Ignore the FUD
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 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 has a significant advantage over other companies because Tesla have vast amounts of data about each user’s real-world driving habits, so they can offer lower insurance premiums 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 robotaxi, 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 tidal energy are increasing. The main problem with solar and wind is storage. Invest in a solar roof to produce all that you need for your own use. Megapack production is increasing exponentially for large scale storage for grid-stabilisation, and virtual power plants are growing in popularity. Power Pack owners can store excess energy during the day and sell it back to the VPP at night.
How will you Charge During a Power Outage?
Hurricane Ian in late September 2022 caused severe problems in Florida. Bearded Tesla Guy, who lives in Orlando, checked out Charging stations and Gas stations on the Friday after the storm had passed. He had the sense to charge his Tesla to 90%. Petrol was not available before and after the storm, whereas electrical power was available nearly everywhere, and the Tesla App shows which superchargers are functional.
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? Even if the electricity is generated using coal, EVs use the energy much more efficiently, and have no tailpipes emitting toxic pollutants at street level.
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.
Electric Cars Catch Fire Easily
Fact: Cars with Internal Combustion Engines are 19 times more likely to catch on fire. Fires in EVs are harder to extinguish, but the newer LFP cells are much safer, and rarely catch fire. Other manufacturers still have problems with recalls to fix defective battery packs, e.g. the Jaguar I-Pace is the latest vehicle with battery fires. Tesla’s technology is more mature and constantly improving.
Work at the Gigafactory in Texas continues at a rapid rate all over the huge site, not just at the main factory building. They are constructing an electricity substation, extending car parking areas for workers and new vehicle storage before shipping, and there is even a Heliport.
January 18th 2024: Boring Company Prufrock machine arrives at Gigafactory Texas to bore a tunnel to connect the main factory with the outward-bound vehicle lot on the other side of the main highway.
February 2024 Update: Gigafactory Berlin reached 6,000 vehicles per week run-rate. Work on the extension of the main factory building at the Texas Gigafactory is progressing well, with about half of the steel erected. The enormous seven-storey parking garage is also about half finished.
Tesla’s planned factory near Monterrey in Nuevo Leon will be built on a site spanning almost 4,200 acres in an industrial zone. It will also be substantially larger than the Gigafactory Texas complex, which is listed by Tesla as 2,500 acres. The site is expected to produce the next generation $25,000 vehicle.
Update 10/8/2023: No official announcement yet, but excavators are apparently working at the site.
Texas Gigafactory 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. This video took a lookback at how construction began..
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.
28th June 2022: Unplugged performance Model S Plaid severely hampered by foggy conditions on Pikes Peak and a fogged up windscreen.
30th June 2022: Tesla Model S Plaid achieves record 216 mph top speed. The factory model is software limited to 175 mph, for safety reasons, but after bypassing that, 216 mph was achieved.
15th April 2023: Unplugged Performance Model 3, lap record. Almost no tyre noise due to superior suspension.
5th May 2023: Tesla release its updated Track Package for the Model S Plaid, increasing the maximum speed to over 200mph. The price is from $15,000 to $20,000 for ceramic brake pads, track tyres, and a set of wheels, plus software upgrades.
3rd June 2023: Model S Plaid with Track Pack sets new record at Nürburgring
26th June 2023: Unplugged Performance Model S Plug posts a time of 9:54.901 in the Pike’s Peak Hill Climb Event.
29th October 2023: Unplugged Performance Model S makes two new records at Laguna Seca. Fastest EV and fastest sedan ever with a time of 1:26.7.
Another perfect market for Tesla Performance cars are 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. Boulder City Police bought a fleet of Tesla cars in August 2022. South Pasadena police bought 10 Model Y patrol vehicles in May 2023, converting its entire fleet to EVs.
🚀 TSLA to Mars 🚀
The TSLA stock price fell about 25% at the start of 2024, but showed signs of recovery in February. I am confident that the long-term growth will continue to trend upwards for many more years. At market close on 22nd February 2024, the price was $197.85. 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. Rob Maurer has now moved on to another project, but his old videos are still on YouTube for reference.
If you invest for the long-term, low prices are a great opportunity to buy more shares at a bargain price. Look at the growth over at least three to five years, and study the growth in sales and production, to know the true value of your investment. Think of it as a pension fund, or a college fund for your children, not as a building society savings account for holiday trips or emergencies. If you have to sell at short notice, you may lose a big slice of your investment. In a single day, the stock price can fall by 10% or more, as it did on 25/1/2024. However, it can also rise just as quickly. If in doubt, zoom out!
April 21st 2023: ARK Invest published their five-year target of $2,000 for 2027 (end), with a Bear case of $1,400 and a Bull case of $2,500.
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 $169,000 is significantly more expensive than the Model S Plaid, and still with limited production. Production targets for 2023 have been reduced to 8,000-8,500. Ford admitted that their popular Mach-E is not profitable. Rivian has massive debts, and its R1T is Not Cutting It.
- January 22nd: FSD v.12.1.2 rolling out to customers
- January 23rd: FSD v.12.1.2 Thirty minute drive through San Francisco
- February 19th: FSD v.12.2.1 Released to a few Beta testers
- February 20th: FSD v.12.2.1 Released to selected customers
Model S Plaid
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 $2million super-car). Review by Tesla Raj.
- 0-60 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. Model S Dominates in Extreme Cold-weather Testing
- 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.
