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Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by denverpilot, May 20, 2018.
But but but but . . . . I thought John D was set up by the Feds . . . .
Actually electric cars have continued to drop in price. e.g. GM, Toyota, Nissan....
From a pure cost of manufacturing and life cycle price point, they are now getting to the point for high (but not super high) daily drivers make economic sense to go EV.
The EV is so much simpler to manufacture that as the companies advance battery manufacturing and material science it will very quickly become cheaper than ICE. Depending on who's math you use, the timeline for this is between five and fifteen years.
Well there is a know silicon anode change in 2015 and the “significant” cobalt reduction in 2017 based on published information.
But yes I agree there’s not really any significant hard data available. Difficult to imagine they got that big jump from the roadster to the Model S via shielding and tolerance changes only, but it’s not impossible.
Get a Chevy Bolt. I did. I absolutely love it. You will not regret this decision.
Your commute is an easy peasy non-issue for the Bolt. You will never go to a gas station again (except for you plane) and you will save a lot of money on gas, particularly as it is rising up now. My energy costs for my Bolt equate to about .75 a gallon of gasoline. As gas prices go higher, it only gets sweeter.
Has to be used in context. We’re talking about nailing the freaking brakes here for a panic stop, which two independent review companies have both said the Model 3 exhibits significant problems in doing consistently.
It’s not a new problem for anyone, except apparently Tesla. According to their PR person, anyway, responding to “Hey, why the hell doesn’t it stop consistently like all the other vehicles we’ve tested in the last decade?”
That’s still not a fundamental technology change. (Like Bell Labs creating the transistor...) That’s packaging and assembly changes to the same fundamental technology.
We'll move to electric because they'll make something awesome, for not hugely more than you're paying now.
My analogy is the motocross world. They didn't have to force people to ride four strokes (oh geez, here we go, I'm opening myself up to two stroke guys now); they just made some awesome four strokes. They were easier to ride, and also fast. It didn't hurt that in this instance, the rules favored four stroke technology.
Ford will come out with some snazzy E-Stang, or E-Focus, or whatever the devil the kids are driving these days. Anyway, my point is; it will be cool and sell for something people can afford.
When that can happen, that's when the numbers will start to turn. It won't be everyone; I still see two strokes out there, they still sell two strokes, and people still love them... but the sea of four strokes shows what is selling more.
By the way, motocross is just starting to see electric. It's the Alta. When Yamaha, Honda, Suzuki, Kawasai, KTM, and Husqvarna make electric bikes, you bet they'll be great fun, and we might see gas powered dirt bikes dwindle as well.
All of this hinges on that magic "range vs power and features" thing continuing to get better, IMO.
Ford won't do dick. They have their head in the sand even further than Toyota, or Honda. They are the furthest from cutting edge. Ford isn't going to provide you anything electric. It's kind of sad actually. BTW, the kids are taking Uber, or Lyft, or bumming a ride from someone, or riding a bike, or still riding in the back of Mom's minivan. They aren't driving anything these days.
Very true. When I was living in Silicon Valley (up until about six months ago), I was amazed at the parents I worked with who said their teenage kids cared nothing about getting a driver's license or a car. Kids Uber'd or Lyft'd everywhere. Getting their license and a car meant nothing to them.
The startups I worked at would frequently get interns in for the summer. Most were in their early 20's, and I'd say of the ones I worked with, about half of them had no license or car, and no plans to get one.
I just find this amazing, as when I was turning 16, it was every teenagers dream of getting their license and a car. How things change...
The sad part about the kids using Uber or Lyft is it’s an insidious way to make people who drive for them poorer.
The numbers don’t work for the vast majority of Uber or Lyft drivers to make a profit after vehicle wear and tear and depreciation is accounted for.
But it temporarily ups their cash flow so they think it’s a reasonable job.
I’d happily sign up for one or the other and do little trips while going other places but the vehicles that I have which are paid for, don’t qualify, since they’re too old. And supposedly therefore “unsafe”.
And you can’t make the numbers work unless you already paid off the vehicle. Numerous financial gurus have not only analyzed it but a number have actually tried it.
One here semi-locally found that when working for Uber when he would calculate that a trip was unprofitable and ignore it, the app would scream bloody murder about it, and Uber management would send him “love notes” in e-mail later that same day, that he was the closest participating driver, and by turning down the ride, someone else from farther away had to come, and that would “hurt the company”.
He would reply and tell them exactly who he was (made his living doing financial coaching and such) and share his exact calculations, and why he didn’t take the trip, and the middle management drones would kick the reply upstairs to the Uber PR people and they’d tell him it was all okay, and ask him not to publish the day’s events and all that. He ignored them and published. Anyone else would simply have gotten enough “strikes” to not be allowed to drive for them anymore. He had an audience and the PR people were scared of him.
Rightly so, it appears. He exposed what a bad deal driving for them usually is. There’s a few drivers who manage to make a profit but they’re hammering the number of rides to events that trigger higher prices, and most have moved up to the higher tiers with black vehicles and the “invite only” stuff where Uber asks what are essentially fleet managers of limos to do their higher tier work.
The typical Uber driver is losing money quite rapidly. They just don’t notice it until they go to sell their car. It’s essentially a transfer of costs to the driver in such a subtle way they don’t notice because they don’t do the math.
Sometimes I don’t suck at math. What you are talking about is why I always cash tip my Uber drivers.
Me too. Quite heavily. And I hope they have a little smarts about “civil disobedience” and not reporting it to the IRS, but that’s up to them and their conscience. Not my problem, my role is to give them cash and they can figure it out.
Same thing at restaurants. Or anywhere else tipping may be found. I try to do it in cash. If not, j try to be overly generous knowing they’ll have a large chunk of it ripped off by our government.
Don't worry about it, or lose any sleep. Uber is working overtime and pouring loads of resources into making sure they don't have a job in the near future. The first thing on the checklist of Uber's future goals is to get rid of Uber drivers altogether.
It'll be great when eventually half our population is unemployed and poor due to rich people developing new technology to enriched themselves. Sci-Fi dystopian future, here we come!!
Ahh they’ll still need low paid people in the “Ops Center” monitoring all the automated stuff and dispatching repair tow trucks or automated tow trucks, and high paid people fixing all the broken automated stuff.
I joke that I already have George Jetson’s job. I push buttons and they pay me money. I just have more buttons than George did and have to know what order to press them in.
All any significantly advanced society would have to do to fix unemployment if work became that easy and unavailable, would be to change to a four day work week.
Only two generations back in my family we already saw everyone go from seven days to five. The farmers in my family’s past (and current farmers) don’t get a day off unless they hire someone else to handle the farm chores.
Prosperity and less menial work really is the goal of all that stuff, after all.
But the recent performance levels of the self-driving cars seems to indicate they’ve all got a long way to go on that one.
And there’s all sorts of jobs in the trades that pay well still and are always begging for more people. My neighbor who’s a roofing and remodeling contractor could work 24/7 and be a very rich man if he wanted to. He instead keeps a more sedate pace and makes a very decent living.
Well, in a year, Tesla will be in bankruptcy if nothing changes, so that might affect what they want to sell. Their current cars have a small group of people who have the ability to buy them, fewer than the number of people with the ability to buy an airplane. They need cash coming in. No matter how much high margin stuff they have to sell, if they do not have the cash to pay their obligations, then their creditors can legally seek to seize the assets of the company and shut them down.
Americans do not appreciate the seriousness of bankruptcy because we have laws protecting companies against the immediate consequences. In other countries, if you default on a payment then you can show up for work the next day and find your door padlocked. I have seen it happen.
That won't happen here because there is too much faith in the company. They will raise capital in some way (loans, more stock?) and continue what they are doing. But the magic gravy train does not continue forever and ultimately they will have to figure out how to operate without a loss. Their doom is not imminent, but without change, it is inevitable.
Sadly, they will likely hang on until they are “too big to fail” and we will bail them out.
If they do not change they will never get to be big. This is not like Amazon where they just need to hold on until they get enough mass to make it work. Tesla is probably already near max market penetration for those who can afford their cars. People will continue to buy their first Tesla as they need a new car, but there are few "new" customers.
They just have to hold out for another Obama like presidency or super majority of democrats.
@denverpilot One thing I just noticed - the person being interviewed on your OP is Anton Wahlman who writes for SeekingAlpha.
Not sure how much you know about SeekingAlpha, but it's basically an unedited pile of garbage written by people who take a long or short position in a stock, and then try to manipulate the stock price up or down. There is absolutely no oversight - anybody can write anything, and on top of it get paid per click.
Seeking Alpha is where you go when the National Enquirer is starting to get to real for you. Or if you miss the old penny stock scams.
Wahlman has a published short position in TSLA. I didn't listen too much to the video but it was the same drivel of how Tesla has never made a gross profit on Model S / Model X (their profit margins have been solidly between 20% and 25% over the last 4 years), blah, blah. You can maybe use it for entertainment - it's funny seeing Wahlman's predictions of how the lower gas prices was going to kill Tesla in 2014. Or how the Bolt killed Tesla in 2015.
The funniest guy on SeekingAlpha is John Peterson who has a short position in TSLA and long position in AXPW (AXPW produces that universally hated start/stop technology for modern cars), and started blogging in 2012 for everybody to sell all of their TSLA stock and buy AXPW. So John start posting negative garbage around Tesla over and over again. He predicted TSLA would have no more orders left after 2013. That there can't ever be enough battery production capacity in the world for even the Model S needs (also 2013). That the first battery fire would take out the company. That the Gigafactory was a hoax and will never get built. The Tesla lied to the SEC about subsidies (2014) and how Elon was going to get arrested.
Meanwhile TSLA is up 10 fold since he started, and Axion went from $100'000 per share, to $0.006 per share today, after a reverse split of 1:700000. But he's still at it today, trying to get people to dump TSLA and buy AXPW. I believe he lost his house on that bet. Kind'a sad really.
I strongly suggest you get your financial news elsewhere. As much as people complain about fake news, whether you're on the CNN side or the FOX side, it does not even begin to compare with SeekingAlpha. It not just negative side, there's also equally ridiculous claims on the positive side.
If you live in a place where parking is difficult, Uber and Lyft make sense. You don’t need to pay for the car to begin with, or the upkeep and insurance. I wanted my license and a car ASAP, but I lived in an area with no public transportation, and it was decades before Uber and Lyft.
To paraphrase Yogi Berra, “Predicting stock prices is hard, especially future prices!”
None of the talking heads can hide the fact that a stock is always fairly priced, unless inside information or other shenanigans are going on. TSLA stock this morning is worth exactly $284.49. Almost exactly the same number of folks and institutions are ready to buy it as are ready to dump it - that’s what makes a market. To say it’s “overpriced” or “underpriced” is meaningless except in retrospect after we already know which way it went. And at any given moment, stock movement is essentially random - or if not technically random, then still unpredictable short term.
And don’t get me started on Technical Analysis...might as well read tea leaves or entrails!
Curious, how does any administration come into play?
Were you alive during the Obama administration?
Yes, and I am news junkie; that generally assumes that more factors come into play than the common person believes. I am also very much aware of teh limitations of both Congress and President.
For example, a lot of people in coal country attribute a recent uptick in 2016 to the Trump administration. Actually the primary two causes were external to the USA. First in early 2016 changes that China mandated for coal production caused a domestic drop in coal production in China; these changes were announced in early 2015. Second, the largest exporter of coal was an Australian firm which had a series of natural disasters in multiple coal mines shutting down production for almost a year. Based on the PR, only now are they getting close to the pre-2016 production levels.
Then you are well aware of things like this, and I don't need to point them out. https://www.washingtonpost.com/poli...f5305eddf60_story.html?utm_term=.a940a2d0e944
For Safety of Flight Software, it better be right the first time the airplane flys Always happened on airplanes I worked on. Software for safety of Flight like Flight Controls went thru much different types of verification than Radar, for example. Same logic applies for me with autonomous or “autopilot” cars.
For phones and gizmos like Alexa, not so much but then again, much simpler code so it’s very possible to get it right the first time if one wanted to do that.
So it is possible, and critical, to get it right the first time in safety applications like Tesla Brakes and equally possible to do the same thing in other less critical applications. It’s only time and money
New functions and updates to offer better performance or capability is different to me. Radar update tapes were usually for new capability not to fix operational problems although it did happen.
Ah I see. So funding approved under a Republican administration, should not be used to start an industry under a Democratic one?
The goal was to jump start an electric battery/automotive industry. I would say it was a partial success, still need another decade to see if it can survive on its own. Was every company a success, no. Should every company succeed? Only in pipe dreams.
Historically, the US Federal government would have used grants and/or purchase contracts to launch an industry. Because of the oil industry which received massive subsidies did not want competition, a loan program was used. Overall, when you check the full program taxpayers made money, but did lose on a few companies. So in this case, taxpayers actually benefited from the politics (the only time I can think of in recent history).
A relative of mine did the math, too, and drove Uber because his was the only situation in which doing so made sense: He was out of work and on disability (a privately-purchased policy, not Social Security), and he could afford to pay all his bills except his rather hefty car payments. He drove for Uber just enough every month to make the car payments. He knew he was losing money in the end, but at least he kept his cars.
I agree that Seeking Alpha is overwhelmingly a mix of scam artists and idiots. But I also know that stock prices have little to do with a young company's essential health. I once lost money on a gold-mining company -- after it actually found gold -- because the market was unrealistically positive about the company's prospects.
At best, Tesla is a speculative stock. They haven't made any money yet, and their plans for doing so have changed too many times for me to believe they have a clear path to ever becoming profitable. I hope they do. I also hope they make their cars both more affordable and more practical. But for a company that's never turned a profit and whose cash is largely made up of refundable deposits from people who even the company admits will not be getting what they bargained for, I think it's way overpriced. Certainly I would advise anyone who asked me to not put scared money into it. I personally don't think they're going to make it (but I sincerely hope that I am wrong).
My family hasn't farmed since the 30s, I don't think. My wife's family has some farmers left. Her sister and brother-in-law farm, and they do get days off, depending on the time of year. But in order to make a living at it, they have to farm a few thousand acres using a couple million bucks worth of equipment, in addition to having several large hog confinements. I asked if they'd be able to make a living on, say, a section of land... no way, they said. Not unless they wanted to live like farmers did in the 30s.
Ahhhhhh someone actually discussing the content of the video?! Hang on, I need a sip of water. I about choked. Haha.
So the guy writes for SeekingAlpha. That’s fascinating! I didn’t look him up. But I wholeheartedly agree with you that moves him much higher on the twit scale for me. That site is crap. All one has to do is go read about a company one DOES know and see how bad their drivel is and then wonder why anyone would research there on a company they DON’T know.
Anyway, as far as “financial news” goes, I don’t put TFL in that category. This was purely, as the title of the post said, Tesla Trolling.
Very interesting. Now a real question for you. You said (and I think you’re being very specific so why I’m asking) that one of the cars has made a 20-25% profit. This doesn’t ring right with me if they’re burning through $700M a year.
Was the statement about the specific car, and not the overall company, or is there something I’m missing here? If it’s about the car, that just seems like book cooking to me. Claim the car is profitable but the company is bleeding cash?
Good catch on the SeekingAlpha thing. I watch TFL for automotive fun, and other than easily confirmed sales numbers, they usually don’t go into deep company financials of anyone. They just happened to post this video and I posted it specifically as a Tesla “Troll” (troll isn’t the right word, but “conversation starter” is) to spark (pun intended?) conversation about the company financials.
I am going to take a wild guess that Anton lives in Boulder somewhere? Roman, the guy interviewing him, lives there and I assume they ran into each other somehow or he wouldn’t be on the show. He’s been on maybe three episodes total, I think, more than a single interview but far from a “regular” I guess you’d say.
Anyway. Very interesting catch. I never thought to Google search who Roman was interviewing.
