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  • Tesla Acquires Surprising New Allies: Traditional Auto Dealers [View article]
    The difference is that Tesla will come to you.
    Nov 25, 2015. 10:00 PM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla Manages To Lose $19,810 Per Car Sold [View article]
    Once again Anton shows that he doesn't know what he's talking about. Tesla is doing exactly what I would expect them to be doing for the long-term health of the company. They are making many capital expenditures such as expanding their production line to expand into more models, building the gigafactory, supercharger network and more which is needed for long-term growth. Tesla could be profitable any time they want to at this point, but it would kill them in the long term. Tesla would be quite profitable if they were not spending money to build the production line for the model X and model 3, plus all the engineering costs involved in designing them. The gigafactory is key to their future as well for both their cars and for grid storage.
    Nov 3, 2015. 10:40 PM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Audi Vs. Tesla's Supercharging Network: The $1 Billion Investment - Or $18 Billion? [View article]
    I don't see how that would be really possible. Tesla spends a lot of time setting up the leases and deals needed to put in the superchargers. They don't just buy land and install a charger. They negotiate with shopping centers and other businesses in order to allow them to build their superchargers on their property, then there's all the permitting process, etc. It's not like a simple permit to install an outlet or a J1772 charger. You also need to train the people to install it. It's not something that can be done overnight. If you look at how Tesla's supercharging network has built out, it has taken them several years to get where they are today and it's still under rapid expansion.
    Sep 21, 2015. 12:59 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Audi Vs. Tesla's Supercharging Network: The $1 Billion Investment - Or $18 Billion? [View article]
    I'm planning a trip in a couple days from the Bay Area to Seattle in my MS, using superchargers all the way. While I haven't used the superchargers as often as you have, the network is a big game changer for me. While I still would like to see chargers in more locations, Tesla's map shows them going in most of the places where I want one, quickly eliminating the need to take an ICE car camping or to other out of the way locations. By the time Audi has anything out there, Tesla will have their charging network pretty well covered. Unlike ChaDeMo and CCS which are typically only located at dealerships or urban centers, Tesla's SCs are installed along the long distance routes. I would also suspect that once the model 3 comes out that the SC rollout will only increase faster.
    Sep 21, 2015. 12:50 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Audi Vs. Tesla's Supercharging Network: The $1 Billion Investment - Or $18 Billion? [View article]
    I totally agree. I also doubt that gas stations want to have to reserve parking spaces for charging and have to wait 30-90 minutes for them to finish compared to less than 10 minutes at a pump. As a Tesla driver who has taken a number of road trips I am more than happy to not have to deal with gas stations. I would much rather be someplace where there's something else to do while waiting. Unlike gas stations which deal with flammable and toxic chemicals, charging stations have no such problems. They can be anywhere there's a decent electricity supply and room for parking spaces and the charging equipment.
    Sep 21, 2015. 12:41 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Audi Vs. Tesla's Supercharging Network: The $1 Billion Investment - Or $18 Billion? [View article]
    It's hard to say if gas stations would make that investment for the simple reason that they would have to have a car parked there for 30-90 minutes to charge, depending on how quickly the car can be charged and how much power output their charger supports. They would have to reserve a number of parking spots to support this. Most gas stations I see do not have a lot of parking spaces and they certainly wouldn't want an EV waiting for a charge when they could get a gasoline vehicle in and out in under 10 minutes.

    On the other hand, since many gas stations make more money on snacks and other items than on the gas they sell they might actually go for it if they can provide amenities to the people charging where they would be willing to spend their money.

    Then again, there's no reason to do it at a gas station. It makes more sense for shopping centers to do it which is how Tesla often does it. That gives the owners a variety of things to do while charging, plus people have to park there anyway for shopping.

    Many places where Tesla has installed their chargers like them because it drives people to their businesses.
    Sep 21, 2015. 12:30 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Audi Vs. Tesla's Supercharging Network: The $1 Billion Investment - Or $18 Billion? [View article]
    I make those types of trips at least several times a year in my Model S. The amount of time spent charging really is not a big deal. In fact, later this week I'm planning an 800+ mile drive with a lot of luggage in my Model S. Some people might like to drive 8 hours straight with no breaks, but I can't do that any more. The 20-30 minute breaks along the way typically are not much of an issue. It gives me a chance to grab something to eat/drink, use the facilities, stretch my legs, catch up on email/social media, etc. Between the Bay Area and Grant's Pass Oregon it will add less than 90 minutes to my driving time, which would normally be around 6 1/2 hours. When traveling to Reno my car was always finished charging before I was done eating with the money not spent on gasoline. Hell, I had to take a pit stop in Truckee and grab a couple groceries and the car added another 40 miles I didn't even need.

