In this new miniseries, CleanTechnica Director Zachary Shahan and data engineer, investor, and Tesla fan Paul Fosse (that’s me) discuss cleantech news of the week and offer additional insights and analysis. In this first episode, as an introduction, I describe my life as a series of obsessions. From age 10 to 20, I was into cars. Then, for the next 3 decades, I concentrated on computers and investing. At about 50, I discovered that following Tesla I could combine all three interests. Professionally, I architect and deliver financial analytical data marts on massively parallel systems for a leading healthcare insurer. I have owned 2 electric cars, a hybrid, and 2 plug-in hybrids. Some of that is weaved into the discussion, which has the premise of ruminating on 3 top EV stories from last week.
You can listen to the conversation in the embedded player below. Below that embedded player is a brief summary of the topics covered, but tune into the podcast to follow the full discussion. Next time, we will livestream via video and include that format in the article. Also note that we had an audio/connection problem this time that will not occur again. Forgive the audio or wait till the next episode to listen to our discussions.
We started the podcast with a discussion of the recent updates to all the Tesla models, including increased range for most models, the heat pump added to the Model 3, and significant cosmetic changes to the Model 3, inside and out.
Next, our dynamic duo talked about the surprisingly strong third-quarter sales of the Model Y and Model 3. The Tesla Model Y has outsold all the luxury SUVs, for example. The Model Y has not gotten the publicity the Model 3 received for such accomplishments, and the gas competition is much stronger this time around. The Model Y has a ways to go to catch up with the non-luxury crossovers like the Toyota RAV4 and the Honda CRV, though, and may never be able to.
Notably, the Model 3 not only outsells its luxury competitors, but it also matches the top 3 competitors combined (Audi, BMW, Mercedes). The auto industry has so abandoned the sedan market that the Model 3 is the 10th best selling sedan, only significantly outsold by the Toyota Camry, Toyota Corolla, Honda Accord, and Honda Civic. The Model 3 is virtually tied with the Ford Fusion (being discontinued), Nissan Sentra, and Altima (decimated by Covid, since it sells a lot to rental car companies), Hyundai Elantra, and Chevy Malibu. All of those cars have a similar cost of ownership to the base Model 3 but have purchase prices about $15,000 to $20,000 lower.
Paul Fosse A Software engineer for over 30 years, first developing EDI software, then developing data warehouse systems. Along the way, I’ve also had the chance to help start a software consulting firm and do portfolio management. In 2010, I took an interest in electric cars because gas was getting expensive. In 2015, I started reading CleanTechnica and took an interest in solar, mainly because it was a threat to my oil and gas investments. Follow me on Twitter @atj721 Tesla investor. Tesla referral code: https://ts.la/paul92237
Nio surged 19% on Wednesday after it received an “overweight” upgrade and a $40 price target from JPMorgan, representing upside potential of 85% from Tuesday’s close.
JPMorgan acknowledged that it missed the massive 438% year-to-date rally in shares of Nio, given its previous neutral rating, but said it thinks there’s more room to run for the Chinese premium electric vehicle manufacturer.
According to JPMorgan, Tesla’s success in China is driving a “rising tides lift all boats” phenomenon rather than it being a “winner takes all” situation.Advertisement
The bank expects the market penetration of electric vehicles to quadruple in China over the next five years, from less than 5% to 20%, driven by a change in consumer preferences and a reduction in EV prices as battery costs fall.
And within China’s electric vehicle market, JPMorgan said it expects Nio “to be a long term winner in the premium space among Chinese brands.”
Potential catalysts that could help Nio rally toward JPMorgan’s $40 price target include a strong earnings report in November, a robust order backlog update on its lineup of cars, and the unveiling of a new sedan that is expected to be revealed in December.
And as Nio continues to benefit from the path cemented by Tesla, JPMorgan thinks it could dominate upward of 30% of the premium electric vehicle market, reaching 334,000 units by 2025. Still, Nio will have to rapidly scale production to catch up to Tesla. According to data from the China Passenger Car Association, Tesla has been trending at more than 10,000 monthly sales in China since May, putting it on track to deliver well more than 100,000 vehicles in China this year.Advertisement
Analyst Mark Delaney boosted his price target from $400 to $450, making it the second time this month that Goldman Sachs has increased its outlook on …
Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) received a boosted price target from Wall Street firm Goldman Sachs on Wednesday morning. Analyst Mark Delaney boosted his price target from $400 to $450, making it the second time this month that Goldman Sachs has increased its outlook on the electric automaker’s stock.
According to TheFly.com, Delaney maintained a “Neutral” rating on TSLA shares, but also believes that automotive companies with high exposure, like Tesla, are capable of reporting strong earnings for Q3 based on recent industry data and company commentary.
