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May the source be with you, but remember the KISS principle ;-)
Home Switchboard Unix Administration Red Hat TCP/IP Networks Neoliberalism Toxic Managers
(slightly skeptical) Educational society promoting "Back to basics" movement against IT overcomplexity and  bastardization of classic Unix

Slightly skeptical view of modern cars and their engines

News Recommended Links Tesla Toyota RAV4 2019 Hybrid Toyota RAV4 2016 Hybrid Mitsubishi Outlander 2006
Toyota Rent a Car Honda CR-V - Wikipedia Available Honda CR-V in Tri State Area Honda CR-V vs. Toyota RAV4 Which Should You Buy - Consumer Reports 2019 Toyota Rav4 Hybrid vs. 2019 Honda CR-V  
Forrester SUV 2017 Mitsubishi Galant 2003 Notes on buying a car vs. leasing it Light replacement in Outlander 2003-2006  Humor Etc

Modern cars suffer from overcomplexity. Many subsystems became way too complex.  Amount of electronics used further increases complexity and actually cuts private mechanics from the business.  The more complex the car is, the less reliable it is . So luxury models paradoxically can have a lot of problems as they are oversaturated with electronics.   Of course, you get a free loaner vehicle with the dealership, but still moving all your belonging from one car to another is a frustrating exercise.

It's tough as there way too much variety on the marketplace and too much competition for what, in essence, are almost identical sedans, or small SUVs.

Some interesting development the last year are "driver support" systems like Subaru EyeSight version 3.

Configuration of a car is another problem. For example I prefer to have a weather package (heated mirrors, heater seats, front defroster, if available and fog lights. I also prefer cloth seats. I do not want to pay for leather and the sunroof.   But strangely enough it is difficult to get that set of options, and if you  you often get sunroof as a present from the vendor, which I do not need.  Not all people who are willing to pay more for the vehicle appreciate sunroof :-). It actually makes roof less stable at crash. That's a problem. 

Adaptive cruse control make great sense for long rides.  Which is probably the main thing I am exited about Forrester, as drive quality wise it is close to Mitsubishi Outlander 2006. Not bad, but nothing special. Same with the acceleration up the hill.   Crosstrek is more sexy but is sluggish in this department, so complains on web sites are not without merit.  I am not too exited about CR-V and think you have a better SUV overall, despite Edmunds and Kelly ratings. The way Forrester engine compartment is structured looks better for me. It's tight but all the necessary spots are easily accessible.  Also Honda car  engines rotate in the wrong direction :-)  

Automakers frequently change vehicle designs as the Environmental Protection Agency raises fuel-efficiency standards. They are increasingly using lighter materials like aluminum and high-strength metals like ultra-hard boron steel, particularly in the frame and suspension parts. Such parts are expensive.

As GM faulty ignition switch story tell us there is no guarantee. You can get into troubles, even for a model that is produced for many years.  They knew about faulty switch for more then 10 years and more then a dozen peoples died due to this defect. See News  section.

Too much emphasis on fuel economy is not good. Weight of the car is a safety feature and it affects fuel economy. Generally if you want excellent fuel economy you need to buy a small car. Let's say the size of  Corolla or Civic, or smaller.  Such cars are dangerous on modern highway as frontal collision with a heavier car (say, mid size SUV or light truck) gives you very little chances of survival. 

Hybrid cars look promising but they are more expensive and this additional expence eats all fuel economy unless average for the life of the car prices are, say, above $3.5 a gallon.

Electrical car represent another set of problem:

CVT Transmissions

CVT tranmissions displayed convetional gearboxes almost completely. And the reson is is fuel economy.


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[Jul 21, 2021] Damage Control- Elon Musk Admits Cybertruck Could -Flop-, Writes Off Summon Feature As Just A -Fun Trick- - ZeroHedge

Jul 18, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Damage Control: Elon Musk Admits Cybertruck Could "Flop", Writes Off Summon Feature As Just A "Fun Trick" BY TYLER DURDEN SUNDAY, JUL 18, 2021 - 09:11 PM

As the cold hard reality of Elon Musk's promises of years past start to catch up to the Tesla CEO - who last week testified in a trial where he is alleged to have made a unilateral decision to poorly allocate shareholder capital by bailing out his cousin's failing Solar City business that was on the verge of insolvency - Musk now appears to be embarking on a journey to try and talk his way out of past promises and manage expectations.

And while the mainstream financial press and regulators seem to be just fine with allowing Musk to get away with this, we'd be remiss if we didn't point out each time the Earth's boy genius attempts to re-write history right in front of our faces, with a smile, as though no one would notice and/or remember a half-decade of missed deadlines and false promises along the path of selling equity to investors and pushing poorly made vehicles, many hand-assembled in a makeshift tent ( hereinafter referred to as "the Alien dreadnaught" ) to marks willing to buy.

Musk Walks Back Full Self Driving

me title=

https://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/core/bridge3.471.1_en.html#goog_1823583798 114K No regrets! Birthday boy Elon Musk's most controversial quotes

me scrolling=

The walk back of history began with a mega-huge whopper about 2 weeks ago when, at the beginning of July, Musk admitted that Full-Self Driving - a non-existent feature customers have been paying for for a half-decade - was a "hard problem", casually dropping into conversation the idea that the company may not be anywhere close to meeting Musk's promises about FSD.

As a reminder, Musk said in 2019 he was "very confident" in predicting autonomous robotaxis "next year", which would have been 2020, which has now turned into "last year" and is six months away from being "two years ago". Earlier this year Tesla offered up another reality check when it admitted to regulators that it was still "firmly in level 2" autonomy.

"Generalized self-driving is a hard problem, as it requires solving a large part of real-world AI. I didn't expect it to be so hard, but the difficulty is obvious in retrospect. Nothing has more degrees of freedom than reality," Musk wrote on Twitter in early July.

It's a far cry from what Musk was saying years ago. "Tesla will have over 1 million robotaxis on the road next year," Musk proclaimed in April of 2019, now more than 2 years ago.

Great, so you'll just issue refunds to everyone who has paid for the feature over the last 5 years, right?

Regardless, even the latest much heralded update to Full Self Driving, which arrived about a month late and had been touted as a solution to the last beta, which was such a disaster it was pulled off the market quickly , appears to be more of the same: jerky movements, uncertain vehicle operation and constant necessary interruptions from the driver.

After Full Self Driving 9.0's release, even the company's biggest fans like Galileo Russell said he saw little difference between the last beta and this one - and he still thinks the company is "still a long way away" to truly autonomous driving "where you never have to intervene".

Musk Walks Back Cybertruck Expectations

In another walk-back and reset of expectations last week, Elon Musk also Tweeted that there was "always some chance" that the Cybertruck - a product introduced almost two years ago in November 2019 to ridiculous fanfare - could "flop".

This stands at obvious odds with statements Musk made in September at the company's shareholder meeting, where he said "The orders are gigantic" about the truck. Musk claimed there were "... well over half a million orders." He continued: "It's a lot, basically. We stopped counting."

Recall, at the introduction of the Cybertruck, Musk had an assistant come on stage and try to break the truck's armored glass.

"Normal glass shatters immediately," Musk said as his assistants, dressed like characters from The Matrix, dropped a metal ball on conventional glass, causing it to shatter.

At which point another of Musk's assistants gently threw a similar metal ball at the Cybertruck parked on stage. The driver's side window promptly broke.

"Oh my fucking God," Musk nervously said, live on the stream, after the front window shattered into a million pieces.

Are you not amused?

And if this demo wasn't enough to "manage expectations", Musk is now admitting the truck could "flop".

But don't worry shareholders, Musk has your back. He Tweeted: "To be frank, there is always some chance that Cybertruck will flop, because it is so unlike anything else. I don't care. I love it so much even if others don't. Other trucks look like copies of the same thing, but Cybertruck looks like it was made by aliens from the future."

Actually, it appears Musk doesn't have your back - it appears he's going to do whatever the hell he wants regardless of whether or not it's good for the company.

"In end, we kept production design almost exactly same as show car. Just some small tweaks here & there to make it slightly better. No door handles. Car recognizes you & opens door. Having all four wheels steer is amazing for nimble handling & tight turns!" Musk gushed about the truck, which is still not in production.

Some critics not only believe the truck is already a "flop", but also that its claimed specs are outright fraudulent.

"This fraud is no different from those of Theranos or Nikola," Stanphyl Capital's Mark Spiegel wrote on Twitter last week.

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&features=eyJ0ZndfZXhwZXJpbWVudHNfY29va2llX2V4cGlyYXRpb24iOnsiYnVja2V0IjoxMjA5NjAwLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X2hvcml6b25fdHdlZXRfZW1iZWRfOTU1NSI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJodGUiLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfX0%3D&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1416167167649779712&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com%2Fmarkets%2Fdamage-control-elon-musk-revising-history-full-self-driving-cybertruck-expectations-and-now&sessionId=80bac2a05d98ce2ae84ed0a968bb7586e8e1d251&siteScreenName=zerohedge&theme=light&widgetsVersion=82e1070%3A1619632193066&width=550px

Time will tell the tale.

Musk Walks Back Years Of Bluster About "Smart Summon"

And now, the most recent walk-back. Shortly after Musk's Cybertruck comments came Musk's "realigning" of expectations about Tesla's Summon feature, which Musk has been boasting about whilst collecting order money, for years.

This series of Tweets is a great starter thread on Musk's previous statements about summon - including ones claiming it can go across the country and others using Summon as a reason to bump up the price of the non-existent Full Self Driving - (additional sources here ), which include:

And then, finally, just this past week: "Current Summon is sometimes useful, but mostly just a fun trick," Musk nonchalantly wrote on Twitter this weekend.

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-1&features=eyJ0ZndfZXhwZXJpbWVudHNfY29va2llX2V4cGlyYXRpb24iOnsiYnVja2V0IjoxMjA5NjAwLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X2hvcml6b25fdHdlZXRfZW1iZWRfOTU1NSI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJodGUiLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfX0%3D&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1416511905515048966&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com%2Fmarkets%2Fdamage-control-elon-musk-revising-history-full-self-driving-cybertruck-expectations-and-now&sessionId=80bac2a05d98ce2ae84ed0a968bb7586e8e1d251&siteScreenName=zerohedge&theme=light&widgetsVersion=82e1070%3A1619632193066&width=550px

More than five years after Musk claimed Summon would work cross-country, it appears he is now giving up on the feature as it stands today. It's yet one more walk back and re-writing of history that both customers and regulators will likely be just fine with.

Everyone Can See It Except Regulators And Tesla Cultists

Keep in mind these walk-backs don't even include the company's Solar Roof rollout . Even the mainstream media is catching up to that disaster: Bloomberg's Dana Hull published a piece last month aptly titled "Tesla's Solar Roof Rollout Is a Bust" And a Fixation for Elon Musk".

"It needs to be beautiful, affordable and seamlessly integrated," Musk said about the company's solar roof shingle back in 2016. "You'll want to call your neighbors over and say, "˜check out this sweet roof.'"

Except now it's a half decade later and the company has barely rolled out any solar roofs, struggling to hit 200 installations per week. This is despite the fact that Musk set a goal to install more than 1,000 of them a week back in 2019. It raised prices in April of this year, leading to a slew of cancellations, Hull notes.

We don't seem to be the only ones exasperated about the lack of regulatory oversight on Musk's actions, either. For example, many on social media and podcasts have honed in on the fact that Full Self Driving is a complete and total bait and switch - except the "switched" item doesn't seem to exist, either!

[Jul 20, 2021] Damage Control- Elon Musk Admits Cybertruck Could -Flop-, Writes Off Summon Feature As Just A -Fun Trick- - ZeroHedge

Jul 18, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Damage Control: Elon Musk Admits Cybertruck Could "Flop", Writes Off Summon Feature As Just A "Fun Trick" BY TYLER DURDEN SUNDAY, JUL 18, 2021 - 09:11 PM

As the cold hard reality of Elon Musk's promises of years past start to catch up to the Tesla CEO - who last week testified in a trial where he is alleged to have made a unilateral decision to poorly allocate shareholder capital by bailing out his cousin's failing Solar City business that was on the verge of insolvency - Musk now appears to be embarking on a journey to try and talk his way out of past promises and manage expectations.

And while the mainstream financial press and regulators seem to be just fine with allowing Musk to get away with this, we'd be remiss if we didn't point out each time the Earth's boy genius attempts to re-write history right in front of our faces, with a smile, as though no one would notice and/or remember a half-decade of missed deadlines and false promises along the path of selling equity to investors and pushing poorly made vehicles, many hand-assembled in a makeshift tent ( hereinafter referred to as "the Alien dreadnaught" ) to marks willing to buy.

Musk Walks Back Full Self Driving

me title=

https://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/core/bridge3.471.1_en.html#goog_1823583798 114K No regrets! Birthday boy Elon Musk's most controversial quotes

me scrolling=

The walk back of history began with a mega-huge whopper about 2 weeks ago when, at the beginning of July, Musk admitted that Full-Self Driving - a non-existent feature customers have been paying for for a half-decade - was a "hard problem", casually dropping into conversation the idea that the company may not be anywhere close to meeting Musk's promises about FSD.

As a reminder, Musk said in 2019 he was "very confident" in predicting autonomous robotaxis "next year", which would have been 2020, which has now turned into "last year" and is six months away from being "two years ago". Earlier this year Tesla offered up another reality check when it admitted to regulators that it was still "firmly in level 2" autonomy.

"Generalized self-driving is a hard problem, as it requires solving a large part of real-world AI. I didn't expect it to be so hard, but the difficulty is obvious in retrospect. Nothing has more degrees of freedom than reality," Musk wrote on Twitter in early July.

It's a far cry from what Musk was saying years ago. "Tesla will have over 1 million robotaxis on the road next year," Musk proclaimed in April of 2019, now more than 2 years ago.

Great, so you'll just issue refunds to everyone who has paid for the feature over the last 5 years, right?

Regardless, even the latest much heralded update to Full Self Driving, which arrived about a month late and had been touted as a solution to the last beta, which was such a disaster it was pulled off the market quickly , appears to be more of the same: jerky movements, uncertain vehicle operation and constant necessary interruptions from the driver.

After Full Self Driving 9.0's release, even the company's biggest fans like Galileo Russell said he saw little difference between the last beta and this one - and he still thinks the company is "still a long way away" to truly autonomous driving "where you never have to intervene".

Musk Walks Back Cybertruck Expectations

In another walk-back and reset of expectations last week, Elon Musk also Tweeted that there was "always some chance" that the Cybertruck - a product introduced almost two years ago in November 2019 to ridiculous fanfare - could "flop".

This stands at obvious odds with statements Musk made in September at the company's shareholder meeting, where he said "The orders are gigantic" about the truck. Musk claimed there were "... well over half a million orders." He continued: "It's a lot, basically. We stopped counting."

Recall, at the introduction of the Cybertruck, Musk had an assistant come on stage and try to break the truck's armored glass.

"Normal glass shatters immediately," Musk said as his assistants, dressed like characters from The Matrix, dropped a metal ball on conventional glass, causing it to shatter.

At which point another of Musk's assistants gently threw a similar metal ball at the Cybertruck parked on stage. The driver's side window promptly broke.

"Oh my fucking God," Musk nervously said, live on the stream, after the front window shattered into a million pieces.

Are you not amused?

And if this demo wasn't enough to "manage expectations", Musk is now admitting the truck could "flop".

But don't worry shareholders, Musk has your back. He Tweeted: "To be frank, there is always some chance that Cybertruck will flop, because it is so unlike anything else. I don't care. I love it so much even if others don't. Other trucks look like copies of the same thing, but Cybertruck looks like it was made by aliens from the future."

Actually, it appears Musk doesn't have your back - it appears he's going to do whatever the hell he wants regardless of whether or not it's good for the company.

"In end, we kept production design almost exactly same as show car. Just some small tweaks here & there to make it slightly better. No door handles. Car recognizes you & opens door. Having all four wheels steer is amazing for nimble handling & tight turns!" Musk gushed about the truck, which is still not in production.

Some critics not only believe the truck is already a "flop", but also that its claimed specs are outright fraudulent.

"This fraud is no different from those of Theranos or Nikola," Stanphyl Capital's Mark Spiegel wrote on Twitter last week.

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&features=eyJ0ZndfZXhwZXJpbWVudHNfY29va2llX2V4cGlyYXRpb24iOnsiYnVja2V0IjoxMjA5NjAwLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X2hvcml6b25fdHdlZXRfZW1iZWRfOTU1NSI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJodGUiLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfX0%3D&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1416167167649779712&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com%2Fmarkets%2Fdamage-control-elon-musk-revising-history-full-self-driving-cybertruck-expectations-and-now&sessionId=80bac2a05d98ce2ae84ed0a968bb7586e8e1d251&siteScreenName=zerohedge&theme=light&widgetsVersion=82e1070%3A1619632193066&width=550px

Time will tell the tale.

Musk Walks Back Years Of Bluster About "Smart Summon"

And now, the most recent walk-back. Shortly after Musk's Cybertruck comments came Musk's "realigning" of expectations about Tesla's Summon feature, which Musk has been boasting about whilst collecting order money, for years.

This series of Tweets is a great starter thread on Musk's previous statements about summon - including ones claiming it can go across the country and others using Summon as a reason to bump up the price of the non-existent Full Self Driving - (additional sources here ), which include:

And then, finally, just this past week: "Current Summon is sometimes useful, but mostly just a fun trick," Musk nonchalantly wrote on Twitter this weekend.

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-1&features=eyJ0ZndfZXhwZXJpbWVudHNfY29va2llX2V4cGlyYXRpb24iOnsiYnVja2V0IjoxMjA5NjAwLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X2hvcml6b25fdHdlZXRfZW1iZWRfOTU1NSI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJodGUiLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfX0%3D&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1416511905515048966&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com%2Fmarkets%2Fdamage-control-elon-musk-revising-history-full-self-driving-cybertruck-expectations-and-now&sessionId=80bac2a05d98ce2ae84ed0a968bb7586e8e1d251&siteScreenName=zerohedge&theme=light&widgetsVersion=82e1070%3A1619632193066&width=550px

More than five years after Musk claimed Summon would work cross-country, it appears he is now giving up on the feature as it stands today. It's yet one more walk back and re-writing of history that both customers and regulators will likely be just fine with.

Everyone Can See It Except Regulators And Tesla Cultists

Keep in mind these walk-backs don't even include the company's Solar Roof rollout . Even the mainstream media is catching up to that disaster: Bloomberg's Dana Hull published a piece last month aptly titled "Tesla's Solar Roof Rollout Is a Bust" And a Fixation for Elon Musk".

"It needs to be beautiful, affordable and seamlessly integrated," Musk said about the company's solar roof shingle back in 2016. "You'll want to call your neighbors over and say, "˜check out this sweet roof.'"

Except now it's a half decade later and the company has barely rolled out any solar roofs, struggling to hit 200 installations per week. This is despite the fact that Musk set a goal to install more than 1,000 of them a week back in 2019. It raised prices in April of this year, leading to a slew of cancellations, Hull notes.

We don't seem to be the only ones exasperated about the lack of regulatory oversight on Musk's actions, either. For example, many on social media and podcasts have honed in on the fact that Full Self Driving is a complete and total bait and switch - except the "switched" item doesn't seem to exist, either!

[Jul 03, 2021] Bolshevik volutarism in XXI century: Canada To Ban Sale of New Fuel-Powered Cars and Light Trucks From 2035

Another Great leap forward :-).
Jul 03, 2021 | news.slashdot.org

Canada will ban the sale of fuel-burning new cars and light-duty trucks from 2035 in an effort to reach net-zero emissions across the country by 2050, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government said on Tuesday. Reuters reports: Only zero-emissions cars and trucks can be sold from 2035, according to a statement, adding that a mixture of investments and regulations will help industry transition toward that goal. The government also said it will set interim targets for 2025 and 2030. "We are committed to aligning Canada's zero-emission vehicles sales targets with those of the most ambitious North American jurisdictions," Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson said in the statement. "We will work with the United States to harmonize fuel efficiency regulations and we're investing in consumer rebates, charging stations, business tax breaks and industry transition costs," Wilkinson added.

"Canada cannot reach our greenhouse gas targets if emissions from cars, SUVs and pickups, which are currently growing, are not curtailed," said Keith Brooks, programs director at advocacy group Environmental Defence, who welcomed the move. Brooks said only 3.5% of vehicles now sold in Canada are electric and that the government needs to do more to support the market for zero-emissions vehicles.

It's very cold. ( Score: 3 , Insightful) by fluffernutter ( 1411889 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2021 @08:50PM ( #61535500 ) There is a lot of empty, cold wilderness in Canada. There is an ice road the length of Norway. This will never be traversed without gasoline, never mind the equipment to make said ice road. Will never happen ( Score: 5 , Interesting) by Striek ( 1811980 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2021 @09:00PM ( #61535528 )

Canadian here.

While the vast majority of us can eventually make do with electric cars, we have roads in some places over a thousand kilometres long, with nothing on them. Think like the Alaska Highway, but worse. I've driven on of them, up the east coast of Hudson Bay. It's absolutely empty, and there's 8 hours between gas stations. Many ICE cars don't even have the range do drive there as it is.

We have ice roads into northern communities that will soon (due to global warming) become an even larger network of vast, desolate roads. The cost of installing electric charging stations on these roads would be insurmountable. You're talking about tens , if not hundreds of thousands of kilometres of new high-tension power lines. We just wouldn't be able to put charging stations far enough out to make this feasible. So, sure, the vast majority of cars could be electric by 2035, not all of them can be. Therefore a ban is not a realistic solution.

I don't see it happening in 25 years to travel for a thousand km, in the dead of winter, possibly towing a load. Is it possible? Sure. But I highly doubt it.

Plus, we have an election coming up, likely in the fall, and parliament is out for the summer very soon. This is Trudeau's (and his party's) way of saying "Look at all the good I've done! I'm hip and green!", without actually accomplishing anything, because as we all know, in government terms, "in 25 years" means "I don't have a plan, I won't create a plan, and I'm leaving this for someone else to solve. So... Coal power for Canada, then... ( Score: 3 ) by gillbates ( 106458 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2021 @10:46PM ( #61535766 ) Homepage Journal

The problem with electric cars is that they're coal powered cars. Instead of burning half-hydrogen, half carbon, the power company energy comes entirely from carbon, and loses about 10-15% of that power in the lines themselves. Sure, your power company *might* be using a renewable energy source, but if they're not, your electric car is actually worse for the planet than a conventional ICE powered vehicle.

Banning fuel powered vehicles is not the way to go. Instead, they should be looking into carbon-neutral gasoline, diesel, and ethanol powered vehicles. That way, you get the benefits of emissions reduction without forcing anyone to buy a new car or change their habits.

Yes, I know it takes a lot of energy to convert a biological carbon source into a hydrocarbon - or a lot of acreage to grow the oil-rich plants like soybeans. But if we're serious about mitigating global climate change, carbon-neutral hydrocarbon fuels are the most realistic option available. And it can be done right now, today, with the technology we already have. Why extreme solutions? ( Score: 2 ) by joe_frisch ( 1366229 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2021 @10:49PM ( #61535776 ) Why ban ALL gas fueled vehicles. There are probably a variety of situations where electric vehicles are not viable. Reducing to 10% gas has almost as big an effect and eliminates the extreme situations.

Instead the people who need gas cars will either drive old, less efficient vehicles, or heavy trucks which are exempt - both of which will increase emissions.

[Jun 12, 2021] New Renewable Fuel Might be 3 Times More Powerful Than Gasoline

While 53.1 MJ/kg, for natural gas is correct the problem is getting this kilogram. You need to liqidify gas to get a kilogram of gas in volume comparable with gasoline. It looks too high for me. I think by MJ/m3 gasine solidly beats natural gas (even liquefied) in energy density. See Specific Energy and Energy Density of Fuels - Neutrium
Jun 07, 2021 | finance.yahoo.com

... lithium had been thought to be the solution to the clean energy movement.

Unfortunately, it has been proven that lithium will not be able to provide enough power for long-range trucks... ocean-going freighters... military vehicles...trains"¦ planes... jets, and more.

Why? The story of energy transitions through history has been a constant move toward fuels that are more energy-dense and convenient to use than the fuels they replaced.

Fossil fuels are the most energy-dense, making them hard to replace.

At 53.1 MJ/kg, natural gas boasts the highest energy density of any fossil fuel, followed by gasoline at 45.8MJ/kg, and coal at 30.2MJ/kg.

Lithium-ion batteries--one of the most effective ways to store renewable energy--can only afford an energy density of 0.504MJ/kg. That's 91 times less energy density than gasoline!

So, while lithium could become the predominant energy carrier for small vehicles like cars and small vans...It simply doesn't appear to have enough power density to become practical for larger truck and vicles that need to make long hauls.

[Jun 07, 2021] New Renewable Fuel Might be 3 Times More Powerful Than Gasoline

While 53.1 MJ/kg, for natural gas is correct the problem is getting this kilogram. You need to liqidify gas to get a kilogram of gas in volume comparable with gasoline. It looks too high for me. I think by MJ/m3 gasine solidly beats natural gas (even liquefied) in energy density. See Specific Energy and Energy Density of Fuels - Neutrium
Jun 07, 2021 | finance.yahoo.com

... lithium had been thought to be the solution to the clean energy movement.

Unfortunately, it has been proven that lithium will not be able to provide enough power for long-range trucks... ocean-going freighters... military vehicles...trains"¦ planes... jets, and more.

Why? The story of energy transitions through history has been a constant move toward fuels that are more energy-dense and convenient to use than the fuels they replaced.

Fossil fuels are the most energy-dense, making them hard to replace.

At 53.1 MJ/kg, natural gas boasts the highest energy density of any fossil fuel, followed by gasoline at 45.8MJ/kg, and coal at 30.2MJ/kg.

Lithium-ion batteries--one of the most effective ways to store renewable energy--can only afford an energy density of 0.504MJ/kg. That's 91 times less energy density than gasoline!

So, while lithium could become the predominant energy carrier for small vehicles like cars and small vans...It simply doesn't appear to have enough power density to become practical for larger truck and vicles that need to make long hauls.

[May 28, 2021] The US Is Not Ready For An All-Electric Future - ZeroHedge

May 20, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

The U.S. is woefully unprepared to handle "the electrification of everything," as Amy Myers Jaffe, a research professor at Tufts University's Fletcher School, describes the drive to electrify transportation and buildings and parts of industry in The Wall Street Journal .

Increased electrification in all sectors will need huge investments in the electric grid, in battery storage to back up renewable power generation, in charging points for EVs, and in technologies such as green hydrogen to help those technologies to reach maturity and cost efficiency enough to start replacing fossil fuels.

[May 28, 2021] "˜Not a chance' Tesla will dominate car industry in 20 years- legendary investor Bruce Greenwald

May 26, 2021 | finance.yahoo.com

"˜Not a chance' Tesla will dominate car industry in 20 years: legendary investor Bruce Greenwald Max Zahn with Andy Serwer Wed, May 26, 2021, 9:56 AM In this article: TSLA +2.39%

Tesla ( TSLA ) short sellers are up $4 billion so far this year, driven by the stock's fall back to earth after a steep rise of more than 695% last year, according to an analysis by S3 partners that CNN reported .

Investor Michael Burry, who anticipated the 2008 housing collapse and was made famous by the book and movie "The Big Short," last week revealed that his firm Scion Asset Management had joined the army of Tesla short sellers to the tune of more than 800,000 shares worth about $534 million.

Now another legendary investor, Columbia University Professor Emeritus Bruce Greenwald" whom The New York Times once called "a guru to Wall Street's gurus"" says he doesn't think Tesla can live up to its astronomical market cap. But Greenwald acknowledged he wouldn't short Tesla because many have gotten "slaughtered" doing it.

In a new interview, Greenwald predicted that Tesla will fail to dominate the auto industry over the long term because of a likely explosion in the size of the electric vehicle market and a lack of differentiation between Tesla's products and those of its competitors.

"Twenty years from now" you really think that they're going to dominate the auto market?" Greenwald tells Yahoo Finance Editor-in-Chief Andy Serwer. "Not a chance."

"We know what a competitive auto market looks like," he adds. "Because in that market, most of the big companies have flirted with bankruptcy at one time or another."

[May 14, 2021] Autopilot Was Engaged In Fatal SoCal Tesla Wreck Earlier This Month, Authorities Reveal

May 14, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

A Tesla that was involved in a fatal crash in Southern California last week was operating on Autopilot at the time , it has been revealed. The crash is still is under investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a report from ABC noted on Friday.

The crash, which took place on May 5 in Fontana, killed the 35 year old driver after his Model 3 hit an overturned semi on the freeway. A second person was seriously injured after the Model 3 hit him, while he was trying to help the driver of the overturned semi.

On Thursday of this week, the California Highway Patrol announced that the car was operating on Autopilot, which has been no stranger to controversy involving fatal Tesla wrecks. This wreck marks at least the fourth death in the U.S. involving Autopilot.

The information was so important, the CHP felt, that they shared it despite the ongoing investigation, stating: "While the CHP does not normally comment on ongoing investigations, the Department recognizes the high level of interest centered around crashes involving Tesla vehicles. We felt this information provides an opportunity to remind the public that driving is a complex task that requires a driver's full attention."

Just days prior, the CHP arrested yet another Tesla driver who it said was in the back seat of his vehicle while it barreled down Interstate 80 near Oakland. Autopilot or Full Self Driving were assumed to be operating.

There is also an ongoing NHTSA investigation involving a fatal Tesla wreck that took place in Houston weeks ago. The NTSB has issued a preliminary report in that case, finding that a similar vehicle could have engaged Traffic Aware Cruise Control, but not Autosteer, at the point where the crash took place.

The NTSB concluded by stating that the investigation was ongoing and that it was working with Harris County Texas Precinct 4:

The NTSB continues to collect data to analyze the crash dynamics, postmortem toxicology test results, seat belt use, occupant egress, and electric vehicle fires. All aspects of the crash remain under investigation as the NTSB determines the probable cause, with the intent of issuing safety recommendations to prevent similar crashes. The NTSB is working alongside the Harris County Texas Precinct 4 Constable's Office, which is conducting a separate, parallel investigation.

Recall, it was Mark Herman, Harris County Constable Precinct 4, who was most skeptical of Elon Musk's comments absolving Autopilot of liability last month, telling Reuters that the police served search warrants on Tesla to secure data from the Model S.

Responding to Musk at the time, Herman said: "If he is tweeting that out, if he has already pulled the data, he hasn't told us that. We will eagerly wait for that data."

"We have witness statements from people that said they left to test drive the vehicle without a driver and to show the friend how it can drive itself ," Herman said according to the Reuters report .

[May 09, 2021] German Institute Develops 'Powerpaste' That Stores Hydrogen Energy At 10x the Density of a Lithium Battery

May 09, 2021 | hardware.slashdot.org

(hackaday.com) 124 BeauHD on Monday February 08, 2021 @10:10PM from the clean-energy dept. A German research organization has developed a magnesium-based " Powerpaste " with an energy density ten times more than current battery technology . Hackaday reports: We've been promised hydrogen-powered engines for some time now. One downside though is the need for hydrogen vehicles to have heavy high-pressure tanks. While a 700 bar tank and the accompanying fuel cell is acceptable for a city bus or a truck, it becomes problematic with smaller vehicles, especially ones such as scooters or even full-sized motorcycles. The Fraunhofer Institute wants to run smaller vehicles on magnesium hydride in a paste form that they call POWERPASTE.

The idea is that the paste effectively stores hydrogen at normal temperature and pressure. At 250C, the paste decomposes and releases its hydrogen. While your motorcycle may seem hot when parked in the sun, it isn't getting quite to 250C. Interestingly, the paste only provides half the available hydrogen. The rest is from water added start a reaction to release the hydrogen. Fraunhofer claims the energy density available is greater than that of a 700 bar tank in a conventional hydrogen system and ten times more than current battery technology.

One thing that's attractive is that the paste is easy to store and pump. A gas station, for example, could invest $20-30,000 and dispense the paste from a metal drum to meet low demand and then scale up as needed. A hydrogen pumping setup starts at about $1.2 million. Fraunhofer is building a pilot production plant that will produce about four tons of the material a year.

[May 08, 2021] What's Behind the WTF Spike in Used-Vehicle Prices- My Gut Says, it Can't Last. But if it Lasts, It's Scary-Crazy Inflation -

May 08, 2021 | wolfstreet.com

Paulo May 8, 2021 at 8:06 am

Before I bought my 18 year old PU a few years ago, I seriously looked at the Chinese versions of 'jeeps'. Based on their simple military version utility vehicle, it looked like a no-nonsense no-bling reliable 4X4; kind of like a modern version of the Willys Jeep. Beats the Hummer nonsense, or Envoys, or Jeep PU.

Anyway, l was dipping the toe and doing research until the family deal came up. Instead of a 4X4 (which I actually need on the local weed slick boat ramp) I throw some weight in the back like we used to 50 years ago.

New vehicles re waaay too complex and more expensive than they need to be. 7 airbags? Really? How about just slowing down and driving carefully? Buyers need to wait and not be stampeded into this market .if they can do so.

Reply
drg1234 May 8, 2021 at 8:36 am

Yes, really. You are not a genius for driving a 40-year old van with no fucking airbags. You're just a cheapskate.

Just so you know, every single air bag in a new car protects against specific injuries. The side head curtain reduces the likelihood of death from a side impact brain injury by forty percent. The little air bag under the dash protects against tibial plateau fractures in frontal crashes.

It's not just the airbags either. Ask Tiger Woods why his legs are still attached. Hint: it's from the high-strength steel toe/lower leg pan now mandatory in new cars.

I could go on, but the point should be clear: the shit you drive is demonstrably less safe than any vehicle built in the last five years.

Reply
Jos Oskam May 8, 2021 at 11:15 am

Yes. New cars are generally safer than older cars. However, that doesn't make a person driving an old car stupid, nor does it make someone who drives a new car smart.

It's all a matter of risk acceptance, and that is very personal. I drive an old car that lacks lots of safety features. A also ride a powerful motorbike. Given this, would it not be a tiny bit weird if I insisted on the newest, safest car around while also using a two-wheeled means of transport that is orders of magnitude more dangerous than the oldest clunker of a car?

Of course, being a careful and capable driver doesn't guarantee you'll never end up in a serious accident. But on the other hand, I tend to feel that cars that have a reputation for protecting against any type of accident attract a certain class of drivers. Just sayin'.

TimTim May 8, 2021 at 11:27 am

Undeployed airbags are a major danger for emergency services personnel trying to extricate bad drivers from their cars, as anyone who has had any training in emergency response will tell you.

nodecentrepublicansleft May 8, 2021 at 12:51 pm

I think it's a case of 'different folks, different strokes'. I have a nice 1993 Nissan 300ZX that's my fun/fancy car. It has less than 40K original miles and drives like a dream.

[May 07, 2021] Dramatic Footage Shows Deadly Crash Of Tesla Slamming Into Truck In China - ZeroHedge

May 07, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

The honeymoon between Tesla and China continue to sour as the Global Times , China's closest major media organization to the state, published a horrifying image of a Tesla vehicle rear-ending a truck in Shaoguan, South China's Guangdong Province on Friday, "killing the electric car's driver on the spot."

Tesla can't catch a break in China. If state media wanted to protect the US car company, they would've ignored the report; instead, they're drumming up bad press for Elon Musk. This follows CCTV broadcaster calling for an investigation last month into Tesla's brake failures following other incidents where the electric cars have plowed into things.


[May 02, 2021] Electric Car Owners Switching to Gas Because Charging Is a Hassle- Study by Dominick Reuter

1 in 5 electric vehicle owners in California switched back to gas because charging their cars is a hassle, new research shows
Apr 30, 2021 | www.businessinsider.com
Mustang Mach-E GT Performance Edition.
Ford

https://598f627cb6d98b9e5d1f2159694a6ed2.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html?n=0

In roughly three minutes, you can fill the gas tank of a Ford Mustang and have enough range to go about 300 miles with its V8 engine.

But for the electric Mustang Mach-E , an hour plugged into a household outlet gave Bloomberg automotive analyst Kevin Tynan just three miles of range.

"Overnight, we're looking at 36 miles of range," he told Insider. "Before I gave it back to Ford, because I wanted to give it back full, I drove it to the office and plugged in at the charger we have there."

Standard home outlets generally put out about 120 volts of power at what electric vehicle aficionados call "Level 1" charging, while the high-powered specialty connections offer 240 volts of power and are known as "Level 2." By comparison, Tesla's "Superchargers," which can fully charge its cars in a little over an hour, offer 480 volts of direct current.

https://598f627cb6d98b9e5d1f2159694a6ed2.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html?n=0

That difference is night and day, according to a new study published in the journal Nature Energy by University of California Davis researchers Scott Hardman and Gil Tal that surveyed Californians who purchased an electric vehicle between 2012 and 2018.

Roughly one in five plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) owners switched back to owning gas-powered cars, in large part because charging the batteries was a pain in the trunk, the researchers found.

Of those who switched, over 70% lacked access to Level 2 charging at home, and slightly fewer than that lacked Level 2 connections at their workplace.

"If you don't have a Level 2, it's almost impossible," said Tynan, who has tested a wide range of makes and models of PEVs over the years for his research.

https://598f627cb6d98b9e5d1f2159694a6ed2.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html?n=0

Even with the faster charging, a Chevy Volt he tested still needed nearly six hours to top its range back up to 300 miles from nearly empty -- something that takes him just minutes at the pump with his family SUV.

Public charging stations may look like the electric version of the gas station, but nearly two-thirds of PEV drivers in the survey said they didn't use them. Exactly why they didn't use the public stalls was not specified.

EVs have come a long way in recent years in terms of range, safety, comfort, and tech features, but Hardman and Tal note that very little has changed in terms of how they are recharged.

The researchers warned that this trend could make it harder to achieve electric vehicle sales targets in California and other countries, and the growth of the market overall.

[Apr 22, 2021] Congressmen, Consumer Reports Raise Concerns Over Tesla's Autopilot

Apr 22, 2021 | www.wsj.com

Two U.S. senators have expressed concern about what they said may be an emerging pattern of safety concerns involving Tesla Inc. TSLA -3.28% vehicles in the wake of a fatal crash in Texas.

In a letter Thursday to America's top automotive-safety regulator, Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Sen. Ed Markey of Massachusetts urged the agency to develop recommendations for improving advanced driver-assistance systems such as Tesla's Autopilot.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has opened a probe into the weekend crash , one of more than two dozen investigations it has launched into Tesla-involved crashes. The agency has said that most of those investigations are related to the vehicles' advanced driver-assistance features.

"We fear safety concerns involving these vehicles are becoming a pattern, which is incredibly worrisome and deserves your undivided attention," the Democratic senators wrote about Tesla in the letter, which was viewed by The Wall Street Journal.

... ... ...

Consumer Reports on Thursday said it had done tests this week in which it was able to get a different Tesla model's Autopilot to operate without anyone in the driver's seat. The vehicle, which uses steering-wheel inputs to assess driver attention, didn't send any warnings about an empty driver's seat, Consumer Reports said. The organization attached a weight to a Model Y's steering wheel to simulate a hand during the testing.

"I was really shocked how easy it was to do it," said Jake Fisher, the group's senior director of auto testing, one of the people involved in the test-track experiment. "When you have an automation system like that which explicitly needs a driver to be ready to take over at any time, you have to make sure that someone is actually engaged."

Tesla didn't respond to a request for comment on the Consumer Reports finding.

[Mar 12, 2021] I am looking forward to seeing the mental gymanstics required to promote electric transportation despite the chronic shortage of raw materials required for batteries

Mar 12, 2021 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Equitable > Equal , March 12, 2021 at 8:56 am

[Feb 05, 2021] The "Battery Fairy" Other Delusions In The Race To Replace Gas-Powered Cars

Feb 05, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Thomas Lifson via AmericanThinker.com,

I continue to be amazed that serious people think that gasoline powered vehicles can be completely replaced by electric vehicles in a decade-and-a-half, and that this would be a good thing, even if possible. Under threat of government action, however, the world's major auto manufacturers are falling in line boosting production of plug-in models, and upstart Tesla Motors is now the world's most valuable auto manufacture, based on the value of its capital stock issued and in the public's hands. Mary T. Barra, CEO of General Motors, has pledged to sell only zero emission vehicles by 2035 . That would meet the deadline imposed by California Governor Gavin Newsom, who signed an executive order banning the sale of internal combustion vehicles in the nation's largest car market by 2035.

Charging electrric cars at work makes sense, as it rquires several hours. But what if you want to drive on a long trip? Photo credit: Felix Cramer CC-BY-SA 2.0 license

GM, rescued from liquidation courtesy of US taxpayers (and bondholders who were cheated out of their place in line as creditors by the Obama administration), may simply be sucking up to governmental power. But Akio Toyoda, CEO of Toyota Motors, the world's largest (or second largest, depending on the year). and grandson of the automaker's founder, has spoken out and called out fallacy of thinking that this is possible or desirable. [I must here disclose that I was a consultant for a Toyota company for several years, but that all my comments on the company here are based on publicly available information.]

According to this account in CarBuzz :

As the grandson of Toyota founder, Kiichiro Toyoda, the scion was raised surrounded by all aspects of the auto industry and his business acumen is second to none. So when he had some harsh words for electric vehicles at the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association end-of-year press conference last week, people took notice.

The Wall Street Journal was in attendance and noted the CEO's disdain for EVs boils down to his belief they'll ruin businesses, require massive investments, and even emit more carbon dioxide than combustion-engined vehicles. "The current business model of the car industry is going to collapse," he said. "The more EVs we build, the worse carbon dioxide gets When politicians are out there saying, 'Let's get rid of all cars using gasoline,' do they understand this?"

Studies detailing the carbon emissions necessary to manufacture an electric vehicle reveal that on a net basis, there are more emissions for vehicle bought and used for its expected lifetime, than would be generated by buying and using a conventional gasoline-powered vehicle.

Toyota can certainly make electric powered vehicles. It introduced the hybrid Prius, after all, and has a strong position in that market. Toyota's mastery of the discipline of mass production of vehicles is such that it could do well no matter what power source is used. But the costs of complete conversion to electricity-powered vehicles are mind boggling.

Where will all, the electricity needed to power to entire fleet of cars in the US (or Japan) come from? Despite the fantasies of greenies, it won't be from windmills or solar farms. They are too unreliable, take up too much land, and cost too much. Right now, it is coal and natural gas that produce the most electricity at the most reasonable cost. And they emit CO2. Plus, there is considerable loss of power due to resistance in the transmission lines, requiring an even greater amount of gross power before the net power reaches the battery in the vehicle, charging at the user's home ort some other location. Nuclear power does offer some potential, but how many people want to live near the hundreds and hundreds of nuclear power plants that would be required to fuel the nation's vehicles?

Then there is the small matter of batteries. The very large batteries needed for electric cars use lots of expensive lithium (and some other rare elements) whose supply is limited, and whose mining requires lots of scarce water. In fact, powering the world's vehicles by battery is simply impossible, given the limited world supply of lithium, as this clever post by Powerline's Steve Hayward makes clear. The title gives away the punchline:

WHO WILL TELL THE GREENS THERE IS NO BATTERY FAIRY?

For the longest while I have been asking, "Where do environmentalists and Democrats think all these batteries for our oil-free transportation fleet are going to come from?" It seems they think there is a Battery Fairy out there somewhere who will magically supply the ginormous battery capacity, and additional supply of electricity to charge them, in order to deliver us to our blessed fossil-fuel-free future.

He cites an article in Wired, The Spiraling Environmental Cost of our Lithium Battery Addiction :

But there's a problem. As the world scrambles to replace fossil fuels with clean energy, the environmental impact of finding all the lithium required to enable that transformation could become a serious issue in its own right. "One of the biggest environmental problems caused by our endless hunger for the latest and smartest devices is a growing mineral crisis, particularly those needed to make our batteries," says Christina Valimaki an analyst at Elsevier. . .

It's a relatively cheap and effective process, but it uses a lot of water – approximately 500,000 gallons per tonne of lithium. In Chile's Salar de Atacama, mining activities consumed 65 per cent of the region's water. That is having a big impact on local farmers – who grow quinoa and herd llamas – in an area where some communities already have to get water driven in from elsewhere. . .

Two other key ingredients, cobalt and nickel, are more in danger of creating a bottleneck in the move towards electric vehicles, and at a potentially huge environmental cost. Cobalt is found in huge quantities right across the Democratic Republic of Congo and central Africa, and hardly anywhere else. The price has quadrupled in the last two years.

I am glad that some grownups are pointing out that the electric vehicle conversion emperor has no clothes on. But that hasn't stopped governments, manufacturers, and investors from pretending that electric vehicles are our only future.

As Herbert Stein famously said, "If something cannot go on forever, it will stop." We're only beginning to discover that about pipe dreams of an all-electric vehicle future.

[Jan 27, 2021] Are EVs Good For The Environment- ...Mostly Not

Jan 27, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

As to whether EVs are as environmentally friendly as many people claim is a topic that is hotly debated. The chart near the top of this article screams that they are not. Electricity demand is still rising across the world, most nuclear plants getting very old, and the most ecologically friendly sources are running full out. This means the slack is being taken up by fossil-fuel generated plants. Under the idea of, last in first out, this would mean that almost all the juice being pumped into EVs comes from fossil-fuel generated juice. To make matters worse, other issues exist.

Below are a few comments, or parts of comments, about EVs that have been gathered from different recent articles. I have not fully researched all these but they do add to my doubts about these vehicles.

Also flowing into the issue of " less damaging to the environment" is something recently brought to my attention, and that is, EVs tend to rapidly eat through tires. While many people may not think this is a big deal, it is. Since electric car batteries are heavier than petrol engines they need a more robust tire. Also, because of their accelerating faster from a standstill. If you want to take advantage of that without too much wear then you need a more robust tire, these cost more, and it has been said, you are lucky if you get 20,000 miles out of a set of tires. All this is addressed at, https://www.quora.com/Is-it-true-that-electric-cars-wear-out-tires-faster-than-fossil-fuel-cars

Pollution From Tires Is A Growing EV Issue

Like many people I had forgotten or brushed aside the thought something as simple and common as the tire was such a problem. This should have been high on my radar because years ago I was given a building simply because it had been filled with tires. The officials in my city were all over the owner to get rid of them. It cost me a bit of money and a lot of work to have them hauled away and properly recycled. With that in mind, below are a few of the many articles voicing pollution issues concerning tires.

Homeguides.sfgate.com claims; Toxins released from tire decomposition, incineration, or accidental fires can pollute the water, air, and soil. While 42 states regulate tire disposal to some degree, eight states have no restrictions on what you must do with your discarded tires. Even with laws in place, illegal dumping still occurs, presenting negative environmental impacts.

Tiretechnologyinternational.com states; Air pollution from tire wear particles can be 1,000 times worse than what comes out of a car's exhaust, Emissions Analytics found harmful particle matter from tires is a serious environmental problem. What is even more frightening is that while exhaust emissions have been tightly regulated for many years, tire wear is not. With the increasing growth in sales of heavier SUVs and battery-powered electric cars, non-exhaust emissions are a growing problem.

And, www.politico.eu/article/tires , delves into how driving affects the environment in ways beyond the well-known pollutants spewing from tailpipes and leaking from engines. Tires shed tiny pieces of plastic as they wear down, accounting for about 10 percent of the microscopic pieces of the pollutant found in the sea, according to one estimate. Tire waste was addressed in the European Commission's Plastics Strategy earlier this year. The EU executive is looking into how to cut down on microplastics that may be coming from tires and is considering regulations.

With all the above in mind, the buzz in EV trading over the last couple of weeks has interestingly been surrounding legacy automakers like General Motors and, even Ford moving strongly in the direction of manufacturing more EVs. This may someday be seen as a huge environmental misstep. The best answer may be a shift to more efficient gasoline engines in smaller vehicles. 4,675 20 NE play_arrow


thezone 20 minutes ago (Edited)

Here in California the electric grid is near collapse. We're all nervous if they start having millions of vehicles plugging in.

Probably rations and random outages coming.

Fat Beaver 15 minutes ago

Maybe someone can help out here but i remember in school we learned that electric loses about 60% of it's energy thru losses from extraction to end user (mostly lost in resistance thru transmission lines if i remember right). And gas is 90 something percent efficient...i'm all for alternatives to fossil fuels but we gotta be realistic...we need to look at hydrogen... especially solar/hydrogen used together. This solar and wind power sht is the biggest monetary scam in history, and the electric vehicle scam might take it over.

HC-CZ 5 minutes ago

Agree on everything, but one part is missed. And it is a biggie.

The electricity required to power all the EVs in the world is much higher than what we use now. And since natural gas is frowned upon, the extra generating capacity is even higher. An electric cooktop is 8000 watts, your EV charger is about 9000 watts for the small ones.

Therefore, the entire electrical grid would need to be replaced to have enough capacity to feed all these new electrical requirements.

Youri Carma 17 minutes ago (Edited) remove link

Then there is the issue of energy transition loss.

1. First electricity is produced in a powerplant,

2. then that energy is transported to a place where yo can charge your battery,

3. then the battery has to be charged,

4. then the battery has to transport the energy to the electric motor,

5. then the electric motor has to transform this energy into kinetic energy.

In all these steps there's energy lost.

[Sep 24, 2020] Flip-side of modern tech- Tesla app outage LOCKS drivers out of cars, as carmaker sues Trump administration over China tariffs -- RT World News

Sep 24, 2020 | www.rt.com

A worldwide outage has hit Tesla's app and website, leaving many drivers locked out of their own vehicles. Helpless customers vented their anger online while the system was down for several hours

Hundreds of Tesla owners around the world reported having trouble logging into the automaker's app and website on Wednesday.

Frustrated customers flocked to Downdetector, which tracks outages of online services in real time, lamenting about missed appointments and berating the Elon Musk-owned company for taking its time to resolve the issue.

ALSO ON RT.COM Nikola & GM challenge Tesla with world's 'most badass' 900-horsepower electric truck

Customers also took aim at Tesla for lacking any backup support that would spare owners the inconvenience of having to carry their physical key on them at any given time.

"Man I was supposed to snag my new m3 today! Cancelled! LAAAME. Time to invest in a working BCP plan tesla," Kevin Taylor wrote.

"How can the most valuable car company in the world not have the backup support for a problem like this?" another commenter asked, adding "This shouldn't be down for more than an hour."

Others went on to accuse Tesla, which is yet to comment on the issue, of leaving its customers in the dark about the global tech failure.

"I'm stranded as I don't have the key card with me and need to enable driving with my phone. I cannot believe there is no announcement from tesla on what the time frame is we are looking at for them to be back online," a disgruntled driver wrote.

ALSO ON RT.COM Can Tesla live up to its $400 billion valuation?

The glitch has apparently prompted some would-be Tesla owners to doubt the wisdom of investing in the high-dollar electric cars.

"I am supposed to pick up my Tesla today, and they told me [the] system was down while I was on uber, damn it! I have a second thought now," LukeY wrote.

While Tesla owners were impatiently waiting for the phone app to spring back to life, pundits on Twitter cast their woes as a prime example of the modern over-reliance on tech.

[Jul 05, 2020] 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime- First Drive

Jul 05, 2020 | www.msn.com

2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime

The RAV4 is already a high flyer as Toyota's top-selling model in the U.S. for 2020, and the fourth-best-selling model in the U.S. overall following full-size pickup trucks from Ford, Ram and Chevrolet. For 2021, Toyota adds to the RAV4 portfolio with the RAV4 Prime -- the first plug-in hybrid SUV from the Japan-based automaker. The 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime instantly becomes the most powerful variant in the model lineup, yet also the most fuel-efficient RAV4 ever with a fuel-economy rating of 94 MPGe as well as an all-electric driving range of 42 miles.

[Jul 05, 2020] 2021 Toyota Venza- First Look

Jul 05, 2020 | www.msn.com

Latest Crossover

Toyota continues the electrification of its lineup with the introduction of the all-new 2021 Toyota Venza. If the name seems familiar, that's understandable -- Toyota offered a crossover with this name until production ended in 2015. The new Venza 5-passenger crossover will be built on the Toyota New Global Architecture platform, and it looks leaps and bounds ahead of its predecessor with a stylish new exterior, the latest safety features and both a hybrid powertrain and all-wheel drive as standard equipment.

[Jul 05, 2020] 2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid Points to CR-V's Future

Jul 05, 2020 | www.msn.com

The CR-V is Honda's first hybrid to have all-wheel drive. Unlike Toyota's hybrid all-wheel-drive system that puts an electric motor in the rear end to assist the otherwise front-drive RAV4, the CR-V uses the same system that's in the non-hybrid. Which is to say there is a clutch that engages the rear axle when the stability-control system detects slippage or when sending torque to the rear axle is otherwise advantageous, such as ascending a steep grade.

Honda has also tweaked the naturally aspirated 2.0-liter inline-four. This Atkinson-cycle engine uses the same higher compression ratio setup as the Accord Hybrid (13.5:1) and a new exhaust-gas recirculation system. The system's combined outputs of 212 horsepower and 232 lb-ft of torque are the same as the Accord hybrid, too. The hybrid could be considered a performance version since it makes more power than the 190 horsepower and 179 lb-ft you get from the CR-V's turbocharged 1.5-liter four. For comparison purposes, the RAV4 Hybrid makes 219 horsepower and the Ford Escape hybrid has 209 ponies.

[Dec 30, 2019] Another Fatal Wreck Two Dead After Tesla Runs Red Light, Slams Into Vehicle Near LA

Dec 30, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Another day, yet another Tesla wreck.

It was just hours ago that we highlighted a wreck where a Tesla slammed into the back of (yet another) inanimate fire truck.

And yet again, here we are with another "peculiar" sounding Tesla accident. This one involving a Tesla that ran a red light near Los Angeles, California and slammed into another vehicle on Sunday, killing two people.

According to KTLA 5 , the incident took place at Vermont Ave and Artesia Blvd. on Sunday. The driver of the 2016 Tesla exited the westbound 91 freeway "at a high speed" and then failed to stop at a red light at the next intersection. As a result, he slammed into a 2006 Honda Civic at the light.

[Dec 29, 2019] Shocking Photos Two Seriously Injured After Tesla Slams Into Parked Firetruck (Again)

People trust Tesla autopilot way to much. The name is unformtunate too.
Dec 29, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Two vehicle occupants have been seriously injured after a Tesla slammed into the back of a Cloverdale Township Volunteer Fire Department Truck early Sunday morning. According to the Greencastle Banner-Graphic , the accident took place in Cloverdale, IN.

The fire truck was in the eastbound lands of the interstate, responding to an earlier wreck, when a Tesla ran into the rear of the truck, causing "heavy damage" to both.

Reports from the scene indicated that both the driver and the passenger were unconscious and trapped. There is no word yet on whether or not Autopilot played a role in the accident.

Both occupants were extricated from the vehicle and the Indiana State Police said that the accident involved "serious personal injury."

Recall, this is not the first time a Tesla has slammed into the back of an inanimate fire truck. In 2018, an accident occurred when a driver smashed into the back of a fire truck in Southern California. That driver was found to have been "looking down" at "what appeared to be a mobile phone" while the car's Autopilot was engaged, according to Bloomberg .

[Oct 20, 2019] Smaller SUV's are compact or subcompact cars with box bodies

Oct 20, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Smaller SUV's have been described as just a way to make a minivan look masculine. In other words they're compact or subcompact cars with box bodies. Fuel efficiency is not much different than my older subcompact 3-door which gets around 31mpg. Huge SUV's on truck bodies are a different story of course, but those aren't so popular.


likbez , October 20, 2019 at 1:53 am

2019 model of Toyota RAV 4 hybrid SUV gets over 40 miles (41-43) per gallon (more if you use higher tire pressure, say, 4.0 PSI)

converger , October 19, 2019 at 8:07 pm

Yes. SUV's are a serious problem. Most people don't need them (the flood of two-wheel drive SUV's tells you everything that you need to know). They aren't any safer (the evidence is clear: nimble small cars are better at avoiding accidents than clumsy big SUV's). They represent massive, carbon spewing overkill, in a society that really doesn't care much about the future of human civilization. Trump is just making it worse.

That said, though there's been an uptick recently, the basic issue has been around for 20 years now. The reality is a little more nuanced:

First, if you ignore the overkill factor, the biggest SUV and pickup truck pigs are actually not bad for their size. Many of them have genuinely interesting advanced features (e.g. shutting down unneeded cylinders if the extra power isn't required) that haven't trickled down to smaller SUV's and affordable cars yet.

Second, there's a significant efficiency and economic benefit to people who buy smaller, more efficient cars, *if* mileage standards are enforced.

Efficiency standards are based on a fleet average (SUV's up to gigantic are included in the fleet average calculation, pickup trucks, unfortunately are not). Most SUV's have a high enough profit margin to justify subsidizing smaller, more efficient cars.

The effect is that more efficient cars (including smaller hybrids) are more affordable for people who can't afford an Escalade. Because most of those more efficient small cars run fine on regular gasoline, they are a lot cheaper to drive as well.

So there's that. It remains to be seen if California manages to hold the line on fleet efficiency standards, though.

likbez , October 20, 2019 at 2:12 am

What you do not understand that modern compact SUVs are sedans in disguise and as such are no less efficient (wind drag is higher on speed above 50 miles/hour, but roll loses are less due to larger tires.)

They also are better suited to low quality roads with large potholes, which became more and more prevalent

This is just a more practical in the current circumstances form factor that people tend to prefer. They all have the same engines as sedans and often the same frame.

The majority now are 4 cylinder (the dominant SUV in the USA is 4-cyl Honda CRV which gets over 30 miles per gallon 28/34 according to the government stats).

The personage of large SUV on US roads is shrinking with the deterioration of the standard of living of population and loss of well paying jobs. Also many people who buy large SUVs and a small tracks gets some income as subcontractors; so for them this is a work horse, not only ride to work car.

Another fact is growing percentage of older people (17% I think as of 2019) in the USA who own the car but do not drive much (say less then 3K a year). For them the issue of fuel efficiency is moot, but issue of reliability is important. As such they are better off with a larger engines and larger SUVs.

Ook , October 19, 2019 at 9:57 pm

I'm surprised to see these things described as a safe alternative. SUVs have a higher center of gravity than sedans, which actually makes them more likely to roll or lose control unless you have a highly skilled driver who is aware of this.

likbez , October 20, 2019 at 1:57 am

It depends. Hybrid SUVs have a heavy battery that lower the center of gravity considerably.
Higher position of driver in SUV actually is a safe measure in and by itself, as it improves visibility.

[Sep 02, 2019] I see EVs and modern ICE vehicles as too complicated, even though they seem quite reliable for a few hundred K Km.

Sep 02, 2019 | peakoilbarrel.com

Paulo x Ignored says: 09/02/2019 at 8:24 am

I see EVs and modern ICE vehicles as too complicated, even though they seem quite reliable for a few hundred K Km. My God, even modern tire valve stems have batts and transmitters linked to idiot displays because people are now too stupid to check their tire inflation. Valve stem price $200 $300 per? Extrapolate to battery and propulsion software, (proprietary software), that stops all future jobber replacement parts beyond belts and fluids.

Anyway, I have a rebuilt 1981 Westfalia that looks and runs like a dream. It is worth more than I have invested in it, in fact it is currently worth 7X what my showroom condition 2005 GMC work truck is worth, (The truck with 150,000 Km on it and maintained to new condition). The most complicated system on the Westie is a resistor pack "running" some intake temp sensors to adjust mixture mix on startup. My electronic tech buddy was looking to fix a friends jeep last week. The horn wouldn't work. He thought it was .well, a horn. No it isn't. It is a sending unit that transits to a brain box that sends a signal to a device that says, "Make horn noise now". Computerised, of course. My Father- in-law had some kind of Buick that would flash the occasional warning light about a door. Price to swap out the module? $900. Excess complexity needless complexity.

I keep seeing a modern Mad Max in my head. Instead of an insanely laughing Mel Gibson hot wiring a fuel tanker we'll see a meter toting nerd testing leads and wires and asking if anyone can read this damn code?

islandboy x Ignored says: 09/02/2019 at 9:38 am
Paulo, your meter toting nerd is more likely going to be a nerd with a laptop, an OBD port dongle and a Controller Area Network Bus (CANBUS) sniffing setup, fuming about a strange (proprietary) implementation of the CANBUS protocol. My undestanding of the CANBUS arrangement is that all devices are attached to the Controller Area Network (CAN) and assigned a unique id. In the case of the friend's jeep, pressing the horn button results in a packet being sent across the CAN addressed to the horn. All devices on the network receive the packet but only the horn responds to it and switches on. I assume a second packet would switch it off.

The theory is that CANBUS should allow a single network/power cable to daisy chain to all the devices in the vehicle and control them, as opposed to having, for example, several wires to control three speed wipers with intermittent wiping as well. It remains to be seen how well CANBUS will stand the test of time but, it is likely to see increased adoption, especially with EVs.

Hickory x Ignored says: 09/02/2019 at 10:54 am
Hi Paulo,
I share your concern about vehicles becoming too complex to fix with local skill/local machine, etc. I used to handle many repair tasks myself when younger, but things have become a complicated spaghetti mess under hood.
And of course, this problem affects just about all kinds of vehicles built in past 3-4 decades. I'd guess well over 95% of the vehicles running around on the roads are 'fragile' due to complexity of the systems. EV maybe less so, since there are simply less systems at play.
A guy in Germany has over 900,000 km on a Tesla. I'm guessing he had had to have the battery pack changed out, but didn't see that info.

