Tesla Motors' Elon Musk just killed the petrol car

Tesla Motors’ Elon Musk just killed the petrol car

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Tesla Model 3 sales jump to 276,000 in three days – or $A13 billion. That’s the quickest building order book in the history of the car. Analysts say it signals the demise of the petrol car, and the emergence of a new business model to make money out of mileage, rather than units sold.

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See also: Tesla, rivals and software may kill petrol car by 2025.

Source: Tesla
Source: Tesla

“Adios gas-powered cars.” That was the reaction of Barclays analyst Brian Johnston over the weekend to news that Tesla Motors had received orders for nearly 200,000 of its Model 3 electric vehicle in less than two days.

By nightfall on Saturday, that order tally had jumped to 276,000. That’s more than $US280 million in zero-cost capital to Tesla, from the $US1,000, $A1,500 and €1,000 deposits, and total orders for more than $A13 billion of electric vehicles.

It is – by a long shot – the fastest growing customer order book in the history of the automobile industry. And for a car that will not even enter production for 18 months, and has a price tag of $US35,000.

Barclay’s Johnston says the huge order numbers – more than the monthly sales of General Motors – suggests the tide is turning away from the internal combustion engine. Other analysts agreed.

“Tesla has changed the game again,” said Andrea James, an analyst with Dougherty & Co. Alliance Bernstein’s Mark Jones also called it a “game changer”, and so too did Evercore ISI analyst George Galliers.

“To us the vehicle is ‘the game changer’ and will likely play a critical role in Elon Musk’s desire to expedite the auto industry’s transition from internal combustion engine to electric,” Galliers wrote in a client’s note.

It’s hard not to agree with Johnston and the other analysts. There could have been no greater demonstration of the latent demand for electric vehicles than the response to the Model 3.

This is not just a Tesla thing, as alluring as the brand might be. It is a sign, noted Johnston and the other analysts, that the days of the internal combustion engine are numbered. Some say it may be over by 2025.

Musk has not played a lone hand in this. The German automaker VW managed to kill the future of the diesel car when it was forced to admit that its emissions claims were completely bogus – a development that forced it and other car makers to throw all their efforts into electric vehicles.

Then there are technology developments and environmental concerns. China and other countries are trying to kick petrol and diesel cars off the road to try to make their cities more livable. China’s BYD tripled EV sales to 150,000 in 2015, and expects that number to double each year for the next three years.

India’s roads minister last week was quoted as saying he wanted all cars to be electric by 2030. Norway intends to do this by 2025, and the Netherlands has said it will ban sales of new petrol cars from that date. And just to add to the mega-themes, Saudi Arabia said it is planning to establish a $US2 trillion sovereign wealth fund by selling off its state petroleum assets in preparation for a world beyond oil.

This, of course, represents a massive disruption to several industries that have dominated world economies and politics over recent decades. The big one is obviously the oil industry, but the whole structure of the auto industry is also being tipped on its head.

Electric vehicles do not just mean a different source of fuel – of electricity over liquids. Tesla has also managed to up-end the whole concept of networks and dealerships, which rely on repairs and maintenance to click over the revenues. That threat explains why some states in the US have refused access to Tesla cars because they won’t play by the rules.

And this is where it gets interesting – the fight for dominance in Auto 2.0.

Morgan Stanley analysts wrote in a note that Tesla – despite its many worthy accomplishments –  had not yet truly disrupted the auto industry. Before last Friday it had been nothing more than a niche player.

“We are now getting a feeling that this may be starting to change,” they wrote.

“Elon Musk referred several times last night to the important stages of the company’s ‘master plan’, thanking the early owners of the Tesla Roadster for funding the Model S and thanking the owners of the Model S for funding the Model 3.”

And what would that master plan be? According to Morgan Stanley analysts, it’s not actually the volumes that will count. Musk’s vision, they say, if for a shared, autonomous electric transport network where revenue is generated through the sales of miles rather than units.

They noted Musk’s announcements during the frenzy of the Model 3 launch on doubling the numbers of stores and superchargers in the next 12 months.

“(That) starts to imply some very serious physical numbers of real estate and service assets in the field to support the captive ecosystem of a transportation megafleet,” the Morgan Stanley analysts wrote.

“Tesla is shouldering the costs of an ever growing physical network of captive service and free charging. While these costs could be considered partially a marketing expense today, we believe the proprietary network is critical to delivering mobility service-based revenue in the future.”

It is fascinating, though, to see how some in the media are reacting to this. My copy of the Weekend Australian  did not include the story, and neither did my Monday copy.

The Australian Financial Review at least reported it, but tried to mock the event as a “launch resembling an environmental revival meeting.”

Really? Maybe that’s because Musk spent two minutes talking about rising Co2 levels and soaring temperatures and the need to do something about climate change. Clearly, the  AFR is still shocked that corporations talk about such things.

As events go, it was as corporate as corporate events can be – slick video, music, displays. Slick products. Enough to generate more than 250,000 orders and potential sales of more than $13 billion. If that’s the standard, let’s have more environmental revival meetings.

It’s that kind of thinking, though – oh, that this is just a fad – that has got the automotive industry into the mess it has been in, along with the media industry, the telco industry, and now the electricity supply industry, and so many sectors disrupted by the internet.  (I still remember the former editors of the AFR closing down the first iteration of afr.com more than a decade ago, on the basis that print sales would rebound and the “internet might go away”).

There are questions about Tesla’s ability to ramp up its production and meet this demand, and how many of these refundable deposits will turn into firm orders, and how much this new model will cannibalise the Model S.

All valid questions. Musk has already recognised that delivery will be the key and the need to rethink the company’s production plans. This already includes a possible new factory in Europe. Wouldn’t it be great if South Australia could attract Tesla to replace the petrol car production lines due to close in next few years?

musk europe

But the shift from the petrol car to the electric car won’t ride on the ability of Musk to implement his strategy. The internet didn’t die because some firms that enjoyed early successes later collapsed so spectacularly.

The big story here is the untapped potential of the electric vehicle. If his master plan proves too hard, Musk’s legacy will be his ability to make electric vehicles an attractive consumer product, just as Apple did with the laptop and the iPhone.

When Musk began building his Roadsters eight years ago, EVs were seen as something useful for the golf course and the DIY community. Tesla built around 2,500 of those roadsters, and now it has pre-orders of 100 time that sports car’s entire production, two years out.

That, said one observer, surely establishes Tesla as the electric transport catalyst in the history of the world. “It really cements them as serious agents of change in the EV realm – exactly what Elon has been pouring his heart and soul into achieving,” said one.

See also: Tesla, rivals and software may kill petrol car by 2025.


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  1. tsport100 5 years ago

    Why does South Australia need to attract Tesla? We have our own home grown automotive talent about to be made redundant… (lets not forget the original Chevy Bolt show car was built by a team in Melbourne) what better way to re-ignite the Australian auto industry than to set them to work on the next generation of vehicles, with an Australian owned and funded operation…!!

    • Carl Raymond S 5 years ago

      It’s taken more than 10 years for Tesla to go from startup to Model 3. There might be a niche that Tesla hasn’t yet captured (trucks, tractors, buses, utilities, boats), but it would be foolish to try to compete head on. Even GM’s well funded Bolt will struggle to get a foothold, unless GM decide to roll out a supercharger network.
      Tesla has another key advantage in the Gigafactory – they won’t have to fight for batteries.

    • Alan S 5 years ago

      Because here in Adelaide there’s been talk about an electric car industry for years and nothing’s been done. Sure, Flinders Uni developed an advanced electric motor in the 70s and UniSA have produced some good micro electric cars for the WSC. Meanwhile the ‘talent’ has been building 3.6 to 5.2 L monsters that appear to be well made and good value but insufficient people want to buy. Blade Electric Vehicles (Geelong) was a close as we got and that’s closed.

  2. Rob G 5 years ago

    I just want to see him expand globally, making cars in 20 countries thereabouts would see the collapse of petrol cars just that bit faster. And why any government, ours included, would not be paving the way for this to happen is an opportunity lost. I think South Australia should be considered given the skills we have waiting there. Now that would be true innovation….

  3. neroden 5 years ago

    Musk seems to respond best to Twitter. Ask him to consider an Australian factory specializing in RHD cars,.. not just for Australia but also for Japan, India, South Africa, and so on. Australia’s in the right location for the shipping routes to every RHD country except the UK.

    • Giles 5 years ago

      We already did that … looking forward to response!

    • Antony Day 5 years ago

      South Africa, which already has Mercedes and BMW factories, would be a better bet for them, Aus is hostile to manufacturing and more expensive

      • JonathanMaddox 5 years ago

        Also, Musk’s native country…

        • Contestant No. 3 5 years ago

          He’s not a big fan of his home county though. A lot of his motivation to change the world came from some pretty horrible experiences there. Ashley Vance’s Biography goes into more detail.

          • JonathanMaddox 5 years ago

            That may almost negate the home-country advantage but it still doesn’t make Australia a better place to invest (much as I’d love it, as an Aussie, to see Tesla building cars here).

          • neroden 5 years ago

            Honestly, the big advantage Australia has over South Africa is that Australia already has disused auto factories with connections to active ports. Does South Africa have those? I don’t think so. It means Tesla may be able to get an auto factory really cheap, which is what they did in the US.

          • JonathanMaddox 5 years ago

            I don’t know about *disused* auto factories, but South Africa has a lively domestic car manufacturing industry and already exports some half-million cars each year. This is thanks to consistent government support for the industry. Alas, the words “Australia”, “government” and “consistent” have not gone together for some time.

          • etherspin 5 years ago

            The Australian government consistently changes prime ministers every 18 months or so 🙂

  4. TekFollower 5 years ago

    Tony Seba (author of Clean Disruption) shows a picture of 5th Avenue in New York City from 1900 with the caption “Where is the car?” and a view of all horse drawn transport bar one automobile. He then follows it with a photo of the same street in 1913 with the caption “Spot the horse” to which the answer is “none” as it is all motor cars. Disruption happens quickly. Perhaps it would be a good time to take a similar picture and caption it “spot the electric vehicle”? My guess is that if you wait 13 years to take another it may well be possible to caption it “spot the gasoline car”.

    • neroden 5 years ago

      2029? Hell yeah. That’s long enough — that’s eleven years after Model 3 kicks into mass production. Nearly everyone will have replaced their obsolete gasmobiles *eleven years on*.

      • etherspin 5 years ago

        Its the self driving bit that will fire an ak47 nail gun into the coffin of existing ICE vehicles. The safety stats for self driving (which can recalculate data millions of times a second during a crash in order to regain traction and deploy saftey manoeuvres) will accumulate over a couple of years and human error will be perhaps 100 times more prevalent thus driving tests will be made much harder than today’s advanced defensive driving courses, older drivers will be retested and fail,giving up their vehicle for a small electric or to use self driving public transport and taxi service style mini buses that know who to pick up via algorithm and demand, returning to solar bank charging stations between jobs

        • Brandon C 5 years ago

          Tell me again why an ice car can’t self drive?

