Tesla finding empty boxes under its Christmas tree?

The writers at Seeking Alpha keep plucking ornaments off Elon Musk’s Christmas tree and smashing them.

John Peterson reports that the gigafactory near Sparks that is to produce lithium-ion batteries for Musk’s Tesla Model 3 electric car so it can carry a price tag of $35,000 is barely a shadow of the vision painted in smoke back in 2014 when the Nevada governor and Legislature swooned and handed out $1.3 billion in tax breaks and credits to Tesla for locating that factory in Nevada. (As reported by the Nevada Policy Research Institute and others, Tesla recently sold $20 million in tax credits, presumably at a discount, to megacasino company MGM, which will now pay $20 million less in gaming, sales and other taxes.)

“Unfortunately, the facility that’s taking form in the desert only has two manufacturing competencies (instead of the promised seven) and is a sickly shadow of the Gigavision that can’t deliver the promised savings,” writes Peterson, who predicts the gigafactory’s batteries will not be  cheap and the Model 3 will not have a $35,000 price tag.

Peterson said he sees nothing in Tesla’s SEC filings, press releases or conference calls indicating experienced industry partners are willing to fill the gap in those manufacturing competencies. “Without suitable industry partners the Gigavision will remain a Gigafarce,” he snipes.

Montana Skeptic also seems to think Musk has been more naughty than nice, noting that in the third quarter Musk used referrals, price-cutting, email solicitations, inflated values on trade-ins and two-year leasing deals to achieve his promised number of vehicle deliveries. But in the fourth quarter Tesla won’t have $140 million in regulatory credits to cover losses and now has SolarCity hanging around its neck.

Meanwhile, Anton Wahlman points out that “Tenneco’s chief technologist claims that new automobile emissions control technologies are reaching a dramatically efficient stage for regular gasoline/diesel cars. So efficient, in fact — he claims — that what comes out the tailpipe of the new car/truck is cleaner than what enters it through the air filter.”

So, who needs a zero emission electric car — or coal-powered car as skeptics like to call it — when gasoline and diesel cars and trucks can actually clean the air while operating?

Merry Christmas, Mr. Musk, and you too, Gov. Sandoval.

Tesla Model 3

Tesla Model 3


14 comments on “Tesla finding empty boxes under its Christmas tree?

  1. Rincon says:

    Anyone know how one company can sell tax credits to another? Sounds like financial shenanigans to me.

    The emission that cannot be dramatically reduced in gasoline engines is CO2. As long as fossil
    fuels are burned to create the electricity for these cars though, their value for reducing greenhouse gases is marginal. Of course, Conservatives know that CO2 is unimportant because they are positive that warming we are seeing is part of a natural cycle, unaffected by human activity because….because…uh, do any of you have any evidence at all for that assumption? So far as I can tell, it’s an empty assertion.

    For that matter, I Googled “Tenneco auto emissions” and several variations to find out about this thrilling new technology and found nothing. I would have thought this would be really big news. Does anyone know where Anton Wahlman is getting this information or is he just another Sean Hannity or Glenn Beck?

  2. Makes one wonder how many ripoffs to the Nevada taxpayer we have to have before it is covered in all media. Sandoval and his cronies should be callled on the carpet for this publicly.

  3. Steve says:

    Tom provided links that answer your questions, Rincon.

    The tax credits are “Transferable” read the linked article.

    Remember the Honda Insight? It was the first hybrid internal combustion vehicle to emit cleaner air from its tailpipe than the air at the intake when operating on its gasoline engine.
    This was true for cities like Los Angeles, not for rural areas or medium sized cities. And this is the comparison Tenneco makes for current (2017) gasoline cars and trucks. In Los Angeles, the emissions at the tailpipe are cleaner than the air drawn in through the intake.
    Again, follow the linked article.
    It was a good argument for Honda’s insight, it should be just as good for new model cars and trucks, right?

    Tesla was operating under $140 bbl oil. Today’s oil and natural gas prices are depressing the whole green energy sector. Specially in transportation. No one could have predicted this level of success for horizontal drilling. It’s like history repeating itself with the demise of the Baker Electric and Owens Magnetic.

  4. Rincon says:

    Thanks Steve. Shenanigans it is!

