Technology StocksThe Electric Car, or MPG "what me worry?"

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To: Eric who wrote (1944)2/14/2012 6:35:54 PM
From: deeno
   of 5374
but how about cloudy days/fog. How long can you go (or could I go) until the freezer stops freezing. Also cost? No idea what a battery would cost or the cost to ramp up reserves.

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To: deeno who wrote (1945)2/14/2012 7:17:44 PM
From: Eric
   of 5374
Well my "off grid" home was designed to go 6 days without any power from the outside world. (no sun, no wind)

In the last 16 years the longest stretch was about three days. Even then the PV array generated some electrons. With snow on them!

(And I'm not counting the power from my wind turbine..)

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To: deeno who wrote (1945)2/14/2012 8:05:36 PM
From: Eric
   of 5374
Forgot to add. About $4000 for a twenty year warranted battery that holds 54 Kilowatthrs of electrons.

(salvage value of the battery is approximately $1500)

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To: Eric who wrote (1947)2/15/2012 10:58:22 AM
From: deeno
   of 5374
I guess based on my usage that only holds a days worth of electric. could probably stretch it to a couple days. The way it works here you dont actually use the electricity you produce. it all goes back to the grid and you get a net bill. How much kwh do you think you'd need to charge of the Tesla?

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To: deeno who wrote (1948)2/15/2012 1:21:48 PM
From: Eric
   of 5374
The Tesla Roadster battery has a capacity of roughly 54 kilowatt hrs and will take you 242 EPA miles. If you don't "hot rod" the car and drive it normally you can go that many miles.

Allowing for charging efficiency you actually would put in theoretically about 61 kilowatt hrs of energy if you had a fully discharged battery. So when you do the math you burn about 1 kw-hr to go about 4 miles. Here in the Seattle area the cost for electricity would be about a penny per mile for fuel.

No fossil fueled vehicle is that efficient. Not even close...


There is a number of Roadster owners who have gone farther than 300 miles on a full charge.

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To: deeno who wrote (1948)2/15/2012 1:36:59 PM
From: Eric
   of 5374
Letting the utility act as the battery is efficient. My Seattle home burns about 32 kilowatt hrs a day in the coldest winter months (Heat via heat pump and all other appliances) and in the summer about 5 kilowatt hrs per day.

So I'll be installing a 7 Kilowatt PV array to zero out that bill plus provide excess to charge the vehicles and keep them happy.. I'll still get paid by the utility for the excess so my utility bill will be negative. My system will have battery backup because we lose power here on average about four times a year averaging over 40 hours total. So I'm designing the system to have about two days of backup.

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To: Eric who wrote (1950)2/15/2012 3:40:30 PM
From: deeno
   of 5374
currently here you can not get paid for excess generation. the best you can do is have a zero usage, but your bill would still be like $100 for some base fees of some sort.

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To: deeno who wrote (1951)2/15/2012 7:44:55 PM
From: Eric
   of 5374
In Washington State you can get up to $ .53 cents per kwHr. The program ends in 2020.

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From: Eric2/16/2012 7:31:13 AM
   of 5374
Tesla Motors Fourth-Quarter Loss Widens to $81.5 Million

Tesla Motors Inc. (TSLA), the maker of battery-powered cars run by entrepreneur Elon Musk, projects revenue will grow in the year’s second half as deliveries of the new Model S sedan eclipse those of the outgoing Roadster.

The company said yesterday its fourth-quarter net loss widened to $81.5 million. Revenue in 2012 may be as much as $600 million, almost triple that of last year, with 90 percent coming in the second half, Tesla said.

“The bulk of 2012 revenue is Model S-related,” Musk, 40, said in a conference call yesterday. Palo Alto, California-based Tesla plans to deliver as many as 5,000 of the cars this year.

The carmaker, named for inventor Nikola Tesla, aims to be a dominant maker of premium electric vehicles and to be profitable as early as next year. Sales of its $109,000 Roadster sports car are ending and production of the Model S, with a $57,400 base price, begins mid-year with a goal of boosting annual vehicle deliveries to more than 10 times the current pace.

Until Model S deliveries begin, Tesla’s main revenue source is supplying battery packs and other parts to Toyota Motor Corp. (7203) and Daimler AG (DAI), two of its investors.

The net loss for the three months ended Dec. 31 was 78 cents a share. That compares with a deficit of $51.4 million, or 54 cents a share, a year earlier. Excluding some items, the per- share loss was 69 cents, compared with 47 cents a year earlier, Tesla said. The average of 11 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg was for a loss of 62 cents.

Tesla rose 1.3 percent to $33.60 yesterday in New York trading, before the results were released. The stock has gained 18 percent this year.

Daimler Deal

The company also said it’s starting a development program with Daimler for a new Mercedes-Benz vehicle with a full Tesla powertrain, including batteries, a motor and electronic controls and software. Musk didn’t elaborate on the project, saying details would come from Daimler.

“I do expect that this will be significant, probably more significant than the sum of all deals we’ve done with Daimler to date,” Musk said. Tesla has previously supplied battery packs for Daimler’s electric Smart minicars and Mercedes A-Class hatchbacks.

Tesla said Nov. 2 it had a letter of intent from Daimler for the new vehicle, and provided no details at the time.

Han Tjan, a Daimler spokesman based in New York, wasn’t immediately able to comment on the matter.

Design Expertise

“It’s probably not something that will be for a mass-scale vehicle,” said Ed Kim, an industry analyst at researcher AutoPacific Inc. in Tustin, California. While Tesla’s projects with Daimler and Toyota aren’t large in vehicle volume, “the benefit they get from even associating themselves with Daimler and Toyota is worth a ton,” he said.

Tesla will begin shipping battery packs and motors for use in an all-electric version of Toyota’s RAV4 compact sport- utility vehicle this year.

“What those projects say is they’re being viewed as a credible source of design expertise,” said Alan Baum, principal of Baum & Associates, a provider of auto-industry analysis in West Bloomfield, Michigan. “Daimler has the capability internally to do this, but is choosing to work with Tesla.”

Tesla said fourth-quarter revenue rose 8.5 percent to $39.4 million and that annual sales in 2011 increased 75 percent to $204.2 million.

“The market, at least so far, is a little skeptical,” said Jeremy Anwyl, vice chairman of, an automotive pricing and data service in Santa Monica, California. “The risk for Tesla is that they get overenthusiastic and run ahead of the market for electric vehicles.”

Roadster Sales

Sales of Roadsters exceeded 2,150 through the end of 2011, and a final 330 units of the car will be sold in Asia and Europe this year, Tesla said. Chassis production for the car at Group Lotus Plc’s factory in Hethel, England, has ended.

Tesla plans to build as many as 20,000 Model S cars next year, with top-end versions selling for $97,900. The company unveiled and began taking reservations last week for the Model X battery-powered SUV, which will go on sale in late 2013.

Advance sales of the Model X exceed 500 vehicles, representing future revenue of more than $40 million, Tesla said in a statement yesterday.

“This is by far the best-selling car in Tesla history, by a significant margin,” Musk said.

Model X

The Model X, Tesla’s first crossover, is derived from the underpinnings of the Model S. The mid-size SUV, touted by Tesla as faster than Porsche AG (PAH3)’s 911 sports car and roomier than the Q7 SUV of Volkswagen AG (VOW)’s Audi brand, will be built in 2013 at the Fremont, California, plant that starts making the Model S this year.

Model S reservations exceed 8,000, Tesla said yesterday.

Tesla is among the most-shorted U.S. stocks. Almost 65 percent of its shares available for trading, or float, were sold short as of Jan. 31, the second-highest total in the Russell 1000 Index (RIY), according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Short sellers profit from price declines by selling borrowed securities and replacing them with stock bought at lower levels.

The company will face tougher competition in the next few years as larger automakers begin releasing lower-priced electric vehicles, Anwyl said.

“Success is not assured,” he said.

