By on October 4, 2012

Viewers of last night’s Presidential debate may have caught Mitt Romney bad-mouthing Tesla and Fisker during his remarks. Meanwhile, Tesla’s new prospectus shows that they’re hardly out of the woods yet, financially speaking.

Last night, Gov. Romney delivered this barb to President Obama

“You put $90 billion — like 50 years’ worth of breaks — into solar and wind, to Solyndra and Fisker and Tesla and Ener1,” said Romney. “I mean, I had a friend who said, you don’t just pick the winners and losers; you pick the losers.”

The remarks came right as Elon Musk and Tesla prepared another stock issue to raise so much needed cash. Tesla’s latest SEC filing declares that

Based upon our current financial forecast, we currently anticipate that if we do not raise the proceeds anticipated from this offering and do not otherwise adjust our operations accordingly or amend the DOE Loan Facility, we may not be compliant with the current ratio covenant for the quarterly period ending March 31, 2013. For the quarters ending September 30, 2013 and December 31, 2013, we currently anticipate that without taking advantage of additional revenue opportunities or making adjustments to our spending, we expect that we will need to seek an amendment from the DOE to modify the fixed charge coverage ratio covenant. Moreover, we currently anticipate that without raising capital in addition to this offering, we would need to seek an amendment from the DOE to modify the total liabilities to stockholder equity covenant for the quarter ending March 31, 2014 and the two subsequent quarters.

While Tesla will apparently become cash flow positive next month, the mainstream media has glossed over the fact that they are also in grave danger of being out of compliance with their DOE loans for as much as 18 months into the future. Unfortunately, it doesn’t matter how good the Model S is. If it don’t make dollars, it don’t make sense.

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103 Comments on “Romney Dubs Tesla, Fisker As “Losers”, As Tesla Issues Stock To Stay Afloat...”


  • avatar
    danio3834

    From purely a business standpoint, I have to agree with him. Their outlook isn’t good as in spite of their promises, they probably won’t be able to deliver enough vehilcles fast enough to stay afloat.

    That is assuming the Government doesn’t keep pouring in good money after bad.

    • 0 avatar
      alf42

      You could tell these libs the sky is blue and they’d tell you that it’s not and ask you to provide sources.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      I’m a libertarian through and through, but let’s fact check the record, shall we?

      3 out of 56 DOE loans for green energy went bad. 2 were small defaults, and 1 was large (Solyndra).

      As a libertarian, I believe that having a government pick winners and losers, via subsidies, grants & other direct and indirect tax, monetary & other preferential incentives (targeting whole industries OR individual companies) is inevitably destined to fail– even if it looks successful over an intermediate time frame.

      No where is this record of failure, and the commensurate, massive costs that are imposed on the general taxpaying public and non-subsidized portion of the economy more clear than the incredible bailouts of banks deemed “systemically important,” and other financial institutions deemed not only too-large-to-fail (the entities the government admits they prop up), but also the many more that have been stealthily designated as big-enough-to-affect-the-too-big-to-fails. The costs of these bailouts, which are still ongoing as I write this (and continue with each USD the Treasury prints via Federal Reserve enabling by way of buying the MAJORITY of U.S. Treasury Notes for the past 38+ months), to the organic, real economy, is actually difficult to tabulate (rhetoric and lies about loans being paid back, with interest aside; they haven’t been, because the loans are being “paid back” by merely some with near-free fiat money give to them, in the form of subsidization, by the Federal Reserve).

      In order to maintain intellectual honesty, it’s my obligation to point out that Japan, Germany, China, and almost every other developed and near-developed economy subsidize “favored institutions” in such a way, so this is not exclusive to the U.S. But whereas Germany & Japan stack their subsidies towards industrial and similar types of firms, that produce tangible goods, and are exported (or are built in foreign nations), the United States Congress, Executive Branch & regulatory agencies are now fully and completely “Deeply Captured” by the F&M Complex (Financial & Military Complex).

      As a libertarian, I oppose central planning. As a rationalist, I certainly oppose massive subsidies that crush taxpayers and non-subsidized businesses via higher rates of taxation, present and future, whether due to absolute higher tax rates (varying from where they could otherwise exist) or inflation (debasing of the currency through fiat printing, which increases the biggest tax of all, which is inflation, and whose rate is understated as a matter of state policy, as NONE OTHER THAN JOHN MAYNARD KEYNES noted). Higher absolute taxes and inflation crimp future economic growth and debase the citizenry’s living standards.

      In the final analysis, the difference between Romney & Obama is their propensity to talk up social wedge issues, to divide and distract the electorate, while they do the very same things for the very same people and institutions that they’re both truly beholden to, as are their respective “political parties.”

      It’s been a master stroke of genius for the wizards behind the curtain to so successfully implement a system that robustly projects the illusion of choice when there is actually none.

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    Sugar coating Obama’s deficiencies and the criminality of the left did nothing for McCain. Hopefully Romney will continue to be forthright about Obama’s programs. Did he say anything about Obama’s efforts to hide his defense cuts by coercing contractors into breaking the laws relating to timing of layoff notices? Obama has promised to use tax payer money to pay their fines for breaking the law in order to help his reelection campaign. The Republicans are cowards for not impeaching him.

    • 0 avatar
      Jesse

      Interesting.

      Please provide source.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1012/81990.html

        http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505245_162-57525831/white-house-discourages-layoff-warnings/

        CBS news shouldn’t invite any claims of conservative bias.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        Leave it to CJ to not understand a news story.

        You’ve completely missed the back story here. The defense contractors are preparing for a possible repeat of the Congressionally manufactured debt ceiling crisis.

        The layoff warnings are their way of trying to pressure Congress into averting another showdown with the budget, since their industry is obviously dependent upon the government paying their bills. They probably aren’t going to layoff anyone, but they’re playing the game, anyway.

      • 0 avatar
        mike978

        “to hide his defense cuts” – aren`t the cuts (equally) to discretionary and defense spending due for January 2013 arising because of the congressional sequestration? Republicans voted for this in both chambers of congress, Obama didn`t veto it. Hardly his own cuts. But we are told by many that Government spending should be cut, so here we are.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        My problem isn’t necessarily with the cuts, but with the criminal nature of Obama covering up bad economic news during the election. Those 120,000 contractors shouldn’t get surprise firings on December 31 so Obama can hide that we’re worse off than he wants his sheep to think. Have a ball spinning that Obama offering to pay fines in exchange for criminal behavior to help his reelection chances is a bipartisan policy. Revolting.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        It’s as if the guy can’t read…

        CJ, the issue is with the Congress threatening to stop paying the bills. The defense contractors are putting on a show about the debt ceiling dance that is probably going to occur soon.

