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Tesla Motors, Inc. Message Board

  • shortinfygetrich shortinfygetrich Sep 28, 2013 5:57 PM Flag

    it's the battery stupid

    While I'm a fan of electric cars tesla's approach is wrong.

    Problems are:

    1. Electricity is becoming more and more in demand and less and less in supply. If the sales numbers
    of anywhere near 1M electric cars/yr happened it work take down the grid. Thus they can build all
    the charging stations still need more power plants, transmission lines, substations etc which public
    is not going to pay more for so some rich guy can drive his $100,000 car.

    2. Battery adds lots of weight thus limits range, takes considerable time to recharge and comes with a
    $5,000+ replacement bill in 3-5 yrs.

    3. Usually brain dead auto industry is finally getting a clue and will be coming out with fuel cell cars powered
    by natural gas which have way less weight have a fuel stock increasing in supply and will supply a much
    larger range then batteries. These will be coming out just about the time tsla will be trying to sell 500K/yr.

    So with a big stock mkt decline coming and the above no way tsla holds these levels.

    Sentiment: Sell

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    • Last time I checked the marketing director of apple came out of retirement to work for tesla for a reason..

      • 2 Replies to fkbod
      • Fkbod, last time I checked, Blankenship was NEVER marketing director at Apple. His was in charge of real estate. Regardless, Tesla doesn't even have a marketing department (if you don't include Musk). What I find fairly interesting is Apple had already decided, not Blankenship, to locate every LEASED, not owned, mall location. Now, it didn't take a rocket scientist to find upscale malls in the US, did it? Plus, if you read the Blankenship Tesla bio (Which you obviously did not!), you'd also see his "smart growth" expansion plan while with Apple. We're talking about the guy who "smart grew" Singapore! This is the guy who led Tesla into a place so fraught with political barriers, the company never sold Car One! This is also the guy who supplanted a real, experienced auto guy in Walker. In fact, When Blankenship was hired, I said, on this board, Walker's days were numbered. 6 months later Walker was gone.

        Do yourself a favor, pal. If you're going to say something, at least have some ground to stand on when pushed back.

      • GB cashed in a lot of options in May and has been very quiet lately. This show is about the CEO; he's the mouth for the outfit while the CTO is the brains. If EVs(without on-board range extenders) ever start to catch on with the general public, someone will lure Straubel away to a position with an opportunity to get more recognition for his accomplishments.

    • 1. - It sound doable. - electricity users are supposed to pay for their energy and power companies make money. Currently the idea is that most car charging be done overnight when consumption is down. The "last mile" might be a bottleneck if every other garage had a Model S in it.

      2 - Tesla's Model S battery warranty is 8 years and unlimited mileage. That implies that most people would do better. End of life for the 85kwh is apparently defined as a little above the 60kwh in capacity. So the driver might elect to just continue at that capacity for some time. The new battery cost is more than $5K. If memory serves there is a program to get a deal on a new one for a lower price now. Presumably such a deal goes with the car if sold (?).

      Batteries keep incrementally improving. If one of the breakthroughs in the queue materializes, the range would end up around what high end gas cars are now with a longer "refueling" time.

      3. - IMO, natural gas plus a reformer to get H2 is a loser in complexity and expense. However a practical car might be a hybrid architecture with a solid oxide fuel cell directly using the natural gas, mostly CH4. The hybrid with the batteries would disguise some of the behavior of the fuel cell which would have a light-off time, etc. Just a guess. Much longer range than Model S batteries may not be true if natural gas storage is in pressure tanks.

      Do you think that dreaded October will tank the market this year as has happened? Some foreign scholars think that the US in in the beginning stages of breaking up, I'm not ready to endorse that view just yet.

      • 1 Reply to maguro_01
      • 1. that assumes that ev's are only used for commuter use and don't put a huge load on night time
        use. I spoke with the CEO of the power utility they're very worried about seeing lots of plug ev's
        when they're trying not to have to invest millions in a new transmittion line to keep things warm
        in the winter and cool during hot summer nights. EV maybe just the straw that causes messive
        capex and rate increases. I've seen hard numbers between the rise in smartphones, tablets,
        game consoles, flat screen tv's, etc there would be no way to have a million ev's demanding
        multiple KW's even at night, without a major impact on the electric grid.

        Not every charging station is solar powered they will need to use the grid and even the solar
        powered will need to tap in at night.

        2. $5K seems way to low given the $17K cost. These type of batteries tend to loose power more
        quickly with age and this could lead to owners asking for replacement batteries before the 8 yrs
        which would be a major cash cost problem. Investors betting on batteries have been punished
        for decades just look at valence it was going to be the next big thing before the dot con bust.
        Batteries costs a fortune, weight a lot and that reduces the range and effiency.

        3. Again no the fuel cells are less expensive as you only need to generate around 1KW to
        move the ev, so way less labor and material cost. There's a reason sats go into space with
        fuel cells not batteries. Hybrids just don't work, too heavy that makes it have next to no range.

        Sentiment: Sell

    • You bring up some very good points about the impracticability of these cars. Yep, the cost of the infrastructure changes to accommodate these vehicles would be staggering. When one has to worry about how long it takes to charge, and where to find charging stations, it is a step back from what we currently have. Reminds me of the Segway hype a few years ago.

      • 1 Reply to ckerr365
      • I agree. Everyone is focusing on the number of charging stations, but that is not a logical solution. I just watched a video on youtube of a Tesla owner going to the different charging stations in southern California and almost all of them were already being used and some even had another car waiting there in line for the station. Using the stations seems like it would be a pain. What do you do if you are on a long trip and another car just started charging... wait several hours for your turn and then wait hours for it to charge?? I can see having an EV for daily commuting, but not long trips.

    • Hi, I agree with your points. Just wondering about the 5000 dollar replacement in 3-5 years. I thought it would be much more expensive than that, perhaps 10 to 20,000 thousand? Do you know?

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