Tesla Discloses US Revenues Collapsed 39%. Americans Sour on its Cars, Pent-Up Demand Exhausted

This is a holy-cow moment.

This morning, Tesla filed its Form 10-Q quarterly earnings report with the SEC, a moment when no one was supposed to pay attention after the surprise quarterly profit that had caused such a hullabaloo last week. The 10-Q provides a pile of additional detail that Tesla is not required to disclose in its promo-laden earnings report that was primarily designed to downplay its first year-over-year revenue decline since the Financial Crisis.

But that revenue decline is a lot more nerve-wracking than what it looks like on the surface.

What Tesla disclosed last week:

Total revenues in the third quarter declined by 7.6% from Q3 last year, to $6.3 billion (earnings report), the first year-over-year decline since the Financial Crisis, composed of these elements:

  • Automotive revenues plunged 12% to $5.4 billion.
  • Energy and storage revenues ticked up less than 1% to $402 million.
  • “Services and other” revenues jumped by 68% to $548 million.

This plunge in dollar-revenues from the vehicles it sells was caused by a 37% or 10,227-unit plunge in deliveries of its high-dollar Model S and Model X, to just 17,483 units; and a 42% or 23,638-units surge of its lower-dollar but still expensive Model 3.

Total deliveries of all models combined rose 16% year-over-year to 97,186 vehicles, but now heavily skewed toward the less expensive models, with the Model S and X looking at oblivion.

What Tesla disclosed today in its 10-Q:

When an automaker’s automotive revenues plunge 12% year-over-year, that’s catastrophic enough. But the details in today’s 10-Q filing of how that plunge was composed – or rather where it occurred – made it a lot more catastrophic: Revenues in the US, its largest market, collapsed.

I’m not using that word lightly. When revenues plunge 39%, it’s a collapse.

The collapse in revenues in the US was only partially offset by revenue growth in its other geographic markets. The list below shows revenues in Q3, all products and services combined, by geographic region, compared to Q3 2018:

  • United States: -39% to $3.13 billion, from $5.13 billion
  • China: +64% to $669 million, from $409 million
  • Netherlands: +56% to $427 million, from $274 million
  • Norway: +13% to $253 million, from $224 million
  • “Other”: 133% to $1.83 billion, from $784 million
  • Total Revenues: -8% to $6.30 billion, from $6.82 billion

For a company whose entire over-inflated stock-price story is based on hype about its endless massive growth, a revenue decline is the end of that story. But now we’re seeing a revenue collapse in its most important market, the US.

Why the heck this collapse in demand in the US?

There are plenty of new Tesla’s in the US. But demand has collapsed, and Tesla is now trying to offset this collapse in US demand by selling its cars elsewhere. But what has caused this collapse in US demand?

One, the Model S and X are withering away. They’re reaching the end of their life-cycle. Tesla has not redesigned them, or even just reskinned them. The Model X never took off as hoped for. Americans are now losing interest in these models. Sales are withering away. And Tesla does not appear to make any efforts at resuscitating them.

Two, pent-up demand for the Model 3 is exhausted in the US. For years before the much-delayed mass production actually started, Tesla hyped the Model 3 endlessly, with teaser-prices that were low enough to move it into the realm of a mass-market car. Tesla took deposits, and folks lined up to buy one for $35,000 or whatever. But when reality finally arrived, it was the expensive versions that were offered, and folks hoping to buy a sub-$40,000 version were strung out until this year.

By the end of last year, that pent-up demand in the US was largely exhausted. In January this year, Tesla started laying off part of its US delivery staff as deliveries were in free-fall.

Without that pent-up demand of the early fans in the US, Tesla is screwed, amid voluminous complaints about quality problems and a shortage of parts to get collision damage or warranty problems fixed that cause regular buyers to hesitate.

Three, the onslaught of EV competitors, manufactured properly by global automakers – from GM on one end to Porsche on the other – is now arriving. Tesla single-handedly made EVs cool and created the EV space; but now everyone is moving into it on a massive scale, and it’s dog-eat-dog, something Tesla has not experienced before.

Four, federal EV incentives for Tesla’s cars are being phased out. It was long assumed that Tesla buyers, a special group of people, would buy regardless of incentives or no incentives. But that appears to have been an assumption that failed.

Now Tesla’s strategy is to exhaust any pent-up demand globally. China is the largest EV market in the world, but there are hundreds of EV makers in China, including all global automakers, that are offering a slew of EV models.

Auto sales in China have hit the skids in mid-2018. Since the phase-out of the EV incentives, even EV sales, which had been booming until recently, have started to skid, just as Tesla is launching production at its factory in Shanghai. So China is going to be tough too after Tesla’s pent-up demand, to whatever extent it might exist, has been exhausted there.

If Tesla ever becomes profitable, where should its shares be?

Given that automakers operate in a no-growth, saturated, highly competitive market, their shares trade at PE ratios in the single-digits to low double-digits. If Tesla ever makes enough money to where it has positive earnings on an annual basis, something it has never gotten even close to, it will face the same issue: What are Tesla shares worth with a PE ratio of 12, for example, if it makes a huge annual profit of $1 billion? I just did the math: $67 a share, assuming that it will ever get this gloriously profitable.

Santander Consumer USA is on the forefront of souring subprime-auto-loan backed securities. Read…  Subprime Auto Loans Blow Up, 60-Day Delinquencies Shoot Past Financial Crisis Peak

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  192 comments for “Tesla Discloses US Revenues Collapsed 39%. Americans Sour on its Cars, Pent-Up Demand Exhausted

  1. CreditGB
    Oct 29, 2019 at 1:15 pm

    This is like watching a mule being dragged to death by a slow moving train. I think I’ll find something else to watch.

    • mike
      Oct 30, 2019 at 12:50 am

      Despite the hype, I am saddened: to the extent that Tesla still had manufacturing plants in the US, it was one of the few, large, high technology companies, excluding airlines and a few others, still investing here substantially. I hope that some solution is found for its problems. (Of course, the decline in auto sales also appears to be widespread and not just limited to Tesla, so it may also be the result of uncertainties and the self-fulfilling prophecy of so many experts of a coming recession.)

      While its problems were foreseeable, whenever these companies like Tesla, including Boeing, GM, etc., are hurt, Americans are hurt. Unlike the financiers, these companies are fundamentally beneficial, if successful, and not parasites, despite any government aid that they might receive. If they were to pass away, I do not think that their like will return.

      The multiplier effect in the U.S. of the investments and salaries paid to Americans will be sorely missed, if these companies go under or transfer production to other countries. The trade war will not reverse this. Even if China loses, the production of most companies that move out of China now will move to Vietnam, or other countries.

      We cannot compete with countries where people’s wages per day are often less than what we pay for a large coffee.

      • p coyle
        Oct 30, 2019 at 1:48 am

        no worries, progress being progress means some smart person or another will invent some way to circumvent the obvious bottlenecks in the infinite growth in a finite ecosystem predicament. it will all work out just fine.

      • sierra7
        Oct 31, 2019 at 5:12 pm

        Mike:
        Most of this was foreseen with the fanatical embrace of “globalization” way back in the 1990’s. There is no way to put that toothpaste back into the tube. We will ride it out to the inevitable bottom wherever that leaves our society.
        The “commons” were never included in those discussions or agreements that led to this fiasco.

    • A/C in SD
      Oct 30, 2019 at 9:06 am

      Credit GB,
      They did the same thing to DeLorean in 1983. They being the Big 3. Didn’t like the competition I guess?

      • VT
        Nov 5, 2019 at 10:05 am

        How long has Musk been in jail? He is playing a Bond villain but TPTB have not performed any of the standard tricks on him,just coodled him.

  2. nhz
    Oct 29, 2019 at 1:25 pm

    Thanks for digging up the details, but not unexpected …

    Just wait until governments worldwide start cutting back on EV subsidies or tax exemptions – because they run out of money, or finally have to admit this is a very inefficient way to fight climate change. EV’s offer very little bang for the buck compared to many alternatives to lower CO2 emissions. Within the car industry stimulating the use of very small/light/efficient petrol cars would be a better interim solution until we can transition to CO2-neutral biofuels or fuel cells; unfortunately the current tax structure seems to encourage buying of heavy/dirty SUV’s.

    Tesla as an EV-only company is more vulnerable to significant changes in EV subsidy/taxes.

    Netherlands revenue +56%… I should remind everyone that this is from Tulip Bubble country. Even our government is getting worried about the surging cost of EV’s compared to the very minor benefit for the climate given that almost no one charges their Tesla with their own solar panels. EV-only road taxes have already been suggested in some EU countries.

    I guess the small increase in Norway means that now every 1%-er in that country has two Tesla’s in the driveway, if they haven’t already sold them to someone else ;(

    • NotBuying
      Oct 29, 2019 at 1:48 pm

      And don’t forget how much of a carbon footprint is created to manufacture these new cars. How long is the break-even on EV ownership before it becomes truly carbon neutral? Decades?

      • Kent
        Oct 29, 2019 at 2:59 pm

        A valid point, though I doubt anything manufactured is carbon neutral. So the question you should ask yourself is does driving your existing ICE car for another 100,000 miles have less or more impact than buying a brand new EV?

        I have a Honda Civic with about 95,000 miles on it. It regularly gets 35 mpg around town, and it will definitely last another 100,000 miles. So the amount of gas lit up over the next 8-9 years is probably less damaging than a new EV.

        • Nels Nelson
          Oct 29, 2019 at 4:49 pm

          ICTT (the guys who unearthed dieselgate) put the carbon impact of manufacturing an EV at just under three times a piston car. However, an EV is more efficient than an ICE car (90% for the EV vs 30% for the ICE). By the time an EV is just a few years old, it has offset its manufacturing deficit. Therefore, the lifetime CO2 emissions of an EV, including the the mining, manufacturing and the electricity to run it, are half what they are for an ICE vehicle.This punctures the repeated mantra that continuing to run your current ICE vehicle is greener than buying a new EV.

        • wkevinw
          Oct 29, 2019 at 5:57 pm

          The argument about “carbon footprint” has more to it than just manufacturing and how efficient the motors are. The efficiency of the process to make the electricity also must be considered. That’s about 40-60%, so the quoted 90% efficiency figure has to be adjusted for that. As such, the EV is only about 10% more efficient. It will indeed take a long time to offset its manufacturing footprint.

          Also, the total environmental footprint includes the fate of the batteries. That is enormous.

          Nobody really knows what the total environmental impact is, from what I can see.

        • Nels Nelson
          Oct 29, 2019 at 6:33 pm

          @wkevinw

          All of your questions were addressed by ICTT and as electricity supply moves toward renewables, an EV bought today will be responsible for less and less CO2/mile as it gets older.

