Electric driverless cars?

c.a.

The Living Force
FOTCM Member

Meanwhile:







Collusion Deep State: How to move narco money 101?


Chuck Schumer, the senate’s Democratic minority leader, has announced a new $462 billion electric car incentive plan that they want to push if elected.

Electric vehicle incentives are being phased out in the US and while there have been several efforts to revive them, it doesn’t look like the Democrats and the Republicans are agreeing on how to proceed.

Now Schumer has unveiled a new plan that would give American car buyers thousands of dollars for trading in gas-powered cars for electric, hybrid or fuel cell vehicles that have been assembled in the US.

The plans include extra incentives for lower-income households to go electric and for cars with a higher percentage of American-made parts.
ABC reports:
“Schumer, who contends the scheme would create tens of thousands of jobs, pledged to introduce his clean-car program in Senate legislation should Democrats win control there next year.”
The politician says that the package would be worth $462 billion over a decade and while the bulk of it would go to the rebates, they are also planning $45 billion to accelerate the deployment of charging stations and $17 billion in aid to automakers to increase their production capacity for electric cars and related parts.

Electrek’s Take

I like the plan.

A federal rebate program would accelerate the adoption of EVs across the country and especially help in non-CARB states that have been falling behind.

The fact that it is linked to US-made vehicles is also a protectionist strategy that Republicans would likely appreciate.

As for EV charging infrastructure, you can do a lot with $45 billion.

However, they say that they want to do this if they get control of the senate in the 2020 elections, which basically amounts to an electoral promise and you should always take these with a grain of salt.

That said, if the environment and electric vehicles are important to you, you should take note that the Democrats have been more pro-EVs than Republicans based on their discussions of the federal tax credit over the last year.

 

A Jay

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
This is an interesting article that, if true, means this man has developed an aluminium-air fuel cell that is inexpensive compared to lithium-ion batteries, is far less toxic, less dangerous, way more efficient, etc. Could be highly useful, so we'll see what happens with future developments.

Imagine the satisfaction of driving your environmentally friendly electric car for 1,500 miles without having to stop to recharge the battery – a distance more than four times as far as the best and most expensive model currently on the road.

Under the bonnet is a revolutionary new type of battery which, unlike those used in conventional electric cars, can also power buses, huge lorries and even aircraft. What's more, it's far simpler and cheaper to make than the batteries currently in use in millions of electric vehicles around the world – and, unlike them, it can easily be recycled.

This might sound like a science-fiction fantasy. But it's not. Last Friday, the battery's inventor, British engineer and former Royal Navy officer Trevor Jackson, signed a multi-million-pound deal to start manufacturing the device on a large scale in the UK.

Austin Electric, an engineering firm based in Essex, which now owns the rights to use the old Austin Motor Company logo, will begin putting thousands of them into electric vehicles next year. According to Austin's chief executive, Danny Corcoran, the new technology is a 'game-changer'.

'It can help trigger the next industrial revolution. The advantages over traditional electric vehicle batteries are enormous,' he said.

Few will have heard of Jackson's extraordinary invention. The reason, he says, is that since he and his company Metalectrique Ltd came up with a prototype a decade ago, he has faced determined opposition from the automobile industry establishment.

It has every reason not to give ground to a competitor that may, in time, render its own technology obsolete. Car industry sceptics claim Trevor's technology is unproven, and its benefits exaggerated.

But an independent evaluation by the Government agency UK Trade and Investment said in 2017 that it was a 'very attractive battery' based on 'well established' technology, and that it produced much more energy per kilogram than standard electric vehicle types.

Two years ago, Jackson claims, motor manufacturers lobbied the Foreign Office to bar him from a prestigious conference for European businesses and governments at the British embassy in Paris, which was supposed to agree a blueprint for ensuring all new cars are electric by 2040. The bid to exclude him failed. Now, with the signing of the Austin deal, it seems he is finally on the road to success.

He has also secured a £108,000 grant for further research from the Advanced Propulsion Centre, a partner of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. His technology has been validated by two French universities.

He says: 'It has been a tough battle but I'm finally making progress. From every logical standpoint, this is the way to go.'

Jackson began working on new ways of powering electric vehicles after a distinguished engineering career. He worked for Rolls-Royce in Derby, helping to design nuclear reactors, then took a commission in the Royal Navy, where he served as a lieutenant on board nuclear submarines, managing and maintaining their reactors.

Before founding his own firm in 1999, he was working for BAE Systems, where he first started looking at alternative, green ways to power vehicles. By then he and his partner, Kathryn, were married. The couple have eight children, aged 11 to 27, and live in Tavistock, on the edge of Dartmoor in Devon.

In 2001 he began to investigate the potential of a technology first developed in the 1960s. Scientists had discovered that by dipping aluminium into a chemical solution known as an electrolyte, they could trigger a reaction between the metal and air to produce electricity.

