Tesla revises in-house financing plan for Model S buyers

By Shawn Knight · 21 replies
May 3, 2013
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  1. Last month Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced a partnership with two major banks that would make it easier than ever for potential customers to secure financing when purchasing the company’s Model S electric car. The executive used some creative accounting...

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  2. Denxnis

    Denxnis TS Rookie

    Tesla is doing amazing work, I really hope this company does well. My only dislike is the fact that battery technology has yet to evolve enough to keep up with the average person's energy demands (I.e. drive 300 miles without recharging).

    The fact that BBC's Top Gear and New York Times opposed such innovation really shows how narrow minded our society is; people don' t understand that fossil fuels are of limited supply and harm our environment due to the quantities we are dumping into the air.
  3. 9Nails

    9Nails TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,215   +177

    I have no problems with buying a car from Tesla. The cars looks good from the distance I've seen them at, (Never sat in one) and electric fits into my daily routine. It's somewhat of a good argument for Tesla that I burn fists full of cash with gasoline and I'll recover some of that cash by investing the money into the car.

    But, his price is a gimmick. What he's thinking of is total ownership over time and not the check that I'll be writing each month.
  4. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,664   +1,949

    All this stuff ends up dead in the water when it gets to my country (Ireland). They will triple the price like they always do, so it is completely inaccessible to those who is looking to save money. That's why there are no electric cars on the road here...
  5. Denxnis,

    Sorry to break it to you, this "Electric" car is a fossil fuel powered automobile. And I am not even talking about the materials, merely the energy stored in the battery. You are merely moving the emissions from local (at the tailpipe) to far upstream at the powerplants.

    And it's not that "battery technology has yet to evolve", it is mostly that storage capacity has to increase, but unfortunately so will the weight which requires "fuel to haul it ... and therein lies the rub. These cars should be a simple physics lesson in diminishing returns and thermodynamic laws, but apparently it's not happening.
  6. Hate to break it to you but your kind of wrong. Right now coal makes up I think around 35% average in the US, everything else is NG, Nuclear and renewable energies. And this is the average, in 10 of the states for example, their grids are 90% renewable energy. To add to it, Tesla's super charger network is 100% solar powered.

    That said, even if you had 100% coal powered, it would still be less emissions then a gasoline car over the lifespan of the car.

    As far as your ignorant statement about batteries. Do you know what energy density is? By battery evolution it is talking about improving energy density of batteries. Which means there is no weight increase. We have yet to reach the theoretical limit of lithium ion. So far lithium ion is improving at a rate of 8%-15% per year. Tesla already plans to have a 500 mile battery in the model s 4 years from now. This 500 mile battery will weigh as much as the current 300 mile battery.

    I think you need to do some research and take some real physics lessons.
    Scavengers and Alvaro like this.
  7. Dear Guest ( just above ) ... I am sorry but you couldn't possible embarass yourself more in a single post.

    Wikipedia: Composition of Electricity by Resource (TWh per year 2008) ... for USA ...
    Coal ==== 2133.00 ( Fossil )
    Gas ====== 911.00 ( Fossil )
    Oil ======= 58.00 ( Fossil )
    Nuke ===== 838.00 ( n/a )
    Hydro ==== 282.00 ( Renewable )
    GeoTh ===== 17.00 ( Renewable )
    SolarPV ==== 1.60 ( Renewable )
    SolarTh ==== 0.88 ( Renewable )
    Wind ====== 56.00 ( Renewable )
    Bio/Other = 73.00 ( n/a )
    Do you have any idea just how far off you were? Natural Gas is a fossil fuel, why did you imply otherwise? Electricity comes mostly from fossil fuels, why did you state otherwise? In fact, just what was your clumsy point again?

    That's utter nonsense. The emissions are simply moved upstream. And since electricity transfer is not free, there is resistance in wires and in battery charging and discharging, the case can easily be made that more net energy is expended in a world solely made up of "electric" cars than currently. Now that last part may or may not be acceptable depending on the goal, I.e., we'll spend a little more energy in total to accomplish moving the emissions upstream. But don't make crap up.

    No, that's called dreaming. I didn't say anything about breakthroughs being impossible, but they are not to be factored into daily life or future planning. *If* they happen, *then* we change calculations. Eco-Fraudsters are famous for fudging the numbers and wasting money at every opportunity. So whenever someone says breakthrough, always read the fine print and be very skeptical.

