Electric Cars - Saviours of our environment or just another fad?

From an investment advisory I get:

Tesla a prime example of the insanity that's sweeping the credit markets today.

On August 3, we noted that electric-car maker Tesla (TSLA) was burning through cash at an unprecedented rate. Despite promises to the contrary, we said it was only a matter of time before CEO Elon Musk would be forced to raise more capital.

You can fake earnings, but you can't fake cash flows. And Tesla is now hemorrhaging cash like never before...

Tesla sent more than $1 billion to "money heaven" in just three months... which means it has already burned through most of the money it raised from investors back in March.

The company now has just $3 billion in cash on hand, out of a mind-boggling $10 billion it has siphoned from investors since 2012. And yet it's expected to burn through at least another $2 billion before the end of the year. At this rate, Tesla could run out of money as early as the first quarter of next year.

Don't be surprised to see Musk going "hat in hand" to investors again soon.

So we weren't surprised when just a few days later, Musk said the firm was planning to raise another $1.5 billion from investors. But we were shocked he intended to issue bonds, rather than equity and convertible debt, as he has in the past. And we were downright appalled by the terms...

The eight-year bonds – rated deep in "junk" territory by both major credit-rating agencies – were priced at just 5.3%. This is the lowest yield among similarly rated "high yield" bonds in history.

But "investors" weren't fazed. In fact, they begged for more... Musk was ultimately able to raise $1.8 billion, $300 million more than originally planned.

Longtime readers know we've questioned why anyone would willingly buy stock in a capital inefficient company with a failed business model and no hope of ever turning a profit. But at least Tesla shareholders stand to benefit from the company's potential success (however unlikely that is).

That's not the case here...

Remember, bonds are fundamentally different than stocks. Bonds can't "do OK." They're binary. They either pay back interest and principal or they default.

That's not a minor concern for a company that has never earned a profit and could run out of money within a year.

In other words, the folks who bought these bonds are also likely to suffer massive losses if Musk's grand vision falls short. But unlike Tesla shareholders, they won't earn anything more if he somehow pulls it off. And they're being paid just 5.3% a year for the pleasure.

As Martin Fridson – the "dean" of corporate debt, and the world's foremost expert on the high-yield credit markets – noted to Bloomberg following the deal...

"It's a great deal for [Tesla], which by definition means it can't be a great deal for the investors."

The reason they're getting a good deal is because yields are near record lows and risk premiums are much less than they should be. Tesla is taking advantage of that.

We wish those folks the best of luck. They're going to need it.

One proposal a few years ago was batteries mounted on the car's underside, and 'refuelling' achieved by physical battery exchange - park the car in the designated spot and it would be done mechanically from below in minutes  - all based on batteries not actually being owned by the car owner, rather rented or leased, I suppose a bit like cylinder rental of pressurised gas cylinders.

DrMark posted:
MDS posted:

The two issues that are commonly cited as impediments to electric cars replacing diesel/petrol is much smaller range and lack of infrastructure for recharging. Both have been aired earlier in this thread.  But i think there is a related third issue and that it the time it takes to recharge.  This can be hours.  On a journey exceeding the car's range, how many people are going to accept that they must plan a long break while the car is recharged at various way-points?  When I fill up my diesel at the service station it takes just a few minutes and I then have a range of 600+ miles before I need to fill up again. In today's world patience is short and we all expect to be able to do things quickly so I think the speed of recharge is going to have to be addressed as well. 

While patience may play some role, it is also a case of viability: when I drive to visit my father for a couple of days, I have an 11 hours drive each way. I can pull that off in one day, spend a couple or 3 days with him, and then another day burned coming back. With an extended refueling time, even once (and at present technology I believe it would be more than once), the whole trip falls apart, and I either have to stay in a hotel, or drop the whole operation.

A pertinent example, Dr Mark

cat345 posted:

It is sometimes better off renting a car for long distance travelling...

Maybe if you've spent a fortune on buying an electric car - and then pay to hire a fossil fuel car to pollute for that long distance. 

When the Smart Car was introduced in Britain there was supposed to be an arrangement whereby owners could rent a Merc at a very low cost rate when they wanted to do a long journey - but I'm not sure that it actually happened. Potentially idea for electric cars could work - have interchange points where you leave your electric car and use another for the next stage of your journey, at minimal cost. BUt somehow I don't envisage it happening in practice,

MDS posted:

The two issues that are commonly cited as impediments to electric cars replacing diesel/petrol is much smaller range and lack of infrastructure for recharging. Both have been aired earlier in this thread.  But i think there is a related third issue and that it the time it takes to recharge.  This can be hours.  On a journey exceeding the car's range, how many people are going to accept that they must plan a long break while the car is recharged at various way-points?  When I fill up my diesel at the service station it takes just a few minutes and I then have a range of 600+ miles before I need to fill up again. In today's world patience is short and we all expect to be able to do things quickly so I think the speed of recharge is going to have to be addressed as well. 

It is no longer a "much smaller range". New Teslas with the large batteries will do 500km+ or so between charges.

A Tesla supercharger will recharge 80% of the range in about 30 minutes. It's not terribly inconvenient, and I reiterate that only a very small number of journeys for most people would require en-route charging. You start each morning with a completely full "tank", and for that vast majority of use, that 500km+ range is more-than-adequate for the day's driving.

Tesla also demonstrated a battery swap on a Model S that was completed in about 1/2 the time for a conventional gas fuel-up. The swap-stations have not been rolled out because there is really no demand for this. See point above.

Innocent Bystander posted:

One proposal a few years ago was batteries mounted on the car's underside, and 'refuelling' achieved by physical battery exchange - park the car in the designated spot and it would be done mechanically from below in minutes  - all based on batteries not actually being owned by the car owner, rather rented or leased, I suppose a bit like cylinder rental of pressurised gas cylinders.

Tesla have already demonstrated this. See video. No real demand, though. Most people just charge overnight.

DrMark posted:

From an investment advisory I get:

Tesla a prime example of the insanity that's sweeping the credit markets today.

On August 3, we noted that electric-car maker Tesla (TSLA) was burning through cash at an unprecedented rate. Despite promises to the contrary, we said it was only a matter of time before CEO Elon Musk would be forced to raise more capital.

You can fake earnings, but you can't fake cash flows. And Tesla is now hemorrhaging cash like never before...

Tesla sent more than $1 billion to "money heaven" in just three months... which means it has already burned through most of the money it raised from investors back in March.

The company now has just $3 billion in cash on hand, out of a mind-boggling $10 billion it has siphoned from investors since 2012. And yet it's expected to burn through at least another $2 billion before the end of the year. At this rate, Tesla could run out of money as early as the first quarter of next year.

Don't be surprised to see Musk going "hat in hand" to investors again soon.

So we weren't surprised when just a few days later, Musk said the firm was planning to raise another $1.5 billion from investors. But we were shocked he intended to issue bonds, rather than equity and convertible debt, as he has in the past. And we were downright appalled by the terms...

The eight-year bonds – rated deep in "junk" territory by both major credit-rating agencies – were priced at just 5.3%. This is the lowest yield among similarly rated "high yield" bonds in history.

But "investors" weren't fazed. In fact, they begged for more... Musk was ultimately able to raise $1.8 billion, $300 million more than originally planned.

Longtime readers know we've questioned why anyone would willingly buy stock in a capital inefficient company with a failed business model and no hope of ever turning a profit. But at least Tesla shareholders stand to benefit from the company's potential success (however unlikely that is).

That's not the case here...

Remember, bonds are fundamentally different than stocks. Bonds can't "do OK." They're binary. They either pay back interest and principal or they default.

That's not a minor concern for a company that has never earned a profit and could run out of money within a year.

In other words, the folks who bought these bonds are also likely to suffer massive losses if Musk's grand vision falls short. But unlike Tesla shareholders, they won't earn anything more if he somehow pulls it off. And they're being paid just 5.3% a year for the pleasure.

As Martin Fridson – the "dean" of corporate debt, and the world's foremost expert on the high-yield credit markets – noted to Bloomberg following the deal...

"It's a great deal for [Tesla], which by definition means it can't be a great deal for the investors."

The reason they're getting a good deal is because yields are near record lows and risk premiums are much less than they should be. Tesla is taking advantage of that.

We wish those folks the best of luck. They're going to need it.

Bonds aren't binary from the perspective of an investor, they are priced and traded in the market just like equity. They can indeed do "okay". The market price reflects the coupon, timing to maturity and likelihood of default amongst other things. But yes, some of the metrics around Tesla point to a high level of risk. I doubt it was ever going to be any other way.

We have two electric cars for use at work. A Tesla and a BMW 3i.

Based on my experience with these over the past year or so there is NO WAY I would buy one of these stupid machines.

Capital outlay is rediculously expensive

Range is pathetic.

Recharge time needs to be carefully planned and is time-consuming on a long journey. the BMW is only good for short (30 mile journeys)

There are too many electrical charging options for the average woman to cope with...........

The Batteries will probably need replacement in three years time.

In summary, they are a joke. Anexpensive joke at that.

When we have built 6 more nuclear power stations and invested in the distribution system to cope with re-charging and found batteries that Last 30 years + well then they might be a sort of proposition.

OTOH, if you are a boy-racer, that little BMW does accelerate like a rocket.....  we have a race track, I know !!!!

Don Atkinson posted:

We have two electric cars for use at work. A Tesla and a BMW 3i.

Based on my experience with these over the past year or so there is NO WAY I would buy one of these stupid machines.

Capital outlay is rediculously expensive

Range is pathetic.

Recharge time needs to be carefully planned and is time-consuming on a long journey. the BMW is only good for short (30 mile journeys)

There are too many electrical charging options for the average woman to cope with...........

The Batteries will probably need replacement in three years time.

In summary, they are a joke. Anexpensive joke at that.

When we have built 6 more nuclear power stations and invested in the distribution system to cope with re-charging and found batteries that Last 30 years + well then they might be a sort of proposition.

OTOH, if you are a boy-racer, that little BMW does accelerate like a rocket.....  we have a race track, I know !!!!

Which Tesla do you have access to? The range of even the smallest battery-option Model S would be fine for 99.9% of our motoring. Your misogynist characterisation of the a woman as unable to plug a car in is worrying. What charging options are you even talking about? What do you base the 3-year battery life on? No battery ever supplied by Tesla is yet out of its 10 year warranty. A Tesla Model S is an expensive car, but they can sell every car they can make. And I agree that the BMW is an over-priced, deeply flawed, short range noddy-car and symptomatic of the pathetic strategy of mainstream car manufacturers.

Winky,

Im in Canada at the moment and I don't recall the model of Tesla that we have, but it's quite large and cost c. £100k, I think. I did post pictures of both the BMW and the Tesla some months back. So you should I be able to determine the model.

We have four ladies at work and NONE of them is able to figure out how to re-charge either car. We have two re-charging points at the airfield plus we can re-charge overnight from the 240V domestic mains. The choice of supply and the relevant cables seems to baffle them !

Clearly the range of the Tesla YOU are buying suits YOUR needs., otherwise you wouldn't be buying it! But neither the BMW nor the Tesla suits any of the men or women that I work with - and they all have used these cars for many months as have I.

The Tesla suits you. It doesn't suit any of the people I know and who have used it this past year.

Don Atkinson posted:

Winky,

Im in Canada at the moment and I don't recall the model of Tesla that we have, but it's quite large and cost c. £100k, I think. I did post pictures of both the BMW and the Tesla some months back. So you should I be able to determine the model.

We have four ladies at work and NONE of them is able to figure out how to re-charge either car. We have two re-charging points at the airfield plus we can re-charge overnight from the 240V domestic mains. The choice of supply and the relevant cables seems to baffle them !

Clearly the range of the Tesla YOU are buying suits YOUR needs., otherwise you wouldn't be buying it! But neither the BMW nor the Tesla suits any of the men or women that I work with - and they all have used these cars for many months as have I.

The Tesla suits you. It doesn't suit any of the people I know and who have used it this past year.

I can't imagine how dire a life would be where 500km of driving range per day was regularly inadequate for my needs.

winkyincanada posted:

Bonds aren't binary from the perspective of an investor, they are priced and traded in the market just like equity. They can indeed do "okay". The market price reflects the coupon, timing to maturity and likelihood of default amongst other things. But yes, some of the metrics around Tesla point to a high level of risk. I doubt it was ever going to be any other way.

Point is, these bonds are probably not going to do OK....and believe me, the guy who wrote that understands bonds very well...in fact, he contends that in a  normal market (not this bizarro one central banks have generated in the past 10+ years) if more investors understood bonds they wouldn't waste their time on stocks. If Tesla starts to tank, those bond prices will not go up - there is no way that level of risk should be priced at 5.3%. And the bond holder can wipe his behind with the paper the bond is printed on. Something rated as junk should yield better than these...but it's the cachet of Tesla.

Of course, there is no way many of the countries in the EU should have bonds yielding as low as they do for the risk they represent - countries with debt at 136% of GDP and yielding around 2% on a 10 year note? Preposterous.

Elon Musk is a very innovative, smart, and talented guy, but I maintain his greatest skill/talent is extracting money from people (and the taxpayers) to fund his schemes even though he loses money. He's pulled about every trick in the book so far, and especially as Big Auto gets into the market and price pressure becomes a reality, I think Tesla will suffer. A lot.

DrMark posted:
winkyincanada posted:

Bonds aren't binary from the perspective of an investor, they are priced and traded in the market just like equity. They can indeed do "okay". The market price reflects the coupon, timing to maturity and likelihood of default amongst other things. But yes, some of the metrics around Tesla point to a high level of risk. I doubt it was ever going to be any other way.

Point is, these bonds are probably not going to do OK....and believe me, the guy who wrote that understands bonds very well...in fact, he contends that in a  normal market (not this bizarro one central banks have generated in the past 10+ years) if more investors understood bonds they wouldn't waste their time on stocks. If Tesla starts to tank, those bond prices will not go up - there is no way that level of risk should be priced at 5.3%. And the bond holder can wipe his behind with the paper the bond is printed on. Something rated as junk should yield better than these...but it's the cachet of Tesla.

Of course, there is no way many of the countries in the EU should have bonds yielding as low as they do for the risk they represent - countries with debt at 136% of GDP and yielding around 2% on a 10 year note? Preposterous.

Elon Musk is a very innovative, smart, and talented guy, but I maintain his greatest skill/talent is extracting money from people (and the taxpayers) to fund his schemes even though he loses money. He's pulled about every trick in the book so far, and especially as Big Auto gets into the market and price pressure becomes a reality, I think Tesla will suffer. A lot.

You're right. Don't get me wrong, there's no way I'd touch a Tesla bond at 5.3%. Just insane. We have some play-money in Tesla equity (doing well, thank-you), but that gives us some more upside as well as a floor of "all is lost".

winkyincanada posted:
Don Atkinson posted:

Winky,

Im in Canada at the moment and I don't recall the model of Tesla that we have, but it's quite large and cost c. £100k, I think. I did post pictures of both the BMW and the Tesla some months back. So you should I be able to determine the model.

We have four ladies at work and NONE of them is able to figure out how to re-charge either car. We have two re-charging points at the airfield plus we can re-charge overnight from the 240V domestic mains. The choice of supply and the relevant cables seems to baffle them !

Clearly the range of the Tesla YOU are buying suits YOUR needs., otherwise you wouldn't be buying it! But neither the BMW nor the Tesla suits any of the men or women that I work with - and they all have used these cars for many months as have I.

The Tesla suits you. It doesn't suit any of the people I know and who have used it this past year.

I can't imagine how dire a life would be where 500km of driving range per day was regularly inadequate for my needs.

It's not a case of "regularly" it's simply a case of 500km driving range is inadequate given the inadequacy of refuelling facilities both in terms of availability and time to refuel.

It obviously isn't a limitation for you, but for others it is a real limitation. We use the Land Rover for long journeys.

Don Atkinson posted:
winkyincanada posted:
Don Atkinson posted:

Winky,

Im in Canada at the moment and I don't recall the model of Tesla that we have, but it's quite large and cost c. £100k, I think. I did post pictures of both the BMW and the Tesla some months back. So you should I be able to determine the model.

We have four ladies at work and NONE of them is able to figure out how to re-charge either car. We have two re-charging points at the airfield plus we can re-charge overnight from the 240V domestic mains. The choice of supply and the relevant cables seems to baffle them !

Clearly the range of the Tesla YOU are buying suits YOUR needs., otherwise you wouldn't be buying it! But neither the BMW nor the Tesla suits any of the men or women that I work with - and they all have used these cars for many months as have I.

The Tesla suits you. It doesn't suit any of the people I know and who have used it this past year.

I can't imagine how dire a life would be where 500km of driving range per day was regularly inadequate for my needs.

It's not a case of "regularly" it's simply a case of 500km driving range is inadequate given the inadequacy of refuelling facilities both in terms of availability and time to refuel.

It obviously isn't a limitation for you, but for others it is a real limitation. We use the Land Rover for long journeys.

Yep, there are people whose lives require them to spend such an inordinate amount in time in their cars such that a 30 minute recharge on those days they do over 500km is a major inconvenience. I'm just incredibly glad I'm not one of them.

Charging facilities is a big issue though.

Surely one place which would make the biggest difference is city centres.  But people living in city centres generally don’t have a driveway or other regular parking place.  Therefore public chargers are needed.  But these are too few to actually allow people to rely on them.  Chicken and egg situation surely but a barrier to the adoption of charging.

Charging while on a journey is also an issue.  Ironically for those who live in the south east (and yes this is an embarrassingly London centric post) who are more likely to have an electric car, the further you travel from your home / base, the harder it is to find charging points.

On a wider issue, we need to start thinking about requirements for (a) charging points and (b) renewable energy generation as part of all new developments.

winkyincanada posted:
Don Atkinson posted:

It's not a case of "regularly" it's simply a case of 500km driving range is inadequate given the inadequacy of refuelling facilities both in terms of availability and time to refuel.

It obviously isn't a limitation for you, but for others it is a real limitation. We use the Land Rover for long journeys.

Yep, there are people whose lives require them to spend such an inordinate amount in time in their cars such that a 30 minute recharge on those days they do over 500km is a major inconvenience. I'm just incredibly glad I'm not one of them.

Surely when travelling 200+ miles you are stoppping every 2 hours (140miles) or so.  So as long as you are assured that when you arrive at your rest stop you can plug in the vehicle a 20-30 minute recharge break isn’t a major worry.  The problem will come when you arrive at the service station or wherever and there is a queue for the charger (or the charger is out of service).

Part of the extremely high cost of the batteries is the requirement to charge in less then 3.5 hours.

Lithium cells capable of being fast charged require substantial quantities of lanthanum (as LLTO in the cathode) - that greatly adds to the cost and massively adds to the environmental impact.  The longer the range of the car the more this applies.  Regular fast charging also substantially reduces the life of the cells.

Furthermore the range is usually quoted under very gentle constant speed driving conditions with new cells; in practice it's something like 60% to 80% of the quoted value.

Eloise posted:

Surely when travelling 200+ miles you are stoppping every 2 hours (140miles) or so.  So as long as you are assured that when you arrive at your rest stop you can plug in the vehicle a 20-30 minute recharge break isn’t a major worry.  The problem will come when you arrive at the service station or wherever and there is a queue for the charger (or the charger is out of service).

Not a chance Eloise - when I drive up to NJ to my dad's, on a 10 hour, 650 mile (1.046 km) trip, I will stop once for gas and my bladder...occasionally the latter will force  a second stop. But I want the trip to be over as soon as it possibly can be. Use cruise control and move my legs a lot to avoid DVT.

He turns 89 in October, so regrettably there won't be too many more of these to make. (I try to get there once to twice a year. Always sucks to be that close to NYC, with the 20 minutes train ride to Penn Station right outside his apartment window, and not go. But I remind myself why I made the trip in the first place!)

In my current lifestyle a Tesla (I can't remember the model, but flexible with 7 seats) sounds near perfect, as Roads with no speed limit allow use of its performance (albeit briefly), and Only on trips away will I challenge its range in a day, with the vast majority of those still not exceeding it. However, the few that would, would require rapid charge, but 80% in half an hour would be acceptable - but charging would have to be capable everywhere, including all family and friends' homes, as well as hotels etc.

the one killer, though, is price: I could never afford it (and that is notwithstanding that I only buy cars secondhand after their initial steep depreciation) - and even if I were to win the lottery it would have to be a major jackpot to justify that amount of money on something that will be worthless in less than 2 decades. 

Huge posted:

Part of the extremely high cost of the batteries is the requirement to charge in less then 3.5 hours.

Lithium cells capable of being fast charged require substantial quantities of lanthanum (as LLTO in the cathode) - that greatly adds to the cost and massively adds to the environmental impact.  The longer the range of the car the more this applies.  Regular fast charging also substantially reduces the life of the cells.

Furthermore the range is usually quoted under very gentle constant speed driving conditions with new cells; in practice it's something like 60% to 80% of the quoted value.

Lanthanum is a major component of NiMH batteries. But Tesla uses Li-ion batteries which don't contain any significant lanthanum. They can be charged 80% of capacity in 30-40 minutes. (Most lanthanum is used for refining oil as part of the catalytic crackers.)

DrMark posted:
Eloise posted:

Surely when travelling 200+ miles you are stoppping every 2 hours (140miles) or so.  So as long as you are assured that when you arrive at your rest stop you can plug in the vehicle a 20-30 minute recharge break isn’t a major worry.  The problem will come when you arrive at the service station or wherever and there is a queue for the charger (or the charger is out of service).

Not a chance Eloise - when I drive up to NJ to my dad's, on a 10 hour, 650 mile (1.046 km) trip, I will stop once for gas and my bladder...occasionally the latter will force  a second stop. But I want the trip to be over as soon as it possibly can be. Use cruise control and move my legs a lot to avoid DVT.

He turns 89 in October, so regrettably there won't be too many more of these to make. (I try to get there once to twice a year. Always sucks to be that close to NYC, with the 20 minutes train ride to Penn Station right outside his apartment window, and not go. But I remind myself why I made the trip in the first place!)

The east coast of the US is well served with superchargers. It would be a bit unlucky if you had to stop more than twice for your 1100km journey. But OK, you're in a hurry to get your drive over with. Me too.

And I actually take Interstate 81 to get there - about 50 more miles, no more time, much easier drive (more rural) and avoid the $17+ in tolls the I-95 route entails. I don't know how well stocked it is with charging stations for electric vehicles.

My little Mazda-3 actually does a legitimate 39-40 mpg on the highway, so it works out pretty well; ~$130 round trip and 10 hours door to door each way. I figure it only costs me about double the time of flying, with all the TSA "security theater", plus transit to and from airports, arriving to allow enough time for everything, long term parking, baggage check (if needed), 2 hours flight, etc, etc, and I can bring him stuff.

I have nothing against electric cars - or any other kind - just be reliable, convenient, and save me money, and I am down with it. For me a car is nothing more than a necessary evil. (Although I can certainly appreciate a really nice one.)

And Winky, I bet you have done very well owning the stock; I have been tempted to short it (or buy puts) for what I see as an almost inevitable drop, but have never gone for it, because as one sage has said,  "the market can remain irrational longer than you can remain solvent" - being right is not always enough (especially with options), but the timing is also key.

DrMark posted:

And I actually take Interstate 81 to get there - about 50 more miles, no more time, much easier drive (more rural) and avoid the $17+ in tolls the I-95 route entails. I don't know how well stocked it is with charging stations for electric vehicles.

My little Mazda-3 actually does a legitimate 39-40 mpg on the highway, so it works out pretty well; ~$130 round trip and 10 hours door to door each way. I figure it only costs me about double the time of flying, with all the TSA "security theater", plus transit to and from airports, arriving to allow enough time for everything, long term parking, baggage check (if needed), 2 hours flight, etc, etc, and I can bring him stuff.

I have nothing against electric cars - or any other kind - just be reliable, convenient, and save me money, and I am down with it. For me a car is nothing more than a necessary evil. (Although I can certainly appreciate a really nice one.)

There are about 8 or 9 supercharger stations along the 81 between Farragut/Knoxville and NYC.

winkyincanada posted:
Huge posted:

Part of the extremely high cost of the batteries is the requirement to charge in less then 3.5 hours.

Lithium cells capable of being fast charged require substantial quantities of lanthanum (as LLTO in the cathode) - that greatly adds to the cost and massively adds to the environmental impact.  The longer the range of the car the more this applies.  Regular fast charging also substantially reduces the life of the cells.

Furthermore the range is usually quoted under very gentle constant speed driving conditions with new cells; in practice it's something like 60% to 80% of the quoted value.