        Since it is unlikely that the defense contractors will be laying off anyone and are doing this to make a political point, the question to ask is whether vendors of the federal government should be grandstanding about a political matter.

        If anything, I would think that it would be the right-wingers like yourself who would most greatly resent this, as the defense contractors are effectively blaming the guys on your team for the alleged issue. Yet somehow, you manage to get the story completely backwards.

      • 0 avatar
        Landcrusher

        PCH,
        It’s about principals. The contractors are allowed to play their game, and it’s small ball. The outrage here is the offer of a payoff by the Admin.

      • 0 avatar

        @CJ : “criminal nature of Obama covering up bad economic news during the election.”

        This has nothing to do with the election. Its all about keeping the subordinate classes from revolting. War is a way to keep about 5.7 million employed in the defense sectors plus a million employed by private defense contractors on borrowed money. Imagine these people competing for jobs in the private sector and there will be 6 million more people unemployed. Now include all the people employed by the TSA, FBI, CIA, all unnecessary govt jobs both in the federal and state level, war on drugs etc. Also the reason for generous welfare payments, generous food stamps and medicare, plenty of food and oil subsidies so we wont notice our shrinking paychecks, all on borrowed money! Remove all that and where will be riots on the streets and Govts will fall. People will be up in arms about outsourcing, shipping of jobs to other countries and illegal immigration. The plan is keep throwing us a bone to keep us happy while tapping our credit lines.

        The man who promised to fix this mess has become part of the problem. Can’t wait for the deceiver in chief to be sent packing. You cant lie, cheat and deceive your way in, only to get in bed with the same wall st, union and MIC scumbags you were supposed to save us from. No sir, you can’t fool us a second time. The way I see it, Romney speaks from both sides of his mouth, but I bet my next paycheck he will be more of a democrat than the guy in charge and a billion times more genuine with being re-elected not his only goal. /rant

      • 0 avatar
        mkirk

        I am active duty Army, deployed, and responsible for oversight of several contracts. The matter is actually Federal Law and likely written into their contracts. If new fundng is not in place prior to a certain trigger date (Federal law or written into the contract, don’t remember which), then they must be notified in writing. This is what is driving the layoff warnings. Any manipulation of the date is likely outside the scope of the contract and simply a means to not have bad news hit before the election.

      • 0 avatar
        thornmark

        CJ is correct.

        “Now, the administration argues that the notices aren’t required, because the sequester might not happen. But that’s a matter for the court to determine, not the administration. If the administration is correct, then there should be no need to sweeten the pot. But if there is a real risk that employees will win a lawsuit, then it seems wrong to put the taxpayers on the hook for what is essentially an Obama campaign expense.”
        http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/10/04/obama-administration-pressures-contractors-not-to-warn-workers-of-impending-layoffs.html

      • 0 avatar
        golden2husky

        ……Romney speaks from both sides of his mouth……

        And that’s the problem. Take his explanation on regulation and capitalism. On the face of it, he was right. Carefully thought out and properly executed regulation is necessary for a society to function. And he sure sounded like he would follow what he said. But once he gets elected, that will all go out the window. He’ll gut regulation -good or bad- as a political payback for his Fox cronies….He sounded good, for the most part. But I just don’t trust him. I am no fan of Obama, but I know what I have with him. Again, voting against a candidate instead of voting for one….

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      Romney, as usual, flip flops like no other and talks from both sides of his mouth.

      When Romney was Gov. of Mass., the state had a green-energy fund which invested in companies.

      One company, Konarka Technologies (ironically, a manufacturer of solar panels), went bankrupt this year and other companies shut down or were sold for a loss.

      http://www.masslive.com/politics/index.ssf/2012/06/massachusetts_solar_energy_com.html

      Considering that Romney keeps reminding voters of his businessman background, he of all people should know that venture capitalism involves investing in a lot of “losers” for the few that will hit it big (getting 1 “winner” out of 8 is pretty good).

      Heck, it was govt. funding (DOE) of research into hydraulic fracturing (which private energy companies saw as pointless in ever seeing a financial return) that has led to the mini-energy boom in the US today.

      But oh, don’t worry, Romney wants less regulation on Wall St. and the big banks which were responsible for leading the US economy into its biggest collapse since the Great Depression.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        All we ever hear is how it’s the Big Banks that destroyed the country. Where is the accountability of the INDIVIDUALS who borrowed all the money from the Big Banks then didn’t pay it back? Did Big Banking force them to take loans they couldn’t afford?

        Don’t even bother with the “predatory lending” BS. The individual has the responsibility to read and understand the terms of a contract before they sign them. You don’t get it? Don’t sign.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        “Did Big Banking force them to take loans they couldn’t afford?”

        No but individuals didn’t force lending agencies to offer giant loans to them either.

      • 0 avatar
        George B

        Wrong!

        1) I find a December 2002 $1.5 million loan from Massachusetts Renewable Energy Trust. Mitt Romney was sworn in on Jan. 2, 2003. Konarka appears to be a relatively successful company that survived 11 years including the recession.

        2) There was DOE research in hydraulic fracturing, but it wasn’t useful because it was too expensive. Government even investigated using atomic bombs to break up shale. The innovation of George P. Mitchell and Mitchell Energy was to figure out how to do hydraulic fracturing relatively inexpensively using mostly water and sand. Mitchell funded this research internally. Mitchell did receive a grant from a tax funded gas industry research fund to work on horizontal drilling, but that was on purpose kept separate from the Barnett Shale hydraulic fracturing work to keep valuable secrets secret. Mitchell sold their technology plus leases to Devon Energy in 2002 for $3.5 billion.

      • 0 avatar
        oldyak

        excuse me!!!!!
        Our government did that!
        The banks just went along with it!
        I cant believe some people keep on with this contorted view of the truth.
        Thats why no bankers went to jail!

      • 0 avatar
        bd2

        @danio3834

        First, off, it’s the fiduciary duty for a bank to its shareholders to do due its due diligence when lending $$ to ensure profits and the long-term health of the bank.

        There is no such duty for borrowers.

        Before Wall St. did another one of their “financial engineering” – bundling mortgages, “securitizing” them and selling them to investors at a nice profit as “safe” investments, mortgage lenders would ensure that the borrowers were in financial shape to pay the monthly mortgage and certainly wouldn’t lend more than what the borrower could afford (remember when it was kinda difficult to get a loan at the bank?).

