Solar City’s CEO Lyndon Rive perfectly explains Tesla’s Powerwall battery

Screenshot 2015-05-23 09.51.58

There has been a lot of uninformed banker-speak in the media about Tesla’s battery including by Bloomberg here. The problem is these folks don’t understand the new market that Tesla is opening up

But I’m also turning to Bloomberg for the first smart analysis and that’s not surprisingly from Solar City’s Lyndon Rive (who happens to be Elon Musk’s Cousin – perhaps you noticed the accent?).

The complaints have been that the battery wall doesn’t make economic sense – that for the average household to go off the grid with these combined with solar (or wind), it would be incredibly expensive.

That’s correct… Read more

Tesla’s original team, where are they now?

Out of the 5 founding members of Tesla motors, only two remain with the company; of course the now famous Elon Musk, Tesla’s CEO, Chairman and Product Architect, and JB Straubel, Tesla’s Chief Technology Officer. But the three expatriates; Marc Tarpenning, Martin Eberhard and Ian Wright, were instrumental to the founding of Tesla and although they left the car company, some in better terms than others, it is interesting to learn about what they are doing now. Unsurprisingly, most of them are still in the EV business.

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Elon Musk doesn’t have a place in the Valley, often sleeps at Larry Page’s house


Elon Musk, although CEO of a company based on Silicon Valley, often finds himself without a place to sleep when he’s away from his $17 million home located in Los Angeles. According to statements from Google CEO Larry Page given to Ashlee Vance for his upcoming book on the Tesla CEO, Musk is “kind of homeless,” and sometimes sleeps over at Page’s house when he’s in town. Read more

Tesla plans on showing the Model 3 in March 2016 and start production in late 2017

Today Tesla announced their first quarter 2015 results and during the conference call discussing the results, Elon Musk confirmed Tesla plans to unveil their third generation vehicle, the Model 3, in March 2016.

Tesla already revealed their plan on starting the production of the Model 3 in 2017, but today Elon Musk said that he sees “late 2017″ as more realistic.

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Elon Musk hopes Apple will enter car market, says Tesla is poaching 5x as many employees as Apple

Apple's car team

Apple’s car team

Speculation regarding Apple’s plans to build an electric car has been at an all-time over recent months. Earlier this year, we broke down the team that Apple has assembled to work on its car, several members of which were poached from Tesla. In Tesla’s Q1 2015 earnings call, however, CEO Elon Musk commented on Apple’s alleged electric car plans and the poaching war that has been ongoing between the two companies.

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Tesla received more than 38,000 reservations for the Powerwall in just a week

Today Tesla announced their first quarter 2015 results and during the conference call discussing the results, Elon Musk revealed that Tesla received more than 38,000 reservations for the Tesla Powerwall. Musk called the reception of the battery packs “crazy”.

They expect 1.5 to 2 battery packs to be sold per installation. This would mean 57,000 to 76,000 packs, or over 0.5 GWh, just for the battery packs currently under reservation. Musk said they are likely already sold out through half of next year.

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Tesla obtained the trademark for “SUPERPACK”

Last week, Tesla unveiled their new battery packs for residential, commercial and utility scale use. During the event, Elon Musk talked about the “Powerwall”, a battery pack aimed at residential and small commercial projects, and the “Powerpack”, for bigger commercial and utility scale projects. Trademark fillings revealed today that Tesla obtained multiple trademarks for the use of the word “Powerwall” related to the sale, leasing, installation and monitoring of battery packs, but they also obtained the trademark for “Superpack”, which wasn’t mentioned during the presentation.

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Replay of Tesla Energy Powerwall event [Video]

Until Tesla updates their Youtube channel, here’s the short video if you weren’t able to stay up that late last night. My big takeaway was the price. I had expected to see something in the $$5-$10,000 range though for bigger homes that have electric cars, you will need 2 or more of these so the price starts creeping up.

Also, from the way Musk talks, he believes that they are going to make a ton of these. It will be interesting to see how battery stocks react today…and home generator companies.

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Tesla “The Missing Piece” Home Battery Event liveblog and livestream is up




11:24 PM
power wall is “beautiful, fits on the wall, garage wall or outside wall of your house. 6 inches thick. 3 feet across and tall. Really easy to fit in garage or your house.”

[11:25 PM] Mark Gurman: Connected to Internet.
Smart micro grids
Ten year guarantee
[11:25 PM] Mark Gurman: “Nothing remotely in these price points”
“Our goal here is to fundamentally change how the world uses energy”
[11:26 PM] Seth Weintraub: Tesla’s selling price to installers is $3500 for 10kWh and $3000 for 7kWh. (Price excludes inverter and installation.) Deliveries begin in late Summer.

[11:27 PM] Mark Gurman: Musk says great for cold climates when there are power outages and ice storms
Good thermal management system for very cold environments

[11:29 PM] Jon Jivan: Wayyy below suggested price of $13k by some outlets. Nice to see it come in so cheap.
[11:29 PM] Mark Gurman: “Going to be huge in Germany”

[11:31 PM] Mark Gurman: Doesn’t require heavy foundations
“the integration at the system level is the big differentiator”
Ready to scale to a very large scale today

[11:32 PM] Mark Gurman: they’ve been using it for a year in house

[11:33 PM] Mark Gurman: Tesla will continue to open source the patents on all these
[11:34 PM] Mark Gurman: Giga factory designed in the same as a giant car
Fundamentally different way than approaching manufacturing and engineering

[11:39 PM] Mark Gurman: Installable by two people in half hour to an hour
Installation prices up to distributors

[11:42 PM] Mark Gurman: “This would be bigger in terms of pack utilization than the car industry, actually comparable size”
[11:43 PM] Mark Gurman: international, still need to figure out certified installers however

[11:43 PM] Mark Gurman: it’ll scale as fast as we can scale it.

[11:44 PM] Mark Gurman: international next year
Germany and Australia late this year

[11:44 PM] Mark Gurman: China early next year

Musk said “we own tesla” when asked if they’d change from tesla motors as name

Update: Here’s our first look. Looks familiar

Update: Tesla Energy!

Screenshot 2015-04-30 23.16.58

Tesla Energy Press Kit


We’ll be covering the Tesla Battery announcement later tonight but Tesla just unleashed the livestream page. Check back soon. We’ll run down the highlights here. We’re expecting Tesla to announce home and industrial battery products that allow users to store solar and lower cost, high availability electricity for use at night or during higher cost/watt time periods.  The battery will be a down payment and rental fee which should more than pay for itself in electric bill savings.

There has been further speculation that, with this announcement, Tesla Motors will change its name to Tesla, Inc or Telsa Energy to note that it is an energy storage company, not just a car company.  We’ll find out more soon, stay tuned.


Tesla’s stock price surges while shorts are betting against the company ahead of their big battery announcement

While Tesla’s stock price gained 6% this morning after a note from Deutsche Bank, short interest on Tesla’s stock increased to 21.3% of the outstanding shares. This is the highest level of short interest on Tesla in the past 13 months. Short interest contributed greatly to the previous few surges of Tesla’s stock price. In early 2013, short interest was over 30 million shares when Tesla reported a profit. Investors started covering their short position, which created a lot of demand for Tesla’s stock.

Tesla is holding an event Thursday to announce their home energy storage products. Historically, Tesla’s stock price increases prior to an announcement and then decreases after the event. This is commonly referred to as “buying on the rumor and selling on the news”. So far, this current event is not an exception with Tesla’s stock price gaining over 20% since Elon Musk tweeted about the upcoming event to be held at Tesla’s design studio in Hawthorne.

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Tesla Motors’ website and Twitter account were hacked

Tesla Motors’ website and Twitter account were hacked late Saturday afternoon by a group claiming to be the “Autismsquad” or “RIPPGANG” on Twitter. From about 4:30 PM ET and for a little less than an hour, the website displayed the following images:


At about 5:25 PM ET Tesla’s website was back to normal. Then half an hour later, the website was back to the homepage displaying the hacked notice.

It’s not clear what are the intentions of the hackers, but they might be linked to the black hat hacking group “Lizard Squad”.

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Tesla updated its website to include pre-owned Model S with 178 cars available in the US

It is without any public announcement that Tesla updated its website Friday night to include a section for pre-owned vehicles. 178 cars were available in 11 locations in the US.

Unsurprisingly, most of the cars are equipped with the performance package. 116 out of the 178 pre-owned vehicles available in the US are P85 or P85+. When Tesla announced the new Model S versions with dual motor in October 2014, a significant number of performance Model S owners were showing interest in upgrading to the P85D.

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