Lanthanum is a major component of NiMH batteries. But Tesla uses Li-ion batteries which don't contain any significant lanthanum. They can be charged 80% of capacity in 30-40 minutes. (Most lanthanum is used for refining oil as part of the catalytic crackers.)

Lanthanum is used in fast charge Lithium batteries as Lithium Lanthanum Titanium Oxide (LLTO) used as a Lithium Ion transport accelerator.  Old style Li- ion batteries don't use it, but take 3.5  hrs to charge.

It's always possible that Tesla are using a new (and secret) form of Lithium battery.

DrMark posted:

And Winky, I bet you have done very well owning the stock; I have been tempted to short it (or buy puts) for what I see as an almost inevitable drop, but have never gone for it, because as one sage has said,  "the market can remain irrational longer than you can remain solvent" - being right is not always enough (especially with options), but the timing is also key.

Yep, I'm as bewildered as the next guy. It's just play money so I'm not too bothered. A couple of things that give be some (but not much) comfort. The current market share is tiny, so there is lots of room for growth without assuming a large market share. The mainstream manufacturers seem oblivious to the emerging threat, still talking transitional hybrids and fantasy H2 cars. The gross margins on Tesla's cars are industry-leading, and manufacturing costs are coming down (they recently dropped the price of the Model X by $3,000 in response to cheaper costs). Prices per kwh of battery are in continuing steep decline. But Tesla are certainly burning through cash (as does any rapidly expanding company).

Huge posted:
winkyincanada posted:
Huge posted:

Part of the extremely high cost of the batteries is the requirement to charge in less then 3.5 hours.

Lithium cells capable of being fast charged require substantial quantities of lanthanum (as LLTO in the cathode) - that greatly adds to the cost and massively adds to the environmental impact.  The longer the range of the car the more this applies.  Regular fast charging also substantially reduces the life of the cells.

Furthermore the range is usually quoted under very gentle constant speed driving conditions with new cells; in practice it's something like 60% to 80% of the quoted value.

Lanthanum is a major component of NiMH batteries. But Tesla uses Li-ion batteries which don't contain any significant lanthanum. They can be charged 80% of capacity in 30-40 minutes. (Most lanthanum is used for refining oil as part of the catalytic crackers.)

Lanthanum is used in fast charge Lithium batteries as Lithium Lanthanum Titanium Oxide (LLTO) used as a Lithium Ion transport accelerator.  Old style Li- ion batteries don't use it, but take 3.5  hrs to charge.

It's always possible that Tesla are using a new (and secret) form of Lithium battery.

I can't find any evidence that there is lanthanum or other rare earths in Tesla's Li-ion batteries. Yet they charge 80% of capacity in 30 to 40 minutes. You're right that lanthanum seems to feature in some technology related to fast-charging, but Tesla stated in 2012 that there are no rare earths in their batteries. Something's not right......

(There is 20-30kg of the stuff in hybrids, though)

winkyincanada posted:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news...y-senior-merkel-aide

I remain baffled by the inability of the mainstream makers (and Don) to see the game-changer that electric vehicles represents.

From the subsequent posts it seems it's not just me (and the mainstream makers) who are baffling you, winky.

Now my plan to stay over in Chilliwack was changed. So today I wound up leaving Vernon at 07:00 and driving to Vancouver 450 km away for my 12:00 meeting. No problem in the CRV. A quick 15 min stop at Hope to stretch the legs and top-up the fuel to make sure I avoid the pricey stuff in Vancouver. It would need about 50 to 100 recharge points to service the cars I saw, with people spending 45 mins rather than 15. Park in the Sutton Place underground and note there are TWO electric recharge points. If they weren't occupied I guess I could have recharged an electric vehicle, but they were occupied when I arrived. But TWO chargers.......they need more like 102.......  and a 500 km range for a 450 km journey is pushing your luck IMHO.

Meeting over and on my way out of town by 14:30 with another 15 min stop at Hope and back in Vernon in time for supper by 19:30.

Tomorrow, about 600 km to Canmore.

Now I don't do journeys like these too often. So, do I hire  a petrol vehicle for these "special" occasions or do I need two cars, one for the local journeys and the other in reserve for the big ones.

Nah, I'll stick with the CRV for the time being.

Will BC Hydro be able to cope if we all changed to all-electric cars ? Or would they need to import French/Chinese nuclear stations ?

 

Don Atkinson posted:
winkyincanada posted:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news...y-senior-merkel-aide

I remain baffled by the inability of the mainstream makers (and Don) to see the game-changer that electric vehicles represents.

From the subsequent posts it seems it's not just me (and the mainstream makers) who are baffling you, winky.

Now my plan to stay over in Chilliwack was changed. So today I wound up leaving Vernon at 07:00 and driving to Vancouver 450 km away for my 12:00 meeting. No problem in the CRV. A quick 15 min stop at Hope to stretch the legs and top-up the fuel to make sure I avoid the pricey stuff in Vancouver. It would need about 50 to 100 recharge points to service the cars I saw, with people spending 45 mins rather than 15. Park in the Sutton Place underground and note there are TWO electric recharge points. If they weren't occupied I guess I could have recharged an electric vehicle, but they were occupied when I arrived. But TWO chargers.......they need more like 102.......  and a 500 km range for a 450 km journey is pushing your luck IMHO.

Meeting over and on my way out of town by 14:30 with another 15 min stop at Hope and back in Vernon in time for supper by 19:30.

Tomorrow, about 600 km to Canmore.

Now I don't do journeys like these too often. So, do I hire  a petrol vehicle for these "special" occasions or do I need two cars, one for the local journeys and the other in reserve for the big ones.

Nah, I'll stick with the CRV for the time being.

Will BC Hydro be able to cope if we all changed to all-electric cars ? Or would they need to import French/Chinese nuclear stations ?

 

The amount of driving you do sounds miserable. 

So if there were more electric cars we would need more places to charge them? Thanks, Captain Obvious.

The amount of driving I do on some occasions would clearly be miserable for you, but it isn't for me, or many others.

The drive to Canmore is beautiful in itself, and we will probably take in Emerald Lake as a side shoot on the way. I'll see if there are any recharging points there that could have been used whilst we hike round the lake - or would we have to pop back after 60 mins to unhook the charger to avoid the fine for hogging the charger for too long ?

If I had had an electric car today, i couldn't possibly have done my journey. Street parking would have been a no-no. I guess half of Vancouver's parking is on-street. I needed 2 to 3 hours and the only two re-chargers in the convenient car park that I used were occupied when I arrived. So the good news is that electric cars are catching on. The bad news is that the infrastructure is very limiting. As are the vehicles. 

Presumably the nuclear power stations are on order ?

But look, I get it ! An electric car suits you.

Is it the saviour of our environment ? I doubt it. It might change things. And it probably will be just a fad. IMHO.

winkyincanada posted:
Don Atkinson posted:
winkyincanada posted:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news...y-senior-merkel-aide

I remain baffled by the inability of the mainstream makers (and Don) to see the game-changer that electric vehicles represents.

From the subsequent posts it seems it's not just me (and the mainstream makers) who are baffling you, winky.

Now my plan to stay over in Chilliwack was changed. So today I wound up leaving Vernon at 07:00 and driving to Vancouver 450 km away for my 12:00 meeting. No problem in the CRV. A quick 15 min stop at Hope to stretch the legs and top-up the fuel to make sure I avoid the pricey stuff in Vancouver. It would need about 50 to 100 recharge points to service the cars I saw, with people spending 45 mins rather than 15. Park in the Sutton Place underground and note there are TWO electric recharge points. If they weren't occupied I guess I could have recharged an electric vehicle, but they were occupied when I arrived. But TWO chargers.......they need more like 102.......  and a 500 km range for a 450 km journey is pushing your luck IMHO.

Meeting over and on my way out of town by 14:30 with another 15 min stop at Hope and back in Vernon in time for supper by 19:30.

Tomorrow, about 600 km to Canmore.

Now I don't do journeys like these too often. So, do I hire  a petrol vehicle for these "special" occasions or do I need two cars, one for the local journeys and the other in reserve for the big ones.

Nah, I'll stick with the CRV for the time being.

Will BC Hydro be able to cope if we all changed to all-electric cars ? Or would they need to import French/Chinese nuclear stations ?

 

The amount of driving you do sounds miserable. 

So if there were more electric cars we would need more places to charge them? Thanks, Captain Obvious.

Just pointing out that the infrastructure isn't in place at the moment to adequately cope with the few cars that ARE on the roads. At present, it just doesn't make sense for most of us to have an all-electric car. 

Will the infrastructure lag behind or simply stunt the growth ? I' m not sure. Who is going to invest in the additional power generation and distribution. 

And will it continue to be economical once the tax revenue gets adjusted.

Don Atkinson posted:

Now I don't do journeys like these too often. So, do I hire  a petrol vehicle for these "special" occasions or do I need two cars, one for the local journeys and the other in reserve for the big ones.

 

This is a key point - due to our differing work and other commitments and living in a rural area with limited public transport my wife and I both have a  vehicle. If one of these was electric it would probably get by far the most use. There is a very interesting report on car and road use in the UK here: https://www.licencebureau.co.u...d-use-statistics.pdf

It  finds that 32% of UK households have 2 or more cars so there is a big potential market for electric vehicles in the UK at least.

Don Atkinson posted:
winkyincanada posted:
Don Atkinson posted:
winkyincanada posted:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news...y-senior-merkel-aide

I remain baffled by the inability of the mainstream makers (and Don) to see the game-changer that electric vehicles represents.

From the subsequent posts it seems it's not just me (and the mainstream makers) who are baffling you, winky.

