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PaulEnvemo posted:

Anyone watching Tesla’s stock this week or Morgan Stanley’s report on it? Not looking so good. 

I am

... and I’m shocked SHOCKED I tell you. Who knew? If you don’t make money, your share price falls. VW, et al are getting in the EV game, and we’re all about to see how the big boys play. Tesla will become a novelty masquerading as a car company.

Eventually, the world will recognize Mr. Musk as the PT Barnum of our time. 

No doubt that EV technology is part of the future. I say part of the future because I believe coupled with an IC engine, (how the old Volt was) makes the most practical sense. Tesla and musk have been a dog and pony show for so long now and finally “the street” is waking up...bloated pig is down 12 points today. Ford makes more cars in a week than Tesla does in a year and they trade at 10 bucks and pay a dividend.   As for electric 356 replicas,  I suppose there is a small niche there....just not us guys here. Jaguars e type zero is priced at 400k plus....what price point is Henry shooting for?  

It will be interesting to see how VW's commitment to EV changes things. Our Nissan Leaf has been our only vehicle for 5 years, but we live on a small island. All of our electricity, including charging the car comes from rooftop solar and the savings paid off the investment 18 months ago. That said, we live on the dry side of the island and are only 1500 miles north of the equator. There are fast chargers available on most parts of Maui (except the remote Hana side) so it works for us. Until that kind of economic and infrastructure advantage comes to more locations, EV uptake will be limited. But, even though EV makes the best sense for my daily driver, I want my fun car to be IC.

mppickett posted:

It will be interesting to see how VW's commitment to EV changes things. Our Nissan Leaf has been our only vehicle for 5 years, but we live on a small island. All of our electricity, including charging the car comes from rooftop solar and the savings paid off the investment 18 months ago. That said, we live on the dry side of the island and are only 1500 miles north of the equator. There are fast chargers available on most parts of Maui (except the remote Hana side) so it works for us. Until that kind of economic and infrastructure advantage comes to more locations, EV uptake will be limited. But, even though EV makes the best sense for my daily driver, I want my fun car to be IC.

The key is EQUATOR  

My speculations:

Tax payers will eventually get tired of subsidizing their neighbors transportation.

Unless the US builds a bunch of nuclear power plants, electric cars will be realized as the expensive, inefficient, polluting vehicles they really are.

Tesla bonds will be become worth 25% of their bought price, and the stock will continue it's downward trend until it hits a price that a major auto manufacturer finds it profitable to buy Tesla's plants and equipment, probably about $30 per share.

Last edited by Todd M

There's way too much capacity in the car building business as it is. Unless I miss my guess, nobody is going to want Tesla's hard assets. Neither GM nor Toyota wanted to be located in the most expensive labor market in the US before Telsa came to save the day by locating in a plant that neither of them wanted any more (Fremont, CA).

The brand itself may be a different story. I'd suspect we'll see a Chinese or Indian conglomerate buying the name and engineering, once the share price gets close to book value (right around $30, as Todd pointed out).

"Intermeccanica is no longer accepting commissions for I.C. products so that we can direct all our energies to this new and exciting endeavour.  As for all of you traditional Intermeccanica owners, my staff and I are committed to continue to support your Intermeccanica products with the parts and service you expect and deserve. I am expecting the last Intermeccanica I.C. product to ship by fall of this year this will be just about the 600th Intermeccanica built in Canada."

IaM-Ray posted:

IM electric 125$ USA 

Panhandle my uncle at 78 would say the train is getting near the station but so far has not arrived yet... he arrived at the station at 80y.o. He was a GM top exec in his work life.

So an electric IM is going to be $125 large. That's $25 large less than an entry level IC Starke.

Of course Starke has to produce and sell one. Anybody know if they have done that yet?

