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Re: THE Tesla Thread Pt. 2 (merged)

Discussions of conventional and alternative energy production technologies.

Re: THE Electric Vehicle (EV) Thread pt 9

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Fri 05 Apr 2019, 22:41:01

All early adapters are gluttons for punishment not just the Tesla cult.
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Re: THE Electric Vehicle (EV) Thread pt 9

Unread postby kublikhan » Thu 11 Apr 2019, 18:08:04

APRIL 11, 2019 - Tesla and Panasonic are freezing plans to expand the capacity of their Gigafactory 1, the world's largest EV battery plant, as concerns mount on Wall Street about sales at Elon Musk's car company dipping below estimates. The partners had planned to raise capacity 50% by next year, but with sales of electric vehicles performing below plans, the two companies concluded that a major investment at this stage poses too much of a risk. Tesla's goals of becoming a mass producer of electric vehicles, on the order of 1 million cars a year, will be pushed back for now.

The decision reflects the dilemma facing the EV industry. Bringing down production costs -- the key to attracting more buyers -- requires major investments in innovation. But that is difficult under the thin profits that EVs produce. Panasonic will also suspend its planned investment in Tesla's integrated automotive battery and EV plant in Shanghai.

The Gigafactory currently is said to have the capacity to supply more than 500,000 cars annually. The companies had intended to expand the capacity to the equivalent of 54 gigawatt-hours a year by 2020, up from 35 GWh at present. Tesla sold 245,240 vehicles in 2018. This year it plans to sell 360,000 to 400,000 cars, but deliveries have been delayed due to production bottlenecks. Since last summer, Tesla executives have stopped specifying a target date for reaching 1 million cars annually.

Panasonic's Tesla EV battery business had operating losses exceeding 20 billion yen in the financial year that ended in March, up from a year earlier. The losses were exacerbated by delays in the start of production of the Model 3. Tesla's unit sales fell about 30% in the January-to-March period versus the previous quarter, hurt by slower growth in China, smaller tax breaks for electric vehicles and problems with logistics. This has made the companies more cautious about the future.

Wall Street analysts have recently raised concerns about weakening demand for the Model 3. In an April 4 report, Goldman Sachs analysts said, "Volume expectations for the company's products in 2019 are too high, with consumer demand likely lower as subsidies phase out in the U.S."
Tesla and Panasonic freeze spending on $4.5bn Gigafactory

Panasonic's decision to halt investment in an electric vehicle battery plant run jointly with Tesla marks a change in strategy for the company, which went all in on the project but now seeks to reduce its dependence on the automaker. Signs that the partners were falling out of step had emerged. Tesla's plans to build a factory for electric cars in Shanghai, complete with production lines for batteries, were met with caution at the Japanese company.

Meanwhile, Panasonic has taken steps to diversify its vehicle battery business. It has enlisted Toyota Motor for a joint venture to mass-produce lithium-ion and other batteries, using factories in China and Japan. But producing cylindrical batteries for Tesla and square ones for Toyota at the same time "poses a major risk," an industry source said -- a lesson that Panasonic learned with money-losing investments in display panels.
Panasonic cuts Tesla risk to stem further bleeding
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Re: THE Electric Vehicle (EV) Thread pt 9

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Thu 11 Apr 2019, 21:57:12

kublikhan wrote:
APRIL 11, 2019 - Tesla and Panasonic are freezing plans to expand the capacity of their Gigafactory 1, the world's largest EV battery plant, as concerns mount on Wall Street about sales at Elon Musk's car company dipping below estimates.

Yup. Just to show how delusional the devoted Tesla fanbois are, re this story on Seeking Alpha, the claim was this story was "just a rumor". Or that this was proof that Tesla was getting more efficient. :roll:

But later I saw it on Reuters, and it was citing Tesla confirming the story, so there's that.

