Tesla Conference Call: Model X Demand, Gigafactory Site And Improved Battery Chemistry + Model S Drivetrain

3 years ago by Jay Cole 108

Tesla Model S Debuts In Hong Kong In July (along with a couple of Supercharging Stations)

Tesla Model S Debuts In Hong Kong In July (along with a couple of Supercharging Stations)

On Thursday, Tesla reported 2nd quarter earnings that mostly beat analyst expectations, earning 11 cents a share (ex-items) on revenues of $858 million dollars while delivering 7,579 Model S sedans (full details on the report can be found here).

But historically, the real highlights happen on the conference call after the earnings are released – when CEO Elon Musk typically gives his candid view of how things are unfolding inside the company as well as his outlook to the future.

So without further ado, here is our highlights from that call!

Guidance on 100,000 vehicle run by end of 2015

Production Heading to 100K

Production Heading to 100K By 2015’s End

The Tesla CEO was asked about the company’s 100,000 run rate projection by the end of 2015 and how much was coming from China, splits etc.

“We’re expecting that to be roughly split between the X and S. So we’re talking roughly 1,000 units a week of each.”

Mr. Musk also notes that looking at the wider demographics, SUVs are slightly outselling sedans in the wider market, and he expects that may also be the case for the Model X over the S at some point.

Worldwide Stores/Service Centers by end of 2015

The CEO notes that he is just “speaking off the cuff”, but expects “100 in China alone” and more than 300 worldwide

On Hydrogen/Fuel Cell Tech

Elon Musk:  Not A Fan Of The FCV

Elon Musk: Not A Fan Of The FCV

Often Elon Musk likes to give his opinion on hydrogen, so when the Morgan Stanley analyst asked him the question of why the industry seems to be pushing hydrogen so much, and if it was a “bs move” by CARB to rewrite EVs rules – or did they actually believe in the tech?  The CEO let it fly again:

“As you know, I am not the biggest proponent of hydrogen…but really if you take a theoretically optimal fuel cell car and compare that to a car in production – a battery electric car; on key metrics of mass, volume complexity, cost and refilling infrastructure, it’s just…it is a loss. So it’s the best case in our opinion, the best case fuel cell car  (and obviously the fuel cell cars are far from best case), cannot beat the current case electric car, so well why even try it?  That just makes no sense.  Success is not one of the possible outcomes.”

Follow up question from the analyst: “Why are they (CARB) doing this? That is why I asked if it’s BS. Is this just kind of a diversionary tactic or do you think they are just not up on what is up?”

We are quite confused about this.”- Musk

“It does not make a lot of sense. I mean we didn’t even touch on the infrastructure challenges that hydrogen brings, but building out that infrastructure is substantially more expensive than building out any electric vehicle infrastructure.  And there’s almost none of it today.” – JB Straubel (Tesla CTO)

“…also another thing – hydrogen is an energy carrier not an energy source. So you have to create the hydrogen which is really inefficient because you would either have to crack a hydrocarbon or electrolyzed water” – Musk

“Yeah – which is super inefficient, and then hydrogen has very low density.  So if you are going to pick it as a chemical energy storage mechanism, the hydrogen is a terrible choice.  At least you know, methane, CH4 lock up the hydrogen with one carbon atom or something.

Quality and Model S Drivetrain

Given the recent scrutiny over some drivetrain failure/replacements in the Model S, you just knew the question ‘What’s up with that?’ would be posed to the Tesla CEO

Tesla CEO Says Many Of The Drivetrain Replacements Where Unnecessary, But Where Done For Customer Coonvienence

Tesla CEO Says Many Of The Drivetrain Replacements Where Unnecessary, But Where Done For Customer Convenience

“We definitely had some quality issues in the beginning for the early serial number of cars, because we’re just basically figuring out how to make the Model S.  And I think we’ve addressed almost all of those early (? – garbled) production cars – I mean not all – but the vast majority have been addressed in cars that are being produced today.  And we’re also getting better at diagnosing what’s wrong, because in some cases we, particularly with respect to the drive unit, we think that something is wrong with the drive unit but it’s actually something wrong with another part of the car. And then we’d replace the drive unit and that wouldn’t solve the problem because the drive unit was not the problem.”

“…there’s a bunch of things like that which are just mis-diagnosis of the problems that we’ve obviously addressed.”

“There are a few items that will need – a fair number of drivetrains will need to be serviced.  It’s actually related to one (problem) to the differential, and we need to shim the differential. It doesn’t require drive unit replacement, it just requires a technician to insert a shim.  We are going to have to do that on a fair number of cars – but that is like a 50 cent shim. 

So it’s really;  I wouldn’t assume that there’s going to be some vast number of drivetrains that will need to replaced, but there is several service bulletins that we will be instituting, many of which we’ve already have to address the issue.”

After speaking about weekly quality control meetings, Mr. Musk was asked if he was happy with the quality control systems in place and his team.  To which the CEO said there had been some trouble, but that they were pretty much there now.

“I think at this point we’ve got a excellent quality control team…and we weren’t there in the beginning but I’m confident that we’re there now. I mean our aspiration is on the order magnitude better quality than any other car. And we will keep at it unrelentingly until we get there.”

Gigafactory:  Nevada, Ground-breaking

Even before Tesla’s disclosure of breaking ground in Nevada, the public had been made aware of the site’s existence and subsequent work stoppage.  The question was posed to Mr Musk about the ‘why’ and if the company has a “drop-dead” date for being up and running.

Nevada Gigafactory Site(Photo via Bob Tregilus)

Nevada Gigafactory Site (Photo via Bob Tregilus)

“We have  essentially completed the pad, the construction pad for the Gigafactory in Nevada. So in terms of creating a flat pad and getting the rocky foundation that is substantially complete. There’s still a little bit of work ongoing.  We are going to be doing something similar in one or two other states – which is something I previously said we’d do because I think it makes sense to have multiple things going in parallel.

Before we actually go to the next stage of pouring a lot of concrete though we want to make sure we have things sorted out at the state level – that the incentives are there that makes sense,…But I do want to emphasize that Tesla is not going to go for a deal that is unfair to the state or unfair to Tesla. We want to make sure it’s compelling for all parties.   I think on the Nevada side, at this point the ball is on the court of the governor and the state legislature.”

Model X Demand

No Deliveries Of The Model X In Q1 of 2015, But High Production Levels Expected In The Spring

No Deliveries Of The Model X In Q1 of 2015, But High Production Levels Expected In The Spring

Knowing he is unlikely to get a straight numerical answer on Model X demand, the analyst from JP Morgan asks the Tesla CEO to put Model X backlogged orders in context of what the company was seeing with the Model S in 2012. And what the demos were as to location and if many already owned a Model S.

“I guess what is important to appreciate for the X, that, let’s just put the orders in context. There are no cars available for a test drive. There is no information about the cars in our stores because we are only selling the S.

In fact, if somebody comes in who wants to buy the X, we try to convince them to buy the S,  so we anti-sell it.  We don’t really provide all that much information or details about the car or provide a definitive date on when you can get it. Despite all that, there is huge demand from around the world for the X.  Now I think that actually people are right, even though they don’t …  really have enough information to know they’re right, but they are.”

Will Gigafactory Batteries Have A Different Chemistry?  Improvements?

Gigafactory Cells To Be A Little Bigger/Denser Than What Is In Use Today

Gigafactory Cells To Be A Little Bigger/Denser Than What Is In Use Today

“There are some improvements to the chemistry as well as improvements to the geometry of the cell –  so we would expect to see an energy density improvement, and of course a significant cost improvement.” – Musk

“The cathode and anode materials themselves are next generation, so I mean we’re seeing improvements in the maybe 10% to 15% range on the chemistry itself (energy density) – and then we’re also customizing the cell shape and size to further improve the cost efficiency of the cell and the  packaging efficiency.”   – JB Straubel (CTO)

“We’ve done a lot of modeling trying to figure out what’s the optimal cell size. And it’s really not much, it is  not a lot different from where we are right now, but we’re sort of in the roughly 10% more diameter; maybe 10% more height. But then since the cubic function effectively ends up being, just from a geometry standpoint, probably a third more energy for the cell,well maybe 30%ish – then the actual energy density per unit mass increases”

“Fundamentally the chemistry of what is inside is what really defines the cost position though. It’ is often debated what shape and size, but at this point we are developing basically what we feel is the optimum shape and size for the best cost efficiency for an automotive cell.” – JB Straubel (CTO)

 

Costing on the battery cells is further discussed, and Mr. Musk notes that he would be “disappointed if it took us 10 years to get to $100 a kilowatt-hour pack.”

Big hat tip to InsideEVs contributor Josh Bryant for his help in getting this out!

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108 responses to "Tesla Conference Call: Model X Demand, Gigafactory Site And Improved Battery Chemistry + Model S Drivetrain"

  1. Alaa says:

    If they are going to male 100000 cars by the end of 2015 then they should make 500000 cars per year much much earlier than 2020. I would say max by 2018.

    1. Mikael says:

      There is no chance what so ever that they are at 500k cars sold per year in 2018.

      Most of those 500k cars will be of the Model ☰ and it will take time to ramp up the production of both the car and the battery packs in the Gigafactory.

      Best case scenario I would assume 300k for the full year of 2018. And more likely somewhere between 200k and 250k.

      1. Anders says:

        Even 300.000 units would be great. I thinks orders will exceed 500.00 by far.
        So place your orders asap is my best bet.
        I have one S and will order 3 cars of model 3 when it is possible.

  2. Spec9 says:

    I like that they get the skyline in that Hong Kong shot which shows the smog that Tesla car’s can help alleviate.

  3. HVACman says:

    re: hydrogen FCV’s I love these quotes –

    (Musk) “Success is not one of the possible outcomes.”

    (Morgan Stanley analyst) “Why are they (CARB) doing this? That is why I asked if it’s BS. Is this just kind of a diversionary tactic or do you think they are just not up on what is up?”

    (Musk response) “We are quite confused about this.”

    …as are we all.

    1. Kosh says:

      ….follow the money……

      1. EvDeath says:

        Indeed follow the money. Morgan Stanley is the underwriter for Tesla bonds.

        1. Alonso Perez says:

          Which affects CARB’s decision making how?

          Oh, right, it doesn’t.

          The money to be followed here is that which will come from the Californian tax payer to build hydrogen stations. These stations are to be run by… oil companies, any one of which has more money to spend on politics than all of Musk’s companies combined.

    2. Spec9 says:

      Yeah, answer is easy . . . lobbying by the hydrogen, oil & gas industries, auto companies, etc.

      I can appreciate the government trying to support all zero emissions vehicle technology. But I don’t think they should give one a substantial advantage over another.

      And I don’t like the way they seem to think that the only way we can move from gasoline is to create cars that have the exact same properties of gasoline cars such as range and refueling time. You can have a successful new technology that is not is good in some areas as long as it is better in others. Cell phones have crappy call quality but people still love them. MP3s are lower quality than CDs but people love them. In the same manner, being able to fuel up at home using electricity harvested from your roof can make up for reduced range and slower refuel times.

      1. Grendal says:

        I have argued with various commenters that Tesla has been hamstrung by their own success at ZEV credits. The whole idea of the credits was to force major manufacturers to make some non-polluting cars that will hopefully become successful enough to be competitive with regular ICE cars so they begin to make more and more of them. So, along comes Tesla and achieves exactly what CARB was after. One of the aspects that CARB thought might help speed adoption for an EV to make it competitive with ICE’s is to have battery swaps. Tesla shows that they CAN do that but chose instead to go with Supercharging that achieved exactly what CARB was after. CARBs response was to cut the credits and instead focus on FCV’s. So Tesla is undercut for actually achieving everything that CARB was after. People are buying ZEVs and they are competing with ICEs.

        1. Ocean Railroader says:

          I think the reason why hydrogen is getting so much hype is that it sounds cooler in word only. Such as over the last 30 years electric cars have had one bad knock off joke after another placed on them in till Tesla came around.

          I think the reason why hydrogen is getting all this money pored into it. Is that the car companies want this Wow Factor of your going to get to pull into a hydrogen fuel station and fill up in five minutes like you do for your old gas car. But it will be futuristic.

          In that the idea of someone going to a store or some place and plugging in their car. Then after plugging in they leave for 30 minutes to do go do something else is not as much a wow factor behind the idea of a hydrogen station. Also a hydrogen station allows the oil companies to keep up the idea of their system of fuel trucks and pipe lines and big refineries.

        2. EvDeath says:

          CARB did not cut the credits for the Tesla battery swaps, even though it remains vaporware.

          1. With a name like EVdesth, perhaps facts are your forté, but you’re definitely wrong on this assertion.

            CARB did eliminate the “fast refueling” credit for battery swapping.

            1. EvDeath says:

              Sorry your correct they did drop the extra credit in April, but not before Elon had milked it for all it’s worth with the fictitious battery swap.

              1. TomArt says:

                The swapping is real – it works, and they are rolling out a few to see whether people really will use them. Meanwhile, to get adoption spread faster, they have concentrated on the cheaper and simpler supercharger network.

  4. Rob Stark says:

    You forgot to add the part where JB says the advantages,right now, for fuel cells is range and refueling times. But that these advantages will be whittled away relative to BEV in the not too distant future.

    And the part where Elon talks about capacity after Fremont upgrades, not expected production, and he says conservatively 2500 per week.

    1. Jay Cole says:

      It was a wicked long call (hour+), (=

      I did my best to cover the main points and hopefully jot down the most meaningful quotes as it relates to this year and EVs

      1. DaveMart says:

        Excellent coverage.
        Many thanks.

      2. TomArt says:

        Yes, thanks!

  5. GeorgeS says:

    Looks like for sure we have a slight increase in size of the cell then.

    100$/kwh is pretty cheap. That’s essentially where lead acid deep cycle is now.

    This is great news.

    1. SeattleTeslaGuy says:

      Yeah good news but it’s really just a goal. I’d be happy if they got to $125 or even $150. If nothing else, with the gigafactory, they will be well ahead of the rest of the industry.

    2. Spec9 says:

      I doubt they’ll get close to $100/KWH. But if they can get below $200/KWH, even that would be game-changing. Rising gasoline prices will do the rest.

      1. Anders says:

        I agree $200.00 per kW works fine.

        1. Jouni Valkonen says:

          actually, $300 per kwh is cheap enough. At least for about 10% market share for electric cars. So the battery cost is already cheap enough for Tesla to penetrate ten million car markets.

  6. GeorgeS says:

    Stay tuned for more news. The second it comes out Jay’s got it on the site.

    Way to go Jay!!

  7. jmac says:

    Good reporters get the “scoop”. That’s why I always tune into Inside EVs. This site is usually way ahead of most other EV websites, with timely information and statistics.

    1. Jay Cole says:

      Thanks for the kind words fellows, (;

  8. Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

    Sounds like a lot of problems in a differential that would go away if they went with 2 (or 4) motors back-to-back.. 4 motors would also let you eliminate torque steer, as well as mitigate the effects of road crowning and wind by increasing the speed of 1 side of the car’s wheels to ‘countersteer’ in response to changes in side-to-side motion not correlated with the steering wheel’s position.

    1. TomArt says:

      That would be pretty slick.

      Kind of funny that removing the weak link, a transmission, EVs are now finding new weak links. Yeah, get rid of the differential – that would be smart, and improve control, like you said.

  9. EvDeath says:

    Goodness, what a load of hype. Jay you bang on how earnings beat street estimates, but fail entirely to mention the small fact that despite increased sales Tesla losses nearly doubled this year as compared to the same period last year.

    As for the much hyped “Giga” factory, Tesla’s role is only to acquire, develop and manage the land. Panasonic will produce the batteries on their own equipment, while Tesla continues to assemble the packs. Big whoop. In real terms this is just Panasonic moving a 18650 line to the US. There may be a slight gain in logistical efficiency but by far the largest advantage is freedom from currency fluctuations.

    All of the statements about forth coming sales volumes of vehicles that don’t exist are purely speculatively, as are battery improvements, especially as Tesla has no control over specific electro chemistry. None of these forward looking statements amount to a hill of beans.

    More laughable are Elon’s comments about FCs. Obviously he has a loose grasp on the technology but is at least astute enough to know they pose a real threat to the future of his company. Toyota, Hyundai, BMW, DB, GM and Honda all have significant R&D resources far in excess of anything Elon could imagine. Aggregately they’ve looked into the future, seen the limitations of Li chemistry and opted for a different path. It’s obvious CARB sees this as well.

    The “follow the money” comments are asinine in the extreme. What F-N money? Compared to the billions squandered on batteries and EVs the FC money is a drop in the bucket.

    Tesla US sales are down 26% for the first half of this year compared to 2013. FCs with real (not hyped) 300 mile ranges are coming to market, and with real 5 minute refill times. This will further erode the market for the Model S. As for W-T-W efficiencies Tesla loses when the base comparison is natural gas.

    Keep looking over your shoulder babies, that’s the real world come knocking.

    1. krona2k says:

      Ha, brilliant. Presumably a parody post?

      1. EvDeath says:

        Feel free to point out errors, but please use facts not hopes.

        1. Brian says:

          Facts not hope, kind of like you did? Oh wait…

        2. krona2k says:

          How about these facts for starters?

          Number of plug-in vehicles sold worldwide in 2013: ~200,000
          Number of fuel cell vehicles sold in 2013: 0

          Number of plug-in vehicles sold worldwide so far in 2014: ~130,000
          Number of fuel cell vehicles sold in 2014: 0

          My estimates of number of fuel cell vehicles to be sold in 2015: 0

          Oh, by the way, don’t post me any links about fork lift trucks or any other nonsense, we’re talking about light duty vehicles (cars) that are sold to the general public.

          1. kdawg says:

            At this point in the post..”More laughable are Elon’s comments about FCs”, the poster’s true colors were shown.

            1. Anon says:

              Fuel Cell AstroTurfing brought to you by Exxon, Shell Oil, BP, etc….

    2. James says:

      The problem with hydrogen fuel cells:

      The cost (both fuel and vehicle)- as much or greater than current EVs

      The poor range (up to 300 miles) – no better than the current leading EVs

      The non-existent refuelling infrastructure – So you can actually only go half the car’s range, in an EV you can run it dry visiting a friends house for the night and then leave the next morning with a full battery

      Then there is the fact that batteries still have a long way to go technologically, hydrogen is basically as good as it is going to get, further compression will only have marginal at best improvement in range. An EV with a 1,000 mile range is perfectly possible however.

      Oh and please note I’m comparing a current production EV with fuelcell vehicles that are still not available for sale!

    3. Josh says:

      I will just address your comment about profits/losses. The street estimates and where Tesla finishes is very meaningless in the TSLA valuation at this point. Musk has committed in the past that they manage the business to be cash flow neutral, putting all gross profits from Model S back into growing the business.

      He has stated the goal is to get to a run rate of 100k per year by the end of next year. At that point heavy money will start sinking into the GigaFactory. You will see this cycle continue until Model 3 has reached full scale production. There will be no profits/dividends for shareholders during this massive ramp-up that it takes to build out an auto company. The best use of their cash is to continue growing the business, just like they are.

      $750 – $950 billion in investment in the business this year. Expect that to double next year. They are sitting on $2.7 billion in cash, so a $177 million GAAP (paper) loss is no big deal right now. They were cash flow neutral for the quarter, expect that to continue until walls start going up on the GigaFactory. They will have to bleed some of that cash at that phase.

      They generated $212 billion in gross cash in Q2 from Model S sales. No other auto maker is making that level of margin on a plug-in vehicle line right now.

      1. Josh says:

        That was obviously supposed to be $750 – $950 million and $212 million in the last two paragraphs…

    4. Fool Cells says:

      Governments around the world have pissed away billions on the failed fool cells and the hydrogen scam. In the USA, the Department of Energy and the Department of Defense. How much is Japan giving away on the fool cell cars? 20k USD per car? That does not even count all their taxpayers money pissed away on hydrogen and fool cells. How about Europe? LOL. You are either really stupid or just a clueless troll

    5. Marshal G says:

      Tesla has all the tech they need, are currently selling all the S’s they can make, are having a hard time filling all the orders in fact. Model X pre-orders (not set in stone I know) are over 10,000. Demand is strong in China, the largest luxury vehicle market in the world. The supercharger rollout progresses worldwide (or at least the nice parts) as does showrooms and service centers. They have a clear roadmap to driving down battery costs, and are very publicly committed to a $35k 200 mile car for the everyman. At least one gigafactory site has begun (pre) construction, and Panasonic is on board.

      On the other hand, we have your bluster about how Tesla is doooooomed and fuel cells are the wave of the future. With NOTHING to back you up. Does that about sum it up?

      1. fasteddy says:

        Yes, that does about sum it up. Clueless indeed !

      2. EvDeath says:

        You have nothing but Elon’s public statements on the Model III. He lied on the S-40 and he lied on the battery swap. Why would one consider his current rants as equally misleading?

        On the other hand the VP of Engineering for Toyota, a gentleman not known for hyperbola, is on the record with a 2015 FC launch.

    6. Bill Howland says:

      Ok EVdeath, made some serious points so I’ll bite:

      1). What is the actual retail unsubsidized cost going to be to drive 300 miles in an “FCV”? of the retail hydrogen fuel?

      2). Since it is much to expensive to use hydrolysis, how many pounds of Coal or how many centum cubic feet of Natural Gas is going to be required to make the hydrogen to go 300 miles. (If you state there are other commercially saleable products as a result of the cracking, please include the value of the ancillary products in your analysis).

      1. EvDeath says:

        Merchant hydrogen can be produced directly on site or as by products of an industrial process. The refinery, steel and glass industries are major hydrogen users. By far the largest source of merchant hydrogen is steam methane reformation which is about 90% efficient. Hydrogen can also be produced from oil but declining crude quality is limiting that option. Very little hydrogen (less than 4%) is produced from coal.

        Merchant hydrogen typically trades for around $2.80/kg. A kg of hydrogen has roughly the same energy content as a gallon of gas.

        However the $2.80/kg figure does not include costs for compression. And like electricity for EVs, currently is free from road taxes. All in the DOE expects a kg of transit hydrogen to trade for $4.00/kg. This includes the capital costs of the filling stations. Obviously thru put is a big factor in the prices.

        Hydrogen from electrolysis is currently inefficient and usually not reliable. Today it is a fools errand. At any rate it’s around $6.50/kg less taxes. Renewable hydrogen, in the early stages is around $12/kg.

        Typical efficiency of a fuel cell vehicle is about 70 mpge.

        1. Thanks for some facts instead of your hate fest.

          Thankfully, you confirmed that EV’s will likely ALWAYS be cheaper than hydrogen cars to operate.

          1. EvDeath says:

            Actually the Model-S is only cheaper than a FC if it’s tied to a predominantly coal fired grid.

            At $0.15/kWh and 2 real world miles/ kWh the S costs $3.75 to go 50 miles, at $4.50/kg and 70 mpge the FC costs $3.21 to go the same difference, and at $3.50/gal and 50 mpg the Prius costs $3.50, so the Tesla is most expensive of all.

            And please no free electricity stuff. The supercharger access is $2,500 for the S-60, even though they can’t make it between stations. Besides from reading the postings here most of the owners charge from home.

    7. TomArt says:

      Well, genius – US sales are down because they are production-constrained – they still can’t meet their demand – they have been focusing on making up the massive backlogs in their international markets because they have been waiting far longer than US customers have.

      Tesla continues to sell every car it makes, before it is made – until Tesla has inventory sitting around, they are golden.

  10. Lou Grinzo says:

    Elon Musk: Men want to be him, women want to… drive his car (so to speak).

    1. Mikael says:

      But but… there’s no stick!

      Elon: “No, but a big ass supercharger to plug in with loads of energy. I pack the largest model and it will be plugged in for at least an hour at a time for maximum fill up ;).”

  11. shrink says:

    Was anything said about the 400 mile Roadster battery?

    1. EvDeath says:

      Nope and nothing on the Giga mile flux capacitor either.

