Are Tesla’s New v3 SuperChargers The Real Path To Profitability?

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It has been noted that during the gold rush most miners did not get rich, but the people who sold them their pick axes and dynamite certainty did.  In the same vein Google has said it is not those with the most powerful computers that will win in the future, it is those with the most data.  Perhaps electric cars are the same.

Tesla just released amazing new version 3 electric charging stations in Regina Saskatchewan Canada:

“…The new stations will be able to fully charge a vehicle in …as short as 20 minutes at Tesla’s Supercharger stations. SOURCE

“…The only others are test installations in Freemont and Las Vegas. What’s the big deal? 250 kW stand alone direct current power from each unit. At peak charging rates this will deliver about 27 km of driving range to a Tesla Model 3 in 1 minute. EV charging infrastructure is rapidly coming into place in the form of level 2 home and destination chargers plus an expanding network of level 3 on-route fast chargers.

With the new Tesla supercharger technology in place it will be more convenient (and about 75% cheaper) for both home based daily driving and for long distance trips to charge an EV than it is to pump dinosaur juice into an ICE vehicle. The issue of charging infrastructure for EVs is fading to historical obscurity. Yet again, Elon makes it happen and he makes it happen in Regina first! SOURCE: Dr David Maenz author of The Price of Carbon

Tesla already makes substantial money from it’s charging stations.  In fact, the charging network is the only place Telsa turns a notable profit.  Some of that profit comes from actually selling the electricity to Tesla vehicle owners but most of it comes from selling green / CO2 offset credits to big polluters.  In the future those markets for those credits are likely to expand.

Because electric charging stations do not require staffing, consume very much land or need notable maintenance they are far less costly to operate than traditional gas/diesel filling stations.

The biggest problem Tesla has is their proprietary connectors.  Those connectors and the system behind them are not compatible with vehicles from other manufacturers like Toyota, GM, and Mercedes and while that may server Tesla very well in the immediate term, it is not a solid business model in the long run.  Telsa will not be the only large scale player in the electric car market and having different charging standards is one way to ensure increased costs and reduced consumer acceptance.

Fortunately Telsa has said they are open to allowing other companies to create adapters and in Europe they have already started adding standardized plugs to their charging stations:

“…Tesla Superchargers are rugged and weatherproof, requiring minimal maintenance. Trash and vandalism are the primary upkeep issues.

Tesla Superchargers in the EU have been retrofitted with CCS-2 dual charging plugs (in addition to the original Tesla EU Mennkes plugs). The existing Version 2 Superchargers have been upgraded from 120kW to 150kW peak charging power, and new Version 3 Superchargers capable of 250kW peak charging power are being strategically deployed. In North America, Tesla Urban Superchargers provide 72kW peak charging power.  SOURCE

We would not be surprised to see Telsa automobile design and manufacturing be consumed by a major automaker, specifically Toyota, in the coming years.  That would leave ‘Tesla proper’ with thousands of increasingly profitable electric charging stations strategically located around the globe and burgeoning solar business from the former Solar City amalgamation.   That could be the Tesla’s golden pick axe.

 

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