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Will Tesla be around in 3-5 years

In today world can car company still be around. Tesla is a started up company and to be successful in the future it need have a good distribution and supply chain to grow. Not easy in today world. Yes you can maybe for a small company to produce 20,000 to 100,000 and still be around but for how long. What I see Elon Musk is going to sell his company in the future. Or Telsa is going to go down. In today world where little company's are bought up by big company's. That how I see Tesla is going to survive. You need cash flow and or you not going to survive. Every small car company is own by a big major car company. Telsa has 250 patents for the electric car and what I see Elon is going to sell and make alot of money like he did with Paypal. Will Telsa 8 years warranties be honored by a take over. Who knows. Lots of major company's are starting to make electric cars. BMW and Mercedes are all ready doing that. Mercedes own 10% of Tesla. Only time will tell if I'm right or wrong. But I bed Elon Musk is going to sell.

jh,

Allmost all public companies are incorporated in DE. Mine is there. Anti-takeover provisions are there only to keep bad mergers from ocurring. Boards still must act independently of their CEO when approached. Yes, Musk has a lot of say. But he is tapped out and will need another life liquidity event before too long - lots of kids to put through school. A merger is much more likely here than in his other ventures. When the DOD contract runs out at SpaceX, the "profitability" picture may change fast.

Again, to correct your facts: The BOD is dominated by independent VENTURE CAPITALISTS with big investments in TM. TM has a seven-person board. One is an affiliate and friend - his brother Kimbal, who lives in Boulder. The others are independent and not Elon's friends - they are here to make money and move on. Preferrably as soon as possible.

Director Harald Kroeger is the one non-financial guy, and he is an executive at Mercedes (presumably to represent THEIR financial interest and investment in TM). Director Brad W. Buss is CFO at Cypress Seimiconductor. The other three directors, Steve Jurvetson, Antonio Gracias, and Ira Ehrenpreis are VC's looking to protect and maximize their investment.

Except for Elon and possibly his brother, this board is not about making Elon's dreams come true - they are there as independent arbiters of the company's future. Musk works for them and at their pleasure. They are selected by the shareholders and will do the right thing when the time comes. When that time comes, Elon will be powerless to do anything but go along or propose an alternative. This is why we have corporate structures and independent oversight, outside auditors, and SEC regulation - so that no publicly-hed company can become ANYONE's plaything. When that gets too uncomfortable, the senior execs MAY propose to take the company private again, but until then, it is NOT their company. See Dell.

Tiebreaker - yes I can charge at JHU on days when I teach there - Level 2, so not much happens, but I can add some miles depending on how long at the campus.

Pung -- everyone you mentioned has bought into Elon's long term objectives. That's why they are members in the first place. Not even close to a sale for many, many years. If deviations happen to the agreed upon strategy, then problems will happen and a change will occur. No deviations are happening currently and long term objectives are beginning to be achieved. All anticipated a vast majority of problems happening right now and have a high tolerance threshold as a result.

Review the statements and actions of everyone you mentioned. Meet a few of them. Great investors (probably like yourself) understand the human dimension, where people's heads are at, personal life situations, and character (in positions of decision making) will tell a lot of how they will react to adverse situations. Tesla should have been gone long, long ago if you look at the numbers. Still around over a decade later. Have to look under the wall of numbers and see the reality. Where tesla investors are coming from. How they are viewing the world. How they see the future. Elon (et al) is but just one representative of that pov with the means and momentum to contribute significantly to its reality...

Tiebreaker - should have said I can charge at the JHU campus in Baltimore (Inner Harbor East), where there are two level 2 outlets in the Legg Mason parking garage. However, the JHU DC campus on Mass Ave has no charging station. The TM store is about a 15 minute walk away, so I am looking into charging there and walking to the school.

However, both locations at are the outside edge of what I consider a responsible trip plan in the winter. The shortest distance from our farm to JHU Baltimore (Harbor East) is 193 miles. The distance for the trip to JHU in DC (1625 Mass Ave) is also exactly 193 miles. Assuming no delays or detours, this is theoretically doable, and was the purpose for buying the 85kw Model S. However, I have concluded that driving the car without extraoridinary measures, such as cold feet and slow speeds, this is beyond the reasonable 175-mile planning range for the Tesla. I am making the trip today and will therefore take the F150 instead. Sad.

