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  • Why A Profitable $35,000 Tesla Model E Is A Pipe Dream [View article]
    Do the same analysis starting with a BMW M5 and you'll prove that it is impossible for the MINI brand to exist, too. Maybe you should have shorted them ten years ago.

    The Model S is a high performance luxury sports car. The Model E will compete with the Nissan Leaf, which starts around $28k before incentives. Add a larger battery from the new factory and you have a Model E that starts at $35k without having to do mental backflips.

    Given the added value of the Tesla infrastructure (battery swappers, supercharger network), choosing the Model E over the others will be a no-brainer.

    And that is the real value of Tesla. They own the infrastructure that makes EVs practical. Anyone else hoping to really compete has to overcome that barrier or pay to use it.
    Feb 24, 2014. 11:35 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The most expensive fuel? Oil by a mile as this chart of crude, natural gas, and coal priced in dollars/MMBtu makes clear.  [View news story]
    Makes me wonder why we're subsidizing coal powered cars like the Volt, when LPG or CNG cars would be cheaper to build, cleaner, and cheaper to run?
    Mar 2, 2012. 12:40 PM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Though Tesla's (TSLA) Modex X crossover received lukewarm reviews last week, Jim Motavalli is a believer. He notes the Model X's range and charging times are far superior to many rival electric cars, and that its performance and cargo space also impress. Motavalli adds Tesla is also working on a "compact electric" that might sell in the $30K-$40K range.  [View news story]
    At the upper end of that price range, you can get a Porsche Panamera.

    Or for a more direct price competition, a wide variety of European crossovers exist that can be bought with diesel or hybrid engines that probably won't catch on fire for no reason or lose 25% of their range in 5 years.

    And gullwing doors? There is no better way to say "I'm trying too hard" than gullwing doors.
    Feb 13, 2012. 05:58 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Sony (SNE -0.5%) faces some public backlash after fans quickly noticed that the company increased prices on albums issued by the late singer Whitney Houston. Apple was initially criticized for the higher prices on Houston's songs and albums in the iTunes stores within 30 minutes of an announcement of her death over the weekend, but Sony was eventually lined up as the instigator of the price hikes that one fan calls "parasitic." [View news story]
    people pay money for music?
    Feb 13, 2012. 12:12 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 5 months after a Merrill analyst compared Tesla Motors (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk to Steve Jobs, Jefferies' Jesse Pichel effectively declares Tesla to be the Apple of automakers. Pichel asserts Tesla's cars offer better range and performance than competing electric vehicles, and considers its Model S to be competitively priced relative to other luxury sedans. He also thinks its shares could be ripe for a short squeeze.  [View news story]
    Yes, the electric car is here to stay. Nissan, Toyota, and probably some Chinese manufacturer will be very successful selling them.

    Tesla was a flash in the pan. A company whose only distinctive technology was created by AC Propulsion.
    Jan 31, 2012. 10:12 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 5 months after a Merrill analyst compared Tesla Motors (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk to Steve Jobs, Jefferies' Jesse Pichel effectively declares Tesla to be the Apple of automakers. Pichel asserts Tesla's cars offer better range and performance than competing electric vehicles, and considers its Model S to be competitively priced relative to other luxury sedans. He also thinks its shares could be ripe for a short squeeze.  [View news story]
    This is the same company that repeatedly tried to figure out how to get a two speed transmission to work before eventually giving up.
    Jan 30, 2012. 05:35 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A fortuitous combination of ravenous bacteria, ocean currents and local topography helped to rapidly purge the Gulf of Mexico of much of the oil and gas released in the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster, according to a new study by the National Academy of Sciences. "There was a lot of doomsday talk" at the time, but "the ocean harbors organisms that can handle a certain amount" of pollutants.  [View news story]
    I don't really get why they'd call oil a pollutant in this context. It is organic matter geologically processed into liquid form. It shouldn't be surprising that organisms ate some old organic matter.