In terms of “high exposure” automotive companies, there are few that top Tesla. With the increasing popularity of electric cars, Tesla is without a doubt the industry leader. The company offers best-in-class electric transportation and the best prices on the market.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk is also widely popular among owners, enthusiasts, and tech-interested people throughout the world. His intelligence, coupled with the desire to make his company’s cars a little bit better every day, has revolutionized the way automotive companies look at their consumer bases.
Operating extremely different from legacy automotive companies, Tesla has used consumer suggestions to improve its vehicles on several occasions.
Delaney holds high regard for the U.S. automotive market in 2020, forecasting 14.3 million sales for the year. Previous estimates from the Goldman analyst suggested 13.4 million, but a rebound from the slump in early 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic has slowed significantly.
Tesla plans to deliver 500,000 of the 14.3 million cars that Goldman is forecasting for 2020. The company announced a record number of deliveries for Q3, with 139,300 electric cars making their way to owners during the three-month-span. The Model 3 and Model Y, Tesla’s two mass-market vehicles, dominated the delivery figures with 124,100 of the 139,300 deliveries.
Tesla is also planning to ramp up its production and deliveries through the next few years in the U.S. This plan starts with more efficient manufacturing at the Fremont facility in Northern California. However, the company is currently in the process of building a new production plant in Austin, Texas, that will produce the Cybertruck, Model 3, Model Y, and Semi.
Mark Delaney holds a 64% success rating and an average return of 9.4%, according to TipRanks. At the time of writing, TSLA stock was trading at 4$459.44, up 2.88% for the session.
In his view, cryptocurrency is a “really good place to be.” These Options Trades Make Me Money Under ANY Market Condition. I’m Nic Chahine — The …
Chamath Palihapitiya was part of the September Benzinga Boot Camp. In an interview with BlockFi’s Zac Prince, Palihapitiya shared his thoughts on some of the market’s biggest stocks.
Palihapitiya On Facebook: Palihapitiya is a former vice president at Facebook Inc (NASDAQ: FB) and was part of the company’s original management team. When asked about what he would have changed in the early days of Facebook, Palihapitiya shared thoughts that would have made the company look entirely different.
“I think we should have gone public a year or two earlier. Had we done that, we would have been forced to pay attention to the transition to mobile sooner,” he said.
A decision to IPO sooner and focus on mobile could have made Facebook a third pillar in the mobile market with Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) and Alphabet (NASDAQ: GOOG) (NASDAQ: GOOGL). Facebook would have a much different revenue makeup today, instead of relying mainly on advertising revenue, Palihapitiya said.
“In 2014, I made a big decision to sell all my Facebook stock.”
Palihapitiya On Tesla: In 2016, Palihapitiya made a “fairly large” investment in Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA).
Palihapitiya has been vocal about Tesla becoming a $1-trillion company and sees cars as only the first wave of growth.
“In my opinion, [Tesla] now is on a death march to being the largest company in the world. It will be on the scale of Apple, probably larger than Amazon,” he said.
The company’s growth objectives and its ability are the reasons it has such potential, Palihapitiya said.
Palihapitiya On Bitcoin: Palihapitiya started investing in bitcoin in 2012 and said he once bought $1 million of the digital currency based on a friend’s recommendation.
After more due diligence, he invested more.
He has since sold all of his individual bitcoins, choosing to now invest in cryptocurrency through the companies that own the coins. It’s easier to manage shares instead of individual coins or wallets, Palihapitiya said.
In his view, cryptocurrency is a “really good place to be.”
REUTERS/Michele Tantussi/File Photo FILE PHOTO: SpaceX owner and Tesla CEO Elon Musk arrives on the red carpet for the automobile awards …
(Reuters) – Elon Musk is hailed as an innovator and disruptor who went from knowing next to nothing about building cars to running the world’s most valuable automaker in the space of 16 years.
But his record shows he is more of a fast learner who forged alliances with firms that had technology Tesla lacked, hired some of their most talented people, and then powered through the boundaries that limited more risk-averse partners.
Now, Musk and his team are preparing to outline new steps in Tesla’s drive to become a more self-sufficient company less reliant on suppliers at its “Battery Day” event on Sept. 22.
Musk has been dropping hints for months that significant advances in technology will be announced as Tesla strives to produce the low-cost, long-lasting batteries that could put its electric cars on a more equal footing with cheaper gasoline vehicles.
New battery cell designs, chemistries and manufacturing processes are just some of the developments that would allow Tesla to reduce its reliance on its long-time battery partner, Japan’s Panasonic, people familiar with the situation said.
“Elon doesn’t want any part of his business to be dependent on someone else,” said one former senior executive at Tesla who declined to be named. “And for better or worse – sometimes better, sometimes worse – he thinks he can do it better, faster and cheaper.”
Tesla has battery production partnerships with Panasonic, South Korea’s LG Chem and China’s Contemporary Amperex Technology Co Ltd (CATL) that are expected to continue.
But at the same time, Tesla is moving to control production of cells – the basic component of electric vehicle battery packs — at highly automated factories, including one being built near Berlin, Germany and another in Fremont, California where Tesla is hiring dozens of experts in battery cell engineering and manufacturing.
