I realize this is a ridiculously long post... but I put it in the comment section of a Seeking Alpha article, and seems like something worth having a discussion here... Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA): Looking Beyond Tesla As An Auto Company - Seeking Alpha TO BE CLEAR, WHAT I AM ABOUT TO SAY IS SPECULATIVE AND NOT A PRIMARY REASON TO BUY TESLA, BUT RATHER A FREE CALL OPTION THAT COMES WITH TESLA. Elon Musk has stated that Tesla will discuss the giga factory on the Q4 earnings call next month. He said he is happy about the plans and partnerS involved. Who might those partners be? Panasonic seems like an obvious choice. Who makes it plural partners, i.e. partner number 2, or possibly number 3? Solar City? well, in the future they could fit well... but today Tesla's need for a partner beyond Panasonic is cash. Solar City cannot do much for Tesla there. Here's the speculative part... what if the partner ends up being a giant. What if it ends up being Samsung, or Google? Okay, again read what I wrote in CAPS... this IS SPECULATION, it is not a core reason to invest in Tesla, but rather a free call option. Why Google? 1. The mission of Tesla is to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles. 2. Massive scale needed to go from ICE to EVs. Before the end of the decade, global vehicle production will be 100 million/year. Elon repeatedly has said the one giga factory would produce as many lithium ion batteries as all total global production combined. To one day, decades from now, convert that 100 million ICE production to EVs would take TWO HUNDRED GIGA FACTORIES. the scale is massive. looked at another way, entire nation states are rich from the oil industry. The per capita income in Norway is $100,000 vs. $50,000 for it's neighboring Scandinavian countries. All due to oil wealth. There are several countries in the middle east, wealthy, entire countries, because of oil wealth. Now, not all of the wealth of the oil industry would flow to energy storage. I estimate roughly 20-30% (based on the different dynamics of electricity/battery vs. liquid fuel of gas refined from oil and the percent of oil used for vehicles). Nonetheless, this is a massive scale. 3. Google, Larry Page as a private individual, (or Samsung) has the cash to handle the massive scale. Google $48 billion net of debt, Page $30 billion plus, Samsung $30 billion. 4. Larry Page's stunning enthusiasm for Tesla and Elon Musk. Not only is Page a close friend of Musk's (as is Google cofounder Sergei Brin, also worth $30 billion plus), at least according to Steve Jurveston, Page has expressed his belief that his money would be best left in Elon Musk's hands. PARAPRHASING: If I get hit by a bus, I think it's probably best I leave my money ($30 billion in personal wealth) to Elon Musk. He's doing the things I believe in and I think his private enterprises could do more than a non-profit. Watch here from 27:30 on this linked video... I don't think I've captured how compelling these comments were: http://bit.ly/1jbpfuv Granted, these remarks attributed to Larry Page imply where his money would go when he dies... but what of, say, 10% of his money, $3 billion, putting a new joint venture to develop battery technology in a much stronger position. There is precedent for this... look at Warren Buffett turning his wealth over to his personal friend and fellow business genius/billionaire Bill Gates. 5. This is the mission for which Musk created Tesla, and it's becoming increasingly clear that the other automakers are not motivated to step in. I could write at length about why the other automakers are not motivated. But there's two main points, a) as things stand, even if Tesla gets up to 500,000 cars by 2020, 99.95% of the auto business is entirely unaffected by competition from Tesla. That is, they are not the blundering fools ignoring their impending fall do to disruption. While the disruption is at a stunning pace from Tesla's perspective (i.e. growing volumes 25X in 6 years in this scenario), it is a rounding error to the auto makers... i.e. "oh, our global addressable market has grown from 80 million in 2013 to 99.5 million in 2020. Oh, the devastation... had it not been for Tesla, we'd be at 100 million in 2020"). b) if the automakers do enter the disruption the entire deck gets reshuffled and their industry becomes vastly more unstable. Do you want to be part of a club where everyone is fat and safe, or tear up the current order for one where the deck is completely reshuffled, the developing technology is fast and hard to predict. That is, do you want to go from being in a club where every few decades or so one of you might die, or one where every 5 years, the technology may shift and you might be Blackberry. Massive disincentives for the automobile industry to push forward into EVs. No, they're not dumb or mean spirited... their just not jumping from a warm bath into shark infested water. The only exception of an organization with a large enough amount of money and the incentive to invest in the MASSIVE costs of going from oil fields, refineries, gas stations, to increased grid ability and energy storage is the government of China. 6. The synergy of resources. Yes, there's the obvious, Tesla needs money and Google or Larry Page privately, has it. Than there's the almost as obvious. Elon Musk can tap into the wealth of brain power at SpaceX and Tesla, as he described doing writing up the Hyperloop proposal. What if Google's enormous brain power was part of the pool to draw from? It's not simply about getting these batteries produced, it's also about having the best minds developing the best technology to accelerate and maintain the point at which it is plain for everyone to see EVs make more sense than oil. 7. If I am correct in seeing that no one (China possibly excepted) is going to step in and make the massive investment the energy storage transition requires... believe me Elon Musk has seen it. Musk will have seen it and discussed it with the people he trusts and has confidence in. Larry Page is on the short list of these people. Larry Page has over $30 billion, Elon Musk has a very persuasive way of communicating. **********************... It may not be so much whether Tesla can be the next BMW or even Toyota, it may be, can they become the next Standard Oil (you youngins, pop that into wikipedia).