The impulse seems to be mainly driven by raw cultural aesthetics: a worship of individuals like Musk and Bezos as nimble innovators disrupting sclerotic government. All of which ignores both the dark side of unbound private sector visionaries and the practical reality that the government could attract exciting and innovative talent if, again, it was just willing to pay for it.
The biggest reason human beings have to go into space remains frivolous and impractical in the best and most glorious way: Because it’s there.
Read more "The embarrassing truth about SpaceX"
Shoving that reasoning into a private sector framework is always going to be an odd fit.
The chief technology officer of a technology supplier that enables Tesla’s semi-autonomous Autopilot driving technology believes the carmaker is pushing the safety envelope too far.
“It is not designed to cover all possible crash situations in a safe manner,” Amnon Shashua, CTO and executive chairman at Israel-based Mobileye NV, told Reuters Wednesday.
Shashua’s comments came the same day a second fatal accident was revealed through a lawsuit filed against Tesla by the father of a man allegedly driving a Model S with the Autopilot engaged.
Read more "Autopilot tech supplier fears Tesla is pushing safety envelope too far"
Yes, says Axiom Capital’s Gordon Johnson who writes that a Senate investigation into solar company tax incentives could derail Solar City’s (SCTY) merger with Tesla Motors (TSLA). He cites this Wall Street Journal article on the investigation by Brody Mullins, Ianthe Jeanne Dugan, and Richard Rubin, which details why it might be a problem: In […]
Read more "Tesla Motors: Will Senate Solar Investigation Put SolarCity Acquisition at Risk?"
The takeaway from the last 10 months in the solar industry should be that the long-term picture is bright, but there’ll be a lot of bumps along the way. Right now, the bumps will be in utility-scale solar and changing trends in the residential solar market. But by 2019 the market will be back to growth across the board.
Investors will want to stick to solar companies with solid balance sheets and technology differentiation. Long term, those are the companies that are going to win, even if it takes a few more years to sort out the industry’s winners and losers.
Read more "Solar Energy Faces a Rocky Road Ahead"
Lithium, the key component found in battery packs, is necessary to propel an electric vehicle. It’s the lifeblood of the vehicle, so to speak. The problem, however, is that lithium miners are having a hard time meeting the demand. And what is available is becoming stunning expensive.
Since the middle of 2015, lithium prices have jumped about 200%, reaching $20,000 per metric ton. And as lucrative as it’s become (and it will likely remain at those prices), it’s not as if the industry can easily ramp up output. Indeed, CEO Elon Musk has already commented “we would basically need to absorb the entire world’s lithium-ion production.”
More sources are being found and developed, but the math of the supply/demand dynamic is concerning. Battery prices could soar. Granted, they’ll soar for all EV companies, but Tesla Motors is the most vulnerable.
Read more "Tesla Motors Inc – How Much Worse Could It Get? (TSLA)"
Tesla is already the subject of a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation into whether it breached securities laws by failing to disclose the Florida crash prior to selling $2 billion worth of shares. The January crash would seemingly raise similar concerns.
With Tesla, still a minnow in the global auto market, soon facing new competition from deep-pocketed rivals including General Motors’ Chevy Bolt, its brand reputation has never been more important. The longer questions linger about the safety of its vehicles, and the company’s willingness to discuss potential issues, the more that reputation is put at risk.
Read more "China Crash Raises Fresh Questions About Tesla’s Disclosures"
“SolarCity is in dire need of cash. It’s already gotten two bridge loans from Tesla and it needs this deal to go through,” said Gordon Johnson, an Axiom senior analyst, told Real Money this week. Axiom, in its June 28 report on SolarCity, estimated the company wasquickly burning through its cash and would likely fall to near zero, or $1.4 million, by the fourth quarter. As a result, some Wall Street watchers have been whispering the “bankruptcy” word as it relates to SolarCity.
Read more "2 Reasons SolarCity May Be Headed for a Power Failure"