Never mind the outstanding acceleration, low running costs, and quiet ride, there are other stronger reasons why Teslas are a game-changer in the market-place.
Watch this video on Someone Killed My Model 3 – but we’re uninjured! to see what they are:
- Auto-updates of software whenever improvements are made
- Structural strength to protect occupants from collisions
- Alert sent to the company if an accident occurs.
IMAGINE that you’re female or an elderly driver involved in a collision on a rural road at night. The car immediately alerts Tesla to the fact that your vehicle has been involved in a collision, and someone calls your mobile to check if you need assistance. Data about the collision is collated, and improvements can be made to improve braking, autopilot, etc., then issued as updates within weeks (as happened recently when a car review site highlighted longer stopping distances).
Drivers need to understand that the current autonomous driving is driver-assist, not full self-driving. Even Autopilot on aircraft needs to be overridden by the pilot sometimes, and there are not nearly so many other close-proximity vehicles in the sky as there are on the road.
Full Self-driving is getting close, but still in Beta, at the end of 2021. It may take a few more years before regulators will permit cars on the road without a driver. The UK may take even longer to catch up with the US, but by the end of 2025 I expect to see fully autonomous vehicles on the roads.
No Need to Advertise
While other car manufacturers are spending huge amounts of money on advertising and dealerships, Tesla needs neither. Tesla fans create countless videos on social media reviewing their cars, and some go to great lengths to build customised Tesla models.
Never Mind the Naysayers
Whenever disruptive technology first appears, many say that it will never catch on, and are quick to point out the disadvantages. They do not understand the issues at all.
The Range is Too Limited
CURRENTLY, the range is about 300 miles on a single charge. That is adequate for daily use, but for long journeys one will have to stop to recharge. However, one should stop after driving for four hours anyway, if only to take a toilet break and buy a snack. Super-chargers can add 80% of the car’s range in about half an hour. The new model S has a range of 400 miles, the Cybertruck will have a range of 520 miles, and the Roadster a range of 600 miles.
They Cost Too much
The initial purchase price is high, but the total cost of ownership breaks even after about five years, depending on the model and the mileage. Lower maintenance, depreciation, and insurance will mean significant savings. Tesla insurance will have a significant advantage over other companies; they have vast amounts of data about Tesla users’ driving habits and will be able to offer lower prices to safer drivers.
Full self-driving will allow your investment to earn money whenever you’re not using it. The vehicle may wear out sooner if used as a robo-taxi, but it will earn many times its purchase price in revenue.
Even if you don’t want to have strangers riding in your smart new car, you can send the kids to school in it, transport elderly relatives to the shops or hospital, fetch urgent deliveries, etc., all from the comfort of your home or office without spending your precious time to be an unpaid chauffeur.
Where will the Extra Electricity Come From?
Solar, wind, wave, and biomass are all developing. The main problem with solar and wind is storage. Polar Night Energy have one of many possible solutions to this problem. An electric vehicle connected to the grid is a power storage device. Charge it when the wind blows, and feed energy back to the grid when you do not need to use it. Invest in a solar roof to produce all that you need for your own use.
Electricity is Not Green if Produced from Fossil Fuels
Some electricity is produced by burning coal, but more and more is now produced from renewable resources. Octopus account holders use only electricity purchased from renewable sources. • Are Electric Cars Really Green?
The World will Run Out of Lithium
Lithium may become more expensive, but that will drive the search for alternative sources. Nearly 100% of lithium can be recycled. Degraded EV batteries can be used for Power Walls; degraded Power Wall batteries can be stripped and the lithium recycled. We don’t need to throw away aluminium, copper, or lead; why would we throw away lithium? • The Race to Recycle Batteries
FSD Won’t Work Without Lane Markings
Comments like: “Come round here in the sticks and try that on single track roads with no markings or features and see how the Tesla self-drives with mud for verges,” are based on gross ignorance of how Tesla FSD works.
If the lane-markings are not present, a Tesla can drive using just the cameras and GPS mapping data (for route-planning). On a single-track road with no markings and no kerbs, it will drive safely in the middle of the road, until another vehicle approaches, then it would move to the side to avoid the oncoming vehicle. If a slow-moving vehicle, bicycle, or horse is up ahead, it will slow down, and move to the opposite side to pass when it is safe to do so. It is especially cautious around vulnerable road users like cyclists and pedestrians. The software can detect trash-bins, traffic-cones, large dogs, and speed bumps. It does not detect small animals yet, but something like a deer is detected. Future versions will, no doubt, improve detection of small animals, and pot-holes or road-debris.
New Giga Factories
WORK at the Gigafactory in Texas has nearly caught up with Berlin. In Berlin, production finally started on 22nd March 2022. The delay of nine months cost Tesla $ millions, and suppressed the stock price. However, because Tesla is production constrained, this has pushed prices up by $ thousands, which has helped to offset the losses.
April 2022 Update: Work at the Texas Gigafactory began on 23rd July 2020. The external structure of the factory is complete, with just a few windows and wall panels to fill in. Production of the Model Y is getting going. Solar panels on the roof are being laid to spell out TESLA in relief. The grand opening was held on 7th April 2022. Behind the Scenes Supercut (Tesla Daily). The first Texas Model Y cars with structural battery packs were delivered to customers, and plans were announced for a dedicated robo-taxi. Cybertruck and Semi-truck should arrive in 2023.
Main Factory Layout
Joe Tegtmeyer does regular drone flyovers of the Gigafactory at Austin, Texas, with a detailed description of the work that is currently in progress. His video of 13th April 2022 provides an update on the layout of the factory.
EV Performance Records
In 2020, a production Tesla Model 3 Performance set a new world record for the annual Pike’s Peak hill climb race. Sponsored by Tesla fans without corporate finance, they achieved an amazing result.
28th June 2021 Update: Unplugged Performance win the Exhibition Class with the Tesla Model S Plaid.
3rd August 2021 Update: Unplugged Performance sets a new lap record of 1:28:21 on Laguna Seca.
10th September 2021 Update: Model S Plaid (unmodified production car) sets a new world record at the Nürburgring.
27th November 2021: Model S Plaid production vehicle, with passenger seat removed, achieves 8.944 seconds for the quarter mile drag race.
ANOTHER perfect market for Tesla Performance cars: Police, Paramedics, and others who do a lot of mileage or need to get around fast. The Police department is talking to Tesla engineers to incorporate their radios into the software. They can securely store equipment such as computers and weapons, and allow access to medical equipment in the frunk using their mobile without leaving the victim.
Seven Seater Model Y
The Seven-seater Model Y has two seats in the third row that are suitable for children or an average adult less than six feet in height. The refreshed Model S and Model X also have seven-seater options.
🚀 Tesla to Mars 🚀
What everyone wants to know, of course, is how high the price will go. The stock price is volatile, but in the long-term, the growth has been exceptional. I am confident that it will continue to grow rapidly for several years yet. (Not investment advice. Do your own research). At market close on 26th May 2022, the price was $707.73. TSLA stock is valued at 112% of its price a year ago ($630.85). Rob Maurer of Tesla Daily gives his views on how to deal with the Volatility of TSLA. He is always worth listening to, offering a well-balanced view. If you invest for the long-term, low prices are a great opportunity to buy more shares at a bargain price.
Heating, Air-conditioning, and Ventilation
In hot climates air-conditioning accounts for up to 27% of energy use, and the Global Market for HVAC is enormous — $78 Billion per year and growing at about 10% per year. Tesla has expertise in Hepa filters — which it includes in its Model S and X — in heat pumps, and in solar power.
The Competition is Coming!
SEVERAL manufacturers have released premium range electric cars that can be compared to Tesla cars. The Lucid Air Dream edition at $180,000 is significantly more expensive than the Model S Plaid, and still limited to 250 vehicles. The end of December saw the delivery of the first few vehicles to customers.
Self-driving Beta Test
Guide by Chuck Cook, one of the Beta Testers, on using the software. When full autonomy is reached, owners could do something else while letting the car drive itself. Intervention would still be required to initiate full self-driving, enter a destination, and for parking at the end of the journey. Many videos of the Beta software in use can be found on YouTube.
May 20th 2022: FSD Beta 10.12.1 There are now 100K FSD Beta Testers in the USA and Canada.
On June 10th 2021, Tesla held a delivery event for the Model S and X Plaid versions. The Model S Plaid was the quickest production car of any kind. (The Rimac Nivera is quicker, but it is a limited edition super-car). Review by Tesla Raj. The Lucid Air Dream edition recorded a time of 9.912 on 28th December 2021.
- 0-60 in in 1.99 seconds – Quicker than a Bugatti Chiron
- Standing quarter mile in 9.23 seconds
- Top speed 200 mph, 1020 HP
- Lowest drag coefficient of any production car: 0.208
- Range 390 (Plaid) – 405 miles (Long Range)
- Charging 187 miles in 15 minutes – new battery pack
- Carbon-sleeved rotors 20,000+ rpm delivering full power right up to 200 mph with no gearing
- Improved heat pump 30% more efficient for cold weather range
- Yoke steering with no stalks, smart gear-shift, back-seat PS5 quality entertainment and 36 watt wireless charging, three zone air-conditioning, double-glazed acoustic glass, 22 speakers 920 watts! New UI on 17″ main screen, waypoints on route-planning.
AI Day was a technical presentation, intended only to recruit new staff for the artificial intelligence program. Rob Maurer breaks down the two-hour presentation into his 19-minute video. It talks about the way that the new Dojo super-computer is designed, and how they use it to process driving data provided by Tesla cars. The announcement of a humanoid robot (named Optimus) surprised everyone. In my opinion, this is a blue-sky project primarily aimed at arousing the interest of the brightest programmers and robotics engineers. Even if it does not become a commercially viable project for a decade, the skills learned to design and teach it will be very useful to Tesla for their factories and robo-taxis. The presentation had the desired effect, resulting in a 100x increase in the number of job applications.