        But once Wall St. starting buying mortgages en masse, big mortgage lenders like Countrywide would not only make instant profits, but more profits the more mortgages they transacted.

        This led to abuses/fraud such as inflating personal incomes (since the higher the mortgage amount, the higher the price they could be sold to Wall St.).

        In fact, lenders were transacted mortgages so fast during the height of the RE boom, they often didn’t complete all the paperwork – which is why there was that robo-signing and back-dating scandal regarding mortgage documents.

        And the Wall St. firms knew that the RE market was overheated and saw signs of the market headed for the downside in late 2005, but they kept the “good times” rolling, along w/ hedge funds like Magnetar Capital, by bundling risky mortgages, selling them to investors and then BETTING against them using financial derivatives.

        Since Wall St. firms kept buying mortgages, and the riskier the better, the big mortgage lenders kept writing mortgages to anyone w/ a pulse and the bigger the better.

        Note small town/neighborhood banks for the most part did NOT engage in this kind of activity and lent $$ the same way they had always been doing it – making sure the lender had means to repay the loan and ensuring that the loan amount was appropriate – since they didn’t engage in selling mortgages for a quick profit and made their $$ off the mortgage payments.

        What Wall St. concocted was basically the largest legal PONZI scheme in the history of mankind. All those rising home prices, those mortgage-backed securities which were rated AAA by the rating agencies such as Moody’s and S&P, etc. were based on the falsehood that there was always going to be a buyer who was going to pay a higher price.

        The rating agencies were either totally incompetent or they simply got sucked into all the greed (they were after all, paid by Wall St. to rate their investment vehicles).

        The Wall St. firms and the big commercial banks imploded when the huge bets they placed (after leveraging themselves to the hilt) exploded in their faces.

        Since AIG sold many of these firms “insurance” on these bets, AIG was on the hook.

        Again, many small neighborhood banks did not engage in such activities as the big mortgage lenders like Countrywide and BoA and certain areas of the country didn’t see the astronomical rise in RE values or the subsequent fall (see Pittsburgh), whereas areas where lenders like Countrywide, BoA, Wells Fargo, etc. were deeply involved in – Texas, Arizona, California, Florida, Nevada – saw the biggest increase in home prices and then the pop of the bubble.

        That alone would have been bad enough, but Wall St. and the investment wings of big commercial banks like Citi, BoA and Chase also placed huge bets using financial derivatives – turning a real bad situation into a catastrophic one.

        For all those who are hating on GM/Chrysler or the govt. for saving GM/Chrysler – should really be hating on the financial sector.

        After they blew up the economy – they did a complete 180 and pretty much froze the credit markets.

        Even companies that were in the black and had growing sales couldn’t get loans to finance expansion.

        That why GM had to turn to the govt. since the private lenders weren’t lending. Ford was fortunate in having maximized their credit line before the credit market froze since the last thing the Ford family wanted was for Ford to go into bankruptcy.

        And if the auto market hadn’t recovered when it did (in part due to Cash4Clunkers – which was another thing I didn’t like), Ford would have had to turn to govt. since they were burning thru their cash reserve.

        After the bubble burst, the only people who came out of this well were the top execs of the Wall St. firms, mortgage lenders, rating agencies – who had gotten huge bonuses during the boom years.

        Many of them should be in jail, but few have been prosecuted and the ones who have, like the former CEO of Countrywide, just paid a fine that was a fraction of what he had stolen, er, earned.

        Basically we experienced a repeat of the same-type of financial shenanigans that brought on the Great Depression and to a smaller scale, the recession that followed he S&L crisis.

      • 0 avatar
        bd2

        @George B

        The point was about Romney’s HYPOCRISY and flip-flopping/speaking out of both sides of his mouth.

        Romney stated in his campaign that government should not invest in individual companies, but he did just that as gov. of Mass. (boy does Romney have a selective memory or else a lack of self-awareness).

        Yes, the amounts were smaller but back then, the solar/green energy business was on a smaller scale and he was dealing w/ it on a state level.

        And the reason why these US solar panel companies have failed recently is b/c the Chinese govt. has been heavily subsidizing its green/solar energy companies, making it impossible for US companies to compete.

        The Chinese govt. sees the green/solar energy as a growing business segment and one in which it can dominate.

        Remember, the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program which lent $5.9B to Ford and $1.6B to Nissan was first appropriated during the Bush Presidency.

        As for Mitchell and fracking.

        — Mitchell Energy’s first horizontal well was subsidized by the federal government, according to former geologist and Vice President for Mitchell. “They did a hell of a lot of work,” said Steward, “and I can’t give them enough credit for that. DOE started it, and other people took the ball and ran with it. You cannot diminish DOE’s involvement.”

        The federal government’s work on shale gas began in the 1970s. As Steward recalls, “The DOE’s [1976] Eastern Gas Shales Project [in the Appalachia basin] determined there was a hell of a lot of gas in shales. It was the biggest accumulation of data and knowledge to date.” From there, Mitchell and his team experimented to find the best and most economical way to fracture the Barnett Shale. Variations of fracking techniques through the 1980s led George Mitchell to bring the Department of Energy and the Gas Research Institute in in 1991. “By the early 1990s,” said Steward, “we had a good position, acceptable but lacking knowledge base, and then Mitchell said, ‘Okay, I’m open to bringing in DOE and GRI’ in 1991.” —

        http://thebreakthrough.org/archive/interview_with_dan_steward_for

      • 0 avatar
        corntrollio

        George B seems to be ignoring even Steward’s own statements that the DOE helped them out a lot. The fracking revolution that we are seeing always started as a public-private partnership:

        http://www.economist.com/node/21559890

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    First, I will eat crow on this point – the Model S is getting delivered to customers. I never though Tesla would get that far.

    However, the cash flow issue is of no surprise, looking at their last filing and cash burn versus assets, it was clear over a quarter ago they could not stay in DoE compliance, even if they delivered the 5,000 Model S they claim they will this calendar year.

    I have not heard if they continue to have production issues or not, but if they can’t get the volume of deliveries up, and if they can’t stop playing the shell game with people’s deposits (e.g. using Model X deposits to build Model S today) then Tesla will end up going BK, and it seems highly likely that Toyota would be the biggest benefactor for the real assets, the IP and patents.

  • avatar
    L'avventura

    Fisker is unequivocally a failure. Same with A123, Ener1, and Solyndra. Ener1 and Solyndra are bankrupt, and A123 has been sold to the Wanxiang Group. Fisker isn’t far from that fate.