Another issue along these lines is the energy supply line.
With Petrol, there a very complicated system to get the juice from the source rock to the target tank. Such as a refinery.
That looks very fragile to me.
Reliance on that kind of complex system in a chaotic world is very risky.
The supply line for electricity can be just as complex, but just like you point out the possibilities with the Westfalia, I point out that the electricity supply line can also be much simpler. If you have some equipment (dry solid material with no moving parts- PV panels, inverter, wiring/plug), your personal or local supply change for transport juice can be very short, and durable.

[Aug 02, 2019] The Tesla global fleet also reached a total of 500,000 vehicles

Aug 02, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

RC (Ron) Weakley -> mulp ... ,

[Speaking of false dichotomies - ]

https://electrek.co/2018/11/16/tesla-fleet-10-billion-electric-miles/

Tesla reaches 10 billion electric miles with a global fleet of half a million cars

Fred Lambert
- Nov. 16th 2018 6:02 am ET


Tesla's global fleet is growing at a record pace and we now learn that it reached a total of 10 billion electric miles with half a million cars this week.

Back in October 2016, we reported on Tesla reaching the 3 billion electric mile milestone and the company's global fleet managed to add 500 million more miles 3 months later – bringing the total to 3.5 billion in December and another half a billion more by March 2017.

At the time, Tesla's fleet was driving about 5 million miles a day on average.

We were able to track the progress through the Tesla road trip page and Tesla confirmed that its global fleet reached over 5 billion electric miles driven in July 2017.

The average went up to almost 7 million miles per day when Tesla slowly started Model 3 production.

Tesla removed the counter from the Tesla road trip page and we haven't been able to track the fleet mileage as consistently.

But a source familiar with the data point confirmed to Electrek that the fleet surpassed 9 billion total miles in September and at the time, Tesla drivers averaged almost 20 million miles per day – close to 4 times the average from just 2 years ago.

At the time, we noted that at that pace, the fleet would reach 10 billion miles before Thanksgiving and sure enough, the same source confirmed to Electrek that Tesla's fleet reached 10 billion electric miles yesterday.

The Tesla global fleet also reached a total of 500,000 vehicles around the world just a day before.

Electrek's Take

That's a great milestone because it's 10 billion miles that would have been powered by gas or diesel and it's now powered by electricity.

While it doesn't mean that it's always completely clean, it at least has the potential to be clean. Between my Model S and Model 3, I have several thousand miles of my own in this total and most of them were powered by clean hydro from Quebec.

It's the case for many other Tesla owners around the world and for those in places where electricity is still generated through polluting sources, EV owners are adding solar power at a higher rate, which is resulting in their cars being powered by the sun.

I think it's truly an exciting time for electric vehicles and it's just the beginning. We are going to see many new models creating a lot of growth in the next few years and not just from Tesla.

If you are a Tesla owner, let us know in the comment section below how many miles you contributed to that 10 billion-mile milestone.


*

[In comparison, the total US vehicle miles driven each year is only about 3.2 trillion vehicle miles.]

[Jul 05, 2019] Common car buying mistakes to avoid by Brittany De Lea

Notable quotes:
"... "Many dealers will encourage you to act fast, but it's always a smart move to take your time and compare different offers from the dealer and your trusted financial institution," he said. ..."
"... Another big mistake people make, according to Pendergast, is obtaining a vehicle loan through a dealer without speaking with your bank or credit union first. Speaking with your financial institution or credit union about available options can boost your purchasing power. ..."
Jul 05, 2019 | finance.yahoo.com

Originally from: Fox Business July 5, 2019

In the market to buy a car ? Some studies suggest some of the best deals are available during the summer months .

Heading into the summer, some carmakers are reeling off of sluggish sales, too.

... ... ...

Regardless of when you plan to make a purchase, here are some ways you can make sure you are getting the best deal, according to tips provided to FOX Business by Joe Pendergast, vice president of consumer lending at Navy Federal Credit Union.

Don't skip the research phase:

Knowledge is power when it comes to buying a car.

"Being prepared means you have greater purchasing power and can boost your confidence during the buying process," Pendergast said.

Things you should know before going out shopping include your credit history, average interest rates and how much you want your monthly payment to come out to. Pendergast said a dealer is likely to be more willing to negotiate with you if you have a payment threshold set.

In order to determine that threshold, it is prudent to know what deals are on the market.

And for those on the market for a used car, Pendergast said a vehicle history report can help prevent you from buying a car with potential problems, which will save you money down the road.

Don't visit just one dealership:

Another pair of mistakes car shoppers make are agreeing to dealership add-ons, and considering an offer from just one dealership.

Pendergast said shoppers should take a look around at their local dealerships, but noted that people can do research online as well.

"Many dealers will encourage you to act fast, but it's always a smart move to take your time and compare different offers from the dealer and your trusted financial institution," he said.

How many dealerships you should visit depends on what type of car you are looking to buy, your ideal price point and how quickly you are looking to get a vehicle.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX BUSINESS APP

Don't forget to talk to your bank:

Another big mistake people make, according to Pendergast, is obtaining a vehicle loan through a dealer without speaking with your bank or credit union first. Speaking with your financial institution or credit union about available options can boost your purchasing power.

[Jun 12, 2019] Hybrid cars are more promising as they have much smaller battery and as such consume less rare elements per car

Notable quotes:
"... The demand for renewable energy and storage technologies will far exceed the reserves for cobalt, lithium and nickel. In the case of cobalt, of which 58 per cent is currently mined in the DR of Congo, it has helped fuel a conflict that has blighted the lives of millions, led to the contamination of air, water and soil, and left the mining area as one of the top 10 most polluted places in the world. ..."
"... According to a recent report from the DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy (via Charged), plug-in vehicles displaced 323 million gallons of gasoline in the US in 2018. That's still a mere drop in the gas can: it amounts to 0.25% of all gasoline used in the US in that year (another dose of reality: the increasing popularity of trucks and SUVs has more than wiped out all the emissions reductions from EVs). ..."
Jun 12, 2019 | peakoilbarrel.com

likbez, 06/11/2019 at 12:47 pm

http://crookedtimber.org/2019/06/11/green-new-deals-and-natural-resources/

My attention was caught yesterday by a press release from the UK's Natural History Museum, authored by a group of British geoscientists:

The letter explains that to meet UK electric car targets for 2050 we would need to produce just under two times the current total annual world cobalt production, nearly the entire world production of neodymium, three quarters the world's lithium production and at least half of the world's copper production.

A friend alerted me to a piece by Asad Rehman of War on Want, provocatively entitled The 'green new deal' supported by Ocasio-Cortez and Corbyn is just a new form of colonialism which makes the point:

The demand for renewable energy and storage technologies will far exceed the reserves for cobalt, lithium and nickel. In the case of cobalt, of which 58 per cent is currently mined in the DR of Congo, it has helped fuel a conflict that has blighted the lives of millions, led to the contamination of air, water and soil, and left the mining area as one of the top 10 most polluted places in the world.

In a sense hybrid cars are more promising as they have much smaller battery and as such consume less rare elements per car.

It looks like the current stress on "pure" EV is really unhealthy and unscientific.

GoneFishing, 06/11/2019 at 1:40 pm
You are right in your belief that people will not want to change their lifestyles, but they will, there will be no choice and soon they will mostly forgot how it was in the past.

2050 will be a very different world than the present, and 2080 will again be a very different world.

Specific societal projections into the future beyond about 10 years are pure fantasy and should be ignored. Some major physical changes are underway on this planet which will change everything. Those should not be ignored.

notanoilman, 06/11/2019 at 2:27 pm
1/ Cobalt is being dramatically reduced in batteries with the newest technology eliminating it altogether.

2/ Rare earths, such as neodymium, are not needed for electric motors nor, for that matter, in wind turbines.

These shortage scare stories are fake facts pushed by the anti-renewables lobby.

NAOM

https://forums.tesla.com/de_AT/forum/forums/no-rare-earth-metals-model-s

Nick G, 06/11/2019 at 3:23 pm
Yep -fake facts.

There's an enormous amount of lithium out there – far more than the proven reserves of the USGS, which were never, ever intended to be used for this kind of long-term planning exercise. But it doesn't really matter.

There are many, many different chemistries for making batteries. Lead, aluminum, sulfur, iron the list is almost as long as the periodic table. Lithium has a little higher energy density than most, but they'd all work, in a pinch.

For instance, there was a company recently developing an advanced lead battery that was at least twice as energy dense as convention lead-acid and half the cost, but it couldn't quite compete with the li-ion juggernaut, and it went out of business.

Think VHS vs Beta. Beta was better, but VHS was a bit cheaper and better marketed, and got to economies of scale before Beta. Both worked.

Think Laserdisc vs Blueray. Laserdisc was a bit larger, and it didn't quite compete with DVD and Blueray. But it worked just fine.

OFM, 06/11/2019 at 3:39 pm
The one really critical point that Tesla bashers are VERY careful to avoid is that Tesla's market cap at the lowest point a few days back was still roughly eighty percent of Ford's and not much less than that, about sixty five percent ( mental arithmetic in both cases) of GM . and that Tesla manufactures only a tiny percentage of the volume of these two old line companies. FOR NOW, lol.

Folks who bought GM years ago haven't seen any stock price appreciation worth writing home about it. Ditto Ford.

Tesla even in the dumps is a big winner for long term investors.

Nick G, 06/11/2019 at 8:48 pm
Investors buy growth, and Tesla has delivered the growth that it originally promised.

Tesla will continue to grow until legacy car makers really get serious about EVs.

The latest commercials from Audi and Nissan suggest that they begin to really "get it", but they're still moving pretty slowly.

islandboy, 06/11/2019 at 10:23 pm
Here's Proof That Electric Cars Are Displacing Gasoline

According to a recent report from the DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy (via Charged), plug-in vehicles displaced 323 million gallons of gasoline in the US in 2018. That's still a mere drop in the gas can: it amounts to 0.25% of all gasoline used in the US in that year (another dose of reality: the increasing popularity of trucks and SUVs has more than wiped out all the emissions reductions from EVs).

However, the trend of falling demand for gas is gathering speed. The amount of gasoline displaced was about 42% higher in 2018 than in 2017, and about double the amount in 2016. Furthermore, the share of pure electric vehicles is growing. Gasoline displacement from pure EVs versus plug-in hybrids was evenly split in 2012 and 2013, but in 2018, EVs accounted for two thirds of the displacement.

As gas consumption begins to fall, electricity consumption is rising. Another DOE report shows that the amount of energy consumed by plug-in vehicles in the US has nearly doubled in the last two years, from 1.44 terawatt hours in 2016 to 2.85 TWh in 2018. Here we also see the trend toward pure EVs – in 2018, pure EVs accounted for 61% of electricity consumption from plug-in vehicles, while plug-in hybrids accounted for 39%.

[May 16, 2019] Safety risks for EV may increase as manufacturers work to boost performance and push battery cells closer to their limits

May 16, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Tech: "Tesla Fires Sound Alarms About Safety of Electric-Car Batteries" [ Industry Week ]. "For EVs, the risk of a fire or explosion is comparable -- or potentially slightly lower -- than for gas or diesel-fueled models, according to a 2017 report by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

However, safety risks may increase as manufacturers work to boost performance and push battery cells closer to their limits, the study found Rapid growth means the sector 'will no doubt see increasing quality control issues with the supply chain,' [Simon Moores, London-based managing director of industry consultant Benchmark Mineral Intelligence] said. 'The biggest challenge for all EV makers is to ensure quality and consistency runs right through the supply chain -- from raw material selection to chemicals to battery cell -- and into the pack and vehicle.'" •

[May 14, 2019] Tesla Suddenly Catches Fire in Hong Kong Parking Lot, Times Says

May 14, 2019 | finance.yahoo.com

The Tesla Model S had been been parked in San Po Kong Plaza for about half an hour on May 12 before the battery started emit to smoke and flames appeared, according to the report. There were sounds of explosions and firefighters took about 45 minutes to extinguish the blaze, the Economic Times reported.

It was the first fire of its kind in the city, the report said.

Tesla didn't have a comment on the matter, a Beijing-based spokeswoman for the company said. Hong Kong's Fire Services Department is investigating the May 12 fire, a representative said, declining to identify the make of the car.

Last month, videos on social media showed a car bearing a Tesla logo in Shanghai emitting smoke before bursting into flames, while rival NIO Inc. said one of its ES8 electric vehicles caught fire in the north-west Chinese city of Xi'an while being repaired. Tesla and NIO said they were looking into the reports.

The incidents have fueled concern over the safety of EVs in China. In 2018, China recorded at least 40 fire-related incidents involving new-energy vehicles, a fleet that includes pure battery electric, hybrid plug-in and fuel-cell vehicles, according to the State Administration for Market Regulation.

[May 08, 2019] We Are Not Playing VW Introduces EV Hatchback In $34 Billion Plan To Take Down Tesla

May 08, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

With Tesla already facing stiff competition from high end retailers like Audi and Jaguar - both of whom have introduced luxury performance electric vehicles – Volkswagen is now posing an additional threat that could impact middle market buyers of Tesla's Model 3.

In fact, Volkswagen has invested $34 billion in a strategy to try and take down Tesla as the leader in electric vehicles, according to Bloomberg. The company is now taking €1000 deposits for its new ID.3 hatchback, which Volkswagen is hoping will be the electric successor to its iconic Beetle. The vehicle will start at less than €30,000, which is about the same price as the diesel variant of its Golf hatchback.

VW sales chief Juergen Stackmann said recently: "We are not playing. This is the car to beat for the future, for all our competitors."

The ID.3 marks the beginning of a roll out of more than 20 battery powered models over the coming years for Volkswagen. Their target is to sell more than 1 million electric cars annually by 2025 and the company's effort will undoubtedly continue to stoke the fire of competition in electric vehicles. Unlike Tesla, profitability remains paramount for VW. Stackmann continued, saying that VW's EVs "must make money."

The introduction of the ID.3 comes on the precipice of electric vehicles breaking through to the mass market, which still hasn't happened in full yet.

VW is offering a special edition of the vehicle, limited to 30,000 vehicles and inclusive of a year of free charging at certain stations. Reservations have been opened for customers in 29 countries across Europe, including Germany, Norway and the Netherlands. The car will be officially unveiled in September, and Stackmann expects the company reservation book to be full ahead of the event.

The first "limited-edition" run of the vehicle will cost less than €40,000 and have a range of ~260 miles. The basic version will have a range of ~180 miles and the top-of-the-line model will have a range ~330 miles.

[May 07, 2019] Best Time To Buy A Car: Shopping On These Days And Months Will Save You Tons Of Money

May 07, 2019 | www.investors.com

End of the year is the best.

If you've ever found yourself wondering when is the best time to buy a new car, the answer is -- it depends. Car deals, car incentives and car promotions change throughout the year. The best car deals aren't confined to any one day or month.

Yes, timing matters and can make a big difference for maximum car savings. But other things matter too.

When Is the Best Time To Buy A Car?

Black Friday and public holidays offer big car savings. So do certain months, such as October, November and December. The end of a month or quarter, like the end of the year, usually means good deals. Look out for model changeover periods too. They typically happen in the late summer into fall. Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve are particularly good times. So are other low shop traffic times, such as early in the week.

Best Time To Buy A Car: Black Friday, Holidays

Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, has become one of busiest days of the year at many car dealerships.

It's not just that shoppers have come to expect retail and tech deals on this day. Dealers increasingly look to Black Friday to get cars off the lot, said Brian Moody, executive editor at Autotrader, an online platform for car shoppers.

Black Friday doorbusters, special deals and promotions could save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

But Moody advises car buyers not to "get all caught up" on Black Friday deals at your local dealership. "If it is, in fact, a one-day deal, go down there. If not, there's no need to rush."

Other stock market holidays for the best car deals include Memorial Day (in late May) and Labor Day (in early September). Incentive programs, such as special financing rates, zero-percent loans and cash-back offers for buyers, tend to appear on the long holiday weekends.

Don't have excellent credit? Those attractive holiday promotions are unlikely to get you a great deal, even if it's one of the best times to buy a car, Moody warned.

Best Time To Buy A Car: End Of The Year

In general, October through December are the best months of the year to buy a car.

For both buyers and sellers, a new year just begs for a fresh lineup of cars, resulting in hefty discounts on outgoing-year models.

"Dealers don't want to have last year's model on the showroom floor, even if they are completely new, with no miles on the odometer," said Eric Lyman, TrueCar ( TRUE ) senior vice president of industry insights.

December offers the deepest discounts. It averages a 6.82% discount off the sticker price, according to TrueCar, a car pricing and info site. In February, the average discount slips to 5.78%, making it the weakest month for savings.

That difference of just a few percentage points matters more than it seems. A vehicle costing about $36,000 (the average new car price) would fetch a discount of $2,455 in December -- $375 more than it would in February.

Best Time To Buy A Car: End Of The Month, End Of The Quarter

Similarly, shopping at the end of a month or quarter is helpful, Autotrader's Moody said.

Monthly and quarterly sales targets loom for both dealerships and their sales staff, with bonuses at stake.

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Some car-buying experts point out the actual sales deadlines may fall a few days before month-end. So consider targeting the 27th, 28th or 29th day of the month, rather than the very last day.

In terms of months, there's another thing to think about. Some vehicles, like SUVs and trucks, sell briskly year round. Others, not so much.

"If you're in Michigan and you want a convertible, the middle of winter might get you a better deal," Moody said.

Best Time To Buy A Car: Christmas Eve, New Year's Eve, New Year's Day

Many car-buying experts say the best day of the year for car buying is the very last day. Monthly, quarterly, and annual sales targets all converge on Dec. 31, so great deals abound.

Others say New Year's Day rivals New Year's Eve as the best day to buy a car.

"From a sales reporting standpoint, because of the New Year's Day holiday, the first and second day of January falls into the December sales reporting month for dealers," said TrueCar's Lyman.

TrueCar found in a 2016 study that New Year's Day offers an average 8.5% savings off the sticker price. That was better than other day of the year and topped an 8.3% average discount on New Year's Eve.

Meanwhile, Moody considers Christmas Eve one of the best days. The salespeople at dealerships just want to get home. "That raises the likelihood of getting a good deal."

Best Time To Buy A Car: Early In The Week

Car buying experts find shopping early in the week helps. Auto dealers get busier as the weekend nears, and savings get smaller.

Monday offered maximum savings -- averaging 8.10% vs. 7.49% on Sunday, TrueCar found.

Broadly speaking, lower traffic days at dealerships helps you nab a better car deal. Think week days, rainy days, depth-of-winter days. "If there's no special deal going on and it's a Saturday, everyone will be there," Moody said.

His advice? Be flexible. Think whether you really have to have the orange car or heated steering wheel. "If you want the best deal, buy the car they already have (in stock)."

Best Time To Buy A Car: Model Changeovers

Autotrader also recommends watching for model changeovers, which can produce big savings.

New car models get discounted when fresh versions or updates appear. A prior-year model can offer almost all the same features as the current-year model at a far lower price.

New car models typically arrive in September and October, so the end of summer tends to mean good deals at dealerships on outgoing-year models.

Often, extra-big deals are found on models being redesigned or discontinued, as sellers make room for more desirable vehicles. Those savings can, in turn, pad your retirement nest egg or your rainy day fund.

On the flip side, you may not get your first choice in terms of color or trim.

More Car Buying Tips

Moody offers this tip to car buyers: Don't go shopping the same day you're buying. In that respect, buying a car is like buying a house.

Research the vehicle and options you want in advance. Know your credit score and how much car you can afford. Test drive the vehicle in advance. Equally important, test drive the technology, whether it's the backup camera or the forward collision monitoring.

"The technology might have a greater impact on your life than just how powerful the engine is," Moody said.

Lyman calls the best time to buy a car a personal decision, one that's best made with common sense. "You can time the market but if your car is just limping along, the costs of having a big vehicle event might offset any saving you would get."

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[Apr 07, 2019] The Skeleton In The Electric Car Closet Zero Hedge

Apr 07, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

The Skeleton In The Electric Car Closet

by Tyler Durden Sun, 04/07/2019 - 14:50 348 SHARES Authored by Onar Am via Liberty Nation,

The number of electric vehicles is increasing rapidly, but at great human cost.

You probably have not heard anything other than praise for electric cars in the mainstream media. They are sexy and environmentally friendly too, we are told. The first may be true, but not the latter.

Batteries are not good for the environment, and their raw materials are mined at the expense of human health.

Rare Earth Metals

Rare earth metals are needed to make efficient batteries. The minerals are found in low densities in the earth's crust, and tons of rock need to be mined, filtered, and transported in order to find the amount required to make a vehicle battery. Typically, the energy needed to create them exceeds the amount that they store during their lifetime. That is why they are so expensive.

Congo

Cobalt is one of the ingredients needed to make batteries. In 2018, 70% of this mineral came from the Democratic Republic of Congo in Central Africa. The metal is mined by poor Congolese people who work under conditions that would have been unthinkable and highly illegal in any Western country. Accidents are common, sometimes killing the miners.

Little attention is given to those who toil to make wealthy Western environmentalists happy. It is not uncommon for green ideals to be at odds with human health. DDT is a miracle chemical that was used to eradicate malaria in America and Europe, but environmentalists were able to de facto ban it in the 1970s, resulting in tens of millions of unnecessary deaths in developing nations.

Similarly, Norman Borlaug initiated what is known as the green revolution in farming. His work earned him a Nobel Peace Prize in 1970, and he became known as "the man who saved a billion lives." Everyone loved him, except radical environmentalists . They successfully managed to prevent him from applying his farming techniques in Africa, which resulted in the needless suffering and deaths of millions of Africans.

It should, therefore, come as no surprise that environmentalists have little concern for the lives of miners in Congo.

Hybrids

The rational alternative to electric vehicles, which is both good for the environment and for human health and prosperity, is the chargeable hybrid. An average car owner drives less than 50 miles per day, but electric vehicles strive to give you a range of 300 miles or more per charge. This means that they will be equipped with batteries that are six times larger than is needed for daily usage. Thus, six times more rare earth metals must be mined at a greater human, environmental, and economic cost than is necessary.

The chargeable hybrid solves this problem by having a much smaller battery, but also a small gasoline engine that kicks in on the rare occasions when you need to drive longer.

When you are driving in the city, you will mostly be in electrical mode, thereby not contributing significantly to noise and pollutants from the gasoline. Thus, you are environmentally friendly where it is most needed – in densely populated areas.

When the battery is small, no special high-power charger is needed. Instead, you can just plug the car into an ordinary socket and charge it overnight. In short, you get all the benefits of having an electric vehicle, but none of its downsides.

So why are hybrids not more popular? They are not "pure" enough for environmentalists. They hate fossil fuels and don't want to sully their green souls. For that reason, hybrids are not the focus of research and development that they deserve. That's a shame because they genuinely have the potential to be a competitive alternative to the ordinary gasoline car – without nearly as many skeletons in the closet.

[Apr 07, 2019] Watch As Tesla Model 3 Accelerates And Slams Into Car While On Autopilot

Apr 07, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Concerns about the safety of Tesla's "Autopilot" continue to swirl after a new video of a Model 3 crash surfaced this weekend on Twitter. The video, posted to Twitter on Saturday, shows a Model 3 with its autopilot engaged going up a relatively routine exit ramp at a speed that appears to just be about 25mph.

The ramp is congested and traffic is moving relatively normally, until the turn creates such an angle that the only thing visible in front of the Tesla is a black Subuaru Forester, which may or may not have blended into the color of the road ahead of the Tesla. That's when Tesla's Autopilot makes the bold, if inexplicable, decision to accelerate directly into the back of the Forester:

Embedded video

Archeofuturist , 16 minutes ago link

Anybody that uses "autonomous" driving gets what they deserve. Worst idea ever.

TemporarySecurity , 22 seconds ago link

Eh, probably 100 drivers fell asleep that same day and crashed they just barely make the news. The statistics will show the truth eventually. Most every Tesla crash makes news and none of Kia's do. Only 3 million fires but we have heard about the dozen or so of Tesla's problems. Not that I am advocating for Tesla I think electric cars are idiotic but eventually government will force us all to have one and for the control systems to keep us from breaking any laws including going 5 mph over the speed limit.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/nhtsa-investigating-three-million-hyundai-184100741.html

[Apr 05, 2019] Tesla's disastrous first quarter hints its car may not be the future of driving

Apr 05, 2019 | finance.yahoo.com

Are Tesla's cars overpriced?

Citigroup researchers point out Tesla's stock has long been valued as if it's selling a look into the future of driving. Hence, investors have usually been willing to overlook Tesla's sales stumbles as it works to ramp production and stoke demand.

But Tesla's disastrous first quarter (which includes mixed messages around store closures and profitability) suggests consumers think Tesla's electric cars are overpriced versus their utility. In other words, they are more carefully weighing the options of going fully electric via Tesla versus a range of more affordable options in the category (including hybrids).

While there are some Tesla specific factors in play here such as its ongoing production problems, the steep fall-off in demand to kick off 2019 is likely to be a greater weight to Tesla's stock near-term. Without steady demand for Tesla's cars, it could set off a host of negatives for Tesla such as debt raises and more price cuts on its cars.

Not a good bullish setup for a cult favorite.

[Mar 02, 2019] The energy needed to create a car lithium battery is close to energy required to driving a medium size diesel for over 8 years

Mar 02, 2019 | peakoilbarrel.com

Nick G x Ignored says: 03/01/2019 at 6:39 pm

t the energy needed to create a car lithium battery is close to energy required to driving a medium size diesel for over 8 years

That's way too high. What's your source?

likbez says: 03/01/2019 at 9:43 pm
Let's assume that cost of the battery is $12K ( https://forums.tesla.com/forum/forums/tesla-model-s-85kw-battery-replacement-cost ) which is probably too low (some cite the price $45K for 85KW battery). Other assume that it is 50% of the price of the car.

Assuming the cost of diesel $3.3/gallon you can buy 3.6K gallons of diesel for this price.

Assuming 40 miles per gallon you will get 145K miles ( https://www.edmunds.com/car-reviews/top-10/10-best-gas-and-diesel-cars-that-get-40-mpg-on-the-highway.html )

Some drivers claim much higher figures for WV Golf diesel (up to 50 MPG on highway). For example:

https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20100225122645AAq6zgz

My 02 gets 48 at 55 mph, 44 at 75-80, in town, around 40, has 150K on it

Assuming 12K miles per year you get 12 years.
So 8 years is not unreasonable and probably is too low (sorry I can't find the academic reference I used right now)

BTW replacement cost of the battery for Leaf is around $5.5K and even for Leaf you get something like 6 years.

[Mar 02, 2019] EV vs gas powered cars

Mar 02, 2019 | energyfaq.blogspot.com
Nick G x Ignored says: 03/01/2019 at 7:34 pm In does not make much sense to waste 30% or more of natural gas this way, in comparison with using nat gas for transportation directly

Natural gas can be burned at 60% efficiency in central electrical generation plants, which is about 3x as efficient as NG cars. So, EVs make perfect sense, even if the grid is 100% NG. But the grid isn't 100% NG, and EVs can charge when wind and solar are strongest and need the extra demand: 2 AM and 2 PM. Reply

likbez says: 03/01/2019 at 9:30 pm A very good point.

But assuming 10% losses in transmission and 20% losses in charging

0.6*0.9*08=0.43

In the past years, GDI (Gasoline Direct Injection) increased the efficiency of the engines equipped with this fueling system up to 35%. I think natural gas has similar efficiency.

So EVs beat natural gas auto by around 8% in optional temperature for EV (60-75F range) and I was incorrect. Sorry about that.

In colder weather gas powered cars will always beat EV due to losses in EV for heating.

I think that might be true for driving with air conditions too.

What advantages of natural gas remain? I think the only one is that you can use existing cars with a very small modification of injection system.

NOTE: It looks like cited by you efficiency of 60% is the upper limit of gas turbine efficiency (38% might be more reasonable):

https://www.brighthubengineering.com/power-plants/72369-compare-the-efficiency-of-different-power-plants/

Natural Gas Fired Power Plants

Gas turbines in the simple cycle mode, only Gas turbines running, have an efficiency of 32 % to 38 %. The most important parameter that dictates the efficiency is the maximum gas temperature possible. The latest Gas Turbines with technological advances in materials and aerodynamics has efficiencies upto 38 %. In the combined cycle mode, the new "H class" Gas turbines with a triple pressure HRSG and steam turbine can run at 60 % efficiency at ISO conditions. This is by far the highest efficiency in the thermal power field.

[Mar 02, 2019] Precise economic calculations does not favor EV

Mar 02, 2019 | peakoilbarrel.com

Hickory : 02/26/2019 at 2:59 pm

Keep in mind that world electricity consumption is currently about 21-22% of total energy consumption.
islandboy : 02/26/2019 at 3:39 pm
Transport makes up another 25% or so. That is why I'm interested in battery electric vehicles. Eventually the vast majority of vehicles will have to be battery powered or just something other than petroleum based fuels. My hope is that the good people in the oil patch can keep things going long enough for the transition to get started in earnest.

I did an exercise once in which I calculated that, for a particular year, it would required less than 20% of the electricity produced in that year to power an all electric, light vehicle fleet in the US. If renewables were to grow fast enough to dominate the US electricity markets by say 2030, dealing with the additional demand from EVs should not be an intractable problem.

likbez says: 03/01/2019 at 2:31 am
@islandboy 02/26/2019 at 3:39 pm

Transport makes up another 25% or so. That is why I'm interested in battery electric vehicles. Eventually the vast majority of vehicles will have to be battery powered or just something other than petroleum based fuels. My hope is that the good people in the oil patch can keep things going long enough for the transition to get started in earnest.

We need to try to see a bigger picture. EV does not exists in vacuum. They need infrastructure such as lithium battery producing plants, charging stations, and more powerful electrical grid (in case they reach substantial proportion of private cars)

We also need to understand that that the energy needed to create a car lithium battery is close to energy required to driving a medium size diesel for over 8 years (which might last 20 years or more with proper maintenance -- even Prius can last over 10 years and 200K miles). If this is not an exaggeration, than this is as close to a death sentence for EV vehicles as one can get from "saving energy" standpoint.

Precise economic calculations does not favor EV. Looks what is happening with the demand for Tesla cars. It's not pretty. Despite all hoopla, they were forced to lower prices to sustain the demand.

The largest part of electricity produced in the USA now is produced using natural gas, so in this sense pushing electrical cars in the USA without pushing nuclear power plants is a very stupid idea. But it is a good idea for France.

But nuclear power plants have their set of dangers and problems, as we know from Fukushima.

In does not make much sense to waste 30% or more of natural gas this way, in comparison with using nat gas for transportation directly. So this is not a progress, this is a regress.

So things are more complex then they looks but IMHO currently economics does not favor electrical cars too much, in comparison with alternative. Although large scale experiments like Tesla are necessary and make sense as they prepare us for a very uncertain futures and we need to keep all options on the table.

But again the fact that nothing is done in the USA to stimulate usage of cars on natural gas is a sign of stupidity and regress, not a sign of progress.

Please remember that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. That actually should be tattooed on Elon Musk forehead ;-).

[Feb 22, 2019] A 40% to 47% range loss is major and I am now beginning to think that the Canadian/US govt/Automakers should be providing this info to customers on the fuel economy label.

Feb 22, 2019 | peakoilbarrel.com

Ovi: 02/15/2019 at 8:05 pm

I used two pieces of recent info to estimate the percenatge range drop associated with EVs in cold weather.

Recently the AAA issued a report in which they stated that at 20F, the average percentage range drop of the four EVs they tested at 20F was 40%. A few weeks ago in our local paper, a reporter tested a Chevy Bolt at 14F and reported that the range drop was 47%.

The range of a vehicle is determined in a test lab at 68F. So a temp drop of 48F reduces the range by 40%, based on the AAA tests. Assuming the efficiency drop is linear, that translates into 0.833% drop for each 1 degF drop.

So the percentage range loss for the Bolt, which is 54 degs below the test temp, should be approximately 0.833*54=45%. Reasonably close to the 47% reported.

A 40% to 47% range loss is major and I am now beginning to think that the Canadian/US govt/Automakers should be providing this info to customers on the fuel economy label. A good bogie cold temp would be 32F. I can hear the howls from the EV crowd. "Automakers in Canada/US discouraging consumers from buying EVs."

Maybe Consumers Report might start doing cold weather tests on EVs and plug in hybrids after the recent cold snap in US and Canada this winter. As noted above, some plug-in hybrids turn on the gasoline engine to provide cabin heat in winter. Not sure what they do at 95F. Does the engine drive the AC compressor?

Dennis Coyne: 02/18/2019 at 10:21 am
Ovi,

The drop in range depends on the length of the trip.

In cold temperatures such as 14F the battery energy is used to warm the battery over the first few miles and range is not very good if calculated over a 5 mile trip. Over the course of a longer trip such as 100 miles the range loss is not as great.

It also depends how high one heats their car. I dress warmly when it is 14F outside rather than my typical clothing inside my house.

If I didn't dress properly, my range would be lower.

Average temperature where I live was about 19 F in January (average monthly temperature in 2019), the range was about 24% lower over about 1500 miles driven compared to October 2018 results (1600 miles driven in October 2018).

There is a loss of range, but it is not as large as 47% based on my experience in a Tesla Model 3.

In October the average was 241 Wh/mi and in January it was 300 Wh/mi.

[Feb 21, 2019] Tesla Tumbles After Consumer Reports Drops Model 3 Recommendation

Feb 21, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

The awful start to 2019 continues for Tesla.

Just hours after the company's brand new general counsel quit and CEO Elon Musk may have violated his consent order with the SEC by Tweeting false 2019 guidance , Consumer Reports has now pulled its recommendation of the Model 3 based on reliability issues. "Members say they've identified a number of problems with their cars, including issues with its body hardware, as well as paint and trim," Consumer Reports said .

The report called reliability "a weak spot" for Tesla and noted that no other Tesla models carry CR's recommendation, either. Tesla shares quickly dropped to session lows in response to the report: Jake Fisher, senior director of auto testing at Consumer Reports said: "While Teslas perform well in Consumer Reports' road tests and have excellent owner satisfaction, their reliability has not been consistent, according to our members, which has resulted in changes to their recommended status."

The survey found that the Model 3's sole touchscreen would often malfunction. "The touch screen would intermittently begin acting as if someone was touching it rapidly at many different points. This fault would cause music to play, volume to increase to maximum, and would rescale and pan the map in the navigation system," one CR survey respondent said.

Other owners complained about paint trim defects and windows cracking. "Earlier this year, our test vehicle developed a large crack in its massive rear window during a cold spell when it was parked outside," Consumer Reports said.

And it's not just the Model 3 that was brought up in the report. "Tesla's other models have suffered from below-average reliability as well," the report says.

It continues: "The Model S sedan has had an inconsistent history , being above average, average, and below average, with each downward move following in the wake of a hardware change made by Tesla."

The timing for Consumer Reports to pull its recommendation couldn't be worse, with short-sellers recently doubling down on the idea that Tesla is facing a significantly ugly growth trajectory and demand for the Model 3 seemingly falling off a cliff and catalyzing price cuts, as we have reported recently .

[Feb 19, 2019] Cybersleuth Claims To Uncover Over 10,000 Unsold Tesla Model 3s in US Inventory

Notable quotes:
"... You mean people don't rush to buy luxury sedans looking like a Mazda 3 but costing 3 times as much while being 3 times less practical? ..."
Feb 19, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

OccamsCrazor , 4 minutes ago link

Wait. I thought they had a 400,000 car back log. How could they have 10,000 in inventory ? Are they building the wrong cars ? the ones no one wants ?

OccamsCrazor , 4 minutes ago link

Wait. I thought they had a 400,000 car back log. How could they have 10,000 in inventory ? Are they building the wrong cars ? the ones no one wants ?

BocceBaal , 24 minutes ago link

I'm a TSLA bear myself, but this is less than 3 weeks of production. It could be explained by moving cars around the country. In their quarterly reports, we've seen about this many unsold cars. Most car dealerships have several months worth of inventory.

If they get up to 20K or more unsold, it could indicate a problem.

Loki The Trickster , 1 hour ago link

You mean people don't rush to buy luxury sedans looking like a Mazda 3 but costing 3 times as much while being 3 times less practical?

takeaction , 1 hour ago link

If you want an amazing car...that fits anyone's needs and then some......this is it. Reliable...Inexpensive....Depreciation is next to ZERO...especially if you buy one 1 year old. A car is a tool. Buy the best tool that causes you NO GRIEF...keeps you safe...and is fun to drive. You want a car with the "Lowest Cost of Ownership" yet able to recover much of your investment when you want a newer one. Stay away from the ones that are the opposite of what I just posted. Land Rover, Jaguar, Mercedes, BMW, Cadillac...etc. All turds.

BEST CAR YOU COULD OWN....Toyota Camry

[Feb 14, 2019] It looks like hybrid cars are very competitive with the EV

Feb 13, 2019 | peakoilbarrel.com

likbez , 02/13/2019 at 10:20 pm

For motor vehicle type uses the efficiency is just terrible compared to electric and I doubt much improvement is likely there

I am not so sure. It looks like hybrid cars are very competitive with the EV. The efficiency of Tesla and similar EV is grossly overrated. You have losses in the transmission line, losses in the charger, losses in the battery. Plus if the mechanical transmission is used, you have losses in transmission during driving (substantial).

The ~56kwh Roadster battery takes ~70kwh to charge. (approx) So ~20% of the electricity you pay for is lost to heat. How much is the charger and cabling, and how much the batteries, I have no idea.

Here is a very simple calculation. Tesla with the air conditioner on auto 73F and external temperature 60F (minimal use of the air conditioner) consumes around 300 watts/mile. Double this for temperatures below freezing point or temperatures above 90F.

The cost per mile at 15 cents per Kwh and 20% loss is 5.4 cent.

Hybrid SUV like RAV4 hybrid (which is a much better and safer car, especially in winter) with an average of 35 miles per gallon and the price of gas at $2.5 per gallon has cost 7.1 cents per mile.

That means that Tesla provides just 24% economy, which is completely eaten by the higher cost of Tesla (say, $44K vs. $29K ).

Assuming mileage 200K at the end of the life of each car, this $15K difference adds 7.5 cents per mile.

Which means that at those price levels Tesla is competitive only if electricity is free.

JJHMAN , 02/13/2019 at 3:57 pm
I'm not really sure of the significance of that. Using fossil fuel products as combustible fuel limits the efficiency at which one can obtain useful work from the fuel. That efficiency number is really only useful when comparing one source to another and the ffs pretty much will operate in the 40%=/- range for most stationary applications. For motor vehicle type uses the efficiency is just terrible compared to electric and I doubt much improvement is likely there. That rejected energy is just a fixture of the way energy is extracted through combustion so I doubt it has any meaning except for how much you are overheating a river near a coal or NG power plant.
Michael B , 02/13/2019 at 4:05 pm
"Using fossil fuel products as combustible fuel limits the efficiency at which one can obtain useful work from the fuel."

Yes, that's what I mean. We've wasted that endowment on trips to the package store. That's profound.

likbez , 02/13/2019 at 10:20 pm

For motor vehicle type uses the efficiency is just terrible compared to electric and I doubt much improvement is likely there

I am not so sure. It looks like hybrid cars are very competitive with the EV.

The efficiency of Tesla and similar EV is grossly overrated. You have losses in the transmission line, losses in the charger, losses in the battery. Plus if the mechanical transmission is used (for example 10:1 fixed gearbox like in Tesla), you have losses in transmission and motor during driving (say 10%). So total efficiency of electricity usage would be around 70%, which is high, by not that high. Atkinson-cycle ICE engines used in hybrids have ~40% efficiency.

The ~56kwh Roadster battery takes ~70kwh to charge. (approx) So ~20% of the electricity you pay for is lost to heat. How much is the charger and cabling, and how much the batteries, I have no idea.

Here is a very simple calculation. Tesla with the air conditioner on auto 73F and external temperature 60F (minimal use of the air conditioner) consumes around 300 watts/mile. Double this for temperatures below freezing point or temperatures above 90F.

The cost per mile at 15 cents per Kwh and 20% loss is 5.4 cent.

Hybrid SUV like RAV4 hybrid (which is a much better and safer car, especially in winter) with an average of 35 miles per gallon and the price of gas at $2.5 per gallon has cost 7.1 cents per mile.

That means that Tesla provides just 24% economy, which is completely eaten by the higher cost of Tesla (say $44K vs. $29K ).

Assuming mileage 200K at the end of the life of each car, this $15K difference adds 7.5 cents per mile.

Which means that at those price levels Tesla is competitive only if electricity is free.

Hugo, 02/14/2019 at 7:42 am
likbez

Your calculations are probably correct, but there are other considerations. For instance, UK oil production peaked in 1999 at around 3 million barrels per day, it has now fallen to 1 million. At $50 oil, it costs us $25 million per day to import the oil we consume over our production. Our wealth is draining away in a trade deficit that has increased with declining oil and gas production.

If we install enough wind turbines.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/nov/30/windy-weather-carries-britain-to-renewable-energy-record

We can power electric cars, trains and trams and reduce our energy insecurity. Also global warming is a major concern also

Dennis Coyne, 02/14/2019 at 10:25 am
Likbez,

The Tesla Model 3 is perfectly safe in winter, and is a far nicer car than a RAV4 hybrid. The appropriate comparison would be to Volvo XC60: https://www.edmunds.com/volvo/xc60/2018/hybrid/

Let's compare apples to apples: https://www.edmunds.com/bmw/3-series/2018/hybrid/

likbez, 02/14/2019 at 1:38 pm
Dennis,

The Tesla Model 3 is perfectly safe in winter, and is a far nicer car than a RAV4 hybrid. The appropriate comparison would be to Volvo XC60

I know people enjoy opening Telsa 3 "suicide handles" at -5F . The joke is that "Now you know what Elon's flamethrower is for." ;-)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=–pD42h0VK4

What about road clearances? What about the ability to lock differential when driving on steep ice-covered incline ?

There are also "known unknown" related to lithium battery use (Panasonic cells) at low and very low temperatures. As no Tesla 3 is 8 years old yet, it difficult to say whether the battery can last till the end of the warranty period in continental climate weather conditions (very cold in winter, very hot in summer).

Looks like if you cool a lithium battery below zero F and try to drive before it warmed to 70F the longevity of battery decreases. Higher temperatures also have negative effect ( https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4526891/ )

As the operating temperature of LiB changes from 25 to 55 °C, the degradation rate of maximum charge storage after 260 cycles is found to increase from 4.22% to 13.24%. At the component level, for the same change in the operating temperature, the degradation rate of the Warburg element resistance after 260 cycles increases from 49.40% and 584.07% (Fig. 10) which is the highest change; and that for the cell impedance ranks second, increasing from 33.64% to 93.29% (Fig. 8). As for the charge transfer rate, the change in its degradation rate decreases from 68.64% to 56.19% (Fig. 7).

There is also another proven negative factor at winter temperuture for cars with lithium batteries -- the dramatic loss of range. https://www.cnbc.com/2019/02/06/aaa-confirms-what-tesla-bmw-nissan-ev-owners-suspected-of-cold-weather.html

Simply turning on the electric vehicles AAA studied in 20 degree weather revealed a 12 percent loss in range. On a vehicle like the Chevy Bolt, with an EPA rating of 238 miles per charge, that would drop range to 209 miles.

Brannon said using climate control revealed an even bigger surprise: Range dipped by an average 41 percent -- which would bring an EV like the Bolt down to just 140 miles per charge.

See also

https://www.hybridcars.com/tesla-model-s-could-lose-up-to-40-percent-range-in-cold-weather/

For the Chevrolet Volt, engineers combat cold-weather energy draining by engaging ERDTT – Engine Running Due To Temperature. This runs the Volt's supplementary gasoline engine to ensure enough power is available to run the defroster. But the all-electric Tesla doesn't have this option.

At low temperatures lithium battery can't be charged so if in normal conditions Tesla recaptures energy for the battery during regenerative braking (regen) this is not the case anymore. That further decreases range.

Even with other sources stating that cold weather lowers the Model S range by only a quarter, Rob said drivers should anticipate on using an average of 40-percent more power. When the roads are icy or wet, increase this by another 25-percent.

"Expect to lose about 10 miles of real range for every 10 degree drop," said Rob. "Plan your charging and driving accordingly – don't cut it close."

If you run out of energy at -5F, the car needs to be tolled.

If you try to keep battery warm your battery will be drained during parking, unless you are connected to the charger.

At low temperatures (especially with front wind) and during initial warm up of the cabin the heater consumes around 5KWH further draining the battery.

At 90F loss of range is less then in winter -- about 20%, but at 100F it is similar and the effect of battery longevity are also similar and negative.

So in areas with continental climate EVs make much less sense then say in California.

Dennis Coyne, 02/14/2019 at 2:20 pm
Likbez,

As I have suggested, works fine in winter. As long as one doesn't ride in the car naked during the winter, losses from using the heater are not that great. So far the lowest temperatures the car has seen parked overnight outside have been about minus 15 F for a low with an average of about minus 10 F, battery lost about 250 Wh each hour on average. Battery capacity is about 78,000 Wh. Average temperature where I live is about 19 F in Jan. In Jan I drove about 1500 miles and averaged about 300 Wh per mile vs 245 Wh/mile in October (1600 miles). That is my experience in average winter weather where temperature averaged 19 F in Jan 2019. Range decreased by about 22%. My experience is that range also decreases in a hybrid during winter( I have been driving Toyota hybrids since 2004).

Have driven plenty in snow and ice with the Model 3 this winter, take it to a ski area almost every weekend, the more snow the better ;-)

likbez: 02/14/2019 at 8:01 pm

Dennis

Judging from people experiences there are some undeniable problem with driving Tesla 3 in winter.

The construction of door handles in Tesla3 is a problematic for winter. Frameless windows also represent a problem.

Some pretty educational videos:

1. People are running of energy with Tesla 3 parked at airport for a week or so at cold weather. You need to leave at least 15 km per day in battery in cold weather, or you are in trouble. 30 if weather is very cold. Looks like Tesla 3 tries to heat battery all the time to avoid damage from low temperatures.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0mfs9amXhs8

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zPTmTDWrbes

2. To drive Tesla 3 in cold weather you need to "preheat" the car until battery reaches "working temperature" range:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D2gmphV8IZQ

3. ~52 miles commute to work in cold weather is all that can be made safely. In video below only 43 miles left at the end (the car was not connected to the charger during the working day):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uvybhb8P894

4. A very short round trip with a preheated car, which was parked outside) reveals problems some problems with handling.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E2Qjt0obVfI

Ample supply of heat from ICE engine helps steering. Tesla does not have it and it looks like it became very stiff.

It is actually amazing that lithium batteries (which are electrolyte based) work that well at such low temperatures. So in way Tesla experiment opens new frontier for lithium batteries.

[Feb 11, 2019] Compact SUV Best Buy of 2019 Kelley Blue Book

Nov 12, 2018 | www.kbb.com

2019 Honda CR-V

What's the most recommendable small SUV for the most people? Once again, the answer is the Honda CR-V. In the five years the Kelley Blue Book Best Buy Awards have existed, Honda's compact crossover has won its category four times. Given that the small SUV segment continues to grow in popularity with each, that's no mean feat.

Standing Out Amid a Raft of Rivals

Winning this category also means the Honda CR-V bettered some dozen competitors, including all-new versions of formidable challengers like the Subaru Forester and long-time archrival the Toyota RAV4. The Honda CR-V excelled in every category, from its class-above interior size and flexibility to its fuel efficiency and safety features. Throw in useful tech features and a sterling reputation for reliability and resale value, and the CR-V continues to pull ahead of the pack. Whether you're looking for a safe, practical, easy-to-drive and easy-to-own car for a younger driver or a leather-laden mainstream SUV that could give some luxury vehicles a run for their money, there's a CR-V to meet your needs.

The CR-V itself was totally revamped just last year, and with the all-new model came a small but efficient turbocharged engine, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone compatibility, and the Honda Sensing system that bundles active safety and driver-assistance features like automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, lane-keeping assist and adaptive cruise control. Skip the base LX model and you'll get all those features standard, plus unexpected creature comforts like 12-way power operated and heated driver seat.

Outsized Interior and Excellent Efficiency

Practical by birth, one of the CR-V's best traits is just how much room there is in its otherwise compact footprint. Presenting 75.8 cubic feet of usable space with the rear seats folded flat, the CR-V's cargo space remains near the top of its class. That figure even edges the larger, all-new 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe, itself a highly recommendable crossover SUV with a larger footprint that is good for growing families.

Also impressive: the MPG the 2019 Honda CR-V returns. The older, 2.4-liter engine used only in the base LX model still gets up to 34 mpg on the highway. The new, smaller, and more powerful 1.5-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder that is used (and recommended) in the rest of the lineup is only a tick behind, boasting up to 33 mpg. Whichever powerplant or trim you choose, you can get all-wheel drive for added traction and more confidence on slippery, weather-fouled roads.

Enviable Resale Value and Reliability

No writeup about a Honda would be complete without mentioning the brand's strong reliability and resale value. These two characteristics are especially noteworthy in the CR-V. Its reliability has been enviable over its 20-plus year existence, and it's a mainstay among Kelley Blue Book Best Resale Value Award winners.

There are now more than a dozen small crossover SUVs competing for space in your garage. Almost all have at least one standout trait, but none are more well-rounded or more recommendable than the 2019 Honda CR-V. More 2019 Honda CR-V

Build and price your own 2019 Honda CR-V to see this week's Fair Purchase Price, 5-Year Cost to Own and more, or check out the CR-V models for sale today at dealers near you.

[Feb 09, 2019] AAA confirms what Tesla, BMW, Nissan EV owners suspected of cold weather by Paul A. Eisenstein

Notable quotes:
"... Much below that and the chemistry that's used to store energy runs into various problems. Among other things, battery components develop increased resistance that limits how much power they can hold, as well as how fast a battery pack can be charged or discharged, said Timothy Grewe, chief engineer for electric propulsion systems at General Motors. ..."
"... Grewe has experienced sharp reductions in the range of his own Chevy Bolt, but he also said there are ways to limit the impact of cold weather. That includes storing a battery car in a garage, preferably one that's heated. And wherever it is parked, it helps to keep the EV plugged in ..."
"... many battery vehicles are programmed to use some of the energy from the grid to keep the battery pack warm, improving its efficiency. ..."
"... Motorists are also advised to "precondition" their EVs, Grewe and Brannon said. That means heating up the cabin while still connected to the grid, rather than drawing energy from the battery pack. Most new battery-electric vehicles have custom smartphone apps that allow a driver to switch on cabin heat remotely when plugged in. Commuters can even preprogram the system to automatically start at a particular time of day. ..."
Feb 09, 2019 | www.cnbc.com

7 Feb 2019

Hoping to increase the appeal of their battery-electric vehicles, automakers have begun rolling out an assortment of "long-range" models, such as the Tesla Model 3, Chevrolet Bolt EV, Jaguar I-Pace and Nissan Leaf Plus.

Under ideal conditions, these products can deliver more than 200 miles per charge and, in some cases, even 300. But as many owners discovered last week as winter storms slammed much of the country, cold weather does not qualify as "ideal." A new AAA study finds that when the thermometer dropped to 20 degrees Fahrenheit, range fell by an average of 41 percent on the five models it tested.

"We found that the impact of temperature on EVs is significantly more than we expected," said Greg Brannon, AAA's director of automotive engineering.

Some EV drivers -- including this correspondent -- recently found that range can drop by half when the mercury tumbles into negative territory. The AAA study appears to be the first to have used standard, repeatable methodology to confirm the problem and compare the effect of winter temperatures on different models.

Several surprises emerged from the research, according to Brannon, starting with the fact that the impact on range was pretty much uniform among the cars tested: the BMW i3s, the Chevrolet Bolt EV, the Nissan Leaf, the Tesla Model S and the Volkswagen e-Golf.

"It's something all automakers are going to have to deal with as they push for further EV deployment because it's something that could surprise consumers," said Brannon.

Different factors can affect the loss of range, he and other experts have noted. Simply turning on the electric vehicles AAA studied in 20 degree weather revealed a 12 percent loss in range. On a vehicle like the Chevy Bolt, with an EPA rating of 238 miles per charge, that would drop range to 209 miles. But that part of the test assumed operating the vehicle with cabin heat and seat heaters turned off.

Brannon said using climate control revealed an even bigger surprise: Range dipped by an average 41 percent -- which would bring an EV like the Bolt down to just 140 miles per charge.

The problem is that unlike a car with an internal combustion engine that can warm the cabin with waste heat, EVs have to tape into their batteries to power the climate control system.

Part of the problem, he said, is that "lithium-ion batteries like the same sort of temperatures that we do, around 70 degrees."

Much below that and the chemistry that's used to store energy runs into various problems. Among other things, battery components develop increased resistance that limits how much power they can hold, as well as how fast a battery pack can be charged or discharged, said Timothy Grewe, chief engineer for electric propulsion systems at General Motors.

Grewe has experienced sharp reductions in the range of his own Chevy Bolt, but he also said there are ways to limit the impact of cold weather. That includes storing a battery car in a garage, preferably one that's heated. And wherever it is parked, it helps to keep the EV plugged in . Onboard electronics will prevent overcharging. But many battery vehicles are programmed to use some of the energy from the grid to keep the battery pack warm, improving its efficiency.

Motorists are also advised to "precondition" their EVs, Grewe and Brannon said. That means heating up the cabin while still connected to the grid, rather than drawing energy from the battery pack. Most new battery-electric vehicles have custom smartphone apps that allow a driver to switch on cabin heat remotely when plugged in. Commuters can even preprogram the system to automatically start at a particular time of day.

While cold weather is especially hard on range, batteries also don't like hot weather, said Brannon. "Much like when it's cold, in hot weather EVs suffer some decrease in range, but not as much as in the cold."

The AAA study found range fell 4 percent from EPA numbers at 95 degrees. But, again, that number was assuming the motorist didn't mind sweating. Turn the climate control system down to 70 degrees, AAA found and range fell by 17 percent.

Tesla emailed a statement that disputed AAA's findings, saying the report exaggerates the impact that cold weather has on its electric vehicles' range. The company didn't provide data saying how much range is lost in cold temperatures.

"Based on real-world data from our fleet, which includes millions of long trips taken by real Model S customers, we know with certainty that, even when using heating and air conditioning, the average Model S customer doesn't experience anywhere near that decrease in range at 20 degrees Fahrenheit," the company said in a statement. "And the decrease in range at 95 degrees Fahrenheit is roughly 1 percent."

One thing that EVs and conventional vehicles have in common is that energy efficiency -- whether measured by range or miles per gallon -- can be affected by a variety of factors. These can include your driving style, as well as the terrain.

Do a lot of hill climbing and you're going to use energy faster. EVs, however, are especially sensitive to any accessory drawing power, whether the car's climate control or even headlights, meaning that driving at night, whatever the weather, will hurt range.

[Feb 04, 2019] Mining lithium consumes huge amounts of diesel and natural gas

Notable quotes:
"... And oh yes, there is this famous outcry 'costs will come down!' almost like it's some kind of birthright, and that repeating it ad-infinitum ad- nauseum – is supposed to make it true. No, costs do not have to come down. Power systems (battery, ICE, whatever) are not the same thing as the last 3 decades of improvement in electronics. Energy does not equal technology. Historically, costs for metals used in energy systems have outdistanced standard inflation by many hundreds of percent. The following elements have increased in price from 1980 to 2018; copper 200%, nickle 55.4%, iron ore 504.2%, lithium +800%, manganese 0% (unchanged), cobalt 534%. It doesn't look to me like 'costs are-a commin' down!!', in fact quite the opposite. ..."
Feb 04, 2019 | peakoilbarrel.com

Mike Sutherland x Ignored says: 02/01/2019 at 1:43 am

Mining lithium consumes huge amounts of diesel and natural gas. As the cost of these fuels go up, so must the produced metal. And not just in the mining operation, but in building roads to the mines, and other processing infrastructure. I think it is very clear that these operations cannot be powered by solar or wind.

Automobile lithium packs have to be exchanged every couple of years in a car, costing 10s of thousands of dollars. Because of this, many electric car owners get rid of their ride when the battery expires. A whole new business has arisen, that of selling used Teslas minus the battery. It is already possible to buy a relatively recent model 3 'shell' (stripped of battery, but has everything else and is fully functional) for as low as $6,000. Essentially we are now seeing that service life of the vehicle shell is contingent on the economics of the battery that powers it. Perhaps it makes sense to low-cash buyers to buy a used shell and re-battery it, which is contingent on the original owner to take a substantial hit to the pocket book.

And oh yes, there is this famous outcry 'costs will come down!' almost like it's some kind of birthright, and that repeating it ad-infinitum ad- nauseum – is supposed to make it true. No, costs do not have to come down. Power systems (battery, ICE, whatever) are not the same thing as the last 3 decades of improvement in electronics. Energy does not equal technology. Historically, costs for metals used in energy systems have outdistanced standard inflation by many hundreds of percent. The following elements have increased in price from 1980 to 2018; copper 200%, nickle 55.4%, iron ore 504.2%, lithium +800%, manganese 0% (unchanged), cobalt 534%. It doesn't look to me like 'costs are-a commin' down!!', in fact quite the opposite.

Now as for lithium specifically – no, 'there aint' lots of it, as some here want so desperately to believe. From Metalary – 'There's only a limited supply of this element, because it only makes up 0.0007 percent of the Earth's crust. Chile produces most of the element for the world market, with Australia coming in second. In the US you can only find a single mine in the whole country. It doesn't occur naturally in elemental form, either.'

' What these things all mean is that the demand for lithium-ion batteries will rise even further. The price of LITHIUM CARBONATE IS UP 47% FROM 2015 and the year 2017 will see increased sales of pure electric cars. Add the fact that Li-ion batteries are also used for mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets, laptops, and other wearable devices, and the demand for the commodity will surely increase as well.' Clearly, from all of the above, there is only one direction for lithium prices and it will rocket up accordingly.

EV, if it is here to stay, will remain as a status item of very limited quantity as governed by sales prices equivalent to the upper echelon of the luxury car market. Battery materials costs, which in lithium format are not and will not decrease going forward, will permanently keep it there.

Ron Patterson x Ignored says: 02/01/2019 at 11:12 pm
Okay, I am not taking sides in this cat fight. But I would like someone to give some stats on the lifetime of lithium batteries along with the cost of replacing them. And a link supporting your stats.

I googled it and got this.

The typical estimated life of a Lithium-Ion battery is about two to three years or. 300 to 500 charge cycles, whichever occurs first. One charge cycle is a period of use from fully charged, to fully discharged, and fully recharged again.

But I could find nothing on the replacement cost of a Tesla battery.

Songster x Ignored says: 02/01/2019 at 11:39 pm
This article on Tesla battery degradation claims 10 percent degradation at 160K miles.

https://electrek.co/2018/04/14/tesla-battery-degradation-data/

The Model 3 Long Range warranty is for at least 70 percent range at 120K miles

Tesla sells a Model S (and X I assume) warranty for at least 70 percent capability for 8 years and unlimited miles.

Based on this, I find it very hard to believe your statement of "Automobile lithium packs have to be exchanged every couple of years in a car, costing 10s of thousands of dollars. "

Niko McManus x Ignored says: 02/02/2019 at 4:02 am
Here's an example of Tesla owners debating battery replacement costs. Main takeaways: it costs a lot, and you really aren't expected to have to do it. The battery should last the life of the car. If it does not for some reason, your vehicle is essentially totaled.

https://www.reddit.com/r/teslamotors/comments/8cj3dr/predicted_cost_of_model_3_battery_pack_replacement/

Stephen Hren x Ignored says: 02/02/2019 at 10:36 am
I have a 2013 Leaf, battery still has about 90% of life, so even if it degrades another 10% in the next six years, it'll still be usable, for twelve years of use, which I would guess is about average life span for a car. My guess is the battery tech has improved in the interim. Price to replace it is around $7K. Keep in mind I've never had to change the oil, flush the radiator or any of that other maintenance crap that sucks up a lot of time also.

[Feb 04, 2019] EVs are dumb idea considering the amount of resources needed

Feb 04, 2019 | peakoilbarrel.com

TechGuy, 02/01/2019 at 2:02 pm

Seems unlikely that majority of the middle class can afford EV's. Most new vehicles are sold using a lot of debt. as loan durations increase. I believe the current trend to sell inventory is with 84 month loans and there is increasing interest in 96 month loans as interest rates move higher. Also dealer inventories have been very high since 2017:
https://www.autonews.com/article/20181015/RETAIL01/181019834/inventory-matches-slowing-market

http://www.thedrive.com/news/24489/over-half-of-new-car-loans-in-canada-have-84-month-terms-as-sales-continue-to-rise

I just don't believe the average Joe can afford an EV. In additional the US grid would need add a heck of lot of infrastructure and power plants to support an EV transportation system. My guess it would probably cost at least $1T USA (which we don't have). Since most of the new power comes from NatGas, switching to EVs is re-arranging Deck chairs on the Titanic: switching from Oil to NatGas for transportation. To move to a renewable power source to support EV transportation is probably around $10T for the US, which is economically unobtainable considering the looming debt & demographic problems.