Things I can buy for $125K:

  • Porsche 911 GTS
  • Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS
  • Jaguar F-Type SVR
  • His and Hers (2) Alfa Romeo 4C, with a spare MX5 Miata for when one is in the shop
  • Corvette ZR1
  • His and hers Ford Shelby GT350s and the several 55 gal drums of oil you'll need to keep them full
  • BMW M5, with $20K +/- left over for lawyers, guns, and money
  • Mercedes AMG E63, again-- same amount left over for lawyers, guns, and money
  • Cadillac CTS-V, with a spare ATS for the Mrs.
  • 2 Beck Super-Coupes
  • 3 Vintage Spyders
  • A rental house in a decent neighborhood in my hometown. Rent would be about $1200/mo.
  • 4 years of college at most Big 10 schools



I'm going to uncharacteristically be the voice of optimism and the young people here. Let's look at the positives.

First, if Meccanica is successful in China selling small electric vehicles, they will have money to fund their Intermeccanica operation (which will be a small side business). They may even start up a manufacturing line in China making 356 replicas. This means cheaper vehicles, faster turnaround, and the car they sell can be retrofitted with your favorite gasoline-burning engine. Maybe they will make steel bodies. Maybe they will put more money into R&D for components. Maybe they will develop parts that you can use in your car, but cheaper and better than what you've got now. Maybe they will even qualify the car for modern safety standards. That's optimistic, but who knows.

Second, young people are bored with cars. Remember that most people under 30 have grown up riding in and driving front-wheel drive automatic cars. Cars today are massively overpowered, large, smooth, and dull. I've got a car that reaches 100 mph before I can blink and the experience feels like sitting on a couch and watching it on TV. That's why I'm here, looking at getting a car that ended production before I was born, and I'm not that young. Now, these young people don't have an affinity for carbureted, air-cooled engines, they just want a cool car that is fun to drive. For them, an electric car is ideal. For some of you that doesn't feel like a real speedster, but it is a continuation of the car so that it doesn't die with those that grew up with it.

I really wouldn't mind the power and feel of an electric drivetrain, although I would miss the auditory pleasures that go with a nice IC engine.  My problems with electric cars are related to the batteries:

  1. The manufacturing process is extremely dirty.
  2. The power production for charging can also be extremely dirty.  You're simply moving the pollution away from you.
  3. Range is limited unless you have room for a large battery pack.  I can't see that being the case in a Speedster.  Having a large battery pack quickly increases weight, to the detriment of handling and performance.
  4. Charging time is extremely long - hours versus minutes for a gas fill-up.  This may be my biggest gripe.
  5. The currently predominant lithium battery technology seems prone to devastating fires.
  6. Batteries require replacement after a few years, at considerable cost.  This reduces resale value considerably.

A lot of progress has been made in recent years, and the momentum toward electric dominance will ensure that it continues, but for now I'll stick with suck/squeeze/bang/blow.

Speck posted:

Cars today are massively overpowered, large, smooth, and dull. I've got a car that reaches 100 mph before I can blink and the experience feels like sitting on a couch and watching it on TV

Now your talking... my exact words to my son... click click click and 100mph... no fun in that... might as well be jumping to light speed on the millenium falcon. 

Before buying my DD (Audi RS5) I test drove a Tesla. It had the largest battery pack i.e. ludicrous speed. It goes 0-60 in under 3 seconds and is an exhilarating experience. However for the 120k it makes zero sense to me. As Stan states for that kind of money there are many other options that are built so much better. My take on all full electrics they are nothing more than a glorified golf cart. 

Last week I drove my Speedster over 1500 miles for a total of $150 in gas. Each stop for was maybe 15 minutes which included a pitstop for bathroom and a coffee or soda. The entire trip was on a tollway cruising between 70-80mph and not one worry about range! I wish Henry the best of luck, but as someone in the "target market"  I just cannot see cruising the cornfields of IL in a noiseless droptop worrying if I can make it home so I can plug it in. 

What no ZOOM-ZOOM?  Add to Lane's list -

7.  Current electrical system won't support mass move to electric vehicles without a tremendous infrastructure investment (and more coal fired power plants).

