacity all selling for a lower price than their competitors who might have to sell 500 mile range vehicles because they don't have a rapid recharging network.
    The supercharger network is really Tesla's biggest moat when it comes to dominating the EV market. And they are setting themselves up nicely to have a very widespread network in place for the Gen III arrival. Not a coincidence guys.
    18 Jul 2013, 05:53 PM Reply Like
  • I do agree that with SolarCity at Elon's disposal they will soon come up with a solar solution on board Tesla vehicles. Since cars sit parked for the vast majority of their lives it makes sense to utilize the sun for recharging or at least preventing bricking if the car is left unused and unplugged for extended periods.
    Will be interesting to see what they come up with. Solar paint could be a reality in a few years..makes sense to utilize the entire surface area if possible and if cheap enough.
    18 Jul 2013, 05:53 PM Reply Like
  • teddyg101 ... I was just postulating that the obvious selling point to the public would be huge, since it seems that they still aren't convinced that there really isn't any range anxiety even with the present 300 mile range. It would also be a setback for GM or other large car companies when they finally bring out their 200 mile range car, and Tesla then had a new 1,000 mile range car in the wings. See?


    And yes, I am more than pleased with my 300 mile range Model S.
    18 Jul 2013, 07:28 PM Reply Like
  • Right but you take my point that more batteries mean more cost and weight (no matter how far technology advances there will always be a cost in this respect).
    If Tesla comes out with a 1000 mile range car it will likely cost 5 times as much as GM's 200 mile car and weigh 5 times as much making it heavy, slow, with less storage space, and dangerous (if there were any faults or accidents). This is the opposite of what Model S is now (fast, spacious, and the safest car on the road).


    Unless Tesla gets into the battery business and comes up with some revolutionary battery that it can prevent other companies from using then all companies will have access to the same battery technology (ie. Ford is now using the same Panasonic cells as Tesla for their EV program).
    If GM sells a $35,000 EV with a 200 mile range that does 0-60mph in 6 seconds then Tesla might have to sell its 1000 mile EV at $150,000 which does 0-60mph in 14 seconds...does that sound as appealing to you? Didn't think so.


    The supercharging network is key to Tesla's future success and is critical in keeping Gen III's price down precisely because the supercharging network provides a long distance solution WITHOUT going crazy on battery size. This will keep Tesla's vehicles fast, safe, and efficient...the other's without a network in place won't have a leg to stand on.
    It's like cell phone coverage...are you more likely to buy a plan from a provider who can only give you inner city coverage (100 mile EV's) or do you want the plan that gives you nation wide coverage (Tesla 250 mile EV + supercharging network)?
    20 Jul 2013, 11:01 AM Reply Like
  • Tesla should consider possibly merging with one, or two leaders in new battery technology that own multiple patents. That (along with their existing association with Solar City) would REALLY give them an edge!!!
    21 Jul 2013, 10:10 AM Reply Like
  • My understanding is that Tesla battery supplier Panasonic has a 2% ownership stake in Tesla. I think it would be a mistake for Tesla to merge with a battery supplier. Tesla is free to use the best battery technology. With a number of potential breakthrough technologies under development, keeping their options open to use the best battery technology is critical to Tesla's success.
    21 Jul 2013, 01:33 PM Reply Like
  • (long tsla)(long scty)
    If GM 20 years ago had not spent $1 Billion to make the EV1 and $1.1Billion to destroy it, there would be no need for TSLA.
    As it is, the behemoths are in the beginnings of death thro's, tho GM might ressurect a 2nd time
    18 Jul 2013, 02:53 PM Reply Like
  • Didn't GM filed bankcruptsy in 2009 when it was NUMMI?
    18 Jul 2013, 03:35 PM Reply Like
  • It was obvious in 1999 when GM crushed the EV1's they leased to people because they couldn't make enough of money.
    That should tell you GM was not concerned for consumers, just their bottom line.
    The bottom line for consumers is they have to be concerned for their bottom line whether GM or anyone else likes it or not.
    Big business likes the free market, but only when it benefits them, now that we have the internet, we should be allowed to buy whatever we want or need online, after all it's the free market.
    18 Jul 2013, 05:33 PM Reply Like
  • I have a model S P85 and it is my best car purchase ever. Even more than my BMW740IL or my Corvette Z06. However, I don't expect to see a 700-1000 mile battery for at least 5-10 years. Maybe a 500 mile battery in 3-5 years.
    18 Jul 2013, 03:53 PM Reply Like
  • "GM CEO Dan Akerson has created a small team to study Tesla (TSLA) and the potential threat it poses to the auto giant"


    Interesting, while some insist underestimating Tesla, GM its taking steps.


    Tesla will surprise many with its Q2 report. Tesla and the Model is getting more attractive to the dismay of many and the joy of many more.
    18 Jul 2013, 03:56 PM Reply Like
  • Yeh, I don't know how one can say that Tesla isn't viable. When was the last time GM got 99 out of 100 from Consumer Reports. Where did they place in Motor Trend last year? Since when did a GM dealer have thousands of potential buyers a week walk by dealership and peak in?


    I bought one and had the simplest car buying experience of my life.


    Never bought a GM product though. I guess their wonderfully integrated distribution chain was just too integrated for me.
    18 Jul 2013, 04:31 PM Reply Like
  • Chevy Volt got most loved car from CR last year (for the second year in a row)...



    Your anti-GM bias must have caused you to overlook that...
    19 Jul 2013, 09:29 AM Reply Like
  • I heard GM is working on a vehicle that will also get best ever rated
    From consumer reports. One of theirs teams is working on it and
    Is about go reveal it. They are very serious about it.