Realistically the bucket bottom of the US Economy is likely to fall out during the 2020's, as Debt & Demographics overwhelm the economy. US Nat Debt is now over $22T and increasing by more than $1T per year ($1.4T in 2018). There is at least $100T in underfunded entitlements & pensions. Its not as if the USA is going to go Soylent green on its retirees to solve its financial problems.

That said EVs are dumb idea considering the amount of resources needed. The obvious choice would be to focus on mass transportation and rebuilding the oil rail network that was destroyed by air travel. It would made a lot of sense to start rebuilding rail & railstations decades ago rail improvements take long time it has to be integrated with working rail-lines (ie you cannot shutdown a highway or rail line to make improvements: You have to work around the traffic). If every major town and city was connected it could bring in local freight & move passengers. People could use their ICE vehicles to commute the short distance to the nearest rail station. it would also reduce the need for long haul trucking and switch most of the trucking to just local delivery.

The only reason people want EV is so they don't have to change!

Mike Sutherland, 02/01/2019 at 5:48 pm
Well said Tech Guy, absolutely 100% endorse what you've written above.

You're 'spot-on' in your assessment of costly infrastructure issues, unsustainable government debts, and demographic problems. These factors will constrain EV production to those that can afford them, which isn't the impoverished middle class anymore. EV's will therefore remain a purchase option only for an upper-middle to upper-high class range demographic.

Fernando L, 02/02/2019 at 2:26 pm
You guys focus too much on the US. What I want to know is how do you expect for EVs to get charged in Spain, and what are we supposed to do stretch battery life when we have 35 deg C in long summer days and -5 deg C winter nights. And where is the country supposed to get that electricity when the idiots who run the government don't like nuclear, nor natural gas?
TechGuy, 02/01/2019 at 2:21 pm
Stephen Hren Wrote: "Ethanol production consumes 40% of our corn crop."

Yup. Ethanol is just a subsidy to corn growers & its an energy sink since it take more energy to fertialize, plant, harvest, ferment & distill than you get out with combustion. Not to mention the depletion of aquifiers and fertializer\herbicide\pesticide runoffs that end up in rivers, lakes and oceans.

Stephen Hren: "As the switch to EVs continues, this food will be available to people rather than ICEs"

Nope. Most people cannot afford them, and EVs and Ethanol use the same power source: NatGas. EVs will never go mainstream and probably largely disappear in the 2020s. Probably Hybrids will remain on the market (for those that can afford them). Considering the entire US vehicle economy survives on subprime auto loans, its just a matter of time before it just implodes. The only people that can afford EVs are those making more than $100K per year.

https://www.dmv.com/blog/electric-car-buyers-younger-and-richer-than-those-who-buy-hybrids-or-conventional-cars-521541

"The study shows that the average buyer of a regular Ford Focus was 46 years old and had a household income of $77,000 per year, as compared to the an annual household income of $199,000 for the average, 43-year-old owner of Ford Focus electric."

https://www.forbes.com/sites/oliviergarret/2017/07/13/subprime-auto-loans-up-car-sales-down-why-this-could-be-good-for-gold/

40% of Americans can't cover a $400 emergency expense:
https://money.cnn.com/2018/05/22/pf/emergency-expenses-household-finances/index.html

https://www.autonews.com/article/20181121/FINANCE_AND_INSURANCE/181129967/subprime-originations-rise-for-the-first-time-in-two-years

Auto loan debt Tops $1.17 Trillion: https://247wallst.com/autos/2018/12/07/us-consumers-owe-1-17-billion-in-car-loans/

GuyM, 02/01/2019 at 2:37 pm
The number of used cars sold are expected to reach 39.5 million, while new car sales are expected to decline to 17.1 million. You have declining new car sales, probably because of affordability.

[Jan 22, 2019] 2019 Nissan Leaf Plus EV Bigger Battery Pack, More Range

Jan 22, 2019 | www.caranddriver.com

Nissan has fulfilled its promise to introduce a long-range version of the Leaf electric car : the 2019 Leaf Plus will go on sale this spring with a larger battery pack and a more powerful electric motor. But the Nissan's new 62.0-kWh battery pack, although significantly bigger than the base Leaf's 40.0-kWh pack, makes for an EPA range estimate of 226 miles -- below the Chevrolet Bolt EV's 238 miles, the Kia Niro EV's 239 miles, and the Hyundai Kona Electric's 258 miles.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Other than that crucial range figure, the Leaf Plus's other numbers are competitive with those rivals. Its electric motor is more powerful than the base Leaf's 147-hp unit, producing 215 horsepower and 251 lb-ft of torque. This extra grunt should make it usefully quicker than the base car, which already went from zero to 60 mph in a decent 7.4 seconds in our testing .

[Dec 28, 2018] Oil change scams- Hidden camera investigation on what really happens to your car (CBC Marketplace) - YouTube

Notable quotes:
"... CBC Marketplace finds aggressive upselling and services paid for but not performed ..."
Nov 08, 2013 | www.youtube.com

CBC Marketplace finds aggressive upselling and services paid for but not performed

To read the full story: http://www.cbc.ca/1.2418675 . Originally broadcast Nov 8, 2013.

Vyacheslav Ivanov 2 months ago Which is why you do your own work. Oil change is very easy.

CycleCruza 8 months ago Even dealerships rip you off. I got ripped off at a Lexus dealership for service that was not needed. It's tough ti find honest mechanics. P e w D i e P i e e 1 month ago Wow........you guys seriously gave that company $654.14 to do nothing and to top that, you didn't even manage to get your money back

Brick by Brick 1 year ago This is why we have Chrisfix

Epy 1 month ago I wish you guys would have taken him to court and got his business shut down. Anybody who does something like this doesn't deserve to have a business. None the less you guys had all the proof you needed.

Kingdrosive 3 2 months ago This stuff is true..be aware you guys.. i'm not a mechanic but I know my way around cars and my mom's car had to be serviced not that long ago. They said her steering fluid is dirty and needs to be changed 🤔My mother drives a Lexus, which has electronic steering..doesn't use steering fluid..I went off on the tech.

mg1881 2 weeks ago AFTER looking at my truck in the shop, the tech came out to the office and told me that my air conditioner needed servicing. "That's funny.." I said ".. because this truck does not have air conditioning."

Dewey B 1 week ago You should really be checking hospital emergency rooms. Thought I had a kidney stone, Doctor never even touched me, sent me home in pain with a prescription for Ibuprofen. Charged me $4000. That's where the real scams are!

Rein Nievera 2 years ago Instead getting a mechanic, go see Chrisfix videos

[Dec 12, 2018] >Don't Fall for the Car Warranty Scam by Anthony Giorgianni

Notable quotes:
"... If you get a call or letter saying that your new car warranty is about to expire and it offers you an "extended warranty," use caution. Car warranty scams, which attempt to trick consumers into buying vehicle service contracts, continue to plague consumers despite government efforts to crack down on the caper. ..."
"... Those who purchased the service contracts found that the coverage was far less than represented, the agency says. For instance, it says, the policies didn't provide bumper-to-bumper protection or cover the entire vehicle engine, as customers were led to believe. Those who tried to obtain refunds found it virtually impossible. ..."
"... Although the refunds announced this week are from a 2011 settlement between the FTC, the company and its principle executive, the car warranty scam is alive and well, say the Better Business Bureaus based in West Palm Beach and St. Louis, where many warranty marketers are located. ..."
Jul 22, 2016 | www.consumerreports.org
808 SHARES Watch for bogus warranty expiration notices disguised to look as though they're from car manufacturers If you get a call or letter saying that your new car warranty is about to expire and it offers you an "extended warranty," use caution. Car warranty scams, which attempt to trick consumers into buying vehicle service contracts, continue to plague consumers despite government efforts to crack down on the caper.

The Federal Trade Commission announced earlier this week that it was mailing more than $4 million in refunds to nearly 6,000 consumers who the agency said were conned by a company that used robocalls to hawk service contracts costing from $1,300 to nearly $2,900.

The FTC says the Miami-based company tricked consumers into believing that the calls were from their vehicle manufacturer or car dealer, a common tactic in car warranty scams.

Those who purchased the service contracts found that the coverage was far less than represented, the agency says. For instance, it says, the policies didn't provide bumper-to-bumper protection or cover the entire vehicle engine, as customers were led to believe. Those who tried to obtain refunds found it virtually impossible.

This is not the first case of its kind. In 2011, the agency announced it was returning nearly $3.2 million to 4,450 victims of two other telemarketing companies that it accused of using deceptive practices to sell auto warranties.

Although the refunds announced this week are from a 2011 settlement between the FTC, the company and its principle executive, the car warranty scam is alive and well, say the Better Business Bureaus based in West Palm Beach and St. Louis, where many warranty marketers are located.

"We have many, many complaints. We continue to get them," says Bill Smith, investigator for the St. Louis BBB.

Along with phone calls, some warranty marketers mail bogus warranty expiration notices disguised to look as though they're from manufacturers, dealers or state motor vehicle departments, says Smith. They advise recipients to call for details about extending their coverage. "These people get you on a phone, and they will not let you go until they have sold you on a deal," he says.

Smith says the salespeople often try to pressure car owners into an immediate purchase by claiming the offer is good only for that day. They promise customers that they have ample time to cancel if they're unhappy after receiving the contract terms. But canceling and obtaining a refund often is difficult or impossible, he says.

Michele Mason, senior vice president of the West Palm Beach bureau, says the BBB has received consumer complaints about the scam as recently as last week. She says some complain that they're harassed daily by callers pushing the coverage. Even the bureau's new CEO has received bogus warranty expiration notices, she says.

Typically, the marketers aren't providing the actual coverage. Instead, they're selling the policies on behalf of companies that do. Legally, the policies aren't warranties, which typically are provided by manufacturers or retailers at no additional cost. Instead, they're service contracts that promise to pay for repairs. Many of the contracts simply duplicate coverage available under any existing manufacturer's warranty. What to Do If you receive a letter, postcard or telephone call advising you that your car's express warranty is about to expire, check with the manufacturer. It could be a car warranty scam. Don't call the number that's on any letter or postcard you receive, even if it looks like the communication is from the automaker. It could be a fake.

If your vehicle warranty has expired or is about to, don't purchase a service contract. Instead, plan ahead by buying a reliable car and maintaining it as the manufacturer recommends. Then self-insure by saving the money you otherwise would spend on a service contract and use that for any needed repairs or maintenance.

If you feel you must purchase a service contract, consider one offered by the carmaker. Third-party contracts are notorious for fine print that excludes many types of repairs and for denying claims for anything the provider deems to be a pre-existing condition. Repairs required because of normal wear and tear also may be excluded.

Never agree to a contract for any product or service without reading terms and conditions, no matter how long the company says you have to change your mind, says Smith. If a salesperson pressures you to make a purchase right away, go elsewhere.

You can learn more by reading the FTC's guide " Auto Service Contracts and Warranties. " The agency also offers details on the differences between warranties and service contracts .

[Nov 28, 2018] Why electrical cars can be technological dead end

Nov 28, 2018 | peakoilbarrel.com

HuntingtonBeach x Ignored says: 11/27/2018 at 10:01 pm

Where does the auto industry go from here?

The concept of car ownership could change, too. Today, privately owned cars spend most of their lives parked and unused. Self-driving cars of the future are expected to be on the roads for a much bigger portion of the day -- once they drive you to work, they can drive someone else to the grocery store. That means roads could be filled with fewer vehicles overall.

Self-driving cars will hasten the switch from gasoline-powered automobiles to electric vehicles. The sensors and computers calling the shots will need electrical power, rather than horsepower that gasoline engines provide.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/companies/where-does-the-auto-industry-go-from-here/ar-BBQat42?ocid=spartanntp

likbez x Ignored says: 11/28/2018 at 12:24 am
HuntingtonBeach,

You probably never studied computer science in depth. One probably needs a degree in electrical engineering to understand huge problems on this technological path. But some problems are visible even for mere mortals: The problem with self-driving cars is that computers are very stupid (let's put it politely handicapped) drivers that can't sense a lot of things that human sense. They are good only for "normal" situations and limited traffic scenarios, for example following the car in front of you at (10+your speed) or greater distance at speeds higher than 25 miles per hour. In congested bumper-to-bumper traffic with crazy from spending 4 hours on the road human drivers cutting you left and right, they are useless unless they can communicate with the car in front of you and the car behind you getting their "intentions" beforehand. This is probably possible using Bluetooth or WiFi, but is far ahead of us and requires developing protocols and standardizing actions taken by self-driving cars across various manufacturers. The maximum you can envision now is autonomous delivery of an empty car (no passengers) as a very low speed (like Google maps cars) to the driver.

Self-driving cars will hasten the switch from gasoline-powered automobiles to electric vehicles. The sensors and computers calling the shots will need electrical power, rather than horsepower that gasoline engines provide.

I like your enthusiasm, but from an engineering point of view, this solution is less attractive than driving cars on natural gas, and biodiesel. Right now early Tesla enthusiasts are still not chased out of their expensive neighborhood, but soon they might suffer stigma and find dead cats in their backyard, especially if other people air conditioning goes out in summer, or electrical heating at winter due to their hobby ;-). Early Tesla buyers are either "conspicuous consumption" junkies or the followers some secular cult of the "Second coming of the electric cars." Rational person right now probably would buy a hybrid. In California as far as I can tell this is mostly prestige issues that drive people to buy Tesla, especially among IT specialists. Most of those people (for various reasons including inferiority complex) are luxury car buyers anyway.

In 2016, there were about 222 million licensed drivers in the United States. Each driver on average drives 13,474 miles each year. Now assuming 0.300 kilowatts per mile please (which means no heating and air conditioning in those cars) and even distribution of those miles during the year (so each driver drives 13,474/365 miles a day) calculate how much energy needs to be produced for, say 80% of that car to be electric. Add 20% losses in transmission and charging. Now divide by 12 hours as the most car will be charged at night, right?

Two problems:

1. How to generate so much energy for the cars needed each night? Are you advocating mass buildup of nuclear power stations? Because neither solar nor wind can work without compensating nuclear (gas powered -- you need rapid switch on/off) for night time in case of the electric car is owned by the majority of the population. East-West high voltage lines can help, but in a very limited way (only three hours difference). Who will pay for this giant infrastructure project?

2. Liability questions arising are very complex. The question to you: when self-driving car electronics detects a child is running directly in front of the car and determines that it can't stop in time and will hit the child unless it crashes the car into the pole and possibly kills one of the passengers in the front seats, whom it should save: passengers of the car or the child?

[Nov 28, 2018] The Average American Drives This Much Each Year -- How Do You Compare

Nov 28, 2018 | www.fool.com

According to data from the U.S. Department of Transportation, the average American driver puts in 13,474 miles behind the wheel each year. However, you might be surprised to learn that men spend much more time behind the wheel than women: the average American male drives 16,550 miles each year, while the average American female logs just 10,142 miles in a given year.

That's 63% more miles for men, suggesting that perhaps women have discovered how to take a more efficient route everywhere they go (said with tongue-in-cheek). At face value there is certainly a gap between the sexes, but there are greater trends at play.

[Nov 27, 2018] Prius Prime truly gets well over 50 mpg, not including the battery, which has a 25 mile + range.

Nov 27, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

John_M

November 26, 2018 at 10:28 pm
Low gas prices make the larger vehicles seem to have affordable running costs – but if the cost of gas goes up, you are stuck, and if your income goes down, you hurt as well. While I am still working, I am past retirement age and I know my working years are numbered, I think the next recession will do my consulting in. My 2004 Forrester had 230,000 miles when my son did in the front end. It wasn't worth repairing. So I bought a Prius Prime. It truly gets well over 50 mpg, not including the battery, which has a 25 mile + range. I am heading into retirement with a 2008 Toyota Corolla with 42,000 miles, and the Prius.

By the time they die, or I get rid of them, I will make do with electric self-driving vehicle services.

I am not sure my daughter will ever buy a car. I think she has figured out she can rent as she needs it and she chooses to live in the city where she can take her bike, the bus, or light rail.

The younger generation is much less car centric, and the market is consequentially shrinking.

[Oct 28, 2018] Self Driving Cars And Moral Decisions - Who Will Live, Who Will Die

Oct 28, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Anton Worter , Oct 27, 2018 12:50:47 PM | link

78

I would imagine the elderly will be scrambling all over themselves to purchase the medical equivalent of Siri or Sarah(?) for Android that will listen to them with precise voice-to-text, listen to their breath and pulse, use low-cost Test-on-a-Chip with personalized AI to a global medical FAQ and Amazon Pharmacy and transdermal implant to keep them precisely medicated without the intervention of a 3x more expensive and #3 cause of malpractice death medical/hospice for-profit wealth-extraction USAryan Vampirocracy.

PS. Humans will never live on Mars, never mind asteroids and never ride a space elevator. Those are all mani-infestations of the 97% Old White Male Scientocratic Third Temple, Hoover It Up© wealth 'scheme', of which 'morality' plays no parts, because Third Temple is lubricated by faith, blood and bone grease.

No morality required.

[Oct 08, 2018] Tesla to end up like Lehman Brothers once Musk's 'deception' revealed investor

Notable quotes:
"... "the deception is about to catch up to TSLA. Elon's Musk erratic behavior suggests that he sees it the same way." ..."
"... Lehman threatened short sellers, refused to raise capital (it even bought back stock), and management publicly suggested it would go private. Months later, shareholders, creditors, employees and the global economy paid a big price when management's reckless behavior led to bankruptcy." ..."
"... "There are many parallels to TSLA. In 2013, TSLA was on the brink of failure. TSLA's cash reserves fell to a dangerously low level and CEO Elon Musk secretly and desperately tried to sell the company," ..."
"... "Rather than communicating the truth to shareholders, Mr. Musk bluffed his way through the crisis." ..."
"... "large revenue and earnings disappointment" ..."
Oct 08, 2018 | www.rt.com

The 'deception' around electric car maker Tesla will catch up to the company soon, according to hedge fund manager David Einhorn. He compared Elon Musk's behavior to Lehman Brothers executives shortly before the bank's demise. In a letter to investors, Einhorn wrote that like the investment bank that famously collapsed a decade ago "the deception is about to catch up to TSLA. Elon's Musk erratic behavior suggests that he sees it the same way."

According to Einhorn, " Lehman threatened short sellers, refused to raise capital (it even bought back stock), and management publicly suggested it would go private. Months later, shareholders, creditors, employees and the global economy paid a big price when management's reckless behavior led to bankruptcy."

Read more Tesla CEO Elon Musk © Rebecca Cook 'Shortseller Enrichment Commission': Musk mocks SEC over fraud probe

Lehman Brothers was one of the largest investment banks in the US, whose collapse triggered a global financial crisis of 2008. Einhorn is known for his short-selling of Tesla stock. In other words, he makes bets that Tesla shares would fall in price.

Bets against Tesla have been good for Einhorn's Greenlight Capital as the carmaker's stock plunged nearly 25 percent during the third quarter. Einhorn's fund has been burning through money, too – a 25 percent loss for the year despite the record gains in S&P 500.

According to Einhorn, Tesla has been acting in many ways like Lehman Brothers, which attacked Einhorn when he said that the bank was a risk to the financial system. A few months later Lehman collapsed.

"There are many parallels to TSLA. In 2013, TSLA was on the brink of failure. TSLA's cash reserves fell to a dangerously low level and CEO Elon Musk secretly and desperately tried to sell the company," he said. "Rather than communicating the truth to shareholders, Mr. Musk bluffed his way through the crisis."

The hedge fund manager predicts that Tesla would post a "large revenue and earnings disappointment" in its fourth quarter. Tesla has burnt through $3.5 billion since the beginning of the year, but Elon Musk hinted that Tesla may soon be profitable in recent emails to employees that were leaked to the media.

[Aug 22, 2018] Thorfinnsson s Take on Tesla by Anatoly Karlin

Aug 22, 2018 | www.unz.com

ANATOLY KARLIN MAY 31, 2018 2,000 WORDS 219 COMMENTS

This take getting popular on Twitter, so reposting it on the blog for greater prominence.

Tesla Problems

Link (5/22/2018)

Congrats. Sounds like a good swing trade in light of the fact that the trend is your friend.

I am getting in on the great bear raid against Tesla, which I've been agnostic on (mostly ignoring it) other than being skeptical. Did a lot of research over the weekend, and the findings were quite disturbing. Musk will be lucky to avoid a prison sentence.

Tesla is going to zero, barring something like Musk getting a large commitment from Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

There are no shares available to short, but puts suit me just fine. JP Morgan Chase will be coming out with Tesla credit default swaps as well. That said actually selling the swaps could be a problem.

Link (5/25/2018)

On a different note, Tesla is going to zero. The company has a number of severe problems:

• Tesla is burning through one billion per quarter and is likely to run out of cash this year
• It is the only company of its size (in the market) offering high yield debt and stock offerings to accredited investors (which do not require SEC disclosure)
• Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman reportedly refused to meet with Elon Musk when he was in Saudi Arabia
• Elon Musk has violated federal securities, labor, and OSHA laws
• Musk and many other current and former executives have signed false documents and thus committed perjury
• The Model 3 is a disaster and was panned by Consumer Reports, Car and Driver, and Edmund's
• The self-dealing merger with Solar City would likely not have been approved by shareholders without Musk's vaporware demonstration of solar roof tiles that do not exist (securities fraud)
• Half of Tesla's output is exported, leaving it very vulnerable to trade retaliation
• Quality problems continue to be severe, and Tesla has now resorted to partnering with local body shops for post-production fixes
• Extreme shortage of spare parts means Teslas can be out of service for months
• Tesla takes months to refund customer deposits
• Numerous accounting problems, leading to 86 questions from the SEC for the last fiscal year, compared to zero for Ford Motor
• Tesla "autopilot" units keep crashing
• Highest accident and fatality statistics in its vehicle class (new luxury vehicles)
• Model S wheels and suspensions keep cracking
• Difficulty of exiting vehicle in the absence of electrical power (no mechanical door handles) led to children literally being burned alive
• A flood of competition is inbound, including the 600 horsepower Porsche Misson-E going into production at Zuffenhausen next year
• Tesla's zero emission credits are set to expire, just as other automakers start harvesting them

Every freely available share is now short–not joking. You can't even short the stock anymore generally, though puts are of course available.

Musk himself is likely to be personally wiped out as well, as he has borrowed against 40% of his shares. He'll face a very ugly margin call when the stock starts sliding. Additionally, he's likely to personally face both civil and criminal liability.

Reply to Critics

Link

I bought some Tesla shares as the company as dipping a few weeks ago.

Hedge your long position with some puts. Only reason I am not short is that there are no shares available to short. I did buy puts however.

Congrats for putting your money where your mouth is. By next year this time you may be featured on @Bagholderquotes :).

The criticism of lack of profitability is sound & fair, but I also think most of the overheated commentary has been irrational and overtly emotional.

This has been true. Most Tesla criticism up until now has come from two camps:

1. Gearheads with gasoline flowing in their veins who hate EVs. I belong to this group (my daily driver has a 450 horsepower V-8 and I hate fuel economy and EVs), though I avoided getting irrational about Tesla.

2. The Zero Hedge doomerist crowd.

There have, however, been two major exceptions. Jim Chanos and Bob Lutz.

Jim Chanos is a legendary short seller who nailed Enron and Valeant (though he lost some credibility by betting on a China crash that never happened). Chanos states that the only times he's seen so many executive departures before are Enron and Valeant.

Bob Lutz likely needs no introduction to you. And while Lutz is a car guy (invented the Dodge Viper), he says the greatest achievement of his career was the Chevy Volt and that EVs are inevitable. Furthermore he highly praised the Model S. Lutz has bluntly called Tesla a personality cult that's going bankrupt.

I expect Tesla to gradually improve net profitability as time goes on. Musk has prioritised volume expansion over profits and I think it is fair to say that he underestimated how tough it would be.

Tesla can't improve its net profitability because it has no profitability to begin with, even if we accept Tesla's fictitious gross margins and channel stuffing (e.g. "selling" batteries to The Boring Company).

Musk has indeed prioritized volume production, and his failure is due to his arrogance. This arrogance is typical of Silicon Valley as a class. They assume they know better than any other industry, failing to realize their success is due to monopoly and lack of regulation (welcome to the auto industry boys!).

Musk deliberately recruited executives with no experience in the automotive industry, and he attempted to fully automate production (e.g. his infamous alien dreadnought remark). If Musk weren't so arrogant, he would've learn that Roger Smith attempted this in the '80s and went so far as to buy FANUC. It was a complete disaster. Sandy Munro describes robots as blind one-armed idiots, and notes that not only can they not do everything but one must design the product itself for robotic production.

This arrogance is directly culpable for Tesla's huge capital costs, as essentially Tesla bought far more capital equipment than it can actually use or is required in automaking. Musk said he was going to build half a million cars this year. He'll be lucky to hit 200,000.

Even aside from Tesla's financial woes, regulatory violations, massive civil liability, and outright criminality a massive flood of competition is inbound.

The Jaguar I-Pace electric SUV is on sale right now in Europe, and arrives in North America next month: https://www.jaguarusa.com/all-models/i-pace/index.html?abkid=407_224254&gclid=Cj0KCQjwuYTYBRDsARIsAJnrUXAjcErB3eAzUm3aDwws14fB5_Gi4_-V1yMDCdK81o3JVzfIfP3nvKoaAvGuEALw_wcB&m

The Porsche Mission-E goes into production next year at Zuffenhausen: https://www.porsche.com/microsite/mission-e/international.aspx

The Chevy Bolt is available now, unlike the fictitious $35,000 Model 3: http://www.chevrolet.com/electric/bolt-ev-electric-car

Volkswagen is currently converting twenty assembly plants to EV production, Daimler is investing twenty billion euros in it by 2022, and GM is putting over 20 all electric vehicles into production over the next five years.

Then there's the fact that the Model 3 turns out to be something of a dog. Consumer Reports, which called the Model S the best car it has ever evaluated, noted that the Model 3 has a greater average stopping distance than the Ford F-150.

What's the story for Tesla surviving? A company that appears to be under SEC investigation somehow raises $20 billion in the next few years, achieves mass production, eliminates its severe quality problems, doesn't get sued by all the people it killed, and beats the competition handily?

Then there's the fact that Musk appears to be personally melting down. Feuding with Warren Buffet, attacking the press Trump-style, and dating someone named "Grimes" who is an "anti-imperialist" singer (?!).

I highly encourage you to check out Fintwitter on this (the only Twitter that can compete with Frogtwitter). No one does scuttlebutt like bears.

Link

I don't see the supercharger network as a major competitive edge at all. People interested in long-distance driving don't buy EVs. I can "recharge" any of my vehicles in one minute.

And the rest of the industry is not standing still on this. The German automakers and Ford Europe are partnering with Shell to create their own network in Europe. Many other efforts underway in America and Asia as well. These efforts involve automakers, oil companies, power utilities, and in some cases governments. An ocean of capital is available for this.

EVs will not completely take over unless the government forces it, but I agree they will comprise a large percentage of new auto sales in the next decade. Maybe even a majority.

The thing is that these EVs will not come from Tesla, unless Tesla survives as a brand of a global OEM (I see GM and Ford as likely candidates for acquiring Tesla).

Remember the auto industry is the most brutally competitive industry on the planet.

Link

A media ratings website is something Trump should've done.

In Musk's case it is ridiculous because the media has been polishing his knob non-stop until his disastrous performance on the last earnings call.

He's also angry that the press is reporting on the alarming work conditions at Tesla's Fremont assembly plant, including some poor schmuck who suffered an arc flash explosion that melted all his skin because Tesla refused to de-energize the high voltage equipment he was working on (a violation of NFPA 70, OSHA, and CalOSHA).

Financial journalism is mostly solid as Peter Brimelow will be happy to tell you.

You'll be happy to know that Teslemmings are accusing the Wall Street Journal reporter Charley Grant of being a RUSSIAN TROLL .

Effects on SpaceX

Link

My knowledge only dates to last weekend really. Got tired of hearing about Musk and decided to do some scuttlebutt.

Space X is a private company, so I'm unaware of its financials or ownership structure. I suspect it is not profitable as it raised capital as recently as last year, but in principal there is nothing wrong with its business model. Its technical and commercial achievements are impressive. Unlike the situation with Tesla, Musk actually recruited experienced aerospace executives and engineers for Space X instead of Snapchat retreads (not joking–some dipshit from Snapchat is now running the Autopilot program).

The collapse of Tesla will do two things to Space X:

1 – Musk has borrowed against 40% of his Tesla shares, likely to finance his other businesses and fund his lavish lifestyle (Bel Air and London mansions, Gulfstream G650, etc.). This means he'll face a crushing margin call, possibly forcing him to sell his shares in Space X.

2 – It will destroy his halo, which is source of his success. This is why Musk committed securities fraud in order to have Tesla acquire Solar City, which was rapidly headed for bankruptcy. With his reputation in tatters, it will call into question his leadership of Space X. Certainly ideas like going to Mars with other people's money will be out.

There is also a real possibility that Musk will face felony prosecution, in which case he certainly won't be running Space X.

A lot of the Tesla bears assume there's something wrong with Space X as well, but I don't think this is warranted. One guy who is documenting all the Model S suspension failures has invented a half-cocked conspiracy theory that Space X's achievements are fictitious. It's pretty common for short sellers to get emotional during a great bear raid, which is part of the fun.

Some resources for you all on Tesla's impending collapse, starting with FinTwitter:

FinTwitter Resources

Mark Spiegel, Managing Partner of Stanphyl capital and Tesla bear

https://twitter.com/markbspiegel

Tesla Charts

https://twitter.com/TeslaCharts

Elon Bachman, great source for product flaws

https://twitter.com/ElonBachman

Montana Skeptic, and see his Seeking Alpha articles as well

https://twitter.com/montanaSkeptic1

Elon Musk himself, useful because of his ongoing meltdown

https://twitter.com/elonmusk

Model 3 Reviews


Thorfinnsson , says: May 31, 2018 at 3:15 pm GMT

Some earlier Tesla comments by me concerning their extraordinary capex and automation "alien dreadnought" blunder from March:

http://www.unz.com/akarlin/russians-in-20th-century-1/#comment-2267775

Donut Shorts @DonutShorts
Thorfinnsson , says: May 31, 2018 at 3:21 pm GMT
@Hyperborean

This isn't Japan.

The normal thing is you settle your issues (legal, financial, etc.), find out who really cares about you (in Musk's case, this might be down to just his brother and Thiel), and start over.

Musk is a very talented man, and at the end of the day he will be all right. He isn't Elizabeth Holmes, he's Icarus with a fatal attraction to capital intensive industries. Musk appears to be guilty of violating a number of federal laws, but he's not Jeff Skilling.

Preston Tucker for instance, the Musk of the 1940s, went right back to work. As Tucker walked out of the court room he was unphased, quipping that even Henry Ford failed the first two times around.

He ultimately found new investors in Brazil to back a new sports car. Unfortunately Tucker died a premature death.

reiner Tor , says: May 31, 2018 at 5:01 pm GMT
@Thorfinnsson

"Eron Musk bringa great shame to white man."

ROR

blahbahblah , says: May 31, 2018 at 6:01 pm GMT

While "autopilot" does not amount to "self-driving" cars, self driving cars have absolutely no business being touted except on roads made specifically or certified for self driving cars. Frankly, I'm hugely skeptical of self driving cars until the cars communicate with side road sensors and maybe with the other cars

Sean , says: May 31, 2018 at 7:31 pm GMT

https://electrek.co/2018/04/17/tesla-china-factory-ownership/

Tesla could now own 100% of an electric car factory in China, says government

Good place for someone who thinks his employees ought to work 100 hours a week.

Kyle Bass won big betting against on the lowest growth area in the world: the EU. He lost a bit of money and a lot of credibility trying to short Japan (long known as the sucker bet.) Betting on a China crash is inherently flawed, because China has been transformed by the friendly attitude and assistance of successive American governments, which facilitated the economic growth of China following China-USSR military clashes in the late sixties. Developing China has been seen as a way of weakening Russia. But the years of allowing China to drive a coach and horses through international trade has created a klepto-merchantilist decepticon monster piling up huge trade imbalances. And instead of the Chinese government buying advanced US products 2025 program aims to make them technological leaders as well

China is going to transform itself into an unbeatable megastate, and will not run out of steam. To prevent itself being supplanted as the most powerful state in the word America will take action against the interests of the greedy globalising hyper-capitalist elite and diplomatic shills running their country into the ground. The first signs are already there that American self preservation is emerging from the deep state. The US will see that the trade and technology restriction it will try first will not be enough. As things get nasty, China will resort to overt military pressure on the rest of the world, or maybe it will give up its objective of global domination and rely on everyone being nice to it!

Anonymous , [400] Disclaimer says: May 31, 2018 at 8:01 pm GMT

Some points in Tesla's favor:

Thorfinnsson , says: May 31, 2018 at 8:44 pm GMT
@Anonymous

Other points in Tesla's favor:

-The production ramp up, while bumpy, is brisk
-While losses keep increasing, Tesla's opex as percentage of sales continues to drop
-Thus far it has the only widespread high energy charging network
-While other automakers excel at mass production, they'll face bottlenecks in ramping up EV production as well (notice GM's pace with the Volt and Bolt) until well into the next decade

Hedge funders and other financial types regard themselves as being at the top of the social hierarchy, so an engineer and industrialist building stuff makes paper pushers like themselves look bad.

Plenty of asset managers are long Tesla and are practically fanboys of Musk. Musk himself engages in quite a bit of "paper pushing" since he's had to raise capital so many times.

"Paper pusher" is an irrational criticism of the finance sector. Allocating capital is a very important job.

Anonymous , [400] Disclaimer says: May 31, 2018 at 9:35 pm GMT
@Thorfinnsson

No doubt there are fanboys among asset managers.

Whether it's an irrational criticism or not depends on one's values and views on political economy. To some, the financial sector has manifestly failed at allocating capital properly and is filled with rent seeking. Others will point to its size and the capitalization of financial markets as evidence of its value and importance.

Thorfinnsson , says: May 31, 2018 at 10:12 pm GMT
@Anonymous

What's the evidence that it has failed at allocating capital successfully? No shortage of rent-seeking of course. But if there's one thing I've learned it's that bagholders are gonna bag. This isn't some hypothetical either, look at countries without sophisticated financial markets. People are forced to save by speculating in real estate, and credit is often not available to business unless the state makes it available (perfectly reasonable in such economies to be fair).

anony-mouse , says: June 1, 2018 at 12:36 am GMT

Also not enough cobalt around yet. Too bad they already made the movie: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tucker:_The_Man_and_His_Dream

Anonymous , [400] Disclaimer says: June 1, 2018 at 3:02 am GMT
@Thorfinnsson

Since the 80s, the stock market capitalization to GDP ratio has been much higher than the historical norm, higher than when the US had higher rates of growth. There have been several bubbles, and consumer debt has risen significantly while income has stagnated and startup formation is at a 40 year low. Capital allocation has been very unproductive. It's caused lots of asset price inflation and increased debt without producing new assets and income streams. Capital allocation is highly centralized and it has the same problems communist economies have with central planning where capital is centralized in the state. A lot of unproductive activity and rent seeking.

In financialized economies with inflated asset prices, people have low savings and can't even afford to buy real estate or can only afford it by taking on lots of debt and having to depend on further price inflation so that they don't go underwater. In countries with financial repression, public debt tends to be low and interest rates tend to be low and capital gets directed towards industry.

Thorfinnsson , says: June 1, 2018 at 4:04 am GMT
@Anonymous

Real Soon Now.

Since the 80s, the stock market capitalization to GDP ratio has been much higher than the historical norm, higher than when the US had higher rates of growth.

Stock prices were unusually low in the 1970s, as epitomized by BusinessWeek's famous 1979 The Death of Equities cover.

In addition to reversion to the mean, several other factors made stocks more valuable since that time.

The collapse of inflation and interest rates increased the net present value of stocks, the rise of emerging markets with poor domestic capital markets increased foreign demand for stocks, America's persistent trade deficit further increased foreign demand for American assets, and the low-cost trading and 401k revolutions.

There have been several bubbles

So what? Since the pop of the last bubble the S&P 500 with dividends reinvested has returned over 400%.

and consumer debt has risen significantly

And? One man's debt is another man's asset.

income has stagnated

Correction, wages have stagnated. Capital income has soared. Entirely expected consequence of union busting, mass immigration, and offshoring.

startup formation is at a 40 year low

And this is the fault of Wall Street how? If you haven't noticed VC is throwing money at startups.

Capital allocation has been very unproductive.

Evidence? Certainly return on capital and return on equity haven't been poor.

It's caused lots of asset price inflation and increased debt without producing new assets and income streams.

Increased debt by definition creates new assets. Remember than one man's debt is another man's asset.

Capital allocation is highly centralized and it has the same problems communist economies have with central planning where capital is centralized in the state.

Dude, have you even been to Costco? No lines for toilet paper there.

A lot of unproductive activity and rent seeking.

Meaning what exactly?

In financialized economies

The fuck does this mean?

inflated asset prices

At what level are asset prices inflated?

people have low savings

Personal choice. In some respects a consequence of sophisticated financial markets–people rely on credit instead of savings. Hence why people buy houses and cars with loans.

can't even afford to buy real estate or can only afford it by taking on lots of debt and having to depend on further price inflation so that they don't go underwater

Yes, this is called a mortgage. A financially rational decision given the opportunity cost of committing so much capital upfront. Unsurprisingly, this decision does involve a bit of risk. Big whoop. You think returns should be guaranteed?

In countries with financial repression

The fuck does this mean?

public debt tends to be low

So what? The federal government is a higher quality borrower than any household, so perhaps we should thank the government for bearing the burden of credit expansion.

interest rates tend to be low

You mean like 3% on the ten year?

capital gets directed towards industry

You mean like Tesla? Wonder where they got their capital

Anonymous , [400] Disclaimer says: June 1, 2018 at 5:26 am GMT
@Thorfinnsson

Well like I said earlier, this is a matter of one's values and views on political economy. If one prefers asset price inflation and a capital structure of heavily indebted households and young adults, then there's nothing wrong and everything is rosy.

Household income overall, not just wages, has stagnated.

Startup formation is still at a 40 year low, despite all the noise about venture capital and Silicon Valley.

ROC and ROE are based on corporate income, which are at historical highs.

The rest of your comment is just econ 101 and biz school corp finance and accounting 101 hand waving to justify the status quo.

Your whole argument in the original post is that Tesla and SpaceX could not get the capital that they have without Musk committing fraud and violating a bunch of laws. In other words, two new industrial firms with tremendous brand value and advancing decades ahead of the competition ( https://www.nextbigfuture.com/2018/05/every-3-5-years-spacex-is-adding-a-decade-lead-on-competitors.html ) could not have been capitalized otherwise.

Realist , says: June 1, 2018 at 7:10 am GMT

Tesla's a company that should never have been. The whole concept is bullshit. The electric car can not compete with the internal combustion engine the energy density is not there.

WHAT , says: June 1, 2018 at 8:44 am GMT
@Thomm

You are consistently defecating in public, of course they consider you indian.

Sam , says: June 1, 2018 at 10:37 am GMT
@Thorfinnsson

Do you have a twitter account to follow or will we have to follow you on the comments section of this blog?

narrenspeise , says: Website June 1, 2018 at 11:00 am GMT

I do not believe that Tesla is likely to produce profits in the foreseeable future that justify its current valuation. However, a German engineering service company has analysed a Tesla 3 model and found that the materials cost of a car is around US-$ 18.000 and the cost of production can be estimated at around US-$ 10.000, so the gross margin should be ok if they manage to get production volume up.

https://www.wiwo.de/technologie/mobilitaet/elektroauto-zerlegt-tesla-model-3-kann-gewinn-abwerfen/22625806.html

(in German).

Miro23 , says: June 1, 2018 at 11:25 am GMT

Agreed that Tesla is probably going down the tubes, but what about the effect on other technology stocks?

No-one really knows when Tesla will go down, but when it does, it's going to impact the whole of Tech sector investment. For example, it's true that a company like Amazon makes a profit, but it's also got a lot of fantasy built into its share price (as pointed out in detail by David Stockman):

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-04-28/jumping-great-white-shark-bubble-finance

jacques sheete , says: June 1, 2018 at 11:38 am GMT
@Anonymous

One man's debt is another man's asset.

I wouldn't even grant such naif glibness Econ 101; it's more closely resembles some nursery school "wisdom" and amounts to something like saying that one man's fire is another's construction project.

I'll be the first to admit that under certain circumstances, debt can be good, but the key word is "can" as I'm sure you'll agree.

Debt, like fire, capitalism, and communism (note the lower case "c"). is nothing more than a tool and whether any of those things is good or not depends on a lot of other factors as you so correctly point out. Anyone who makes such a cringe-worthy comment as "debt is good" or its equivalent is not to be taken seriously and I quit reading his comment after that.

Why should anyone waste his time reading some author who has so little to offer? People take 'Ol Thor seriously???

Cold N. Holefield , says: Website June 1, 2018 at 11:49 am GMT

This goes to show how idiotic "investors" really are. Tesla was a No Go from the very start. It was a failed business plan before it ever got up & running. The technology will never be affordable to the vast majority of the unwashed despite creative credit schemes. That means only the so-called 1%ers would be the target market and before too long that market would be saturated and conquered and growth in profit and earnings would cease. The reasonings given for tanking this stock by "investors" doesn't even mention this. They're fucking clueless.

You want a growth industry for our time? A good long-term investment, or long-term these days, with a business plan that will provide growth for at least several decades? Invest in my company, Euthanasia, Inc. . That's where the money is. You'll make gobs of money, significant double digit ROI, and in 20 to 30 years when you're as wealthy as Trump if not wealthier, there will be nothing, and no one, left to buy with all that money. They'll, and it, will be gone. No one left to wipe your ass so you'll have to use the money that was them and it to wipe it instead until you defecate for the very last time.

MikeatMikedotMike , says: June 1, 2018 at 12:10 pm GMT
@Thomm

Cool story, bro.

Mike P , says: June 1, 2018 at 12:25 pm GMT
@Yevardian

I'm not even entirely sure whether anyone went to the moon these days.

I'm entirely sure we didn't.

According to Wiki , the rate of payload to initial mass of the Apollo missions was roughly 1 to 25 from Earth to lower Earth orbit, but about 1 to 3 from Earth orbit to lunar orbit. Assuming Earth orbit was 200 miles above Earth, less than 10% of the total energy required to escape Earth's gravity had been applied once orbit was reached. Therefore, somehow the engines became about 100 times more fuel-efficient when going from Earth orbit to the moon.

There are many more astonishing details. One is that NASA lost all the tapes of the lunar missions – allegedly the tapes were "reused". Another is that the dosage of radiation measured on board the lunar missions was no different from those of typical Earth orbit missions. Considering that the lunar missions would have had to go through the van Allen radiation belt, they should have received a significantly higher dosage.

Daniel Chieh , says: June 1, 2018 at 12:32 pm GMT
@Cold N. Holefield

You're trolling but fundamentally the notion of the "dark factory" or the completely automated factory was hardly beyond belief, or else it wouldn't have been attempted so many times in the first place. Its a lesson that we learn, often at considerable cost, that the wetware of the brain is still remarkably efficient and capable of things that our machines aren't, but the central conceit of it: that we can make things from processes done by repetitive functions is hardly impossible.

Its essentially the very background of programming: single use methods and black box classes to manipulate data, then provide useful and interesting results. It just so happens that in manufacturing in the real world that there's much more variation and less control over both inputs and outputs, but I am sure that every single person with a Six Sigma or ITIL cert has at least given a passing thought to it. The entire point of such confined processes is to turn humans into rough approximations of machines; why not use machines for that purposes?

Anonymous , [317] Disclaimer says: June 1, 2018 at 12:33 pm GMT

https://www.rt.com/usa/428428-google-pentagon-project-coverup/

here's another hot tip ..

Anonymous , [680] Disclaimer says: June 1, 2018 at 1:06 pm GMT
@songbird

I'm always amazed at how there are so many fatalities and injuries due to operator error on passenger trains – there really should be none.

Because it's all still in the hands of a driver, who has a fairly monotonous job and tends to drift off from time to time. Automation is easily possible on a technical level, but the driver is needed as an ultimate legal scapegoat so that when SHTF, the company as a whole is not held liable. There's also the interesting observation that due to computers having potential blind spots, a human being is always needed and, paradoxically, the only way to keep the human being engaged is to have them handle many of the easy tasks that the AI could actually do better.

Anonymous , [392] Disclaimer says: June 1, 2018 at 1:07 pm GMT

Great write up.

The problem is that Musk ran this company like a tech product where scaling does not require massive capital and correcting mistakes means patching lines of code, not massive recalls or people burning alive.

If Musk was smart, he would have combined his experience in tech and entrepreneurship with the experience of a legit manufacturer.

If Musk kept production small and put out quality products, he could have sold the company to Ford or Toyota and scaled production massively with experienced people.

Musk would have made billions, and Tesla would likely be a leader in EVs going forward for decades. Instead Musk got greedy and said we don't need to sell out. With our market cap we are already the same size as Ford. Well, enjoy prison Elon.

Sam Shama , says: June 1, 2018 at 1:10 pm GMT
@Anonymous

Well like I said earlier, this is a matter of one's values and views on political economy. If one prefers asset price inflation and a capital structure of heavily indebted households and young adults, then there's nothing wrong and everything is rosy.

What precisely do you mean by values in this context? What are your values? And, to repeat Thorfinsson's earlier question-dismissal of your faith, what the hell is "asset price inflation"? Asset prices go up in accordance with expected future returns and the current interest rate curve. Sometimes price bubbles form; there is no reason to believe that we are currently in the midst of one in the stock market. That current rates are low, implies a high present value for future flows, and a testament to the desirability of U.S T-bonds and corporate credit in general.

Household income overall, not just wages, has stagnated.

Nonsense. Demonstrably so. Look at per capita real income: https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/A939RX0Q048SBEA

Startup formation is still at a 40 year low, despite all the noise about venture capital and Silicon Valley.

Startup formation everywhere demonstrates high time- clustering. Why is that a fault of the financial sector?

ROC and ROE are based on corporate income, which are at historical highs.

Yes, this is true. Labour share has gone down in relative terms. Perhaps many categories of labour will continue to devalue, replaced by automation. We may at some point need to do a cost-benefit analysis of guaranteed minimum income. I remain somewhat circumspect of the notion.

The rest of your comment is just econ 101 and biz school corp finance and accounting 101 hand waving to justify the status quo.

Which portions?

Perhaps, it is precisely a lack of understanding econ 101. which leads to an inevitable reliance on the cult of Liquidationist Ron Paulisms.

Your whole argument in the original post is that Tesla and SpaceX could not get the capital that they have without Musk committing fraud and violating a bunch of laws. In other words, two new industrial firms with tremendous brand value and advancing decades ahead of the competition ( https://www.nextbigfuture.com/2018/05/every-3-5-years-spacex-is-adding-a-decade-lead-on-competitors.html ) could not have been capitalized otherwise.

That was hardly the entirety of the argument. I've just started looking at Tesla in depth, in order to handicap a long-term short position and I conclude that it is a great short. Objectively, his capex and opex are completely highly, highly, unwarranted, even for a new technology venture. He broke and bent a few laws to burn investor capital. As a result, top talent is exiting the company. Musk however, does not see it for he is in the grips of a bad case of G'd complex.

Musk is not Bezos. He does not have the vision he thinks he's got. Market will not tolerate this sort of extraordinary corporate profligacy for more than another year in my reckoning. I think his best bet might be to seek a collaboration with Daimler and focus on the battery business.

Anonymous , [680] Disclaimer says: June 1, 2018 at 1:11 pm GMT
@Realist

Fuel cells.

Sam Shama , says: June 1, 2018 at 1:30 pm GMT
@jacques sheete

I wouldn't even grant such naif glibness Econ 101; it's more closely resembles some nursery school "wisdom" and amounts to something like saying that one man's fire is another's construction project.

Try not to be too glib yourself. Hit the econ 101 books, would be my advice to you. There is a world of difference between personal debt, single company corporate debt, and, economy-wide sovereign debt. The trouble with your faith is that you deliberately ignore two basic econ 101 concepts: individual optimal debt ratios, and, thereafter, the fallacy of composition as it applies to public or sovereign debt.

The question of debt and Savings more generally, has deeply psychological underpinnings connected to language. [For another time]

Anyone who makes such a cringe-worthy comment as "debt is good" or its equivalent is not to be taken seriously and I quit reading his comment a fter that.

That would explain a great deal of your typically frantic behaviour. You have the laughable habit of erecting strawmen. "Debt is good" is not a statement anyone on the rational side of economics has ever claimed in isolation. Properly understood, debt is an instrument to smooth inter-temporal investments and consumption.

anon , [917] Disclaimer says: June 1, 2018 at 1:36 pm GMT

http://www.autoline.tv/journal/?p=54950

Worth watching for anyone looking to get a sense of Tesla as a car. The short version: Battery up -- crap; Battery down -- remarkable.

The stuff Tesla can't get right is old tech; the stuff that is good is electric & electronic. I prefer the short narrative but the timing is too hard. Tesla has proved itself brilliant at raising money. It's market cap is $46B.

People love Tesla. I can't be sure about the timing. Otherwise I would be short.

Sam Shama , says: June 1, 2018 at 2:05 pm GMT
@anon

One way to construct a short is through the purchase of a longer dated put, as you might already know. If that is more premium than you are looking to spend, then one can look at put spreads.

GourmetDan , says: June 1, 2018 at 2:07 pm GMT

Well, he certainly has pissed off the people who can ensure that his company's stock does go to zero

TomSchmidt , says: June 1, 2018 at 2:17 pm GMT
@reiner Tor

Oh, ow, my sides hurt.

ohmy , says: June 1, 2018 at 2:21 pm GMT

The history of auto making is littered with dead entrepreneurs. I have to hand it to Musk, he has balls. He capitalized on or, is responsible for the reinvigorated interest in EVs and, he took advantage of all the government incentives that followed. I don't know much about Tesla's manufacturing abilities. I doubt Ford or GM will be interested in buying anything more than the Tesla brand name, which is a clever one.
I wonder? Does the Tesla family receive royalties? I doubt it. Maybe this turn towards electric vehicles will renew interest in cheap if not free electric power. Will it finally be admitted that the universe along with everything in it, such as the sun, is electric. Does anyone else find it odd that since the 1920s nothing much has changed in the field of electronics. I hear it isn't properly taught. Not even at MIT.

Thorfinnsson , says: June 1, 2018 at 2:26 pm GMT
@Anonymous

I am probably making a mistake diving into the weeds with you people again, but basically you people are pointing out flaws in how the economy has developed in the past generation which are not the fault of the financial sector.

The economic damage to the middle and working classes have been caused by five things:

• "Free trade" (deindustrialization)
• Mass immigration
• Union-busting
• Increasing monopoly power
• The healthcare and education rackets

Which of these are the financial sector to blame for exactly, and how?

By shifting your goalposts from wages to household income (ignoring that the average household size has declined), yet then your turn around and point out corporate income is historically high. My claim was only that income has risen. It's just that income has gone to capital rather than labor in the past generation. That's a political issue.

Musk violated securities laws (likely) in getting Solar City and Tesla to merge. Beyond that he has risen capital based on the promise of new products and increasing production. He hasn't delivered as fast as he promised. That isn't securities fraud, business is hard. Particularly the automotive business.

Critics of the financial sector are claiming they're just paper pushers who don't allocate capital to industry, yet here we have a glaring example of where capital markets raise MASSIVE amounts of capital for an entirely new industry.

Thorfinnsson , says: June 1, 2018 at 2:28 pm GMT
@Realist

This is true, but EVs have certain advantages.

Mechanically, they are much simpler.

Operating costs are much lower.

They're quiter and have superior low-end torque.

Low center of gravity.

Reasonable choice for commuters who can afford the higher upfront costs.

Thorfinnsson , says: June 1, 2018 at 2:30 pm GMT
@Sam

Just this blog. I avoid developing any additional presence on the internet as otherwise I wouldn't get any work done.

jacques sheete , says: June 1, 2018 at 2:32 pm GMT
@Sam Shama

There is a world of difference between personal debt, single company corporate debt, and, economy-wide sovereign debt.

Now that's funny coming from you,Mave!

I was the one who pointed out,to you, the fact that there was a world of difference between various kinds of debt, e.g., public vs private debt. Up until I clued you in on that elementary fact, you stood by your witless comment that "debt is good."

It's as corny and silly as Rand's utterly contemptible and sappy claim that greed is good.

Try to keep up, will ya?

PS: What does your hero, Krugman say about debt?

Note to those who don't know what this is about, it's a feud between me 'n The Mave, who is such a guru in econ 101 that he bids us read Krugman if we want to understand "eekonomiks" as he does.

I mean, really, doesn't that reveal the level on which that one's thought processes attempt to function?

Dat's some cringe-worthy crapola, Mave! Tsk tsk.

Thorfinnsson , says: June 1, 2018 at 2:33 pm GMT
@Miro23

David Stockman is a bad investor and doomerist, though he did nail IBM.

Amazon is a great company, but indeed its share price makes no sense. It's based on a hockey stick profit trajectory fantasy that will never happen.

Amazon should be valued more like Costco. Which is not a condemnation at all–Costco is a great company.

The tech megacaps like Apple, Google, MSFT, Facebook, etc. are not overvalued however. They're cash geysers.

The real massacre will be in the "unicorns", many of which are awful businesses and will never earn a cent. WeWork and Uber being great examples.

Thorfinnsson , says: June 1, 2018 at 2:36 pm GMT
@jacques sheete

Strawman.

jacques sheete , says: June 1, 2018 at 2:38 pm GMT
@Sam Shama

That would explain a great deal of your typically frantic behaviour. You have the laughable habit of erecting strawmen.

And that is a fine example of projection.

And speaking of strawman arguments, I responded to this, which is a direct quote.:

One man's debt is another man's asset.

You would do well to look up the meaning of the word, "strawman."

The statement, as quoted, is evidence of an incapacity to analyze simple concepts, and it indicates to me that he has nothing to offer me. It's really quite simple, but keep trying.

Thorfinnsson , says: June 1, 2018 at 2:41 pm GMT
@Cold N. Holefield

Tesla would be profitable by now if it hadn't attempted to build an "alien dreadnought" fully automated production line and hadn't bothered with the Model X or Model 3. Other diversions like R&D for a fictitious semi aren't helpful either.

EVs will be affordable in the next decade as global battery production ramps up.

But most of these EVs will not be Teslas. They'll be from the traditional OEMs and some new Chinese companies.

Thorfinnsson , says: June 1, 2018 at 2:46 pm GMT
@Sam Shama

Yes, this is true. Labour share has gone down in relative terms. Perhaps many categories of labour will continue to devalue, replaced by automation. We may at some point need to do a cost-benefit analysis of guaranteed minimum income. I remain somewhat circumspect of the notion.

The automation thing is bullshit handwaving sold by The Ecommunist as a convenient excuse. The same publication that tells us we need massive immigration.

We've been "automating" since Watt invented a functional steam engine and Hargreaves invented the spinning jenny.

Even earlier, really. The Middle Ages saw the invention of the mouldboard plough and the padded harness, increasing the productivity of agriculture.

Automation increases the value of human labor, though it does cause occupational and sector displacement.

Guaranteed minimum income is the Silicon Valley version of bread & circuses.

jacques sheete , says: June 1, 2018 at 2:47 pm GMT
@Thorfinnsson

The economic damage to the middle and working classes have been caused by five things:

Only five things?

You think various scams and frauds such as bailouts, foreign "aid" and skyrocketing public debt (used criminally in most cases ) have had no effect, or are they covered by one or more of your five?

Thorfinnsson , says: June 1, 2018 at 2:47 pm GMT
@Anonymous

Hydrogen takes four times more energy to produce than it provides.

Terrible solution other than for niche applications where you need greater energy density than batteries can provide, but can't use fossil fuels.

Thorfinnsson , says: June 1, 2018 at 2:49 pm GMT
@jacques sheete

Your obsession with this quote is bizarre.

Tell me what exactly is the problem with it?

Thorfinnsson , says: June 1, 2018 at 2:50 pm GMT
@jacques sheete

The Treasury Department made a profit on the bailout.

Foreign aid is much lower than it was during the golden days of the middle class, and it's paid out of tax revenues (and bond sales) which are primarily paid by the wealthy.

I'm opposed to both, but don't see how either harm the middle and working classes.

(((They))) Live , says: June 1, 2018 at 2:50 pm GMT
@anon

I watched that interview a while back, I wish they asked him when his car came off the line, I think he got one of the early cars, with Tesla its a bad idea to buy the first cars built, wait for six months or a year until they have fixed all the problems, after that I think the quality is far better

The Saudis plan to float Aramco next year for that to be a success they will want high oil prices, the frackers in the US may cause them problems, but if the Saudis and the Russians want high prices they should be able to get close to $100 a barrel if they work together

That should help Tesla and EV sales in general, today I passed my local filling station on the way to work, petrol was €1.37 per litre and Diesel was €1.47 per litre, with prices like that EVs have a bright future in Europe and Asia

Also if Tesla can last long enough to build their Truck they will turn that whole industry on its head

Sam Shama , says: June 1, 2018 at 2:55 pm GMT
@jacques sheete

You must know I've learnt a great deal from you; so do please forgive the occasional missteps in not recognising your valuable influence.

Your lessons were firmly implanted in my memory when I wrote these:

http://www.unz.com/imercer/trump-should-triangulate/#comment-1047145

http://www.unz.com/pgiraldi/neocons-as-a-figment-of-imagination/#comment-1817082

http://www.unz.com/jderbyshire/the-sun-people-tsunami-and-the-inevitability-of-lifeboat-ethics/#comment-1704251

http://www.unz.com/mwhitney/putins-new-world-order/#comment-1859978

You'll find in them a fuller accounting.

One thing I did not learn from you for better or worse is the veritable flurry of exclamations and expletives which tend to accompany your bijous.

manorchurch , says: June 1, 2018 at 2:58 pm GMT
@Mike P

I'm not even entirely sure whether anyone went to the moon these days.

I'm entirely sure we didn't.

And, there it goes. Ka-dink, swish, swirl, galook! Straight into the Wackadoodle Dumper.

Do I recall correctly there being some sort of 80′s social wisdom about the end of any discussion being the point at which someone was compared to Hitler? Or somebody called someone a Nazi?

Nowadays, it's the point at which some ignorant jackass asserts a conspiracy -- usually some variation on the voluminous and multi-fantastic 9/11 conspiracy collections, but there's been a recent upsurge in moon landing conspiracies.

Alas Babylon!

Thorfinnsson , says: June 1, 2018 at 2:58 pm GMT
@(((They))) Live

Electric trucks are a particularly dumb idea other than niche applications like port trucking (where you could just build a narrow gauge railroad instead).

manorchurch , says: June 1, 2018 at 3:04 pm GMT
@Thorfinnsson

I'm opposed to both, but don't see how either harm the middle and working classes.

You don't? Well, fancy that.

The explosive growth of the middle class, and its accelerating acquisition of assets, is noteworthy. In no time at all, the middle class will re-acquire the 95% of gross national wealth held by the to-be-pitied "1%". Oh, woe be to the rich! They die off so swiftly, so unfairly.

The middle class grows fat with the undeserved profits they obtain from exploiting the wealthy class. It's obscene. There oughta be a law!

manorchurch , says: June 1, 2018 at 3:07 pm GMT
@Thorfinnsson

Hydrogen takes four times more energy to produce than it provides.

So what? Or, were you thinking petro-power is required to produce hydrogen?

manorchurch , says: June 1, 2018 at 3:11 pm GMT
@Thorfinnsson

The economic damage to the middle and working classes have been caused by five things:

• "Free trade" (deindustrialization)
• Mass immigration
• Union-busting
• Increasing monopoly power
• The healthcare and education rackets

Which of these are the financial sector to blame for exactly, and how?

OMG, you cannot be THAT naive.

The "financial sector" is to blame for all five. Who do you THINK is making money from those, dude?

Sam Shama , says: June 1, 2018 at 3:13 pm GMT
@Thorfinnsson

Automation increases the value of human labor, though it does cause occupational and sector displacement.

Isn't that what I said in: "Perhaps many categories of labour will continue to devalue, " ?

Of course, automation started with the Wheel and labour to capital substitution increases the marginal productivity of Labour [thus value of Labour]. Nothing to do with what the Economist says [I don't usually read them].

As I also wrote I am circumspect of the idea of GMI. What I do know is that the dislocations on account of capital/tech substitution is ratcheting up very rapidly and that means in the interim we very likely will not see any significant rise in wages for many categories of labour. How long these dislocations remain, at what point we have a sufficiently well-endowed Labour Force, I cannot predict.

(((They))) Live , says: June 1, 2018 at 3:15 pm GMT
@manorchurch

Forget Hydrogen powered cars, its a joke for people who don't understand basic physics

(((they))) Live , says: June 1, 2018 at 3:21 pm GMT
@Thorfinnsson

I don't think so, if Tesla can deliver their truck with close to the claimed specs then they will clearly change the whole industry, trunks only get about 8mpg, so switching to electric power gives massive saving in fuel and maintenance costs

from what we know plenty of companies with large fleets of trucks have placed orders with Tesla, assuming Tesla do the job right and the trucks run well after six months or a year someone will run the numbers for electric Vs Diesel and there will only be one winner

Thorfinnsson , says: June 1, 2018 at 3:23 pm GMT
@manorchurch

In practice, owing to widespread atomophobia, fossil fuel energy is required to produce hydrogen.

Even if atomophobes were sent to concentration camps (as they should be), why would we want to invest massive amounts of capital for this project? Because Toyota is enamored?

Thorfinnsson , says: June 1, 2018 at 3:26 pm GMT
@manorchurch

What a very convenient argument.

"Okay dude, so the financial sector isn't directly to blame for stagnating wages, but THEY caused the things that are!"

Free trade–blame American foreign policy for initiating this very bad idea. Economists also to blame.

Mass immigration–likewise.

Union busting–banks were never unionized. The strongest anti-union forces were (and are) in manufacturing and logistics.

Increasing monopoly power–sure. But I blame free market economists more.

Healthcare and education rackets–close to zero responsibility, though they do make some money off of student loans.

Thorfinnsson , says: June 1, 2018 at 3:30 pm GMT
@Sam Shama

As I also wrote I am circumspect of the idea of GMI. What I do know is that the dislocations on account of capital/tech substitution is ratcheting up very rapidly and that means in the interim we very likely will not see any significant rise in wages for many categories of labour. How long these dislocations remain, at what point we have a sufficiently well-endowed Labour Force, I cannot predict.

This is still nonsense. The biggest drop in wages occurred in the 1980s, when union-busting kicked into high gear but the manufacturing base was in tact (and frequently protected, against Reagan's own instincts).

The biggest loss in manufacturing jobs was in the 2000s, conveniently right after China joined the WTO.

American manufacturing isn't even that automated. Robot density is significantly lower than leaders like Japan, Germany, and South Korea.

Most of the deindustrialization effect is by now played out, and wages would start rising again if immigration were actually clamped down on.

What's the evidence for "ratcheting up very rapidly"? Total factor productivity growth isn't all that high these days.

songbird , says: June 1, 2018 at 3:32 pm GMT
@Thomm

There was recently an anon on this blog who was obviously an Indian. He spoke of Dharma, etc. He is the only other fellow but you who I've heard use the term "white trashionalist", which is a pretty odd coincidence.

macilrae , says: June 1, 2018 at 3:33 pm GMT

Technically, the use of a battery of over seven thousand small lithium cells ("2170s" – not much bigger than flashlight cells) to power a car feels very wrong. Wrong because of the labor intensity of manufacture (even if robotic); wrong because of the multiplication factor upon the reliability. And just plain inelegant from an engineering point of view.

Still, and all, I know from first hand that courageous new ventures must necessarily attract monumental criticism until they are finally proved successful: it is so much easier just to say "no" to a new idea.

Somebody said "you can tell the pioneers by the arrows in their backs".

reiner Tor , says: June 1, 2018 at 3:34 pm GMT

There are probably new quality commenters, but currently it feels like the entire zoo just came in.

Sam Shama , says: June 1, 2018 at 3:59 pm GMT
@Thorfinnsson

This is still nonsense. The biggest drop in wages occurred in the 1980s, when union-busting kicked into high gear but the manufacturing base was in tact (and frequently protected, against Reagan's own instincts).

I have no quarrel with the effects of union busting, I have written of it myself. ( http://www.unz.com/pgiraldi/cheerleading-for-israel/#comment-1795372

However, here is a question for you. If you decry the breakup of labour unions, would you decry as well, a de-cartelisation of Banking? If not, why not? [Banking is cartelised. Try obtaining a banking license]

Most of the deindustrialization effect is by now played out, and wages would start rising again if immigration were actually clamped down on.

That statement is nonsense. I am not a proponent of unrestricted immigration. I support merit-based immigration. However, wages would not at all start rising inevitably if immigration were severely restricted tomorrow. There are many reasons for it, monopsony power of corporates is one big reason.

http://rooseveltinstitute.org/how-widespread-labor-monopsony-some-new-results-suggest-its-pervasive/

Another one has to do with high-value-added labour [like coding] does not necessarily have to be co-located geographically.

manorchurch , says: June 1, 2018 at 4:12 pm GMT
@(((They))) Live

Forget Hydrogen powered cars, its a joke for people who don't understand basic physics

Well, maybe. Petroleum will have the edge for another ten years, at least. Long-term, however, some other energy source will be required. Fuel cells, or some derivative thereof, may be a possibility. Solar energy for the separation of water into H and O is free, although the implementation of method is not.

manorchurch , says: June 1, 2018 at 4:13 pm GMT
@Thorfinnsson

In practice, owing to widespread atomophobia, fossil fuel energy is required to produce hydrogen.

No, it isn't.

Thomm , says: June 1, 2018 at 4:15 pm GMT
@songbird

er . 'White Trashionalist' is a term that has been used since the 90s. Any basic Google search will confirm this.

If you took off your Gimp suit and got out of the cage once in a while, you might start to become acquainted with the outside world, and why normal white people like me avoid you at all costs.

Get a clue, faggot.

Thomm , says: June 1, 2018 at 4:16 pm GMT
@MikeatMikedotMike

er click the link I provided, you 70-IQ wigger. It is proof.

manorchurch , says: June 1, 2018 at 4:18 pm GMT
@Thorfinnsson

Wrong.

1. Free trade means no tariff risks -- the rich get richer.
2. Immigration lowers labor costs -- the rich get richer.
3. Union busting lowers labor costs -- the rich get richer.
4. Monopolies increase profits directly -- the rich get richer.
5. Healthcare and its associated sub-industries are phenomenally profitable -- the rich get richer.

The "financial sector" IS the rich, dude.

Thorfinnsson , says: June 1, 2018 at 4:20 pm GMT
@Sam Shama

I don't deplore the breakup of labor unions since I'm on the capital-management side. American (and worse, British) labor unions fomented endless trouble when they were powerful. Just pointing out that union busting obviously had a major impact.

As for banking, I do support de-cartelisation.

Monopsony power and geographic arbitrage are certainly part of the picture.

(((They))) Live , says: June 1, 2018 at 4:20 pm GMT
@manorchurch

Well done you just proved my point, thanks

manorchurch , says: June 1, 2018 at 4:23 pm GMT
@reiner Tor

There are probably new quality commenters, but currently it feels like the entire zoo just came in.

Ambien, obviously.

Thorfinnsson , says: June 1, 2018 at 4:24 pm GMT
@manorchurch

https://www.forbes.com/forbes-400/#44e753957e2f

Only two in the top ten are in the financial sector, and these days Buffet is into a lot more than that. No bankers or asset managers.

No shit the rich are getting richer, Sherlock. That isn't the subject of discussion at all. You're just an idiot like all these other doomerist clowns.

I'm tired of replying to you morons who don't know shit from shinola.

Sam Shama can deal with you blockheads if he pleases.

manorchurch , says: June 1, 2018 at 4:28 pm GMT
@(((They))) Live

You are an idiot. Petroleum will deplete, doofuss. Fuel cells may be one option, and technologies for producing H from water are open to development. Solar power has, currently, and I emphasize "currently", the best profile. Ground-based solar panels are NOT the only option.

Fusion is also a possibility -- dicey, but still a possibility.

Don't be ignorant by choice, dude.

manorchurch , says: June 1, 2018 at 4:31 pm GMT
@Thorfinnsson

Excellent, and predictable! You have declared your expertise to be absolutely unquestionable, denied all argument to the contrary, and you exit the lists triumphantly.

(The sound of trumpets dwindles in the distance.)

Chase , says: June 1, 2018 at 4:41 pm GMT

SpaceX is obviously being funded by the USG. I can't fly a $25.00 drone within 1000 yards of any airport, but the government stands by while some private company flies objects into space? Not buying it.

Dagon Shield , says: June 1, 2018 at 4:56 pm GMT
@Yevardian

Leonardo da Vinci he is not sounds more like P. T. Barnum. A perfect choice for the ringmaster of a local circus!

Sam Shama , says: June 1, 2018 at 5:17 pm GMT
@JL

There is borrow on the shares. Mid-rate is 3.3%, which is very high. Which is also why the puts are expensive.

One way to reduce the premium on puts is to buy put spreads.

Sam Shama , says: June 1, 2018 at 5:21 pm GMT
@manorchurch

Given the opportunity – assuming you have the requisite qualifications and not already in the industry – would you join the financial sector?

Thorfinnsson , says: June 1, 2018 at 6:03 pm GMT

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/06/01/tesla-factory-paint-shop-fires-worse-than-revealed-workers.html

Things are going well.

manorchurch , says: June 1, 2018 at 6:03 pm GMT
@Sam Shama

Given the opportunity – assuming you have the requisite qualifications and not already in the industry – would you join the financial sector?

Given my ancestral history, family traditions and values, no. It has been instilled in me since birth as immoral and dishonorable.

anonymous , [349] Disclaimer says: June 1, 2018 at 6:32 pm GMT
@manorchurch

Are you opposed to interest for some reason? Are you Muslim?

Wally , says: June 1, 2018 at 6:37 pm GMT
@Daniel Chieh

"Come out as gay."

Hilarious. Great response!

manorchurch , says: June 1, 2018 at 6:51 pm GMT
@anonymous

Are you opposed to interest for some reason? Are you Muslim?

Are you?

WTF is wrong with you, dude? English language problem? Take some lessons or something.

Anonymous , [400] Disclaimer says: June 1, 2018 at 6:52 pm GMT
@Thorfinnsson

Those "five things" are concomitant with the massive gains to the financial sector and increase in its size. That is prima facie evidence right there. Furthermore, we know financial interests and powerful individuals from the financial sector have promoted those five things.

I didn't shift goalposts. Wages have stagnated, and so have household incomes. Household size may have declined, but so what? Most households used to have one income which was sufficient to support a wife and children.

It's not an example if, as you say, it only happened because of fraud and illegal activity.

JerseyJeffersonian , says: June 1, 2018 at 6:53 pm GMT
@Daniel Chieh

Hey, worked for (our, cringe ) former New Jersey governor, Jim McGreevey.

anonymous , [339] Disclaimer says: June 1, 2018 at 6:53 pm GMT
@Thorfinnsson

You got "bringa" & "great" wrong.

" Eron Musk blinga gleat shame to white man. "

manorchurch , says: June 1, 2018 at 6:55 pm GMT
@anonymous

"Eron Musk blinga gleat shame to white man."

Japanese, dude. Not Japanese and Chinese at the same time.

(((They))) Live , says: June 1, 2018 at 7:04 pm GMT
@manorchurch

You're the idiot, its possible to buy a fuel cell Mirai in California now but few people want one because there is no refuelling network, who wants to buy a car that can't drive anywhere, at the same time the sales of EVs continue to rise

I NEVER said petroleum would not deplete, but because of fracking its not something to worry about yet

Using Solar power to create Hydrogen from water is a dumb idea, nobody who understands the physics would do it, so its you who is the idiot

Forget about Hydrogen powered cars they will NEVER be sold in large numbers

Daniel Chieh , says: June 1, 2018 at 7:13 pm GMT
@anonymous

This is what you came here for.

Sam Shama , says: June 1, 2018 at 7:20 pm GMT
@manorchurch

Given my ancestral history, family traditions and values, no. It has been instilled in me since birth as immoral and dishonorable.

Well, I can understand your tradition but not your perspective. Many traditions are meant to be broken, but that aside, a hatred for finance, wilfully conceals from the mind that which is so starkly obvious. None of what you busy yourself with in your daily life, as in here and now in the pursuit of keyboard games, would have hardly been possible without modern finance.

Intel, Microsoft, Oracle, etc all required venture capital and then financial engineering to get to where they are today. IBM needed the merger of four companies, public stock issuance with the investment banking talent of Charles Flint to gain its early incorporation. Do you think all of that would've been possible without the financial sector? Not a chance.

Take our most gracious host. He is a brilliant man, a trained theoretical physicist who wrote a piece of great software to value mortgage-backed securities and then sold his company to another finance company called Moody's to become independently wealthy. He now uses his wealth to promote free speech – a very honourable purpose indeed. Hat tip. On occasion, he takes pot shots at finance; a case, if ever there was one, of the socialite turning up her nose at the very thing that made her a socialite!

Now, mortgage-backed securities are exactly the sort of financial innovation that makes finance an indispensable part of any modern economy. How else could one have high homeownership? This is not to claim that abuses do not occur. They most certainly do. But show me an abuse-free Industry and I will gift you a unicorn.

Anon , [257] Disclaimer says: June 1, 2018 at 7:29 pm GMT
@anonymous coward

There is plenty of excellent public transit in negro infested cities. The problem is the negro riders drivers mechanics and managers and heads of the agencies.

MarkinPNW , says: June 1, 2018 at 7:41 pm GMT
@(((they))) Live

Railroads have been pretty much 100% electrified the whole world over for nearly 70 years now (except for a handful of tourist and "living museum" steam trains).

Yet, except for a few very high density traffic segments and where socialist bureaucracies imposed it such as the old Soviet Union, most railroads still find it more efficient to have their electric locomotives carry their own power plants with them than to use and maintain a central grid to provide power to the locomotives.

(((They))) Live , says: June 1, 2018 at 7:50 pm GMT
@MarkinPNW

I'm not sure what your point is

Most Countries with modern railroads run electric trains powered by over head wires, eg the French TGV, German ICE, thats the way any state or private railway operates if they invest for the longterm

You seem to be talking about Diesel electric, thats something different, and NO its not more efficient

What that has to do with Tesla, Fuel cells or Hydrogen you neglected to say

Thorfinnsson , says: June 1, 2018 at 7:55 pm GMT
@narrenspeise

I'd like to see an actual costed bill of materials.

Assuming it's true, it requires $6 billion capex and 150 weeks of 10,000 cars produced per week.

That's half a million cars a year, which of course need to be sold and serviced. What's the global total addressable market (TAM) for compact executive sedan (sedan market is crumbling) EVs?

Combined 2017 sales for the BMW 3-series, Mercedes Benz C-class, and Audi A4 in the USA, Europe, and China was about 975,000 units.

Let's assume the global TAM for compact executive sedans is 2 million units. Do one quarter of these buyers want EVs? Of those who do, will they all choose the Model 3? Many, probably most, luxury car buyers have very poor tolerance for quality and service problems.

And as Tesla also cannot be price competitive in Europe (10% tariff) or China (25% tariff) without local assembly plants, most of these sales will have to be made in North America. Countries like Norway are likely to phase out or reduce their silly EV subsidies, which in any case will be available to competitors. Tesla can also forget about major sales in Japan (ever), Korea (ever), or India (without local assembly).

The math doesn't work.

Anon , [257] Disclaimer says: June 1, 2018 at 7:56 pm GMT
@Anonymous

Immigrant households often have at least 10 working adults who all contribute to rent or mortgage payment.

In California it's the major reason for high housing prices and homelessness.

Thorfinnsson , says: June 1, 2018 at 8:19 pm GMT
@(((they))) Live

The truck is vaporware, so I wouldn't put much stock in Tesla's claimed specs.

Most trucking, by ton miles, is long haul trucking.

The claimed 80% range (there will rarely be time to charge to 100%, so 80% "Megacharger" needs to be employed) is only 400 miles. After that, it's a half-hour recharge.

The Megacharger itself is also dubious–one megawatt is a lot of power. What kind of electric connectors and safety provisions will be employed? Musk claims they'll be solar-powered. Really–a one megawatt solar array at every truck stop? In reality they'll of course be grid connected.

Currently Tesla charges a quarter per kilowatt hour for its supercharger stations. Based on one megawatt output and 30 minutes charging, the Semi will take 30,000 kilowatt hour charge. That will cost $7,500. Recharging from ordinary utility power would "only" cost $3,000.

A new Peterbilt can carry 300 gallons of diesel, which gives a fully loaded truck a range of 1,800 miles. Filling those two 150 gallon tanks is only $1,000.

So under realistic conditions energy costs for a new Peterbilt are 34 times lower than the Tesla Semi. Best case conditions, let's say in the Pacific Northwest on ordinary utility power, "only" ten times.

This isn't like the Model S where recharging it costs you $10 and thus beats even the most fuel efficient cars on the road.

The conventional truck industry isn't standing still either. See here: http://www.trucktrend.com/news/1503-daimler-builds-twice-as-efficient-supertruck-class-8-semi/

As self-driving improves, it will also be possible to platoon trucks to reduce air resistance for all but the lead truck (think of migrating birds).

Do you see how crazy this is?

Johnny Rico , says: June 1, 2018 at 8:22 pm GMT
@Thorfinnsson

EVs are affordable now. Just not Teslas.

The basic point that is being missed by this entire discussion is that the inconvenience of having to plug your car to your house for 4 hours to "refill" it is worth it only if what you save on gasoline makes the car cheaper than owning an ICE.

When gasoline is $3 a gallon there are few electric vehicles that can make this happen. You can get used Nissans for around $10,000.

http://www.plugincars.com/best-used-evs-less-10000-132626.html

When gasoline gets to $8 a gallon possibly 30 years from now $40,000 Teslas may start to make a little sense.

Thorfinnsson , says: June 1, 2018 at 8:33 pm GMT
@Thorfinnsson

Note: my math is wrong and I just based it on charging power, which was dumb.

https://insideevs.com/tesla-semi-truck-battery-is-how-big/

Theoretically the Tesla Semi needs an 1,100 kwh battery bank.

That's $220 for 400 miles on the "Megacharger"–about the same as the Peterbilt.

So energy cost is at parity. Range however is shorter and capex is higher (battery alone almost as much as a new Peterbilt). Given Tesla's quality issues, opex almost certainly higher as well.

Diesel trucks also have a lot more room to improve their energy efficiency. There are for instance no hybrid semi trucks with regenerative braking yet, but there will be. Trucks could also employ combined cycle engines, which aren't practical in passenger cars owing to space issues.

In other words electric trucks only make good sense for niche applications like port trucking and inner cities with air pollution concerns. They might of course be mandated.

Thorfinnsson , says: June 1, 2018 at 8:36 pm GMT
@Johnny Rico

The recharging issue doesn't seem like a big deal for typical car users, who mostly just commute and run errands. Just plug it in at night. If you want to take a road trip, rent a car.

But they're not suitable for people like me, who need to drive hundreds of miles (or longer) at a stretch a few times per month.

There's also a hard ceiling on how many EVs can be sold beyond that. You have the "what if" buyers (look at all the people who buy trucks just in case they need to move a buddy's couch), and then you have the gasoline-fueled gearheads who hate EVs and refuse to buy them (also me).

In China it seems likely EVs will be mandated, but will this happen elsewhere? Britain and France mandating 100% EV sales by 2040 is a joke–like government policy won't be altered in a 22 year timespan.

manorchurch , says: June 1, 2018 at 8:36 pm GMT
@Sam Shama

Well, I can understand your tradition but not your perspective.

Perspective? Hatred? Where do you get this stuff?

I've been around for a few years, worked for large and small corporations, in small towns and large metroplexes, from mailroom to CIO. I have yet to encounter a professional in the "finance" industry who was, or is, an honest man. You certainly have the option to pursue such a career. I choose not to.

(((They))) Live , says: June 1, 2018 at 8:44 pm GMT
@Thorfinnsson

Do you really think it will cost $7500 to recharge the Tesla truck LOL

You don't have a clue FFS

Anon , [257] Disclaimer says: June 1, 2018 at 8:45 pm GMT
@Thorfinnsson

The financial sector makes billions from student loans used to pay tuition to the educational racketeers.

Union busting was part of the corporate raising of the pension funds and the corporate raiders who acquired and disassembled the big corporations

The .50 . 35 zoro interest rates are an evil thing done by the financial sector. I don't know the motivation of that but zero interest rates are definitely the fault of the financial sector

Sam Shama , says: June 1, 2018 at 8:53 pm GMT
@manorchurch

When you were the CIO did you practice Gregorian chants? Seraphims and angels must surround you in this life.

Anon , [257] Disclaimer says: June 1, 2018 at 8:54 pm GMT
@Thorfinnsson

EVs and hybrids aren't suitable for people who work at home or walk or use public transit to get to work either.

If you don't drive 20 or 30 miles several days a week after about 60,000 miles the electrical systems just destroy the batteries

I'll never but a hybrid again.

RadicalCenter , says: June 1, 2018 at 8:55 pm GMT
@Thorfinnsson

AGREE. An all-electric sedan is next on our list and perfectly fits our needs.

Also, it seems that some EVs around here come with lease offers as good as internal-combustion vehicles. So I'm not sure that the upfront cost is greater all the time.

manorchurch , says: June 1, 2018 at 8:56 pm GMT
@(((They))) Live

Using Solar power to create Hydrogen from water is a dumb idea, nobody who understands the physics would do it, so its you who is the idiot

When petroleum depletes, how long will coal and NG last, whether for power plants or hydrogen production? The remaining choices will be solar, nuclear, or fusion -- all for electric power.

What's it going to be? Personally, I have a sneaky suspicion that somewhere in flyover country a lot of progress is being made on laser-controlled fusion, or some combo of magnetic bottle and laser.

What's more, I'll bet that we won't see a replacement power source until some entity, under any of many names, is going to make a lot of money with it.

Thorfinnsson , says: June 1, 2018 at 8:58 pm GMT
@(((They))) Live

See subsequent post: http://www.unz.com/akarlin/thorfinnssons-take-on-tesla/#comment-2354714

manorchurch , says: June 1, 2018 at 8:59 pm GMT
@Sam Shama

When you were the CIO did you practice Gregorian chants? Seraphims and angels must surround you in this life.

Your implied contempt for what you assume to be some sort of religious devotion on my part marks you as a scoundrel.

jacques sheete , says: June 1, 2018 at 9:00 pm GMT
@Thorfinnsson

Your obsession with this quote is bizarre.

Obsession? Must be some new definition.

Tell me what exactly is the problem with it?

Ah alreddy dun dat.

Tell me what is right about it.

reiner Tor , says: June 1, 2018 at 9:07 pm GMT
@Thorfinnsson

The recharging issue doesn't seem like a big deal for typical car users, who mostly just commute and run errands. Just plug it in at night. If you want to take a road trip, rent a car.

Actually refueling is an inconvenience for me, it'd be simpler to just plug it in for the night. Except, of course, on longer trips.

Regarding longer trips, currently it's difficult with an electric vehicle. But maybe in a couple decades ranges will be double what they are, and most drivers need stops after 500 kilometers to eat and go to the bathroom anyway. So I guess fully electric vehicles will be fully usable for most users.

I suspect internal combustion engines will be prohibited from entering a number of rich NIMBY localities. So eventually you will need a hybrid with a fully electric mode to be able to go to some of your destinations. Fully gasoline cars will therefore have only limited utility. A lot of people will buy the cheaper electric only versions, and eventually these will be the only versions on offer.

This will also be a reason for the electric trucks. Already electric trolley-buses (often with batteries) are popular in cities. No one likes diesel smoke, who wants his children to inhale it? Prohibiting diesel or even all ICE vehicles will increase real estate prices. So local governments will have an incentive to do that. Legally it's already possible in Germany, and I suspect it will be possible elsewhere, too. Even the threat of it was enough to drastically reduce demand for diesel cars in Europe. Once demand is reduced, the incentive to develop them will be weaker, and eventually they will be abandoned.

Johnny Rico , says: June 1, 2018 at 9:10 pm GMT
@Thorfinnsson

I totally agree.

But the big picture is that there are at least 200 million regularly used passenger vehicles in the United States. I actually look the exact numbers up occasionally when I do the math. Maybe it is 300 million.

Every year, between 12 and 16 million new vehicles are added to this and an equal number scrapped.

The buyers you describe are a tiny minority of this total.

We have to also consider the number of urban dwellers who wish to own a car, but park on the street in places like Boston and for whom plugging a car in overnight may be a serious issue.

And also there will be the undoubtedly growing number of Uber-type vehicles.

I foresee the EV market as being primarily of a luxury/toy character for the next decade with an undeterminable number of taxi/fleet/Uber vehicles added.

Tesla will most likely be a failure in this environment.

jacques sheete , says: June 1, 2018 at 9:17 pm GMT
@Thorfinnsson

The Treasury Department made a profit on the bailout.

That's what they tell us. They always try to bullshit us.

Foreign aid is much lower than it was during the golden days of the middle class, and it's paid out of tax revenues (and bond sales) which are primarily paid by the wealthy.

And where do the wealthy get their money? At whose expense do they obtain their monopolies and monopsonies and oligopolies and oligopsonies?

Do you really not think the US is devolving into a 2 class society?

Perceptive people have been noticing its development for a long time.:

I witnessed the momentous changes and participated
in them. While they were occurring I saw something
else that filled me with dread. I saw the government
of the United States enter into a struggle with the
trusts, the railroads and the banks, and I watched while
the business forces won the contest. I saw the forms
of republican government decay through disuse, and I
saw them betrayed by the very men who were sworn
to preserve and uphold them. I saw the empire of
business, with its innumerable ramifications, grow up
around and above the structure of government.

- R. F. PETTIGREW, TRIUMPHANT PLUTOCRACY, The Story ofAmerican Public Life from 1870 to 1920.

https://archive.org/stream/triumphantpluto00pettrich/triumphantpluto00pettrich_djvu.txt

Here's something more recent, although Pettigrew's comment still applies.:

Men haven't got the freedom today that they had when the Constitution was written In that time, men could go into their own business. They could follow farming and they could do this and that. Today, young men in college are not planning on individual development, as much as getting a job. They have someone else raise the money, and then they do the work. And men haven't the freedom because big business doesn't give it to them.

-Jeanette Rankin, interview (1977)

http://content.cdlib.org/ark:/13030/kt758005dx/

Rankin, running as a Republican Progressive, was the first woman voted to congress

Thorfinnsson , says: June 1, 2018 at 9:17 pm GMT
@jacques sheete

What's right about it?

It's objectively true.

I make it in response to dweebs panicking about DEBT levels, failing to realize that debt repayments don't just vanish into the ether.

Thorfinnsson , says: June 1, 2018 at 9:19 pm GMT
@reiner Tor

Your points are all reasonable.

Which means I have a new group of enemies who must be destroyed.

Van Doren , says: June 1, 2018 at 9:21 pm GMT
@Hyperborean

What is the usual precedence for people involved in this kind of mountainous collapse?

Donate to the Clinton Foundation.

jacques sheete , says: June 1, 2018 at 9:22 pm GMT
@Sam Shama

Sam, in your honor, I dug this up for you. It pretty funny stuff, though in a jejune sorta way.

Opinion
Debt Is Good

By Paul Krugman

https://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/21/opinion/paul-krugman-debt-is-good-for-the-economy.html

Daniel Chieh , says: June 1, 2018 at 9:25 pm GMT
@Wally

It was inspired by Kevin Spacy, of course. And sadly, it actually seemed to have worked for him.

(((They))) Live , says: June 1, 2018 at 9:26 pm GMT
@Thorfinnsson

Your second attempt is far better but you're still too high on the recharge cost, have another go at it

After that try to figure out the difference in maintenance costs over the life of the truck, if you can get these numbers right it will start to make sense to you

Joe Wong , says: June 1, 2018 at 9:33 pm GMT
@Yevardian

There are no shares available to short

There are hundreds of thousands shares of TSLA available for short and the short fee rate was 3.14% at the end of Friday (2018-06-01), is this article a short pump like Muddy Water kind of analysis?

(((They))) Live , says: June 1, 2018 at 9:33 pm GMT
@manorchurch

Yeah I do see your point on fusion, its only a matter of time before some nerd or a group of nerds crack it, but I suspect the future will be powered by Solar PV, the cost keeps dropping and its easy and quick to install

Johnny Rico , says: June 1, 2018 at 9:37 pm GMT
@reiner Tor

Wow. This is really some utopian nightmare shit.

I'm already not allowed to smoke crack. Now I won't be allowed to inhale diesel fumes. What next? No napalm in the morning?

This really sounds awful. Don't take it personally.

Thorfinnsson , says: June 1, 2018 at 9:39 pm GMT
@jacques sheete

That's what they tell us. They always try to bullshit us.

If you don't accept the audited figures of the Treasury Department, it's not possible to discuss TARP's profitability unless you have other figures which suggest the government suffered a loss.

Which in macroeconomic terms wouldn't have been a bad thing at the time (stimulus), but certainly would increase the injustice.

And where do the wealthy get their money? At whose expense do they obtain their monopolies and monopsonies and oligopolies and oligopsonies?

https://www.forbes.com/forbes-400/#510a42da7e2f

#1 – Software, specifically PC operating systems and office software
#2 – Online retail and webhosting
#3 – Investing, largest operations being manufacturing, transportation (BNSF), and insurance
#4 – Social media (advertising)
#5 – Enterprise software (databases)
#6 – Diversified, but mostly energy
#8 – Financial news
#9 – Search (advertising)
#10 – Search (advertising)

I can go into more detail on each.

Bill Gates: IBM fucked up and let him own DOS

Jeff Bezos: Raised capital from venture capital and an IPO, financed expansion thereafter out of cashflow. Net worth is also inflated based on an unrealistic expectation of hockey stick earnings trajectory.

Suckerberg: Stole the idea from the Winkelvoss twins, raised capital from VC. Lucked out when MySpace turned into a black ghetto.

Larry Ellison: Unsure if VC was involved, IPO in '86 was essential. Came out with the best database during the critical 90s

Koch Bros: Bizarrely, their empire owes its existence to Stalin's Five Year Plan: http://exiledonline.com/a-peoples-history-of-koch-industries-how-stalin-funded-the-tea-party-movement/

Bloomberg: Came out with a superior product for traders who had never used computers before

Page & Brin: Superior search product, raised seed money through VC, universities, and military-industrial complex

The people who "suffer"? Consumers and competitors. Though hard to see how Jeff Bezos harms consumers. Likewise the real consumers of Facebook and Google (advertisers) don't suffer either (the suckers who use the platforms are a different story).

Do you really not think the US is devolving into a 2 class society?

When did I say it isn't? Might be more than two classes, but I basically agree and so do the data.

Pettigrew describes a time which is somewhat like our own.

As for Rankin, blaming "Big Business" for this is more or less a tautology. The idealized freedom of early America was possible because of the boundless amounts of land. Capital tends to concentration, and this wasn't actually a novel observation by Marx. People have known this for thousands of years.

The mid-20th century was an odd time of relative egalitarianism which developed out of unique historical conditions. It's not likely to be repeated.

Mike P , says: June 1, 2018 at 9:40 pm GMT
@manorchurch

manorchurch, the other day you kindly promised to ignore me in the future. Please abide by it, or at least refrain from answering my comments, if all you have to offer is name-calling. Thank you.

Stan d Mute , says: June 1, 2018 at 9:41 pm GMT

I hardly know where to begin

Let's start at home, in DETROIT, where apparently this writer has never visited except on the pages of Car & Driver. Roger Smith? Are you kidding? Detroit is the world capital of incompetence. Roger Smith? Why not Ford's "genius" Donald Petersen (who publicly admitted being a Mensa member)?

I sold robots to Detroit in the 80's. If you never entered an assembly plant or parts plant, you should shut the fuck up about what they were then or now. I have dealt with every type of manufacturing and most types of service company in my career, none have been remotely as dysfunctional as auto manufacturing.

Re Tesla, yes, the Model 3 is following the Model X and original Roadster into a crapfest. But the fanboys don't care. The Model S can still smoke a Ferrari in the 1/4mi. So the pop media will continue giving Musk a pass and the gearheads (real ones anyway) will continue to marvel (but probably never buy). I would be shocked if our pathetic anarcho-tyrannical government found the balls to call Musk on his shenanigans especially given its own shenanigans with Government Motors and the UAW.

You mention Ford Europe but not GM (Opel & Vauxhall), wonder why..

Bob Lutz? The dude's like 90 now. Come on. I can walk to his house and see if he knows whether he's home or not if it helps. But I haven't seen him on a motorcycle in years or flying for years and those are his passions in life.

And Ford? Have you ever really looked at the results of a feng shui Chairman on an industrial company like ole Henry built? The apples have fallen very far from the tree. Handing the reigns to Mark Field, who lives in Naples, Florida, was a typically incompetent move by feng shui Billy (the landscaping at his house occupies him apparently more than the functionality of his great grandfathers company). Put it like this, Ford is every bit as competently run as it's sister company the Detroit Lions. Class B stock!

The only things I can endorse in this piece are (1) Toyota has its shit together more than Detroit (or Honda apparently given their incompetence in F1), and (2) electrics will not fully replace internal combustion without government mandates (what kind of idiot would buy a Model S over the slower Ferrari V12s)?

Thorfinnsson , says: June 1, 2018 at 9:43 pm GMT
@(((They))) Live

Tesla Tier 2 Supercharger cost is 25 cents a kilowatt hour in most states. What's wrong with the figure?

In theory an EV has lower maintenance costs owing to the absence of an internal combustion engine and complex transmission. In practice Teslas have higher maintenance costs than conventional vehicles owing to their poor quality control.

Thorfinnsson , says: June 1, 2018 at 9:59 pm GMT
@Stan d Mute

Let's start at home, in DETROIT, where apparently this writer has never visited except on the pages of Car & Driver. Roger Smith? Are you kidding? Detroit is the world capital of incompetence. Roger Smith?

By your own admission, Elon Musk chose to copy Roger Smith's disastrous manufacturing strategy of the 1980s. It's likely he had never heard of this, as if he had he would not have proceeded with the "alien dreadnought".

Why not Ford's "genius" Donald Petersen (who publicly admitted being a Mensa member)?

During Petersen's time in the Ford C-suite the company introduced the Taurus, Escort (North America), and Explorer.

I sold robots to Detroit in the 80's. If you never entered an assembly plant or parts plant, you should shut the fuck up about what they were then or now. I have dealt with every type of manufacturing and most types of service company in my career, none have been remotely as dysfunctional as auto manufacturing.

I have visited a number of assembly plants.

Probably a salesman (actually, a lot of salesmen) thirty years younger than you sold robots to Musk.

The global auto industry, warts and all, produced almost one hundred million cars last year. What other industry produces complex machines on such a massive scale?

You mention Ford Europe but not GM (Opel & Vauxhall), wonder why..

I'm well aware GM gave up on Europe. None the less "New GM" has posted a cumulative of $70 billion in profits since it and Tesla IPO'd in the same year.

Bob Lutz? The dude's like 90 now. Come on. I can walk to his house and see if he knows whether he's home or not if it helps. But I haven't seen him on a motorcycle in years or flying for years and those are his passions in life.

This article is now three years old, but still timely: https://www.roadandtrack.com/car-culture/a26859/bob-lutz-tesla/

Other than the hybrid diversion (last thing Tesla needs), what about this is wrong?

And Ford? Have you ever really looked at the results of a feng shui Chairman on an industrial company like ole Henry built? The apples have fallen very far from the tree. Handing the reigns to Mark Field, who lives in Naples, Florida, was a typically incompetent move by feng shui Billy (the landscaping at his house occupies him apparently more than the functionality of his great grandfathers company). Put it like this, Ford is every bit as competently run as it's sister company the Detroit Lions. Class B stock!

Bill Ford is indeed a dipshit. He's even a vegan .

None the less Ford manages to build six million cars a year and has vast resources.

As you allude to later, it's not just Ford and GM. There are lots of automakers with vast resources.

The only things I can endorse in this piece are (1) Toyota has its shit together more than Detroit (or Honda apparently given their incompetence in F1), and (2) electrics will not fully replace internal combustion without government mandates (what kind of idiot would buy a Model S over the slower Ferrari V12s)?

Toyota is late to the EV party. But I have a feeling it won't take them long to catch up with their eleven-figure annual profits and $25 billion in the bank.

(((They))) Live , says: June 1, 2018 at 9:59 pm GMT
@Thorfinnsson

Its wrong because you assume the Megachargers will be priced the same, we don't know this yet

Second I suspect most of the trucks will be charged over night for far less than 25cents per kilowatt, the Tesla truck will easily beat Diesel trucks on running costs, no doubt about that IMO, thats why Tesla have over 2000 orders, the industry won't be slow to dump the ICE

Stan d Mute , says: June 1, 2018 at 10:03 pm GMT
@(((They))) Live

with Tesla any brand its a bad idea to buy the first cars built, wait for six months or a year until they have fixed all the problems, after that I think the quality is far better

FIFY

BTW, you can see this play out in the market if you watch the manufacturer auctions. Look at the number of manufacturer buyback units in the lanes.

Thorfinnsson , says: June 1, 2018 at 10:06 pm GMT
@(((They))) Live

The megacharger is vaporware and does not exist.

But, true, we don't know what the price will be yet.

If charged overnight you're right, though again those trucks won't come from Tesla.

Diesel trucks could match these energy costs by adopting combined cycle hybrid powertrains, and perhaps moving to natural gas. Of course then the upfront capital cost advantage presumably disappears.

The "orders" (truck is vaporware and will never enter production) might be down to running costs, but don't forget hype and trend following.

Charlie Munger likes to talk about when in the 80s Exxon bought a fertilizer company. All of the other oil majors followed and bought their own fertilizer plants. It turned into a fiasco.

This truck could enter production if he can find an OEM to partner with: https://www.thortrucks.com

Johnny Rico , says: June 1, 2018 at 10:08 pm GMT

http://takimag.com/article/hey_look_im_driving_a_giant_iphone_joe_bob_briggs#axzz5HDJdn59t

Joe Wong , says: June 1, 2018 at 10:14 pm GMT
@Hyperborean

Tesla and SpaceX are the shiny stars of the American technology, it cannot fail in front of the rising power of China. Most of the Americans believe in that and pinning their hope on Musk to turn Make American Great dream come true.

(((They))) Live , says: June 1, 2018 at 10:18 pm GMT
@Thorfinnsson

I don't think it fair to call the Megachargers vapourware, they will be built

Why won't the Tesla trucks be charged over night ?

ah OK you think the whole thing is never going to happen, fair enough only time will tell I suppose, but if Tesla show even a small profit by the end of the year they will last until 2019 and we will see the trucks on the road

Stan d Mute , says: June 1, 2018 at 10:23 pm GMT
@(((They))) Live

Second I suspect most of the trucks will be charged over night for far less than 25cents per kilowatt, the Tesla truck will easily beat Diesel trucks on running costs, no doubt about that IMO, thats why Tesla have over 2000 orders, the industry won't be slow to dump the ICE

They need to develop roadside swappable batteries or inductive charging while underway before we see OTR tractor widespread adoption. 2K units is nothing in that market. And unlike early adopters of electric autos, early adopters of electric tractors will be betting their livelihood on the reliability of the machine and range is a much bigger issue since even city trucks are frequently run all day every day. Also, have they come up with reefer trailers (or boxes) yet?

(((They))) Live , says: June 1, 2018 at 10:25 pm GMT
@Joe Wong

SpaceX is very different to Tesla, Teslas future is in doubt, SpaceX clearly lead the world in rocket technology, most people think Musk is bullshitting about sending people to Mars but he's well on the way now, the only company close to SpaceX is Blue Origin and they won't reach orbit until 2020 if it all goes well for them

Thorfinnsson , says: June 1, 2018 at 10:36 pm GMT
@(((They))) Live

Has anyone seen a Tesla Megacharger? It doesn't exist. Hence it's vaporware. That doesn't mean it couldn't be built or anything, obviously there's nothing intrinsically impossible about producing a megawatt charger.

Why won't the Tesla trucks be charged over night ?

My prediction is that long haul trucking will move towards using trucks 24 hours a day once self-driving technology gets good enough and the human driver can sleep on the road. Letting a truck sit overnight is such a waste.

Alternatively fleets can swap drivers, but obviously that's a bit complicated which is why it's not really done now. Plus in North America at least most trucks are owner-operated (different in Europe of course, don't know how it works in Asia).

ah OK you think the whole thing is never going to happen, fair enough only time will tell I suppose, but if Tesla show even a small profit by the end of the year they will last until 2019 and we will see the trucks on the road

Tesla has already admitted the truck is not currently under "active development", which gets to the heart of the problem of the company. They've obviously proven they can engineer great products and have tremendous star power, but they're not very good at anything else.

Based on Tesla's production track record it's exceedingly unlikely they'll post a profit at the end of this year.

That's not to say there won't be electric trucks. You've already made a great case as to why there will be electric trucks.

manorchurch , says: June 1, 2018 at 10:46 pm GMT
@Mike P

I take it back. Nutjobs should always be jeered at.

Dmitry , says: June 1, 2018 at 10:46 pm GMT

Luxury manufacturer Jaguar is releasing an electric car – competition for Tesla already from this year.

The advantage that Tesla will have in competition, is the access to Supercharger fasting charging network across a lot of Europe and America.

utu , says: June 1, 2018 at 11:00 pm GMT
@(((They))) Live

25cents per kilowatt

That's expensive. 25cents to lit ten 100W bulbs for one second only.

Semperluctor , says: June 1, 2018 at 11:25 pm GMT
@Thorfinnsson

The suicidal Tesla was a convert to Islam. Belgium's full of them. Lucky that it did not try to board a train like that crazy shooter in the Clint Eastwood film.

Miro23 , says: June 1, 2018 at 11:28 pm GMT
@Thorfinnsson

True enough, but they have a very monopolistic look about them. On the one hand monopolies are great (very profitable) but on the other, they allow price gouging since there's no competition – hence the legislation.

Monopolies can delay the fateful day by buying politicians ( the present bought and paid for Congress), but longer term they need a dictatorship (of the proletariat, of big business, or Counter Culturals or Zionists or anything really) to shut down the public, with some kind of "Homeland Security" to detain dissidents.

This is where we are now, with the antidote being the breakup of the Union. Each Federal State fixes its own spending, taxation and debt issuance (disowning the FED), and requires by law, active citizen participation and voting to determine policy (e.g. no votes or budget for an Iran war).

Anon , [257] Disclaimer says: June 1, 2018 at 11:34 pm GMT
@Thorfinnsson

I agree that the mid 20th century middle working class was anomaly that will never be repeated unless a miracle happens and the US population goes down to 20o million

Chase , says: June 1, 2018 at 11:46 pm GMT
@Sam Shama

As if mortgage finance preceded people living in homes. And forget all the bullshit spewed about how much home ownership is indispensable for a society: American culture (people enjoying the actual way they live) was far better pre-1900 than it is today.

Van Doren , says: June 2, 2018 at 12:05 am GMT
@narrenspeise

Munro estimated Model 3 production cost at 41k. He said, that the car wasn't designed for efficient production. Materials are not everything.

mark green , says: June 2, 2018 at 12:18 am GMT

One additional nail in Tesla's coffin could conceivably come from the failure of Global Warming to materialize as predicted. Indeed, the 17-year-long 'pause' in global warming continues, even though the amount of CO2 in the Earth's atmosphere is now beyond 400 ppm.

Yet, to date, there have been no environmental catastrophies tied to anthropogenic global warming. Dire predictions from the 'warmist community' have been a bust.

Keep in mind also that the natural forces and variables that steer our planet's climate and weather are immense and, in some cases, not fully understood. Mysteries abound. The interactive effects of these natural forces are chaotic, unpredictable, and presently beyond the reach of even any supercomputer. Climate mysteries continue.

If catastrophic, anthropogenic global warming does not arrive as predicted (very possible) then the carbon taxes and pro-EV tax breaks might come to a sudden and surprising halt. This will further undermine Tesla's rent-seeking economic strategy.

дулебг , says: June 2, 2018 at 12:26 am GMT

It seems Tesla is going to defile the name of famous inventor? His name shall be the synonym for the smart selling of sweet foam, in an extremely advanced packaging. Will the Tesla family sue EM for this shame?

Stan d Mute , says: June 2, 2018 at 1:00 am GMT
@Thorfinnsson

By your own admission, Elon Musk chose to copy Roger Smith's disastrous manufacturing strategy of the 1980s. It's likely he had never heard of this, as if he had he would not have proceeded with the "alien dreadnought".

Not at all. Smith's epic failure wasn't in attempting to automate, but in attempting to change Detroit. The robots weren't the problem. They put wheels on cars and torqued the lug nuts. They welded panels. They tacked off primed bodies before being painted. They applied paint and clear coat. The problem was in the laborers who worked the floor and sabotaged the robots or simply just didn't do their jobs.

I've seen hundreds of auto workers asleep on the assembly line. Asleep. Or nodding off on dope. Massive signs in Ford bathrooms "employees caught using drugs on premise will be referred". Books have surely been written on the insanity of the UAW. If not, there's a mountain of material just waiting.

I had constant customer calls in the 80's about workers screwing up my robots and destroying both units on the line as well as severely damaging my machines, taking them out of operation (and thus stopping the line) until I could send crews to fix them. Routine maintenance wasn't done either and fully half the machines were less than useless at any given time, resulting in rework rates that were no better than before the machines were installed.

But this isn't 1987.

And as for Petersen – Mustang fox platform.

Dmitry , says: June 2, 2018 at 1:07 am GMT
@mark green

Electric vehicles are a more energy efficient form of transport, so it will be cheaper in the long-term scale – whether there is man-made global warming or not. There would be less chance for subsidies in the latter case, but the intrinsically more energy efficient transport will eventually win on costs without subsidies.

Although main advantage in my opinion is more simply moving emission fumes away from population centers.

Stan d Mute , says: June 2, 2018 at 1:18 am GMT
@Thorfinnsson

Alternatively fleets can swap drivers, but obviously that's a bit complicated which is why it's not really done now. Plus in North America at least most trucks are owner-operated (different in Europe of course, don't know how it works in Asia).

Driving teams are common as chrome in the OTR biz. It's another major obstacle for electrics as a diesel fill takes 20 minutes and the rig is back on the road with one team member snoozing in the sleeper and one behind the wheel. JIT manufacturing and produce demand it.

Self driving OTR tractors are an interesting subject. Who will insure them? Private auto liability is one thing, company owned tractors are another. My belief is that government would have to step in and limit liability claims against AI drivers for this to ever work. And with the Democratic Party run by trial lawyers

L.A. , says: June 2, 2018 at 1:30 am GMT

DARPA's 5G End Game For Humanity

Excerpt

"Elon Musk is now warning that unless we want to become these computer's "pets", we must ourselves merge with AI (artificial intelligence). Intel says that by 2020 human brains will contain chips which will run the computers to "prevent" this AI takeover.

These kinds of fear-provoking statements reflect the old Masonic project advancement technique of problem-reaction-solution, or Ordo Ab Chao (Order out of Chaos). They first create a problem, then fix it with a Draconian solution which will advance their Great Work of Ages or New World Order."

https://hendersonlefthook.wordpress.com/2018/05/31/darpas-5g-end-game-for-humanity/#comments

Sam Shama , says: June 2, 2018 at 1:53 am GMT
@jacques sheete

Yes, thank you. It was one of the very central ideas Krugman wanted to drive home, particularly for David Brooks' readership.

You insist on calling it funny, which is your prerogative. A sense of humour is rather a personal taste, and I do understand your position. Better than you or I go into the same routine, it might better serve purposes to take a squint at some of the top comments:

Ron Mitchell
Dubin, CAAug. 21, 2015
Times Pick
Our Federal Budget is around $3.5 Trillion. Our GDP (national income) is around $20 Trillion. Our nations net worth (savings and investments) is around $80 Trillion. There is plenty of money available to borrow. If Growth exceeds investments then the nation makes a profit.

122 Recommend

Joe From Boston
MassachusettsAug. 21, 2015
Times Pick
For all those fiscal conservative who have a big problem with government debt (but who assure us that the government should behave like our individual households), consider this:

Private debt for economically sound purposes, like buying a home or building a business, that are expected to provide an economic return, are reasonable debts.

Private debt for reasons that have, or are expected to provide, no economic return, like going on a fancy vacation, are not reasonable debts if they endanger one's ability to pay them back. I was raised with the precept that "if you can't afford it, don't buy it."

Can you conservatives kindly explain why debt to build infrastructure that we clearly need, like roads, bridges, the tunnel under the Hudson for Amtrak, and so forth, are UNREASONABLE? They will generate an excess economic return, as history has shown, for example with the interstate road system and the railroads. They will also generate jobs that can only be performed by local personnel, typically AMERICANS

David desJardins
Burlingame CAAug. 21, 2015
Times Pick
Maybe we should also mention that the balance sheet of the US government is strongly positive. The tangible assets it owns (even ignoring future tax revenue) are worth much more than its debt. Calling the government broke is like calling a homeowner broke because he has a $1 million mortgage on his $3 million home.

14 Replies 798 Recommend

Stan d Mute , says: June 2, 2018 at 1:54 am GMT
@Thorfinnsson

This article is now three years old, but still timely: https://www.roadandtrack.com/car-culture/a26859/bob-lutz-tesla/

Other than the hybrid diversion (last thing Tesla needs), what about this is wrong?

Um, $2/gal gas?

Detroit does this again and again and again. They were too stupid to see that the Minority Mortgage Meltdown (TM Steve Sailer) would stuff their business model. Too stupid to see that rising fuel prices would stuff their reliance on pickups and body-on-frame SUVs for profitability. Too stupid to see that models like the Taurus, apparently designed solely for fleet sales, were unwanted by consumers who preferred the reliability of a Camry. In the mid 2000's, dealers were dumping MSO SUV units at auction below factory invoice – years before the financial collapse.

GM's recent profits are entirely at the expense of communities hosting derelict abandoned toxic sites that were formerly GM factories as well as non-UAW labor retirees who lost everything. Thanks Obola Feral Government. No matter, Detroit incompetence will restore the status quo soon enough. Saturn 2 maybe? A new, new type of car company..

Fuel prices are heading sharply back north at the same time the manufacturers are abandoning sedans for SUVs and crossovers. Future "clunkers" when that Feral program is rebooted.

As for the rush to EVs, it's ONLY due to Tesla's market valuation that Detroit is producing crap like Volt/Bolt. I've seen Ford admit this and I'm sure GM is on the same wavelength since independent thought in Detroit died the day Heinz Prechter blew his brains out. Soon enough I expect to see local storage lots filled with Bolt/Volt/Jolt/Dolt models just like they used to be filled with EV-1s.

Mark Presco , says: Website June 2, 2018 at 2:43 am GMT

Since the comments have gone off topic, let me expound on a proposal I submitted in 2001. I believe there is a low tech device that can be used to generate electricity from fusion.

Build a "box" big enough and strong enough to contain a full blown thermal nuclear explosion.

Such a box could also generate electricity from the permanent disposal of high level nuclear waste such as spent fuel rods.

If you insist, I'll publish the proposal and some of the responses.

Anonymous , [400] Disclaimer says: June 2, 2018 at 4:41 am GMT
@Thorfinnsson

Those people you list owe their fortunes to network effect monopolies. Their fortunes are based on rent-seeking due to the network effect aka network externality aka natural monopoly.

A tax on net assets at a rate equal to the rate of interest on the national debt that eliminates other forms of taxation will mitigate this private sector rent seeking and help restore the egalitarian middle class society of the mid 20th century.

Mikel , says: June 2, 2018 at 5:46 am GMT
@Thorfinnsson

The economic damage to the middle and working classes have been caused by five things

No. Those things worsen the situation but are more or less reversible. What is really painful and persists generation after generation is the cyclical nature of our economic pattern of growth. When financial bubbles periodically collapse they cause a great deal of human suffering, even to the rich, but I don't believe that there is any natural law that demands that economic growth must proceed through cycles of general expansion and general collapse. At the same time, these "business cycles" of bubbles and crashes are difficult to imagine in a world without fractional reserve banking.

Now, I don't know what the exact disadvantages of a full reserve banking system would be. My knowledge is limited and I haven't had the time to think or read about it in depth. But I get the impression that academics mostly avoid discussing this issue. The fractional reserve banking issue is generally (though not always) brought up by Libertarians so some appear to consider it an unworthy matter of debate. Still, if we could manage to avoid the plague of economic crises and depressions, we would all be much better off, regardless of all those income distributions trends.

Che Guava , says: June 2, 2018 at 10:33 am GMT
@Mike P

I iike the way Aldrin was physically attacking a 'Moon-landings never happened' type some years ago.

OTOH, unlike your other intelocutor, I find the arguments interesting.

You use a very weak point, once out of the Earth's gravity well, it is taking little energy to go further.

More interesting is that all of the Apollo astronauts (except the ones burnt on the launch pad) had relatively long lives.

As you also say, why no radiation effects?

I have a nice program on my phone, from Russia, it is a 'day of the ISS'.

When I am watching it, I try to study Russian Cyrillic, but also thinking 'this looks like a space-ship, but it is not going anywhere, except low orbit.'

Roscosmos was offering an Apollo 8 style flight around the Moon on a modern Soyuz for many years, of course, very expensive, but well within the means of space-fan tech billionaires and many others

No such flight was ever booked, surprising to me, and it is no longer on offer, AFAIK.

Why?

Unlike you, I won't say 'the Moon landings never happened', but

Hell, O.J.Simpson did a Moon-landimg in Capricorn 1、

Cold N. Holefield , says: Website June 2, 2018 at 11:43 am GMT

Another reason Tesla is a failed business model and always was, as any auto manufacturing start-up would be at this juncture, is the fact that as a species Human has reached Peak Mobility. We're on the downside of Mobility now due to resource constraints. Mobility from here on out will only increase in virtual world electronically via bits & bytes. And hey, they're working on Teleportation so who knows, in 40 years Scotty may be beaming us to the gold mines in the Congo where we can direct the African slaves digging away in the dirt to exactly which nuggets we want for our gold toilets.

EVs have had forever now to prove themselves and sorry, it's just never going to happen. The next latest & greatest technology related to Mobility is in The Pipeline and EVs were squashed by the auto manufacturers for far too long to the point it missed the Opportunity Window for scalable implementation.

If the Elite want the next latest & greatest in Mobility Technology, they're going to have to pay dearly for it rather than doing what they've done in the past and roll out scalable perverted facsimiles of the technology to the masses in order to subsidize their Bells & Whistles versions. That can't & won't happen with this next wave of cutting edge Mobility Technology. It will be for the Elite only, and the Elite will have to pay dearly for it.

Cold N. Holefield , says: Website June 2, 2018 at 11:56 am GMT

The Working Class was, and still is, its own worst enemy. It bought into the Myth that their Precious Little Darlings were all Einsteins waiting to Self-Actualize and so they spent gobs of their hard-earned money to send those Precious Little Darlings to University to kick-start that process of Einsteinatization.

Guess what? It never materialized. Surprise-Surprise!!! Their Precious Little Darlings, as it turns out, weren't Einsteins afterall, but instead Unremarkable Cube Monkeys, Corporate Catamites if you will, with worthless diplomas versus diploma-less Factory Floor Workers with the only difference being, as a Cube Monkey you get to press the Internet Levers all day as a perk and if you press the right ones, you get a banana, a rarity, if you're lucky.

How did The Working Class expect to maintain itself if the jobs it was working weren't good enough for the Little Einsteins it was raising? By virtue of this fact, it forfeited any right to complain about its jobs disappearing since it fueled the demand-destruction of those jobs in mythologically believing its progeny were too good for such ignoble endeavors.

Mike P , says: June 2, 2018 at 12:04 pm GMT
@Che Guava

You use a very weak point, once out of the Earth's gravity well, it is taking little energy to go further.

The point is that near Earth orbit is still within the gravity well; reaching Earth orbit takes only a small fraction of the energy required to actually leave the well.

As you also say, why no radiation effects?

Not necessarily radiation effects, but lunar missions should have resulted in measurably higher readings on the dosimeters than Earth orbit missions.

Echoes of History , says: June 2, 2018 at 1:43 pm GMT

Bicycles are the only advancement in human transportation.

Cars are actually slower. Slow as walking.

The model American puts in 1600 hours to get 7500 miles: less than five miles per hour. In countries deprived of a transportation industry, people manage to do the same, walking wherever they want to go, and they allocate only 3 to 8 percent of their society's time budget to traffic instead of 28 percent.

Ivan Illich on Cars
http://www.ranprieur.com/readings/illichcars.html

Now, cars are even net slower than they were in the 1970s when Illich wrote that.

manorchurch , says: June 2, 2018 at 3:13 pm GMT
@Mark Presco

I salute your inventiveness, Mark. However, I believe the "thermonuclear containment box", while useful for small applications, produces a mere googol of terawatts over a 1500-year lifetime of power production.

Compare that trivial output to that of the "Congress-critter containment box", which produces a googolplex of terawatts over an eternal lifetime. I think you'll agree that nothing matches the pure heat output of massed Congressional representatives. Throw in their loyal staffs, and the people of Earth could spend weekends in the Andromeda galaxy, while never lacking for air-conditioning.

But, do keep inventing, Mark. And send a few bucks every week to your loyal, hard-working Congressperson.

(((They))) Live , says: June 2, 2018 at 3:37 pm GMT
@Van Doren

A German company also did a tear down of the Model 3, they came up with $18K materials and $10K labour costs

Philip Owen , says: June 2, 2018 at 7:11 pm GMT

The roof tiles raised some eye brows here in Wales. Tata Steel (& predecessors) has been developing them for over 10 years. The problem is not a PV layer. The problem is that 20 years of neglect on a roof requires very good coating technology. Even coloured tiles, where Tata is teçhnical leader, are quite demanding. Very few good players.

Philip Owen , says: June 2, 2018 at 7:24 pm GMT
@Dmitry

The electricity that EV's consume will have been subject to large conversion losses and large transmission losses. Overall natural gas well/çoal mine to rubber on the road needs economic renewables or baseload nukes to make sense.

Philip Owen , says: June 2, 2018 at 7:58 pm GMT
@manorchurch

Biological hydrogen (think methane and ammonia) is the likely route if hydrogen ever becomes economic. There are production sites now and a UK railway company plans fuel cell locomotives shortly. That said locos are going out of fashion in favour of mixed multiple units, Japanese style (electric or diesel under every alternate cars). No good for a US freight railway.

edNels , says: June 2, 2018 at 8:00 pm GMT
@Thorfinnsson

Electric trucks are a particularly dumb idea other than niche applications like port trucking (where you could just build a narrow gauge railroad instead)

.
The electric trucks will start at the port like the containers did, then spread out with the help of rebuilt hiway systems dedicated to that development I think. Steel rails were great in their day, (before there was digital systems to guide vehicles precisely and reliably,) that is what they do by restraining the wheels to a particular long pre-established rote path. (Some switching is allowed, little as possible.)

Rubber tire is king now. Check out the robots in this video of automatic port.

Not how all the wheels steer for tight turning, and they are slow for now, but will speed up later.

New rail road loading/discharge near the ships are automated too, double stacked etc.

Narrow gauge is for mines in the old days, and amusement parks.

Philip Owen , says: June 2, 2018 at 8:08 pm GMT
@Thorfinnsson

And they are expected to last a lot longer so amortization will be over 20+ years. Which is why they may become taxis for the masses while only the rich, the rural and petrolheads own personal vehicles.

Dmitry , says: June 2, 2018 at 9:01 pm GMT
@Philip Owen

Electric motor is (a lot) more efficient at converting electrical energy to mechanical energy, than internal combustion engine conversion of the chemical energy in hydrocarbon, into thermal energy, into mechanical energy .

You're right, there is a trick here.

The electrical energy itself has to be produced (and transported and stored).

But natural gas, coal, fuel oil, and even petroleum electricity generation, then to electric motor, is still not only a much more efficient energy conversion process (than the ICE), but there are far more various sources– while sources of petroleum are limited, and in many places require long transportation to even get to the market.

The funny part is that, even with an extra step forward and a step backward, petroleum electricity generation, to the electric motor, will still be more efficient use of petrol to mechanical energy conversion (as far efficiency of the initial power station conversion is so much better than the engine in the car).

And we can already see reflected in the market the end of the whole comparison – in lower costs per kilometer traveled in an electric vehicle than an internal combustion engine powered vehicle.

Mike P , says: June 2, 2018 at 10:15 pm GMT
@Che Guava

On second thought, your objection to my gravity argument has merit – I neglected the kinetic energy of the Earth orbit, which already amounts to roughly one half of the energy required to leave Earth's gravity. Still, if we assume roughly equal energy expenditure for reaching Earth orbit and for going from there to the moon, then there remains a noticeable discrepancy between 1/25 payload to Earth orbit and 1/3 payload from Earth orbit to moon.

manorchurch , says: June 3, 2018 at 12:57 am GMT
@Philip Owen

Biological hydrogen (think methane and ammonia) is the likely route if hydrogen ever becomes economic.

I'm inclined to agree, emphasis on "if" hydrogen becomes the default.

There's power options enough for surface transportation and domestic electric grid. As I said, I really do suspect there is a fusion power method that will manifest itself when outages begin, and mucho money can be made.

Have you any thoughts on a replacement aircraft fuel?

JR , says: June 3, 2018 at 7:52 am GMT

On that Consumer report that has been corrected:

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/30/business/tesla-consumer-reports.html

Profitable see production cost estimates from competitors (German use google to translate), but yes that Model 3 can definitely be profitable:

https://futurezone.at/produkte/so-viel-kostet-der-tesla-model-3-in-der-produktion/400044188

reiner Tor , says: June 3, 2018 at 9:09 am GMT

One question I had in mind is what Model 3 owners think of their cars. I mean, those whose cars haven't crashed yet, which is the vast majority.

