Elon Musk: Not Out Of Question For Tesla To Be Larger Than GM, 500 Mile EVs Coming

NOV 6 2015 BY JAY COLE 163

Tesla CEO Elon Musk made a surprise appearance at the 24th Annual Baron Investment Conference today at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City.

And as always, the Tesla front man did not disappoint – touching on everything from becoming an automotive giant to building millions of cars, and 500 mile EVs.

Tesla CEO And Ron Baron Sit Down To Talk Future Of The EV Business

Tesla CEO And Ron Baron Sit Down To Talk Future Of The EV Business

In total 4 CEOs made presentations, but none made a larger impact than Musk, who also brought along three Tesla vehicles with him.  The other presenters were William Stone (SS&C Technologies, Joel Marcus, (Alexandria Real Estate Equities) and Jay T. Flatley (Illumina).

The main talking points coming out of the conference via Musk we think you should know were:

On future EV production:

Musk sees the day when Tesla will produce millions of EVs every year, a fact he says is significant given that not so many years ago when the company was on less solid footing, and he even thought Tesla“would almost certainly fail.”

After touching on Tesla’s goal of producing half a million cars in 2020, Musk said, “We could conceivably go beyond half a million cars there…Long-term, I think we want to try to do several million cars.”

On becoming larger than the likes of GM, VW … and Toyota:

“Possibly, it’s not out of the question,” said Musk. 

Depending on your definition of what is “larger” one could see that day coming shortly if the determining metric is market capitalization.

As of the close of business Friday, Tesla’s market cap stood at $30.1 billion dollars, just over half the size of General Motors (55.6 B) and Volkswagen (53.5B).  Toyota, with a valuation close to $200 billion, seems like a bridge to far to cross via just expectations for the brand – perhaps when that day comes that Tesla does indeed produce 500,000 cars a year.

Tesla CEO: More Assembly Facilities And Gigafactories Needed In The Future

Tesla CEO: More Assembly Facilities And Gigafactories Needed In The Future

Taken by actual vehicles produced – passing the “big 3” will take much, much longer as the 50,000-52,000 the company expects to deliver in 2015 would put them about 9 million vehicles behind their largest competitors.  Mr. Musk says they will need a lot more building infrastructure in the future..

“I think over time if we continue to, if we build great products and we keep our cost structure competitive, (Tesla will need) many plants…in fact, many auto plants and many gigafactories, I think, are needed.” 

Future of electric vehicles:

Tesla "Could" Build 500 Mile EVs Today - But Would Not Make A Lot Of Sense

Tesla “Could” Build 500 Mile EVs Today – But Would Not Make A Lot Of Sense

Part of the focus of Musk’s talk was on the fundamental building block of electric vehicle technology – the battery.  Specifically the need to continue to increase the efficiency of the battery, while reducing costs at the same time.

The Tesla CEO reiterated a popular talking point, saying that Tesla could build a 500 mile vehicle today, but that the compromises are still too great to make it viable.  A more reasonable timeline for 500 milers would be in about a decade.

“For us to do, a 500-mile range car, we could absolutely do that right now with current batteries, but the cost would be too high and the use for load impact on the vehicle would be too high. So you would have to fill the front truck and rear trunk with batteries, we would have to infringe a little bit on passenger room.”

Of interest: Baron’s who held the conference, is a long time stakeholder in Tesla – first buying a position in October of 2012 (at $33.11).  Today, Baron’s stake totals 1.3 million shares, worth about $300 million dollars.

The billionaire CEO of the group, Ron Baron told Musk that they “we’re investing in you,” using the backdrop of VW’s diesel scandal to validate Tesla’s position in the market today – and in the future.

Baron separately told CNBC what he expects the future market cap to hold for Tesla.

“Five hundred thousand cars a year in 2020 … that’s a business of $35 billion or $40 billion a year in revenue. Say they make $6 billion of operating profit before they spend to make themselves grow larger. That means that’s probably worth $120 billion (market cap). Now market value is about $30 billion, so it’s quadruple in five years.”


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163 Comments on "Elon Musk: Not Out Of Question For Tesla To Be Larger Than GM, 500 Mile EVs Coming"

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Nothing is impossible.

Remember that back in the 50s/60s/70s, GM pretty much dominated the world auto market and were largest automaker in the world for decades until recently Toyota knocked it off its crown.

Up until the diesel fiasco, VW was on track to overtake Toyota as the largest automaker on the planet and GM is still close 3rd.

So, it is anyone’s game as long as Tesla continues to survive and innovate.

In a way, even the “mightiest” GM filed for “bankruptcy” recently. So just because you are larger, it doesn’t mean you can’t fail.

Remember that once you get to the top, there is nowhere to go but down.

a lot of things are possible; i was raking leaves in my yard today and thinking about how i wanted to get a benzo. lo and behold, next thing you know, i look up and see a guy driving by my house in an s-class. given that the mega millions lottery drawing is tonight, this could be interpreted as an omen; maybe it means that i’ll hit the numbers tonight and then be able to get the benzo (and hopefully a bentley, too, i might add).

hey! it’s possible…

I think your chances are slim to none, and slim just left town.
Don’t rake the leaves use you mower to chop and pick them up and then spread them on your flower beds. More ecofriendly and more efficient.

i appreciate that, i do live in the real world…that said, i spend a lot of time trying to find a way to get an s-class. right now, playing the lottery seems like the best chance, but i will abandon that if i come up with a better idea.

Sure. The only way to get a lot of money fast is gambling.

