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Making Tesla profitable?

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Re: Making Tesla profitable?

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Fri 02 Jun 2017, 20:56:48

pstarr wrote:These EV discussions always devolve into GW or AI prattle. Rarely are critical battery shortcomings ever addressed by the techie/techtopian crowd. Nor the lack of electricity-delivery infrastructure.

100 million Americans live in apartments . . . with no access to private or public charging. Few suburban homes have circuitry for even a level 2 charger. The devil is in the detail, the angel is just a silly dream

And yet you continue to come up with reasons EV's must fail. And say things that are just factually incorrect. And then you get corrected, and you go on to make the next try.

What do you even mean that few suburban homes have "circuitry" for level 2 chargers? That few homes have 240V power? That it is somehow hard to provide that, via an electrician?

Just as many suburban homes have things like electric dryers, electric furnaces, etc., which use 240V, this can be provided for a level 2 charger, no big deal.

If it had to happen tomorrow, it would be a big deal. But it can happen gradually, as the EV fleet rolls out. This could take, IMO, 3 to 5 decades. It's hard to even imagine what the world will be like technologically in 3 to 5 decades, so why should this be some unsolvable issue?
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Re: Making Tesla profitable?

Unread postby efarmer » Fri 02 Jun 2017, 22:29:29

OS, putting in a dedicated branch ciruit for an L2 charger is trivial and relatively cheap and is not any hill to climb for EV adoption. An engineer is not prone to lie for political or sentimental reasons IMHO and retain respect of their peers or of themselves. The real challenges to EV are the Lithium cells that are a 37 year old mature technology without the cost vs. delivery numbers to spank the play. The other big barrier is the ability of the embedded massive fossil fuel behemoth to do holding actions and market plays on a scale that our more familiar digital device disruptions would view as noise or temporary but is not in any means. I see an interim play, the Street ramps up the hot prospect to huge value, the investments pour in, the bottom drops out and they take the big money as usual. The real play has legs, the huge energy embedded infrastructure buys in and long term profit and a managed segway takes place for FF entities to play and move on from their big embedeed positions financially.
It akes 20 to 40 years to play out, the disruptive digital appliance folks get richer and learn how the energy system works, the old guard energy folks effectively hedge their positions. I continue to see this essemtially as an all disruptive digital appliance play as the equivalent to thinking information is energy supply and that is so awful, it ain't even wrong. Just my opine.
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Re: Making Tesla profitable?

Unread postby asg70 » Sat 03 Jun 2017, 13:13:58

"I continue to see this essentially as an all disruptive digital appliance play as the equivalent to thinking information is energy supply and that is so awful, it ain't even wrong."

Why is it awful? When the Volt came out Lutz hailed plugin hybrids as an answer to range anxiety. Nowadays, though, people are already indoctrinated into plugin rituals via their gadgets. It's not as much of a stretch to have them habitually plug their car in at home or via opportunity charge ports on the road. PStarr on the other hand keeps trying to draw 1:1 parallels with gas cars. The way EVs are used is absolutely closer to a gadget. It's a rolling smartphone. Why shouldn't the car companies treat them that way?

Old fogies can bemoan the era of being able to self-repair an old VW bug underneath a shady tree, but it's 2017 for cryin' out loud. What do you expect?
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Re: Making Tesla profitable?

Unread postby asg70 » Sat 03 Jun 2017, 13:17:16

pstarr wrote:100 million Americans live in apartments . . .


BTW, if you read upstream here or in the dedicated EV thread, carsharing (i.e. robo-taxis) were floated as a way to facilitate urban dwellers. I mean, it's not like PARKING is in ample supply for them either.
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Re: Making Tesla profitable?

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Sat 03 Jun 2017, 16:04:37

I find that this data is very hard to locate, as if they were hiding something.