    Tesla certainly could license their chargers to other EVs, but certainly not for free.
    Sep 21, 2015. 12:18 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Audi Vs. Tesla's Supercharging Network: The $1 Billion Investment - Or $18 Billion? [View article]
    None of which exceed even a quarter of that right now.
    Sep 21, 2015. 12:10 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Audi Vs. Tesla's Supercharging Network: The $1 Billion Investment - Or $18 Billion? [View article]
    In my case it's no big deal if I forget to charge every night and the car makes it extremely easy to do. It has become second nature. When I get home, take 3 steps back, grab the charging plug, push the button on it and plug it in. Once in awhile I forget, but given the amount of range I have available to me it is not really an issue, I still have more than enough range for my daily 50 mile commute. I also use the GPS which will also warn me due to the fact that the GPS will warn me about traffic ahead and allow me to use alternate routes if there's an accident (which is not that uncommon). Additionally, there is a supercharger right off the freeway within a few miles of my house. I rarely use it because it's just more convenient to plug in at home. The Tesla model S is also quite good at warning you that it is low, turning yellow much like your gasoline car. There is typically still a fair amount of range left too when it does warn you.

    In my 2 1/2 years of driving my Model S there was only one case where I had to stop and charge at a mall because I was a bit short (the trip I took was rather iffy to begin with). I knew it would be close before I took the trip, which was a camping trip along Big Sur where even gas stations can be hard to find. That was within the first few months of me getting the car. The software is significantly better now and the vampire drain is no longer the issue it used to be, plus there is now a supercharger exactly where I needed it to be back then. The amount of range I got with one hour of charging at the mall is about the same as 5 minutes at the supercharger. I probably could have even made it to the supercharger if I tried.

    There's no way I could consider any other EV. I've taken my Model S on a number of road trips that made use of the supercharger network. In fact in a couple of days I'm driving my Tesla over 800 miles and will be making use of the supercharger network along the entire route along with a lot of luggage and a passenger. There's no way such a trip would be possible with any other EV.

    As it is, even the CCS chargers and ChaDeMo chargers typically only output a fraction of the power that Tesla's chargers output, and their reliability is nowhere near as good either. A friend of mine who drives a Leaf has found many cases where ChaDeMo chargers are broken. In other words, you can't necessarily plan a trip and expect that all of the chargers along the route will work. It also takes him 3 days to go from the Bay Area to the Oregon border, something easily doable in my Tesla in under 8 hours, due to the lack of charging stations. He has to use RV hookups and wait hours to charge (especially since the Leaf's 6KW AC charger is far less powerful than what Tesla has (10KW standard, 20KW optional). The RV parks typically supply 10KW using NEMA 14-50 outlets. Most ChaDeMo and CCS chargers output between 40 and 60KW. Tesla is already charging between 90KW and 135KW and is expected to reach 150KW in the not too distant future. My car is limited to 90KW since it has the revision A battery pack.
    Sep 21, 2015. 12:06 AM | 21 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • No, High-End Competition Is Not Tesla's Worst Nightmare [View article]
    For me, as the owner of a Model S, the supercharger network is a huge game changer. I drive my Tesla to places it's nearly impossible to do with any other EV. Next week I'm driving from the Bay Area to Seattle Washington. A friend of mine who has a leaf needs three days just to reach the Oregon border, something I can do in 8 hours in my Model S. Tesla is also quickly filling in more and more routes. Right now highway 5 is covered from San Diego up to Canada. They're filling in highway 101 and 395 and it looks like 99 as well here in California. I can drive from my house to the East coast entirely by supercharger and have for quite some time. No other EV can do this and even the proposed ones can't do this.

    In Germany they're talking about putting in their own rapid DC charging network, though it tops out at 50KW. The Tesla superchargers in Europe are running at 135KW and the ones in the US are currently running at 120KW.

    From what I've read it sounds like Porsche needs a special charger for its rapid charging and it's doubtful that they'll build anything as extensive as what Tesla has.