Get a used one. My workmate just picked up a S500 for cheap. With low gas prices, it doesn’t hurt too much at the pump either.

i was driving and found myself at a stop light where the guy in front of my w

i have considered that but the problem with that strategy at present is that mercedes-benz just introduced the new w222 s-class; so if i buy a used s-class, people will know i bought used, and there goes the status!

i was driving when i found myself behind a guy who was driving a w140 s-class and i was thinking to myself: “dude, you have got *zero* status; your s-class is so 1990’s”.

And use Black & Decker’s new 20-inch electric mower too. It’s a real pleasure, compared to primitive gas mowers.

why rake when you can have goats?

That is true.

Keep in mind that Elon was clever enough to avoid giving time specfics. After all, he is never good at that anyway… LOL

Given enough time and enough luck, it could happen regardless how small or how large the chance is.

It’s totally possible.

I was thinking the other day that I could possibly score with Natalie Portman. I’d drive my Pontiac Vibe to LA and tool around until I saw her on the street, then I’d pull up and say “hey, how’s it goin’?”

Would she invite me back to her pad? It’s possible!

That’s true and there’s no guarantee that bigger is always better. Both GM and VW problems in some aspects related to their size.
Too many divisions and too little oversight. Too many problems ignored or swept under the rug leading to expensive problems, law suits, and recalls, further down the road.

Can you imagine what would’ve happened if GM did go bankrupt? Would those GM EV engineers be working at Tesla now? Would SparkEV be wearing Tesla badge? 😉

They did go bankrupt.

I wouldn’t call big brother giving pile of money as bankruptcy. MMF did right by calling it “bankruptcy” with quotes around it. Yeah yeah, it was a loan to practically worthless company (at the time).

You can call it whatever you want, as usual.

SparkEV is probably too young to know the events of 2008. GM went bankrupt, wiping out all shareholders.

I would have to say it is a “managed bankruptcy”. So, technically speaking, it was a bankruptcy.

I only put it in quotes as their are different types of bankruptcy and managed ones are different than the “whole sales of the company and then just keeping the brands”.

Sure. No problem I was just a bit miffed when
SparkEV said if they had of, past tense. Just a tense thing. If he had of said if they go bankrupt, present tense, I would have let that slide.

There’s an old saying, “if it quacks like a duck…” In which bankruptcy do you get piles of money for “bankruptcy” instead of having assets sold/etc? It quacks of a bailout, not a bankruptcy.

It’s “bankruptcy” because it wiped out the investors, when the government didn’t want to pay the investors. If normal Joe took piles of money while fleecing the investors, it’d be called fraud.

Call it what you will, but it quacks like fraudulent bailout.

There are two types of bankruptcy under federal law, a Chapter 7 liquidation, and a Chapter 13 restructuring, where the company emerges from bankruptcy. GM’s bankruptcy was a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

I am well aware there are variety of bankruptcies. Restructuring was part of my etc. But there is no bankruptcy that says you get pile of money while telling investors that they get nothing. If I did that, I’d be thrown in jail for fraud!

CH13 is for individuals. CH11 is business restructuring.

As a GM shareholder whose shares are now only pretty paper certificates, I definately am calling it a BANKRUPTCY.

that is all,


the bigger issue wasn’t the bankruptcy, a lot of companies file for bankruptcy, it was the very real prospect that the bankruptcy would be followed by a liquidationkeep in mind, the impact of gm is much bigger than just gm; a liquidation of gm would have meant that the many suppliers to gm would have probably also gone out of business. given that at that time, the economy was losing 800,000 jobs per month, the liquidation of gm could have been enough to push the economy into a full blown depression.

If not for the $500 million loan from the U.S. government, Tesla might not exist.

And the Oil company, banks and perhaps your house will be in trouble too.

Tesla exists because of Musk and the timing is now good for an electric car. The will, the money and the science to do it.
If you don’t have one of the three it doesn’t get done.

Secondly, it’s not Musk alone, he hires the best. That’s something Corporate America has forgotten how to do. And he invests a huge some of money to make the future happen as soon as it’s possible to happen.

To compete with Tesla you do those things, you have the desire and the money or you come in last.

The key investments for Tesla were from Musk and Daimler. Then basically the Fremont plant from Toyota for $50M in TSLA stock.

In order for the DoE loan application to be approved Tesla had to demonstrate a viable plan without DoE money. The loan was to accelerate production of the Model S. Not to keep the lights on and pay the engineers their salaries.

What we do know is GM and Chrysler would have been gone without US and Canadian Government intervention.

If they did not need the U.S. loan, they would not have applied for it. They paid it back early but the FACT is they applied and accepted the loan.

They paid it exactly when it was due. Later payment would have resulted in giving up some stock that was much more expensive option. Do you seriously believe it was paid early because “it is good thing to do” or whatever crap CEOs usually say for PR?

Which is exactly why the govt structured the deal in that way, to encourage early pay-back (and it was an early payback) from a now over the hump new company.

Tesla exists because ICE manufacturers did not produce BEVs.

Thank you, Mr. G.

It’s amazing how many people don’t get that rather fundamental fact.

…and icev makers make *ev’s because of regulatory pressure, not because of tesla.

Originally legacy OEMs made EVs (or bought credits from companies with extra credits, mainly Tesla) because of CARB requirements.

However, the world is not a static place and now the laggard legacy OEMs are going to have to start make compelling EVs or lose market share to Tesla or other companies that make compelling EVs. This process is just starting to accelerate with the release of the Model X and this pressure will continue to grow with the Bolt, Leaf 2, and Model 3.
See Mercedes dilemma regarding S class in Europe:

Wise words. *thumbs up*

No encroaching on passenger space needed. Just stretch it into a Limousine! Could fit 140 to 180 kWh worth in that easy enough!

Hey Robert, how is the ev business these days?

I hope those 500 miles EV use about the size / weight / price of current 80 miles range EV assuming $100/kWh. ie, 500 miles range, but ~$3000 for battery replacement, less than 500lb, etc.

Tesla is a long way away from overtaking GM! First they have to survive the model 3 which is far from certain!

A reasonable assessment.
The Bolt is being pushed out in all 50 states, or so states GM. Previously they said an October 2016 release date was the target.
So I think Tesla is not the only company that on occasion engages in hyperbole.

No, the Bolt won’t be widely available when it first comes out. Just like the new Volt. Remember how the CARB states got the second gen Volt first? Like that, but probably more limited availability due to outsourced parts / batteries from LG.

i read something on one of the gm-volt forums that stated that the reason why gm limited the initial gen2 volt sales to carb states is because gm needed credits.

This is my guess as well. Their Volt sales have been hurting the majority of the year and they’re probably far behind where they need to be in CARB credits. The easiest way to fix it is to pump 100% of a much anticipated new product into CARB States. Oh wait, that’s exactly what’s happening.

Volt can’t satisfy ZEV requirement alone. It can play into some AT-PZEV or TZEV credits.

Volt must make more money or lose less money than Spark EV. Because Spark EV can more than make up the credits loss that Volt lacks if GM wants to sell more Spark EV.

Also, if you look at the sales map, the CARB states are also happen to be the “hottest Volt market”, especially California. So there is no reason not to sell your product where the demand is highest.

I think it was to soft stroke the CARB states and to feather the bed for future releases, like the Bolt.
When they said all 50 states would be part of the release I called it hyperbole, (a lie). So perhaps a dribble across the country with focus on the CARB states is my prediction.

Read through the article. Here’s the quote:
Shad Balch said “We’ve also committed that it’s going to be a 50-state vehicle at launch.”

The Volt has a 40,000 vehicle cap.
We’ll have to see what Tesla’s cap is.

Secondly, it’s not going to be just a car. It’s going to be loaded with new capabilities GM hasn’t dreamed of.

Tesla Model 3 has 0.0000 cap. It doesn’t exist yet. Its prototype wasn’t shown yet. You are talking about your dreams and comparing dream production volume 5 years in the future with Bolt’s first year already scheduled production number. Why not use 5,000,000 mln. Model 3 volume in 2017 if we are at that, dream big.

A 500-mile Tesla would make refueling on road trips closer to parity with ICE vehicles. Pull in with <10% SOC remaining and recharge until the charging starts to taper. You would have added enough energy to travel 250-300 miles, which is about the expected range of a non-EV.

a bev that can recharge for 250-300 miles in 5-10 minutes would be a megawatt charger that literally delivers kilovolts to the charger head. do you actually believe that you would be allowed to plug such a thing in yourself?

Where did he say 5-10 minutes? If it’s like the supercharger, it’ll probably be 30-40 minutes, but with twice as much range replenished and requiring twice as much power. That would be 240kW instead of 120kW, which is definitely still viable using a connector that the user plugs in.

When it reaches 500kW is when it is likely robotics (like for bus chargers).

JakeY said:

“When it reaches 500kW is when it is likely robotics (like for bus chargers).”

I think so, too. Ultra-fast chargers for 350+ mile range BEVs may well be too heavy and unwieldy for a human to man-handle. That’s one reason to use a robotic hookup instead of “self service”; safety with high voltage equipment is another.

And I’m amused, if a bit exasperated, by those who say it will never happen because it’s too dangerous. That’s about as forward-looking as the people who said that a train could never travel more than 20 miles per hour, because the speed would make it impossible to breathe! 😀

i would not state that it would be impossible to overcome the technical barriers, but at what cost? how much would you imagine that one of these highly automated charging stations (which much accommodate multiple automobiles at the same time) would cost?

it would probably be less expense to develop an in-road charging infrastructure, then you could have smaller batteries.

no comment “it would probably be less expense to develop an in-road charging infrastructure, then you could have smaller batteries.” Please tell me you’re joking. The average gas station services ~1100 cars per day, using about 8 pumps, so that’s very roughly one pump per 138 cars. With EVs, the ratio would probably be even higher, because 90-95% of EV charging will continue to be slow charging at home or work. So, the number of ultra-fast-charge hookups needed for a nationwide system would be small compared to the number of EVs. Contrariwise, putting enough chargers into the road, nationwide, to power EVs would take… what? 100 chargers per car? 1000? And you think somehow that will be cheaper?!?! Economics and competition make ultra-fast-charging of EVs inevitable. If Station A is offering to charge your car at, say, 5 kWh per minute, and Station B across the street is offering 10 kWh per minute at a price only slightly higher than Station A, wouldn’t most people go for for the faster charge? Of course they would. Markets clearly show that most people think convenience is worth paying for. Sure, the stations will be more expensive than, say, a Tesla Supercharger. So… Read more »

for someone who doesn’t actually own an electric car, you seem to know more about *ev ownership than people who do. you can afford to make entirely theoretical comments because it’s nothing to you whether you’re right or wrong.

Its called ‘Synthetic Knowledge and Importance’. The guy is just a Gasbag. I’d like him to name 5 low-cost 300 kw EV docking stations, and have him compare them with another 600 Kw “Slightly Higher” cost ones. When pressed into a corner, he claims to not know anything, which is an interesting position. Hence my Nick-Name for him. As far as Safety is concerned, I’m not worried about 1,000 kw or 2,000 kw charging levels. But I would question the sanity of anyone installing them. For me, I said around 5 1/2 years ago, that I estimated the practical limit for an individual car will be 150 kw. Tesla seems likely to be the first to exceed this rate by a small amount, but it IS INTERESTING that they are starting to “Count their pennies” regarding the expense of the Locals doing alltheir charging there; hence the somewhat poorly received EMAILS that seemed to threaten Tesla renigging on their “Anywhere at Anytime SC for $2000” option. Of course, it could be stated that the Model S and X, usually over $100,000 a pop, are not your typical vehicle, and have no relation to ‘typical charging speeds’, which would only apply… Read more »

Don’t forget falling off the edge of the earth if you sailed too far!!!

“parity” with icev’s would mean that you should be able to recharge a battery in about the same time that it takes to refill a gas tank. thus, the need for high voltage, megawatt charging stations.

There’s no need to so over-engineer EV ultra-fast-charging that it can be done in 2 minutes. Few if any buyers would choose a gasmobile over a BEV merely because it takes 5-7 minutes to ultra-fast-charge instead of 2 minutes to fill up. Keep in mind that most drivers will be using ultra-fast-charge stations only a few times a year. Plugging in and unplugging at home every day takes less time than driving to the gas station once a week… not more time.

Complete parity isn’t necessary for EVs to make gasmobiles obsolete.

The people who are always forgotten… who can’t plug in at work or home, and who make up about half the population:

1) retired
2) apartment dwellers
3) unemployed
4) students
5) military
6) etc

All those listed above drive cars today, and expect to get their energy from a public source, as quickly as possible. Some will actual buy / lease a hydrogen car, thinking they are “green”, and meeting their personal needs.

He said “closer to parity” not parity.

You have an obsession with high voltage, don’t you?
FYI, even a weak 120 volts EVSE has no voltage in the pistol before it’s actually plug in and the handshake between the onboard charger and the EVSE have complete all check that you finally have some voltage as the J1772.
You could throw it in your bath or pool while you’re in it, nothing would happen.
Why, but just why wouldn’t that be any different with a high voltage DCFC and the inboard BMS?
Seem, they just figure out that some people, ,you maybe, could not behave safely.

Right, there will be a safety interlock to prevent the charging cable / arm / whatever from becoming “hot” until it’s locked safely onto the car, where careless fingers can’t touch it.

And as you say, this is already the case for EV chargers.

But some people see high voltage current as some sort of boogeyman, ignoring the fact that it’s safely used every day in commercial and industrial installations.

Ignorance is bliss, I guess.

But those same people don’t seem to have a problem with a hydrogen tank compressed to 10,000 PSI under their seat.

Go figure.

the difference is this: you can reinforce the hydrogen tank, just like you can reinforce a gas tank; but there is no circuit breaker that can respond fast enough if a short developed in a megawatt charging station. you can state that the chances of a short circuit occurring are very slim, but if one occurs, it is very likely to be fatal.

Yes but with a higher voltage you need a lot thicker insulation on the cable.

that’s not quite how it works…higher voltage means *lower* current for a given power level.

Well, that is how it works, and you’re both right:

1) higher voltage needs better / thicker / more capable insulation.

2) higher voltage allows lower amperage at the same power level.

you’re right, i misread his comment; i thought he was suggesting that you had to go to thicker gauge wire.

500-mile EVs are basically unnecessary. It’s unnecessary for gas cars to have that range also. Who is going to drive 500 miles straight and not want to stop for an hour?

it all depends on how much time the driver has. you may well be right that some may wish to stop for an hour but you want that to be a matter of choice and not due to a limitation of the vehicle that you’re driving.

btw, keep in mind that “500 miles bev” is not a guarantee of a given range, you can get a lot less than that depending upon conditions. a tesla model 2 that gets you 300+ miles under one set of conditions might get you half that under a different set of conditions (such as having to run the cabin heater).

Is going to the gas station a matter of choice too? It is now because EV’s can charge at home, work, destinations, etc. You can choose to go to gas stations every time and often or Superchargers once in a while if ever. There is a large percentage, possibly majority, of the passenger car fleet that is never driven more than 500 miles per day. The percentage ever driven more than one Supercharger stop in a day for 500 mile EV (700-1000 milles) is a small minority of the passenger fleet. I’m there are some people that drive more than 700-1000 miles per day on a regular basis but not enough that they will drive the market. For the rest it would be penny wise and pound foolish to waste the time gassing their cars at the station all year long to either never have to maybe Supercharge a couple of times per year.

I’m [sure] there are some people that drive more than 700-1000 miles per day on a regular basis

Yeah, I’m sure there are about 3 of them. Seriously, that would be about 300,000 miles per year.

i have taken *one* trip of about 1,500 miles total in my volt, so i’m glad that i have a volt than *any* bev. even if i bought a tesla model s (although, for that money, i would have gotten a benzo first), i would have had to stop 4 or 5 times each way (this was in the winter) – even if i had arranged my route according to supercharger locations those addition stops would have added a good 3 or 4 hours to my trip each way.

it’s easy for those of you who don’t own an electric vehicle to declare: “what’s an extra 3 or 4 hours of travel time? you should be taking rest stops anyway.” my response is, you make your own decisions and i’ll make mine, and my decision is that i want to be the one who decides whether i do or do not have to take an extended break; i don’t want my car making that decision for me.

And taking a trip in the snowy wintertime, when your solar panels are probably totally inoperative as mine are, is likely far more efficient than any Tesla could dream of being, since, not only are you using precious little gasoline, but most of the other wise waste heat is keeping your windows from frosting up.

