Category Archives: Batteries

Tesla Model 3 Sales Will Be Make Or Break For The Company

Is Tesla a major player in the transportation market?  The answer is no.  But will Tesla be?  We read that automobile engineers at the major vehicle producers begin shaking all over when they think of the threat Tesla poses.  So maybe they have magic.

Have not seen it yet and I could be wrong not being an auto engineer.

How is a stock market analyzing firm ranking Tesla versus competition?

Company TTM Sales $million $/Share Recommended Buy Price $/Share
Tesla    10,069 345 99
VW adr  267,350   31 29
Toyota adr  256,791 113 68
Damlier adr  189,396   74 56
Ford  153,596   11   8
General Motors  170,231   36 31

A casual glance says that Tesla share price is not based on actual sales but on investors belief that the company is something special.  Note that the firm that provided the above data ventured that the actual Tesla share price was about 3.5 times their recommended buy price.  The actual prices were greater than the recommend buy price for each of the companies shown in the table. But the relationship was in most cases about 1.3 or so.  Some analysts believe that Tesla is looked at more of a Tech stock than and stock of a company making vehicles.

In August 2016, Elon Musk,  the force behind the Tesla  said that he plans to sell 500,000 vehicles by 2018 and one million by 2020. From my readings, I would guess the majority of analysts don’t think he will accomplish that goal.

Several years ago, Consumer Reports (CR)  said theTesla was the best car ever.  They still believe it to have superior performance but no longer rate it an unqualified success because of reports of lack of reliability. (The Toyota in my garage was purchased based upon CR’s reliability rating of the car—and CR got it right.

The lowest priced  Tesla vehicle is the Model S.  The S’s price starts at $69,500 and grows based upon the options the buyer elects to add. The new Model 3 is said to have a base price of $35,000.

CR posted some info on the likely cost of the new Model 3 which may disappoint some potential purchasers of Model 3. In an updated (8 August 17)  posting CR said this

The base model will be black, with a Tesla-estimated range of 220 miles and 0-60 mph acceleration of 5.6 seconds. (If you want a color other than black, it’ll add $1,000.) Notable standard equipment counts WiFi and LTE internet connectivity, navigation, and the hardware to enable active safety systems, including eight cameras, forward radar, and a dozen ultrasonic sensors.

Initial Model 3 cars will feature the long-range battery (a $9,000 option) and the Premium Upgrades package (a $5,000 option), which adds heated, 12-way adjustable front seats; premium audio system; glass roof; folding/heated side mirrors; fog lamps; and a center console with covered storage and docking for two smartphones.

Enhanced Autopilot (a $5,000 option) bundles futuristic capabilities such as active cruise control, lane-keep assist, automatic lane changing and freeway exiting, and self parking. Tesla advises more such features will be added via software updates.

In the future, Tesla will offer an addition to Enhanced Autopilot that claims “full self-driving capability” for $3,000. The company says, “Model 3 will be capable of conducting trips with no action required by the person in the driver’s seat.” We are concerned that such a claim encourages distracted driving.

We expect typically equipped (early-delivery) cars will cost $57,700, which includes long-range battery, choice of color, Premium Upgrades package, Enhanced Autopilot, and 19-inch wheels.

A typically equipped model with the standard battery is expected to cost about $42,200, and comes with your choice of color and Enhanced Autopilot.

The free charging of the battery at Tesla stations will not extend to the Model 3

Car and Driver rated the new Model 3 the best of all the EV on the market.  However that rating was based on a prototype.  How valid is a prototype rating?

The US government tax credit of $7,500 has been helping Tesla sell its cars.  This tax credit ends when a manufacturer reaches sales of 200.000 vehicles.  It has been estimated that there have been over 100,000 Tesla sold using the tax credit.  The impact of the subsides provided by governmental bodies on the sale of EVs is examined in the next posting.

How successful the Model 3 is,  will define the future of the Tesla company.



Batteries May Not Solve Renewable Energy Non-Dispatchable Problem

The greens believe that solar and wind farms will be the way to eliminate the use of fossil fuels.  The reality of today’s solar and wind farms is that these sources are unable to be worked into the grid because of their unreliability. It is necessary to install natural gas powered turbines or diesel power generation along with the solar and wind farms. The fossil fuel units are required to generate electricity to balance the power grid when the sun is not shining and the wind is not blowing.

The greens’ solution is a battery system that stores enough energy to eliminate the need for fossil fueled energy backup systems.  Much research effort is underway to develop a battery to accomplish this objective. To date nothing stands out as a likely candidate for the job. 

But even if a battery that can do the job and does not cost too much emerges, there is another problem.   That problem regarding solar farms is discussed in an American Thinker posting by Viv Forbes titled “Batteries: Another green scam”.  The following is from that posting: 

The idea of producing reliable grid power from intermittent green energy backed up by batteries looks possible in green doodle-diagrams, but it would be absurdly inefficient and expensive.