The other BOD members know damn well that TM lives and dies with Elon's vision and leadership. That's what they're "banking on".

jk,

+1 on all of your last statements regarding the objectives. The CEO always gets a lot of rope. I am more skeptical than you about financial viability. That did not stop me from buying a car. I do believe that most of the board is there representing investor dollars, not the future of the world.

The future of transport, a trillion dollar industry, is very much in the investors interest... Hope you can understand the tolerance level is proportionate to the up shot potential... Ask Jervetson to expound...

The bottom line money talk and if Elon has a dream it's in his head. No cash flow no Tesla and somebody will buy Telsa out. Today Tesla got a bad review from New York times. Elon had to get on CNBC to expand the report was wrong about the car. Any way electric cars has a lone way to go before people want one.

Who said this, "people are ready for electric cars but battery's are not ready for people" Still a rich man toy not for everybody. Still a city car and that why many car manufactures are making low range electric city cars. i3 by BMW, Smart car, and the list goes on.

Bottom line Telsa is going to be sold in the future. Hope it's Mercedes Benz.

Anybody who thinks Elon Musk will sell Tesla before the EV market is consolidated does not understand Elon Musk.

Paypal was a way to get capital, as was Zip2 before it. He seized on the Internet boom to obtain the capital he needed to do the things he really wanted to do all along, which are space and renewable energy. These were short, quick bets that paid off handsomely.

If this was all he wanted to do in life he would have kept on doing those kinds of deals. Instead, he got into two of the hairiest, most capital-intensive businesses one could imagine.

It is absolutely not about the billions, except in so far as the billions provide fuel for more advanced rockets or renewable energy solutions. When it comes to Musk, the billions are a means to an end, not an end in themselves.

He has been crystal clear on this for years and years.

He will sell Tesla either under extreme financial duress, where he would need to focus on saving one of his companies (and that would more likely be SpaceX), or if EVs became the dominant automotive technology and Tesla's mission was successfully accomplished.

Any investor who does not understand this will misinterpret the business plan and strategy of the company.

As he said once, "For anyone looking for a good way to make billions of dollars, starting an automotive company is not high on the list." Neither is building rockets.

Daniel & Brian,

You are exactly correct in that this is a capital intensive business. This is a company that generates no capital, relies solely on external sources, and will generate next to no capital even if it hits its highest sales goals. Elon also has no available capital, having invested all of his money in these companies, so the only avenue is public issuance, as they did late last year. One slip and the shares fall, leaving no capital sources. It is very dicey right now and a lot rides on the next two quarters, as well as the 4Q12 report. Using an old saying, it is put up or shut up time. Elon has said as much publicly, and he knows that it could be all over very easily and quite soon, I hope not too, but am realistic. I already voted with a big check a couple weeks ago. Those of you who say with confidence that TM will be around for years to come have no clue what you are talking about - it is clear that you are turning wishful thinking into absolute affirmative statements. Elon himself would never say that, he says it is very speculative and both near term and long term survival remains very much in question.

To say the this company is Elon and vice versa, and to imply that it cannot succeed or go on without him is absurd. He is a key man, but there are plenty of visionaries behind him. Think Apple can succeed without Steve Jobs? Know how many people were insulted every time he walked out and took credit for their ideas and hard work? They seem to be doing fine without him. No company is about one man. Any competent company develops a succession plan and you can be assured that TM has one in place.

P_Dave,

I disagree with your statement that TM can not generate capital. Being cash flow positive and being profitable are not the same thing. I expect they will be cash flow positive all of 2013. Profit may or may not happen by the end of the year, as they have lots of R&D and production assets to depreciate.

Off Topic:

It is ironic that you post all over this board about the Model S (limited) range and how SCs will never be near you...and you live in one of only three states that actually has a SC. If you are making a trip to Philly or NYC the 175 miles to the Newark SC is perfect!

If you are headed to DC or Baltimore there are two RV parks right outside Anapolis (161 miles) that would probably let you charge for an hour (31 rated miles per hour) or so for $10. Give them a call. Admittedly you are trading some time (waiting to charge) for money (cost of gas), but you may only need to do this on extreme condition days.

IIRC Elon said that they will be profitable at 8000 cars sold annually. Looks like that is no problem whatsoever. They were cash flow positive after just couple of thousand sold.

@Pungoteague_Dave, I don't have a crystal ball. I don't know that Tesla will be around for years, or any other company, for that matter.

I said only that Mr. Musk did not build up Tesla in order to flip it like PayPal. If the company goes south it will not be without a fight.

I disagree about Apple and probably Tesla as well. Both have a lot of bright people who can create value. But clear corporate leadership is very rare and corporations generally have difficulty sustaining innovative cultures.

Apple is now playing a reactive role, forced to come out with a bigger phone and a smaller tablet, both matching the sizes of competitors. Jobs was hugely important because he could arbitrate between bright and creative people. He could herd cats and pick winning ideas consistently. This is very, very, very hard and an unusual trait. Tim Cook is nowhere near that capability. Musk is.

If you think Tesla can survive a sale today, you are dreaming. In 10 years, maybe. Not today. Too much going on at too many levels. It would fly apart.

SpaceX is generating capital and cash flow, and Tesla is too, when over a minimum production rate. Share equity is relevant only for borrowing and public offerings. It is notable that neither company has direct competition in that no one is duplicating (commoditizing) their product/output. In a sense, they are expanding into a vacuum.

"Prediction is hard, especially about the future." Your predictions are based on narrowly equating unequal things. I don't want to bother listing your predictions, but doubt that even one will come to pass, because they all rest on such false equating. I hope you are short. "It's going to sting. It's going to sting a lot."

@ Pungoteague_Dave

It's a sad thing that your Tesla Model S with the 85 kWh battery pack has a real life range of only 175 miles. Can Tesla Motors not do something about it?

Benz, my guess it is more a matter of how he drives it and the conditions.
As it warms up, his range will increase. If he slows down 5mph on highways his range will increase. If he isn't already doing so, if he charges in range mode as opposed to standard mode his range will increase.
He is pushing the edge of range in worst case conditions. I feel sorry for him that he has a 193 mile trip (twice a week was it?).

My trip is a minimum of 193 miles twice per week because I have a great life in 'retirement'. I retired from banking a few years ago and own an oyster aquaculture farming business in a little piece of paradise on Virginia's Eastern Shore (Pungoteague) and teach graduate business finance courses at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore and DC. So most Sundays or Mondays, I leave the farm and head to town, also scheduling doctors, dentists, hair cuts, car detailing, auto or motorcycle repairs, grocery shopping, shipping, vet visits, etc. for the two days in and near the city. After teaching and doing these errands for a couple days, I head back to the farm on Wednesday or Thursday, having left he oyster operation in the capable hands of our farm manager in the interim. Every month or so I also fly through BWI to attend board meetings and to visit family or for personal travel overseas.

Full disclosure, I also have a home near Annapolis on the Magothy River, so I have a bit more flexibility than implied in my 193-mile rants (really 220-240 given stops, side trips to visit investments in places like Rock Hall, MD). It is really only 160 miles between our homes IF I were to choose to let this car control me rather than the other way around. Yes, I could leave a day earlier and return a day later and have no range worries. But that isn't how I live my life and wasn't the deal sold to us when we bought this car. Yes, I drive by my second house on the way to teaching in Baltimore, and could stop for a charge. But that would cost time we don't have and would make the car's time more valuable than ours. I have a 1450 outlet in the garage there, and have a 6 50 in Pungoteague, soon to be a HPWC. But I need to be able to get in the car in Pungoteague, and drive directly to Baltimore or DC, 193 miles, without stopping, and in any weather. I can do that in our Prius, motorcycles, and other vehicles that we own. The Tesla was bought as a perfect antidote for that trip each way once per week.

To top it off, we installed 84 solar panels at the farm, and 27 at the house near Annapolis, generating more electricity than we use. So unlike most Model S owners, we though we were set up to drive truly off the grid except for Supercharging on trips to Philly, NY and Boston.

