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Tesla Supercharger network in Ireland



  • Registered Users Posts: 20,053 ✭✭✭✭cnocbui

  • Registered Users Posts: 15,345 ✭✭✭✭AndyBoBandy

    There's nothing in that article thats in addition to what Musk already tweeted…

    Musk sends out a tweet, and an article is generated from it, and all the article does is quote his tweet.

    Doesn't explain anything.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,545 ✭✭✭wassie

    Might be ahead of a planned sale of the business. Cutting people costs to make a business attractive is common enough.

    This article puts forward some reasons why that might make sense.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,446 ✭✭✭McGiver

    This fella is trying hard to rationalise the SuC team firing. Pure speculation and wishful thinking IMHO.

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,375 ✭✭✭✭prawnsambo

    Again, nobody seems to be addressing the question as to whether it's profitable or not. Not even asking the question in a lot of cases.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,545 ✭✭✭wassie

    Analysts are not asking if its profitable. They are asking how profitable it could be, especially more so since it's proprietary NACS connector become the North American standard.

    From Bloomberg last month:

    Tesla has long been applauded for laying the foundation for EV adoption with its Supercharger network — the company now has more than 57,000 Superchargers globally.

    Assuming that each charger delivered around 200 kilowatt-hours a day and that Tesla collected an average tariff of $0.4 per kWh, we estimate that the company generated around $1.74 billion of charging revenue last year.

    This amounts to around 17% of Tesla’s “Services & Other” segment, and roughly 1.5% of total revenue.

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,375 ✭✭✭✭prawnsambo

    It's so cute that they think that $.40/kWh comes at no cost. Never mind the capital cost of said superchargers, their installation and the factories that make them.

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,178 ✭✭✭Red Silurian

    They cost from 41c/kWh here at the moment. Important to remember that in 2019 it was 33c/kWh for fast charging on ecars. No reason for the others to be charging what they are right now

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,375 ✭✭✭✭prawnsambo

    They have to pay for the electricity. That's the cost. But no mention of this from the geniuses at Bloomberg.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,545 ✭✭✭wassie

    So what makes you think that the SuC business may be loss making?

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,123 ✭✭✭sh81722

    The article did estimate the current revenue, not profit. But it did project what the network could have generated in profit in the future.

    Anyway, this latest twist in the plot of one particular tech company have finally made me admit that having such an unstable leader is not good for anybody. Large companies and their customers need a less impulsive and more rational leader making major strategic decisions.

  • Registered Users Posts: 33,931 ✭✭✭✭listermint

    Electricity cost, ground rent, servicing and maintenance, unit production , hosted services to maintenance the cloud, software team, operations team, finance.

    All costs.

  • Registered Users Posts: 15,345 ✭✭✭✭AndyBoBandy

    but if it was loss making, surely they would have maintained a price to charge level that ensured no loss (or break even at worse).

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 19,023 Mod ✭✭✭✭slave1

    You just can't know that with pulling their filed accounts apart and segmental reporting goes nowhere near that level.

    I agree with ELM posting which was the original Tesla stance that the SUC network was all about break even, now with subs or higher rates for non-Tesla it's a potential profit stream

    My stuff for sale on Adverts inc. EDDI, hot water cylinder, roof rails...

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  • Registered Users Posts: 13,375 ✭✭✭✭prawnsambo

    But again that's supposition. Having the aim of breaking even doesn't make it so. And opening up the network to other makes suggests an attempt to meet that aim another way considering the trade off is a possible loss of car sales because exclusivity is gone.

    They also announced a target of doubling the number of SuCs by the end of this year (from 40k to 80k). But as of now, they've only reached 55k, putting that target in doubt before the slow down/halt was announced.

    I know that trying to rationalise Musk's mercurial actions is a fool's game, but nevertheless it seems to me that the only rational explanation is that it was a massive cash flow hole and the expansion coupled with the slowdown in car sales made it unviable to continue expansion.

    People in the electricity industry have reported that emails to ascertain the status of ongoing installations are bouncing. It's completely nuts.

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,178 ✭✭✭Red Silurian

    Another thing to bear in mind. They opened up their proprietary connector in north america. It looked, from my view, like supercharging was meant to become a new revenue source, and a big one at that. Then bye bye goes the team… All very strange I think

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,123 ✭✭✭sh81722

    Yes, I don't get it at all. It looks like deliberate sabotage, or an childish impulse decision because somebody in the SuC team dared to voice their concerns.