Solar works a six-hour day

Consider a solar panel rated to collect, say, 100 units of energy per day at full capacity, in full mid-day sunlight, with a clean panel, properly aligned to face the sun.

No solar energy arrives overnight, and only minimal amounts arrive during the three hours after dawn or before dusk.  That means that solar energy can be collected for only about six hours per day, providing it is not cloudy, raining, or snowing.  No amount of research or regulation will change this.  The solar energy union works only a six-hour day and takes quite a few sickies.  So instead of feeding 100 units of energy per day into the grid, at best, the panel supplies just 25 units.

Can the addition of batteries give us 24/7 power from solar?

To deliver 100 units of energy in 24 hours will require an extra 75 units of energy to be collected, stored, and delivered by the batteries every sunny day.  This will require another three solar units devoted solely to recharging batteries in just six sunny hours.

Cloudy and wet days are what really expose the problems of solar plus batteries.  (This is why isolated green power systems must have a diesel generator in the shed.)

To insure against, say, seven days of cloudy weather would require a solar-battery system capable of collecting and storing 700 units of energy while still delivering 100 units to consumers every day.  However, if several consecutive weeks of sunny weather then occur, this bloated system is capable of delivering seven times more power than needed, causing power prices to plunge, driving reliable generators out of business, and wasting the life of solar panels producing unwanted electricity.

Solar energy obviously does best in sunny equatorial deserts, but that is not where most people live.  And the huge Desertec Solar Power Dream for the northern Sahara has failed.


Friends Of Science Engineering Critique Of WWS’s Plan For Global Decarbonization

The previous posting, examined the study “A roadmap for rapid decarbonization” published in the Science magazine,  and discussed the major obstacles the warmers face in their attempt to persuade the politicians and the voters to undertake decarbonization.  And do it rapidly.   You may not think thirty years is rapid, but convincing 8 billion people to wipe out the present infrastructure and substitute a new one using as yet unproven methods in 30 years, is moving at a breathtaking speed.

The above noted study, is not the only one that has looked at a way to satisfy the Paris Agreement of holding the global temperature to max.2 ºC rise, with a goal of 1.5ºC rise.  A study by 100% Clean and Renewable Wind, Water and Sunlight (WWS) led by Jacobson, Delucci , et at. is, on the surface (number of pages of detailed discussion), more elaborate than the previous posting.  This  WWS roadmap calls for an 80% reduction of fossil fuels by 2030!  Only 13 years away.

The WWS study is an all-sector roadmap that is said to show how 139 nations could jointly hold the temperature rise to no more than 2ºC.

Friends of Science critique the WWS study with a response titled “WHY RENEWABLE ENERGY CANNOT REPLACE FOSSIL FUELS BY 2050” .  Michael Kelly, Professor of Electrical Engineering at Cambridge says: “Humanity is owed a serious investigation of how we have gone so far with the decarbonization project without a serious challenge in terms of engineering reality”.

That’s what guides this critique.  The critique illustrates the enormous number of new renewable facilities needed, the time necessary to put  these facilities in to operation and the amount of space they require.  It is awesome.

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Dr. Judith Curry Believes the RoadMap to Zero CO2 Emissions Is Infeasible.



I have promised some critical views from skeptics regarding the Paris Agreement Roadmap to zero CO2 emissions by 2050.  If you need to get up to speed regarding  the Paris Agreement Roadmap,  please review my last two postings. 

Let’s begin with Judith Curry’s thoughts on this topic from her posting of 25 March titled A roadmap for meeting Paris emissions reductions goals”.

JC reflections

Apart from the issues raised in this paper, there are several other elephants in this room:  there is growing evidence of much smaller climate sensitivity to CO2; and even if these drastic emissions reductions occurred, we would see little impact on the climate in the 21st century (even if you believe the climate models).

I think that what this paper has done is important:  laying out what it would actually take to make such drastic emissions reductions.  Even if we solve the electric power problem, there is still the problem of transportation, not to mention land use.  Even if all this was technically possible, the cost would almost certainly be infeasible.

As Oliver Geden states, its time to ask policy makers whether they are going to attempt do this or not.  It seems rather futile to make token emissions reductions at substantial cost.

Deciding that all this is impractical or infeasible seems like a rational response to me.  The feasible responses are going with nuclear power or undertaking a massive R&D effort to develop new emission free energy technologies.  Independent of all this, we can reduce vulnerability from extreme weather events (whether or not they are exacerbated by AGW) and the slow creep of sea level rise.


Dr. Curry’s remarks are very succinct.  To be a success, the roadmap requires many inventions that to date have been sought after but not delivered.  And she points out, as noted in this blog on a number of occasions, the climate sensitivity used by the warmers gives temperature increases that are unsupportable.  This roadmap is necessary in large part because it is predicated on those exaggerated temperatures the climate models produce.  That is Dr. Curry’s “elephants in the room.”