          • etherspin 5 years ago

            Too many variables to factor in I’d imagine,controls that are triggered by analog/levels rather than digitally monitored electrical inputs , extra weight and also less and less manufacturers making fancy ICE once autonomy close.I’m not aware of any petrol self drivers in development but am open to being corrected 🙂

          • Brandon C 5 years ago

            That is just nonsense. The control of a car is identical for both the electric and ice car. Not to mention the entire ice control system is just as computer controlled as any electrical system.
            The self driving system has absolutely nothing to do with how the car is powered. Volvo, Mercedes and Audi have all announced ICE based self drive programs. Google has a Prius, Audi TT and Lexus RX450 (at least 2 of those are gas hybrids, one has no hybrid version just ICE) . There is nothing special about electric cars. Remember that the actual driving and control systems in a Tesla use the exact same design as every other vehicle on the road. Not sure where anyone got the idea that self driving car needs to be electric.

          • etherspin 5 years ago

            Oh there was no nonsense at all, it all made sense , I was incorrect and as I said, I’m open to correction and you have very helpfully quoted car models so I can check more specifics of what Google is doing.

          • Brandon C 5 years ago

            Don’t get me wrong, I love the self driving car programs. I really hope they can make them actually practical, although I do still enjoy driving for fun sometimes. I would also probably look at a tesla if I lived in a more practical location. But my Canadian location, typical longer drive distances and no inside parking would make this little more than seasonal second toy car. It is worth noting that self drive and autonomous programs are being put on everything from offroad military vehicles to harvesting combines.

          • etherspin 5 years ago

            I’d particularly love to see government run free shuttle bus services for elderly,multirow (individual door per row) electric. Picks up people who key in their destination and arrival window and does it according to efficiency algorithms, returning to charging stations to park when demand is low. Could also see congestion reduced by some roads specifically for larger electric autonomous where the road is laden with signals for the system so vehicles can drive at higher speeds

    • Cooma Doug 5 years ago

      In 1900 there was a news article in New York that predicted a bubonic plague in the city caused by motor cars. The reason being that the plague was supressed by the decay of horse manure.
      The extreme right wing pollies in Australia will come up with something just as stupid in 2020.

      • MaxG 5 years ago

        We already have it with wind energy 😀

        • richmANZ 5 years ago

          yes those illnesses without any documented cases

      • Peter B 5 years ago

        Don’t think so, highly unlikely, do you have a copy?
        In the early 1890s New York hosted a World Health conference on the limits to the growth of cities. Yes, it was horse manure. Piled up on vacant lots it attracted rats and other vermin creating disease; not stopping it! Without barge or rail road access more horses and carts just added to the problem.
        The motor car improved the health of cities. But now just like “too much” of any good thing, the transition out of internal combustion to electric automobiles will help in restoring city health once again.
        I can’t wait for the end of smelly exhausts and noisy cars. Let’s hope Musk succeeds and makes the transition happen in a decade. Can some one please support the manufacture of electric delivery trucks and remove the diesel trucks that seem to constantly run whenever parked for deliveries, morning tea or lunch.
        Wait, don’t we have the Greens in Australia to do that?

        • wattleberry 5 years ago

          What is suddenly becoming all too apparent is the health damage in cities being caused by pollution, supported by actual statistics of accelerated death rates. Now they cannot be ignored or minimised and have, overnight, converted the hitherto rather relaxed approach to the issue by the authorities into willful negligence.
          It only remains for the media to make it into a voting factor.

          • Brandon C 5 years ago

            And yet those filthy cities, used to be much much dirtier, and as air quality increased the last 30 years, health did not keep pace. In fact increases in medicine can be linked to almost all increases in life expectancy in our western cities. Poverty is a much better indicator of health, than pollution. We get near zero return in health benefits for pollution decreases in almost all Canadian and US cities. That doesn’t stop people from making models from questionable studies to save untold vitual lives. But well that is the state of our modern science industry.

    • ClarenceinBalt 5 years ago

      Simplistic to the extreme.
      The ICE was superior to the horse in every way that mattered to human drivers back then.
      The Electric car still can’t match the ICE’s performance over long distances and convenience of quick fill up.
      There’s also very few Tesla charging stations in or near Podunk, NM.
      Lastly, people like me who live in inner cities don’t have garages and its almost a certainty that wireless power infrastructure (the only safe way to get power to EV around here unless you have your own spot in a private parking garage) will not be available in this neighborhood in 13 years.

      We also don’t know the price of a ‘used’ Tesla and while I overall like the battery life and the slow degradation of performance , the fact is the battery is expensive to replace.

      Most people in the US aren’t buying new cars they are buying 1 to 5 year old used cars or less than a year old ‘fleet’ cars. And plenty of people rent.

      Plus, the EV has a bad reputation among some people that even Tesla will find hard to shake.

      In the US I give the ICE (including hybrids) another 40 to 50 years of being viable. What Musk has shown is there is POTENTIALLY a big enough market for electrics of the modern type to be profitable and that is a big thing. But it’s nothing more than that at this point.

      • Mike333 5 years ago

        My Republican friends would buy a Tesla.
        It’s over for ICE.

        • cabidas 5 years ago

          9 million ICE Toyotas were sold in 2015….

          • Carl Raymond S 5 years ago

            How many Nokia’s were sold in 2007?

          • cabidas 5 years ago

            Microsoft still outsells Apple, and still out capitalises them. And Nokias contracted moratorium ends this year….

          • Vic Webster 5 years ago


      • Carl Raymond S 5 years ago

        Clarence, your stance might be valid if batteries stop getting cheaper and stop getting better (in terms of kWh/kg, kWh/L, $/kWh and years of service ). Those of us who are most excited have been watching technology develop across many products for many years. All of those metrics can only go in one direction – improvement.
        The Model 3 represents tipping point – battery cars now represent better value for money than ICE cars – at the $35K price point. After tipping point, the rate of improvement in all those metrics accelerates. Pull up a chart of $/watt for solar and take a good long look – until you can see through it into the future.

        • ClarenceinBalt 5 years ago

          You seem to imagine I’m not in favor of electric cars. In fact, I very much AM.
          However, I am aware of the sheer numbers of ICE cars, the sheer amount of jobs and infrastructure and political pull, and, as I am on the lower income scale of things and live in a big city, the PRACTICAL reasons that cheap ICE cars still will be a better deal than electrics – and sometimes, yes, the ONLY choice because you don’t get electrics without infrastructure and legal improvements- for a good 20 years at least.

          As for your battery hype, I’ve been following battery technologies for years.
          Yes, there’s been tremendous improvement.
          No, the pace of improvement isn’t currently accelerating.
          Indeed, it seems to be stymied.
          After all, it’s not easy for even the most exciting technologies to be proved and implemented.
          And I’m aware that Elon Musk himself said that he is in contact with just about all the major efforts to make better EV batteries, and that no super breakthrough was on the immediate horizon.

          So a little bit of caution and realism is called for, rather than stupid hype.
          I’m glad Tesla has 300 thousand pre-orders. I’ll be nice and assume they ALL convert into real orders by the time production rolls around.
          Quite a few of them, possibly the majority, are outside of the US.
          Getting this thing produced and delivered on time is going to take lots of money and will be a challenge, as Tesla, itself could tell you.

          I wish them luck. But the ICE, at least in the US, is going NOWHERE for the next ten years,. even at ten times current adoption rates.

          • Carl Raymond S 5 years ago

            Odd that you feel batteries are not improving. The number on the back of the Model S represents battery capacity in kWh, and that number keeps getting bigger. That’s not hype, it’s real. I see them every other day on the road.

          • ClarenceinBalt 5 years ago

            Yes, but I won’t feel that batteries have truly arrived until they get the following numbers:
            Cost to replace: Under 1000 dollars, US
            Lifetime in all temperatures of at least 80 percent original charge: 6 years or more, preferrably 10
            Range, fully loaded, AC on: 400 miles
            Time to recharge from zero to 90 percent full: 15 minutes or less.

            Currently the only thing I’m reasonably sure of is that cost will come down due to the Gigafactory.
            There is a steady improvement in driving range such that in 10 or 20 years time my 400 mpc might be available.
            The other two metrics , esp the recharge rate have hardly budged on production model electric batteries.

          • Carl Raymond S 5 years ago

            That day may well come, but batteries don’t have to be perfect for the market to tip. They just have to be good enough to produce a car that’s better than an ICE car for the same money ($35K), and that day arrived 5 days ago.

          • neroden 5 years ago

            Lifetime for Tesla batteries is *proven* to be upwards of 8 years (proven by the Roadster, which has actually been on the road since 2008). At this point it’s a safe bet that they will last 10 years or more; they’ll probably last 20 years or more.

            Nobody cares if they have to spend half an hour recharging instead of 15 minutes. If your car can drive for 4 hours before it needs to recharge — as the Teslas can — the 30 minutes spent recharging is called “lunchtime”.

          • Jenny Sommer 5 years ago

            Who cares how long the battery lasts when you still run cheaper after 5-10 years.
            There isn’t much value left on the ICE after 10 years either and you will have Invested thousands on maintainance. It might even be complete junk because of the engine or exhaust.
            Most cars are junk after 200k-250000km. My last Toyota didn’t get past emission testing after a little over 400.000km….that is after wasting 50.000€ in fuel.

            All it takes for the EV is to beat ICE on €£¥$/km over it’s a lifetime.
            Lifetime cost of a 30.000€ EV is about 1/2-2/3 of a 20.000€ ICE car.

            People that are aware of their car costs will switch first.

          • Greg Hudson 5 years ago

            Not much value left on the ICE car? I’m seeing it already… I have a 2009 Mercedes C class (cost AU$54k + taxes etc) which I have been trying to sell for 6 months. I’ve only had ONE person come and test drive it, and that is after dropping my asking price by $5k already. At this rate, it will end up in a scrap yard !!! BTW, my car has only 43,000Km (whatever that is in miles).

          • etherspin 5 years ago

            1000 dollars for the battery is astounding low considering they hold their charging capacity for near 200000miles and even then are reduced to around 80 percent original capacity by the time people hit that 80 degradation there will be more ubiquity of charging stations, I don’t think battery replacement is a problem except for taxi and fleet vehicles

            I think your range figures are probably about right and charge rate I agree 15 minutes is important but 50 percent charge in that time would be adequate in a car that can do 400miles with AC.

            Considering that the sedans have an empty bonnet as well as trunk we should see models with an extra 20% battery as an option

          • Ronan 5 years ago

            Clarence, what battery tech have you been following?
            There’s been a pretty consistent 8-9% PA increase in LiOn battery capacity for the past 5 years and Elon Musk predicts that will continue for a while. VAG’s chief engineer for future electric vehicles believes it will progress even faster than that.
            Quite aside from those incremental improvements, there are a number of other battery chemistries that have the potential to provide disruptive change.
            Lithium Sulphur and Lithium-Carbon-Carbon are just two such technologies and longer term (probably 10 years to commercial production) Lithium-Air batteries have a theoretical energy density approaching that of Gasoline.
            Lithium-Air is currently problematic due carbonate deposits forming rapidly on the electrodes, but there are a lot of people working on this with several promising solutions already being tested in the labs. Here’s just one:
            I think your projections are overly pessimistic.