At that time the method was useless for commercial batteries because the electrolyte was extremely poisonous, and caustic.

After years of experimentation at his workshop in the Cornish village of Callington, Jackson's eureka moment came when he developed a new formula for the electrolyte that was neither poisonous nor caustic.

'I've drunk it when demonstrating it to investors, so I can attest to the fact that it's harmless,' Jackson says. Another problem with the 1960s version was that it worked only with totally pure aluminium, which is very expensive.

But Jackson's electrolyte works with much lower-purity metal – including recycled drinks cans. The formula, which is top secret, is the key to his device.

Technically, it should be described as a fuel cell, not a battery. Either way, it is so light and powerful that it could now be set to revolutionise low-carbon transport, because it supplies so much energy.

Jackson gave me a demonstration. He cut off the top of a can of Coke, drained it, filled it with the electrolyte, and clipped electrodes to it, powering a small propeller. 'The energy in this will keep the propeller spinning for a month,' he said. 'You can see what this technology could do in a vehicle if you scale it up.' Following last week's deal with Austin, that is exactly what is about to happen. Three immediate projects are about to go into production.

The first is to manufacture for the Asian market some 'tuk-tuks' – the three-wheeler taxis used by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge last week during their Royal visit to Pakistan. The second is to make electric bikes, which will be cheaper and run for much longer than those made by rivals.

Finally, and most importantly, the firm is to produce kits to convert ordinary petrol and diesel cars into hybrids, by fitting them with aluminium-air cells and electric motors on the rear wheels.

A driver will be able to choose whether to run the car on fossil fuel or electricity. The cost of each conversion, Jackson says, will be about £3,500, and they will be available early next year. This, he adds, will be the stepping-stone to a full-blown electric vehicle powered by aluminium-air fuel cells. The car industry has already poured massive investment into a very different type of battery, lithium-ion.

Also found in devices such as computers and mobile phones, lithium-ion batteries are rechargeable. Almost every electric vehicle on the road uses them. But they have big drawbacks. As well as lithium, they contain rare, poisonous substances such as cobalt. They can explode or catch fire, as seen with the spate of incidents that forced Samsung to recall tens of thousands of Galaxy Note 7 phones in 2016.

With repeated charging, car-sized models eventually become spent. Recycling them to recover the cobalt and lithium is extremely expensive – about five times as much as the cost of disposing them and starting from scratch.

Aluminium, on the other hand, is the planet's most abundant metal. Many of the factories that refine it from ore or recycled junk are powered by green, renewable energy, such as hydro-electric dams.

And once an aluminium-air fuel cell is spent, it can be recycled very cheaply. According to Jackson, the cost of recycling means the running costs of an aluminium-air powered car would work out at 7p per mile. The cost of a small hatchback's petrol comes to around 12p per mile. More important, lithium-ion batteries are heavy.

Accredited tests have shown that, weight for weight, Jackson's fuel cell produces nine times as much energy as lithium-ion: nine times as many kilowatt hours of electricity per kilogram. The luxury electric car maker Tesla says its model S has a range of 370 miles from one charge. Jackson says that if you drove the same car with an aluminium-air cell that weighed the same as the lithium-ion battery, the range would be 2,700 miles. Aluminium-air cells also take up less space.

Jackson claims that if the Tesla were fitted with an aluminium-air fuel cell that was the same size as its current battery, it could run non-stop for 1,500 miles – almost enough to get from Land's End to John O'Groats and back again. An average British family – whose car will travel 7,900 miles annually – would need to change their fuel cell only a handful of times each year.

Scientists call the weight-to- energy ratio 'energy density'. According to Jackson, because aluminium-air fuel cells have a much greater density than lithium-ion batteries, they could be used in buses or big trucks. If powered by lithium-ion, such vehicles would be unfeasibly heavy, with the battery weighing as much as the freight.

He says: 'You could easily stack numerous cells in this type of vehicle – after all, getting rid of their diesel fuel tanks will give you plenty of space.' Jackson adds that aluminium-air cells could also be used in aircraft. 'We are in discussions with two aircraft manufacturers. It's not going to be suitable for jets. But it would work in propeller planes, and be suitable for short-haul passenger and cargo flights.'

Meanwhile, the raw cost of a new aluminium-air cell is much lower.

In a Tesla, Jackson says, the battery costs about £30,000. An aluminium-air fuel cell that would power the same car for longer would cost just £5,000.

Drivers with cars that depend on lithium-ion have to charge their batteries from the mains when they are spent – a process that takes a long time, often overnight. But when an aluminium-air cell became exhausted, the driver would simply exchange it for a new one.

Instead of a vast network of charging points, all that is necessary are stores where cells can be swapped, just as people already swap propane gas bottles.

Swapping a battery, says Jackson, takes about 90 seconds.

He and Corcoran say they are in 'advanced discussions' with two major supermarket chains to provide this facility.

Last week, Sir James Dyson announced he was scrapping his plans to make electric cars because he had come to the conclusion they were not commercially viable, even though he had invested millions.

'The problem is,' says Jackson, 'he was using lithium-ion. If his cars had been based on aluminium-air fuel cells, the outcome might have been different.'

Ironically, Jackson's story so far bears more than a passing resemblance to Dyson's.

Dyson developed his bagless vacuum cleaner at a workshop at his home, supported by his wife.

And just as Jackson has had to battle the vested interests of the big motor companies, it took Dyson ten years to break through commercially, because no distributor or existing manufacturer was prepared to upset the lucrative market for dust bags.

'Everyone knows that if we are really going to hit the Government's target of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, the hardest nut to crack is transport,' Jackson says. 'We're just not going to do that with lithium-ion. Apart from anything else, it's no use for trucks, which burn vast amounts of fossil fuel.

'I know we are battling ferocious vested interests but the technological and environmental advantages of aluminium-air are overwhelming – and Britain has a chance to become the world leader in it.'

Corcoran adds: 'If you want to do something about the environment, you can. You can do it now, with this product.'

Here's a demo of an aluminum-air fuel cell:

 

JEEP

The Living Force
This is an interesting article that, if true, means this man has developed an aluminium-air fuel cell that is inexpensive compared to lithium-ion batteries, is far less toxic, less dangerous, way more efficient, etc. Could be highly useful, so we'll see what happens with future developments.
This reminds me of another inventor, the late (great) Paul Pantone:
PAUL PANTONE
Duncan, Oklahoma

Paul Pantone invented GEET (Global Environmental Energy Technology) Plasma Reactor.

He is a hero who has survived horrific inventor abuse by officials and businessmen.

Emin Hadzic

Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia-And-Herzegovina flag

Requote


World's Most Innovative Alternative Energy Inventors
The other nine inventors listed at the above link are also noteworthy.

There are numerous youtube Paul Pantone videos - here's a two-part video about GEET and Paul:
In this two-part video presentation you will see a perfect solution to pollution and fuel shortage problems. You will see how corporate rejection, ridicule from the media, hostile take-over attempts, political corruption, blackmail, torture, and patent infringement have been standing between you and this solution since 1983. However, from beyond these struggles has emerged a promising future, both plentiful and ecological. Watch part 1&2 of this video to see how the open-sourcing of this technology has created a gateway to the public. The solution is a technology called GEET, which stands for "Global Environmental Energy Technology".

For over a decade Paul Pantone attempted to cooperate with big businesses. They all wanted full ownership of the GEET patent, so they could shelve the technology and profit. Others such as M.I.T. and Dennis Lee attempted to claim GEET technology as their own, which has resulted in the mis-spending of millions which have funded GEET research. Major polluters like MagCorp have refused to use GEET to safely dispose of their toxic waste.

Paul was being framed for "Securities Fraud", and was arrested shortly after the 2005 "OSEN" interview took place. He was illegally dragged into a corrupt judicial system of Utah to stay for three and a half years. He was pressured to a "plea bargain" or his wife would be arrested as well. After serving the 120-day-sentence served to him, Paul was accused of "legal incompetence" for insisting his technology did work. Listen to this phone interview with GEET Inventor Paul Pantone from with the USH:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wz7ynQ...

He was railroaded to the Utah State Hospital forensics unit (prison mental ward). There, he was continuously pressured to surrender rights to his patent by threat of psychotropic injection, and promises of medical treatment, as his health failed rapidly due to facility conditions and unqualified, negligent staff. In the next interview Paul Pantone (from within USH) discusses how difficult it is for Utah inmates to find remedy for abuse by the USH, and State of Utah. Paul Pantone Interview, late January 2009: "No help for USH patients": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tZszxP...

A decade passed since GEET Inventor Paul Pantone donated, via the internet, the free GEET plans for personal use to all mankind. Around the world people have responded enthusiastically to GEET; retrofitting city vehicles, farm equipment, generators, boats, jet airplanes...if it burns fuel, GEET can retrofit it.

Thanks to the diligent "Paul Pantone Defense Team", supporters who donated to Paul's attorney fund, and GEET experimenters world-wide, who used the free GEET plans and proved GEET works, the State of Utah was forced to release Paul Pantone. Since his release, Paul has taught GEET technology to hundreds of people, and has licensed over 60 U.S. GEET Dealers. Email paul.pantone at yahoo.com to inquire about GEET Dealership Licenses.

In Part 2 See: Dealer products, GEET in world NEWS, & footage of successful retrofits from free plans. Paul Pantone and GEET International have not received any governmental aid. Please support GEET research with a donation: www.geetinternational.com

Part 1

Part 2
So, our energy/pollution problems are all contrived as the solutions have already been discovered. As we are realizing that the impending Ice Age is going to materialize sooner than later, how imperative is it that we have a way to keep the lights on, run our essential infrastructure (that excludes MIC), and construct means to keep food growing and homes/buildings warm - no starving/freezing people. Is GEET the answer staring us in the face?
 