I HOPE this is more a sign that Tesla is short on cash and Panasonic is only willing to throw Musk so much credit, given how financially risky Tesla looks -- and not a sign that global demand for BEV's won't grow much, even as I see gasoline in the middle of my red state at $2.80 a gallon now with WTI averaging over $60 in recent weeks.

Part of this is likely reduced demand in the US, now that Tesla is in the middle of losing the federal EV credit. Most of the coming competition won't have that problem for awhile. I'd like to see the additional propsoal for 400K vehicles get up to a 7K tax credit pass -- with the credit diminishing for over a $30K car, and disappearing at, say, $50K, so we're not mostly paying rich folks to buy expensive BEV's.

Not sure how likely that supposedly bipartisan bill is to become law in recognizable form -- opinions are all over the place on that, from what I've read.
Given the track record of the perma-doomer blogs, I wouldn't bet a fast crash doomer's money on their predictions.
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Re: THE Electric Vehicle (EV) Thread pt 9

Unread postby asg70 » Fri 12 Apr 2019, 00:19:14

Panasonic's move doesn't surprise me. In fact it would be expected considering how much Tesla's operations have been propped up by Panasonic's assistance. Panasonic won't float Tesla on the downslope. Tesla is reaching the point where it is going to have to just sink or swim on its own which is, frankly, about time. They've had more than enough capital infusion to become self-sustaining. If they don't make it then it's just poor execution on their part.
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Re: Re: THE Tesla Thread Pt. 2 (merged)

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Fri 12 Apr 2019, 10:10:17

This is an opinion from a retired EE with over 3 decades experience.

Tesla vehicles are well designed, and the production line has performed well enough to produce the needed number of vehicles. The battery technology is impressive, the vehicle range is more than sufficient, and the Model 3 now comes at a low enough price not to be a barrier to widespread purchase.

The lack of demand for Tesla's and indeed for all EVs of all brands is an FDH problem with new vehicle consumers. Meaning that they are Fat, Dumb, and Happy with the average petroleum-fuelled ICE vehicle. They have no thoughts of Climate Change, Peak Oil, or TEOTWAWKI entering their mostly empty heads.

Whatever else it does, Tesla cannot overcome this apathy and absence of desire for their products. IMHO they have the right product at the right time, and the FDH vehicle consumers are the actual problem. Unfortunately, there is nothing Tesla can do about this. Even if after a couple of years they squeeze the price of an entry-level model three to $15K (which is very unlikely) they will still face a lack of demand from FDH consumers.

The shock of the coming oil shortage due to increasing demand and diminishing petroleum reserves is certain and unavoidable IMHO. The timing is uncertain, as demonstrated by the total inability of any PO member to either anticipate or predict the actual date of the Oil Peak. So ask yourself: are YOU among the FDH crowd, or do you already own an EV?
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Re: Re: THE Tesla Thread Pt. 2 (merged)

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Fri 12 Apr 2019, 12:54:51

KaiserJeep wrote:This is an opinion from a retired EE with over 3 decades experience.

Tesla vehicles are well designed, and the production line has performed well enough to produce the needed number of vehicles. The battery technology is impressive, the vehicle range is more than sufficient, and the Model 3 now comes at a low enough price not to be a barrier to widespread purchase.

Overall, I agree with your post, and like the FDH observation.

I'm not so sure about a couple of points though.

First, when you say "the needed number", needed for what? Not for sustainable profits, that's for sure. (The expectation for the 1Q results is a bloodbath. No one but loony fanbois are expecting a profit. Even Musk announced an expectation of a loss (going back on his prediction of profits from now on made last year).

And with the price cutting and the average selling price expected to drop in an attempt to find "enough" demand going forward, margins don't look good for the rest of 2019 (unless something changes significantly).

I can't agree on the "low enough price" point. First, the $35K Model 3 doesn't exist. It will be $36,200 minimum after delivery, before taxes and fees. It will be only black and have the fugly wheels and be quite stripped down. The reality is the "starting" car will be somewhat unappealing, even at $40K or so with some basic options, whenever they actually start producing it in meaningful numbers. (That date keeps slipping).