The US PHEV market share by year, 2005 - 2016:

2005: 0.0%
2006: 0.0%
2007: 0.0%
2008: 0.0%
2009: 0.0%
2010: 0.0%
2011: 0.1%
2012: 0.4%
2013: 0.6%
2014: 0.7%
2015: 0.7%
2016: 0.9%

The total sales of PHEVs may break the 1% barrier in a year or two. Most of these are PHEVs, which people don't actually plug in as much as they should, and thus PHEVs offer only about 25% better gas/diesel milage than ICE vehicles.

I simply could not find the info on BEVs alone, other than that the mix of BEVs versus PHEVs has stayed pretty constant at 1:3.

The barrels of oil consumed has risen steadily for 30 years, and reached a new high of 19.63 million barrels per day in 2016. If EVs have had any impact on this whatsoever, it certainly is hard to determine what that might be.

I personally remain a fan of BEVs, but I am not encouraged by sales.
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Re: Making Tesla profitable?

Unread postby pstarr » Sat 03 Jun 2017, 17:26:57

asg70 wrote:
pstarr wrote:100 million Americans live in apartments . . .


BTW, if you read upstream here or in the dedicated EV thread, carsharing (i.e. robo-taxis) were floated as a way to facilitate urban dwellers. I mean, it's not like PARKING is in ample supply for them either.

Thank you counselor for submitting opposing evidence. Your learned opinion proposes robotic taxicabs as a liquid fuel alternative. We are confused: are they robots injected into the gas tank? We certainly have doubts this will wash, perhaps the aquatic version with float?
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Re: Making Tesla profitable?

Unread postby asg70 » Sat 03 Jun 2017, 19:21:18

pstarr wrote:Thank you counselor for submitting opposing evidence. Your learned opinion proposes robotic taxicabs as a liquid fuel alternative. We are confused: are they robots injected into the gas tank? We certainly have doubts this will wash, perhaps the aquatic version with float?


Is there a point to be made here or did you forget to step away from the keyboard while you smoked two joints?
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Re: Making Tesla profitable?

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Sun 04 Jun 2017, 11:43:01

efarmer wrote:OS, putting in a dedicated branch ciruit for an L2 charger is trivial and relatively cheap and is not any hill to climb for EV adoption.

...

It akes 20 to 40 years to play out, the disruptive digital appliance folks get richer and learn how the energy system works, the old guard energy folks effectively hedge their positions.

efarmer, I agree with your entire post. My timeframe is 30 to 50 years, given that stragglers and deniers will straggle and deny, but as long as some super-green isn't saying it's under 10 years and ignoring the cost and the effort to transition, I'm not quibbling with timeframe estimates.

All I meant by a "big deal" if it had to happen quickly, is simply supply and demand for the parts and labor in that short term, and all the cost to happen in the short run (instead of over multiple decades). I didn't say so, but your point about all the battery development and cost is the bulk of that cost issue, obviously.

I'm primarily objecting to P's frequent throwing out more bogus reasons this can't happen -- though in this case, at least the issue that for a ton of US apartment dwellers, it is an inconvenience that must be dealt with, and might slow things down is potentially valid, depending on which solutions are adopted and how open people are to accepting those solutions, and as always -- who pays for them.
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Re: Making Tesla profitable?

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Sun 04 Jun 2017, 12:13:41

KaiserJeep wrote:I personally remain a fan of BEVs, but I am not encouraged by sales.

KJ, I think your posts on this subject hit a crucial point.

We seen to primarily have two sides to this debate, and both seem to do far more hand waving than real math.

On the one extreme the super-greens (including the green specialty press) wave their hands and claim it will happen "real soon" or "any time now", ignore costs, existing infrastructure, economics, and limits of physics (as far as doing the whole conversion job in the short term).

On the other extreme, you have the deniers and scoffers, who claim it can't happen, or that the rising EV sales will never matter, etc.

For the "reasonable" folks in the middle, they correctly point out the reality of things like S-curves, but the projections (pick your number of decades) tend to be super-vague and use little actual math.

