The Cult of Tesla

Guest post by David Middleton

teslacult

As someone rather detached from the automotive world — in other words, someone who considers cars to simply be tools and not extensions of identity — the fervor surrounding debates in the industry often seems strange to me.

Why so much psychological investment in the outdated idea that electric vehicles are crap and can’t compete with internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles? Or, for that matter, the idea that electric vehicles can function as some kind of savior of humanity and preclude the need for fundamental changes to social/industrial systems if anthropogenic climate change is to be limited in any real way?

Ex-GM, -BMW, and -Chrysler exec Bob Lutz is a case in point. It seems like every chance he gets, he goes off on some rant about Tesla, CEO Elon Musk, or electric vehicles in general, rants that often don’t have anything to do with the facts of what he’s discussing.

His most recent rant, on CNBC, featured the claim that: “Tesla supporters are like members of a religious cult. Just like Steve Jobs was worshiped at Apple, it’s the same way with Elon Musk, who is seen as a new visionary god who promises this phantasmagorical future, a utopia of profitability and volume. The only problem is, Steve Jobs delivered and Elon, God bless him, hasn’t delivered a thing, except increasingly negative cash flow, and an increasing lack of profitability; more and more capital spending.”

Hasn’t delivered a thing? What world is Lutz living in? I’m by no means a fanboy of any kind, and yet I can easily say that no one out there is doing anything similar to what Tesla and Elon Musk have been doing. The all-electric firm has been a wrecking ball to the automotive industry. And its efforts appear to be picking up more and more momentum every year.

[…]

Interestingly, the CNBC coverage, which was published before Tesla’s release of its Quarter 3 2016 results, included this bit: “Tesla is set to report third-quarter results Wednesday after the closing bell. The electric automaker is projected to post a loss of 54 cents per share on revenue of nearly $1.98 billion.”

Well, they weren’t quite right with that “projection,” were they? Whose bets were being set up by those “projections?”

Here are a few more of Lutz’s comments from the interview: “I just don’t see anything about Tesla that gives me any confidence that that business can survive. The last time I checked, (Tesla’s) quarterly cash burn is about $250 million. For a company that size, that’s horrific.”

And: “Every time (Tesla) gets a $500 million injection from a new stock sale or a $750 million injection of new money, it lasts them two or three quarters. This is a problem that volume can’t fix. … If you’re in a variable loss — that is, you’re not recovering labor and materials in your sale price — then doing twice as many, or three times as many, or four times as many (sales) doesn’t help. The losses just get bigger and bigger.”

Since when is Tesla not recovering production costs on its vehicles? Where does Lutz come up with this stuff?

[…]

CleanTechnica

Define Irony: A cultist ridiculing, in a cult-like manner, a critic of his cult.

Mr. Ayre stipulates to “rather detached from the automotive world” and then zealously defends Tesla from Mr. Lutz’s factual statement:

“Tesla supporters are like members of a religious cult. Just like Steve Jobs was worshiped at Apple, it’s the same way with Elon Musk, who is seen as a new visionary god who promises this phantasmagorical future, a utopia of profitability and volume. The only problem is, Steve Jobs delivered and Elon, God bless him, hasn’t delivered a thing, except increasingly negative cash flow, and an increasing lack of profitability; more and more capital spending.”

The basis of Mr. Ayre’s criticism is the fact that Tesla managed to beat the analysts’ Q3 2016 forecast of “a loss of 54 cents per share on revenue of nearly $1.98 billion”  and posted a profitable quarter form only the second time in its glorious history.  I would venture a guess that the “automotive world” isn’t the only world from which Mr. Ayre’s is detached.

In three of the past four quarters Tesla fell short of the analysts’ projections, including Q4 2015, when analysts projected a minuscule profit…

teslacult2
Source: Yahoo! Finance

More importantly, as the lower panel demonstrates, Tesla’s annual net loss has been growing geometrically.  Without a continuous infusion of new capital, Tesla would cease to be a going concern rather rapidly.

Telsa Operating Income (Loss), Thousands of USD

2013  ($61,283)

2014  ($186,689)

2015 ($716,629)

Tesla Cash Flow From Operating Activities, Thousands of USD

2013 $264,804

2014 ($57,337)

2015 ($524,499)

Through Q1 and Q2 2016, Tesla’s operating income and cash flow have also been negative.

The “quarterly cash burn” of $250 million may not he exactly correct, but Mr. Lutz is spot-on here…

“I just don’t see anything about Tesla that gives me any confidence that that business can survive. The last time I checked, (Tesla’s) quarterly cash burn is about $250 million. For a company that size, that’s horrific.”

And here, if you include all operating costs…

“Every time (Tesla) gets a $500 million injection from a new stock sale or a $750 million injection of new money, it lasts them two or three quarters. This is a problem that volume can’t fix. … If you’re in a variable loss — that is, you’re not recovering labor and materials in your sale price — then doing twice as many, or three times as many, or four times as many (sales) doesn’t help. The losses just get bigger and bigger.”

All companies have to include all operating costs when reporting operating income.  There is no special accounting exemption for being green.

Mr. Ayre’s laid out the best evidence for the Tesla Cult here…

Why so much psychological investment in the outdated idea that electric vehicles are crap and can’t compete with internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles? Or, for that matter, the idea that electric vehicles can function as some kind of savior of humanity and preclude the need for fundamental changes to social/industrial systems if anthropogenic climate change is to be limited in any real way?

Clearly he is so deluded that he thinks the climate will behave for Elon Musk and “that electric vehicles can function as some kind of savior of humanity.”

About Telsa’s Q3 2016 “Profit”

teslacult3

One day after Tesla said it earned 71 cents a share, adjusted, in the third quarter, several analysts poked holes in the company’s unexpected profit and revenue beat.

While acknowledging that Tesla had a good quarter, JPMorgan analyst Ryan Brinkman told investors that his team saw “one reason why the [third-quarter] earnings report is not as good as it looks, and another reason why it might not be as good as it looks.”

Brinkman’s issues were both tied to Tesla’s revenue beat. The automaker’s results included just under $140 million in zero emission vehicle credits, which are handed out to companies for selling zero-emission cars. That’s far higher than many analysts had forecast.

The JPMorgan analyst, for example, had expected the automaker to generate a mere $25 million from these credits. Tesla recognized a negligible amount of revenue from ZEV credits in the previous quarter.

Changes the company recently made to the way it reports revenue could be another reason its sales beat analysts’ forecasts by such as wide margin, Brinkman said. Revenue came in at $2.3 billion versus a consensus estimate for $1.9 billion, “even though the approximate number of deliveries in the quarter was known ahead of time.”

“We feel the difference clearly relates more to the change in accounting than it does to [average selling prices],” he said.

Tesla made this change to bring itself closer in line with GAAP accounting standards.

[…]

CNBC

The difference between the projected loss of $0.54 and an the reported profit of $0.71 per share was $400 million in revenue.  $140 million of which was corporate welfare (ZEV credits) and the rest due to lower capital spending and a change in accounting methods.

While I think Tesla’s are really cool toys, engineering masterpieces, and that Elon Musk is a brilliant person, the cult-like worship of the car and the man is one more reason to think that green ribbons are very appropriate for mental health awareness.

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Patrick MJD
November 2, 2016 5:52 am

Bin Tesla for cars and go Fiscer.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Patrick MJD
November 2, 2016 5:55 am

Sorry Fisker.

Reply to  Patrick MJD
November 2, 2016 8:13 am

I have a guest post coming this week at Climate Etc. on Fisker and Fisker Nanotech. Much substance there. Tesla will die when it takes on the added cashdrain of Solar City and then cannot continue raising fresh cash as the likely Fisker Nanotech breakthrough is revealed. And it is a real energy storage breakthrough.

John Silver
Reply to  ristvan
November 2, 2016 1:14 pm

LOL
Wanna bet? Fisker is just another Ponzi con.
I first heard about super capacitors being just around the corner in the 1980’s.
This is what they got:
http://dailybruin.com/images/2015/04/web.ns_.4.16.nanomaterials.picB_.COURTESY.jpg

Patrick MJD
Reply to  ristvan
November 2, 2016 11:38 pm

“John Silver November 2, 2016 at 1:14 pm”
Fisker uses proven technology in terms of use of energy to generate power and motion. Been around since the 1950’s. Use an amount of fossil fuel to power battery charging and traction motors. They are called diesel-electric locomotives. They are very efficient. The Fisker also uses solar panels to power on-board devices like the air-con, radio and satnav, systems which solar is suited for, not base-load power.

MarkW
Reply to  ristvan
November 3, 2016 7:22 am

You might be able to load up a car with enough solar panels to power the radio and sat-nav.
Air-con? Not be two to three orders of magnitude.
PS: As a driver, I sure would like all three of those to be able to work at night.

Joe E
Reply to  ristvan
November 3, 2016 8:18 am

Wait til BMW, Chevy and Nissan electrics are produced in a big way and start taking market share. I’ve driven in a Tesla and yes, its a really nice car. But so what? There are a lot of others for way less money and the other auto companies will not sit idle and let him just “take” market share.

MarkW
Reply to  ristvan
November 3, 2016 9:21 am

At the rate he’s hemorraging money, I don’t any of the big auto companies care that he’s managed to take 0.1% of the market.

Resourceguy
November 2, 2016 5:56 am

A business model based entirely on deep diving for tax credits is probably very frustrating to regular business leaders. Nikola Tesla tried to do it with technology alone and look how he ended up. Musk by contrast is a legendary mining baron……….of tax credits.

Resourceguy
Reply to  David Middleton
November 2, 2016 7:49 am

They don’t even know the difference between a deduction and a credit.

George Winski
Reply to  David Middleton
November 2, 2016 9:20 am

Besides ‘depreciation’ (which is essentially the same as the oil depletion allowances), Tesla also has both Federal and California state tax credits that other car companies do not have. So, Tesla truly has an unfair advantage to the other car companies.
One this that was not clearly noted in the posting is that Tesla also had a tremendous increase in accounts-payable in Q3, which also accounts for part of the ‘profit’ that Tesla allegedly showed this quarter. Much of the accounting tricks that Tesla used this quarter (cashing in on 3 quarters of tax credits) is not reproducible in Q4. However, assuming the Tesla/Solar City ‘merger’ takes place, Q4 financials will be so muddled that Elon will have effectively ‘kicked the can down the road’ for at least another quarter. Eventually, the devil will catch up to him, but he’s trying to hide his lack of profitability for as long as possible.

MarkW
Reply to  David Middleton
November 3, 2016 7:23 am

Depreciation isn’t a subsidy anyway. Without depreciation, the cost of a capital item would be deducted in the year it was purchased. Under depreciation you have to spread the deduction over 5/10/30 years.
Which means you have to wait to get your own money back.

Paul Westhaver
November 2, 2016 6:18 am

Teslas are coal powered extravagances, paid for by the public purse.

vboring
Reply to  Paul Westhaver
November 2, 2016 6:51 am

I love my coal powered Leaf.
Whatever your criticism of Tesla, EVs are a lot of fun to drive.
And they do reduce local ground level emissions of pollutants in population centers – which is where most people happen to breathe. I think this impact is strong enough to justify the subsidies.

jake
Reply to  vboring
November 2, 2016 7:14 am

That is if you like the push to 40 mls/hr. Thereafter it is not so much fun, similar to the 1900 contemporaries, the steam cars, that have high torque at low speed and run out of steam (juice) to keep the torque/acceleration thereafter. Tesla car would be a rich man toy were it not for the subsidies and tax brakes in its R&D, manufacturing, sales and ownership. The reduction in pollution is not measurable; there cannot be “strong” impact with these rarities.

MarkW
Reply to  vboring
November 2, 2016 7:14 am

Simpler solution. Tell people that if they want to live in highly polluted areas, that’s there problem.
Or you could limit the taxes that support your subsidies to people who live in cities.

MarkW
Reply to  vboring
November 2, 2016 7:16 am

PS: You aren’t eliminating pollution, you are just moving it to some where else.
You just want other people to be taxed, and to be forced to breath polluted air, so that your air can be cleaner.

Reply to  vboring
November 2, 2016 8:33 am

In California a lot of electricity is produced from natural gas and coal energy is sourced out of state. If people had solar panels on their houses sufficient to power their Tesla or other EV, we could save a lot of fossil fuel. I am not concerned about CO2 but I am concerned about profligate use of a diminishing resource.
According to my not exhaustive but fair analysis a Tesla, even powered from the grid, does use less energy (using Carbon footprint as a proxy) than my Honda Hybrid.
http://geosciencebigpicture.com/2016/09/07/tesla-carbon-footprint/

Flyoverbob
Reply to  vboring
November 2, 2016 9:26 am

So! Dump your pollution on someone else, while taxing them to help pay for your toy? How very GREEN of YOU!

MarkW
Reply to  vboring
November 2, 2016 9:42 am

1) The power from solar is not available when the EVs will be charging, so you are going to be charging them from gas and coal.
2) It’s limited, but since we have several thousand years worth still in the ground, so what?

Paul Penrose
Reply to  vboring
November 2, 2016 10:12 am

The sun is a limited resource too. It will not burn forever.
My point is, on scales that matter to society right now, both solar and “fossil” fuels are unlimited.

Paul Westhaver
Reply to  vboring
November 2, 2016 10:25 am

HAR HAR HAR
Here is a TESLA Charging station puking out diesel emissions, then inefficiently converting to AC then DC to charge aging batteries. In this case these Tesla are concentrating a days worth of driving in an urban stink cloud, that a locomotive would envy, 15 feet from the Tesla.
vboring… you fail.

GPHanner
Reply to  vboring
November 2, 2016 10:38 am

My mind goes back a few weeks when the TV news was carrying videos of cars streaming out of Charleston SC in expectation of Hurricane Matthew. Tell me how many electric cars were in that stream? Not hybrids, mind you, but EVs. Next question: how many charging stations do you suppose are along that evacuation route out of Charleston.

Mickey Reno
Reply to  vboring
November 2, 2016 11:22 am

Maybe someday there will be a good, cheap, electric commuter vehicle that has no battery problems at all, because they draw their power from the street just like the buses that haul commuters around Seattle. They might develop in such a way that have a small battery or some kind of flywheel for when they hit dead zones or crossover points, and to take their owners the last mile down their neighborhood street. Those cars, should they ever be developed, will not travel anywhere where the streets have no power. And they would probably be natural gas, coal and or nuclear powered, because the base load demands on the grid would be incredible.

Ian W
Reply to  vboring
November 2, 2016 11:50 am

@ vboring
November 2, 2016 at 6:51 am
EVs are ‘remotely polluting vehicles’.
A car with a catalytic converter will actually reduce street level air pollution as the air going into the car’s engine is dirtier and more polluted than the air from the car’s exhaust*. So I disagree with your argument on subsidies.
* This was used in an advertisement by Saab some years ago.

Reply to  vboring
November 2, 2016 12:37 pm

Gymnosperm,
exactly how do you think any rooftop solar PV array, minus Musk’s vapor-ware PowerWall, will charge a garage-parked Tesla at night?

TeeWee
Reply to  vboring
November 2, 2016 2:40 pm

Several years ago the BBC Top Gear tested a Leaf and another electric car. It took them 3 days o travel 250 miles. The all electric vehicles would be great in Southern states for around town driving if they cost $6,000 to $8,000. The current pricing is terrible for what you get.

JC
Reply to  vboring
November 2, 2016 2:44 pm

Technically the sun does not burn now.

Paul Penrose
Reply to  vboring
November 3, 2016 6:39 am

JC,
Pedantry aside, I think you got my point.

Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy
Reply to  Paul Westhaver
November 3, 2016 12:36 am

Paul Westhaver — It need not be coal, it can be renewable energy. During the recent visit to USA, San Francisco suburb I travelled in the electric car. Pollution free car, I like it. It has large space to put baggage too.
Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

Paul Westhaver
Reply to  Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy
November 3, 2016 5:43 am

Dr SJR,
No. It wasn’t pollution free. The pollution was created when the vehicle was charged, and California buys Coal-produced power from the grid.
So your rented car was coal powered.

Severian
November 2, 2016 6:27 am

Elon Musk sounds more like the Bernie Madoff of the automotive world rather than the Steve Jobs of cars.

Reply to  Severian
November 2, 2016 8:28 am

Musk and his companies have huge, massive, insurmountable problems long term.
Tesla and Solar City depend hugely on the taxpayer provided subsidies. And Teslas are and will be rich folks toys, a novelty like a ferrari or porsche, where your primary cars are BMW 5 or 7 series or a Mercedes sedan.
Take away the subsidies, the ZEV credits, and a Tesla becomes a $100,000+ toy to show your neighbors you have money to throw away. And you cannot drive it 600 miles on a highway trip in a single day. Very inconvenient. Tesla cant survive w/o huge corporate tax welfare.
And Solar City is in such a bad shape, even with generous subsidies, that Musk is trying to fold it into Tesla. That speaks volumes about how SC is going under as a going concern. SC is toast.
His SpaceX Falcon9 suffers a huge technical flaw that the catastrophic explosion exposed in Hollywood-style cinematic fashion. The supercooled cryogenics propulsion are dangerous during fueling operations, and they stack has to be launched or defueled within 30 minutes of completed fueling. They will never get manned-flight certification from NASA in the current design.. And it would take SpaceX many billions to redesign for manned flt certification. So much for his Mars pipe dreams, as well as even LEO to the ISS.
Musk’s ventures are all doomed to fail. Gauranteed..

Reply to  joelobryan
November 2, 2016 9:24 am

A picture tells us in ways words never can, and very emblematic of everything Elon….
Falcon 9 explodes as the liquid helium tank rupture causes an immediate larger, catastrophic explosion of the cryogenic fuels.
http://www.gannett-cdn.com/-mm-/e381cda2f7050fb8ab3eb8bdfa00a8721f81aabb/c=0-0-1719-1293&r=x393&c=520×390/local/-/media/2016/09/01/Brevard/Brevard/636083539378467231-1.png
Photo of the trailer that a Tesla model S on autopilot drove under at 74 mph.comment image

Bryan A
Reply to  joelobryan
November 2, 2016 10:26 am

Joel,
I think you meant Liquid Hydrogen. Helium is non volitle as far as I know.

Bryan A
Reply to  joelobryan
November 2, 2016 10:27 am

Think I misread your post, What is the Liquid Helium used for?

Chimp
Reply to  joelobryan
November 2, 2016 10:48 am

Bryan A,
The liquid helium bottles provide cryogenic cooling of propellant to increase density, allowing more thrust.

TA
Reply to  joelobryan
November 2, 2016 11:00 am

Musk should have bought the retired space shuttle launch system from NASA, rather than starting from scratch with an all-new launch system. The shuttle launch system was Reliable; ready to be used immediately, and would be the perfect launch platform for any of Musk’s space development plans. He could have tweaked the shuttle launch system to reduce launch costs. Probably as cheap or cheaper than his current SpaceX effort.
Instead, Musk and NASA spend billions fixing a problem that wasn’t broken by building new, expensive, experimetal rocket launch systems, setting our space development program back decades.
Without vision, the People’s space program perishes. Musk has some vision. The bureaucrats at NASA have none. We should already have an inhabited space station around the Moon and Mars. But the people running our space program can’t see very far, unfortunately. They only see as far as their next Agency budget.
NASA had all the hardware they needed for a viable, interplanetary space program except a crewed orbital transfer vehicle. Instead of concentrating on building one, NASA abandons the whole space shuttle launch system and goes back to the drawing board on basic launch infrastructure, costing our space program decades of progress and tens of billions of wasted dollars spent, to build something that won’t be any more capable than the space shuttle launch system.
It is a nightmare for someone who cares about the space program. It is a pleasant dream for a NASA bureacrat. What could be better than a multi-year, mult-billion dollar program you get to administer? It doesn’t get better than that in NASA government work. To heck with what is actually going on in space.
We are a least ten years, and countless billions of wasted dollars, behind where we could have been, had someone at NASA used their brain. . What a fiasco our human space program has been. Now we can’t even access our own space station without paying the Russians. You can blame Bill Clinton for setting the stage for that one, BTW. He and Goldin *loved* the Russians.

Chimp
Reply to  joelobryan
November 2, 2016 11:08 am

TA
November 2, 2016 at 11:00 am
It didn’t help that Obama’s top priority for NASA was promoting the glories of Islamic science. And fighting global warming, of course.

Bryan A
Reply to  joelobryan
November 2, 2016 12:04 pm

Thanks Chimp,
Never looked into “Rocket Science”

Reply to  joelobryan
November 2, 2016 12:30 pm

TA
I’m going to disagree with you on your points about the Shuttle Program. The space shuttle was a compromised design from the get go and so far as I know killed more Astronauts than all other countries combined. But I agree with your point about continued exploration. The shuttle program should have been scrapped 20 years ago and the money spent on useful stuff. Pretty much the same comment about the ISS. The most economical thing to do is go ahead and splash down (I think we’ve pretty much reached the limits on what High School 0 G experiments are going to discover). Take the money and send out the probes to some interesting places and find some cool stuff. In a relative sense it’s not that expensive to accidentally bomb Mars with a lander probe. I was seeing on some show or another that Voyager was still sending back data.

asybot
Reply to  joelobryan
November 2, 2016 12:32 pm

I got to say one thing about Musk, his push with SpaceX has brought others ( that may well be better at it to boot) into the fray. As TA says in his comment , I also wish he would have stuck with the shuttle launch system, 135 successful missions, the two failures were man caused ( decisions for the launch and a bloody piece of ice that damaged tiles on the wing of the Shuttle, which could have been prevented by having ejectable shielding on the wings edges) I, for one, hope that at least has a successful result.

Reply to  joelobryan
November 2, 2016 1:53 pm

asybot
In addition, the Shuttle Program was/is old. Now really old. Remember this is 70’s tech. To get the shuttle running reasonably again was going to be pretty much a total redo anyway. The maintenance costs were becoming exorbitant One of the major requirements was to be able to launch the Hubble; all well and good but there’s very little cause these days to try to take that volume to orbit. To the manned-flight cert comment above. Totally agree. but the manned-flight cert was one reason the shuttle could never be substantially upgraded only modified. Time for a well deserved re-boot.

TA
Reply to  joelobryan
November 2, 2016 9:15 pm

” The shuttle program should have been scrapped 20 years ago and the money spent on useful stuff.”
Like what?
If you want a planetary space development program you have to have a heavy-lift launch vehicle. We had one in the space shuttle launch system. Now, we are spending billions more dollars to build another heavy-lift vehicle that can’t do any more than the space shuttle launch system can do. We have been spinning our wheels for decades, not for lack of technology, or money, but for lack of vision on the part of NASA’s leaders.
As for the international space station. Using the space shuttle launch system and the Option C space station design, we could have put a space station in orbit with more volume than the international space station, at a cost of about $5 billion, and could have done it it ONE launch. OTOH, the international space station costs over $100 billion to build, took years to put together, and required dozens of space shuttle launches to get everything in orbit.
NASA wasn’t interested in getting into space as quickly and cheaply as possible. They were only interested in developing a multi-year, multi-billion dollar program for NASA headquarters. That’s why they chose the most expensive, time-consuming space station design (of the three offered) they could come up with, so they could keep the program going as long as possible, and keep those dollars rolling in.
Now they are doing it all over again with this new heavy-lift launch vehicle. It’s not about space development, it’s about bureaucracy development.

Paul Penrose
Reply to  joelobryan
November 3, 2016 6:45 am

Chimp,
Incorrect. The liquid helium is used to keep the fuel tank pressurized. The helium is released as the engine fires so that the turbo pumps don’t cavitate. The current theory is that helium loading procedures (timing versus temperature) caused solid oxygen to form in the carbon fiber overwrap of the helium vessel, and as pressures increased, this caused the highly volatile oxygen to ignite the carbon. Apparently SpaceX has recreated this failure mode and is testing further to define safe helium loading parameters. Rocket science is hard.

Paul Penrose
Reply to  joelobryan
November 3, 2016 6:52 am

For all those that think SpaceX should have used old space shuttle tech instead of building their own rocket, you have completely missed the point of creating SpaceX in the first place. The shuttle was overly complex and way too expensive to launch. Elon, for all his faults, is a good engineer and recognized that we needed much cheaper access to space. So he did what most other industries to do lower cost: leverage the newest technology and rethink everything. Of course you will have some failures along the way, but that’s how you learn.

MarkW
Reply to  joelobryan
November 3, 2016 7:28 am

The shuttle was broken even before the first launch.

schitzree
Reply to  joelobryan
November 3, 2016 8:08 am

The basic problem that NASA had was that the shuttle was a poor choice for a heave lift vehicle.
A proper HLV should do one thing, and do it well. Lift multi-ton loads to orbit. If after you get your cargo to orbit you still have a huge vehicle many times your cargo’s size to deorbit and safely reenter the atmosphere and land somewhere, then you didn’t do it right.

Reply to  joelobryan
November 3, 2016 9:28 am

TA November 2, 2016 at 9:15 pm
Nice rant on NASA I totally agree except (to tweak your statement) I think the vision they had was dollars and dollars rolling in and they did that very well. I’d add for that matter, why did they scrap the original heavy lift from the Apollo program?
Thinking a bit outside the box, If I were in charge, I’d develop the heavy lift but not bother to get it man-rated. Things can get parked in orbit pretty well; the wet ware sucks up a lot of payload and development NRE. Then I’d develop a smaller reliable man-rated space “cab” to get to where you need. And then of course keep on shooting space probes and apologize to Mars for the accidental bombing.

Reply to  joelobryan
November 3, 2016 10:04 am

I have to correct myself here, Actually it was an ESA probe attempting to provoke the god of war. http://www.space.com/34472-exomars-mars-lander-crash-site-photos.html I expect there were a lot of smirks from NASA when they (NASA) pointed out the Hi-Res images of the crash site.

MarkW
Reply to  joelobryan
November 3, 2016 12:04 pm

Didn’t NASA once lose a spacecraft because they got confused between pounds and kilograms?

Reply to  joelobryan
November 3, 2016 12:28 pm

I think the error was feet to meters or vice versa. To paraphrase big bang theory, once again Americans demonstrate the inability to comprehend the metric system. There was a kilograms to pounds error that disabled an Air Canada flight. Extraordinary skill by the pilots kept that would be disaster out of the books.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gimli_Glider

TA
Reply to  joelobryan
November 4, 2016 7:34 am

Paul Penrose November 3, 2016 at 6:52 am: “For all those that think SpaceX should have used old space shuttle tech instead of building their own rocket, you have completely missed the point of creating SpaceX in the first place.”
I thought Musk wanted to get people into space as quickly and economically as possible. At the time of the shuttle’s retirement in 2012, the shuttle launch system was the quickest and most economical way to develop space.
Paul: “The shuttle was overly complex and way too expensive to launch.
Well, the shuttle didn’t blow up on the launchpad. Musk’s SpaceX appears to have some complications of its own. That always happens when creating new technologies. Sometimes, that’s not the best way to do things. In some of the last discussions I had on the subject at sci.space.policy, the cost of a single space shuttle launch was estimated to be $200 million or lower.
Musk’s current SpaceX is estimated to cost $70 million per launch, and can’t put anything close to the shuttle launch system’s payload in orbit. Musk’s Falcon 9, the vehicle currently being tested, has a cargo capacity of 25 tons to Low Earth Orbit, at a cost of $70 million per launch.
The larger, future, Falcon Heavy-Lift vehicle has a cargo capacity of 60 tons to Low Earth Orbit. Don’t know the estimated cost on this one but I assume it is at least $100 million per launch.
The space shuttle launch system has a cargo capacity of at least 120 tons to Low Earth orbit (the shuttle weighs 100 tons and the shuttle cargo bay has a capacity of 30 tons. Replace the shuttle with a cargo container, and you have a heavy-lift vehicle worthy of the name.
Why would Musk want to send 30 tons of cargo to Mars with his Falcon Heavy-lift rocket, when he could have sent 60 tons of cargo to Mars using the space shuttle launch system, and for the same price?
Musk could also use the space shuttle launch system’s External Tank (the most valuable part of the shuttle launch system,IMO) as a huge space station module to put around the Earth, and the Moon and Mars, and put about a dozen of them in an Earth/Mars transit orbit, where astronauts can just climb on board as the ET approaches Earth, and be taken to Mars with no further fuel expenditure. Musk’s Falcons can’t do any of that. Nor can any of the other companies doing space development work. We could do that right now using the space shuttle launch system. But no, we have to wait on new developments. It’s a lack of vision, not a lack of technology.
And I assume you can calculate that Musk’s efforts are not any cheaper than the space shuttle, as operated by NASA. I would assume had Musk bought the shuttle, he could have made even larger cost reductions in its launch costs, including things that are right down his alley, like adding reusuable, liquid-fueled boosters, that give the shuttle more lifting power and a bigger safety margin.
Paul: “Elon, for all his faults, is a good engineer and recognized that we needed much cheaper access to space.”
Well, we will see just how cheap he can get it. I wish all those trying to lower the costs of spaceflight well, but I think we need to keep some realism in our dreams.
Paul: “So he did what most other industries to do lower cost: leverage the newest technology and rethink everything. Of course you will have some failures along the way, but that’s how you learn.”
Yes, but you are spinning your wheels when you are learning the same lessons over and over again.

TA
Reply to  joelobryan
November 4, 2016 8:28 am

schitzree November 3, 2016 at 8:08 am: “The basic problem that NASA had was that the shuttle was a poor choice for a heavy lift vehicle.
A proper HLV should do one thing, and do it well. Lift multi-ton loads to orbit. If after you get your cargo to orbit you still have a huge vehicle many times your cargo’s size to deorbit and safely reenter the atmosphere and land somewhere, then you didn’t do it right.
It would be a simple operation to replace the space shuttle with a cargo carrier, to turn it into a “pure” heavy-lift vehicle. The space shuttle *is* the cargo, afterall, but it doesn’t have to be so exclusively.
The largest heavy-lift vehicle ever built was the U.S. Saturn 5 rocket. The rocket that launched astronauts to the Moon.
The Saturn 5 heavy-lift vehicle had a cargo capacity of approximately 130-140 tons to Low Earth Orbit.
The space shuttle launch system has a cargo capacity of at least 120 tons to Low Earth Orbit. The space shuttle launch system is almost a match for the Saturn 5 heavy-lift vehicle, and if liquid-fueled boosters were substituted for the solid rocket boosters, the lift capacity would equal the Saturn 5.
The Space Shuttle Launch System is definitely a heavy-lift vehicle. And, most importantly, a very versatile space development vehicle. The space shuttle’s External Tank is worth its weight in gold in orbit, and the shuttle launch system can put an ET in orbit every time it launches, along with additional cargo, if it is desired.
If you want to put people in space you need large habitation modules. The space shuttle launch system could supply all our needs: an ET habitation module that is 27 feet in diameter, and 153 feet long. As compared to a space station module on the international space station at 15 feet in diameter and 27 feet long. Which would you rather live in?
We threw away 135 space shuttle External Tanks. Enough for all our space development needs for years to come. We could have built a mile-wide wheel-shaped rotating “Arthur C. Clarke” space station with simulated Earth gravity, out of that many ET’s. We could put an ET habitation module around Earth, the Moon and Mars with very little effort, and do all three of those cheaper than the total cost of the international space station ($100 billion versus $5 billion each for each ET habitat module).
What’s not to like about the External Tank? 🙂 If you want to develop space for humanity, there is nothing better now, or in the near future. You just have to be able to see it.
All our other options are for putting numerous puny modules in orbit using underpowered rockets. And that in the not so near future.
As they say, You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.

TA
Reply to  joelobryan
November 4, 2016 9:32 am

taz1999 wrote: “Nice rant on NASA I totally agree except (to tweak your statement) I think the vision they had was dollars and dollars rolling in and they did that very well. I’d add for that matter, why did they scrap the original heavy lift from the Apollo program?”
That’s another good question. I asked the same thing. Why build a heavy-lifter if you already have a heavy-lifter? That’s the same question I am asking today of the current situation. NASA bureaucracy and program building are the reason.
We keep spending billions of dollars to build new heavy-lift vehicles, and then we throw them away, and build new ones. You start thinking that maybe the building process is more important than what is done with them after they are built.

MarkW
Reply to  joelobryan
November 4, 2016 10:57 am

True, the shuttle didn’t blow up on the launch pad. It waited 80 seconds before blowing up.

TA
Reply to  joelobryan
November 4, 2016 2:48 pm

Speaking of Heavy-Lift rocket launcher discussions, I just did a search and found this relevant discussion from 2004, (this is just one of many, many 🙂 about Heavy-Lift and the future of the space shuttle launch system.
https://groups.google.com/forum/#!searchin/sci.space.policy/TA|sort:relevance/sci.space.policy/usS6EAoRRBo/JG2zz5E9U5gJ

TA
Reply to  joelobryan
November 4, 2016 2:52 pm

You will have to copy and paste the entire url above in order to get the specific discussion about heavy-lift. clicking on the link will just give you the general search that was done.

TA
Reply to  joelobryan
November 6, 2016 6:28 am

“True, the shuttle didn’t blow up on the launch pad. It waited 80 seconds before blowing up.”
Yes, but it was not because of an unknown fault in the launch vehicle, as in Musk’s Falcon 9 vehicle.
In the case of the shuttle explosion, the fault was known: The seals on the Solid Rocket Boosters would not seal sufficiently in cold weather. It was very cold the morning of this particular shuttle launch.
The engineers that built the Solid Rocket Boosters begged NASA not to launch that day because it was too cold. NASA rolled the dice, overruled their engineers and decided to go ahead with the launch, the seals leaked right after liftoff, and the shuttle exploded in midair.
Musk doesn’t know how to keep his Falcon 9 from exploding, at least not yet. NASA knew how to keep the shuttle from exploding, if they had stayed within parameters.
I would call that a very large difference.

Rob
Reply to  Severian
November 2, 2016 8:32 am

An excellent point as the operating losses are being covered by new capital investment. The only difference is that anyone can see that this is going on by looking at the financial reports. That will keep him out of jail (as opposed to Bernie), although what his investors will think a few years down the line if/when he can’t keep this up is another matter.

Reply to  Rob
November 2, 2016 8:40 am

Rob,
Like any Pyramid scheme, the key is to get in early and cash-out before the feces hits the fan. Those early, big money, sophisticated investors understand that, i.e. it is their goal to cash-out as at a peak as the duped-by-hype Unsophisticated Mom-Pop investors dive in with their retirement nest egg.

Reply to  Severian
November 2, 2016 12:04 pm

Pre apologies for an old joke: If you steal a Tesla, does it become an Edison???

MarkW
November 2, 2016 6:35 am

A wrecking ball to the automotive industry? Electrics are what 0.5% of sales, and the government is picking up half the tab to get them that high?
Not to mention the fact that they aren’t paying road taxes in the form of taxes on gasoline.

ddpalmer
Reply to  MarkW
November 2, 2016 6:50 am

And almost as importantly. Most of the electricity to power those EVs come from burning fossil fuels, meaning they are still responsible for large emissions of CO2.
I am sure someone has done the math, but I wonder if a Tesla powered by coal generated electricity cause more or less CO2 than a typical gasoline powered sedan. I know that a large power plant is more efficient than a bunch of individual IC engines. But with the power plant you have to convert the heat to electricity, then transmit the electricity to the charging station, charge the car and then the electricity is converted by motors to motion. All those steps involve a loss from the initial energy available. While in a gasoline vehicle the engine directly converts the chemical energy to motion with some loss.

MarkW
Reply to  ddpalmer
November 2, 2016 7:18 am

When you add up all of the generation, conversion, transmission and conversion losses, a minimum of 20 to 30% of the energy is lost post combustion.

Reply to  ddpalmer
November 2, 2016 8:58 am

Calculations I’ve seen and rough estimates I’ve done say electric cars are no more efficient than our modern gas/diesel models. The only benefit, as others state, is that you transfer whatever fossil fuel pollution there is from the city to some rather remote location. For most of us, EVs are still expensive second cars. Question: What’s the value of EVs in the used car market?

Retired_Engineer_Jim
Reply to  ddpalmer
November 2, 2016 9:57 am

Ley us please remember that gasoline doesn’t get into your car’s tank energy-free. It takes some energy to extract it, transport it, refine it, transport it again, and even to pump it from the underground tank into your car’s gas tank. If we are going to do a sort-of end-to-end analysis of electric cars energy use (and CO2 output), then we also have to an end -to-end analysis for ICE cars. And for that electric-car end-to-end analysis, one needs to go upstream from the power plant to the natural-gas field or coal mine (including all the exploration and drilling/mining energy and CO2).
I haven’t got the numbers, and I suspect that the analysis is not simple.

Erik Driessens
Reply to  ddpalmer
November 2, 2016 10:48 am

Through a conversation on Twitter, I learned that the energy losses in transformers should be taken into account, when comparing well to wheel efficiency of electric cars to ICE cars. This surprised me, because I thought these losses were pretty small: 2%, maybe 3-5%. This, however, is only true for power transformers, that feed the power output of the power plant into the high voltage grid. The distribution transformers, that are part of the local grid that distributes the power to our homes have bigger losses up to 25%. I assume, this is because these transformers, which are large in numbers, are cheaper than the power transformers, which are much smaller in numbers.
There are plans to replace the old inefficient distribution transformers with new much more efficient ones, to prepare for an all electric future of electric heated homes and (often home or destination charged) electric cars. The guy I talked to on Twitter gave me some links to websites confirming his claims about the inefficiency of distribution transformers and an EU policy document on the replacement of distribution transformers.

Reply to  ddpalmer
November 2, 2016 11:46 am

EVs ?? Last time I looked at US VIN numbers were concetnrated in states where the Grid was not heavily coal dependant. Vin Number databases ( tracing VIN to make model year) are available if you have the cash and know how to use them. Bascially you get VINS by zipcode and then have to analyze the grid for those particular zips.
Its called VIO data ( vehicles in operation ) and is compiled from State DMVs.. then you map it to make model year– (MMY) by using Vin decoding. The data also contains fuel type so you can just look at that
Here are summary stats.. just includes TELSA ( the actual files have every registration)
https://hedgescompany.com/automotive-market-research-statistics/auto-mailing-lists-and-marketing#facts
You might be able to figure something out from this
https://www.rita.dot.gov/
http://cta.ornl.gov/data/tedb35/Edition35_Chapter06.pdf

Stephen Richards
Reply to  ddpalmer
November 2, 2016 1:24 pm

Is it Singapore or Malaysia that have done the maths. CO² tax on Teslas is 3 times the price of the car because they include manufacture and fuel in the showroom tax.

George Hebbard
Reply to  ddpalmer
November 2, 2016 1:59 pm

Please remember that a condensing steam plant rejects over half of its fuel’s energy to cooling towers or water bodies, and is only a little more efficient than burning gasoline in an IC engine. Granted, as gas-powered generating station is more efficient than a gas powered car or bus, but the carbon foot print isn’t much different between EV’s and NG powered vehicles.

Greg F
Reply to  ddpalmer
November 2, 2016 5:19 pm

The distribution transformers, that are part of the local grid that distributes the power to our homes have bigger losses up to 25%.

Erik,
I don’t know where you got this information but it is simply wrong.
https://www.nationalgridus.com/media/trade/transformer-replacement-program-implementation-manual.pdf

TimTheToolMan
Reply to  ddpalmer
November 2, 2016 6:47 pm

MarkW writes

When you add up all of the generation, conversion, transmission and conversion losses, a minimum of 20 to 30% of the energy is lost post combustion.

Which makes it say 70% efficient. Compare that to perhaps 30% efficiency of a combustion engine?
Musk’s cars are currently aimed at the wealthy end of the population. When he starts producing them at affordable prices and higher volumes, his company could easily become profitable. Has anyone here actually looked at the Tesla cars? The high end models will spank whatever you have in your garage.
Here are 5 supercars it beats for example…
http://gas2.org/2014/10/10/5-supercars-slower-than-the-tesla-model-s-p85d/

Erik Driessens
Reply to  ddpalmer
November 3, 2016 2:17 am

@ Greg F Thanks for your info on the efficiency of local grid transformers. Your info is much closer to my original understanding that transformer efficiency is quite high (98% or better). I’ll try to find the documents provided to me on Twitter, unfortunately the search function for Twitter isn’t very good. Luckily, I do remember who sent me that info. I’ll get back to you once I’ve retrieved the documents.

bit chilly
Reply to  ddpalmer
November 3, 2016 6:17 am

tim the tool man. it only beats these cars in set criteria . in a one lap race around any race track or down any stretch of road longer than half a mile the tesla is toast. there is also an inherent design flaw in the drive train where the instant lump of torque produced to get the high rate of acceleration basically destroys it.
tesla is a pig in a poke as will be shown in time. musk is just a clever snake oil salesman. smart yes, but he is not the first and won’t be the last to get rich off tax payer dollars.

MarkW
Reply to  ddpalmer
November 3, 2016 7:32 am

Jim, that’s maybe 1 or 2 percent. Probably a lot less.

MarkW
Reply to  ddpalmer
November 3, 2016 7:34 am

Tim, please re-read what I said. I stated that post combustion efficiencies. The combustion efficiency itself is in the 30 to 40 percent range. So you are getting at best 70% of the 30 to 40%.

TimTheToolMan
Reply to  ddpalmer
November 3, 2016 2:48 pm

bit chilly writes

in a one lap race around any race track or down any stretch of road longer than half a mile the tesla is toast.

Reference? The Tesla doesn’t have the top speed of the supercars (its still fast though!) but it handles well with its active suspension so I doubt your claim about “any race track”. Basically the Tesla is a performance car so if you think electric = weak sauce, then think again.
also

there is also an inherent design flaw in the drive train where the instant lump of torque produced to get the high rate of acceleration basically destroys it.

Some of the early model Teslas’ drive trains were under engineered but recent ones aren’t AFAIK. The company is only a few years old so cut them some slack for getting it right. How many combustion engines fail? How many diffs have gone bang? All cars when pushed to their limits are stressing their components.
MarkW writes

The combustion efficiency itself is in the 30 to 40 percent range. So you are getting at best 70% of the 30 to 40%.

You wrote 2 lines so I have no idea what you mean. It looked to me like you were describing the inefficiencies between generation and sending the energy to the car for charging and putting them at 20-30%. That would apply to lighting and heating a home too though. Compare that to the efficiency of a combustion motor at around 30% in total. Combustion engines are very inefficient. Efficiency is a non-argument for Electric vs Combustion. Electric wins that hands down.
The main argument against electric is the charge time. But there is no reason charge time cant be improved.

MarkW
Reply to  ddpalmer
November 3, 2016 3:17 pm

Tim: Is it my fault you can’t read simple english?

TimTheToolMan
Reply to  ddpalmer
November 3, 2016 5:57 pm

MarkW wrote

When you add up all of the generation, conversion, transmission and conversion losses, a minimum of 20 to 30% of the energy is lost post combustion.

The english is fine, the meaning is obscure if I’ve not understood what you were getting at. Here is what you said. “post combustion” what, exactly?

MarkW
Reply to  ddpalmer
November 4, 2016 10:58 am

Tim, the first rule of holes applies here.
Stop digging, you’re just making yourself look bad.

TimTheToolMan
Reply to  ddpalmer
November 4, 2016 3:31 pm

digging?
So I wasn’t right to interpret your meaning as “It looked to me like you were describing the inefficiencies between generation and sending the energy to the car for charging and putting them at 20-30%. ” ?
It seems to me you’re just being obnoxious.

AGW is not Science
Reply to  MarkW
November 2, 2016 7:14 am

Another case of “When the government picks winners and losers, we all lose.”

MarkW
November 2, 2016 6:40 am

“that green ribbons are very appropriate for mental health awareness”
You really are a sucker for punishment.
Go get em.

November 2, 2016 6:41 am

Tesla didn’t understand the function of “R” in RLC circuits. That is where all the “free energy” non-sense comes from.
Uh. What? OK. Wrong Tesla.

Paul Penrose
Reply to  M Simon
November 2, 2016 10:27 am

Unlikely. Nicola Tesla invented the A/C electric motor when everybody else, including Edison, claimed it was impossible. After his death, a court ruled (in a long running case) that Marconi had indeed infringed on Tesla’s patents, making Tesla effectively the inventor of radio, even though Marconi was the one that build actual usable devices.
I think Tesla’s plans for Wardenclyffe were more ambitious and far thinking than simple transfer of power via magnetic fields. He knew well the efficiency limits of transformers (having built the first A/C power generating and distribution system when working for Westinghouse); I think many have sold him short for a long time partly because he was such a strange individual. Today he would probably be diagnosed with ADD/Asperger’s and be more accepted, like many good engineers I know.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Paul Penrose
November 3, 2016 12:24 am

“Paul Penrose November 2, 2016 at 10:27 am
Unlikely. Nicola Tesla invented the A/C electric motor when everybody else, including Edison, claimed it was impossible.”
And to prove *HIS* point, he electrocuted an elephant.

Paul Penrose
Reply to  Paul Penrose
November 3, 2016 6:57 am

Patrick,
I’m failing to understand YOUR point.

ATheoK
Reply to  Paul Penrose
November 3, 2016 6:48 pm

Patrick MJD:
Edison electrocuted the elephant using A/C power, in an attempt to smear Tesla’s A/C power.
Nowadays, Edison would be jailed for animal cruelty as A/C is less efficient at quick clean deaths. DC power directly interferes with the body’s electro-chemistry.
When Edison refused to allow Westinghouse to use Edison electric bulbs; Tesla, literally over a weekend, designed light bulbs that did not infringe on Edison’s patents yet were easy to manufacture. Which enabled Westinghouse to light up the World’s fair.

Reply to  Paul Penrose
November 4, 2016 8:34 am

Paul Penrose
November 2, 2016 at 10:27 am
I read Tesla’s book and he did make that fundamental error.

Gamecock
November 2, 2016 6:42 am

No one knows the car business better than Bob Lutz. NO ONE!

Reply to  Gamecock
November 2, 2016 9:45 pm

“No one knows the car business better than Bob Lutz. NO ONE!”
Yet his own Via Motors can’t sell enough TRUCKS in the USA to make a profit.
And the Chevy Volt for which he takes credit was inspired by Musk’s ambition – and is unable to outsell a car that cost 2-4x as much.

bit chilly
Reply to  MorinMoss
November 3, 2016 6:24 am

“And the Chevy Volt for which he takes credit was inspired by Musk’s ambition – and is unable to outsell a car that cost 2-4x as much.”
mostly due to the fact that people that buy cheap high volume cars in the states actually need them for practical purposes, like load carrying , travelling decent distances and ease of use. these people buy fossil fuel powered cars. apart from a few enthusiasts ev buyers tend to own them as a second car. toyota prius owners in the uk are a good example.
many tend to be involved in government in some capacity, so like to show they are in with the “in” crowd. the local mp that lives across from my father has one. never uses it, but parks it proudly on the drive. virtue signalling i think the term is.

MarkW
Reply to  MorinMoss
November 3, 2016 7:36 am

Understanding the industry and building a truck that people want to buy are two different skill sets.

Caligula Jones
November 2, 2016 7:12 am

Here in Ontario, where the independent auditor general points out that we have paid almost $40 billion extra for energy over the last decade than we needed to, the government is in total luv with e-cars.
Of course, this is the same government that tells me to do laundry at night to save energy at an off-peak time.
Not sure what will happen to the grid when millions of e-cars are plugged in at the same time…
http://globalnews.ca/news/2876660/ontarios-electric-car-goal-could-lead-to-increase-in-hydro-rates-expert-says/
Or as Donna Laframboise says, I don’t think we’ll really have to worry:
https://nofrakkingconsensus.com/2016/09/15/obamas-electric-car-fail/

MarkW
Reply to  Caligula Jones
November 2, 2016 7:19 am

Don’t worry, that’s what solar power is for, so you can charge your electric cars at night.

Reply to  MarkW
November 2, 2016 7:35 am

Solar cells collect Dark Energy?
Fantastic.

MarkW
Reply to  MarkW
November 2, 2016 9:47 am

We got to do something to keep the universe from flying apart.

jorgekafkazar
Reply to  MarkW
November 2, 2016 1:24 pm

No, for nighttime charging of electric cars, you need lunar power to keep all the lunatics on the road. .

Griff
Reply to  Caligula Jones
November 2, 2016 7:54 am

Here’s a detailed article on effect on grid of EVs in Norway and California…
(no effect at all!)
https://cleantechnica.com/2016/05/11/will-electric-cars-break-grid/

Matthew Benefiel
Reply to  Griff
November 2, 2016 9:01 am

Griff, problems I see with this article is that assumptions and math don’t always equate to real life, it’s why models while useful, will never predict the future perfectly. The article is looking at total consumption for one thing, hard to equate that to actual demand at any given moment (which would also depend on quick charge vs slow charge). I’m not saying a bunch of electric cars will bring the grid down, but it is going to make a difference, otherwise why the heck am I being asked to change out my incandescent light bulbs for CFL and LED?

MarkW
Reply to  Griff
November 2, 2016 9:48 am

Increasing power demand by a factor of 10 will have no impact on the grid.
Yea, right.

MarkW
Reply to  Griff
November 2, 2016 9:49 am

Matthew, if you want to do quick charge and anything else requiring power in your house at the same time, you are going to have to at a minimum double the capacity of the drop to your house.
Of course if everyone in your neighborhood did the same thing, they would blow the fuses on your neighborhood distribution system in quick order.

Paul Penrose
Reply to  Griff
November 2, 2016 10:31 am

Generally EVs are charged at night when electric use is lower, so for the moment they are not stressing the grid since there are still relatively few EVs in use. However, as EV use increases, this will change. So it’s not an ‘if’ they will destabilize the grid, but ‘when’.

Reply to  Griff
November 2, 2016 5:09 pm

Griff- go take a look at the grid stability in South Australia the last week in September. Total Blackout caused primarily by windmills shutting down enmass. Granted three smaller powerlines went down when towers got blown over, but the black out was triggered by windmills. According to Australian energy authority there was enough SA fossil fuel capacity on line that the grid would have failed only partially and not shutdown the fossil fuel-powered line from Victoria. Power outages, yes. Total black out, no.

TimTheToolMan
Reply to  Griff
November 2, 2016 6:52 pm

Paul wrote So it’s not an ‘if’ they will destabilize the grid, but ‘when’.
I think you mean “if all else remains the same” but of course that wont happen. Grids will be upgraded as required to meet the increasing loads as they have been done all along. Plus of course renewables (and in particular solar) can decrease the load on the grid due to its distributed nature.
When you add Musk’s storage technology it all makes sense and energy is distributed. Of course it all costs money and there are no end of people here who despise that idea.

Bryan A
Reply to  Griff
November 2, 2016 11:08 pm

But Griff (troll) electric cars only make up approx 0.22% (less than 1percent) of all cars on the road in the USA so of course their current effect on the Grid is miniscule

Leo Smith
Reply to  Griff
November 2, 2016 11:59 pm

Now you have finally learnt to read Griff, You can start to tackle basic SUMs, like what is one plus one…working your way up to simple O level questions like:
1/. If one EV needs 50KWh to charge, how much electricity will it take to charge 20 million of them every night?
2./. How much impact on the grid would it have?
But I do love GreenLogic.
“If adding a windmill to the grid has no perceptible effect,. fears about adding 100,000 to the grid are totally unfounded”.
To which we might add “Therefore if adding a windmill to the grid has no perceptible effect, adding 100,000 still won’t have a perceptible effect on electricity generated”.

Paul Penrose
Reply to  Griff
November 3, 2016 7:05 am

Tim,
Upgrading the grid is very expensive and time consuming, especially when you consider the NIMBY lawsuits when new high voltage feeds need to be run. Even at the current rate of EV adoption, upgrade and expansion of the grid to keep pace will be difficult. If EV adoption rates increase, as many green advocates predict, then the power companies will inevitably fall behind the curve. An it’s that scenario which people in the power industry are worried about.

MarkW
Reply to  Griff
November 3, 2016 7:37 am

You can add the cost of upgrading the grid to the already obscene subsidies electric cars are getting.

TimTheToolMan
Reply to  Griff
November 4, 2016 12:16 am

Paul writes

Upgrading the grid is very expensive and time consuming,

Invading foreign lands to secure oil reserves is expensive. Transmission costs are pocket change by comparison.

MarkW
Reply to  Griff
November 4, 2016 11:00 am

Fortunately, nobody needs to invade foreign lands to ensure a supply of oil.
We just buy it from them.

TimTheToolMan
Reply to  Griff
November 4, 2016 3:33 pm

MarkW writes

Fortunately, nobody needs to invade foreign lands to ensure a supply of oil.
We just buy it from them.

You keep telling yourself that.

Retired_Engineer_Jim
Reply to  Caligula Jones
November 2, 2016 10:05 am

Ms Laframboise confuses electric cars with hybrids. The POTUS talked about plug-in hybrids, not electric cars. Electric cars get infinite “miles per gallon” – and are rated in MPGe, with, apparently, an upper limit of 99. Otherwise, good points.

Earl Wertheimer
Reply to  Caligula Jones
November 2, 2016 10:06 am

Ontario: Where consumers pay 2x to 3x more for electricity than in Quebec, which is next door.

Smart Rock
Reply to  Earl Wertheimer
November 2, 2016 11:06 am

And that, Mr, Earl, is when our total electric power usage (2015 numbers) is 60% nuclear, 24% hydro and 10% fossil fuel. That leaves 6 percent total for wind, solar and biomass. Those numbers are actual MWh produced. Installed capacity (of course) makes wind and sun look a bit better (until you think what that actually means in terms of maintaining the standby gas plants)
What will it be like when our dear leader achieves her dream of 100 percent renewable?
However, Mr. Earl, it’s not really fair to compare us with Quebec, where they still pay Newfoundland and Labrador 0.1 cents (one-tenth of a cent!) per KWh for all the power that Churchill Falls can produce, on a fixed price contract that will not expire till 2067.
Remind me not to play poker with anyone from Montreal.

Paul Penrose
Reply to  Caligula Jones
November 2, 2016 10:36 am

That’s pretty funny since EVs do relatively poorly in colder climates. This is because the cold weather reduces the range due to reduced battery capacity (colder batteries can’t take as much of a charge), and needing to use battery power to heat the cabin. For example, a friend of my Dad’s owns a Tesla, and he garages it during the winter because the range drops to 50 miles or less when the temperatures drop below freezing.

Kurt
Reply to  Paul Penrose
November 2, 2016 12:39 pm

That can’t be right. I’ve got a Tesla and was driving it around last winter for a couple days in the high 20’s (Portland only gets that cold for a couple days a year) and MAYBE the range dropped below 175, but I still probably could have gotten about 200 on it. Teslas are sold in Norway and other Scandinavian countries. It’s inconceivable that the range would drop that low.

Reply to  Paul Penrose
November 2, 2016 9:54 pm

“For example, a friend of my Dad’s owns a Tesla, and he garages it during the winter because the range drops to 50 miles or less when the temperatures drop below freezing”
Below freezing of what? Alcohol? Even the lowest range Tesla will get 100 miles or more out of a full charge at 0C

MarkW
Reply to  Paul Penrose
November 3, 2016 7:38 am

Try running the heater next time.

Paul Penrose
Reply to  Paul Penrose
November 3, 2016 7:46 am

First, I should qualify my statement that when I say below freezing, I mean BELOW, since I live in Minnesota. You aren’t even supposed to charge a Li battery below 20F, so if you don’t have a heated garage (like my Dad’s friend, because he lives in an old part of town with a detached garage and the city won’t let him heat it), then there are many nights (and days) during the winter when you can’t even recharge it.
As far as battery capacity is concerned, Li cells will generally see a 15% decrease from 70F to 30F. And it’s not linear, so at 15F capacity decreases by almost 30%. So on a typical Midwestern winter day, that reduces your absolute maximum range to 140 miles. Now at those temperatures, you have to use a lot of power to keep the cabin warm (resistive electric heating is not very efficient). Unless you like driving around in a very cold car. But then how do you keep the windshield from fogging? From the data I’ve seen, keeping the cabin warm at 15F will decrease range by 25%. If the roads have snow on them, than you can take off another 15%.
So leaving yourself some room for the cold-soak effect (leaving the car outside for 8 or 9 hours while you are at work), and some margin for error, you could easily be sitting at 50 miles of useful range on an average Minnesota winter day. It gets much worse when the temps drop below 0F at night and only recover into the single digits during the day. In the far northern states this happens just about every winter, and sometimes for multiple days in a row. A well maintained ICE based car can handle these situations, but EVs can’t.

ATheoK
Reply to  Paul Penrose
November 3, 2016 7:33 pm

Ya gotta love it.
People from a warm climate conflate “below freezing” with a temporary minor drop of a couple of degrees below freezing.
There is a whole lot of world Temperate, Northern, Alpine areas where winters are long, and below freezing means well below zero for long periods of time; weeks and months. Not a few degrees for a few minutes.
Ordinary batteries go from engine spinners for startup to barely slumping the engine over when temperatures are bitter for extended times.
There are other irritating little realities of life that bite ignorant people solidly.
Before the cold weather hits, people change their oil out and fill engines and transmissions with low viscosity oil.
Reminds me when I moved to New Orleans; New Orleanians scoffed when I told them the ground freezes solid. Depending on where one lives, frozen inches to feet (meters) deep.
That electric engine that eats a lump of electricity starting the car off the line, will eat a lot more energy trying to turn frozen grease in the drive train.
Fifty miles maybe, so long as you’re not doing ‘stop and go’ driving, where one frequently gives everything a chance to freeze. Run that electric heater to get warm before starting and you can probably kiss fifty miles goodbye.
Yeah, an elite eco car for fashion centric uber rich dilettantes and silly greenies; so long as they live in semi-tropical urbanized areas with good roads. Even in normal temperate zones, those beetle sized eco cars will get garaged during the winters waiting for fairer weather.

November 2, 2016 7:35 am

Where would TSLA be without the $4.5 billion subsidy from taxpayers. Most of whom would not willingly invest in the scheme.
Canadian taxpayer

rbabcock
November 2, 2016 7:41 am

I totally agree with everyone on the boondoggle of subsidies to Tesla, but quite frankly it is a pretty amazing car. Go drive one and I’m sure you will agree. Just too bad we all are helping people buy them.

rogerknights
Reply to  rbabcock
November 2, 2016 8:21 am

WaPo recently reported that the Tesla is low-rated for the reliability of its accessories and other features not directly related to its drive system.

rogerknights
Reply to  rogerknights
November 2, 2016 8:40 am

WaPo’s story on Oct. 24 was based on a Consumer Reports survey. Here’s the link:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2016/10/24/tesla-once-beloved-by-critics-plummets-in-new-consumer-reports-ranking/

The Consumer Reports’ ranking, released Monday, places Tesla at no. 25 of 29 for reliability, with reviewers saying the automaker’s new Model X SUV “has been plagued with malfunctions,” including with the “falcon-wing doors” that have become its signature.

Stephen Richards
Reply to  rogerknights
November 2, 2016 1:29 pm

A test Tesla being used to sell the cars in Aus refused to open its doors for the tester.

MarkW
Reply to  rbabcock
November 2, 2016 9:50 am

At $100K a pop, I would hope so.

Reply to  rbabcock
November 2, 2016 5:14 pm

In a related problem, I would like to than all of you for subsidizing the solar panels on our house. I would have got them anyway to cover the A/C, most likely, but $20,000+ in subsidies let us put in a much larger that pays our power bills through ongoing subsidies(Renewable Energy Credits). I do feel a bit guilty, but a lot of not too smart people voted for it.

gnomish
Reply to  philohippous
November 2, 2016 6:38 pm

Elon?

November 2, 2016 7:42 am

Just saw a YouTube of Musk debuting his glass pv roof shingles ( w Teslas in the garage and battery packs on the wall ) .
The only issue with any of this is : get the government subsidies and mandates out . Let the market decide what niches these products fit .

November 2, 2016 7:46 am

Tesla and Musk are examples of subsidy mining, and the cars look cool, as expensive adult toys should. No way will Tesla survive a skeptical US administration, as it is creature of government policy.

Resourceguy
Reply to  Tom Halla
November 2, 2016 7:54 am

At least it’s NY burning the money this time alongside U.S. taxpayers and duped investors.
http://www.fool.com/investing/2016/10/17/is-solarcitys-buffalo-solar-plant-a-failure-tesla.aspx

Griff
Reply to  Tom Halla
November 2, 2016 8:00 am

But the Us is not its only market and the cars aren’t its only product.
Take a look at the Australian market for its latest powerwall battery system:
https://onestepoffthegrid.com.au/tesla-effect-means-australian-battery-storage-prices/
“…solar “ChargePack” including the new Powerwall “is capable of helping a family of five save over $2,000” on electricity annually.
Considering the Powerwall is expected to retail in Australia at around $8,800, for the battery alone that looks like about a four-year return on investment. If you’re adding solar, too, you can add another two years to that.”
and
“one Powerwall 2 is said to be capable of powering a two bedroom house for 24 hours, which puts the grid firmly in the position of being back-up.
For a four bedroom home, one Powerwall 2 should be able to get the household through the night on stored energy alone, thus cutting grid usage – and costs – to a bare minimum.”

rbabcock
Reply to  Griff
November 2, 2016 8:24 am

With the hugely inflated electricity prices the Australians are paying for electricity from the grid due to their renewable mandates, you may be right on this one.
I live in North Carolina and most of our power comes from the Harris nuclear plant. How about telling me how much I would save by installing solar panels and a Powerwall. This is about what the Australians would really be saving if they had not gone down the renewable energy path. I’ll give you a hint .. I can’t justify it.

nc
Reply to  Griff
November 2, 2016 8:28 am

Now if electrical costs were not constantly being jacked up for the false climate change mantra these things would not be needed. Just think of the toxic metal mining, manufacturing, and eventual disposal. Myself I like the simple switch on the wall connected to the grid, no fuss no muss.

Harry Passfield
Reply to  Griff
November 2, 2016 8:56 am

Cutting costs to a bare minimum? Bet that doesn’t include the fire insurance; the replacement batteries, solar panels, inverters; resale value. Sounds to me like you’re the one born every minute.

Matthew Benefiel
Reply to  Griff
November 2, 2016 9:17 am

I’m trying to figure out the use of the Powerwall, it looks more like a house UPS to me to provide backup power should the grid fall. Batteries are not inherently efficient as you only get what you put into them, they are more for portability. I could see recharging them with solar, but if you don’t take that step you are not saving anything since you will need the same power from the grid to charge the battery again, and then you factor in life cycle of the battery. The one good use would be to help with power surges say when your AC compressor kicks on, the battery would help supply the extra current if it is rates properly (not worth the install cost for just that though).

MarkW
Reply to  Griff
November 2, 2016 9:55 am

Matthew: Some places have some pretty steep time of day surcharges.
If you charge them at night when prices are low, and discharge them in the afternoon when prices are the highest, you can save money.
Of course, you are actually using more energy thanks to energy losses in the inverter and the charge/discharge cycle.

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  Griff
November 2, 2016 11:07 am

My home is a little under average for NJ and about average for the US in square footage. My use is approximately 1,000 KWh per month or about 33 kWh per day. This unit might power my home for 12 hours. Certainly not 2 days.

4 Eyes
Reply to  Griff
November 2, 2016 2:36 pm

Griff, when battery users in Oz pay the true share of their cost to stay connected to the grid they will think twice about batteries. The entire market is distorted by smearing cost of electricity and cost of connection together.

Bryan A
Reply to  Griff
November 2, 2016 11:16 pm

Didn’t that story about Tesla supplying grid scale battery backups say something about 1 battery being able to power 2.5 homes or charge a single Tesla

yarpos
Reply to  Griff
November 3, 2016 12:28 am

While they huddle in their blankets around a single LED bulb singing eco ballads

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Griff
November 3, 2016 1:00 am

After March next year, power prices will rise due to the closure of Hazelwood in Victoria, Australia. Reason? Not economic anymore.

Bryan A
Reply to  Griff
November 3, 2016 6:39 pm

Obama, “Under my plan, electricity rates will necessarily skyrocket”

bruce
Reply to  Tom Halla
November 2, 2016 8:07 am

Tom, I don’t think you understand the mindset of Tesla owners. They love the car, it does so much, look at all these neat features… . I’d guess 90 % or more would buy the car without the subsidy. Basically the subsidy allows them to upbuy better color schemes or seat material.
Its icing on the cake.
Kind of wish I wasn’t buying their frosting.

Reply to  bruce
November 2, 2016 8:26 am

Bruce, my thought about the Teslas as adult toys is that without the subsidies they would be as expensive as Ferraris, another display that someone has much more money than you.

MarkW
Reply to  bruce
November 2, 2016 9:56 am

Many people want to buy them, but without the subsidies they couldn’t afford to.

Doug
Reply to  bruce
November 2, 2016 10:18 am

…without the subsidies they couldn’t afford to.

And paying for that subsidy means I’m less able to afford the car I want. How about we all buy the cars we can afford without taking the money out of others’ pockets?

Reply to  bruce
November 2, 2016 5:18 pm

Anybody with the cash to pay $100,000 grand for a toy car wouldn’t blink at another 5 or 10 grand without a subsidy.

gnomish
Reply to  bruce
November 2, 2016 6:07 pm

yeah. they aren’t buying a car. if getting from here to there were the only issue, there are lots of other ways.
but approval of one’s sycophants – priceless!

MarkW
Reply to  bruce
November 3, 2016 7:40 am

philohippus, the subsidy is closer to $50K.

jake
November 2, 2016 7:55 am

Should electric cars replace present cars (not vans, …) 110 GW new capacity would be needed on the average and more when everybody plugs in. The US is generating 450 GW average today, capacity developed over 100 years. If it were not for fracking, we’d be in trouble already. The US will develop clean electricity, they say. Green sources of electricity, wind, geothermal and solar reached 22 GW after 40 years of subsidized construction. Hydro and bio had been generating more power than the former three combined but their yield has been stagnant or declining for decades and there is no new domestic capacity to develop.
More about it, along with a comparison between Nissan Leaf (ele.) and Honda Civic (gas), see https://www.masterresource.org/electric-vehicles/energy-usage-cost-gasoline-vs-electric/

davetherealist
November 2, 2016 7:55 am

Yes, after the Samsung phone debacle. We should all be signing up to put 400 lb Lithium Ion battery packs in our houses….

bruce
Reply to  davetherealist
November 2, 2016 8:10 am

Yes, and keep the system on the internet so it can be updated AND hacked to sacrifice itself.

Reply to  davetherealist
November 2, 2016 9:06 am

Check out the November 2016 Popular Mechanics for a howler of an article on EVs and powering your house with used Tesla battery packs. That’s a fire hazard for sure.

commieBob
November 2, 2016 7:58 am

If they triple the cost of gasoline, and don’t touch the price of electricity, I might be interested in an electric car.
Gasoline cars may not be as much of a growth industry as they used to be. Urban millenials aren’t automatically getting drivers licenses as soon as possible, the way we did. On the other hand, the rural population is not going down. link If nothing else, that will guarantee a market for gasoline cars.

Reply to  commieBob
November 2, 2016 5:21 pm

My millenial got a car as soon as she got a good paying job, with a degree in German no less. A Volkswagen Golf TDI. Very nice car, peppy, 40+mpg, just has that nagging little bit of programming in the engine controller that VW is paying through the nose for.

AZ1971
November 2, 2016 7:59 am

The current forward P/E EPS for Tesla is 1372.1x (for Q3 GAAP earnings of $0.14/share) or 266.6x (for Q3 non-GAAP earnings of $0.71/share).
Historical S&P 500 average P/E ratio is 16.7x since the 1870’s.
You people are smart—you do the math as far as whether or not Tesla’s fame is (as the author states) the result of cult adherence and mindset.

Stephen Richards
Reply to  David Middleton
November 2, 2016 1:33 pm

Take away the subsidies and your analysis is crap. Tesla will be dead by summer 2017

ATheoK
Reply to  David Middleton
November 3, 2016 8:53 pm

Some nitpicking:
Courtesy “Tesla: What Goes Up Must Come Down – Alex Eule”

“Tesla’s latest earnings showed a rare quarterly profit, $22 million to be exact. But as with so much at the company, it’s more complicated than that. For one thing, the company switched to a new method of accounting, which makes it hard to compare Tesla’s latest results to prior periods.”

Ah, a ‘new’ method of accounting. Well, that explains everything! Tesla splurged three quarters of their EV credits to make this month appear profitable.

“Meanwhile, UBS, which rates Tesla shares at Sell, pointed out in a research note that all of the quarter’s profit came from selling its zero-emission vehicle credits. Tesla earns the credits for making its electric cars and sells them to other car makers that need to offset the pollution caused by their gasoline-powered vehicles. The credits are nice to have, but they don’t say much about Tesla’s ability to operate profitably on its own.”

Or this from WSJ’s Charley Grant; “Tesla Sales Need a Recharge

“Talk about a pie in the face.
Tesla Motors sold just 1,650 cars in the U.S. in October, according to Inside EVs, which tracks monthly sales of electric cars. That’s well below the 7,500 cars it sold in the U.S. in September, the data show.
The September sales came after Elon Musk emailed his employees saying, “It would be awesome to throw a pie in the face of all the naysayers on Wall Street who keep insisting that Tesla will always be a money-loser.”
Tesla did generate a third quarter profit. But Tesla’s stock fell 3% in morning trading after the data came out. The October sales report suggests that the company’s critics won’t be getting a second helping of pie any time soon.”

comment image?dl=0comment image?dl=0
Key Stock Data
P/E Ratio (TTM) N/A
EPS (TTM) $-6.52
Market Cap $28.16 B
Shares Outstanding 148.69 M
Public Float 113.09 M
Yield Tesla has not issued dividends in more than 1 year.
Latest Dividend N/A
Ex-Dividend Date N/A
Short Interest (10/14/16)
Shares Sold Short 28.14 M
Change from Last 1.55%
Percent of Float 24.88%
That’s a large short position. Somebody is expecting one huge payout.
Tesla has been burning far more cash than they earn.
Then there is this whole Tesla 1 Tesla 2 Tesla 3 deal… What manufacturer, in their right minds, revamps designs, suppliers, factories, employee skills, etc. to change models before any model starts earning a profit?
Musk is promising an affordable Tesla 3, well before Tesla 2 has paid for their manufacturing/distribution channels.
Now Musk is trying to add in Solar City so he can drain their earnings and cash flows off too. Musk may be a genius, but he is lacks practical common sense.

Resourceguy
November 2, 2016 8:05 am

The Tesla business model goes beyond sticking taxpayers with credits. The model is also dependent on stiffing rate payers in the once-praised regulated utility model of fairness. In Progressive World, everyone is a potential target and so are their institutions.

Logoswrench
November 2, 2016 8:17 am

My neighbor has a Tesla. You can actually see the halo around it as he drives down the road.

MarkW
Reply to  Logoswrench
November 2, 2016 9:59 am

Does your neighborhood have a problem with smug pollution?

Frank K.
November 2, 2016 8:24 am

The issues with Tesla’s cars go beyond the fact that their sticker prices are **well** out of reach of the average consumer. The autopilot technology is very problematic (even dangerous) and Tesla will not permit you to use their vehicles (that you purchased with your own money!) for Uber and Lyft. In fact, there is a big debate going on right now about what exactly you own when you purchase a Tesla vehicle. You certainly don’t own the software that is essential for the thing to work at all (forget about working on simple repairs an maintenance yourself). And you may not have any privacy as it tracks exactly where your are every hour of every day and what you are doing with your car – basically a giant four-wheeled cell phone. Will you have to purchase “electronic services” plan with your vehicle (like a phone)? Probably.
Personally, I would **never** purchase a vehicle that was so expensive, entirely intrusive, and potentially unreliable as a Tesla…

MarkW
Reply to  Frank K.
November 2, 2016 10:00 am

I’m pretty sure that you don’t own the software in a standard cars computerized engine control module.

Matt Bergin
Reply to  MarkW
November 2, 2016 12:38 pm

I have a program that controls the software in most OBD2 equipped cars. I use it to tune modified engines. I don’t normally wear a tin foil had but I did make the OBD2 built in GPS location device that is in my car inoperative. I didn’t use software though, I just used a wire cutter. 🙂

gnomish
Reply to  Frank K.
November 2, 2016 6:10 pm

“The issues with Tesla’s cars go beyond the fact that their sticker prices are **well** out of reach of the average consumer.”
if the average consumer could get it, it wouldn’t be worth buying for the fashion leaders.. srsly.
the price IS the main selling point.
they already have a membership at the country club that cost more.

Walt The Physicist
November 2, 2016 8:27 am

Personally, I’m a big enthusiast of Tesla. Love driving this X model. I took a test drive of BMW i3 and it is also fantastic car. But the size of Tesla X that sits comfortably 5 plus kinda squzzie extra 2 and the quality of its interior and the size of the windshield making this futuristic vehicle feel.. all these are unbeatable features. Only one criticism – it turns more like Cadillac far from, let say, BMW agility. Hopefully, nuclear power generation will continue growing and the electric cars will become a usual and feasible thing. As far as all these government political things – this is separate issue. The reality is that the electric car technology is becoming competitive and is actually superior to the internal combustion engine. Though I will be missing roar of my M3 🙂

Gamecock
Reply to  Walt The Physicist
November 2, 2016 9:49 am

‘The reality is that the electric car technology is becoming competitive and is actually superior to the internal combustion engine.’
Three-year depreciation on a Nissan Leaf is 73%.
Competitive? Superior?

MarkW
Reply to  Walt The Physicist
November 2, 2016 10:02 am

Becoming competitive? For commuting to work, possibly. Not for anything else.
Let’s see how “competitive” they are when the subsidies stop and they have to start paying road usage taxes just like everyone else.

Walt The Physicist
Reply to  MarkW
November 2, 2016 11:20 am

The range of Tesla X is about 250 – 290 miles on highway when you drive conservatively. Then with supercharger it takes about 1 hour for full charge. So, this is far better then just commuting to work. I don’t think that the road usage tax is of any consideration for owner of the cars that are more than, let say, $70K and thus, it is not a consideration that lowers competitiveness. I would say, the large turning radius and no run-flat tires is much bigger factors that are completely compensated by the fantastic auto-pilot.

MarkW
Reply to  MarkW
November 3, 2016 7:42 am

That’s 250 miles assuming you don’t use the AC/heater lights or any of the accessories.

Paul Penrose
Reply to  Walt The Physicist
November 2, 2016 10:48 am

I take it you don’t live north of the frost line? Because if you do, you are going to be disappointed during that first winter when the range drops precipitously.

Walt The Physicist
Reply to  Paul Penrose
November 2, 2016 11:23 am

Above! The first winter is coming, will give you feedback. It is something to consider…

Kurt
Reply to  Paul Penrose
November 2, 2016 12:52 pm

The drop in range depends on your driving habits. If you start cold in the morning, drive a short distance and let it cool again, start cold, drive a short distance, and repeat, then yes the range will drop precipitously because you have so many cold starts from which you have to heat the battery. If you just start once in the morning, drive to work, start in the evening, and drive home, you can still cover about 200 miles on an 85kW. In ordinary winter driving, no one will have much of a problem in a Tesla.

Paul Penrose
Reply to  Paul Penrose
November 3, 2016 11:18 am

Kurt,
It depends on where you live. At 15F just heating cab will reduce the range by 25%. Snow on the road? That’s another 10-15% hit. And if it’s really cold, like below 0F, which happens often here in Minnesota in the winter, then not only is the heater losses even worse, but the excess heat from the motors will not be enough to keep the battery pack warm and you will lose even more capacity. And you won’t be able to charge the batteries at the temperature, so even if you have a place to plug into at work, you are still SOL.

Matt Bergin
Reply to  Walt The Physicist
November 2, 2016 1:02 pm

They quit making electric cars in 1917 because they didn’t work. The greens have dragged up this dead technology and are flogging it as something new. Same as they are doing with the wind turbines. These new cars are the same as the old ones, Too expensive (model T $250, 1917 electric car $8000 ) Limited range and battery failures. That 1917 car advertised that it had a top speed of 60 mph and a range of 100 miles. Of course it could not do this any more than the Nissan leaf’s supposed 70mph top speed and 100 mile range is reality. Until we can use something other that batteries an electric car will not be viable as an only vehicle. LiPo batteries fail after approximately 1500 cycles and faster if they are charged quickly. See the uproar a 2.2 amp hour battery blowing up in a cellphone causes, wait till one of these 35 to 40 Kilowatt hour batteries start failing while you are sitting on top of it in traffic. Glad it will be someone elses butt not mine.

David L
Reply to  Matt Bergin
November 2, 2016 4:53 pm

Exactly. The first automobiles were electric in the late 1800’s. As soon as the Otto gasoline engine was developed to a point of reliability, it quickly pushed the electric cars out of business. Batteries simply cannot compete with the energy density of gasoline. This is still true today. True visionaries in history developed brand new technologies. Tesla is just digging up old failed technology.

Reply to  Matt Bergin
November 2, 2016 5:29 pm

Tesla uses a bunch of cells in the battery, how big I don’t know. My understanding is that the charging system keeps tabs on each individual cell all the time. If I’d had anything to do with engineering it, each cell would have a cutout available to disconnect if it showed signs of misbehaving.

MarkW
Reply to  Matt Bergin
November 3, 2016 7:44 am

In other words, if one of the batteries catches fire, it will automatically send an e-mail to the fire department.

rogerknights
November 2, 2016 8:28 am

I recently read that 2/3 of owners of electric or hybrid cars do not stay with those choices when they buy their next car, but buy a regular internal combustion car instead.
I’ve also read that there is an ultra-efficient internal combustion engine in the pipeline (two years from mass production?), backed by Bill Gates, that will satisfy the US mandate for much better MPG. If delivered (prototypes work), it will spell the end of electric and hybrid vehicles.

Walt The Physicist
Reply to  rogerknights
November 2, 2016 8:40 am

My grand pa told me my great great grand pa was expecting that advances in breeding will produce much faster and more efficient horse and that it will spell the end of these gasoline engine vehicles:)

MarkW
Reply to  Walt The Physicist
November 2, 2016 10:03 am

The response expected of a true believer.

Stephen Richards
Reply to  Walt The Physicist
November 2, 2016 1:41 pm

I regularly do trips of 1100kms. Fill once with diesel in 5 mins cruise at 130km/hr. Waiting at a charger for someone else to finish and ending with 80% of the charge to get me to the next charger does not seem like it would be better than my diesel.
Several Guardian reporters did a similar but shorter trip in a Tesla. It took them 3 days, one overnight charge from a householder which cost them 75€ and two hotel stops both costing the max price because the distance available is not accurately predictable so had to find the hotels at the last desperate minute
Great for short commute; great in town ; useless for everything else and I’m not buying two cars to do the same thing.

