Tesla Shares Dive as Republicans Move to Abolish $4 Billion Green Tax Breaks

By Eric Worrall – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

Tesla Share Price (Source Google Finance)

Tesla Share Price (Source Google Finance)

Tesla share prices have crashed in the wake of news that President Trump’s Republican administration is introducing a bill to abolish Federal tax credits for electric cars worth $7,500 per vehicle.

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How the Electric Car Revolution Could Backfire

By Matt Ridley – Re-Blogged From The Rational Optimist

The British government is under pressure to follow France and Volvo in promising to set a date by which to ban diesel and petrol engines in cars and replace them with electric motors. It should resist the temptation, not because the ambition is wrong but because coercion could backfire.

The electric motor is older than the internal combustion engine by about half a century. Since taking over factories from the steam piston engine at the end of the 19th century, it has become ubiquitous. Twinned with its opposite number, the turbine (which turns work into electricity, rather than vice versa), it drives machines in factories, opens doors, raises lifts, prepares food, brushes teeth and washes plates.

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Tesla’s Updated Autopilot to Launch Next Weekend

By Karla Lant – Re-Blogged From Futurism

In Brief

Elon Musk confirmed on Twitter that the Autopilot release for HW2 Suite Teslas will go wide next weekend. In addition to improved safety, Tesla drivers can expect “additional smoothness” and “improvements to longitudinal control” from the update.

This Sunday afternoon, Elon Musk tweeted about the imminent Autopilot release for HW2 Suite Teslas which, as promised, will launch next weekend.

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Lithium Suppliers Can’t Keep Up with Skyrocketing Demand

By Frank Holmes – Re-Blogged From http://usfunds.com

Near the extinct volcano known as Monte Pissis, high in the Andes on the Chile-Argentina border, the air is thin and animal life scarce. It’s also a prime location for lithium, the silvery-white metal used in the production of lithium-ion batteries.

Next year, Tesla plans to make 500,000 electric cars all of which will require lithium-ion-batteries

According to Sam Pelaez, an analyst on our team who recently visited the deposit, the seasonal meltdown of the snowy peaks collects lithium, sodium and other minerals from the soil and underwater hot springs, all of which flows down to the flats and settles—hence the name salt flats or, in Spanish, salares. Over long periods of time, with seasonal temperature variations, the salt builds a crust on top of the “lake,” making for a stunning landscape. Under the crust are high concentrations of lithium.

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New Battery is a Game Changer

By Roger E. Sowell – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

Lighter Cheaper More Powerful Battery Changes Renewable Economics
It is not often on SLB that I use the phrase “game-changer.”  Most things progress, if they progress at all, in small increments.  This time, though, is one of those that deserves the phrase game-changer.

The innovation is the low-cost, light-weight but powerful battery developed by Nobel prize-winner Alan Heeger, PhD of the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB).  The company is Biosolar .  see link to http://www.biosolar.com

The battery is suitable for mobile and stationary applications such as cars, trucks, grid stabilization, home power storage, and others.   The innovation is the use of the Nobel prize-winning plastic-that-acts-like-a-metal, haologenated polyacetylene.

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Tesla’s “Success,” a Great Example of How Government Regulations Manipulate Markets

  • ElonTesla

Government rules enable Tesla to profit from public choices NOT to purchase its vehicles

