Author Topic: Anyone invested in Tesla?  (Read 44108 times)

DarinC

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Re: Anyone invested in Tesla?
« Reply #100 on: June 21, 2016, 09:52:00 PM »
Purchasing Solar City may be more about minimizing the cost of the Supercharger network than anything else, especially if enough regions/utilities allow a corporation to offset their own electricity consumption via generation.

Rustycage

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Re: Anyone invested in Tesla?
« Reply #101 on: June 22, 2016, 12:06:25 AM »
Musk seems like a visionary ....... but he's far from a legendary capital allocator. Maybe someone with a bit of financial prudence can come in to Tesla to balance him out.


Even Sir Isaac Newton was a scientific genius but investing failure ...

nobodyspecial

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Re: Anyone invested in Tesla?
« Reply #102 on: June 22, 2016, 06:45:54 AM »
Or more cynically he is using a company he owns to buy a company he owns that is in trouble ?

Vagabond76

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Re: Anyone invested in Tesla?
« Reply #103 on: June 22, 2016, 09:00:54 AM »
I mentioned shareholder dilution and complete insider control a month ago.  Both policies are destructive to shareholder wealth.  I equate "complete insider control" to investing in a personality, which is fine as long as the personality is in vogue.  In this case, the personality is fucking the minority shareholders.

smedleyb

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Re: Anyone invested in Tesla?
« Reply #104 on: June 22, 2016, 10:02:25 AM »
Or more cynically he is using a company he owns to buy a company he owns that is in trouble ?

Which would be less problematic if TSLA itself wasn't in trouble going forward (burning through lots of cash as it speeds toward developing a car it will not make any money on).  Like the internet back in the late 90's, I suspect we'll see a lot of failures and bankruptcies in the electric/solar space before the long-term winners emerge.  Musk is a visionary, a genius, but I think we will see TSLA as a single digit stock at some point over the next 24 months.

forummm

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Re: Anyone invested in Tesla?
« Reply #105 on: June 22, 2016, 10:57:58 AM »
Share holders aside, let's give him credit. Maybe he does have the capability to completely take a house of the grid for an affordable price but only by using the synergy of this acquisition. I give Musk credit but my money isn't on the line. This once again proves to me that only dividend companies really care about share holders. Non-dividend care only about their own growth or prospects

There isn't synergy. SCTY's business model is dying and they generate negative returns on each install they do. Their short term cost of capital (in a historically low interest rate environment) is higher than their long term overly optimistic return on capital.

Your comments about dividends aren't quite right. Lots of firms providing dividends aren't focused on shareholder value. And lots of firms that don't provide dividends are very focused on shareholder value. BRK is a great example.

forummm

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Re: Anyone invested in Tesla?
« Reply #106 on: June 22, 2016, 11:06:10 AM »
Purchasing Solar City may be more about minimizing the cost of the Supercharger network than anything else, especially if enough regions/utilities allow a corporation to offset their own electricity consumption via generation.

That doesn't make sense. Today Tesla has the freedom to pick any vendor to do the install, and can pick the lowest cost one if they want. And the Supercharger network isn't really related to what SCTY does. SCTY installs solar panels on roofs with a leasing model. A Supercharger is a huge grid connection and Tesla electronics to deliver that electricity to a car. The Superchargers might have solar panels on them some day--but they could get those anywhere. SCTY doesn't make solar panels anyway. They might start making them someday, but their optimistic projections about the costs of their panels is higher than what experienced manufacturers already produce at. SCTY is a dog.

Or more cynically he is using a company he owns to buy a company he owns that is in trouble ?

Bingo.

I mentioned shareholder dilution and complete insider control a month ago.  Both policies are destructive to shareholder wealth.  I equate "complete insider control" to investing in a personality, which is fine as long as the personality is in vogue.  In this case, the personality is fucking the minority shareholders.

Musk says he won't vote his shares. So hopefully the other shareholders realize this is a bad deal. There's some chance Musk doesn't expect it to go through and is just doing this to screw the SCTY shorts or to start a bidding war for SCTY. But if so, it's a high risk, highly costly gambit. He's tarnishing his personal brand--and that's the only thing that has allowed his firms to get such generous treatment in the markets.

Or more cynically he is using a company he owns to buy a company he owns that is in trouble ?

Which would be less problematic if TSLA itself wasn't in trouble going forward (burning through lots of cash as it speeds toward developing a car it will not make any money on).  Like the internet back in the late 90's, I suspect we'll see a lot of failures and bankruptcies in the electric/solar space before the long-term winners emerge.  Musk is a visionary, a genius, but I think we will see TSLA as a single digit stock at some point over the next 24 months.

I worry that this is true. He may take TSLA down with SCTY. Without this purchase, TSLA would likely have been OK (still way overvalued, but a firm with a future). Here, he's burning TSLA cash and making it harder to raise more TSLA cash (which it desperately needs). What a crackpot idea.

mrpercentage

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Re: Anyone invested in Tesla?
« Reply #107 on: June 22, 2016, 11:18:46 AM »
Share holders aside, let's give him credit. Maybe he does have the capability to completely take a house of the grid for an affordable price but only by using the synergy of this acquisition. I give Musk credit but my money isn't on the line. This once again proves to me that only dividend companies really care about share holders. Non-dividend care only about their own growth or prospects

There isn't synergy. SCTY's business model is dying and they generate negative returns on each install they do. Their short term cost of capital (in a historically low interest rate environment) is higher than their long term overly optimistic return on capital.

Your comments about dividends aren't quite right. Lots of firms providing dividends aren't focused on shareholder value. And lots of firms that don't provide dividends are very focused on shareholder value. BRK is a great example.

Really there isn't synergy bridging the gap for solar panels at night with Tesla batteries so you can completely disconnect from your local utility and have all the components come from one company? Or even use solar panels and Tesla batteries in SpaceX. I see a lot he can do with that.

BRK-B is the only non dividend company I would even consider
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retiringearly

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Re: Anyone invested in Tesla?
« Reply #108 on: June 22, 2016, 11:21:43 AM »
I really do not like Tesla or this acquisition.  Both companies are burning cash like firewood.
This may very well work out, but I wouldn't invest my money in either company.