8.  Recycling of spent Lithium batteries isn't in place and will be costly.

"Once a battery reaches the end of its life, there is recycling and disposal to be considered. Currently, over 90% of lead-acid batteries used in typical gasoline-powered vehicles are recycled. Compare that to less than 5% of lithium-ion batteries. Experts project 11m tonnes of lithium-ion batteries will be discarded between 2017 and 2030 . These batteries will need to be transported to recycling facilities around the world to be processed, further contributing to their negative environmental impact. Transporting batteries from Australia to Europe resulted in an increase of global warming potential of ~45%."

9. Federal and states offer tax advantages for electric cars - which we all pay for.

10.  Gasoline taxes pay for our roads and bridges - electrical vehicles use those roads for free.

11.  EMS/Rescue services will require training and equipement to respond to EV crashes.

12.  Cold deeply affects battery duration then there is use of heater and AC which further reduced miles covered.

13.  Affluent people can afford EVs - most people can't afford them --- furthering the divide between rich and poor. Heck, Tesla owners have learned to expect free charging.

So, to play the other side:

There are many segments of the transportation system presently being considered as candidates for an EV revolution. Most of them are just pipe dreams. Right up the road is a company occupying an abandoned Mitsubishi plant (Rivien), who plans to make electric pick-up trucks. I'm not sure who's going to use an electric pick-up, but it won't be the guys who work out of them for a living, or the guys who pull their boats to the lake, or fifth wheels to Florida. In other words, "people who buy trucks".

This didn't stop Ford and Amazon from investing almost a billion dollars in the plant, which will be good for the local economy (at least in the short term), so that's nice.

Probably the stupidest idea I've seen floated is long-haul semis. I'm not sure where the market is for a rig that runs out of juice after 200 miles, and then takes 12-24 hrs to recharge. You wanna talk about a supercharger? Recharging something that would pull a load of pig-iron would take a SUPERCHARGER.

There was some publication (Automobile? sounds right) recently breathlessly predicting personal aerial drones-- electric and autonomous. Right. Those will come just after the FAA certifies pigs for flight.

But of all the possible vehicles out there which might make a good candidate to be purely EV, a very limited use speedster might be at the top of the list.

Face it-- we're the weirdest of the weird. Not only do we want to own an open, unsafe, antiquated, and expensive conveyance-- we want to actually drive them. The vast majority (of the extreme minority) of people who want a replica, just want to pop down to the coffee shop or over to the bistro to meet friends for an alfresco lunch. They want to keep 'em for a couple of years, then sell them because they never drive them anywhere. This is WITH the capability to go anywhere for pennies at the pump. Most folks want a fashion accessory, and this one is pretty cool.

I'd bet 90% of the current replica market would never ever have range anxiety with an EV with a 200 mi range, precisely because they never drive their replicas far enough or long enough for range and recharge time to matter.

The fact that this is a deal-breaker for me, and Joe, Jack Crosby, and all of the rest of us here makes us outliers. Welcome to being on the outside of your own hobby, gentlemen. Outcasts and rebels we are, untethered by the literal cords that would keep us down on the (wind) farm.


Last edited by Stan Galat

A big truck that remains idle does not produce revenue and actually costs a company big bucks.... that's why many companies now have " Slip Seating" and " Team Drivers" i.e. two drivers operate the same truck in a 24 hour period. Charging batteries in a big truck for more than half a day is money lost.  The only use I can see working to some degree is UPS, Walmart, USPS etc. that have short haul " Drop and Hook" dedicated runs .  Those driverless trucks are a torpedo on wheels. I drove big truck for 46 years,  there's no computer in the world that can make multi decisions in an emergency situation. It takes years of experience , skill and some God given luck not to kill someone as well as survive.

Last edited by Alan Merklin


I think my anxiety about driving an electric Speedster isn't range anxiety. The thing makes me anxious in other ways.

It's more about what you lose when you add batteries.

Electricity is just fine for running appliances. There's a job to be done and, when you run all the numbers, electricity is often the most efficient way to do that job. You wouldn't want a gasoline-powered washing machine or coffee grinder.

And if you think of a car as an appliance, you might be able to juggle the equations to make a case for electric power. One of our cars is our 'utility' car. We use it for Costco runs and local freeway slogs. An engineer might be able to prove that we'd be better served by an electric car for that kind of stuff.

But other things are different. You wouldn't want, say, an electric baseball glove. Oh sure, some smart engineers could probably construct a device that would race around the outfield, compute speed and trajectory, and snag a falling baseball every single time. You could probably even get the thing to go a full nine innings on a single charge.

But I don't see much of a market for an electric baseball glove.

The thing about using a baseball glove is knowing how to catch the ball. And no matter how many times you've done it, you want to do it again. Maybe just to prove to yourself that you still can. Maybe because it just feels good to do it. There's some satisfaction in the doing.

I don't think an electric Speedster is going to do it for me.


I've always wondered why small issolated states/countries with no natural gas/oil haven't adopted electric vehicles.  Say to start: Hawaii and Puerto Rico.  Seems golf carts (or small Tata cars) would be perfect.  These islands have plenty of sun and wind (and ocean current) to generate electricity.  Plus cold isn't issue in battery life - nor is heat (AC need) really.  Throw in all the Caribean islands for volume of EVs.  Only stumbling issue might be that these countries are often poor.

I retired working on Army Future Combat Systems - FCS (a $38 B Project that got cut by Congress in 2009).  (I was on the software networking side). It was looking at as part of the system, new vehicles that were hybrid/electric or the favored hydrogen powered.  Goal was to be able to deploy forces quickly (w/in 48 hrs) and be self sustaining for 5 days --- vs current long logistics tail of fuel/supplies that takes 30 days to put in place.  The actual drive trains were to be able to be quickley pulled out and replaced. It was a long term project with big $ so it ultimately got cut.  Military seems to be a real driver for items we all currently take for granted and use every day.

Image result for Army future combat systems vehicles


Last edited by WOLFGANG
mppickett posted:

As I noted in the thread on self driving cars/trucks - follow the money. DARPA and the US military is very motivated and the manufacturers who get there first will be rewarded. Regardless of whether the tech is the best fit for the consumer market. There will be collateral benefits for consumers, as  usual, but it will take time. 

I would agree on the military wanting driverless technology, but driverless technology does not require an electric powered vehicle.

The following is a real question and not rhetorical.  Is there any car manufacturer what makes a profit on an all electric car, not hybrid, but all electric?  And second, is there any car manufacturer that makes a profit on an all electric car without federal and state electric car rebates and ZEV credits?

Todd I think the credits mostly go to the car owner and not the manufacturer. Nearly a half of a trillion federal dollars has been given to subsidize the gas and oil industry since 1918 so in comparison, any solar, wind geothermal incentives to date are de minimis. EV subsidies are part of the federal subsidy program in the efficiency section of the budget (same part that subsidizes efficient refrigerators). 

I'm not arguing that it is the best process, but it makes sense for the future. Gas and oil are just going to get more scarce, dirty and expensive. We need alternatives and EVs are one. They truly aren't perfect but are getting better. I would welcome a hydrogen powered alternative, but because of the energy density complications, I suspect that is further away.

“Gas and oil are just going to get more scarce, dirty and expensive.”

Yeah, about that, and to take that statement point by point:

Obviously, when you use a finite resource, it becomes more scarce— but the world continues to find more and more sources of hydrocarbons, enough so that scarcity is a complete non-issue for the foreseeable future. The same cannot be said for the minerals required to make Lithium Ion batteries.