    Certainly possible, but "500 mile battery" is not scientific. It is meaningless. Total miles traveled on a hypothetical battery depends directly on automobile plus cargo total weight, so using your phrase is beyond juvenile, it reeks of childish like the legendary "200 MPG carburetors". Find batteries of the same voltage but larger amp-hours *without* weight increase. And then still be skeptical.

    I don't think so. Now my question to you is how could you possibly post so many egregious errors in a single comment? What's your agenda and do you even realize when you embarrass yourself? Does it bother you?
  8. Scavengers

    Scavengers TS Booster Posts: 110   +21

    I can say with confidence that power plants are not going to have to start boosting output because of electric cars, so the stance that "its still burning fossil fuels" is just really bad. The emissions from power sources will not be changed because of a tiny percentage of electric cars charging up.

    I should also point out that electric transport is miles and miles ahead of where the internal combustion engine started out so giving up on it now because of its current flaws borders on the *****ic.

  9. Scavengers

    Scavengers TS Booster Posts: 110   +21

    Well how bout this. Change a few words and it could be commenting on the internal combustion engines of 100 years ago.

  10. Scavengers,

    I'm not sure what your point is in either post. But regardless of what you say or believe "with confidence", if all other things remain equal ( no other electricity usage declines ), then adding more "electric" cars, even a single one, means that more electricity will be used than was before. Whether or not "boosting output" is needed, whatever that means, remains to be seen. Just don't drift off into fantasyland by implying the cars run for free. They do not. They need electricity.

    That brings this full circle to what I said at first but seems to have twisted someone's panties in a bunch - these "Electric" cars are ( mostly ) Coal-Fired vehicles, period. All those owners and proponents of these cars who act arrogant and superior and insist they are more eco-friendly than us regular mortals can just knock it off right now. They are driving coal-fired vehicles, but their emissions are hidden from plain sight, occurring far upstream at the power plant.

    And I'm not even touching upon the completely separate issue of tax subsidies where our cash goes to jumpstart the industrty, offset the ridiculous high price for the car, not to mention building and running the charging stations.
  11. Scavengers

    Scavengers TS Booster Posts: 110   +21

    Yeah it is true as more and more electric cars come on to the scene eventually we will have to boost output. But if that means we are removing the emissions from all those cars that are being replaced by EV's then the trade off is in our favor exponentially.

    Another thing I forgot to mention is that according to the United States Energy Information Center, coal was used in 41% of the power plants in the US. That study was 2009 and it is believed that we may have shaved another 3-4 points off that since but the next study wont be in until the fall of this year.

  12. Scavengers

    Scavengers TS Booster Posts: 110   +21

    You seriously don't know what boosting output means? Like on severe heat\cold days?

  13. Scavengers

    Scavengers TS Booster Posts: 110   +21

    You know you were actually pretty close here. I mean a whole lot closer than the pompous sanctimonious person also know as guest.

    If interested you can read more about it for an in depth break down at the United States Energy Information Center.

  14. Scavengers,

    Slippery. If there were 100 power plants and 1 was coal and the other 99 were GeoThermal, BioMass, Wind, Solar, and whatnot, then 1% would be "using" coal but that one plant would be producing the vast majority of electricity.

    Pretty close huh? You're gonna need a new dictionary. Those Wikipedia numbers above ( 2008 ) can easily be converted to percentage. Why not figure it out for yourself?

    I prefer "truthful", but I suppose it's understandable that bursting your bubbles of green fantasies will lead to whining that I'm being "pompous" and "sanctimonious". Lighten up. You're not responding well to facts.
  15. Scavengers

    Scavengers TS Booster Posts: 110   +21

    Im not responding well to facts? You have got to be kidding! Im tired of doing this with you. You know, all those facts I state that you ignore.
    However. Even though I almost never do this, I have done your homework for you.
    You try to pretend I didnt state usage, so I have this for you:

    "At least 40% of the world's electricity comes from coal, and in 2012, about one-third of the United States' electricity came from coal, down from approximately 49% in 2008"

    Thats 33% and I mentioned above that our usagge had dropped even more since the study was done.