          • neroden 5 years ago

            The ICE will be banned in big cities within 20 years.

          • Marka 5 years ago

            I don’t think so, mainly because there will be so few of them around it won’t matter

          • DeathWarmedOver 5 years ago

            Sooner in places like China and India. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-24566288

          • sola 5 years ago

            I hope it will not be more than 10 years. Sometimes I choke on the bike when a particularly bad diesel passes me (even modern ones have horrific stink)

          • etherspin 5 years ago

            You’ve heard that the model X and model 3 have hospital grade biohazard ,gas and pathogen filtering air systems ? Its awesome .

          • etherspin 5 years ago

            Some of the Scandinavian countries have draft legislation to ban purchase/import of ICE by 2025

          • Greg Hudson 5 years ago

            G’Day Clarence. IMO your comment re ”PRACTICAL reasons that cheap ICE cars still will be a better deal than electrics – and sometimes, yes, the ONLY choice because you don’t get electrics without infrastructure and legal improvements- for a good 20 years at least” may not be correct… The price of used Nissan Leafs are sure to take a hammering once the Model 3 appears on the streets – and there will lie your opportunity to go electric for the same price as an ICEmobile (maybe even less!).

        • DeathWarmedOver 5 years ago

          Don’t forget the solar industry. Printable solar cells with ever increasing returns on power generation. Put that on your car’s external and hook it up to your power system. Fewer refills, falling to none as the technology matures.

          • Carl Raymond S 5 years ago

            Nice sentiment, but the panels belong in the sun, the car is best kept under cover when not on the road to maximise its life. Solar is capped by the amount of energy actually delivered by the sun per square metre. The surface area of a car is insufficient to power the car. If the sun packed that much punch we would fry. The roof area of a large garage, is sufficient.

          • DeathWarmedOver 5 years ago

            You do know that Musk has heavily invested in batteries for housing, for just this reason. To store solar during non-peak times.

          • DeathWarmedOver 5 years ago

            I also think you need to look that the curve of efficiency as solar is evolving. You need less and less area covered by solar to get increasing energy with newer technologies.

          • Jacinta Richardson 5 years ago

            A 1 sq meter solar panel at the current theoretical efficiency will generate about 300W, an electric car uses 12.5kW. Fortunately cars have more space on them than only 1 sq meter and some panels have been seen to push that efficiency limit up to 45% (so about 450W).

            So a car with 4 sq metres of panels operating at ~ 80% of their total capacity (shade, not traveling at noon etc) gives you about 1.25kW generation.

            Having solar panels means you can go about 10% further on a charge. It’s not a lot, but it’s not too bad, either. It does mean that in perfect conditions, you could leave your car parked in the sun for a little under 10 hours and you’d have a full charge. Or 5 hours for a half charge. Useful for those days at the beach/visiting a friend/other times you drive somewhere, park on the street, and do other stuff for hours.

          • Carl Raymond S 5 years ago

            Up vote for the figures, but I’m the guy who parks 500m further away if it means shade and a nice cool car.

          • Peter Campbell 5 years ago

            A solar panel on the car could be useful to run the fans to keep the car cooler when parked in the sun which would reduce the use of aircon when the car is driven again which would have an efficiency benefit. The amount collected to go into the main traction battery would not be much but would add complexity.
            I agree on the sums about collection area. I did the same sum with my DIY converted car years ago and got a similar answer. Not worth the bother. Better value to add a bit more battery to the car and an extra panel on the roof at home.

          • etherspin 5 years ago

            I think there is a Toyota Prius model that already does this,powers the air conditioning on when parked in a sunny spot on a hot day 🙂

          • Peter Campbell 5 years ago

            Yes, there is such a Prius. It is a good idea on any car.

          • Jenny Sommer 5 years ago

            Thats a small battery if you can get a full charge with 12kWh.
            It’s good for about 50km.

          • Fay 5 years ago

            I generate my own solar … the amount I generate is way more than I can use [power co’s pay me nothing when I feed back into the grid], so whilst garaged the car will be plugged in to what the “whole house” generates.

          • John Larkin 5 years ago

            exxon troll

          • Bob_Wallace 5 years ago

            Smile when you say that, partner.

            Otherwise people might think you, well, completely out to lunch. Which wasn’t what I wanted to say but it will do….

          • Carl Raymond S 5 years ago

            Which point do you disagree with John?

          • Jason Inman 5 years ago

            you will never reach zero refills because of solar power… not unless you don’t drive much, or far. There is a finite amount of solar energy that falls on each area of the earth, and that amount of energy is not nearly enough to move an object the size of a car at a useful speed… even with 100% efficiency. you get (at 100% efficiency) about 160 watts of energy every 24hours, for every square meter of surface area… so, assuming 3 square meters of surface area exposed to the sun (and given the shape of the car, that is a VERY generous estimation) it would take 6 DAYS to charge your car enough to move 100 km… and that is at 100% efficiency.

          • DeathWarmedOver 5 years ago

            Valid points. Currently. You need to check up on the progression of power storage and project that into the future.

          • Wenona Rbe Makeit-happen 5 years ago

            Does anyone remember reading that Tesla (the scientist) invented a device and put it in a car, which drew from the atmosphere (the void) instead of solar? That device did not require recharging, because it was constantly converting/drawing energy while “on”. If true, this is what people/scientists should be striving to find as the power source for everything (cars, homes, etc).

        • Carl Raymond S 5 years ago

          I forgot one metric – charge rate. That will undoubtably improve too. In fact if the incumbents are looking to survive, that’s the best way in – roll out a supercharger network that’s faster than Tesla’s.

          • Major Sceptic 5 years ago

            I’m a pensioner , for daily duties I could use a Tesla for commuting around the burbs , but it’s still , not so versatile as internal combustion engined vehicle.
            I can buy an SUV with a 1000 k range that will take the family and tow the boat or the van anywhere , or I can buy an economy car for half what economy Tesla costs and also has much bigger range, and in 10 years time it will probably still be going fine and I won’t have to swap out a $10000 dollar battery or whatever they are worth.
            No doubt some can adjust their life style to the Tesla, but at this stage, for many people of just doesn’t stack up imo

          • Carl Raymond S 5 years ago

            Agreed, towing and bottom end are two edges of the market where it will take time for EVs to penetrate, however you can see where it’s going. First Tesla had the best $80K car. Now they have the best $35K car. It may be Tesla, or it may be a Kia or Hyundai who introduce the first $20K BEV and win that segment. But it is inevitable – Tesla have proven that the physics favour all electric.

          • etherspin 5 years ago

            You and I will need to resit driving tests after a couple of years of autonomous vehicles (which will likely all be electric) because their safety stats will make human drivers seem a public menace

          • Adam Grant 5 years ago

            Even manually-driven vehicles will come to include collision-avoidance features that legislation will come to require in new cars.

          • Bob_Wallace 5 years ago

            Automatic braking will be required for all new cars sold in the US starting in 2022.

          • Major Sceptic 5 years ago

            You might be right mate, and in all honesty I won’t mind being chauffeured around if and when the time comes ,
            As an ex trucky I would be very happy to sit back and relax for a change, that being said,
            I’m still a bit sceptical that they will work out all the complexities of the fully autonomous car for some time yet.
            It Is one thing to program the thing to steer and brake , it’s another thing to read various road conditions and other drivers .
            While computers might be smart in some ways they can also be very dumb, and personally I’m not ready to risk my life or my family’s until it’s well and truly 100 percent foolproof.
            A little while ago there was a video of Tesla in self drive mode and, and it steered into oncoming traffic ,
            only due to the owner steering it back on the right side of the road was carnage avoided, I’m sorry I don’t share your optimism in the autonomous cars for some time. .

          • Bob_Wallace 5 years ago

            The first step is to perfect the “Don’t drive into anything. Don’t drive off a cliff.” routines.

            Then if the car gets confused, can’t make out the road ahead or whether the object in the road is a paperbag or a baby, then it alert the human aboard. Or pull to the side of the road and park. And, maybe, in the event of a fleet owned vehicle someone will take over and drive it remotely.
            The Tesla that swerved into the wrong lane was a result of someone inappropriately using the “autopilot” program. The Tesla autopilot is only for clearly marked highways at this time.

          • Major Sceptic 5 years ago

            Inappropriate or not Bob, that is often how things happen,
            Don’t get me wrong, I do look forward to the day when they get the autonomous car worked out, and at a price that the average bloke can afford.
            I suspect I wont be around to see it happen, I’d love to be proved wrong though.

          • Bob_Wallace 5 years ago

            You’re basically making an argument that since someone used a hammer to break a neighbor’s window that hammers don’t work to drive nails.

            Autopilot seems to be working fine within the conditions is supposed to be used.

            Tesla is saying fully (or very close to fully) auto driving in about three years. Hang on for a few more, I’m trying to….

          • Fay 5 years ago

            Software “hackers’ will be another menace to keeping the vehicle and it’s passengers safe.

          • Bob_Wallace 5 years ago

            That may be an issue. A quick way to deal with it is to make sure there’s no way to change the car’s software without it being directly plugged into a “Tesla outlet”. Might have isolate the safety features and allow only a hard wire change.

          • etcbeatty 5 years ago

            Human drivers ARE a public menace. 50K deaths per anum in the US alone.

          • DeathWarmedOver 5 years ago

            Range is the biggest of the fallacies against EV. http://www.solarjourneyusa.com/EVdistanceAnalysis7.php

          • etherspin 5 years ago

            The Tesla’s run for 200k miles then your battery degrades to around 80% of its original charge but still very doable, you have next to nothing to change and service besides tyres.charging itself gets faster every year and soon enough your car will be passively charging wherever it goes with parking garages,shopping centres, restaurants, museums etc having charging as a draw card to come and use their facility . charge will become a non issue . Teslas are literally the safest cars in the world since the model S but with Musk allowing others to use supercharger protocol wait for dozens of Chinese models with lesser safety and low cost to emerge using this massive network. When autonomous features are legal to use families will be able to own an electric sedan, SUV,three seater micro and have these cars drive themselves to the section of extended family wanting to use that vehicle that day,it’s going to be bonkers .

          • Major Sceptic 5 years ago

            Last time I looked Tesla was still a car, and despite having a different power unit, still has suspension, steering, cooling systems, gears, lubricants, solenoids, wheel bearings, air conditioning wiper blades, switches, electronics and battery’s, are you saying these things never need service ?

          • etherspin 5 years ago

            Tesla recommend once a year check where wiper blades and tyres are intermittently swapped but no there aren’t many consumable parts that break or need replacement at comparible increments to ICE cars. EVs have as much in common with RC cars from the 90s as they do combustion vehicles 🙂 http://www.motorauthority.com/news/1087086_tesla-model-s-maintenance-almost-none-required-actually

            No gears .

          • Major Sceptic 5 years ago

            it doesnt have a transmission like an ice car , but it does have gears and bearings and lubricants and cooling systems just like a normal car , and lots of electrics that are often more problematic than simpler cars ,
            and comparing the complexity of a tesla to remote control car is laughable , like calling a herbalist a brain surgeon 🙂 , taking into account the degradation of the battery over x amount of years ,
            i still think on an economic basis it doesnt stack up , but we will agree to disagree on which is better.

          • etherspin 5 years ago

            Lack of transmission and acceleration with less disposable parts are what places the paradigm halfway between ICE and RC for me 🙂
            I reckon of we read up on some EV forums we’d find out how likely people are to need to replace bits and pieces on these cars with any relevant frequency, exciting times ey ! 😉

          • Major Sceptic 5 years ago

            Yes that would be interesting mate , especially if you can find some long term ev owners ,
            I used to be in the motor trade, and often the glossy brochures that tell you how economical a car is doesn’t always pan out when you actually become an owner and find out your economy cars servicing/ parts need special tools or skills no one else has or the parts cost an arm and a leg.
            I look forward to learning more.
            Have a great day.

          • Brooks Bridges 5 years ago

            My 1999 VW Passat, when I sold it 2 years ago, had 200,000 miles. Original shocks, clutch, transmission, suspension system, AC, switches, exhaust system, etc. I don’t recall ever replacing brake rotors (and EV’s have regenerative braking – even pads could last forever). I DID have to replace three engine cooling water pumps, fix an engine oil leak (expensive), a difficult to find engine cooling leak (expensive). Note that none of these will be on an EV. Oh yeah, had to replace wiper blades and tires. Shouldn’t be hard for an EV to beat that.

          • Major Sceptic 5 years ago

            I remain sceptical my friend , seems like a lot of assumptions and still a lot of unanswered questions, don’t take it personally, but I’ll believe it when I see it.

          • Brooks Bridges 5 years ago

            I’ve learned it’s pointless to argue with some people. But here’s how his other current main business is faring; very well I might add. His booster nailed a landing at sea on an obviously non-optimal day – big waves and high winds.


            You might also remember his previous successful ventures: paypal and Zip something or other. Solarcity, while he is only CEO and supplied startup money, is also a success. So that’s what, 4 solid successes, no failures?

            His track record suggests failure with Tesla is highly unlikely; the continuing successes of Tesla suggest same.

            You seem impossibly hard to convince.

            I personally view Musk as one of the few bright spots on the bleak horizon of our future.

          • Major Sceptic 5 years ago

            Perhaps i will be a bit more convinced when i see some long term owners costings , as the Tesla hasn`t been around that long, its a tall order, its been good chatting with you anyway.
            Regards Major Sceptic.

      • Bob_Wallace 5 years ago

        “The Electric car still can’t match the ICE’s performance over long distances and convenience of quick fill up. ”

        Not important. By the time the ICEV driver stops once to fill their tank, once for a meal and once for a pee they will have spent more than half the time it takes to stop twice and charge a half hour. The ICEV driver will arrive a few minutes earlier but with a lot less cash in their pockets. And they’ll spend 10 to 12 hours a year tanking up while the EV driver will simply plug in when they park.

        “There’s also very few Tesla charging stations in or near Podunk, NM.”

        They’ll be there soon. Tesla is talking about 7,000 Supercharger stations and 15,000 Destination Chargers by the end of next year. And they won’t stop there.

        “Lastly, people like me who live in inner cities don’t have garages and its almost a certainty that wireless power infrastructure (the only safe way to get power to EV around here unless you have your own spot in a private parking garage) will not be available in this neighborhood in 13 years.”

        13 years is a long time. Digital replaced film is less time than that.

        Once demand hits wireless curbside charging can be installed very rapidly.

      • Bill Toone 5 years ago

        I heard this same negative story when the Prius was introduced. Change is happening.

      • neroden 5 years ago

        (1) You’ve clearly never driven a Tesla. It is superior in every way to every ICE car.
        (2) We know the price of a used Tesla. Check one of the national used-car listing sites (like autotrader or cars dot com). They hold a surprisingly large percentage of their value because they’re in such high demand.
        (3) The batteries seem to last upwards of 10 years, which is longer than *cars* typically last. I wouldn’t worry about replacing them.
        (4) If you live in the inner city, there’s no room to park cars of any sort. You should be taking the electric trains (subway, elevated, light rail). What, you don’t have electric trains? Hmm, maybe your government should do something about that.

      • etherspin 5 years ago

        90% of drivers will plug in overnight and possibly never have a situation where they are annoyed waiting for their approx 400km range cars to charge. People need toilet stops and meals as well as general shopping and the outlets for such will provide free charging as incentive to shop.

        • Brent Jatko 5 years ago

          The opportunity for overnight charging is much less for those who don’t have garages, i.e., condo/apartment residents.

          • etherspin 5 years ago

            Very good point Brent, I overlooked this as an Aussie who hasn’t ever lived in one.perhaps these people will utilise parking garages that charge during the day while they are at work. An issue nonetheless

      • Jenny Sommer 5 years ago

        The important point is that the EV beats the ICE on economics.
        This will definitely happen the next 10 years.
        I won’t buy a car that cost double the money per km only to drive 1000km instead of 400-500 per fillup.
        My current car only gets under 500km/75l
        I never drove over 400km without stopping for a break. In fact I only drove more than 400km/day one time in 30 years and I did stop for several breaks in between.

        This odd trip would cost billions of car owners thousands of $€£¥.
        That’s why people that buy new cars will soon stop buying ICE cars.

      • Terry Casey 5 years ago

        you will have self driving uber/lyft cars that recharge from free charging stations….transportation will be changing at a rapid rate…the signs are all there…add google and apple to the mix.

    • etherspin 5 years ago

      Yes, this will obsolescence at speeds unseen by anyone still alive . electric coupled with self driving will change everything. For 3 years of self driving news outlets will love feeding hysteria about safety but then statistics generated will mandate human driving tests quadrupling in complexity and people over 60 being retested every 5 years. Most elderly will get rid of vehicle (using electric, self driving public transport that can go at very high speeds on private roads) meanwhile roads will be mostly clear of trucks as Musk’s hyperloop will transport most goods to and fro

    • Jared Kenwell 5 years ago

      If that happens, most of us will be taking public transit, as most people cannot afford those cars.

      • etherspin 5 years ago

        Teslas last two models are safest cars in the world and their fast charging tech is open patent for others to use.cheap Chinese EVs will come thick,fast,cheap.

    • stefano cavallucci 5 years ago

      maybe less than 13y….

    • John Gamboa 5 years ago

      “It’s a vintage collectible!” XD

  5. Lindsay 5 years ago

    Lets get real here. All that prospective customers had to do is stump a $1000 refundable deposit with no required commitment to buy. Whilst it is an encouraging sign, lets just see how many proceed with the purchase when the time comes.
    I intend to wait a couple of years when there should be a wide choice of vehicles to choose from.

    • tokenpom 5 years ago

      Perhaps, though, this is also the moment when Tesla become a ‘Brand’ ?

      A car is just a Car, until some operative puts a BMW, MB or Porsche badge on it, at which point it takes on all of that brand’s connotations of reputation and legacy.

      So perhaps people are no longer just buying a big battery with a comfy chair and wheels, they may have begun to much more actively ‘buy in’ to a company that has attempted and maybe succeeded in changing the Automotive world ?

      • Lindsay 5 years ago

        You could very well say the same thing about Henry Ford early last century. Ford may have been the largest car manufacturer at the time, but it is far from the largest these days.

      • jeffhre 5 years ago

        IMO gotta be perceived as a “brand” before 325,000 people hand you $1000 for the opportunity to buy a $35,000 car in the next 16 – 24 months. And 110,000 people make that decision without even seeing the car.

    • Barri Mundee 5 years ago

      The article did make the point that Like you, I will wait and when my IC vehicle needs replacing on the next 3-4 years there will be more choice and prices will have come down more.

    • Carl Raymond S 5 years ago

      Order count is slowing, but still climbing. I think you will find that the orders that flow in tomorrow will more than cover any that tire of the wait. Reading Musk’s tweets today, it appears we have a “but wait, there’s more” session yet to come in part 2 of the launch (closer to production). Just can’t see any lack of orders on the horizon.

    • jeffhre 5 years ago

      I’ve been looking at plug-is a while and said to myself several times “that’s good enough – why not?” I leased a Volt for 3 years and went back to the same, some of these are OK, why not buy pattern once the lease term ended.

      I stood on line and put my order in early, so that I am not beholden to Tesla’s changing production schedule and priorities. And I am in Southern California! I’m not going to worry about that “wide choice of vehicles to choose from.” They are all too late already, I did something about changing my transport mode on March 31st.

  6. MaxG 5 years ago

    I think it is great news; the disruption is happening; the nay-sayers will take a bit longer to catch on, but who cares, futures has always been made without them 🙂
    Take note of Norway, and in particular the Netherlands who will ban new ICE cars by 2025.

    • Carl Raymond S 5 years ago

      The ban is a good thing to declare, but I doubt it will be necessary. Nobody will want an expensive vibrating sluggish car with an exhaust pipe and a fuel cap that demands grease and oil changes.
      It would be like outlawing box televisions today.

      • neroden 5 years ago

        More like outlawing coal-burning stoves. There will still be jackasses who use ICEs just to be jerks — google “rolling coal” — and the law will be used to get rid of them.

      • Derick Ip 5 years ago

        What makes you hate ICE cars that much? They served you and global citizens well for the past century or so. Have you drove a Tesla before? If you do, I can tell you its boring as fuck. Press on the accelerator, tada you are at 60 miles per hour, quiet which is good, but there are no emotions to it and definitely not fun. A good comparison to Tesla will be Ai Alpha Go. Intelligent? Yup. Efficient? Yup. Better than Humans in solving complex tasks? Yup. Let’s replace humans with robots. Like what you said, with the rate technology is advancing, humans will be obsolete sooner or later. How are humans better than robots? Humans get sick and die, Robots don’t.

        • Carl Raymond S 5 years ago

          The Keeling Curve (if not familiar, please google). I don’t hate ICE cars. I just understand that the world needs to change fast to save my grandchildren from the CO2 crisis.

          If robots one day become the threat that CO2 is today, I will fight that too.

          • Derick Ip 5 years ago

            I think you might need to fight yourself first, the very existence of humans are the main cause of inflated CO2 levels which is damaging planet earth.

          • Carl Raymond S 5 years ago

            No, it’s not the fact we exist, it’s the way we exist. If the latter doesn’t change, the former will.

          • Carl Raymond S 5 years ago

            I think you meant inflating, not inflated. The Keeling curve is still rising. Has been since the industrial revolution when we started burning coal in earnest.

        • Barri Mundee 5 years ago

          Yes ICE cars have served us well and they have been refined to high degree. But in today’s world they still produce a lot of pollution, are complex and costly to maintain-particularly as they age.

          Boring EV’s? I guess that is a matter of taste and preference.

          I want a safe, quiet and low environmental impact vehicle.