      1. Spec9 says:

        Why don’t you change your name to EV_Troll

    2. Khai L. says:

      Perhaps that’s one of the secret R&D projects?

  12. jmac says:

    I don’t go on ICE websites, proudly proclaiming that the ICE is dead.

    It is……but that’s another matter…..

    EV Death (Wow, what a name !!!) says:

    “The “follow the money” comments are asinine in the extreme. What F-N money? Compared to the billions squandered on batteries and EVs the FC money is a drop in the bucket.”

    This assertion (otherwise known as a bald faced lie) is simply not true.

    Hydrogen research has received significantly more money than either battery research or bio-fuels.

    “Resistance is futile”

    Signed,

    “ICE DEATH”

    1. EvDeath says:

      On what basis would you like to compare funding, including, research, incentives, and infrastructure? The stimulus package, $2.4 billion + $1.4 billion for EV, FC was zero. CARB and CEC infrastructure $128 million EV in two years, FC is less than $12 million, although another $20 million is identified. Incentives federal and state combined approximately $140 million for EVs, FCs zero.

      Please provide the facts supporting your position.

      1. krona2k says:

        Are you really that deluded? Fortunes have been spent on fuel cell research but not a single car has been sold, not one. Toyota or Honda *might* sell a few thousand next year but my guess is that they will be leased, just like every other year.

        1. EvDeath says:

          Are you saying the funding in those 3 specific cases is incorrect. Please feel free to correct the record.

      2. jmac says:

        “In the United States, several pieces of legislation have promoted the current explosion in hydrogen fuel cell development: namely, the congressional Hydrogen Future Act of 1996 and several state laws promoting zero emission levels for cars. Worldwide, different types of fuel cells have been developed with extensive public funding. The United States alone has sunk more than one billion dollars into fuel-cell research in the last thirty years.”

        http://inventors.about.com/od/fstartinventions/a/Fuel_Cells_2.htm

        1. EvDeath says:

          I should have expected this. I asked for facts, hopefully pertinent facts and got…more talking points.

          So one at a time. Latest first. Inventors.about. Anything from this century? And this was PNGV under Clinton. Most was private investment. The figures I quoted are within the past 6 years and were entirely public funding.

          Next

          Fuel Cells go on sale in 2015, first with Toyota at about 2,300 sales the first year and Hyundai at about 2,000 units the first year. 2016 brings in DB and Honda again with about 2,000 ea and finally in 2017 gen 2 Toyota at about 15,000 annually and BMW with a high performance car at around 1500.

          The fortunes spent are private investment, not sucking at the public tit. There’s a difference you realize.

          Next

          They posted a $60 million loss for Q2, no financial slight of hand makes that go away. Forward looking statements are just that forward looking. Their cash in hand is from non-selective investors. Sheep are made to be shorn. Dot com bubble anyone. The problem with their profit picture is US sales are declining and the market for their ZEV credits is shrinking.

          Next
          James, this is the one I love. The Toyota FC goes on sale for $70,000. That’s about $30,000 less than the S-85. The Toyota really does get 300 miles without having to hyper mile. The S-85 can’t reach between superchargers with out hyper mile. The S-60 cannot reach between superchargers under any conditions. It takes about 1 hour, not the 1/2 hour claimed to refuel at a supercharger, don’t like this? Read the blogs it’s all there for you. And FCs refuel in 5 minutes and can operate in extremely cold and hot weather without having to be plugged in at night. The Tesla can’t. The part I really love was the 1000 mile EV. James I assume you haven’t had any basic physics or weren’t paying attention.

          Next
          Krona2k. Absolutely correct, but as I pointed out FCs don’t go on market until 2015. And given the obscene amounts of money thrown at them EV sales performance is pathetic. But at least the public is waking up, the Leaf has the lowest resale value of any car sold in the US.

          1. Anon says:

            Hydrogen makes no sense, unless you’re an oil company and you want the masses to keep paying out their orifices, for your green-washed product.

            You guys had your run, for over a century. Today, truely clean, domestically gennerated electricity, is all you need for sustainable transport.

            Hydrogen is a joke– one that isn’t funny anymore. Move on.

          2. Spec9 says:

            You whine about people not posting ‘facts’ and then you post this: “Fuel Cells go on sale in 2015, first with Toyota at about 2,300 sales the first year and Hyundai at about 2,000 units the first year. 2016 brings in DB and Honda again with about 2,000 ea and finally in 2017 gen 2 Toyota at about 15,000 annually and BMW with a high performance car at around 1500.”

            That’s not a fact, that is nothing but projections. The fuel cell crowd has missed their ship dates several times. And even if we assume they ship those cars, they are probably not ‘sales’, they are just low-volume and subsidized leases. And the 15,000 . . . that is nothing but a dream. Good luck.

            1. EvDeath says:

              @Spec9
              Exactly like Model 3 and Giga factory are forward looking statements.

              1. Grendal says:

                You’ve posted nothing but forward looking statements. There are no HFCV’s for sale. Period. They will sell in the future, thus forward looking, but they aren’t for sale now. It is just as valid to talk about the Model III as it is to talk about the possibilities for HFCV’s. Personally I’m not against them but you are being a bad spokesperson by coming here and attacking EVs. EVs have made their mark and you can make real statements about them. They aren’t the perfect all around car but they are here to stay and they are improving and gaining momentum. The future of HFCVs has yet to be seen other than “forward looking statements.”

          3. Josh Bryant says:

            EvDeath,

            I will take your 2015 FCV sales guarantee. I will wager you $1000 that no single OEM sells 2000 FCV in 2015. Follow the link in my name to get in touch with me.

          4. Ahldor says:

            “The part I really love was the 1000 mile EV. James I assume you haven’t had any basic physics or weren’t paying attention.”

            Oh, ok so please share with us your wisdom of how basic physics would make a 1000 mile EV impossible.

            1. EvDeath says:

              Then there is the fact that batteries still have a long way to go technologically, hydrogen is basically as good as it is going to get, further compression will only have marginal at best improvement in range. An EV with a 1,000 mile range is perfectly possible however.

              Oh and please note I’m comparing a current production EV with fuelcell vehicles that are still not available for sale!

              Above is a part of the exact post from James. Notice he states he’s comparing current production EVs.

              I realize Tesla fanboys aren’t good at math which is one reason they’re so entertaining. But let’s run some numbers.

              The Tesla pack is about 17 lbs/hWh. The Tesla S-85, despite being aluminum intensive, is quite the porker at about 5000 lbs, and it’s platform efficiency suffers accordingly. About 2 miles/kWh whin driven as a normal car at freeway speeds using a/c. If you want to hypermile, 55 mph no a/c you can push that to 2.5 miles/kWh.

              The Leaf, on the other hand, even though it’s made of steel, is much lighter at around 3200 lbs. And it shows in performance. The Leaf can easily get 2.5 miles/kWh, even driven like a normal car. In a hypermile context those figures go to 3 or 3.5 miles/kWh.

              To go 1000 miles mass compounding is a real problem and even if you use linear extrapolation (in reality its exponential) you come up with a platform efficiency of less than 1. But to be kind let’s use 1. That means James needs 1000 kWh to go 1000 miles. That, in turn, implies a battery pack that’s 17,000 pounds. And that’s just the battery, where does the space come from to house all these batteries?

              Realistically, in the best case James is talking a car 5X the size of the Model-S.

              And before we delve into the magic battery crap, both IBM and the National Battery Consortium have given up on Li Air. For at least 10 years, what you see today is pretty much what you’re going to get. Some improvement, nothing breakthrough.

              On the other hand to get from 300 to 1000 miles on a FC requires about 300 pounds of additional carbon/Kevlar tanks. Finding the space to put them is another matter entirely.

          5. With the current California Air Rssources Board (CARB) 0.79% credits rule of Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) sales means that with the 9 credits earned per hydrogen car, Toyota need only lease 790 hydrogen vehicles over three model years, or 263 per each model year during 2015 – 2017 to offset 900,000 oil burning car sales in California.

            Those extremely limited Toyota hydrogen vehicles will be leased in California only, not nationwide like Tesla does today. You will not be able to drive coast to coast, like Tesla today. You will not drive from Mexico to Canada, like Tesla does today. You will not drive from Italy to Norway, like Tesla does today.

            At millions of dollars to produce and MAINTAIN a hydrogen station (including required security not needed at a Tesla Supercharger), the chances of getting non-taxpayer supported stations anywhere is low.

            California will spend $100 million for less than 100 stations in California only in the next few years. There are thousands of Tesla refueling sites, starting in everybody’s garage overnight. In addition, there are over 100 Supercharger sites in the world RIGHT NOW.

            Battery capacity and density will continue to go up, and Superchargers will continue to flourish without government handouts.

            Hydrogen will remain on the government feet until somebody turns out the lights.

            1. TomArt says:

              Exactly.

      3. jmac says:

        The U.S. Government has spent tons of money on fuel cells….

        “The government spent $1.7 billion on fuel cells from 2004 through 2008 through the FreedomCar coalition, which included GM, Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler Group LLC, as well as several oil companies.”

        http://www.plasticsnews.com/article/20130304/NEWS/130309980/u-s-department-of-energy-makes-modest-push-for-fuel-cells

  13. jmac says:

    Crazy for Evs said:

    “The fortunes spent are private investment, not sucking at the public tit. There’s a difference you realize.”

    These fortunes are NOT solely private investments. Various governments have also poured billions into fuel cell research.

    For the most part, what you have mistakenly called “private money” is really corporate money. And most corporations are publicly held and owned by share-holders. Money spent on fuel cell R&D is money that might have been used to fatten dividend checks.

    Cut the comedy and stop arguing something that can be factually shown to be wrong.

    The simple fact is that fuel cells, over the years (several decades), have on balance received far more research money than batteries.

    While there may be some legitimate arguments that can be leveled against EVs, the argument that the Government has been pushing batteries at the expense of fuel cells is not one of them.

    1. EvDeath says:

      Shall we limit the discussion to PEM FCs and Traction Batteries, discarding the enormous sums spent on military and space. And perhaps speak to this century? Then I’m afraid you’re going to look long and hard for equal funding especially during the Obama years. Peanuts for FCs for at least the last 8 years.

      1. Anon says:

        FCs are like the Russian Tokamak design for achieving sustainable fusion– no one really expects then to work; thus smart politicians are cutting funding for obvious dead end technologies. Like Fool Cells.

        1. EvDeath says:

          Keep dreaming and please do everyone a favor and make sure Toyota, Honda, Nissan, GM, DB, BMW and Hyundai are made aware their products aren’t going to work.

          Please also define smart politicians, the Obama administration? hahahahaha.

          You’d be more believable were you not such a Elon sycophant, fool cells indeed.

        2. Priusmaniac says:

          Actually Hydrogen fuel cells are a dead end but direct Ethanol fuel cells running on bioethanol would be interesting as a range extender. Unfortunatly there is almost no investment in that specific cell because it is of no interest to oilies. By the way Tokamak are exactly the contrary of hydrogen fuel cells in that they are interesting but totally underfunded, again because they are of no interest (at contrary) to oilies.

          1. EvDeath says:

            Please explain how they are a dead end? 100,000 mile + durability, a real 300 mile range, ability to survive extreme cold and hot, which by the by is something Tesla ca never do. The Model S has to be plugged in when not in use.

            Bio ethanol, sure that’s a great one. Food for fuel and ADM and ConAgra are sooooo much better than oil companies

  14. jmac says:

    “I’m afraid you’re going to look long and hard for equal funding especially during the Obama years. Peanuts for FCs for at least the last 8 years.”

    Cry me a river….

    Go get the money from the oil companies that make billions in profits every quarter.

    Stop trying to suck up U.S. Government research money to benefit already obscenely rich oil companies.

    Go get your hydrogen research money from your beloved oil companies. They are the ones that stand to gain the most from the so-called “Hydrogen Economy”

    1. EvDeath says:

      JMac. I apologize for my personal attack. It’s totally out of line with a scientific discussion. I’ve done this crap for twenty years and sometimes it’s difficult to find the right words.

      Frankly I think both FCs and EVs have a long and difficult road ahead, and neither are likely to replace vastly improved and rapidly evolving heat engines with energy harvesting.

      Rest assured Oil companies are not a friend of hydrogen

      I can’t express the frustration I feel towards their obstructionists policies.

      1. pjwood says:

        Exxon leads natural gas production, the number one FC feedstock. It’s distribution results in radically different costs, depending upon the customer (resid. heat, CNG, LNG, a utility). It’s still natural gas. It seems the oil gig works best for them, but for hydrogen to trump battery storage is a no brainer “must” if they are to eventually exit ICE profits with some salvage racquet.

        Compared to EV’s, rest assured oil companies are big friends of hydrogen. Run the numbers for natural gas distribution channels, and their margins. Contrast electricity, to the others, and consider the name-your-price margin a hydrogen filling station will look to fetch above its costs. There is no science here. The game is already being played, naming “gallon equivalent’ units in natural gas. Ruined CNG car prospects. Can’t do that with electricity, where you’ll get punked by another fuel if you stick out. That game is no fun. Whining about government, while you go try and control a market you call “free”, is so much better.

    2. Priusmaniac says:

      Because “Hydrogen economy” equals “oilies economy” equals “status quo economy” equals “status quo in the haves”.

      1. EvDeath says:

        So by extension you believe big electricity is more noble than big oil? Really?

        1. EVs Since '97 says:

          I use neither “Big Oil” nor “Big Electricity” to fuel my EVs. I generate my own transportation fuel with a paid-for 5kW array on the roof of my house. I have been doing so for fifteen years. (It paid for itself in ten years.)

          Try THAT with any other transportation fuel.

          (Fuel Cell) “…stacks, unlike batteries, do not lose capacity over time.”

          Wow. That’s really hilarious.

      2. EvDeath says:

        “Status quo for the haves..” Please the average HHI for a Model-S owner is $350,000

        1. TomArt says:

          Wow – you completely missed the point – how did you manage that?

  15. Bryan Whitton says:

    Well I am not qualified to state unequivocally that FCVs are better or worse that BEVs. But I will say this, I have a Honda FIT EV and I have absolutely no need for a FCV. I plug my car in every night and I drive all around the south bay and Santa Cruz for work then plug it in again at night. I have solar on the roof and pay nothing additional for the motion. If I were to use a FCV I would still have to buy fuel. I don’t see an advantage for me.
    Now, I do see an advantage to a Tesla over the Honda. If I could afford one I would have one.

  16. ffbj says:

    Why not table this rather nonsensical debate for a few since there is no real way to compare a current large fleet of pure ev’s around the world with a minute sampling of FCV. But then again some people will wish to continue to show they are correct no matter what is obvious to most.
    So talk to me again, in 5 years, about how FCV will bury the electric car. Similar to the result of what an infamous premier said when he uttered the rather ridiculous: “We will bury you,” comment.

  17. jmac says:

    I Love EVs said:

    “In the hydrogen economy big oil loses.”
    ——————————————

    Like Shell Hydrogen ?

    Shell oil has a separate department within the company dedicated to hydrogen, just like all the other oil companies do.

    The Major Oil Companies had this hydrogen economy all figured out decades ago.. and that’s why they support it.

    Just another pathetic revamp by the oil companies to revive and prolong the old worn out fossil duel economy.

    https://www.google.com/search?q=shell+hydrogen+station+iceland&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=ZjDcU7vpM8r88AGMjIBo&ved=0CAcQ_AUoAg&biw=751&bih=406

    1. EvDeath says:

      Ok, well I tried but you continue to demonstrate how little you know. Shell Hydrogen is only Greenwashing just like BP Solar. There may be 10 employees in Shell Hydrogen. For gods sake man run the damn numbers.

  18. ffbj says:

    Four more stories on Tesla popped up on Bloomberg tonight. The last one was the most interesting in that it talks about things that Musk and Tesla have done have been unprecedented, and how they have simply silenced the critics and made believers out of the people that really matter.
    According to the analyst that they interview this is part of the reason for Tesla’s success, but that the evangelical fervor of it’s employees to do their best by complete and timely dedication. Of course not everyone can work 120 hours a week and be productive, but similar to Edison, Musk seems to be indefatigable. He also seems to be following the template, Edison established, of having loads of the best and the brightest working for you. A model later emulated by Bell labs and others.

    One last comment from me on FCV and why Toyota and Tesla seem to differ on it’s viability. As I have said previously, Toyota sort missed the boat on pure ev’s, so even though they were wrong partially in claiming they could produce competitive FCV, which Tesla seems flummexed by. The answer is quite simple: Toyota would lose face if it abandoned the development of the FCV. They are not going to kow-tow to an upstart electric car company. Perhaps they have actually convinced themselves that it FCV will match or exceed the best ev’s. I doubt it but time will tell.

    1. EvDeath says:

      Toyota built the first RAV 4EV in 1998, some are still on the road. How is that missing the boat? They haven’t convinced themselves about anything. They simply looked at the preponderance of scientific evidence and acted accordingly. Something Tesla fanboys seem unable to do.

  19. jmac says:

    Shell Hydrogen does not have just ten hydrocarbon nerds working for the company.

    It would take that many employees just to install the Shell Hydrogen signs in Iceland.

    No, the reality is that oil companies have a huge stake in the next fuel paradigm …..

    For the oil companies, it MUST be yet another hydrocarbon molecule.

    Namely…….the many various bound forms of hydrogen, especially CH4, otherwise known as methane or natural gas.

    1. EvDeath says:

      So you’ve been to Houston, to the 23rd floor of the Shell Headquarters and actually met with Shell hydrogen? Really? I have, it’s only a paper group.

      Conspiracy theorist, are largely idiots.

  20. Priusmaniac says:

    It is a lost battle anyway because superchargers are going to charge ever faster up to hypercharge at megawatt level, because superchargers will multiply all over the place, because batteries get cheaper and more efficient, because carbon tax looms over fossil by climatechange effects pressure and finaly because the upcoming wave of robots and telebots will all give weight to the batteries market.

  21. AddLightness says:

    I’ve easily put 12k miles in the last 7 months on my leaf, love driving it, and love never getting gas. I can’t even begin to describe how nice it is to take 10 seconds to plug in my car daily to “refuel it”. In my opinion that alone will always been superior to the “3 minutes” that it takes to refuel with gas or hydrogen, not to mention the additional time and inconvenience it takes to go to a fuel station. Sure gas/hydrogen vehicles are currently more convenient for long distance travel, but for most people those trips are rare. Today we can already travel state to state for FREE. To me that’s worth the current inconvenience. And someday charging a battery will be just as quick and refueling with liquid. I’m really interested to see how EVs and FCEVs play out. I think each will play their own part in our zero-emission future.. most likely EVs for passenger and light duty vehicles, and fuel cell for heavy duty vehicles such as semis.

    1. EvDeath says:

      I believe there’s room for both FC and EV light duty. The advantage for FV, beyond longer range and quick refueling, the stacks, unlike batteries, do not lose capacity over time.

      1. krona2k says:

        Fuel cells do wear out.

        1. EvDeath says:

          I didn’t say not wear out I said don’t loose capacity. LiIon calendar life is triggered at the first charge and deteriorates from there. A FC does not have this problem. FCs problems are the seals between the membrane electrode assemblies. They can leak over time.

      2. AddLightness says:

        I agree. It all really just depends on how far and quickly their respective technologies develop. EVs have a huge lead in cost, technology, and infrastructure. Hydrogen cars will have to be a very compelling product by the time they’re ready for mass adoption. I’d be interested to hear what Elon says about the possibility of electric semis etc. He must be confident that battery and charging tech will someday be adequate for heavy duty vehicles as well.

  22. Richard Harty says:

    I don’t get it. Why would anyone want hydrogen fuel cells to succeed over electric? Why does anyone want to pay for their fuel? To me that’s just stupid. I bought an electric car for one simple reason. I wanted to be able to produce my own energy so I wouldn’t have to endure artificial price hikes and manipulation by the oil companies. It seems like this would be a perfect fit for conservatives and libertarians because it provides for more individual independence. In addition an electric drive train is far simpler and maintenance costs are far less. It seems likely that we will solve the battery expense issue and it seems like that would be the direction we should be putting our energy since it would benefit the consumer. I don’t get why conservatives keep shooting themselves in the foot simply over ideologies.

    1. EvDeath says:

      Ummmm…cause maybe some of us, like most of the world, live in cities where personal renewables are not an option. Some of us live in climates where EVs don’t work well. Some of us have schedules where we may need to travel long distances using a/c or the heater. Some of us don’t make $350,000 each year and can only afford one car.

      That’s why.

  23. Phr3d says:

    The paradigm shift is what needs attention – all media focus is on BEV total miles and circumstance, when the better discussion is about ‘topping off’ at home, every day. Everyone has muttered about the spouse or kids leaving the car with an empty tank.. most of us have hyper-miled to a gasoline station. We (IMHO) apply that paradigm as it is the familiar one, as opposed to never needing to fill as I plug it in every night and ‘X’ miles is plenty for 95% of what I need a vehicle for. The ‘Time’ to recharge in ‘topping off’ is miniscule for most people.
    This is Old News to readers here, but I wish that the sentiment could be shared in the mainstream. You Never Need to FILL-up, 95% of the time, and your paradigm adjusts to that, just like it did for your earlier smartphones (your income depends on it, you found a way to make truly substandard battery-life work back then, huh).

    EVDeath, I gather that you are involved with HFC for years, and I grant that you (finally) backed off from some of your platitudes, but here ya go: you sound like you are parroting the things that you and your HCV friends blather back and forth as ‘known truths’ over the table at a bar (see also, team statistics). In the cases where your Facts begin to falter against NOT Tesla Fanbois but rather well-informed individuals after all, you hedge, and hedge again (money spent This decade comes to mind, oops 2004-2008, did you say?).
    I ASSumed you were a paid troll, given your self-introduction. You are free to try and bash the Thousands of statements, prior to your arrival here, regarding HCV, but expect no converts with statements like: Toyota, Honda, et all think it is the way to go, so I’ll bet my futures on their promises and everyone here is necessarily, fundamentally Wrong (and please remove BMW, as they don’t seem Nearly all-in on HCV).
    just sayin’

    1. EvDeath says:

      2 decades with both EVs and FCs. View points shaped by the DOE, National Labs and NAS.

      BMW is rapidly developing a luxury sports FC. I see no reason to remove them from the list.

      Compare the amount spent in Bush years to the fortunes squandered and still being squandered under Obama and Brown.

      Self-deluded not well informed. Tesla today is a over-hyped one trick pony. They’re bleeding money and Model-S sales are down 26% in the US. X will cannibalize the S and III is just more hype. There is a limited base for $100,000 cars and without a real base no OEM will survive long.

      Remember the S-40 for $45,000? Just one example of something that never happened. So now it’s the S-60 at $80,000. Same thing will happen to the III.

      1. Money squandered… exactly what I think about hydrogen cars.

        If the state spent the same money to blanket California in quality, well placed quick chargers, and then EV’s floundered, sure, look for plan B.

        1. jmac says:

          Diesel locomotives run on diesel.

          What is almost never revealed or discussed is that the diesel engine in a so-called diesel locomotive is really just used to drive an on board generator that makes electricity for the train’s electric traction motors.

          Diesel trains are really diesel-electric trains but are almost never referred to as such.

          But cars that run on hydrogen are somehow called “electric” cars. They are really just hydrogen cars, just like diesel trains are diesels.

          And the hydrogen to run these new “fuel cell” cars will (of course) be produced by the oil companies.

          I call them fossil fuel cell cars because they will be run from fuels provided by our oil/fossil fuel industry.

          If you are sick of going to the gas station now….. just wait until the oil company sponsored hydrogen age kicks in.

        2. EvDeath says:

          The state has spent far more money on EVSEs than on hydrogen.

  24. EvDeath says:

    Read it and weep babies, Hyundai already has the FC at the dealership and they have owners. Modest but it’s a start.

    http://hydrogentrek.wordpress.com

    I’ll get ya all some crow to chow down on.

    1. TomArt says:

      What are you talking about? Nobody said that there would never be any FCVs and never any sales – get a life, dude…