Burning hydrocarbons has never been cleaner. It might be argued that the process still isn’t clean enough, but it is most certainly not getting “dirtier”. The same argument could be made for the mining of the minerals required to make Lithium Ion batteries or the production of the electricity it takes to recharge them (coal being the predominant means of electric generation).

As for expense— gas has rarely been less expensive (in inflation adjusted dollars) than right now. For my entire life, I’ve been hearing how we are in an energy crisis, etc., and it has just not proven to be true. Gas guzzling SUVs are sold to willing customers at a profit without subsidies. Yes, oil and gas are subsidized for some perverse and political reason, but then the refined fuel is taxed at the pump, which just robs Peter to pay Paul (Paul being poor and destitute Exxon Mobil in this case). 

When I was a kid, LA used be be nearly uninhabitable during an inversion. The Cuyahoga River caught fire in Cleveland. Those days are long past. The US has not been this pristine since before white people lived here. The mining of minerals to make batteries is an ecological disaster, and China has the market cornered. The vast majority of electricity generated in the US is done so by burning something less cleanly than a modern IC does.

Electric is fantastic for some stuff. Batteries are the Devil’s own revenge, a necessary evil for lots of stuff, and completely unsuited for others. I would contend that cars and trucks (as most people have come to use them) fall in the latter camp. The only way any of it makes even a little sense is if the electricity generated comes from a clean source, which is presently a pipe dream given the extremely variable nature of wind and sun. The grid depends on being constant and consistent, and would be required to be more so as millions of people recharge their transportation batteries every night.

I’m not afraid of new things. This just doesn’t make sense on a large scale. 

Last edited by Stan Galat

I agree with much of what Stan says above, but we're all whistling through the graveyard in some respects.  The electric vehicle market share will increase during our lifetime, but not without attendant problems of waste streams, recapture of harmful components, etc.

When ADM scientists figure out a way to grow corn to make batteries, Armageddon will truly have arrived, and ADM may switch over their currently-for-sale ethanol plants to EV-related battery production.

China will remain the big dog in the energy business, both short and long term, regarding both ethanol and EV's, with their pollution problems, current trade war build-up, and willingness to spearhead ecologically disastrous industrial practices.

99% of the corn grown in the US is not for human consumption.  It's not just Chuck Grassley or the family farm owner who's worried about market-based macroeconomics.  Where do we sell the corn and beans we can no longer use with current Chinese tariffs?  We should all be glancing at the pundits because we all have a dog in the fight.

Last edited by Jim Kelly

I probably should have explained more about what I was thinking. Sure we have the cheapest gas than we've had in a while. That being said, we pay $4.00/gallon for regular. Our electric utility burns oil to power the generators and our average monthly electricity bill was $500 before we installed rooftop solar. 

Fracking and offshore drilling are the reason current rates are cheap and that's largely related to our Middle Eastern and Russian buddies helping to keep the supply lines full. 

I won't bore you with tales of flames coming out of water faucets, but fracking is different than the old pump drills we grew up with. Offshore has a decent record considering how much oil we get, but screwups have extremely broad impacts. So one mistake hurts for many years. House of cards in the log run.

The current amount of batteries used in EVs are dwarfed by the amount we use in our phones, laptops, watches, DeWalt drills and other tools and flashlights. Our current lithium battery formulas are not sustainable in the long run for our current consumer use, not to mention if there's an up tick in EV use. Fortunately, there's tons of research going on in coming up with the next generation of batteries. Follow the money - venture capitalists are circling.

I totally agree about the improvements in air quality since we were kids, but it only happened with the help of Federal and state regulation. Water quality has improved, too but places like Flint, Michigan let us know we can't let our guard down. 

All energy production and storage has downsides. Ultimately fusion power is the answer (whether it comes from your Mr. Fusion reactor in the back of your Delorean or from that big ball of heat 93 million miles away). For my daily driver EV is nearly perfect. It wouldn't be for most folks today. 

Like I said in one of my earlier posts, Henry will probably see a downtick for a while, but there's a niche for high-end EV 356s.

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