          • Derick Ip 5 years ago

            Yup I agree, boring or not, it’s a matter of taste and preference. But in my opinion, not taking environmental impact, batteries or whatsoever into consideration, it’s beyond my understanding how you find driving an Electric Vehicle more fun than driving a A45 AMG Mercedes Benz? Or if AWD isn’t your cup of tea, how about M135 or M2 from BMW? The sheer pleasure you get from hearing the revs and going into corners should make the Tesla seriously boring. I really want to like Tesla cars, but it just doesn’t connect emotionally with the driver, for those who love driving.

            And with regards to pollution, if you take a look at the recent case of Tesla in Singapore (www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/un-body-on-tesla/2589878.html), even if the Tesla has no tail-pipe CO2 emission, you have to account for CO2 emissions during the electricity generation process, which means you factor in the emission from Grid to Wheel. As such, it highly depend on your country’s source of grid power. If majority of electricity is generated from Solar or Wind, well fair enough it lowers CO2 emission significantly, same goes for Nuclear but you should understand the drawback of using that. Whereas, “The carbon dioxide emitted from transforming oil into petrol or gasoline is limited and is estimated at approximately 10 per cent of the CO2 generated by the engine when the car runs.” I think we really need to get down on the actual statistics on each country before we can objectively evaluate how much more environmental friendly EVs are.

            Last but not least, how about road infrastructure? It works for Australia, North America, good for you. But I am sure it doesn’t work for some places like Hong Kong, if you have been there. Should we legislate and change all the roads to accommodate Tesla’s self-driving capability? The self-driving function is banned here in Hong Kong and if you have been to Hong Kong you will understand why.

    • cabidas 5 years ago

      Have you looked how the Netherlands generates it’s power? It just turned on a new coal plant in 2014…..

      • Askgerbil Now 5 years ago

        More recently, November 26, 2015: “Dutch lawmakers voted in favour Thursday of phasing out coal power plants in the Netherlands”

        • cabidas 5 years ago

          “”But Rutte has opposed the proposal, saying it would lead to electricity imports from so-called “brown coal” power plants, which produce more harmful emissions than black coal power plants.

          “These power plants are not nearly as super modern as three of the newest coal power plants in the Netherlands,” Rutte told parliament on Wednesday””


          Easy to close down your power plants when you can just import it from next door. (Pretty much the strategy of South Australia. Look green. Import brown coal when things get lean).

          They also will replace it with gas. Dunno if you’ve been to Vic, but the greenies and the farmers don’t want onshore drilling…….

          “”If, or when, coal power plants are phased out, gas power plants are likely to run to a higher extent next to an additional import of electricity.”””


          Always pays to read past the headlines….

          • Barri Mundee 5 years ago

            Always someone who wants to pour cold water on great ideas.

      • Brian Tehan 5 years ago

        Even if you charge an electric car using 100% coal electricity, it’s still more efficient than petrol. I don’t believe that the Netherlands is anywhere near 100% coal power, though.

        • cabidas 5 years ago

          About 25%. And nuclear about 4% (with it’s closure date continually being pushed back). Majority gas. With some biomass.

      • Tom Moore 5 years ago

        Neigh, neigh, neigh!

      • Vic Webster 5 years ago

        Yes…one in 3 years. Enough said.

    • Cooma Doug 5 years ago

      Where do you live Max
      Write to me

      • Vic Webster 5 years ago

        This isn’t a dating site.

        • Charles 5 years ago

          “Hot new zero-emission vehicles are looking for drivers in your area!”

          • Brent Jatko 5 years ago


  7. Carl Raymond S 5 years ago

    “It is fascinating, though, to see how some in the media are reacting to this. My copy of the Weekend Australian completely did not include the story, and neither did my Monday copy.

    The Australian Financial Review at least reported it, but tried to mock the event as a “launch resembling an environmental revival meeting.”

    Do those publications carry much automotive advertising? I hear that Tesla do very little.

    • Ben 5 years ago

      All news media is skewed towards news stories to compliment their revenue streams but for the Australian to not even make a mention just shows it lacks any credibility at all.

      • cabidas 5 years ago

        Have you seen any mention of the Basslink outage in the Melbourne papers? Hasn’t even got a sentence. And the Tasweigiens are ready to fire up the distillate cause the can’t get hold of Vics brown coal cause they got too greedy with the hydro during the carbon tax and have run out of water. News? *Crickets*

        • Carl Raymond S 5 years ago

          The story I want to read is – why is it so difficult to fix the cable? Given the cost of outage, you would expect all resources to be thrown at it.

        • Charles 5 years ago

          This topic could go on for pages, but in short – the Tas Hydro dam levels at the end of the carbon tax were within a couple of percent of what they were 4 years earlier (2 years before the carbon tax came into effect).

    • Giles 5 years ago

      yes they do. as a former deputy editor of the AFR i can’t believe they would be influenced so directly by advertisers. But i think the current leadership slants a lot of their coverage to their ideology, which is much more to the right than it has been in the past. During the internet boom, the paper thought that change was good and exciting. During the clean energy transition, it views it as bad and disruptive.

    • cabidas 5 years ago

      MSM rarely report on new vehicles except in the Auto pages. Nothing new here.

      • Carl Raymond S 5 years ago

        Not so much a new vehicle, as an alternative to using petrol to make vehicles move. That’s font page news in my book.

        • cabidas 5 years ago

          Says the man who is already driving a Leaf. Clearly it’s yesterdays news… I look forward to interesting developments in the auto industry every week. And every week it comes in the form of Carsguide on a Friday…. So far Tesla hasn’t achieved anything. Only held a big event committing itself to promises…
          You might see something in the financial section at some point…

  8. Snielsss 5 years ago

    Can we zoom out for a moment? And appreciate this man? In a time of corruption everywhere, politicians that say one thing, but do another etc.. This man shows how much progress we as human beings can make, if we put our minds and hearts to it. I feel proud again. Elon is awesome.

    • Carl Raymond S 5 years ago

      … and to all those who work at Tesla, congratulations on producing a car destined to become legend, and the three prior models that made it possible. Thank you – awesome job.

    • Geoff 5 years ago


    • frgough 5 years ago

      You do realize that Tesla hasn’t made a dime in profits, right? They lose more money every year. In 2015, they lost over $800 million dollars. The only reason they stay in business is corporate welfare.

      • Amy 5 years ago

        …And they pay their employees and they CHANGE the PARADIGM. That is not a bad thing…

      • Bob_Wallace 5 years ago

        Tesla makes a lot of money on each car they manufacture. Tesla has one of the highest gross profit margins in the business. Only Porsche may have a higher GPM.

        Tesla is spending a lot of money growing their business. They are not losing money. Tesla is doing what growing businesses do, they invest money in growth and future profits. That shows up as a loss on their bottom line, but people who know how businesses become successful understand that.

        • Brandon C 5 years ago

          They lose money. That is how money works, more out than in and it’s a loss. They may some day make money, but so far his business model has relied on grants, rebates and government loans. The $7000 tax credit against his cars is also a government subsidy that will not continue as sales grow. Since he has not actually supplied all these cars, it remains to be seen if he can now build them and make a profit doing it. He has to do alot of infrastructure and supply spending to make all those cars. His spending as growing his business, is mostly just to actually create it in the first place. I wish him luck, but i am also a bit sceptical.

          • Bob_Wallace 5 years ago

            Brandon, you seem to lack a basic understanding of how one runs a business, especially when it comes to growing a business.

            As for the $7k federal subsidy, that goes to the buyer and not to Tesla.

            You are correct that Tesla will now to spend money on infrastructure and supplies, as well as employee training, in order to meet the remarkable demand for the Mod 3. There are now over 300,000 on the waiting list. That spending? It’s what uses up the GPM created by Tesla’s current manufacturing operations and creates the negative bottom line which you interprete as a “loss”.

          • Brandon C 5 years ago

            I am well aware how business works. My point on the 7K subsidy, is that it will make a tesla car more attractive because it lowers the actual selling price for consumers, but it will not continue forever and will raise the consumers buying cost to the full sticker price. Wanna bet how big a sales spike there would be for Honda civic or Chevy Malibu if the government offered anyone who buys one 7 grand back? There is definitely high short term demand, but will it translate to continued demand? Can they sell that many cars every month like Toyota or GM? There is a huge infrastructure to build to make these cars, can he build it all and produce the cars….and still make a profit? I am not saying he can’t, but so far he has not proven that his business model can actually turn a profit. It is almost a given that his foray into house batteries is an attempt to try and expand into a simpler market and a easier to produce product. But what happens if material prices rise? I can point to thousands of companies that had wonderful plans that got undercut by material shortages, labour disputes, new bylaws, etc etc.. I hope he can make it work, I always enjoy and encourage innovation, Some of his innovations would be welcome on all cars. But he still hasn’t produced any of these cars, so there is a long way to go before there is a 300,000 cars built and driving. yet.

          • Bob_Wallace 5 years ago

            (Gee, guy, did your mother never tell you about paragraphs?)

            When the US federal EV subsidy was initiated EV batteries cost somewhere around $400/kWh or higher. Just a few years back they were commonly held to be $1,000/kWh. The reason for the subsidy was to build a large enough EV industry to bring battery prices down.

            As of October 2014 Tesla was paying Panasonic $180/kWh for the cells it used. There was a later report that the price was down to $150/kwh. GM has stated that it will pay LG Chem $145/kWh for the cells it uses in the Bolt.

            It’s OK if the subsidy goes away at some point. It’s work will be done. EV manufacturers will be able to drop their asking price because their cost of manufacturing will have dropped significantly. Not many years back the cells for Tesla 85 kWh pack cost, probably, $34,000 (at $400/). A year and a half ago the price would have been $15,300 (at $180/). When the Gigafactory is running their cost is expected to be around $130/kWh or $11,050 for an 85 kWh pack. And batteries are expected to fall to $100/kWh or lower in the following few years. Down to $8,500 for a 85 kWh pack.

            From $34,000 to $8,500 is a drop of $25,500. A lot more than the $7,000 sweetener.

            Tesla is making a profit manufacturing cars right now. Tesla has been making a profit manufacturing cars for a long time. Tesla has close to the highest gross profit margins in the car industry.


            What looks like a loss to you is really money that Tesla is investing in growth. Tesla is taking all the money made manufacturing cars and plowing it back into making the business grow and borrowing money to grow the business.

            Spending more than you earn is a loss. But in the case of a growing business it is not a loss, but an investment in future earnings.

            Can Tesla fulfill the 300k+ orders?

            The plant they own in Fremont was, at one time, turning out 500,000 Toyotas a year. There’s space. The Gigafactory at full production will produce enough cells and battery packs for 500,000 Tesla EVs a year. Tesla also has a casting plant in Lathrop and purchased a tool and die factory in which to make the equipment they need to run their car factory.

            Is that a guarantee that Tesla will be successful? Of course not, stuff can happen. But it does show you that Tesla has a route planned to move into manufacturing half a million cars a year starting in 2020.

          • Brandon C 5 years ago

            They are losing money. Even with many subsidies (somewhere around 2 billion they don’t have to repay). These subsidies versus the number of cars they have produced so far, gives them subsidies so far somewhere between 30 and 40 grand per car. Not counting the 7 grand buyer subsidy.

            Gross profit is only half the story when you still have to factor in costs of R and D, infrastructure and subsidies. They are losing money, period. They are spending more than they have taken in, despite government subsidies. They may be able to actually turn a profit, but it will be much harder when your product is worth less than half the price (why car companies like SUV’s, because they make a higher profit margin than cheaper cars). Time will tell. But nothing they have shown yet, proves they can actually make 327,000 cheaper cars and turn a profit. Only that so far with huge subsidies, big loans and 70,000+ price point, they still are losing money. The financials don’t lie.

          • Bob_Wallace 5 years ago

            Tell you what, Brandon, I’m just going to tell you that you are right.

            I’ve tried to explain to you a couple of times the difference between losing money and investing but you seem to not want to understand that.

            You have a nice day, Brandon.

          • Carl Raymond S 5 years ago

            Bob is right Brandon – investment is not loss – it delivers income down the track. I’ve seen this topic debated half a dozen times now. If Tesla were ‘losing’ money, they wouldn’t have survived 10 years. And there is no way 325 thousand people would have placed a Model 3 deposit – accountants would be warning all their relatives to stay away.

            Try listening to the next earnings call live. I’ve found that a good way to get a better understanding of how growing companies operate.

          • Bob_Wallace 5 years ago

            Don’t overlook Tesla’s stock price. People are not going to pay the sort or price Tesla commands if the company is a money loser.

            Investors are buying future earnings. They see a company with a lot of promise, a company that shows signs of large growth. A company that is spending the money it takes to become a major player.

          • Brandon C 5 years ago

            Tell me again about Enron and how good stock prices and shrewd investors are infallible. I actually like Musk and Tesla, but People just need to see that this is a risky venture that still stands a moderate chance of failure. Musk is taking a risk, but he is doing it mostly with other peoples money.
            The company is building up steam and increased demand, which helps. But it only takes a few missed deadlines or missed price points and the stock tanks and there are billions left unsecured. I hope it succeeds, but getting older gives one the experience to recognize that many similar situations didn’t work out so well no matter how much people wanted them too. Often for small or seemingly unrelated reasons. A regional war or strike by mine workers could double the costs of lithium overnight, for example.

          • Bob_Wallace 5 years ago

            Not willing to do that, Brandon. Your mind is made up and I’m not wasting time on you.

            Have a nice day.

          • Brandon C 5 years ago

            Your funny. My mind is made up? You will not hear a single even slightly negative word against tesla.
            My points are still valid. Tesla has so far got free subsidies they don’t have to repay, equal to nearly 40 grand for every single car they have ever built. Cars that so far still cost $70,000+. That level of support will be unlikely to continue into the future. That will have a negative effect on profitability going forward.
            They have seen some costs fall, but they are going heavy into a car market with much tighter margins and lower profitability per unit. Small miscalculations eat up large amounts of the smaller profit margins. There is along way to go between an initial pre-sale and delivered units at predicted costs. And their slow predicted increase to production numbers won’t help.
            This is a high risk market that has been made somewhat less risky by government handouts and loans, but it is still a high risk market. The automotive industry is notoriously hard to predict. Imagine the effect unionization might have, and UAW wants tesla badly. Or with demand for lithium doubling yearly, could cause price increases beyond the current already high yearly increases. But there could be possible savings, such as lower wages in a struggling economy, and moving to cheaper states for some stuff. Or some material prices dropping.
            I still hope they succeed, but I don’t hold unreserved optimism. I have guarded optimism, from experience with similar situations in the past. You have offered nothing to move from cautious optimism to unreserved support.

          • Terry Casey 5 years ago

            Enron ?? ok please take that back…

          • Brandon C 5 years ago

            There are dozens of companies I can name off the top of my head that lost money for at least a decade, GM comes to mind before the bailout. But comparable because they government has given tesla over 2 billion in free money and over a billion in interest free loans. Sorry but that is a silly argument.

            It is a publicly traded company and they have to post quarterly results as such. They “lost” 889 million last year. That is not negotiable. They spent 718 million on R&D last year and some additional costs, that they didn’t have income to offset. It isn’t rocket science. They may in the future start to produce more sales than costs, but they have not done that yet…..ever. Period. This presale in advance of building (Very advanced if you read further on) actually is a nice way of using future sales to offset current R&D costs to future sales. It is always a risk but the amounts for individuals is low, so why not.

            People put money down for non-existent stuff all the time and half the time it never materializes, or the final deliver costs rise. It says nothing about company health, only that it sounded good Condo’s are the most common example. In this case people put down a 1,000 bucks, But unlike many presales they can change their mind at any time and get their money back. No accountant would warn against that, it is a risk free choice.

            What did 327,000 people actually get? A place in line for a future car.
            Not the same as actually putting down full price. And what about that $7500 tax credit many buyers will be counting on in deciding to buy? It begins to phase out when a manufacturer’s cumulative sales hit 200,000 (essentially, a 50 per cent reduction six months after hitting the 200,000 mark; complete elimination a year later). Since Tesla has already sold more than 50,000 EVs in the U.S., a good number of those 300,000+ buyer will not actually get it and many will drop out because $7500 extra costs than anticipated hurts.
            And when will they get them?………..

            Estimates are for no more than 25,000 of these models 3’s completed by the end of next year and up to 100,000 by the end of 2018. And maybe as long as 2020 to fulfill this current backlog. ( I am being generous here since most estimates are a bit more cynical) How many will still want this car 1, 2 or more years on? What else will become available before tesla can actually deliver on a reservation?

            To use the stories own numbers, by the time Tesla hit 120,000 model 3’s, GM will have sold nearly 6 million ICE cars alone. Plus the other car manufacturers. Not so much the end of fossil fuels as the end of common sense. It looks like a neat car and I hope Tesla can actually make it work and start making money. Time will tell.

          • Floridared 5 years ago

            Brandon, relax.

            They do not make money now because that is not in the master plan.

            They will make money after battery costs go down, and by leveraging superior software.

            Sounds familiar? Think laptop and cell phone industries. And a certain other company in California.

            Right now, everything is going to plan. Hence the stock price at all time highs

          • Brandon C 5 years ago

            I am relaxed. I realize that starting a new company requires huge investment, but I also recognize that new companies (especially in a new field) have huge risk.
            I really do have high hopes for Tesla, I like their innovation and design sense. But I can also point to soooo many past companies that were the new greatest thing, but also failed due to unforeseen complications or things beyond your control.
            A company with a high stock price but losing money (assuming that this is because the greatest sales are down the road) is the highest risk. It only takes very little to make the stock drop and leave the company billions of loss. Look at that other California company (not sure why we can’t say it, unless it is Voldemort level evil?), their stock can fluctuate 10+% on unsubstantiated rumours or missing sales targets by a couple percentage points. But they have billions in cash reserves to ride out short term stock drops, tesla does not because they have had sustained losses for a long time.

          • Terry Casey 5 years ago

            you think people are buying a tesla model 3 for a subside….you completely don’t get why people are so excited that tesla and model 3 exist,Also comparing a old industry car company like GM to tesla also won’t help you understand….yes tesla has a long way to go but remember elon musk made these exact predictions 8 years ago…watch and learn.

          • John 5 years ago


            I am going to be completely honest with you. The single reason why i signed on was due to the 8000 rebate my government gives me… Not gonna like it takes my costs down relative to a volt and leaf. If they didnt have a rebate i doubt i woild have put a deposit down. (I dont make too much as a millenial in my early career). If i had to choose, and rebate was not there id be honest with you. Id go with a volt. Price wins at the end of the day for me…

          • Brandon C 5 years ago

            Many, definitely more than half, would reconsider (or at least reduce optional extras) without the credit. Having talked electric cars with many enthusiast, the credit always turns up as a motivation to buy. And now he is trying to appeal to a wider population base. It may surprise you to learn that most people could care less about the environment, they are seduced by the word “cheap” and “drive for pennies a day”.
            Also don’t get too wrapped up in marketing. Telsa has hit and missed a lot of their targets over the years. Your model 3 will not actually hit the street until the later half of next year, well behind his initial plan to offer a cheap sedan (although it looks very hatchback to me) for the masses.

            Musk understands the importance of marketing and building excitement, but that carries it’s own risk due to higher expectations and greater discord for missed targets. That can kill stock prices. He is walking a fine line between pushing back timelines and pushing up demand. Remember one thing here, there is absolutely nothing stopping “old industry” from creating similar cars and flooding the market once tesla has established their is enough market demand.

            As big as his presale is, it is a drop in the bucket of global car sales. Last I heard he was up to about 330,000 presales. A nice accomplishment. But 1.5 million ICE cars were sold in march this year alone. These are cars delivered to owners, not presales for the next 4 years. 330,000 cars delivered over 4 years, is not even going to register in global car sales. Most of those competitive manufacturers have a similar vehicle to the Telsa 3 coming this year or next. Many people will go for a car they can get today as opposed to one they have to wait years for. I like Tesla, but it is still a boutique manufacturer and electric cars are still a small market.

          • ThaEff 4 years ago


      • John Gamboa 5 years ago

        So did Rush Limbaugh for like the first ten years of his show.

      • John Larkin 5 years ago


  9. lex 5 years ago

    I wonder what the candidates for US president would have to say about all that disruption, in particular of blue collar jobs, Since most of them are men (who don’t seem to count in terms of targeted policy) probably little or nothing.

    • Mike333 5 years ago

      There are more solar jobs in the US then carbon jobs already.

  10. Chris 5 years ago

    now free energy.. imagine the whole world using free energy? then frees everyone to do more and other things. 😉 lets evolve our species guys

    • Tony Noli 5 years ago

      LENR is here in ten years. Free, I don’t know but cheaper and better for the environment yes 🙂
      And I am with you about evolving humans. Imagine the world in hundred years 🙂

      • Vic Webster 5 years ago

        Evolution is a response to changing external circumstances and occurs via natural selection occurring at the level of the gene. We don’t evolve ourselves through a conscious act of will.
        With America Inc. (and its mini-me version in Oz) cultivating the weeds, change will not occur in a direction which benefits any man or beast who will inherit this once glorious planet

  11. nryn 5 years ago

    I like electric, but I don’t think I’m ready to say adios to cars like Miata just yet. They’re affordable, look great and drive great too

  12. Webber Depor 5 years ago

    Am i the only one who does not like elon. He tries to undercover his religion(jewish). Why someone tries to hide his/her religion? And he calls toyota bullshit because he knows toyota is doing just fine in USA market

    • Gyrogordini 5 years ago

      Why bring religion into it? Completely irrelevant, and in fact verging on nasty. Get over it. Look at the man, his ideals, his vision, his enthusiasm, his success ss so far, in other fields. Like all leaders he is flawed, but on balance, his shoes are ones that people should aspire to fill -if not copy – not strike down.