JEEP

The Living Force
More regarding GEET - first video refers to it as French technology (?) - how this guy doesn't know that American Paul Pantone invented it is surprising:

Really great explanation as to how GEET works.

In this video, it's stated that there's a 10 to 20% fossil fuel requirement and the rest composed of liquid that can be anything from water/urine/soft drink/orange juice etc. I'm wondering if methane derived from decomposing vegetation/chicken manure etc. could substitute for the fossil fuel thus eliminating that oil/gas related input. Also, I believe Henry Ford used fuel alcohol made from hemp in his first car (the body of the car was also a hemp product). Can't help picturing that scene from Back to the Future in which the futuristic DeLorean had a "Mr Fusion" device that used garbage for fuel!



An instructional video - very low sound volume in English - cc in Spanish but English translation was useless:

GEET Instruction Series - Lesson 1: Building a GEET Reactor

DIY for mechanically minded persons - I'm thinking a GEET retrofit could be applied to generators to keep the electricity on when the power is out whether from rolling brown/blackouts caused by summer heat (or PG&E), or excessive snow/freezing. The more ambitious can apply it to any and all engines. I wonder if this is the secret to how those new and improved Russian nuclear fuel-recycling reactors work? :umm:
 

JEEP

The Living Force
Tesla and the Wall Street (the House always wins) Casino - er Stock Market:
Tesla short sellers lose $1.5 billion in a single day
  • Tesla shares shot up $45, or nearly 20%, on Thursday after the company reported a rare quarterly profit. Most analysts had been expecting a loss.
  • The stock price gain clobbered short sellers -- bearish investors who bet shares will fall -- with a $1.5 billion paper loss on Thursday alone.
  • Tesla remains one of the most shorted stocks in the market.
Wall Street short sellers, many of whom have long believed Elon Musk's electric car maker Telsa is a junker, got run over on Thursday, losing about $1.5 billion in one day on their bearish bets after the company reported a rare quarterly profit.

Telsa's stock price jumped about $45 to nearly $300 after Musk's company reported late on Wednesday that the company had turned a profit in the third quarter of $342 million. Analysts had been expecting the company to lose $72 million, according to FactSet.

That surprising news sent the stock soaring Thursday in the biggest increase in Tesla's stock since 2013. That clobbered short sellers, who borrow shares and then sell them in the hopes of buying them back later at a lower price, with a one-day paper loss of about $1.5 billion.

It's only the fourth time Tesla has had a profitable quarter in the past five years, or 20 quarters. Tesla lost nearly $600 million in the first six months of the year, but is now expected to pull off back-to-back profitable quarters in the second half, earning another $200 million in the last three months of 2019.

Telsa has long been one of the most shorted stocks on Wall Street — and Musk has often publicly battled short sellers and other critics.

In one apparent effort last year to get back at short sellers, Musk tweeted he was taking the company private in a buyout offer for $420 a share. No actual buyout offer happened, and Musk and his company eventually split a $40 million fine to settle a Securities and Exchange Commission lawsuit, claiming he had purposely misled shareholders. Musk did not admit wronging.

As of yesterday, there were 32.6 million shares of Telsa sold short, according to S3 Partners, which tracks the data. That was down from earlier this year when as many as 43.7 million Tesla shares were sold short in early June.

But the loss for short sellers, at least for now, is just a pit-stop in what has been for the past year or so a very profitable ride. Even after Thursday's jump, Telsa's shares are still down 10.5% in 2019. S3 Partners estimates that short sellers have still collectively made $500 million betting against Tesla's stock this year.

And Tesla's short sellers are unlikely to unplug anytime soon. Despite the profit jump, Tesla's sales, which missed expectations, were down from the prior quarter and from a year ago.

A good portion of the third quarter profit came from the fact that Tesla was able to recognize as profit a chunk of cash it had already collected for pre-sales of its "summon" feature, which became available in September.

Tesla, like other car manufacturers, also is likely to be hit by the continued trade tensions with China.

Tesla short sellers lose $1.5 billion in a single day
About that "summon" feature:

Tesla’s Smart Summon Feature Is Causing Parking Lot Chaos

Tesla Enhanced Summon FAIL - Drone Footage

Tesla’s Smart Summon feature is already causing chaos in parking lots across America
Is Smart Summon ready for prime time?
Sep 30, 2019

Tesla’s new “Smart Summon” feature is already causing confusion — and some minor fender benders. It’s another example of the real-world complications that arise from Tesla’s willingness to beta test features using customers.

Smart Summon is the new name for Tesla’s autonomous parking feature, which enables a Tesla vehicle to leave a parking space and navigate around obstacles to its owner. Tesla owners who purchased the Full Self-Driving option on their car received it as part of the version 10 software update that went out last week. Using just a smartphone, you can “summon” your car to you from a maximum distance of 200 feet, as long as the car is within your line of sight.


Videos of Tesla owners testing the new feature have already began popping up on social media over the weekend, and wouldn’t you know it, it’s kind of a mess. One Tesla owner tweeted about “front bumper damage,” while another claimed their Model 3 “ran into the side of [a] garage.” A video of a near collision with a speeding SUV left the owner feeling their test of Smart Summon “didn’t go so well.” Another Tesla was filmed seemingly confused by pedestrians and other cars as it tried to make its way across a Walmart parking lot.


Tesla warns owners to be careful with using Smart Summon because it’s not a fully autonomous feature. “You are still responsible for your car and must monitor it and its surroundings at all times and be within your line of sight because it may not detect all obstacles,” the fine print on Tesla’s website reads. “Be especially careful around quick moving people, bicycles and cars.”


Of course, the Smart Summon tweets and videos are already subject to fierce debate among supporters and short sellers of Tesla’s stock alike. Supporters accuse the Tesla owners of misusing the feature — they’re “doing some dumb things with it,” according to Electrekor even lying about what actually happened, while the shorts have their own theories about how all this could possibly relate to the company’s upcoming earnings report.

This feels like a tiny glimpse of the chaotic future. Amid flagging auto sales, car companies are introducing more and more futuristic-seeming functions in their production vehicles. This includes advanced driver assist systems, like Tesla’s Autopilot and GM’s Super Cruise, and other features that take advantage of the suite of cameras and sensors that come embedded in practically every modern car today. Tesla is obviously ahead of the pack. Their competitors are rushing to keep up.

The result will be a messy scrum of “smart” and “dumb” cars interacting with each other in ways that are both hilarious and potentially dangerous — especially when the smart cars aren’t as smart as advertised. Either way, these interactions are tailor-made to go viral.

This weekend’s video bonanza is just the beginning — and they’re likely to shape some of the public’s perception of autonomous vehicles as janky and prone to mistakes. You could place them in the same category as the “Tesla driver sleeping while driving on the highway” genre of YouTube videos that have been circulating for years now. The takeaway is that the more people get to experience autonomy in their real lives, the less plausible it seems.

Tesla’s Smart Summon feature is already causing chaos in parking lots across America
Aren't parking lots hazardous enough without having to contend with driverless cars? And how soon before one of these cars gets hacked and completely drives away without the owner? Imagine calling in that police report! :rolleyes:
 

c.a.

The Living Force
FOTCM Member




Published: Oct 26, 2019 1:10 p.m. ET
Tesla reports surprise profit, just like it did a year ago before a series of missteps pushed electric-car maker off track
Tesla Inc. reported a surprise profit in the third quarter, and promises that it will sustain that position through a series of tough tests in the months ahead.

This should sound familiar to observers of the battleground stock, because it is exactly what happened in the third quarter a year ago. After producing more than $300 million in profits in that quarter, Tesla earnings fell to $100 million in the next quarter before diving to a loss of more than $1 billion in the first half of this year.

Chief Executive Elon Musk blamed that quick decline on logistical issues, growing pains and more, but now promises (again) that Tesla will be profitable moving forward, even as he heads into yet another frantic ramp. The question Tesla investors are left with is if the company will be able to sustain the current profitability — which was mostly derived from cost-cutting and emissions credits— at the same time it is building out the new Model Y and a brand-new gigafactory in China.

Tesla’s TSLA, +9.49% shares soared more than 20% in after-hours trading Wednesday, and were up 19% in premarket trade Thursday, approaching the $300 level that Tesla stock has not touched since February. Musk said Tesla is ahead of schedule on the Model Y crossover SUV and that the company’s Shanghai gigafactory was completed in 10 months and has started trial production of the Model Y.



“We have moved the launch timeline from full 2020 to summer 2020,” Musk said. “There may be some room for improvement there, but we’re confident about summer 2020.”

That type of bravado is similar to Musk’s pronouncements about the production and delivery of the Model 3, which took much longer than expected and then ran into logistical concerns on deliveries that marred the first half of this year. The same happened with the U.S. gigafactory, which has faced issues with ramping production and Tesla’s partner in the effort, Panasonic 6752, -0.22%, and left Tesla battery-constrained for a time while it was trying to make more Model 3s.

There is also the question of sustainability in general, given that tax credits for electric vehicles will be going away in the U.S. next year, and that the company already cut its costs to get to this point. Tesla cut 7% of its full-time workforce earlier this year, closing most of its retail locations and cutting prices to help make up for the loss of tax credits. If Tesla runs into trouble during this ramp, it might have to hire up to fix the issues, again causing the same issues it has already suffered.

