Conservative Group, Liberal Bloggers Trade Shots Over Elon Musk’s Taxpayer Subsidies

A conservative advocacy group has a special name for liberal bloggers who have rushed in to defend the business practices of Elon Musk, the multibillionaire co-founder of taxpayer-funded renewable energy and space technology companies. It calls them “stoogers.”

Despite “mounting evidence of cronyism by his crumbling empire, Elon Musk has tapped stooge-like left-wing bloggers to come to his defense,” according to a press release from Citizens for the Republic, a grassroots conservative group based in Alexandria, Virginia.

The group bitingly defines a “stooger” as “a liberal person … living in their basement spewing left-wing prevarications and slander via blogs, which few read.”

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Tesla jobs in Nevada fewer than projected

CARSON CITY – The number of workers at Tesla’s giant battery factory in northern Nevada has only reached about one-fifth the level the electric car company had projected would be in place by the end of this year.

An analysis presented to state lawmakers before they approved a $1.3 billion tax inventive to lure Tesla to Nevada in September 2014 projected employment would reach 1,700 at the plant by the end of 2016.

But an independent audit conducted by Grant Thornton released on Monday shows only 331 jobs have materialized so far at the industrial park east of Sparks.

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Tesla Recalls Charging Adapters Due to Fears They’ll Overheat

Tesla Motors announced on Tuesday that it was voluntarily recalling 7,000 accessory charging adapters after receiving two reports of the devices overheating.

The affected adapters are the NEMA 14-30, 10-30, and 6-50. None of them come standard with a Tesla, meaning that only a few customers who purchased the devices, which were designed by Tesla and produced by a supplier, are subject to the recall. There have only been documented cases of the first adapter, the NEMA 14-30, overheating, but Tesla wants to pull the entire line to be safe, as they share “common elements.”.

“These are the only two such incidents that we know of anywhere in the world and neither resulted in any injuries or property damage,” Tesla said in an email to customers, explaining that the company learned of the malfunctions in November. “However, out of an abundance of caution, we’re replacing NEMA 14-30, 10-30 and 6-50 adapters that were made years ago by our original supplier.”

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Trump Vs. Tesla

If it’s really the case, as Tenneco’s chief technologist says, that internal combustion (gasoline and/or diesel) engine cars are now or will very soon be cleaner than even the best battery-electric scenario, companies who have put all of their eggs in the battery-electric basket need to prepare for legislative headwinds:

Subsidies: At best, dramatically reduced. More likely, abolished ASAP.

Penalties: Electric cars to be taxed more than gasoline cars, potentially banned outright.

Tesla emptied all its chambers in the third quarter of 2016 anticipating a Hillary Clinton win that may have yielded more subsidies, government loans or other legislative preferences. That would have papered over the bleak outlook for the fourth quarter of 2016 and all of 2017. Instead, the legislative cover for which Tesla had planned now looks like a potential legislative nightmare.

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Will Tesla Burn Through Its Remaining Cash?

A $9 million hedge fund concluded that Tesla Motors — in which I have no financial interest — will burn through its cash. The key assumption underlying that conclusion is that if the company charges $35,000 for its Model 3, Tesla will lose so much money that its cash will go up in flames.

Should you flee its shares? They look risky to me.

I will update this post should Tesla respond to my request for comment.

Before getting into Tesla’s cash forecast, let’s take a look at a concept I wrote about eight years ago — The Value Cycle — the idea that in order to sustain superior performance, a company must keep turning the strategy wheel through three distinct processes.

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State Funded Tesla-SolarCity Factory Slips Into Outright Corruption

Tesla’s merger with solar panel provider SolarCity is getting off to a rocky start as the merged company must now deal with corruption charges plaguing one of its solar panel facilities in New York.

Contractors working on a nearly $1 billion ($900 million) project in Buffalo haven’t been paid for work they started in July – the lack of cash has forced the state to lay-off workers. Tesla-SolarCity hopes to use the completed facility as a one-stop shop to produce solar panels, battery chargers, and electric vehicles.

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Tesla’s December To Remember, And More Model 3 Problems

II. When can we take Elon Musk’s promises seriously?

A number of my critics dislike it when I say Elon Musk or Tesla has “promised” something.

No, they say, Musk makes no promises. Rather, he is simply makes forecasts, and forecasts can be wrong.

Or, they say, Musk’s remarks are in the nature of a pep talk to rally the troops even though he knows (and presumably we should too) that his vision cannot be achieved within the time frame he indicates.

So, when can we rely on what Musk says?

This question of whether and when we can rely on statements from Tesla’s CEO came into particularly sharp focus with last week’s article, Tesla’s Model 3 Mess Has Become Much Messier.

Last May, when Tesla announced it was accelerating production of the Model 3 (and immediately raised $1.7 billion in equity on the heels of that announcement), Musk guided for production of 100,000 to 200,000 Model 3 cars in 2017.

Did he really mean it when he said it? Does he still mean it today?

Let’s all review exactly what Musk said during the May 4, 2016, conference call, understanding that, once we have finished reading, the question on the floor is:

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