I did every bit of due diligence that could humanly be done on these cars. I read every word of every forum, blog, and press report that exists on the Model S. I spoke with everyone at TM who could give advice on real world range. The consistent message was that 250 would be very realistic. I only needed 193 for quick trips as long as I am willing to park for 7 hours at JHU in Baltimore before returning. There is no charger at the JHU downtown DC location. The Tesla store is only a few blocks away but isn't set up for public charging as they only have two outlets that are usually in use for display/demonstrators, and they are only potentially available when the store is open (after 9:45 in the morning). I have a faculty meeting this coming Saturday in DC so called today to see if the Tesla DC store can give my depleted battery a charge while I walk to the meeting and back. They graciously agreed, but mentioned that they might have to move the car around when their cars need charging. While they agreed this time, its clear this cannot be a regular part of how I live with this car, and I don't think it will gain enough charge anyway to make it back to the farm even with their help.

So, I love my S for local runs, but it isn't able to do what we need it to do without allowing it to run our lives. It was sold as a pure ICE substitute. It is a fantastic piece of engineering. However, at least in my situation, it was oversold and cannot really do what we need it to do without a lot of compromises, like cold feet and driving slower than traffic, and with constant range anxiety. Some on this forum say I did not do enough due diligence and was stupid to expect 220 real world miles. I would like one of those people to show me where anyone said that the real world range number for planning is really 175, because around here, that's what it is. Yes, there might be a few mild weeks where 240 miles is a real number. But around here it tends to be either cold or hot. So far we have only heard from folks with reduced range due to cold weather. But we haven't seen what happens in a hot summer either, because the cars started delivery just last fall. I suspect that the 220+ real world range expectation is the exception rather than the expectation, at least where we live in the mid-Atlantic.

Giving the benefit of the doubt, TM is learning how these cars work along with us owners. However, as we saw with the NYT debacle (for which someone one at TM should be fired), TM needs to dial back is media machine a bit. It is a lot better to under promise and over deliver. In my case they under delivered against very specific promises. And very time I get in the car it lies to me again about how far it can be expected to go. So in addition to dialing back its marketing, TM needs to recalibrate its range software by a lot.

We need more people to buy this car and ensure TM's viability. The only way that will happen is for the story to be 100% real. Right now it isn't and TM has lost a lot of the credibility it gained with the COTY awards. I once had a great mentor who taught me it is a lot easier to damage a reputation than it is to recover from a damaged reputation. It was the best advice I ever received in business. Time for TM to undertake serious internal education and message modifications, as well as smarter range estimation software and more realistic marketing promises.

Quick question: Are you disputing the owners that got 400 miles on a single charge?

Don't need an answer, just wondering if you've considered changing how you drive to extend your range to the point that you want.

Brian,

When I say that TM cannot generate internal capital, I am speaking in relative numbers. Yes, it is cash flow positive, maybe, and can remain cash positive without being GAAP profitable. But it cannot generate significant capital through marginal cash flow from sales operations. The maximum capital that TM can generate from selling 20,000 cars this year under ideal conditions is a very small drop in the bucket compared to the engineering, infrastructure, and start-up costs associated with rolling out two new model lines in the next two years. An automobile business simply cannot generate enough capital organically to grow at the pace TM needs to achieve to become independently viable (and it isn't close yet). Again, live in a dream world if you must, but TM's plans will require permanent (non-loan) capital that is multiples of its current equity capital base, and it certainly cannot get there solely through Model S sales, even if it were to double its sales projections. The numbers are just too small, and organic capital production cannot get close or near the ballpark of what's needed. I wish that weren't true, but it is pure math.

P_D, I don't agree with your math. TM is running its operations with much less money than ancient car companies do. SpaceX is doing that same, it's done what big companies couldn't do with fraction of the resources.

Put another way, TM's gross sales projections for 2013 are not much more than the amount of capital that it will need to roll out two new car lines over the next two years. 20,000 cars at an average $75k ticket is $1.5 billion gross sales. At an optimistic 20% margin (some pundits believe there us no per-car margin and that the cars are essentially being given away, but applying the benefit of the doubt here) that's $300 million gross margin. Less a couple hundred million for sales, marketing and G&A, you are left with only $100 million. That pittance would easily be burned building out the SC network, and renting, outfitting and staffing dozens of new service and sales locations around the world solely for the existing Model S effort.