Tesla excited investors with profit at the end of last year, and now it has done it again. As investors continue to try to parse through Musk’s hyperbole and the company’s actual performance, they have to ask if this is the turn they had hoped for, or just another trip around the same track.

 

JEEP

The Living Force
Tesla Discloses US Revenues Collapsed 39%. Americans Sour on its Cars, Pent-Up Demand Exhausted
October 30, 2019 by IWB

This is a holy-cow moment.
This morning, Tesla filed its Form 10-Q quarterly earnings report with the SEC, a moment when no one was supposed to pay attention after the surprise quarterly profit that had caused such a hullabaloo last week. The 10-Q provides a pile of additional detail that Tesla is not required to disclose in its promo-laden earnings report that was primarily designed to downplay its first year-over-year revenue decline since the Financial Crisis.

But that revenue decline is a lot more nerve-wracking than what it looks like on the surface.

What Tesla disclosed last week:
Total revenues in the third quarter declined by 7.6% from Q3 last year, to $6.3 billion (earnings report), the first year-over-year decline since the Financial Crisis, composed of these elements:
  • Automotive revenues plunged 12% to $5.4 billion.
  • Energy and storage revenues ticked up less than 1% to $402 million.
  • “Services and other” revenues jumped by 68% to $548 million.
This plunge in dollar-revenues from the vehicles it sells was caused by a 37% or 10,227-unit plunge in deliveries of its high-dollar Model S and Model X, to just 17,483 units; and a 42% or 23,638-units surge of its lower-dollar but still expensive Model 3.

Total deliveries of all models combined rose 16% year-over-year to 97,186 vehicles, but now heavily skewed toward the less expensive models, with the Model S and X looking at oblivion.

What Tesla disclosed today in its 10-Q:
When an automaker’s automotive revenues plunge 12% year-over-year, that’s catastrophic enough. But the details in today’s 10-Q filing of how that plunge was composed – or rather where it occurred – made it a lot more catastrophic: Revenues in the US, its largest market, collapsed.

I’m not using that word lightly. When revenues plunge 39%, it’s a collapse.

The collapse in revenues in the US was only partially offset by revenue growth in its other geographic markets. The list below shows revenues in Q3, all products and services combined, by geographic region, compared to Q3 2018:
  • United States: -39% to $3.13 billion, from $5.13 billion
  • China: +64% to $669 million, from $409 million
  • Netherlands: +56% to $427 million, from $274 million
  • Norway: +13% to $253 million, from $224 million
  • “Other”: 133% to $1.83 billion, from $784 million
  • Total Revenues: -8% to $6.30 billion, from $6.82 billion
For a company whose entire over-inflated stock-price story is based on hype about its endless massive growth, a revenue decline is the end of that story. But now we’re seeing a revenue collapse in its most important market, the US.

Why the heck this collapse in demand in the US?
There are plenty of new Tesla’s in the US. But demand has collapsed, and Tesla is now trying to offset this collapse in US demand by selling its cars elsewhere. But what has caused this collapse in US demand?

One, the Model S and X are withering away. They’re reaching the end of their life-cycle. Tesla has not redesigned them, or even just reskinned them. The Model X never took off as hoped for. Americans are now losing interest in these models. Sales are withering away. And Tesla does not appear to make any efforts at resuscitating them.

Two, pent-up demand for the Model 3 is exhausted in the US. For years before the much-delayed mass production actually started, Tesla hyped the Model 3 endlessly, with teaser-prices that were low enough to move it into the realm of a mass-market car. Tesla took deposits, and folks lined up to buy one for $35,000 or whatever. But when reality finally arrived, it was the expensive versions that were offered, and folks hoping to buy a sub-$40,000 version were strung out until this year.

By the end of last year, that pent-up demand in the US was largely exhausted. In January this year, Tesla started laying off part of its US delivery staff as deliveries were in free-fall.

Without that pent-up demand of the early fans in the US, Tesla is screwed, amid voluminous complaints about quality problems and a shortage of parts to get collision damage or warranty problems fixed that cause regular buyers to hesitate.

Three, the onslaught of EV competitors, manufactured properly by global automakers – from GM on one end to Porsche on the other – is now arriving. Tesla single-handedly made EVs cool and created the EV space; but now everyone is moving into it on a massive scale, and it’s dog-eat-dog, something Tesla has not experienced before.

Four, federal EV incentives for Tesla’s cars are being phased out. It was long assumed that Tesla buyers, a special group of people, would buy regardless of incentives or no incentives. But that appears to have been an assumption that failed.

Now Tesla’s strategy is to exhaust any pent-up demand globally. China is the largest EV market in the world, but there are hundreds of EV makers in China, including all global automakers, that are offering a slew of EV models.

