Figuring out Tesla’s (TSLA) advantage is consistently an exercise in uncertainty. Tesla has revolutionized the electric car bazaar like no aggregation afore it. Now, the aggregation has absitively it’s activity to body the Tesla Semi. According to Tesla’s website, the Tesla Semi will be appear in 2019. Accustomed that chic 8 (maximum bulk weight >33 thousand pounds) semi barter sales bulk $30 billion annually, this is a apparently amazing opportunity.
Image Source: imgur.com
I accept that Tesla attempting to advertise such a agent would amount the aggregation cogent amounts of banknote annually with no abeyant for profit. As we will see throughout this article, should the aggregation accommodated its array amount goals, the aggregation should breach alike on architecture the truck. However, alike then, the aggregation will lose bags per year per barter on electricity expenses. Due to the abrogating abeyant of this product, I do not acclaim advance in Tesla.
Tesla Semi – Circadian Express
Elon Musk has several claims about the capabilities of the Tesla Semi. On Tesla’s web folio for the Tesla Semi, the capital ones are a 500 mile ambit adaptation for $180,000, a 0-60 mph time of 20 abnormal beneath abounding load, and an activity burning of <2 kWh per mile. Another important affirmation made, but not apparent on the website, is that there will be alleged “mega chargers” for these Tesla’s area electricity can be purchased for $0.07/Kwh.
These are all simple publicly-made claims. How able-bodied they assignment out is up for debate. However, accustomed that Tesla is ambidextrous with aloft corporations, some of which accept already placed orders for the Tesla Semi, the aggregation will acceptable face lawsuits if it does not authority up to these claims. As a result, a axiological apriorism of this commodity will be that Tesla meets these claims.
The aboriginal catechism to acknowledgment in agreement of the Tesla Semi is: Will Tesla advertise these trucks? Here, we attending at the advantage of these trucks from the customer’s point of view.
One accordant detail to this area is that the boilerplate chic 8 semi barter costs about $125,000. That agency a aggregation affairs the Tesla Semi will accept to accomplish aback $55,000 per barter over its lifespan.
Several things affect the aliment costs of chic 8 semi trucks. According to the Biz Journal, aliment costs boilerplate $20,600 annually. The boilerplate chic 8 barter additionally campaign 68,000 afar annually acceptation that aliment comes out to $0.30/mile. Should Tesla be able to cut this out for customers, that could advice a ton.
However, I feel this is absurd to happen.
Tesla Model S Mileage v. Remaining Ambit – Blooming Car Reports
As we can see, an adverse side-effect to lithium ion batteries is that they accept a bound lifespan. Currently, Tesla is aiming for array accomplishment costs of $100/kWh, which Elon Musk believes can be accomplished this year. Aloof in time for a agent due to be appear in 2019. As we saw above, the barter will accept a 500 mile ambit with electricity burning of <2 Kwh/mile.
That agency the barter will allegation a 1 Mwh (mega-watt hour) battery. Bold Tesla achieves its goals, that array will amount $100,000. While circadian commuting Model S users ability be accept with a beneath array lifespan, that 500 mile ambit is capital to active a trucking operation. This could beggarly an astronomic aliment expense.
Looking at the blueprint above, we can see that the Model S array accommodation levels out to bottomward by 4%/68,000 afar catholic bare the antecedent big drop. Accustomed that the Tesla Semi will use the aforementioned array blazon as the Model S, we will accept this holds. That agency $4,000/year in anniversary aliment costs for the array alone. On top of this, added aliment costs such as tires, lube, etc. don’t go away.
There’s one added important affair to booty into account. The 85 Kwh Model S array weighs 1,200 pounds. That agency a 1 Mwh array will counterbalance 14,000 pounds. A semi barter agent weighs about 3000 pounds, with the max burden of a barter actuality 45,000 pounds. Accustomed that the batteries will add 10,000 pounds of weight, that agency 5 Tesla Semis will be bare for 4 agent trucks.
Now, let’s attending at the breakeven electricity prices appropriate for customers.
Assumed Agent MPG
Breakeven Electricity Appropriate (2 kWh/Mile)
Adjustment – 5 Tesla Semi for 4 Ordinary Trucks
$3.24 (current U.S. average)
6 mpg (average agent chic 8)
Image Source: plugincars.com
As we can see, alike in the affliction case scenario, the breakeven amount will be $0.17/Kwh, able-bodied aloft the $0.07/Kwh Elon Musk has promised to advertise electricity for. One added affair to booty into anniversary is that there is currently analysis actuality done into new fuel-efficient semi trucks that should ability an MPG of added than 10.
Taking those new trucks into account, the affliction case breach alike amount will go bottomward to $0.10/Kwh, still aloft the $0.07/Kwh Elon Musk has promised to advertise electricity for. The boilerplate age of chic 8 semi trucks is about 7 years, so bold a abiding market, that agency a 14-year lifespan. Over this time period, the trucks should biking about 1 actor miles.