Putting this into perspective, my career was in the regional mall development business. The typical high end enclosed US mall is worth $250 million+. A dozen or so are worth over $1 billion, and a handful are worth over $2 billion, more than TM could possibly sell this year or next, and that's goss sales. I don't pretend to know the auto business, but do know real estate development and infrastructure and business development costs, and can say categorically that TM is a small business with outsized capital requirements and a high ongoing capital burn rate relative to its sales and cash flow potential.

I think those broad numbers may be very optimistic given how much ongoing engineering and warranty work is happening for the existing 4-5,000 cars that have been delivered so far. But putting that aide, compared to the $billion+ needed for the next two cars, and the related worldwide infrastructure it wants to push out in the coming months, TM does not have the internal capability to organically generate anything like enough cash capital to do this. It cannot fund existing infrastructure costs, much less develop, market, tool and gear up parts flow for two more models and its expanded geographic footprint IMHO. I wish this were not true, but the math is what it is. Much deeper pockets are needed here.

P-Dave:

So why did you buy the car if you think the company is not going to be around to support it? Or is that not what you're saying?

Not trying to argue. I'm a prospective buyer concerned about this issue.

Timo is a village I once visited in Estonia. It is also apparently a synonym for Magical Thinker or Speculative Dreamer.

Costs are costs, Timo, and a new robot or stamping machine (after the initial equipment inherited from Toyota/GM) costs TM at least as much as dinosaur auto manufacturers, and probably more given their lower volmes and buying power. Do you think that TM makes these cars out of magic fairy dust? There is no question that its parts and materials costs are MUCH higher than its "ancient" competitors because it buys smaller quantities and uses more exotic materials and assembly methods. Name one US production car with an all aluminum structure or this much onboard lithium battery energy. MB switchgear isn't cheap, and it costs a lot more to put in a high res touch screen and develop the related software than to buy the off-the-shelf cockpit interface technology used by the competition in much higher (cheaper) volumes.

We must remember that even Volvo will sell over 400,000 cars this year. Think TM can compete on direct materials or allocated design costs? Not close. The only thing on a Model S that can be remotely compared to an ICE car's cost structure is its wheels and tires, and even those are relatively high end, short-run items compared to the economies of scale available to the next higher volume tier manufacturers, such as Porsche or BMW. Those beautiful custom brake calipers I washed today are wonderful and unquestionably more expensive per car than comparable calipers on any competing sports car or luxury sedan, short of exotic supercars.

Finally, TM operates in one of the world's highest G&A cost environments - California/Silicon Valley. Secretaries there make more than anywhere except New York, and rents and other operating costs are far higher than where ANY other US auto manufacturer is headquartered or manufactures its product. I don't know actual TM numbers, but can say with a pretty high degree of certainty that TM's per car development and overhead costs are far higher than any old-school mass market car company. Time to get real.

Less a couple hundred million for sales, marketing and G&A, you are left with only $100 million.

How about near zero cost for most of this?

SC is build using same chargers as used in Model S and network is maintained by SolarCity. Very low cost operation for TM there, and profitable for SC.

TM does not have malls. It has small showrooms with very small amount of staff.

Material costs for building a car is counted in that 20% margin. Otherwise that wouldn't be much a margin, right?

Vawkus,

You or I also could get 400 miles on a charge, if we do what they did to pull that off. But neither of us would have the patience - it was a stnt to get in the reord books. If you read my posts describing how I hit 240 miles in one charge, you will understand. I never went over 55, despite being the slowest car on the road, drove in range mode, had a max range charge when starting, kept the heat on low, even turned off the seat heaters when range mode turned them on for me, turned off DRL and other exterior lights. We did run the radio. I was on flat land the entire time, not one hill between our homes except a bridge, and hardly touched the brakes, using regen for all stops. Still only got 240 miles with 4 to go before it would have shut down. Temp was 42 the whole time, apparently the Achilles heel. Anyway, that was WAY too many compromises compared to just getting in a car and pointing and going, which is what consumers expect when they see range estimates. For those who care, I left Arnold MD, drove shortest route to Rock Hall, MD for a meeting, then via the Whitehaven Ferry to our oyster farm, which is about 8 miles past the center of Pungoteague, VA. I could not take our normal route around the Salisbury bypass, which has a 65 speed limit and would have exceeded our potential range under any scenario, with no bail-out alternatives except a roll-back truck trip. No chargers of any kind along the way except one Nissan dealer, reported to have an inside charger for customers only.