“There has been no change in our relationship with Tesla,” Panasonic said in a statement provided by a company spokeswoman.
“Our relationship, both past and present has been sound. Panasonic is not a supplier to Tesla; we are partners. There’s no doubt our partnership will continue to innovate and contribute to the betterment of society.”
Tesla did not respond immediately to a request for comment.
Since he took over the fledgling company in 2004, Musk’s goal has been to learn enough – from partnerships, acquisitions and talent recruitment – to bring key technologies under Tesla’s control, people familiar with Tesla’s strategy said.
They said the aim was to build a heavily vertically integrated company, or a digital version of Ford Motor Co’s iron-ore-to-Model-A production system of the late 1920s.
“Elon thought he could improve on everything the suppliers did – everything,” said former Tesla supply chain executive Tom Wessner, who is now head of industry consultancy Imprint Advisors. “He wanted to make everything.”
Batteries, a big chunk of the cost of an electric car, are central to the Musk method. While subordinates have argued for years against developing proprietary Tesla battery cells, Musk continues to drive toward that goal.
“Tell him ‘No’, and then he really wants to do it,” said a third former Tesla veteran.
The changes in battery design, chemistry and production processes Tesla expects to reveal next week are aimed at reworking the math that until now has made electric cars more expensive than carbon-emitting vehicles with combustion engines.
Reuters reported in May that Tesla is planning to unveil low-cost batteries designed to last for a million miles. Tesla is also working to secure direct supplies of key battery materials, such as nickel, while developing cell chemistries that would no longer need expensive cobalt as well as highly automated manufacturing processes to speed up production.
‘STRAIGHT FOR MARS’
Panasonic is partnered with Tesla at the $5 billion Nevada “Gigafactory”, while CATL and LG Chem supply cells to Tesla’s Shanghai factory, where battery modules and packs are assembled for its Model 3 sedan.
Panasonic recently said it is planning to expand its production lines in Nevada, which supply the cells that then go into the battery modules assembled next door by Tesla.
But the Nevada Gigafactory partnership almost didn’t happen, according to two former Tesla executives. Musk ordered a team to study battery manufacturing in 2011, according to one former executive, but eventually partnered with Panasonic in 2013.
Now, Tesla is testing a battery cell pilot manufacturing line in Fremont and is building its own vast automated cell manufacturing facility in Gruenheide in Germany.
The roller-coaster relationship with Panasonic mirrors other Tesla alliances.
During its development alliance with Germany’s Daimler, which was an early investor in Tesla, Musk became interested in sensors that would help keep cars within traffic lanes.
Until then the Tesla Model S, which Mercedes-Benz engineers helped refine, lacked cameras or sophisticated driver assistance sensors and software such as those used in the Mercedes S-Class.
“He learned about that and took it a step further. We asked our engineers to shoot for the moon. He went straight for Mars,” said a senior Daimler engineer said.
Meanwhile, an association with Japan’s Toyota, another early investor, taught him about quality management.
Eventually, executives from Daimler and Toyota joined Tesla in key roles, along with talent from Alphabet Inc’s Google, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, as well as rival carmakers Ford, BMW and Audi.
THE MUSK SPIN
Some relationships did not end well, however.
Tesla hooked up with Israeli sensor maker Mobileye in 2014, in part to learn how to design a self-driving system that evolved into Tesla’s Autopilot.
“Mobileye was the driving force behind the original Autopilot,” said a former Mobileye executive, who declined to be named.
Mobileye, which is now owned by Intel, also recognized the risk of sharing technology with a fast-moving startup like Tesla, which was on the brink of collapse at the end of 2008 and now has a market value of $420 billion.
But Tesla and Mobileye had an acrimonious and public split after a driver was killed in 2016 when a Model S using the Autopilot system crashed.
At the time, Amnon Shashua, who is now Mobileye president and chief executive, said Tesla’s Autopilot was not designed to cover all possible crash situations as it was a driver assistance system, not a driverless system.
The former Mobileye executive said there was no question of Tesla improperly using their technology.
U.S. tech firm Nvidia followed Mobileye as a supplier for Autopilot, but it too was ultimately sidelined.
“Nvidia and Tesla share a common strategy of developing software-defined vehicles powered by high-performance AI computers. Elon is very focused on vertical integration and wanted to make his own chips,” said Nvidia’s senior director of automotive, Danny Shapiro.
In addition to partnerships, Musk went on an acquisition spree four years ago, buying a handful of little-known companies – Grohmann, Perbix, Riviera, Compass, Hibar Systems – to rapidly advance Tesla’s expertise in automation. Maxwell and SilLion further boosted Tesla’s ability in battery technology.
“He learned a lot from those people,” said Mark Ellis, a senior consultant at Munro & Associates, which has studied Tesla extensively. “He leveraged a lot of information from them, then put his spin on making it better.”