*Semi trucks get anesthetized about from buyer to buyer a lot. Bold abiding sales, if the boilerplate barter has been on the alley for 7 years, a truck’s lifespan will be ~14 years.
As we can see, at atomic until the new super-efficient trucks appear out, Tesla’s Semi will accept a aftereffect time for manufacturers able-bodied beneath the boilerplate age of trucks on the road. Bold the Tesla manages to acquisition a way to save companies banknote on aliment expenses, that could beggarly an alike lower aftereffect aeon for companies.
Overall, we can achieve that manufacturers accept a acceptable acumen to adjustment these trucks, bold Tesla maintains its promises.
Another final affair to booty into anniversary is that one big affair Tesla has been alive on is autopilot software. The boilerplate bacon for a barter disciplinarian is $40,000 annually. Should Tesla be able to abolish the allegation for drivers, these trucks acutely change abundantly in their amount profile. However, accustomed that self-driving trucks are far away, that is commodity to anniversary for in the future.
Now that we’ve bent that Tesla will be affairs trucks, let’s abide by discussing Tesla’s Semi accomplishment costs. The amount will appear from two capital aspects, the array pack, and the butt of the truck. We’ve discussed aloft that the array backpack will amount $100,000. This cardinal could be higher, GM (NYSE:GM) is currently advantageous $145 per kWh for array packs.
Volvo (OTCPK:VOLAF) is currently one of the better manufacturers of semi-trucks acclimated in the United States. Backward aftermost year, the aggregation jumped on the anniversary it had accomplished margins abutting to 10% on its trucks. With the admeasurement of its business, about a division actor trucks awash annually, we can accept that Volvo has accomplished economies of calibration that Tesla can alone achievement to bout in agreement of accomplishment and architecture these trucks.
On top of that, we can see that based on agent prices, a semi-truck agent costs about $30,000-40,000 to manufacture. Volvo’s allowance agency the company’s costs are $113,000 for every barter it sells for $125,000. Comparing this $30,000-40,000 to $100,000 for a array pack, not alike counting motors, that agency Tesla’s Semi will amount $60,000-70,000 added than a Volvo.
Adding that on to $113,000 that agency demography an average, Tesla’s Semi will amount $178,000 to manufacture. Compared to a $180,000 accomplishment price, that agency Tesla will be about breaking alike on these trucks.
Image Source: autoevolution.com
So far, we’ve bent these trucks are a solid accord for customers. We’ve additionally bent that Tesla will be breaking alike on anniversary truck. Now, let’s attending at area the issues appear for Tesla, the promised $0.07/Kwh electricity price. We will attending at two scenarios for the banking effects. The aboriginal is that Tesla buys the electricity from anniversary companies, the added that it uses solar.
The boilerplate supercharger currently costs Tesla $270,000. Let’s be acceptable and accept Tesla can add megachargers to its absolute superchargers for no added cost. Alike then, Tesla will still allegation to body out its supercharger arrangement to serve these trucks. Accepted estimates appearance that architecture out the supercharger arrangement to the akin of gasoline stations will amount $8 billion.
This $8 billion appraisal comes from UBS analyst Colin Langan who believes Tesla would allegation 30,000 new superchargers to bout the accessibility of gas with 7,500 added superchargers to absolute the best supercharger drive time to 31 minutes. Accustomed the $270,000 cardinal for above, abacus 30,000 cool chargers would amount $8.1 billion.
Tesla will additionally accept accessible costs to agents these stations, accord with maintenance, added abrupt costs, etc.
Total Boilerplate Automated Ante By Accompaniment – Edison Electricity Institute
The aloft blueprint shows absolute boilerplate automated electricity ante by state. As we can see, they alter abundantly by the state, however, out of 50 states, 24 of them, and the ones with lower populations accept electricity ante of beneath than $0.07/kWh. As we can see here, the boilerplate costs in the United States for bartering electricity per Kwh is $0.1043/kWh.
Looking at the boilerplate semi-truck on the alley actuality 7 years old, with 68,000 afar catholic per year, that agency the boilerplate barter has travelled 476,000 miles. Over their lifespan, trucks can aftermost abutting to 1 actor miles. That means, accustomed boilerplate bartering electricity prices, these trucks will amount Tesla $2,300 annually each, abacus up to $34,300 for the truck’s lifespan.
*In the banknote absent annually column, the absent banknote over the barter lifespan is used. That is because already Tesla sells a accustomed truck, it now has an obligation for the butt of the truck’s life, i.e. if Tesla sells 15,000 trucks in a accustomed year, it has $514 actor added in obligations afterwards that year. However, it’s important to booty into anniversary those obligations aren’t due all at already but instead advance over the 15-year lifespan of the truck.
Share of Market
Cash Absent Annually
$8.75 billion ($8 billion supercharger arrangement $0.75 billion R&D costs)
10% (15,000 trucks/year)
Image Source: insideevs.com
*Annual U.S. semi barter sales = 150,000 annually
*Tesla spends $1.5 billion on R&D annually. We’ll accept the Tesla Semi will amount 6 months of R&D
As we can see here, alike aback starting with a baby bazaar share, the Tesla Semi will bake up Tesla’s cash.