These are supposed to be real cars, comparable or better than to ICE vehicles, without compromises. Cars are to serve us, not the other way around. I get the range game and know how to play it. I regularly hypermiled our three Prius hybrids and always exceeded Toyota and EPA MPG ratings. The way people get super high single charge distances with any of these cars is to drive very slow. If you read the reports, you will see the 400 mile driver selected flat routes, drove 26 mph (average), picked times and routes with zero traffic, intentionally over-inflated his tires, and never slowed down or used brakes. In other words, an engineering exercise, not real world driving, and nothing anyone would do, especially since, at the end of that drive, the car had to be towed back! It may have been worth the congratulatory tweet from Elon, but I am sure that even Elon does not think of or drive his personal Model S in a way that would exceed a 200 mile range, even in his temperate home environment.

I drive hard around town, enjoying the car, but gently on trips. However, I am not willing to drive below the speed limit as some have suggested, or to compromise my family's comfort just to accommodate the car. The real max range for these cars for normal drivers diving softly at the speed limit in normal conditions is 165 - 175 miles, at least for my trip planning purposes. That assumes a real range of 240 starting with a max range charge in 42 degree weather, driving very conservatively, subtracting 20 miles for contingencies, less 20% for a cushion. It isn't responsible to run an ICE vehicle below 1/4 tank even though there are gas stations every few miles,and it certainly isn't responsible to plan to use almost 100% of all available range on an EV where there are no charging possibilities en route. So my answer when giving test drives and raving about the car's other features, is to say that in this region, real world responsible driving range is 175, no matter what TM marketing and sales might say. That's not bad IMHO, just real, and if TM were to set expectations there, they might have happier campers and more stores about positive surprises instead of pictures of their cars on tow trucks.

P-Dave - If you want to live out in the boonies the Model S may not be a real ICE replacement yet, yeah and the Northeast is bloody cold, which is not the optimal environment for batteries. I do not like rural or cold places, I do not like being bored or being sick half the year in the frozen tundra up there. I will not go north of I-4 before April or after November. Hey if you are retired why not move to Florida like everyone else and have no range issues? Unless you really love paying all that state income tax, VA car tax and heating bills... Yeah well, have fun with all that then...

That NY Times hackjob had a lot of negativity written in but the reporter, like you, are running the car to its limits in a bad (cold) environment... Most people do not drive more than 150 miles in a day, I rarely do and if I do it is close to where SuperChargers will be (up the I-95 or I-75). I stay away from the cold so will be a happy camper when I get my MS. Honestly the only thing I do not like is the lack of a spare tyre... I nitpick a lot but the car works for me and see a bright future indeed for Tesla Motors.

As time passes there will be more chargepoints and the SuperCharger network will be built out. I do not honestly see any real problems with the Tesla concept, just some adjustments are needed to adapt to being a higher volume carmaker. When there are more chargepoints then the Model S can serve as a ICE replacement even for people way out in the sticks...

One valid point you do raise is Tesla's main facility being in California - a high cost place to do business, honestly it makes no sense unless Governor Moonbeam is giving one hell of an incentive package...

@Pungoteague_Dave, This is an interesting discussion. I've done the math myself and I agree that to move to Gen III Tesla will need more money.

One way is another stock issue. At a reasonable price of $40 to $45 a share they could pick up around $500 million with little trouble and less than 10% of current shareholder equity dilution. I think that's a good deal all around, including for existing shareholders.

Another route to cash infusions is to license technology, including perhaps supercharger access. So Mercedes Benz comes out with a car that can charge at Tesla's supercharger network, for example, and this gives Tesla revenue. Ordinarily license money is not enough, but here exclusivity could have a significant premium. If done by segment, both Toyota and MB could get non-competing exclusive licenses to Tesla technology.

