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Herman
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The desireability of BEVs notwithstanding, there is a procurement spec for the vehicle and a budget line item authorization associated with that. If a lower-priced vehicle that meets the spec can be selected it will be; changing the selection criteria and project budget to pick something else would endanger the likelihood of continuation and eventual production launch. And the letter from concerned taxpayers carries zero weight. Gary, I don't disagree with your math, but it doesn't account for cost of money, which is not zero. $15k of savings over ten years doesn't come close to "paying" for $10-15k up front. And don't forget infrastucture. Also, the idea that the truck might be obsolete by 2030 is refuted by the LLV. The median age for these old dogs is 26, and most of them are on the road still. The plan is that the last NGDV built in ~2024 will be in service in 2045 (if not longer).
A modern engine with mild electrification will make a gigantic difference in the USPS fuel use and emissions profile. The current Long Life Vehicle (LLV) fleet built '87-'94 uses the ancient 2.5L Iron Duke engine, really a commercially non-viable engine even then. Using the Mahindra version as an example -- with the new (and completely unrelated) GM 2.5L e-assist -- the old 9mpg metric for the LLV will rise by at least 4-5mpg. So you get a 50% reduction in fuel use (and by extension CO2), along with >80% drop in unburned CHO and NOx, for an affordable price and no plugs. These improvements are good enough to please most taxpayers. The price target for the NGDV is stated as "$25-35k each". A pure EV won't fit in this target, and the infrastructure cost, while not really that huge, isn't trivial. EVSEs for over 100,000 vehicles are not in the budget. My math says it's not likely that a strong hybrid will make the cut, but of course that would be the best compromise. Above all, there's no assurance that the project will even happen. (IMO the "right" choice would be an plug-in REx architecture like that proposed by VT Hackney and Workhorse. WAAAAY too expensive.)
"We can clearly see that the memory of Hitler and che guevarra are still influencing the stupids to buy big heavy suvs and for some even more stupids to buy costly toxic big battery cars and suvs" I'll attribute this bit of psychobabble to some challenge in expression other than your native language. What exactly were you trying to say?
In fact you truly CAN fool some of the people all of the time.
James: Workhorse has nothing but competition. The army of enterprises offering electrified solutions continues to grow, and Workhorse faces them with modest weapons and little ammo. They won't survive.
As Tesla continue to slip further behind the automotive world in the growing commoditization of sensors, mapping and autonomous controls... Whence Henrik / Change, who regularly lectured all who dared comment on the nature of this initiative?
I seem to recall numerous commnenters here predicting the imminent demise of VW (to be replaced by Tesla according to Henrik, I think, perhaps the most prolific with the moribund VW theme). Now with this announcement of 33,000 vehicles (avg) delivered EVERY DAY in the month of September, the drafts of VW's obituary were a bit... premature, perhaps? (Re: Henrik: that's more than Tesla's deliveries for the entirety of Q3, FWIW.)
"Technology improvements will soon separate the winners from the losers, so it’s a pretty certain bet that more M&A—a lot more—will likely happen over the next few years." Of course we will, Mark. Oh... and for which company(ies) are you underwriting the 424 Prospectus filing?
In 2013 I started driving plug-ins with a Leaf. In 2016 I moved to a Volt (cold midwest + flexibility of ICE needed; still e-driving ~75-80% w/o range anxiety now). A happy plug-in driver and EVangelist. Wife drives a Tahoe (5.3L V-8 with pretend cylinder cutout) and she will give it up when the fob is pried from her cold dead fingers.
sd: Here it is. http://www.xlhybrids.com/content/technology/ Definitely a chance for some "greening" of the standard P/U truck with pretty much complete transparency to the operator. A compromise, to be sure, but fits the bill for many municipalities.
... and the sharp-eyed among you must have seen I inverted the ratio. That should be ROIC/WACC>1 as a money-making measure.
No bias here, Lad: realism. Tesla has taken the world's imagination by storm and energized the EV movement more effectively than anyone expected. All good. But they aren't plowing profits back into the business. Excepting 2014, SG&A and interest expense ate more than their total gross margin. That's BEFORE any R&D is accounted. Looking at the balance sheet: all the Capital Investment has been paid for through borrowing or sales of shares and/or convertible bonds. Excepting a couple of quarters, Tesla has never generated cash from operations; as a net they've burnt over $1B just building product and keeping the lights on -- that's before a dime of CapEx. That's Tesla's filings talking here; I'm just telling you what they say. Toyota has delivered over 10 Million hybrid autos since they started with the Prius. Like it or not, the energy equation for the CHO-burning world currently makes hybrids the best net saver of emissions for private mobility except for PHEVs. Yes, better than pure BEV's, and yes, that is changing rapidly. But in the meantime the core activities of making EVs (affordable and efficient power electronics and motors, robust controls, etc.) continues to be led in the industrial world by Toyota, all while we witness a rapidly developing global commoditization that's outstripping everyone's expectations. The future of batteries is unwritten and no doubt extraordinary. While Tesla's mass(ively)-produced 2170 will likely set a cost and packaging standard, it will be fleeting. Tethered H2 vehicles will enter the scene more commonly than any of us (me included) expected. And ICEs have a surprisingly vibrant path ahead as well. You haven't seen the end of them. The coming times are excellent for consumers, which means brutal and bloody for manufacturers. Currently only five automobile companies truly make money (WACC/ROIC ratio > 1): FHI's Subaru, Great Wall, Suzuki's Maruti venture, BMW, and Daimler. Nope, not Toyota, but they are close. Tesla is WAY below the crowd, not only <1 but negative. Tesla does not make money: Tesla Raises money, and very effectively I might add.
"Wonder how Tesla makes a profit if California is such an expensive place to do business" I have your answer: they don't make a profit.
With a JFY16 Gross Revenue of $247B (over 10M cars and lots of other stuff) Toyota Motors paid $6.6B to shareholders in the form of dividends, bought back $6B in shares, and still managed to invest almost $9B in R&D and $11B in CapEx while finishing with positive change in Cash and Cash Equivalents. Cash Flow from Operations ($30B) exceeded the combined total of net borrowings ($9B) by more than 3X. With a 2016 Gross Revenue of $7B (just under 80k cars, some solar leases, and a handful of storage bnatteries) Tesla issued shares to the tune of $2B, and the ratio of $1.7B in net borrowings to operating cash flow had no meaning since, once again, Cash Flow from Operations was negative. With all that financing and borrowing Tesla did manage to spend $834M in R&D and $1.4B in CapEx. Tesla can get a lot of people to send them money for the next promise of Visionness and Disruptivity. But I think in terms of lunch-stealing the Cali lad only managed to run off with a Skittle or two from the ziploc that Toyota's mom packed in his lunch pail. Tesla strutted around the lunchroom and bragged about it, but the quiet Nipponese boy still maintains an admirably large foot-long po' boy, a big bag of fuego Takis, a 20oz. tea, a snack bag of wasabi peas, and a big honeycrisp apple. Plus most of his Skittles. (Toyota doesn't carry a bento when he's Stateside -- big lunches only, mom.) But I'll admit those little candies are tasty.
From the prior post: "Proton’s megawatt-scale M Series electrolyzers (M200 and M400) can accept one and two megawatts (MWs) of power and produce up to 400 Nm3/hr, 864 kg hydrogen per 24 hours (M400)." At $22M for the 13 sites, this is a WHOLE lot less $$ than the single 900kg/day California facility for $8.3M.
One kg of Hydrogen has roughly the same energy content as a gallon of gasoline (about four liters of petrol). The fuel cell is about twice as efficient in delivering energy to the wheels as a typical ICE, so in round numbers this electrolyzer makes the equivalent of almost 2000 gal (around 7500 liters) per day. The mean daily output from a US gas station is roughly 4500 gal/day. So the electrolyzer is getting close to having “mainstream” energy availability, albeit at a very high initial capex number. I’ve been a long time romanticist about fuel cells but skeptical of their actual/practical future. Maybe the tide is turning.
Since Tesla has NOT... (1) ...done a public, hands-off, cross country drive with a group that includes non-employees, and (2) ... acquired ownership in both ride-hailing and shared vehicle companies, is GM suddenly now worth an additional few tens of $B of market cap? If not why not, TSLA acolytes?
The notion that a reduction in peak engine output (and resulting milder acceleration) is a path to better fuel economy seems somewhat obvious... I realize I'm getting older by the day but in my doddering memory 0 to 60 times of under 10 seconds were considered quite snappy. For those Yanks who were sentient in 1975, you might remember the Hurst Olds 4-4-2 with a 455in^3 (7.4L) V-8 http://www.automobile-catalog.com/car/1975/2371760/hurst-olds_cutlass_w30_455_v8.html The 0-60 times of 10-ish seconds made you the cool guy on your block. With a modestly-sized interior, a small trunk and about 8 (EIGHT) mpg in the city it was one of the dumber transport choices in the history of humankind, but, hey, who knew (or cared). Your average Joe was content with 0-60 under 14 sec. We could not have imagined a much safer family car with more interior volume, about 2 sec faster to sixty and three times better fuel economy... with an engine about one-third the displacement. What manner of magic is this, this thing called a "Camry" 40-odd years hence? Acceleration to achieve 0 to 100km/hr (if we're able to measure this way here in the US) in 10 seconds is generously quick for any normal universe. An electrically "boosted" start -- either through torque assist or induction boost with an economical low-voltage system -- to reduce that by a second or so is an acceptable luxury, but not "needed". If we can accomodate ourselves to these very rational targets we could get fleet averages up 5-6mpg in no time.
