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  • Tesla Motors (TSLA -5.3%) trades lower without any significant news of note out. While there is some buzz out on Tesla reporting itself cash flow positive, SA pointed to Elon Musk's self-congratulatory tweet on that topic a week ago. Perhaps traders are worried that with the public launch of Solar City and Space X firing off commercial rockets, Musk is spreading himself rather thin.  [View news story]
    The most recent news on TSLA, though I don't see why it would lead to trading lower, is that a new software patch has been pushed out for the Model S. This update though should be positive news, as it brings voice control to various features of the Model S and shows that their over-the-air patches using the car's built-in 3g can improve the car in significant ways (other parts of the update improve the driving of the car, as well as help with power savings that may bring up to 8 extra miles to your drive over the day.)
    Dec 13, 2012. 06:13 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Confessions Of An EV Pioneer Turned Heretic  [View article]
    I agree with you on the point that the battery itself is an incredibly expensive fuel tank, but wouldn't the total amount of fuel burned depends on the efficiency of where the fuel is turned into electricity and the efficiency of the route of that energy to wherever the car is being charged? I don't know which is more efficient, but I can't imagine they would both happen to come to be just as efficient, especially given all the power options for power plants, while gasoline is always just gasoline, if the nation switches to nuclear you can't use fissile material to create more petrol.

    But I will concede that there are many people that think EVs are the end solution to all of life's problems, and this article is probably more for them than for me.

    Thank you for replying to my comment!
    On a tangential note, do you have any strong feelings about nuclear power?
    May 3, 2012. 03:11 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Confessions Of An EV Pioneer Turned Heretic  [View article]
    The causal relationship you are drawing between adding a plug and the "wasted" energy seems to me to be a false conclusion. The engines don't suddenly become less efficient just because of the plug (Well technically they probably become less efficient by a mostly-insignificant margin due to the wiring, but that is not what changes by the margin addressed in the article). The philosophy-of-use of these cars is what changes.

    The Prius uses an electric engine to make a gasoline engine more efficient at propelling the car, which means that it uses waste energy/energy from the gasoline engine/braking energy to put charge into a battery which is then reused in propelling the car. You don't use up a lot of kW hours in the battery because it is still a gasoline car, and so, while you list a minuscule proportion of kWh for the battery to make it out to be very efficient at saving gas, you ignore the energy that must be spent from the gasoline engine in order to provide the lion's share of the work going to the wheels.

    The volt increases the kWh from the prius by about an order of magnitude, and only doubles the gallons of gas saved, but is a predominately-electric car as a result. Equating energy used from gasoline and energy stored in a battery which was ultimately generated at a power plant seems to me to be a key logical fallacy in this article, and not just because the two may reach philosophical differences (eg. a person who charges their Model S or Leaf in an area where renewable 0-emission power plants provide all power would be producing no significant emissions from power plant to road)

    I may be in the wrong, as I do not know the efficiency of the average US power plant, nor do I know how that efficiency diminishes by the time it reaches the house, but I do know that a gallon of gas to go ~45 miles in a prius costs a pretty penny more than the ~11 kWh it takes to make the base Model S go 45 miles, and the Teslas are all luxury/sports cars (hence the "low savings" for the higher kWh-battery Teslas; they have poorer performance per kWh but they go 0-60 in a rather impressive 4.4 seconds. The leaf is probably a better efficiency option for miles/kWh, though I have not done research on the efficiency of these other EVs.)

    I'm not debating the cost to sell these cars, that IS your business and you may have a point that they are not yet as profitable due to high battery costs, but the product is more desirable in my opinion, both from a convenience standpoint, as well as a philosophical standpoint with regards to the quality of air for ourselves.
    May 3, 2012. 12:49 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment