Apple eyes former naval base in California to test 'Project Titan' self-driving car - report

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  • Reply 81 of 145
    tmaytmay Posts: 3,838member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by quinney View Post





    They are still working with Panasonic. They are, together, doing a lot of r&d on battery improvements. For example, they recently increased the capacity of their largest battery from 85kwh to 90kwh, without making it any bigger. I think this is the type of improvement we are likely to see. It is possible there will be some miraculous breakthrough, but

    steady incremental improvements are certain. The fact that Tesla now has several years of experience with high

    capacity automobile batteries is an asset that should not be ignored. Other car makers don't have the data.

    Likely all of the larger manufacturing companies have data on large battery arrays. All they have to do is acquire a Tesla and they have a mule. Elon is launching an EV industry expansion, but Tesla likely won't be anywhere near the volume producer in a decade, not does it need to be. 

  • Reply 82 of 145
    solipsismysolipsismy Posts: 5,099member
    Gasoline provides much more energy in comparison to the best of the existing Li-ion batteries and there would have to be a major breakthrough to be more competitive and efficient.

    Your comment seems woefully incomplete to be useful.

    More energy in comparison to what? A fully charged battery for a given volume? For a given weight? Are the motors and other components needed for the different types of power generation a factor in that comparison? Does that consider the energy costs of having to pull oil from the ground, ship it, have it refined into gasoline, shipped to the pump, etc., as compared to the average cost of that oil, coal, hydro, solar, wind and/or nuclear also being used to create electricity which is then pushed across a grid with varying loss along the way? What if you live in a grid area that is unclear or hydro? What if you generate your own power at home from solar or wind? (several more questions have been omitted due to the minutia involved in getting)
  • Reply 83 of 145
    quinneyquinney Posts: 2,526member
    tmay wrote: »
    quinney wrote: »
    For all those proclaiming doom for Tesla, here is an article debunking the FUD click bait $4000 loss per car article: http://bgr.com/2015/08/11/tesla-model-s-profits-4000/


    For people who are so sensitive to similar articles trying to make Apple look bad, you are surprisingly gullible in the case of Tesla. Try to understand their long term business plan and you might find that they are executing it very well indeed. Also, if Apple does eventually build a mass market vehicle, they will need a battery supplier. You may need to prepare yourselves emotionally for the likelihood that the battery supplier will be Tesla.
    Going to BGR for journalistic excellence are we.

    Tesla is wise to continue investing into production facilities in an attempt to scale production. That is likely considered a sunk cost, and it is likely that R&D is as well. As long as investors keep supporting that, Tesla is in good shape for the long run.

    So then there are BOM, and separately, battery cost, plus assembly and it is likely that Tesla is still losing money per unit, but paring that loss down as they gain experience, increase volume and add lower priced models. This is what investors are keeping an eye on<span style="line-height:1.4em;">.</span>


    In essence, Elon knows that he has to get the battery cost down, hence the separate partnership with Panasonic to create a battery manufacturing facility east of Reno, NV. That partnership has to sell lower cost batteries to other builders, and other industries, in order to scale production and achieve those cost targets. All of this seems doable, but I would be surprised if they hit breakeven for production battery by 2020. Even so, I expect the partnership to ship batteries to Tesla, and others, as soon as production starts to ramp.

    I believe both Tesla and Panasonic will be successful, given time and investor patience, but it will likely be the bigger automobile companies like Toyota will end up building electric vehicles in high volumes.

    I linked to the article because it provided a concise explanation of how the Reuters article was deliberately misleading. It wasn't an appeal to authority argument.

    Tesla is not losing money per unit. Their margin is around 25% on Model S. There are many sources for this information, if you don't trust BGR.
  • Reply 84 of 145
    quinneyquinney Posts: 2,526member
    tmay wrote: »
    quinney wrote: »
    They are still working with Panasonic. They are, together, doing a lot of r
    Likely all of the larger manufacturing companies have data on large battery arrays. All they have to do is acquire a Tesla and they have a mule. Elon is launching an EV industry expansion, but Tesla likely won't be anywhere near the volume producer in a decade, not does it need to be. 

    You think a test mule gives the same insight as tens of thousands of cars driving millions of miles in the real world and constantly communicating with the Tesla servers? Ok then.
  • Reply 85 of 145
    tmaytmay Posts: 3,838member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismY View Post





    Your comment seems woefully incomplete to be useful.



    More energy in comparison to what? A fully charged battery for a given volume? For a given weight? Are the motors and other components needed for the different types of power generation a factor in that comparison? Does that consider the energy costs of having to pull oil from the ground, ship it, have it refined into gasoline, shipped to the pump, etc., as compared to the average cost of that oil, coal, hydro, solar, wind and/or nuclear also being used to create electricity which is then pushed across a grid with varying loss along the way? What if you live in a grid area that is unclear or hydro? What if you generate your own power at home from solar or wind?

    People make the mistake of not considering the whole supply chain for fossil fuels, and the inefficiencies of the IC engines/transmissions in comparison to electric motors, regenerative braking, battery charging/discharging, and grid, not to mention IC engine maintenance. They also fail to appreciate the political and environmental costs of fossil fuels.

     

    I find it interesting that PV solar panels are such a great match for electric vehicle charging, creating a potentially very decentralized power generation/storage paradigm for a great many people here in the U.S. Of course, Elon is attempting to exploit this.

  • Reply 86 of 145
    tmaytmay Posts: 3,838member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by quinney View Post





    I linked to the article because it provided a concise explanation of how the Reuters article was deliberately misleading. It wasn't an appeal to authority argument.



    Tesla is not losing money per unit. Their margin is around 25% on Model S. There are many sources for this information, if you don't trust BGR.

    You need to provide those links, not me. That's how it works; you have to defend you position.

  • Reply 87 of 145
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,316member
    solipsismy wrote: »
    Your comment seems woefully incomplete to be useful.

    More energy in comparison to what? A fully charged battery for a given volume? For a given weight? Are the motors and other components needed for the different types of power generation a factor in that comparison? Does that consider the energy costs of having to pull oil from the ground, ship it, have it refined into gasoline, shipped to the pump, etc., as compared to the average cost of that oil, coal, hydro, solar, wind and/or nuclear also being used to create electricity which is then pushed across a grid with varying loss along the way? What if you live in a grid area that is unclear or hydro? What if you generate your own power at home from solar or wind? (several more questions have been omitted due to the minutia involved in getting)

    OK, here is the chart I was looking for:

    Compare energy density of both gas and diesel versus Li-Ion batteries.

    640px-Energy_density.svg.png
  • Reply 88 of 145
    tmaytmay Posts: 3,838member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by quinney View Post





    You think a test mule gives the same insight as tens of thousands of cars driving millions of miles in the real world and constantly communicating with the Tesla servers? Ok then.

    The barrier to entry for EV manufacturers is pretty minimal; Elon gave them the information.

     

    http://www.teslamotors.com/blog/all-our-patent-are-belong-you

     

    Tesla is already providing EV technology to other automotive manufacturers, including Mercedes and Toyota if I'm not mistaken. I'm sure that the battery data will be available to interested parties from the Gigafactory partnership.

  • Reply 89 of 145
    Drones at the ready.....
  • Reply 90 of 145
    tbelltbell Posts: 3,146member
    atlapple wrote: »

    I won't change the narrative. There is NO WAY Apple is making a car. Just like there is NO WAY Apple is going to make a TV. 


    I don't believe Apple is making a TV because there is no profit in it. I do believe Apple is working on a car. The evidence is mounting. Apple's top designers are big car enthusiasts. Apple has hired quite a few car executives. There is not a whole lot of potential high growth markets with potential big profits, but cars represents such an area.
  • Reply 91 of 145

    i would love an Apple connected windshield that could be retro fitted to a number of car models.  not likely though

  • Reply 92 of 145
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,316member
    zklausz wrote: »
    i would love an Apple connected windshield that could be retro fitted to a number of car models.  not likely though

    What?
  • Reply 93 of 145

    The problem with self driving cars is they can't be very much fun to ride in. They drive well below the speed limit. They creep through intersections. The only difference between a self driving car and a blued haired little old lady who can't see over the dashboard is that the self driving car probably doesn't have its turn signal on. Then again... the way it drives, if something breaks,  you can bet it will be the turn signal.