    Tesla is still a question. Its built a lot of strong brand-recognition, and is generally seen by the public as a company with a future. I think Romeny should have left Tesla out and put A123 in its place.

    Either way, the issue at hand is that DOE has been acting like venture capitalist firm. Putting money in high-risk start ups that get a lot of flashy news coverage.

    The problem was that a lot of these start-ups folded before the elections. This should have been expected, start ups don’t last very long.

    The real problem I see was that the DOE made the milestones and deliverables hurdle too high. Fisker Nina/Atlantic had a DOE goal of 75k-100k/units a year by 2012 (that’s impossible). A $55k car, no brand, no dealer, no factory, to start selling 100,000 units cars in a few years? Here’s half an billion. Go to it. We want it before the 2012 elections.

    Its no coincidence that these ridiculous milestones were set for election year in 2012 (the Volt’s original sales target was 45,000 cars by 2012). I’m guessing the White House wanted to be able to name all the successes they made with green energy this year.

    These ridiculous targets essentially forced these DOE-funded companies to invest too much of their money too fast. Normally, companies would start off smaller, make realistic goals, ration their resources, and make pragmatic investments. They imploded.

    • 0 avatar
      gregx-5

      Absolutely correct. The DOE definitely pushed these guys too hard to spend A LOT of money. It’s really poisoning the politics of investing in future tech.

      • 0 avatar
        joeaverage

        “It’s really poisoning the politics of investing in future tech.”

        And if we don’t we can be assured we’ll be buying that TOO from China for the next thirty years while bitching and moaning about a lack of jobs in good ole’ USA.

    • 0 avatar
      jkross22

      “The real problem I see was that the DOE made the milestones and deliverables hurdle too high. Fisker Nina/Atlantic had a DOE goal of 75k-100k/units a year by 2012 (that’s impossible). A $55k car, no brand, no dealer, no factory, to start selling 100,000 units cars in a few years? Here’s half an billion. Go to it. We want it before the 2012 elections.

      Its no coincidence that these ridiculous milestones were set for election year in 2012 (the Volt’s original sales target was 45,000 cars by 2012). I’m guessing the White House wanted to be able to name all the successes they made with green energy this year.”

      And this is the rip on Obama. No, he himself didn’t sign off on the loans, but where is the accountability for the person(s) that did? Who got fired? What processes were changed? What vetting methods were adjusted to ensure industry knowledge? None.

      Reminds me a lot of the GAO getting a fake gas powered alarm clark to be certified as Energy Star compliant. Again, no one was fired.

      http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2361974,00.asp

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      It was just hard for any US manufacturer of solar panels to keep going when the Chinese govt. is pouring huge subsidies into Chinese green technology companies.

      • 0 avatar
        cfclark

        My thinking about the whole “green jobs will save us” thing has always been, how can green jobs save us if they’re essentially manufacturing jobs, and China can make solar panels more cheaply than us?

        Trying to make the economy serve electoral politics is not an effective strategy long-term, even if it looks good for selling a candidate this year (and I’m pointing the finger at both parties here).

        This is why I’m backing Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho for ’16. :P

      • 0 avatar
        joeaverage

        Tariffs on Chinese solar panels entering the country? Seems easy to me.

  • avatar
    Landcrusher

    OT1H, I agree with the Governor’s point that government should stay out of venture capital, subsidy, and investment

    OTOH, I think that he should apologize for including the names of active concerns. The general aviation community got singled out again last night by the President, and if I object to that, I feel I have to object to the comments about Fisker and Tesla. Lets have the politicians all refrain from undeserved disparaging comments about legal businesses.

    • 0 avatar
      el scotto

      They are legal, existing businesses because they live(and die)off government handouts. I consider them fair game. What did the President say about the general aviation community? I think you’ve mentioned general aviation before.

      • 0 avatar
        DC Bruce

        I guess crusher is thinking of Obama’s frequently repeat rail against “corporate jets” as a deductible business expense. I have a nephew who files airplanes for Wal-Mart (they have a fleet of them). Especially considering where a lot of Wal-mart stores are located, the idea of telling people to fly commercial is insane. Their time has a value to their employer.
        And, I would that, thanks the security ritual, travel time between any two points using commercial carriers adds at least an hour. That’s why AMTRAK is doing so well with its Acela trains between Washington and New York. The flying time between Reagan National and NY LaGuardia is only 50 minutes. But, if you need to be at the airport at least an hour before departure, then the travel time is two hours. Add the fact that, in rush hour, traveling from LaGuardia to mid-town Manhattan (where the AMTRAK station is located) is another 30 minutes plus, then the Acela’s 2:45 running time between Washington and New York is looking pretty good. Add the increased comfort of the train, its invulnerability to weather, air traffic congestion and so on, and the fact that you can show up 15 minutes before departure and board the train, it’s no wonder that’s the method people choose.

        So it makes a convenient target to complain about. Meanwhile the “carried interest” loophole that allows hedge fund managers to have their income taxed at 15 percent “capital gains” marginal tax rates, even though they have no capital at risk, goes unmentioned by either candidate.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      Except, that wouldn’t be the case.

      “A Bay State solar panel developer that landed a state loan from Mitt Romney when he was Massachusetts governor has gone belly up — a day after the GOP presidential hopeful ripped President Obama’s green-energy investments.

      Lowell-based Konarka Technologies announced late yesterday that it filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection and will cease operations, lay off its 85 workers and liquidate.”

      http://www.bostonherald.com/jobfind/news/technology/view/20220602mitts_big_green_flop_lowell_solar_panel_co_he_backed_goes_under/srvc=home&position=also

      Konarka was the second solar power company funded by the state to go bankrupt.

      • 0 avatar
        George B

        I don’t think this is equivalent. Konarka Technologies survived 11 years, a deep recession, an extremely weak recovery, and low-cost Chinese competition before they eventually failed almost 6 years after Mitt Romney left office.

        http://www.konarka.com/index.php/company/our-history/

        I find a December 2002 $1.5 million loan from Massachusetts Renewable Energy Trust. Mitt Romney was sworn in on Jan. 2, 2003. It would be a stretch to credit/blame Romney for that. Did he throw his support behind Konarka during the 2002 campaign?

        Konarka appears to have received significant private investment over many rounds. I wouldn’t make the government investment on general principle, but Konarka doesn’t look like the worst poster child case for bad “green jobs” investment.