      • Webber Depor 5 years ago

        why someone says i am christian when he is jewish? Thats a question. And her first wife, Justine musk looks like …. . different. google her you will see. There is somethig strange about this man

        • blueseeker 5 years ago

          And Steve Jobs was an asshole. Do you use an iPhone?

          • Brent Jatko 5 years ago

            I don’t use an iPhone, but that has little to do with Steve Jobs’ personality and much to do with the deal I got on my Android phone.

        • Brent Jatko 5 years ago

          What’s so “different” about her?

          She looks like a normal human being to me; it’s not like he married the green-skinned Orion slave girl from “Star Trek” or anything.

          • Brent Jatko 5 years ago

            Found her speech somewhat tedious and her body language distracting, but honestly didn’t find her out of the mainstream.

          • Brent Jatko 5 years ago

            “Still, there were warning signs. As we danced at our wedding reception, Elon told me, “I am the alpha in this relationship.” I shrugged it off, just as I would later shrug off signing the postnuptial agreement, but as time went on, I learned that he was serious. He had grown up in the male-dominated culture of South Africa, and the will to compete and dominate that made him so successful in business did not magically shut off when he came home. This, and the vast economic imbalance between us, meant that in the months following our wedding, a certain dynamic began to take hold. Elon’s judgment overruled mine, and he was constantly remarking on the ways he found me lacking. “I am your wife,” I told him repeatedly, “not your employee.”

            “If you were my employee,” he said just as often, “I would fire you.””

            Doesn’t sound like she’s off her rocker to me; she just made a mistake marrying the guy.

          • Webber Depor 5 years ago

            “Her name is Talulah Riley, and she played one of the sisters in 2005’s Pride and Prejudice. Two of the things that struck me were: a) Pride and Prejudice is a really good movie, and b) My life with this man had devolved to a cliché.At least she wasn’t blonde. I found that refreshing.”

            this must be a joke. and where are the kids?

          • Brent Jatko 5 years ago

            I’m done trying to discuss this with you.

          • Brent Jatko 5 years ago

            I’m done trying to discuss this with you.

          • Webber Depor 5 years ago

            did i win?

          • Brent Jatko 5 years ago

            You won in the sense that your stupidity forced me to give up.

            Bye, wall.

          • Webber Depor 5 years ago

            WTF. you are the one who upvotes all my posts. and i did not try to convince anyone. i never did. bye

          • Brent Jatko 5 years ago

            FRom the article you linked: “Still, there were warning signs. As we danced at our wedding reception, Elon told me, “I am the alpha in this relationship.” I shrugged it off, just as I would later shrug off signing the postnuptial agreement, but as time went on, I learned that he was serious. He had grown up in the male-dominated culture of South Africa, and the will to compete and dominate that made him so successful in business did not magically shut off when he came home. This, and the vast economic imbalance between us, meant that in the months following our wedding, a certain dynamic began to take hold. Elon’s judgment overruled mine, and he was constantly remarking on the ways he found me lacking. “I am your wife,” I told him repeatedly, “not your employee.”

            “If you were my employee,” he said just as often, “I would fire you.””

            Doesn’t sound like she’s off her rocker to me; she just made a mistake marrying the guy.

          • Brent Jatko 5 years ago

            As far as the speech goes, I found her speech somewhat tedious and her body language distracting, but I honestly didn’t find her out of the mainstream as far as feminists go; I’m a bit of a feminist myself.

    • Brent Jatko 5 years ago

      “Am i the only one who does not like elon.”

      Probably not, but “nice person to hang out with” and “disruptive entrepreneur” don’t overlap much in my Venn diagram ;-).

    • etherspin 5 years ago

      What ? He is agnostic isn’t he ? He was asked relatively recently about God and said something about the maths of that idea not working for him

  13. DC 5 years ago

    Well that’s a sensationalist headline. Jesus…. It ain’t over yet.. Lol. There’s nearly 1.5 Billion Petrol cars out there, Tesla is 0.001% of that by 2025 in the best cast scenario

    • ClarenceinBalt 5 years ago

      Thank you for showing some sanity.
      It’s like confusing the pastoral land of England in say 1700 with the same land in England in 1750 at the time of the Industrial Revolution.
      It’s pretty easy to lay down the initial infrastructure.
      Whats hard is converting decades or centuries old , massively deployed infrastructure for something else.

      Take oil for example. Even if the Magic Car Fairy made every single ICE car disappear tomorrow (or converted them all into running on Sunshine and Unicorn Farts), oil would still be massively used. Why? Because its used in HUNDREDS if not THOUSANDS of chemical products and building materials, not all of which it can be easily or cheaply substituted for.

      Some , yes. I suspect pretty much all EVENTUALLY. But eventually means from 1 year from now to maybe a century from now.

      So no, Elon Musk will not single-handedly kill the ICE. At best, however, he can make it possible. But it will still take tons of time.

      • neroden 5 years ago

        There has been a concerted effort to replace oil as a chemical feedstock with natgas (methane) for price reasons, and with biofuels for advertising reasons. I wouldn’t worry about that, it’s well underway.

    • Carl Raymond S 5 years ago

      The iPhone will never defeat the Nokia. Nokia owns the mobile phone market.

      • cabidas 5 years ago

        Yet Microsoft still reigns supreme…

    • Charles 5 years ago

      I think it’s a reference to the documentary “Who killed the electric car?” about the GM EV1, in the mid 90s.

  14. rw 5 years ago

    It means no matter how much the government is paid to lie and deceive the American public in regards to climate change, we know better. Big oil and Big 3 Auto can suck it.

  15. Acleron 5 years ago

    The technology is now mature, the cost is now comparable. Tesla now have to build them. That will require investment in production. This cannot be difficult for Musk, he has a lot of expertise to call on. Competition from others will drive down the Tesla prices and add to the charging infrastructure. Good news all round except for ICE manufacturers and fossil fuel companies.

  16. Elon Musk Quotes 5 years ago

    Great insight Giles! Just want to let you know that we’re going to share this article with our 22K+ Elon Musk fans 🙂 elonmusknews.org

    • Giles 5 years ago

      Thanks for sharing!

      • Elon Musk Quotes 5 years ago

        My pleasure!

    • Andrew Woodroffe 5 years ago

      You do appreciate that Holden, Toyota and Mistubishi will all be leaving their factories empty here in Australia soon. Along with lots of unemployed workers. We could do with a touch of Elon magic down here!

  17. Geoff 5 years ago

    totally support disruption as it pushes us forward. internet, mobile phones, wireless. technology will soon be the new norm and in a whole range of other applications. I believe cars and off grid is next. Would also love to see EV buses and industrial trucks to replace diesel engines.
    It will be interesting to see what is beyond Musk’s “master plan” and to see where Tesla will eventually end up. it would have been great if the unveiling of the model 3 was powered buy Tesla power walls / power packs – as they previously canvassed at their power wall launch. But i suppose the focus is the car. in any case, Congratulations to Tesla on their latest product.

  18. Angus 5 years ago

    I love the idea of the car. But I’d hate to chip the windscreen. For this reason alone it’s hardly a car that appeals to me. I think the single piece glass roof should be an optional extra.

    • Chris Fraser 5 years ago

      That’s a good thought. The cost of glass insurance (where the excess is much less than the general excess) should be considered. With less servicing and petrol costs you’re still ahead.

    • neroden 5 years ago

      I don’t know about Australia. In the US most insurance policies have a “zero deductible for glass” option. People with Teslas would be well advised to take that option.

  19. James Hickey 5 years ago

    VWs claims on fuel efficiency weren’t ‘bogus’. They cheated on emissions testing but their engines are super efficient. Modern diesel cars are using much less fuel than petrol cars and technology now exists to ensure harmful emissions are no longer an issue. Older diesel cars also last more than twice as long as petrol cars. How long will batteries last? How many people will be run over because they never heard the car coming? Forget investment in personal transport and move towards better public transport.

    • blueseeker 5 years ago

      Are you for real?

    • Peter Campbell 5 years ago

      I have been driving an electric car for seven years now. I have never had someone in a carpark or next to a road step in front of my car because they did not hear it coming. I have never noticed that anyone even looked surprised or showed any sign of noticing that it moved quietly. The pedestrian danger thing is a furphy. Modern petrol cars are nearly silent at low speed anyway. At higher speed, wind noise and tyre noise dominates over engine noise in any car.

    • Damien van Hoogen van 5 years ago

      In modern cars – most of the noise is “tire roar” – the sound that the tire-road interface makes. The engines are barely audible to pedestrians – unless you are gunning it.

    • Brent Jatko 5 years ago

      True that VAG’s problem was not fuel mileage but emissions, at least in North America.

  20. Nasir Hafeez 5 years ago

    i am inspired by this new invention, I wish that some more thoughts to go into the overall concept of human transportation in the cities and beyond. Our future means of transportation should be more economical , environment friendly, cater for space congestion, reducing accidents and be more safer. I see a public transport system in the shape of a moving platform in whatever manner that can be boarded taking away passengers from one to another locations, even single passenger , depending on the requirement. we need to recover from the charm of owning a car with extravaganza and luxury just to move around. Lets us share our means to be more happy.+

  21. Tony Tang 5 years ago

    I would avoid Tesla models like the plague if the reliability of their current and past models is anything to go by. This is just a knee jerk buying spree by EV car enthusiast at this price point. Just wait another 12 months after initial delivery….if they can’t even get it right with the lux price S model what hope have got with a Tesla thats a quarter of that price.

    • blueseeker 5 years ago

      What problems did you have with your 2016 Model S ?

      • Tony Tang 5 years ago

        I don’t….and i don’t intend to. From my initial research into the early years of the Tesla S….i am not impressed with their reliability issues and i don’t believe I’m alone on that. Hybrids in my opinion is my preferred platform simply because its a proven one a la Lexus hybrids. They are so reliable and not only that there’s always a backup if the batteries fail. There’s a plan B if you know what i mean. With pure EVs…there’s none.

        • neroden 5 years ago

          You don’t understand what’s been going on with Tesla “reliability”.

          Every single time I’ve had a problem with my 2013 Model S, it has been fixed under warranty with an *improved part*, following which the problem has not recurred.

          Every single problem has been a design flaw, and they’ve *changed the design* to fix the flaw, and they’ve retrofitted the new design for older owners at no cost.

          This is totally different from the “reliability” situation with other cars. You may not be comfortable with this situation, but it’s worth understanding what’s going on.

          Model S has been used to work out the bugs in design. Model X has too, to some extent. They’ve promised not to do anything new with Model 3, but rather to use their proven and debugged designs.

          (Yes, Model S owners were effectively beta-testers. That’s OK.)

          • Tony Tang 5 years ago

            So you actually enjoy being a guinea pig for their design flaws….good on you mate. …. they need more people like you. I have very high expectations and design flaws ain’t one of them.

        • Carl Raymond S 5 years ago

          We seemed to survive 100 years or more on pure ICE cars – with no plan B.

          • cabidas 5 years ago

            Do Teslas still get “Bricked”…?

          • Bob_Wallace 5 years ago

            Apparently not. I think there were only a couple of bricking events in the first year or so.