Thomas, I hear the safety concerns, but I never ride in a big herd. Where I live the roads are not bike-friendly and the boost available from a one HP motor is near essential. In all seriousness, the continental package is very nice and 250w would be fine in the environments you reference. If it were made in 500w+ I'd get one. I also agree about mid-drive and getting the motor off the wheel hub. This one is what I have: https://lunacycle.com/motors-and-kits/mid-drive-kits/bafang-bbs02-750w-mid-drive-motor-and-controller-only/ As you can see you have to build up the whole crank assembly and mounting/installation can be a trial. Ultimately I gave up on the mechanical part of the DIY and "contracted" the work to a local bike shop. (They hate e-bikes and so the price was quite dear.) I built my own 48V/25Ah battery. As Ferris Bueller said in refernce to the Ferrari 250GT California: "If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up." It gets to 45km/h in a blink, but if I'm judicious with throttle and pedal, a 150km ride leaves some battery to spare.
It's primarily aimed at the EU market so 250w maximum (= boring). I have a 750w motor on my latest e-bike, in the American tradition of a whole bunch is way better than enough. If I pass some euroweenie riding one of these I will pretend to coal-roll him. (All in jest, please)
Peter the things you're saying are so entirely contrary to demonstrated reality it is remarkable. The modern mid-priced auto has doaens of electronic control units and millions of lines of code, and is phenomenally reliable. Some of the highest satisfaction ratings and reported reliability lie with electrified architectures. You are so far distant from the actual auto universe that, as physicist Wolfgang Pauli is purported to have said to a wildly misguided colleague "That is not only not right; it is not even wrong."
There is a Japanese phrase for this accomplishment. Memory fails me right now, but as I recall it translates to "way better than Tesla, and as a bonus no annoying, self-righteous, bellicose CEO bragging about a golden safety record that's entirely a figment of his imagination" (or something like that). Anyhow congrats, Mazda!
When we discuss the Norway case and the implication for electric car penetration, we always leave out one very important word. I’ll illustrate. Here’s the usual story: (1) Norway aggressively supports plug-in vehicles. The buyer pays considerably lower purchase tax (amounting to nearly the price of the vehicle in some cases), permits special lane privileges, forgives/eliminates city entry and road tolls, provides free parking, and heavily subsidizes charging at residences and workplaces. Norway has the highest price for petrol and diesel, greatly encouraging the use of stored electrochemical energy for personal transport. This is bolstered by enormous renewable energy supplies (hydroelectric). As a collateral influence, Norway’s excellent public transport system eases the pressure a driver may perceive about range, allowing a simple and affordable alternative if range is perceived to be limiting for some drives. Finally, Norway is both wealthy (with a sovereign “rainy day” trust of over US$1M per citizen) and characterized by a very “green” cultural consciousness. (2) Norway’s market share of new LDV’s by Plug-Ins is 25%. Have you figured it out? Hint: the word is missing from (2). OK, here you go: the missing word is ONLY: Norway’s market share of new LDV’s by Plug-Ins is ONLY 25%. If the story for Plug-Ins is so compelling AND it has the most verdant opportunity possible, why isn’t it 50% or more? And how will the rest of the world even come close? (Note: before you have a cow, please know I’ve been a Plug-In driver since 2013.)
"sleeve-valve... Design from the past." What isn't? In 2005 I would've called space vector control of an induction motor a "design from the past". And yet Tesla managed to apply the much-improved processing (and, subsequently, software) of the late-00's and make a much more efficient and responsive drive train based on that core concept. Numerous ICE concepts get revived because improvements in economically practical fine-tolerance machining, materials (especially treatment/coating and joining methods), tribology, sensors and processing power made them practical. The oil consumption issues and limitations to variable timing of sleeve valve concepts aren't impossibilities anymore. Afforable mass-manufacture of engines like this for last-mile mobility in India will make a real impact on transport pollution much sooner than the fantasies of shanty-dwelling tuk tuk operators recharging Li batteries from a 2 sq meter PV panel or a grid that doesn't exist. I'm not saying don't electrify these vehicles. I'm personally involved with a Delhi-based business that builds motors for just that purpose, and they sell a few hundred a month. But customers are boutique buyers who are far outnumbered by the smoky masses of impoverished operators who buy high-sulfur diesel from roadside sellers and have no reliable access to electricity. There is no social cohort of people more willing to aspire endlessly (and unsuccessfully) to the Perfect while allowing the many opportunties for the Better to slip away than EV dreamers.
"The 12 passenger Model X shuttle will reduce traffic congestion with or without autonomy." Yes, the concept of a 12 psgr van is something the world has never seen, and it will revolutionize urban mobility.