Auto sales in China have hit the skids in mid-2018. Since the phase-out of the EV incentives, even EV sales, which had been booming until recently, have started to skid, just as Tesla is launching production at its factory in Shanghai. So China is going to be tough too after Tesla’s pent-up demand, to whatever extent it might exist, has been exhausted there.

If Tesla ever becomes profitable, where should its shares be?

Given that automakers operate in a no-growth, saturated, highly competitive market, their shares trade at PE ratios in the single-digits to low double-digits. If Tesla ever makes enough money to where it has positive earnings on an annual basis, something it has never gotten even close to, it will face the same issue: What are Tesla shares worth with a PE ratio of 12, for example, if it makes a huge annual profit of $1 billion? I just did the math: $67 a share, assuming that it will ever get this gloriously profitable.

Tesla Discloses US Revenues Collapsed 39%. Americans Sour on its Cars, Pent-Up Demand Exhausted – Investment Watch
 

bjorn

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
One thing about Tesla cars is impossible to deny though. They go fast!

Have a look at this video, which showcases the Tesla model 3 acceleration and top speed:


Their newest upcoming car goes even faster and by a lot, the Roadster 2 is set to arrive in 2021.

Specs are: (wikipedia)

The following claims have been made by Musk for the prototype Roadster's acceleration:
  • 0–97 km/h (0–60 mph) in 1.9 seconds.
Its claimed 0 to 400 m (0 to 1⁄4 mile) time will be under 9 seconds, with a top speed above 400 km/h (250 mph). If the production Roadster achieves these performance numbers, it will outperform the supercars of 2017 and would set new production car records, none of which had yet done better than 0–100 km/h (0–62 mph) in 2.0 seconds or 9.0 seconds in the 1/4 mile. Referring to the performance, Musk stated, "this is what we are achieving in the prototype", he also indicated the performance may improve in the production model and that the stated numbers refer to the anticipated "base model".
So if people are wondering why Porsche, Bugatti and other big manufacturers of sport and supercars turned electric, I think it's mainly because EC are promising when it comes to performance.
 

Scottie

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One thing about Tesla cars is impossible to deny though. They go fast!
They do indeed. The high top speed is definitely a result of good design.

The go-fast part tho, not so much. They use 3-phase electric motors since they are more compact, can handle higher power, have less vibration, and have very high starting torque (which is good for acceleration). Now, that's also definitely a good design choice, but there's nothing really revolutionary about the tech involved.

Until recently, even the battery packs weren't really anything new or fancy.

And then there's this:


Tesla had $6.3 billion in profits, and became the first US auto maker to top the $100 billion market value. In contrast:

Ford Motor Company's revenue for the same period was almost $158 billion, but the automaker's market cap is about a third of Tesla's, standing at $36.5 billion as of Wednesday.
So, in addition to long-term issues with battery charging and electric power consumption/production, the company itself clearly wouldn't even exist if we weren't living an era of "imaginary economics".

Not that economics ever actually made complete sense, but lately it's so utterly insane that it wouldn't surprise me in the least if Tesla or some similar Magic Company starting selling boxes of dirt for $50k a pop - and people bought it Because AwesomeTM.

And if anyone needs any proof of the huge emotional investment that many people have in electric cars (and Teslas in particular), see the comments after my latest YT vid.

Me, I'm still waiting for Musk to invent Mr. Fusion like in Back to the Future Part 2 and make his business ventures actually profitable in the normal sense of the word. THEN I'll be impressed.
 

Pashalis

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Recently I drove a new car with all the latest tech in it including an automated lane assistant. Found it quite eery and strange to experience how the automatic systems basically took over the complete control of the car and you don't have much of a say in it. If you try to steer the way you want to steer it is like the car wants to steer as it wants with resistance against how you want to steer. With all that tech in the car it is already quite doable and possible to let the car drive on its own without you needing to steer, brake or accelerate. Simply speaking, I don't like it at all. If it goes on like that, you don't have to do pretty much anything in the car anymore and give all the responsibility and work to a machine, that I assume can be hacked quite easily by nefarious people/agencies.

Also, I drove another new car recently and tested out its new automated features. It didn't take long for me to drive in the car before a very dangerous situation happened on the street and the automated systems didn't recognize as such at all. Simply speaking, if I wouldn't have been there in the car to break and steer, the car would have basically driven full steam into other vehicles causing massive material and human damage. With all this new tech in cars you basically become less and less the master of your own house, aka. the car.

Take away for me; avoid any of those new cars/systems as long as possible and stay in control of what happens in and around the car.
 

bjorn

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Recently I drove a new car with all the latest tech in it including an automated lane assistant. Found it quite eery and strange to experience how the automatic systems basically took over the complete control of the car and you don't have much of a say in it
I don't like it either and turned it off. For the automated lane assistant, look for the following button. If it isn't on the steeringwheel, it's probably somewhere at your left. (knee height)

Or select ''sport mode'' 😎 (if the car has it) and it will turn of automatically.