Now my plan to stay over in Chilliwack was changed. So today I wound up leaving Vernon at 07:00 and driving to Vancouver 450 km away for my 12:00 meeting. No problem in the CRV. A quick 15 min stop at Hope to stretch the legs and top-up the fuel to make sure I avoid the pricey stuff in Vancouver. It would need about 50 to 100 recharge points to service the cars I saw, with people spending 45 mins rather than 15. Park in the Sutton Place underground and note there are TWO electric recharge points. If they weren't occupied I guess I could have recharged an electric vehicle, but they were occupied when I arrived. But TWO chargers.......they need more like 102.......  and a 500 km range for a 450 km journey is pushing your luck IMHO.

Meeting over and on my way out of town by 14:30 with another 15 min stop at Hope and back in Vernon in time for supper by 19:30.

Tomorrow, about 600 km to Canmore.

Now I don't do journeys like these too often. So, do I hire  a petrol vehicle for these "special" occasions or do I need two cars, one for the local journeys and the other in reserve for the big ones.

Nah, I'll stick with the CRV for the time being.

Will BC Hydro be able to cope if we all changed to all-electric cars ? Or would they need to import French/Chinese nuclear stations ?

 

The amount of driving you do sounds miserable. 

So if there were more electric cars we would need more places to charge them? Thanks, Captain Obvious.

Just pointing out that the infrastructure isn't in place at the moment to adequately cope with the few cars that ARE on the roads. At present, it just doesn't make sense for most of us to have an all-electric car. 

Will the infrastructure lag behind or simply stunt the growth ? I' m not sure. Who is going to invest in the additional power generation and distribution. 

 

Must have been a challenge in the early days of motor cars with petrol engines, but a network of petrol stations was developed. I guess that infrastructure would be likely to be a lot quicker to match up to demand these days.

winkyincanada posted:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news...y-senior-merkel-aide

I remain baffled by the inability of the mainstream makers (and Don) to see the game-changer that electric vehicles represents.

Since you quote a German politician, I'd like to report that in 2010 the German government planned to have 1 million electric cars on the streets by 2020. That goal was missed by far and was more or less silently dropped by Merkel this year. Furthermore there is a Government fund of 1.2 billion EUR to pay every buyer of an electric car a bonus of about 3000 to 4000 euros, depending on the specific kind of electric engine. So far only 5000 households have applied for the bonus. Apparently the Germans don't like electric cars.

A large part of the German population (like myself) lives in flats, often without associated parking places for the cars. Many people would need to have their car fully charged in the morning when commuting 50 km or more to the office (considering the range of the smaller EVs). Public charging stations are scarce and accounting is difficult and inconsistent due to complex business models (there are companies that own the charging stations, companies that sell the electric power and companies that produce it).  So I wonder if one is supposed to carry the 300kg or so battery into the flat every night for recharging or run hundred meters of power cable across the sidewalks to the car?

Add to that that electric cars are way more expensive then fuel driven cars, that the longevity of the batteries is unknown and that batteries are not very friendly to the environment either.

My bet, like that of others in thread here, is on hydrogen driven cars. 

OTOH, pedelecs are booming in Germany. I have one myself now and it's an almost ideal way to get to work (10 km distance). And I can conveniently carry the battery into the flat for recharging. 

Don Atkinson posted:
winkyincanada posted:
Don Atkinson posted:
winkyincanada posted:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news...y-senior-merkel-aide

I remain baffled by the inability of the mainstream makers (and Don) to see the game-changer that electric vehicles represents.

From the subsequent posts it seems it's not just me (and the mainstream makers) who are baffling you, winky.

Now my plan to stay over in Chilliwack was changed. So today I wound up leaving Vernon at 07:00 and driving to Vancouver 450 km away for my 12:00 meeting. No problem in the CRV. A quick 15 min stop at Hope to stretch the legs and top-up the fuel to make sure I avoid the pricey stuff in Vancouver. It would need about 50 to 100 recharge points to service the cars I saw, with people spending 45 mins rather than 15. Park in the Sutton Place underground and note there are TWO electric recharge points. If they weren't occupied I guess I could have recharged an electric vehicle, but they were occupied when I arrived. But TWO chargers.......they need more like 102.......  and a 500 km range for a 450 km journey is pushing your luck IMHO.

Meeting over and on my way out of town by 14:30 with another 15 min stop at Hope and back in Vernon in time for supper by 19:30.

Tomorrow, about 600 km to Canmore.

Now I don't do journeys like these too often. So, do I hire  a petrol vehicle for these "special" occasions or do I need two cars, one for the local journeys and the other in reserve for the big ones.

Nah, I'll stick with the CRV for the time being.

Will BC Hydro be able to cope if we all changed to all-electric cars ? Or would they need to import French/Chinese nuclear stations ?

 

The amount of driving you do sounds miserable. 

So if there were more electric cars we would need more places to charge them? Thanks, Captain Obvious.

Just pointing out that the infrastructure isn't in place at the moment to adequately cope with the few cars that ARE on the roads. At present, it just doesn't make sense for most of us to have an all-electric car. 

Will the infrastructure lag behind or simply stunt the growth ? I' m not sure. Who is going to invest in the additional power generation and distribution. 

And will it continue to be economical once the tax revenue gets adjusted.

Many were presumably sceptical regarding the uptake of gasoline burning cars. After all, their horses could just refuel along the trail.

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