Still wondering about that “profit” claim though. I usually measure that company wide. Seen too many companies play that game where one product is “profitable” and they tout it heavily while the R&D, development, support, and retailing costs for the “profitable product” are spiraling the company toward bankruptcy.
Heck, one of my former employers played a “lite” version of that when a poor product shipped too soon, and the support costs were eating them alive... but they kept repeating the mantra that the product was the best thing since sliced bread, made a “profit”, was selling great, and all the while they were doing that, they had a team squirreled away off-site designing and engineering a secret product to absolutely kill the bad one with, but they had to hide that from even the employees.
Once that product moved back into the building and was a real thing that was “coming soon”, the story changed and it was the future, the old bad product was “dead” and all the usual rah-rah hype of something new.
They gave the customers who bought the bad product screaming upgrade deals that definitely weren’t profitable (we fought engineering for support budget out of the tiny dollar amounts they charged customers to upgrade, there was no margin or carve out for standard support costs even on the new one at that price) but getting the bad ones shipped back and destroyed, probably saved the company.
Hard to say. We got bought around the time of the release of the good/new one and the product line more than quadrupled that we were engineering and supporting.
But there was a definite “word game” going on with the word “profit” on that first bad product.
Strangely the Japanese customers were the ones who never dumped the bad product and within a couple of years we cut off all support for the thing and sunsetted it. Kept offering them the new one, too. They just kept calling the support line for, not kidding, ten years. And a number of us including Nate-San here, kept telling them there would never ever EVER be another software release to fix their known problems with the thing. For some reason, they never quite got it. Being the late night guy and often the on-call guy, I took a lot of their calls. Got to know a few of their techs by name.
It was the strangest relationship ever. They liked me. I liked them. Every time they would call I would say, “no support available” and they would say thank you and then convince me to help them for a few minutes to remember how to *compleltly destroy the entire database in the thing and initialize it*, or worse, *completely reload the broken thing from scratch* OS and all. I’d take five minutes to send them the document on it and they’d flatten the thing... and then call again three months later. Hahaha. So strange.
Yeah we have one branch of cousins still farming. They’re really leasing land these days as they’re too old to do it now. Should point out that all our farms had livestock also. That led to the 24/7 timeline as much as farming did.
I did not post that Tesla is making a profit. However, I have heard the claim. Where Tesla has historically been burning cash is on build out, both of factories and SuperCharger stations.
I do NOT know if that is still the case.
Nah I was talking about @deonb ‘s post. See above.
They’re not building any factories at the moment that I’m aware of. Don’t know about Superchargers.
An interesting point I saw about superchargers. Tesla snagged all the best available real estate near highways. That’s worth something. The other companies can’t really make their chargers as convenient for interstate highway road trips now.
That’s exactly how I use my Volt. 31 miles to work on electric, the company let’s me charge it there, 31 miles home on electric. I save about $75 a month in gas.
This was Chevy’s plan on the Volt from the get go. Research showed that 80 % of Americans drive 40 miles or less to work. They wanted a battery to allow an all electric work commute within 40 miles range and then an ICE to kick on for long trips. Concept works great in application...just hoping I don’t get the notorious bearing stator failure anytime soon.
I need a Tesla. I spend about $300-$400 a month on gas.
Your $35,000 Model 3 won’t be coming out anytime soon. So you’re looking at a realistic $56,000 EV that has several production quality issues.
Love the exterior but that oversized iPad kills the deal for me. Sticks out like a sore thumb. Probably a cost cutting measure over the other Teslas. Should’ve embedded it in the panel and put traditional gauges (minimal) behind the steering wheel and still would’ve kept the airy feel they were working at.
I'm calling BS. First, good real estate along interstates is expensive. Second, superchargers don't take *that much* of it. Third, there is enough of it that you'd have to be Warren Buffet to corner the market.
Put a windmill on top to power it.
It is. In Q1 they lost 700 million and have about 2.3B cash in the bank. If nothing changes, then they will run out of cash around the end of Jan 2019.
I am sure something will change.
They don’t at their current use and sizes but start parking 50-100 vehicles in them (someday) and Tesla has an advantage with their locations already in place. Many can be expanded.