        • nhz
          Oct 30, 2019 at 4:20 am

          Agree with wkevinw especially for most of Europe where the electricity for EV’s comes mainly from large electricity plants burning coal, gas or biofuels (supposedly CO2 neutral, but not at all in reality). The main advantage I see is (again for Europe) that EV’s cause much lower local emissions, which counts because stuff like soot and NOx is a very serious problem over here (almost as much as CO2 emissions). But it will be many years before the majority of the EV electricity comes from renewables, and the environmental damage from producing and recycling those EV’s is likely much higher than what they save on local pollution. In general, cost of a product (without the subsidies) is a very good indication of total CO2 and other environmental emissions, and EV’s are expensive …
          Maybe in ten years time EV’s can be charged at night with electricity from the large wind parks that are in development, but for now they run on dirty energy and subsidies ;(

          And then the other problem: most EV’s here are SECOND cars and will be used relatively little – probably mostly for short trips – before they become outdated and probably replaced by something else (or used less and less). For now very efficient petrol cars (remember the Aptera etc.?) would be a much better solution, or just responsible use of older cars as long as they have good efficiency (small and light). But apparently that is too tough a message for politics, can’t take the big SUV’s away from current consumers …

        • Don
          Oct 30, 2019 at 5:35 am

          @ wkevinw
          “That’s about 40-60%, so the quoted 90% efficiency figure has to be adjusted for that.”

          Exactly this. One has to account for the grid intensity (CO2) where one is driving (and this does not account for transmission losses etc). For example if you compare a Ford Pump with a Tesla model 3 just based on reported grid intensity and ideal car performance.

          Through New York to Montreal, the fuel emissions of the Tesla will be ~75% lower than the Puma.
          Through Rapid City to Denver, the fuel emissions of the Tesla will be the same.

          So given the higher embedded manufacturing emissions for the Tesla, the first trip is emissions light but the second trip is emissions heavy.

        • gashog
          Oct 30, 2019 at 8:32 am

          yep, and a ford/gm/chrysler suv and truck sink us all.

          fill ‘er up!

        • wkevinw
          Oct 31, 2019 at 11:00 am

          From a VW calculation:

          The diesel Golf TDI produces 140g/km CO2 on average over its entire life cycle, while the electric e-Golf sees average emissions of 119g/km.

          So, my guess that they were about 10% different was pretty close.

          Again, the environmental fate of the battery is conveniently left out of the total impact for basically all of these estimates. That may be the biggest item!

          I will say it again: nobody really knows the total environmental impact of EVs.

        • Nels Nelson
          Oct 31, 2019 at 2:19 pm

          @wkevinw
          As I stated above, the ICTT analysis determined that the lifetime CO2 emissions of an EV, including the the mining, manufacturing and the electricity to run it, are half what they are for an ICE vehicle.

          Batteries are lasting longer than originally predicted and can be recycled for grid energy storage.

          When I stated that the efficiency of a electric motor is 90%, I mean that 90% of the electrical energy stored in a battery is converted into work by an electric motor. Only 30% of the heat energy released in an ICE is converted to work. The rest is blasted out of the radiator as waste heat. This is a huge waste of potential.

          Power stations are more efficient than car engines, so transmitting electricity over a grid and charging an EV has half the CO2 per mile as even the most economical gas or diesel car. This is using entirely fossil fuel energy. What if you charged your car using solar panels which also charge a household storage battery? This is a system Mercedes Benz is producing.

          The information is out there for those not practicing confirmation bias what the environmental impacts of EVs currently are and it is far better than what burning fossil fuels has done and are continuing to do to the environment.

    • 2banana
      Oct 29, 2019 at 1:52 pm

      Norway – like EVERY other market that EVs are selling well in, heavily tilts the market in EVs favor.

      Once you take away the massive incentives, EVs make absolutely no economic sense.

      “Buyers do not pay import tax and VAT on plug-in cars, shaving thousands of pounds off the upfront cost. Running costs are lower because electricity is cheaper than petrol and diesel, while road tax is reduced – and will drop to zero next year.”

      https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/dec/25/norway-leads-way-electric-cars-green-taxation-shift

      • char
        Oct 29, 2019 at 8:54 pm

        Norway does not make cars but imports them so in production it does not care who makes the cars. Norway is a rich country so people drive expensive cars. The pre-tax price of a average new car is already above the price of an EV . It also produces a lot of renewable (locally produced) electricity and could very easy increase that by building wind farms or somewhat less fast and easy hydro.

        What Norway is expected to do is decrease the incentives on EVs when they become the standard car (true already for new cars but not the for the average roadmile) but at the same time make owning an ICE even more expensive and harder. So a return of import tax and VAT for EVs but also an environment tax on ICE. No more driving in the bus-lane for EV’s, no more driving in the city center for ICE.

        This makes complete economic sense for the Norwegian state. The car import bill will stay the same as people on the whole don’t buy the car the need but the car they can afford, with an 8 year loan etc,. and the oil they pump out of the ground is exported for much more money than the extra electricity cost to produce

        • Pavel
          Oct 30, 2019 at 8:22 am

          Anyone know what the carbon footprint is of buying a Tesla that must be shipped from California to Norway vs buying say an Audi made 1000km or so away in Germany?

      • DV
        Oct 30, 2019 at 2:07 am

        There still thousands of unelectrified miles of railroads in the US alone. So it really makes no sense to try to electrify motor vehicles.

    • zoomev
      Oct 29, 2019 at 2:07 pm

      Lots of assertions and low on facts.

      • Rick Scott
        Nov 3, 2019 at 4:54 pm

        Totally agreed.

    • nick kelly
      Oct 29, 2019 at 2:23 pm

      The Netherlands number has a lot to do with the very compact geography: about 4000 square kilometers or a third the size of Los Angeles County. Range issues are not much of a factor. However this applies to all EVs so Tesla is in for a battle with among others, Renault and VW.

      • deplorado
        Oct 29, 2019 at 3:19 pm

        It’s 41,000 sq kilometers. So, a little more than 3 times the size of LA county, not 1/3.

        • nick kelly
          Oct 30, 2019 at 12:14 am

          True. LA county is bigger than Holland. But its tiny size is a bigger factor than being ‘tulip country’, what ever that is supposed to mean.

      • wkevinw
        Oct 29, 2019 at 6:00 pm

        EVs should be good for city dwellers. The very compact ICE cars do very well for that application. Electric buses are nice from the lack of vehicle emissions point of view.

      • char
        Oct 29, 2019 at 9:41 pm

        No Dutch car has ever driven past the border to Germany or Belgium. Ever.

        • SwissKev
          Oct 30, 2019 at 10:10 am

          We see a lot of Dutch NL plates driving around where we have our weekend place in the Alps, and back in our touring/camping days the car parks at the campsites in Switzerland, France, Italy, Germany etc. would be heavily stocked with NL plates too, up to the point that it’s become a family joke that if we see a NL plate, someone always remarks that there must be a campsite nearby…
          Then again, the reason why so many Dutch people apparently seem to like camping was explained by a Belgian friend who told us that the Dutch have a reputation for being a little stingy, so maybe this could also have an effect on Tesla / EV sales.

      • CRV
        Oct 30, 2019 at 3:52 am

        I live in The Netherlands.
        Last quarter Tesla Model 3 was the most “sold” car over here.
        Actually it wasn’t the most sold car but the most newly registered car. The sellings were done more then a year before.
        Tesla decided to hold delivery in the US in favour of delivery elsewhere. I think because it would look good in the news.
        Meanwhile owners of older Tesla’s complain about: no spare parts, bad customer service if any, and if there are spare-parts, they are so expensive ($3500 for a replacement fender; same amount for replacement of a little memory chip that itself costs only $50), people choose not to repare the car (in the latter case it has to be repared, otherwise the car will stop working entirely).

        At the same time competition is catching up. At this moment we can choose from several models from alsmost every european brand. and the Japanese and Koreans aren’t sitting idle also. These are manufacturers with years of experience in servicing cars and delivering on customer service. I doubt if Tesla will be able to match that.

    • Woody
      Oct 29, 2019 at 2:30 pm

      Don’t worry. Government subsidies in NL will reduce sharply from 1-1-2020. Tesla is sending shiploads of M3s to NL while it lasts … till 1-1-2020 that is..

    • Harrold
      Oct 29, 2019 at 2:43 pm

      Using the military to keep the oil flowing is very expensive for the US.

      • Unamused
        Oct 29, 2019 at 5:44 pm

        Not to mention the cost to target countries and their populations, most recently Syria, per the recent announcement that their reserves are subject to confiscation. The great unsolved mystery remains: how did America’s oil get under the sands of western Asia?

        • p coyle
          Oct 30, 2019 at 2:02 am

          god works in mysterious ways. at least that’s what i’ve been told.

    • Leo
      Oct 29, 2019 at 6:54 pm

      CO2 is only part of the picture. The major benefit of electric cars is reducing city air pollution. This is a big deal.

    • char
      Oct 29, 2019 at 9:08 pm

      But EV-only road taxes are not suggested in the Netherlands by anybody with even the smallest idea how the Dutch state works.

      ps If the overheid sees an opportunity to increase taxes than taxes will be increased. If they can tax ICE too then they will so wholeheartedly.

      • nhz
        Oct 30, 2019 at 4:27 am

        of course it would be an additional tax for EV’s, on top of all existing taxes (with the main argument that EV drivers pay less use taxes because they don’t buy the heavily taxed petrol; and because of that they pay less for the roads, and admittedly those heavy EV’s probably cause more road and bridge damage).

        It has been seriously suggested both in Germany and Netherlands. But I have no idea how real this idea is, I guess they will wait until the growth in EV numbers is leveling off.

        • char
          Oct 30, 2019 at 7:21 am

          But the same is true of diesel, which is much less taxed than petrol. IIRC road tax for diesel cars is slightly more but diesel cars pay a lot less in fuel tax and are dirty (the state prefers a petrol above a diesel car)

          In Germany this was a serious suggestion when they build great diesels and no EVs, now the German car makers build lousy diesels and world best electric cars*.

          *Companies like Tesla that go broke dont count.

    • Rat Fink
      Oct 29, 2019 at 9:36 pm

      Check out the list of subsidies that is driving EV sales in Norway

      https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidnikel/2019/06/18/electric-cars-why-little-norway-leads-the-world-in-ev-usage/#5152af9113e3

      It’s (ironically) a good thing that Norway has a lot of oil that it can sell and tax to subsidize EV ownership!!!!!

      It’s actually a huge surprise that even a single ICE vehicle gets sold in that country given the enormous subsidies on EV ownership.

      Anyone pointing at Norway as ‘the way forward’ is ignoring the facts.

      This model is obviously not sustainable

      • char
        Oct 30, 2019 at 7:32 am

        It is not sustainable if you assume that they will only use the carrot. Later on they will use the stick. Getting buy-in when you use the stick is hard. But if you have already buy-in than you can use the stick

    • Randall Hooker
      Oct 31, 2019 at 10:11 am

      EV road use tax is on the ballot in Washington State this cycle. And will be implemented eventually in all states that rely on gas taxes for transportation budgets.

      • char
        Nov 1, 2019 at 3:11 pm

        I seriously doubt that they will make a road tax in Nevada and California that will discriminate against EVs. There is also the problem with what do you consider an EV. Is a Plugin Prius that can drive only a few miles on electricity an EV? Especially if those miles are likely not on roads paid by the transportation budget

  3. fred flintstone
    Oct 29, 2019 at 1:30 pm

    What a joke…..true worth…..right now……this second…….I’d pay $20.00 if I was drunk. Of course for value investors you can always scarf up some Netflix. The company that is just terrific at raising new capital so they can blow it on overpriced horrible programming which they cannot sell at a profit…..
    For those that grave safety……try some GE…..the leading stock in the market for years……the best managed company in the US…….that is essentially bankrupt.
    and they call social security a ponzi scheme.
    Take goodwill away from most of these balance sheets and its a whose who of incompetence run by politically correct morons who can’t count…..except when their to the moon bonuses are payed out for doing a lousy job.
    No cost control. No idea of how to count pencils. Just waiting for the fed to bail them out the next time.
    This will not end well.

  4. DM
    Oct 29, 2019 at 1:33 pm

    I think you’re missing the point on this one Wolf. Last year, Tesla was only selling Model 3 in the US and now they’re selling to Europe and Asia. They are actually prioritizing shipments to RoW and delivery dates for the US have been pushed out to December. Tesla is selling every Model 3 they can make.

    • Oct 29, 2019 at 1:44 pm

      DM,

      1. Globally, Tesla’s automotive sales plunged 12%, as explained, due to the switch to lower-priced models and the plunge in sales of its high-priced models.

      2. In the US, Tesla’s total sales plunged 39%, as explained. There is no shortage of new Teslas in the US. There are plenty. But demand has collapsed in the US, given the four reasons as explained. You might have missed the point.

      3. Tesla is now trying to offset the collapsed demand in the US by selling its models elsewhere. But that’s tough because the US market is so big.

      4. It’s trying to muscle into the Chinese market by producing vehicles there. This may or may not work. The Chinese EV market is hyper-competitive and in decline. So this is going to be tough.

      • DM
        Oct 29, 2019 at 1:49 pm

        Wolf,

        Revenues have plummeted, units have increased as ASPs decline. But margins and profits increased so there is actually a decent margin on the Model 3 as volume ramps up. Fremont is at 7000 a week and China will be at 3000 a week. I don’t think the US demand has collapsed but moving to a normal run rate for this type of vehicle. Again, look at their website, US orders have gone from 2 weeks to 9 weeks delivery.

        • Oct 29, 2019 at 2:09 pm

          Instead of looking at Tesla’s website, you should look at what it discloses in its 10-Q filing with the SEC. It’s linked in the first paragraph.

        • DM
          Oct 29, 2019 at 2:14 pm

          I agree that revenues have gone down as ASPs have dropped. S and X sales are declining because it is badly in need of a refresh. Looks like Musk is focused on 3 and Y which is the future of the company.

          The fact is that Model 3 production has increased from 5000 a week last year to 7000 a week this year and will grow to 10000 a week when China is online. That’s double the volume of Model 3s from last year. They are selling somewhere and China and EU are actually larger markets than the US now for sedans. US Model 3 buyers are complaining about delayed deliveries if you look at the Tesla forums.

          GM sells more cars in China than in the US, too.

        • Oct 29, 2019 at 6:16 pm

          DM,

          Yes, China is definitely interesting. It could go either way for Tesla. Once a superb market for US automakers, it has turned out to be a very tough place to be for them, starting last year for GM, once #1 in China, and for Ford for the past few years. Other auto makers are struggling too. That the government backed out of incentives for the overall auto industry doesn’t help. It is now backing out of incentives for the EV industry too.

          So how will Tesla maneuver in this environment? My guess is that there is some pent-up demand, and they will be able to get their numbers up at first, from zero to something fairly significant, but when that pent-up demand has been met? It’s a new chapter in the story, and we don’t know yet how it will turn out.

        • DM
          Oct 29, 2019 at 2:38 pm

          Interesting note on geographical breakdown of revenues:

          Comparing nine months ending September 2019 with 2018:

          USA: down $312 million
          China: up $693 million
          Norway: up $438 million
          Netherlands: up $161 million
          Rest of World: Up $1,971 million

        • Oct 29, 2019 at 6:20 pm

          Yeah, EXACTLY, the US collapse in revenues happened in Q3. In Q3, revenues in the US plunged by $2 billion from a year ago (-39%) In the first half, revenues were still up in the US. That’s why I wrote about, because it’s a new development that Tesla didn’t disclose in its earnings report last week, hoping no one would read its 10-Q filing.

        • inglescatalunya
          Oct 29, 2019 at 3:25 pm

          IMHO Tesla purposefully shifted sales from the US to the RoW because their cars can be sold at higher margins in RoW and with less fuss/advertising. Owning a Tesla in China is a huge status symbol. Tesla’s main problem is not lack of demand but the inability to produce enough cars. It would be great to look at their inventory figures as well to be able to tell what’s happening. I could be wrong though.

        • intosh
          Oct 30, 2019 at 1:38 am

          “because their cars can be sold at higher margins in RoW and with less fuss/advertising”

          In other words, chasing pent-up demand in new markets. Not a sustainable strategy.

          Advertising? LOL Tesla pride itself at NOT doing ads.

      • gashog
        Oct 30, 2019 at 8:39 am

        mr musk is a very talented juggler, card shuffler and shell gamer, but can’t keep a CFO longer than a, insert _____________.

        but i wish him well, and hope it works out.

    • roddy6667
      Oct 29, 2019 at 8:03 pm

      Tesla loses money on every model S they sell, and that’s a high-margin, expensive luxury vehicle. They most likely lose a lot more on every Model 3. Selling more units does not guarantee making more (or any) profit. It can mean greater losses.

      • char
        Oct 29, 2019 at 9:31 pm

        Only if you assume they sell their cars below variable cost. Unlikely to be true at the moment.

        • roddy6667
          Oct 30, 2019 at 8:40 am

          Tesla has never made a profit (GAAP), since they opened their doors in 2003. They use accounting methods that would make Bernie Madoff blush.

        • char
          Oct 30, 2019 at 4:59 pm

          So? The loose less money if they sell more cars not greater losses. So they should sell more cars

    • Happy1
      Oct 29, 2019 at 10:57 pm

      There isn’t any way to sugar coat a 39% decrease in their largest market, and there isn’t any reason to think that Tesla ownership will ever reach the middle market in any wealthy country, the cars are too expensive, and are largely selling to “fan boy” types who are wealthy. Those people already have a Tesla (or two).

      I will lay a large wager that demand in all these other markets rapidly peaks and then rapidly declines, as it has in the US, for the same reasons. I don’t see how Tesla cannot lose 90% of its value in 5 years.

      Also see todays WSJ article about “peak car”. The automotive industry is shrinking. Expensive electronic cars aren’t going to expand that customer base.

      • nhz
        Oct 30, 2019 at 4:35 am

        My impression is that in Europe most of the Tesla buyers are not wealthy “fan boy” types but people who buy them (privately or as a business) purely because of the various tax incentives, even if those are less generous than in Norway. In my area I’m seeing more and more of them locally (mostly model S) and most seem to be in the same spot all the time, with very little use.

        It’s also interesting to compare Tesla revenue from Netherlands with the cost to the Dutch taxpayers for subsidizing EV’s (which is over 2x the Tesla revenue if I remember correctly, with the Tesla’s a big chunk of the total subsidies).

        Expensive EV’s would make more sense as a shared rental vehicle that gets used all the time, assuming the EV is solid enough to make many more miles than an IC car.

  5. Seneca's cliff
    Oct 29, 2019 at 1:38 pm

    Wait until a few Sonoma County Tesla buyers run out of juice in their Elon Chariots because the power was turned off for days, then the fire approaches their dwelling but they can’t escape because their EV was dead and they have to evacuate on foot. That will boost sales for sure.

    • CreditGB
      Oct 29, 2019 at 2:08 pm

      I see some trucker with a small diesel spill and their is a hazmat team on site, and all kinds of spill confinement stuff.

      God forbid, but what happens if a bunch of Tesla’s, dead in their garages, are consumed by a wild fire. Will these become hazmat sites along with all of their downstream remnants? Who prevents what chemicals from leaching into the soils and water supplies?

      Just asking.

      • HobartChic
        Oct 29, 2019 at 10:31 pm

        Likely burn hot enough for residue left behind to be stable (I’m guessing having seen normal vehicle fires with some acid in vehicle battery). Asbestos waste and air quality are likely to be the bigger concerns, followed by housing and sanitation in the aftermath. Hazmat would probably be needed in a collision though as there would be a spill and contaminant risk.

    • Harrold
      Oct 29, 2019 at 2:45 pm

      Are the gas stations in California required to have alternate power to keep the pumps flowing during the black out?

      • NBay
        Oct 29, 2019 at 3:39 pm

        Not that I know of. Gas station pumps and assorted devices require a lot of power, not a cheap generator. So it’s owner’s ability to afford, just like grocery stores or homeowners. Saw on TV news one guy who rented 2 refrigerator vans and moved his perishable grocery stock in…..filled them both and was scrounging for diesel.
        Smallish grocery serving upscale area around Lafayette, I think.

        • endeavor
          Oct 29, 2019 at 4:52 pm

          Unlikely the credit card apparatus would work either to pay for the gas.

      • Clete
        Oct 29, 2019 at 5:29 pm

        @Harrold: Our experience in Florida hurricanes has been that the pumps don’t run and the CC readers don’t work even after the electricity comes back on…so you can buy gas, but only if you got cash before the storm rolled in.

        • Jeff T.
          Oct 30, 2019 at 5:41 pm

          I think this is a very important reminder to people. Cash is king when bad stuff happens and you need lots of ones, fives , and tens. Hundreds aren’t much use. Nor is gold or silver.

      • Oct 29, 2019 at 6:27 pm

        Harold,

        No. They just close. No power, no gas.

    • Oct 29, 2019 at 6:25 pm

      Seneca’s cliff,

      Gas stations in the blackout areas are closed too. No power, no gas. It takes electricity to pump gas. No payment system either.

      I know plenty of people who live in those areas. Getting very tough.

      • alex in San Jose AKA Digital Detroit
        Oct 29, 2019 at 7:12 pm

        Reddit on r/bayarea is a good place to read up on what’s going on. Just like Wolf says, no gasoline no working credit card readers, no nada.

        Cash cash baby.

      • Michael
        Oct 29, 2019 at 7:52 pm

        Some of the smarter station operators in Santa Rosa are using back up generators. They have seen this episode before.

    • andy
      Oct 29, 2019 at 10:03 pm

      I always have Honda generator in my Tesla’s trunk, and couple of jumper cables, problem solved.

  6. Pedro
    Oct 29, 2019 at 1:42 pm

    Most people are looking at Tesla as a car company when it is also a data company. They have more miles-driven data then all their competitors combined.

    One day that data will be 100x the value of their car making side business. None of their competitors have anything remotely close.

    • Enron Musk
      Oct 29, 2019 at 5:37 pm

      It’s supposed to be a solar company too and look how that turned out?

      That data can change drastically quickly and they’re already a customer so who are they going to sell the data to?

      What are they going to do with it if they’re bankrupt? Customized fart app sounds by gender?

    • Happy1
      Oct 29, 2019 at 10:59 pm

      Pretty unlikely that day will ever arrive. I remember MoviePass saying the same thing.

    • Niko
      Oct 31, 2019 at 1:54 pm

      Which use cases do you foresee Tesla fulfilling with their big data set?
      Predictive maintenance? Prescriptive automotive design? On-the-route marketing? Utilization-priced car insurance? These are limited scenarios and not money-makers nor market differentiators. Everybody does it and it is expensive. Even when done right, it can only give you a tiny and fleeting edge.

      Further, Tesla does not necessarily compete in telematics data-size with BMW, but with the likes of Tom-Tom, Masternaut… or Waze/Google. Now, Google is a data company.

  7. Kent
    Oct 29, 2019 at 1:45 pm

    Bound to happen. Tesla’s fan base includes only the intersection of the set of people who place a high value on ecological sustainability and/or coolness with the set of people who have the desire to drop $45k on a car. That is a small subset of all American auto buyers. That set of buyers is probably larger in both Europe and China, so they can run on for a bit.

    If Tesla can figure out how to manufacture and sell a car for $20k, they’ll rule the world. Otherwise they’ll just be swamped by all the other manufacturers.

    • 2banana
      Oct 29, 2019 at 1:47 pm

      And who want a commuter car that will not be used in winter…

      Even at $20k a pop – it is still a small customer base.

      “Tesla’s fan base includes only the intersection of the set of people who place a high value on ecological sustainability and/or coolness with the set of people who have the desire to drop $45k”

    • Just Some Random Guy
      Oct 29, 2019 at 3:56 pm

      I live in an area where Silicon Valley big whigs (among others) have summer homes. It’s hilarious to go to the executive airport and see the cars in the parking lot during the week. Lots of Teslas of course with a few i8s, Lexus hybrids and of course the ever popular and classic Prius.

      These people who deeply care about the environment, fly in on private jets Thursday or Friday. Then get into the EV and drive to the 5000 sq ft lake house. They spend the weekend on their 40′ boat burning hundreds of gallons of gas. Then on Sunday, get back into the EV, back to the airport to fly back to San Jose.

      But you know, they drive an EV so it means they like totally care about the environment and stuff. Right?

      • alex in San Jose AKA Digital Detroit
        Oct 29, 2019 at 7:44 pm

        It’s even more hilarious seeing all the Teslas etc. around here in San Jose considering how large our “internal third world” is. A hell of a lot of cars here have body panels all different colors, sound like the cars in old movies, etc. The other night I heard something funny and looked at the video camera; it was one of the local scavengers’ trucks, which apparently could not move in forward any more so it was being driven around its route – in reverse!

        The richies have got to feel a bit let down up there in Aspen etc., where there aren’t tons of immiserated people pushing shopping carts etc. for contrast to make them feel Oh so much richer.

      • fred flintstone
        Oct 29, 2019 at 7:45 pm

        In their spare time they lecture working folks about why they rode to pick up the heart medicine instead of taking public transportation.
        Hollywood elite.

    • Rat Fink
      Oct 29, 2019 at 9:47 pm

      “Tesla’s fan base includes only the intersection of the set of people who place a high value on delusional thinking and/or coolness with the set of people who are stupid enough to waste $45k on a car that is charged by burning coal”

      :)

  8. 2banana
    Oct 29, 2019 at 1:45 pm

    I could make garbage cans and recycling bins cool and create a “garbage space” if given billions in investor investments, government hand outs and government tax credits that I would never have to pay back or even make a profit.

    “Tesla single-handedly made EVs cool and created the EV space”

  9. Ethan in NoVA
    Oct 29, 2019 at 2:05 pm

    I will give it to them. They made EVs happen. They pushed the self-driving thing farther faster than anyone could have predicted. They’re even pushing the limits again with the hail feature.

    A friend got in an accident with his S, and the replacement parts weren’t available. He had just gotten the car (used.) Ended up buying another one after saying he wasn’t.

    I’ll admit it, the cars are still pretty cool but the company seems mismanaged. I have friends with 3, X and S and all of them like the cars a lot. Sure there are faults but perhaps with a couple new designs they could keep things moving. A light pickup would be interesting.

    • Iamafan
      Oct 29, 2019 at 2:36 pm

      I think we will know what happens to Tesla owners after SEVERAL years.

      I bought my first Subaru in 1983. I bought 6 more afterwards in between several Volvos, Chevy, Chrysler and a 2006 Toyota Prius we still have. I just bought another Subaru today. I think we need time to tell if customers are really loyal and happy. You need time to let the problems come out.

      • RD Blakeslee
        Oct 30, 2019 at 11:41 am

        Bought my first Subaru in 1977 – the first year they were introduced into the U.S.

        Driving a 2017 Forrester today. Nearly a dozen in the family, between times.

        • NelsNelson
          Oct 30, 2019 at 5:24 pm

          I seem to recall the early Subarus with their quadrozontal engines having serious problems with blown head gaskets.

    • alex in San Jose AKA Digital Detroit
      Oct 29, 2019 at 7:46 pm

      Actually tons of makers “made EVs happen” 100+ years ago, when little old ladies didn’t want to deal with the crank-starters on gasoline cars so they drove “electrics”.

      Any avid reader of Ray Bradbury will remember the old spinster sisters tootling around town in “their electric”.

  10. Oct 29, 2019 at 2:09 pm

    The short sellers got squeezed that’s all that matters. Nobody reads past the headlines, esp the algorithms. The point about PE seems right at first, when the stock price appreciates, split a few times, the PE will come back down. This stock is not a pension fund, mom and pop investor stock. They just need to get over that hurdle. The recession was cancelled due to lack of interest. All the monetary cannons are firing. I still feel the bonds are a better deal, if the Fed cuts again tomorrow.

    • Iamafan
      Oct 29, 2019 at 3:09 pm

      @Ambrose Bierce
      Re: The Recession was cancelled due to lack of interest.
      I don’t know about you, but despite my age, I never really felt a recession. Jobs were hard to get by in the early 80’s but that was it.
      In fact, I only realized what it really was when I saw the interest on my banks’ 1040 INT. I throw away all the brokerage statements and don’t bother to get excited. So unless one loses his/her job or a house, not really sure where the pain is. Otherwise,there are other things in life more precious than the financial headlines.

      • alex in San Jose AKA Digital Detroit
        Oct 29, 2019 at 7:48 pm

        If you saved up enough money when times were good, you can just sit now and get paid money for having money.

        For the rest of us, it’s the early 80s, now. You have to know someone to get a job. And said job will pay about $15 an hour tops whether it’s standing around being a security guard, mopping floors, being a hotshot electronics tech, doesn’t matter. CS majors are finding this out; it takes a year to get a job out of college and it’s …. $15 an hour.

      • Zantetsu
        Oct 29, 2019 at 9:28 pm

        But lots of people who over leveraged during the good times *do* lose their job and house. So that’s not good.

        I’m at the opposite end of the spectrum though. I’ve tried so hard to be under leveraged waiting for the big drop that I am starting to feel like I am missing out …

        I have zero debt. Zero, zilch, nada. It’s mostly because I own next to nothing. My car, a few computers, some mediocre furniture, a bit of kitchen equipment, odds and ends. That’s it. My money keeps piling up BUT I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH IT.

        • Iamafan
          Oct 29, 2019 at 11:22 pm

          Easy. I have kids. I give my money away. No problem.

      • Just Some Random Guy
        Oct 29, 2019 at 11:04 pm

        To put things in perspective, an American recession is usually still a better economy than the best of times in Europe.

        • Jos Oskam
          Oct 30, 2019 at 2:22 am

          @Random Guy

          Huh?

          How long have you lived in Europe to experience these best of times? Or worst of times? Somewhere in the EU or outside?

          I’ll be the first to admit that many things are wrong with various economies in Europe and the EU. But at least nobody goes bankrupt when they get hospitalized, utility networks are generally in decent state and do not need rolling blackouts, and people who lose their job do not end up in the streets.

          An American recession is better? Gimme a break.

        • Just Some Random Guy
          Oct 30, 2019 at 10:09 am

          France celebrated a 10 year low unemployment rate this year when it hit…wait for it…8.5%. LOL

          In the US at 8.5% people were calling it a Great Recession.

          Keep your head in the sand if it makes you feel better.

        • nhz
          Oct 30, 2019 at 11:03 am

          @ Random Guy:
          your employment rate numbers only proves that the American government is better at manipulating the numbers than the French. Maybe check the number of adults not in the work force and you get a far more similar picture, maybe France would even perform better than the US then.

          Netherlands has low unemployment currently (4-4.5% IIRC) but they are also very good at fudging the numbers e.g. we have about the highest number of people on disability benefits of the developed world (which doesn’t count as unemployed). People who no longer are looking for work, those working far less hours than they want or in jobs far below their capability are not counted either (probably a bit similar to the US). Such numbers mean nothing if the statistics behind them and social conditions are not the same.

        • Setarcos
          Oct 30, 2019 at 4:03 pm

          @JSRG,

          In the US, the first million has always been the hard million. How does that work in countries with NIRP?

  11. David Hall
    Oct 29, 2019 at 2:28 pm

    Tesla shares rose 29% in the two days after their earnings announcement. The bottom line is more important than the top line. Giving away free merchandise can grow revenues without profit growth. Profit growth is desired, but is it sustainable?

    Global lithium prices have dropped 50% since 2018. Lithium is used in EV batteries. Did they overbuild mines, or slowed battery production?

    • David Hall
      Oct 29, 2019 at 2:50 pm

      What I mean is giving away samples and selling at a loss grows revenue. A profitable company is not as likely to go bankrupt.

  12. WES
    Oct 29, 2019 at 2:44 pm

    Yes, as self propelled, self driving, and self igniting, mobile BBQs, Teslas are very cool!

    Yes, Tesla’s affinity for parked “red” fire trucks is very cool too!

    Yes, Tesla’s environmentally toxic carbon neutral “green” footprint is really cool too!

    • Zantetsu
      Oct 29, 2019 at 9:30 pm

      You are clueless. Sorry, but you are.

      • Rat Fink
        Oct 29, 2019 at 11:39 pm

        Care to comment:

        Electric vehicles in Hong Kong could be adding “20 per cent more” carbon to the atmosphere than regular petrol ones over the same distance after factoring in the city’s coal-dominated energy mix and battery manufacture, a new research report found.

        Investment research firm Bernstein also claimed that by subsidising electric vehicle purchases, the government was effectively “harming rather than helping the environment” at the expense of the taxpayer.

        “The policy is to encourage drivers to be green, but they are actually subsidising vehicles that create more emissions of CO2 and particulates from power plants,” said Bernstein senior analyst Neil Beveridge.

        http://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/health-environment/article/1935817/electric-shock-tesla-cars-hong-kong-more-polluting

        • nhz
          Oct 30, 2019 at 4:48 am

          Obviously HK is a very special case but I agree that this is a risk, especially in the many parts of the world where renewable power is still in its early stages (and that’s even before considering emissions related to production and disposal/recycling of the car).

          I remember reading recently that China already decided that in big agglomerations EV’s are not a real solution and it is more efficient to spend money on good public transport. There are no easy solutions and just like with other environmental issues much has to be tailored to local conditions (including laws, taxes etc.).

        • Zantetsu
          Oct 30, 2019 at 7:09 pm

          Sure. There is always “a new research report” saying that something “could be” true. There are more reliable, accurate, and complete commentaries on the environmental cost of electrics versus gas powered vehicles. I believe at least one is mentioned elsewhere in this comments section.

  13. DR DOOM
    Oct 29, 2019 at 3:06 pm

    67 bucks at a 12 PE ,Wolf, quit doing math. You are mucking up my state of consensual hallucinations and my warm blanket of cognitive dissonance.

  14. Tony
    Oct 29, 2019 at 3:33 pm

    I think you are reading way too much into the decline in US revenue. I would go one step further and say if there was no Year on Year that would be extremely suspicious. Remember that tesla still had the full $7500 tax credit in q3 last year. On a 50k car, a $7500 tax credit is a huge deal. If you are tesla about to launch model 3 into a market with tax credits about to expire, what do you do ? You jack up the price and then gradually lower it as the credit phased out. Customers will demand lower prices as the credit is lost so you need to get ahead of that.
    Model 3 is still by far the best selling sedan in its price segment. It is selling better in the US than the BMW 3 and 4 series combined. Tesla has no demand problem.
    Tesla May very well fail eventually but you are barking up the wrong tree here.

  15. jon
    Oct 29, 2019 at 3:34 pm

    if you want to buy EVs, Teslas are the best option out there.
    Other Evs are as expensive as Teslas and are not worth the money.

    • Paulo
      Oct 29, 2019 at 6:23 pm

      Nissan Leafs + are very well thought of and cheaper than the comparable Tesla. Plus, you can get parts and maintenance done. Not that I would buy either one.

      We just drive less these days, and could cut back much more if needed. Tax gas to $10 per gallon and watch the World change, bigly. Gas is still cheaper than bottled water.

      When everyone learns to code will they still need to commute? (sarcasm alert).

      • alex in San Jose AKA Digital Detroit
        Oct 29, 2019 at 7:50 pm

        Plus there’s the “plug in only” Prius crowd, if they’re still a thing.

        Anyone remember Hurrican Katrina? There was one story out of that where a guy was glad he had a Prius because he could go days and days on the gas he had.

      • Tom Pfotzer
        Oct 30, 2019 at 8:01 am

        Paulo:

        When managers learn to manage, will they still need to watch their employees do their work?

        Commuting and home-HVAC are two huge aspects of fossil fuel use.

        Once people get serious about climate, they find a way to drive less, heat/cool less. Their building envelopes become efficient. They locate their office in their home, so a commute and office costs are nearly eliminated. They make their home into a place they love to be, so they don’t feel the need to escape it.

        It’s not complicated, but it does take effort and imagination.

        • sierra7
          Oct 31, 2019 at 6:16 pm

          Tom F.:
          Suppose you work in the sewer or as a janitor or etc., etc., oh never mind! How then can you, “….work at home?”

        • Tom Pfotzer
          Nov 1, 2019 at 8:53 am

          Sierra:

          Of course there are jobs that can’t be done at home.

          And there are many which can, and currently are not.

          Furthermore, there are lots of people that commute long distances, while a comparable-skill-and-pay job is available closer to home.

          But you already knew all this, of course.

          May I suggest you direct your considerable intellectual talents toward finding solutions?

          Raising the predictable and easily addressable objections, while it may yield some emotional gratification for the stumps, doesn’t move the ball downfield.

  16. Just Some Random Guy
    Oct 29, 2019 at 3:46 pm

    Finally, something I can agree with Wolf on!
    Tesla is a scam wrapped up in a ruse inside a fraud.

  17. Dave
    Oct 29, 2019 at 4:11 pm

    Since the exploding gas tank Ford Pinto is no longer in stock, Tesla is the only game in town.

  18. Rudolf
    Oct 29, 2019 at 4:26 pm

    Soo many trolls here. Talk about subsides fossil fuels receive worldwide. In the US I read recently those subsides amount to +20,000,000,000$ per year. This doesn’t include all the military costs to keep it coming. Of course, no one talks about the environmental and health impacts/costs much less existential impacts of continuing to use carbon based fuels. Add all the costs and fossil fuels would be far more expensive, perhaps prohibitively so.
    Enough of the anecdotal evidence of the 1983 Honda Accord being so efficient. Until Tesla came along, if you needed a car to get around, the only choice was an ICE, and this was/is intentional.

    • Just Some Random Guy
      Oct 29, 2019 at 8:37 pm

      The entire world’s GDP is about $100T. So you’re saying 20% of the world’s GDP is spent on oil subsidies.

      Do you realize how ridiculous you sound?

      • char
        Oct 30, 2019 at 9:50 am

        $100T = 100 000 000 000 000
        so 0.02%

        This does sound ridiculous, way to low.

    • nhz
      Oct 30, 2019 at 4:52 am

      I agree that fossil fuel subsidies (including tax incentives etc., probably bigger than outright subsidies) are huge and should be terminated given the current climate situation.

      But you seem to ignore that in real life most Tesla’s still run on fossil fuels (plus subsidies). For those people who run their Tesla from their own solar roof, great – but that’s a tiny fraction of them.

  19. Augusto
    Oct 29, 2019 at 5:22 pm

    Tesla’s financials don’t make a lot of sense, and leave a lot of unanswered questions. When the Financial Analysts who watch this company and the industry for their clients can’t figure out how Tesla became so profitable, so fast, watch out. Apparently, one analyst discovered from the 10Q that Tesla changed its method of calculating Warranty expense, resulting in a $50 Million bump in profitability currently. Then there is the large rise in sales in “other” jurisdictions-I wonder if they are sales or some kind of transfer recognition vs point of sale scam. All I can say is, something is not right here. Given this company’s and its CEO’s history of being loose with the truth, I wouldn’t touch this company with a ten foot pole.

    • Iamafan
      Oct 29, 2019 at 5:41 pm

      VW is about ten times the sales of Tesla. Why should one really care about Tesla when there are more than enough big car companies? I have nothing to win or lose.
      Do you?

      • Augusto
        Oct 29, 2019 at 6:23 pm

        Yes, we all lose when companies undertake fraud, and the regulatory system is unable to identify it or stop it, until the fraud ends up in people losing their savings, jobs, and faith in our system. This loss of faith is pretty profound already with Enron, Bernie Madoff, the bail out of the US banks after 2008 (and the 6 Million homes foreclosed on), to name a few. Interesting you mentioned VW, since they are in deep trouble over their emissions scandel, and all the fallout from that. I actually do have something to lose and have lost from these type of scandels…I don’t want to live in a world of Fake or a society that is all about whether “I’m okay jack” and “to hell with the other guy”.

      • Unamused
        Oct 29, 2019 at 7:04 pm

        Tesla is one of the fossil fuel industry’s favorite whipping boys. If and when it goes under it will be because it was mismanaged, not because it was a bad idea. Others will take its place, but the critics will always be there. Musk may be an inspired amateur, but he is, after all, still an amateur, and more than a bit overrated.

        Alternative energy will not save humanity. That ship has already sailed, and Global Industrial Carbon is well aware of that. They still have excellent scientists, and they have been right all along.

        • Iamafan
          Oct 29, 2019 at 7:35 pm

          In all fairness to Tesla, at least it’s producing a car. The Fed is creating more money and debt and we can’t see anything for it.

        • Rat Fink
          Oct 29, 2019 at 11:45 pm

          What are you on about?

          Coal mining companies LOVE EVs. They wish that EVs were not a rounding error in auto sales.

          Imagine if EV sales were to exceed say 20% of auto sales.

          If that ever starts to look like it will happen my advice is to go LONG COAL!!!

          Get it?

        • Oct 30, 2019 at 12:26 am

          Coal is dead in the US. About 29% of the power in the US produced by coal, down from 55% in the 1980s. California no longer has coal-fired power plants. Coal hasn’t been competitive for years with natural gas and the Combined Cycle Gas Turbine, commercialized in the 1990s. Now coal isn’t even competitive with wind anymore. Coal is toast. Too expensive.

          But you’re right: ALL utilities love EVs. When people charge them up at night, it takes up excess capacity that otherwise would just sit there idle. EVs are going to solve a huge problem for utilities: massive idle capacity at night.

        • Oct 30, 2019 at 12:54 am

          Rat fink,

          I just checked. So far, you have posted 6 anti-EV comments here. You’re turning into an anti-EV troll. Why don’t you just not buy an EV and let others buy them. Problem solved. Just because you don’t like them, doesn’t mean no one likes them.

          Another idea would be for you to test-drive one to find out what they’re about, and why others love them. NO ONE buys them because of environmental reasons. I have no idea why you anti-EV folks keep getting hung up on that.

          People are buying them because electric motors are far superior to ICE with all their shenanigans, such as transmissions, clutches, coolant systems, fuel systems, intake systems, exhaust systems, and so on. Electric motors don’t need any of that stuff. The battery has been the drawback, but that’s getting better every year. The battery was the drawback in your computer and cellphone years ago too.

  20. Bobber
    Oct 29, 2019 at 5:58 pm

    The Model 3 sales trajectory over time should closely match the that of the 1990’s Saturn sedan, on which Model 3’s looks and image were patterned. The customer is essentially the same. The Saturn brand also had a well-hyped fan club, which cannot be found today.

    • Unamused
      Oct 29, 2019 at 7:13 pm

      The Saturn brand also had a well-hyped fan club, which cannot be found today.

      Found them. Try saturnfans dot com.