    • 0 avatar
      Chicago Dude

      Federal funding for education is a subsidy, an investment, and you could argue that it has elements of venture capital as it produces some adults that will pay lots of taxes and some adults that will pay no taxes.

      Romney isn’t complaining about venture capital, subsidy, or investment. He would just have spent it differently:

      “You put $90 billion into — into green jobs. And I — look, I’m all in favor of green energy. $90 billion, that would have — that would have hired 2 million teachers. $90 billion.”

      Yes, Romney thinks the Federal Government should have hired two million teachers. That’s fine, but it only pays for one year of each teachers salary and I suppose that also means Romney thinks the Federal Government needs to expand their role in education, unless he intends for the states and municipalities to pick up the tab for future years (an unfunded mandate, anyone?).

      Or maybe he thinks that the teachers should get fired after a year. I could be wrong, but I doubt Solyndra had two million employees… So Romney’s plan for that money would have meant more job losses than Obama’s plan for the money. Great idea!

      • 0 avatar

        dude, you should watch the debate before commenting on it. romney’s quip about “2 million teachers” was in reference to obama’s claim earlier in the debate that he would like to improve our country by ‘creating’ 10,000 more science teachers(or something along those lines, i don’t remember it verbatim). romney was mocking obama when he mentioned “2 million teachers”, not suggesting that that is the way he would’ve spent the money.

        this is pretty typical of most of you political blow hards on the internet, you’ll take a quote that is completely out of context(sorry, “i didn’t know” isn’t an excuse) and parade it around as an example of why Candidate ________ is a “fool”. meanwhile, you’ve only made your self look like the fool.

  • avatar
    carguy

    Telsa is still on very shaky ground but have a fighting chance of survival. Fisker, however, is all but dead.

  • avatar
    Stumpaster

    Nice-looking car but it is a fantasy that this is a long-term self-sustainable enterprise.

    Let’s revisit – you want to conserve your limited energy, yet you put an LCD panel bigger than an ipad as your center console? That makes sense.

    • 0 avatar

      Over 12k people have preordered a Model S, and that’s pretty impressive considering the unwieldy and expensive pre-order process, requiring a $5k deposit and at least a six month wait. To put it into perspective, the Volt has been on dealer lots for nearly two years now. Its unit sales are barely double the Tesla preorder count, for a much cheaper vehicle that’s readily available today.

      Tesla’s LCD uses a negligible amount of power compared to the engine, drivetrain and heater/air conditioner. An iPad can survive for a year on $1.35 worth of electricity. The LCD on the Tesla is roughly comparable to two iPads, or $2.70 a year’s worth of power. Every time you charge up your Tesla you are using about $ 7 worth of power for just a day or so in operation. So Tesla will have no trouble with its energy chomping touchscreen which is, by the way, a seriously sweet and beautifully designed piece of work.

      Elon Musk rebuts buyer and stockholder concerns in his latest blog, here:

      http://www.teslamotors.com/blog/update-elon-musk

      You will note that the financing round is complete, and successful, so Tesla is most likely out of the woods for the next year or so. By the time they next run out of money (if they do), we will know if they can make cars well, and whether the deposit holders are dreamers with $5k and no more, or serious $80k+ buyers.

      People who have counted out Elon Musk have had reason to regret it in the past. Here’s hoping he will continue pulling rabbits out of hats ..

      D

  • avatar
    jacob_coulter

    So basically, our tax dollars are being used to fund a billionaires’ flailing “start up” electric car company that is making electric vehicles that cost around $100,000 for mainly a celebrity clientele.

    Oh, and most of the investors just happen to be big campaign bundlers for Obama.

    How DARE Romney point out this type of corruption and waste.

  • avatar
    ExPatBrit

    At least we got some interesting vehicles and ideas out of the renewable energy boondoggles.

    Talking of losers supposedly when all done we will have spent over 6 trillion in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    And one of these candidates is planning to up the ante and spend more.

    • 0 avatar
      el scotto

      FYVM from me and every other Iraq/Afghanistan vet.

      • 0 avatar
        Darkhorse

        Amen! ExPatBrit go home. From a Vietnam vet.

      • 0 avatar
        WRohrl

        Not to denigrate your own sacrifice at all, but do you believe that every Iraq and Afghanistan vet and their families believe that their being over there is/was a good idea? I don’t think ExPatBrit is at all against YOU personally, but perhaps the policy that placed you over there in the first place.

      • 0 avatar
        raph

        @ WRohrl – you hit the nail on the head – Its not the troops, its the policy.

      • 0 avatar
        Lucky Ducky

        I’m an Iraq vet. You do not speak for me, el scotto. FYVM.

        And let me just say that, as a vet, I am humiliated every time one of my fellows uses his military service as an excuse to be a douche nozzle.

      • 0 avatar
        ras815

        Most reasonably intelligent men and women who have served are capable of recognizing the distinction between critiquing policy and critiquing the troops. Some, clearly, are not.

        Sadly, you were not risking your life to fight for anyone’s “freedom”, despite what your superiors instructed you to believe. You were fighting to fluff the coffers of the military industry, which has profited immensely from our unnecessary and vastly corrupt and wasteful incursions into Afghanistan and Iraq. Neither country’s citizenry is better off than when we started, nor are we any safer. We’re only countless trillions and far too many innocent lives poorer.

    • 0 avatar
      el scotto

      WRohrl Your family knew what you did for a living. You signed a contract at sometime; if you got orders you went. I know that’s mind-boggling to some; but if you get orders you go. Great, indifferent, bad? It doesn’t really matter in the end. Yes, ExPatBrit could’ve worded it better.

      • 0 avatar
        racer-esq.

        I’m sure the engineers at Tesla and Fisker would tell you FYVM. Nobody is going to fault you for being in the military to get experience and education and help your family. It’s the best opportunity this country offers young people. But that doesn’t change the fact that Iraq II was an absolute waste, and Afghanistan should have been an in-and-out mission instead of a decade long mission to out-clusterf*ck the Soviets. The trillions that has been, and will be, wasted with those conflicts makes Tesla and Fisker an insignificant drop in the bucket.

        Yes, people have died, but that does not put the massive waste involved in Iraq and Afghanistan beyond critique. If a test drivers died in Fiskers would that put Fisker beyond critique?

        There are several Teslas and Fiskers in my parking garage. It is bad ass that there are new car companies making new cars. ExPat is right, there is much worse waste, fraud and abuse than that.

      • 0 avatar
        joeaverage

        racer-esq.: And what gets me excited is that these are AMERICAN car companies making cars in the USA where we need the jobs obviously. We can hope the best for these guys or we can buy our electric cars from the Chinese in a few years.

  • avatar
    Adamatari

    The fact that Tesla has gotten this far, when new car companies of ANY sort typically implode fatally within short order, is very impressive. And yes, it’s going to cost a lot to develop alternatives to burning oil and coal forever. But it’s going to cost a hell of a lot more to hit the wall with a fossil fuel based economy as the resources get scarce and competition for them gets much more heated, which is already noticeably happening with oil.

    So, sure, let’s not bother investing in bridging the gap between a fossil fuel economy and a renewable economy. That will just guarantee the decline of the US. The US government has traditionally invested heavily in new tech, through things like DARPA, NASA, etc. But sure, why not stop now and guarantee that someone else overtakes us?

    • 0 avatar
      alf42

      There’s plenty of available oil and natural gas in the US that is not being accessed. The cheap availability of fossil fuels is what drives our economy. Limiting the supply of energy is what is sure to bring about the decline you describe (which is happening now).

      When we can get a Boeing 747 in the air with “renewable” energy, come talk to me.

      • 0 avatar
        jmo

        Gas turbines can run on any flammable liquid.

      • 0 avatar

        “When we can get a Boeing 747 in the air with “renewable” energy, come talk to me.”

        Alf, it needn’t be an all or nothing proposition. The key is to slowly wean ourselves off fossil fuels. Slowly increase wind and solar energy production and reduce the amount of coal and natgas burned. Slowly increase the number of electric vehicles or hybrids on the road thus reducing the amount of fossil fuels burned by automobiles. Anyone with basic understanding of science knows that fossil fuel supply is finite. With the money wasted ONE DAY on the Iraq war, we could build 70 3.5MW wind turbines, providing free electricity to 120,000 American families. Now include the cost from when the war began in 2003 and also include the Afgan war and you get the idea.

        According to voltstats.net, the 1800 registered volt buyers had logged 11 million pure EV miles. Considering 14% of US electricity is derived from renewable sources, about 1.5M of those miles were from non polluting energy sources. Multiply those numbers by twelve get the estimate for all volts currently on the road.

        We don’t have a magic solution to completely replace fossil fuels overnight nor can we find one. What is going to work is a combination of several energy sources complementing each other.

      • 0 avatar
        joeaverage

        So continue to run the military on the fossil fuels b/c we have no alternatives, the airlines industry and shipping industry too – and encourage the battery cars to become a larger portion of the commuter fleet. If we don’t then we’re wasting millions of barrels of oil or CF of nat gas that won’t be there later to operate the military or airlines or applications where a Nissan leaf or Focus EV isn’t appropriate.

        Understand I’m not saying we ought to outlaw anyone’s free choices but nothing wrong with simple and easy encouragements like free HOV lane access or up front parking for EVs. You want to drive a 1978 Newport that gets something south of 15 mpg. Go for it. Sure economics will take care of the thirsty vehicles eventually but nothing wrong with having matured EV technology to take their place early.

  • avatar
    monomille

    I had never seen a Tesla or Fisker until today but this morning I saw a Fisker Karma (4 seater) up close at a mall. It is huge! It seems an odd vehicle to choose for battery power at the current state of development of same.

  • avatar
    philadlj

    I like my politics and cars like I like my chocolate and garlic…SEPARATE.

  • avatar
    Eric 0

    There is nothing new about the Department of Energy acting like a venture capitalist and seeding new high risk transformative technology. Although Defense is in it’s name, DARPA is a DOE administered and funded program. There is like no new technology produced by this country that can’t trace it’s lineage, or vital contents to DARPA funded programs. The internet, GPS, carbon fiber, these are just the easy ones I don’t need to do research to name. People who say they don’t think government should support private enterprise have no concept of how much inovation is supported by government programs. Usually very quietly. The DOE loves supporting high risk potentially game changing inovation. It’s what they do. It is the very best money our government spends.
    I challenge anyone to name any significant major new piece of American technology that does not descend from or incorporate technology originally funded by the federal government between now and say…1945. I can’t.

    • 0 avatar

      DARPA is part of the government’s constitutional role of providing for defense. All of the “investments” that have spun off commercially successful products that guys like you like to point out ultimately have to do with defense. Also, all of those technologies were developed into practical products by the private sector.

      • 0 avatar
        Eric 0

        Actually, DARPA is much more than that, and as I said actually is part of the DOE. The political immunity of anything defense related has pushed a huge amount of basic scientific and technical research funding under the umbrella of DARPA. It is a dominant financial force at all of the technical and scientific universities. Much of the research that they fund is so basic that it has no immediate defense application, because it is so advanced that it has no immediate application of any kind. There is nothing wrong with this. It is the kind of thing government is supposed to fund. Rest assured, the governments of China, Russia, Germany, and Japan are all doing the same thing.
        Additionally, The sheer existence of Tesla strengthens our hand when dealing with the major oil exporting countries today. Electric cars describe a plausible future where a significant portion of our transportation can be powered by coal and natural gas, which we have a lot of, rather than oil, which we don’t and have to buy from countries whose interests are not always aligned with ours.

      • 0 avatar
        joeaverage

        We fund a bit of industry here or there or the other countries are going to eat our lunch. If the corporate conservatives can do it better, please – take the lead. I suspect most of those guys are taking the “safe” route and milking their existing cashcows instead. The EV companies are the leaders right now as far as I’m concerned.

  • avatar
    tbone33

    No one should be surprised that most cutting edge tech companies fail. Of course when they succeed you develop the computer, the internet, or cheap and clean energy source (hopefully), which sustains the economy for decades.

    If this issue is to be looked at rationally one needs to perform a long-term cost-benefit analysis complete with statistical likelihoods, standard deviations, and historical models. This is politics though, so one party will tout the successes while the other touts the failures.

    • 0 avatar
      corntrollio

      Right, that’s why some of the criticism here is unwarranted, and most of the poorly written arguments within this comment section are flawed. As Deadweight said:

      “3 out of 56 DOE loans for green energy went bad. 2 were small defaults, and 1 was large (Solyndra).”

      That’s actually an excellent track record for anyone who actually knows how venture capital works. As a venture capitalist, you expect roughly 7 out of 10 investments to fail miserably, but you keep a portfolio so that the 3 out of 10 that do quite well make you an overall profit.

      Of course, people who want to talk about politics and don’t understand venture capital will, as tbone33 said, point out failures and successes without looking at the big picture.

      The irony is that Mitt Romney actually does understand how venture capital works and is being quite disingenuous in pretending that he doesn’t.

  • avatar
    Chocolatedeath

    So why doesnt Ford just buy them out and sell their products as Lincolns. Oh thats right no one would like that either.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      That is one of few ways that Ford could interest me in a Lincoln.

      I’m a tech buyer who likes to be comfortable – and my 10 year old Escape with A/C and leather seats is plenty comfortable, and cost about 10% what a new Lincoln costs.

    • 0 avatar
      joeaverage

      I figure that might be what happens to Tesla in the long run – Toyota will buy them and they’ll become part of the Lexus brand. I’d be happy if Ford or any other brand bought them – or Tesla stayed independent. I don’t care. They are building interesting products right here in the USA with American labor and that’s a big deal. Other companies might have designed it here and had it manufactured in China – looking at you Apple.

  • avatar
    Eric 0

    I don’t think Elon wants to sell.

  • avatar
    Darkhorse

    Why are we even discussing this? Tesla and Fisker make cars for the Hollywood and Silicon Valley elite. If they run out of battery, they can just call their limo. For 99% of US drivers these cars are worthless even if they were free.

    • 0 avatar
      Virgil Hilts

      I saw a Karma on the highway for the first time yesterday, on the I-5 in Orange County.

      It was red and it was gorgeous.

      The driver was blocking the left lane and talking on his cell phone.

  • avatar

    “You put $90 billion into green energy,” Romney said. “I’m all for green energy but you could have hired two million teachers with that money.”

    What is more likely to produce gains in energy efficiency, throwing government money at favored technologies (a lot of which has gone to cronies of the current administration) or better science and math teachers?

    • 0 avatar
      Dan

      Considering the stagnant results of the last 30 years of exponentially increasing public school spending, I figure scrunching up your eyes and wishing really hard would be at least as effective as either.

      I recall during the debate last night that Obama used the example of a public school that was forced to use a 10 year old textbook.

      When I went to public school, back when the world was sane and putting one kid through K-12 didn’t cost $175,000, I was issued books 20 to 30 years old and we did just fine. Algebra I hasn’t changed much.

      • 0 avatar
        joeaverage

        Exactly. Good points.

        We also didn’t have $10K of technology in the grade school classrooms that may or may not be wisely incorporated into the classroom instruction plan. Don’t get me wrong – I like the colorful classrooms with nice things but despite being a tech guy at work, I’m not sure that buying all that technology for a little child is worthwhile. Based on what my child is telling me and what I’ve seen, the computers and Promethean screen are simply toys that will be out of date very quickly and need replacement. Slow down on book replacement, don’t automatically subscribe to all these teaching “services” and focus more on the material than the gee-whiz content deliver gadgets.

        How about using free software (Linux, Drupal, Joomla, Wiki) have the state’s teachers all responsible for assembling teaching plans, examples, and so forth – collaborating and checking each other’s work and then fine tuning it and then use these materials statewide? Use the very same review process and collaboration methods that Wikipedia and KDE bugtracker for two examples use to create teaching materials, lesson plans, examples, gather pictures, diagrams and videos…

        Don’t think I’m a cranky conservative – just think there is always room for improvement in any organization and we humans have some amazing free technology available to us today.

  • avatar
    Beerboy12

    Block out the political noise, close your mouths and open your ears, Elon Musk is the one man we should all be listening to.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      Musk is certainly a more impressive businessman than Romney. Musk has built 2.5 world-changing businesses. Romney worked for a private equity firm.
      Even if you worship 1%’ers on principle, Musk wins. If you’re a geek who has grander ambitions than money, Musk still wins.

      (Personally, I’m impressed by Musk – but I recognize that the luck.of being in the right place at the right time was a big factor in his success.)

  • avatar
    indi500fan

    My buddies daughter put down 5 grand on a Tesla SUV that won’t even be mfg until 2014. Who says PT Barnum is dead?

  • avatar
    Conslaw

    Tesla raising money in capital markets is capitalism at its best. Tesla needs money to expand its business. Tesla explains its plan to would-be investors. Investors put up the money and take the risk to earn a profit down the road.

  • avatar
    ExPatBrit

    First of all I did not disparage US troops, but I still believe the Iraq and Afghanistan ventures were poorly planned and an incredibly stupid idea. Apart from Saddam we just created an Iran ally.

    Nothing new here.

    In the 1000 year old village that I was born in over 50% of enlisted and commissioned men died in WW1. There is cenotaph in the middle of the village.

    My uncle went down with HMS Hood. My grandfather fought in Africa in WW2 and my dad was in the Royal Navy in Korea.

    Sudan, Gallipoli, Somme , Paschendale, the unbelievable slaughter of US soldiers on the morning of armistice day so a few higher ups could grab some medals.

    Greece, Norway, Market Garden etc.

    These were also stupid, and nowadays we recognize them as pure hubris.

    If you are a member of the US forces, I want to have the best weapons money can buy but also keep you safe and not squander your incredible talents.

    If that makes me unpatriotic so be it.

  • avatar
    Ion

    I saw Tesla’s problems producing cars on a small scale in what little I saw of Revenge Of The Electric Car. I can’t imagine them being any better on a large scale.

  • avatar
    robc123

    Total losers.

    one was a fraud in a oversaturated market, the others are not going to be solvent as the cost to entry is too high and they are answering the question with a hidden polluter (lith/nicad batteries made in china from nickel/lith overseas shipped here and they die in a couple yrs).

    Whats a simple thing to do?
    1. 70mpg or 2500lbs max for all consumer vehicles- immediately or triple registration costs.
    2. kill 1 lane and dedicate it to motorcycle or other 2 wheeled vehicles in every state in winter it goes back.
    3. 70mpg and or 2500lbs max for every new car- immediately.
    4. or a car that runs on nat gas.
    5. buy all the miatas you can find= profit.

    All this 30mpg by 2020 is bs, cars in the 70s were doing 40 all day.

    Yes, safety adds weight, but if all the cars are light or mopeds……

    • 0 avatar
      joeaverage

      There is a garage DIY guy in Washington state or Vancouver that built a hybrid turbo diesel from a VW Polo TDI engine and a Honda Insight hybrid. The car gets over 100 mpg in real world driving.

      It’s totally possible.

      Also note that the Jetta wagon TDI gets about 48 mpg now, today. And in Europe you can buy the VW Polo TDI which is similar in size to the 80s VW Rabbit we bought here in the USA and that Polo gets about 70-75 mpg driven conservatively.