On top of that, Tesla additionally fabricated a promise. Tesla said that it was activity to ability these megachargers with solar. Accustomed that abounding of Tesla’s Semi barter will acceptable be absorbed in the barter so that they can point appear how they’re abbreviation emissions in an added blooming world, megachargers powered by atramentous would bound aching the acceptance of these trucks.
Currently, chic 8 agent trucks biking 250 billion afar annually. Should Tesla’s Semi boss this, that agency 500 billion Kwh of electricity captivated annually. That means, for every 10% of the bazaar taken, Tesla will allegation to aftermath 50 billion Kwh of solar electricity annually. America has 27.2 gigawatts of solar ability installed bearing 74,000 Gwh of electricity annually.
That agency for every 1% of the market, 5 billion Kwh, or 5,000 Gwh, Tesla will allegation to access absolute installed U.S. solar by 6.8%. For a 10% bazaar share, that’s an alarming 68% in U.S. solar ability increase. So how abundant will this cost? As of backward aftermost year, solar goals had been accomplished of $1 per watt for solar installations.
Using the averages for America (27.2 gigawatts -> 74,000 Gwh), that agency anniversary solar console produces for about 2,720 hours annually. That agency 2.72 Kwh/$1 spent/year. For every 1% bazaar allotment in the solar market, Tesla will allegation to absorb $1.8 billion on solar panels, a massive expense. Accustomed Tesla’s $3.5 billion in anniversary capex, that agency acceleration its capex will acquiesce it to accommodate for aloof 2% of the semi-truck bazaar annually.
More importantly, it will booty Tesla about 4 years for its electricity costs to bead beneath bartering rates, and 6 for them to bead beneath its promised $0.07/Kwh, with these solar panels. Also, in abundant of the United States, area chic 8 trucking will exist, solar panels aren’t as achievable as they are about like California, which is brilliant for abundant of the year.
As a result, we can see that either Tesla will lose massive amounts of banknote advantageous bartering electricity ante or it will be faced with advance billions to acquire a acknowledgment on solar (for megachargers in brilliant genitalia of the U.S.) by the mid-2020s. This additionally assumes Tesla can advertise ability to the filigree and the use it as bare aback it’s not brilliant afterwards defective batteries for storage.
As we can see, electricity expenses, alike with solar, will bake massive amounts of Tesla’s cash.
Of course, there exists some risks to this thesis. Namely, that Tesla can accomplish the Tesla Semi self-driving. The aggregation is currently a baton in self-driving technology, and replacing drivers with its trucks would save companies $40,000 annually. With an boilerplate barter age of about 7 years, that agency about $300,000 in adored costs for the boilerplate customers.
At that points, Tesla could allegation decidedly more, or still advertise the trucks afterwards advantageous electricity, absolutely alteration the amount proposition.
Another affair that could decidedly change costs are abstruse improvements. Batteries, added than bisected of Tesla’s accomplishment cost, accumulate on accepting cheaper, and agent prices, in a multi-year low, assume to be activity up. That could potentially acquiesce Tesla to advertise its trucks for added or access megacharger prices to breach even.
However, these two scenarios crave Tesla to either actualize commodity that hasn’t anytime been done (fully self-driving cars) or breach its promised costs ($180,000 and $0.07/Kwh) to customers.
Another affair to accumulate in apperception is added companies are artful Tesla. Mercedes-Benz is architecture its own electric truck, and with decidedly added accomplishment acquaintance than Tesla is acceptable to be at atomic appropriately successful. That agency as Tesla spends massive amounts on R&D and megacharger capex, afore it becomes accustomed in the market, it could be wiped out by competitors.
This can already be apparent in Tesla’s bottomward bazaar allotment in electric vehicles.
This could amount Tesla billions in upfront costs it never gets back, decidedly affliction a aggregation adverse a banknote crunch.
Many anticipate that architecture the Tesla Semi in the aboriginal abode defies the laws of physics. However, accomplished that, this commodity shows that alike if Tesla manages to body the trucks it’ll be accident cash. Should Tesla ability its ambition of $100/Kwh for a battery, the barter will be at about the aforementioned amount it costs to accomplish acceptation Tesla will be breaking alike on every barter it sells.
On top of this, the Tesla Semi will accept cogent anniversary costs acknowledgment to the electricity ante Elon Musk builds. Alike if the aggregation takes aloof a 10% allotment of the Tesla Semi market, not alone will it lose $0.5 billion annually (after ramp-up), but it will accept $8.75 billion in upfront costs (R&D architecture out its network). This doesn’t calculation an added $18 billion to accomplish these solar powered.
As a result, Tesla’s Semi will bake up Tesla’s cash.
Disclosure: I am/we are abbreviate TSLA.
I wrote this commodity myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not accepting advantage for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I accept no business accord with any aggregation whose banal is mentioned in this article.
Image Source: reneweconomy.com.au
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