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Devils advocating...from someone who shorted TSLA

qwk

P130DL
Dec 19, 2008
3,024
857
I do not want to go that much off topic here as the carbon footprint of electric cars has already been discussed over and over again.
In case of the Tesla supercharger there is one important aspect that just seems to be ignored.

Due to the fixed resistance of the battery (impedance) and the basic relation of P=I^2xR your charging losses will rise exponentially in relation to the power you are using. I have no specific data on the Supercharger but even tesla cannot rewrite the laws of physics. At least they recommend not using the Supercharger all the time due to balance issues on the battery. Still, with the Supercharger your charging losses will be at least 3 times higher than on your standard 24A solution at home.

I find it pretty interesting that Tesla is only planning to install a few Superchargers in Europe.

Just a few points on an objective Observation for the Model S with implications on market chances in Europe.

The Model S is a 100.000 Euro car with almost no active safety features (for example lane assist, collision warning, emergency stopping etc….) It does also have rear seats which are really not acceptable for any person taller than a 12 year old kid. The acceleration is indeed excellent but it’s range is not. A 300hp Audi A6 TDI is no lame duck with 0-60 in 5s. Yet it’s much cheaper and has a range well above 1000km. You just cannot get into your Model S and drive with it from Munich to Hamburg. Any petrol or diesel car will cover far distances much faster than a Model S.

So it’s still a car that only applies to a very small audience. As a performance car no european customer will take the Model S serious as you can neither go on the track nor can you go faster than 210 kph despite its lively acceleration. And this speed does matter here. People who buy a M5 just want to be faster than anyone else. Also BMW is now putting it's own electric line up on sale now in Europe. I cannot imagine Tesla beeing able to compete with this guys here.

I admit that the demand for the Model S in the US really took me by surprise. Almost 5000 cars on one quarter is truly astonishing. Yet I just don’t think that you can expect that kind of demand outside the US. Keeping that level of domestic demand will also be difficult because this is still a car priced in the 100.000$ range, no matter how good people think it is.
Have you ever heard of TCO? Doesn't sound like it. Also BMW's electric offering is a clown car. If the price is anywhere near the Model S in Europe, only a fool would buy it.
 

deonb

Active Member
Mar 4, 2013
4,062
4,362
Redmond, WA
I'm interested to hear the views of a short and believe those views will be interesting on-going even though it is tough to hear at times. Although shorts have a vested interest in the tech failing we should be diligent to keep on topic as emotions will run high. Boiling down the short points is of high interest to me, not to debunk, but to fully understand and setup milestones which will either be proven, disproven or just partially realized/unrealized.

But there is a big difference between shorts having points rooted in facts vs. just trying to stir emotions. You can similarly take investment advise from Glen Beck and Michael Moore if you want. I wouldn't recommend it...


I would listen to someone who says:

"I've made some measurements and SuperChargers isn't financially viable to Tesla. They cost $100 per charge. Here is how..."


vs. what effectively boils down to:

"Elon is running a pyramid stock scheme and lying to investors about sales and the cost of SuperChargers. I have no proof, but you guys are all delusional if you think he's not."
 
I think BMW is a very serious threat for Tesla. In Europe certainly.

The BMW i3 is in fact very close to the so called Tesla Gen3 model. It’s range is about 150km and with the range extender it’s close to 500 with the big advantage that you can fill up your car at every gas station.

Basically a BMW version of the Volt. A little more reading on the German website enlightens me that the "range extender" is a generator; but I'm not convinced that the fact "you can fill up your car at every gas station" is an advantage. Unquestionably, the i3 is a city car and even BMW calls it that.

....it is the same with the Model S. It’s obviously a great thing but there is still the problem that you get a vehicle with very limited range. Very limited because you can travel app. 400-500km and then you need to charge it for hours.

Read up on Superchargers and Battery Swapping. Whatever the restrictions I don't buy the argument that those options are inefficient compared to burning the world's limited supply of fossil fuels.

The rear seats are way too small.....

Not sure what you're looking at but one thing you can't accuse the Model S of and that is small seats.


....and don’t forget that without tax incentives it is hugely expensive.

Even with the tax incentives it's hugely expensive, but if everyone made their decisions solely on price we'd probably all be riding bicycles.

If electric cars indeed become viable Tesla will face severe competition. You already see GM launching cars like the Chevy Spark (which is quite astonishing for the money). Tesla cannot totally control the supply base. Their battery cells are Japanese. Toyota and Honda will come up with their own solutions if the electric car will move further, which is still a big question mark.

I see an expanded market as a good thing. The world doesn't have any choice but to make electric cars viable. Oil is a finite resource, that's an indisputable fact; now we can argue over how long it's going to last but sooner or later the entire world will need to switch away from the internal combustion engine.
 
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But there is a big difference between shorts having points rooted in facts vs. just trying to stir emotions. You can similarly take investment advise from Glen Beck and Michael Moore if you want. I wouldn't recommend it...


I would listen to someone who says:

"I've made some measurements and SuperChargers isn't financially viable to Tesla. They cost $100 per charge. Here is how..."


vs. what effectively boils down to:

"Elon is running a pyramid stock scheme and lying to investors about sales and the cost of SuperChargers. I have no proof, but you guys are all delusional if you think he's not."

I have always said that the Model S is too expensive to produce. Tesla is not making any real money at the moment despite their Model S exceeding sales targets.

Elon Musk very ambitious sales targets are visionary at best.
 

rcc

Model S 85KW, VIN #2236
Aug 1, 2012
413
0
San Jose, CA
Again honestly.

I have been trading stocks and equities for a living for more than 7 years but cars are my passion. I think what Tesla has done is truly remarkable. I can only repeat that!

Still, people tend to overlook the facts and the current market cap of Tesla is just insane for a car company of that size. I don't want to attack anyone here just telling you my assumptions.

Yep, by car company standards, the market cap is insane. But Tesla's financials and market prospects look much more like a tech company than a car company and its stock price needs to be evaluated with that in mind.

Tesla is a small company in hypergrowth mode. They have done *zero* paid advertising other than their retail stores/galleries so there's lots of unexercised demand-generation. They seem to have a compelling product - as more people in an area learn about it (from new stores or new sales), sales in the area increase. They led large sedan sales last quarter in California. In Silicon Valley where people probably know more about the company than anyone else, the S is the hot car to have for those who can afford it.

On the technology side, I'm not going to go into details but they probably have a 3-7 year tech lead on everyone else in battery-pack/drivetrain/charging technology and they're the only company out there thinking of the entire thing as one integrated (but not completely closed, unlike Jobs) system.

I admit it's a risky stock: the company could still make a mistake that will put it out of business. But the upside potential assuming reasonably good execution is amazing. And Elon Musk has a great track record when it comes to execution. Given the risk of execution hiccups and the macro environment, I think the odds are reasonable that we'll see a dip below 91 at some point in the future. But not a lock by any means.

As for me, I've tripled my initial investments, pulled out 2/3 of it and am long on the rest. The stock has enough volatility that I might short it on peaks if I were trading and able to move in and out of positions cheaply. But I don't have the time or inclination to do that.

I think the stock is priced for perfection, even for a tech (like) stock. But I've seen lots of tech companies keep their stock pegged like that for years as they grew. Sure, the price was out of line with the long-term fundamentals but the stock stayed that way for years.

Anyway, it's your money. Do what you want with it. Given that I'm rooting for Tesla to succeed (even if I weren't an investor), I won't wish you luck though :).
 
Still, with the Supercharger your charging losses will be at least 3 times higher than on your standard 24A solution at home.

As long as Tesla backs them up with solar power, that's not too bad. :)


I have always said that the Model S is too expensive to produce. Tesla is not making any real money at the moment despite their Model S exceeding sales targets.

Elon Musk very ambitious sales targets are visionary at best.