      Wanna encourage folks to drive more frugal cars? Tax fuel to pay for the wars and the gov’t debt. If there isn’t a citizen led revolution people will adjust their driving habits once the new recession recedes enough that they could buy something more frugal. ;)

      When gasoline topped $4 per gallon I could tell you how much it cost to drive to work each day, how much it cost to drive to the grocery store, take my kids to scouts or soccer or drive to the hardware store b/c suddenly I cared alot about the cost of driving around.

  • avatar
    bill mcgee

    I saw a Tesla at the boutique ” dealership ” in the Houston Galleria shopping mall . Quite attractive actually and the interior at least looks a cut above the Fisker Karma’s interior which I ‘ve only seen in magazines , though I have spotted Karmas on the road twice here – may have been the same car as both times it was a white color . I always thought the green jobs expenditure was a waste of money , but yes , prefer that to the trillions wasted on dumbass George W’s wars which accomplished nothing , except in Iraq allowing him to fight the old man’s battles . As far as our two dysfunctional political parties and the four third rate out-of-touch idiots on the ticket I don’t see how anyone can defend them . I’m voting for the Libertarian , whoever he is .

  • avatar
    early

    Derek, politics must be mighty boring up there in the north country since you insist on political carpet bagging down here in the states. Why don’t you write an article about Quebec sovereignty that (barely) has to do with the automotive industry.

  • avatar
    redav

    Fiskar IS a loser. I can’t come to any other conclusion about it.

    Tesla is still up in the air for now.

  • avatar
    oldyak

    there is a time when governments need to support developing technologies.It has been done and will be done for years to come.
    the timing just wasn’t right…how can you create green jobs when the green isn’t there.
    No market in an economy with 8.2% unemployment and most working people just getting by and in no position to support it.
    With a strong economy there are plenty of buyers for the Tesla and Volt.
    In this current one..not so much.

  • avatar
    skor

    I’ve been saying for a long time that pure electrics will never be anything but a small niche product. My opinion is based on the laws of chemistry and physics. Rmoney, on the other hand, and his ilk, base their opinions on cash and politics, not reason or science. Even if the electric car were a viable alternative to ICE powered cars, Mittens would be against it. In Willard’s world their can only be big oil, or big coal….everything else being a hippie pipe dream, or godless communism.

    As for electric cars, I would buy one in a heartbeat if they could match only 75% of the capabilities of an ICE powered car. Fact is that’s never going to happen. Electrics will never be practical until someone devises a method for powering such vehicles via induction on wired arterial roadways. That’s the true future of electrics: Roadways wired for power, and induction for transferring that power to the vehicle’s motor.

    • 0 avatar
      CelticPete

      That’s ridiculous. If the free market switched to Natural gas cars or Hydrogen (via nuclear power and heat electrolysis) Romney would be perfectly happy..

      Romney is saying he doesn’t want the government picking the winners or losers. At best its crony capitalism – and its worst it tyranny.

      • 0 avatar
        skor

        Even if the EV were a viable alternative to ICE engines, Romney would be opposed. Romney is big oil’s whore, I can’t make it any plainer than that.

      • 0 avatar
        thornmark

        Skor and his ilk have opinions w/o facts, that much is apparent.

        Romney’s is a principled stand, Obama’s reeks of cronyism. After all, most of O’s failed picks were contributors to his campaign and the “science” was dubious at best.

  • avatar
    shaker

    The whole point of the Tesla “experiment” was 1. To produce sporty, beautiful cars with useable range and outstanding performance; these would serve to establish the company and the technology to: 2. Produce a much more affordable, “mainstream” EV that could (potentially) be purchased by many more people who could work an EV into their personal transportation requirements. This would reduce our reliance on oil (especially foreign stuff) for basic consumer transportation, and allow the strategic oil reserve to be saved for exactly that – as a “buffer” for the eventuality of a Mideast supply disruption, instead of a “political device” to be tapped into when the price gets too high.
    If there’s an “ulterior motive” for the DOE, it’s energy security, and drilling everywhere in US territory is not the only answer – a mufti-faceted approach that focuses on the supply AND the demand side only makes sense.

    There’s political poison in these discussions that always seems to forget that we shouldn’t be fighting wars all over the world to assure access to cheap fossil fuels, when the answer is so much cheaper and simpler: reduce the demand wherever possible.

    People who buy and use EV’s for daily transportation will help increase the supply of oil, stabilize the price, and increase the security of the country by ensuring that the Strategic Oil Reserve is kept for defense purposes, at least until the DOD works out an alternate energy supply chain on their own.

    Edit: The US Government *could* have bought up say, the bankrupted makers of the Think! city car, and started their own company – then started selling subsidized cars at bargain-basement prices, thus undercutting the market (who wouldn’t buy a $5000-dollar electric city car?) – but that wouldn’t be very capitalistic, would it. So they try to work “within the system”, and people cry foul. Can’t please everyone, I guess.

    Edit-edit: Look at the supply shortage in California right now- refinery problems are causing the price to push to $5.00/gal, and people can’t even get gas at that price – despite California’s “aggressive” policies encouraging EV adoption, it isn’t fast enough. Look to this example as what could happen *nationwide” if a supply disruption happens from the Middle East.

    • 0 avatar
      joeaverage

      Have you looked at the Think! cars? They were not capable of competing on American roads. I’m a big supporter of EVs but the Think! was a toy unless a person only needed to go a very short distance.

      You want the gov’t to bring forward EVs – they should have bought the patents to the NiMH battery that the Rav4EV 1.0 had and open-sourced them. Use the design at no cost but you are required (like Linux) to return any improvements to the technology to the public. We all advance together with a one time gov’t purchase. Suddenly everyone could sell an EV.

  • avatar
    Eric 0

    I also think many of you will change your tune when you’ve driven one. I’ve posted before about the addictive feeling of instant linear torque. I drive an E39 M5 that I am seriously considering replacing with a Tesla S in another year or so. Also, for people who complain about the price, Tesla has been much smarter than the american’s or even the japanese by following the German model of technical development, where a high margin flagship luxury car is used as a development platform for all of the new technology that will filter down through the line over several years. BMW’s schedule goes 7,5,3,1. Audi’s A8, A6, A5, A4. This is a tried and true method for amortizing the cost of developing new technology over a model range. The Model S is slotted in between the 5 series/A6/E class and the the 7 series/A8. Tesla is attempting to copy Audi’s spectacular success at copying BMWs hugely successful development schedule. The Chevy Volt should have been a Cadillac, and could have been a real competitor in that segment.


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