          • Tony Tang 5 years ago

            Plan B has always been my part of my risk management profile….you’ll need it if you buy a Tesla Product.

  22. Simon Thompson 5 years ago

    For those who’d like to see how far we’ve come … the World Solar Challenge held in Australia. Interesting. http://www.worldsolarchallenge.org/

  23. Mauricio Morgado 5 years ago

    Question is what will we do with the batteries when they aren’t holding a charge anymore? Just how much of the battery is recyclable and will it become an environmental issue later on? Though these are my concerns and I still think the electric car is still a better option in the long run.

    • cabidas 5 years ago

      Batteries are recyclable. I’m unsure of Teslas exact plan, but either way it is heavily energy intensive, and involves a lot of processing and heavy chemicals. You should google Lithium and Lithium mining to get a better understanding of the full lifecycle also.

    • Bob_Wallace 5 years ago

      Tesla expects most Model S drivers will reach 200,000 miles before their batteries drop to 70%. At 70% there’s still a lot of usable storage and already utilities have plans for using recovered EV batteries for grid storage. Weight and space are less critical for stationary storage than for vehicles.

      And after the batteries are run down too much for utility use they can be recycled. Musk has referred to EV batteries as sources of concentrated lithium.

  24. Mitch Pantharen 5 years ago

    The oil companies LOVE electric cars.. There are more coal & oil fired electric Generators in the world, then there are gasoline refinement stations. Bunker oil sells for more than the return they get from converting crude oil to Gasoline..

    Electric Vehicles are the demise of the planet.. Electricity isn’t FREE.. It comes a a HUGE cost, the emissions from a coal or oil fired electric planet is a million times worse than an automobile..

    Here try watching this:
    Coal-Fired Power Plants Disadvantages https://youtu.be/F9sXYf09K34

    • Bob_Wallace 5 years ago


      How come we don’t get good trolls any longer?

      • Mitch Pantharen 5 years ago

        Really Bob.. You did some real research to call me a troll.. Now is this because you are under the assumption that all Electricity comes from power lines, and you are just oblivious as to where electricity really comes from.

        • Bob_Wallace 5 years ago

          Really, Mitch?

          I am ignorant when it comes to sources of electricity?

          • Mitch Pantharen 5 years ago

            Try doing some real research, instead of bashing me with half-assed comments..

    • Charles 5 years ago

      Thanks, Koch Industries.

    • culterno 5 years ago

      You just posted the most idiotic statement ever and claimed it was a fact. There are 10s of Millions of automobiles out there Einstein, not one… And together they are orders of magnitude more polluting and inefficient than any power plant could ever be. Plus when those coal plants are shuttered and replaced with renewable plants… Now all electric cars will instantly become even more green than they were before.

      • Mitch Pantharen 5 years ago

        I suggest that you do some real research, instead of bashing me based upon your own lack of knowledge..

        • culterno 5 years ago

          I did some real research. It was in my post. Your reading comprehension needs improvement.

          • Mitch Pantharen 5 years ago

            I have a much high comprehension than you do.. You’re a dumb monkey ..

    • john 5 years ago

      Try this Mitch particularly the series of investigations toward the end on vehicle emissions.

    • Brent Jatko 5 years ago

      I just Flagged you for the stupidity of this comment.

      Sorry to others if they think I’m being too harsh/censorious, but rank disinformation like this needs to be nipped in the bud.

      • Mitch Pantharen 5 years ago

        YOU truly are an idiot for flagging my post.. Majority of the power generating plants in North America are Diesel, Coal or Oil fired generators.. Tell me how over extending out electrical grids that are already at the maximum in some places is good for the planet.. Do some research instead of being a TROLL

        • Brent Jatko 5 years ago

          Thanks for enlightening me, f*ckstick.

    • Brent Jatko 5 years ago

      I believe the percentage of power generated by coal is falling rapidly (at least in the US–cannot find a link for worldwide power generation), principally because of natural gas from fracking. Power generation from fuel oil is practically unknown, at least on the US mainland (Hawaii and Puerto Rico have some oil-fired gensets).

  25. Joel Nair 5 years ago

    Lol. No he didn’t. Nothing beats a 6T or 8.

  26. josh 5 years ago

    Great but what fuels the electric power plants of the world? Not necessarily environmentally friendly materials. Most power stations in the world burn fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and natural gas to generate electricity.

    • Charles 5 years ago

      A lot of nuclear (has issues, but is not polluting) and hydro there. Many EV early adopters are have solar PV system on their rooves, or at least buy green energy. The power grid is cleaner than oil and is getting cleaner all the time.

  27. Ivan Coetzee 5 years ago

    Anyone remember a company named KODAK? 10 years ago still one of the largest, today all but gone. The auto makers of today need to understand their world is dead, just a matter of time, arguably the fastest bike today is electric. Gonna miss the sound of a V8 though

    • Bob_Wallace 5 years ago

      The aftermarket will probably furnish you with an app you can use to playback the sound over your EV stereo system. The roar of a big bore V8 as you accelerate (leaving the very expensive V8s in your dust), the constant rumble as you cruise, and the desperate sucking sound as your regenerative braking system slows you down.

  28. David Kennett 5 years ago

    Harry Ferguson and Henry Ford made affordable tractors available for farmers – it was a revolution. Vast quantities of diesel fuel are consumed in food production while the weight of batteries would be an asset in tractors, to increase traction, as is low speed torque. Farms generally have large areas of roof space for PV panels and many are off grid. Of course massive storage batteries would be required so the tractors could be recharged over night. But there are often many machines on farms, while few are in use at the same time – so the batteries of those not being used could temporarily store electricity and then transfer it to those in use. Will it be Tesla who reinvents the tractor? For too long the British motor industry built what they wanted to produce, and lost out to the Japanese manufactures decided to build what the customers wanted. I am sure many farmers would love to have electric tractors.

  29. Slobodan 5 years ago

    Umm. How detached of reality are you? Tesla didn’t kill anything (yet). Let’s return to this subject when Tesla has an infrastructure to sell their product everywhere around the wold and not just US and couple other countries. Not to mention that Tesla still doesn’t make any profit whatsoever.

    • Bob_Wallace 5 years ago

      Those of us who follow technology realize that Tesla has advanced EVs to the point at which it is clear that the internal combustion engine is not going to play a meaningful role in future personal transportation. Some call that a “kill”.

      Tesla does not have to sell their product everywhere. Tesla may never become one of the top ten car manufacturers. What Tesla is doing is to force other car manufacturers to switch from ICEVs to EVs much, much faster than it would had Tesla not gotten into the game. Tesla was founded as a way to change vehicle manufacturing and move transportation from oil to electricity, not to become a large company and make its owners rich.

      BTW, Tesla is a very profitable car manufacturer. The profit that Tesla makes manufacturing cars, their gross profit margin (GPM) is one of the highest in the car industry. As far as I can tell only Porsche has a higher GPM than Tesla.

      Tesla, the company, does not show a profit at the bottom line because they are a rapidly growing company and spending a lot of money growing into a much larger company. The “loss” you see in their financial statements is not a loss but an investment in future profits.

      • Slobodan 5 years ago

        Believe it or not, I agree on almost every aspect on your post. I just wanted to nitpick on the clickbait smelling topic of the article.

  30. David Bakker 5 years ago

    Small correction: It’s not ‘the Netherlands’ (read the Dutch government) that has said it will ban sales of new petrol cars from 2025 – it’s just the PvdA, one of the political parties. It’s true that they are in the coalition that forms the government at the moment, but that doesn’t make it official policy. And things are look very bad for the PvdA for the elections next year, which may explain this rather daring proposal. But then again, if predictions on this site are right, it may not even be necessary :-).

    • Carl Raymond S 5 years ago

      Watched the whole anti-EV video. Bjorn Lomborg’s case hangs on the assumption that we will fail to clean up the grid, and, backs that up with forecasts from the EIA. The IEA has been similarly pessimistic.

      Here’s an article from the Sydney Morning Herald, which has a reputation for balanced news (i.e. Is not controlled by Rupert Murdoch).

      It details why the IEA has been forced to revise upwards its estimates for wind and solar 14 times since 2000. It seems they just can’t get their head around the concept of exponential growth. Both wind and solar keep doubling – solar has doubled 7 times in 15 years. Wind has doubled four times.

      Titled: “Wind and solar are crushing fossil fuels”. Please read and learn Glenn.

  31. Desterii DelQuonomonna 5 years ago
  32. Yurroon 5 years ago

    It may seem a small detail, but if Saudi Arabia (or anyone) really wants a world beyond oil, it shouldn’t be selling off their petrol assets, it should be closing them down…

  33. John Gamboa 5 years ago

    It is amazing to think that at the birth of the car industry, there were THREE choices, steam, electricity or gas. Gas was just the easiest to exploit. And now Elon is the one willing to do the hard work that electricity has always needed someone to do to make it viable, now that all the other options have been used up. He certainly deserves credit for that! XD

  34. RobSa 5 years ago

    Australia should ban the sale of new petrol cars by 2025 as well. I’ve never owned one. They aren’t good enough for me.

  35. John Larkin 5 years ago

    read all this all i got to say ,is how many of you remember the bike lights that ran off of the tires a small generator that turned with the wheel musk is working on 4 wheel generation the more the wheels turn the more you generate. exxon trolls please shut the fuck up! the man’s got it going ,,,divest all oil stock welcome to the 21st century …no more oil wars … feel the bern

  36. Greg Shiff 5 years ago

    Elon = time traveller?….. or time travelling Alien? comment

    • Bob_Wallace 5 years ago

      No, Elon’s in the country legally.

      Well, I haven’t actually seen his papers….

      • Greg Shiff 5 years ago

        Not that kind of Alien

        • Bob_Wallace 5 years ago

          (Engage humor module)

  37. Faggot Lips 4 years ago

    Elon Musk is an overhyped faggot and I wish he would go away and stop wasting other people’s money on bullshit that won’t work!!!

  38. YeahRightPal 4 years ago

    Tesla Motors is a dead man walking unless Musk is removed as CEO. Even then, it’s a weak man on life support.

    Where are the results? A lot of BS tweets from the sky to boost stock prices and no delivery. Gigafactory? Don’t make me laugh. That boondoggle will never be completed as originally presented, although it was great for screwing Nevadans out of a billion or so in tax incentives.

    Their debt options are nonexistent – they can’t borrow any more money. Be ready for another stock offering and the subsequent share dilution. They want to absorb a company (SolarCity) with the same penchant for burning cash. It’s a disaster that WILL happen.

    Oh, and in other news, The Woz has been treated to a pre-production Bolt to test drive. Guess what? He’s thinking of switching cars.

  39. Faggot Lips 4 years ago

    The Tesla electric car is an expensive toy and more experienced car manufacturers figured this out a long time ago and either made hybrids or discontinued their electric car models indefinitely! I’m not against electric cars but currently as it stands the technology and charging infrastructure is just not up to the task like it is with petroleum powered vehicles, maybe one day it will be but right now imagine what sort of petroleum powered car you could buy for less than the price of the Tesla and how much fuel money you would have left over!!!

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