Vagabond76

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Re: Anyone invested in Tesla?
« Reply #109 on: June 22, 2016, 01:17:39 PM »
Musk says he won't vote his shares. So hopefully the other shareholders realize this is a bad deal. There's some chance Musk doesn't expect it to go through and is just doing this to screw the SCTY shorts or to start a bidding war for SCTY. But if so, it's a high risk, highly costly gambit. He's tarnishing his personal brand--and that's the only thing that has allowed his firms to get such generous treatment in the markets.

Maybe true, but this only relates to Solar City's shareholders.  If I was one of them and I had the opportunity to dump trade my shares for Tesla shares, I might take it.  More likely, I would trade the shares for cash, but that is irrelevant to a vote.

Tesla's shareholders, on the other hand, do not vote on anything.  Only the board votes.  Is Musk going to refrain from voting for board members for, suppose, the next five years to alleviate concerns of undue influence?  Of course not.  The point is he controls the board, even those not named "Musk."

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Anyone invested in Tesla?
« Reply #110 on: June 22, 2016, 02:50:18 PM »
I saw a pretty solid comment about this: Elon (Tesla) is bailing out Elon (SolarCity) so that Elon (SpaceX) doesn't lose his shirt on all the solar bonds he bought.

Dollar Slice

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Re: Anyone invested in Tesla?
« Reply #111 on: June 22, 2016, 02:57:32 PM »
C'mon guys. Just like Donald Trump, Elon Musk is a billionaire. Therefore he is obviously very good with money, and therefore he is very smart, and therefore this must be a great idea! ;-)
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nobodyspecial

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Re: Anyone invested in Tesla?
« Reply #112 on: June 22, 2016, 03:18:05 PM »
Who was it who said: "how do you get to be a billionaire? Start with $2Bn and buy an airline!"

rocketpj

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Re: Anyone invested in Tesla?
« Reply #113 on: June 22, 2016, 03:57:07 PM »
I have a dozen shares I bought ages ago (when I still bought individual companies - meaning pre-mustache).  I see no particular reason to sell them (along with the jumble of other shares I have sitting around).  Every one of those companies was a solid buy (or so I thought), with Tesla probably being the most risky.  I guess I'll see in 20 or so years when I start selling them off if I was half as smart as I thought.

Now I just buy indexes.  No muss, no fuss.  But interesting to watch the graphs go up and down on all the other stuff.

forummm

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Re: Anyone invested in Tesla?
« Reply #114 on: June 22, 2016, 05:15:30 PM »
Share holders aside, let's give him credit. Maybe he does have the capability to completely take a house of the grid for an affordable price but only by using the synergy of this acquisition. I give Musk credit but my money isn't on the line. This once again proves to me that only dividend companies really care about share holders. Non-dividend care only about their own growth or prospects

There isn't synergy. SCTY's business model is dying and they generate negative returns on each install they do. Their short term cost of capital (in a historically low interest rate environment) is higher than their long term overly optimistic return on capital.

Your comments about dividends aren't quite right. Lots of firms providing dividends aren't focused on shareholder value. And lots of firms that don't provide dividends are very focused on shareholder value. BRK is a great example.

Really there isn't synergy bridging the gap for solar panels at night with Tesla batteries so you can completely disconnect from your local utility and have all the components come from one company? Or even use solar panels and Tesla batteries in SpaceX. I see a lot he can do with that.

BRK-B is the only non dividend company I would even consider

Using Li-ion batteries at home to time shift demand costs much more to implement than it could save you on your bill. Li-ion batteries are too expensive, and degrade quickly with frequent deep cycling of that nature. The Powerwall is uneconomic for most applications. And the math is only going to get worse as more and more solar is added to the grid, pushing daylight electricity prices downwards.

Musk says he won't vote his shares. So hopefully the other shareholders realize this is a bad deal. There's some chance Musk doesn't expect it to go through and is just doing this to screw the SCTY shorts or to start a bidding war for SCTY. But if so, it's a high risk, highly costly gambit. He's tarnishing his personal brand--and that's the only thing that has allowed his firms to get such generous treatment in the markets.

Maybe true, but this only relates to Solar City's shareholders.  If I was one of them and I had the opportunity to dump trade my shares for Tesla shares, I might take it.  More likely, I would trade the shares for cash, but that is irrelevant to a vote.

Tesla's shareholders, on the other hand, do not vote on anything.  Only the board votes.  Is Musk going to refrain from voting for board members for, suppose, the next five years to alleviate concerns of undue influence?  Of course not.  The point is he controls the board, even those not named "Musk."

SCTY's shareholders should vote for this deal as it overpays them for their shares. I read that TSLA shareholders must approve the acquisition too.

acroy

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Re: Anyone invested in Tesla?
« Reply #115 on: June 23, 2016, 07:03:41 AM »
Hold on -

We're talking about a company taking massive losses manufacturing glitzy ultra-lux personal enclosed couch-potato transport systems.

Doesn't this belong in 'Antimustachian Wall of Shame and Comedy'?
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TheStachery

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Re: Anyone invested in Tesla?
« Reply #116 on: June 23, 2016, 09:01:57 AM »
I really do not like Tesla or this acquisition.  Both companies are burning cash like firewood.
This may very well work out, but I wouldn't invest my money in either company.

The same could have been said about AMZN 10-15 years ago.

Vagabond76

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Re: Anyone invested in Tesla?
« Reply #117 on: June 23, 2016, 09:15:21 AM »
I really do not like Tesla or this acquisition.  Both companies are burning cash like firewood.
This may very well work out, but I wouldn't invest my money in either company.

The same could have been said about AMZN 10-15 years ago.

Sometimes people get lucky.

forummm

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Re: Anyone invested in Tesla?
« Reply #118 on: June 23, 2016, 09:20:15 AM »
I really do not like Tesla or this acquisition.  Both companies are burning cash like firewood.
This may very well work out, but I wouldn't invest my money in either company.

The same could have been said about AMZN 10-15 years ago.

Sometimes people get lucky.
It's MUCH easier and MUCH less capital intensive to scale up a website and warehouses than it is to learn how to manufacture cars and batteries and scale that up to production levels that exceed Toyota's at the same factory, while at the same time producing high quality cars and dramatic reductions in cost in a relatively new vehicle propulsion technology area.

TheStachery

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Re: Anyone invested in Tesla?
« Reply #119 on: June 23, 2016, 09:23:38 AM »
I really do not like Tesla or this acquisition.  Both companies are burning cash like firewood.
This may very well work out, but I wouldn't invest my money in either company.

The same could have been said about AMZN 10-15 years ago.

Sometimes people get lucky.

Or the revolutionized an industry with technology.  traditional car companies are so far behind, they can't keep pace with tesla, where is their charging network? 

forummm

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Re: Anyone invested in Tesla?
« Reply #120 on: June 23, 2016, 09:40:50 AM »
I really do not like Tesla or this acquisition.  Both companies are burning cash like firewood.
This may very well work out, but I wouldn't invest my money in either company.

The same could have been said about AMZN 10-15 years ago.

Sometimes people get lucky.

Or the revolutionized an industry with technology.  traditional car companies are so far behind, they can't keep pace with tesla, where is their charging network? 

Much of the charging network is already built. It's in nearly every building in America right now. You can charge a Leaf with a standard household outlet. If you buy an EV, maybe you want to install a quicker charging option in your garage for <$1k. The rest (quick charge along freeways) will get built by someone else. The car companies don't build and operate gas stations.

I have never once charged either of my 2 Leafs anywhere besides my garage in the 2 years I've had them.

talltexan

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Re: Anyone invested in Tesla?
« Reply #121 on: June 24, 2016, 09:37:12 AM »
I guess I've finally realized that "making money" is a necessary but not sufficient condition for building a truly great business. Many times, people are using these businesses more like personal ATM's than for creation of genuine social and shareholder value.

forummm

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Re: Anyone invested in Tesla?
« Reply #122 on: June 24, 2016, 10:57:21 AM »
I guess I've finally realized that "making money" is a necessary but not sufficient condition for building a truly great business. Many times, people are using these businesses more like personal ATM's than for creation of genuine social and shareholder value.

Corporate governance in the US is pretty bad. But it's worse in some other countries. You have situations like Facebook where Zuckerberg can literally do whatever he wants to (other than possibly something illegal) because he controls a majority of the voting weight of the shares. He even just changed the share structure so that he could sell or give away the economic value of his shares but still retain complete control. So he can cash out $40 billion (or whatever he's worth) but still run the whole company. Craziness.

AlanStache

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Re: Anyone invested in Tesla?
« Reply #123 on: June 24, 2016, 04:36:59 PM »
...
Using Li-ion batteries at home to time shift demand costs much more to implement than it could save you on your bill. Li-ion batteries are too expensive, and degrade quickly with frequent deep cycling of that nature. The Powerwall is uneconomic for most applications. And the math is only going to get worse as more and more solar is added to the grid, pushing daylight electricity prices downwards.


If more solar comes online and day light power prices go down while the PowerWall is charging would the economics of the PW get better not worse?  Not sure the PW would end up make sense financially but it would move in the right direction.
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forummm

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Re: Anyone invested in Tesla?
« Reply #124 on: June 26, 2016, 10:46:18 AM »
...
Using Li-ion batteries at home to time shift demand costs much more to implement than it could save you on your bill. Li-ion batteries are too expensive, and degrade quickly with frequent deep cycling of that nature. The Powerwall is uneconomic for most applications. And the math is only going to get worse as more and more solar is added to the grid, pushing daylight electricity prices downwards.


If more solar comes online and day light power prices go down while the PowerWall is charging would the economics of the PW get better not worse?  Not sure the PW would end up make sense financially but it would move in the right direction.

The Powerwall is uneconomic now. Rates vary a lot by location. For me they are 12 cents day and 6 cents night. In some places its more like 35 cents day and 15 cents night. The bigger the disparity between night and day rates, the better the economics. So if there is more and more solar energy, it pushes the daytime prices down closer and closer to the nighttime prices. So time shifting no longer yields any savings. Eventually daytime  prices could become cheaper than night time, or middle of the day could be the cheap zone and early morning/early evening (times with somewhat high demand and limited sunlight) could be the expensive zones. But middle of the day (solar) prices would have to become REALLY cheap (maybe negative price) in order for the math to be the same as it is today--which is still uneconomic.

So, until Li-ion prices come down a lot, Li-ion time shifting is going to be uneconomic.

DarinC

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Re: Anyone invested in Tesla?
« Reply #125 on: June 26, 2016, 11:20:53 AM »
Using Li-ion batteries at home to time shift demand costs much more to implement than it could save you on your bill. Li-ion batteries are too expensive, and degrade quickly with frequent deep cycling of that nature. The Powerwall is uneconomic for most applications. And the math is only going to get worse as more and more solar is added to the grid, pushing daylight electricity prices downwards.
I agree and disagree. The powerwall is still on the expensive side, ~15c/kWh if cycled daily over it's 10-year warrantied lifespan, but at the same time, it's not only competing with utility scale PV costs, it's competing with utility scale PV (or wind, or w/e), transmission, delivery, and administrative costs, and for most customer's it's only competing with those costs at night. If residential PV is 4c/kWh, and a residential customer uses a third of their total electricity use at night, then their costs will be 4c/kWh*.66 + 19c/kwh*.33 = ~9c/kWh, which is pretty close to the cost of electricity from the grid.

That's only possible because T/D/Admin are about half the cost of residential electricity, utility rates don't always reflect the underlying market, and to some extent utilities subsidize customers with excessive energy and power consumption. On the flip side, customers who can both reduce and time-shift their consumption may be able to realize off-grid electricity rates that are lower than what the utility charges. What Tesla brings to the table by purchasing Solar City is the ability to sync/manage PV generation, daily storage (eg a powerwall or few), and infrequently used back-up storage (The 2-ton rolling battery pack that is a Tesla), ideally with some DSM thrown in for good measure.