Real World, the Model 3 is costing more like $50K+ on average. I think that's about $15K too high, given the loss of the tax credit.

And as you and ASG have pointed out, it doesn't matter whether Tesla survives financially or not. They woke enough competitors up to the reality of a viable electric car that, finally, the serious competition IS coming, in droves. So yes, Musk definitely gets kudos for that. (Just not for how he's handling Tesla operationally and financially, IMO.)

Within 3 years there will be quite a bit to choose from at lots of price points. Within 5 to 7 years, almost anyone not dead set against the idea of a BEV will be able to find something acceptable for at least one of the family cars (even if they need an ICE or HEV for a very long, harsh daily commute.

And with HEV's now getting nearly 50 mpg city real world for mid-sized family friendly cars, the middle class can certainly go with an HEV instead of an ICE if they want to -- if they don't trust a BEV yet. (The poor, not so much until such used models get cheap).
Given the track record of the perma-doomer blogs, I wouldn't bet a fast crash doomer's money on their predictions.
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Re: THE Tesla Thread Pt. 2 (merged)

Unread postby kublikhan » Fri 12 Apr 2019, 13:18:36

Calling people fat dumb and happy because they purchase an ICE vehicle is overstating things IMHO. I would call it a tragedy of the commons. It is in all of our collective interests to pay attention to climate change, peak oil, etc. However it is in our own self interest to continue to purchase ICE vehicles. They are cheaper, have more range, have better refueling options, etc. It simply makes sense for consumers to continue to purchase ICE vehicles over their more expensive and inferior EV counterparts. Asking people to pay more money for a shittier product just doesn't make sense. If EVs want to outsell ICE vehicles then it is up to the car makers/governments to make them the more appealing option over ICE vehicles. Part of this can happen with economies of scale and technological improvements bringing down the cost of batteries/EVs and making EVs cost competitive. Part of this can happen with the price of fuel rising either naturally through peak oil or artificially through fuel taxes. And part can happen with technological improvement giving future EVs more utility than the first gen of EVs: more range, faster charging, less defects per vehicle(Tesla I'm talking to you here), etc.

Not sure I would agree that Tesla vehicles are well designed either. Even Musk said the roadster was a disaster. When they did a teardown of Tesla's latest model, the Model 3, numerous issues were found as well. The high tech stuff like the electronics, battery pack, etc where all top of the line. However there were numerous issues with the more mundane stuff like the chassis, fit and finish, etc.

One of the most surprising findings by a teardown analysis earlier this year by the consulting firm Munro & Associates—and the reason for Green Car Reports to check back regarding the firm's conclusions—was that the Model 3’s core body structure, which requires many individual weld points and rivets, didn’t appear to be designed for what the Tesla chief executive officer had described in October 2016 as an “alien dreadnought” of automation that would signal the factory was ready for mass production.

The complexity of the body is one point illustrating that. The Model 3’s rear wheel well, for instance, has nine pieces of sheet metal that are riveted, sealed, or welded together, according to Munro, while the Chevrolet Bolt EV has just one stamped piece. Dreadnought or not, the deeper point the teardown may end up making is the viability of the Model 3 in turning a profit. Munro has pointed to two reasons why Tesla is having such manufacturing hurdles. He summed it up to GCR: “One, they didn’t hire a good body design engineering team, and, two, they thought that robots were their savior, when in reality, robots have been disappointing dreamers since da Vinci…literally!”

