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Bloomberg: Why Tesla Has a Target on Its Back

Discussion in 'News' started by rocketdallas, Dec 11, 2014.

  1. rocketdallas

    rocketdallas Member

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    The last couple of weeks I've shared stories with my wife of how aggressively some of the established auto makers are now attacking Tesla, trying to create doubt and uncertainty behind Tesla's product, business model, and future. I'm a believer in Tesla and its positive and disruptive influence on the auto industry and its impact towards our transportation habits. I came across this article this morning and thought to share it.

    Why Tesla Has a Target on Its Back - Bloomberg View
     
  2. MSEV

    MSEV Member

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    Thanks for sharing it. There was a bit of new information for me about what the competitors are doing, and made me think more about what it might be like in a couple years. It seems like Elon/Tesla have egged on the competition, and maybe some competition is actually going to work out there...
     
  3. 30seconds

    30seconds Active Member

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    Well if VW is just investing in next-gen battery and Niedermeyer thinks that Audi will actually reduce the R8 price to $100,000 and make it all electric then I think Tesla has more than a couple of years without serious competition from VW/Audi.

    Happy to see them try even though it will probably take them until 2018 to sell something compelling
     
  4. rocketdallas

    rocketdallas Member

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    I think it's fantastic that Tesla has seemingly been able to provoke a sincere response from established makers to try to produce better electric and/or hybrid vehicles (well, coming down the line anyhow), versus compromised products to minimally satisfy compliance regulations.
     
  5. dandelot

    dandelot Member

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    Tesla is forcing these other companies to actually *produce* something,
    not just post a photo of a one-off 'vehicle'. And producing yet another
    100-mile-range EV is just not going to get any headlines.

    I'm hoping this competition is going to push the state of the art far and quickly.
     
  6. Electric700

    Electric700 Member

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    I agree, especially considering the recent terrible decision by Rick Snyder that bans Tesla stores in Michigan. Apparently that decision may have been partly influenced by GM. The automakers should compete fairly with Tesla, with products and services, and stop the legal debate over Tesla's business model. Tesla can't afford to have a dealer network, what with dealer price markups, inconsistent dealership experiences (some good, some bad), and the potential for fights between dealerships and Tesla about business processes.

    That Volkswagen is researching new battery technologies is a good thing. I'd like to see battery energy per volume, life expectancy, charging speed, and safety factors all go up. I think Tesla realizes these are all good things too, and they probably have some resources dedicated to this.
     
  7. ggies07

    ggies07 Active Member

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    Huh. Wonder why he thinks it will be that high..... No reason to spread that number around and he doesn't give any reasons to back that amount up.
     
  8. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    Just to play "devil's advocate", are you suggesting that the traditional automakers be allowed to go the direct sales route, foregoing dealerships?
     
  9. TexasEV

    TexasEV Active Member

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    Why not, if they want to do that and if their contracts with dealers do not provide for an exclusive territory. This should be a matter of contract between a manufacturer and dealer, as it is in any other industry.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Competing with Tesla by trying to make a better EV = good
    Competing with Tesla by getting states to restrict Tesla's business model of direct sales = bad
     
  10. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    This line from the article made me laugh: "But automakers have grown weary of Tesla hogging the limelight, especially when many of them funded Tesla's rise by buying its zero-emission credits. "

    Those automakers had to buy those ZEVs because they didn't make enough low emission vehicles to get their own credits.
     
  11. Nixter

    Nixter Member

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    I think that Tesla is getting some unwanted, undeserved political backlash from the "renewable energy is bad" crowd. These are the people who deny climate change, think oil will always be the best energy source, energy saving light bulbs are bad, and these are some of the same folks who always have a dozen reasons why they would never buy an EV vehicle. The same mindset occurs with some of the media outlets, like cable news and especially the business and financial market news outlets, TESLA is often categorized as being a "Liberal" company who got a "socialist" government loan, I even heard Elon Musk called "crazy" on the air by the media talking heads on CNBC because he wants to go to Mars and he has a clean energy vision for future transportation. TESLA is not politically motivated as far as I can tell, electrically powered cars are in ALL of our futures, whether you are Independent, Conservative or Liberal, almost everyone will be driving "Tesla like" cars in the near future. I guess people like to drag their feet when it comes to accepting new technology, once we get a taste of it, we tend to never want to go back, like the way smartphones and computers were at first resisted, but then eventually accepted, so it will be with electric cars.
    technophobia.png Just wait until Elon Musk invents the anti gravity drive vehicle, the technophobic foot draggers will have a field day!
     