I wouldn't worry a whole lot about lifespan either. The chemistry that Tesla, Toyota, and I imagine a few other manufacturers use is fairly tolerant to cycling. Heat is it's biggest enemy, which is why Tesla's BMS put them in the driver's seat IMO.

forummm

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Re: Anyone invested in Tesla?
« Reply #126 on: June 26, 2016, 12:15:58 PM »
I don't know what you're using to come up with the 15c/kWh number. But you have to keep in mind that Li-ion batteries are not designed to do deep-cycle charge cycles daily. And can't be charged to 100% or discharged to 0% (without seriously decreasing useful life). And over 10 years they will have at least 30% (or likely 40%) degradation even with the cooling unit, and the degradation happens more quickly at first (i.e. more years with lower capacity). And there are significant conversion losses to store and retrieve the power from the battery. As well as the cooling unit that the Powerwall has to keep the battery from heating up too much. And I think you're making baseless assumptions that Tesla's chemistry is special. They've been using standard Li-ion cells for the cars. There's no indication that they have been doing amazing research of their own to improve chemistry that has yielded fantastic improvements.

And you are blending the night/day cost of electricity. What you should be doing is comparing it to the alternative cost. Instead of paying 19cents (your number, which is certainly too cheap) at night, your alternative is to pay 10 cents or 6 cents or 15 cents (depending on the nighttime cost in your area). So you're buying a huge battery, dealing with the noise it produces, taking a risk, etc, and the effect is that you pay more for nighttime electricity--not less. You can still pay only 4 cents for power through your solar panels during the day time regardless of whether you have your own storage or whether you use the grid for storage.

Here's one analysis of the real cost.
http://www.solarquotes.com.au/blog/how-the-cost-of-powerwall-storage-doubled-in-11-months/

Key illustration.

DarinC

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Re: Anyone invested in Tesla?
« Reply #127 on: June 26, 2016, 01:08:19 PM »
It's just the cost divided by the storage power assuming a daily discharge of 80% of capacity for the 10 year warranty period. That analysis is accurate too, but it's an extreme scenario (Edit - See below). Looking at the warranty document they referenced, In Australia, Tesla warranties the product to maintain 60+% of capacity after 10 year or 18000MWh, which is $3000/18000000kWh = $.16+/kWh. It's unlikely that every single powerwall will drop dead at the end of it's warranty period, so overall storage costs will likely be lower than that. Granted, the worst case scenario would be if someone purchased a powerwall and threw it off a cliff. That would be very expensive storage. ;)

https://naturalsolar.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Tesla_Powerwall_Warranty_Australia_R1-04_en1.pdf

Degradation also isn't a huge issue for NCA cells, but since heat has a substantial influence on lifespan, I can see why Tesla would have a relatively restrictive warranty in Australia. With that said, I'm not sure why you're resorting to ad-hominem attacks when a few minutes searching for NCA cell performance would have provided you with that information.

http://www.nrel.gov/transportation/energystorage/pdfs/45048.pdf

Data from over a decade ago (page 18) shows NCA cells can handle DoDs of ~70%  and only lose ~2+% capacity/year as long their operating temps are regulated. Tesla, Toyota, and whoever else isn't using some special chemistry. They're using a battery chemistry that's been around for at least a decade, and has probably been improved over that time. If they were using something that died after a few years, they'd be bleeding money by offering to warranty these batteries at ~16+c/kWh. Odds are, the actual energy storage costs will be lower than the warrantied storage costs, and the cost of a cell replacement on an existing powerwall will be much lower than the cost of a new powerwall, which means storage costs going forward will drop.

Anyone can pay 10c, or 6c, or whatever at night from the grid, but with every utility co I've heard of, they also have to purchase electricity from them during the day, which can be far more expensive, instead of using less expensive power they generate themselves. Like I said before, this is primarily advantageous when someone can control their own production and use. If they absolutely positively have to power their "grow lights" at night, then a powerwall wouldn't work out for them. On the other hand, if they can bias their energy use towards day time power consumption, a powerwall + solar PV may be less expensive because customers that use less and can control their consumption still have to pay about the same amount for transmission, distribution, and admin overhead from the utility, but can actively reduce their self-generation/storage costs by going with PV panels and minimizing the amount of energy they use at night and need to store.

Edit - Now that I'm looking at it some more, that link you posted has some issues. The author's graph assumes the capacity warrantied at the end of each period will be the same during that whole period, which isn't accurate. If someone's powerwall has dropped to 85% of capacity (6.4kWh) at any time prior to the 2-year/4MWh mark, Tesla will replace or repair it. In fact, the author's assumption includes a powerwall that is only operating per the warranty spec 3 days out of the 3650 day warranty, which is, um... interesting.

So yeah, a defective powerwall that Tesla is never asked to fix, even though the defect is present through virtually the product's entire life, can be more expensive than a functional powerwall that is within the specs of Tesla's warranty. :D
« Last Edit: June 26, 2016, 01:28:21 PM by DarinC »

FINate

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Re: Anyone invested in Tesla?
« Reply #128 on: June 26, 2016, 03:27:10 PM »
Edit - Now that I'm looking at it some more, that link you posted has some issues. The author's graph assumes the capacity warrantied at the end of each period will be the same during that whole period, which isn't accurate. If someone's powerwall has dropped to 85% of capacity (6.4kWh) at any time prior to the 2-year/4MWh mark, Tesla will replace or repair it. In fact, the author's assumption includes a powerwall that is only operating per the warranty spec 3 days out of the 3650 day warranty, which is, um... interesting.

So yeah, a defective powerwall that Tesla is never asked to fix, even though the defect is present through virtually the product's entire life, can be more expensive than a functional powerwall that is within the specs of Tesla's warranty. :D

The graph is spot on because it's graphing what the warranty guarantees. In fact, it is titled 'The minimum warranted energy you can get from the Powerwall cycling it daily' which is accurate. His point is that you, the consumer, can only count on what Tesla warranties. Which makes sense because you can be sure they want to advertize the best performance they believe they can stand behind. Any additional kWh you may get is a "bonus."

DarinC

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Re: Anyone invested in Tesla?
« Reply #129 on: June 27, 2016, 09:18:53 PM »
That's what I thought initially, but the graph is flat out wrong. In fact, I was wrong to assume it was even right 3 out of 3650 days. The warranty states that the batteries shall have >85% capacity after 2 years (or however many MWh). The author of that blog article assumes the battery will have exactly 85% capacity, which is less than >85% capacity, from the first day through the first 2 years, which means their battery never performs at the minimum level specified in the warranty. They continue to do this for the other two time periods specified in the warranty. For that matter, I don't know anyone who would purchase a powerwall that only has 85% capacity from day 1 and not return it. To put it mildly, it's annoying. But at the same time, Tesla could really hurt the auto manufacturing, electricity generation, and utility industries, so I can see why there are so many "articles"/"posts" throwing horse-hockey their way.

FINate

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Re: Anyone invested in Tesla?
« Reply #130 on: June 27, 2016, 09:47:21 PM »
That's what I thought initially, but the graph is flat out wrong. In fact, I was wrong to assume it was even right 3 out of 3650 days. The warranty states that the batteries shall have >85% capacity after 2 years (or however many MWh). The author of that blog article assumes the battery will have exactly 85% capacity, which is less than >85% capacity, from the first day through the first 2 years, which means their battery never performs at the minimum level specified in the warranty. They continue to do this for the other two time periods specified in the warranty. For that matter, I don't know anyone who would purchase a powerwall that only has 85% capacity from day 1 and not return it. To put it mildly, it's annoying. But at the same time, Tesla could really hurt the auto manufacturing, electricity generation, and utility industries, so I can see why there are so many "articles"/"posts" throwing horse-hockey their way.

From the warranty (bold added):
Quote
The product shall maintain >85% of its initial rated capacity until the earliest to occur of:...2 years have expired from the Original Installation Date.


The graph, showing warrantied (not actual) kWh, is not wrong. The warranty allows it to go as low as just above 85% during the first two years. So on the same day as installation it could be as low as 85.1% and still be within spec.

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Re: Anyone invested in Tesla?
« Reply #131 on: June 28, 2016, 06:41:26 AM »
...
Using Li-ion batteries at home to time shift demand costs much more to implement than it could save you on your bill. Li-ion batteries are too expensive, and degrade quickly with frequent deep cycling of that nature. The Powerwall is uneconomic for most applications. And the math is only going to get worse as more and more solar is added to the grid, pushing daylight electricity prices downwards.


If more solar comes online and day light power prices go down while the PowerWall is charging would the economics of the PW get better not worse?  Not sure the PW would end up make sense financially but it would move in the right direction.

The Powerwall is uneconomic now. Rates vary a lot by location. For me they are 12 cents day and 6 cents night. In some places its more like 35 cents day and 15 cents night. The bigger the disparity between night and day rates, the better the economics. So if there is more and more solar energy, it pushes the daytime prices down closer and closer to the nighttime prices. So time shifting no longer yields any savings. Eventually daytime  prices could become cheaper than night time, or middle of the day could be the cheap zone and early morning/early evening (times with somewhat high demand and limited sunlight) could be the expensive zones. But middle of the day (solar) prices would have to become REALLY cheap (maybe negative price) in order for the math to be the same as it is today--which is still uneconomic.

So, until Li-ion prices come down a lot, Li-ion time shifting is going to be uneconomic.

thanks for the reply.

What you are saying is that now with high day time prices it is much better to be paid (by the local utility) for the solar power on my roof than to store that solar power in a PW for my night time usage because I can buy power cheaply at night. (?) 

Be the person Mr. Rogers knows you can be.

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Re: Anyone invested in Tesla?
« Reply #132 on: June 28, 2016, 09:42:21 AM »
That's what I thought initially, but the graph is flat out wrong. In fact, I was wrong to assume it was even right 3 out of 3650 days. The warranty states that the batteries shall have >85% capacity after 2 years (or however many MWh). The author of that blog article assumes the battery will have exactly 85% capacity, which is less than >85% capacity, from the first day through the first 2 years, which means their battery never performs at the minimum level specified in the warranty. They continue to do this for the other two time periods specified in the warranty. For that matter, I don't know anyone who would purchase a powerwall that only has 85% capacity from day 1 and not return it. To put it mildly, it's annoying. But at the same time, Tesla could really hurt the auto manufacturing, electricity generation, and utility industries, so I can see why there are so many "articles"/"posts" throwing horse-hockey their way.

From the warranty (bold added):
Quote
The product shall maintain >85% of its initial rated capacity until the earliest to occur of:...2 years have expired from the Original Installation Date.


The graph, showing warrantied (not actual) kWh, is not wrong. The warranty allows it to go as low as just above 85% during the first two years. So on the same day as installation it could be as low as 85.1% and still be within spec.
Even if Tesla could sell batteries that only came with 85.1% of capacity from day one, the blog post author's assumption of 85% capacity for the first two years is outside of the > 85% capacity warrantied by Tesla.

Practically speaking, no battery is going to sit at discrete capacity levels and decline every couple years. They usually start at or above their rated capacity and decline at whatever percent per unit time depending on operating conditions. Legally, at least in the US, there's no way Tesla can sell a 6.4kWh battery that on average comes from the factory with even 90% of the rated capacity. Manufacturers are legally required to accurately represent their products.

If the author wants to make stuff up to throw shade at Tesla, that's their deal. I'm still basing my opinion off of physics, research, and law.

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Re: Anyone invested in Tesla?
« Reply #133 on: July 01, 2016, 05:24:57 PM »
Give me one fine day of plain sailing weather and I can mess up anything.

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Re: Anyone invested in Tesla?
« Reply #134 on: July 01, 2016, 07:04:44 PM »
Just another clue as to why investors shouldn't touch tesla with a 10 ft pole.

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Re: Anyone invested in Tesla?
« Reply #135 on: July 01, 2016, 07:56:29 PM »
As opposed to those most traditional of traditional car makers Mercedes Benz?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BYY7OfQ4-5A

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Re: Anyone invested in Tesla?
« Reply #136 on: July 02, 2016, 10:45:28 AM »
Even if Tesla could sell batteries that only came with 85.1% of capacity from day one, the blog post author's assumption of 85% capacity for the first two years is outside of the > 85% capacity warrantied by Tesla.

