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Forward thinker, tirelessly fighting against misinformation.
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  • The Tesla Battery Shortage That Never Was

    A number of people have been trying to make a big deal out of a potential future lithium cell shortage that they implied would cripple Tesla and limit their ability to produce cars in the future. Some even got it so completely wrong that they assumed Tesla is currently supply constrained on the battery side. Neither claim was ever remotely accurate. The frenzy seemed to start when Elon Musk made a statement that current cell production capacity could not support production rates above a couple hundred thousand cars per year. Since Tesla is currently producing about 25,000 vehicles per year and not likely to break the 100,000 per year mark until 2017-2018 any potential issue would not appear until then, and of course it was quite likely that cell manufacturers would increase production capacity to meet the growing demand. This is in fact already in motion.

    "But the most important news that came from the discussion was the topic of future battery supply. This is no longer an issue Elon told Werle. Elon said that both Samsung and LG are "stepping up". Meaning they want Tesla's business and are competing to get it. There is enough capacity to supply future Tesla's."

    Obviously this is not an official statement from the company so skeptics will of course discount it, but I expect it will turn out to be quite accurate, and the inevitable outcome of increased demand for a product.

    Disclosure: I am long TSLA.

    Sep 27 9:05 AM | Link | 2 Comments
  • Garbage In, Garbage Out. Bad Data Leads To Wrong Conclusion About Tesla Battery Pack

    In his most recent article John Petersen uses data from this study to come up with the figure of 472 kWh's of energy used to create 1 kWh worth of storage capacity for Tesla's battery pack, or 40,120 kWh's of energy for the entire 85 kWh battery pack. The problem with this conclusion is it ignores a basic premise of the study used, that the lithium battery density of the modeled pack is 75 Wh/kg. We know the Tesla pack cells have a much higher energy density of 250 Wh/kg. Even cutting that almost in half for assembled pack density of 150 Wh/kg it's still twice as good as the 75 Wh/kg used in the study and therefore the energy input to build the pack would also be cut in half, putting it closer to 20,000 kWh's of energy input. Further, almost half of that pack density is support structure, mounting structures, cooling passages, and cooling fluid, all of which take less energy to create than the highly purified battery components.

    Bottom line is that Mr. Petersen's conclusions have little to no basis in reality and are therefore completely irrelevant. Unfortunately reality seems to have little effect on Mr. Petersen's consistent anti Tesla bias. When I pointed out the error to Mr. Petersen on the AXPW discussion board his response was that he didn't want to discuss it any further, continuing his practice of burying his head in the sand to avoid facing facts that don't support his preconceptions.

    Disclosure: I am long TSLA.

    Additional disclosure: Tesla is awesome. Believe it.

    Mar 14 8:38 AM | Link | 12 Comments
  • EV's Are Ready For Prime Time

    As usual John Petersen misses the obvious point in a recent analysis of the potential for electric vehicles.

    The actual conclusion of the OECD analysis is that subsidies may not be needed at all in some EV applications and that in other EV applications subsidies won't help if the product can't eventually exist on it's own. Rather obvious conclusions, but still missing the point that cost is not the over riding factor in personal vehicle purchases. If it were we'd all be driving the cheapest vehicle available. The fact is that EV's can provide a driving experience so superior to an ICE that they are worth a premium to many, just as many options and luxury ICE vehicles are worth a premium to many. The bonus is that EV's provide lowered operating expenses from a much more diverse and cost stable fuel base. With greater volume and continued technological advances EV's will continue to get cheaper as well.

    Petersen also tries to suggest that moving pollution away from population centers will provide no benefit, when clearly it does. He also ignores the potential for dramatic reduction in pollution over all that EV's provide.

    Petersen of course takes a pointless shot at TSLA, which is clearly on it's way to a successful launch of it's ground breaking Model S sedan, which I'm quite confident can stand on it's own without subsidies at this point.

    The desperation in Petersen's articles and the frequency seems to have increased as the launch of TSLA's Model S comes closer.

    Disclosure: I own TSLA and I think EV's are cool.

    Disclosure: I am long TSLA.

    Jun 21 9:25 AM | Link | 12 Comments
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