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Old May 29th, 2013, 09:10 PM   #591
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CM, I read an article on Tesla's payback a couple weeks back. All was not roses. I don't recall all the details & will try to find the link.

That said, Tesla is the only electric car company I know of that is anything remotely close to success. In addition is the fact that they are priced towards well-heeled consumers, precluding their use as "family" transportation.

There are many electric car companies that have gone bankrupt in the last few years. I would hazard a guess that most, if not all, have received gov't handouts and taxpayers, as usual, have been left footing the bill. Bad enough I have to watch my money pissed away on the latest gov't scam du jour, let alone support what should be, as MF has noted, determined by the free market.

Until battery issues (capacity, toxicity, charge rate, size & weight, etc.) have been immensely improved, the concept of electric cars as a reasonable alternative to petroleum fuelled vehicles is just a pipe dream.
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Old May 31st, 2013, 04:50 PM   #592
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Speaking of battery improvements, this is rather timely.

An interesting advance in battery applications

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Stanford University scientists have developed an advanced zinc-air battery with higher catalytic activity and durability than similar batteries made with costly platinum and iridium catalysts. The results, published in the May 7 online edition of the journal Nature Communications, could lead to the development of a low-cost alternative to conventional lithium-ion batteries widely used today.
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Old Jun 4th, 2013, 02:24 PM   #593
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CM-This was the issue I read about. They didn't actually generate a profit based on car sales, they generated a profit by selling carbon credits. Yes, I know it adds up the same in the accountant's columns and money paid back is money paid back, but...

How Tesla Is Addressing Range Anxiety And Sticker Shock And Global Warming
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Old Jun 4th, 2013, 02:40 PM   #594
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...but.... what? Is Apple a bad business for becoming the world's most valuable company (depending on what day it is) on iOS devices rather than its computer business? The point here is that a company that received millions of dollars in loans from the federal government built a successful business and paid the money back. Are opponents of the emerging electric vehicle industry so spiteful as to condemn that success?
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Old Jun 4th, 2013, 02:46 PM   #595
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...but.... what? Is Apple a bad business for becoming the world's most valuable company (depending on what day it is) on iOS devices rather than its computer business? The point here is that a company that received millions of dollars in loans from the federal government built a successful business and paid the money back. Are opponents of the emerging electric vehicle industry so spiteful as to condemn that success?
I don't see it as a success when a company merely pays back the money it has borrowed. That's bare minimum. Successful business? If it is succeeding on the collapsing carbon market, then it will be down for the count in short order. Selling cars at a profit would be my marker for a successful car business.
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Old Jun 4th, 2013, 06:10 PM   #596
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...but.... what? Is Apple a bad business for becoming the world's most valuable company (depending on what day it is) on iOS devices rather than its computer business? The point here is that a company that received millions of dollars in loans from the federal government built a successful business and paid the money back. Are opponents of the emerging electric vehicle industry so spiteful as to condemn that success?
On the contrary, Apple is a very successful business because they diversified. And, apparently amazingly, without gov't handouts. Is Tesla now the "Tesla Electric Car & Carbon Credit Company"? As to Tesla, I'm not an opponent of electric car companies. Have at 'er. I just expect them to make it on their own in the free market, rather than exist largely because of gov't subsidies, loans, handouts and gifts, in addition to benefitting from poorly conceived concepts like baseless gov't-backed revenue-grubbing intangible carbon credits, all subsidized on the backs of taxpayers.

Was Tesla financially foolish to take advantage of the carbon credit scheme? Absolutely not! How many wouldn't, given the same opportunity? However, if all the carbon credits are gone, they'll have to base their future on building & selling electric cars. They no longer have that fallback position. Good luck with that...
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Old Jun 4th, 2013, 06:32 PM   #597
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How about we agree to disagree, and revisit this a year from now to assess Tesla's growth (or lack thereof).... cool?
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Old Jun 4th, 2013, 07:00 PM   #598
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Fine. I just wanted to note one more detail here.

This loan repayment discussion prompted a memory of GM's much vaunted success doing the same thing three years ago.

However, under scrutiny, the truth came out. GM took bailout money to pay off their loans. On paper, it looks good. In real life, not so much.

If not the same details, the same feelings with Tesla.

Have a day!
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Old Jun 4th, 2013, 10:41 PM   #599
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It's clearly a case of high risk for taxpayers and no chance of high reward. The best case scenario is to break even, yet that clearly is nor happening across the entire Department of Energy loan portfolio, with two other electric car manufacturers reneging on loans. I wish Tesla well, but it's too early to call this company a success, so yes--wait another year at least.
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Old Jun 7th, 2013, 12:39 PM   #600
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At the top of this page I speculated what amount of the cars companies who went bellyup had rec'd gov't funding. According to this article, it's 56%.

56% Of Carmakers Who Asked For Government 'Green' Loans Are Dead

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What do Carbon Motors' BMW-powered police car, Aptera Motors' electric three wheeler, and Fisker's luxury sedan have in common? Two things: they asked the government for loans, and they're dead, as are more than half of the car companies who sought loans, according to documents obtained via a Freedom of Information Act request by Jalopnik.
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