- September 1st: Big price drops in Model S and X. Long Range S is under $75K, Plaid is under $90K. Model X is $76K and $86K respectively.
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.
TeslaAsia drove two Tesla Model 3 cars to Qomolangma Base Camp of Mount Everest in Tibet at 5,200m elevation. When the hotels were full, they slept in the car, using camp mode. Even ICE cars have difficulty getting to this destination.
Can Tesla Take Extreme Heat?
Tesla Conquers Ford
Tesla Energy will benefit from Federal Tax Credits for Solar Roofs, Solar Panels, and Battery Storage (Power Packs), Rob Maurer reports on Tesla Daily. Many owners of Power Walls are enjoying good profits from selling energy to the grid during events at $2 per KwH. On 15/12/2022 Tesla Launched Tesla Electric for Texas. Virtual Power Plants can offer some protection from black-outs during Winter storms or Summer floods. Earnings from Tesla Energy were about $200m in Q1 2023, $300m in Q2, and $400m in Q3, so heading for $1.4 Billion in 2023.
- December 1st 2022 saw the delivery of the first Semi-trucks to Pepsi Cola.
- In the US, heavy trucks account for 20% of vehicle emissions, and 36% of vehicle particulate emissions, so it is important for health reasons, especially for people living near highways
- Tesla’s mission to accelerate the transition to sustainable energy
- Three plaid motors — one is always engaged, the other two are used when needed for high torque and acceleration
- Drive at full-speed up gradients
- Regenerative braking down gradients is much safer than brakes that can overheat and fail
- 2 kWh per mile efficiency. 500-mile range tested from Fremont to San Diego
- Comfortable to drive with plenty of cabin storage
- Version 4, 1 Megawatt charger will also be coming to the Cybertruck
- 24th January 2023, announcement of a $3.5 Billion investment in a new Gigafactory in Nevada to build 50,000 Semi-trucks by the end of 2024.
- Tesla Semi-trucks dominate in the Run on Less stress-testing event.
- Large scale production put back until late 2024 due to battery constraints.
- Semi-truck tested by Jay Leno
- 20th September 2023: Cybertruck will be used as a Police Cruiser.
- 30th November 2023: First Cybertruck deliveries at Austin delivery event.
- Rear-wheel steering, steer by wire (ratio dependent on speed), smaller turning circle than a Model S.
- Bullet-proof exoskeleton
- Bi-directional charging. Power your home during power-cuts with up to 11.5 Kw
- 48 Volt low voltage circuit
- Delivered 13 vehicles
- CyberBeast = 845hp, 320m range, 0-60 = 2.6sec, 130mph top speed, 11,000lbs towing, $96,390 estimate (due in 2024)
- Clear winner in Truck Pull Test (318ft vs 263ft for the closest rival, the Ford F-350 diesel truck)
- All-wheel drive = 600hp, 340m range, 0-60 = 4.1sec (with rollout), 112mph top speed, 11,000lbs towing capacity, $68,890 estimate (due in 2024)
- Rear-wheel drive 250m range, 0-60 = 6.5sec, $49,890 estimate (due in 2025)
- Pricing includes $7,500 tax credit and fuel savings over 3 years
- Reserve order with a $250 deposit
- 21st December 2023: About 80 Cybertrucks at the Gigafactory, Austin ready for delivery
- 29th December 2023: The Cybertruck has 2.2 million pre-orders, and 10,000 new orders a day since the first deliveries on the 30th November
- 17th January 2024: Drive-train Improvements
- 22nd January 2024: Cybertruck Prototypes arrive in China
Model 3 Update
- Available in China and EU from 1st September 2023
- 1 inch Longer, and 1 inch less high. 0.219 drag coefficient vs 0.225 for previous Model 3
- 10% increased range, but slightly reduced top speed due to new softer tyres.
- 1 cubic ft more storage space
- Two New Colours: Stealth Grey and Ultra Red
- New steering wheel. No more stalks — controls on steering wheel, including horn on the centre and new camera button. Better haptic feedback on buttons.
- New Headlight and Tail Lights, removed Fog Lights
- Stronger doors with downward lock for better side impact protection
- Improved suspension
- New wheel rims and tyres
- Interior LED Ambient Lighting
- New centre console design
- New 15.4 inch touch screen with smaller bezels, brighter and more responsive
- 8 inch video screen for rear seat passengers with two headphone sockets
- 17 loudspeakers instead of 14, improved microphones, and passenger-side too, for clearer phone calls
- All-round acoustic glass and sound absorbing fabrics for 30% less noise from the road
- Ventilated front seats and perforated rear seats
- Separate climate controls for driver and front seat passenger
- HEPA Filter removes 99.97% of fine particulate matter and gas pollutants (Teslarati article)
- 65 watt USB C charging, and improved blue tooth and WiFi connectivity
- New Tri-band GPS for more precise vehicle location.
- Test Drive with the Fully Charged Show
- Updated Model 3 available for order in the UK for £39,990, which is a few thousand pounds less than the previous version. Tesla is passing on savings from manufacturing costs to consumers, which more than compensates for higher interest rates that increase the cost of loans. FSD can be bought for £6,800 (about $8,265 vs $12,000 in the US. However, it cannot yet be enabled. When it can, no doubt prices will increase.
- Upgraded Model 3 now available for ordering in N. America for delivery in February to March.