    I do wonder what happened to all of the surfactants dumped on the spill to help it dissolve, though. It seems like they'd be the bigger problem.
    Jan 9, 2012. 05:56 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • China's government orders satellite broadcasters in the nation to curb "excessive entertainment" under a new order that became effective on Jan. 1 to attempt to thwart the influence of Western culture. A report from a media watchdog tallies the drop in entertainment-related shows following the directive to 38 from 126.  [View news story]
    If you want to transition to a consumer-led economy, you need to let consumers consume.
    Jan 4, 2012. 11:15 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Online merchants keep a close eye on an emerging trend that could be called SUI (shopping under the influence), as more consumers report hitting online sites while inebriated. Despite the difficulty in tracking reliable data, firms such as eBay and QVC are timing promotions and emails to hit consumers while they're more likely to engage in "impulse buying." [View news story]
    Good thing the new car buying process is so arcane.

    I'd drunk buy one every other week, if I could.

    They'd make a mint just off of the cancellation fees.
    Dec 28, 2011. 12:06 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Without anyone noticing, the U.S. may be moving towards a hybrid system that is very "different from both traditional capitalism and socialism," writes Gar Alperovitz in the NY Times. Around 130M Americans participate in the ownership of co-ops and credit unions, while over 3M work at more than 11,000 employee-owned companies.  [View news story]
    I work for a Co-op and use a Co-op bank.

    Neither is intentional, much less motivated by any kind of -ism belief system.
    Dec 15, 2011. 01:58 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Consumers are returning more and more electronic gadgets even when they're not defective, generating huge costs for retailers and manufacturers, Accenture reports, estimating $16.7B will be spent in 2011 repairing, reboxing, restocking and reselling such products. The return rate for the devices is 11%-20%, with more than half of retailers reporting higher return rates than previous years.  [View news story]
    When a device doesn't work the way I think it should, it goes back.

    I'm guessing others do the same.
    Dec 13, 2011. 03:03 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Sodastream (SODA +3.2%) shoots higher after William Blair says it expects further distribution gains in 2012 for the maker of home beverage carbonation systems, due to broader store rollouts at Target and Staples and the likely addition of Wal-Mart (WMT). The firm expects SODA's momentum to continue and keeps an Outperform rating on the stock.  [View news story]
    crocs, beanie babies, hummers, sodastream.
    Dec 7, 2011. 01:58 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple's (AAPL +2.8%) strong Black Friday iPad sales are partially attributable to a trend of the device being used by an increasingly younger age group of kids - to the point that one researcher now accuses parents of using the device as a "digital pacifier." The iPad's touch interface is "intuitive" for children who can't yet read, making it a natural toy for toddlers and helping the iPad position itself firmly as the most requested holiday gift for the second year in a row. [View news story]
    If my friends and family are indicative, this trend is really happening. I know a number of 3-4 year olds who spend at least an hour a day on an iPad.

    Mostly, they got the old iPad 1, when daddy upgraded to an iPad 2.

    It is hard to imagine many parents buying a $500 device specifically for a grubby and harsh service life with toddlers.
    Nov 28, 2011. 11:22 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Rigidly tied to the direction of Western equity markets for many months, the Australian dollar has begun to diverge, losing ground the past few weeks as stocks hang in there, as well as threatening key technical levels that could signal a bigger plunge. Robert Sinn wonders if this highly sensitive commodity currency isn't signaling trouble ahead. FXA -0.5%.  [View news story]
    China is intentionally slowing domestic construction. China is buying less AUD because they are buying less commodities from Oz.

    The multi-billion dollar question is whether Chinese construction rates are really under control of the government. If so, Oz will just see a soft patch until China eases up a bit. If not, China and commodities (and therefore Oz) are kaput.
    Nov 17, 2011. 12:50 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The big headwinds Tesla Motors (TSLA) must face, according to John Petersen: "Its stock is priced to perfection and anything less than flawless execution going forward can be a catalyst that pushes the stock off the peak of inflated expectations and into the trough of disillusionment... the downside risk [in the stock] outweighs the upside potential by an order of magnitude."  [View news story]
    Good thing it is a company with a perfect track record, rather than one that unknowingly lost money on every Roadster sold after being duped by a VP, then raised prices on every vehicle that had been reserved, and couldn't get a two-speed transmission to work and chose instead just to give up.

    Oh, wait.
    Nov 16, 2011. 04:01 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment