Is Tesla doomed? (23 Nov, 2017)

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Is Tesla doomed? (23 Nov, 2017)

Postby aardvark_admin » Thu Nov 23, 2017 8:37 am

This column is archived at: http://aardvark.co.nz/daily/2017/1123.shtml

Despite all the bluster and hype, Tesla is being absolutely thrashed (albeit without much song and dance) in the EV marketplace by good old Nissan.

Is Tesla showing all the signs of being a trailblazer who'll fall before the final hurdle, having blown all its resources on creating a path for others to follow and draw huge profits from?

Why is Tesla spreading itself so thin... instead of focusing on the manufacture and delivery of its core products (the Model S and the Model 3) for which it has taken so much money in pre-orders?

Could it be that Tesla is not so much in the business of making cars as selling dreams (which may never actually be realised on a commercial scale)?
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Re: Is Tesla doomed? (23 Nov, 2017)

Postby psycik » Thu Nov 23, 2017 9:13 am

While I mostly agree they very scattergun and likely to burn out. The other companies are just sitting on their jacksies doing squat.....or doing something in 5 - 10 years away.

Also I'm talking about pure EVs here, I don't really count Hybrids or Plugin Hybrids, as instead of simplifying the drive train etc, they seem to complicate it by having two motors plus switching gear.

Nissan have got off their butt and finally put out a 2nd model. VW in process of releasing. Audi? Phev only, Toyota? Hybrids/PHEVs overseas, General Motors? Not seeing anything from that stable, Ford?

They seem to be really dragging the train. Telsa has shown that there's demand for what, about the past 5 years? Surely the development cycle for a car isn't longer than that, so we should be seeing more of them now.
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Re: Is Tesla doomed? (23 Nov, 2017)

Postby Kiwiiano » Thu Nov 23, 2017 9:22 am

You’re right that Tesla may be spreading themselves too thinly but apart from Nissan & Renault don’t assume the gas guzzler manufacturers are plotting to overtake any time soon. Too many are only paying lip service to the notion of EVs being the future, tinkering around with a token model or two while the CEO grumbles “there’s no chance EVs will take over, ICEs are too popular”. What he means is “We have too much investment in traditional vehicles and all our plants and technologies will be stranded if the EVs succeed.”
Yes Tesla are in the game of selling dreams, Musk admitted that from the beginning, There’s no point in racing to the bottom if you want to recoup your development costs, hence they started with outrageously expensive models that only the rich could afford and a helluva lot of others would lust over. Try to name any other industry that doesn’t sell dreams.
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Re: Is Tesla doomed? (23 Nov, 2017)

Postby aardvark_admin » Thu Nov 23, 2017 9:37 am

Kiwiiano wrote:Try to name any other industry that doesn’t sell dreams.

This one?

I have a feeling that the existing (ICE) industry is biding their time because they know that entering the market at precisely the right time will be the most important factor in determining future profits.

Imagine bowling head-long into the EV market today and betting the farm on lithium batteries, only to find that next week there's an announcement of a "breakthrough" new battery technology with an order of magnitude greater energy density and lower cost.

If I was an ICE-based car maker, I'd also be biding my time a little because I know that there simply isn't enough production capacity to deliver all the batteries that would be needed if a major manufacturer rolled out a popular EV and, since Tesla will have the biggest lithium battery factory in the world, they'll be able to put a strangle-hold on other manufacturers who use this battery technology.

Far better to wait for a different chemistry to appear which would leave Tesla at a huge *disadvantge* due to their existing investment in lithium.
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Re: Is Tesla doomed? (23 Nov, 2017)

Postby Malcolm » Thu Nov 23, 2017 9:43 am

I suspect the Gen 2 Roadster is an attempt to recoup some cash. A high end high margin headline grabber. They probably won't need to sell many to get a healthy return.
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Re: Is Tesla doomed? (23 Nov, 2017)

Postby psycik » Thu Nov 23, 2017 10:23 am

aardvark_admin wrote:
Kiwiiano wrote:Try to name any other industry that doesn’t sell dreams.

This one?

I have a feeling that the existing (ICE) industry is biding their time because they know that entering the market at precisely the right time will be the most important factor in determining future profits.

Imagine bowling head-long into the EV market today and betting the farm on lithium batteries, only to find that next week there's an announcement of a "breakthrough" new battery technology with an order of magnitude greater energy density and lower cost.

If I was an ICE-based car maker, I'd also be biding my time a little because I know that there simply isn't enough production capacity to deliver all the batteries that would be needed if a major manufacturer rolled out a popular EV and, since Tesla will have the biggest lithium battery factory in the world, they'll be able to put a strangle-hold on other manufacturers who use this battery technology.

Far better to wait for a different chemistry to appear which would leave Tesla at a huge *disadvantge* due to their existing investment in lithium.


Surely all that will do is annoy people who want to buy one and only see telsa as the only manufacturer.
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Re: Is Tesla doomed? (23 Nov, 2017)

Postby phill » Thu Nov 23, 2017 10:50 am

the present developments tesla are working on make me think they could survive

heavy trucks are an easy fix .. in most cases there is little to be gained in heavily reducing weight as the freight still weighs more than the mover
so producing them is a given esp in light of the tightening of some cities regulations for air quality .. but also easily copied by existing truck makers

buses will be different ..

ultra high end sports models also add to the kudos .. yet still pay their way

they have seemingly not yet positioned themselves to any particular market .. allowing for fast and radical changes at any point

even without being the major manufacturer their name is still the recognized brand in the marketplace

i dont like most of their designs .. to me they are still ice's with a battery
i dont know enough about their battery factory to be able to guess how long and how costly it would be to change to pack different chemicals into battery packs .. thou the form factor has not changed much from the earliest batteries to the present leading edge ones ( anode, cathode, terminals and case )

bottom line for me is ....
if they design an ultra light ev or reev i would consider them .. till then they are a no go for me
maybe they are trying to change the petrol heads slowly to electric .. but some of us dont need the weaning
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Re: Is Tesla doomed? (23 Nov, 2017)

Postby phill » Thu Nov 23, 2017 11:25 am

the truck and a little on the sports car

https://futurefive.co.nz/story/tesla-un ... urefive-nz
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Re: Is Tesla doomed? (23 Nov, 2017)

Postby Kiwiiano » Thu Nov 23, 2017 11:45 am

aardvark_admin wrote:
Kiwiiano wrote:Try to name any other industry that doesn’t sell dreams.

This one?

Even that one. I tried it back in.....1969 or thereabouts...it doesn’t stop you feeling dozy so much as jamming a couple of match sticks under your eyelids and giving you a serious dose of teenage angst*.

Imagine bowling head-long into the EV market today and betting the farm on lithium batteries, only to find that next week there's an announcement of a "breakthrough" new battery technology with an order of magnitude greater energy density and lower cost.

There’s a breakthrough in battery technology every week. This week’s was Fe-Air, an oldie that was discarded but they’re onto a Nano tech that gets around the problems....or will do if they can ramp it up.

since Tesla will have the biggest lithium battery factory in the world, they'll be able to put a strangle-hold on other manufacturers who use this battery technology.

I dimly recall Musk offering to supply other manufacturers, along with making his charging tech available to avoid having public chargers unique to only some EVs. How are Chinese manufacturers coping? They are way out in front with EV outputs. And orders of magnitude ahead in e-bikes.

Far better to wait for a different chemistry to appear which would leave Tesla at a huge *disadvantge* due to their existing investment in lithium.

Have we got that long to wait? There is a certain urgency here.

(* I went thru the usual angst stuff but it wasn’t until the trip on NoDoze working nights in Sydney that I realised the angst was probably actually caffeine overdose due to the 5-10 or more coffees I was chugging per day back when coffee bars were all the rage.)
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Re: Is Tesla doomed? (23 Nov, 2017)

Postby paulw » Thu Nov 23, 2017 2:07 pm

In NZ the Nissan Leaf was a bomb. Too expensive at about $65 grand new , hardly sold any. Where that have boomed here in the Jap and UK second hand import models from about $13 to 40 grand. New EVs are still way too expense here for the average car buyer. Maybe the Tesler company like it's name sake will die a penniless bankrupt.
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