Category Archives: Electric Vehicles

Can Tesla Survive The Loss Of Subsidies?


Three years ago, The Los Angeles Times posted “Elon Musk’s growing empire is fueled by $4.9 billion in government subsidies”. I have not seen a summary of the current total of Musk’s subsidies but it is certainly more than $4.9 billion now. When The LA Times speaks about an “empire” it included Tesla, Space X and Solar City—all Musk controlled businesses.

This discussion will focus on the Tesla electric vehicle (EV) business.

Subsidies start with the Federal Tax Credit of $7,500 given to each buyer of a Tesla EV.  (Every EV maker gets the same treatment.).  California also provides a $2500 subsidy per car.

The following is from the LA Times posting:

“Tesla has also collected more than $517 million from competing automakers by selling environmental credits.  The regulation was developed in California and has been adopted by nine other states.”

These regulations require that companies selling automobiles must also sell a certain percentage of EVs.  Sales of an EV gives the seller environmental credits.   Manufacturers are penalized for not selling enough EVs and must buy credits to offset their failure. Because Tesla sells only EVs it gets a lot of credits which they sell to the other car makers.

The following 2016 video discusses what the Wall Street Journal thinks subsidies mean to the Tesla’s bottom line: (Please excuse the 15 second commercial.  When video ends click back to this page.)

https://video-api.wsj.com/api-video/player/v3/iframe.html?guid=00E58A9F-9315-47FE-BFED-7C79B2C3A98B&shareDomain=null

Continue reading

Advertisements

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.

cbdakota

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.

Continue reading

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 https://judithcurry.com/2017/03/25/a-roadmap-for-meeting-paris-emissions-reductions-goals/

Some additional comments to follow in the next posting.

cbdakota

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.

Continue reading

Want-To-Be Warmers Are Only Getting Part Of The Story


 

This posting uses an article from the Cosmopolitan magazine. Not a place where you would expect to find something about global warming. The title of the piece is “8 Signs You’re Not the Environmentalist You Think You Are” by Yvette d’Entremont. It is not too profound but it has a lot of honest values that most would be environmentalist never are exposed to. I have extracted just pieces of the author’s reasons why they have been misled. If you read all of her article, she makes some more good points

gorecarbonman

The following are the eight signs:

1. You buy only organic.

Organic is definitely not better for you, and it uses older, dirtier farming techniques that are, across the board, not as environmentally friendly. Contrary to rumors, organic farming uses pesticides, in some cases equally toxic pesticides that need to be applied more frequently.

Continue reading

Sales Of EV’s Are Not Impressive.


cartoonevforseptblogSales of electric vehicles (EV) jumped in the second quarter of this year. This was enough to convince Real Clear Energy to post “Surge in EV Sales Bucks Cheap Gasoline, Broader Auto Industry Trends”. The posting says that while President Obama’s goal of 1 million EV’s on US roads by 2015 was not met, it was only about half that number in 2015, the surge “gives reason for fresh optimism about the future…..” EV Sales in the first half of 2015 were 70,296 versus 2016 first half sales of 99,634—a 42% change. That looks pretty impressive in the abstract.

However,  EV sales need to be evaluated versus all US automobile sales

Detailed Data for sales in August are readily available but June 2016 detailed data are behind a pay wall.  In reality the exact numbers are not significantly going to change the fact that EV sales were about 1..2% of total sales.  YCharts forecast annual sales based upon  auto sales by using the current month’s actual sales.  In June , half of the year, the Y chart number for total sales was 17.09 million automobiles.  This number counts cars and light truck and it includes EV sales in this number.  The 2016 auto sales  for the year based upon August July sales was18.15 million. Because the biggest sales months are in the fall of the year,  the official forecast for 2016 sales is 18.75 million.

Anyway,  if the annual forecast at the end of June was 17.09  roughly the year to date sales for the first six months sales would have been about 8.5 million.

The math:        0.1 million EVsales /8.5 million total sales = 1.2% of the total sales were EVs.

Real Clear Energy really has to be reaching to say that this gives them “fresh optimism.”

A hat tip to David Middleton for this story line based upon his posting in WUWT titled “Green math must be a Common Core product“.  I have modified it because I believe his calculation was erroneous. He arrived at number of 0.6% rather than what I believe is the correct number. Middleton’s conclusion however  is unchanged by my calculation of 1.2%.

cbdakota