  12. Cosmacelf

    Cosmacelf Active Member

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    The Bloomberg article points out that Volkswagen Motors (VM) bought a 5% equity stake in Quantumscape, a very stealthy energy storage company. They are supposedly working on a new way of storing energy using electrons (not ions like a battery) that is also not a capacitor. They have licensed technology from Stanford and have Kleiner Perkins as a VC. All sounds very impressive BUT...

    This sounds a lot like what GM tried to do with their Volt battery. They too invested in a battery company to find out later that the technology just wouldn't work. Here is a skeptical blog from several months ago about the company VW invested in: Quantumscape CEO Jagdeep Singh Goes Waaaaaay Back with Khosla KPCB - TheEEStory

    These car companies look around, and realize that the current battery technology won't work for their requirements (inexpensive, long range). So they invest in hail mary battery startups that of course promise the moon.

    Tesla saw the exact same energy storage landscape eight years ago, but their reaction was to

    a) just use the best EXISTING technology and make the product fit around that constraint (ie. car must be expensive).
    b) figure out a way to make EXISTING technology cheaper (gigafactory)

    Tesla's strategy is low risk, the other car companies are literally putting all their chips on a single number at a roulette table.
     
  13. rocketdallas

    rocketdallas Member

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    I came to buy my Tesla because it is a better car for my use and lifestyle and interests, and in my excitement for it came to understand and appreciate the other benefits of a shift towards electric vehicles. I don't know that it's the right transportation choice for everyone in all situations, but I imagine for most consumers, it would be a smarter and more environmentally friendly solution for 80% of people (assuming supportive infrastructure supports growing demand and costs decrease for wider acceptance). I had a conversation with a friend about this recently who spoke to the similarity in situation to the Tucker automobile story (at least from the movie) wherein the entrenched makers did their best to halt forward progression in design and technology for the automobile to protect their profits and established business. I think, fortunately, consumers today are smarter, have greater access to information, and are more active in exercising deliberate choices that can rapidly shape an industry for the better. Tesla deserves to succeed.
     
  14. rage_777

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    Technically, they didn't have to buy the ZEV credits. They just had to get them if they wanted to sell cars in California if they didn't produce enough zero emission vehicles.
     
  15. Electric700

    Electric700 Member

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    Well said! May be we will see an automaker other than Tesla actually opening their own store sometime in the next few years.
     
  16. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Active Member

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    That's really not a fair description. They're putting a bit of money into something that if it works will be huge, but their main focus follows the normal technology.

    At this point, the difference between Tesla and other car companies is really just how aggressive their approach is. Tesla doesn't have ICEs, Tesla uses large batteries, Tesla has to be aggressive in the rate and scale of growth.
     
  17. shivasmith

    shivasmith Member

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    @Nixter

    +1

     
  18. Cosmacelf

    Cosmacelf Active Member

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    I disagree. Tesla is putting its speculative R&D money towards building a gigafactory, which is a low risk way to get cheaper long range batteries. Other car makers are putting their speculative R&D money on unproven startups that will most likely produce nothing at all. High risk.

    Today, BOTH Tesla and the other car companies are using currently available batteries, so no difference there.
     
  19. Reykjavik

    Reykjavik Member

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    The difference is in the amount they are spending. Tesla is spending a huge amount of money on the gigafactory and on new products, while other companies have a huge amount of money in bringing out next years version of the same lineup with slightly better performance, slightly better mileage, and slightly newer styles. If other companies battery investments fail, they'll take the loss and move on. If Tesla's battery investments fail, the company fails too.
     
  20. tdelta1000

    tdelta1000 Active Member

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    Tesla is forcing others to change their business model, their views on energy efficiency, their customer service and technology. As a share holder, I will continue to hold on to my shares because of TM's principals.
     

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