After the 6,600-hour teardown, it became more apparent what was happening. Munro pointed out a technology edge forfeited to serious issues with quality and manufacturing consistency. According to Bloomberg, Munro’s chief executive officer, Sandy Munro, sent Tesla a list of 227 possible improvements, pro bono. Munro, a longtime manufacturing consultant, says that he went through a similar recalibration of expectations with American carmakers in the 1980s and '90s. “If Mr. Musk does what I suggested above (the robots and redesigning the body-in-white), his company will be rolling in cash in no time,” he told us. “It worked for GM.”
Tesla Model 3 teardown underscores missed opportunities
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Re: THE Tesla Thread Pt. 2 (merged)

Unread postby asg70 » Sun 14 Apr 2019, 10:05:02

kublikhan wrote:Not sure I would agree that Tesla vehicles are well designed either.


Well said. The Tesla story at first reflected the need of the public to find a benign captain of industry to believe in following the death of Steve Jobs. Tesla was young enough that critics could reasonably be shrugged off as naysayers. It made sense to give the company the benefit of the doubt and to think this or that speedbump was just the initial learning curve. But the Model 3 rollout onward (nervous breakdowns and SEC punishment) should have dispelled the cult of personality. Nevertheless, myths die hard because we don't WANT them to die. They resist dying even as the evidence against them mounts and mounts.

Doomers should know that denial comes in many forms (including, ironically, doomers denying BAU having a longer shelf-life than anticipated, BTW).

This past week illustrates the stark difference in Musk's performance as a manager between different ventures. Tesla is continuing to flounder, losing executives, screwing around with pricing, being propped up by financial manuevering like the Fiat deal, whereas SpaceX launched the first commercial Falcon Heavy mission and successfully landed all three boosters.

What does that tell you about where he really belongs?

Nevertheless, mythology dies hard. Go to Electrek or other fanboi hangouts and you'll continue to see blind evangelism despite a mounting body of evidence that Tesla has systemic problems that all point back to mismanagement on the part of Musk. "Jesus wept" has been a catchphrase here aimed at Short and the ETP die-hards when they issue their brain-dead analysis but it's a term that often bubbles up in my head when I go read those comments and see blind loyalists. In the early days, the future of Tesla was uncertain enough that it was easy to be a fanboi. Now it requires incredibly strong rose-colored glasses.

Musk really should be replaced and focus his time with SpaceX.
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Re: Re: THE Tesla Thread Pt. 2 (merged)

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Sun 14 Apr 2019, 13:04:54

Nay sayers, indeed. Tesla has produced and sold far more BEVs than all other manufacturers world-wide. That they have not succeeded yet is indeed because consumers are FDH.

I truly believe all we need is an oil shock on the scale of the original oil embargo, and Tesla will make a killing.. Because YES, the designs are respectable.
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Re: Re: THE Tesla Thread Pt. 2 (merged)

Unread postby Plantagenet » Sun 14 Apr 2019, 14:05:51

KaiserJeep wrote: Tesla has produced and sold far more BEVs than all other manufacturers world-wide. That they have not succeeded yet is indeed because consumers are FDH.


Blaming the consumers is a mistake.

Its the job of TESLA to attract buyers....if TESLA is failing to attract enough buyers it is because their products aren't attractive enough to win over most consumers.

The endless stream of news stories about TESLA battery fires and high speed crashes and poor quality control certainly don't help, nor do the bizarre antics of Elon Musk. But probably the biggest turn off for most consumers is the high price. TESLAs still aren't competitive on the basis of price.

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Re: Re: THE Tesla Thread Pt. 2 (merged)

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Sun 14 Apr 2019, 14:38:02

KaiserJeep wrote:I truly believe all we need is an oil shock on the scale of the original oil embargo, and Tesla will make a killing.. Because YES, the designs are respectable.

No question, a significant oil shock would be GREAT for the makers of HEV's. They could produce the best ones at scale, and people would line up to buy them at full price to avoid major gas lines and to save money.

But you just don't get it with Tesla. Tesla has little working capital. Even IF demand quadrupled overnight -- they are highly production constrained, and are having a terrible time growing that production rate -- even with poor quality and service and parts availability.

