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  • Tesla: Gigafactory Tipping Point [View article]

    Thank you again for a very complete, well-written, well-researched article. You have an excellent talent for taking technical details and writing about them in such a way that they are readable to a wide audience. Moreover, especially for the Elon Musk companies, these details should be a primary consideration when making investment decisions.

    Many Tesla articles seem to start with some pre-conceived conclusions (Elon the carnival barker, etc.). Then, the author then uses the latest news of the day to support that those conclusions. There are no surprises & very little new thinking.

    Your articles, on the other hand, follow a much more useful and satisfying pattern. Starting with valuable new, hard information, you then add unbiased (IMO) insightful thinking that ties the data to a prospective view of the company.

    Again, bravo!
    Mar 3, 2015. 01:18 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla Motors hammered in new BAML note [View news story]

    Again, I find myself wishing that I could "like" one of your comments more than once.

    The first few times that I saw this type of fundamental analysis article/report comparing Tesla to large existing auto manufacturers, I just thought, "This comparison doesn't really make sense." But, after seeing basically the same writing again & again, it became an irritant. I'm a bit surprised that many of the online venues where these repetitive articles appear don't have a higher level of novelty required before accepting the article for publication.
    Mar 3, 2015. 12:52 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla: Real Competition Ahead? [View article]
    Hi solucky,

    I would characterize the <=$100/kWh battery cell cost in less that 10 years as a prediction rather than a promise. It came from a discussion with Elon Musk, JB Straubel and Rod Lache (Deutsche Bank) in the 2Q2014 results meeting on 7/31/2014 (we're nearly 7 months into that less than 10 year prediction:-) ). Go to

    Then search on "cost parity". That will take you right to the spot where you'll see...

    ********** Beginning of copied reference **********************

    Elon Musk - Chairman and CEO
    I'd be disappointed if it took us 10 years to get to $100 a kilowatt-hour pack.

    Rod Lache - Deutsche Bank
    So basically you're saying that, you know, within the next -- within that timeframe you would expect electric vehicles to reach cost parity and maybe even improve upon the cost of an internal combustion vehicle?

    Elon Musk - Chairman and CEO

    Rod Lache - Deutsche Bank
    Uh-huh. That's interesting.

    Now another -- that's a pretty big statement.

    Elon Musk - Chairman and CEO
    Seems pretty obvious to me.


    *********** End of copied reference **************

    Best regards,

    Feb 26, 2015. 04:27 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla: Real Competition Ahead? [View article]

    I'm borrowing from a previous comment of mine in another article... I rarely do that, but it was too good a fit not to this time.

    *** Beginning of copied material **********************...

    I agree with you 100% that it can be (and usually is) extraordinarily difficult for established companies to torpedo their most profitable product lines even if they have plenty of warning that a new product is a significant threat & will likely put them into an uncompetitive position at some point. I suspect that the Wall Street culture that is always looking to the next quarter exacerbates what is already a poor environment for making good long-term decisions when faced competition from new technologies. The arguments usually go:

    * The new market is too small to worry about; until it isn’t.

    * We can’t afford to move development resources away from our premium profit making product(s); until you can’t afford not to.

    * Validating this change in technology will throw the value of our most lucrative assets into question; until their value is shown to be significantly diminished in any case.

    There is no road that will provide a smooth transition for companies that find themselves in these sorts of deteriorating competitive positions. At least one big creative destruction cycle is just part of the deal if they plan to survive.

    *** End of copied material **********************...
    Feb 20, 2015. 03:53 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla: Real Competition Ahead? [View article]
    @Neil_Anderson, slander is the oral form of the legal definition of defamation; libel is the written (or broadcast) form of the same. In order to be actionable, the statements cannot just be opinion. Rather, they must 1) be stated as true fact; and, 2) actually be false. It does not matter if the utterer or writer believes the statements truthful or not -- it is only whether the statements themselves are actually true or not.

    With slander/libel, malice is almost always involved opening the guilty party to general damages. The rare inadvertent slander/libel is limited to special (actual harm) damages.

    Oh, BTW, I am NOT a lawyer. However, I did sleep well [I will not say where] last night. :)
    Feb 20, 2015. 03:34 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla: Real Competition Ahead? [View article]
    <seriousness /off>
    I don't know why so many folks are upset about "Global Warming." There is a simple solution to this problem... We should set off just enough nukes to generate a proportional "Nuclear Winter" offset & voila! -- instant climate control! Of course, where you set the nukes off is going to create a lot of the typical "not-in-my-backyard" whining.

    I'm probably giving away valuable IP by writing about it here. Congress, where many of our technical and economic intellectual giants often end up, will likely steal this idea and not give me a bit of credit!
    <seriousness /still /off>
    Feb 17, 2015. 02:11 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla: Real Competition Ahead? [View article]
    Most of it comes from Linux (24,000,000 I believe). I should have saved the links. I remember thinking that two separate systems made sense. One system with VERY tight, pure Tesla code for critical operations that control car movement; the other system based on Linux for graphics, apps, bluetooth integration, etc. And, a VERY well defined & strict message architecture between the two to make sure that the critical system is well insulated. I'll Google around and see if I can find the references.

