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Will Tesla hold on to its SC network or sell to a consortium?

Discussion in 'North America -' started by Supercharged, Jan 29, 2015.

  1. Supercharged

    Supercharged Banned

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    I was wondering if, someday, Tesla will sell off its interests in developing and installing Superchargers and concentrate only on making vehicles.
    Could some government legislation impose that all charging infrastructures are to be maintained by a private or government run company?
    If this happens, and I hope it doesn't, then free charges at the Tesla Superchargers could be over. A horrible thought, I know.

    Who knows what could transpire 6 or 7 years down the road with legislation?

    The Tesla SC system is by far, the best out there but future legislation could force Elon's hand.
    Scary thought and I am deeply concerned.
     
  2. apacheguy

    apacheguy Sig 255, VIN 320

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    Elon is on record (many times over): Free SpC for life
     
  3. Supercharged

    Supercharged Banned

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    Even he doesn't have control over future legislation.
     
  4. tomas

    tomas Traded in 9 rep bars for M3, used to be somebody!

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    tesla would never initiate, would have to be imposed. That could only happen over many dead bodies. Tis good to be paranoid but I think perhaps this is too paranoid.
     
  5. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    The Tesla SC infrastructure is an integral part of the Tesla vehicle program. It certainly will not be sold off, and at least in the US it is very unlikely to be taken over by a government entity.

    I do not share the OPs concern.
     
  6. AnOutsider

    AnOutsider S532 # XS27

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    Neither do I. I could see maybe for the good of all, Tesla forming a joint venture with many automakers to build out stations and work on standards, but not the government forcing them to shut down. Sure, no one knows what legislation should come, but there's as much reason to think this could happen as the gov't shutting down Tesla in general for an equally unknown-but-possible reason.
     
  7. AudubonB

    AudubonB Mild-mannered Moderator Lord Vetinari*

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    IANAL; I am, however, a fairly concerted student of history.

    To my recollection, the single-most cited case ever to be heard before the US Supreme Court was its 1819 Dartmouth College v. Woodward (aka "Dartmouth College Case"). For this situation, of importance is the sanctity of contract: the Court held that a state could not impair a previously-created contract. I would say that given this, in the United States at any rate, your fears of the SpC no longer being free to Tesla vehicle owners are unfounded.

    I absolutely cannot speak for what could occur in your or others' countries.
     
  8. Supercharged

    Supercharged Banned

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    I am only speaking about "imposed" legislation here, something Tesla would have no control over.
    I just pray that it doesn't happen but as I mentioned, gov't intervention could kill free charges. I would say to not count on free Tesla charges forever even though the car maker implicitly says it will be free forever. If they had a choice, yes, it would be free but future governments could change that and I think that is a strong unwanted possibility!
     
  9. tomas

    tomas Traded in 9 rep bars for M3, used to be somebody!

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    on exactly what basis? If you posit something like that here you'd better have some deeper rationale of why it might happen. Otherwise it is not strong possibility, just a figment of yours.
     
  10. Supercharged

    Supercharged Banned

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    Unlikely, yes, but in the future who knows?
    I'm not knocking the system. I love my free charges, but I am worried things could change.
    There is nothing written in our purchase agreements that free charges will be for life!
    I am just looking at other possibilities and I think we all must open up to the possibility, albeit, small, that this could happen with governments imposing or taking over, more likely, the charging infrastructure of all companies who make them.
    Maybe I'm a pessimist but I am also looking at a possible reality here down the road.
    I hope I am so wrong though, believe me.
    To say it will never happen though is being completely naive!
     
  11. Rockster

    Rockster Active Member

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    I could see our IRS (or some states) somehow trying to claim that the charge is a taxable benefit and attempting to levy a tax on it. If the state of Arkansas can argue that free meals served on an airliner passing through their airspace are subject to state sales tax, anything is possible.
     
  12. cpa

    cpa Member

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    One, if there is ever a road tax assessed on BEVs, the funds will have to be collected somehow. As yet, there is no real information (except for a pilot program in Oregon, I believe) on just how the governmental entities will determine the method(s) utilized to collect said tax. If it is "pay at the pump," then Tesla will have to remit this to the agencies. I would doubt that Tesla would want to eat this overhead cost, particularly for those who routinely charge at Superchargers because of their housing situations.

    Second, the Internal Revenue Code does not contemplate assessing "imputed income" on such trivial matters. There are sections of the code that specifically exempt certain transactions as taxable due to the onerous burden of recordkeeping and reporting. Moreover, there are code sections that exempt de minimus benefits for employees and customers. Did your Delivery Specialist toss in a free Tesla cap when you received your car? Did you report $18 on line 21 for other income?

    Finally, many posters before me have pointed out that the Supercharger network is Tesla's form of marketing. Advertising dollars are spent on maintaining the Superchargers and paying for period costs like electricity and rent. Selling them, or splitting them off into another corporation makes no sense.

    That said, there may come a time in 10 years or so when the international Supercharger network is completed. Very little (if any) new construction is contemplated, and expansion of existing sites is infrequent. If there comes a time when the photovoltaic cells at the Superchargers, battery back-up systems, and Tesla-owned global solar generating facilities create a profit center, then and only then could Tesla sell off their Supercharger network and focus solely on automobile manufacturing. But I think this is remote at best.
     
  13. tomas

    tomas Traded in 9 rep bars for M3, used to be somebody!

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    Still crazy to expect tesla-initiated sell-off. Look at Tesla's mission. Look at the valuation they need to grow into. Look at their uncompromising CEO. It will be a long time before they've had the effect they intend on transport, and - barring business failure - they intend to get there with the SC network as a vital part of the plan. What is the first objection EVERYONE has to BEV cars? "How far can it go, what about refueling?" What is Tesla's answer? Supercharging network.

    Now, is it possible that at some point they ship a series of cars that have to pay to use SCs? Sure. But that would be considered in the selling price.
     
  14. Enadler

    Enadler Member

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    On what basis would there ever be legislation preventing an auto maker from providing a source of fuel?

    With regard to the IRS, the benefit of supercharging for life is built into the cost of the vehicle and has already been taxed.
     
  15. CHG-ON

    CHG-ON Still in love after all these miles

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    The only situation that I see where the gov't would do this is if the network became so large and ubiquitous as to be considered a "utility", and therefore in the public's best interest to regulate it. But being free currently, imposing a fee to charge up would be a hard sell. Our Republican congress would never go for it. So I think we are safe for now in the USA.

    I just want MORE of them!!! The Bay Area, Tesla's home turf, has ONE. That's it. At the Fremont factory. The rest are too far away for most Bay Area residents and there are NONE in Silicon Valley, the Peninsula or SF. What is up with that?!

    Oy.
     
  16. Bugeater

    Bugeater Member

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    More likely would be for Tesla to recall all the cars and smash them and stop making them any more... Oh yea, someone already did that.

    No, this is NOT a likely scenario. But yes anything CAN happen. Just not likely.

    About Silicon Valley superchargers, they had to start somewhere. Then they had to grow them incrementally. Eventually there will be enough of them. We have to be patient. Tesla is investing more and faster into them than I ever expected when I bought my Model S in 2012. May 2013 I drove 5540 miles and only charged at 4 superchargers.
     
  17. Bill D

    Bill D Member

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    Ooma builds and sells an Internet-based home telephone adapter (VOIP) and operates the needed infrastructure (data centers and interconnect facilities). Like Tesla, they promoted the fact that customers would never have to pay any ongoing fees for unlimited domestic USA calling. Their costs of operation, including taxes and government fees, were "built-in" to the initial sale price of the device.

    As the fees and taxes that Ooma had to pay increased to a painful level, they changed their policy to require their customers to pay about $5 per month, but they did the honorable thing and grandfathered existing customers at $0 fees for the life of their devices.

    I bought my Ooma devices in 2009. They've been grandfathered and continue to serve me well. Ooma also treats me like a paying customer, knowing I'll be a good reference for their integrity. I wouldn't be surprised if the same thing happens with Tesla if the taxes and fees Tesla has to pay increase to a painful level.
     
  18. bxr140

    bxr140 Member

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    Superchargers will never be pay-by-charge, but everyone will continue to pay upfront for supercharging whether outright (like the 60s) or rolled in (like the 85s). Those who are part of the system will remain part of the system. If there are additional costs to bear (not likely given the speculation on supercharging being funded under the pretense of marketing), future users may have to pay more for their buy-in.
     
  19. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Active Member

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    OP, is your name José, by any chance? :p

    Tesla is building the SC network as an integral part of its plan for EV adoption. Their model is really very clear: use up-front payment for lifetime membership to allow the network to be run at low cost, by paying for the infrastructure quickly and by making them as simple to build, maintain and use as possible. Sell the network, risk EV adoption.

    As BillD notes, an issue could be if taxes were imposed that raised operating costs. But, given that the network's costs are so front-loaded, I don't see that happening.
     
  20. DavidB

    DavidB Aug 2013 S85

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    #20 DavidB, Feb 8, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2015
    The General Motors EV1 was leased, not sold, and General Motors opted to destroy what they owned. Tesla Motors, even if it wanted to, can not force owners to surrender their cars since Tesla Motors no longer owns the cars.
     

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