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  • Morgan Stanley's Tesla Thesis Is As Flawed As They Come [View article]
    Good grief. Utility scale energy storage today ia a fraction of the cost of storing house energy in a lithium ion. The price would have to be well below $100 per kwh. Giving you some credance for the avoidance of some of the costs of transmission might in the best case add about 20% to this cost. Considering optimistically tesla batteries are in the $200's per kwh, it is clear that under most scenarios of comparison to low risk existing technologies, it wont happen.
    Feb 26, 2014. 08:58 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Short Natural Gas On This Run Up [View article]
    Nope. They are on the decline because marginal cost to produce is more than the marcellus. So when gas is below $4 or so for sustained periods the marcellus continues to be profitable but the other basins are at the margin thus drilling tapers down. Its economics not depletion that least for now
    Jan 27, 2014. 10:58 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The American Power Grid And The Economics And Greenness Of Tesla's Luxury Electric Vehicles [View article]
    ...and it matters little in that analysis where that car is charged assuming its plugged into the grid.
    Dec 10, 2013. 02:20 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The American Power Grid And The Economics And Greenness Of Tesla's Luxury Electric Vehicles [View article]
    Oildeathspiral. You confuse california coal generation with use. California consumes a lot more coal generated out of state. Lets work with facts. The grid is not geographically narrow. You must look at the entire western grid generation mix to determine how clean an incremental electric car would be.
    Dec 10, 2013. 02:18 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Understanding Tesla's Life Threatening Battery Decisions [View article]
    I dont see a fear of refilling at home. In my neighborhood, three out of about 50 neighbors have NG vehicles and I have talked to many of them and several are seriously considering buying one, probably the honda civic. Not one of them is worried about filling up at home. Mostly its concern that their is enough filling stations and when I show them the map of how plentiful startions are in the western US, and its a 5 minute fillup, that fear goes away. Then they wonder if giving up some trunk space is worth it, then I point out $1.50 a gallon gasoline equivalent is just down the street at the local convenience store, and trunk space becomes less important. Anyway just my local survey thoughts. Other survey results will vary. More NG cars will get built if the consumer wants them...its just about awareness. Eventually, a ground up NG car will be built and when that happens its costs will incrementally be only about $1500 or less which is the additional cost of the fuel tank, you make up that cost in a hurry at $1.50 gallon. Some countries are already running the transport sector predominantly on NG. We should to.
    Nov 27, 2013. 01:40 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Understanding Tesla's Life Threatening Battery Decisions [View article]
    The article you quote is not very balanced irt fracking. The fear of the new always generates many negative biased groups. Its just part of the human race. Regardless, new technologies, particularly when its implemented near houses is scary for folks and many groups create agendas to inflame those fears with agendas of their own. On balance we should embrace NG because its probably the bridge that buys us time till the grid is mostly nuclear with renewables that then creates the right bridge from fossil fuel transportation to electric.
    Nov 27, 2013. 01:30 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Understanding Tesla's Life Threatening Battery Decisions [View article]
    My point was that we should be using hev natural gas. Detroit should be developing it. Its not difficult. Refilling stations are gradually being built.
    Nov 26, 2013. 11:25 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Understanding Tesla's Life Threatening Battery Decisions [View article]
    And while we wait and hope the grid becomes clean, lets cross our fingers and assume that the price of electricity doesnt rise with the price of fossil fuels. That can only happen when we break the connection of electricity costs and fuel. That must be solved first, else the price spiral is never resolved and EV chases rising fuel prices at least using today's technology. When looking at the entire problem this way, it becomes even more clear of the step function price reduction, performance increase required to enable an EV. I see that natural gas vehicles as the answer for now. At least it will buy us some time.
    Nov 25, 2013. 08:57 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Understanding Tesla's Life Threatening Battery Decisions [View article]
    John, agreed on your comments on plug in vs hybrid. Yes hybrid is the lower cost and any attempt today using batteries from the grid is financially and environmentally silly. However, that changes when the costs of fossil fuels surpasses a certain point that is much higher than today's gas costs. I have not run the numbers but its probably greater than $10/gallon and someday that will happen but not today. Conversely the capital costs of a plug in or all electric would have to drop substantially to be competitive to $3 gasoline. That day may never come. Lets say someone wants to be green and to heck with the costs, then EV only makes sense when the grid is predominantly renewable or nuclear energy. Some seem to think if I use an electric car in Oregon for example, its clean because Oregon is mostly hydro power but they fail to realize the Western Grid is interconnected so more use of oregon hydro to power the car means more coal from Utah or natural gas from California to make up the difference so geography makes little difference.

