Originally Posted by BoogetyBoogety
I wrote, "The recharging of the batteries needs to be much much quicker. Replacing the batteries as in the video would be a great alternative, if the infrastructure and price for the swap could be handled so that a minimum 300-400 mile commute would be seamless to drivers, as useful as a gasoline engine is today."
A reply: "As the supercharger network expands, this will become more and more possible. It's already possible to drive across the country for free while making a 30 minute stop every 250-300 miles."
That's all fine and good for straight line here-to-there driving. That's not how most driving is done. What if you're visiting Grandma in Omaha, and you're driving from Richmond? What if you want to take a side trip to Lexington to visit Cousin Betsy? What is there's a cool restaurant in Memphis you can't wait to try? Basically, if you're in a Tesla, you're on an unmarked railroad track, and side trips are at the mercy of the batteries. No, until and unless they make a vehicle that will allow a driver to go anywhere with impunity (a la Volt), their vehicles will be a wealthy play toy, not a true automobile.
Also: "And the elephant in the room: Will Tesla still be in business in two, five, ten years? They have not made dime one yet. How long can they continue to exist under their present financial situation? I just see a big house of cards at this time. I hope I'm wrong..."
Answer? "They are hitting goals now aren't they? The cars are selling basically as fast as they can make them. The dealer network is expanding as fast as they can and I'm sure that either laws will change or Tesla will conform. Something's gotta give on that front or else they will stall out. Also, they were profitable for 2 quarters last year and also for Q1 of 2014."
You may already know that Tesla doesn't really make a profit from the sale of its vehicles, but rather from the sale of emissions credits, mandated by the state of California and its electric vehicle requirements. Their competitors, who don't have a mass market plug-in, are unable to meet the mandate, and therefore are forced to buy the credits from Tesla, the only company that does. The actual estimated loss per vehicle to Tesla is well north of $10,000 per each vehicle it "sells." And I won't even go into the taxpayer-subsidized bonus that every buyer gets... in other words, as taxpayers, you and I are buying a little piece of every Tesla ever sold, whether we want to or not.
Consider: No dealerships in a vast percentage of the country, limited performance compared to ICE cars (please, don't embarrass yourself by quoting 0-60 times and range, you know what I mean), a big price tag, new technology (which still spooks lots of buyers), plus actuarial and financial sleight-of-hand accounting to claim "profits!"... It's still a house of cards, and eventually, houses of cards cannot sustain themselves. I'm truly surprised they've made it this far... and I wish them luck, but I'm not at all sure they can continue for much longer as they have.