      • doug
        Oct 30, 2019 at 7:42 am

        Gm was afraid to sell Saturn to Roger Penske. He would have handed them their butts, and they knew it.

        • Unamused
          Oct 30, 2019 at 1:40 pm

          Roger Smith was so fond of moribund bureaucracy he had GMs board fork over a billion to avoid Ross Perot’s overdue reforms, which only goes to show how far somebody can goThere without Good Hair or a decent golf handicap.

          The global automotive oligopoly is really pretty lame if you look at it like a case study, and mostly profits on the largesse of compliant governments and the gullibility of captive sheep herds. There are no ‘national’ automotive industries any more, which is an illusion the oligopoly hasn’t been particular about maintaining.

  21. Bernadette Ferrer
    Oct 29, 2019 at 6:13 pm

    On the context of selling ‘Made in China’ Tesla for the Chinese and Southeast Asia market and based on my recent 11-month journey in SE Asia — Tesla will appeal to the Millenial Professionals who live at home with mom, pop, and in-laws.

    Most of SEAsia countries are dependent on the gasoline and diesel and do not have upgraded electric energy infrastructure! In this case, Tesla has to smooch up to city officials (Shanghai/Beijing, et al) to build ‘electric charging stations’ in upscale neighborhoods!

    Hmm, the saga goes on.

  22. Unamused
    Oct 29, 2019 at 6:21 pm

    Meanwhile, Reuters reports that “VW ramps up China electric car factories, taking aim at Tesla”.

    Reports that the Chinese EV market is in decline may be premature. For example, The Conversation reports that “Better batteries are fueling a surge of electric scooters in India and China.”

    In the US, Los Angeles is scrapping plans for a multi-billion-dollar update to three natural gas power plants, instead choosing to invest in renewable energy and storage.

    While India and Germany already are finding renewables cheaper than fossil fuels for power generation with today’s technology, further advances in research and development as well as manufacturing will continue making renewables even more competitive.

    MIT professor and former CIA director John Deutch recently presented a study entitled, “Demonstrating Near Carbon Free Electricity Generation from Renewables and Storage,” at a Stanford University energy seminar, in which he said:

    “You are going to find yourselves very shortly in a situation where you have storage alternatives that, when matched with existing solar and wind generating systems, will be able to meet load extremely effectively.”

    Meeting power demand effectively and as the lowest-cost producer — using fuel sources (wind and sun) that are free.

    Energy industry analysts at Wood Mackenzie say the combination of renewables with battery systems can currently replace approximately two-thirds of U.S. natural gas turbines — right now. Estimates predict the cost of storage alone could drop 80 percent.

    Our solar-hydrogen Bentley still costs nothing to run, although it’s probably going to need new petroleum-based tyres next year.

    • Rat Fink
      Oct 29, 2019 at 9:30 pm

      China’s total planned coal-fired power projects now stand at 226.2 gigawatts (GW), the highest in the world and more than twice the amount of new capacity on the books in India, according to data published by environmental groups on Thursday.

      https://www.reuters.com/article/us-climate-change-china-coal/china-plans-226-gw-of-new-coal-power-projects-environmental-groups-idUSKBN1W40HS

      It would make sense for China to go EV because it is more economical to generate electricity to charge an EV than it is to buy Saudi oil to power a ICE vehicle.

      However anyone concerned about breathing smog and CO2 emissions might not be so keen if China really does push EVs hard.

    • Xabier
      Oct 30, 2019 at 5:41 am

      A partial narrative: more accurately, they are not ‘renewables’ but ‘pseudo-renewables’.

      This whole field of speculation is bedevilled by a sloppy use of language, and wishful thinking, often distorted by ideological bias.

      Both pro-fossil fuels and pro-‘renewables’ advocates, both to blame.

      Truly renewable is the 200 yr-old ash tree I gather dead branches from, and cut some branches for my firewood.

      The tree continues to grow, and is in fact invigorated by the pruning.

      Same for the younger laurels I harvest on a 5-year basis.

      I do not damage the soil they stand on – unlike, for instance, ‘renewable’ bio-fuels which are farmed by destructive methods, effectively irreversible soil-mining.

      There is just too much fuzzy-thinking about in this field…..

      • RD Blakeslee
        Oct 30, 2019 at 11:28 am

        “The Times, they are a-changing” – Bob Dylan

        Ash trees in the U.S will all be dead within a few years.

        Emerald Ash Borer – imported from, you guessed it – China.

    • Tom Pfotzer
      Oct 30, 2019 at 9:24 am

      OK, I’ll bite.

      What is the fuel source and power train on this legendary Bentley of yours??

      And how is that fuel produced, and are you the one producing it?

      If so, get up off that info.

      :)

      • Unamused
        Oct 30, 2019 at 12:58 pm

        It’s not very legendary, Tom. Rooftop solar cells and a couple of wind turbines generate electricity which in turn electrolytically generates hydrogen from water, which is compressed, stored, and transferred as needed. Fuel cells generate electricity from the hydrogen that runs the motors. The drive train was repurposed from an old Daimler lorry, gas-handling contracted from Linde. The batteries in the systems are nothing special.

        It was either do the conversion or spend more replacing the 70-yo diesel motor and transmission, and we already had the base equipment installed in the old stone stables decades ago. It’s all pretty conventional 90s technology, mostly, so it sometimes seems odd that more people don’t do it.

        • Tom Pfotzer
          Oct 30, 2019 at 1:24 pm

          Ha, Ha! Waaaay cool.

          Gas-handling contracted from Linde…gotta research that one, see what that gear costs. Got a pickup truck I’ve been wanting to convert, also have space for big solar and gas-processing.

          Question to self: How come people aren’t using big tanks to store hydrogen fuel…it’s a no-degrading-parts battery..?

          I can’t believe I haven’t run across this before. What the devil was I thinking?

    • a citizen
      Oct 30, 2019 at 11:00 am

      Please indicate where the following statement:

      “Meeting power demand effectively and as the lowest-cost producer”

      Is found in the following quote:

      “You are going to find yourselves very shortly in a situation where you have storage alternatives that, when matched with existing solar and wind generating systems, will be able to meet load extremely effectively.”

      Exactly. You can’t.

      CIA\MIT Super Human spewage not withstanding, here we find the main gripe of those decried as “anti-EV”: The insistence of those of the EV cloth that the laws of nature and economics be magically suspended in search of the New Truth.

      It is tiresome and beyond ludicrous.

      • Unamused
        Oct 30, 2019 at 1:14 pm

        Proofs in the pudding, AC, and you’ll notice the decision-makers are proceeding without consulting, for example, you. Belief systems aren’t involved. It’s simple economics: fossil fuel technologies just aren’t cost-efficient on any scale any more and are being left behind.

        You’re welcome to it, of course, but you’ll want to be careful about preferring choices for a company or a country which might put it at a competitive disadvantage, as the US is doing.

  23. breamrod
    Oct 29, 2019 at 6:41 pm

    tesla stock got down to 175 not long ago and the shorts we screaming “its going to zero”. They’ll be screaming the same thing at 500! The market is insane and people are insane but hey the fed is making money free so just enjoy it. Yes it will end someday but then so will we.

  24. HR01
    Oct 29, 2019 at 7:43 pm

    Wolf,

    Yes more sins of omission from the Huckster Musker. TSLA headed to zero but of course, not in a straight line. No idea why this stock trades above 300 but then the same could be said for Boeing. Both incinerating cash at a rapid clip.

    Hey, at least BYND is well along on its way to the basement after today’s debacle. BYND reminds this observer of Webvan and Grocer.com. Same stench, different decade.

  25. roddy6667
    Oct 29, 2019 at 8:29 pm

    Here in China, Tesla is a small niche market. If I am travelling all around this city of 3 million, I see only 1 or 2 Tesla’s in a day. On any large, 8 lane street in this city I can see about one E/V a minute. The distinctive green and white license plate makes them easy to spot. I have tried this many times. Most of them are made by large companies with solid financials. These same companies also make most of the Mercedes, Hyundai, BMW, Kia, and Mitsubishi vehicles on the road in China.
    Tesla was cool in some circles about two years ago, but not now. The BYD Tang hybrid SUV seems to be what all the well-heeled cool kids are driving this month.

  26. Just Some Random Guy
    Oct 29, 2019 at 8:33 pm

    Californians voted for people who forced PG&E to spend billions on “green” energy while ignoring basic maintenance and setting the stage for massive fires throughput the state.

    The same people also bought Teslas to show how much they care about the environment.

    Then the fires happened, as anyone with an IQ north of 70 could have predicted.

    Then the blackouts.

    So how do the Tesla owners charge up their cars? Well they can get generators. Which burn diesel. Which is way way way more hazardous to the environment than driving a gasoline powered car.

    And so you have Tesla owners burning diesel to power their electric car, in order to virtue signal to the world how environmentally conscious they are.

    You can’t make this stuff up.

    LOL

    • Oct 30, 2019 at 1:06 am

      Just Some Random Guy,

      Good lordy, so much nonsense in such small space.

      So how are you going to fill up your ICE car during a blackout? Well I tell you: No power, no gasoline. Gas stations need power to pump gas. No one in a blackout area can get gas. Gas stations are closed. People have to drive to an area that isn’t blacked out. Same as EVs.

      Dude, people really have problems here. When the power goes out, things get tough. And all you do is show your ignorance instead of compassion.

      • Xabier
        Oct 30, 2019 at 5:32 am

        Maybe a special report on California’s developing energy and infrastructure problems is in order?

        • Oct 30, 2019 at 10:54 am

          The utilities have prevented new small solar farms from joining the grid. I have a one acre vacant lot, if the rules change I could build a solar farm and feed all my neighbors, and probably save cash over single unit sales. Meanwhile the cities zoning rules insure that lot will stay vacant, despite the housing shortage. Meanwhile the state is mandating more housing, which means crowded developments, two story construction and since roof size is smaller, not all of these are good solar candidates. Current sewage technology has a wasteful energy consumption profile, lots of pumping stations, and new developments are going to need new sewer hookups. Not sure how many equivalent flushes you get for one charge on your EV.
          Our governor just declared rent control, a voter initiative which failed. The state has mandated new housing, it’s a vicious cycle but the home builders will profit anyway, and some carpenters and tradesmen. Sandag says they will not expand lanes on I5, and voters hate traffic, but they don’t want more freeways. Build it and they will come, was the rationale against a new airport in SD. SD is the new bay area.
          Meanwhile claims on the Co River, from Mexico may put more pressure on imported water supplies. Increased effluence from TJ river valley washes up on our beaches. That is your 25 cent tour of the worlds 5th largest economy.

