When Elon Musk Screwed the Pooch

We are on record saying that Elon Musk has one good company — SpaceX. His other signature company, Tesla, has been bleeding large sums of money for several years now, with no end in sight. Elon is in the process of building a huge Tesla “gigafactory” in Shanghai and plans another in Europe. But Elon the midnight toker may be biting off more than he can chew:

Tesla Must Pay $323 Million Yearly Tax to Shanghai!

For a company that has already racked up a tab of over $1 billion in losses this year, what’s another $323 million amongst friends?

This was quite possibly the attitude the company took when agreeing to pay China 2.23 billion yuan – about $323 million – in taxes every single year as part of their deal with local authorities to build their factory on the outside of Shanghai, according to Bloomberg.

Tesla has also committed to drop about 14.08 billion yuan – or about $2 billion – in capex [additional capital expenditure] on the plant over the next five years, according to its lease. While the point of the Shanghai Gigafactory was to avoid tariffs and keep prices down, we’re not sure how an annual tax requirement of well over a quarter of a billion dollars is going to make things easier for Musk. __ https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-07-30/tesla-must-pay-323-million-taxes-shanghai-every-year-or-it-will-lose-gigafactory

Elon has many admirers around the world, especially for the many technological innovations he has been spearheading in various technology areas. But many of his economic decisions have seemed more than a bit hare-brained. SpaceX is a good company, but Elon is borrowing against his SpaceX shares to fund other ventures that are gushing money losses.

Committing the future of all your assets to a questionable venture in China seems more than a bit impulsive, perhaps a decision made under the influence of a judgment-altering substance?

Electric vehicles have some advantages for short-distance driving. Electric drive systems are simpler than complex internal combustion engines with their complex transmissions. Electric motors have excellent torque across the speed spectrum. Too bad the battery systems are so expensive and lose their efficiency so quickly. And too bad it takes so long to charge them, and that the range on each charge is so short a distance!

Why So Many True Believers in Electric Vehicles?

You may think that a lot of people are half-insane over climate change. You would be right. But even assuming that anthropogenic carbon emissions are altering the climate over time, there is nothing about electric vehicles that mitigates CO2-caused climate change. The electricity has to come from someplace, and as likely or not it will originate from a coal-powered (or natural gas powered) electric power plant. Worldwide, it is the coal power plants that are being built the fastest. More carbon, anyone?

It is a delusion to believe that the ultimate source of the energy being used by that EV is going to be cleaner than simply burning gasoline in the internal combustion engine. But enthusiasts rarely follow the long chain of causation very far. If they could do so, they would never be consumed by climate change hysteria in the first place.

The same problem is inherent in big wind and big solar energy as well. Enthusiasts believe that modern power grids can be run on grid-scale wind farms and solar arrays, but they have not followed the chain of logic far enough. Electric power supply must match with electric power demand — on an almost moment-to-moment basis. Power demand is often erratic and unpredictable, making the need for reliable on-demand power essential. But if society’s decision makers go off the rails by deciding to force a dependency upon supplies that are also erratic and unpredictable, the lights can rapidly go out in a cascading power failure. Power grids take a lot of constant work to keep them online. Anything that makes power grids more difficult to stabilize, risks lives. And yet each year, another political constituency joins the rush to commit the scarce resources and the uncertain fates of their constituents to the whims of the wind and sun.

Though there exists reasonable doubt, the alarmists desperately want to believe. Have to believe. Worse, they feel compelled to make everyone else believe. Express doubt in their narrative and expect to be talked down to, ridiculed, written off as a rube, or worse, labeled a puppet of malign interests.

But just as they have been wrong through decades of missed predictions, they’re also wrong in their accusations against the “deniers.” They, of course, don’t see it that way. True believers will never admit they’re wrong, even when their own eyes show them they’ve been mistaken. __ https://issuesinsights.com/2019/07/29/will-the-global-warming-hysterics-never-tire-of-being-wrong/

Most of the enthusiasm for “green energy” and “electric vehicles” derives from climate change hysteria. But neither green energy nor electric vehicles do anything that could possibly alter the course of carbon-caused climate change, even if it were a significant issue.

Always follow the money. Never trust the person whose livelihood depends upon convincing you that his “apocalypse du jour” is the one that will get you, unless you turn control of your future over to him. Probably better just to shoot him on sight. 😉 And what to do about the schoolteachers who are spending so much of every day trying keep their students on the razor’s edge of climate hysteria? Nothing for them that they would like, certainly.

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5 Responses to When Elon Musk Screwed the Pooch

  1. staticnoise says:

    Couldn’t agree with these sentiments more. When you tell them that cutting your carbon emissions to the point where you actually suffer, I mean suffer a diminished life while China and India, to name a few, more than make up for your sacrifice, they throw the moral imperative argument at you.

    Same with the shamed heaped on you if they see you toss a plastic bottle in the trash. You can tell them the the great pacific ocean plastic heap is directly related to them recycling their water bottles. You see China used to take all our recycled plastic and when they couldn’t process it they tossed it in the ocean. Now that they stopped taking our plastic guess what the recyclers do with all that plastic – landfill baby, landfills. Why then do we waste the effort recycling plastic? No sense even arguing with them!!!!

  2. Improbus says:

    Batteries will improve and the cars will get cheaper as more are produced. I don’t know how many will own EVs but I suspect that the majority of them will be fleet vehicles for self-driving car companies. Right now I am leasing a vehicle but when Transportation as a Service arrives I will sign up. I don’t want a vehicle I have to pay taxes on, service or buy insurance for. If TaaS is cheaper than owning a car why would you own one … other than being of the self driving network, i.e., rural America?

  3. JerryO says:

    As usual, great article with excellent links….

  4. Someone says:

    The entire green energy movement is a toxic waste disaster waiting to happen. No one has ever explained how we will dispose of or recycle the solar panels and waste from batteries. I would have to find an update but there were some issues with the world supply of economical lithium as well assuming you could even convert things to battery use.

    I live in the southern Texas and can’t see any use for an electric vehicle; I’m sure as hell not giving up an air conditioner. Ditto for areas of the country where it gets below zero most winters for a time and you must have a heater.

    This magazine finally went out of business. I used to read it once in a while and have a couple copies. The archive is free for now. Well worth downloading and taking a read. Even you build that magical solar powered homestead you still need fossil fuels to heat and cook and maybe provide backup.

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