    Ford too is thinking about it.
    18 Jul 2013, 04:31 PM Reply Like
  • @wigit5 Superchargers will increase sales. The SC network will make the Tesla more economical and practical then an ICE. Yes as you stated most charging is done at home, a full tank everyday, no gas station stops, but being able to drive across the country for free is a big sales incentive. I also suspect Tesla will sell rights to the SC network to possibly Toyota and Mercedes in the not to distant future that will create a revenue stream as well.
    18 Jul 2013, 04:45 PM Reply Like
  • Good luck with that small team, GM. Study away. Let us know when you'll be 'reviewing' the study they put together for you. After that I can prepare for the next ice age, at which point you MIGHT have come up with an idea or two. By then, though, it'll be too late to 'execute'.


    Seriously, it's great they've decided to study Tesla. Too bad someone wasn't on the ball a few years sooner.
    18 Jul 2013, 04:52 PM Reply Like
  • GM is smelling the smoke. What they don't realize yet is that it's a white phosphorus fire -- nothing can put it out. If the small team of analysts is any good, they'll come back suggesting that GM partners with Tesla as a technology provider.
    18 Jul 2013, 05:04 PM Reply Like
  • Prediction: Tesla will build out the Supercharger network nationwide and pay for it by opening them to other EVs (which need them more than Teslas), for a fee and with 2nd priority positioning.
    18 Jul 2013, 05:37 PM Reply Like
  • Together we have lived 150 years on the planet and one recycling bin at a time we are trying to insure that is sustainable for our children and their children, etc. In March we decided that it was time to replace our 2004 Prius so we went to the dealership, drove one and almost signed the contract. We thought, "The Prius is okay but, just for fun, why don't we test drive a Tesla first." We did and we fell in love with it.
    Ordered one on the spot with delivery promised two to four months in the future. That was okay. We went on vacation.


    A couple of days later.....first week in April, 2013, we decided to buy a little TSLA stock. And, a few days later we bought a little more, etc.


    While we were still traveling we were notified our car was ready for delivery. Two days after we flew home we picked it up in Bellevue.
    That was just six weeks after the order was placed!


    During that 150 years on this planet we have driven, Fords, Oldsmobiles, Cadillacs, Porches, BMWs, Audis, Toyotas, Hondas,
    etc., etc., Listen to me carefully now. Nothing compares to the
    Tesla S! The entire buying experience was elegant and easy. But, the care itself is pure levitation!!!!!!!


    P.S. On the afternoon we picked up our Tesla we could have sold our
    stock and paid for the car in cash at twice the price it cost.
    Our kids and grand kids are looking forward to driving it during their next visit. Grammy and Gramp
    18 Jul 2013, 08:49 PM Reply Like
  • kids and grand kids... so you admit your adding to the problem. overpopulation.
    18 Jul 2013, 09:04 PM Reply Like
  • God Bless you.
    19 Jul 2013, 01:40 AM Reply Like
  • dude and dudette, wife and I only 127 combined years. thanks for your positive outlooks
    19 Jul 2013, 11:22 AM Reply Like
  • I may be worth pointing out that Dan Akerson's company has had a strategic relation ship with / investment in Envia, a start-up that is commercializing 400 Whr/kg Li-ion cells for use in electric cars. The small GM team may not be concerned about defending against Tesla so much as with figuring out where to aim the GM howitzer to blow Tesla away...
    18 Jul 2013, 09:15 PM Reply Like
  • Maybe, Randy. But there is more than one way to make a great battery. And more than a great battery is needed to make a great car.
    18 Jul 2013, 09:39 PM Reply Like
  • @Randy Carlson Tesla used some 20 criteria for battery selection. Cost is a factor (Tesla pays less than many people realize and has already bought more than 100 million cells from Panasonic), but so are things like safety, SuperCharge capability, discharge rate, etc. There are many chemistries that can pack in more storage, but it doesn't do any good if you can't make it work in the real world. I have no doubt that when Tesla switches to the new chemistry for Gen III, the technology they chose will be state of the art. Until then, they will continue to take advantage of the falling cost of the current 3.1ah NCA cells they are using.
    20 Jul 2013, 10:42 AM Reply Like
  • Some of the major safety aspects of the Tesla battery packs are based on the 18650 cells' small size and the geometry. The size/geometry of the 18650 cells allows for better cooling than most other choices for cells. Also, the cell separation in the Tesla battery pack helps limit the potential spread of thermal runaway if a cell does have a problem.


    I wonder if the Envia "large format pouch cells" would be as safe. There are so many aspects to consider when selecting an EV battery, I can't really get that excited by energy density alone.


    Lastly, if Envia doesn't have an exclusive agreement with GM, and if it really does have a workable cell, I wonder if they would rather have it in a Model S or a Volt. In fact, if the have the production capacity, why not both?
    21 Jul 2013, 06:12 PM Reply Like
  • long TSLA, SCTY
    a simple comment about TSLA
    Relative Strength index RSI on 1,3,5,10 day has been hanging pretty much in the 30% to 70% range, ie not over bought or over sold
    Accumulation/Distribution ratios however on 1,3,5,10 day, 1 month, 3 month are all positive. someone is buying.
    on avg volume balance (today) of 13 million shares daily, Monday/tuesday hit ~55 million shares total. and to mee looks like a weak hand shakeout
    bollinger bands look ok
    my conclusion is someone(s) are accumlating, as am I using DCA but these are ONLY my opinions and MY take on TSLA.
    19 Jul 2013, 11:20 AM Reply Like
  • Toyota and Daimler are smart enough to use Tesla power-trains for the small number of compliance they must build, the path of least resistance would be for GM to do the same, to me its a win win situation for all the Auto company's as they can continue to concentrate on what they each do best.
    22 Jul 2013, 12:39 AM Reply Like
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