    All this prior discussion about using an off grid solar array is silly too. Those panels go somewhere and the first best, highest use is in the grid. The other risk is that if fossil fuels rose substantially, the energy component to product batteries goes up as well with second order effects of rising costs of the materials also dependant on mining which is dependant somewhat on fuel costs, and so the price spiral continues. Somewhere the price spiral must be resolved but that seems somewhat intractable meaning that we need a step function technology enabler to get out of this profound problem. We dont have that yet. So I agree that the problem is how to make an energy efficient engine till such time as the economics on EV's make sense and the grid is clean.
    Nov 25, 2013. 08:47 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Understanding Tesla's Life Threatening Battery Decisions [View article]
    Agreed John. I am an optimist but also a brutal realist. Looking here at the comments, many folks dont get that. I commend entrepreneurs trying to leave a legacy for our descendants by provided solutions for fossil fuel independance but all electric is just to big a jump for now. I worry that if tesla turns ugly that it will taint the capital markets for a very long time thus compromising the viability of other companies with the right bridge technology but challenged to find the scarce funds to span the chasm. It only takes one hindenburg disaster to kill an industry even if helium was an obvious solution in hindsight.
    Nov 25, 2013. 02:29 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Understanding Tesla's Life Threatening Battery Decisions [View article]
    Don. You are right are that leveraging the right battery tech for vehicles as a crossover to grid storage may become quite interesting. I think that we will eventually see the right types of plug in hybrids becoming the standard. What is also interesting is that plug ins can then be designed for either natural gas or gasoline engines depending on the most available fuel source. It appears that our best chance for energy independance would be a hybrid designed from the ground up for natural gas tanks as opposed to the add on tanks that folks dont like crowding their trunk space. Hybrids will become sufficiently popular to create a robust, lower cost, secondary market for the batteries in grid energy storage applications as they drop below 70% capacity.
    Nov 25, 2013. 02:06 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Understanding Tesla's Life Threatening Battery Decisions [View article]
    All...I agree with John that the battery technology necessary for a practical, low carbon ev car is many years or decades away. Being a renewable energy developer, engineer, technologist, and optimistic entepreneur, it pains me to say it as I dont want it to be true. But it is.Some optimists here say we should start somewhere and that Tesla is it but they make the mistake thinking that its best to remain optimistic while ignoring new facts. The longs better hope Musk doesnt make the same mistake. The best CEO innovators are those who are over the top optimistic but brutally honest about risks particularly as those risks rise quickly, and then act decisively in spite of the near term problems created by those acts. Its looking more and more like his plans to bridge to an eventual viable product for the masses is compromised. I suspect that his desire to create something world changing left him little choice during the design phase in selecting the 18650 battery while knowing full well it wouldnt be sustainable. I commend Musk for the drive to create a road map to get to a world changing product but he had little choice back then in the planning for his company; either convince the markets that his technology was not only different but better and ride the excitement on the wave of cheap capital, knowing he'd need to figure out a platform change later, while hoping something nasty didnt happen in the meantime or else he'd woukhave been facing picking a lower risk me-too battery that would have little chance of raising capital . I get it. But now it should be clear to Musk that those design decisions were too aggressive. Many high growth, world changing endeavors either pivot or fail, he must realize by now he is facing this binary decision path. The circumstances created by the fires and prior design decisions that have created this new liability risk are now of all importance. Debates around if prior decisions were foreseen or not become relatively irrelevant if Musk will do two things; 1)Act quickly and voluntarily issue a recall and fix the existing cars, and 2) pivot by changing his long term plan towards a more conservative technology and recognize the bridge to a carbon reduced future is not in ev's till such time that batteries can be both safe and energy dense. This means no more 18650 batteries in follow on products. He might even need to change style, admit its time to shift, show some fallibility, and maybe even admit that the right bridge is a plug in hybrid, and commit to it. Its a tightrope for Elon and it will be very painfull. At best with perfect execution, he and Tesla are in for tough times but at least it is possibly survivable. It wont be as exciting for awhile. Many have said he was or is a visionary, ...maybe, but is he a leader. This crisis will make that determination. Everyday that he waits issuing a recall, is more and more damaging to long term value. The longs that continue to argue against recall are being detrimental to themselves and to Tesla.
    Nov 24, 2013. 07:43 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Understanding Tesla's Life Threatening Battery Decisions [View article]
    You confuse the credibility of business issue risks that John is correct about with his judgements regarding bubble stock predictions that are by nature an uncertain probability. It still makes sense to short all the way down to $22.79
    Nov 22, 2013. 11:26 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Understanding Tesla's Life Threatening Battery Decisions [View article]
    I have become convinced tesla will drop no less than 50% within three months or more if they dont execute this issue perfectly. I am nearly certain a recall is imminent. The energy in a lithium ion cell is four times its electrical capacity and includes a spark source and an accelerant. The energy in a gas tank is one times. I suspect the fire risk from design decisions and microcell choices was partially the reason the chief engineer left awhile back. Now that they have a foreseable liability under tort law, they have no choice but to recall or risk that a debris collision and fire eventually results in a building burning down. This is going to end very badly if not handled brilliantly. We are twenty years or more from a viable all electric passenger vehicle and thats assuming the entire energy mix comes along with it. Natural gas becomes the more obvious standard every year.
    Nov 22, 2013. 11:19 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is The Bernanke Bull Market Ending Along With The Chairman's Departure? [View article]
    Galt, yes will format better next time. More thoughts:

    A friend said to me after reading my thoughts on fed taper that he thinks markets will go higher because bonds are correlated with stocks so he believes there is no place to park money otherwise. The following was my response:

    The bond markets and stock market will cease to correlate if tapering must accelerate so it's another way of saying what may occur which is as follows: economic weakening becomes obvious but eventually feds can't continue to ease due to rising difficulties from long term easing and once that is obvious, money moves back to bonds, driving interest rates back down or at least stable, this gets particularly aggressive as the safe haven risk off sentiment grows stronger or it becomes clear that interest rates simply aren't going to rise much. We will see far more aggressive bond inflows if the sentiment develops into an "interest rates may decline" mentality creating some even worse declines for the market.. Either way it's declining.

    It would take a much larger easing program to hurt the dollar and drive inflation and thus to drive bonds lower....but the consensus is at the moment that we are close to an inflationary spiral and its partially why bonds are correlating. This sentiment is giving the wrong signals to regular folk. I speak of this metric over the next two years, after that then todays market sentiment could be right but our country has a canyon to jump first. Very few folks really get this...most believe the canyon analogy but have incorrect conclusions.. Our economy is too weak for near term rising rates to be sustainable.
    Aug 23, 2013. 04:50 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment