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  • Tesla: You Gotta Believe  [View article]
    The big question is how long Tesla can continue to burn cash before they finally go under. Where will new capital come from to continue operations? I'd have to think the bond well is as dry as a Nevada construction site. They've already mortgaged their assets on a line of credit. Unless Model 3 deposits are overwhelmingly successful, another secondary issue seems inevitable within a few months. The last one exceeded expectation, but that was $50 ago. Will there be buyers this time?
    Feb 2, 2016. 01:26 PM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Truck talk doesn't lift Tesla Motors  [View news story]
    He already promised the truck factory to Texas. Old news.
    Jan 28, 2016. 01:51 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Truck talk doesn't lift Tesla Motors  [View news story]
    Blue Sky?
    Jan 28, 2016. 01:48 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Will Solar And Home Batteries Disrupt The Electric Utility Business Model?  [View article]
    @watching,
    Tesla's ROI has been negative for the last 12 years. Wouldn't they stand to lose less on solar panels? You would think that Elon could get a "friends and family" discount from his cousins at Solar City.
    Jan 18, 2016. 12:19 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Will Solar And Home Batteries Disrupt The Electric Utility Business Model?  [View article]
    @Loboc, (or are you really the evil COBOL?) My calculations are similar. I pay about 13c/kWh. As such, I cannot justify investing a cent on PV panels, let alone battery storage. For the next several years, I don't see the equation changing unless natural gas prices increase. But maybe I'm missing something, so I have invited Solar City / Tesla to contact me and show me the numbers.

    @watching, I agree that utility-scale PV farms make much more sense economically than individual rooftop installations. However, I'm concerned that today they are only viable at the expense of the taxpayer. I do look forward to a day when solar will be regarded as "energy" instead of "alternative energy".

    And as I've stated before, even without picking up a calculator, I can tell that rooftop PV installations are not viable in today's economics. If they were, you would see them on the roof of Tesla's Fremont plant.
    Jan 18, 2016. 11:17 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Will Solar And Home Batteries Disrupt The Electric Utility Business Model?  [View article]
    "what about 10-20 gallons of explosive gas or diesel stored on site?"

    Your current homeowners insurance fully comprehends this risk.
    Jan 18, 2016. 10:37 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Will Solar And Home Batteries Disrupt The Electric Utility Business Model?  [View article]
    Wayne, that's a great common sense look at the home solar business model. I would add that for the majority of the population, installing solar panels is not possible. So there will always be a grid. For homes where solar power is possible, I would argue that the majority of potential users need to see some economic benefit before making the investment.

    And as you pointed out, the economics must make sense in a sustainable (not subsidized) fashion. For the utility company, a net metering system where they buy at retail and sell at retail is not sustainable. But a metering system where they buy at wholesale and sell at retail is. I submit that that the utility business will naturally gravitate toward this model, although special interest lobbying will push it one way or the other over the next 10 years.

    My recommendation for the solar consumer is to assume that you will be selling excess energy at wholesale prices in the long term. And make your own calculations from there.
    Jan 18, 2016. 10:06 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • About Those "Out Of Control" Model X Reservations...  [View instapost]
    On the TMC forum, there is a Model X tracker spreadsheet. It's a self-reported, non-scientific sample. Still, it gives us an indication of how the reservations are converting into orders. Looking at U.S. Production reservations this morning, there were a total of 910 entries. Of those, 247 report either ordering, confirming, or an actual VIN assignment. In other words, a 27% yield rate.

    So is this representative of the actual reservation yield? I think it is. True, there are people who have not yet ordered, or updated the tracking sheet. But by the same token, as new entries are added to the sheet, almost all of them are people who have decided to order. Conversely, a person who has decided to cancel is unlikely to add their name to the sheet. In other words, the data will become skewed and the tracking sheet will over-represent the yield rate. A similar thing happened in the Signature data. Actual yield (836/1436) was 58%, while the tracker sheet yield was 63%.

    That's my best guess right now (27%). We won't know the actual numbers until the first round of P90D and 90D VIN's are assigned. Also keep in mind that the U.S. Production series accounts for about 60% of the reservations. It is by far the most significant portion of the Model X target market.
    Jan 15, 2016. 10:17 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Nevada Rolls Snake Eyes In The Tesla Gigafactory Casino  [View article]
    Maintenance costs are much higher for Tesla. Routine maintenance requires a $600/yr service contract. By comparison, Chevy provides two years of free maintenance, even on their entry level vehicles. After that, you're only talking about a $30 oil change twice a year. And the oil is recycled.
    Jan 12, 2016. 02:51 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla's Model 3 Mess: The Aftermath  [View article]
    @molli, "GM borrowed heavily from the Tesla idea bin."

    Can you offer some examples?
    Jan 12, 2016. 01:26 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla's Model 3 Mess: The Aftermath  [View article]
    If only the Tesla owners were willing to pay 80-100% more for their Tesla, the company could be profitable. But for now, they have to tread water until 2020.
    Jan 12, 2016. 11:21 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Nevada Rolls Snake Eyes In The Tesla Gigafactory Casino  [View article]
    Well if the GF is not using power from the NV Energy grid, then they must be generating it on-site with a CO2-belching diesel generator. There are no renewables in place. No, I'm quite sure they are making use of the special rates that they have negotiated with the state of Nevada.

    On the other hand, the Fremont plant enjoys no such benefit. I expect we'll see solar panels installed there long before the GF. Maybe even solar-powered superchargers, but that's probably a stretch.
    Jan 12, 2016. 09:55 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Nevada Rolls Snake Eyes In The Tesla Gigafactory Casino  [View article]
    True you don't need to be giga-sized to be fully operational. But you need to have 100% of your partners and suppliers engaged. Does anyone see that happening?
    Jan 11, 2016. 12:07 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla: December Denmark Deliveries Provide An Object Lesson For The Bears  [View article]
    Mark, I agree that there was never anything rotten in Denmark. It was simply consumer reaction to extreme taxation policies. In other words, it produced the effect that the legislators desired. So everything is good in 2015.

    But what about the future? Here are some things to consider.
    1) Denmark really doesn't want more cars in the country. They prefer people on bicycles or public transportation. That's the whole reason behind the taxation rate.
    2) A rough estimate of the ongoing demand for MS/MX is about 500 per year. They sold more than 5 times that in 2015.
    3) The used market in Denmark will become saturated as "investors" cash in on their 2015 purchases. They will be limited to the Danish market, as used cars will be selling for a fraction of the price in neighboring countries.

    But for 2015, the bulls definitely win in Denmark.
    Jan 8, 2016. 10:05 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Beware Tesla's Model 3 Mess  [View article]
    From the comments that I’ve read, it appears that the Bolt is not an adequate competitor to the Model 3. Most people believe that the Model 3 will be equipped at a class above the Bolt. And many people believe the Model 3 will be base priced at $35k. Yet the Bolt is the best barometer for estimating the future cost of the Model 3.

    Here's the situation: In today's economics, $35k will buy you a Bolt. Tesla cannot produce cars more efficiently than GM. GM is delighted to sell Bolts at $0 profit. Tesla needs to generate enough profit from the Model 3 to repay billions in debt. There is no battery technology on the horizon that will shave $10k from a battery pack by 2020, let alone by 2017. Maybe it's just me, but even a $45k base price would seem optimistic.
    Jan 6, 2016. 01:01 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
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