    As for exhaust being cleaner than the air, I highly suspect that it’s an urban legend. That accomplishment would be very big news indeed, and I have read nothing about it until now. I used to read about 200 mpg carburetors too. Some people still believe that one.

  5. Rincon says:

    I do agree that with oil and gas being as cheap as they are, it’s wiser to focus on efficiency more than renewable energy. That being said, it amazes me how Conservatives swear that we just can’t afford green power when our cars, planes, appliances, air conditioners, furnaces, etc. are far more efficient than in the 1970’s. We make just as much money now as then. Why would a small increase in energy costs suddenly be unaffordable? Instead of allowing compromise, Conservatives are driving this country into the ground with gridlock which, in the long run, will be far more expensive than compromise. Liberals are also culpable, but at this moment, the Conservatives exhibit the most egregious behavior.

  6. Steve says:

    Nope, no legends at all in that one either.

    It all depends on where the car is being tested and driven. LA air is not clean. This makes it possible for some cars to produce negative hydrocarbons, compared with surrounding air, at the tailpipe.

    Hate conservatives all you want. It’s been liberals in charge for the last forty years.

  7. […] can to sold, presumably at a discount, to companies who owe taxes. Previously, Tesla has sold $20 million in tax credits to MGM. The certificate for the $8 million specifies it is for applied to gaming licensing […]

  8. Rincon says:

    Conservatives set the capital gains rate at 15%.
    Conservatives dropped the maximum income tax rate from 70% to 28%. Liberals raised it back to only 39%.
    Conservatives raised our deficits as much as Liberals, but during good times.
    Conservatives decided that corporations are the same as people and that campaign contributions can be unlimited.
    Conservatives take credit for the breakup of the Soviet Union.
    Conservative appointees missed the clues that would have prevented 9/11.
    Conservatives voted for the unfunded Bush prescription drug law.
    Conservatives led us into the Iraq War and completely messed up the post war effort.
    Conservatives led us into the War in Afghanistan and also messed up the post war period there.
    Conservatives prevented meaningful action on climate change.
    Conservatives obstructed our legislature to the point that it is essentially nonfunctional.
    Conservatives introduced trickle down economics, which is still in force today.
    Conservatives have kept us dependent on foreign oil.
    Conservatives got the welfare system changed.

    But you say the Liberals have been in charge for 40 years.

    I note that you provided no reference for this fabulous claim regarding emissions. Can I presume then that it’s an urban legend?

  9. Steve says:

    No, it’s no legend….its how and where they measure the emissions of the vehicles in question.

    And liberals have been in charge for 40 years. (period) As Patrick made clear…the letter next to the name doesn’t determine whether the office holder is conservative or liberal.

  10. Rincon says:

    You seem unable to find any evidence to back up your assertion that the emissions thing isn’t an urban legend. I consider that to be a good indicator that my speculation is correct.

    It seems that, by your definition, Conservatives do those things that you agree with. Since you don’t agree with much that has been done by those named as Conservatives, then you decide they’re not really Conservatives. Let me know when you find any that you approve of.

  11. http://articles.latimes.com/2004/jun/09/autos/hy-neil9

    From 12 years ago, and the correction sounds like a cave in by the brass to Leon Musk, because this sounds like it covers:

    “PZEV vehicles actually pollute less than electric vehicles, if you account for the source-point pollution of the power plants recharging them. In some atmospheric conditions — a brown day in San Bernardino, for instance — PZEV vehicles actually clean the air, which is to say, their emissions are cleaner than the air sucked into the engine.”

  12. Steve says:

    Thanks, Tom.

    Rincon seems more interested in arguing than looking for things that support the other side.
    He could have found that as easily as you and I did, but it runs against his argument so…..

  13. Rincon says:

    Sorry to take so long. I was on vacation. Although I’m still skeptical about the claim that exhaust is cleaner than intake air, I am guilty of nit picking. Fact is, with these newer emission systems, the “cleanliness” of electric vehicles is no longer a significant advantage,; however, these new systems don’t impact CO2 production at all. The other advantage of electric vehicles is that they don’t need petroleum, especially the foreign kind.

  14. […] Since the company has almost no tax liability in Nevada those tax credits can to sold, presumably at a discount, to companies who owe taxes. Tesla already has sold $20 million in tax credits to MGM. […]

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