      • NoPowerNoProblemo
        Oct 30, 2019 at 9:48 am

        I spent 14 years in Michigan before I retired to a warmer climate. I lost power 6 to 7 times per year as we had beatle bore issues in all the non-native pines, and the trees died and fell in mass yearly on the power lines. Power was often out for days to a week at a time in sub-zero temperatures. I installed a generator sub panel off the main breaker for the well, furnace, refrig, and computer/internet room. Bought a $600 6500 watt gasoline generator, basically problem solved. I had an elevated gravity fuel tank on the property, so no need for electric pump to fuel up. It will be an issue for Californians until it happens so often, they take measures to reduce the impact on a personal level. Short term it sucks, long term it feels pretty greate to be self suficient. “Tough problems” are the human condition, and they make us better in the long run, as long as we survive without too much long term mental and physical effects. California will figure it out over the next few years, and be better in the long run.

      • RD Blakeslee
        Oct 30, 2019 at 11:20 am

        Wolf, “power out” doesn’t have to be a disaster for every ICE vehicle owner.

        We have a diesel fuel tank with a hand pump, sufficient to fuel our diesel pickup truck and diesel household generator, for about 6 months.

        • Oct 30, 2019 at 5:07 pm

          I’m not sure I would have a big fuel tank anywhere near my house in a fire-prone area, such as we’re talking about. That’s one of those things that afterwards sounds like a really dumb thing to have done :-]

        • roddy6667
          Oct 30, 2019 at 8:39 pm

          Back in the Eighties I knew a guy who had a small Chevy diesel pickup he used for his daily 70 mile round trip commute. He had a 275 gallon home heating oil tank next to the house, which was slightly higher than the driveway. He put a hose and nozzle on it that would reach his vehicle. This gravity system kept his truck going, using home heating oil that costs 50% less than diesel. When the weather was below 20 degrees F., he would put in a can of additive to prevent gelling. This worked fine. After about 225,000 miles, he gave the truck to a local kid who worked as a handyman. The truck ran another few years.Yes, it’s illegal. So are a lot of things.

  27. roddy6667
    Oct 29, 2019 at 8:42 pm

    Just read this.

    “US pricing for the electric Mini Cooper as low as US$17,900 after credits”

    It’s not as big as a Model 3, but it’s big enough for a lot of people. The parent company is BMW, so it will be around a lot longer than Tesla.

    https://newatlas.com/automotive/mini-cooper-se-msrp-price-usa/

  28. Rat Fink
    Oct 29, 2019 at 9:07 pm

    Given that manufacturers lose money on every EV they sell:

    “I hope you don’t buy it because every time I sell one it costs me $14,000,” he said to the audience at the Brookings Institution about the 500e. “I’m honest enough to tell you that.”

    https://www.reuters.com/article/chrsyelr-ceo-evs/fiat-chrysler-ceo-please-dont-buy-fiat-500e-electric-car-idUSL1N0O71MS20140521

    One has to wonder if the only reason we are seeing the big boys enter this market is because they needed to demonstrate that they have an EV strategy otherwise their share prices would tank (since EVs are the way of the future!)

    But now that the messiah has been exposed as wearing no clothes, one had to wonder if the bloom is off that rose.

    When Tesla goes down, does that not cause a backlash where the markets punish your share price for producing cars that next to nobody wants, that are powered by fossil fuel generated electricity, that have massive batteries that are toxic, and that kill your bottom line?

    Auto makers are quick to kill a line that is not profitable so why would any of them continue to make these jalopies?

    Did I mention that I that a mate of mine owns and 8 year old hybrid Prius. He is as green leaning as it gets (he was a partner in a pan Asian tech company that was sold for hundreds of millions of $ yet he drives an 8 yr old Prius).

    I asked him how long the battery lasts the other day when hitching a ride and he said he’s replaced it THREE times already at around USD7000 a pop.

    So that’s 3 massive toxic batteries into the landfill with a 4th soon to follow. Then factor in all the fossil fuels burned to produce these 4 batteries.

    You really, really have to be drinking a lot of kool-aid to a) buy one of these contraptions and b) believe you are green by doing so.

    When Tesla goes I reckon we’ll soon after see Who Killed the Electric Car 2.

    • Oct 30, 2019 at 1:01 am

      Rat Fink,

      You quoted the Fiat CEO: “I hope you don’t buy it because every time I sell one it costs me $14,000,” he said to the audience at the Brookings Institution about the 500e. “I’m honest enough to tell you that.”

      That guy DIED. Quit posting outdated stuff as proof for what is going on today. Shows how your thinking, when it comes to EVs, got hung up on something.

    • nhz
      Oct 30, 2019 at 5:08 am

      I think these EV’s are not so much about share prices, but many of these companies are starting to build EV’s because for them it is the easiest way to comply with the EU regulations for average environmental impact of their cars, similar to why Aston Martin started selling a very small car based on an entry model Toyota (AFAIK) under their own label some years ago. Brands like Ferrari and Lamborghini are looking at EV’s for the same reason (for now, in time other advantages of EV’s may become more important).

      And part of the blame for this also goes to consumers (and politicians), because instead of smaller and more efficient cars many are buying bigger, heavier and thirstier SUV’s etc. , for that short drive to the supermarket or to shuttle the kids to school.

      I’m looking forward to small, light and efficient EV’s but the battery technology and renewable power to charge them isn’t there yet.

      • Xabier
        Oct 30, 2019 at 5:25 am

        As personal and societal insecurity grow, in this age of decline, people are drawn to big vehicles, especially women.

        Reasons both physical and psychological.

        SUVs send the subliminal message that everything is powering along just nicely,and project success: both untrue.

    • doug
      Oct 30, 2019 at 7:47 am

      It is my understand that the batteries can be used for other purposes after being used in cars. eg utility storage. as the usage profile is different. I believe there are third party folks taking in the old prius batteries and doing something with them other than hauling them to the dump.
      I could be wrong.

      • nhz
        Oct 30, 2019 at 11:10 am

        They can be used for some years for storing electricity like a Tesla Powerwall. But energy efficiency is not good and after some years they still go to the dump (or recycling, no good solutions yet) because efficiency has dropped to much.

  29. Carl
    Oct 29, 2019 at 9:39 pm

    The whole electric car thing is really bogus. The electric car probably contributes more to called global warming than fossil fueled vehicles. The production of electricity is typically only 30% to 35% efficient, so over 60% of the energy is lost before you get the useable electricity. Then when you add in the charge and discharge efficiencies of the batteries, the overall efficiency is likely less than 10%. The lost 90% typically goes to heat. So all that excess heat comes from the power plants. And then the massive resources required to produce all the batteries is another waste. All subsidies and incentives should be stopped that promote sales of electric vehicles.

    • Oct 30, 2019 at 12:37 am

      Carl,

      Practically NO ONE buys an EV because of environmental concerns. They buy it because electric motors are ideal for transportation and far superior to ICE: flat torque curve, light weight, practically no maintenance, simplicity, no wasteful idling, revving, etc. Drive an EV to find out why people buy them.

      The only handicap has been the battery, but that’s been getting a lot better. See what’s in your cellphone, now powering a super-computer, compared to what was in it 25 years ago.

      • DV
        Oct 30, 2019 at 2:14 am

        No maintenance? Why then so many complaints on lack of parts and poor service. Another myth.

        • Oct 30, 2019 at 9:45 am

          That’s not maintenance. That’s collision repairs and warranty repairs, and other things that break because of shoddy manufacturing.

          Maintenance is things like oil & filter change that are on regular schedule.

      • nhz
        Oct 30, 2019 at 5:24 am

        I’m not so positive about the prospect of better batteries (higher energy efficiency, lower cost, less environmental damage from production and disposal), IMHO improvements are pretty small lately. Similar problems can be seen in other gear that runs on batteries like smartphones and digital cameras where electric motors and more computer power hold much promise, but the batteries (including related issues like charging time, cooling, disposal) are a serious bottleneck.

        And the same is true of course in the production of renewable energy. My country is now building huge windmill parks that do not require any subsidies and will produce energy at lower cost than traditional fossil fuel plants. But energy production will be highest at night and there is no acceptable storage solution available despite several decades of looking for a solution; which might cause serious problems for the grid and required non-renewable power plants.

        Waiting for a breakthrough, but it might be that fuel cells or biofuels produced directly from sunlight and CO2/H2O (in development, not available yet) are often a better solution. And biofuels might mean back to IC engines ;)

        • Rat Fink
          Oct 30, 2019 at 7:27 am

          Better batteries mean better products. They give us longer-lasting smartphones, anxiety-free electric transport, and potentially, more efficient energy storage for large-scale buildings like data centers.

          But battery tech is frustratingly slow to advance, due to both the chemical processes involved and the challenges that exist around commercializing new battery designs.

          It remains incredibly tough for even the most promising battery experiments to find their way out of research labs and into the devices we carry.

          https://www.wired.com/story/building-a-better-battery/

        • RD Blakeslee
          Oct 30, 2019 at 11:01 am

          “My country is now building huge windmill parks that do not require any subsidies …”

          But it’s not all about money, nhz.

          A beautiful view cannot be bought, but it can be ruined, for money.

          Huge windmill parks do exactly that.

        • nhz
          Oct 30, 2019 at 11:19 am

          @RD Blakeslee:
          I don’t disagree with your points, of course there are other downsides to windfarms. My primary concern is the lack of energy storage and damage to large sea life, fish, birds etc. which is guesswork given the unprecedented scale of these new installations and their building technologies. In my part of the country the beautiful view is a moot point, especially for these new parks that are over 20 miles out at sea – and in areas where you can now see plenty of oil rigs, which for some reasons doesn’t seem to spoil the view ;(

          As for storage, I just read that they are planning to store the windpower on land using electrolysis and production of “clean” hydrogen mainly for the chemical industry. I hope this will remain an experiment, because this kind of hydrogen production is extremely inefficient (despite some recent improvements in technology) and requires huge investments in electrolysis gear. There are other emerging technologies for converting electricity to H2 with good efficiency, but not on this scale in the near future.

        • Unamused
          Oct 30, 2019 at 5:45 pm

          this kind of hydrogen production is extremely inefficient

          My experience contradicts your conjectures.

          Conventional alkaline electrolysis has an efficiency of about 70%. Average working efficiencies for PEM electrolysis are around 80%. Theoretical efficiency for PEM electrolysers are predicted up to 94%.

          The efficiency of a state-of-the-art crude oil refinery, by comparison, is in the low teens, excluding transportation and other costs, which bring it down to single digits.

          The fuel cells in the Bentley are about 40% more efficient than the diesel engine in its prime and over three times the range.

          Should give you a clue as to why fossil fuels aren’t competitive.

        • nhz
          Oct 31, 2019 at 4:50 pm

          @unamused:

          Electrolysis on large scale (like for storing wind farm power) currently has an efficiency of around 40% or lower (AC to AC); significant improvements are unlikely unless completely different technologies are developed. This is pretty dismal efficiency if you ask me, also given the huge investments that are needed for this kind of storage. Sometimes it is suggested as a partial solution for handling peak power etc. but not for full storage.

