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TOPIC: Just_Wondering
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"Lots of companies lose money in their growth phase. It was years before Facebook made any money...long enough that man analysts wondered if they ever would."

But they are losing THEIR money, not taxpayer money. Tesla has lost billions outright so far, and much higher when you count in all of the government cash. Total at least $10 billion. Did Facebook lose BILLIONS? I don't think so. You are missing my point entirely, which is that gobs of government cash have kept this company afloat for a decade, with more losses to come. The WSJ, Musk himself, and any serious analysts don't predict profitability until at least 2020, which means billions and billions MORE of losses to come.

"As for the old "You're just burning other fuels" argument, that leaves out hydro, solar, and wind power grid inputs."

There's a good reason to leave them out. In spite of our efforts renewables (aside from hydroelectric, which is old news and while reliable is pretty much maxed out) still don't crack 7%.

Coal 38.1%; Natural gas/Oil 28.3%; Nuclear 19.2% (Total = 85.6%)

Hydroelectric 6.3%; Other renewables 6.7%

All energy is, strictly speaking, nuclear, albeit often from reactions which occurred millions of years ago. But most of our electrical generation comes from existing earthbound potential, whether it be fossil fuel or nuclear.

We're going to be primarily using fossil fuels and nuclear for the rest of this century at least. We will wind down use of fossil fuels for environmental and political reasons, not supply. That's been thoroughly discredited. We could go at least another 500 years based on the fossil fuel reserves we know about, and probably a millennium when you factor in those we don't know about. By that time they will cease to be relevant as energy sources except for niche applications.

Windermere FL
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JW: If this is how Penny feels on The Big Bang Theory?

BT

New Orleans LA
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VA,

Lots of companies lose money in their growth phase. It was years before Facebook made any money...long enough that man analysts wondered if they ever would.

As for the old "You're just burning other fuels" argument, that leaves out hydro, solar, and wind power grid inputs. In fact the main drawbacks of the latter two is a lack of storage potential since they are intermittent (or at best diurnal). In that sense storage batteries are the key to further exploitation of wind and solar resources. And what better place to find large batteries than in electric cars which sit around most of the time plugged into the grid anyway. Finally, all power we use, with the exception of nuclear and geothermal, is technically solar since all carbon based energy derives from plants which are stored light energy, and wind and hydropower are also driven by the sun. If you want to go a step further all energy we use except geothermal is technically nuclear, coming as it does either from earth based fission reactors or electromagnetic spectral radiation from thermonuclear fusion reactions (sunlight).

Wenatchee WA
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I got my $320 million from the WSJ and SEC filings. Musk and investors are still wildly optimistic about a company that has done nothing but eat money.

What would investors do if the government pulled their life support? Musk has billions of personal wealth. He could bankroll Tesla for years. If it ever made its money back I would have no qualms whatsoever about any money he ever made on it. But he doesn't. Probably because he's not stupid.

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Luxury electric car maker Tesla Motors Inc.said its fourth-quarter net loss nearly tripled to $320.4 million as the costs of launching its Model X sport-utility vehicle led to an 11th consecutive quarterly loss.

“I feel very good about things right now,” said Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk in a call after the earnings. Mr. Musk said the company has moved past a difficult period and is set for smoother times. “The last several months have been quite excruciating, really.”

Tesla generated about $179 million in cash from operations, $97 million in general services (mostly used vehicle sales) in the quarter even as capital spending of $411 million dragged down its cash.

Windermere FL
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Btw best I can figure Musk was worth around $300 million in 2004 when he bought into Tesla for $6.35 million.

Tesla's total DIRECT government assistance is difficult to calculate but is estimated to be $4+ billion. This does not account for tax credits to purchasers of the cars.

Ok so to be fair he's made most of his money from other business ventures. He's nevertheless made gobs of it from Tesla, which has a net worth of only around $1.2 billion to show for all of the money dumped into it.

But hey if you think this is ok, fine. This is venturing into politics now, as this is crony capitalism at its finest.

Windermere FL
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i'm not knocking the cars--they're serious eye candy and good tech; i just don't think the target market (über rich and slightly less über rich who can afford the extra $) should have paud less than the car actually cost to build, on my tax dollars.

thatisall.

Bridgewater NJ
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No, they reported $179 million in "positive cash flow from core operations", which I'm sure could be interpreted as a profit by some. But it's not.

Their actual company-wide net was a $320 million loss.

Windermere FL
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Musk was a billionaire before Tesla.

And if you went down to the bottom of the story, Tesla made 179 million in the 4th quarter.

Fullerton CA
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...exactly my point, VA.

Bridgewater NJ
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"on this green earth the cars *weren't* priced $50K higher. i mean...really! if people are gonna buy a luxury "electric" car then they damned well ought to *pay* for it. (and not you and me subsidizing their friggin toy.)"

Well that's a question best posed to those who lament subsidies to wealthy people. Teslas are priced in the same range as brands like Maserati and Lotus. These are not exactly your "Everyman" cars.

So our tax dollars are being used to buy expensive cars for already well-off people and to build charging stations so they can move them around. Billions of dollars into just one company. And the whole shebang has made a billionaire out of Elon Musk. He will have come out ahead no matter what happens to the company.

Windermere FL
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TOPIC: Just Wondering
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