    Sourcing is at the bottom of the page, so dont even try that little game with me.

    I wanted to talk about the Model S and all I been able to do so far is try to educate you.

  16. Scavengers

    Scavengers TS Booster Posts: 110   +21

    OK to be fair I have to say this. Guest's figures are from 2008 and then our usage was nearly 50% coal.
    But it has dropped drasticly since and it still stands that nobody shoud base a discussion on 5 year old data just to prove a false point.

  17. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Grand Inquisitor Posts: 4,737   +3,757

    Why don't you guys take the gloves off and really get into it? Here's some comprehensive energy data for you: http://www.eia.gov/totalenergy/data/annual/showtext.cfm?t=ptb0102 , http://www.eia.gov/totalenergy/data/annual/showtext.cfm?t=ptb0103

    Anywho... As much as I am a fan of the Model S, I don't think this new financing deal is the best thing for consumers. People carry enough debt as it is and, regardless of the alleged savings, extended financing deals only increase that burden. What they need are a few technological strides to bring the MSRP down ~20k. They won't be able to produce them fast enough at that price range.
  18. Scavengers

    Scavengers TS Booster Posts: 110   +21

    Agreed. I have no doubt that will eventually happen but it sure as hell isn't going to happen overnight.
    This is new tech as far as the batteries go and there is a long way to go.

    From the financing side of it I do see where you are coming from but people have to buy cars so who is to say that a perspective Model S buyer wouldn't have bought another car for the same price and financed it.

    Mercedes, Audi and BMW (to name a few) all make models in the 75k range.

  19. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Grand Inquisitor Posts: 4,737   +3,757

    I completely agree. The only reason I voiced my criticism is because stuff like this drives me nuts. I've always subscribed to the "if you have to finance it, you can't afford it" philosophy of purchases. Although there are sometimes exceptions, luxury cars aren't one of them.

    The price segment is also why I'd like to see Tesla's pricing come down a bit. At $62k for the base model they're firmly in Cadillac and Euro luxury territory. With the performance version at $84k they're sticking themselves between the meat of Audi's S offerings and BMW's M division (specifically, the M5). Although I am rarely one to be a fanboy, Tesla is one company I would really like to see succeed. Save for the environmentalists and the posers (people who will buy the car for status), I think they'll have a difficult time competing with the afore mentioned products, ceteris paribus. A price drop would give them a huge edge.
  20. Scavengers

    Scavengers TS Booster Posts: 110   +21

    You know its kinda funny in a way but the environmentalists and the posers would be the early adopters that new tech needs.

    But we do disagree on the financing thing though, especially for transportation. Financing through the car companies is sometimes the only leverage we have if we buy a lemon.

  21. Davislane1, thanks for those links but neither were about electricity generation. However they did lead to the data on another nearby page:


    Under Basics ...

    Under Generation, Sales and Capacity ...

    Net generation of electricity in the United States in 2012 was about 4,054 billion kilowatthours (kWh).[/quote]

    So currently Fossil Fuels provide no less than 67% of electricity generation here in the USA, which was my whole point above in "Sorry to break it to you, this "Electric" car is a fossil fuel powered automobile", which is true in 2/3 of the cases, even today.

    I didn't want to get side-tracked by "coal" even though it still is the number one producer of electricity ( here in the states ). The point is that fossil fuels are still used in the plants producing electricity, dumping emissions into the air far upstream rather than out the tailpipe. People driving these things subsidized by our tax dollars may want to believe they are being eco-friendly, but in reality they are no better than any of us, and once hazardous materials are considered, perhaps even worse.
  22. Scavengers

    Scavengers TS Booster Posts: 110   +21

    Good post.

    There is no doubt that fossil fuels still rules (yes that was on purpose, sorry).
    But coal has always been the biggest culprit by far. Hell if every power plant in the nation was, natural gas for example, I dount think discussions such as the one I was having before davislane1 chimed in would even happen. At least not as often.

    When compared to the emissions of coal fired power plants, natural gas pumps half as much carbon dioxide, under a third nitrogen oxides, and 1% of the sulfur oxides at the stack.

    And lets not forget what, in my opinion is the most important thing. As our usage of gasoline drops, so goes our petroleum imports.

    Thats a Bullseye.


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