    The other problem with other cars is the dealerships. Dealerships have an incentive to sell ICE cars. That's one problem of having dealerships independent of manufacturers, especially since dealerships don't make much if any profit from selling cars. Today dealerships make most of their income from financing and service. The problem with EVs is that there is a lot less service involved. The drive train of an EV is far simpler. There are no belts to be changed, oil changes, transmissions to be serviced, etc. While there is still some service required, it is far less than for an ICE vehicle. There is also a lot less to go wrong. In the case of Tesla, servicing the drive train and most other stuff is typically a lot easier as well since there isn't a big gasoline engine with all of the support in the way.
    Sep 17, 2015. 08:58 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Porsche And Audi Just Cemented Tesla's Lead [View article]
    Even if the ICE manufacturers want to make an EV the problem becomes the dealerships. Dealerships don't make much money selling cars. Most of their income comes from service and financing. ICE cars are a guaranteed source of service since they require a lot more than EVs.
    Sep 17, 2015. 05:48 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Porsche And Audi Just Cemented Tesla's Lead [View article]
    Right now there are zero fast DC chargers that can output 800V. Most AC chargers can't even output 10KW. Also, the voltage has nothing to do with the rate of charge. Most fast DC chargers top out around 40-50KW. Only Tesla has a network of 120KW (135KW in Europe) chargers.
    Sep 17, 2015. 05:46 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Porsche And Audi Just Cemented Tesla's Lead [View article]
    If you think the look of a car is what sells it then the Fisker Karma should have been flying off the lots like crazy. They based the car on the theory that EVs and PHEVs weren't selling was due to the looks.

    The gigafactory will prove to be a huge advantage for Tesla as well. While LG and Samsung may have comparable chemistry to Tesla for the batteries, they are not comparable when it comes to cost, however. Tesla has a big advantage in that they have better control over their supply of batteries and other components which other auto manufacturers farm out to 3rd parties.

    The other huge advantage Tesla has is their supercharger network. Nobody else has anything like it. Add to that Tesla's grid storage for their charging network (which they are starting to roll out) which significantly cuts electricity costs (since they're typically charged based on peak usage).

    People have been predicting this car or that car will be the Tesla killer for years now, and so far there has been no sign of that happening. The problem with the other manufacturers is that they're not looking at the big picture the way Tesla is. Tesla has worked to address issues separate from the car such as charging and long-distance travel.

    Dealerships also will be encouraged to push the gasoline powered cars over EVs for the simple reason that car dealerships make very little money selling cars. Most of the money comes from service and financing. EVs need a lot less service compared to gasoline powered cars. I take my Model S in for service once a year (other than tire rotation). There are far fewer expensive items to break in the drive train compared to an ICE vehicle. Add to that the fact that it's also much easier to work on than an ICE vehicle. The only maintenance in common is things like tire rotation, changing brake fluid, wiper blades, the cabin air filter, and filling the windshield washer reservoir. There are no timing belts to be changed, no oil changes, no transmissions to be serviced, spark plugs, oxygen sensors, emission control systems, etc. Dealerships know where their money comes from and it's in their interest to sell cars that need a lot more regular service.
    Sep 17, 2015. 05:32 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Tesla Bubble Is Bursting [View article]
    Like you I have been driving my Model S P85 for around 29 months. I have no desire to sell since I tend to keep cars for a long time. It's also my only car, having sold my other car since I only drove it once a year. I'm just kicking myself that I didn't buy a lot more Tesla stock when I did back when it was at $38. I also am glad I've ignored all of these doom and gloom stories that I should sell the stock.

    As an engineer myself, I understand the complexity of developing new products and how unintended delays crop up when releasing new products and features. I also like the fact that Tesla is trying to make sure things are right before releasing the model X. Nothing hurts more than releasing a product before it's ready. After all, look what happened with the Fisker Karma. The car was clearly not production ready and in large part to that it failed, the final nail in the coffin being when Consumer Report's car completely died early in its testing phase. Having a very solid product when it's first released will more than make up for the delays due to making it solid.
    Sep 5, 2015. 06:35 PM | 13 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla: Actually, Consumer Reports Just Reiterated The Bear Case [View article]
    Range anxiety is becoming less and less of an issue as their supercharger network continues to grow. The cable that comes with the car comes with an adapter that can be used at most RV parks. I'm planning to drive up from the Bay Area to Seattle next month and there are superchargers along the entire route. While I still can't go everywhere I'd like to the number of places I can't go is rapidly shrinking, and from what I see on Tesla's website, within a year I should be able to go just about everywhere I'm interested in going to.

    Last year when I drove to Reno there was one supercharger in Folsom along the route. This year there were a bunch, Manteca, Roseville, Rockland and Truckee. I stopped in Rockland and went to eat while the car charged. My car was fully charged before I was done eating. For out of the way places I can always use an RV hookup to charge, though it is significantly slower.

    The Tesla GPS system also takes charging into account and will automatically route through the superchargers as well as show how much battery will be available at the destination as well as tell you how long you will need to charge.

    Most families also have more than one car.
    Aug 27, 2015. 05:24 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment