Rapidly rising prices aren’t good for everyone though.
“The potential losers in this situation are folks who live locally and work locally, but aren’t making the higher wages and may not be able to afford the higher prices,” said Blomquist.
Read more "How Tesla caused home prices to soar in this Nevada town"
A Tesla Model S caught fire during a test drive in France on Monday.
The vehicle supposedly made a loud noise and sent a warning on the dashboard that there was a problem with charging, Electrek reports. The Tesla TSLA -1.87% employee then told the driver to pull the car over and had all passengers exit the vehicle.
Read more "A Tesla Model S Caught Fire During a Test Drive in France"
Musk’s purchase of the so-called “solar bonds” comes after money-losing SolarCity last week said it would cut operating costs to bring expenses in line with its reduced solar installation outlook.
SolarCity CEO Lyndon Rive and Chief Technology Officer Peter Rive are each buying another $17.5 million of the $124 million offer, according to the SolarCity filing.
Read more "Tesla’s Elon Musk Buying Over Half of SolarCity Bond Offer"
Yet despite all the public celebration, both Solyndra and Tesla stand as warnings of the dangers in deputizing bureaucrats to play bankers and venture capitalists. In both loans, the government walked away laughably undercompensated for the risk it accepted in the startup companies. In fact, the Tesla deal was arguably far more costly for America than the Solyndra fiasco.
Solyndra exposed the first way the taxpayer could lose out. The traditional advantage of making a loan (as opposed to buying stock in a company) is that lenders often get paid something even when the borrowing company fails, because they hold collateral. Solyndra’s bankruptcy revealed the ephemeral value of the government’s collateral. Taxpayers have yet to recover a penny from the company.
Read more "Tesla Is Worse Than Solyndra"
The slippery slope of a debt-filled company
SolarCity’s value quickly evaporates and even goes negative if we just discount the company’s cash flows at an appropriate discount rate. And I would argue that the assumptions that go into the current NPV calculation are too aggressive, and the 8% discount rate is also too low.
It looks like SolarCity is desperate for cash, and the only way investors are going to give it to them is by raising the cost. That’s a slippery slope for any solar company.
This is a growing problem for SolarCity, and will become a problem for Tesla Motors if it acquires the solar installer. Debt is fuel for SolarCity’s business, and the cost of fuel is going up big time.
Read more "SolarCity Has a Big Problem On Its Hands"
NASA has been studying the pyschological effects of automation for decades, and thus may have something to teach Tesla, notes Scientific American.
“News flash: cars in 2017 equal airplanes in 1983,” Stephen Casner—a research psychologist at NASA’s Human Systems Integration Division—told the magazine.
For the public at large, the name “Autopilot” seems to imply a similarity to the automated systems that help fly planes, although the capabilities of the Tesla system are much more limited.
Read more "Why NASA thinks the Tesla Autopilot is a bad idea"
The problem for Tesla, and anyone who bid up its stock Tuesday afternoon, is that it has already pushed investors’ horizons out so far, in the interest of raising more capital, that even going beyond “ludicrous speed” on its flagship car doesn’t get pulses racing. If your CEO has spent months and months talking about a new mass-market vehicle, home batteries, buying SolarCity, electric trucks and robo-taxis, then cutting that zero-to-60 lag by 3 tenths of a second seems rather humdrum.
Read more "Tesla has faster cars, but we were promised Jetpacks"