          For the huge wind farms in my area use of electrolysis is suggested, but not for electricity storage: they want to use unused electricity to produce syngas for the chemical industry, with the argument that such local production is safer than road/railway transport that is currently used (i.e. it will run on taxpayer subsidies).

          I don’t have a problem with efficiency of fuel cells especially smaller ones like for cars (efficiency varies with the chemical technology). The big problem there is fuel cell cost and in many cases lack of required infrastructure.

      • Xabier
        Oct 30, 2019 at 5:28 am

        True, but nothing can match the ICE for keeping our economies running, building and maintaining infrastructure.

        Which is why the Age of Energy Crisis will crush us.

      • Happy1
        Oct 30, 2019 at 8:36 am

        Lots of good things about how an EV drives, and requires less maintenance.

        Lots of bad things about cold weather performance, charging time for long trips, and long term battery life. An ICE vehicle will last 20+ years with proper care. What happens with a 10 year old EV that needs a 20K battery exchange? What will the resale value for this vehicle be? We will all know in 10 years.

        This is why ICE rules the middle market and will for the foreseeable future until batteries are far less expensive. Union of concerned scientists projections show that batteries need to be half as expensive to compete with ICE cars. They project this will take 5-10 more years. If not subsidized, the middle market will not buy these vehicles.

        https://www.ucsusa.org/resources/ev-batteries

        • nhz
          Oct 30, 2019 at 11:27 am

          Probably a lot of unknowns there. I recently asked around about maintenance cost of a used BMW i8 (I know, not a real EV but some similar technology) and to my surprise is seems pretty cheap to maintain / repair, unless you have extensive damage like from a crash (but the same probably applies to most other cars with carbon fiber shell or other exotic technologies).

          An argument in Netherlands against EV’s is that when IC cars are no longer available (current plan: no new IC cars from 2030, used cars still unclear) people with low income should still be able to buy a car (instead of current heavily used IC cars costing maybe $1000-2000) and that would be impossible with the high cost of EV’s, so that would be “unfair”. But if EV’s depreciate strongly as some suggest, even people with low income would be able to afford a run down EV in 10 years (as long as they use it for shorter distances only).

        • Ethan in NoVA
          Oct 30, 2019 at 12:29 pm

          A friend has a Prius that is over 13 years old and says the battery has held up well. Another one replaced her battery herself with a rebuilt one and it wasn’t that difficult of a job.

          The Tesla model S uses something like 6,900 18650 LiIon batteries. If you could get them at $1 each, that’s $7000 plus effort. Perhaps cheaper in larger bulk. I’m sure there will be 3rd party sources to refurb battery arrays on Teslas as they already exist for older hybrids and the like.

          These vehicles have large fan communities behind them that reverse engineer them.

  30. nekoman
    Oct 30, 2019 at 3:13 am

    Nekoman

    As Wolf correctly pointed out, Tesla and its EVs are scam.
    Overall, ICE is much more efficient and cleaner for another 30 years.
    Alas, people have been hallucinated and deceived by the Chinese EV propaganda.

  31. Jeff
    Oct 30, 2019 at 7:17 am

    I have relatives that live in the “corn belt”. Any politician who hints at not supporting more ethanol production, and they head straight to the voting booth to express their displeasure. It has become another “third rail” of politics. No gasoline, no need for ethanol. By the way they react to politicians with the slightest changes in mandated ethanol use, I can’t see those voters going along with anything that reduces ethanol use, and you won’t talk them out of it, and they can easily swing elections.

  32. Rat Fink
    Oct 30, 2019 at 7:25 am

    So once again Wolf removes and excellent comment because it is not permitted to disagree with the almighty Wolf.

    Only sychophants are welcome it would seem.

    • Oct 30, 2019 at 9:35 am

      You posted a comment with too many links that got hung up in moderation because of the links. I now see it. But as of right now, after your incredibly asinine comment here — calling commenters here “sycophants” .. are you nuts? — and the 9 comments you already posted, any of your new comments on this thread are blocked.

    • Zantetsu
      Oct 30, 2019 at 7:22 pm

      I’ve read your comments. None are excellent.

  33. Rat Fink
    Oct 30, 2019 at 7:29 am

    And a more recent article re profitability (or lack of) when producing EVs.

    Remove the subsidies and this already grim picture would be HORRIFYING!

    “What everyone needs to realize is that clean mobility is like organic food – it’s more expensive,” said Carlos Tavares, chief executive of Peugeot, Citroen and Opel manufacturer PSA.

    A Sept. 25 profit warning by BMW (BMWG.DE), blamed in part on electrification costs and tightening emissions rules, was “a first alarm signal”, Tavares said in a weekend radio interview.

    “Either we accept paying more for clean mobility, or we put the European auto industry in jeopardy.”

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-autoshow-paris-electric-squeeze-analy/electric-cars-cast-growing-shadow-on-profits-idUSKCN1MB2GD

  34. Augusto
    Oct 30, 2019 at 8:37 am

    I don’t know that I buy the idea that “electric cars are the future”. There are limits to technology-what metals can do, batteries, solar cells, etc….Plus at the end of the day the electricity has to come from somewhere-burning natural gas is burning carbon and it is full of lots of nasty stuff-sulphur, heavy metals, brine, etc, nuclear produces radio active waste and the occasional meltdown, batteries and solar cells need obscure metals that must be mined and refined-refining means crushing rock to a powder and then eliminating the non -required rock by acid-that’s why abandoned gold, copper, lead, silver mines and processing facilities are toxic waste dumps-and the parts per million of rare earth rock are well a lot worse than those elements mentioned. In other words we might poison ourselves with EV’s vs choking to death with ICE’s. Don’t understand the need to put white hats and black hats on processes, or to evangelize or cast out out as heretics supporters or detractors of EV’s/ICE’s

    • nofreelunch
      Oct 30, 2019 at 9:41 am

      There is always the Shell/Germany push for hydrogen cars, which of course has a fuel that needs to made with energy, just like EV. Burns clean, but currently needs a platinum catalyst in the amount of 5x more over diesel powered cars. All the platinum ever mined is about a 3mx3mx3m cube.

      • Augusto
        Oct 30, 2019 at 11:12 am

        Isn’t the Hydrogen derived from Natural Gas as well? One of the reasons for ICE being “more efficient” ( if you can call it that, I believe about 16% of gasoline goes to moving vehicle) is gasoline is a direct power source while electric has to be converted from natural gas, coal or diesel (hydrogen?) to electric…leading to a significant inefficiency due to conversion. Also a “good” reason for using Natgas directly for powering vehicles. So if you first have to convert Natgas or use Natgas as a power source to create Hydrogen, you have the same conversion issue. In theory if you can use solar or kinetic energy, “efficiently” (Tesla vehicles use Kinetic brakes), or a direct power source than this would be “better” for EV’s efficiency.

        • nhz
          Oct 30, 2019 at 11:37 am

          Yes, the current hydrogen mostly comes from NatGas and its production is inefficient and environmentally damaging. H2 can be “burned” completely clean with a fuel cell but that technology is too expensive for now. However, nature produces H2 and/or biofuels (usually sugars) directly from sunlight, atmospheric CO2 and H2O. Also keep in mind that Shell etc. want to keep production and distribution centralized so they can keep profiting.

          There are several new technologies in development like “artificial leaves” that produce biofuel for IC engines (and other use like heating for the home) very similar to what nature is doing, and on a very small scale if required (of course, Shell c.s. doesn’t like that idea). Another development is producing biofuels from CO2 and sunlight with e.g. algae – not a done deal yet but could be ready in 5-10 years; potentially this could be done on small scale too similar to current solar roof panels (I worked on this decades ago, unfortunately the politics are stacked against such small scale energy production).

        • nofreelunch
          Oct 30, 2019 at 6:56 pm

          Hydrogen can be made by electrolyzing water (running electricity through water). So it can be made from electricity, but its cheaper to make it from natural gas. Ultimately much of the electricity is from natural gas, so it makes sense to skip all the inefficiencies of the steps and transmission losses and make it directly from natural gas. But if it makes everyone feel better knowing it can me made from electricity, even though its less energy efficient, so be it.

  35. IslandTeal
    Oct 30, 2019 at 9:31 am

    Morning… Good article.. Thanks Wolf. The comments are even more fanboy driven than usual. TSLA is and continues to be fun too watch. Ask Denver Dave. Has anyone else every noticed the model names. S3XY. Is that on purpose. LOL…..

    • GirlInOC
      Oct 30, 2019 at 5:18 pm

      I’ve never seen such a topic get so many people’s panties in a bunch as Tesla and EV’s. I’m secretly (ok, not so secretly) loving it. Give me a Wolf vs JSRG argument any day over FB/Twitter wars.

  36. Oct 30, 2019 at 1:16 pm

    Not surprised about Tesla, an ineptly managed car company wrapped around a hipster marketing meme. Now the memes are unraveling across the board, the company needs a Fed bailout!

    Starting in the 1920s, GM trained the entire world into expecting model changes every three years, everyone knows the program by now: longer, lower, wider. Musk needed to make an electric crew-cab pickup truck, instead he made a Nissan Sentra.

  37. Unamused
    Oct 30, 2019 at 5:53 pm

    I couldn’t help noticing that most of the comments denigrating alternative energy technologies are talking points circulated by the US Oil & Gas Association, some of them slightly paraphrased.

  38. Oct 31, 2019 at 12:59 pm

    Wolf, you make a good case that we are seeing “peak Tesla.” Clearly, first mover advantage is no barrier to entry in the EV market. Also, the auto industry is mature and super tough. Tesla is failing on multiple metrics. Reader comments make it apparent that parts are a compounding problem. I will probably buy an EV one day. There are zero compelling reasons for it ever to be a Tesla. Zero.

  39. Nov 1, 2019 at 9:18 pm

    2 things (I hope I’m not repeated something already stated above)…
    1 – Every model Tesla has released has done what it was supposed to – awake interest, sell to the enthusiasts, get other car companies to compete in the space. The upcoming Model Y and the pickup will do the same.
    2) Sure Tesla stock price is overvalued at present earnings, but even at these rich valuations you can bet a VW or Daimler would love to buy it. The price may be just high enough to prevent that – so its level is just fine, not overvalued. (Besides, Tesla might well sell its “electric skateboard” to others to build on. Cooperative arrangements among car makers is the norm.)
    Tesla is just beginning – and not going away!

  40. Marc D.
    Nov 4, 2019 at 8:54 pm

    I’m not sold on EVs yet, but even if I wanted one, I couldn’t own one right now. Because I live in a condo, with an outdoor parking lot. And there are no chargers. And there are no chargers in the garage where I park it during the day, either. So I’d have nowhere to charge the vehicle.

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