Practically speaking, no battery is going to sit at discrete capacity levels and decline every couple years. They usually start at or above their rated capacity and decline at whatever percent per unit time depending on operating conditions. Legally, at least in the US, there's no way Tesla can sell a 6.4kWh battery that on average comes from the factory with even 90% of the rated capacity. Manufacturers are legally required to accurately represent their products.

If the author wants to make stuff up to throw shade at Tesla, that's their deal. I'm still basing my opinion off of physics, research, and law.

You're missing the main point of the article/graph by getting caught up on the difference between 85% and >85%, an argument about open vs. closed intervals. This difference isn't materially significant, and noting this level of detail on a graph would be pedantic and unnecessary.

The author is not making stuff up. You can say you're basing your opinions off physics, research, and law, but stating that ideal doesn't mean you are correct. I very much doubt that you have any empirical data on the actual performance of the PW. If you do I welcome you to post it here, otherwise stop being a Tesla apologist. Would also like to know specifically which laws you believe apply here, both US and AU (since the author is in Australia).

The author is very clear on his point: For ROI purposes batteries are only as good as the warranty. Capacity above what is warrantied should be treated as bonus because there's no guarantee you'll get it.  I can understand if you disagree with this premise, but don't accuse the author of "making stuff up" just say that you disagree on this method of ROI. Curious to know what alternative you would propose, since the warranty is the only promise from Tesla.

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Re: Anyone invested in Tesla?
« Reply #137 on: July 03, 2016, 01:05:23 AM »
As opposed to those most traditional of traditional car makers Mercedes Benz?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BYY7OfQ4-5A

I have zero individual shares of both, but I would take ANY car maker before tesla if I had to invest with a long term horizon.

Tesla is an unsustainable business as is, has little or no competitive advantage, a ridiculous market valuation and its owner is proposing to overpay to buy a semi failed company (that coincidentally, he owns), by paying with tesla stock.

What could possibly go wrong?

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Re: Anyone invested in Tesla?
« Reply #138 on: July 05, 2016, 05:51:06 PM »
...
Using Li-ion batteries at home to time shift demand costs much more to implement than it could save you on your bill. Li-ion batteries are too expensive, and degrade quickly with frequent deep cycling of that nature. The Powerwall is uneconomic for most applications. And the math is only going to get worse as more and more solar is added to the grid, pushing daylight electricity prices downwards.


If more solar comes online and day light power prices go down while the PowerWall is charging would the economics of the PW get better not worse?  Not sure the PW would end up make sense financially but it would move in the right direction.

The Powerwall is uneconomic now. Rates vary a lot by location. For me they are 12 cents day and 6 cents night. In some places its more like 35 cents day and 15 cents night. The bigger the disparity between night and day rates, the better the economics. So if there is more and more solar energy, it pushes the daytime prices down closer and closer to the nighttime prices. So time shifting no longer yields any savings. Eventually daytime  prices could become cheaper than night time, or middle of the day could be the cheap zone and early morning/early evening (times with somewhat high demand and limited sunlight) could be the expensive zones. But middle of the day (solar) prices would have to become REALLY cheap (maybe negative price) in order for the math to be the same as it is today--which is still uneconomic.

So, until Li-ion prices come down a lot, Li-ion time shifting is going to be uneconomic.

thanks for the reply.

What you are saying is that now with high day time prices it is much better to be paid (by the local utility) for the solar power on my roof than to store that solar power in a PW for my night time usage because I can buy power cheaply at night. (?)

Yes, for most scenarios. Batteries are too expensive right now for most electric rates in the country. And as daytime prices come down (due to lots of solar added to the grid), the math gets worse for batteries.

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Re: Anyone invested in Tesla?
« Reply #139 on: July 05, 2016, 06:00:09 PM »
I'm not sure why you're resorting to ad-hominem attacks

Pretty sure I wasn't doing that. I was responding solely to the evidence for/against your arguments, and made no comments about you personally. I don't really know you, but you seem like a reasonably intelligent and well meaning person.

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Re: Anyone invested in Tesla?
« Reply #140 on: July 07, 2016, 12:03:23 AM »
Even if Tesla could sell batteries that only came with 85.1% of capacity from day one, the blog post author's assumption of 85% capacity for the first two years is outside of the > 85% capacity warrantied by Tesla.

Practically speaking, no battery is going to sit at discrete capacity levels and decline every couple years. They usually start at or above their rated capacity and decline at whatever percent per unit time depending on operating conditions. Legally, at least in the US, there's no way Tesla can sell a 6.4kWh battery that on average comes from the factory with even 90% of the rated capacity. Manufacturers are legally required to accurately represent their products.

If the author wants to make stuff up to throw shade at Tesla, that's their deal. I'm still basing my opinion off of physics, research, and law.

You're missing the main point of the article/graph by getting caught up on the difference between 85% and >85%, an argument about open vs. closed intervals. This difference isn't materially significant, and noting this level of detail on a graph would be pedantic and unnecessary.

The author is not making stuff up. You can say you're basing your opinions off physics, research, and law, but stating that ideal doesn't mean you are correct. I very much doubt that you have any empirical data on the actual performance of the PW. If you do I welcome you to post it here, otherwise stop being a Tesla apologist. Would also like to know specifically which laws you believe apply here, both US and AU (since the author is in Australia).

The author is very clear on his point: For ROI purposes batteries are only as good as the warranty. Capacity above what is warrantied should be treated as bonus because there's no guarantee you'll get it.  I can understand if you disagree with this premise, but don't accuse the author of "making stuff up" just say that you disagree on this method of ROI. Curious to know what alternative you would propose, since the warranty is the only promise from Tesla.
I agree that 85% versus 85.1% isn't a big difference, but assuming that...
  • The batteries behave in a way that is contrary to the laws of physics (eg discrete reductions in capacity after being flat for years)
  • The batteries lose capacity far faster than 10+ year old research suggests they'll lose capacity (NREL pdf I posted earlier in the thread)
  • Tesla can somehow legally sell a product that doesn't meet the specified and warrantied capacity (violating consumer law in the US, and I imagine in other countries)

... in order to support their blog article is hyperbolic and possibly astroturfing. There are plenty of valid criticisms they could focus on without making things up.