  • Reply 94 of 145
    cjcampbell wrote: »
    The problem with self driving cars is they can't be very much fun to ride in. They drive well below the speed limit. They creep through intersections. The only difference between a self driving car and a blued haired little old lady who can't see over the dashboard is that the self driving car probably doesn't have its turn signal on. Then again... the way it drives, if something breaks,  you can bet it will be the turn signal.

    Oh, really?

    http://www.wired.com/2014/10/audis-self-driving-car-hits-150-mph-f1-track/
  • Reply 95 of 145
    solipsismysolipsismy Posts: 5,099member
    cjcampbell wrote: »
    They drive well below the speed limit.

    You're saying it's impossible for an autonomous vehicle to achieve a given speed limit? :???:
  • Reply 96 of 145
    They're going to build and either partner with someone like Porsche, BMW, VW/Audi or create a new brand like Tesla.


    The buzz about Apple buying Tesla is now really the buzz that Apple will be another Tesla but not just for fans of $100k electric cars.

    If they bought Tesla, they'd be taking on a problem. Tesla is losing a lot of money.

    There's perhaps a more immediate problem: TSLA is ludicrously overvalued already (on top of which you'll have pay a premium to acquire).
  • Reply 97 of 145
    solipsismysolipsismy Posts: 5,099member

    But what's the speed limit of the track? If it's 'as fast as you can go' or if there is a null value thus making the speed limit infinite then his statement of "well below the speed limit" is still accurate. :D
  • Reply 98 of 145
    satchmosatchmo Posts: 2,699member
    cjcampbell wrote: »
    The problem with self driving cars is they can't be very much fun to ride in. They drive well below the speed limit. They creep through intersections. The only difference between a self driving car and a blued haired little old lady who can't see over the dashboard is that the self driving car probably doesn't have its turn signal on. Then again... the way it drives, if something breaks,  you can bet it will be the turn signal.

    Wasn't there some study that said that most traffic snarl ups are accidents due to driver error? And if everyone was driving autonomous cars, you'd actually get to your destination faster.
  • Reply 99 of 145
    quinney wrote: »

    I linked to the article because it provided a concise explanation of how the Reuters article was deliberately misleading. It wasn't an appeal to authority argument.

    Tesla is not losing money per unit. Their margin is around 25% on Model S. There are many sources for this information, if you don't trust BGR.

    I think you may be conflating your love for the vehicle -- and by all accounts, it's a phenomenal vehicle (I have not driven one) -- with wishful thinking on Tesla's financial permanence.

    BGR etc notwithstanding, Tesla is bleeding money by just about every metric imaginable. There's no other way to spin it. Net income is negative, operating margin is negative, EBITDA margin is negative, free cash flow is negative. GAAP or non-GAAP. Moreover, they've just filed to raise $500M via equity issuance in secondary markets, which suggests incredible cash flow pressures. They have a lot of debt already, so increasing that further is not much of an option. (Their gross margin -- i.e., revenue minus cost of good sold is positive at ~23%, but that does not amount to a hill of beans). They will have to ramp up scale substantially to do financially better, but that will not be possible without significant Capex.

    Let me put it this way, at the risk of oversimplifying: Tesla will have to sell many hundreds of thousands of vehicles (my estimate is upwards of 350,000) priced at an average of $80,000 each, in say, 5-7 years, and achieve some of the highest-end margins in the auto business, to justify current valuations. It's certainly possible, but the probabilities are tough.
  • Reply 100 of 145
    A car? It really doesn't seem like Apple's style. Say it ain't so! I think what Apple should do is make a smart purse or man bag! Think about it: "Hey Siri, find my car keys"
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