voltThe American consumer is resistant to marketing aimed at selling them electric and hybrid vehicles. For the first quarter of 2015, according to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), Chevrolet sold 1,874 Volts—its electric car introduced in 2010 with “high expectations.” That number might not sound so bad, until you read on to discover that it is equivalent to the number of Silverado pick-up trucks sold in one day. 
In another report, the WSJ states: “Through June, the market share in the U.S. for hybrid electric cars such as the Toyota Prius and C-Max and for electric vehicles such as the Leaf accounted for 2.8% of industry sales. That is down from 3.6% through the same period in 2014. Volumes of those vehicles fell 22% while overall industry volumes rose, according to researcher Edmunds.com.”
“Recent sales data show that consumers don’t want electric cars,” proclaims Investor’s Business Daily. “And these pitiful electric-car sales,” it adds, “mind you, come despite the very generous $7,500 federal tax credit, along with various state incentives—Illinois offers rebates up to $4,000.”
Manufacturers are slashing prices, offering low-priced leases, and 0% financing. Despite the deals, dealers view selling the existing leafbatteryelectric vehicle inventory as a “challenge.” But selling a used electric car, like Nissan’s Leaf, is even harder. The WSJ reports: “Uused sed Leafs aren’t attracting much demand.” Though Nissan offers leaseholders $4,000 in incentives to buy the used model they are driving, drivers are not snapping up the opportunity. When the leases expire there is little market for the cars and dealers are returning them to the manufacturer. 
While demand for electric vehicles has dropped, contrary to logic, investment in them hasn’t. Earlier this year, USA Today said: “Automakers have already invested billions to offer a wide spectrum of vehicle choices and improve fuel efficiency with turbocharged engines, batteries and electric motors, multi-gear transmissions, more aerodynamic designs, and lighter materials. Companies have also spent heavily to market eco-friendly vehicles and have no plans to stop developing them.”
“Why,” you might ask, “don’t manufacturers focus on building the cars consumers want?” The answer: Government regulations in the form of the CAFE Standard. The CAFE — the Corporate Average Fuel Economy — is the measure manufacturers must meet to sell cars in the U.S. 
CAFEFirst enacted by Congress in 1975, the idea was to reduce energy use, thus preventing an over-dependence on foreign oil and improving national security. In 2009, under the Obama Administration, the program morphed to include a higher focus on tailpipe emissions with a two-stage implementation process. Phase One demands a 23% improvement in pollution standards and a CAFE target of 34.1 miles per gallon (MPG) by model-year 2016. Phase two calls for a further increase of roughly 35% in pollution standards, equivalent to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. 
While the exact calculations are complicated, these standards are not meant to be met by each vehicle, but by the entire fleet produced by each manufacturer. So a company that makes small, fuel-efficient cars, such has Honda, easily meets the requirements. While a company like Chrysler, known for its Ram trucks and American muscle cars, faces an uphill climb. In fact, it is the CAFE Standards that made the Chrysler/Fiat marriage attractive, as the Fiat fleet includes a 40-MPG car. It is also what makes the Volt a good option for Chevy.
Manufacturers who don’t comply with the regulations face fines—or they can buy credits. Either way the costs ultimately get passed on to the consumer who dares to purchase a vehicle based on his or her personal preference rather than the fuel-efficient vehicles the government wants automakers to produce. 
These government regulations manipulate the markets and make winners and losers that would not be the case if we had a true free market. 
Interesting stories emerge. 
One is Ferrari, which by the nature of the car cannot meet the U.S. government regulations. As one report on the topic declared: “Ferraris are beautiful. They are fast. They are nimble. And they are thirsty.” The hybrid LaFerrari gets 14 MPG. 
Most readers are not likely to buy one of the 499 LaFerrari cars built, but its story is illustrative of the market manipulation. lAfERRARI
Since 1969 Ferrari has been part of the Fiat family, but that will soon change as Ferrari is being spun off to make it an independent automaker. While the sale is reportedly being done “to finance expansion plans,” it will remove the gas-guzzler from the Fiat Chrysler fleet—making meeting CAFE easier. Yet, earlier this year, CEO Sergio Marchionne said: “The U.S. auto industry should ask the U.S. government to push back fuel economy targets.”
While an independent Ferrari will have challenges meeting CAFE without Fiat to help create an acceptable average, another single focused manufacturer meets the requirements handily—so well, in fact, it has credits to sell. I am talking about Tesla, the car company that the Environmental Protection Agency smiles upon because it produces only electric cars. 
Most U.S. car companies—like Fiat Chrysler—want the federal fuel economy mandates to be watered down. Tesla wants the targets to be tougher.
Companies—like Ferrari—that don’t meet the fleet standards can purchase compliance credits. CNN Money reported: “Since Tesla sells nothing but electric cars, it is rolling in the credits and is one of the few sellers.” The Los Angeles Times( LATsays: “Since 2008, the company has earned more than $534 million from the sale of environmental credits.” It adds: “Tesla has created a brisk market in credits, selling to automakers that either don’t produce electric cars or have made a strategic decision to buy credits and cap their own sales of such vehicles.”
JUNKYARDBut it is not just Ferrari that will have trouble meeting the 2025 standard. According to the LAT, Mitch Bainwol, chief executive of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers—which represents companies like General Motors, Ford, Toyota, Fiat Chrysler, and others—said: “While consumers have more choices than ever in energy-efficient automobiles, if they don’t buy them in large volumes, we fall short.” 
The American car-buying public is resistant to doing what the government wants them to do,  yet Tesla continues making a car that few can afford and that many of those who can don’t like.  On October 20 Consumer Reports pulled its “recommendation” of the Tesla Model S after owners complained about a “range of issues.”  Still, Tesla is receiving a huge windfall from its competitors while the standards drive up costs for consumers.
Addressing the 54.5-MPG for the 2025 model year, Marchionne said: “There is not a single carmaker that cannot make the 54 number. The question is, at what price?”

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The Hood Robin Syndrome

By Willis Eschenbach – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

There’s a new study out, under the imprimatur of the Energy Institute of the Haas School of Business in Berkeley, California, entitled The Distributional Effects of U.S. Clean Energy Tax Credits.  As the title implies, it looks at who actually profited from the various “green energy” tax credits across the United States. SPOILER ALERT! It wasn’t the poor folks.

How much money are we talking about? Well, the paper says that from 2006 to 2012, the taxpayers have been on the hook for $18 BILLION DOLLARS to fund these subsidies, money that would have otherwise gone into the General Fund.

And just how much money is eighteen billion dollars? Here’s one way to think about eighteen gigabucks, regarding safe, clean drinking water.

Water Wells for Africa reports from their ongoing projects that on average it has cost them about $3.50 per person ($7,000 per well serving 2,000 people) to provide people with clean safe well water. So eighteen billion dollars is enough money to drill drinking water wells for three-quarters of the world’s 7 billion inhabitants. (Yes, I know that’s a gross simplification, some folks don’t live over a subterranean water table, and so on, but it is still enough money to drill the two and a half million wells that would be needed.)

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