I suppose it's because predicting the future is hard (who knew?), and the press or anyone else admitting "we don't really know the timeframe with ANY confidence" won't generate a lot of headlines, or sell many books or papers. (OK. I'll admit it. This is likely a problem with capitalism.)

The point about more oil being consumed annually is valid, but that is a global phenomenon, and due to the skew in economics against wealth in the third world, and that it will take longer (we don't know how much longer) for EV's to be widely accepted in the third world -- at least until EV cost and infrastructure issues change a LOT, relative to the ICE/oil infrastructure. (In the first world, the oil consumption is generally flattish, with lower population growth, more efficient use of energy, a real push toward a much more efficient vehicle fleet, etc).

But surely the super greens can do enough math to realize that when you have the EV sales increment increasing by tiny amounts (as per your list), it MUST take a good number of years for EV sales to consistently exceed even 10%, even in the first world.

So it will be interesting to see what happens in 5 years or so when (hopefully) we'll have a fairly mature Tesla Model 3 in high volume (giving Musk multiple years to ACTUALLY ramp up production to the high levels he claims by 2019, and of course assuming the long term middle class demand is there given Tesla's dealer and service issues so far). Also, hopefully we'll have lots of high range (over 200 miles real world) competitors from BMW, Ford, GM, Mercedes, Toyota, VW, and "many" others in meaningful to high volume -- to actually have the opportunity to create a MEANINGFUL increase in the EV sales ratio. (The Chevy Bolt, at WAY under 2000 cars a month, still, isn't going to move the needle without a LOT of help). IF, of course, the cost, convenience, performance, infrastructure, and perceived value is sufficient to persuade mainstream consumers to try an EV as the family or commuter car.

Once we get to 10% EV market share, there should be enough real world data, IMO, for mainstream cautious consumers to be able to get a feeling for what is real vs. what is hope and hype, and switch the next time they buy a car -- again, IF it makes sense for them.

But like you say, unless something really changes, creeping toward a few percent EV sales in the first world isn't making a meaningful dent in oil demand -- and when the green's claim it is, it really dings their credibility, IMO.
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Re: Making Tesla profitable?

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Sun 04 Jun 2017, 12:31:59

asg70 wrote:
pstarr wrote:Thank you counselor for submitting opposing evidence. Your learned opinion proposes robotic taxicabs as a liquid fuel alternative. We are confused: are they robots injected into the gas tank? We certainly have doubts this will wash, perhaps the aquatic version with float?


Is there a point to be made here or did you forget to step away from the keyboard while you smoked two joints?

I object to pstarr's sarcasm and lack of facts, generally, on this topic (vs. actual data or cogent arguments based on facts).

However, in this case, I think he has a point about the fact (unhelpful as the delivery may be) that:

1). We really have no good idea when EV's will be ready for mainstream adoption in volume -- especially ready enough to greatly mitigate parking demand. (We have lots of marketing claims to be ready in 5 years or less, but there are lots of legal, insurance, societal, etc. issues to be hammered out by government and various industries). Marketing claims have very little to do with objective reality, especially claims about future products.

2). Though autonomous vehicles are likely to be EV's, there is no correlation between when EV's will be widely adopted and when autonomous vehicles will be ready to go in large numbers. These are really two separate products with very different dependencies, and conflating them doesn't lend any clarity to understanding when EV's will be adopted en masse.

...

Despite the aggressive assertions of fully autonomous EV's delivering themselves all over the country by the end of the decade (by Elon hyper-marketing Musk), IMO it could be decades before we see large fleets of automated EV taxis causing people to abandon vehicle ownership in droves, IMO.

And don't confuse me with a luddite or one who has any objection to (reliable, regulated, well tested, licensed, used according to well thought out rules and regulations, etc) autonomous cars. I'm just pointing out that where we are now is a LONG way from widespread real world adoption.

I'm 58. I'm just hoping these are available in an affordable and convenient way in my small midwestern city when I get to where I'd rather not drive myself. Of course, I can't predict my future health, but I figure it's probably a horse race. (Note: I don't care if I own it or if it's taxis, if it works well and is economical. But until it's taxis, it doesn't help the parking much, even if I let the car worry about finding the parking spot.)
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Re: Making Tesla profitable?

Unread postby asg70 » Sun 04 Jun 2017, 13:36:15

Outcast_Searcher wrote:We really have no good idea when EV's will be ready for mainstream adoption in volume


Doomers spend too much time trying to apply yes/no assessments to EV as a panacea. This is ultimately a strawman. What matters is the rate of adaptation in response to peak-oil pressures.

Right now that pressure simply does not exist. So the fact that EVs are moving forward at all despite oil prices being depressed is a good thing as it gives us a head-start to respond to future price spikes. We don't know how fast EVs will be adopted but we also don't know how long it might be before oil prices will spike up again.

ETP advocates would argue that they never will and then somehow magically the global economy will simply wind down or implode on debt. But assuming that ETP is bunk and we're just waiting out the glut, then what's happening now is a good thing. A world in which several major automakers are pumping out affordable 200+ mile range EVs in significant quantities (albeit a tiny percentage compared to ICE) will find itself far better equipped to shift over from ICE to EV when oil prices start ascending again. The more gradual the ascent the easier that adaptation will be.

This also assumes that EVs will not be attractive enough to consumers on their own merits that they will not simply start switching over en masse. The S curve represents this consumer inflection-point in which people collectively flip a mental switch and change their buying patterns. We saw that transition, let's say, from candybar flip-phones to smart-phones. Here, of course, you'll see the usual FUD trotted out, bullshit about range-anxiety and what not. We do know there are roughly 400K Model 3 deposits. How much that represents early-adopters rather than the tip of the iceberg of total demand we don't know. We are right on the cusp of receiving these answers about the state of the auto market.

Again, that will not provide any illumination in the day-to-day forum grind of competing predictions, but fast-forward 5 years and the trend-lines should be much clearer.
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Re: Making Tesla profitable?

Unread postby asg70 » Tue 06 Jun 2017, 23:03:36

Newest shareholder meeting is relevant to the FUD/naysaying in this thread.

https://www.theverge.com/2017/6/6/15750 ... r-red-wine

About the semi-truck that people here would need to violate the laws of physics to satisfy trucker demands:

TESLA IS LETTING CUSTOMERS OF ITS UPCOMING SEMI TRUCK HELP WITH DESIGN
Tesla is working on making an all-electric, heavy duty big rig that it plans to unveil at an event this September. We’ve known that for a while, but what’s new is that Musk said the company is collaborating with potential customers of the semi truck to help design it correctly.

“We’re getting them closely involved in the design process, so the biggest customers of the heavy duty Tesla semi are helping ensure that it is specified to their needs, so it’s not a mystery,” Musk told the shareholders. “They already know that it’s going to meet their needs, because they’ve told us what those needs are. So it’ll really just be a question of scaling volume to make as many as we can.”

Musk added that he hopes to reach production scale on the Tesla Semi in two years.
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Re: Making Tesla profitable?

Unread postby asg70 » Fri 09 Jun 2017, 18:59:27

Hmm.. I remember something PStarr said about it not being possible to drive a Tesla cross-country due to the grid not being strong enough somewhere around the rockies was it? Well, who needs the grid?

http://www.thedrive.com/sheetmetal/1133 ... sing-solar

It's funny how Tesla is almost single-handedly taking on peak-oil doom and peakers would rather just snicker.
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Re: Making Tesla profitable?

Unread postby baha » Sat 10 Jun 2017, 05:38:10

C'mon folks. Tell me how the grid can't handle electric cars. And how they pollute just like ICE since they are powered by coal...

They don't need the grid and neither do I.
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Re: Making Tesla profitable?

Unread postby pstarr » Wed 14 Jun 2017, 14:32:10

But they do need cobalt: techcruch, Jan 1, 2017: No cobalt, no Tesla?