Jpatrick
November 2, 2016 9:32 am

The problem with Tesla is that it doesn’t pass the “What if everyone did it?” test. If everyone (or some reasonable fraction thereof) drove a Tesla, we would be out of electricity.

Walt The Physicist
Reply to  Jpatrick
November 2, 2016 11:30 am

Yea… some products just won’t pass such test. Alligator shoes, caviar, Ivy League education… I wouldn’t call it problem though.

November 2, 2016 9:32 am

Middleton just does not get it.
Affordable and efficient electric vehicles are changing the world energy markets in fundamental ways.
Those of us with sufficient years recognize that the improved batteries with high-volume car production will forever end the crude oil monopoly from the Middle East.
Tesla is but the first car company to take the plunge. As batteries steadily improve in performance and cost, more companies will make great numbers of electric vehicles.
Price of crude oil will decline to $10 (US), to the great benefit of the world.
Petrochemicals, pharmaceuticals, plastics, and thousands more products that are petroleum-based will all have cost reductions.
Go, Tesla, GO!

Reply to  Roger Sowell
November 2, 2016 9:40 am

Roger Sowell is apparently aware of a manufacturer of batteries with phenomenal performance (using unicorn hair and unobtainium as a separator ?)

Reply to  David Middleton
November 2, 2016 9:53 am

Interesting that Middleton neglected to mention Tesla’s pre-orders for the Tesla 3 that number in the hundreds of thousands.
Nor any mention of the Tesla mega-factory that is already churning out low-cost batteries.
Nor the bid for a grid-scale battery storage system Tesla won recently in Southern California.
Biased, much?

MarkW
Reply to  David Middleton
November 2, 2016 10:06 am

Hundreds of thousands?
Even if true, that’s only a tiny fraction of the car market.
As to the grid-scale storage. Government wasting money on another green scheme. How unusual.

Gamecock
Reply to  David Middleton
November 2, 2016 10:49 am

‘Tesla’s pre-orders for the Tesla 3 that number in the hundreds of thousands.’
How many has he sold? Double-ought zero.

Reply to  Roger Sowell
November 2, 2016 9:47 am

Batteries patented by BioSolar are one such technology.
There are others also.
As some like to say, “It’s simple physics.” In this context, BioSolar has Nobel-prize winning chemistry and physics.

MarkW
Reply to  Roger Sowell
November 2, 2016 10:06 am

Patent is one thing.
Building in industrial quantities is another thing entirely.
Biased much?

Paul Penrose
Reply to  Roger Sowell
November 2, 2016 10:52 am

Roger,
Physics is easy compared to engineering. You don’t seem to understand either.

Bryan A
Reply to  Roger Sowell
November 2, 2016 12:15 pm

Similar to Climate Models in some cases. Just because a thing should work, doesn’t mean it actually does in the manner promised.

Stephen Richards
Reply to  Roger Sowell
November 2, 2016 1:44 pm

Obama and Arafat have a nobel prize. Kellogs gives them away in cornflake packets

Bryan A
Reply to  Roger Sowell
November 3, 2016 6:41 pm

Thought that was the Crackerjack boxes

MarkW
Reply to  Roger Sowell
November 2, 2016 10:04 am

Roger Sowell demonstrate that he believes propaganda over the real world.
Again.

Reply to  MarkW
November 2, 2016 11:24 am

My hundreds of clients over 40 years disagree. My work in more than 1,000 process units in almost 100 refineries, petrochemical plants, and chemical plants was extremely satisfactory to the clients.
I’ll take their view of my abilities. Not your view.
When one gets flown in first class around the globe over and over for more than 40 years to happy client after happy client, one must be doing something right.

yarpos
Reply to  MarkW
November 3, 2016 1:18 am

Goodness! fully offset I hope Roger.

MarkW
Reply to  MarkW
November 3, 2016 7:45 am

Al Gore says the same thing.

gnomish
Reply to  Roger Sowell
November 2, 2016 10:40 am

vid or it didn’t happen

HAS
Reply to  Roger Sowell
November 2, 2016 12:05 pm

“… will forever end the crude oil monopoly from the Middle East.”
Actually i think fracking has already done that.

Patrick B
Reply to  Roger Sowell
November 2, 2016 1:52 pm

@Roger Sowell – “pre-orders” – non-binding, fully refundable $1,000 deposits are not sales, and do not count as pre-orders in the accounting department – only in the media department. Elon simply found another source of free loans other than the US and various State governments; smart guy; but the real issue is how many of those “pre-orders” will turn into sales in two years when the car is finally available.
This company has all the hallmarks of other companies built on good press, public enthusiasm and government support but then fail in the actual business. As the saying goes, they go bankrupt gradually and then all at once.
A Tesla short is worth considering.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Roger Sowell
November 3, 2016 1:05 am

You have no clue, none what so ever.

Knutsen
November 2, 2016 9:48 am

Most sold % EV of new cars in Norway: 24.4%! Netherlands: 1.8%, France: 1.5% and UK: 1.3%. Why? Subisidies. The sales dropped 85% in Denmark when the subsidies were removed this year.

MarkW
Reply to  David Middleton
November 2, 2016 10:09 am

“I could refuel at one of dozens of gas stations between here and there.”
Closer to hundreds.

Griff
Reply to  David Middleton
November 3, 2016 1:31 am

22% of new vehicle sales in Norway are EVs.
Just because Texas and USA are behind global trends…

MarkW
Reply to  David Middleton
November 3, 2016 7:47 am

David, Griff is still trying to convince everyone that just because windmills once, for a couple of minutes provided 20% of Germany’s power needs, that this proves that windmills are providing 20% of Germany’s power needs.

alacran
November 2, 2016 10:05 am

Since the early nineteenth century electromobility is in use and the problems are still the same, the power density of batteries! Even if we ignore the enery waste caused by transmission losses,
the highest electrochemically realizable cell voltage is 6,xx Volts and the elements and electrolytes required for these cells are extremely dangerous for daily use. Faults, when charging or discharging f.ex.,turn those batteries into bombs! See the recent problems of Samsung with their rather simple 3,2 V high efficiency Li-Ion cells in cell-phones!
Bob Lutz is right.E. Musk, the electromobility guru, is riding a dead horse and wasting money! I would like to have one of these very fine designed cars with a small clean turbo-diesel + plug-in system just for use in city green zones! And forget the hullabaloo about NOx, the limits are absurd!

DocScience
November 2, 2016 10:25 am

I suspect President Trump will not be kind to Tesla and the other green crony corps.

James at 48
November 2, 2016 10:34 am

I not seeing very many if any working poor who give a rat’s patoot about Tesla or any other electric vehicle. Give them a good gasoline powered Toyota sedan or pick up truck.

James at 48
Reply to  James at 48
November 2, 2016 10:34 am

I’m not seeing …

Gamecock
November 2, 2016 10:34 am

‘Affordable and efficient electric vehicles are changing the world energy markets in fundamental ways.’
Name one.
Intentionally ambiguous.
Name one ‘affordable and efficient electric vehicle.’ Electric vehicles cost way more than gasoline powered cars. Especially in capital costs. Except for Tesla, PEV residual value is AWFUL. Three-year depreciation of the Nissan Leaf is 73%. The stuff of nightmares for families that bought into the electric car schtick.
Name one ‘world energy market’ that has been changed by electric vehicles. In fundamental ways, no less.

JJ, too.
November 2, 2016 10:39 am

For every new wind mill installed, for every new solar panel installed, for every new A/C unit upgraded, for every new energy efficient building code that emerges, for every employee that can stop commuting from home and begin working from home, for every upgrade to existing home energy efficiency, for every pound removed from vehicle weight…there are additional electrons available from the grid to power EV’s. We aren’t going to add EV’s at a huge rate so the need to find new electrons aren’t going to be in extra special demand. Slowly and consistently the changeover to EV’s can be managed without requiring extraordinary changes in the supply of electrons.
I wouldn’t be so concerned about the fallacy of EV’s. It’s going to happen in one form or another with battery or hydrogen. As long as it’s slow, it’s manageable.

Stephen Richards
Reply to  JJ, too.
November 2, 2016 1:47 pm

Hydrogen looks more realistic but range is only 300miles but fill up in 10 mins.

MarkW
Reply to  Stephen Richards
November 3, 2016 9:26 am

They need to solve the embrittlement and leakage problems first.

Joe Crawford
November 2, 2016 10:40 am

Other than wanting to own the latest enthusiast’s driving machine, I can think of only one good reason to own a Tesla: as an investment. Twenty or thirty years from now, long after Tesla Motors has gone out of business, a $75,000 Tesla (possibly with spare battery) should be worth upwards of $750,000 to $1,000,000. Buy it, put it in a garage and maybe drive it once or twice a month to keep it in running shape.. They haven’t built that many and with normal attrition there will only be a very few mint-condition ones left around in that time frame. Besides, it’s gotta be a better investment than real estate in New York or California.

Crispin in Waterloo but really in Dushanbe
Reply to  Joe Crawford
November 2, 2016 11:53 am

If you leave a Tesla off the charger for a month the battery pack dies and you have to buy another one. Ask some very unhappy owners. By the time the car becomes a ‘classic’ it will have to run on whatever batteries are available at that future time.

MarkW
Reply to  Crispin in Waterloo but really in Dushanbe
November 3, 2016 7:49 am

Assuming flux capacitors never take off.

Joe Crawford
Reply to  Crispin in Waterloo but really in Dushanbe
November 3, 2016 9:43 am

Crispen,
That’s good information on the Tesla. I didn’t realize the Li-ion batteries had such a high self-discharge rate. I can see where an owner might get a little PO’d if his house/garage power tripped off while on an extended vacation and he had to spend more on battery replacement than on the vacation or more probable, he left his Tesla at the airport and it was dead when he got back.

Resourceguy
November 2, 2016 10:56 am

The Green Madoff

November 2, 2016 11:04 am

Middleton has the buggy-whip mindset: nothing could be better than a reliable horse and smooth-running buggy. Look how that turned out.
EV charging stations in the US can be found on a map at https://www.plugshare.com
Many hundreds at present, with more built every week.

HAS
Reply to  David Middleton
November 2, 2016 12:42 pm

There is a problem facing regulators. If there is a desire to reduce the use of fossil fuels in transport then taxes to cover the externalities is the most obvious choice. But many users of fossil fuels they are locked in by past investments. It is likely that some form of intervention that rather than taxes the fuel taxes the conversation equipment (aka in this case as the car) would be more efficent. Politics can make taxes incumbent technologies difficult (I won’t mention “cult” and “petrol head” in the same sentence) so we end up with the second best approach, namely to subsidise non-fossil fuel conversion equipment.
So one can see why it is adopted as a policy response.
The UNIVAC is a strawman in this context because it would have been home computers that would be subsidised following this logic, not a specific solution. As others have noted here in pushing EVs one needs to be aware of impacts back up the fuel supply chain.
If thinking about buggies etc, it is also worthwhile thinking about trip replacements that may leave cars behind – fleet and logistics optimisation, and moving electrons rather than physical things (eg telepresence, 3D printing). This will happen faster than EVs because it is low capital cost and people will own the hardware for other reasons (and partly thanks to Eckert and Mauchly).

HAS
Reply to  David Middleton
November 2, 2016 2:17 pm

I hadn’t thought of you as my opponent.
In defence of bureaucrats they only can do what our elected reps approve, and it is well accepted that governments have a role to play in internalising externalities. The expectation however is that they should do this as efficiently as possible.
So from a public policy point of view the two questions are: whether there is a significant externality associated with fossil fuel use, and if so what’s the best intervention to achieve it. I suspect that if you accept there are problems with using fossil fuels in ICEs that are being captured in the market, then incentives to buy other technology isn’t the worst way to do something about it. I don’t know how the US system works but competitive tendering on a regular basis to benefit from the incentives gets over some of the potential dynamic inefficiencies that arise from them.

HAS
Reply to  David Middleton
November 2, 2016 2:19 pm

“aren’t being captured in the market”

Reply to  David Middleton
November 2, 2016 5:52 pm

Actually, you could buy a home computer in the early 50’s. In the back of popular science, for something like $3.95. It was called a Brainiac. It was essentially an electric version of a simple mechanical adding machine. It could be programmed to some extent for simple problems. An interesting technical toy for smart kids so inclined. Useful otherwise, no.

Griff
Reply to  David Middleton
November 3, 2016 1:28 am

“Man did not leave the Stone Age because of a stone shortage”
Its funny – I’ve seen that quote from a Saudi oil minister, explaining why the Saudis are embracing solar power.

Reply to  Roger Sowell
November 2, 2016 12:42 pm

Cherry pick much, Middleton?
See http://car stations.com for US
charging locations and number of stations there.
Note that California has more than 2,000 charging stations at present. Texas has more than 600, mostly in the Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio cities.
Rants such as Middleton made here and below are funny to those of us who understand a revolutionary technology when it appears.