One annoying stereotype is that Tesla owners are like vegans or crossfit enthusiasts, they just can't stop talking about their hobby. This is actually a good thing for the company. Its owners destroy their own reputations to enhance that of the company. Nassim Taleb wrote that he bought a Tesla after his neighbor has had one for a couple years and was still enthusiastic about it.

So I wonder if Model 3 owners are any different.

Cat_Hair , says: June 3, 2018 at 2:40 pm GMT

Scientists and engineers have perfected the electric car.

But they're STILL having a lot of trouble with the extension cord!

Sparkon , says: June 3, 2018 at 3:37 pm GMT
@Philip Owen

The electricity that EV's [sic] consume will have been subject to large conversion losses and large transmission losses.

Y es, this is an intractable problem that is further complicated by inefficiencies introduced to the electrical grid by intermittent, unreliable power sources such as wind turbines and solar arrays. It's like using a very long, leaky hose on a gas pump to fill your tank. Some of the fuel just spills on the ground, and never makes it to your car, but you we pay for it anyway.

Batteries remain the other big problem with EVs. Current battery technology does not give EVs adequate range to make them practical for anything but local errands and light commuting. In addition, lithium ion batteries are dirty to produce, but since most of the production is done off shore and out of sight in China, the Greenies with more money than common sense can feel all virtuous and superior hauling groceries -- or zipping out to Starbucks for a frothy latte -- in their pricey EV.

Coal is our most abundant fuel. There may be several hundred years worth of coal reserves , but green propaganda has convinced many scientific ignoramuses that coal is too dirty to burn because it supposedly contributes to a build-up of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, and that might lead to runaway global warming where Earth could become like Venus.

Wc can thank Carl Sagan for some of that runaway science fiction.

The United States has about 25% of the world's proven coal reserves. We could probably be entirely energy efficient if we burned our coal, which can be done cleanly and efficiently in modern coal-fired power plants with scrubbers and other technology to remove pollution.

Irrespective of the EPA's idiotic proclamations, CO₂ is not a pollutant. However, carbon dioxide does help plants grow bigger and better while requiring less H₂O, which is the reason many greenhouse operators elevate the CO₂ levels in their growing enclosures for a real greenhouse effect from the mighty molecule.

In the meanwhile, the so-called "renewable" energy sources like wind turbines and solar arrays can't carry their own weight, and must rely on back-up conventional power plants fired by coal, oil, natural gas, or nuclear fission for when the wind doesn't blow, and the sun doesn't shine. Even with big loans and subsidies, operations like Solyndra have gone belly up, costing taxpayers $535 million for that single boondoggle alone, thanks to the poor man's friend waging his war on coal, Barrack Obama.

But of course, thorium reactors that will fit in the trunk of your EV are coming real soon now , so there's a real hot tip for all you stock market tycoons looking to make a bundle; just be careful where you stick it.

The biogenic origin of oil is a theory. The competing abiotic or abiogenic theory of the origin of petroleum argues that oil is produced naturally in the bowels of the Earth, and wells up toward the surface where it accumulates in the so-called reservoir rocks, or formations.

A mangled version of the abiogenic origin of oil was offered to the West by Thomas Gold, but most of the original work was done by Russians and Ukrainians during the Soviet era based on theories originally espoused by Von Humbolt, Mendeleev, and others in the 19th century.

(Grammar note: Never use apostrophe+s -- ('s) -- to form plural of nouns in English, except when forming the plural of lower case letters, like p's and q's).

manorchurch , says: June 3, 2018 at 5:13 pm GMT
@Sparkon

The biogenic origin of oil is a theory. The competing abiotic or abiogenic theory of the origin of petroleum argues that oil is produced naturally in the bowels of the Earth, and wells up toward the surface where it accumulates in the so-called reservoir rocks, or formations.

Jeeze, bullshit doth verily abound. Petroleum is composed of organic compounds from the breakdown of plants. First thing abiotic theory must produce is an explanation of how rocks deep in the mantle manage to produce organic compounds containing eukaryotic DNA.

Sparkon , says: June 3, 2018 at 8:52 pm GMT
@manorchurch

how rocks deep in the mantle manage to produce organic compounds containing eukaryotic DNA

I t's not a very strong argument. There are heat-loving microbes that consume oil -- and some kind of microbe eats virtually everything else -- so finding organic remains within the oil is no great surprise, and even if they don't eat it, they might get caught up in it, like Smilodon at La Brea, a cat with only 8 lives. Association does not prove causation any more than the presence of fish in the sea proves that the fish created the water.

NASA's Cassini spacecraft showed us that Saturn's moon Titan has sizable surface lakes full of ethane, methane, and propane, proving incontrovertibly that you don't need vegetation or the "breakdown of plants" to create the so-called "fossil fuels."

Saturn's smoggy moon Titan has hundreds of times more natural gas and other liquid hydrocarbons than all the known oil and natural gas reserves on Earth, scientists said today.

https://www.space.com/4968-titan-oil-earth.html

We humans are still relative ignoramuses about Earth, and have only just scratched the surface of our own planet, with the deepest drills going down only about 40,000 ft. or so, while the fabled journey to the center of the Earth would require a trip of about 4,000 miles straight down, so we aren't quite there yet, but watch out! According to climate authority, almost-President, inventor of the Internet, and green guru Al Gore, "The interior of the earth is extremely hot, several millions of degrees."

Whew! No wonder he's worried about the Earth melting.

If hydrocarbons are created naturally on Titan, there is no reason to doubt that they could be created naturally on Earth as well. In fact, as far as we can tell, hydrocarbon molecules appear to be common and widespread throughout the universe.

"Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are the most abundant complex molecules in space.

https://www.nwo.nl/en/research-and-results/research-projects/i/17/13217.html

myself , says: June 3, 2018 at 10:22 pm GMT
@Sean

As things get nasty, China will resort to overt military pressure on the rest of the world, or maybe it will give up its objective of global domination and rely on everyone being nice to it!

Economic domination, by for example China (or really anyone else) cannot be stopped or even impeded by means of military pressure or diplomatic intrigue – the two main tools favored by Washington. Biased reporting by the "Fake News Media" is even more ineffective.

What WILL WORK is what worked in the 1980s in responding to Japan's rise: the United States and Germany got their economic houses in order, and even South Korea and Taiwan aggressively ramped up their quality and productivity to get up to Japan's level.

It was a long process for all of these nations, but it was the only option.

It's still the only real option now.

Janus , says: June 4, 2018 at 12:11 am GMT
@Sam Shama

E-Trade shows a 1% Hard to Borrow fee for Tesla, which isn't really bad considering it's prorated over a year. It costs barely over a penny a day per share to short.

manorchurch , says: June 4, 2018 at 12:33 am GMT
@Sparkon

You are welcome to your delusions, my dear fellow. I no longer spend much time providing believers with contradicting fact. Go in peace.

Frederic Bastiat , says: June 4, 2018 at 3:25 pm GMT
@Thorfinnsson

Surely, one cannot blame the whole financial sector. But certain parts of it would not survive without Government bail outs every 10-20 years. Those parts are definitivly working in a parasitic manner by shifting their risks on the general public by levereging their systemic importance ("too big to fail" etc ).

Also, as one hears from some traders, the stock market is used less and less to raise fresh capital for companies but operates more like a zero sum casino game for speculators. Of course, speculation enables market liquidity but this is only useful if it supports the primary of function of raising capital for new ventures.

I have no problems with casino capitalism, since no one has to be harmed if one chooses not to participate. But lets call a spade a spade and, more importantly, let the banks bear the responsibility for their own actions. That is, risks have to be shifted back to bank owners by higher equity requirements and, possibly, stricter punishments for financial misbehavior. Some kind of regulation is also needed in order to enable the regulating authorities to swiftly enforce bankruptcy proceedings without hampering the systemic functions that the financial sectors provides (by some pre-structering of bank operations or something similar).

Che Guava , says: June 4, 2018 at 4:34 pm GMT

Glad that you were seeing my point.

I don't see where the 1/25 and 1/3 mass ratios come from.

Philip Owen , says: June 4, 2018 at 8:39 pm GMT
@manorchurch

Unbelievably, there is talk of electric aeroplanes. I think this implies a turbine somewhere with other systems such as propellers to be electric. Enough kerosene can always be grown in a field.

Meanwhile, I am actually putting commercial effort into Thorium. Supplying the materials for a molten salt reactor to be exact.

Philip Owen , says: June 4, 2018 at 8:44 pm GMT
@Sparkon

I just mentioned thorium elsewhere. I am doing work in the field.

EV's. A product of inattention when using a tablet, which forces apostrophes where they are not wanted. That said, when actually typing they come mechanically from my fingers at times. I have glaucoma so proof reading is not a strength.

manorchurch , says: June 5, 2018 at 12:53 am GMT
@Philip Owen

Unbelievably, there is talk of electric aeroplanes. I think this implies a turbine somewhere with other systems such as propellers to be electric. Enough kerosene can always be grown in a field.

I figure the first sign of true petroleum depletion will be restrictions on air travel by the unwashed and unanointed. Only the government, and the military, of course, will be entitled to air travel. It takes an awful lot of field-grown kerosene to fly airplanes.

Thorium will work for safe reactors. I'm still betting on fusion.

(((They))) Live , says: June 5, 2018 at 1:31 am GMT

204 comments in and nobody has spotted Thorfinnsson's biggest mistake

Thats low energy, SAD

Medvedev , says: June 5, 2018 at 7:33 am GMT

Musk and his accomplishments, views serves as an aspiration to our generation.
The big problem with his views – HE RUNS A BUSINESS AS A TECH STARTUP. In tech scale is not a problem, you can scale from thousands to millions to hundreds of millions or even billions of users (Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp etc) in a relatively short period of time. In tech you can literally deliver "crap" fast, lacking most of the functionality, but be the first one to capture the market and gradually improve and patch the system.
If he had partnered with big car manufacturer he could have delivered on promises by now. And have a successful enterprise in partnership with big car manufacturer.

manorchurch , says: June 5, 2018 at 3:36 pm GMT
@(((They))) Live

204 comments in and nobody has spotted Thorfinnsson's biggest mistake

Writing his opinion and submitting it?

anon , [302] Disclaimer says: June 5, 2018 at 11:18 pm GMT

The theory of reflexivity is of limited use in my experience. However TSLA is an example of positive reflexivity. As such it can 'defy gravity' for an unknown period, and is immune to normal valuation metrics, I consider it un-investable.

Listening to their annual meeting, this is a cause as much as a business. A lot of owners are stockholders and vice versa. Its market cap is $50 Billion. GM is $60 B and F is $47 B.

I could see it raising a LOT of capital and think it has a runway beyond the model 3. They just need to scrape by with the 3. Fanbois will tolerate no profits for a long time.

The meeting was more like a revival than a business meeting. For many of the reasons that GM and F are bad businesses. TSLA is on a tilted playing field. Consumer Reports changing its recommendation? It wouldn't happen for anyone else. TSLA gets away with things that GM and Toyota have been fined billions for.

anon , [302] Disclaimer says: June 5, 2018 at 11:30 pm GMT

Tesla is burning through one billion per quarter and is likely to run out of cash this year

I haven't checked their cash burn, but $1B a quarter? Other than issuing equity, they could do a convertible preferred again or a rights offering.

A flood of competition is inbound

This is the only risk I can see getting traction. The other stuff won't happen until after it fails.
I started looking into this as a short–but it seems suicidal. You could be both right and broke.

(((They))) Live , says: June 6, 2018 at 1:42 am GMT
@manorchurch

No, his opinions are interesting with plenty of good points, but he never talks about the issue of autonomous cars, thats fine if he assumes that autonomous cars are not possible any time soon, however, if autonomous cars are possible then the car industry as we know it is about to change completely and totally

Dave Bowman , says: June 7, 2018 at 9:13 pm GMT
@Chase

Bravo. I thought exactly this years ago, but it seemed just simply pointless, really even bothering to try to argue the toss with people who think they know everything.

Time the governments told the truth. Think I've heard that somewhere before, too.

Svigor , says: June 8, 2018 at 1:47 am GMT

Holy long pieces, Batman. EVs are inevitable, but inevitable != soon.

Musk seems to have pushed too hard with Tesla.

I'm still a Musk fanboy, because Tesla and SC never had one iota to do with my Musk fanboyism.

For me it's all about SpaceX. I hope his other ventures don't drag him down.

Svigor , says: June 8, 2018 at 1:57 am GMT

2 – It will destroy his halo, which is source of his success. This is why Musk committed securities fraud in order to have Tesla acquire Solar City, which was rapidly headed for bankruptcy. With his reputation in tatters, it will call into question his leadership of Space X. Certainly ideas like going to Mars with other people's money will be out.

I'm certainly no SpaceXpert (haha), but I've done a lot of reading on the subject, recently. Assuming his other ventures can't drag SpaceX down financially (a safe assumption, from what little I've read on the topic), Mars will be fine. He can get started for like a billion – far less than cash-guzzler ULA is asking ($25 billion all-in, much of which has already been spent on SLS without a single launch).

And by "get started," I mean land the seed colony on Mars. Really, it's everything other than getting to Mars that's the problem. Last I heard (as of about a month ago), SpaceX has pretty much no plan at all for the colony itself. All the tech still needs to be designed.

But SpaceX doesn't need a Mars trip or a Mars colony. At all. It's just Musk's aspiration. If the satellite cloud plan (the official name escapes me ATM) works, SpaceX could be printing money within a few years. Even if it doesn't, SpaceX is eating every other launch provider's lunch. The race is very much theirs to lose.

A lot of the Tesla bears assume there's something wrong with Space X as well, but I don't think this is warranted. One guy who is documenting all the Model S suspension failures has invented a half-cocked conspiracy theory that Space X's achievements are fictitious. It's pretty common for short sellers to get emotional during a great bear raid, which is part of the fun.

Anything's possible, but if so Musk has a lot of very serious aerospace types totally snowed. And it's some sleight of hand he's pulling, steadily dropping what SpaceX charges to launch.

SpaceX is obviously being funded by the USG. I can't fly a $25.00 drone within 1000 yards of any airport, but the government stands by while some private company flies objects into space? Not buying it.

This makes literally no sense.

Tesla and SpaceX are the shiny stars of the American technology, it cannot fail in front of the rising power of China. Most of the Americans believe in that and pinning their hope on Musk to turn Make American Great dream come true.

China has an admirable space program, but we must be forgiven for thinking a chink nationalist is just letting his envy do the talking.

Svigor , says: June 8, 2018 at 2:02 am GMT

Also, at this point I think the Mars plan and the restarting of 2001 that Musk and SpaceX have done are bigger than Musk. I think both will easily survive Musk leaving the picture entirely.

Yes, BFR and BFS are both still just concept drawings and marketing talk as far as the public is concerned, but even if they were scrapped right this minute, SpaceX could still get us to Mars with Falcon Heavy. But I wouldn't bet against BFR and BFS.

Svigor , says: June 8, 2018 at 2:11 am GMT

Protip, the current SpaceX action, other than development of BFR/BFS, is Block 5, the first version of Falcon 9 with a reusable core, and the final planned version of the vehicle. SpaceX plans to reuse Block 5 cores 3 or 4 times this year. Long term, they plan to phase everything else out as BFR/BFS come online.

reiner Tor , says: June 8, 2018 at 1:04 pm GMT

An acquaintance in NYC just received his Model 3 delivered to him. Previously he had a 2007 Audi (I'm unsure what model), and he's super happy with his Model 3. He likes the driving experience (he's driving quite fast and aggressively), the gadgets (he's a bit of a technophile, too), and he thinks maintenance will be cheap, so that once he's paid the price upfront, it'll cost next to nothing to him for another 10-20 years (depending on battery life, which he expects to be actually two decades). He also likes the fact that it's "good for the environment," as he put it.

windwaves , says: June 8, 2018 at 3:14 pm GMT

Musk is the best thing that happened to America in the last several decades. America should be proud.

Is he perfect ? are his businesses perfect ? who cares. What matters is that he is a fantastic innovator who has no known rivals right now. And HE is HERE, in the USA.

The Ford, Gm, Krysler elephants who have been making nothing but hideous cars forever (ok, there might be a couple of exceptions here and there) are campaigning like mad dogs against Tesla because, once again, Tesla is a statement about those shit companies caught sleeping. It is pretty much the same as in politics, where MSM spreads bull shit.

Short Tesla and you shall get burned.

Pericles , says: June 9, 2018 at 3:41 pm GMT
@Svigor

What if Musk instead of going to Mars built Elysium? The military-space complexes would go nuts of course.

Sam J. , says: June 15, 2018 at 5:51 am GMT

I can't say if all the allegations against Tesla are true or not but they seem to be very much the same as attacks on other companies the financial industry has done to destroy the owners then take over the company for peanuts. My feeling is this is the same. No I can't prove it but it wouldn't surprise me at all. Other commenters have quoted material and build prices for Tesla cars that show they could make a very hefty profit if they can get the volume up and they seem to be doing this.

Let's look at the attack on Tesla's lack of profits and then compare to Amazon. Amazon lost money for a long, long time,[are they still losing money??]. But somehow Tesla is treated different. Now anyone can put up an online store but not everyone can build a car. It would seem building a car is much more difficult than an online store.

https://www.ben-evans.com/benedictevans/2014/9/4/why-amazon-has-no-profits-and-why-it-works

It appears Amazon has made most of it's recent profits from cloud computing and still loses money on online sales so their profits could be stripped at any time by cloud computing competitors. Why is Musk considered a huge rip of when Amazon lost money for over twenty years and is probably still not making an online store profit yet Musk has been delivering???

http://www.ibtimes.com/amazon-nearly-20-years-business-it-still-doesnt-make-money-investors-dont-seem-care-1513368

I often wondered if Musk was Jewish. He says he's not. If he's not I could see a mass Jewish attack on him to strip away his coming internet service. A internet service that could be used as a distributed information service with TV NOT controlled by the Jews. This would be reason enough to attack him. Look at what happened to CNN and Turner. They filled him full of lies, brought him in then stripped him of assets. Could this be what is happening to Musk? They want to cut him off before he can get a world wide satellite system up not controlled by the Jews. I don't know if this is what's happening but it wouldn't surprise me.

[Aug 19, 2018] Of Tesla's Board of Directors, nobody is a car, manufacturing, sales or transportation expert.

Aug 19, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Mark Chapman August 15, 2018 at 12:23 pm

Say, what ever happened to Elon Musk, owner of the USA's Great White Hope to replace the Russian RD-180, SpaceX? Ever wonder?

Well, he is as umm eccentric as ever, recently firing off an alarming tweet that he is thinking about taking the company (Tesla, not SpaceX) private at about a third above the current share value, and that he has secured financing. This triggered a wave of unease, and an SEC investigation, which might make you curious whether Musk will ever learn that while his off-the-wall unusual behaviour was once endearing and inspirational, it is now becoming a major liability and perhaps a barometer of his mental stability.

Here's an interesting discussion of his financial position, which I hope he reads, since he seems to be completely unaware of the effect of some cataclysmically bad decisions.

https://www.technewsworld.com/story/85498.html?rss=1

It is looking more and more like all he really knows back-to-front is how to spend gobs of money. People like to let you use their money to do that when they think you might be brilliant, but their reluctance grows exponentially if you are perceived to be crazy.

The piece ends with an interesting observation; of Tesla's Board of Directors, nobody is a car, manufacturing, sales or transportation expert.

Jen August 15, 2018 at 3:36 pm
The car manufacturing industry didn't arrive at where it is now – with bumps, mistakes, casualties and even flat-out embarrassments like the Ford Edsel along the way – without developing a whole culture of design, testing, manufacturing processes, test-marketing, distribution networks and marketing. Elon Musk's problem is that he is completely ignorant of the history of car-making – and in effect of manufacturing generally since much manufacturing over the last 100 years has centred around car-making.

Musk could have consulted with or hired people from Ford or GM, in particular hiring those employees who had ideas about managing those companies or creating new designs and design concepts that had been knocked back by senior execs there because those ideas threatened their (the senior guys, that is) power or level of control they had, but were still viable financially. He should have done something similar to what a former Wall Street hedge fund manager did, when he came to Australia and discovered that Mexican food restaurants here were the pits: he set up a restaurant in Newtown called Guzman y Gomez, hired Mexican chefs to teach local people how to cook Mexican food, and then he hired administrators and managers from McDonald's, and investors in that company, to help set up the franchise restaurants in other parts of Sydney.

The interesting thing now is that GYG has franchise restaurants in Singapore and Japan and is looking at opening a franchise in Chicago. All this has been done without spending huge amounts of money on marketing (which is what McDonald's used to do) and using a strategy of opening stores in specific places (mostly areas that tourists, backpackers and students frequent) and cooking as close to authentic Mexican food as is possible in Australia, given that most ingredients aren't available here and Australians tend to prefer milder foods.

https://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/companies/steven-marks-magic-beans/news-story/6c450e5639e29d5d5abc36000589daea
http://www.adnews.com.au/guzman-y-gomez-challenges-maccas

kirill August 15, 2018 at 8:51 pm
The problem with Musk and Tesla is too much ambition. The current fiasco has no connection to the previous mode of operation: produce expensive vehicles like Model S. For some reason Musk assumed he could transition to volume manufacturing of cheap(er) sedans without any long term investment. That is why they are building defect ridden crap (punctured batteries, bumpers that fall off 30 minutes after you pick up your car) under a tent in 3rd world unsanitary conditions.

I guess Musk must be suffering the cliche megalomania disease. All that power went to his head and he can't think straight. An emperor with no clothes.

Mark Chapman August 16, 2018 at 6:45 pm
I think at least a little of Musk's problem is that he borrows enormous amounts of money using businesses which are not moneymakers as collateral. I like the Tesla; it seems like a great car, and some people are very keen on it – it also puts the lie to the notion that a car cannot be electric and also be sporty and fast. But Tesla is not profitable, because Musk keeps borrowing more money and plowing it into new ideas.

But there is probably a lot of the crazy-emperor complex in there as well, and for that you could hardly blame Musk. The American media feted him as some sort of incredible genius and greeted everything that came from his mouth as a pearl of wisdom that the common man is ill-suited to understand. Friends might have reined him in earlier, but he either has none or does not listen to those he has.

kirill August 16, 2018 at 8:55 pm
I like the Tesla S too. But the Tesla 3 is a catastrophic failure by comparison. This indicates a company going off the rails. As for endless borrowing and red ink status, that is not all that bad. AMD had this pattern for most of its history. But it serves a vital role as Intel's main competitor and seems to be doing well these days. Musk's Tesla could have had this debt financing model as long as it produced a viable product. With the Tesla 3 it has destroyed itself since any reputation for quality it had has flown out the window and Tesla cannot even deliver the necessary volumes of the Model 3.

[Aug 13, 2018] The other reason The shift will be to hybrids - not fully-electric.

Aug 13, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

kellys_eye -> BarkingCat Mon, 08/13/2018 - 01:00 Permalink

The shift will be to hybrids - not fully-electric. I don't know of ANY country that has the infrastructure, let alone the electrical production capacity, to cover the needs of all-electric vehicles.

Fossil fuelled vehicles will be with us for a LONG time to come.

pcrs Sun, 08/12/2018 - 23:23 Permalink

Somehow the Saudis don't strike me as people who buy a.non gasoline car manufacturer invested in a solar city failure for a pumped up price and ever postponed profits and barely met production promises with faulty cars factory gated.

[Aug 09, 2018] Hydrogen fuel breakthrough in Queensland could fire up massive new export market

Aug 09, 2018 | abc.net.au

Dr Dolan said the cost for the fuel would be around $15 a kilogram, with an average car holding five kilos of pure hydrogen in a tank.

"But the efficiency of the car is twice as good as current gasoline cars, so you can actually drive twice as far on a tank," he said.

Dr Dolan said renewable hydrogen was seen as Australia's next export boom.

"It could potentially rival our LNG export industry," he said.

"As of this year Australia is the world's biggest natural gas exporter. Hydrogen could be in the same position in the next couple of decades."

[Aug 09, 2018] Sonnenfeld thinks Musk has painted himself into a corner

Aug 09, 2018 | www.cnbc.com

In an email sent later to Tesla employees , Musk wrote, "a final decision has not yet been made, but the reason for doing this is all about creating the environment for Tesla to operate best."

He also said, "If the process ends the way I expect it will, a private Tesla would ultimately be an enormous opportunity for all of us."

Sonnenfeld, senior associate dean at the Yale School of Management and a CNBC contributor, said Tesla has operational problems and has lost 50 key staffers.

[Aug 09, 2018] What Musk twit could mean? Here are some ideas.

Aug 09, 2018 | www.cnbc.com

1. There is no funding This is the simplest Occam's Razor explanation. There simply is no funding. Musk feels confident he can get financing and has had conversations with individuals and funds It's possible Musk has had conversations with third parties about financing a transaction and feels comfortable he could round up cash. A full buyout would cost about $72 billion at $420 a share, though Musk, himself, owns 22 percent of the company and suggested he would allow existing shareholders to maintain ownership, which would lower the cost.

[Aug 09, 2018] SEC Is Probing Musk's Going Private Tweet To Determine If He Lied Zero Hedge

Aug 09, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

With Elon Musk refusing to name any of the parties from whom he has allegedly "secured funding" after launching a huge short squeeze in Tesla yesterday with his now infamous Tesla "going private" series of tweets, it was only a matter of time before the regulators - who have so far stubbornly ignored Tesla - started asking questions.

According to the WSJ , that time is now, because the SEC has inquired with Tesla about Elon Musk's announcement that he may take the company private " and whether his claim was factual ", or in other words, whether Musk lied when he said he had secured financing.

The regulator also asked why the disclosure which kept people glued to twitter for hours was made on the social network rather than in a regulatory filing, and whether the firm believes the announcement complies with investor-protection rules.

According to the WSJ, the SEC inquiries - which originated from its San Francisco office so it will be relatively easy to visit the Fremont office - suggest Tesla could come under an enforcement investigation if regulators develop evidence that Musk's tweet was misleading or false.

"Frankly, the bigger issue is going to be whether the information is correct or not," said Ira Matetsky, a partner at Ganfer & Shore in New York, who outlined questions the SEC might ask. "When Musk tweeted this, was he saying this was something that was definitely going to happen? Something that might happen? How would a reasonable investor interpret that and was it consistent with the facts as they existed at the time?" - BBG

And while it is mostly semantics, so far it remains unclear if the SEC had opened a formal enforcement investigation based on the answers it received from the company.

"To put that out unless he absolutely has financing secured and is ready to make the bid that could be market manipulation," Keith Higgins, a Ropes & Gray partner who formerly led the SEC's corporation finance unit, told Bloomberg . "He could be in big trouble if that turns out not to have been true."

The biggest risk for Musk is if regulators find that he made a statement only intending to goose his company's share price, or as he likes to put it, "crush the shorts." Under US securities law, companies and corporate officers can (and will) be held liable for making misstatements or omitting information that shareholders need to make informed investment decisions.

In his email to employees on Tuesday, instead of detailing the circumstances around the "pre-commited" going private deal, Musk blamed short sellers and other pressures public markets put on companies as factors in announcing he wanted to take the company private.

However, that's not enough.

As we noted earlier , one potential problem is that merely the intent of a "going private" transaction, triggers rule 13E-3, which requires the company to file a Schedule 13E-3 with the SEC as well as furnish the required disclosures to the company's shareholders. Note: the rule is triggered in either case, even if the intent to go private is ultimately unsuccessful.

13E-3 or no, the SEC will demand to know just what is going on, what the Board knew and when - recall it stated today that it was made aware of Elon's plans last week and yet there was no mention of this in the 10-Q's "Recent Developments" section - and if Musk was even sober and rational when he tweeted what he did.

Meanwhile, Tom Farley, the former President of the NYSE, had some advice for the SEC:

Dear @SEC_News, this is an easy one: ask TSLA to show you the agreement(s) signed by their funding source(s) by 5pm EST that demonstrates the funding is "secured" and "certain." If there is no such agreement, require a statement by 5:30pm. Inspire market confidence.

And while Musk has historically been extremely cavalier with his tweeting, this time it could cost: if found guilty of stock fraud, he would surely be on the hook for billions as the lawsuits start piling in, with the worst case scenario giving Musk an unlimited amount of time to tweet to his heart's content... from prison.

The stock dropped back under $370 on the news, and is rapidly approaching the $359.8676 conversion price of the $920 million of convertible bond due March 2019, which some have speculated is the entire reason behind the "going private" spectacle. Vote up! 3 Vote down! 1

FBaggins -> Cryptopithicus Homme Wed, 08/08/2018 - 16:48 Permalink

Something really smells:

In the beginning Tesla looked like a good business venture because of limited oil reserves in the world and the promise of increasing oil prices.

The prospects for vast profits were very promising for the people who control US fiances, and Musk an insider bought a controlling interest of the company.

Eight years ago Musk brought the company public to raise funds developing its then upcoming Model S electric car. However, the company was also at the time awash in red ink. It had lost $290.2 million since its 2003 founding, and its first-quarter loss in 2010 was $29.5 million, but a $465 million U.S. Department of Energy loan helped the company gain some momentum.

Musk's companies, Tesla Motors Inc., SolarCity Corp. and Space Exploration Technologies Corp., known as SpaceX, together have benefited from an estimated $4.9 billion in government support. The figure underscores a common theme running through his emerging empire: a public-private financing model underpinning long-shot start-ups.

It is government money being used and not exclusive private money for such risks, but what is the difference when the same people control US finances, the Fed, and the government?

A year before Musk announced his recent intention to take Tesla Motors private all things seemed to go wrong for the company, like thousands of Model 3s electric cars dormant in various parking lots as if they are not selling (as if they have really tried), production delays, and numerous unprecedented numbers of Tesla autos catching fire with occupants dying - very dramatic. The stocks stocks begin to fall and then Musk just recently announces his plans to go private.

What promise does Musk really see in his various models? Has this very connected man or the people behind him made efforts to screw SH's by depressing share value?

[Aug 08, 2018] Mask may be unhinged, but he gives you something new to chase every day.

Aug 08, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

CalypsoFacto , August 7, 2018 at 2:55 pm

Trading on Tesla halted after Musk tweets that he's considering taking the company private at $420 a share: https://www.cnbc.com/2018/08/07/tesla-stock-jumps-on-musks-tweet-that-he-is-considering-taking-compan.html

curlydan , August 7, 2018 at 3:40 pm

There's a $71B fool out there? Maybe Masayoshi Son. He seems to specialize in dumping billions into failing enterprises.

Musk is increasingly unhinged.

MyLessThanPrimeBeef , August 7, 2018 at 4:20 pm

He may be unhinged, but he gives you something new to chase every day.

"What about what you said yesterday."

"Forget it. Can you see the future is so wonderful?"

bob , August 7, 2018 at 6:51 pm

It's blatant insider trading. He crushed the shorts.

I'm sure the SEC will be after him.

Just like the DOL is chasing after him for threatening to take away stock options if the workers at his plant went union.

Different rules for different classes.

todde , August 7, 2018 at 7:06 pm

No, it's not insider trading, he made a public announcement.

It is market manipulation, which is Fraud.

bob , August 7, 2018 at 8:53 pm

He doesn't have close to the estimated 72 billion he would need to do it. Yeah, yeah, take away his 20% and its still not even close. Estimates put his net worth in *just* the 20 billion range.

We'll see him in leg irons when Trump gets beat by Biden. Never.

Todde , August 7, 2018 at 9:04 pm

If he doesnt have an investor, as he publicly said he did, he has put himself in legal jeopardy.

The Market is Sovereign.

bob , August 7, 2018 at 8:48 pm

Insider trading = fraud by another name

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Insider_trading

U.S. insider trading prohibitions are based on English and American common law prohibitions against fraud. In 1909, well before the Securities Exchange Act was passed, the United States Supreme Court ruled that a corporate director who bought that company's stock when he knew the stock's price was about to increase committed fraud by buying but not disclosing his inside information.

Section 16(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 prohibits short-swing profits (from any purchases and sales within any six-month period) made by corporate directors, officers, or stockholders owning more than 10% of a firm's shares. Under Section 10(b) of the 1934 Act, SEC Rule 10b-5, prohibits fraud related to securities trading.

[Aug 08, 2018] Tesla loses $717.5mn in Q2, breaking own record from previous quarter

Aug 08, 2018 | www.rt.com

Tesla, which has posted profit only in two quarters since becoming a public company eight years ago, broke another record for quarterly net loss on Wednesday, smashing the previous record of $709.6 million set in the first quarter.

While the new milestone is only slightly higher than the previous one, the contrast is more drastic in comparison to the same period last year. In 2017, the innovative tech company reported a net loss of (only) $336 million in the second quarter.

While Tesla so far has been mostly losing money at a growing pace , Musk reiterated on Wednesday he expects the company to become profitable as soon as the next quarter after it boosts production of its Model 3 vehicle, envisioned for mass marketing.

After the results were posted, Tesla issued a statement saying that it plans to churn out from 50,000 to 55,000 vehicles in the third quarter, an ambitious goal, given its recent frantic scramble to increase output to 5,000 cars a week. While Tesla hit the long-delayed target in June, the process put additional strain on the company, forcing it to spend millions to ramp up production.

While the electric car maker has failed to generate profit for yet another quarter, the trend has not apparently discouraged the market, with Tesla stock gaining 11 percent and trading at $334.18 per share after the statement was released.

Positive signs that might have contributed to the optimism among investors is that the company's cash burn slowed down, from $745.3 million in the first quarter to $739.5 million, in the second one.

Musk previously dismissed speculations that his company would need to raise money to stay afloat, promising back in April that it would be profitable in the third and fourth quarters.

[Jul 29, 2018] CEO Ousters Is Elon Musk Next Tech Buzz TechNewsWorld

Jul 29, 2018 | www.technewsworld.com

Musk Behaving Badly

I'm a fan of Elon Musk because he does some incredibly cool things. However, half the time I think he just likes to run with scissors because his life must not be interesting enough. The author of Brotopia identified him as having gone to one of the now infamous Silicon Valley sex parties -- in costume, no less -- and his excuse was that he didn't see the blatant sex at the sex party.

Then there was the flame thrower thing. His company (Tesla) is in the most flammable state in the union but he apparently decided it would be a fun idea to sell flame throwers.

Then there was the Tesla autopilot fiasco . Even Consumer Reports argued that when people that see the term "autopilot," they think they can turn the feature on and then do whatever they want, without having to drive the car.

There is an old story about a guy who rented a motorhome and asked about cruise control, and the rental rep told him it was like autopilot. He later drove off, set cruise control, and went to the back of the motorhome to make coffee. It didn't end well for him or the motorhome. That incident alone suggests that the one thing you never should call even advanced cruise control (which is what the Tesla currently has) is "autopilot." In my opinion, Musk should be held accountable for every death and injury to folks who treated Tesla Autopilot like it was autopilot.

Then there was Musk's now famous conversation with financial analysts on a conference call. They asked legitimate questions, and he went off the rails on them, causing a sharp drop in Tesla valuation. That's just stupid.

Most recently, he flew a small submersible to the location where 12 Thai soccer players were trapped in a cave. It did look like a poorly-thought-through PR stunt, and the lead diver, who clearly was focused on getting the kids out, didn't want to mess with an untested piece of tech. Not that it was a bad idea, but you'd consider the device a proof of concept -- not something you'd risk a child's life on unless you had no other choice. That wasn't the case .

Apparently, Musk didn't like being told no. When he pushed, the diver apparently told Musk he could put the sub in an uncomfortable place in Musk's body. Musk's response was to go on social media and accuse the diver of being a pedophile. That is not a term that is interchangeable with "jerk." It has consequences, and social media is an international platform. Were I Unsworth, the diver Musk attacked, I would sue Musk in France, where they are really aggressive when it comes to penalizing false claims like this.

Musk manages on the ragged edge, which means that from a financial standpoint, his companies are mostly one mistake away from going under. Tesla, in particular, doesn't look like it will survive the decade. That suggests that rather than creating all of this drama, maybe focusing on the basics of running the firms would be in Musk's and his companies' best interests.

[Jul 19, 2018] Why Are Thousands of Teslas Sitting In a Field in California Zero Hedge

Notable quotes:
"... " The spokesperson also added depending on the vehicle's configuration , Model 3 wait times are currently 1 to 3 months", but spokeshuman did not explain why no base models will ever be produced. ..."
"... " Tesla ditched reservations and opened up Model 3 sales to anyone for a $2,500 deposit." that's because reservations are refundable....as long as the cash holds out, sales deposits apparently not. ..."
Jul 19, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Why Are "Thousands" of Teslas Sitting In a Field in California?

by Tyler Durden Thu, 07/19/2018 - 16:14 129 SHARES

"There's so much inventory here, it's crazy."

When Tesla finally met its Model 3 production run rate target, astute investors and analysts pointed out the use of the word "factory gated" in the company's press release: "Not only did we factory gate 5000 Model 3's , but we also achieved the S & X production target for a combined 7000 vehicle week!" Musk wrote in an email to his staff that week.

It was a term that Tesla hadn't used before.

Now, thanks to a couple of sleuths on Twitter, we may have just found out what the term means. Twitter Tesla sleuth @ISpyTSLA, with the help of others, has been trying to figure out exactly where all these vehicles are winding up. @ISpyTSLA found that it appears that "thousands" of vehicles are being stored "in a field" 500 E Louise Ave, Lathrop, CA 95330.

A google map visual of the address:

https://www.google.com/maps/embed?pb=!1m18!1m12!1m3!1d4662.698973837076!2d-121.28654537841399!3d37.808864379125275!2m3!1f0!2f0!3f0!3m2!1i1024!2i768!4f13.1!3m3!1m2!1s0x8090155fd699ce2b%3A0xc0fa315c162ac28b!2s500+E+Louise+Ave%2C+Lathrop%2C+CA+95330!5e1!3m2!1sen!2sus!4v1532029694182

According to public records, the property was also available for lease just 6 months ago , suggesting that Tesla leased it recently. Why?

Perhaps as a place to temporarily dump cars that should be 'off the books' or as some said,' "There's so much inventory here, it's crazy."

The accompanying video appears to show "thousands" of Tesla vehicles just rusting in the open air under the scorching California sun.

Additional video shows the Twitter users initial approach to the property, which appears to have a gate with a warning sign that the premises are being video monitored.

The Twitter user notes that trucks seem to be bringing cars in, but not out. Follow up Tweets noted that "there's no real activity in the inventory lot" before noting that "some cars are coming out".

Meanwhile, as another Twitter user noted, another just as vast pile of Model 3s can be found near the Burbank Hollywood Airport.

The reaction from Twitter was underwhelming.

Great News Lemmings! All of our 5K Burst week cars are sitting in a scrap heap. This is GREAT news, we are going to make submarines out of them. Elon $TSLA

-- William B. Smith (@blainefundlp) July 19, 2018

But why stash the cars there? Is it to optimize net working capital and give investors - and auditors - the impression of more liquidity than is actually available?

Surely this will, or should, be one of the "boring" questions asked on the company's conference, if PricewaterhouseCoopers doesn't ask first.

Meanwhile, Tesla already had to fend off a downgrade from Needham this morning, who warned that Model 3 refunds were moving faster than deposits, something we documented here over a month ago .

"Based on our checks, refunds are outpacing deposits as cancellations accelerate," wrote analyst Rajvindra Gill in the note Thursday. "The reasons are varied: extended wait times, the expiration of the $7,500 credit, and unavailability of the $35k base model."

"In August '17, TSLA cited a refund rate of 12%. Almost a year later, we believe it has doubled and outpaced deposits. Model 3 wait times are currently 4-12 months and with base model not available until mid-2019, consumers could wait until 2020," Gill added.

This morning Tesla refuted this, however, with the discovery of this new lot Tesla's PR spin job for today may only be getting started.


Manthong -> macholatte Thu, 07/19/2018 - 16:28 Permalink

At what desert ground level temperature Tesla batteries spontaneously combust?

Bear -> Manthong Thu, 07/19/2018 - 21:07 Permalink

Cars probably awaiting batteries

Hugh_Jorgan -> Manthong Thu, 07/19/2018 - 16:35 Permalink

There probably aren't any batteries in them. These cars are in various states of technical completeness. Processes that were too time-consuming and parts that were not readily available were skipped in order to complete their ridiculous publicity stunt. No one likely knows the missing bits for any given car so they are junk. This is what happens when you are able to do what you're doing because of lots of "other-people's money". 4th turning bitchez, gross waste and abuse. All the big manufacturers are doing it, why shouldn't Tesla?

Endgame Napoleon -> mkkby Thu, 07/19/2018 - 20:34 Permalink

Elon Musk manufactures here in the USA. Most American car manufacturers, other than Ford, took bigly bailout money from American taxpayers and then set up shop in racially homogenous, cheap-labor countries in China & Latin America. Ford went straight to Mexico, bypassing the bailout cash.

"Profitable" American car manufacturers still do some production in the USA, mostly hiring groups of young temps. They pay the youthful, blue-collar temp workers more than most white-collar temp jobs around here offer.

About 5 years ago, a local car manufacturer was paying temps $17 per hour, as opposed to the typical $10 per hour offered to white-collar non-college-grad office workers or $12 per hour for white-collar college-grad office workers. I recently saw an article, suggesting that the same American car manufacturer is now paying young temps even more, quite a bit more.

The article was adorned with a photo of an aging union worker, but no explanation was provided about how this system really works, with the young temps hired to do the bulk of the physically demanding labor. Due to senority, a small group of old union workers avoid that work, doing the cushier tasks.

The liberal agenda pusher who wrote the article, sticking a photo on it with an especially aged union worker, was probably promoting the faulty idea that America needs more immigration to fill those jobs due to an aging population, when, in fact, the young Millennial generation is BIGGER than the aging Boomer generation.

Furthermore, American citizens often get on lists to fill those high-paying temp jobs in car manufacturing. Applicants often have six-month waiting periods due to the massive number of job seekers, chasing those rare, high-paying TEMPORARY jobs.

Much like state jobs, US citizens must wait to get a good-paying temp job with those car manufacturers, and if the person who wrote the article had talked to temps who actually worked those jobs, s/he would know it. But it might not matter; advocates of mass-scale immigration gonna advocate.

Sokhmate -> Antifaschistische Thu, 07/19/2018 - 19:30 Permalink

Conservative numbers. I clocked the temperature of my black dashboard sitting in the sun in a town of balmy 70 degrees F at 160-170 degrees Fahrenheit

any_mouse -> beemasters Thu, 07/19/2018 - 20:06 Permalink

Tne Media helped establish Musk as a cult figure. Reality is catching up with a false god, that is what's happening. At what point will Musk throw a kool aid party for MuskCar employees under the tent.

SIOP -> Rubicon Thu, 07/19/2018 - 16:36 Permalink

" Isn't it what all car manufacturers do? " Yes, but it's Tesla so it's different somehow.

Sapere aude -> SIOP Thu, 07/19/2018 - 17:41 Permalink

No its not what other car manufacturers do if they have so many orders to fill? only car manufacturers forward producing and estimating demand need store them but most adjust manufacturing levels to avoid it now as its expensive to store, and even non registered vehicles decline in value and are subject to damage.

Tesla with back orders should have no need at all to store cars, with such a professed backlog, so the fact they have is highly suspicious.

It might suggest to some analysts that the vehicles are not completed not safe or something else is awry.

Banana Republican -> Rubicon Thu, 07/19/2018 - 16:50 Permalink

It doesn't even look like "thousands" of cars to me. A quick drone flyover would clear this question up. And sure, this is what all car manufacturers do. Transshipment, rework, whatever. I mean, what else would you do? Put a tent over them? Everything about Tesla is stupid, and I'm enjoying their failure. But stories like this give credence to Musk's paranoid assertions that the world is out to destroy him.

DontWorry -> SloMoe Thu, 07/19/2018 - 17:21 Permalink

Back in the old days of software we called it 'shipping bricks'. The new version of the software wasn't ready, but we booked orders, so we slapped labels on blank disks, but em in boxes with manuals and sent em out. Customer called a few days later when the software was ready, and we said, 'oh sorry, must have gotten a defective one, we are fed exing a new disk in the mail.

These may look like Teslas, but they didn't pass tests or are unsellable for some reason, so they count them as 'gated inventory' Same thing

adr Thu, 07/19/2018 - 16:32 Permalink

The increase in TSLA market cap more than covered the few thousand "cars" Tesla needs to hide that will never actually be sold, well until Elon called a hero a pedophile.

This is how the great publicly traded con economy works. You aren't producing product to sell, you are only manufacturing a story to sell stock. Since stock based compensation makes you a billionaire even if your company loses billions of dollars, what incentive is there to turn a profit?

You end up with more scams than productive corporations. If there was no stock market, Walmart would exist, but Amazon would not. Walmart is profitable in the billions of dollars, Amazon is not. Bezos could not be worth $150billion without the scam of publicly traded shares because it would take a few thousand years to pay out $150billion to Bezos from Amazon's profit.

Meanwhile Walmart could pay a few executives $1 billion per year and have plenty of profit left. Why is one company worth $250 billion, less than half revenue and the other near $850 billion with less than $200 billion in revenue?

Lie_Detector Thu, 07/19/2018 - 16:34 Permalink

Not only Tesla is "storing" cars. All the majors appear to be doing the same. I live near Flint MI and you would NOT BELIEVE the number of lot's, fields, and empty spaces in the area that are FULL of late model vehicles. I suspect most are lease returns that are being kept out of the market to keep prices elevated. I have a 21 year old pick up truck. It is paid for. I would buy a newer truck but they are way too expensive. We have a newer SUV, also paid for. When the "big 3" decide to sell some of those lease returns at a reasonable price I MAY look at buying one. I WILL NOT BUY ONE for the prices they want. I just purchased a nice home for less than $40K so why would I buy a depreciating asset for the same amount?

BocceBaal Thu, 07/19/2018 - 16:37 Permalink

Tesla delayed some deliveries until July, probably so that they could reach 200K cars sold this quarter and have the $7500 tax credit until Q4. But now that they've sold 200K, it makes no sense to hang onto them unless they don't have a buyer. Maybe that's why they opened the Model 3 builder site to everyone? Could it really be that they've run through all of the Model 3 preorders because most people who signed up to buy a $35K car aren't interested in paying $49K minimum as it is now?

Justapleb -> BocceBaal Thu, 07/19/2018 - 19:18 Permalink

This is a reasonable interpretation. Best case for Musk. In islolation (lol) it doesn't seem fatal.

But even so, he has higher inventory control costs. His labor costs have proven higher too. Down the line these cars have no dealer network to service or repair them, and to provide it is [would cost] billions.

not dead yet -> HilteryTrumpkin Thu, 07/19/2018 - 17:53 Permalink

Yea and the Tesla tards are all gaga over the 30% profit margin the 3 will bring as indicated by those that tear down and analyze the vehicle. We're all gonna be rich when Tesla stock hits 10,000 by the end of the year. Booya. What you delusional Musk lovers should do is learn the difference between GROSS PROFIT, which is that touted 30%, and NET PROFIT. Gross profit only includes the direct costs to produce the car, materials and labor, but does not include selling, general, and administrative which will consume that 30% "profit" and then some. General expenses such as warranty work, electricity, paying engineers and secretaries and other non direct manufacturing personnel such as material handlers and plant cleanup and trash disposal and maintenance people etc, "free charging", R&D, interest on the debt, sales offices, etc etc. In the past your boy could brag about the cash pile on hand most of which was accumulated for PR purposes by delaying payment to suppliers.

Central Ohio Thu, 07/19/2018 - 16:46 Permalink

Reminds me of someone who once touted, 'transparency.'

Kendle C Thu, 07/19/2018 - 17:47 Permalink

Not since "Who Killed the Electric Car" have so many with axes to grind began fueling this bazaar anti-Tesla barrage. Musk is part of "those who do" while "those that can't" SHIT ALL OVER EVERYBODY who can.

Behind this is a hedge fund with a heavy short position, oil industry think tanks, and just plain shits parading on some fucking adolescent thing called "Twitter".

Have you dumb asses looked at the quantities of warehoused traditional cars by all other manufacturers? Youtube it if you don't believe. As to you haters and inflammatory dickheads, it's time to stop whacking it and eat the fucking cracker.

not dead yet -> Kendle C Thu, 07/19/2018 - 18:41 Permalink

You really are delusional. "Who Killed the Electric Car' is nothing but a hit piece on GM. GM killed their own electric not the electric industry like idiots want to believe. Their car although state of the art at the time had little range with the old tech batteries that were available at the time and would have been extremely expensive to build as it had no parts in common with other vehicles in their line. Plus at the time there was absolutely no public demand for electrics. The current flurry of electrics coming on the market is not because of Tesla, as you cult members want to believe, but from the hugely funded enviros pushing for the elimination of all ICE cars. In Germany and a few other countries they have passed or are in the process of legislating no new ICE cars to be sold by a certain date, anywhere from 2025 to 2030 depending on country, and all ICE cars off the road by 2050 or other dates depending on country.

Recently there was a complete fiction hit piece that oil companies outspend enviros by 10 to 1 on lobbying. Enviro organizations such as Sierra Club, World Wildlife Fund, Greenpeace, Tom Steyer and other billionaires, and other enviro groups spend most of their budgets, which is in the billions, on lobbying. Under Obama his EPA pursued a "sue and settle" policy to encourage enviro groups to sue the EPA which would settle quickly as a way to get funds into the enviros pockets. Not to mention the hundreds of billions given to enviros by governments around the world. The Obama EPA refused to release to Congress the science on which their rulings were made because most of that "science" was bullshit written by enviro activists. The EPA advisors were all enviro activists. When Trump put Pruitt in charge of the EPA you clowns claimed he was anti science when he shit canned the activist old boy network and set up debates from all sides. Under Pruitt they took money destined for activists and used it clean up real pollution in Superfund sites which the Obama EPA ignored.

The other manufacturers can afford to warehouse cars as they make real profits. They also have to buy "pollution permits" to sell their cars in Commiefornia, which ends up in Tesla's pockets even though they pollute worse the ICE though not directly. As it is your boy is no different than the other manufacturers yet, except for ZH and other sites willing to print the truth, the general media, especially tech sites, can't get enough of licking Musk's balls and stroking his ego by wrongly calling him a genius who is going to change the world. Every single market your boy is in from Powerwalls to solar panels to cars there is experienced and well funded competition but yet the delusional refuse to believe it. His factory of the future, which was going to change the way cars are built, was a huge failure as in many procedures humans are better than robots which is why other car companies still employ humans. Your boy who was going to change the way cars are sold is opening dealerships. Plus Tesla is opening large numbers of repair shops contrary to the belief of many Tesla fanbois that Tesla's run forever without any repairs.

Kendle C -> not dead yet Thu, 07/19/2018 - 20:49 Permalink

Boy did I scratch off your scab! Feeling accused? BTW cut back on "enviro-whatever" ok, 'cus it really sounds stupid. Your writing is dense, machine like, staid, crystalized, like a walking dead pedantic. Your reality is your own, there in your hermit crab shell, I wish you a constant stream of nutritional plankton, return to your place on the coral wreath.

yarpos -> Kendle C Thu, 07/19/2018 - 22:00 Permalink

Notice you came back with nothing but name calling and a writing style critique. Another content free liberal, once you scratch one layer deep past the talking points.

Chaotix Thu, 07/19/2018 - 17:47 Permalink

Production does not always mean demand. In today's' ideology, production pays the rent, as long as the feds keep bailing you out. For years there have been photos of new car graveyards. It gives the charts something good to say.
"We produced 7,000 cars this week" gives the illusion of high demand for product, while not indicating who the buyers are. Part of the Sales illusion.

ejbonk Thu, 07/19/2018 - 18:59 Permalink

1 Problem. Tesla Vehicles Are Made From Aluminum and Aluminum Alloys. So They Do Not Rust ! This Tells Me Someone Didn't Do The Proper Research or Proof Reading .

larrythelogger -> ejbonk Thu, 07/19/2018 - 19:14 Permalink

Yeah, well if you actually DO proper research you'll find that only iron and steel rust. Aluminum corrodes, forms a thin layer of oxidized aluminum over its surface which does protect further surface corrosion. However, in a salt environment, even a teeny little bit of salt and water, like say salt found in desert areas, will cause severe corrosion where the aluminum turns to dust. If it rains in Lathrop followed by lots of wind, any and all unprotected aluminum WILL turn to dust and that right quick if left that way. Ask any Navy or Marine Corps pilot or any Navy or Marine Corps aircraft maintenance person whose served at sea and flew or worked on any number of aircraft. So thanks for the "they do not rust" warning so that "someone" could do Proper Research or Proof Reading. Good tip.

not-me---it-wa Thu, 07/19/2018 - 21:59 Permalink

interesting tidbits from downgrade announcement:

" The spokesperson also added depending on the vehicle's configuration , Model 3 wait times are currently 1 to 3 months", but spokeshuman did not explain why no base models will ever be produced.

" Tesla ditched reservations and opened up Model 3 sales to anyone for a $2,500 deposit." that's because reservations are refundable....as long as the cash holds out, sales deposits apparently not.

[Jul 16, 2018] The rate at which you can charge a battery slows increasingly as you exceed about 85% of it's capacity.

Jul 16, 2018 | www.theoildrum.com

Substrate on March 14, 2013 - 12:57am Permalink

"(for some reason they didn't list the time to get a full charge)."

The rate at which you can charge a battery slows increasingly as you exceed about 85% of it's capacity.

http://www.saxton.org/tom_saxton/images/Tesla_Charging_240V_70A.png

http://www.saxton.org/tom_saxton/2010/07/tesla-roadster-charging-rates.html

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[Jul 14, 2018] A New Problem Emerges For Tesla

Jul 14, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Some owners are watching hundred of miles of battery range in their Model 3 simply evaporate while the car is parked.

^ Owners' Club ***e

Sunday at 6:02 PM • ©

I left our М3 parked in our driveway at the Jersey
Shore for the last 48 hours. Checked the app and had
only 62 miles of range! When I parked it Friday
afternoon it had about 180. What am I doing wrong!

It's been super hot here. Is this usual? Is there a
setting I need to look at?

©Keubiko ^0

@Keubiko

New Jersey now drains batteries, not just souls.

9:29 AM - Jul 7, 2018

Q? 21 See Keubiko's other Tweets

[Jul 14, 2018] Cost of Tesla repars

Jul 14, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Tom Skraby

@TomSoCal

#ElonMusk Proud owner Model 3. Unfortunately, rear ended 2 weeks after delivery, a $700 bumper repair has turned into $9k.

Why are the battery packs not better protected? Barely touched, 5 weeks later, no car still. Steel cage?? It would seem there is a better alternative

1:22 PM-Jun 20, 2018

Q 19 ^ See Tom Skraby's other Tweets

[Jul 11, 2018] Tesla Whistleblower Accuses Musk Of Overstating Model 3 Production Figures

Jul 11, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

It seems that widespread suspicions that Tesla CEO Elon Musk resorted to cutting corners in his pursuit of ramping up Model 3 production to meet his lofty production targets may be valid.

Martin Tripp - the former Tesla engineer who on June 20 was sued by Tesla for trying to "sabotage" the company - is alleging several egregious safety violations that, if true, could destroy what remains of Musk's tattered credibility.

In an email sent by Meissner Associates, a law firm which has represented whistleblowers to the SEC and which was retained by the whistleblower, Tripp alleged that Tesla made misstatements to investors about placing batteries with holes punctured in them into vehicles to help pad out its Model 3 production numbers in pursuit of Musk's goal of producing 5,000 Model 3s a week.

He also alleged that Tesla placed battery cells too close together and didn't properly secure them, raising the risk of future combustion, and that the company "systematically" reused parts that had been deemed to be scrap or waste.

Tripp's claims remind us of some inconsistencies highlighted by Vertical Group's Gordon Johnson , who pointed out that some of the supposedly "finished" cars had been labeled "factory gated", meaning they still required additional testing and quality inspections.

So far Tesla shares appear unaffected by the report.


Canadian Dirtlump -> Impoverished P Wed, 07/11/2018 - 12:13 Permalink

I think we are seeing more and more the calling card of a sociopath / psychopath. Not surprising to us here, but to the wider population. Again, as with several other examples - simple honesty would have been smarter, yet the guy lies through his teeth. Hilary Clinton syndrome. A pathological need to lie even when it will work out badly for you.

Canadian Dirtlump -> The Dreadnought Wed, 07/11/2018 - 12:37 Permalink

They certainly ger erratic and lash out when they get challenged. As the heat gets turned up, especially when questioning their intelligence, the LOCO dial gets cranked.

snblitz -> Canadian Dirtlump Wed, 07/11/2018 - 13:01 Permalink

They certainly get erratic and lash out when they get challenged

Over the last 15 years and especially in the last 5 years I have noticed the generally population acting similarly.

The slightest challenge is met with a barrage of nasty words and uncontrolled anger.

Lately I have been thinking this might be due to over medication.

Maybe wealth causes it too?

WhackoWarner -> Canadian Dirtlump Wed, 07/11/2018 - 12:51 Permalink

Bipolar operates differently than a run of the mill sociopath or heavens? psycho.

Bipolar does impulse and then knows not how to "walk it back".

Bipolar with good intelligence will resist drugs that numb the mind. Then the fly off the handle operates.

Bipolar is not the way to go with a billion dollar Ponzi. Though the bipolar CEO may believe every single dodge and lie.

And bipolar head of company will lash out without control. Bipolar is no fun and is not really reliable despite the "genius" of creativity.

Guy should be given a long rest away from other people's $.

Bipolar is prone to grandiose project dreaming...

RubberJohnny Wed, 07/11/2018 - 12:07 Permalink

Nothing new here. All great innovators have experienced the negative and disparaging onslaught from the unwashed illiterate rabble who lash out in jealous fury accompanied by a liberal dose of envy at those people who lead rather than grovel in the shit dropped by the herd.

Stay strong Elon and God Speed.

Rubberjohnny.

Automatic Choke -> RubberJohnny Wed, 07/11/2018 - 12:10 Permalink

ditto

Juggernaut x2 -> RubberJohnny Wed, 07/11/2018 - 12:17 Permalink

Elon is not an innovator, dipshit, he just figured out a way to sell electric cars to rich assholes for an exorbitant price.

Juggernaut x2 -> RubberJohnny Wed, 07/11/2018 - 12:21 Permalink

That's not innovation- it's marketing. A Nissan Leaf does the same thing for $35K but some soulless Silicon Valley millionaire needs to buy a Tesla to feel validated. It's just a bunch of batteries wired together to power an electric motor- it was done basically the same way 140 years ago.

RubberJohnny -> Juggernaut x2 Wed, 07/11/2018 - 12:28 Permalink

Sounds like you bought one and you're not happy.

Elon is blasting off a rocket next week and even offered a sub to the Thai Government to assist with the rescue of those youngsters from that flooded cave.

Was your submarine in the shop?

I just think people are piling on a bit too heavy on the guy.

snblitz -> RubberJohnny Wed, 07/11/2018 - 13:08 Permalink

So, what's the problem? [selling high priced electric cars to the rich]

The problem is taking Elon at his word, math, and physics. The stated goal of Tesla is to save the planet from emissions related to fossil fuel.

The Teslas driving around Silicon Valley burn twice as much fossil fuel per mile driven as do light duty diesels and the Telsas pollute more too.

https://www.finitespaces.com/2018/02/14/electric-cars-use-twice-as-much-oil-as-diesel-vehicles/

JamcaicanMeAfraid -> RubberJohnny Wed, 07/11/2018 - 12:54 Permalink

Interesting that you call him a visionary. Firstly as has been noted above that electric cars were among some of the very first automobiles built. So nothing new there.

The United States government through the DOE were conducting research during Bush 43's tenure in the area of fuel cells and fuel cell powered automobiles. Pretty visionary stuff that. Yeah spare me the issues surrounding fuel cells, I know them all. However as soon as Obama turned up guess who was first in line to see to it that the US Government subsidized battery powered autos and stopped all work on fuel cell powered vehicles. Why that would be Musk; visionary, savior of the planet, greenie all the way. Why then lobby Barry and his ilk to kill off fuel cells. Musk wanted no part in a competitive alternative, some might argue a better one.

By the way if you want an example of Musk's commitment to the environment take a look at the Fremont factory via any of the mapping applications. It's very apparent that Telsa is certainly only committed to the betterment of the climate through words and not deeds. No recycling at that plant.

Goodsport 1945 Wed, 07/11/2018 - 12:14 Permalink

Whistle blowers - whom I refer to as honest, diligent employees - are the only real protection consumers and investors have to defend themselves from a congress that caters to corporations and banks. We can support them this fall by firing every complicit house member and 1/3 of the senate. In January, we could have a house of representatives working for us. In two years, we could have a majority of the senate truly representing the people of our nation.

Goodsport 1945 -> MonsterSchmuck Wed, 07/11/2018 - 12:17 Permalink

A self promoting one at that who fails to realize real wealth is earned by delivering quality products, not by Wall st and it's ridiculous P/E ratios.

rosiescenario Wed, 07/11/2018 - 12:23 Permalink

While Elon has various character defects that make him a grating personality, he has still managed to create the first new car company to be seen in many decades. I am no fan, but it is still impressive.

thebigunit Wed, 07/11/2018 - 13:04 Permalink

More FUD from the Tesla short squeezeiings. "Did we make Tesla stock crater yet?"