As I stated in a previous article, we are already witnessing an increased scarcity of cobalt supply. Approximately 97 percent of the world’s supply of cobalt comes as a by-product of nickel or copper. But the price of the two other base metals have been plunging, to say the least, and this year reached six-year lows, making many deposits uneconomic.

On the demand front, and according to the Cobalt Development Institute (CDI), 58 percent of global cobalt production is already used in many diverse industrial and military applications (super alloys, catalysts, magnets, pigments…) that rely exclusively on the material. Cobalt represents a negligible part of the costs for these companies and thus they can afford to pay regardless of the price. But that is a dangerous game for battery makers. Material costs account for about 60 percent of LIB total cost and battery makers cannot take away cobalt from companies for whom the metal is an absolute requirement. Think GE and its jet engines.

So where does that leave us with Tesla? Elon Musk ambitiously aims at producing 500,000 electric vehicles a year by 2018, and Tesla has repeatedly stated that the cobalt will be sourced exclusively in North America. Whether this is a realistic assumption is a different story.
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Re: Making Tesla profitable?

Unread postby Hawkcreek » Thu 15 Jun 2017, 12:03:53

Just found an anti-subsidy for electric cars.
Tennessee has a $100 surcharge for registering an electric car. They have to find a way to pay for highway upkeep, since electric cars will not pay their fair share of fuel tax. :)
I believe this will soon be the new norm for all states (and will probably get worse), and I don't believe it is ever calculated into any of the costs for EV's.
Some of you may have noticed that registration, licensing, and insurance costs have been going up in general in the past few years. Personal vehicles could be priced out of the hands of the typical buyer anyway, if the trend keeps up.
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Re: Making Tesla profitable?

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Thu 15 Jun 2017, 12:56:14

Hawkcreek wrote:Just found an anti-subsidy for electric cars.
Tennessee has a $100 surcharge for registering an electric car. They have to find a way to pay for highway upkeep, since electric cars will not pay their fair share of fuel tax. :)
I believe this will soon be the new norm for all states (and will probably get worse), and I don't believe it is ever calculated into any of the costs for EV's.
Some of you may have noticed that registration, licensing, and insurance costs have been going up in general in the past few years. Personal vehicles could be priced out of the hands of the typical buyer anyway, if the trend keeps up.

The tax man will get his due, come what may, unless society completely falls apart.

However, with personal vehicle costs averaging several to many (depending on various factors) thousands of dollars a year for late model cars, pretending like trading a gasoline tax for a registration cost will IN ANY MEANINGFUL WAY price personal vehicles "out of the hands of the typical buyer" has no credibility in math or economics. (Doomer wishful thinking OTOH, yes, as usual).
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Re: Making Tesla profitable?

Unread postby Hawkcreek » Thu 15 Jun 2017, 13:39:53

Outcast_Searcher wrote:The tax man will get his due, come what may, unless society completely falls apart.

However, with personal vehicle costs averaging several to many (depending on various factors) thousands of dollars a year for late model cars, pretending like trading a gasoline tax for a registration cost will IN ANY MEANINGFUL WAY price personal vehicles "out of the hands of the typical buyer" has no credibility in math or economics. (Doomer wishful thinking OTOH, yes, as usual).

I wasn't pretending anything - that is your pretension. I merely threw out a possibility. And total life cycle costs of any item will have an effect on the adoption or discard of that item. I only said that it COULD put ownership out of the hands of the average buyer.
And I have said many times that I am not a doomer. I think it will end more like JMGreer says, with a long term downtrend.
So stop acting like you are the only one with worthwhile opinions.
I disrespect your cornucopian beliefs also. Take that!!! :P
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Re: Making Tesla profitable?

Unread postby pstarr » Thu 15 Jun 2017, 13:53:54

So we can now add cobalt to a lengthening list of critical and depleting resources necessary to the manufacture of such hi-tech: cobalt, H3, copper, rare-earth metals
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Re: Making Tesla profitable?

Unread postby baha » Thu 15 Jun 2017, 13:56:59

You forgot intelligence :)
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