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Tesla Electric Vehicle Promise is a Smokescreen

Tesla’s Elon Musk has been critical of the Singapore government, reiterating that Singapore does not welcome Tesla. Starting from 2016 where, a Tesla was taxed with a carbon surcharge in Singapore.

Tesla markets their electric cars on the idea of environmentalism.

Elon Musk, widely known as the real-life Elon Musk, is a visionary man, albeit sometimes eccentric. For the case of Singapore, it could be a case of sour grapes. It seems that Singapore is only bias against him.

The Singapore government has recently awarded a $50 million tender to 3 companies, BYD (Singapore), ST Engineering Land Systems and Yutong-NARI Consortium for 60 electric buses.

On top of that SP Group will be building the largest public electric vehicle charging network.

Environmentalism

Environmentalism is the biggest marketing point for Tesla electric vehicles as they do not burn fossil fuels, therefore there will be zero emission.

Hey!!! Greenery for all. Zero carbon footprint for the driver. Better earth.

Totally disagree.

That is just a marketing plot by Tesla to make you think you have reduced your carbon footprint. Let’s take a look at this test by Top Gear.

Although Top Gear can be off the top most of the times for laughs, Jeremy Clarkson made a very good point in the show. The fact that it is an electric vehicle doesn’t make it more environmentally friendly.

Power Grid

Yes, it is true that Top Gear is talking about the Toyota Prius and not the Tesla. However, essentially, it comes down to the same point, batteries.

  • The first point about battery has been covered by Jeremy Clarkson. (Mining, acid rain)
  • The second point about battery is that, having an electric car in an accident is currently more dangerous than having a normal car. This is because electric fires behave differently from normal fires and are a lot harder to put out. Therefore, putting drivers, passengers and the public at higher risk.
  • The third point about battery is range. Range has always been an issue for electric vehicles, the Tesla Model S claims to have a range of 335 miles. Similar to that of a Bugatti Veyron who has a 16L engine.

How long does it takes for a Model S to recharge? About an hour if you use Tesla’s Supercharger facility. At home? Probably a day? How long does it takes for Bugatti Veyron to refill their tank? About 5 minutes at the petrol station.

Tesla’s batteries has not reached a level where the range can be comparable to petrol engine cars.

  • The fourth point about batteries is they are not environmentally friendly. Tesla electric vehicles are run on batteries instead of fossil fuels and batteries needs to be charged. If our laptop, handphone, powerbank, tablets are calculated in our carbon footprint, why is Tesla not counted as part of our carbon footprint.

The truth is that, to charge an electric vehicle, the vehicle needs to draw power from the power grid which draws power from the power station. To generate electricity, power station burn fossil fuel. That is the reason why the Singapore government tax the first Tesla car in Singapore.

The Tesla Electric Car Concept does not works all the time

Elon Musk idea is actually a good one. If you have an electric car, you can drive your car to a Tesla charging station to charge your car for 1 hour instead of 5 minutes at the petrol station.

The power generated at Tesla charging station will be generated from solar power. If you do it everyday, the idea is that your carbon footprint is greatly reduced.

However, that is in USA.

You don’t find solar powered charging stations everywhere in the world. Not to mentioned cloudy days.

Therefore, the concept of environmentalism in electric cars is still a marketing plot instead of reality.

Many car manufacturers are applying battery technology and electric motor technology in their vehicles to achieve lower fuel consumption. Such as the BMW i8, Toyota Prius and McLaren P1.

However, as we have seen from Top Gear, what truly matters is your driving style.

An owner that is very good at using his reputation to generate publicity

As a company, Tesla has been terrible to invest in. Years of unprofitability, broken promises and production delays. As a figurehead of the company, Elon Musk, has been using his reputation to generate loads of hope and publicity.

And that is about all.

Tesla is a car manufacturer. The concept of electric car is good and it looks like it will stay. At current times, to market the electric vehicle as a car with no carbon emission, seems to be too far-fetched.

Tesla is non-profitable, has mediocre cashflow, high debt, continuous share dilution. Operation-wise, Tesla is still unable to solve their long-standing production issue. As a product, Tesla electric vehicle has improved heaps and bounds, but it is still not the ideal product to go for.

Not to mention that the consumer vehicle industry is a very competitive market.

Tesla is also involved in autonomous driving technology, which is a technology from the 4th Industrial Revolution. However, it seems to be more of a distraction than help.

Tesla cannot even get their cars out proper and they are looking into autonomous driving technology.

Instead of concentrating on getting their cars out proper, Elon Musk is more concerned on twitter, which landed him in trouble.

It seems that Elon Musk likes to use twitter to sometimes portray himself as a hero and a victim. You can call it brilliant leadership, distracting the public from the continuous failures of Tesla, or you can call it distraction.

But one cannot deny that, Elon Musk is a very bold and visionary person. And well, we sort of need more of them in this world. One also cannot deny that, on track record, both Elon Musk and Tesla is already on borrowed time.

The moment Tesla becomes a force

Tesla could still be a HUGE success. Here are the things that we feel that will propel Tesla into a huge success story.

  • If Tesla’s solar power technology are good enough to convert solar power into electricity at such an efficient level that allows it to replace fossil fuel.
  • If Tesla’s battery technology are good enough to provide enough range comparable to a normal car.
  • If Tesla’s charging technology are as efficient as pumping petrol.
  • If Tesla is able to develop a sound autonomous driving software.
  • If Tesla can produce enough cars to match demand as Tesla do have their own fans.

Shareholders have approved one of the largest pay package for Elon Musk even if results has not been promising. However, Elon Musk will only be eligible for those stock bonuses up to $55 billion only if the Tesla performs well.

It seems unlikely, but hopefully, we can one day see it happen.

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