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Discussion in 'EV (Electric Vehicle) Discussion' started by caffeinekid, Apr 4, 2012.
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Tough market to be in, very tough. Is anybody actually making money on EV yet, whether as part of a division of a major brand or a standalone company?
I'm not certain of this, but my understanding is that Tesla made money on the Roadster, but plowed it all back into development of the Model S.
And some of the NEV builders have been around long enough that I presume they made money, though the Leaf may have put them out of business. I'm guessing that Zap made money on the Xebra; and GEM has been around for a long time, which probably wouldn't be the case if it was not profitable. Not sure about Zenn, but I think what wiped them out was their foolish investment in EEStor.
The Leaf has not yet been out for a full year. And the Volt is still very new (if you consider it an EV, which I don't, but others disagree). The EVs of the 1990's were hand-made in minuscule numbers.
Some of the very first cars at the beginning of the 20th century, were electric, and probably made money, but the modern, mass-produced EVs are just too new to expect profits yet. Speculation was that Toyota did not make profit on the Gen II Prius in the first year.
As you say, it's a tough market. But I think it's too early to ask the question. Tesla expects to turn a profit in 2013. And I'm sure Ghosn expects profits from the Leaf.
Tesla is publicly traded, which means you can read their financials. Tesla lost a lot of money on the roadster. They call these losses R&D, and roll this into the S. Without the success of the roadster, Tesla would not have found investment for the S.
Tesla's Profitability Claim Was the Milli Vanilli of Cleantech — Cleantech News and Analysis
But its accounting tricks not real money when tesla claimed they make a profit on the roadster.
Some builders might have made temporary money, but no one was really profitable.
Tesla looks like it may be the first profitable BEV company. Nissan likely will lose money for a while, making the leaf a green halo. It is profitable as R&D and marketing, but not on its own.
Tesla is making money converting Toyota and Mercedes vehicles.
Gen II prius was profitable, but it took years of sales to pay for R&D. The Tesla Roadster has a high profit margin, but other costs like selling infrastructure make it unprofitable. You need that selling structure if the S is going to make it.
Tesla does not expect a profit in 2013. Musk is playing accounting tricks to drum things up, and said the Tesla S would reach a profitability in 2013. Mark my words, when they file their income statements next year they will have red ink on them, but Musk will claim profitability if he can.
Ghosn was predicting profitability on the leaf on much higher than now expected leaf sales and a better exchange rate. 2014 may be profitable, or nissan may have the wrong numbers again. There is nothing wrong with investment in BEV, but its a risky game.
Tesla is in a place where all it needs is the right california regulations to start making money. Nissan will still be in good stead with the leaf as a R&D and marketing vehicle even if it does not make any profit in the near term.
you really need to be mentally and financially ready to be in this for the long haul. government backing or a sugar daddy is almost a nessesity.
The leaf BEV has government backing from the French/Japanese/US governments they got that covered.
Tesla gets much less government money from only the US government, but Musk is his own sugar daddy and Panasonic, Daimler, and Toyota are additional sugar daddies.
Both have that covered. Azure never really had a chance compared to those two juggernauts.