Person of the Year
Elon Musk gets some recognition from Time Magazine for what he has achieved and the influence he has had.
The backdrop of the Interview at Boca Chica shows two Starships. The Interviewer focuses almost entirely on negative points, but Elon debunks these common myths.
- Autopilot Crashes. How many more times does the meaning of Autopilot need to be explained? It is not autonomous; the driver must always remain attentive and be ready to take over. Even FSD Beta is not autonomous driving software — though that is its goal, hence the name.
- Taxation. Elon pays a lot of tax (53%) on his capital gains.
- Tweets. Unlike most CEOs, Elon has a sense of humour.
- Covid-19 Response. He stood up to unjustified interference by local bureaucrats and obeyed the Federal law to keep production running like other car-makers.
- Cryptocurrency. He knows more about the role of money than most people. He played a significant role in creating PayPal.
- Grimes. He has no time to find a new girlfriend, and Grimes has a career of her own. They remain on good terms.
His only way to pay taxes is to sell stock, which is why he is selling 17 million shares, driving down the price in the short term. Do not miss the latest bargains. Maybe more drops will come as the Federal Reserve limit the money supply, but with two new factories starting production soon, the price should go up. This is not financial advice, do your own research, etc.
FT Person of the Year
Dave Lee summarises an article by the Financial Times, which also gave Elon the Person of the Year Award.
Q4 Results for 2021
According to Barron’s, “Tesla Reports a Record Profit. Its Outperformance Was Below Average.” In other words, the Wall Street stock analysts again underestimated how good the results were going to be, but not by quite as much as usual. TSLA stock fell 11.55% to just $829.10, which is the lowest it has been at market close since 14th October.
- Record profits did not do enough to satisfy institutional investors, and retail investors have been expecting the Cybertruck for years. A new prototype was driven around the Texas Gigafactory by Elon, but they have too much on their plate at the moment.
- Elon Musk announced that no new models would be released in 2022, so no Cybertruck, semi-truck, $25,000 compact car, or the new Roadster. The emphasis will be on ramping production of Model 3 and Model Y. Elon said that releasing new models would reduce overall production. Model S and X are high profit margin vehicles, but produced in small numbers.
- Elon emphasised FSD and the Tesla Robot. Investors don’t believe FSD will be ready, but Elon said that it would multiply the asset value of existing vehicles by a factor of four or five.
- Production for 2022 is expected to increase by at least 50%, but there are still supply chain issues, which means that factories are running below capacity.
Tesla Extreme Journey
Can a Tesla Take this Freezing Abuse?
Lars, of BestInTESLA drives his three-year-old Tesla to the north of Norway, the land of EVs. Heading for the Arctic Circle in Winter, up and down mountains, sleeping in the car.
Tesla Conquers Ford
No Sweat. The weight of EVs stops them floating in several feet of water. The battery packs and drive-train are well-sealed against water ingress.
Q1 2022 Results
Tesla earned a record $3.22 per share from $18.8 billion in total sales, its highest total ever. Wall Street was looking for earnings of about $2.20 to $2.30 a share from about $18 billion in sales, while in the fourth quarter of 2021, Tesla earned $2.54 a share on sales of $17.7 billion. Operating profit came in at a record $3.6 billion, compared with expectations for about $2.6 billion. In after hours trading, TSLA was up about 5%.
Some Key Points
- Beat Wall Street Estimates by a huge margin. Operating margin up to 19.2%
- Working on dedicated Robo-taxi (no pedals or steering-wheel). Volume production by 2024.
- Cybertruck on track to reach volume production next year.
- Shanghai factory to reopen after shutdown, with 8,000 workers living at the factory and working 72 hours a week.
- Pricing likely to increase more because waiting lists remain long, inflation is high, and raw material prices are increasing fast. Pricing needs to anticipate rising prices of raw materials.
- New 4680 battery needed one fifth of the capital expenditure for the production line.
- Tesla to take action on mining and refining lithium. Already recycling 50 tons/week, and this will grow substantially.
- Berlin and Texas factories to reach 5,000 units/week in 9-12 months. New factories use 30% fewer robots due to single-piece castings,¹ and the body shop is 60% smaller.
- Profits will be invested in new factories, FSD, Robo-taxis, and Optimus humanoid robot when appropriate.
- Super-charging network opening up to non-Tesla vehicles, and accelerated investment in super-charging network.
- Tesla Insurance launched in Virginia, Colorado, and Oregon. Risk is underwritten by Tesla, premiums depend on driving data, and lower premiums based on data encourage safer driving.
¹ Single-piece castings