Tesla Fires Frustration and the Future of the Electric Car Stocks …

17 Фев 2014 | Author: | Комментарии к записи Tesla Fires Frustration and the Future of the Electric Car Stocks … отключены
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Tesla: Fires, Frustration and the Future of the Electric Car

By Ben Levisohn

Tesla (TSLA ) has been under fire during the past month as the car of the future has suddenly morphed into the next DeLorean .

Yoshio Takahashi/The Wall Street Journal

OK, maybe it s not that bad. But Tesla s stock has lost one-third of its value during the past month, and the attention has gotten so bad that Tesla founder Elon Musk took to the web to defend his electric cars versus your standard gasoline-powered vehicles and the media:

In order to get to that end goal, big leaps in technology are required, which naturally invites a high level of scrutiny. That is fair, as new technology should be held to a higher standard than what has come before. However, there should also be some reasonable limit to how high such a standard should be, and we believe that this has been vastly exceeded in recent media coverage.

Since the Model S went into production last year, there have been more than a quarter million gasoline car fires in the United States alone, resulting in over 400 deaths and approximately 1,200 serious injuries (extrapolating 2012 NFPA data ). However, the three Model S fires. which only occurred after very high-speed collisions and caused no serious injuries or deaths, received more national headlines than all 250,000+ gasoline fires combined. The media coverage of Model S fires vs. gasoline car fires is disproportionate by several orders of magnitude, despite the latter actually being far more deadly.

In fact, Musk is so confident in his cars that he added fire coverage to Tesla s warranty  and asked the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to investigate.

Which it will , as the Wall Street Journal reports that the agency is on the case :

The agency s investigation was prompted by recent incidents in Washington state and Tennessee that resulted in battery fires due to undercarriage strikes with roadway debris, the agency said in a statement.

Over a five-week period, two Model S sedans burned to the ground after hitting large pieces of metal on the highway. Neither driver was injured.

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JPMorgan Cazenove s Jose Asumendi and team consider the state of the electric-car market. They write:

The car industry traditionally has some of the highest barriers to entry of any industry, including high fixed and investment costs, extensive regulation, and large efficiencies of scale. With extensive Government support being introduced for EVs, however, a window of opportunity has emerged for high end niche OEMs to enter the market. Tesla is the prime example of this, with more lower end examples such as Th!nk Global and Coda still struggling .

Overall, we conclude that the small number of buyers currently in the market means the sector is still incredibly competitive and therefore not especially lucrative. The market will likely remain so until technological development makes the product offering appealing and affordable enough to attract a viable mass market. Currently, the market leaders are the ones who have been able to best differentiate their products. Tesla has done so through bigger batteries allowing for greater range, a higher price point which compensates for lack of scale, and its own ‘Supercharger’ charge point network which allows for long distance electric travel for the first time.

Other promising market entrants include the BYD e6, Renault Zoe, and GM Spark EV.

Shares of Tesla have gained 4% to 126.50 at 9:52 a.m. General Motors (GM ) has ticked up 0.2% to $38.64, Ford Motor (F ) has ticked down 0.1% to $16.97 and Toyota Motor (TM ) has dropped 0.7% to $126.62.

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