If the demand for EV's skyrockets, it will greatly help the makers of affordable BEV's, to the extent they can quickly crank up production at a "reasonably" affordable price. My money would be on the Tesla competition -- not Tesla.
Given the track record of the perma-doomer blogs, I wouldn't bet a fast crash doomer's money on their predictions.
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Re: Re: THE Tesla Thread Pt. 2 (merged)

Unread postby asg70 » Mon 15 Apr 2019, 14:48:22

Outcast_Searcher wrote:My money would be on the Tesla competition -- not Tesla.


Indeed. And I just put my money where my mouth is when it comes to this. Pics will follow within a week (in a separate thread).
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Re: Re: THE Tesla Thread Pt. 2 (merged)

Unread postby asg70 » Wed 24 Apr 2019, 10:47:50

Two big news stories from Tesla lately, first being renewed claims of an autonomous overlord future and the other being the S/X drivetrain refresh with extra range.

The Autonomy stuff apparently isn't swaying wall street like it did in the past. Actions speak louder than words.
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Re: THE Tesla Thread Pt. 2 (merged)

Unread postby Plantagenet » Wed 24 Apr 2019, 11:24:19

Any progress on the EV (?) purchase to be discussed in a new thread complete with pics?

Congrats in advance on your purchase of a new car.

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Re: Re: THE Tesla Thread Pt. 2 (merged)

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Wed 24 Apr 2019, 13:21:26

asg70 wrote:Two big news stories from Tesla lately, first being renewed claims of an autonomous overlord future and the other being the S/X drivetrain refresh with extra range.

The Autonomy stuff apparently isn't swaying wall street like it did in the past. Actions speak louder than words.

Yeah, Musk is just incredible re his claims. The world isn't a grade school playground populated with 8 year olds, yet the way Musk acts, you'd think it was.

When I watched the first 75% of the presentation re the new chip, board, and what they're doing, I thought, "OK, Tesla is clearly a player in automation. They're serious. They're spending real money and making a real effort. So maybe in a decade or so, like the leaders, we'll be getting there."

But then Musk goes full Musk-Fantasy Mode making claims like:

1). Full Level 5 FSD in 2020.
2). Tesla having the robo-taxi fleet in 2020, with a MILLION cars in it.
3). The cost to Tesla owners letting their cars be part of the robo-taxi fleet would be 18 cents a mile.
4). Gross profit per Tesla owner doing the robo-fleet thing of roughly $30,000 a year.

So with those three statements he completely shreds ANY sense of sanity / credibility built up with the rest of the presentation which used facts, logic, and at least plausible ideas re their computer.

The IRS uses 58 cents a mile for the mileage expense for 2019. That's for the average business car. Tesla's are expensive. Depreciation happens. The 18 cent figure is off by a factor of THREE or more.

How many proud Tesla owners will realistically want to turn their cars into taxis, to have the interiors abused, etc? How many nearly full time, to approach the $30,000 figure?

...

Ten thousand sounds more like it re the number of participants initially (until the concept is proven) than 10,000.

2030 to 2050 sounds more like it re the time line for real, certified, mass-implementation robo-taxis.

The gross profit, after clean-up, depreciation, extra maintenance, etc. of $30K seems WAY over-exaggerated, since the whole concept of the robo-taxi is to make the fares CHEAP. A full time Uber driver only makes roughly $30,000 a year, in a good venue. The real figure is likely more like under $10,000, IMO.

https://www.thestreet.com/lifestyle/car ... m-14934802

...

Given his track record of missing claims and timelines, it's like Musk has simply jumped the shark now.
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Re: THE Tesla Thread Pt. 2 (merged)

Unread postby asg70 » Wed 24 Apr 2019, 21:54:47

Plantagenet wrote:Any progress on the EV (?) purchase to be discussed in a new thread complete with pics?


I am still scouting for a suitable location for taking some photos. BTW, I will include something in the shot to prove I took them and didn't just use someone else's photos.