MORE FUD! MORE FUD! MORE FUD!

Isn't the SEC supposed to notice this kind of stuff and say something?

[Jul 09, 2018] Why Natural Gas Hasn't Dethroned Gasoline by Irina Slav

Notable quotes:
"... Stephen Neumann told Clean Energy Wire, gas-fueled cars could become the alternative to electric vehicles, which still suffer shorter driving ranges and much longer recharging times than fossil fuel cars. ..."
OilPrice.com
Third, there are simply no CNG cars being sold in the U.S. right now, after Honda and Chevrolet stopped manufacturing the CNG Civic and the Impala Bi-Fuel. Except fleet sales, you literally cannot buy a new CNG car in the country. You can only retrofit your gasoline vehicle with a gas system. Yet, natural gas is a viable alternative to gasoline when it comes to trucks and buses, if only for emissions' sake.

The transportation industry accounted for as much as 28 percent of greenhouse emissions in the U.S. in 2016. Switching to CNG from gasoline makes sense for trucks and buses whose purpose is to provide reliable transport for goods and passengers rather than breaking engine performance records. Also, a fueling network for buses and trucks would be much easier -- and cheaper -- to build.

Elsewhere, the future of natural gas vehicles is brighter. Recently, a senior Volkswagen executive said NG vehicles could come to account for a tenth of the total vehicle fleet in Germany and Europe. In fact, Stephen Neumann told Clean Energy Wire, gas-fueled cars could become the alternative to electric vehicles, which still suffer shorter driving ranges and much longer recharging times than fossil fuel cars.

[Jul 03, 2018] Tesla calculations: 5000 a week is 250,000 units a year. There are only 6 models in North America that sell more then 250K units a year.

Still this is a dream. They are having huge difficulty reaching just 3K a week.
Jul 03, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

ihatebarkingdogs Mon, 07/02/2018 - 19:30 Permalink

we stress to our readers that just because TSLA makes a Model 3 car – with competition coming and buyers tired of "waiting" – does not mean demand for that car exists.

I've been thinking / saying this for months.

5000 a week is 250,000 units a year. There are only 6 models in North America that sell >/= 250K units a year. They may be able to produce 5,000 units a week, but they can't SELL 5,000 units a week. Pull it. This charade is getting really old.

ATM -> ihatebarkingdogs Mon, 07/02/2018 - 20:39 Permalink

They will have to start a dealer network to park all those cars somewhere. Then package all the dealer debt into some exotic debt instrument and sell it to the Muppets as AAA asset-backed paper with above market yield!

Later the Fed will have t buy that shit back to hide the crimes and stupidity of government actions and "save the system".

And we will all whistle Dixie afterwards.

Bombshelter -> ihatebarkingdogs Mon, 07/02/2018 - 23:19 Permalink

Even with some churn in the list T is sustaining over 400,000 confirmed orders on the books. At 5000 per week that is 80 weeks work to get to the last one.

The churn in orders is likely due to people maxing their wait time expectations, but as the waiting list diminishes wait time will reduce and more folk will decide to buy.

Try driving an electric car - you will never want a FF car again. Then it becomes a case of which EV to get. If one has a choice and the money then a Tesla is the best. If money-constrained then there are other choices. I think T will be around for a while to satisfy the top end of the market.

Nissan Leaf, eGolf etc will work better for others but the Big T will stay on top, IMHO.

gregga777 -> VWAndy Mon, 07/02/2018 - 21:37 Permalink

1500 missing cars. Lost at sea?

Probably part of the total quantity of Tesla's sitting in re-work centers waiting to be fixed enough to enable sale to the virtue signaling SJWs.

Justapleb Mon, 07/02/2018 - 20:47 Permalink

Alice in Wonderland!

The chief engineer is gone, and he was doing production engineering. That is, the assembly line. Elon shoved him aside to do this hail mary pass - assembling them by hand in a tent.

So now he's gone, and there are actually several top positions vacant. Fortunately, one of them is in accounting so for a while here Musk can use some not-so-GAAP ledgering.

Seeing the top production engineer leave during a period of rapid production engineering overhaul... what could go wrong?

Let it Go Mon, 07/02/2018 - 21:02 Permalink

Musk cavalier attitude has resulted in Tesla becoming one of the world's most-shorted stocks. Unfortunately, for the shorts, shares are up almost 30% in the past month mainly as a result of Musk's antics and toying with those of little faith. More about this in the article below.

http://Elon Musk May Soon Get His Comeuppance.html

sun1616 Mon, 07/02/2018 - 21:29 Permalink

TESLA biggest bear is Zero-hedge community,,,,

Yen Cross Mon, 07/02/2018 - 21:30 Permalink

Running a fucking car wash, is an endeavor in itself.

Cabreado Mon, 07/02/2018 - 21:36 Permalink

irrational exuberance is on the "investor"...

The biggest unknown is how Musk has managed to sleep... with a clear conscience.

[Jul 03, 2018] I have owned a Model 3 for 3 months.. you can ask me any question if you want... but my perspective

This is way too optimistic. First of all in comparison with a good hybrid like Camry hybrid Tesla is not that great. With 50 miles per gallon you need 6 gallons for 300 miles. So at $32 you break even with Tesla (which costs two time more) and at $3 you lose one dollar per gallon. You need to burn 30K gallons to break even with Tesla. That's 150K miles.
Jul 03, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

xav Mon, 07/02/2018 - 22:04 Permalink

I have been a zero hedge reader for 9 years. I have at times been a fierce critic of Elon Musk (especially with Solar City)

I have owned a Model 3 for 3 months.. you can ask me any question if you want... but my perspective:

- Handling is amazing. The car handles better than a BMW 3 series. Consumer Reports compared it to a Porsche Boxter.

- Power is amazing. 0 to 60 time is 5.1 seconds. That is comparable to a BMW 340I

- Operaring cost are amazing. The cost to add 300 miles of range where I live in SoCal (where electricity is expensive) is $10-$12 ($0.12 per kWh at night). Again.. how much would it cost to drive 300 miles on a comparable gasoline car?

- there is pretty much no maintenance schedule (battery fluid every 60k mike and brake fluid every 30k miles)

- Autopilot is amazing. I drive from LA to SD pretty much 100 percent on autopilot. Is it self driving? No. Do you need to pay attention? Yes. Does it do a damn good job at centering the car on its lane? It really does you would be surprised. Are there limitations with it? Yes there are.. stationary objects are one example. Are stationary objects a major problem when you use autopilot as designed (on the freeway)? usually not.. and by keeping good following distances and paying attention that is not a problem. All the instances of accidents published in the media have been by people who were not paying attention at all.

I paid $57.5k + TTL for that. I intentionally left out tax incentives because those will be phased out. Ask yourself.. is it really more expensive than a comparable 3 series when you take into account the above? I don't think so.

That is my major criticism with tesla bears. You can't compare a model 3 to. $18k focus. Not saying that everything that Elon musk does is good. Using tesla as a piggy bank to Bail out Solarcity and SpaceX.. I certainly do not agree with that.

Now let's talk about reliability. Well so far I have run into 2 issues: electronics under the seat exposed l, and spontaneous crack on the pano roof (know defects in earlier model), both issues were promptly resolved. It's too early to tell but for now it's better than my Scion FRS.

i hope this helps.. just giving my perspective.

[Jun 21, 2018] Tesla car catches fire 'out of the blue' in California traffic

Notable quotes:
"... "out of the blue," ..."
"... "normal Tesla," ..."
"... "an extraordinarily unusual occurrence" ..."
Jun 21, 2018 | www.rt.com

A Tesla vehicle caught fire, apparently "out of the blue," while sitting in California traffic. Video of the incident has been shared by US actress Mary McCormack whose husband was in the electric car at the time. McCormack said her husband was in traffic on Santa Monica Boulevard when the vehicle suddenly caught fire. There was "no accident" and the blaze came completely "out of the blue," she said.

@Tesla This is what happened to my husband and his car today. No accident,out of the blue, in traffic on Santa Monica Blvd. Thank you to the kind couple who flagged him down and told him to pull over. And thank god my three little girls weren't in the car with him pic.twitter.com/O4tPs5ftVo

-- Mary McCormack (@marycmccormack) June 16, 2018

Passersby flagged down the driver who then got out of the vehicle. Video recorded at the scene shows flames shooting from underneath the parked car.

The electric car did not have an autopilot feature and was a "normal Tesla," according to McCormack.

Sheriff's Lt. William Nash in West Hollywood said that deputies saw smoke coming from the electric vehicle and then fire. Firefighters were called to extinguish the flames. Nash said the log entry cited the possibility of a faulty battery, however, McCormack said on Twitter that they hadn't yet received an explanation for the sudden blaze.

Tesla called the incident "an extraordinarily unusual occurrence" and said it was investigating the matter.

READ MORE: Elon Musk's 'Pravda' to rate credibility of journalists & publications

The company is facing intense scrutiny after several incidents involving its vehicles. Last month, a Tesla burst into flames after a fatal crash in Switzerland. In the US, investigations were launched after a Model S crashed into a concrete wall and caught fire in Florida, killing two teenagers. Another Model S, with an autopilot feature, crashed into the back of a firetruck in South Jordan, Utah.

Tesla founder Elon Musk has criticized media coverage of crashes involving his vehicles and claims the cars are at least 10 times less likely than a gas car to catch fire, citing data from the National Fire Protection Association and US Federal Highway Administration.

[Jun 09, 2018] The i3 REx One Owners Thoughts on the BEVx Restrictions

Jun 09, 2018 | www.bmwblog.com

[Jun 02, 2018] Tesla has a number of severe problems

Jun 02, 2018 | www.unz.com

Thorfinnsson , May 25, 2018 at 4:10 pm GMT

On a different note, Tesla is going to zero. The company has a number of severe problems:

• Tesla is burning through one billion per quarter and is likely to run out of cash this year
• It is the only company of its size (in the market) offering high yield debt and stock offerings to accredited investors (which do not require SEC disclosure)
• Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman reportedly refused to meet with Elon Musk when he was in Saudi Arabia
• Elon Musk has violated federal securities, labor, and OSHA laws
• Musk and many other current and former executives have signed false documents and thus committed perjury
• The Model 3 is a disaster and was panned by Consumer Reports, Car and Driver, and Edmund's
• The self-dealing merger with Solar City would likely not have been approved by shareholders without Musk's vaporware demonstration of solar roof tiles that do not exist (securities fraud)
• Half of Tesla's output is exported, leaving it very vulnerable to trade retaliation
• Quality problems continue to be severe, and Tesla has now resorted to partnering with local body shops for post-production fixes
• Extreme shortage of spare parts means Teslas can be out of service for months
• Tesla takes months to refund customer deposits
• Numerous accounting problems, leading to 86 questions from the SEC for the last fiscal year, compared to zero for Ford Motor
• Tesla "autopilot" units keep crashing
• Highest accident and fatality statistics in its vehicle class (new luxury vehicles)
• Model S wheels and suspensions keep cracking
• Difficulty of exiting vehicle in the absence of electrical power (no mechanical door handles) led to children literally being burned alive
• A flood of competition is inbound, including the 600 horsepower Porsche Misson-E going into production at Zuffenhausen next year
• Tesla's zero emission credits are set to expire, just as other automakers start harvesting them

Every freely available share is now short–not joking. You can't even short the stock anymore generally, though puts are of course available.

Musk himself is likely to be personally wiped out as well, as he has borrowed against 40% of his shares. He'll face a very ugly margin call when the stock starts sliding. Additionally, he's likely to personally face both civil and criminal liability.

[Jun 01, 2018] If you've ever had a personal computer suddenly freeze as a force-fed Microsoft OS update wipes everything, you know that "What could possibly go wrong" with Tesla software updates over the air

Notable quotes:
"... proudly tweeted last Friday about an over-the-air software update which improves the Tesla Model 3's crappy braking by 20 feet in a 60 mph stop. ..."
"... If you've ever had a personal computer suddenly freeze as a force-fed Microsoft OS update wipes everything, you know that "What could possibly go wrong" is more than a rhetorical question. ..."
Jun 01, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Jim Haygood , May 31, 2018 at 10:39 am

' With their unproven, secretive technology that's fully hackable '

Mad genius Elon Musk -- our new Hawking, now that Hawking's left -- proudly tweeted last Friday about an over-the-air software update which improves the Tesla Model 3's crappy braking by 20 feet in a 60 mph stop.

If you've ever had a personal computer suddenly freeze as a force-fed Microsoft OS update wipes everything, you know that "What could possibly go wrong" is more than a rhetorical question.

[May 23, 2018] Elon Musk is the Cosmo Kramer of Crony Capitalism

Notable quotes:
"... Despite receiving all this government money, Musk's company has not shown demonstrable results. Yesterday, Bloomberg released a story under the headline "Tesla Doesn't Burn Fuel, It Burns Cash," detailing how the company spends $6,500 a minute and may run out of money by the end of the year. Just weeks ago, Moody's downgraded Tesla's credit rating due to its seeming inability to meet deadlines. Mr. Musk's estimate of producing 20,000 vehicles in December, for instance, turned into just over 2,400 in the entire fourth quarter. ..."
"... Norm Singleton is the chairman of Campaign for Liberty. ..."
May 23, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Anyone familiar with the hit sitcom Seinfeld knows that Cosmo Kramer, the rambunctious, eccentric neighbor of Jerry Seinfeld, had a lot of big ideas. From make-your-own-pizza parlors to tie dispensers to the infamous " mansierre ," Kramer was -- in his own mind -- a world-changing revolutionary.

Of course, aside from one notable exception ( the Regis Philbin-approved pop-out coffee table book ), none of his ideas ever panned out. But lack of achievement is exactly what viewers expected every week. The whole fun of Kramer was his dream-big mentality and the impracticality that came with it.

No one on the show was senseless enough to support Kramer in his work. In fact, in one episode, Leland fired him even though he did not hold any standing position. Kramer couldn't even keep a job at a bagel store for longer than a few days. It was his friends' open refrigerators that provided him with the life support he needed to continue dreaming and inventing.

This comedy sitcom case study is ironically much more sensible than what occurs in real life. There are plenty of Cosmo Kramers out in the world today with ideas that are even more ambitious than anything Kramerica Industries could have formulated. The only difference is that these individuals have armies of lobbyists that can convince our spendthrift government to finance their ideas, even though they have yet to pass any free-market smell tests.

Perhaps the most recent example of such a politically astute, Kramer-like figure is Elon Musk. This larger-than-life media personality plans to do everything from sending men to the moon and Mars, to creating a 700-miles-per-hour tunnel transportation system, to turbocharging human brains by implanting computers.

All of these are excellent ideas, to be sure, but ones that bear significant amounts of risk. Unfortunately, Mr. Musk does not seem willing to bear all the risk himself. His business model revolves around hiring experts to navigate the waters of the Washington swamp to discover ways to make the American people pick up the tab.

Take Tesla, for example. The car company was created to bring electric vehicles to the general public en masse -- a mission that oddly requires over $1 million in lobbying expenditures annually. As a result, the cars are financed by over $280 million in federal tax incentives, including a $7,500 federal tax break, and tens of millions more in state rebates and development fees.

Despite receiving all this government money, Musk's company has not shown demonstrable results. Yesterday, Bloomberg released a story under the headline "Tesla Doesn't Burn Fuel, It Burns Cash," detailing how the company spends $6,500 a minute and may run out of money by the end of the year. Just weeks ago, Moody's downgraded Tesla's credit rating due to its seeming inability to meet deadlines. Mr. Musk's estimate of producing 20,000 vehicles in December, for instance, turned into just over 2,400 in the entire fourth quarter.

It is no wonder that when these government subsidies die, electric vehicle sales plummet. Three years ago, sales sunk by more than 80 percent in the state of Georgia when the $5,000 state tax credit phased out. Last year, sales declined by 60 percent when its EV tax breaks sharply fell. These empirical case studies do not paint a positive picture of Tesla's future, especially given that its federal tax break is expected to phase out sometime this year. Perhaps funding Kramer's big ball of oil in the name of alleviating the world's spillage problems would have been just as, if not more, fruitful.

SpaceX is no better. Roughly 85 percent of its contracts come directly from the federal government. The aerospace manufacturer hit a then-personal record of $2 million in annual lobbying spending not long ago as it continued its quest to conquer the stars. New York magazine once asked "Are Elon Musk's Aggressive Lobbyists Bad for Silicon Valley? " but without them the government-dependent company might not even exist.

SpaceX has already received roughly $15 billion in subsidy guarantees from Texas, and despite meeting just one sixth of the hiring goals it promised, it is requesting $5 million more . Similarly, even though SpaceX has already received over $70 million from the federal government to develop its BFR, the company would like more on that front as well.

Meanwhile, just last week, NASA's Office of Inspector General found that SpaceX has raised the cost of some launches by over 50 percent due to having "a better understanding of the costs involved after several years of experience with cargo resupply missions." This new development means that the government's deal -- already diluted by costly rocket failures -- continues to get worse and worse.

And don't even get me started on SolarCity, Mr. Musk's solar panel company, which has still not turned an annual profit despite receiving over $490 million in grants from the Treasury Department over the years and the government covering 30 percent of its installation costs.

As a free market capitalist, I am rooting for Mr. Musk to pull it together and succeed. But I don't want the federal government to waste any more of Americans' hard-earned cash to make it happen.

We will never know what the well-intentioned Cosmo Kramer could have accomplished had Jerry and the rest of the gang cut him off from their refrigerators, homes, and other welfare as a means of forcing him to follow through with his goals. However, we can still explore how taking away such measures of comfort will affect Elon Musk's motivation and decision-making. Ironically, it just may be the recipe for success that the ambitious CEO needs.

Norm Singleton is the chairman of Campaign for Liberty.

DJ May 23, 2018 at 1:31 pm

There are legitimate questions to ask regarding tesla, but SpaceX is a whole other issue. Pretty much every rocket manufacturer gets massive government subsidies. SpaceX is not the first and probably not the last. but their increase in price is still cost competitive compared to other manufacturers.
KXB , says: May 23, 2018 at 4:20 pm
Musk should have gone into defense contracting – ever increasing budgets with no scrutiny.

[May 20, 2018] Ford Says Farewell The American Conservative

May 20, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Ford Says Farewell America's most iconic automaker plans to drive almost all of their passenger sedans into the sunset by 2020. By Telly Davidson May 16, 2018

1959 Ford Country Squire Station Wagon Advertisement Life Magazine November 10 1958 By SenseiAlan /Flickr/CreativeCommons Ford Motor Company recently dropped a bombshell -- one that would have been largely unthinkable before the Great Recession. FoMoCo announced that it would be phasing out virtually all passenger cars built for the U.S./Canadian market (they will continue in Europe) by 2020, except for the upcoming Focus Active and always-popular Mustang -- a move all the more grim in that it was founding father Henry Ford that pioneered the mass-market sedan for both America and the world.

The Focus will be first to go this month, followed by the Taurus next March and the Fiesta in May 2019.

Ford Motor Company was always the Eve to General Motors' Adam in Detroit, not only making cars (and profits) by the trunkload, but leading the league in midcentury style. The "Jackie Kennedy" Lincoln Continental Town Car . The Thunderbird . But during the "Big Government" era of unapologetically high property taxes and ballooning environmental regulations, Ford suffered its first postwar crash. Amid the 1975 fuel shortages, Congress passed -- and Detroit's own liberal Republican stalwart Gerald Ford (despite some quibbles and misgivings) signed -- the Corporate Average Fuel Economy Act (CAFÉ), which started off by requiring an 18 mpg standard by the 1978 model year (1975 models were around 13 mpg by average.) The standard would rise to 19 mpg in 1979, 20 in 1980, and then not one but two mileage points per year through 1984 -- with massive, multi-million-dollar IRS and court-imposed fines if a manufacturer was found to be non-compliant.

Like a small-town mayor futilely trying to resist a federal court order, Ford mocked GM's newly streamlined "large" cars when they debuted for 1977 (GM had been planning to go on a diet even before CAFÉ, and had vastly more R&D money than Ford or Chrysler). Ads noted that Ford's family-priced LTD sedan was now the same length as a "downsized" (but still gargantuan by today's standards) new '77 Cadillac. Cynically, both Ford and Chrysler made no secret of the fact that their 1978 model full-size cars would be the last of their kind (Cadillac also let everyone know that their big 1978 Eldorado was heading for the exit door), encouraging not only the "buy it while you still can!" panic buying of the hyperinflationary late '70s -- but also as good as telling customers that next year's forcibly-downsized models would be decidedly inferior. Lincoln gave its Town Car and Mark V one last victory lap before they went, and Ford also renewed the Mark V's shorter-wheelbase platform-mates the Thunderbird and Mercury Cougar for 1979. Still fuming at the imminent loss of their league-leaders, Ford so grossly overproduced for 1979 that Lincoln had a backlog of 210 days' worth of cars by July of 1979, effectively giving them a 1980 model year.

Not surprisingly, the downsized 1979 Ford (and Chrysler) "full size" sedans initially bombed -- sales declined drastically for the '79 LTD and Mercury Grand Marquis, and went off a cliff in 1980. And while the Mark VI "only" fell by half of its 1979 numbers, the Town Car went off Thelma and Louise's cliff -- barely managing one-third of its '79 numbers.

And all this was just a sampling of what became arguably the biggest one-year euthanasia in Ford history, as the 1980 Ford Granada and Mercury Monarch (and their upscale twin, the luxury Lincoln Versailles), and the iconic Pinto/Bobcat were all put to sleep at year's end. All but the Granada were canceled outright, in nameplate as well as body style, with the Granada barely hanging on as a thinly-disguised Fairmont (Ford's first big downsizing-era success, which kept the lights on at Dearborn during the 12-15 percent interest rate era from 1978 to 1983.)

Now the plot thickens. The first downsizing era was complete, but the second one, to bring things into compliance for 1984-85 (and what Detroit assumed would be even more draconian) standards, was now underway. Ford suffered catastrophic losses in 1980-82, and Chrysler had to beg a stern President Carter for a too-big-to-fail bailout in 1979-80 to avoid bankruptcy, as they frantically redesigned their slow-selling car lines yet again.

But out of this "Big Government" intrusion came the impetus to design what became Ford's biggest successes in the mid-to-late 80s and early 90s -- the 1983-88 and 1989-97 Thunderbird, the 1984-94 Ford Tempo, and the 1986-95 Ford Taurus. (Already their 1981-90 Escort flirted with #1 bestseller status in recessionary 1982.) Meanwhile, arch-competitor GM euthanized all but the station wagons and the Chevy Caprice sedan (which lasted until 1990) of their full-size 1977 lines in spring 1984. The cars GM replaced them with were engineering marvels (except when it came to reliability, perhaps) of front-wheel-drive, V6-powered efficiency -- but as folksinger Malvina Reynolds might have said, they all looked ticky-tacky and they all looked the same. GM suffered its largest decade-loss in its then-history during the '80s, according to auto historian Paul Niedemeyer.

But just as it had in 1978, Ford held out -- and this time, the move paid off. As Presidents Reagan and Bush Sr. began relaxing CAFE laws (or at least refusing to raise the standards dramatically), the "downsized" big cars of the first wave of downsizing that still remained in production began selling like hotcakes -- especially to Greatest and Silent Generation traditionalists who wanted cars that reminded them of the unapologetic luxury they drove in the 70s, when they were at the height of their earning power and still healthy. The 1991 LTD/Marquis looked much the same as they did in 1979, and the Town Car of 1989 (and its closest competitor, the '89 Chrysler Fifth Avenue) were virtual reruns of 1980. And the Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham (the only other GM survivor of 1984-85's "second downsizing") was still wearing its chrome-finned, formal-roofed, stately 1977 body all the way into 1992, with only a couple of reshaped-sheetmetal facelifts in between.

But Boomers had already been converted during the energy-conscious '70s to efficient Japanese (and soon, Korean) cars. (Their Gen-X and Millennial children also would have no qualms at all about buying "foreign.") By the late 80s and 90s, the Japanese were second to none in reliability, and rising suns like Hyundai and Kia began offering league-leading, bumper-to-bumper warranties. As the Roger & Me era of globalization took hold, even the saltiest WWII and Korea veterans who were left began seriously considering Japanese and Korean autos -- given that the Asian automakers were consciously building plants in the U.S. and Canada to erase the stigma of buying foreign (and head off potential tariffs), while the allegedly "all American" Big 3 were sending jobs by the thousand to Mexico, Guatemala, Venezuela, and eventually China.

The one big exception, however, was American trucks and vans -- including that ultimate "soccer moms" symbol, the "minivan" (introduced by Chrysler in 1984 and Ford in 1985) and the luxury SUV. Because even the biggest global-warming advocates and environmentalists had to concede that a civilized society needed ambulances, hearses, construction, repair, and delivery trucks, and so forth, trucks were held to a significantly lower MPG standard.

Conscious of his fellow Yuppies (and not wanting to be a gloomy Debbie Down-size-er like Jimmy Carter), Bill Clinton said "No way!" to raising CAFE standards, much less cracking down hard on American-made trucks, vans, Jeeps, and SUVs that were all the rage (and already paying the Big Three's bills) in the late '90s. And naturally, Texas oilman George W. Bush (with his bestie, "Kenny-Boy" Lay of Enron) and Dick "Halliburton" Cheney barely even touched fuel standards. The CAFÉ standard never rose above 27.5 mpg for passenger cars from 1985 all the way through 2010 -- a full 25 years.

By 2010, the US auto industry was in the worst shape since the Great Depression, if not the Carter years. GM was pulling itself out of bankruptcy, and cancelled their Saturn and Pontiac brands on Halloween 2010 (Oldsmobile had been the first to the cemetery in the relatively prosperous June of 2004). Chrysler had long ago put Plymouth and what was left of AMC/Eagle to sleep, and was even more bankrupt than GM. The only real survivor was, ironically, Ford, thanks to its European partnerships and its red-hot truck/SUV presence, and the ever-popular Mustang. (The Focus, Taurus, and Fusion were still doing well, although largely behind the Japanese and Korean majors.) The Town Car (whose body dated to 1998) and Crown Victoria (which went back to 1991-92) finally died in early 2012, after shutting down production at the end of August 2011. And though the iconic Lincoln Continental was revived for 2017, it has largely failed to meet expectations.

So this was your life, Ford Motor Company. You invented the modern working-class hero's sedan with the Model T, you survived and thrived as arguably midcentury middle-class America's most iconic automaker, you stumbled badly and nearly OD'ed on gasoline and outdated styling through the last days of disco, but woke up with Morning in America. "Big Gov'mint" forced you -- kicking and screaming -- to innovate in ways you didn't want to, but that kept you alive during that time. And then, when deregulation happened, and the focus became trucks/minivans/SUVs that didn't need year-to-year changes to stay popular, you had to play it as it laid.

Fare thee well, Ford sedans and wagons. It wouldn't have been the same without ya.

Telly Davidson is the author of a new book, Culture War : How the 90's Made Us Who We Are Today (Like it Or Not) . He has written on culture for ATTN, FrumForum, All About Jazz, FilmStew, and Guitar Player, and worked on the Emmy-nominated PBS series "Pioneers of Television."

John_M May 15, 2018 at 10:47 pm

If oil prices his $100 a barrel as Citi is predicting next year (side effect of Trump's Iran move), this could turn out badly for Ford.

I hope I have purchased my last gas car – a Prius Prime – a year ago. I am in my later 60's and I like long range trips. At 50 mpg+ on gas, I will be able to afford to drive it when I am retired. And for my about town commuting and short trips, I am averaging over 130 mpg – relying mostly upon the battery. With luck, it will last until I am not up for long haul trips.

I hope to buy a fully self driving electric car in 4 years when I have finished paying off the Prius. My wife is directionally challenged and we are likely to be somewhat rural, making Uber-like services less able. In the mean time, she drives her 10 year old Toyota corolla, which gets quite good mileage.

I have driven gas guzzlers in my time, but given the amount I drive, I have decided to optimize my cars for reliability and mileage. The Prius replaces a Suburu Forester that got ~ 23 mpg. It had over 230,000 miles on it before it sustained enough damage from road debris that it wasn't worth repairing.

I don't need another suv or pickup, the kids are finally moving out.

[May 20, 2018] Here Comes Tesla's Next Big "Ask" from Taxpayers

May 20, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Economic analysis often uses the term ceteris paribus -- all other things being equal -- but all other things are not equal. The worker Tesla employed might have found employment elsewhere; it may have even been more stable, safer employment that did not entail payment in Tesla equity, that is subject to some uncertainty as to its ultimate value.

To highlight this point, it may be helpful to consider the economic activity generated by Tesla's competitors in California. These competitors' operations are being impaired by Tesla's sale of deeply subsidized cars in the state. While Tesla's competitors do not manufacture cars in the state, they account for

On a more minor point, the IHS Markit report assumes that the $2.1 billion in "wages" paid to Tesla workers is spent in the California economy. As discussed above, the report includes in these "wages" Tesla equity granted to employees without quantifying what percentage of wages this equity represented. We are skeptical as to how many employees spent their Tesla stock to boost local economic activity.

snblitz Sat, 05/19/2018 - 22:20 Permalink

But Elon's Teslas consume twice the fossil fuel per mile driven and produce more pollution than light duty diesels.

https://www.finitespaces.com/2018/02/14/electric-cars-use-twice-as-much-oil-as-diesel-vehicles/

Why would anyone give Tesla a break? Sure the fossil fuel industry is happy to double their income, but why would anyone else?

[Apr 02, 2018] Tesla Encounters the Material World

Notable quotes:
"... By Lambert Strether of Corrente . ..."
Apr 02, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Posted on April 1, 2018 by Lambert Strether By Lambert Strether of Corrente .

Cars are made of stuff . Software is made of bytes. While I don't say that Silicon Valley squillionaire Tesla boss Elon Musk has stuff and bytes confused in his mind, it is true that the unexpected materiality of the automobile is causinge his company problems, and may be enough to sink it. Further, broadening focus from Tesla to the industry, the tendency of electric vehicles (EVs) to de materialize -- by catching on fire -- will pose problems for (publicly funded) local governments that nobody seems to be thinking about. I'll show the first by looking at Tesla's attempt to automate the final assembly process; and the second by looking at a recent Tesla battery fire.

Automating Final Assembly at Tesla

Elon Musk has a master plan :

In 2006 Tesla CEO Elon Musk published a 'top secret masterplan' on Tesla's website. It was low on detail but the groundbreaking electric car company has stuck to it. Tesla, it said, was going to '[1]create a low volume sports car, [2]use that money to develop a medium volume car at a lower price and [3]use that money to create an affordable, high volume car'.

In Silicon Valley terms, Musk was going to create a manufacturing process that scaled , a process where the only requirement to solve capacity problems is a frictionless capital injection for bandwidth or servers (as opposed to, say, hiring and training workers). But now we see that Tesla's process not scaling; that's why Tesla keeps not making Musk's projections. A report from Bernstein analysts Max Warburton and Toni Sacconaghi ( noted at NC here , and then at Business Insider (" The Robots Are Killing Tesla ") explains why. Musk hoped to achieve the third phase of his master plan ("high volume") through hyper-automation, including automating final assembly. It's not working. Quoting Warburton and Sacconaghi (via Twitter ):

We've noted Elon Musk's claims about reinventing auto production with interest. He's talked about manufacturing being "a competitive advantage," about "the machine that builds the machine," [ Wired ] and about "manufacturing as the product." He has said " you can't have people in the production line itself , otherwise you drop to people speed. So there will be no people in the production process itself. People will maintain the machines, upgrade them, and deal with the anomolies." These are bold claims. They have been accompanied by Tesla's huge capital investments in the last two years We've noticed reports of hundreds of multi-axis Kuka robots being purchases for Fremont (467 reported in just one batch -- we believe the total is far greater). We've watched as Tesla bought outright a German automation design company (Grohmann) to help it with its task.

[A]s Tesla has struggled to ramp Model 4 -- and as the company has sought to optimistically discuss its assembly line design -- we've rather belatedly figured out what's going on. The reason Tesla spent all this money, the reason it bought Grohmann, and the reason it can't build Model 3's are all linked. Tesla has tried to hyper-automate Model 3 production. And like every historic attempt at high automation in the industry, it's struggling.

In fact, Tesla's automation attempt is not only struggling; Warburton and Sacconaghi predict it will fail. Here is why:

[Tesla] has also tried to automate final assembly . Tesla's approach to automation rings alarm bells. If we look at the history of the auto industry, we can see that attempts to automate final assembly haven't worked. Many OEMs have tried it in the past -- such as Fiat, VW, and GM. They have all failed, often spectacularly. Anyone familiar with automobile assembly knows this . .

[A]utomation is expensive -- and usually proves far less effective, highly inflexible, and creates quality problems further down the line.

It's the materiality -- the bad welds, crooked bolts, misaligned fasteners, defective seals -- that hyper-automantion cannot handle. Warburton concludes: "[A]utomation in final assembly doesn't work." High-tech manufacturing expert Roger Bohn agrees:

Fundamentally, Tesla has a product design and production process that are "not manufacturable." That is, the product tolerances are considerably tighter than the process variation. The result is that they produce lots of junk that must be scrapped or reworked. They can partially reduce process variation by stopping more often to adjust machines, but this causes downtime and creates "bottlenecks."

All this means that Tesla can't remove people from the production line. That means that Tesla can't make Musk's projections. What that means, we'll see.

As a sidebar, it's worth noting that Tesa had the same issues with its battery manufacturing plant. CNBC in January:

Tesla's problems with battery production at the company's Gigafactory in Sparks, Nevada, are worse than the company has acknowledged according to a number of current and former Tesla employees.

Here is a description of the materiality of the battery-making process:

What does it take to make a Model 3 battery? Each battery pack contains four modules. And each module contains seven bandoliers, or cooling tubes with a row of lithium-ion cells glued to each side. Those cells have to be precisely aligned.

Manual assembly works for some parts of battery production, like bolting down and gluing the "clamshells," or outer structures that hold a battery pack together.

But bandoliers are tough to put together by hand . Cells can be pushed a bit too high or low, or otherwise drop out of alignment, as they're squeezed against the glue on a cooling tube and packed into modules.

A current Gigafactory engineer recalled that in December, factory workers were manually "slapping bandoliers together as fast as they possibly could," generating a lot of scrap in the process.

Once the machines in the factory were able to crank out bandoliers as fast or faster than the manual laborers, Tesla began sending Panasonic workers back to their employer, sources said.

Today, Tesla is winding down manual assembly as much as possible at the Gigafactory, a hopeful sign.

But one engineer who works there cautioned that the automated lines still can't run at full capacity. "There's no redundancy, so when one thing goes wrong, everything shuts down. And what's really concerning are the quality issues ."

Now, I can believe that in fact battery production will scale, simply because they are orders of magnitude less complex than cars. Still, it's telling that we have the same issues at both hyper-automated assembly lines. It's almost like management has a gigantic blind spot, because the same problem keeps happening .

Battery Fires as an Externality

From Tesla's doomed quest for struggles with hyper-automation, let's turn to a recent Tesla incident that points up a difficulty for the electric vehicle industry as a whole: The death of Apple Engineer Wei Huang in his Tesla, and the subsequent battery fire. ABC News describes the incident:

Huang was traveling at freeway speeds on the split along the Highway 101 and state Highway 85 junction, lost control and struck the middle barrier causing his vehicle to catch fire, according to the CHP. A Sig-Alert was issued at 9:29 a.m., the time that the CHP was notified of the crash.

After Huang's Tesla hit the median, it landed in the second left-most lane of southbound Highway 101 and was hit by a white Mazda and consequently struck again by a gray Audi traveling in the adjacent lane, CHP officials said.

(Most of the coverage has focused on whether Tesla's autopilot was at fault ; Tesla has blamed a damaged safety barrier for the extent of the impact.) Here is an image of the Tesla after the crash:

(One can only conclude that Tesla -- and the entire EV industry -- dodged a bullet, in public relations terms; there are no charred bodies strapped in the seats.)

And here is a video of the fire:

me title=

Finally, here's a shot of the battery compartment, breached in the crash, after the fire was put out:

(In this image, you can clearly see the how Tesla constructs its "floor-mounted lithium-ion high voltage battery" out of many small individual cylindrical batteries , unlike (say) GM . Here are two Reddit threads for battery mavens , and an infographic on Tesla's design choices .)

Now, I'm not arguing that there's anything wrong with Tesla's battery design (though one can't help but wonder if quality assurance problems at Tesla's GigaFactory were somehow involved). Instead, I'd like to focus on what the emergency crews and the firefighters had to do to put out the fire. From the Mountain View Voice :

Emergency fire crews arrived at the crash shortly after 9:30 a.m., and found that the front end of the Tesla had "substantial damage," exposing the vehicle's lithium ion battery and causing it to catch fire, according to Mountain View Fire Chief Juan Diaz. Electric vehicle fires are typically put out by blasting a large quantity of water -- 3,000 gallons -- directly on the battery to bring down the temperature of the cells, which can overheat and reach temperatures of up to 900 degrees, he said.

Diaz said the department was put in a difficult situation. Fire crews had 500 gallons of water at the scene, but getting any more would have required running 2,000 feet of thick fire hose across Highway 101, which would have been catastrophic for traffic in both directions, Diaz said. But letting the car continue to burn on a busy highway, destroying the battery, would have been a bad choice as well, he said.

"In the middle of the Highway 101 freeway, that's not something we want to do," he said. "And it's not good for the environment with the byproducts of combustion."

Fire crews used the available supply of water and contacted the manufacturer of the vehicle , Palo Alto-based Tesla, to assist in getting the battery's temperature under control. Diaz said the engineers essentially disassembled a portion of the car battery on the spot , and that subsequent thermal imaging showed that the battery was no longer unstable.

Fire engines escorted the tow truck that removed the Tesla all the way to the impound yard out of an abundance of caution, Diaz said. Car batteries are capable of reigniting for 24 hours after cooling.

The challenging situation was made worse by the significant damage caused by collision itself. Diaz said that Tesla vehicles are built to be very safe, with features to help first responders deal with lithium ion batteries that ignite, but in this case emergency crews had no access to the battery's disconnect wires because they were destroyed on impact [1]. This is the first time the department has dealt with this kind of problem, Diaz said, and he commended his department's response to the dangerous situation.

(The story doesn't mention something an observer noted : "Small explosions within the body of the #Tesla just now as technicians remove damaged batteries.")

Catastrophic automobile accident happen all the time; I doubt very much that the crash that killed Huang is in any way unusual, even though it involved multiple vehicles. What was unusual in this case -- what demand special, indeed unique handling -- was the presence of an electric vehicle, which required (1) six times the amount of water normally used, (2) the presence of an engineer from the manufacturer (luckily close at hand in Palo Alto), (3) thermal imaging, and (4) a firetruck escort.

Further, if you RTFM , you will see that Tesla recommends that fire departments do even more than the Mountain View Fire Department did. From Tesla's Model X Emergency Response Guid e (PDF), page 22:

A burning or heated battery releases toxic vapors. These vapors include sulfuric acid, oxides of carbon, nickel, lithium, copper, and cobalt. Responders should protect themselves with full PPE, including self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA), and take appropriate measures to protect civilians downwind from the incident. Use fog streams or positive-pressure ventilation fans (PPV) to direct smoke and vapors.

So, (5) breathing apparatus, and (6) fog streams, whatever they are -- like a rock and roll show? -- or big fans. Also, besides (7) something to cut the "first responder loop" with (page 15), (8) "insulated tools" (page 21), and (9) "a large open area" (page 21):

Always advise second responders that there is a risk of battery re-ignition. After Model X has been involved in submersion, fire, or a collision that has compromised the high voltage battery, always store the vehicle in an open area at least 50 ft (15 m) from any exposure.

Presumably, you can't just stick a potentially flaming car in the parking lot behind the station, so you need a fenced off, lit-up "open area," possibly guarded.

Right now, there aren't very many crashes involving electric vehicles; there were 17 million new cars sold in 2017, of which 199,826 were EVs. Now, EVs may indeed catch on fire less often than gasoline-fueled cars , but when they do, it looks like substantially more resources from emergency responders and firefighters will be required to be on hand at all times, including equipment, training, and infrastructure[2] (besides potential medical issues for responders). So when the entire EV industry achieves scale, as it probably will -- GM, after all, does know something about manufacturing -- there were be considerable externalities. All this seems like rather a lot to expect of local governments, even the most beneficent.

Conclusion

The EV industry has two problems: First, it looks like Tesla's hyper-automated EV manufacturing process will fail (though the GigaFactory, being less complex, may succeed). Since there are other manufacturers who have more functional views of the role humans should play on the assembly line, likely the only people affected will be investors, short or long, in what is, after all, a vanity project for Elon Musk. Second, if the Huang fire is any indication, there will be significant externalities imposed on the public, especially their local governments, as EVs become ubiquitous, which the Silicon Valley trade press ignores. In each case, the materiality of the EV in the workplace -- whether at the point of its assembly with human hands, or at the point of its disassembly through fire and rescue -- is a key factor to examine.

NOTES

[1] Somebody should speak to Tesla's engineers about a design for disconnecting the battery that fails when most needed.

[2] We don't seem to know exactly why lithium-ion batteries catch on fire. MIT Technology Review , from coverage of a 2013 fire:

There is some real concern out there about the safety of lithium ion batteries, which is understandable because there have been well reported cases of lithium ion batteries catching fire. What's unnerving about many of these fires is that they seem to happen spontaneously.

Yes, that's unnerving indeed. More:

First, the fire illustrated once again how difficult lithium ion battery fires are to put out. Firefighters thought they had it put out, but it reignited. There are a couple of schools of thought among battery experts about why this happens.

"A couple of schools of thought." That's unnerving, too.

In a battery fire, the main thing that's burning is the liquid electrolyte, which burns best when it's exposed to air. One school of thought is that even in the absence of air there other oxidants within the battery that can create and sustain a fire. It's thought that the battery electrodes themselves can release oxygen, fueling the fire from within. If this is the case, all firefighters can do is to work to keep the fire from spreading and wait for the reactants to burn up.

Other research suggests that this isn't the case. Instead, what might happen is that even once the fire is put out, the cells stay very hot and keep releasing more electrolyte in the form of vapor. Once firefighters turn off the water and oxygen can once more come into contact the vapor, it can reignite.

It seems clear that we need to do more tests and learn the best ways to put out battery fires, especially as battery-powered cars proliferate.

It seems that in 2013, we don't really have a scientific basis for telling firefighters what to do. Are there battery mavens in the readership who can bring us up to date on this point?


paul , April 1, 2018 at 4:23 pm

Even if PT Musk's teething troubles were ironed out you can't engineer against a carrington event .

It would look like the the third act of every 21st century Marvel movie, without the happy ending.

shinola , April 1, 2018 at 4:35 pm

A Tech Titan puts on his best cliched Mexican bandit accent & proclaims:

"Externaliteez! We don' care 'bout no steenking externaliteez!"

John k , April 1, 2018 at 4:54 pm

EV will get better, and Tesla already gets good reviews, albeit with issues, at CR. Not long ago they rated Tesla worlds best passenger car. Plus great reviews by owners.
Problems going from small production to big usually has serious problems. And much more difficult for newbie with newbie tech. Rolls Royce jet engines essentially went under when simply making bigger what they had been doing for decades.

They probably should have been funding with stock. Probably need 10b.

I really hope they make it. Solar with temp storage plus EV would solve a chunk of our biggest problem, which is not how the rich treat workers but climate change, though population is of course behind GW. But for EV to do their part people have to want to buy them, and Tesla is the only one making that version.

Altandmain , April 1, 2018 at 5:43 pm

Other car companies are catching on now.

It will happen with time even if Tesla goes under.

Collapsar , April 1, 2018 at 5:58 pm

Tesla gets good reviews at CR? Maybe for new car reviews, but long term reliability is proving to be an issue. In 2015 the model S made news for getting a better-than-perfect score on CR's new car review, but then ended up with a "not recommended" rating a few months later due to reports of problems with reliability. Tesla is currently at war with Consumer Reports over CR's "average" reliability rating for the model 3. CR hadn't driven a 3 yet, but the rating was based on technology used in the current Model S, which the 3 borrows much from.
As for Tesla being the only company making an EV people want to buy: the model 3 has been outsold by the Chevy bolt for every month the 3 was available last year. In the 3's best month, December, it was outsold by the Bolt 3,227 to 1,060.

Darius , April 1, 2018 at 7:52 pm

I suspect a lot of people are so invested in the Tesla mystique they can't admit to themselves they bought a pig in a poke and now they're holding the bag. It may be a little while longer before they can admit that the emperor has no clothes. How's that for stringing together cliches?

False Solace , April 1, 2018 at 5:03 pm

Those who live by the sword will die by the sword. Musk and his various enterprises appear to subsist more on PR than oxygen. One day Musk tells us that AI will destroy the world, the next he wants to build an underground hyperloop between various cities, later he explains that the first batch of people he sends to Mars will likely die there (well, that does seem rather likely). The technological feasibility of Musk's plans are never questioned by his adherents. Rather, his ideas are wafted toward the heavens on tremulous clouds of hype.

It's been a while since Americans dreamed big about the future. Musk's contribution to that could be a worthwhile thing. But the big, visible failure of a hype machine is the opposite.

According to Lambert's post it appears that Musk bet his company's life on high automation technology. Ironically, Musk was ensnared by the fog bank of hype surrounding the "Robots Are Coming (For Your Job, Not Mine)" crowd. He inhaled the PR about robotic automation, that it was inevitable and incipient and ready for prime time. Now he's choking on the fumes. Automation isn't there yet. The machines aren't smart enough.

We don't even know what "smart" is, much less how to mechanize it. But an entire industry calls itself that.

It occurs to me that Steve Jobs, despite his tremendous personal flaws, was a far superior technologist than Musk. When Apple was working on the iPhone, Jobs never hyped a product that didn't and couldn't exist. The iPhone was developed in strict secrecy. When Jobs presented it to the public, it did exactly what he said it did. The iPhone was an iteration on existing technology -- as opposed to iterating on non-existent technology -- and it was fresh, novel and useful. Tesla didn't invent the electric car. It doesn't have a self-driving car, either, because those don't exist, but it sure wants us to think it will, any day now. The moment we stop believing, Tesla dies.

Octopii , April 1, 2018 at 5:55 pm

The car company is having trouble. But the space company is doing very well, and is most definitely not existing solely in PR. It is executing again and again and again, lifting cargo and satellites to orbit and returning the boosters to be reused. Oh and by the way, Tesla did make electric cars cool because of the performance, styling, and mass availability.

Altandmain , April 1, 2018 at 5:11 pm

This is a bigger problem than you think
I've noted this elsewhere, but it's interesting to note that GM's Battery design, used on the Chevy Bolt is actually less flammable.

https://insideevs.com/gm-versus-tesla-bolt-ev-tesla-model-3-battery-packs-compared/

Because Tesla's battery chemistry is much more flammable than GM's and it requires more armor to deflect foreign objects.

In this case, it would seem that Tesla's armor has failed.

That's a big deal. The reason why is because electric motors and battery packs (the IP that Tesla uses is owned by Panasonic) are available everywhere. Putting together batteries is supposed to be Tesla's core competency, it's competitive advantage, for lack of a better term.

If you read the analysis, GM has produced a simpler to manufacture, less flammable, and only slightly less energy dense battery pack. That's on its first serious try too at a mainstream EV. Seeing as how Tesla is not way ahead on battery technology, what advantages does it have? Brand and marketing may be the only thing that I see.

Another matter – Tesla vs Toyota
Tesla is quite literally the un-Toyota.

https://www.lean.org/LeanPost/Posting.cfm?LeanPostId=861

It is ironic that Tesla took over the factory formerly occupied by NUMMI, an icon of the Toyota Production System (TPS). In the early stages of Tesla production, Toyota sent top people to help. Yet so much of Tesla's vision of manufacturing is completely contrary to TPS: Spend large amounts of capital to automate everything possible. Rely on hiring many engineers to make it work rather than carefully developing talent from within. Repair in quality rather than designing and building in quality. Aim for an ultrafast assembly line instead of building to the rate of customer demand (takt). Note that the idea of people continuously improving does not seem to appear in the Tesla playbook. It seems like a vision born of the machine paradigm, not Wheatley's living system paradigm. It is also interesting that in the gigafactories "production hell," Elon Musk developed some appreciation of the value of people in crisis management: "It has to some degree renewed my faith in humanity that the rapid evolution of progress and the ability of people to adapt rapidly is quite remarkable."

What Elon Musk is missing is exactly the point that has made Toyota so successful. Toyota's living system approach is exactly what has been missing from Musk's mechanisitic view and needs to be at the center of his vision, not as an occasional response to a crisis. Toyota is a learning organization with a long memory. In 1979, Toyota launched the Lexus LS400 with the most advanced automation in the company at its Tahara, Japan, plant, including robots in assembly doing jobs normally done by people. Sales were below expectations and the plant was underutilized. Toyota's reflection was that the high capital costs were fixed and could not be adjusted to match demand.

Toyota prides itself on only building to actual demand and when demand is down the company wants the flexibility to reduce costs to remain profitable. This is possible with people. While Toyota provides long-term job security for its regular team members, it uses a variable workforce of agency personnel who can be released in a sales downturn. It also plans overtime, which can be eliminated. In the Great Recession Toyota cut management pay and in some plants limited production team members to 35 paid hours a week. And Toyota can always find useful things to do with team members not needed for production, but robots simply sit idle. Since the Tahara experience, Toyota reduced automation rather than accelerated it.

The difference is that Toyota is competent at making vehicles. Tesla not so much, at least not at the moment, and it will have to learn from its mistakes if it is to survive.

Another irony here. Tesla actually brushed off Toyota's help. It's not well known, but Toyota actually helped another high end car manufacturer that was struggling, Porsche, which adapted many of the TPS' best practices.

I suspect that Yves, who has worked in Japan, might be able to chime in a bit on Kaizen as well.

The end result is obvious, if not sad.
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-tesla-quality-insight/build-fast-fix-later-speed-hurts-quality-at-tesla-some-workers-say-idUSKBN1DT0N3

The luxury cars regularly require fixes before they can leave the factory, according to the workers. Quality checks have routinely revealed defects in more than 90 percent of Model S and Model X vehicles inspected after assembly, these individuals said, citing figures from Tesla's internal tracking system as recently as October. Some of these people told Reuters of seeing problems as far back as 2012.

Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) said its quality control process is unusually rigorous, designed to flag and correct the tiniest imperfections. It declined to provide post-assembly defect rates to Reuters or comment on those cited by employees.

The world's most efficient automakers, such as Toyota (7203.T), average post-manufacturing fixes on fewer than 10 percent of their cars, according to industry experts. Getting quality right during initial assembly is crucial, they said, because repairs waste time and money.

Tesla now has a reputation for unreliable cars with poor fit and finish. That is entirely self inflicted. They have been shipping beta products and have made a number of pretty bad decisions.

Darius , April 1, 2018 at 8:00 pm

Musk also is hysterically ant-union. GM made peace with the UAW 80 years ago. I guess 10-percenter liberals now are "post-union," so they and Musk are compatible.

paul , April 1, 2018 at 5:12 pm

You have to toff your hat to the the lachrymose billionare.

21 million twitter followers to entertain and he still finds time to revolutionise space travel, subterranean mass transit and personal vehicles.

I remain sceptical regarding the new life on Mars.

"Engenigerringeez! We don' care 'bout no steenking engenigerringeez!"

none , April 1, 2018 at 5:12 pm

I believe the Tesla pack design is based partly on the knowledge that li ion cells sometimes spontaneously explode or catch on fire. The pack is made from a lot of small cells in separated compartments, so if some cells go out or burn, they shouldn't send the whole pack up in flames. I don't know what happens with GM which uses fewer but larger cells. I think there have been some incidents of contained battery failures (don't know if fires were involved) in Tesla cars. The car is still functional enough to tell the driver to pull over and call Tesla's roadside assistance.

I wonder how often that crash attenuator has gotten hit and whether there have been previous times when the attenuator has been subsequently hit in another accident before being replaced after the first one. I've seen those things on the freeway before but didn't know how they worked.

Yeah the model 3 assembly automation story sounds like a cautionary tale.

ewmayer , April 1, 2018 at 6:19 pm

"I don't know what happens with GM"

Did you see Altandmain's comment above about GM's Battery design being significantly less flammable than Tesla's?

Altandmain , April 1, 2018 at 7:23 pm

Looks like they are frantically trying to make the Q1 2018 target now:
https://www.bloomberg.com/amp/news/articles/2018-04-01/tesla-makes-last-ditch-model-3-deliveries-as-pressures-mount?__twitter_impression=true

Meanwhile, on the note of the car accident:
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-04-01/ntsb-says-it-s-unhappy-tesla-disclosed-details-of-fatal-crash

VietnamVet , April 1, 2018 at 7:45 pm

An extraordinary amount of money and intellect are consciously being spent to remove humans from manufacturing and transportation rather than increasing safety and efficiency. The intensity is frightening. The Tesla was brought to the dealer to fix the autopilot that swiveled the car seven to 10 times toward the same exact barrier. Rather than turning autopilot off, the Apple Engineer, I surmise, wanted to find and fix the bug. But, instead he died in Silicon Valley's quest for a dystopian future without labor. A world without a purpose in life for human beings.

Darius , April 1, 2018 at 8:41 pm

That's a particularly American obsession. I'm visiting Tokyo, where the street trees are meticulously pruned. That takes labor. In the US, the only attention a street tree gets is when it dies and is cut down.

JTMcPhee , April 1, 2018 at 9:53 pm

Don't forget all the dogs and drunks that pee on said trees, helping them "just die." And the stamping feet that compact the root spaces. And the effects of all that other human effluvium that lands on the canopy and infiltrates the soil.

D , April 1, 2018 at 8:18 pm

The problem Tesla is having is they don't have an automated production process, otherwise there wouldn't be so much rework at the plants and they wouldn't have such poor build quality, while it does a long time to get that to work well, its not easy or over night, even if you were producing large mass products(cars). none of the mainstream producers were successful, but now all of them do so, and the quality is light years better than it was when they didn't have automation. They also had have about 3 times as many workers as they do now to produce fewer vehicles.

The Rev Kev , April 1, 2018 at 8:28 pm

I won't say much about the lithium ion batteries except to say that if they spontaneously ignite from time to time, then it is because they have been pushed into production before they understood the science of how they work. I went looking for the video clip of that Tesla fire and found another one from Germany a few months ago ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YzfxZMXRG38 ). Maybe Tesla just hates Fire Departments which is why one of their cars crashed into a big red fire truck because the car couldn't "see" it.
It seems to be a dream of Silicon Valley to get rid of all workers and replace them with robots guided by AIs. Elon's factory is just the latest attempt at pushing this agenda forward and he had as much luck as an IBM engineer becoming a farmer. This is not something that you can just keeping throwing engineers at and expect that problem to be solved. You wonder if he has even heard of W. Edwards Deming or even the Japanese concept of kaizan. Humans are where they are because they adapt. Machines don't
Maybe a quote here might help. The science fiction writer Robert A. Heinlein once wrote: "A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects."
And may I add also for robot car assembly machines?

Pavel , April 1, 2018 at 9:47 pm

Well at 3:02PM on April 1st, @ElonMusk thought it would be fun for TSLA sharefholders if he made an April Fool's joke on Twitter :

Tesla Goes Bankrupt Palo Alto, California, April 1, 2018 -- Despite intense efforts to raise money, including a last-ditch mass sale of Easter Eggs, we are sad to report that Tesla has gone completely and totally bankrupt. So bankrupt, you can't believe it.

As you can imagine the joke is getting mixed reviews.

Larry , April 1, 2018 at 10:41 pm

The stories about how Tesla tried to push robotics and automation to unheard of levels in the industry is particularly damning. It explains their inability to hit targets project years out after consuming gobs of capital in an industry that is really mature. Maybe it also explains the rats fleeing the ship, errr, the high level executives seeking greener pastures (and potentially cashing in their options).

https://www.thestreet.com/story/14521835/1/tesla-is-losing-key-financial-people-at-its-company.html

I was finally able to convince a college friend to retrieve his $1000 dollar down payment on a Model 3. Said friend is a programmer who this winter said he can't wait until Tesla is doing all the driving for us because people are so bad at driving. So he was firmly in the eating out of Elon's palm camp. For him to come around and claim back is money is something else. Granted, it's just one person, but I have to think other deposit holders are taking similar action, or at least thinking about it with the recent news.

[Apr 01, 2018] Where Volkswagen Cars Go To Die

Apr 01, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

An aging football stadium in Michigan. A decrepit paper mill in Minnesota. A sun-bleached patch of desert in California.

These are the lots where Volkswagen is storing the hundreds of thousands of diesel vehicles that included software to help them cheat US emissions testing as the company races to buyback a huge chunk of its inventory ahead of a deadline agreed to as part of its settlement with the US government , per Reuters.

Under the terms of its landmark settlement with the US government, if 85% of the 500,000 cars VW promised to repurchase haven't been bought back or fixed by then, the company will face higher punitive payments.

Luckily for VW, the company says it has already repurchased 83% of these vehicles. Back in 2015, the company admitted to one of the biggest corporate scandals of the millennium: Installing software in its diesel cars to cheat US emissions test.

The company later pleaded guilty to several felonies, agreed to three years probation, an paid more than $4 billion in fines.

Meanwhile, it was also required to buy back any car that had been affected by its strategy.

According to a court filing, as of Dec. 31, Volkswagen had repurchased 335,000 diesel vehicles, resold 13,000 and destroyed about 28,000 vehicles.

As of the end of last year, VW was storing 294,000 vehicles around the country. The company has sent more than 400,000 letters offering buybacks and reimbursements. Tags


ThanksIwillHav Sun, 04/01/2018 - 14:12 Permalink

April Fools???

toady -> ThanksIwillHav Sun, 04/01/2018 - 14:16 Permalink

They have a bunch of them at the Silverdome in Pontiac. I've been working to get one of the passats (or a bunch) out of there, but I've been unsuccessful so far. I don't give a shit about emissions... I've been trying to fake paperwork to say the cars are a year or two newer. I don't live in a city, so I don't have to do emissions testing, and those passats go about 50 miles to the gallon. Plus they're high quality German engineering.

Looney -> toady Sun, 04/01/2018 - 14:16 Permalink

Germany should move all that shit back to Fatherland. Oh and make Mexico pay for it! Lebensraum, Bitchez! ;-)

Looney

gmrpeabody -> Looney Sun, 04/01/2018 - 14:19 Permalink

Those were pretty nice engines. Forty miles to the gallon and cleaner burning than the average American truck or SUV. But I guess gubbermint had to set an example.., they can lie but you best not.

Four chan -> gmrpeabody Sun, 04/01/2018 - 14:22 Permalink

exactly^

Stackers -> Looney Sun, 04/01/2018 - 14:20 Permalink

Damn shame. I loved my diesel Passat. 60+mpg hwy and 42mpg combined city/hwy

Paid $25k for it and VW had to buy it back with 75,000 miles on it for $24,000

Great car, at a great price, with even better mpg. Twice the size of a prius, for less money and got better mpg

The emissions "fix" was never released. buybacks end in September 2018 and the program itself closes out in December

BullyBearish -> Looney Sun, 04/01/2018 - 14:21 Permalink

skewer them on long poles vertically to make THE WALL...

el buitre -> Looney Sun, 04/01/2018 - 14:28 Permalink

Putin is responsible for this scam. Diabolical.

[Mar 29, 2018] Wolf Richter Tesla Slammed by Tesla (and Moody's) naked capitalism

Notable quotes:
"... By Wolf Richter, a San Francisco based executive, entrepreneur, start up specialist, and author, with extensive international work experience. Originally published at Wolf Street ..."
"... When will investors get tired of feeding their capital into this cash-burn machine? ..."
"... Bankruptcy is becoming an increasingly common "exit" from leverage buyouts that private equity firms undertook during the boom before the Financial Crisis. And the pension obligations? Read ..."
Mar 29, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Posted on March 29, 2018 by Yves Smith By Wolf Richter, a San Francisco based executive, entrepreneur, start up specialist, and author, with extensive international work experience. Originally published at Wolf Street

When will investors get tired of feeding their capital into this cash-burn machine?

Tesla shares plunged 8.2% during regular trading hours on Tuesday and another 2% in after-hours trading to $272.50, below where they'd been a year ago ($277.45), and down 28% from September 18, when the market still had hopes for the Model 3.

The unsecured junk bond due in 2025 with a 5.3% coupon – which Tesla sold last August when its stock was still over $357 a share – dropped to a record low of 89 cents on the dollar in after-hours trading.

During a nasty day on the stock market, wunderkind Tesla got hammered by Tesla reality.

At First It Was the NTSB

The National Transportation Safety Board announced that it was sending investigators to California to investigate the fatal and fiery crash of a Model X on Friday morning that had shut down a carpool ramp and two lanes of Highway 101, the Silicon Valley artery, for almost six hours, twice as long as most accidents of this type, according to the California Highway Patrol. NTSB said it would examine various issues, including the post-crash fire and removing the vehicle from the accident site.

This is the second NTSB field investigation into the crash of a Tesla this year. In January, the NTSB opened an investigation into the crash of a Tesla -- apparently in semi-autonomous mode -- and a fire truck.