As long as he keeps exceeding them... :)
 

deonb

Active Member
Mar 4, 2013
4,062
4,362
Redmond, WA
I have always said that the Model S is too expensive to produce. Tesla is not making any real money at the moment despite their Model S exceeding sales targets.

Elon Musk very ambitious sales targets are visionary at best.

So you're saying that it's not feasible to make the Model S with a 25% gross margin. Again I must ask for proof?

Actually, as a general rule of thumb... before you post anything, ask yourself the question: "Can I back this post up with any kind of proof?". If so, then include it.


Otherwise, especially on this Forum, it only serves to rile up a bunch of people against you. Unless, of course, that's what you're going for...
 

techmaven

Active Member
Feb 27, 2013
3,619
9,769
I have not talked about the resistance of the chargers! Read my post!

The resistance of the battery is fixed! That was all I was talking about. Just accept it, Tesla's supercharger is not Magic. They cannot redefine the laws of physics.

Internal resistance is not fixed - it varies dependent on temperature. Read Remmlinger, Jürgen, Michael Buchholz, Markus Meiler, Peter Bernreuter, and Klaus Dietmayer. "State-of-health Monitoring Of Lithium-ion Batteries In Electric Vehicles By On-board Internal Resistance Estimation." Journal of Power Sources 196.12 (2010): 5357-5363 and specifically, table 6. While the variance does end up becoming small above 40 degrees C, there is still a significant change going from 25 degrees C to 40 degrees C. Tesla doesn't charge below 0 degrees C for obvious reasons when you see table 6. It also changes a bit from SoC, but that is usually too small to be counted.

You also misinterpret the power equation. That equation does say that power increases by the square of the current, but nothing about what the battery does with the power. Obviously some of that is turned into heat, but heating also decreases the resistance.

Further, you make a comparison between at home charging on a 240V 16-32A AC circuit versus Supercharging which is DC to DC, ~400V at ~300 amps. The first case goes through an on-board charger (or two) and likely does not reconfigure the pack. Supercharging definitely reconfigures the pack. The system losses are different, as is the overall system's internal resistance and therefore the resulting charging losses. Obviously Tesla is not redefining physics, but your understanding of what is going on is what we are discussing. Again, the equation you pointed to does not model the actual heat generation or charging loss given higher current.
 

JRP3

Hyperactive Member
Aug 20, 2007
23,956
67,301
Central New York
You obviously don't get the point. Have you ever used a Supercharger? The massive heat increase is a clear sign for serious charge losses. This is basic physic and it's explained here:

http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/showthread.php/18189-You-might-consider-charging-slower
I'm aware of the physics. How about you put actual data in a post and quantify the efficiency losses with numbers? Frankly I'm not even sure of your point, so what if occasional supercharging is a little less efficient than normal charging, which is what most people will do 99% of the time?
 

Johan

Ex got M3 in the divorce, waiting for EU Model Y!
Feb 9, 2012
7,510
10,025
Drammen, Norway
Much of the discussion topics raised by Realist are just nonsense, such as charging inefficiencies, pricing, "inadequate range" and this issues relation to supercharging and swapping, how BMW or [insert any other car manufacturer in the world] will soon have better offerings.

On his part, and also to some extent on "our" part, to debate these issues is really just a pseudo-debate since we will never agree on any of this as much of it is subjective, and we have already made up our minds about the only real and important issues and this colors our opinion on these "pseudo-issues" extensively. The real and defining issues of course are:

- Are electric cars going to replace cars based on internal combustion engines as the main form of personal transport? [Yes]

- Is this transition going to take place faster than most would believe? [Yes] (This is a disruptive technology, make no mistake about it, and we as humans are not intuitively capable of seeing when we are at the beginning of an exponential growth curve pattern - it looks flat or linear at first and then it "explodes". It's not until we look back that we realize that we were in the early phase of an exponential growth situation. This is why almost no-one was able to predict how fast the internet would grow, how soon the number of people living in extreme poverty in the world would be cut in half, and so on and so on.)