Bruce Cobb
Reply to  Roger Sowell
November 2, 2016 2:17 pm

You mean funny to you and your fellow cultists? Your “revolutionary” technology isn’t there yet. The advantages of it are few and far between, and the disadvantages are frankly embarassing. Give it 30 or 40 years. Then we’ll see.

dan no longer in CA
November 2, 2016 11:19 am

The October sales numbers are in for plug-in cars. Tesla model S and X both dropped by a factor of 4 relative to September which was the basis for all the upbeat news. http://insideevs.com/monthly-plug-in-sales-scorecard/

BobM
November 2, 2016 11:24 am

Small quibble. The numbers given in the Operating Income (Loss) figures are shown in ($1000)’s..
“More importantly, as the lower panel demonstrates, Tesla’s annual net loss has been growing geometrically. Without a continuous infusion of new capital, Tesla would cease to be a going concern rather rapidly.
Telsa Operating Income (Loss)
2013 ($61,283)
2014 ($186,689)
2015 ($716,629) ”
The 2015 loss was $716 MILLION, not $716,629. Most would probably realize that, but the chart should show the correct magnitude.

dan no longer in CA
Reply to  BobM
November 2, 2016 11:32 am

Does that include the $400 million from 400,000 potential buyers of the model 3? I think it’s extremely creative that Tesla got potential car buyers to loan them, interest free, $400M.

Gamecock
Reply to  dan no longer in CA
November 2, 2016 3:30 pm

At least Jim Bakker had SOME hotel rooms when he sold them.

November 2, 2016 11:53 am

The greenies are showing their ignorance on this one. Bob Lutz said not one word against electric cars. Why wouldhe – he was the guy who produced the first mostly electric vehicle by any major
American automaker. What Lutz is pointing out is that Tesla Motors is living on govt doles and
has so far prodced exactly one vehicle, a vehicle that is sold in the thousands, not hundreds of thousands. Tesla has not proven itself to be a major automaker, much less the star of the East.
Lutz’s GM is producing two electrics now – the Volt and the Bolt, both of which can be owned by
non-zillionaires. Tesla has attracted the greenies not from what it has accomplished, but because of Elon Musk’s rather simple minded green thoughts. He’s into govt subsidies from solar panel roofing companies as well. The Tesla Model S may be electric, but it is one big energy hog, at more than 4000 pounds. He spends his engineering time making it run faster than other cars, not more efficiently, something greenies have griped about for decades. Go figure. Which is the dumber
member of this mutual admiration society? Musk also has made multiple claims in the past concerning wwhat the price of his cars and their range would be and how cheap they supposedly are to operate. All those claims were bogus, like much of the man himself. As an energy guru he avoids new nuclear and therefore is an energy ignoramus. He defrauds the public with his claims about solar.

Cube
Reply to  arthur4563
November 2, 2016 4:44 pm

Tesla has produced three vehicles: the roadster, model S, and model X.

Roderic Fabian
November 2, 2016 12:07 pm

Given the current mix of fuels used to produce electricity in the US, the Tesla Model S causes the emission of as much CO2 as a car that gets 16 miles to the gallon. It’s certainly cheaper to power a Tesla since grid power is much cheaper than gasoline power, but free of emissions Teslas are not. They just displace the emissions to the power plant.

dmacleo
November 2, 2016 1:06 pm

don’t have issues with electric/hybrids, have issue with people getting tax breaks to buy them as it creates false foundations.
up here in cold country hybrids operate on gas a lot anyway.
and have had to pull a few here on bad roads with my crown vic.
seriously would like to see diesel electric like in locomotives though.

November 2, 2016 1:10 pm

Who Will Become the First Master Builder of Clean Energy?
By Steve Heins, The Word Merchant
Many have probably heard a lot about Tesla lately, including the latest dust up with the “Autopilot” accidents. Beneath the headlines, the recently announced Tesla and Solar City merger will be an interesting experiment: Can massive government spending stimulate its own economy, without the usual worry about return on investment or real market demand. Stated differently, can the public sector make “better” and more clean energy choices than the private sector?
First, with so many phrases being bandied about by the energy and environmental communities like “sustainable,” “clean,” “renewable,” and “environmentally friendly,” a broader meaning is required: “Clean energy” is energy efficiency, solar, wind, large scale battery storage, new gas/natural gas pipelines, new state of the art transmission lines, geothermal, hydro, improved and cleaner coal power plants, wave, new or updated nuclear power plants, and new natural gas power plants. They are all a part of a global greenhouse gas emission reduction strategy that at a minimum doesn’t damage the 3 billion people living in poverty, and 1.6 billion people still living without clean water, reliable electricity and inadequate telecommunications.
A necessary measuring stick is that all “clean energy” must share the ability to be measured and verified over time. Also, instead of the many imperfections of the cap and trade platforms like the European Union’s Emission Trading Scheme (and its ilk) and the carbon tax, the plan should be all inclusive. Renewables would not be treated as the only tradable emission credit, voluntary or otherwise. This notion reflects a sense that a 100 % renewables world isn’t a sacred goal nor is it even desirable.”
Frankly, when it comes to global economic development, the political class has proven, at their best, that they are enormously vulnerable to the Chinese menu of human frailties. Conversely, the private sector corrects its own historical mistakes, if only for economic survival.
Even the most recent example of a successful federal program, the Internet itself, only became commercialized and successful, after the heavy-handed regulation by the federal government was supplanted with technologies developed in the private sector. The TCP/IP protocol was established in 1983, and the invention of the browser by Marc Andreesen in 1993. Unlike the inevitable ossification of any large government entity, the private sector has the ‘machinery for change”, as Leonard Cohen put it.
One could argue, as the Wall Street Journal does, that Telsa and Solar City are both taxpayer subsidized companies. In fact, neither company has returned its first dollar of profit.
Essentially, the public sector, including well-funded politically active environmental groups, have decided that the solar industries, coal capture, electric cars, and large scale storage batteries are some of the best investments for the future of energy, economic development and environmentalism. “Tesla customers can drive clean cars and they can use our battery packs to help consume energy more efficiently,” as stated in a recent Tesla blog, “but they still need access to the most sustainable energy source that’s available: the sun.”
Lost in Tesla’s quote is the fact that the solar industry, coal capture or battery storage business cannot yet be defined as a “clean energy” sources, at least until they can prove they have the profitability and scalability to create the enormous amount of capital necessary for the global infrastructural investments, and all without the kindness of governmental assistance.
Currently, the public sector seems awash in money for renewables, studies and reports dedicated to the environmental community by the environmental and energy agencies. In addition, there is large amount of money that is being donated by individuals and foundations to environmental organization, which receive public or private funding.
At a minimum, there must be full disclosure of all public sector funding, when these funds and grants are received and expended on these environmental and economic debates. In a world flooded with funding biases and dubious economic claims, material facts help Wall Street and global investors keep the world in economic perspective no matter what is being said in public about energy and the environment.
After the failures of Solyndra, SunEdison, FutureGen in Illinois, the Kemper Project of Mississippi, Telsa and Elon Musk must grow from being great marketers to becoming a master builders of energy sustainability. If Telsa fails, they certainly will do irreparable harm to the credibility of federalism, renewables, and clean energy.
####

HotScot
November 2, 2016 1:30 pm

You guys are funny. Whilst I’m a dyed in the wool AGW sceptic, the IC engine is dying out. It’s a bizarre concept with innumerable moving parts held together with nuts and bolts, thrashing around and entirely reliant on gas (petrol to us Brits) stations every few miles. And I mean every few miles. I can name 30 petrol stations within 3 or 4 miles from my house. The whole concept is ludicrous. Wholesale distribution of fuel by innumerable tankers trundling around our roads whilst a perfectly good national grid exists. Oceans ploughed by tankers spewing the damn stuff overboard just for car fuel. And whilst I’m preaching to the converted (almost) it would be far better if we resurrected our coal industry, built ‘clean’ power stations, became self-sufficient and invested in EV technology.
Someone on here condemned Musk’s Tesla car by posting a single photograph of a truck that was hit by a Tesla and the driver died whilst it was on auto pilot. I could show millions of shots of fatal accidents in conventional cars when the only pilot was the nut holding the wheel.
When it was first developed, the motor car was horrendously expensive, for the landed gentry only. They, of course, adopted their own sat nav and auto pilot, the butler (later dedicated chauffeur) and the challenge was to get from London to Brighton, 50 or 60 miles or so? There were few, if any, petrol stations so range anxiety was acute. They cars also stank, they were exposed, noisy and unreliable.
However, they were encouraged as the alternative was cities drowning in horse shit (literally) which became a serious health hazard. The drains couldn’t cope and the effluent was invariably dumped into the nearest river affecting everything downstream for miles. The resistance to cars was, nevertheless, immense.
Now whilst electric cars aren’t perfect, of course we must charge them, and the energy to do so will largely come from fossil fuel powered electricity generation; but I suspect the particulate emissions from a single power station, powering thousands of cars, is easier to capture and dispose of safely than from individual vehicles. Daily I drive behind cars and lorries belching plumes of black diesel smoke from badly maintained engines. That’s the reality of the situation, the theoretical differences between the energy efficiency of EV’s or IC’s is inconsequential.
EV’s are not perfect, but neither were IC’s when they were introduced. It took time, effort and government subsidies to get them to where they are now. EV’s are the same, as the technology matures, the subsidies will reduce.
If you lot swallowed your pride and thought about it for more than a nanosecond, supporting EV’s gets you closer to the AGW alarmist’s and the debate would be narrowed to the actual problem. Can they prove conclusively that CO2 causes GW? Of course not. Have they spent 40 years trying to prove it? Yep, and come up blank.
Quit giving them ammunition to divert the discussion with. You need to sell the sceptical view to the public, they then need to put pressure on governments who will not allow votes to walk out the door, even over GW.
You are all clever guys. I have only spent 30 years in sales and marketing, but there is one absolute universal truth about delivering an acceptable product or service: consumers won’t buy more than one thing at a time. And the single most important message to be delivered is that no one has proven CO2 causes GW. Get the public asking that single question and you will get converts. Blind them with science about ‘cloud feedback’ or the effects of El Niño and El Nina and they will switch off. Tell them no one has proven CO2 causes GW then demonstrate some evidence from peer reviews that CO2 lags Temp. rise by 800 years, and that’s easy for them to digest.
If we buy something from Amazon, most of us asses the reviews before we decide. This forum is the first port of call for anyone with the desire to ask a question, and it is seriously off-putting. It’s claimed to be the most read sceptical site on the internet but I provoked a meaningless and puerile argument with Isvalgaard (sp?) (sorry mate, it was quite deliberate, no offence) to see just how far it would go. The real problem is that anyone caring to look at the comments would have seen it.
Hundreds of thousands (?) of people across the world love Tesla’s. This thread has just alienated all of them because you question their judgement, taste, motivation etc. by slagging off an expensive item they have invested in. Even if they don’t believe in AGW, you have still pissed them off.
It all comes down to features and benefits. What are the features of the relative arguments (AGW Vs. sceptics) and what are the benefits? The biggest, demonstrable, undeniable benefit as far as sceptics are concerned is that the greens have won! The planet is greening, it’s what they demanded, it’s what they got. It’s positive, it’s measurable, its definable. On the other hand, the only ‘benefit’ the AGW believers can deliver is that rising CO2 causes increased hurricanes, drought, sea level rise etc. But even if it has happened by any fractional degree they care to name, it’s not by the 14% greening has occurred. So, what’s the trade-off? A degree of GW caused by increased CO2, delivering another 14% greening (or more) in 30 years’ time. Wouldn’t their kids just hate them if they prevented that bounty.
And the cost? Some nutter at a congressional hearing demonstrated the sun hitting his bald spot as the Milankovitch effect manifested itself and melted Arctic ice as the earth tilted towards the sun. No one had the gumption to ask him what his arse was doing when it was pointing away from the sun. Nor did anyone ask him the benefit of ice at the poles, other than to drop into a G&T. So the stuff melts over the next 1,000 years, big deal. We lose some cities built precariously on river banks, estuaries and flood plains? That’s our own fault. We have known for hundreds of years that sea levels rise and fall and cities drown, so start building up the damn hill if you don’t want to run a risk.
And whilst this site exists to challenge the AGW concept, if a frank discussion board exists, it needs to be by membership. That way you don’t get wankers like me coming on and causing trouble. By all means maintain an open board, but elect a few experts to deal with members of the public interested in the sceptical view. Assemble the questions they will ask and give them just 3 solid examples each that refute them. Not in a list, but by the selected experts engaging in discussion and ‘handing over’ the evidence in links etc.
Openly calling Hansen and Mann et al wankers and ridiculing Tesla does no one any good at all, it sounds too much like the other side.

Griff
Reply to  HotScot
November 3, 2016 1:25 am

“It’s a bizarre concept with innumerable moving parts held together with nuts and bolts”
which is why total cost of ownership for an EV is lower… there are so many less components to go wrong.
For fleet car/van operators, in cities or with fixed routes, EVs are already cheaper to operate. That’ll grow as range extends.

MarkW
Reply to  Griff
November 3, 2016 7:53 am

Of course once they start charging road taxes by miles driven instead of gallons consumed, the so called cheapness of EVs dissapears.

Mike
November 2, 2016 1:39 pm

Ayre also conveniently forgot to cite the rest of Lutz’s comments in that interview…the parts about the new EV competitors that Tesla hasn’t a chance against, he said Chevy’s EV outperforms Tesla in terms of range, the major players (BMW et al) are introducing better EVs that they can actually produce in volume, Tesla hasn’t introduced anything worthwhile after their sports car (which he likes).

aaron
November 2, 2016 1:55 pm

Modern day DeLorean. Every shady deal he does to squeak by makes him more likely to fail spectacularly.

Eric Harpha