    I'm an old FW Engineer. This all makes sense to me. I.e., Tesla being way ahead of typical vehicle manufacturers in this area -- no big deal for the Silicon Valley engineers. This is Tesla's natural area of technical strength -- vehicle manufacturing, not as strong yet. As an investor, I worry most about manufacturing snafu's. Perhaps Tesla should snipe some more of that particular key talent.
    Feb 14, 2015. 01:27 AM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla: Real Competition Ahead? [View article]
    Tesla has 30,000,000 lines of code across two very carefully separated firmware systems. They've also customized virtually every major system on the car (including the audio system) with their own electronics. The Panasonic batteries include several (at this point exclusive) Tesla design modifications.

    Even though Tesla is willing to share some IP, I doubt that GM would want it -- they're too busy protecting their ICE lines. This story could be a chapter case study in "The Innovator's Dilemma" by Clayton M. Christensen.
    Feb 13, 2015. 11:42 PM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla: Real Competition Ahead? [View article]
    Hello Clearblue,

    It's possible that BEV's may be less than 1/2 of the Tesla story in 10 years. JB Straubel (Tesla CTO) believes that the Tesla stationary energy storage business is likely to become bigger that the Tesla BEV business! See the keynote address he gave last year @ .

    Best regards.
    Feb 13, 2015. 11:29 PM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla: Real Competition Ahead? [View article]
    Randy, this is the best Tesla article yet. Your logic is clear, impeccable and backed up by objective data. Bravo!

    I just picked up a few additional shares of TSLA for my daughters on the price drop today. And, even if the price falls further in the short term, I'm on a 10-year plan & not concerned.

    I'm very much looking forward to your upcoming Gigafactory Technology article.

    Best regards.

    Feb 13, 2015. 12:09 AM | 31 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How The Tesla Investment Case Had To Suddenly Change [View article]
    The 2014 new vehicle market was around 80,000,000 units. If GM really does build 30,000 Bolts a year, that's less than four 1/100th's of 1% of the new vehicle market. At $30,000 & a 200+ mile range, what if a full 1% of the new vehicle consumers want BEV automobiles close to this pricing and driving range? That will be a market of over 800,000 BEV’s & I only know of one company that is going full steam ahead with a Gigafactory.

    The GM Bolt project, if they really go with it (and I hope that they do), appears to be a "me too" effort. Moreover, at $30,000/unit, this will be a project that will have to be supported by their other lines for quite a while. The most likely GM scenario for the next several years in this part of the market is that the more Bolts they sell, the more $ they lose. Still, IMO, even at only 30,000 vehicles a year, GM's entry will help to legitimize BEV's with zero negative effect on Model 3 sales. Perhaps the "legitimization" will even make the BEV market MORE lucrative for Tesla.

    At this point, we really cannot predict a GM Bolt’s entry effect on Tesla with the currently available data. In particular, the $30,000 BEV market size ambiguity makes any sort of predictions problematic if not impossible.
    Feb 9, 2015. 09:43 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • GM To Deliver Inexpensive 200-Mile EV 2 Years Ahead Of Tesla [View article]
    @Tales From The Future, I hope that you are right about so many of the major manufacturers introducing new BEV models -- especially models that are affordable for more folks. Two related questions come to mind...

    1) How big is the 200+ mile range, $35,000 or less, pure BEV market?

    2) How long will it take to build all the additional battery production capacity?

    The answers to these questions seem key to the effects on Tesla. Thoughts?
    Feb 6, 2015. 01:23 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla: Importance Of The GigaFactory [View article]
    I heard that the next Model S firmware update was going to upgrade the "Hold up Liquor Store" function to a new "Commit To-Big-To-Fail Investment Bank Complex Financial Instrument Crime" function in order to insure that no criminal charges are every filed against the owner.
    Feb 5, 2015. 11:19 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla: Importance Of The GigaFactory [View article]
    Hi Randy, I would like to add just a couple of more positive attributes that the battery pack enables...

    1) The cleanest base chassis ever designed. The safety, harshness, handling/ride, interior, etc. engineers must be in heaven having such a wonderful base from which to begin their work.

    2) An incredibly low center of gravity. So low in fact, that the NHTSA test engineers had to modify their rollover test in order to get any meaning data for the Model S.

    3) A near 50/50 weight distribution between the front and rear wheels providing yet another boon for the safety, performance and handling engineers.

    So far as I've seen to date, NONE of the other manufacturers have any base chassis that even begins to compare to the Tesla chassis.
    Feb 5, 2015. 01:56 AM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla: Importance Of The GigaFactory [View article]
    @R.Deckard, Well said. I have been wondering the same thing about non-Tesla battery supplies for quite a while now. Announcements of new "Tesla Killers" without any mention of the battery logistics to support the new vehicle is just a marketing statement with no honest intent of the manufacture of an EV to any significant level of production.
    Feb 5, 2015. 01:26 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment