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Tesla Hyperloop and Oil

August 13, 2013 in Electric Vehicles, EV News, Hyperloop, Tesla

Tesla Model S Image courtesy of Tesla

Tesla Model S
Image courtesy of Tesla

Tesla stock (TSLA) sold off at the end of the day, closing at $145.43 per share, down 1.32%.  Interest rates jumped; the 10 year Treasury is trading at 2.71%.  Some market strategists are increasingly concerned that stocks will face headwinds with rising interest rates.

The famous stock picker, Ken Heebner, of Capital Growth Management took a position in Tesla in the second quarter.  Bloomberg reported: “Heebner bought 215,000 shares in Tesla, the electric-car company led by Elon Musk.”  In an interview 4-12-13 on WealthTrack, Mr. Heebner expressed that he is a stock market bull due to the strong US economy with particular emphasis on the rebounding housing market.  He believes interest rates will rise, but he thinks investors will shift bond market monies to stocks.

Mr. Elon Musk released his Hyperloop design yesterday:

Due to the high estimated costs and relatively slow speeds of the LA – SF high-speed rail project, there is much hope that Mr. Musk will proceed in some form with his Hyperloop design.  The Hyperloop would most likely drive more long-term economic benefit for the United States, because it is a leading technology, which could ultimately change worldwide transport.  It would be foolish not to trial the technology.

Yes, many people around the world enjoy the comfort of train travel.  However, the world needs to be focused on energy efficiency, utilizing the most appropriate technologies to facilitate the movement of large numbers of people and goods.

Libya reminds us again today that the oil market is unreliable and unstable.  Reuters reported: “Libya’s state National Oil Corporation said in a statement to shippers it could not provide September loading schedules, normally due by now, as on-again, off-again strikes paralyse its ports.”  WTI oil has moved up to $106.5 per barrel, and Brent is around $109.5.

Source: EIA

Courtesy of EIA


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Tesla (TSLA) Bulls and Bears Battle, CEO Musk Tweets Clarification on Autopilot story

May 7, 2013 in Electric Vehicles, EV News, Tesla

Tesla Model S Photo courtesy of Tesla

Tesla Model S
Photo courtesy of Tesla

Electric vehicle enthusiasts await earnings from Tesla Motors.  The company will report after the market closes tomorrow, May 8, which will be followed by a conference call with analysts.  The conference call will likely be the juicier portion of this meal for the EV world, as analysts assess the outlook for the company.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted recently that the company’s anticipated update on the Supercharger network will be next week.  On May 3, Mr. Musk tweeted: “Am getting lots of questions about the big Supercharger announcement.  Aiming to do that the week after next.”  This free charging service for Model S owners is one of the key ingredients in Tesla’s electric car revolution.  It is a solution for those gasoline station blues that has been long sought by many environmentalists, peak oil activists, and energy security patriots.

Tesla’s stock (TSLA) has been bounding higher for a few weeks now, but the bears are fighting back today with the stock around $57 and change, down about $2.  The volume is significantly higher than normal for this time of day with over 6 million shares traded already.  Early in the trading session, the stock climbed as high as $62.37, another record.

Today, in response to a Bloomberg headline story on autopilot technology, Mr. Musk responded with a tweet trilogy.  In tweet I, he responded: “Creating an autopilot for cars at Tesla is an important, but not yet top priority.  Still a few years from production.”

In tweet II, he clarified: “Tesla priority is electrification of cars, so priority is Model S, Model X, then mass market third gen vehicle & truck.”

In tweet III, he further clarified: “Am a fan of Larry, Sergey & Google in general, but self-driving cars comments to Bloomberg were just off-the-cuff.  No big announcement here.”

Electric Cars Avoid Inflation at the Gasoline Pump

March 8, 2013 in Economics, Electric Vehicles, EV News, Tesla

Tesla Supercharger Plug Photo courtesy of Tesla

Tesla Supercharger Plug
Photo courtesy of Tesla

The wholesale gasoline price (NYMEX: RBOB) rose sharply today, which will likely result in higher prices at the pump in the near-term.  AAA states that the national average retail gasoline price is currently $3.71 per gallon.  Electric car owners may gloat over rising gasoline prices, but there are broader national concerns to watch.  Treasury yields have been rising, which is a sign of inflation expectations.  The 10 year Treasury rate is now 2.04%, and I suspect that the Treasury bubble is bursting.  Some very prominent market strategists have been warning that inflation is on the US horizon.  If inflation does become problematic, the benefits of electric vehicles and green sustainable energy sources will become more and more apparent.

The US economy has been strengthing in recent months, which has been underpinning the housing and stock markets.  And today, government statistics showed that the unemployment rate dipped slightly.  Bloomberg reported: “Employment rose 236,000 last month after a revised 119,000 gain in January that was smaller than first estimated, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington.  The median forecast of 90 economists surveyed by Bloomberg projected an advance of 165,000.  The jobless rate dropped to 7.7 percent, the lowest since December 2008, from 7.9 percent.”

Most auto stocks have advanced with the rising stock market, but to judge market expectations of electric vehicles, you really have to pay close attention to Tesla (TSLA).  Tesla stock closed today at $38.47, after rising as high as $39.44 intraday.  I suspect that financial professionals and the media have come to fully recognize the significance of Tesla to the electric vehicle market, and a rising inflationary environment would only draw further attention to the Tesla story.

Tesla Stock may Drive EV Industry

March 6, 2013 in Electric Vehicles, EV News, Tesla

Tesla Model S interior Photo courtesy of Tesla

Tesla Model S interior
Photo courtesy of Tesla

Tesla (TSLA) stock has been rising in recent trade, closing today at $37.69 per share, and nearing the high at $40.  The market may be warming once again to the prospects of electric vehicles.  Tesla should be providing more information relatively soon on Supercharger station developments and overseas marketing efforts.  In addition, the company does expect to have a small non-GAPP profit in the current quarter, and if the company is successful, this could act as a catalyst for the whole electric vehicle industry.  With the stock market running hot, investors with capital may look more acutely at growth industries.

Tesla is a unique stock, because it is a pure play on all-electric cars.  If an investment professional wants exposure to electric vehicles, Tesla stock would be a logical choice.  Investment professionals are not so easily influenced by the biases of any individual or the media.  If anything, they are more than likely to take advantage of any misinformation in the marketplace that would cause a growth stock to sag.

The overall success of Tesla shares on the stock market has certainly drawn the attention of financial investors, and this may inspire venture capitalists to seed new various companies that potentially further the industry.  With that said, the biggest surprise to me is the breakaway advantage that Tesla has with the Supercharger stations.  In my opinion, it is the most interesting development happening in the automotive world, and the rest of the industry appears to be left in the dust.

Tesla Excitement Bringing Back Car Culture

March 3, 2013 in Electric Vehicles, EV News, Tesla

Tesla Model S Image courtesy of Tesla

Tesla Model S
Image courtesy of Tesla

We have entered the last month of the first quarter for Tesla Motors.  EV enthusiasts are anticipating a profit from the company, which would be its first in its short history.  CEO Elon Musk stated on the Q4 conference call that he was confident that the company would achieve a non-GAPP profit in the current quarter.  Investors and the media will be looking for any hints of success.  Of course, Tesla will wait until the earnings release to state the actual results.

A profit from Tesla would send a clear message to the marketplace that the electric vehicle has arrived.  Figuratively speaking, EV enthusiasts will be “calling shotgun” for this ride with Mr. Musk, as naysayers take their positions in the back.  Many EV enthusiasts have devoted themselves to communicating the benefits of an electric vehicle society, and the vision of sustainable transportation is becoming a vivid reality.  The company plans to release more news in the near-term on its latest Supercharger station additions.

With the recent rise in real estate and stock prices, wealthier consumers may want to take a look at the Tesla Model S.  After all, this is history in the making.  An electric car manufacturer from the San Francisco Bay Area is looking to revolutionize the automotive world, and the company is gaining adherents around the world.  In my opinion, there has not been this much excitement around auto manufacturing and car culture since the 1950s.  Tesla’s stock (TSLA) closed at $34.65 per share on Friday.

Tesla Sees Profits Ahead

February 20, 2013 in Electric Vehicles, EV News, Tesla

Tesla Model S Photo courtesy of Tesla

Tesla Model S
Photo courtesy of Tesla

Elon Musk made it clear on the conference call that he felt comfortable with a small non-GAPP profit projection for Q1.  With Model S production running at a 20,000 annualized rate, he has now narrowed his focus to the efficiency of Tesla’s operations.  The company does not have a demand problem for the Tesla Model S.  If the company was not limited by production constraints, it could sell more vehicles.  However, Mr. Musk prefers to focus on efficiency at present than higher sales numbers.  The average wait time for delivery is about five months currently, and the company ended Q4 with over 15,000 backorders for the Model S.

Production is running at about 400 vehicles a week, which is an annualized rate of 20,800.  Since the company is continuously taking new orders, it is extremely difficult to see how this company is going to have any problem meeting a 20,000 vehicle sales projection.  And with Mr. Musk now focused on profitability, I would not want to bet against this company.

There was some discussion about the Supercharger network on the call by Mr. Musk, but it was limited.  He simply rattled off a few geographical locations the company is soon developing, such as “Texas, Seattle and Chicago.”  He also expressed his thoughts that the Supercharger network would be best at about 120-150 mile distance from station to station.  Overall, the tone of the conference call was very positive.  The most difficult challenges of ramping production are behind the company, and management is now focused on the bottom line.

CEO Musk Leads EV Charge, Tesla Earnings Tomorrow

February 19, 2013 in Electric Vehicles, EV News, Model S, Tesla

Tesla Model S

Tesla Model S

Tesla stock jumped six percent to close at $39.28 today on heavy volume of 2.7 million shares traded.  This was about twice the normal daily volume.  Yesterday, Margaret Sullivan of The New York Times stated in a Times opinion piece that there were some flaws in John Broder’s critical story, Stalled Out on Tesla’s Electric Highway.  The market apparently liked what she had to say.  However, I think the real story came from Elon Musk in a blog post on the Tesla website today, which clearly expressed the zeal behind the EV revolution.  We shall soon see if the market rally continues.  Tesla earnings will be announced after the market closes tomorrow.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk blogged:

Yesterday, The New York Times reversed its opinion on the review of our Model S and no longer believes that it was an accurate account of what happened.  After investigating the facts surrounding the test drive, the Public Editor agreed that John Broder had ‘problems with precision and judgment,’ ‘took casual and imprecise notes’ and made ‘few conclusions that are unassailable.’

We would like to thank Margaret Sullivan and The New York Times for looking into this matter and thoughtfully considering the public evidence, as well as additional evidence provided on background.  A debt of appreciation is also owed to other media outlets, such as CNN, CNBC, and Consumer Reports, who repeated The New York Times test drive at normal highway speeds and comfortable cabin temperatures without ever running out of range.

Tesla Model S at Supercharger Photo courtesy of Tesla

Tesla Model S at Supercharger
Photo courtesy of Tesla

But, most of all, we would like to thank our customers, who rallied immediately to the defense of Tesla and the electric car revolution, sending hundreds of heartfelt letters of support to The New York Times in the space of a few days!  Entirely of their own volition, several customers spent the past holiday weekend recreating the Broder test drive route and showing that it can be done easily using the Tesla Supercharger network on the East Coast.  You guys are awesome!

The bottom line is that the Model S combined with Supercharging works well for a long road trip, even in a cold, snowy winter.  Nonetheless, we will keep increasing the number of Superchargers, improving the software in the car (via over the air updates), and the technology behind the Supercharger.  Without people even having to think about it or Tesla having to physically touch the car, the free long distance travel enabled by our Superchargers will steadily improve with each passing month.