And she thinks it is way too costly.  I believe she is spot on.

Dr. Currys posting can be accessed this link

Some additional comments to follow in the next posting.


Some EV Sales Improvement, But Still Way Below Obama Forecast

ev-for-postingHave you been keeping up with the car buying public’s interest in electric vehicles (EV)? The many models of EVs that are on the market are quite astonishing.  Nearly all the manufacturers have a model or two.  The sales are still well below the Obama Administrations projections.  But 2016 brought some joy to the makers of plug-in EVs.

Probably most of you that are reading this know about the different versions on the market, but for those that have not been following EVs closely, let me give you some guidance.

The Toyota Prius has been the sales leader. Later on, the Chevy Volt and the Nissan Leaf came on the scene but they have not equaled the Prius sales volume.  Those three vehicles represent the three major categories of EVs.

The Hybrid (HEV) is a vehicle that has both batteries and an internal combustion (IC) or diesel, fossil fuel powered motor to propel the vehicle. The batteries are not charged by an external plug-in arrangement but are charged by the onboard motor. The Prius is a HEV

The PHEV has both a IC or diesel motor and batteries, but in this category the batteries are charged by plugging into an external power supply.     The Chevy Volt is a PHEV.

The BEV vehicle has only batteries for motive power and those batteries are charged from an external power supply.  The Nissan Leaf is a representative of this category as are the Tesla and the GM Bolt.

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Tom Steyer Will Give Money To Any Politicians Promising To Push For A 50% Clean-Energy Economy by 2030.

Tom Steyer, the billionaire climate-change activist, wants to push the U.S, into a windmillfireimage4250/50 split of “clean energy with fossil fuel energy by 2030 and 100% by 2050. To accomplish his objective he promises to give money to any politician that promises to act on Steyer’s behalf.

This is not his first dip into the pool of buying politicians. He spent $73 million trying to get Democrat candidates elected in last year’s mid-term election.   His investment was almost a total loss. He was the biggest funder that year. The following data comes from a table used in the Sunlight Foundation’s posting “The Political One Percent of the One Percent: Megadonors fuel rising cost of elections in 2014”. Copying a saying that Glen Beck used to use, WARNING, warmers should wrap their heads with duct tape before they look at the list.

Rank Name Election Expenditures
1 Steyer, Tom $73,884.467
2 Bloomberg, Michael $28,474,729
3 Singer, Paul $11.193,474
4 Mercer, Robert $9,501,999
5 Eychaner, Fred $8,679,400
6 Simons, James $7,439,300
7 Ricketts, John Joe $6,168,273
8 Adelson, Sheldon $5,815,118
9 Koch, Charles $5,176,400


Charles Koch (I probably need to say THE EVIL CHARLES KOCH or they will not recognize the name) came in 9th, way below Steyer who dominated everyone with $73million. He was not even followed closely by No. 2, Michael Bloomberg, also a contributor to Democrats.

The concept of clean energy reaching half share or complete dominance is delusional in that time frame.

In the realm of vastly wealthy men, Bill Gates tops them all. From a June 25, 2015, posting by the Washington Times “Multibillionaire Bill Gates rejects calls to divest from fossil fuels” here is what Gates has to say about this:

“I don’t see a direct path between divesting and solving climate change,” Mr. Gates said, as reported in the Financial Times. “I think it’s wonderful that students care and now the Pope cares. But that energy of caring, I think you need to direct it towards something that solves the problem.”

But Mr. Gates told the Financial Times that the focus should be on increasing research and development in renewables, saying that the current technology could only reduce carbon dioxide emissions at a “beyond astronomical” cost.

“There’s no battery technology that’s even close to allowing us to take all of our energy from renewables and be able to use battery storage in order to deal not only with the 24-hour cycle but also with long periods of time where it’s cloudy and you don’t have sun or you don’t have wind,” Mr. Gates said.

“Power is about reliability. We need to get something that works reliably,” he said.

Gates is a man who has made his fortune dealing with electronics and science.

Steyer’s backgound is as a coal hedge funds manager. Is he is trying to atone for his “sin” of making billions from coal?





Electric Vehicles And Hybrid Sales At Lowest Level Since 2011

These are troubling times for the electric vehicle (EV) and the hybrid (EHV) sales. The first 3 months of 2015 experienced lower sales than in the year 2011 which was the first full year of sales for the Chevy Volt (EVH) and the Nissan Leaf (EV).   Even though the buyer of a new EV or new EVH is still geting a $7500 tax credit, manufacturers are having to cut China Electric Car Bluesprices because the dealer’s inventories are building up. The low price of gasoline and the questions about electric vehicles durability are major reasons for this situation.  But there is another reason that is playing a big part in this problem.   A posting on titled “Electric vehicles lose buzz” talks about the issue of leasing:

“ reports that leases comprised nearly seven of every 10 plug-in cars that drove off dealer lots from January through March.

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