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NKLAQ

Discussion in 'TSLA Investor Discussions' started by Buckminster, Jun 11, 2020.

  1. smorgasbord

    smorgasbord Active Member

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    Has anyone heard when the Cathie Wood / Trevor Milton smackdown is happening? With S&P 500 in a holding pattern for now I need an excuse to eat some popcorn.

     
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  2. smorgasbord

    smorgasbord Active Member

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    I didn't see it posted here, but:

    1) Nikola expects to use Hydrogen Generators sold by Nel ASA. See Hydrogen Production | Nel Hydrogen
    They make self-contained units that fit into containers and can be easily shipped.

    2) Milton claims that buying electricity directly from the generators "before the utility" means that he's buying really cheap electricity since they'll only take it when the generators are generating too much. They'll create and store the hydrogen, so in essence using hydrogen as the energy buffer.

    3) Milton claims that this electricity is cleaner than city electricity (or something to that effect). It made no sense.

    4) Nothing is ever said about just how much electricity can be really be obtained as cheap/free excess. Should Nikola be nearly as successful as he claims it will be, won't they run out of electricity this cheap?

    5) Note that Milton only compares running cost to diesel. While everyone's talking about $15/kg, he's claiming that $4/kg is parity with diesel and that "we're already at $3/kg." That would imply Nikola already has a hydrogen generating station, but I don't believe they do. Also, the proper comparison isn't to diesel, it's to Tesla's BEV semi, with electricity at $0.07/kWh. By the time you factor in the inefficiencies of hydrogen fuel cells, I wouldn't be surprised to see a Tesla semi at $0.07/kWh beats a Nikola hydrogen semi at $0.02/kWh.
     
  3. renim

    renim Active Member

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    consider wind or solar electricity, negative prices are a fact of life now. As power prices crash below zero, don't expect it to show up on your power bill because electricity is a service as much as it is a commodity. Americans probably face a similar situation if they are near windy/sunny texas etc. So really cheap, clean electricity is available, just not when and where it is wanted.
    the act of locating that electricity into the city when wanted will naturally include more fossil fuels compared to rural locations.

    BEV truck will always be cheaper than Hydrogen, but there are limits to suitability.
    Consider a metal refinery 1,400kms away which requires expansion, so loads are
    1) weight limited (ie steel), every load is to to gross weight limit, battery weight is a direct load (income) penalty
    or 2) volume limited (ie plastic piping), every load is to to volume limited, battery weight is irrelevant.
    3) not weight or volume limited (ie, direct from widget factory) battery weight is irrelevant, timing is relevant

    so even for the same route, there can be justification for each option depending upon load.

    (in theory, Rail would've been by far the cheapest, but due to inflexibility we rarely to never used it for the expansion, however for recurrent material streams, the nickel refinery would've used rail.
     
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  4. engine ear

    engine ear New Member

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    If you are aiming for a renewable energy dominated grid, studies on the most cost efficient mix of wind/solar generating capacity vs energy storage show that significant over capacity on the wind/solar generation side is the most economical mix. See "Storage Requirements and Costs of Shaping Renewable Energy Toward Grid Decarbonization" Storage Requirements and Costs of Shaping Renewable Energy Toward Grid Decarbonization - ScienceDirect .

    If this study is accurate, it suggests there will be significant quantities of low/zero cost energy available during times of over generation.

    It should be mentioned storing hydrogen is not cheap. It looks like a stationary hydrogen tank costs about $500 per kg stored, or about $30 per kWh when used with a 50% efficient fuel cell.. That is cheaper than batteries, but still a significant cost if you want to store large quantities of hydrogen. Underground salt caverns are much cheaper, but they aren't available everywhere.
     
  5. smorgasbord

    smorgasbord Active Member

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    I don't disagree with the technical arguments, just the practical side:
    1) Can Nikola actually get enough electricity along major trucking routes in the US at $0.02 or less?
    2) Why couldn't Tesla get those rates at Truck SuperCharger Locations?
    3) Can Nikola actually ensure that the electricity they're getting is from renewables?

    Also, does anyone kow many KWh it takes to make a Kg of Hydrogen via electrolysis?
     
  6. Doggydogworld

    Doggydogworld Active Member

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    Superchargers are now 7 cents/kWh? I hadn't heard :)

    Schemes which depend on "excess electricity" usually fail. There isn't that much excess, and there are better ways to absorb it (e.g. 100 million EVs on smart chargers). The other problem is capital efficiency. You can't make money running expensive electrolyzers for a few hours a day during low demand season. You need to run them 24x7. Or at least 15x6 or something.
     
  7. renim

    renim Active Member

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  8. smorgasbord

    smorgasbord Active Member

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    According to Milton, Nikola's plan is to run the electrolyzers most of the time - at least during non peak hours when cheap electricity is available, And they store the hydrogen, which Milton claims is better/cheaper than having a ton of batteries to store the electricity. And yes, Milton has even talked about needing to run the electrolyzers most of the time.

    That said, I don't know how many years they'll need to run at a loss. Meaning until the routes they select have enough stations pulling enough cheap electricity and enough trucks needing enough hydrogen to actually not lose money. 5 years? More?
     
  9. renim

    renim Active Member

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    From memory, 1kg hydrogen is about 33kWh equiv, so 17.5kg H2 is about 575kWh equiv.

    575x $30 = $17k
     
  10. Sanny

    Sanny Member

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    I was never interested in hydrogen, so maybe missed it, but why we are not hearing about hydrogen airplanes? In aviation, costs and infrastructure availability could be easily traded for better power/weight ratio. Maybe a time for a new company to IPO and 'disrupt Boeing'?
     
  11. engine ear

    engine ear New Member

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    As someone unfamiliar with the Nikola business model, I thought this 7/31/20 podcast was interesting:
    E1090: Nikola Founder Trevor Milton on competing with Tesla, hydrogen over battery, going public as a pre-revenue company & more | This Week In Startups

    Notes:

    21:13 they don't build a hydrogen station on speculation, they sign a contract for a route with a customer and then build a station when they know it can be fully utilized

    22:06 they don't sell just a truck, they sell truck+fuel on a cost-per-mile basis which is 20x more revenue than a company that just sells a truck

    35:20 Nikola has 400 employees. Nikola's employees do engineering for key areas. They work with external partners to do manufacturing for them.

    59:10 Talks about the process of going public
     
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  12. JohnSnowNW

    JohnSnowNW Active Member

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    1. FCs aren't currently capable of handling high power demand cost effectively
    2. Large cylindrical tanks take up a lot of room, and are limited in their placement
    3. Jet fuel is $1.13/gallon
    4. Lots of red tape to get through
     
  13. EVMeister

    EVMeister Lover of Tesla

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  14. JohnSnowNW

    JohnSnowNW Active Member

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    This, above anything else, should tell you all you need to know about Nikola's prospects.
     
  15. ninpb

    ninpb Member

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    So entertaining. Wow, just wow.
     
  16. Causalien

    Causalien "The retired" 8 ball Oracle

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    I bought some puts for the ER. Something triggered me to watch a Trevor presentation. Then I noticed some big red flags on his body language. So big that even when I wasn't looking for it, it jumped out. So I put some money in to verify if I am right or wrong.
     
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  17. ggr

    ggr Expert in Dunning-Kruger Effect!

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    I don't have the fortitude to watch the videos. But you have the same approach as I do, which is to lay a little bit of real money on the line, which makes me pay attention. So you have convinced me to watch more of it.
     
  18. Causalien

    Causalien "The retired" 8 ball Oracle

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    Not sure why, but I have this sense of revulsion when watching conman like Elizabeth Holmes and Trevor. TSLAQ probably had the same reaction when watching Elon.

    Time will tell who is right.
     

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