Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) is a highly polarizing company, and for some reason, there seem to be a great number of investors and consumers who just want the company to fail. Of course it has historically been one of the most popular short positions over the last couple of years, but it appears as if this desire for failure goes beyond that short interest. Consumers just loathe thinking about any kind of major change.
Huffington Post contributor Phyllis Cuttino, who’s also the Clean Energy Director at The Pew Charitable Trusts, highlights some important reasons we should want Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) to succeed.
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Tesla As A Leader In Electric Vehicles
First, she points out that domestic sales of electric vehicles actually tripled in a year—between 2011 and 2012. More than 100,000 EVs were sold. Almost 4 percent of all new car purchases in the U.S. during this time frame were hybrid and plug-in vehicles.
Data from Bloomberg New Energy Finance indicates that in the first two years of electric vehicles, their adoption rate was twice that of hybrid vehicles. Between 1999 and 2000, there were fewer than 10,000 hybrids sold, but between 2010 and 2011, there were 18,000 EVs and plug-in hybrid EVs sold.
Tesla’s Battery Tech Will Improve
The clean energy sector’s growth means more exports and more jobs, which are good for the economy. The Department of Energy estimates that the advanced battery sector will increase to $50 billion per year by 2020. Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) has been heading up the charge for improving battery range on electric vehicles. Some even expect that this week’s expected big announcement from the automaker will be battery swaps, an important innovation that would add range and convenience to driving an electric vehicle.
This means excellent growth for the U.S. economy as a whole because the global auto market is expected to hit 2 billion vehicles by the middle of the century. Currently the market is only 700 million. Cuttino believes that electric vehicles will make up a “substantial” part of auto exports for the U.S.
The Cost Of Driving Electric Vs. Gas
And then there’s the reduction in fuel costs that’s associated with driving an electric vehicle. Recently a drag racing organization raced the Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) Model S over a quarter of a mile averaging over 100 miles per hour. It found that it cost just 6 cents to drive the Model S that distance, and that was at top speeds. The average consumer would use far less than that when driving the Model S.
The cost of other vehicles shows a similar story, according to Pew. It costs an average of $4.55 to drive a gas-powered vehicle 25 miles, but it costs just under $2 to drive a Toyota Prius Hybrid the same distance. Electric vehicles average around $1 to drive 25 miles.
Using the math above, it would cost $6 or less to drag race the Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) Model S 25 miles, depending on a number of factors. Of course it’s hard to give a fair estimate of this since the test was only a quarter of a mile, but it likely would be less than $6. It’s important to note again that this is under drag racing conditions. Drag racing a gas-powered vehicle would also be much higher than the figure given above.
Tesla’s Place In Public – Private Partnerships
Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) is considered by some to be the poster child of public – private partnerships because it paid off its Department of Energy loan almost a decade early, and this is exciting because it strengthens the economy even further. Congress is offering a $7,500 credit on federal taxes for those who buy electric vehicles. Also many states offer incentives for buying EVs, and consumers stand to save up to $200 per month in fuel. All of these savings options make the purchase of EVs in general comparable to the purchase of conventional vehicles, even though their up-front price tag is higher.
According to Cuttino, the Department of Defense is also running an important clean energy pilot program. It plans to use up to 500 EVs at six different bases in the U.S. while selling back power to the grid during daylight hours. Officials expect to see between $2,000 and $9,000 in savings each year per electric vehicle, depending on the vehicle and the size of its battery.
So why do people want to see Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) fail? When you look at all the things we have to gain from the success of a long-range electric vehicle using the technology that only Tesla has on the market currently, it just doesn’t add up.