Plantagenet wrote:Congrats in advance on your purchase of a new car.


No warning that I will die of cancer due to EM radiation? You're off your FUD game.

Anyway, back to Tesla news....

Tesla made a flurry of "look at the shiny shiny" announcements to distract from this:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jjkinahan/ ... fc33aa282a

I firmly believe Musk needs to step aside as CEO at this point. If he doesn't bury Tesla he will at least need to do YET another capital raise after saying he wouldn't need to do so.

(You can assume by the above that I did NOT buy a Tesla. If Tesla does deliver on autonomy it may give me a bit of buyer's remorse but there are so many other negative aspects of the Tesla experience that it just ain't worth it to me.)
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Re: THE Tesla Thread Pt. 2 (merged)

Unread postby Plantagenet » Wed 24 Apr 2019, 22:19:24

asg70 wrote:No warning that I will die of cancer due to EM radiation?


If you're worried about it, then I suggest you purchase the optional "rad-guard" lead underwear.

Image
Rad-guard underwear.......protection for the innie and outie bits.

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Re: THE Tesla Thread Pt. 2 (merged)

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Thu 25 Apr 2019, 01:45:26

asg70 wrote:Anyway, back to Tesla news....

Tesla made a flurry of "look at the shiny shiny" announcements to distract from this:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jjkinahan/ ... fc33aa282a

I firmly believe Musk needs to step aside as CEO at this point. If he doesn't bury Tesla he will at least need to do YET another capital raise after saying he wouldn't need to do so.

BIG loss. Over $700 million for the quarter, unadjusted.

Musk also said to expect a 2Q loss before returning to profits in 3Q. (He's said to expect ongoing profits for quite a few years now, and every single year is losses).

Musk also now admitted "There's merit to making a capital raise", finally making the implied admission that Tesla is seriously running out of cash.

Oh, and on the "Jump the Shark" front, the idea of starting an insurance company was mentioned. Since those require lots of capital and regulation, this sounds to me like another Musk Hail Mary distraction.

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/04/24/tesla-e ... -2019.html
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Re: Re: THE Tesla Thread Pt. 2 (merged)

Unread postby Cog » Thu 25 Apr 2019, 04:32:13

Musk combines the elements of an illusionist and carnival showman.

From the article:

They are looking to understand whether Tesla can profitably make the Model 3 after several price changes. Tesla briefly sold a version of the Model 3 for $35,000as originally promised, but soon removed that option and raised prices.

Tesla CFO Zach Kirkhorn said that the average sale price of a Model 3 in North America today stands around $50,000.


What I'm seeing is he could never have sold a $35K car at a profit but thought he could bluff people into thinking that was the game plan. With the federal tax credit now half of what it was, I can't see why people would spend $50k on a car with questionable quality.
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Re: THE Tesla Thread Pt. 2 (merged)

Unread postby rockdoc123 » Thu 25 Apr 2019, 10:04:05

What I'm seeing is he could never have sold a $35K car at a profit but thought he could bluff people into thinking that was the game plan. With the federal tax credit now half of what it was, I can't see why people would spend $50k on a car with questionable quality.


especially when there are so many, better choices out there. Tesla served the purpose of pushing the envelope..I don't think it is any longer relevant given all the competition out there. As I have said before the company would be better served to spin out several divisions and concentrate its efforts on batteries and storage where I think there is considerable need for improvement and market upside. They need a business savvy CEO running the whole thing now rather than someone who is idea rich but process and execution challenged.

What I'm most surprised about is how the SEC lets Musk get away with the crap he does. If it was any other company he would have been banned from serving on any BOD or as an Executive (essentially a reporting individual) for 10 years. He plays fast and loose with Corporate governance and ethics and many of the things he does are just outright illegal in the context of a publicly traded company. It sets a very bad standard for behavior and not punishing it means it will be repeated elsewhere.
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