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How Many Cars Must Tesla Sell: This Interactive Calculator Has The Scary Answer

Tyler Durden's picture


With the story du jour of electric car wunderkind Tesla so far only just that, a story (inasmuch as the gorgeous Fisker Karma was also just that at least until the day it transformed into a bankruptcy filing), if one that has cost shorts dearly including their shirts, slowly the company's fundamentals are coming into view. And just as importantly, the question of how it all clicks together.

To assist with that, Reuters Breakingviews has compiled an interactive forecast that models how many cars luxury (for now) car maker would needs to sell (hopefully not all at the EBT-ineligible $100K price point) in order to grow into Elon Musk's target market cap of $43 billion, or roughly where GM is right now. The answer: a base-case assuming a 15x P/E multiple in 2022, a 12% pretax margin, and a 25%/25%/50% split between the Model S ($100K), Model X ($75K) and the still to be disclosed "Bluestar" lower-priced car ($40K) , results in a mindblowing 537,815 cars that will have to be sold in 2022, implying a 35.5% annualized sales growth from the 35,000 cars projected to be sold in 2013 (even if today's numbers did not quite validate this runrate), a cumulative total over the next decade of just under 2,000,000 Teslas.

Idiotic? Ridiculous? Absolutely. But crazier things have happened.

Where it gets really fun is if the priced to perfection model does not quite work out as expected, and instead of the "base case" we get a world in which the premium electric car buyers shift their attention to someone with a newer, better, cooler proposal (couldn't possibly happen, right Apple?), in which the market reprices the growth in the story, and in which margins tumble. For the sake of simplicity, let's assume a 10x PE multiple in 2022, a 5% pre-tax margin, and all sales dominated by the lower end car model.

In that case Reuters would need a far bigger chart, because in that case Tesla would not to sell not less than a gargantuan 3,085,714 cars in 2012 to "grow" into its projected market cap, a 64.5% sales CAGR! It also means that over the next decade, Tesla will have to sell a cumulatve 7.8 million electric cars.

Good luck.

Oh, and just to keep it simple, we won't dwell to much on how many tens of billions Tesla would have to invest to develop a recharging station infrastructure that can support between 2 million and 8 million cars sold over the next decade. That's a bedtime horror story best left for another time.


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Mon, 06/03/2013 - 19:24 | 3621869 bill1102inf
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Mon, 06/03/2013 - 19:31 | 3621894 HelluvaEngineer
HelluvaEngineer's picture

I recommend they shift into battery powered Armored Personnel Carriers.  I hear there is a booming business in those.

Mon, 06/03/2013 - 19:33 | 3621903 SMG
SMG's picture

Tyler, You and your  "logic".  When will you learn?


Mon, 06/03/2013 - 20:57 | 3622107 Muppet Pimp
Muppet Pimp's picture

Forward Comrades, the machinery of government will squash any opposition to our statist utopian plans!  There is actually a second Tesla bailout already planned, see page 36,871 of Obamacare.  That is the section on 'subsidized transportation via electric cars for medical appointments' for those within 3000% of the poverty line.

Mon, 06/03/2013 - 21:42 | 3622272 eatthebanksters
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This reminds me of the story of the bird that ate the the bird was flying along the worm stuck his head out the bird's asshole and whistled before asking, "How high are we?"  The bird answered,"Ten thousand feet," to which the worm retorted,"You ain't shittin' are ya?"

Mon, 06/03/2013 - 22:31 | 3622436 FEDbuster
FEDbuster's picture

They should switch to selling 1/2 ton rated "rascals" for super markets, warehouse stores, etc...  Scooters for the morbidly obese (and the too old to walk) is the future of American electric vehicle companies.  Four foot wide seats, run flat tires, lots of low end torque....   The damn things are in such high demand here, that I see the fatties and nearly deads sitting on benches waiting for them to return to the charging stations.   Most of the time when I go shopping not a single one is available at the front of the store.

Tue, 06/04/2013 - 00:07 | 3622641 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

"lot's of low end torque"

That's heavy man, really heavy....

Run flat tires?


I think soon there will be micro-blimps to ferry such folk...

Moar Giant Soda's.... Moar Chips.... Moar Dips.... moar, moar, moar...


Tue, 06/04/2013 - 07:19 | 3622880 El Viejo
El Viejo's picture

And "More science for Moore Science High" (Apologies to Fire Sign Theatre.)

And speaking of moar science. Here is a little story you might find useful. A friend of mine almost burned down his house. It happened like this. He kept a small AC Adapter plugged in to an AC Outlet behind a small wooden cabinet. The low voltage connector stayed on top of the cabinet to recharge his cell phone when the batt was low. He heard a bunch of popping and found his AC outlet melting down and arcing and quickly unplugged the adapter. His 20 amp house breaker did not trip.

I know this much from my own personal experience. As electronics has become smaller and smaller AC adapters have done the same. A lot of them come with a small step-down transformer connected directly to the adapter's plug. (no fuse) Depending on where the transformer shorts (and a lot of transformers short over time) the current draw maybe larger or smaller. If the current is not enough to trip a 20 amp breaker over time heat can build up to quite a high temp in the shorted AC Adapter. Hot enough to cause a fire I suspect.

After this occured I started keeping my AC adapters/chargers on a power strip with an On/Off Switch and a 10 amp breaker on the strip. (you can buy pwr strips with or without breakers. I now buy them with)

Disclaimer: I am not a professional engineer, but I do have 30+ years experience with electrical and electronic problems.

Tue, 06/04/2013 - 09:08 | 3623172 FEDbuster
FEDbuster's picture

"I think soon there will be micro-blimps to ferry such folk..."

These people are "micro-blimps".  The 500 lb+ population is growing exponentially (pun intended).

Tue, 06/04/2013 - 12:29 | 3623766 Ident 7777 economy
Ident 7777 economy's picture

Bzzzzt!  WRONG!


Most of these 'chargers' are off-line switchers, NOT transformers. BIG difference in failure mode (think CFL failure)

Tue, 06/04/2013 - 13:37 | 3624016 El Viejo
El Viejo's picture

A volunteer group I belong to ordered 30 VHF radios from a large Asian country. When we received them two would not charge and one of the charging stands smoked. I disassembled one of the AC adapter/chargers. Inside was a transformer connected right to the AC plug pins.

Mon, 06/03/2013 - 19:33 | 3621905 Ahmeexnal
Ahmeexnal's picture

What a fraud. Time to short this sucker with both hands.

Mon, 06/03/2013 - 19:40 | 3621925 dtwn
dtwn's picture

And not to mention the continuing diminishment of purchasing power and wages.

Mon, 06/03/2013 - 20:01 | 3621967 Alea Iactaest
Alea Iactaest's picture

I still get hung up on fundamentals. What's the total projected market size for e-vehicles in 2020? Who else will be selling premium e-vehicles (hint: BMW i3/i8, M-B, Audi to say nothing about Toyota, Nissan, GM, Ford, etc.)? So what is the projected market share for Tesla?

Then there's the small matter of battery replacement for older cars, recycling of heavy metals, Fisker's problems with small fires, etc.

By the way, what's the plan to re-wire neighborhoods to support the electical demand when 20% of households are charging their cars every night? How's that going to work in the summer when everyone's running A/C?

Mon, 06/03/2013 - 20:17 | 3622000 El Viejo
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Beautiful car. I saw one of the sedans the other day. Too bad we all can't be art collectors.

Mon, 06/03/2013 - 21:30 | 3622231 zerozulu
zerozulu's picture

Keeping in mind the inflation, in 10 years time Tesla can sell one car for 37 million dollars and will be able to achieve its target.

Mon, 06/03/2013 - 21:43 | 3622278 eatthebanksters
eatthebanksters's picture

Bennie's only goal is to save Tesla.

Mon, 06/03/2013 - 21:34 | 3622244 Non Passaran
Non Passaran's picture

But they are very special.
They have secret sauce that noone can match.
AAPL to $1000.

Tue, 06/04/2013 - 10:57 | 3623501 patb
patb's picture

What's the total projected market size for e-vehicles in 2020? 


if you are talking north american,  i'd estimate a million units/year and maybe 4 million Hybrids

of various flavors.


Who else will be selling premium e-vehicles (hint: BMW i3/i8, M-B, Audi to say nothing about Toyota, Nissan, GM, Ford, etc.)


I'd say by that time, most of the premium brands will have hybrids or electrics in their product suites.

So what is the projected market share for Tesla?  You should ask the analysts on Tesla stock.

Battery Replacement will become like engine rebuilds, a big expense but not one every person goes through.  Recycling will be driven by the value of the battery metals.  If there is a profit, it will happen.


Charging at night will be simple, The grid is rarely stressed at night.


Mon, 06/03/2013 - 20:07 | 3621983 spankthebernank
spankthebernank's picture

These are beautiful cars and they are electric.  Its analagous to buying precious metals to take back control of our money. If you want to take a big bite out of the fossil fuel powerstructure, buy electric.  These cars and this company should be supported.

Mon, 06/03/2013 - 20:15 | 3621997 nmewn
nmewn's picture


Mon, 06/03/2013 - 20:24 | 3622023 Pure Evil
Pure Evil's picture

LOL to infinity and beyond.

Is this MDB's replacement or his new sidekick?

Mon, 06/03/2013 - 20:36 | 3622052 nmewn
nmewn's picture

I read it as sarcasm...but who knows these

One can fork over (or finance) 62k or 82k depending battery (60 or 85) and have (the battery, the guts, the engine) warranty for a whole eight years!

What other car manufacturer has the balls to do that?

Where do I sign up? ;-)

(Quarter million miles on the ole 98 Chevy P-up...still kickin it at 70mph)

Tue, 06/04/2013 - 00:22 | 3622661 Tijuana Donkey Show
Tijuana Donkey Show's picture

Yea, but does your Chevy-P-up have a battery built from third world harvested rare earth elements, and still generate a carbon signature from all of the "green: coal based electricity it uses? How dare you challenge Obama's plan for the future?

Tue, 06/04/2013 - 08:42 | 3623113 SamAdams
SamAdams's picture

Careful, you'll start a fire.  Just ask Fisker...

Mon, 06/03/2013 - 19:45 | 3621934 azzhatter
azzhatter's picture

Fuck Tesla

Mon, 06/03/2013 - 20:13 | 3621989 Kirk2NCC1701
Kirk2NCC1701's picture

No, it's "Fuck Wall St, and anything they have to sell!"

Buy (with cash) or Barter on 'Main St', or build or grow it youself.  Starve the Beast.

Mon, 06/03/2013 - 20:12 | 3621990 Ahmeexnal
Ahmeexnal's picture

Who cares about wheeled vehicles anyway. Brazil is about to start worldwide distribution of Vrils:

Mon, 06/03/2013 - 23:50 | 3622613 msohn
msohn's picture

Tesla competes at a different level across every core business competency:


(1) Manufacturing = Bought NUMMI plant at 10c on the dollar = No PPE overhead via D&A, excess labor, etc. Manufacturing will flex with growth.

(2) Sales = (For now) no dealer footprint means no 55 days of lot inventory (all sorts of positive impacts)

(3) R&D = Nobody is close in battery technology


Take a real look under the Frunk and you will see that the business proposition here must be analyzed on its own merits. This is a 21st century auto company, so it does not make sense to use metrics like "P/E" when the capital structure ought to be relative unburdened by legacy and off-balance sheet items. This is very simiilar to Amazon, eBay, etc in the early 2000s or maybe Dell, EMC, Cisco in the early 1990s . . . This does not mean being a stupid growth investor that can't read balance sheets. This is about long term investing. And this is when the markets are fun.

Tue, 06/04/2013 - 08:41 | 3623111 HeliBen
HeliBen's picture

Its like AAPL, except no one really buys their products.

Mon, 06/03/2013 - 19:26 | 3621873 NoDebt
NoDebt's picture

We lose money on every one, but we make it up in volume!

Mon, 06/03/2013 - 19:56 | 3621954 Hopium Dealer
Hopium Dealer's picture

deficit and debt are not bad for an economy. just ask any college liberal and their economic God Paul Krugman.

Mon, 06/03/2013 - 19:27 | 3621878 Arrowflinger
Arrowflinger's picture

Charge it!

Mon, 06/03/2013 - 20:27 | 3622030 Schlomo Bergstein
Schlomo Bergstein's picture

Pull it.

Mon, 06/03/2013 - 19:30 | 3621882 ziggy59
ziggy59's picture

...or they can just do whats considered the now new normal..


Baffle With BS..

No one needs to know!

Mon, 06/03/2013 - 19:30 | 3621890 Ricky Bobby
Ricky Bobby's picture

Henry Ford did it, what's the big deal. Oh I forgot two different countries.

Mon, 06/03/2013 - 19:31 | 3621892 sitenine
sitenine's picture

Why electric? With a little innovation maybe they can run their cars on hype, just like their financing model!

Mon, 06/03/2013 - 19:33 | 3621901 HelluvaEngineer
HelluvaEngineer's picture

Ed Begley Jr. however outraces them in a vehicle powered by his own "sense of self-satisfaction."


Mon, 06/03/2013 - 19:36 | 3621912 NoDebt
NoDebt's picture

John DeLorean tried something similar back in the 80s.  Near as I can tell, he tried to run his cars and his company on the excess energy his body created when he shoveled huge quantities of coke up his nose, but I digress.  Hopium is a much stronger drug than coke, so who knows?  Maybe it'll work this time.

Agreed, this one has "field of dreams" written all over it.

Mon, 06/03/2013 - 19:42 | 3621928 HelluvaEngineer
HelluvaEngineer's picture

It would have been an amazing car, except for that stupid V6 Renault drivetrain.  Seriously, how hard is it to put in a Chevy 350? 

Mon, 06/03/2013 - 19:57 | 3621959 NoDebt
NoDebt's picture

Damned straight.  Not many cars that couldn't have been made better with a Small Block Chevy under the hood.  I always thought the Buick Grand National turbo 231/3.8L would have been ideal in that car (and they existed in the same vintage as the DeLorean).  That would have been one ass-kickin' little ride.

Mon, 06/03/2013 - 20:11 | 3621988 HelluvaEngineer
HelluvaEngineer's picture

Good point.  I belive the grand national beat the 911 turbo in the 1/4 mile, or possibly I am smoking something.  Also the Typhoon and Syclone were incredible.

Mon, 06/03/2013 - 22:17 | 3622394 NoDebt
NoDebt's picture

The GN beat the Ferrari 308 and I think Ferrari 328 of it's day (the Magnum PI Ferrari).  Not sure if it beat the 911 Turbo.  Been too long to remember trivia like that.

Sy/Ty trucks were a slightly different breed- they used the Chevy 4.3L V6 engine (basically a 350 Chevy with 2 cylinders lopped off) plus, of course, the magic hair dryer.  The combination of that engine package plus one of the first production GM AWD systems made them absolutely world-killers from stoplight to stoplight.  They could hook on spit.  They could do sub-5-second 0-60 IN THE RAIN.  Great trucks.  I'm always on the lookout for a beat up Sy/Ty in need of some TLC.

The Buick GN used the Buick 60* 3.8L V6 engine.  Totally different engine family, but honestly, a better motor to start with for a turbo application, in my opinion.  Great for a low-revving, torque-heavy application like a turbo setup.  Bottom end built like a tractor engine.  Stronger than dirt.  You could run in the 10s all day long on a stock GN bottom end.

Ah, don't get me started.  I'm getting all misty.  I love fast muscle cars, new or old vintage.  Money is just how I pay for them.


Mon, 06/03/2013 - 20:27 | 3622031 Pancho Villa
Pancho Villa's picture

But the stainless steel chassis made it easy to retrofit with a flux capacitor powered by a small plutonium reactor.

Mon, 06/03/2013 - 22:19 | 3622402 NoDebt
NoDebt's picture

That's true.  I forgot about that.

Mon, 06/03/2013 - 19:56 | 3621953 Matt
Matt's picture

Hydrogen powered car; you just fill it up with urine, goes through the catalyst and purifyers, then onto the combustion chamber.

Mon, 06/03/2013 - 21:29 | 3622225 Non Passaran
Non Passaran's picture

Golden Shower Transport Co. Ltd.

Mon, 06/03/2013 - 19:33 | 3621895 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

I suppose they could decide to make oil cost $200 a barrel and Tesla's technology would then become a hot commodity.  But that would imply manipulation.  

Mon, 06/03/2013 - 21:20 | 3621918 sitenine
sitenine's picture

Yes, but that would also invite competition. Of course, that's also taking for granted that competition would still be legal. Tesla is supposed to be the 'future', and that's about it. Folks are, for whatever reason, CONVINCED that this technology will somehow save us all from ever having to confront even the mere idea of peak oil.

Mon, 06/03/2013 - 22:16 | 3622391 malek
malek's picture

Come on LTER, you can do better than that.

To allow Tesla for it's "fair share" of car sales, effective immediately directive 47-11 requires
- new cars to have a gasoline tank volume no bigger than 2 gallons (or an energy equivalent of other fuel)
- all gas pump nozzles to have a flow rate no higher than 4 gallons per hour!

Mon, 06/03/2013 - 22:38 | 3622442 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Except the energy oligarchs would never let that one through Congress.  Starting a war and causing massive commodity inflation can be done in a way that will enrich the oil interests and the state run Tesla.

Mon, 06/03/2013 - 19:32 | 3621898 Crash Overide
Crash Overide's picture

Nikola had a better electric car in 1918.

Tue, 06/04/2013 - 00:46 | 3622686 moonstears
moonstears's picture

1930 Pierce Arrow (actually), still, yeah! +1

Mon, 06/03/2013 - 19:33 | 3621902 DeadFred
DeadFred's picture

In my outlook for the future this is not unrealistic. The 100K model could be purchased with the EBT if you just factor in the likely inflation rate. Of course a 43Billion market cap will make it the equivalent of a penny stock.

Mon, 06/03/2013 - 19:38 | 3621919 optimator
optimator's picture

Weimar inflation would mean they'd just have to sell a handful by then.

Mon, 06/03/2013 - 19:33 | 3621904 TahoeBilly2012
TahoeBilly2012's picture

You guys are so mean. You probably all voted for Ron Paul and thought Libya wasn't a humanitarian way sponsored by NPR.

Mon, 06/03/2013 - 21:26 | 3622220 WAMO556
WAMO556's picture

The seven stated goals of Al Qaeda:

1. The establishment of a world wide caliphate.
2. The destruction of ALL western backed middle eastern tyrannies.
3. The removal of ALL foreign troops from the land of th two holy places.
4. The destruction of ALL infidels and apostates in the Dar-as-Salam
5. The complete destruction of Isreal
6. The theft of Muslim oil will be stopped
7. He removal of the atheistic government persecuting Muslim Uighurs

It is amazing that with the help of Obama goal number two is well within reach, turkey is being destabilized as we speak, fracking will set the stage where foreign companies will no longer be needed on the Arabian peninsula, the Syrian civil war is setting the stage for the concentration of forces that will be used for the invasion of Isreal, all under the cover of a "civil war", china will implode from debt and the Muslim shadow government waiting in the wings will establish a NEW government hostile to western interests, any non Muslim or apostate Muslim will be made an public example for others to see, the eWorld wide calibrates sear of government will be BAGHDAD.

just saying

Mon, 06/03/2013 - 19:37 | 3621913 patb
patb's picture

Well to be fair, this really needs to throw in a third variable of battery price decline/KWH.


Right now battery costs are heading down around 29%/year in terms of $/KWH.


this means their margins will improve per year, the battery value of a Tesla S is about 50% of the sales their margins should

improve by 15%/year all else being equal.


now i expect relentless price pressure, unless they stay high end.  if they can keep up as a premium product, which they have for

8 years, they may be able to do this.



Mon, 06/03/2013 - 23:20 | 3622556 SoCalBusted
SoCalBusted's picture

Partially true.  The battery function you speak of is most likely non linear, due to physics and chemistry.

Tue, 06/04/2013 - 11:01 | 3623514 patb
patb's picture

yes, it's apparently exponential on cost.


the cost figures are getting cheap fast.

Mon, 06/03/2013 - 19:40 | 3621923 MFLTucson
MFLTucson's picture

And GM is doing what?

Mon, 06/03/2013 - 19:54 | 3621929 TWSceptic
TWSceptic's picture

Tesla is a tax funded government project:


Basically it survived until now because of government loans and subsidies. How often are 'green' government funded companies successful long term? Unfortunately for Tesla, never.

Mon, 06/03/2013 - 20:03 | 3621969 atomicwasted
atomicwasted's picture

I don't disagree with the general thrust of the article, but let's not forget that Tesla is also a Tier I supplier to Toyota as well as a car manufacturer itself.

Mon, 06/03/2013 - 21:13 | 3622164 adr
adr's picture

Toyota only bought the Tesla batteries because it was a condition to get out of some of the unintended acceleration suits.

Mon, 06/03/2013 - 20:05 | 3621978 yogibear
yogibear's picture

LOL, I can see another one of Obama's scheme's,  zero emissions military vehicles made by Tesla. Make Tesla part of Government Motors. Condition though, must use UAW workers that voted for Obama.

Mon, 06/03/2013 - 20:06 | 3621982 ILLILLILLI
ILLILLILLI's picture

Bullish Tesla coils...

Mon, 06/03/2013 - 20:15 | 3621998 Pancho Villa
Pancho Villa's picture

Tesla is reporting a profit, but how much will its battery warranty and resale price guarantees cost it in the future?

Battery technology is really the key to making electric vehicles practical and Tesla buys its batteries from outside suppliers (like Panasonic). So Honda, Toyota, Hyundai, and even Ford and GM could buy equally good batteries from the same suppliers. It isn't at all certain that electric cars will catch on. But even if they do, is it reasonable to assume that Tesla will capture the entire EV market?

Don't get me wrong. I would love to be able to drive an electric car. But prices would need to come down considerably before I would buy one.

Mon, 06/03/2013 - 21:27 | 3622221 adr
adr's picture

The profit was from forward booking sales and bringing them all into q1. Also from selling green energy credits to other automakers. All who are now building electric cars to sell in California so they don't have to pay Tesla a dime, even if it means losing money on every one.

Mon, 06/03/2013 - 20:17 | 3622001 Kirk2NCC1701
Kirk2NCC1701's picture

In the long run... we'll be out of carbon-fuels, i.e. 'ancient sunlight'. 

Thou shall be hyper-efficient in energy use and harnessing of ambient energy, or live a very, very simple life!

Mon, 06/03/2013 - 20:22 | 3622019 lolmao500
lolmao500's picture

Well if they take the upcoming ``charge your phone battery in a few seconds`` technology and apply it to electric cars... they could do it.

Mon, 06/03/2013 - 20:29 | 3622041 Antifaschistische
Antifaschistische's picture

You guys dont know how fascism works. Visit the White House. Pledge 20 mill to Potus. Then laws will pop up making it mandatory to have electric car quotas. then .gov will subsidize all infrastructure with federal grants. THATS how it works.

Mon, 06/03/2013 - 20:36 | 3622050 Schlomo Bergstein
Schlomo Bergstein's picture

And then all the shorts lose the shirts off their backs because of government interference. I would kill for a free market right now.

Mon, 06/03/2013 - 21:16 | 3622178 Tortfeasor
Tortfeasor's picture

Start with anyone at the fed.

Mon, 06/03/2013 - 20:36 | 3622047 Catullus
Catullus's picture

Still dumb when compared to CNG.

Why bring the nat gas to a power plant so electricity can be transmitted, delivered, and stored in the car, when you can just bring the nat gas to your car and let that be your power plant?

I don't even have to dig up the enormous amounts of REEs to actually make these batteries.

Still, if you're going to do this, lease the battery and package it into some of sort of debt instrument that you force local utilities to purchase and redeploy the used batteries back onto the grid for reliability. And while you're at it, rehypothecate that battery debt obligation a couple dozen times and throw it on the Fed's balance sheet.

Mon, 06/03/2013 - 22:10 | 3622375 syntaxterror
syntaxterror's picture

Every taxi in Bangkok is natural. americans are fucking lame.

Mon, 06/03/2013 - 20:37 | 3622055 Joe_in_Indiana
Joe_in_Indiana's picture

Like on ESPN "C'Mon Man!"

Mon, 06/03/2013 - 21:25 | 3622212 adr
adr's picture

Even 1 billion Teslas sold wouldn't be enough for Musk's ego.

Perhaps Musk will invest in cloning next. So he can grow Henry Ford clones to literally eat for dinner.

I think with an ego as big as his, the only satisfying meal is humans, nothing else is taboo enough. Perhaps like ancient mongols, he thinks eating the brains of conquered foes gives you their strength.

If Musk were invited to the Bildeberg meeting I would think the conversation would go something like, "Massive quantities of mind alerting drugs, raping eight year old Cambodian girls, and harvesting organs from cherry picked young athletes. Ha, I've cloned the greatest minds in history to feast on, I'm eating prime Einstein right now. Nobody can live at the level of Elon Musk, NO ONE!!!! HA HA AHA HA. Soros has got company bitchez."

Mon, 06/03/2013 - 21:39 | 3622265 Walt D.
Walt D.'s picture


The Telsa cars sold in Los Angeles will be running on coal from the Imtermountain Coal Plant in Utah.

Tesla - the first coal powered vehicle since the steam engine. 

Elon Musk must be the reincarnation of Casey Jones, of Cannonball Express fame.

Part of the inflated price has to be due to "the toilet flush effect" - the Federal Government is prepared to flush an unlimited amount of money down the toilet to subsidize something that is perceived as being "green".

Mon, 06/03/2013 - 22:04 | 3622355 rsnoble
rsnoble's picture

No wonder Tesla stock skyrocketed.  Maybe we should be looking at companies that have gone from $100 to .0001.

Mon, 06/03/2013 - 22:09 | 3622372 syntaxterror
syntaxterror's picture

Fuck him and his billion dollars and counting USG subsidies, kickbacks and handouts.

Mon, 06/03/2013 - 22:54 | 3622405 Downtoolong
Downtoolong's picture

Some additional interesting macro calcs:

The battery for the mid-level Tesla has a storage capacity of 65 kilowatt-hours. It requires about 10 hours to charge from a standard 120 volt outlet. This equates to electric power usage at the same rate as running sixty-five 100 watt light bulbs, or a large central air conditioning unit for ten hours straight. From a special 240 volt charger the power draw rate is 2.5 times higher, or about 16kw for each car.

If there were 2,000,000 Teslas all charging from 240 Volt outlets at the same time, this would require 32,000 megawatts, the equivalent power output of 32 nuclear power plants. Of course some of this power could be delivered from spare off peak capacity in existing power plants. Still, it would probably take at least 20 new plants to handle the additional load. For 8 million Teslas we would need 80-100 new nukes (or equivalent sized coal and gas powered stations) to be built. Which begs the question: Who’s going to raise their hand and be first to permit a nuclear plant in their back yard so that one in fifty people can drive a Tesla? Think fast, because, you need at least a fifteen year lead time to construct a new plant, (what with all the requirements for environmental and safety studies). And don’t forget we’ll also need to string a bunch of additional power lines through the countryside to bring all the new juice to people’s garage.

Of course, there is also the alternative of kindling your independent spirit and buying your own electric generator to charge up your Tesla. It would only cost a few thousand bucks, and you could run it anytime on just slightly more gasoline than it takes to run a non-electric luxury car.   


Tue, 06/04/2013 - 00:38 | 3622678 snblitz
snblitz's picture

More macro calcs:

Most power companies have tiered pricing.  Charging your car with 65KwH is likely to push you quickly into the top tier.  In some areas this is 35+ cents per KwH.  Or $23 bucks a charge.  How far does the car go with that electricity?  (there are conversion losses too)

Well, the internet has the answers.  Tesla put their S model up against some 22MPG car that no one considering a tesla would ever consider.  How about with put it up against a Prius?

30,000 miles cost $2280 for fuel in the Prius and using top tier electrical cost for electricity (or even one tier below top) $2972 for the tesla.

(Assuming $3.80 for gas, and 35 cents per KwH electricity)

Now let's talk $80,000 sticker for the tesla vs $30,000 for a top of line Prius.

Hmmm. What to do with $50,000 while not burning coal?

Mon, 06/03/2013 - 22:56 | 3622493 orangegeek
orangegeek's picture

Don't post this on seeking alpha.  You'll get banned.

Mon, 06/03/2013 - 23:05 | 3622519 jonjon831983
jonjon831983's picture

Just up the subsidy by about $100K for the top end model and throw in some accessories and extra super chargers?

Mon, 06/03/2013 - 23:11 | 3622535 Elooie
Elooie's picture

I dont understand why it seems so unreasonable. The Nummi Plant under toyota and GM built an average of 6,000 cars a week and it supposedly has a capacitiy to build 500,000 cars a year.  Tesla is going to gain economies of scale and lower material cost as the batteries get cheaper. They have a huge moat in terms of how far ahead they are in the technology.. and how much will Tesla eventually make when they license out the super charging tech and super charging stations to Mercedes, Toyota, and BMW?  If the other major automakers dont build out their own quick charging stations they wont sell a single car.  Tesla is selling an entire package not just a car.

Mon, 06/03/2013 - 23:29 | 3622568 SoCalBusted
SoCalBusted's picture

According to Wikipedia (yea, I know).  The NUMMI plant produced low end vehicles like the Nova, Corolla, Prism, etc, etc.  Not sure I would extrapolate for the Tesla.

Mon, 06/03/2013 - 23:53 | 3622621 flyonmywall
flyonmywall's picture

Reggie, is that you?


Mon, 06/03/2013 - 23:57 | 3622627 Cheeseus Sonofdog
Cheeseus Sonofdog's picture

You are basing your assumptions that we have some type of free market. All it takes is some lobbying and before you know it all gasoline powered cars are made illegal. You can get a tax credit towards swapping for a Tesla, or pay an annual $10k green tax for a grace period of five years before it is compacted at the scrap yard.....

Tue, 06/04/2013 - 00:14 | 3622654 snblitz
snblitz's picture

Cheaper batteries?  an R&D moat?

My last batch of Surrette S460's cost around $200 each.  Now they are $315.

The huge growth in electricial DEMAND is going to drive up the PRICE of electricity.

As no one is going to build nukes, the electricity, if it exists at all, is going to come from coal and oil, so electric cars will burn oil and worse coal.

The tesla cars have performance specs not substantially different then the earliest electric cars from the 1890s.  Some of those cars are still operating.

30 years ago my classmates were driving around in electric cars.  Nothing has changed except the hype.

Tue, 06/04/2013 - 02:58 | 3622776 Bear
Bear's picture

Are GM, Ford, Chrysler, MB, BMW, Vovlo and every other car company in the world going to sit and watch Telsa take this market .... if success follows Tesla, so will competition. 35,000 in 2013 .... not a chance. Oh, unless .gov buys them all.

Tue, 06/04/2013 - 09:20 | 3623206 orangegeek
orangegeek's picture

The big players will watch Tesla go tits and then buy up the assets for pennies.

Tue, 06/04/2013 - 03:04 | 3622777 Bear
Bear's picture

External smoke and mirrors ... I knew an testing engineer in the OC worked for Tesla ... he said there are problems ... they laid him off.

Tue, 06/04/2013 - 08:21 | 3623057 NEOSERF
NEOSERF's picture

Silly Tyler, the goal is not to get profitable or be the 4th car company.  The goal is to endlessly dilute stockholders and try to pump the value up to the point where you can buy Fiat or something more real but broken.

Tue, 06/04/2013 - 09:24 | 3623201 orangegeek
orangegeek's picture

But if Tesla sold fries with their cars, then units sold required would be less.


Here's the line:


"Would you like fries with your Tesla?"

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