In the accident on Friday, the Model X hit a freeway divider, then was hit by a Mazda, and crashed into an Audi. The lithium-ion cells caught fire. The driver of the Tesla perished. The fire department ended up calling Tesla to determine how to extinguish the fire, as the exposed batteries were also an electrocution hazard.

Then It Was Moody's .

During after-hours trading, Tesla got hit on the credit side with a resounding downgrade from Moody's , which specifically:

Moody's cites these reasons:

Tesla's ratings reflect the significant shortfall in the production rate of the company's Model 3 electric vehicle.

Tesla produced only 2,425 Model 3s during the fourth quarter of 2017; it is currently targeting a weekly production rate of 2,500 by the end of March, and 5,000 per week by the end of June. This compares with the company's year-earlier production expectations of 5,000 per week by the end of 2017 and 10,000 by the end of 2018.

These are just Tesla targets. Tesla never hits its targets. It overpromises to hype its shares. It didn't overpromise, however, its "manufacturing hell," as CEO Elon Musk put it so eloquently. And the few Model 3s now driving around out there appear to be beta-versions with scads of quality problems. Moody's goes on relentlessly:

The company also faces liquidity pressures due to its large negative free cash flow and the pending maturities of convertible bonds ($230 million in November 2018 and $920 million in March 2019).

The negative outlook reflects the likelihood that Tesla will have to undertake a large, near-term capital raise in order to refund maturing obligations and avoid a liquidity short-fall.

Tesla has a lot of debt. Among the $23 billion in liabilities are: $10.2 billion in long-term debt and $854 million in customer deposits, according to its annual report . Tesla also had considerable liquidity at the end of December, including $3.4 billion in cash and securities, and a "moderate availability" under its $1.9 billion asset-based loan facility (some of which has been burned up in Q1). But Moody's says that this is " not adequate to cover :"

1. The approximately $500 million in minimum cash that we estimate Tesla must maintain for normal operations;

2. A 2018 operating cash burn that will approximate $2 billion if Tesla maintains high discretionary capital expenditures to increase capacity; and

3. Convertible debt maturities of approximately $1.2 billion through early 2019.

These cash needs will likely require Tesla to undertake a near-term capital raise exceeding $2 billion. Moreover, if the company maintains its expected pace of expansion, it will likely need to raise additional capital during the second half of 2019.

Moody's threatened that ratings could be cut even lower if:

Standard and Poor's rates Tesla B-, one notch above CCC, and on a par with Moody's lowered B3 rating.

Despite the drop on Tuesday, Tesla's shares are still inexplicably above the single digits, considering how much it loses year after year, for ten years in a row, with every sign pointing to even bigger losses going forward, and how much investor-cash it burns at an accelerating rate, year-after-year, and considering the endless false promises and hype and the truly amazing "manufacturing hell" that is unequaled among automakers.

Once the true believers in this stock finally walk away and the shares go where they belong, Tesla's debt will get in trouble. The reason is simple: The entire premise of the creditors is that Tesla will always have a high share price, and so it can always sell more shares to raise more money to service its debt. But once issuing more shares becomes difficult in an unwilling market, creditors won't be able to figure out how on earth (not Mars) Tesla is going to pay them interest and principal, with no new money coming in, while also burning several billions a year on its operations.

Once this powerful cash-burn machine can no longer fuel itself by selling new shares and new debt, it's a scenario for default. Moody's would then slap a "D" rating on the company and its debt, by which time most investors have already watched their capital go up in smoke.

Bankruptcy is becoming an increasingly common "exit" from leverage buyouts that private equity firms undertook during the boom before the Financial Crisis. And the pension obligations? Read PE Firm Cerberus Capital's "Rollup" Collapses into Bankruptcy

[Mar 27, 2018] New Lawsuit Accuses Tesla of Knowingly Selling Defective Vehicles

Mar 27, 2018 | tech.slashdot.org

(theverge.com) BeauHD on Wednesday February 21, 2018 @06:10PM from the potentially-meritless dept. A new lawsuit from a former Tesla employee claims the company knowingly sold defective cars , and that the employee was demoted and eventually fired after reporting the practice to his superiors. The lawsuit was filed in late January in New Jersey Superior Court under the Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA). The Verge reports: The former employee, Adam Williams, worked for Tesla as a regional manager in New Jersey dating back to late 2011. While there, he says he watched the company fail "to disclose to consumers high-dollar, pre-delivery damage repairs" before delivering its vehicles, according to the complaint. Instead, he says the company sold these cars as "used," or labeled as "demo/loaner" vehicles. "There's no merit to this lawsuit. Mr. Williams' description of how Tesla sells used or loaner vehicles is totally false and not how we do things at Tesla," a representative for the company said in response to the lawsuit. "It's also at odds with the fact that we rank highest in customer satisfaction of any car brand, with more owners saying they'd buy a Tesla again than any other manufacturer. Mr. Williams was terminated at Tesla for performance reasons, not for any other reason." The lawyer for the plaintiff could not be reached in time for publish.

Williams says in the court filing that he reported this behavior in late 2016 and early 2017 to his supervisor, as well as Lenny Peake, Tesla's East Coast Regional Manager, and Jerome Guillen, a company vice president. Shortly after that, he claims, he was demoted to service manager of the Springfield, New Jersey Tesla store. He then says he was demoted again later in the year to a "mobile manager" position and was ultimately fired in September 2017. In the lawsuit, Williams argues that he was terminated for reporting the alleged lawbreaking practices, and he should therefore be covered by CEPA's whistleblower protection.

[Mar 27, 2018] Tesla Model 3 Torn Down, Hacked and Set On a Dynamometer, Exposing Unusual Tech Details

Mar 27, 2018 | hardware.slashdot.org

(electrek.co) BeauHD on Monday February 26, 2018 @05:20PM from the what's-inside dept. Rei writes: With an estimated 8,670 Model 3s delivered , a race is on as competitors and owners work to figure out its limits and explore the tech behind it. Many-time Tesla teardown expert "Ingineerix" has posted a series of videos and discussed his findings on Reddit . Among them: what appears to be the industry's first switched reluctance motor , a massive "smuggling compartment" allocated for a future front-wheel motor, no physical fuses (all solid-state ), significant wiring harness length reductions via the use of multiple body controllers, a swappable crash energy absorption system, a liquid-cooled compute unit, and redundant controllers for all safety-related systems. He followed up by posting a screenshot of the car tricked into "factory mode " to reveal its internal specs, including a 1200A max discharge current, 370kW max discharge power, and a 76 kWh pack with 72,5kWh usable. Meanwhile, Munro and Associates tore down a Model 3 for an undisclosed, " not Tesla " client, releasing a video criticizing its build quality and for difficulty in accessing the HV cables in the event of an accident (Munroe's claims were dismissed by Ingineerix). Meanwhile, engineers from German automakers were extremely impressed by what they found during their teardown -- particularly the power electronics system, which they described as "compact, expandable, fully integrated, modular, easily accessible, well-protected, reasonably priced and astonishingly clever in many details." Other owners have been putting their cars on dynamometers to measure their power. Drag Times suffered some skid and measured a conflicting 281 / 327.6 hp with 552 lb-ft torque. Contrarily, Tesla Repair Channel found consistent readings around 250hp when starting from 30mph, but consistently around 390 hp when starting from 10mph. The reason for the discrepancy is not yet clear.

[Feb 26, 2018] $99 Car Lease - Really - by LeaseGuide.com

Feb 26, 2018 | www.leaseguide.com

$99 Car Lease – Really? Is it possible lease a car for $100 a month or less?

$99 car leaseYes. In fact, the cute little Smart Car Pure Coupe can be leased for $99 for 36 months with $1393 due at signing. This is the lowest lease payment for any promotional lease on any car in the U.S.. It has the lowest payment of any vehicle in our monthly Best Lease Deals Under $200 list.

This lease deal has been offered continuously for about 2 years, as of this writing, and it appears it will continue to be offered for some time to come.

The $99 payment does not include any sales tax that might be required in your state and county. Of the $1393 due at signing, $99 of that amount is the first month's payment.

Obviously, for only $99 it's not possible to lease a more expensive car -- not without a large down payment. For example, a Mazda 3 (4-door) can currently be leased for $159/month, 36 months, and $2359 due at signing. A payment of about $99 could be achieved by adding about $2500 more to the amount due at signing, for a total of about $4859.

The more expensive the car, the higher the down payment would have to be to achieve a less-than-$100 lease payment. Most promotional leases for mid-priced vehicles are in the $200-$299 payment range. At the time of this writing there are over 100 such lease deals being offered by a variety of car companies.

Without special promotional lease deals such as that on the Smart Car, it would be unreasonable to expect to get $99 leases without huge (and unreasonable) down payment amounts. Furthermore, making a large down payment defeats one of the primary benefits of leasing -- preserving cash.

We continue to remind readers that special promotional lease deals always require that customers be "well qualified" which means having a good credit score . It's smart for car shoppers to know their credit score before visiting dealers to talk deals. Get your Experian Credit Report FREE at freecreditreport.com It's good to know ahead of time if you'll qualify for such special offers or if you'll be turned down.

[Feb 26, 2018] Cheapest Cars to Lease in 2018 - by LeaseGuide.com

Feb 26, 2018 | www.leaseguide.com

Honda, in particular, frequently offers $0-$0-$0-$0 due-at-signing lease deals. This means you pay no down payment, no security deposit, no tax, and no first month's payment .

At the time of this writing, for example, you could lease a Honda Civic sedan for only $169/month with $1999 due at signing, or $220/month with $0 due at signing. Both are excellent deals -- actually the same deal -- just different down payment.

Most lease deals from any manufacturer can be arranged so that no cash is required up front, although it increases the monthly payment. See the following article for details: Zero Down Car Leases .

... ... ...

Toyota, Honda and Nissan , for example have low-cost models that also have high residuals -- and they (as of this writing) are offering great discounts (which lowers cost even further) -- a perfect combination for leasing. The Honda Civic and Honda Fit are good examples.

Let's look at the Toyota Corolla , a small economical 2-door sedan, priced at about $16,000. At the time of this writing, Toyota is offering a special lease deal on this model (and many other models) of $149 a month, 36 months, 36,000 mile allowance. They base this on a heavily discounted price, a high lease-end residual value, and a super-low money factor (equivalent to 0.5% APR interest). Even without the special deal, this car could be leased for about $200/month, depending on down payment, if any.

Other cars in this price range are the Nissan Versa , the Honda Fit , Hyundai Accent, Kia Rio, and Kia Soul . All of these cars can produce lease payments in the sub-$200 range with manufacturers' promotional offers. The Honda Fit has the highest residual value and would make the cheapest lease, assuming prices were equal.

[Feb 26, 2018] Toyota Yaris Lease Questions -- Car Forums at Edmunds.com

Feb 26, 2018 | forums.edmunds.com

Toyota Yaris Lease Questions See photos of the Toyota Yaris CarMan@Edmunds [email protected] Posts: 38,515 May 2006 edited May 2014 in Toyota Hi everyone. Please use the following discussion to post any questions that you have about leasing a Toyota Yaris. Thanks.

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[Feb 09, 2018] Actually, there are too many Elon Musks. What the world does not need is more technocratic idiots

Feb 09, 2018 | economistsview.typepad.com

DrDick said in reply to mulp ... , February 06, 2018 at 11:18 AM

Actually, there are too many Elon Musks. What the world does not need is more technocratic idiots.
mulp -> DrDick... , February 06, 2018 at 12:00 PM
So, paying more and more US workers to work build the biggest factories in the world employing tens if thousands new US workers is something you oppose?

You favor GE closing US factories in favor of building produces outside the US? Ditto pretty much every other industrial corporation?

Apple closed factories in the US and contracted with factories in Asia because Jobs was an idiot for building factories in the US, so he was fired by people like you. When he returned to Apple which was left with pretty much on asset, "Apple". Tim Cook explained building factories in the US was impossible because paying US workers to learn how to build products and facctories was too costly.

Elon Musk has proved Tim Cook was correct, but he ignores people like you, and keeps hiring more and more workers in the US to make stuff that you consider impossible to make, especially in the US.

Tesla market cap is actually closely tied to the productive capital assets Tesla owns. Apple market cap is many times higher than the productive assets Apple actually owns. When the same factories in Asia making Apple products are able to flood the market with products just like Apple products, but without the Apple logo, Apple market cap will crash. Just like has happened with GE. Sears.

cm -> mulp ... , February 07, 2018 at 12:04 AM
What you are accuse DrDick of opposing is not exactly what Musk does.

And BTW who trained his rocket engineers? Did they grow on trees? I think it was the pre-cost-cutting aerospace private/public sector, i.e. mostly government funded.

Not to take away from the SpaceX achievements which are considerable, but saying he/they can do a better job than the govt rings a bit hollow. The govt funded his talent base with past projects, and then neolib/con led administrations defunded the non-military part of aerospace.

cm -> cm... , February 07, 2018 at 12:13 AM
In a way private enterprise *can* do a better job than the govt in some areas, because it will not be hindered and defunded by the R party or their neolib competition, but the ambitions of investors and other supporting stakeholders can reign more freely. Also the private sector is allowed to cut more corners than the public sector which is held to higher standards as regards procedure.

But this is more an indictment of "conservatives" and profiteers than publicly organized efforts in general.

cm -> mulp ... , February 07, 2018 at 12:07 AM
And the car factories. They have "issues" (yes complex technology logistics are not easy), and there have been somewhat substantiated rumors about anti-union goings on.
DrDick -> mulp ... , February 07, 2018 at 07:10 AM
What planet do you live on? Tesla only employs 33,000 people total and has serious labor issues (i.e., they are bad jobs).

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/09/01/us-labor-board-files-complaint-against-tesla-over-worker-rights.html

Tom aka Rusty said in reply to DrDick... , February 07, 2018 at 06:54 AM
Dick, do you appreciate the irony of writing your comment on a computer and sending it over the Internet?

I'm not a fan of the geek class but they ar a necessary part of the puzzle these days.

DrDick -> Tom aka Rusty... , February 07, 2018 at 07:13 AM
I have no problem with techies per se (my son works for a software company), jut the ones like Musk who think that because they understand that they have the answers to everything, but actually understand nothing else.
Tom aka Rusty said in reply to DrDick... , February 07, 2018 at 07:35 AM
Ok, fair enough. But I'm willing to accept some geeks as long as they can be controlled.

I'm guessing your son is a really bright kid, like his daddy.

[Jan 15, 2018] Gas Mileage of 2017 Small SUV 4WD

Jan 02, 2018 | www.fueleconomy.gov

2017 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid AWD 4 cyl, 2.5 L, Automatic (AV-S6)

Average: 32
City MPG: 34

Highway MPG: 30

2017 Honda CR-V AWD 4 cyl, 2.4 L, Automatic (variable gear ratios)

Regular Gasoline

Combined MPG:27

City MPG:25
Highway MPG:31
3.7 gals/100 miles

[Jan 02, 2018] Life With Tesla Model S One Year And 15,000 Miles Later

Jan 02, 2018 | www.greencarreports.com

At my local utility's rate of 14 cents/kWh, that works out to a total fuel cost for the year of $530, or about 3.4 cents/mile. Contrast that to about $3,000 and 20 cents/mile for a comparable car like the Mercedes S Class.

But the Model S actually used more electricity than the 5,074 kWh on the car's energy meter.

For one thing, the charging process is only about 85 percent efficient. Which means that for every 85 kWh used by the car, 100 kWh came through my electric meter. In reality, that 5,074-kWh number is actually more like 5,700 kWh.

In addition, my car's "vampire" power draw while parked and shut down averaged about 4.5 kWh per day for the first 10 months, and then about 1 kWh per day after a software update two months ago. I estimate the vampire draw sucked up an additional 1,400 kWh or so.

That brings total actual energy usage for the year: about 7,100 kWh--putting efficiency at about 466 Wh/mile, or about 2.1 miles/kWh.

The vampire and charging losses bumped the year's real fuel cost up to $820, or about 5.3 cents per mile. Which is still barely a quarter of the fuel cost of a comparable gasoline car.

... ... ...

Earlier this winter, during my first January with the car--which was followed by the coldest February in recent history around these parts--I found that my energy usage nearly doubled for the short local trips that I usually take.

... ... ...

•The side mirrors don't adjust when I shift into reverse, as they are supposed to do. I'll have it looked at next time I'm in for service.

... ... ...

Swapping the battery

Frustrated by my 60-kWh car's lack of range between the few-and-far-between East Coast Superchargers at Interstate speeds in cold weather, I upgraded my 60-kWh battery to an 85-kWh pack in December.

At first, I was told by the factory that such a thing wasn't possible. But the service guys at White Plains found a way. After just two days in the shop, I had my upgraded car back, complete with its discreet chrome "85" emblem.

I'm delighted with the result.

A 2,500-mile Supercharger road trip to Florida and back was a breeze, rather than the white-knuckle freeze-in-the-slow-lane ordeal of previous road trips with the smaller battery.

1. The Limitations on Long Trips This is more a criticism of Tesla's limited Supercharger network in the Northeast than of the car itself. But the fact is, after a year of ownership, I still can't reasonably drive the Model S to visit friends in Maine, Vermont, and upstate New York, nor to three of the colleges my daughter has applied to for next year.

My fingers are crossed that this problem will go away one of these days. Or years.

2. The Vampire It's not the money spent on wasted electricity over the year--maybe $200--that bothers me so much. It's the idea that the supposed best car in the world has a basic flaw that hasn't been totally fixed in far more than a year.

While a recent software update reduced the vampire draw substantially, I still lose anywhere from 3 to 10 miles of range every single day. My Volt has no vampire losses whatsoever. In fact, no other electric car has vampire losses, as far as I know.

Why can't Tesla fix this?

Again, fingers crossed.

[Jan 02, 2018] In Summary, The Tesla Model S Is A Dirty Car

Jan 02, 2018 | seekingalpha.com

May.13.13 | About: Tesla Motors (TSLA) Nathan Weiss Nathan Weiss Long/short equity, value, special situations, contrarian Get email alerts (200 followers)

On Thursday, I published an article about the environmental merits of the the Tesla Model S , highlighting that I believe it is effectively one of the most heavily polluting vehicles on the road. The article was met by a barrage of attacks, the vast majority of which were by people who clearly did not read the entire article. While we urge those with a sincere interest in our work to read our original analysis, we also felt a simplified article with fewer, more basic calculations would result in a more productive discussion about the environmental merits of the Tesla Model S.

The CO2 Generated Driving the Model S

Based on national average CO2 emissions calculations quoted by Tesla Motors (NASDAQ: TSLA ), the Model S sedan effectively emits 176g of CO2 per mile driven (622g of CO2 per kWh generated). To answer our critics, we focus on the national average because Tesla is a mass-market car maker planning to sell hundreds of thousands of vehicles in the United States over the next few years.

According to the footnotes on Tesla's website, their CO2 calculations are based on a Model S consuming .283 kWh of electricity per mile driven - traveling 300 miles on a full charge of the 85 kWh battery. The reality is that in the 'real world,' drivers of the Tesla Model S have reported higher energy consumption than Tesla and the EPA ratings suggest: By far the largest single source of efficiency data from Model S owners is the 'L ifetime Average Wh/Mile ' thread in the Tesla Motors forum, which reveals that the 48 owners of the 85 kWh Model S who posted to the thread realized average power consumption of .367 kWh per mile driven (232 miles per 85 kWh) over 175,629 total miles. Contrary to claims made in the comments about our previous article, we are not cherry-picking data! The 'Lifetime Average Wh/Mile' thread is the largest collection of reported energy consumption by Model S users and a fair representation of the vehicle's efficiency.

Using energy consumption of .367 kWh per mile driven rather than .283 kWh per mile driven, the Model S effectively emits 228g of CO2 per mile driven. This puts the effective CO2 emissions of the Model S just above that of the Honda Civic Hybrid (202g per mile) and the popular Prius V (212g per mile). Unfortunately, these calculations do not tell the whole story of the Tesla Model S.

[Dec 26, 2017] The Missing Piece in Plans for an All-Electric Vehicle Fleet: Electricity by Peter Dorman

Notable quotes:
"... And over approx. 30 to 35 mph wind resistance exceeds rolling resistance & increases dramatically at each increment of velocity after that at an exponential rate. ..."
| December 20, 2017 | angrybearblog.com
The Missing Piece in Plans for an All-Electric Vehicle Fleet: Electricity The New York Times has a piece today on barriers to the replacement of internal combustion-powered vehicles to an all-electric fleet in the United States. It talks about production costs, the availability of key minerals and the need for a charging station infrastructure, but it oddly passes over the most obvious impediment, at least from the perspective of climate change, the large increase it would require in electrical generating capacity.

If the goal is, at it should be, rapid decarbonization of the economy, conversion to electric powertrains is worth doing only if it results in the replacement of petroleum by renewable energy sources, so lets look at the arithmetic.

According to the latest version of Lawrence Livermore's invaluable energy spaghetti diagram , 25.7 quads of energy, in the form of petroleum, were used as inputs to the transportation sector. (A quad is a quadrillion BTUs, approximately the amount of energy in eight billions gallons of gasoline.) Electric vehicles vary in their efficiency, and there might be improvements on this front in the future, but lets use the common assumption that EV's are four times as energy efficient as ICV's; that means we are looking at about 6.4 quads of added electrical demand.

Electricity output in 2016 was 12.6 quads, which implies we would need a bit over 50% more capacity to accommodate an all-electric fleet. Of course, the actual expansion would be less than this because EV's could take advantage of off-peak capacity. Nevertheless, from a decarbonization perspective, the critical constraint is not capacity as such but energy inputs as fuel. A natural gas plant might be able to put out more electricity over a 24-hour cycle without additional capital investment, but only by burning more gas. Those with greater expertise than I can summon can tell us how much efficiency we can squeeze from existing and prospective electrical generating technology.

So somewhat more than 50% additional electricity is needed; how much of this can come from non-carbon sources? The most optimistic scenario is one in which nuclear energy is included in this (non-carbon) mix, so assume the goal is simply to zero out coal and gas. These two sources currently account for 62% of inputs into the electrical generating sector. No doubt we can get significant reductions simply through efficiency measures; think of all those electrically-heated buildings leaking energy through poor insulation. If for convenience we lump together increases in non-carbon inputs and efficiency savings, this would need to total 23.3 quads, the current delivery of coal and gas to US electrical power stations, if the services provided by electricity use were to remain constant. If a shift to EV's boosts electrical demand by, say, 40%, the need for renewable sources and efficiency savings would go up to 38.3 quads (23.3 current carbon input plus 15 new input), an increase of almost two-thirds. It is difficult see how this could be achieved in the space of a generation or so, which is the timescale we face if we are to meet our declared carbon goals.

The bottom line as I see it is that, while a shift to electrical powertrains is necessary if we are to have motorized vehicles in a post-carbon world, realistic scenarios for the electrical sector require a massive shrinkage of the number of such vehicles we'll be able to operate, at least for the foreseeable future. This is unfortunate on two counts -- it will make it more difficult to sustain living standards across the transition ahead of us, and it will increase the political barriers to getting the job done -- but we won't make it go away by not seeing it for what it is.

Longtooth , December 20, 2017 12:30 pm

The myth that EV's solve or even can have a material positive effect on GHG reductions on a global basis is indeed predicated on all additional required energy being supplied by renewables (zero carbon emissions sources). E.g that all surface transport energy now reliant on fossil fuels will be replaced by renewables, excluding ocean transport.

Unfortunately for the fantasy there is no (absolutely no) theoretical scenario by any gov't agency on the planet, nor any credible academic scientific analysis which shows this is even physically possible without the predominant global implementation of nuclear energy production and then the consequent unresolvable problem of safely storing nuclear waste ad infinitum.

The ipcc reports, every 4 year's, describe 5 or 6 scenarios of which only 2 or 3 can reduce GHG emissions to thresholds sufficient to maintain the global temperature rise below acceptable levels and "acceptable" has continued to increase over the years of the ippc reports (predominantly because the published reports require gov't agents to sign off first effecting purely political interests).

Unfortunately (again) none of these 2 or 3 scenarios has ever been able to be shown as practically possible, again however only with magic asterisks (carbon capture & storage) & massive increases in global nuclear energy production.

Even under those perfectly idealized conditions however there is no solution to the global costs and funding required to do this, which is not even possible without amortizing the costs of implementation by the present two generations over multiple future generations, and that has no actual or imagined solution at all and it still has no solution for nuclear energy waste disposal ad ifinitum on this planet or even shipping it off to outer space (as has been proposed by some fantasies dreamers).

In other words the entire myth is founded on assumptions for which the means & methods have never been shown to be possible without simply assuming "we'll figure it out along the way".

While this is the reality it is still imperative that the global community of humans try with all effort to do the possible.

Unfortunately (again) all available evidence is that the global community is absolutely fully dependent on fossils fuel sourced energy to even maintain standards of living, much less improve them for the bulk of humanity that lags far, far behind the OECDs.

The reality is that the global population will have to be cut by at least half to realize a future planet inhabitable under the conditions that have prevailed for moder humans. This will in fact occur in due course by starvation, the wars that will ensue as a result of conflicts of interest as warming continues unabated, and increasing disease based deaths as warming continues.

I know this isn't the desired outcome of the myths that have been created to counter this reality.. what human wants to contemplate it as real if they can avoid it by assuming it won't happen. What government wants to tell it's people & the rest of the globe's people that our future progeny is collectively fucked, while we collectively decide to fuck them to maintain our own comforts & conveniences, and fail to decide that to save our progenies semblance of enjoying life as we know it because we'ed have to sacrifice now and refuse to do it.

One of the "nice " things about this approach is that none of us will be around to have to deal with it perhaps a few of the generation now just being born, but only those from the third world, as the wealthiest nations continue on their merry path to maintain and improve GPD and standards of living (albeit at increasingly greater levels of inequality),,, all of which requires continued increases in fossil fuel consumption & GHG emissions

Gee I hope this comment wasn't a downer.

Jim A. , December 20, 2017 1:01 pm

Of course one of the effects of the "demand smoothing" that charging cars overnight has is that coal becomes more competitive for supplying that power. And switching the power source for transportation from hydrocarbons (which gets energy from the creation of carbon dioxide and water) to coal, (which gets energy from the creation of carbon dioxide alone) might well worsen the carbon footprint of transportation.

Kaleberg , December 20, 2017 2:21 pm

Yes, moving away from fossil fuels is a big jump, and no one expects 100% replacement in the next 10 or even 20 years.. If electric vehicles are four times as efficient as fossil fuel powered vehicles, then overall energy use would drop by 19.3 quads from 25.7 quads to about 6.4 quads. Even if we continued to use fossil fuels for another generation or two, that would still be a massive savings and one well worth pursuing.

If we assume a 30 year transition, one commensurate with the planned life span of the typical power generation facility, we can imagine continuing the transition from coal to natural gas which cuts energy demand nearly 50%. (This is why we used 2.5 quads less energy for power generation in 2016 as opposed to 2010.) This would give us lots of time to add that 6.4 quads of renewable power. We're talking about adding 0.22 quads of capacity a year. That's about ten 1-gigawatt solar power plants a year. It's an ambitious goal, but not an outrageous one.

One advantage of renewable power is that there has been a demonstrated learning curve. When the Chinese government decided to build a solar power industry, for example, they brought costs down dramatically. Wind has worked similarly, though less dramatically. We're even seeing the first large scale power storage schemes.

I really don't think that it will be energy issues that limit the number of motorized vehicles we'll have on the roads in 2050. The more likely limits will be traffic capacity and population growth issues.

Denis Drew , December 20, 2017 2:47 pm

We can get the Chinese and the Germans to electrify us -- like we and the Germans wired Britain a hundred or so years ago while the Brits made money with their money. Last I heard firing generators with gas to charge vehicle batteries has a multiply lower carbon foot print than burning gasoline in engines -- we can just get on the good side of Vladimir Putin for the gas.

Longtooth , December 20, 2017 3:57 pm

Would any of you dreamers be willing to provide the credible source that shows real wold EV's are "four times more energy efficient than ICE's"?

Joel , December 20, 2017 6:20 pm

Molten salt reactors?

Lyle , December 20, 2017 6:42 pm

You have to take the losses in generation into account in this unless you are doing the electrification to fight ground level smog. the best fossil fuel plants run about 60% input energy(fuel) to output electricity (combined cycle gas plant). This site shows auto energy losses :

http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/atv.shtml Note that it says power to the wheels is 16 to 25% but 4 to 7 % can be recouped by regenerative braking. In terms of useful energy it cites also about 2% for HVAC fans heated seats etc as well as lighting.

Note that of course in cold weather the free heat source from the ICE has gone away, and needs to be replaced by something, (perhaps a low temp heat pump, as electric heat would be prohibitive in terms of power).

Using the least pessimistic numbers for electric cars and the most pessimistic for gasoline cars you get close to 4 to 1 using combined cycle gas plants, However to make things work this does require putting solar panels over all parking lots at work places so that the cars can charge when the solar energy is maxed out, And/or putting a second car type battery in the home and much larger roof solar panels.

Barkley Rosser , December 20, 2017 8:59 pm

If pushing nukes, consider T=thorium reactors, more available and safer than uranium ones. As for zeroing out fossil fuels, this seems an unnecessay chimera. Go for substantial reduction with shift to cleaner nat gas than coal and oil.

Longtooth , December 21, 2017 12:28 am

Lyle,
The information you cite states up front that the data are estimates from models & lab test cells, with nothing citing any, not one comparison with real world tests on an extended variable population driving in variable traffic over time.

Further more the data states up front that it is based on a Nissan Leaf EV model estimates, which is far, far from real wold anything, now or in future especially.

Like I said, can any dreamer cite real wold data showing a "four times energy efficiency" (per mile travelled per year on average).of EV's relative to ICE's?

Even the modeled data uses highway average speed of only 48 mph, which might apply in congested hiway travel, but is otherwise not near real wold average highway speeds for miles traveled proportioned to total miles traveled, even in the U.S. At real world highway speeds wind resistance consumes 80% of energy applied at the engine / motor, and at those speeds EV energy consumption increases relative to ICE's when at at lower speeds.

It should be fairly simple to find real world tests of several EV's driven by average drivers in annual driving uses (not just daily commutes) conducted over a 2 or 3 year period, no? I mean EV energy input at the plug is easier to track than iCE's total gasoline consumed over n miles since every EV on the planet keeps on-board data (kWh input).

So where's the data showing real world "4x energy efficiency per mile travelled" than ICE's? Good luck.

Longtooth , December 21, 2017 2:25 am

Them most comprehensive real world EvpV data has been conducted by Belgium on several EV models over two years.

"Electric vehicles and energy consumption based on real world electric vehicle fleet trip and charge data and its impact on existing EV research models"

It compares the NEDC model (New European Driving Cycle -- the equivalent model estimating tool as used in the U.S.) to real world energy consumption for EV's.

It concludes real world consumption for EV's ranges from 30% to 60% more than the NEDC estimates, which means the U.S. DOT estimates Lyle cited for an idealized Nissan Leaf at relatively slow U.S. hiway speeds which gave a factor of 3.5x the energy efficiency of EV's relative to ICE's is overstated by at least 50%!

So that the real world factor is no more than 1,75x less than half the fictional "four times" being propagandize by dreamers.

The actual average energy consumption was 0.213 kWh/km (approx. 0.35 kWh/mile (I use the close enough approximation of 0.6 miles/km for quickie calcs), & even these average speeds reflected lower speeds than the U.S. composite real world averages.

BTW, I was familiar already with other real world tests also conducted by Belgium earlier on fewer vehicles. I would cite those tests as well, but my laptop disk drive failed the other day & my data recovery is taking time, though I think I might also have a copy referenced in one of my emails of a couple of yeas ago. I've been using the wife's damned IPad with its hunt & peck pop-up keyboard a real pain, since i've been a touch typist since 8th grade.

In any event all real world comprehensive tests all show far lower energy efficiencies for EV,s relative to the same models applied to ICE's since the U.S. & Europe have decades of experience developing models that are in very close proximity to real wold energy consumption, but nearly none yet on real wold EV's use.

You can google the above title to get the .pdf file.

The data is based on several vehicles totaling 94.7k km (approx. 57k miles) over two years. The most miles & most EV's, with the most number of drivers to date.

Also BTW, I know several Tesla owners. They say that if they drive far more conservatively than normal, they get energy consumptions close to, but still higher than Tesla says in their literature. If they drive normally however their energy consumption is over twice the advertised values, and for longer distance highway trips at 70 to 80 mph it's even less efficient per mile so that have to plan carefully to be near a charging station, & then have to wait in a line for 30 minutes or more, plus another 30 minutes or more to charge . since the other Tesla EV's all have about the same range coming from the same origination area.

Longtooth , December 21, 2017 3:15 am

FWIW:

Energy consumption is the familiar e = mc^2 where c = acceleration due to gravity & m = mass.

What most don't know however is that vehicle wind resistance at constant speed v requires the vehicle to actually be constantly accelerating to overcome the wind resistance.

So since the energy consumed increases by the square of acceleration then traveling at constant velocity means you are consuming energy at the square of acceleration just to maintain that velocity against wind resistance.

And over approx. 30 to 35 mph wind resistance exceeds rolling resistance & increases dramatically at each increment of velocity after that at an exponential rate.

Thus almost all your vehicle'ss energy consumption is due to the acceleration, rather than its mass. The crying shame of it all is that general driving habits include the highest rates of acceleration from stop at a stop sign or stop light, not to mention stop & go traffic congestion.

Longtooth , December 21, 2017 4:25 am

The acceleration energy consumption is one reason that in the future you will see pure autonomous vehicle use (no private drivers) with the same designs so that they can travel in a train at say 120 mph and consume nearly the same energy as traveling at half that velocity.

This requires both near bumper to bumper separations AND body designs tailored to minimize wind resistance of any following vehicle in the train. The only vehicle using most of the energy is the lead vehicle in a train to break the wind resistance.

Thus in future (sometime) autonomous vehicles will all travel in trains of say 20 vehicle minimums at constant velocities of over 100 mph to maximize road capacities while minimizing energy consumption, & this will be by law of decree either that or everybody will travel on mass transit vehicles. Say bye-bye to privately owned vehicles & individual drivers -- this will be mandated to maintain the planet's habitable temperatures to acceptable levels.

Why the high speeds, you ask?

Assume a 20 mile segment of roadway between accessing & egressing it. Vehicle capacity is dictated by how many vehicles can occupy the road, which is a direct function of vehicle separation distances, so separation distances must be minimized to maximize vehicle capacity (road carrying capacity).

Next consider that there's zero value if all vehicles are not moving, so road vehilce capacity is then zero in function, even though the max number of vehicles occupy the road.

Now consider that a vehicle operating at 20 mph occupies a space on that 20 mile segment for 60 minutes, but a vehicle operating at 120 mph occupies a space on that 20 mile segment for just 10 minutes. Thus 6 times as many vehicles can occupy the 20 mile segment traveling at 120 mph than at 20 mph, hence the road's vehicle carrying capacity increases linearly with velocity.

Moreover the vehicle traveling at 120 mph can now be put to use for another set of passengers or packages 6 times every hour rather than just once as with the vehicle traveling at 20 mph, thus carrying 6 times as many people or goods per unit time.

This means demand for vehicles is 1/6th compared to vehicles traveling at 20 mph. So far fewer vehicles required for a given size population, & far less roadway (lanes), while spending far less time in transit, thus far more productive in every regard.

If you require efficient use of energy, time, & resources then that's the future, so bye-bye "individualism" . it's only a matter of time, and time is running short.

You can do the calcs yourself for any difference in train vehicle velocities. I just used 20 & 120 mph to make the illustration more intuitive.

The population will continue to grow, densities of people will continue to increase, & distances required to travel to/from places of productive endeavors will continue to increase, all the while consuming more & more energy / person to even just maintain standards of living, much less improve them.

The only real solution is to dramatically increase efficiencies of resources & energy per person with increasing human densitities.

Lyle , December 21, 2017 8:49 am

Note that I was saying that it takes using the most optimistic set of facts from the surveys to get to 4x. Also the surveys did not assume cold weather which will drastically hurt the electric vehicles as the electric heat will kill the range (or we can go back to the no heat no cool model of the model T.)

Longtooth , December 21, 2017 2:43 pm

Lyle,
No. It takes the most optimist set of pure assumption, without regard to the actual facts at all, to get to 4x.. eg pure fantasy.

[Dec 12, 2017] Can Uber Ever Deliver Part Eleven Annual Uber Losses Now Approaching $5 Billion

Notable quotes:
"... Total 2015 gross passenger payments were 200% higher than 2014, but Uber corporate revenue improved 300% because Uber cut the driver share of passenger revenue from 83% to 77%. This was an effective $500 million wealth transfer from drivers to Uber's investors. ..."
"... Uber's P&L gains were wiped out by higher non-EBIDTAR expense. Thus the 300% Uber revenue growth did not result in any improvement in Uber profit margins. ..."
"... In 2016, Uber unilaterally imposed much larger cuts in driver compensation, costing drivers an additional $3 billion. [6] Prior to Uber's market entry, the take home pay of big-city cab drivers in the US was in the $12-17/hour range, and these earnings were possible only if drivers worked 65-75 hours a week. ..."
"... An independent study of the net earnings of Uber drivers (after accounting for the costs of the vehicles they had to provide) in Denver, Houston and Detroit in late 2015 (prior to Uber's big 2016 cuts) found that driver earnings had fallen to the $10-13/hour range. [7] Multiple recent news reports have documented how Uber drivers are increasing unable to support themselves from their reduced share of passenger payments. [8] ..."
"... Since mass driver defections would cause passenger volume growth to collapse completely, Uber was forced to reverse these cuts in 2017 and increased the driver share from 68% to 80%. This meant that Uber's corporate revenue, which had grown over 300% in 2015 and over 200% in 2016 will probably only grow by about 15% in 2017. ..."
"... Socialize the losses, privatize the gains, VC-ize the subsidies. ..."
"... The cold hard truth is that Uber is backed into a corner with severely limited abilities to tweak the numbers on either the supply or the demand side: cut driver compensation and they trigger driver churn (as has already been demonstrated), increase fare prices for riders and riders defect to cheaper alternatives. ..."
"... "Growth and Efficiency" are the sine qua non of Neoliberalism. Kalanick's "hype brilliance" was to con the market with "revenue growth" and signs ..."
Dec 12, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Uber lost $2.5 billion in 2015, probably lost $4 billion in 2016, and is on track to lose $5 billion in 2017.

The top line on the table below shows is total passenger payments, which must be split between Uber corporate and its drivers. Driver gross earnings are substantially higher than actual take home pay, as gross earning must cover all the expenses drivers bear, including fuel, vehicle ownership, insurance and maintenance.

Most of the "profit" data released by Uber over time and discussed in the press is not true GAAP (generally accepted accounting principles) profit comparable to the net income numbers public companies publish but is EBIDTAR contribution. Companies have significant leeway as to how they calculate EBIDTAR (although it would exclude interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization) and the percentage of total costs excluded from EBIDTAR can vary significantly from quarter to quarter, given the impact of one-time expenses such as legal settlements and stock compensation. We only have true GAAP net profit results for 2014, 2015 and the 2nd/3rd quarters of 2017, but have EBIDTAR contribution numbers for all other periods. [5]

Uber had GAAP net income of negative $2.6 billion in 2015, and a negative profit margin of 132%. This is consistent with the negative $2.0 billion loss and (143%) margin for the year ending September 2015 presented in part one of the NC Uber series over a year ago.

No GAAP profit results for 2016 have been disclosed, but actual losses likely exceed $4 billion given the EBIDTAR contribution of negative $3.2 billion. Uber's GAAP losses for the 2nd and 3rd quarters of 2017 were over $2.5 billion, suggesting annual losses of roughly $5 billion.

While many Silicon Valley funded startups suffered large initial losses, none of them lost anything remotely close to $2.6 billion in their sixth year of operation and then doubled their losses to $5 billion in year eight. Reversing losses of this magnitude would require the greatest corporate financial turnaround in history.

No evidence of significant efficiency/scale gains; 2015 and 2016 margin improvements entirely explained by unilateral cuts in driver compensation, but losses soared when Uber had to reverse these cuts in 2017.

Total 2015 gross passenger payments were 200% higher than 2014, but Uber corporate revenue improved 300% because Uber cut the driver share of passenger revenue from 83% to 77%. This was an effective $500 million wealth transfer from drivers to Uber's investors. These driver compensation cuts improved Uber's EBIDTAR margin, but Uber's P&L gains were wiped out by higher non-EBIDTAR expense. Thus the 300% Uber revenue growth did not result in any improvement in Uber profit margins.

In 2016, Uber unilaterally imposed much larger cuts in driver compensation, costing drivers an additional $3 billion. [6] Prior to Uber's market entry, the take home pay of big-city cab drivers in the US was in the $12-17/hour range, and these earnings were possible only if drivers worked 65-75 hours a week.

An independent study of the net earnings of Uber drivers (after accounting for the costs of the vehicles they had to provide) in Denver, Houston and Detroit in late 2015 (prior to Uber's big 2016 cuts) found that driver earnings had fallen to the $10-13/hour range. [7] Multiple recent news reports have documented how Uber drivers are increasing unable to support themselves from their reduced share of passenger payments. [8]

A business model where profit improvement is hugely dependent on wage cuts is unsustainable, especially when take home wages fall to (or below) minimum wage levels. Uber's primary focus has always been the rate of growth in gross passenger revenue, as this has been a major justification for its $68 billion valuation. This growth rate came under enormous pressure in 2017 given Uber efforts to raise fares, major increases in driver turnover as wages fell, [9] and the avalanche of adverse publicity it was facing.

Since mass driver defections would cause passenger volume growth to collapse completely, Uber was forced to reverse these cuts in 2017 and increased the driver share from 68% to 80%. This meant that Uber's corporate revenue, which had grown over 300% in 2015 and over 200% in 2016 will probably only grow by about 15% in 2017.

MKS , December 12, 2017 at 6:19 am

"Uber's business model can never produce sustainable profits"

Two words not in my vocabulary are "Never" and "Always", that is a pretty absolute statement in an non-absolute environment. The same environment that has produced the "Silicon Valley Growth Model", with 15x earnings companies like NVIDA, FB and Tesla (Average earnings/stock price ratio in dot com bubble was 10x) will people pay ridiculous amounts of money for a company with no underlying fundamentals you damn right they will! Please stop with the I know all no body knows anything, especially the psychology and irrationality of markets which are made up of irrational people/investors/traders.

JohnnySacks , December 12, 2017 at 7:34 am

My thoughts exactly. Seems the only possible recovery for the investors is a perfectly engineered legendary pump and dump IPO scheme. Risky, but there's a lot of fools out there and many who would also like to get on board early in the ride in fear of missing out on all the money to be hoovered up from the greater fools. Count me out.

SoCal Rhino , December 12, 2017 at 8:30 am

The author clearly distinguishes between GAAP profitability and valuations, which is after all rather the point of the series. And he makes a more nuanced point than the half sentence you have quoted without context or with an indication that you omitted a portion. Did you miss the part about how Uber would have a strong incentive to share the evidence of a network effect or other financial story that pointed the way to eventual profit? Otherwise (my words) it is the classic sell at a loss, make it up with volume path to liquidation.

tegnost , December 12, 2017 at 9:52 am

apples and oranges comparison, nvidia has lots and lots of patented tech that produces revenue, facebook has a kajillion admittedly irrational users, but those users drive massive ad sales (as just one example of how that company capitalizes itself) and tesla makes an actual car, using technology that inspires it's buyers (the put your money where your mouth is crowd and it can't be denied that tesla, whatever it's faults are, battery tech is not one of them and that intellectual property is worth a lot, and tesla's investors are in on that real business, profitable or otherwise)

Uber is an iphone app. They lose money and have no path to profitability (unless it's the theory you espouse that people are unintelligent so even unintelligent ideas work to fleece them). This article touches on one of the great things about the time we now inhabit, uber drivers could bail en masse, there are two sides to the low attachment employees who you can get rid of easily. The drivers can delete the uber app as soon as another iphone app comes along that gets them a better return

allan , December 12, 2017 at 6:52 am

Yet another source (unintended) of subsidies for Uber, Lyft, etc., which might or might not have been mentioned earlier in the series:

Airports Are Losing Money as Ride-Hailing Services Grow [NYT]

For many air travelers, getting to and from the airport has long been part of the whole miserable experience. Do they drive and park in some distant lot? Take mass transit or a taxi? Deal with a rental car?

Ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft are quickly changing those calculations. That has meant a bit less angst for travelers.

But that's not the case for airports. Travelers' changing habits, in fact, have begun to shake the airports' financial underpinnings. The money they currently collect from ride-hailing services do not compensate for the lower revenues from the other sources.

At the same time, some airports have had to add staff to oversee the operations of the ride-hailing companies, the report said. And with more ride-hailing vehicles on the roads outside terminals,
there's more congestion.

Socialize the losses, privatize the gains, VC-ize the subsidies.

Thuto , December 12, 2017 at 6:55 am

The cold hard truth is that Uber is backed into a corner with severely limited abilities to tweak the numbers on either the supply or the demand side: cut driver compensation and they trigger driver churn (as has already been demonstrated), increase fare prices for riders and riders defect to cheaper alternatives. The only question is how long can they keep the show going before the lights go out, slick marketing and propaganda can only take you so far, and one assumes the dumb money has a finite supply of patience and will at some point begin asking the tough questions.

Louis Fyne , December 12, 2017 at 8:35 am

The irony is that Uber would have been a perfectly fine, very profitable mid-sized company if Uber stuck with its initial model -- sticking to dense cities with limited parking, limiting driver supply, and charging a premium price for door-to-door delivery, whether by livery or a regular sedan. And then perhaps branching into robo-cars.

But somehow Uber/board/Travis got suckered into the siren call of self-driving cars, triple-digit user growth, and being in the top 100 US cities and on every continent.

Thuto , December 12, 2017 at 11:30 am

I've shared a similar sentiment in one of the previous posts about Uber. But operating profitably in decent sized niche doesn't fit well with ambitions of global domination. For Uber to be "right-sized", an admission of folly would have to be made, its managers and investors would have to transcend the sunk cost fallacy in their strategic decision making, and said investors would have to accept massive hits on their invested capital. The cold, hard reality of being blindsided and kicked to the curb in the smartphone business forced RIM/Blackberry to right-size, and they may yet have a profitable future as an enterprise facing software and services company. Uber would benefit from that form of sober mindedness, but I wouldn't hold my breath.

David Carl Grimes , December 12, 2017 at 6:57 am

The question is: Why did Softbank invest in Uber?

Michael Fiorillo , December 12, 2017 at 9:33 am

I know nothing about Softbank or its management, but I do know that the Japanese were the dumb money rubes in the late '80's, overpaying for trophy real estate they lost billions on.

Until informed otherwise, that's my default assumption

JimTan , December 12, 2017 at 10:50 am

Softbank possibly looking to buy more Uber shares at a 30% discount is very odd. Uber had a Series G funding round in June 2016 where a $3.5 billion investment from Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund resulted in its current $68 billion valuation. Now apparently Softbank wants to lead a new $6 billion funding round to buy the shares of Uber employees and early investors at a 30% discount from this last "valuation". It's odd because Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund has pledged $45 billion to SoftBank's Vision Fund , an amount which was supposed to come from the proceeds of its pending Aramco IPO. If the Uber bid is linked to SoftBank's Vision Fund, or KSA money, then its not clear why this investor might be looking to literally 'double down' from $3.5 billion o $6 billion on a declining investment.

Yves Smith Post author , December 12, 2017 at 11:38 am

SoftBank has not yet invested. Its tender is still open. If it does not get enough shares at a price it likes, it won't invest.

As to why, I have no idea.

Robert McGregor , December 12, 2017 at 7:04 am

"Growth and Efficiency" are the sine qua non of Neoliberalism. Kalanick's "hype brilliance" was to con the market with "revenue growth" and signs of efficiency, and hopes of greater efficiency, and make most people just overlook the essential fact that Uber is the most unprofitable company of all time!

divadab , December 12, 2017 at 7:19 am

What comprises "Uber Expenses"? 2014 – $1.06 billion; 2015 $3.33 billion; 2016 $9.65 billion; forecast 2017 $11.418 billion!!!!!! To me this is the big question – what are they spending $10 billion per year on?

ALso – why did driver share go from 68% in 2016 to 80% in 2017? If you use 68% as in 2016, 2017 Uber revenue is $11.808 billion, which means a bit better than break-even EBITDA, assuming Uber expenses are as stated $11.428 billion.

Perhaps not so bleak as the article presents, although I would not invest in this thing.

Phil in Kansas City , December 12, 2017 at 7:55 am

I have the same question: What comprises over 11 billion dollars in expenses in 2017? Could it be they are paying out dividends to the early investors? Which would mean they are cannibalizing their own company for the sake of the VC! How long can this go on before they'll need a new infusion of cash?

lyman alpha blob , December 12, 2017 at 2:37 pm

The Saudis have thrown a few billion Uber's way and they aren't necessarily known as the smart money.

Maybe the pole dancers have started chipping in too as they are for bitcoin .

Vedant Desai , December 12, 2017 at 10:37 am

Oh article does answer your 2nd question. Read this paragraph:-

Since mass driver defections would cause passenger volume growth to collapse completely , Uber was forced to reverse these cuts in 2017 and increased the driver share from 68% to 80%. This meant that Uber's corporate revenue, which had grown over 300% in 2015 and over 200% in 2016 will probably only grow by about 15% in 2017.

As for the 1st, read this line in the article:-

There are undoubtedly a number of things Uber could do to reduce losses at the margin, but it is difficult to imagine it could suddenly find the $4-5 billion in profit improvement needed merely to reach breakeven.

Louis Fyne , December 12, 2017 at 8:44 am

in addition to all the points listed in the article/comments, the absolute biggest flaw with Uber is that Uber HQ conditioned its customers on (a) cheap fares and (b) that a car is available within minutes (1-5 if in a big city).

Those two are not mutually compatible in the long-term.

Alfred , December 12, 2017 at 9:49 am

Thus (a) "We cost less" and (b) "We're more convenient" -- aren't those also the advantages that Walmart claims and feeds as a steady diet to its ever hungry consumers? Often if not always, disruption may repose upon delusion.

Martin Finnucane , December 12, 2017 at 11:06 am

Uber's business model could never produce sustainable profits unless it was able to exploit significant anti-competitive market power.

Upon that dependent clause hangs the future of capitalism, and – dare I say it? – its inevitable demise.

Altandmain , December 12, 2017 at 11:09 am

When this Uber madness blows up, I wonder if people will finally begin to discuss the brutal reality of Silicon Valley's so called "disruption".

It is heavily built in around the idea of economic exploitation. Uber drivers are often, especially when the true costs to operate an Uber including the vehicle depreciation are factored in, making not very much per hour driven, especially if they don't get the surge money.

Instacart is another example. They are paying the deliver operators very little.

Jim A. , December 12, 2017 at 12:21 pm

At a fundamental level, I think that the Silicon Valley "disruption" model only works for markets (like software) where the marginal cost for production is de minimus and the products can be protected by IP laws. Volume and market power really work in those cases. But out here in meat-space, where actual material and labor are big inputs to each item sold, you can never just sit back on your laurels and rake in the money. Somebody else will always be able to come and and make an equivalent product. If they can do it more cheaply, you are in trouble.

Altandmain , December 12, 2017 at 5:40 pm

There aren't that many areas in goods and services where the marginal costs are very low.

Software is actually quite unique in that regard, costing merely the bandwidth and permanent storage space to store.

Let's see:

1. From the article, they cannot go public and have limited ways to raise more money. An IPO with its more stringent disclosure requirements would expose them.

2. They tried lowering driver compensation and found that model unsustainable.

3. There are no benefits to expanding in terms of economies of scale.

From where I am standing, it looks like a lot of industries gave similar barriers. Silicon Valley is not going to be able to disrupt those.

Tesla, another Silicon Valley company seems to be struggling to mass produce its Model 3 and deliver an electric car that breaks even, is reliable, while disrupting the industry in the ways that Elon Musk attempted to hype up.

So that basically leaves services and manufacturing out for Silicon Valley disruption.

Joe Bentzel , December 12, 2017 at 2:19 pm

UBER has become a "too big to fail" startup because of all the different tentacles of capital from various Tier 1 VCs and investment bankers.

VCs have admitted openly that UBER is a subsidized business, meaning it's product is sold below market value, and the losses reflect that subsidization. The whole "2 sided platform" argument is just marketecture to hustle more investors. It's a form of service "dumping" that puts legacy businesses into bankruptcy. Back during the dotcom bubble one popular investment banker (Paul Deninger) characterized this model as "Terrorist Competition", i.e. coffers full of invested cash to commoditize the market and drive out competition.

UBER is an absolute disaster that has forked the startup model in Silicon Valley in order to drive total dependence on venture capital by founders. And its current diversification into "autonomous vehicles", food delivery, et al are simply more evidence that the company will never be profitable due to its whacky "blitzscaling" approach of layering on new "businesses" prior to achieving "fit" in its current one.

It's economic model has also metastasized into a form of startup cancer that is killing Silicon Valley as a "technology" innovator. Now it's all cargo cult marketing BS tied to "strategic capital".

UBER is the victory of venture capital and user subsidized startups over creativity by real entrepreneurs.

It's shadow is long and that's why this company should be ..wait for it UNBUNDLED (the new silicon valley word attached to that other BS religion called "disruption"). Call it a great unbundling and you can break up this monster corp any way you want.

Naked Capitalism is a great website.

Phil in KC , December 12, 2017 at 3:20 pm

1. I Agree with your last point.

2. The elevator pitch for Uber: subsidize rides to attract customers, put the competition out of business, and then enjoy an unregulated monopoly, all while exploiting economically ignorant drivers–ahem–"partners."

3. But more than one can play that game, and

4. Cab and livery companies are finding ways to survive!

Phil in KC , December 12, 2017 at 3:10 pm

If subsidizing rides is counted as an expense, (not being an accountant, I would guess it so), then whether the subsidy goes to the driver or the passenger, that would account for the ballooning expenses, to answer my own question. Otherwise, the overhead for operating what Uber describes as a tech company should be minimal: A billion should fund a decent headquarters with staff, plus field offices in, say, 100 U.S. cities. However, their global pretensions are probably burning cash like crazy. On top of that, I wonder what the exec compensation is like?

After reading HH's initial series, I made a crude, back-of-the-envelope calculation that Uber would run out of money sometime in the third fiscal quarter of 2018, but that was based on assuming losses were stabilizing in the range of 3 billion a year. Not so, according to the article. I think crunch time is rapidly approaching. If so, then SoftBank's tender offer may look quite appetizing to VC firms and to any Uber employee able to cash in their options. I think there is a way to make a re-envisioned Uber profitable, and with a more independent board, they may be able to restructure the company to show a pathway to profitability before the IPO. But time is running out.

A not insignificant question is the recruitment and retention of the front line "partners." It would seem to me that at some point, Uber will run out of economically ignorant drivers with good manners and nice cars. I would be very interested to know how many drivers give up Uber and other ride-sharing gigs once the 1099's start flying at the beginning of the year. One of the harsh realities of owning a business or being an contractor is the humble fact that you get paid LAST!

Jan Stickle , December 12, 2017 at 5:00 pm

We became instant Uber riders while spending holidays with relatives in San Diego. While their model is indeed unique from a rider perspective, it was the driver pool that fascinates me. These are not professional livery drivers, but rather freebooters of all stripes driving for various reasons. The remuneration they receive cannot possibly generate much income after expenses, never mind the problems associated with IRS filing as independent contractors.

One guy was just cruising listening to music; cooler to get paid for it than just sitting home! A young lady was babbling and gesticulating non stop about nothing coherent and appeared to be on some sort of stimulant. A foreign gentleman, very professional, drove for extra money when not at his regular job. He was the only one who had actually bought a new Prius for this gig, hoping to pay it off in two years.

This is indeed a brave new world. There was a period in Nicaragua just after the Contra war ended when citizens emerged from their homes and hit the streets in large numbers, desperately looking for income. Every car was a taxi and there was a bipedal mini Walmart at every city intersection as individuals sold everything and anything in a sort of euphoric optimism towards the future. Reality just hadn't caught up with them yet .

[Dec 09, 2017] MIT Professor Angrist Publishes Obviously Misleading Analysis of Uber Driver Economics....With Uber Chief Economist as Co-Autho

Notable quotes:
"... Uber and Lyft are fraudulent schemes based on selling false hope to desperate drivers on one hand, while promising investors the 'opportunity' of getting in on the ground-floor of a new, and 'disruptive technology', sure to become a profitable monopoly, and so make a fortune when it they take it public. ..."
"... new and disruptive technology ..."
"... It's not a good job, it's not a good investment, it's not a 'new and disruptive technology', it's a scam, and anyone trying to sell any portion of it is a fraud. ..."
"... I think it's worse than a scam. It's a scam on the drivers and users, but I suspect that the investors know just what is up: destroy the taxi market, supplant it with Uber/Lyft, and enjoy your monopoly rents forever. Libertarianism indeed! That's the ground floor they're getting in on: entrepreneurial feudalism. ..."
"... Most of the litigation regarding Uber drivers is predicated on proving an employment relationship, contrary to Uber's assertion that the drivers are independent contractors. ..."
"... These drivers are overworked, underpaid, deceived, exploited employees of uber all but in name, the independent contractor nonsense is bulls***. Tell me how this is a win for the driver?? ..."
"... The assumption goes further than that. If you are depreciating an asset (wearing out your car), that's a cost. Replacing tires more often, paying for a commercial car rider (which Uber riders are supposed to do but Uber does not enforce) are all costs that need to be included even if the driver owns his car outright. ..."
"... That depreciation and upwardly trending running costs are ommited in the analysis seems to me to be gross incompetence or willful deception by the authors. ..."
"... That is my buddy in Seattle's experience with Lyft. He got laid off from his tech job and started driving after a lengthy unsuccessful job search but has no illusions about the "gig economy", doing it mostly just to get out of the house. The other day he told be he'd driven over 4 hours for slightly over $50. That's below the Seattle minimum wage and that's before accounting for his expenses. ..."
"... People may like the cheap fares, but that's only because they are heavily subsidized by flushing VC down the toilet and drivers working basically at a loss once expenses are considered. ..."
"... I'm not a frequent Uber user, but when I do I ask the driver what it's like. All say that it's much harder to make money now than it used to be. One driver actually attributed that to the ouster of Kalanick, on the belief that Kalanick had been ousted because he was pro-driver. (I didn't argue). That same driver told me he was getting $8 of my $22 Friday night fare. ..."
"... So, I think The Point with Uber it that it is mostly a political research project. What those VC investors actually pay for is to test to what extent they can get away with undercutting wages, how agressive and blatant one can cut corners on legal compliance, what the consequences for doing this are in different regions. What are the stakeholders? How should these be managed/manipulated? ..."
"... When a ride is requested the customer knows where they are going and about how much it will cost. Uber and Lyft have the same information. But the driver only gets a customer rating and an estimated time to pick up, and 10-15 seconds to decide if they will accept the ride. They are not allowed to call the customer and ask for the destination. If they cancel the ride, they are punished. When the driver shows up, the customer has up to five minutes to get in the vehicle before the driver can cancel on that person, and five minutes is a horrible waste of time to someone who is compensated pennies per minute for waiting. The driver has no idea how much the customer is actually paying (which is often a violation of state laws requiring full disclosure of fares). Drivers have no information, a very unfair economic reality. ..."
"... The companies are praying that elimination of drivers via automated vehicles will solve their financial problems, however I suspect that these companies are going to learn a hard lesson about the true cost of maintaining a fleet of hi tech vehicles. ..."
"... Out in San Francisco proper the number of ridehailing vehicles with expired registrations has increased dramatically. Savvy taxi drivers and ridehailing drivers are earning less across the board. Drivers are coming from San Diego to drive in the SF Bay Area. Plateless toll evasion on the toll bridges has skyrocketed since ridehailing came on the scene. ..."
Dec 09, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

MK , December 8, 2017 at 6:20 am

In Buffalo last weekend for a family event. Tried Uber and Lyft around 7 pm Saturday from our hotel in Cheektowaga to get to Town of Tonawanda. Not one single car available on either service. Call to taxi dispatch, taxi at our hotel in less than 10 minutes.

Uber and Lyft absolutely failed in that scenario and left a poor impression for what would have been our first rideshare trip.

Watt4Bob , December 8, 2017 at 7:36 am

I drove a taxi for many years, and I now work in IT for a group of auto dealers.

Last week, one of the general sales managers at work explained to me that people are ' selling ' cars to us in order to get out from under the expense of payments. Many of these people are 'up-side-down' in their loans, meaning they owe more than the car is worth. These folks are having to pay us to take the car off their hands, for example one customer paid us $8,000 to ' buy ' his car.

Now understand that this is only part of the potential cost of attempting to make part of a living by driving for Uber or Lyft.

You've wasted a year, making much less money than promised, you put 40K miles on your car instead of the average 20K, and you end up with a car that isn't worth nearly what you owe on it.

So now you've wised up to the fact that this is not a real 'opportunity', you've damaged your financial situation and you're worse off than you were before.

That nice car that was going to help you make a living is now a weight holding you down, it's hard for you to even look at it, and you can't afford to pay someone to 'buy' it from you.