- Is another technology, for example natural gas cars or hydrogen fuel-cell cars (with EV drive train) going to prove better and steal EV's thunder? [No]

- The above three questions answered gives you a definite answer to the third important question: Does Tesla have a growing market in the years to come [Yes]

- Is Tesla years ahead of all competition in this field [Yes] (I have yet to see proof of anything to contradict this)

- Does Tesla's track record show that they can keep up the pace and hence keep up their lead? [Yes - at least for years to come] (In the long run Tesla risks becoming a less agile, inflexible and stagnant giant, much like AAPL, GM, FORD etc. etc. but this is in a way inevitable and not really the issue here).

So I repeat: Alea iacta est. Place your bets.
 
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qwk

P130DL
Dec 19, 2008
3,024
857
Much of the discussion topics raised by Realist are just nonsense, such as charging inefficiencies, pricing, "inadequate range" and this issues relation to supercharging and swapping, how BMW or [insert any other car manufacturer in the world] will soon have better offerings.

On his part, and also to some extent on "our" part, to debate these issues is really just a pseudo-debate since we will never agree on any of this as much of it is subjective, and we have already made up our minds about the only real and important issues and this colors our opinion on these "pseudo-issues" extensively. The real and defining issues of course are:
- Are electric cars going to replace cars based on internal combustion engines as the main form of personal transport? [Yes]
- Is this transition going to take place faster than most would believe? [Yes] (This is a disruptive technology, make no mistake about it, and we as humans are not intuitively capable of seeing when we are at the beginning of an exponential growth curve pattern - it looks flat or linear at first and then it "explodes")
- Is another technology, for example natural gas cars or hydrogen fuel-cell cars (with EV drive train) going to prove better and steal EV's thunder? [No]
- The above three questions answered gives you a definite answer to the third important question: Does Tesla have a growing market in the years to come [Yes]
- Is Tesla years ahead of all competition in this field [Yes] (I have yet to see proof of anything to contradict this)
- Does Tesla's track record show that they can keep up the pace and hence keep up their lead? [Yes - at least for years to come] (In the long run Tesla risks becoming a less agile, inflexible and stagnant giant, much like AAPL, GM, FORD etc. etc. but this is in a way inevitable and not really the issue here).

So I repeat: Alea iacta est. Place your bets.
You summed it up pretty nicely. Once you drive the car, you begin to see that the above makes even more sense.
 
Real posters express opinions with verifiable facts behind them and are willing to share.

Trolls express either opinions or purposeful misinformation, but in all cases say "everyone knows this" and doesn't post facts. In this case, the troll actually doesn't understand the facts at all.

Too bad you picked a den of physicists, electrical engineers, etc. You lose.
 

Doug_G

Lead Moderator
Global Moderator
Apr 2, 2010
17,888
3,416
Ottawa, Canada
Due to the fixed resistance of the battery (impedance) and the basic relation of P=I^2xR your charging losses will rise exponentially in relation to the power you are using. I have no specific data on the Supercharger but even tesla cannot rewrite the laws of physics.

Tesla cannot rewrite the laws of physics, but it helps to be able to read them correctly. The losses do not rise exponentially in relation to power. You left voltage out of the equation. Also that is a square law not an exponential law.

The losses rise geometrically in relation to current.

This is how long-distance transmission lines work. They boost the power to a higher voltage, so that the current is dramatically lowered and so are the losses.
 
Did you get laid off from Audi, Realist? You seem a little bitter about Tesla.

All manufacturors underestimated Elon. He delivered the Roadsters. He delivered the Model S. He will deliver the Model X and Gen3.

You are welcome to your opinion about diminishing demand, but Tesla hasn't even BEGAN to hit mainstream consciousness. They are hiring at all levels. They are investing in massive charging infrastructure.
 
There are no tax incentives worth mentioning in the EU. Why? Well obviously because EU car manufacturers have no volume production capabilities for electric cars yet and therefore have not lobbied for tax incentives. So, BMW electric cars could actually benefit Tesla sales in the EU if incentives are to follow...
 

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