Those cars come with astronaut underwear.

I don’t see any sense in 500 miles range. Most ICE cars don’t get 500 miles in real world range. If there would be a huge demand for such range, wouldn’t the ICE car manufacturer not offer all an option for a larger gas tank?

It sounds like you don’t drive distance very much. I drive from Texas to Colorado at least once a year, about 700 miles. There is just one big city about half way, 350 miles. I always fill up in that city because that’s where the best gas prices are. That 500 mile range for the EV is probably at 60 mph. Most of the speed limits across the plains states are 75 mph so 350 would probably be a realistic range limit at that speed. The cost of DC charging will probably be the lowest in the big cities just like gasoline. So I see a lot of benefit to a 500 mile rated range.

In Europe families often go by car on 1000km+ holiday. The trick is to have two drivers. In that case there is no need for long stops because they simply switch out the driver. I’m not saying this is safe behaviour but such will want a very long range BEV because they don’t want to stop longer then a few minutes for gas at all. Here you have your real world use case for a 500 mile range BEV with extremely fast fill up times.

I hope this closes this nonsensical argument about not needing faster chargers or longer range BEVs because we really do need that to sell compelling vehicles to everyone.

Pretty sure they pee, pooh, and eat in Europe too but I guess that “depends”…

You need to re-read what kosee said, and this time with an open mind, because he’s right. Manufacturers don’t reach a wide market for their product by aiming at only one segment of the market; they do it by aiming for as much of the market as possible. If one EV maker aims at only the market for those who never want to make an emergency long-distance trip in their EV, with as few stops as possible, then that EV maker will lose out in competition with an EV maker who makes and sells a “no compromises” EV. Yes, absolutely we need 500 mile range BEVs. We need them because that “500 mile” range is only a nominal one, driving less than full highway speed, not running the air conditioner, and most of all, not driving in very cold weather. If you drive at 70-75 MPH on the highway, in the dead of winter when it’s bitterly cold outside, that 500 miles is gonna get cut down to 350 or even less. Not gonna happen very often, you say? Okay. But what do you do when it does? Even if you dismiss that as happening too infrequently to affect your… Read more »

I think that joke went over your head. Apparently, not everyone appreciates bathroom humor. 😀



it’s all too predictable now…some bad news comes out and here comes elon musk with new outrageous statements to garner publicity. elon musk has “jumped the shark” so many times that you have to be an extreme fanboy to still take him seriously.

Oh no! Not this pimping video. Elon selling his soul to this pump is pathetic.

Once again I find your examples of the definitions of words lacking. For instance I think I can point to better instance of what pathetic means, by simply reading your post.

+1 ffbj, right there with ya.

“See Through” whined:

“Elon selling his soul to this pump is pathetic.”

I see your heart is still two sizes too small.

Poor, small-souled, mean-spirited Tesla-hating Grinch.

What is predictable is in virtually any thread about Tesla/Musk, along comes the cynics/critics/FUDsters/haters to bash on anything to do with Tesla.

I for one hope that Tesla/Musk succeeds since it will lead to a better world for everyone and be another American company re-inventing the market.

So keep on hating no comment and See Through!

Thank you for putting down your Tesla pom poms long enough to type up your comment. 😀

Keep snarking against any genuine appreciation of someone else’s success or potential. It must be completely alien to your Euro-sensibilities.

Actually, I was snarking about Get Real complaining about Tesla FUDsters/haters/critics in virtually any thread about Tesla/Musk. It’s very predictable!

…and this reply isn’t predictable??

Nobody bashed Tesla in this thread as Get Real claims in his comment. Some expressed skepticism in Elon’s bold claim that Tesla would be bigger than GM would happen anytime soon. Please feel free to point out any Tesla bashing in the comments that I might have missed.

So yes, my reply to a comment alleging “Tesla bashing” in a thread in which no Tesla bashing occurred, is predictable. Perhaps fanboy Get Real could refrain from alleging Tesla bashing in virtually every Telsa/Musk thread, until some actual Tesla bashing occurs in that thread.

Keep telling yourself that very same thing Sven…I think many of us find your posts rather predictable…one reason I seldom post at all. I particularly like your post below defining Musk as a ‘Blowhard’ and then posting the definition as “a person who talks too much and who has strong opinions that other people dislike.” Hhhmmmm… sounds familiar. 🙂

Technically, I never called Musk a blowhard; you inferred that Musk is a blowhard. How do you know that I wasn’t referring to another “EV company CEO”? Perhaps, deep down inside you believe that Elon is a blowhard. It’s OK to admit it. Many like Elon’s brashness, outspokenness, and trash talking. Other don’t. To each his own.

Anyways, in my post below I did imply that Elon was a “good EV company CEO.” 😀

Like I said in my post below, the winky emoticon at the end of a comment means that the proceeding comment was sarcasm. Don’t take everything so seriously. 😀

You have to be a ferocious hater to always hurry up spreading bad news about Tesla every day.

No short supply of those, I tell ya 🙂

Short supply of what, ferocious haters or bad news?

Love him or hate him, the dude likes to think big! That’s a good trait actually. You may point and laugh at people who shoot for the moon, but the thing about shooting for the moon is that even if you don’t make it, you may accomplish something anyway, like reaching orbit.

Tesla is still a paper tiger. There still aren’t ANY earnings supporting the stock valuation. Sure Tesla found an open door nobody was watching but Elon is not the only smart guy on the block. The electric car wars are just beginning and undoubtedly will get very, very nasty. Remember, Columbus got thrown in jail and died broke after he discovered the New World.

So that explains why Tesla as a new automotive company with a car that has only been in existence for about 3 years is on the brink of outselling Mercedes bread and butter S class in Mercedes home territory of Europe???


I think you’ve got me wrong. I’m not a Tesla basher. The only thing I don’t like about Tesla is that I can’t afford one. But there is a huge difference between selling 50,000 cars a year and 5 million cars a year. And the other car manufacturers are not just going to give up their market share. On top of that car owners that have loyal to their manufacturers for decades are not just going to sign up with this upstart. Tesla is still building cars on credit. If those loans get called in before Tesla starts to make a profit Tesla is going to be in big trouble. Nothing Tesla is trying to do is going to be easy but you have to admire their courage.

The fact is they ARE, TODAY, just giving up their market share. They’re EV’s are at least 3 years away.
They are taking losses, now, in their luxury segments.

Tesla sales come from other brands, there are some new buyers who are stretching up to buy into the lux segment, but most are coming from other brands.

Secondly, Tesla has already grown from 500 cars per year, to 50,000. They have a track record of success.

Maybe when you listen to the next shareholder meeting you should take notes. There’s clearly 20 to 30 points about the current business you don’t know.

The S-Class isn’t Mercedes’ “bread and butter”. That would be the C- and E-Class. I’d also recommend to check the statistics again accounting for countries like Norway where Model S sales are artificially inflated due to huge tax credits (which will be phased out over the next few years).

let’s “get real” about this; the model s might have a comparable sticker price to the benzo s-class, but the model s gets incentives, so it is effectively a less expensive car. i personally agree with granting the incentives, but you do have to take them into account if you are going to make a comparison.

You clearly haven’t got any financial background.
You act like Tesla is taking the revenue, the 20% profit margin per car, and putting it in his pocket, and calling the business a loss. Therefore, you’re opinion is flawed.

Maybe 40 years of running companies and paying my own bills hasn’t given me much of financial background. Jim Cramer says the same that I’m saying. I guess running a successful hedge fund and having his own stock show that’s run for years on CNBC hasn’t given Mr. Cramer much of financial background either.

Cramer is a blowhard and a showman, and I have no interest in his opinions. You, however, seem worth listening to.

Apparently, those same qualities make for a good EV company CEO. 😉

Yes, only if Sven(gali) could keep his word about no bashing here:

“Apparently, those same qualities make for a good EV company CEO.”

Its becoming increasingly obvious that you are probably short on Tesla through your constant bashing irregardless of your lame claims to not bash.

Really? You call that bashing? It’s time you put on your big boy pants and moved out of your parent’s basement.

Are you saying that Elon is not a showman?

Are you saying that Elon is not a blowhard?

Do you even know what a blowhard is? Merriam-Webster dictionary defines blowhard as “a person who talks too much and who has strong opinions that other people dislike.”


TSLA stock has been very, very good to me, and I’ve only held a long position. 😀

FYI, in case you can’t figure it out, the winky emoticon after a comment is meant to denote sarcasm, like putting /s at the end of a comment.

Well sven, then I would say that the Merriam Webster definition fits you very well!

Cramer. Source of problem found.

Did you lose your fortune listening to Cramer kiss bank ass all the way down in 2007 crash? If not, why didn’t you listen to him then, and why are you FORD GODs Sake, listening to him now.

Cramer’s audience are people who know nothing.
Go to your local community college and take Accounting 101, Finance 101 and Econ 101, and you’ll outperform Cramer Guaranteed.

Texas FFE

“Jim Cramer says the same that I’m saying.”

Perhaps there’s a support group who can help you recover from that.


Texas FFE said:

“Tesla is still a paper tiger. There still aren’t ANY earnings supporting the stock valuation.”

Yeah, and there won’t be any “earnings” — that is, stock dividends — so long as Tesla is growing rapidly. But from all the negative comments about that, you’d think it was because the company isn’t doing well, instead of because it’s investing money in future growth faster than it’s making it.

How bizarre for anyone to try to make that out to be a bad thing. But then, investment advisers did the exact same thing with Amazon.com. “Ohhhh, the company hasn’t made money for years; it will collapse any day now!”


You can have earnings without dividends and dividends without earnings. That last one isn’t recommended, but it happens.

The problem with Tesla isn’t just the lack of earnings, it is that the losses keep rising.

Where I come from, we don’t call investing in the future a “loss”. We call it being prudent.

When you invest in the future, that investment isn’t lost unless it never pays off. If you’re calling it a “loss” before you know whether or not it’s going to, then perhaps you need to rethink what you “learned” with all that financial training and experience.

Investing in the future does not cause losses. Investments can cause a negative cash flow, but that does not imply a loss.

You posted earlier:

“The problem with Tesla isn’t just the lack of earnings, it is that the losses keep rising.”

You didn’t just imply a loss, you stated it outright.

It’s not a loss, it’s an investment.

No, it’s a loss.

The new battery factory is an investment, but that doesn’t cause losses. Now, they are doing some things to cut the losses, like scrapping the $100 service charge limit. Or by shipping by rail instead of truck. So far it doesn’t seem to be enough.

you probably know this but the reason why you have dividends without earnings is that some companies pay a fixed cash dividend each quarter regardless of earnings. companies like ibm would have such policies. these stocks tend to be popular with retirees who are able to count on a regular source of income through stock ownership.

growth companies are more prone to stock dividends. the most important thing here is that growth companies are more concerned with their cash positions and stock dividends don’t impact their cash position as cash dividends do. thus, more cash can be plowed into supporting company growth.

To add to what Ambulator said, stock dividends are not cash dividends.