But I also think you need to think a bit more about the engineering to get Tesla's long-term cost structure. You forget that EVs are much simpler vehicles than combustion cars, with fewer parts. A big part of the value is software, and this will carry through to new models in a way that does not happen with mechanical parts. Every iOS device uses the same OS. I expect every Tesla to do the same.

Tesla is also going the VW, Audi, and BMW route to design, where a single common language is applied to many models. This helps share components and reduce design and tooling costs.

But the truly big item is the battery. If battery cost comes down in the order of 2x to 4x, then Tesla becomes almost comically profitable with little effort. The battery is the key to the whole business model. Cheap batteries would also mean more license revenue.

Tesla's liquid-cooled, small-cell battery solution is unique and IMHO clearly superior to the large-cell, air-cooled batteries used by everybody else. So while low cost batteries would benefit all players, Tesla has a substantial advantage to which one can add the supercharger network.

Tesla thrives or stagnates on battery costs during the next few years.

400 miles might be a stunt, but going down to zero charge and putting the car on a car carrier is another stunt.

Both were done on purpose, though for different motives, to prove a point.

I have never run out of gas and never expect to run out of charge in an EV, not even a Leaf. Worst case, I'd get a charge I was not expecting to need. But the car carrier? That was a setup for the picture. For sure.

stimyg,

Good question.

I bought the car because I love new technology, think it is a fantastic vehicle, better than anything else out there by a wide margin (and i have had several exotic cars) smile every time I drive it except for the range misrepresentations, and (please don't think me arrogant) can afford to write it off and put it in my collection if TM does not make it. I also have antique cars that were made by companies that no longer exist, and drive them often, wrenching myself, searching down parts or having them made. Almost anything can be kept running. I have a heated workshop, hydraulic lifts, and all the tools needed to keep most cars on the road, including my favorite, cantankerous old british roadsters.

I plan to spend tomorrow removing the rear panels and bumper bar from my S to install a Torklift trailer hitch. I love this car, and will use it extensively within its 175-mile real world range. I just can't use it for the weekly trips that it was planned to accommodate. That a big disappointment, mostly Tesla Motors' fault, but I am not gong to sue anyone and don't want my money back. I just want TM to be more real about range limits and trip planning.

DeLorean is a good example of what happens when a small volume car manufacturer fails. They sold fewer cars than TM will pop out under the worst scenarios (DeLorean produced only 9,200 cars over three model years), yet you can still get most parts and service more than 30 years later. MG produced fewer than 30,000 TD roadsters in three model years, yet I have no problem getting parts and there are plenty of mechanics that specialize in them even though production ended 60 years ago. So I personally lose no sleep over TM's prospects despite a reasonably educated view that they are, and will remain, on the bubble. I just think the worshipful fanboys on these forums might better off and less disillusioned in the future if more realistic about what they are dealing with. Put another way, no way will I be disappointed in the outcome.

Some here seem so personally invested that I question their ability to go on should TM fail or sell out. They virtually think Elon walks on water. I like the guy too, and watch everything he does with a sense of wonder, but have cleaned up after enough failed dreams to see the warning signs. One constant is that the most creative visionaries tend to be the least capable people or money managers, and are often financially illiterate, chasing a dream or great idea at all costs because the end is more important to them than financial returns. Elon is more squarely in the non financial visionary camp than anyone I have seen. To him, TM is about changing the world. Some here see that as a reason that he cannot or will not fail. My experience is to see these attributes increasing failure risk, so hope that the TM board has surrounded him with top notch finance people.

In summary, I do not see TM as a candidate to flame out and liquidate. Their technology is valuable and they have big name partners, investors, and board members from Mercedes and Toyota. While I remain skeptical about their ability to become independently viable, there will most likely be a next chapter as part of a larger, better capitalized company that can spread costs over a much wider product and customer base. Elon will not ultimately call the shots as he is now along for the ride, with his hand on the rudder, but capital needs that are beyond his resources. He acknowledges as much often and publicly, while saying what I also believe - no one wants this outcome, but TM's survival in current form is highly speculative and those who say otherwise with confidence (many here) don't understand math or are so worshipful as to willfully bypass reality.


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