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Captain Hybrid

Could Tesla 'Gigafactory' Bring EVs to the Masses?

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William K.
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Platinum
Re: Should They?
William K.   2/28/2014 5:26:57 PM
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Nancy, you are right. That theory, "If you build it, they will come" only works in cartoons and other imaginary settings. Reality can be quite a different story. And "trial by marketplace" is often very brutal. 

What would be quite interesting is to see if the new battery plant could possibly be financed exclusively by investors, without any government money. Because although investors will take reasonable risks, most of them whomuse their own money are not willing to be stupid. Unlike those who have no hesitation about spending other people's money on things not adequately thought out.

William K.
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Platinum
Re: The first step
William K.   2/28/2014 5:19:31 PM
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rtuhro, You have a very good point about the battery plants in Michigan. Why not purchase one of them? But I suspect that those plants were built primarily to take advantage of incentives being offered, and possibly for that reason only. My faith in the "natural goodness" of a lot of people was been gone for many years, and I see way to many willing and eager to rip off anybody that they can, which includes our state leaders here in Michigan. I live just south of "automation alley", so I get to see a lot of it up close. Remember DCT? That one did hurt me, personally, right in the wallet.

Constitution_man
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Gold
Easy Acceptance just won't happen...
Constitution_man   2/28/2014 1:46:18 PM
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It is WAY too late for any hope of "easy" acceptance on EV's, plug-ins, or hybrids in a good share of the good ol' U.S.A..  Too many mistakes have been made.  Costs out of control, The Leaf with its miserable non-cooled battery, Prius with failed batteries before 100K, Tesla's yet-to-show-a-profit operation, The Volt with its giant federal subsidy that STILL is a loss...  Nothing personal here, but I have to tell  you that I am one of a huge crowd of justified skeptics that just cannot afford to use my checkbook to make a political / environmental statement.  I must travel in the most cost-effective means available to me where I live and drive.  PERIOD.  As much as I love spotted owls and Al Gore, I still have to look out for my own ability to afford to live.


 At a recent dinner meeting I sat with a GM executive who was bragging up his VOLT and how cheap it is to own...  after grilling him on costs he FINALLY admitted that he lived in a part of Detroit where the electric meter on his car's charger is subsidized by a municipal program.  Without that cheap, fixed-cost-per-month meter [regardless of KWH consumed], his calculations fell apart.  He's a smart man... travelling in the most cost-effective means available to him where he lives and drives... maybe.  Now that D-town is officially broke, we'll see how long the program lasts.  These cars have taught us some lessons whether they live on in their current form or not.  Lighter materials to name one...

There's a riddle going around...

Question: "In a room full of people, how can you tell which one drives the EV?"

Answer: "Don't worry, she'll tell you."

LetoAtreidesII
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Platinum
A move to get more grants, loans and kickback
LetoAtreidesII   2/28/2014 1:17:19 PM
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The whole Telsa program is a joke.  The company looses money on the actual cars but makes it money off if the goverment grants and Green credits it gets to sell. 

Don't believe me read from LA times

http://articles.latimes.com/2013/may/05/business/la-fi-electric-cars-20130506

If they move ahead with this Telsa will get fawning grants and loans fron CA, and Feds and who know who else.  So it is not like they are risking much.  Even when they have gotten in trouble before they have always been able to get extra grants to keep them afloat.  Odd for a company that caters to the hated 1%.

 

Nancy Golden
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Platinum
Re: Should They?
Nancy Golden   2/28/2014 12:13:17 PM
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@ William K. regarding, " It might be better to work out a deal to lease capacity at some of the other plants." I tend to think that your statement makes more sense until a firm consumer market is established and proven. The percentages mentioned in the article were not promising...


ChasChas
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Platinum
Re: The first step
ChasChas   2/28/2014 12:12:21 PM
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rtuhro

The government can't make money at anything.

Lwt's hope it stays out of the management of any for profit endeavor.

Nancy Golden
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Platinum
Re: Should They?
Nancy Golden   2/28/2014 11:55:00 AM
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a2, this article in Forbes puts my point about bean counting well:

Bean Counting

Nancy Golden
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Platinum
Re: Should They?
Nancy Golden   2/28/2014 11:47:36 AM
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@a2, While my post "Should They" was more directed towards the idea that if there is not a market that can afford it, is their wisdom in proceeding with such asn expensive venture?, I do feel a need to address your statement. I completely disagree - if a company cannot operate with integrity (and I am not talking about trade secrets or company confidentiality) but find that they must be secretive and operate on the fringes of ethical behavior, they do not need to be in business. This damage that you mentioned smacks of bean counting which is dehumanizing and in my opinion, inappropriate.

rtuhro
User Rank
Iron
Re: The first step
rtuhro   2/28/2014 11:45:10 AM
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So what is wrong with all the battery plants the taxpayers have already built in Michigan?  Did they not survive because there wasn't a market, or they were intended to spend tax money and not make batteries?

ChriSharek
User Rank
Gold
Re: Tesla Superchargers vs. Battery Swapping?
ChriSharek   2/28/2014 11:07:45 AM
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@William K - You are absolutely right. During the Order of the Engineer Ceremony, I pledged to "serve humanity my making the best use of the Earth's precious wealth."  Driving electric has proven (in almost 3 years of ownership) to be more cost effective and makes much better use of the fossil fuels that remain on this earth.  Our obligation as an engineer should be to lead the public as well once technologies have been proven.  Walk the walk not just talk the talk.     

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