I’m far from a financial expert, but even I know that’s not correct.


You’re conflating a stock dividend with a cash dividend on stock. The Investopedia article headline is badly worded, if not wrong. It should say “How and when are dividends on stock paid out?” A dividend can be either a cash dividend (a distribution of cash) or a stock dividend (a distribution of treasury stock or newly issued shares). When a company owns it’s own stock, usually acquired by buying it on the open market, it is listed on the balance sheet as treasury stock. Companies buy back their own stock as a way to increase their earnings per share, which is calculated on issued and outstanding shares. Treasury stock is not outstanding (owned by the public), and therefore excluded from earnings per share calculations.

Basically, cash dividends decrease the market value of the company, while stock dividends do not decrease the market value of the company.

See this Investopedia article:


To an extent Tesla is a paper tiger in that, their valuation is based on happy-path execution of scaling their product which is a hard problem. That is the main problem. BMW, GM, Nissan have the scale and all of them are decently positioned in EV world. Tesla still a marquee brand given its ultra lux models. The question is not that Model 3 getting interest or aspirational, but can they scale massively? The answer is, its hard to do it and there fore its a bad idea to value Tesla as if it is on cruise control massive scale.

Tesla’s success here depends on how stupid and arrogant the other major auto makers are. Such as GM is fairly smart with building a 200 mile range EV and will most likely give Tesla a run for their money. But Tesla will most likely make their 200 mile ev cool looking while I’m not really impressed with the looks of the Bolt. But if GM made a Malibu or impala with 500 miles EV range Telsa could have trouble.

Toyota will most likely get it’s guts ripped out by Tesla in that they keep downplaying and reducing EV’s. while at the same time trying to pore billions of dollars of tax player and their money into hydrogen cars.

If Tesla is talking about a 500 EV only a moron would want to buy a hydrogen car if you can plug in a 500 mile EV at home into your home solar panels.

But what makes me mad about hydrogen is all that money California tax payers had to pay to build those hydrogen stations will go down the toilet once a 500 mile EV comes into being.

Depends – how long will it take to recharge that 500 mile BEV??

That depends on the C-rate of the battery. 1-2 C is common then it would take 30 min to 1 hour to charge it (almost) full.

Or 20-25 minutes to 80%.

If we can increase the C-rate to 4, then we are talking 15 minutes or maybe 12 minutes to 80%.

I have no interest in an Impala or Malibu, electric or not, but I really, really want a Bolt. The only advantage Tesla has is the charging, and I don’t think it’s enough.

Of course, this is subject to change as we learn more.

Ocean Railroader said:

“But what makes me mad about hydrogen is all that money California tax payers had to pay to build those hydrogen stations will go down the toilet once a 500 mile EV comes into being.”

Any tax money thrown away on the “hydrogen highway” has already gone where the sun don’t shine. A 500 mile EV will just make it even more apparent that all the money has been wasted.

Millions of cars means hundreds of millions of batteries and huge battery associated markets, ie, inverters, and power control and switching electronics, etc

My prediction is Tesla in the far future will be a battery company that just happens to sell autos along with grid and home stationary batteries for power backup and buffering.

There are many renewable energy segments for Tesla to get into like geothermal, solar thermal, wave electric generation and wind power; all are a large ready market for battery storage.

the more likely future for tesla is that it will be acquired.

I agree. Tesla is exhibiting classic Silicon Valley “First Mover” behavior, and GM, Nissan, BMW and Ford are positioning themselves to be “Rapid Followers” – learning all they can from the high burn rate First Mover (whose likely goal is to get acquired) and their own market testing experiments and then targeting their own resources more intelligently. By the way the “Rapid” does not mean months, it is typically years. For a deeper dive into this please see


I find it really pathetic that about half of the replies here range from unwarranted skepticism to downright hatred of Tesla and its near-world-saving CEO. REALITY CHECK: Without Musk/Tesla, we would all be waiting for the in-bed-with-Big Oil automakers to get around to making electric vehicles viable. Everyone with ICe stock (which includes all automakers minus Tesla) has a reason to hate Musk: he’s damn well going to cost the lot of you money. All those backwards thinking, transfixed-on-the-rearview mirror automakers are focused on how to mitigate the damage of the electric vehicle tsunami that is about to wipe out all of their production lines. Nissan and GM have begun the costly transition. Toyota is frantically betting the house on going-nowhere-fast hydrogen fuel cells, and the temporary success of the Prius is allowing it to climb further and further out on a limb. Elon goes home every night and chuckles to himself about all of this nonsensical spitting into the wind. A hundred years from now he’ll be spoken of with the likes of Rockefeller and Carnegie. Sell off your (for now) “Big Three” automaker stocks before it’s too late. None of them will have near the battery making capacity… Read more »

Incorrect. Musk didn’t cause mass EV adoption. The State of California did, through their regulatory policy. The LEAF, for example, beat the Model S to market and Nissan has sold over 250,000 EVs.

Incorrect? LOL. No.

You invented an assertion I didn’t make. I said nothing about Musk “causing mass EV adoption.”

What he and Tesla have done–quite skillfully–is show people that they’ve been driving $#itboxes for years. No one is going to be willing to accept mediocre performance in their “tried and true” gashogger once they’ve tried an electric.

Face facts: Tesla has forced their hands. Now the other automakers can’t continue to produce crap and expect people to believe it’s mom’s tasty meatloaf.

The new standard is electric, and Tesla is the best one. The rest are clamoring to catch up.

Meanwhile, Tesla is speeding away into the future.

They’ve gone plaid.

“three electrics” is right, regulatory pressures are what is driving automobile makers to develop electric vehicles. indeed, gm developed the ev1 because of regulatory demands by the state of california. what tesla has done is establish that there is a high end market for electric vehicles, which is a small segment.

Tesla did far more than make a Roadster due to CARB requirements. That vehicle paved the way for how: They’ve changed the performance envelope of electric drivetrains to nearly mythic levels in a few short years, making them outperform ICE vehicles. They’ve changed the way people buy cars, without the scams and shady practices of greedy middlemen– Auto Dealers. They’ve changed the way cars get their firmware updated; repair shops and technicians / mechanics not required. Flaws in software can be directly addressed and this nearly reduces recalls to almost zero. They’ve set a high bar for BEV range. This is pressuring the entire auto industry to make 200+ mile capable cars that average buyers will be more likely to embrace. They’ve changed the way the car “thinks”. AutoPilot is an evolving self driving suite of features that is trainable like the family dog. It learns as you drive it, and that data gets shared with other Teslas. They’ve changed the way you travel long distance. Supercharging lets BEVs travel long distance with the fastest DCFC for passenger vehicles on the planet. This is growing global network. They’re changing the way the car charges itself. Automated metal Snake finds the… Read more »


Well said, Standing O!

To be frank, your gushing, unconditional praise betrays more than a little naivete. I hope Tesla lets you down gently. That’s not to say Tesla hasn’t done interesting things, but I suspect I’m seeing yet another example of classic fundamental attribution error.

once again, “three electrics” is right, you are naive. i won’t attempt a point by point rebuttal but with regard to this “revolution” in the way cars are sold – tesla is a LOW VOLUME auto seller that is talking of selling 500,000/year in a few years. at present tesla does not have the infrastructure to support that volume of sales. for example, tesla has 3 or 4 stores in the entire chicago area; as you would expect, those stores are in high income areas. tesla is not going to sell to the mass market in the chicago area with only 4 regional stores. and while i am no bob lutz fan, i believe that he is right that if tesla attempts to maintain its direct sales model, it will be extremely expensive for tesla to build the kind of direct sales infrastructure to support that publicly projected sales volumes.

It’s true that Tesla established there was a market for high end electric vehicles as you say, but why not continue that line of development to say that they cornered the market in those vehicles?
They are the only purveyor of ev’s in that segment, that while small is still viable, especially when you have a monopoly, with little or no competition expected anytime soon.

i wouldn’t state that tesla has the market “cornered” because the market it too immature and in immature markets, later entrants can inroad and even become a market leader.

Que sera, sera.
GM, Toyota and the rest, all have a huge advantage over Tesla, in that they don’t invest very much in factory infra structure. I see some major failures, never the less. They are coming on board with electric cars much too late, and therefore have a lot of catching up to do. Going down the Hydrogen road is preposterous. It seems like they are all operating on a compliance quota attitude and just are having a hard time giving up the after market business.

GM and Toyota “don’t invest very much in factory infrastructure”? Really? Toyota has 16 factories in Japan, and 54 factories outside Japan in 28 countries and regions. Toyota manufactures over 10,000,000 cars a year. You can’t make that many cars without investing heavily in factory infrastructure.



Bigger than GM? Possibly not out of the question.. As my Jewish Friend used to say…,Elon, from your lips to go’s Ears….

That is from your Lips to God’s Ears…

As Long as 500Mile EV’s happen along with Telsa’s way of buying & servicing (I so look forward to also owning a Tesla – even at 200mile range at the cheaper end!)

I am actually quite happy that Elon is considering the more and more likely scenario of a way higher demand than 500000 cars /year.
I also would welcome a longer range freeway speed, 130 Km/h that is, EV with faster charge. So 500 miles or at least 400 miles at that speed would be welcome and I don’t have any problem with 800 V or 1600 V charging neither. Tram and metro lines use that voltage every day. No deaths reported every morning.

I find it interesting that when one of these articles comes out, it is either Tesla is going to rule the world because of Elon Musk and destroy every other auto maker, or Tesla is on the verge of collapse and the next EV that comes out from another company could mean their demise. What about the more likely scenario that Tesla will continue to grow and change and be a successful automotive company facing all the challenges automotive companies face. At the same time other companies are going to continue to exist and change and some will change for the better and give Tesla some good competition with quality EVs, while others will miss the boat and struggle and may even fail.

…or the more likely scenario: tesla eventually gets acquired by another company. tesla is about developing cutting edge technology concepts; that’s a formula for a company that is attempting to develop core competencies to pump up the value for sale.

He is extremely good looking. He is very well spoken too. I wish him the best of luck.

Jeff D just nailed the most likely scenario regarding Tesla.

I for one simply tire of the constant shrieking by some that Tesla is going to fail when it obviously is a growing company that has been instrumental in the EV revolution by redefining what compelling EVs are like.

One reason to doubt 500 mile EVs in the near future: it’s likely Tesla had to promise that they wouldn’t obsolete the S too quickly, range wise, in order to maintain resale values for US Bank, who operates their lease program. Most auto manufacturers self-finance leases, but Tesla doesn’t have the funds to do that.

I believe EVs will be dominant in sedan sales in the next 10 years especially if batteries improve. As of now BigOil is keeping all the gas guzzler owners happy with low gas prices. However there is a lot of education needed for EVs to become known. There are a lot of people that do not know about EVs or are in love with gas gzzlers

I agree Terry, it’s becoming increasingly obvious that the Saudi’s realize this too and are going to pump and sell as much oil as possible in the meantime lest it become a stranded asset and in the hope it delays the EV revolution somewhat.