Making up this bizarre scenario up where the batteries are barely within Tesla's spec (which they still managed to mess up somehow, even if it was only by .1%) and lose capacity in a way that flies in the face of everything we know about batteries in general as well as specific data on this battery chemistry is ridiculous IMO. They might as well post a blog article on how every *insert thing here* costs $X/*unit measurement* to operate because every warrantied part will fail the day after it's warranty expires and/or only perform in a way that will meet the minimum threshold of the warranty.

Don't get me wrong, I imagine companies would love that much control over their product's planned obsolescence, but that's just not possible (or legal in some cases). Assuming something is only as good as the warranty is, in the vast majority of situations, incorrect. There may be cases where that happens, if the author uses the roughly monotonically decreasing loss of capacity we see in every battery instead of some step function that no one's ever seen in a battery, but that's not what they did.

Hell, they could just say they think the batteries will degrade at twice the rate specified in the warranty and that Tesla will go out of business within a year or two. Sure, that flies in the face of existing data on how that battery chemistry ages, but at least it would be a little closer to reality, and it might even be possible with sufficiently poor quality control by Panasonic/Tesla. But they didn't do that. Instead, they used fallacious assumptions to support some bizarre use case that, as far as I understand it, is physically impossible.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2016, 12:20:35 AM by DarinC »

DarinC

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Re: Anyone invested in Tesla?
« Reply #141 on: July 07, 2016, 12:08:21 AM »
I'm not sure why you're resorting to ad-hominem attacks
Pretty sure I wasn't doing that. I was responding solely to the evidence for/against your arguments, and made no comments about you personally. I don't really know you, but you seem like a reasonably intelligent and well meaning person.
YMMV, but claiming that others are making "baseless assumptions" seems like an ad-hominem attack to me, especially when there's data out there associated with the claim that can be found with a little effort. Granted, you're not throwing down 4chan style, but I don't see a place for any derisive comment to someone else in construction conversation, even if the comment is relatively mild.

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Re: Anyone invested in Tesla?
« Reply #142 on: July 07, 2016, 10:09:55 AM »
I agree that 85% versus 85.1% isn't a big difference, but assuming that...
  • The batteries behave in a way that is contrary to the laws of physics (eg discrete reductions in capacity after being flat for years)
  • The batteries lose capacity far faster than 10+ year old research suggests they'll lose capacity (NREL pdf I posted earlier in the thread)
  • Tesla can somehow legally sell a product that doesn't meet the specified and warrantied capacity (violating consumer law in the US, and I imagine in other countries)

... in order to support their blog article is hyperbolic and possibly astroturfing. There are plenty of valid criticisms they could focus on without making things up.

Again, the blogger clearly labels the graph as the warrantied capacity. This doesn't mean capacity is going to drop in discrete steps. It could, however, degrade down to just above 85% relatively quickly and still function to spec. Many design and environmental factors affect battery performance. How will the PW perform in the real world? No one other than Tesla has PW specific data at this point in time. If you really believe PW is going to perform much better than the warranty indicates (you still haven't posted any PW data here!) then you should take issue with Tesla for not standing behind their product, not a blogger who's just doing an analysis with what little information is available.

FINate

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Re: Anyone invested in Tesla?
« Reply #143 on: July 07, 2016, 10:32:20 AM »
Don't get me wrong, I imagine companies would love that much control over their product's planned obsolescence, but that's just not possible (or legal in some cases). Assuming something is only as good as the warranty is, in the vast majority of situations, incorrect. There may be cases where that happens, if the author uses the roughly monotonically decreasing loss of capacity we see in every battery instead of some step function that no one's ever seen in a battery, but that's not what they did.

But there are situations where this is correct and, IMO this includes batteries. A warranty on a car or something similar is designed primarily to protect against manufacturing defects because these are complicated mechanical products. So consumers correctly assume that the 60000 mile warranty is not the full lifespan of the product, they are just guaranteed to have any issues covered before then. After 60k the consumer must cover any repairs, but if properly maintained most cars will operate almost indefinitely. A battery, on the other hand, is more like a roof. When I have a new roof installed the warranty is typically something like 30 or 50 years. A roof degrades relatively evenly over time, so even excluding manufacturing defects, I will eventually need to replace the entire roof once it degrades to a certain point. So anything beyond the warrantied period on a roof is a bonus. Batteries are very similar in that the capacity degrades relatively evenly throughout the array, so at some point you need to replace the entire array. Just like a roof, I would not assume that the life of a battery extends much beyond the warranty.

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Re: Anyone invested in Tesla?
« Reply #144 on: July 10, 2016, 09:59:40 AM »
I'm not sure why you're resorting to ad-hominem attacks
Pretty sure I wasn't doing that. I was responding solely to the evidence for/against your arguments, and made no comments about you personally. I don't really know you, but you seem like a reasonably intelligent and well meaning person.
YMMV, but claiming that others are making "baseless assumptions" seems like an ad-hominem attack to me, especially when there's data out there associated with the claim that can be found with a little effort. Granted, you're not throwing down 4chan style, but I don't see a place for any derisive comment to someone else in construction conversation, even if the comment is relatively mild.

Saying your assumption was baseless is the definition of critiquing your argument (and the assumptions underlying it) and not you. Saying "only an idiot would think that" is attacking you and not the argument.

Quote
ad ho·mi·nem
ˌad ˈhämənəm/
adverb & adjective
adverb: ad hominem; adjective: ad hominem
1.
(of an argument or reaction) directed against a person rather than the position they are maintaining.
"vicious ad hominem attacks"
2.
relating to or associated with a particular person.
"the office was created ad hominem for Fenton"

DarinC

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Re: Anyone invested in Tesla?
« Reply #145 on: July 17, 2016, 01:29:16 PM »
I agree that 85% versus 85.1% isn't a big difference, but assuming that...
  • The batteries behave in a way that is contrary to the laws of physics (eg discrete reductions in capacity after being flat for years)
  • The batteries lose capacity far faster than 10+ year old research suggests they'll lose capacity (NREL pdf I posted earlier in the thread)
  • Tesla can somehow legally sell a product that doesn't meet the specified and warrantied capacity (violating consumer law in the US, and I imagine in other countries)

... in order to support their blog article is hyperbolic and possibly astroturfing. There are plenty of valid criticisms they could focus on without making things up.