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From: Eric2/16/2012 10:52:53 AM
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US one way commute distances

How Far Is Enough?

By Bill Moore

ANSWER: 437 kilometers or if you wish, 271 miles.

That’s the average driving distance most respondents to the Accenture consumer survey believe is required of a fully charged electric car before it needs recharging. So, reports a recently published study out of Columbia University’s Earth and Environmental Engineering Department. Consumers expect this because this is what they have become accustomed to. Most petroleum-fueled ICE-age vehicles typically have driving ranges of from 234 miles (Dodge Ram 1500 pickup) to 383 miles ( Toyota Camry and Honda Accord). The Chevrolet Silverado 4WD claims an incredible 491 miles (that must be one whopping fuel tank).

So, it’s little wonder the average consumer expects an electric vehicle to be capable of similar range performance. They’ve built their lives around that expectation.

Or have they?

Not according to the Columbia study, which analyzed 2009 population data from the National Household Travel Survey of some 150,000+ American households. What they discovered is that while gasoline car drivers expect a vehicle to travel many hundreds of miles/kilometers before needing to refuel, in actual day-to-day practice, they drive only a fraction of that distance.

What the Columbia study discovered isn’t particularly new information. We’ve known for years that the average commute (see page 6) is typically between 30-40 miles, with the U.S. national average about 27 miles. Over half of those weekday trips into work are under 10 miles; with more than half of the total miles driven being 40 miles or less. So, while the average IC-engine vehicle can drive 300 or more miles, their owners typically only drive one-tenth of that distance on a daily basis.

Most drivers seem to have a good grasp of how far they usually drive on a daily basis; after all, they do five days a week. (When I used to commute, my drive was 12.5 miles one way. My wife’s daily drive is 5.5 miles one way.) What they don’t have a good grasp of is what the capabilities are of an electric car, which the authors define as both battery and electric hybrids or PHEVs. The Accenture study cited by Columbia notes that, on average, 30% of the respondents said they had ‘enough’ understanding of the technology to make an intelligent buying decision; and in a footnote, Accenture researchers commented that they felt even this group likely overstated what they claimed they knew. Chinese respondents had the highest score (44%), Japanese, the lowest (20%); U.S. came in at 36%.

The people who have the best grasp of the capabilities of EVs are those who actually drive them, and here the Columbia researchers turned to U.C. Davis’ study of BMW Mini-E lessees in California. While 60% of the 72 drivers interviewed ‘agreed very strongly’ that an EV was suitable for daily use, 81% answered ‘Yes’ when asked, “Are there any locations you would like to be able to access in your Mini E but can’t or prefer not to because of range issues?”

Another important issue the study addresses is range variability. While OEMs and EV advocates usually discuss the range of these vehicles, it’s usually only in the context of what they are capable of under ideal circumstances or based on EPA tests. In fact, real world experience can produce range distances that can vary widely with driver skills, weather conditions, state of battery charge, etc. The Columbia study uses the Nissan LEAF as an example. Under ideal driving conditions, it has a range of around 135 miles, with LEAF owners reporting up to 130 miles. Run through two different EPA drive cycles (SAE-J1634 & LA4) reduces this to 74 and 100 miles, respectively. Run through winter driving in urban stop-n-go, and this falls to just over 60 miles, less than half that under “ideal conditions.” That’s a driving range variability typically not seen in an ICE vehicle.

The authors observe that most American households have the luxury of having more than one vehicle from which to select for a particular trip: the national average is 1.9 vehicles per household. Significantly, 39% of those vehicles aren’t even driven on a daily basis.

What they also found was that 95% of all individual trips are below 30 miles and 99% below 70 miles. Also, it turns out that my old commute of 12.5 miles is the national average (12.6).

They conclude, “Assuming the electric car is charged overnight only, a Nissan LEAF with a 62-138 mile range would be able to satisfy 83-95% of all travel days, depending on driving conditions as described before. A 2011 TeslaRoadster would be able to satisfy > 98.5% of travel days, assuming a minimum range of 0.85 times the EPA-labeled range.”

Download the full study at:

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