How to Turn Off Lane Keep Assist

eyesight-steeringwheel-buttons-1024x683.png

With all this new tech in cars you basically become less and less the master of your own house, aka. the car.
Exactly 😴


The car should have driven them to prison instead.

Btw, the number of electric cars in the Netherlands is 1.6 percent. Yet charging is already a problem. The capacity of charging points is increasingly being restricted to prevent power outages. One electric car uses as much electricity as 10 households.
 
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bjorn

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Excellent breakdown on electric cars and the electricity generation /supply issue, Scottie.

The ''green revolution'' demands that we change the total infrastructure to be able to charge all cars. Engineering reality vs hype & politics, must see to understand the impracticality and problems of electric cars.

The Power Problem with Electric Vehicles

 

bjorn

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FOTCM Member
Electric air-verhicles don't produce a lot of noise compared to engine helicopters, which is crucial for cities worried about noise pollution.

The air taxi market is projected to grow at a significant rate. Air taxi is a type of aircraft intended for shorter distance to travel.

The downside is that today's batteries don't allow for long range flights. The range of this air taxi is only about 60 miles (100 kilometers) between charging. But will require only about five to seven minutes for recharging. Still, does that make it practical enough? To me it seems that they are aggressively trying to push the air taxi market without having the tech neccesary (sufficient batteries) to make it a succesful business. Perhaps they should invest in / or wait when battery-tech is ready to support it? Still I think it's interesting, it might solve traffic jams for example.

Hyundai will make flying cars for Uber’s air taxi service

This is no Sonata in the sky

Schermafbeelding 2020-02-17 om 12.40.53.png

Last month, Hyundai teased a “flying car” concept that it was bringing to the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The full-scale prototype is now on display at CES this week, but today, the South Korean automaker upped the ante. Not only will Hyundai mass produce these electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, but it will also deploy them for Uber’s promised air taxi network.

You’ll recall that Uber announced its aerial ambitions back in 2016 with a white paper that outlined a future “Uber Elevate” project. The ride-hailing company has said it wants to perform its own test flights in 2020, and plans to launch some version of an air taxi service in 2023, starting in Dallas, Texas, and Los Angeles, California. Uber also recently announced that it will offer helicopter rides in New York from lower Manhattan to John F. Kennedy International Airport.

Now Hyundai is along for the ride (flight?). It’s noteworthy because Hyundai is in essence lending its manufacturing credibility to Uber’s ambitious (if dubious) plan to launch an urban air taxi system by the mid-2020s. Based on the specs, though, Hyundai’s Personal Air Vehicle (PAV) won’t be some Sonata in the sky. With two tilt-rotors on the tail, and 10 other rotors distributed around the egg-shaped cabin, the aircraft is designed to take off vertically, transition to wing-borne lift in cruise, and then transition back to vertical flight to land.

The five-person vehicle will have a cruising speed of 180 mph (290 km/h) and a cruising altitude of around 1,000–2,000 feet (300–600 meters) above ground. Hyundai says by using smaller, electric-powered rotors, the vehicle will produce less noise than a combustion engine helicopter, which is crucial for cities worried about noise pollution. During peak hours, it will require only about five to seven minutes for recharging. And Hyundai says it will have a range of 60 miles (100 kilometers) between charging.

And that’s not all. Hyundai also unveiled concepts for a landing hub and an eco-friendly “Purpose Built Vehicle” (PBV) for ground transportation to and from the station. The PBV resembles a beige rectangle and will utilize AI to find optimal routes and travel in platoons, Hyundai says. Each PBV will be able to serve various functions, such as transit, coffee shop, or medical clinic.

It all sounds great and fantastically futuristic on paper, but Hyundai has yet to conduct any test flights, piloted or otherwise, nor has it said how much all this will cost. There have been a handful of small-scale test flights of eVTOL aircraft around the world, but none are currently in commercial operation. The technology is still in its very early days, and Uber and Hyundai, as well as a variety of other players in the field, face enormous regulatory and technical challenges in getting their respective air taxi services off the ground.

Still, Hyundai is the first global automaker to join forces with Uber. The automaker will produce and deploy the electric aircraft, while Uber will provide airspace support, ground operations, and, of course, the app through which customers can book flights.

Uber released images of its own concept aircraft over a year ago, though it said it’s looking for partners that can meet its technology specifications — electric-powered, minimal noise, and vertical takeoff and landing capabilities — as well as a company that can scale production to build tens of thousands of vehicles to meet the demand of on-demand service. Uber has struck similar arrangements with seven other aerospace companies: Joby, Jaunt, Embraer, Pipistrel, Karem Aircraft, Aurora Flight Sciences, and Bell.

Another glimps in the future?


+

Aston Martin Volante Vision VTOL aircraft

 
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