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Teslar Teaser

|Includes: Tesla Motors (TSLA)

At my daughter’s urging I accompanied her to the New York City showroom of Tesla Motors (TSLA:  Nasdaq).  A budding environmentalist she is intrigued by the idea of an all-electric car.  Tesla has made much of the performance of its sporty all-electric cars.  I will admit that the cars have some appeal even if slightly squat in appearance.  My daughter was impressed by the sleek aero-dynamic contours of the Roadster and had her picture snapped by a very red “teaser” near the showroom window. 


Tesla boasts the Roadster can achieve 60 miles per hour in 3.7 seconds and reach speeds as high as 125 miles per hour.  The Roadster is powered by a custom lithium-ion battery that take three and a half hours to charge from empty to full using the Tesla High Power Wall Connector at 240 Volts and 70 Amps.  The smaller Roadster is expected to have a range of 245 miles on one charge.


The Model S comes standard with the 160-mile range lithium-ion battery system that charges overnight with a 220 outlet.  A 110 outlet would take longer.   Tesla expects the battery to last up to 100,000 miles before needing replacement, although with no history of actual use by consumers, this is as much wishful thinking as anything.  Tesla is planning 230-mile and 300-mile range batteries as optional upgrades.  Even the smaller battery pack is daunting in size, so only long distance travelers may opt for the bulky upgrade.


Tesla is busy promoting its cars and expects to begin delivering on orders in 2012.  Holders of TSLA shares are waiting with bated breath for the surge in revenue and hoping they are not being teased by Tesla's shiny cars.  The Company recorded $116.7 million in total sales in the twelve months ending December 2010.  Unfortunately, the net loss was $154.3 million.  Tesla has $100 million in cash on its balance sheet to support operations until production gets into full swing.  Considering the Company used $127.8 million in cash during 2010 that cannot be too soon.



Neither the author of the Small Cap Strategist web log, Crystal Equity Research nor its affiliates have a beneficial interest in the companies mentioned herein. TSLA is included in Crystal Equity Research’s The Mothers of Invention Index in the Electric Vehicles Group.


Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.