Uber and Lyft are fraudulent schemes based on selling false hope to desperate drivers on one hand, while promising investors the 'opportunity' of getting in on the ground-floor of a new, and 'disruptive technology', sure to become a profitable monopoly, and so make a fortune when it they take it public.

It's not a good job, it's not a good investment, it's not a ' new and disruptive technology ', it's a scam, and anyone trying to sell any portion of it is a fraud.

Thuto , December 8, 2017 at 8:12 am

Watt4Bob, my sentiments exactly, see my comment below.

Wukchumni , December 8, 2017 at 8:19 am

I've only taken Uber a few times, and when a Cuban-American fellow in Miami picked us up in his $40k new SUV and told us how Uber was going to be his way out of the rat race, I thought along the same lines as you, this is never going to work.

Martin Finnucane , December 8, 2017 at 10:29 am

It's not a good job, it's not a good investment, it's not a 'new and disruptive technology', it's a scam, and anyone trying to sell any portion of it is a fraud.

I think it's worse than a scam. It's a scam on the drivers and users, but I suspect that the investors know just what is up: destroy the taxi market, supplant it with Uber/Lyft, and enjoy your monopoly rents forever. Libertarianism indeed! That's the ground floor they're getting in on: entrepreneurial feudalism.

Also, maybe that the way investment tends to work.

Watt4Bob , December 8, 2017 at 11:40 am

It's a scam on the drivers and users, but I suspect that the investors know just what is up: destroy the taxi market, supplant it with Uber/Lyft, and enjoy your monopoly rents forever.

Anybody who has been following this discussion here at NC knows that is the play, as it has been sold to investors, however, there is very little evidence that it will work to investors benefit outside of a profitable IPO.

IMHO, that IPO has always been the end game.

As has been pointed out previously, it will be very hard, maybe impossible to drive enough of the taxi industry out of business to create that monopoly, and thus make the IPO look enticing.

My bet would be that Uber and Lyft miss that mark by a wide margin, and go down in history as a foolish misadventure on the part of investors.

As the number of disappointed investors, and ex-drivers mounts up, it will be harder and harder to recruit new 'sub-contractors' and I wouldn't rule out a class-action suit by drivers, investors, or both.

Anon , December 8, 2017 at 1:32 pm

As the number of disappointed investors, and ex-drivers mounts up, it will be harder and harder to recruit new 'sub-contractors' and I wouldn't rule out a class-action suit by drivers, investors, or both.

Probably not from the drivers -- Uber drivers for the last several years (~2013 or so, I think?) have been subject to an arbitration clause with a class action waiver. There is an opt-out provision (most likely in place only to support the ridiculous argument that the class action waiver doesn't violate Section 7 of the NLRA because of the right, under Section 7, to refrain from participating in concerted activity) but no doubt the vast majority of drivers have not opted out and are probably unaware of it. The numerous class actions against Uber have either involved drivers who stopped working for Uber prior to their implementation of arbitration or have tried to attack the enforceability of the arbitration clause. Unfortunately, those arguments haven't been, and the pending ones are unlikely to be, very successful. The argument involving Section 7 of the NLRA is currently pending before SCOTUS, but based on oral arguments, this looks likely to result in another 5-4 partisan split in favor of employers.

Watt4Bob , December 8, 2017 at 3:13 pm

The argument involving Section 7 of the NLRA is currently pending before SCOTUS, but based on oral arguments, this looks likely to result in another 5-4 partisan split in favor of employers.

Ah, yes, which brings up another matter;

Q. When is an employer not an employer

A. any time it matters to the 'employed'.

Anon , December 8, 2017 at 3:50 pm

Most of the litigation regarding Uber drivers is predicated on proving an employment relationship, contrary to Uber's assertion that the drivers are independent contractors.

You are correct that asserting any rights under the NLRA will require proving a common-law employment relationship, which is unfortunately a more restrictive standard than the FLSA's broad "suffer or permit to work" standard (and used by many state laws).

This is actually being investigated by the NLRB, who has consolidated numerous charges filed by Uber drivers into a single investigation in the San Francisco region .

Unsurprisingly, Uber's response has been to hire Littler and Gibson Dunn to stonewall the investigation by playing games like ignoring NLRB administrative subpoenas, requiring the NLRB to petition a district court for an order enforcing the subpoenas. The order the NLRB sought was eventually granted by the court , but this game managed to delay the proceedings for several months. And with the NLRB now under complete Republican control, both on the GC and Board side, it's hard to have hopes for a positive outcome for the drivers.

Knifecatcher , December 8, 2017 at 11:42 am

And there are even worse possible scenarios than making less money than expected. A friend of mine used a small inheritance ($5k or so) as a down payment to buy a new-ish car, with the idea of driving for Lyft. The hope was that he would at least make enough money to pay the note on his off-hours and have a more modern / reliable / fuel efficient car to get to his other 2-3 jobs. My friend is very much part of the precariat, so this felt like a win from his perspective.

This went on for a couple of months or so and things went more or less according to his meager expectations, so he was happy. Until he got rear ended in his nice new car. The car was totaled, the guy who hit him uninsured. His cut rate insurance company paid off the car at 2k or so less than he owed on it. Of course he had no gap coverage to cover that, and his down payment is long gone. I let him borrow an old pickup until he was able to get the insurance sorted out and arrange another beater so he didn't lose his other job(s).

Damn the "sharing economy" to hell.

Louis Fyne , December 8, 2017 at 1:14 pm

Absolutely this!

In addition to the obvious costs (fuel) and abstract costs (depreciation), drivers have a non-zero chance of death, injury, or plain old fender benders. And I'd bet most drivers don't take that into account.

Zero workers comp, zero disability, and Uber's collision insurance has a high deductible that guarantees risk is shifted onto its drivers, but for the long-tail crashes.

Not to mention drivers have only a vague idea what demand is like at any given time, while Uber HQ has 100% perfect information on the level of demand and its algos can make a reasonable guess as to the near-term expected demand.

Norbert Haering , December 8, 2017 at 7:50 am

The biased Research that you take apart here, is part of a wider and worrying phenomenon. Uber Money is dominating economic Research on ride-hauling platforms. Uber is contracting with many top-economists with their close links to prestigous publication channels. Even reputable journals publish the resulting PR as if it was science. Critical Researchers have no chance to compete, because they will not get the exclusive Uber-data, which Uber-loving researchers like Angrist and Levitt can work with.

There is an article in German Business newspaper "Handelsblatt" on this, http://www.handelsblatt.com/my/unternehmen/handel-konsumgueter/von-uber-finanzierte-studien-public-relations-oder-wissenschaft/20364132.html?ticket=ST-1630133-4TdJOLrZkvGWS3rsDDPg-ap

which is translated and slightly extended here:

http://norberthaering.de/en/home/32-english/news/920-uber-research

Rosario , December 8, 2017 at 12:40 pm

Yep, it already works in politics: https://www.npr.org/sections/money/2012/01/06/144737864/forget-stocks-or-bonds-invest-in-a-lobbyist

From Uber's perspective, why not game academia as well to help build the social values they desire. Further proof that, despite the libertarian truisms, markets are absolutely a product of politics and society rather than a natural phenomenon.

Thuto , December 8, 2017 at 8:09 am

The embedded assumption for this analysis is that the average uber driver owns their car outright (i.e. no vehicle finance/ lease repayments) and is available to work during peak demand hours. This idealised "be your own boss, set your own hours and make lots of money" myth has been shown up to be marketing fluff to attract gullible drivers who aren't savvy enough to see through the obfuscated numbers uber presents at its driver recruitment seminars. I'd wager that depreciation and dead miles, because they bite ever so silently by piling on hour by hour, mile by mile without seemingly affecting earnings dropping down into drivers "bottom lines", aren't ever mentioned at such seminars. IOW, drivers naively believe that their net earnings are 75%, when they're anything but.

In my neck of the woods the situation is even more dire because uber has partnered with South African banks and car dealerships to offer leases to unsuspecting drivers seduced by the marketing cool aid and exaggerated earnings potential, with lease terms transferring the bulk (read all) of the transaction risk to the driver. This has the effect of immediately exploding the "work part time/set your own hours" myth because said drivers are now tethered to uber (and have their free time rapaciously confiscated) in order to make their monthly repayments to the banks. With obligations to the banks on a monthly basis top of mind, asset down time becomes the bane of most of these drivers tenures with uber, with dead mile upon dead mile driven in the hope of positioning oneself close enough to areas of peak demand (leading to oversupply in such areas), artificially boosting supply for uber while wearing out both asset and driver.

These drivers are overworked, underpaid, deceived, exploited employees of uber all but in name, the independent contractor nonsense is bulls***. Tell me how this is a win for the driver??

Yves Smith Post author , December 8, 2017 at 8:28 am

The assumption goes further than that. If you are depreciating an asset (wearing out your car), that's a cost. Replacing tires more often, paying for a commercial car rider (which Uber riders are supposed to do but Uber does not enforce) are all costs that need to be included even if the driver owns his car outright.

Thuto , December 8, 2017 at 8:50 am

I totally agree, and I should have made it explicitly clear that even if you own your car outright the economics are junk owing to "hidden costs". I was addressing specifically the tacit assumption this analysis hinges on to arrive at its conclusion that uber should be a no brainer in the decision calculus of a driver looking to drive part time. That depreciation and upwardly trending running costs are ommited in the analysis seems to me to be gross incompetence or willful deception by the authors.

lyman alpha blob , December 8, 2017 at 8:23 am

So though Uber says you can drive whenever you want, drivers often only work from, say, 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. or from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m., because fares are too low at other times.

That is my buddy in Seattle's experience with Lyft. He got laid off from his tech job and started driving after a lengthy unsuccessful job search but has no illusions about the "gig economy", doing it mostly just to get out of the house. The other day he told be he'd driven over 4 hours for slightly over $50. That's below the Seattle minimum wage and that's before accounting for his expenses.

He rarely even tries to drive during non-peak hours as there's no money in it. Some fares earn him around $3 which is less than what it takes to ride the damn bus. I would never have dreamed of getting in a cab in Seattle and paying less than $5 to get anywhere in Seattle, and that was 25 years ago.

People may like the cheap fares, but that's only because they are heavily subsidized by flushing VC down the toilet and drivers working basically at a loss once expenses are considered.

gk , December 8, 2017 at 8:48 am

I'm not a frequent Uber user, but when I do I ask the driver what it's like. All say that it's much harder to make money now than it used to be. One driver actually attributed that to the ouster of Kalanick, on the belief that Kalanick had been ousted because he was pro-driver. (I didn't argue). That same driver told me he was getting $8 of my $22 Friday night fare.

I agree with the takedown of this piece, and the points previously made here about the economics of ride-sharing and the implausibility of Uber ever deriving Amazon-like network effects. I do think their app was a huge improvement over pre-Uber taxi dispatching (here in DC, call a phone number, hope someone answers, then hope a taxi shows up). Also, I think that it's at least possible that a demand-based per-ride fare structure would (assuming good faith) better match supply and demand than traditional taxi time and distance-based fares. Operating the system that enables the demand-based fares wouldn't be a ticket to world domination, but it might improve utility for drivers and riders.

fajensen , December 8, 2017 at 10:49 am

I do think their app was a huge improvement over pre-Uber taxi dispatching

The bar for "tech-disruption" is set pretty low with Uber. The local taxi companies (Taxi Skåne) all have one, even in backwards Germany, where they might not take any card payments but there is an app for getting a taxi wherever you are.

*Anyone*, literally, doing steady business can afford to have a decent "Rendevous-app" made. Give a bunch of Norwegian teenagers err App Development Company three, six months and about 15-50 kEUR and it is Done.

I can probably even get one to track my retriever on the app-store – but I don't need it since she is a proper retriever, she finds stuff and comes back with it.

So, I think The Point with Uber it that it is mostly a political research project. What those VC investors actually pay for is to test to what extent they can get away with undercutting wages, how agressive and blatant one can cut corners on legal compliance, what the consequences for doing this are in different regions. What are the stakeholders? How should these be managed/manipulated?

The information gathered until Uber craters will be used to better tailor more serious parasitic business ventures. It is an investment in the Next-Thing.

Kukuzel , December 8, 2017 at 4:41 pm

Great point! They are looking to test the limits of the system for sure in all the wrong ways.

UserFriendly , December 9, 2017 at 1:14 am

Just because they could develop an app doesn't mean they would. Next to none of them did till Uber became a threat. Not that I'm a fan of Uber.

Louis Fyne , December 8, 2017 at 9:55 am

People complain about bitcoin energy use? Let's talk about uber deadhead miles/idling. If you're in a city where uber cars must wear trade dress Just stand at a downtown corner and watch all the empty cars drive by.

Certainly not convinced ridehail is a net plus. Uber HQ would have that data and if it is not a talking point, the data must not be good

fajensen , December 8, 2017 at 10:28 am

What a shame Uber is not a listed company. That is a short-indicator if there ever was one. At least Iceland could afford a real Harward Professor write a paper declaring the robust health of their economy right before it tanked.

Wukchumni , December 8, 2017 at 10:32 am

Mishkin Accomplished!

Wukchumni , December 8, 2017 at 12:16 pm

p.s.

Not a Harvard dude, another MIT professor, ha!

Jim H. , December 8, 2017 at 12:16 pm

The money mustache guy in Longmont, CO recently posted his experience as an "underground" uber guy. Seems to confirm what I've heard around here (Berkeley/SF) about it not being the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Certainly has added to the snarled traffic as people use them to avoid walking short distances and as drivers carry on like amateurs. They drive like part timers and stop in the middle of streets, rather than pulling to the side of streets.
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2017/11/22/mr-money-mustache-uber-driver/

Basil Pesto , December 8, 2017 at 1:18 pm

Recently in Australia I've noticed when my friends have been catching Ubers that they have been subject to surge pricing for little-to-no reason. I couldn't help but wonder if this is a concerted effort by Uber to get their customers more accustomed to paying surge rates, for when Uber can no longer afford to subsidise the rides.

Noni Mausa , December 8, 2017 at 3:01 pm

It has always seemed to me that the Uber business model could only exist in a transient economic situation -- that is, a time where the economy had done poorly enough to leave many people unemployed, but before then had done well enough that many of those hard up people owned a private car. A business model that depends on transient conditions will yield, of course, transient business.

Joel , December 8, 2017 at 3:27 pm

A small correction:

the Boston market, which has a particularly high level of licensed cabs per capita, nearly twice as high as New York City.

They're talking about the City of Boston, which is only a tiny % of the Combined Statistical Area and has far more people than population during the workday. A better comparison than City of Boston-NYC would be City of Boston-Manhattan. I'm surprised that the City of Boston doesn't have a much higher number of taxis per resident.

Comparing different municipalities in the US rarely makes sense since the size of a municipality is so arbitrary. Combined Statistical Areas is a better focus since they're standardized by social scientists working for the government.

Mista T , December 8, 2017 at 3:40 pm

Knowledge is power, and drivers are given NONE.

When a ride is requested the customer knows where they are going and about how much it will cost. Uber and Lyft have the same information. But the driver only gets a customer rating and an estimated time to pick up, and 10-15 seconds to decide if they will accept the ride. They are not allowed to call the customer and ask for the destination. If they cancel the ride, they are punished. When the driver shows up, the customer has up to five minutes to get in the vehicle before the driver can cancel on that person, and five minutes is a horrible waste of time to someone who is compensated pennies per minute for waiting. The driver has no idea how much the customer is actually paying (which is often a violation of state laws requiring full disclosure of fares). Drivers have no information, a very unfair economic reality.

The service is a terrific idea, but the economics of it are not realistic. Currently the discounts are all being subsidized by a combination of VC money and drivers' lack of knowledge.

The companies are praying that elimination of drivers via automated vehicles will solve their financial problems, however I suspect that these companies are going to learn a hard lesson about the true cost of maintaining a fleet of hi tech vehicles.

artiste-de-decrottage , December 8, 2017 at 5:43 pm

Well, but this takes the cake.

"Rent a car, drive for Uber or Lyft"

"$1000 per week before rental fees"

http://hyrecar.com/

Joel , December 8, 2017 at 6:15 pm

The question that has always confused me: since Uber offers a nicer "experience" than taxis, why didn't they charge a premium for that from the beginning? Why dedicate yourself to such an extreme burn rate?

Race2Bottom Isreal , December 9, 2017 at 12:02 pm

Out in San Francisco proper the number of ridehailing vehicles with expired registrations has increased dramatically. Savvy taxi drivers and ridehailing drivers are earning less across the board. Drivers are coming from San Diego to drive in the SF Bay Area. Plateless toll evasion on the toll bridges has skyrocketed since ridehailing came on the scene.

The situation is not sustainable. There are way too many vehicles out there. Generally there are less rides too now. Services like Chariot or Ford Bike share have reduced ridership for taxi/ridehailing. Apps like Tinder/Grinder reduce the need for barhopping. Services like Munchery or Uber Eats eliminate a round trip for going out to eat.

Oddly enough Uber Eats competes against itself, UberX, as every delivery takes away two rides from the livery side of the equation. People that get a ride out to eat need a ride home.

[Dec 05, 2017] Wolf Richter Carmegeddon for Tesla

Notable quotes:
"... By Wolf Richter, a San Francisco based executive, entrepreneur, start up specialist, and author, with extensive international work experience. Originally published at Wolf Street ..."
Dec 05, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Posted on December 4, 2017 by Jerri-Lynn Scofield By Wolf Richter, a San Francisco based executive, entrepreneur, start up specialist, and author, with extensive international work experience. Originally published at Wolf Street

Today was the monthly moment of truth for automakers in the US. They reported the number of new vehicles that their dealers delivered to their customers and that the automakers delivered directly to large fleet customers. These are unit sales, not dollar sales, and they're religiously followed by the industry.

Total sales in November rose 0.9% from a year ago to 1,393,010 new vehicles, according to Autodata, which tracks these sales as they're reported by the automakers. Sales of cars dropped 8.2%. Sales of trucks – which include SUVs, crossovers, pickups, and vans – rose 6.6%. Strong replacement demand from the hurricane-affected areas in Texas papered over weaknesses elsewhere. As always, there were winners and losers.

And one of the losers was Tesla.

First things first: There is nothing wrong with a tiny automaker trying to design, make, and sell cool but expensive cars that a few thousand Americans might buy every month, and trying to do so on a battleground dominated by giants. Porsche has been doing that for years. Porsche AG is owned by Volkswagen AG, which is itself majority-owned by Porsche Automobil Holding SE. Tesla is out there by itself.

And Tesla has put electric vehicles on the map. That was a huge feat. EVs have been around since the 1800s, but given the challenges that batteries posed, they simply didn't catch on until Tesla made EVs cool. Yet Tesla has to buy the battery cells from battery makers, such as Panasonic.

Tesla isn't quite out there by itself, though. The Wall Street hype machine backs it up, dousing it with billions of dollars on a regular basis to burn through as fast as it can. This masterful hype has created a giant market capitalization of about $52 billion, more than most automakers, including Ford ($50 billion). It's not far behind GM ($61 billion).

But Tesla – which lost $619 million in Q3 – delivered only 3,590 vehicles in November in the US, down 18% from a year ago.

There are all kinds of interesting aspects about this.

One: 3,590 vehicles amounts to a market share of only 0.26% , of the 1,393,010 new cars and trucks sold in the US in November. Porsche outsold Tesla by 55% (5,555 new vehicles).

Two: Tesla doesn't report monthly deliveries . It wants to play with the big boys, but it doesn't want people to know on a monthly basis just how crummy and by comparison inconsequential its US sales numbers are. Opaque and dedicated to hype, it refuses to disclose how many vehicles it delivered that month in the US. So the industry is estimating Tesla's monthly US sales.

Tesla discloses unit sales data in its quarterly earnings reports, long after everyone has already forgotten about the months in which they occurred.

Three: So how are Model 3 sales doing? Since Tesla doesn't disclose its monthly deliveries in the US, the industry is guessing. The assembly line still isn't working. "Manufacturing bottlenecks," as Tesla calls it, and "manufacturing hell," as Elon Musk calls it, rule the day.

In Q3, Tesla delivered 220 handmade Model 3's. In October, it delivered about 145 handmade units. In November, the assembly line still wasn't assembling cars. Inside EVs estimates that Tesla delivered a whopping 345 units in November.

Four: This is where hype goes to die. In February 2017, Tesla hyped these Model 3 production numbers for 2017:

Our Model 3 program is on track to start limited vehicle production in July and to steadily ramp production to exceed 5,000 vehicles per week at some point in the fourth quarter and 10,000 vehicles per week at some point in 2018.

November is solidly in the fourth quarter. 5,000 vehicles per week would mean over 20,000 a month. OK, this is November and not December, so maybe 4,000 a week for a total of 16,000. We got 345.

Even if the estimate of 345 is off by 100 units up or down, it doesn't even matter. And December isn't looking much better. Because there is still no mass-produced Model 3.

Five: The bestselling Model S isn't best-selling anymore. Inside EVs estimates that Tesla delivered 1,335 Model S in the US. This was far outpaced by the humble Model-3-killer the Chevy Bolt. GM sold 2,987 Bolts in November. Tesla is also estimated to have delivered 1,875 Model X SUVs in the US. It took the Model S and the Model X combined to beat the humble Bolt.

Six: The unglamorous Model-3-killer is number one . The Chevy Bolt faces no "production bottlenecks" and no "manufacturing hell." It was rolled out gradually, starting in October 2016 in California and Oregon, with other states being added to the distribution plan over time. By August 2017, the Bolt was available in all states. By September, 2,632 Bolts were sold in the US; in October 2,781; and in November 2,987.

The Bolt became the best-selling EV in October and retained that crown in November. Nothing was even close. November was the ninth month in a row of rising sales, as it should be for a brand-new vehicle line. GM has sold 20,070 Bolts so far this year.

Seven: But the Bolt is just a flyspeck for GM. It's something to build the foundation for a larger shift to EVs. It represented just 1.2% of GM's total deliveries in the US in November. EVs are still just a niche product. And yet, even this flyspeck crushed every Tesla model without fanfare.

Every automaker is preparing a lineup of EVs. Unlike Tesla, they have their supply chains down pat, and they know how to get their assembly lines to function, and they know how to mass-produce vehicles. There are already about two dozen EV models on the market in the US. Like GM, these automakers are just using their EVs to lay the groundwork for the broader shift.

Tesla has used two years of hype surrounding the Model 3 as a way to boost its share price. This allows it to raise many more billions by selling more ludicrously overpriced shares to gullible investors, and by selling more debt to institutional investors who believe that Tesla's ability to sell still more ludicrously overpriced shares to gullible retail investors will in effect guarantee the junk-rated debt they just bought. Few companies have ever been able to perform that scheme at this masterful level.

Serious delinquencies in subprime auto loans have reached Lehman Moment proportions. But there is no Financial Crisis. These are the boom times. Read Auto-Loan Subprime Blows Up Lehman-Moment-Like

ChuckO , December 4, 2017 at 6:50 am

Elon Musk is little more than a snake-oil salesman. Not only is there the Tesla fiasco, but there are his plans to send people to Mars by 2024. If that ever comes to fruition, those who are sent will almost certainly die in the attempt. We simply do not know enough about the dangers of space travel, and how to counteract them. Then there is the boondoggle that is the Hyperloop. That is little more than science fiction, as this video shows: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RNFesa01llk

Thuto , December 4, 2017 at 10:42 am

Yes, and on the flip side, becoming supremely efficient at handling a supply chain with only 25 moving parts sounds like it would be a total walk in the park for automakers who've mastered handling one with "10000 moving parts" no?? Unless if you believe the PR that says these giant "archaic" automakers will just stand by and watch as they're being "disrupted" into oblivion, doubling down on ICE even as the nimble startup that is Tesla moves the market in a different direction.

Catch phrases, sound bites and "David downs Goliath" tales that play well in the land of software startups don't transfer well to industrial scale manufacturing. Tesla will require more than hype to play with the big boys (who have massive balance sheets, supply chain management,production and distribution know how not to be sneered at), much less become a big boy itself. The giant automakers are not stupid, they're making their own forays into EVs (as the chevy bolt case mentioned in the article illustrates) while recognizing that ICE, much as we'd all like them to disappear tomorrow, will be around for a while to come still, that's just the reality. While Tesla's potential isn't to be dismissed, it better not suffer from the type of hubris that will be its undoing in the end.

PS: There was an article here a while back that made a persuasive argument about how advances in battery technology won't necessarily be the biggest impediment to Tesla (and other EV manufacturers) hitting their projected production outputs, but rather the locking up of offtake agreements to guarantee the supply of sufficient raw materials (e.g. cobalt).

a different chris , December 4, 2017 at 9:17 am

Tesla itself – Musk is what he is, opinions differ – has done quite a service bringing EVs into the limelight. It would be helpful if the idiot market didn't overvalue his company so much that the car part can't be spun off into the possession of a "real" car company/companies.

If, for example, GM/Nissan got together and acquired Tesla's car stuff for what it is really worth (pretty much the company-sized version of that "needs work" Corvette you are eyeing in the local Craigslist) then with the Bolt/Leaf/Mod3 in a single showroom, and all the IP now free to distribute among dedicated engineers, you would now have something.

But you can't get it for "what it's worth" due to the market idiocy. "It's the future" doesn't mean you still won't go broke overpaying for it.

Eclair , December 4, 2017 at 12:11 pm

The entire push to EV's is such a misdirection. If we could have a 'do-over', go back to 1910 or so, and have Henry Ford chose and market an electric vehicle rather than a petroleum powered vehicle, maybe our current situation would be better.

As it is, we're proposing that we take these millions of solo vehicles, all of which are manufactured out of finite resources, using vast amounts of energy to manufacture and transport to point of sale, and clogging the streets of our cities with grid-locking traffic, thus generating calls to build more roads and overpasses, which use more scarce resources. So what if they all become self-driving? Our local roads would become quieter and cleaner . but what will happen back along the supply train?

We're all in denial. We don't want to let go of our lifestyle that allows us to get in our car and drive off toward the horizon, adventure and a better life. Only, the horizon has become a gigantic stinking tar sands wasteland and the better life a shaky mirage.

lyman alpha blob , December 4, 2017 at 1:11 pm

There were plenty of electric vehicles around back around 1910. The US had a fairly extensive trolley system. The auto industry put them out of business, most likely deliberately.

Now the 'sharing economy' is trying to reinvent the wheel so to speak, but in a far worse manner than what already existed a century ago. Putting tens or hundreds of millions of electric cars on the road to be 'shared' by app users is clearly not the answer.

Rosario , December 4, 2017 at 1:00 pm

What has been most distressing for me is how many renewable advocates and professionals have put their hope in the Howard Hughes of the 21st century to help (or single-handedly according to some) deliver us into a renewable energy future. Turns out he is a confidence man of the highest order, scatterbrained to all hell, a union buster, tone deaf, possibly racist/sexist based on employees, etc. etc. As far as being a leader for renewable energy development he is more Ahab than Jean-Luc Picard.

Give me a federal program over an eccentric billionaire any day.

ewmayer , December 4, 2017 at 2:54 pm

"Tesla – which lost $619 million in Q3 – delivered only 3,590 vehicles in November in the US, down 18% from a year ago."

Wolf goes on to note that in February Tesla predicted "to steadily ramp production [of the Model 3] to exceed 5,000 vehicles per week at some point in the fourth quarter and 10,000 vehicles per week at some point in 2018." In other words, their total all-models sales are running at under 1000 per week, less than one-fifth the production rate they predicted for the Model 3 alone as recently as February. Making Tesla's valuation downright Bitcoinesque in its ludicrousness. And like BTC, it will surely ramp quite a ways higher before the whole manic bubble collapses. And speaking of Bubble 3.0, another Wolf Street piece:

o The US Cities with the Biggest Housing Bubbles | Wolf Street

JoshInSeMI , December 4, 2017 at 3:42 pm

Simple arrogance. Limited production of high margin luxury vehicles is an entirely different business than mass production of no margin vehicles. There are 10s of thousands of mechanical, civil, operational, industrial, and electrical engineers in the Detroit metro. There are hundreds of independent tool-making firms employing 10s of thousands experienced machinists. Rust-belt universities and community colleges add 1000s more talented workers every year. They are capable of a billion dollar factory retooling in a few months. Tesla lacks talent, experience, suppliers, and experience with suppliers to compete in the mass-production side of the automotive industry.

Tesla is a very good example of why you don't offshore manufacturing. The relationship networks between suppliers, experienced staff, and training institutions are incredibly difficult to recreate.

[Nov 29, 2017] Tesla's "Semi" Truck: Perspectives from the Cab and the Truck Stop and the Dock

Notable quotes:
"... By Lambert Strether of Corrente . ..."
"... Musk treats Tesla workers like garbage . For some, that's a problem. I don't applaud "pushing" that sort of "boundary" (although its common with Silicon Valley firms; see Amazon). ..."
"... Tesla's Newest Promises Break the Laws of Batteries ..."
"... even with mirrors ..."
"... interior design ..."
"... truck test driver ..."
"... it could compete on cost with trains. ..."
"... Please permit me a moment of dystopian tongue-in-cheek ;-) ..."
"... passive human assist ..."
"... Elon's not marketing the Semi that way! ..."
Nov 27, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Posted on November 27, 2017 by Lambert Strether By Lambert Strether of Corrente .

In this simple post I'm going to consider the Tesla Semi truck -- which Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced November 16 to predictably credulous laudable coverage , along with statements that were said to be orders but were, in fact, not -- as a vehicle , and not a financial vehicle[1]. (I also won't address the role for which the Semi may be most appropriate: Line haul, short haul, port duty, etc., though I may address these supply chain issues at a later date.) First, I'll look at the Semi's cab and wheels; then, I'll look at the Semi at the truck stop and on the dock. In each case I'll rely heavily on the informed commentary of the NC commentariat, as well as the wisdom of Hurbert Horan. First, though, here's a look at the thing:

OK, OK, it's a little dystopian, but since Tesla released it with their even more dystopian unveiling , who am I to argue?

The Cab and the Wheels

Starting with the cab, I'll requote this, from AutoBlog :

[W]e'll start with the central seating position.

A second reason I picked the image above: It shows that central seating position clearly.

I don't see how that helps a trucker. I already get "a commanding view of the road" in a traditional truck because I sit six feet above traffic. What I need is a commanding view of my own truck, which the central seating position compromises. The worst [1]blind spot in a tractor is next to the doors; in the Tesla Semi, I can't lean over to see if there's a Toyota Corolla camped out beside me.

I just hope I'm not in that Toyota Corolla, even if it is a robot car!

The central seating position hampers my commanding view when I need that view most: when I [2]back up. For any backing maneuver, I watch both sides of the trailer in my mirrors to make sure I don't clobber anything, or I lean out of the truck to watch the trailer as I back. Being able to physically watch the trailer – not camera images on screens – can be the difference between making a clean back-up or making an insurance claim.

Furthermore, I can't see around [3]trucks in front of me without pulling halfway into another lane. When I need to [4]exchange paperwork with the guard at a terminal, or the police, I can't lean out the window to do so. Speaking of which, I have to believe one of the windows on the Tesla Semi [5]rolls down, but I can't figure out which one. If, as it appears from the renderings, the windows only vent, well that's unacceptable.

I've helpfully numbered the driver use cases that seem not to have been considered in the design of the Tesla Semi's cab; five ([5]) seems like rather a lot, particularly since I get the sense that the writer was just getting started.

NC commenter altandmain raises a second issue, again, visible from the Semi image: Clearance ( see here as well ), also visible in the photograph above:

Look at the front and rear axles. It was no doubt for the sake of aerodynamics, but a production version would have to have it raised or else the semi simply cannot operate as is. Particularly in [1]hilly terrain, even trucks today can get stuck on the crest of a very steep hill (it does happen in the industry). Very simply put, the production version cannot be as aerodynamic.

[2]Snow will also be an issue with low clearance. This might be a big problem in Canada, the northern US, Alaska, and northern Europe. Russia too, if Tesla ever intends to sell to the Russians. Also, notice that the rear wheels are concealed. This could be an issue [3]if the vehicle is stuck in the snow (ever see a car get stuck in the snow)? Trucks have more ground pressure and as a result, are at a larger risk for "getting stuck" .

There must also be the ability to attach [4]moose bumpers. That is necessary in Canada and northern US. I did not see anything on the images that would imply that a bumper provision was available.

Here, too, I have helpfully numbered the use cases that the Tesla Semi's designers ignored; four (4) also seems like rather a lot. No snow in Fremont, California, eh? Or moose, for that matter.

Now, the suggestion has been made that getting us lost in the weeds like I just did is a clever scheme by Tesla. Hubert writes:

Objective is to get people discussing minor design/implementation details in order to convince people that these vehicles are inevitable and only a few years away from mass production and widespread acceptance, and to distract from the fact that the underlying technology doesn't exist, and even if it did the underlying economics are abysmal.

Plausible, but to me, this is a variation of The Eternal Question in DC: "Stupid, or evil?"[2]. And frankly, I'd consider going with stupid. Tesla is a creature of Silicon Valley, and there are plenty of software types who'd try -- and even succeed! I've watched it happen! -- to take a wireframe that "looked cool" all the way through to production while ignoring any and all User Interface/User Experiece inputs, out of sheer arrogance and indifference to the needs of others. And when I look at all the obvious use cases Tesla missed -- nine really obvious ones, after a pretty shallow examination -- it looks like one of those software types was in charge of this project.[3] (Lots of these types work on the Internet of Things.)

The Truck Stop and the Dock

One thing I've noticed about trucks is that they do a lot of parking and backing up and maneuvering around obstacles. That makes mirrors very important. The Semi doesn't have mirrors. It has cameras that display on screens. From fan site Teslarati :

Because the Tesla Semi doesn't have any side mirrors, video from these cameras likely provide the driver with a birds eye view of both sides of the truck as seen from the interior touchscreen displays. Kman also discovered a row of cameras mounted below and above the massive windshield, and even more cameras discreetly mounted within Tesla Semi's headlight assembly.

NC commenter Edward E writes on the limitations of cameras;

Some docks are easy to back into and the cameras would be fine for those. But a large number of docks are extremely challenging to back into. Lighting at night causes glare and cameras would have trouble with that, even with mirrors you occasionally have trouble. Really difficult docks are the covered ones where you must back into a dark building from the sunny outdoors and hit a dock while narrowly missing poles, walls and doors. The only way to see anything is to get out and look and then stick your head out the window and look straight back while backing in. The Tesla appears useless for that. Warehouses in underground caves are especially difficult in this regard and you may have to back up quite a distance around obstacles like rock pillars. I could tell you some stories about long distance backing a semi, sometimes I do it from the highway up a half mile of twisting County road to my driveway.

Altandmain makes an additional point. No backups:

one issue I see is that there are no manual backups. A camera can be covered by mud. If you own a car and you have a backup camera on your car, you have some idea of the limitations. There should be mirrors. Otherwise, the cameras don't always work in all conditions. Plus the camera can die or face other problems.

No backups? For a computer system? Kidding, right?

And then, besides the cameras, there are those screens (Indignant programmer: "But I work with screens all the time!") Autoblog once more :

Another reason to have physical mirrors: so I can turn off, or turn down, the two giant screens in the cab (screens which, by the way, hinder my view of the corners of my truck). The light required to provide a useful camera image at night would kill my eyes during a full drive shift. Doing an 11-hour stint in a dark cockpit in the glow of large digital screens only works in anime and "Battlestar Galactica." I had one computer in both trucks I drove, and unless I was using it, I turned the screen off.

"Anime and 'Battlestar Galactica.'" Ouch!

Conclusion

In concluding, a word from NC commenter XXYY :

I gained a tremendous respect for people who drive trucks for a living. It's difficult and demanding work, and there are great dangers in driving an 80,000 lb vehicle in heavy traffic, rain, snow, and city streets. The pay is low, the stress high, and long-haul drivers are frequently away from home for weeks at a time. Despite all this, the truckers I met had tremendous professionalism and pride in their work, and saw themselves as part of a collective effort to get everyone (not just their own load) where they are going quickly and safely.

Those are Musk's users, and if the Tesla is to be a real product -- instead of a bright shiny object[4] dangled before the Wall Street touts analysts to detract from the Model 3's production woes , not that I'm cynical -- he could start by listening to them. If you hose away all the technobabblish froth, and consider the truck as a truck , it becomes readily apparent he hasn't. I'm sure I'll have more to say on this topic in the future, especially on larger issues like batteries, charging, and the supply chain generally, but I thought it was important to kick the Semi's tires first. As usual, comments from drivers and allied professions most welcome!

NOTES

[1] Though somebody should probably look at how the Semi will be financed ; Musk and company could well have made that there first concern.

[2] Yes, I know it's both/and, not either/or.

[3] That, or Musk thinks he's Steve Jobs, except as "thin" is to Jobs, "aerodynamic" is to Musk.

[4] The Verge comments :

It's probably best to view Thursday night's truck-and-pony show Hawthorne as a bit of savvy marketing move, plus a down payment on the future of transport. "Given the production issues around Tesla and its significant cash burn, it might be easy to discount this announcement as more marketing than substance, but I expect Tesla will build this truck eventually," said Michael Ramsey, an analyst at Gartner. "If the future is electric -- and it likely will be at some point -- then laying the groundwork now is not a waste of time."

I'd expect more puffery from Gartner. Or perhaps that is the puffery?

AdamCoppola , November 27, 2017 at 1:28 pm

Great summary. Ive seen a lot of articles telling me I should be afraid of autonomous vehicles. I also s*** myself when I saw the cgi video of this bully steaming past a sedan on a thin two lane road. Maybe ill spend less leisure time on the road, leave it for work. I mean to pose neurotic question: could they be scaring me on purpose?

MW , November 27, 2017 at 1:32 pm

While it may not be perfect, I applaud Tesla for trying to push boundaries and move us away from fossil fuels. Even if Tesla fails as a company, they are pushing the traditional car companies to offer electric cars at a much faster rate than anyone expected. I have a sister in law in Texas whose family made their fortune in the oil business. She is considering buying a Model X because it is the new status symbol. Well done Tesla.

Lambert Strether Post author , November 28, 2017 at 2:50 am

Musk treats Tesla workers like garbage . For some, that's a problem. I don't applaud "pushing" that sort of "boundary" (although its common with Silicon Valley firms; see Amazon).

I haven't researched how electric vehicles net out environmentally.

Buzz , November 28, 2017 at 12:15 pm

Dear Lambert, if you have "proof" that Tesla workers are being treated like garbage, you need to show us. It is NOT "common" in Silicon Valley to treat people like garbage. My wife worked at Apple. She commuted by train to the valley. She was picked up at the train by Apple, free of charge. They provide free child daycare. They have an extensive cafeteria where employees eat very well at low rates. Their wages are above average and "flex hours" allow employees to arrive any time in a wide window. Maybe you were referring to another Silicone Valley since Amazon's headquarters is in Washington State. Please try to do more research before you rush to publish.It makes you appear to be sort of "pushing something". P.S. Tesla is not in Silicon Valley. It's in the east bay, Fremont to be exact.

Lambert Strether Post author , November 28, 2017 at 1:40 pm

Do consider reading the two links I supplied; feel free to take issue with them. After that, consider getting your knee seen to.

* * *

On "Silicon Valley," let's not be tediously literal-minded. Wikipedia :

"Silicon Valley" has come to have two definitions: a geographic one, referring to Santa Clara County, and a metonymical one, referring to all high-tech businesses in the Bay Area or even in the United States.

Here's the definition of metonymy . I hope this helps.

voteforno6 , November 27, 2017 at 1:57 pm

I mentioned this vehicle with a relative, who has some experience with trucking (as do others, actually). I brought up the central seating position, and he had the exact same reaction. It's almost like Tesla is not concerned with testing this out with people who have practical experience with trucking.

cocomaan , November 27, 2017 at 2:06 pm

I am not kidding, or proud, when I say that I had the idea for center seating in a car when I was five years old. That doesn't say much about this truck.

The only cars that I can think of with center seating are racing vehicles like the Mclaren F1.

rusti , November 27, 2017 at 3:22 pm

Volvo Bus has the driver in the center position for the fully electric city buses operating here in Gothenburg (but not the hybrids). But there are no backing maneuvers in traffic for those buses.

Laurent , November 28, 2017 at 4:59 am

Also, there are usually large windows all around on buses.

Lambert Strether Post author , November 28, 2017 at 1:45 am

I've been thinking about this, and if I invert the bugs into features, it means the "Semi" is designed for (future) automation, and the driver is sitting in the center to handle any emergencies, so ultimately we're looking at a robot truck. (Which is still dumb, because that Toyota is an emergency.)

But it's really not clear to me that robot trucks are a thing, any more than robot cars, if we look at the use cases readers keep supplying. Of course, the object could be that every business not accessible by robot truck should wither and die .

rd , November 28, 2017 at 9:39 am

Everybody is focused on visual mirrors and cameras. However, if this is to be semi-autonomous or autonomous, then other sensors like radar will be necessary and may be the justification for the center seating. The radar should provide continuous coverage around the truck in all but the worst weather conditions. So the camera images would provide a visual depiction of the object, but the radar would tell the driver where it is and should eliminate blind spots. If needed, they could even do IR sensors or night vision cameras as well.

Tyronius , November 27, 2017 at 2:46 pm

The only way a central driving position makes sense is if Tesla plans to make the vehicle autonomous from the very beginning. That way the 'driver' is just another passenger, conveniently redundant in the glorious digital future! All the issues mentioned about cameras would apply to self driving as well. Why do I suddenly feel even less comfortable with the prospect of sharing the road or loading dock with self driving trucks in bad weather?

Summer , November 27, 2017 at 2:50 pm

Looking at the issues pointed out, it's not just the truck driver expected to be eliminated from the road.

"Why do I suddenly feel even less comfortable with the prospect of sharing the road or loading dock with self driving trucks in bad weather?"
These appear to be designs that are expected to work with no human drivers on the road, with ideal conditions being other autonomous vehicles on the roads (with infrastructure changed to adapt to them).

They'll weed out human drivers through insurance costs

Lambert Strether Post author , November 28, 2017 at 1:48 am

> with infrastructure changed to adapt to them)

So, when it's time, that's where all the infrastructure money will go! (as opposed to, say, schools, or public wifi, or )

> They'll weed out human drivers through insurance costs

Of course they will (though I don't know how you do actuarial calculations for robot AIs. Perhaps they'll just jigger the numbers for the desired outcome )

rd , November 28, 2017 at 9:45 am

I have seen quite a few 18-wheelers buried deep in the woods along interstates in the northeast over the past year. I think the human drivers are working very long hours and literally falling asleep at the wheel. That is the only explanation for 18-wheelers that have gone 100 feet off the road along a flat, straight interstate and not stopped until only the rear door of the trailer was sticking out form the trees. In August, I had one four-hour drive where I saw three of these. It was pretty scary because there were a lot of trucks around me.

Lambert Strether Post author , November 28, 2017 at 1:47 am

Yep; I'm going through the comments in sequence and had ended up in the same place myself.

Robert McGregor , November 27, 2017 at 2:51 pm

It's one thing to rush to market a concept "with bugs." It's another to rush to market a concept that's not even designed to work (center seating; no mirrors; low bottom-clearance) !

Lambert Strether Post author , November 28, 2017 at 1:50 am

> low bottom-clearance

See, when the truck gets stuck in the snow, all the little robots will jump out and lift the truck up with their tiny little metal hands. Same with waving away the moose.

visitor , November 27, 2017 at 3:14 pm

There are also fundamental technical issues with the announced truck: its entire power subsystem is simply unfeasible with current technology. The article Tesla's Newest Promises Break the Laws of Batteries gives an explanation.

Lambert Strether Post author , November 28, 2017 at 1:50 am

It's almost like the "Semi" is a scam to keep the stock price inflated.

California Bob , November 27, 2017 at 3:55 pm

"No snow in Fremont, California, eh? Or moose, for that matter."

Nope, but we're gonna have elk before too long:

http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/11/27/with-elks-on-rebound-california-releases-new-management-plan/

autoagri , November 27, 2017 at 4:38 pm

And when I look at all the obvious use cases Tesla missed -- nine really obvious ones, after a pretty shallow examination -- it looks like one of those software types was in charge of this project.

Actually Jerome Guillen, formerly of Daimler Trucks North America, led development of the Tesla Semi. Previously he led development of DTNA's popular Freightliner Cascadia line of trucks. Shallow examination indeed.

I have no interest in Tesla's financial success -- arguably the opposite -- but I have taken a test drive in a Tesla Semi, talked to some of its developers and prospective customers, experienced its acceleration and turns and I consider it to be a commercially viable product, perhaps as soon as 2019. We'll see.

I've been a loyal reader of NC, including the comments, for much of the last 10 years. I greatly enjoyed the Hubert Horan series of articles on Uber's economics; virtually of his points rang true with respect to my knowledge as a practitioner in the ground vehicle technology sector. But NC's recent expedition into technology-based criticism of Tesla and vehicle automation strikes me as overreach. Strong ethical and economic criticism of these subjects is ripe for the making -- and would be consistent with my reading of NC's general editorial perspective and leadership -- and yet the temptation to deem oneself more knowing than scores of technical practitioners is apparently what's driving the sector coverage most prominent of late. A few related points:

– automated and electric vehicles are designed for specific use cases

– the Tesla Semi's center seating may indeed be gimmicky but still practical in many use cases; mirrors can certainly be added to expand the scope of viable use cases, with a small sacrifice in aerodynamics

– to suggest that any vehicle as a whole is somehow not "real" because its prototype interior design seems gimmicky or otherwise flawed is to throw the baby out with the bathwater

– to suggest that a Tesla vehicle specifically is not "real" because Elon Musk is an arrogant and/or desperate CEO is to ignore a history of overpromising but eventually delivering; even in bankruptcy, the vehicle designs will remain

– to be reflexively against partially-automated electric vehicles powered by solar (see Tesla Semi charging station plans) and promulgated by Silicon Valley technologists is fine, and maybe wise if it coincides with opposition to resource-intensive human industry in general, but it would be more interesting at least to this reader to see that vision evaluated against the alternatives, and not just damned out of skepticism

– finally, to cherrypick the members of the commentariat you say you rely on is off-putting and potentially a disservice

Mike , November 27, 2017 at 5:00 pm

Well said. Although it is certainly possible that many of Musk's ideas will not come to fruition in their current form it seems likely to me that he is moving the mark, as noted above, toward a good future. IMHO the carping about the inefficiencies experienced by innovators – many false starts and wrong turns – society never progresses without them.

Lambert Strether Post author , November 28, 2017 at 2:26 am

Musk is an extremely innovative marketer, that's true. However, I don't think that "innovation" (the Juicero) or "progress" (Fukushima) are concepts that should be accepted unexamined.

JCC , November 27, 2017 at 5:10 pm

I think you make some good points.

One of the things that I've been reading quite a bit lately, beside your observations, is that these types of commercial vehicles are not intended to be used for "last mile" deliveries. The odds are very strong that there would be outskirt warehousing built that would take into consideration the negatives like loading dock access, etc.

Warehouses are relatively inexpensive to build, Amazon can have one up, running and fully functional within a year without batting an eyelash.

I don't find "autonomous" vehicles a good thing for a number of reasons (many of them covered here), but they will be everywhere soon enough at some level of autonomy, and just like infrastructure being built and/or modified for present day cars and trucks, future infrastructure, as it is built out, will take commercial autonomous vehicles and their requirements/limitations into consideration, particularly considering the strong drive in our times to reduce both human labor and its cost.

It may not be Tesla, but BAE, Mercedes, Volvo,and others are already well on the road to autonomous, electric/hybrid commercial vehicles.

voteforno6 , November 27, 2017 at 6:37 pm

Just out of curiosity, in what circumstances is the center seating position practical? The column referenced in the above article had a very pointed critique of that feature, based on real-world experience.

Lambert Strether Post author , November 28, 2017 at 2:27 am

If the model is that the driver will just sit on the throne, waiting for the robots to tell him there's an emergency, I think people doing human factors analysis for aircraft pilots might wish to have a word.

bob , November 27, 2017 at 8:41 pm

" I consider it to be a commercially viable product, perhaps as soon as 2019. We'll see."

So, you have seen the price then? Or, is "commercially viable" now shorthand for "it moves".

Lambert Strether Post author , November 28, 2017 at 2:29 am

> a commercially viable product

Companies that don't have to make a profit have a different idea of what's "commercially viable" than the rest of us. Trucking companies have to make a profit, and in a low-margin business.

The Rev Kev , November 27, 2017 at 9:18 pm

I would hardly call "NC's recent expedition into technology-based criticism of Tesla and vehicle automation" being a case of overreach. Remember, one day we may be seeing these things come barrelling up behind us in our rear-view mirrors like something out of "Duel" so if people take a closer look at Ford or Toyota, then why should Tesla get a free pass? Tesla cops a lot of flak for its awful treatment of the people that work for it and not listening to them so if people, especially truckers, are looking a a concept design (probably with input from the marketing droids) and saying "not gunna work" as is, maybe it is time to listen to the people that will actually have to deal with these things. There are other problems external to this design as well.
Not long ago there was a story of some hapless city in the US where one of those autonomous cars was being tested out. It wasn't working out so well for the car as the roads had been run down and lines were not being repainted so the car was having difficulty recognizing where it was supposed to go. The car exec was complaining bitterly to the city officials how they should be repairing & painting more. Now I am not going to go into the aspect of how corporations have rigged things where they are putting in little or no money into taxes leading to budget shortfalls across the nation – and thus cutbacks into such things as road maintenance (that is another rant for another time) but how are these you-beaut trucks supposed to navigate on roads that are being increasingly being run down? California Bob brought up the valid point of crossing wildlife as well.
Also, here in Australia a coupla years ago the trucking industry was busted for forcing their drivers to exceed the speed limits to get cargoes delivered. The trucking companies were regarding the fines as a cost-of-doing-business but the drivers were dosing themselves up to the gills on drugs to stay awake and alert. Would these autonomous trucks be programed to have trucks with special cargo (read Amazon) exceed speed limits to meet deadlines? It's all fun and profit until the first autonomous truck wipes out a school bus. The only solution that I can see to help avoid collisions with these things would be to force all cars to have transponders like aircraft so that these trucks know who and what is around them. And even then with aircraft you still get midairs.

Lambert Strether Post author , November 28, 2017 at 2:21 am

> temptation to deem oneself more knowing than scores of technical practitioners

I'm uncertain how looking to actual truck drivers means that I "deem myself more knowing." Unless you don't regard truck drivers as "technical practitioners," of course (but see the Conclusion) which would drive home my point on over-valuing software engineering rather neatly.

> Acutally, Guillen, formerly of Daimler Trucks North America, led development of the Tesla Semi. Previously he led development of DTNA's popular Freightliner Cascadia line of trucks. Shallow examination indeed.

Actually, I wrote:

And when I look at all the obvious use cases Tesla missed -- nine really obvious ones, after a pretty shallow examination -- it looks like one of those software types was in charge of this project.[3]

You are familiar with the American idiom "looks like"? Surely -- speaking of shallow -- it's possible that even the most gifted mechanical engineer could produce results that "look like" they were produced by an arrogant and ignorant software engineer? Much in the same way that a master chef could produce a dish that "looks like" it came out of a reheated plastic bag?

* * *

To your other points:

> – automated and electric vehicles are designed for specific use cases

It would be helpful if you would adduce the use cases for which the "Semi" is actually useful, as designed. I agree that you can simply turn bugs into requirements; no snow, no backing up, and so forth

> – the Tesla Semi's center seating may indeed be gimmicky but still practical in many use cases; mirrors can certainly be added to expand the scope of viable use cases, with a small sacrifice in aerodynamics

Yes, the product as released can be redesigned to eliminate all the sloppiness and stupidity. Is that your point? The real issue is why the design was released as it was. They're actually trying to market the thing, as you know; it's not a prototype or a mockup or an alpha version.

> – to suggest that any vehicle as a whole is somehow not "real" because its prototype interior design seems gimmicky or otherwise flawed is to throw the baby out with the bathwater

If you think adequate clearance for snow is a "gimmick," I suggest you consult with actual drivers.

> – to suggest that a Tesla vehicle specifically is not "real" because Elon Musk is an arrogant and/or desperate CEO is to ignore a history of overpromising but eventually delivering; even in bankruptcy, the vehicle designs will remain

Er, no. "To suggest A is to ignore B" just is not so. The vehicle could well be (A) not "real" as serious and knowledgeable people in the field suggest and Tesla could (B) ultimately deliver something. As for eventually delivering, your claim is (for example) that because Lockheed delivered the P-38 (a prop-driven fighter), it also would have delivered the Lockheed L-2000 (a jet supersonic transport). I think it makes more sense to make concrete evaluations of products, rather than resort to vague hand-waving about company history. As for the designs, why assume they're any good?

> – to be reflexively against partially-automated electric vehicles powered by solar (see Tesla Semi charging station plans) and promulgated by Silicon Valley technologists is fine, and maybe wise if it coincides with opposition to resource-intensive human industry in general, but it would be more interesting at least to this reader to see that vision evaluated against the alternatives, and not just damned out of skepticism

Ah, yes, the old "the author wrote a book about seagulls, but I've got to give it low marks because I would rather it were about penguins." Which is all fine, and other posts will be forthcoming. (The question begging here is: "just damned out of skepticism," and "reflexively against," and the answer to the first is that I adduce data. The answer to the second is that it's an obvious ad hominem.)

autoagri , November 28, 2017 at 9:36 am

Thanks for the extensive reply.

I appreciate your willingness to accept the original critical comment.

The real issue is why the design was released as it was.

I'd start with fuel savings / range extension. As presented*, the Tesla Semi has a drag coefficient of 0.36, compared to a Cd of ~0.6-1.0 of typical tractor-trailers (e.g. Peterbilt's aerodynamic 579 with a box trailer at the low end). This is an important design factor because about 2/3 of tractor-trailers' fuel consumption at highway speeds goes to overcoming aerodynamic drag. (* As presented: including with just-above-grade skirting that, if it's inflexible, would need to be removed to avoid damage at railroad crossings, etc.) I'd suppose -- all I can do -- that the greater curvature of the windshield and the inset from the wheelbase at the level where the driver sits, which contribute to drag reduction, both support moving the driver's position towards the center of the cab. Once the designers elected to use video screens -- not just as an alternative to mirrors, but also to cover blind spots that are problematic even with mirrors -- then they may have figured that center positioning would create adequate and well-balanced space for large-screen displays on both sides of the driver. I say all this to answer your question. I also acknowledge the trade-offs of unfamiliarity and problem-causing for drivers, and uncertain (at least to us) performance in heavy weather. I think though that Tesla is probably aware of these tradeoffs yet is banking on (has reason to believe?) that they will be mitigated by driver training and counteracted by coverage of blind spots left uncovered by mirrors alone (notable that there is no mention in the AutoBlog piece that tractor mirrors leave blind spots)

If you think adequate clearance for snow is a "gimmick," I suggest you consult with actual drivers.

I don't think clearance is a gimmick; I was plainly (but unfairly?) characterizing your view of the interior design of the vehicle. Indeed I have spoken with many a driver about clearance with respect to trailer skirting (again, this is my business!). Ramps and railroad crossings pose problems even where snow does not. Thermoplastic skirting can be quite flexible and hold up to a lot of wear and tear. Flexibility though not be of any help when turning in the snow. I haven't had the chance to look closely at Tesla's materials, but agreed that they look precariously low to the ground. Some skirting is readily removable (5-15 minutes). Again I don't know about Tesla's.

I think it makes more sense to make concrete evaluations of products, rather than resort to vague hand-waving about company history. As for the designs, why assume they're any good?

My point is that this evaluation does not seem well-hardened. As for company history, you recount only back to last month's Model S news. Is that also hand-waving or something else? In any case, I agree that past results do not guarantee future outcomes.

It would be helpful if you would adduce the use cases for which the "Semi" is actually useful.

– Short- to regional-haul / out-and-back runs with ranges up to ~400 miles (no sleeper option yet presented); charging station locations will be a big factor in identifying suitable regional haul routes
– Urban areas with emission-mitigation rules/goals
– Confident, experienced drivers interested in learning / using new equipment (same approach used with adoption of forward collision avoidance systems); converse, don't ask drivers who aren't comfortable using screens for docking to do so. These parameters are a function of driver interest / acceptance and training, not absolute good or bad fits for the vehicle.
– Since I don't know how flexible the skirting is or whether it's removable, I could hardly guess at whether grade variance or snow will be significant limitations
– For peak vehicle efficiency, private / dedicated routes with limited or no trailer switching to hold together the tractor-trailer aero package
– Unless and until drivers are comfortable operating the truck in heavy weather, urban driving, etc., don't adopt for routes where these conditions are common

I'm sure that doesn't cover it all but it's an honest effort. I don't think the vehicle is perfect. It's just better in significant ways, based on my own adducement of data, than any truck I've ever observed -- in fact ridden in. And if I were a blind technology enthusiast, than it would be surpassingly strange for me to spend so much of my leisure time at this site. More data to adduce.

In closing I'd like to add again that I appreciate your thoughtful response, as well as the perspectives of others who have addressed issues including labor practices and sharing the road with robo-trucks; all important, and not my focus in these comments about technology coverage.

Robert McGregor , November 28, 2017 at 3:03 pm

> converse, don't ask drivers who aren't comfortable using screens for docking to do so

Since you have some expertise in this field, can you some current examples in the transportation world where backing-up or any parking is done with ONLY screens? Some cars and trucks have backup screens, but this only as supplemental assist. I don't know about the aviation world, but the airliners I have seen backed-up do so with the "human assist" of guys walking behind waving orange "stick lights!" Ocean liners have "navigation cameras," but I don't think captains have ever tried to dock their ocean liner from their windowless quarters with no other human assist. And by the way, Autoagri, have you ever driven a big truck? Unless you have access to some interesting prototypes, and are a " truck test driver , I don't think you have ever backed up a big truck using just a screen.

doug , November 28, 2017 at 9:10 am

Thank you. Our host knew how the article would come out before he started writing it. Lambert has a history with his T writings.

Bill Carson , November 27, 2017 at 6:11 pm

You know what kind of vehicle I think Tesla ought to design? School buses !

School buses run relatively short routes, shorter hours than city buses, and are parked at the bus barn every night, which would be great for charging. Blue Bird has already unveiled a design for it's ubiquitous yellow student-mover. Why shouldn't Tesla dip a toe in that market?

WobblyTelomeres , November 27, 2017 at 6:55 pm

You may be onto something. Every lawyer's nightmare is defending a client who center-punched a school bus full of nuns. Said lawyers will influence system design, hence, school buses may very well be the safest way to travel soon.

nonsense factory , November 27, 2017 at 6:59 pm

Perhaps for the European and Japanese market – but given that Betsy DeVos is Secretary of Education, and the lamentable state of public education infrastructure in the United States in general, I can't see too many orders being placed for school buses in the near future, at least. Since the current U.S. military budget is $611 billion (CNBC), it would make more sense, fiscally, to produce electric military vehicles.

I'm not sure if that calls for a sarcasm tag or not. . .

Lambert Strether Post author , November 28, 2017 at 2:34 am

And they run a fixed route.

doug , November 28, 2017 at 9:13 am

bid purchase by govt, razor thin margins historically.
others are heavily into this. damlier owns thomas bus in NC, and is putting big $ into electrifying.

YY , November 27, 2017 at 6:41 pm

Although not so much when dealing with tractor trailers, I do rely on seeing the movement of the driver's face/head in their mirror when deciding to pass on the driver's side in my car or on my bike.

I don't know, but would guess that it is very little, how much thought has gone into the reliance upon what would be face to face communications that occur very often between vehicle drivers to signal awareness and negotiate whether or not one has clear passage. This as everyone knows occurs at traffic signal-less intersections on regular basis. One even relies on subtle signals of intermittent usage of turn signals as when one turns it off to give up on a particular lane change until the other vehicle passes. Head movement (eye movement is more problematical as they are not all that visible) of the other driver as well as your own is a communications tool when driving and negotiating traffic. Autonomous vehicles would simply barge along on basis of what it thinks is safe without a clue as to what would be normally very predictable behavior of other vehicles on the road, the drivers of which communicate with head movement and sometimes by nudging their vehicle in a direction that says intent.

I see myself flailing madly at another car, trying to give them the right of way at a four way stop, not knowing that it is a robot with zero awareness.

ger , November 27, 2017 at 7:40 pm

The usual suspects will be bought up in congress and state houses. It will be your fault if you are run over by one of these robots.

Lambert Strether Post author , November 28, 2017 at 2:36 am

> It will be your fault if you are run over by one of these robots.

Yes, that's where we're going to come out. OTOH, none of our young people can afford cars, and many don't seem to want them, so perhaps this is a problem that will solve itself.

XXYY , November 28, 2017 at 9:53 am

I don't know, but would guess that it is very little, how much thought has gone into the reliance upon what would be face to face communications that occur very often between vehicle drivers to signal awareness and negotiate whether or not one has clear passage.

This is one of the few cases I can remember where this aspect of autonomous vehicles has been discussed.

Bad as it is for car and bicycle drivers, the situation is worse for pedestrians who are interacting with cars. We have all had the situation where we are trying to decide whether to walk in front of a stopped car, and relying on eye contact with the driver to conclude that it safe to proceed. This happens almost daily. Would anyone on foot care to cross in front of a stopped car if there were no hu