Again, the blogger clearly labels the graph as the warrantied capacity. This doesn't mean capacity is going to drop in discrete steps. It could, however, degrade down to just above 85% relatively quickly and still function to spec. Many design and environmental factors affect battery performance. How will the PW perform in the real world? No one other than Tesla has PW specific data at this point in time. If you really believe PW is going to perform much better than the warranty indicates (you still haven't posted any PW data here!) then you should take issue with Tesla for not standing behind their product, not a blogger who's just doing an analysis with what little information is available.
Sure, if Tesla somehow builds a battery where capacity declines in a step-wise manner, and can misrepresent their products without breaking the law, then the author's assumptions would work.

The problem with their graph is that it represents no battery capacity versus cycle graph I've ever seen. If you seen something like that, feel free to post it. The NREL link I posted earlier on NCA cells, which is what Tesla uses, shows a logarithmic drop in capacity, and every other graph I've seen at least decreases monotonically. The author used a step function, which I've never seen in any research on battery cycling versus capacity.

In addition, selling a 6.4kWh battery that at best is a 5.4kWh battery is illegal in the US. Australia's laws may allow manufacturers to misrepresent their product, but they can't do that here.

In the context of this thread, eg how much will storage actually cost, warrantied lifespan isn't the same as actual lifespan. If it was, Chevy and Toyota would be neck and neck in terms of reliability. But they aren't...

http://www.newsday.com/classifieds/cars/consumer-reports-best-and-worst-car-brands-in-2015-include-lexus-mazda-and-toyota-1.10387053

Last but not least, the author also has a spreadsheet for warrantied battery storage costs where they use relatively favorable methods for other batteries.

https://www.solarquotes.com.au/battery-storage/comparison-table/

The linked warranty for the first example (LG battery) explicitly states that storage more than 1920kWh/year, which is 300 100% cycles per year, but the author didn't include that in the total warrantied capacity at 1 cycle per day.

Long story short, I'm not going to believe the claims of someone who ignores warranty limitations for one battery while focusing on similar limitations of another battery, assumes the battery will decline in capacity in a way's never been observed, and assumes that manufacturers can legally misrepresent their products. If you want to believe those things, knock yourself out. :)

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Re: Anyone invested in Tesla?
« Reply #146 on: July 17, 2016, 01:30:18 PM »
Saying your assumption was baseless is the definition of critiquing your argument (and the assumptions underlying it) and not you. Saying "only an idiot would think that" is attacking you and not the argument.

Quote
ad ho·mi·nem
ˌad ˈhämənəm/
adverb & adjective
adverb: ad hominem; adjective: ad hominem
1.
(of an argument or reaction) directed against a person rather than the position they are maintaining.
"vicious ad hominem attacks"
2.
relating to or associated with a particular person.
"the office was created ad hominem for Fenton"
I can see how you wouldn't perceive it as an Ad-Hominem attack. I view it as an indirect Ad-Hominem attack, but it seems to be universally perceived as being nil/besides the point. There's no way in hell it's a critique though. There were no facts presented that refuted my position or suggested anything else. Elenchi ignoratio is probably most accurate.

https://www.quora.com/What-kind-of-fallacy-is-insulting-an-argument-but-not-refuting-it

Regardless of how I view it, I think it's safe to say that most of the responses to my posts in this thread haven't been reasonable. ;)

Quote
That would also fail the test of logic/reasoning, but people who argue like this are rarely amenable to reason.

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Re: Anyone invested in Tesla?
« Reply #147 on: July 17, 2016, 01:55:12 PM »
Saying your assumption was baseless is the definition of critiquing your argument (and the assumptions underlying it) and not you. Saying "only an idiot would think that" is attacking you and not the argument.

Quote
ad ho·mi·nem
ˌad ˈhämənəm/
adverb & adjective
adverb: ad hominem; adjective: ad hominem
1.
(of an argument or reaction) directed against a person rather than the position they are maintaining.
"vicious ad hominem attacks"
2.
relating to or associated with a particular person.
"the office was created ad hominem for Fenton"
I can see how you wouldn't perceive it as an Ad-Hominem attack. I view it as an indirect Ad-Hominem attack, but it seems to be universally perceived as being nil/besides the point. There's no way in hell it's a critique though. There were no facts presented that refuted my position or suggested anything else. Elenchi ignoratio is probably most accurate.

https://www.quora.com/What-kind-of-fallacy-is-insulting-an-argument-but-not-refuting-it

Regardless of how I view it, I think it's safe to say that most of the responses to my posts in this thread haven't been reasonable. ;)

Quote
That would also fail the test of logic/reasoning, but people who argue like this are rarely amenable to reason.

If you have evidence that Tesla is doing a lot of battery chemistry research and has developed new and superior chemistries that they are building into their PowerWall batteries, I'd love to see it. If you don't have evidence, then I think it's pretty definitional to say that your assumption that they are doing this is baseless (i.e. you're basing the assumption off of no evidence). My understanding is that they are still just using the same mass produced, standard, Li-on cells they've been building their batteries out of all along. Some of the efficiencies they might be able to gain from doing that at the Gigafactory include leaving out some components that the individual cells normally have and centralizing them. But doing original battery chemistry research is a big undertaking that usually involves years (and takes years to test appropriately as well).

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Re: Anyone invested in Tesla?
« Reply #148 on: September 04, 2016, 04:05:24 PM »
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-09-02/musk-e-mail-urges-workers-to-cut-costs-in-bid-to-woo-investors

The e-mail says that Tesla is “on the razor’s edge of achieving a good Q3, but it requires building and delivering every car we possibly can, while simultaneously trimming any cost that isn’t critical, at least for the next 4.5 weeks.”

Although it's probably legal, doesn't give me warm fuzzies that they are essentially gaming quarterly results.

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Re: Anyone invested in Tesla?
« Reply #149 on: September 05, 2016, 09:46:42 AM »
"At least for the next 4.5 weeks".

For a guy who claims he want to save the world he has a pretty short term horizon.

My opinion of Tesla is so bad that if I owned a broad US index fund I would make sure to short the equivalent amount of Tesla stock to make sure my net position with them would be zero