  • Registered Users Posts: 15,345 ✭✭✭✭AndyBoBandy

    Most likely preparing to sell off their charging business to the highest bidder.. and nothing makes a business more attractive to buy when you've just sacked a load of staff and reduced overheads…

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,375 ✭✭✭✭prawnsambo

    That would be a strong possibility too. And opening it up to other manufacturers could be designed to add value to it. But they announced that last February along with the planned expansion to 80k chargers which would seem like a long term plan. Surprising that there was no leak of this in the interim if that were the case.

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,178 ✭✭✭Red Silurian

    I think it will be reinstated in a few days/weeks. Is there an investor/profits meeting type thing coming up soon? If there is I'd say after that you'll see the share price rise and a lot of the Tesla actions of the last few months, robotaxi, 25k car, Supercharger staff, layoffs in Giga-Berlin etc will get reversed.

    Important to remember, European labour laws generally don't allow people to be let go overnight, in Ireland for example it's at least a months notice. So while they may have given notice to their staff they aren't gone yet

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  • Registered Users Posts: 11,378 ✭✭✭✭the_amazing_raisin

    I don't think we'll ever know how profitable the network is or isn't, but it should be possible to get an idea from the competition

    If you look at Electrify America and Ionity, they aren't reporting any profits that I can see and their revenue for 2023 seems below the announced investments

    Now I'm aware that those networks have different costs to Tesla, it's been shown for example that Superchargers can be installed for a dramatically lower cost than some of the competitors

    However, Tesla also charge their customers less than the competition, so their profit per kilowatt-hour is likely the same or less than other networks

    Also, Tesla's expansion of the network has generally been a lot grander that other networks. That's great for drivers but it does require a lot of money up front and also means you've a bigger network to support

    I also wonder what the utilisation rates are like overall. There's a lot of busy sites, but there's a lot of quiet ones as well that probably struggle to pay for themselves

    Lastly, it's possible the rush to expand has led to some suboptimal leases being signed with property owners. This could be the cause of some of the NY sites getting cancelled

    Overall, I don't believe the network was bleeding money as some people have said, but I can't see it as a hugely profitable enterprise either. My suspicion is that it broke even at best and possibly ran at a small loss that Tesla was willing to absorb until now

    On a related note, Ionity and Fastned have recently started opening their own shops at charging hubs. Elon also showed plans to build a supercharger diner site in LA at some point

    There's a lot of reasons why you might want to do that, but one might be that the services around the chargers are more profitable and the CPOs are tired or sharing the profits

    I've heard it said that a petrol station makes as much profit from a cup of coffee as a 50l diesel sale. It's quite possible the same applies to charging

    "The internet never fails to misremember" - Sebastian Ruiz, aka Frost

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,375 ✭✭✭✭prawnsambo

    It's only the US team that's been fired. So far. There may be moves afoot to let any European based staff go, but I've heard nothing of it.

    As for rescinding the layoffs, I would think that's a stretch. Musk has pretty much never done that. Twitter being a case in point. The maintenance section hasn't been touched by the layoffs, so there's been some thought gone into this.

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,178 ✭✭✭Red Silurian

    Ah I didn't realise it was just the US team being let go. That makes the actions even stranger but Musk is a strange man. Space X is known for consistently testing to destruction, and then fine tuning to get it to work. Neuralink has allegedly used more chimps than they were meant to.

    Your example of twitter is a fair one but that was already an employee-heavy company when he bought it. Tesla was built from the ground up. Again, it makes the decision even stranger again

  • Registered Users Posts: 33,931 ✭✭✭✭listermint

    Here's the crack, if the division was adding anything significant to their accounts they'd have been shouting it from the roof tops. They're all about share holder perception and revenue now. That's the long and short of it. Alot of people in here arguing about the price per KWH without having a breeze how much it costs to deliver that to the end consumer.

  • Registered Users Posts: 21,989 ✭✭✭✭ELM327

    Tesla was built from the ground up, and a lot of that happened before musk bought his way in.

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,178 ✭✭✭Red Silurian

    Tesla was incorporated in 2003 and Musk bought his first round of shares in 2004 so I doubt that "a lot" was done between 2003 and 2004

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,178 ✭✭✭Red Silurian

    The US supercharger network was free to access until about 2018. In 2022 it became open to other EVs with the magicdock solution, this year some EVs will get adapters for the network and next year NACS will become the default US standard. At which point they will also get federal and state funding for building out the network

    So my thinking is

    Loss making - 2012-2018

    Breaking even - 2018-2022

    Profitable 2022-2024

    More profitable 2024-2025

    Much more profitable 2025+

    Makes the letting go of staff this year seem very strange indeed

  • Registered Users Posts: 823 ✭✭✭SchrodingersCat

    Thats an interesting question. We could probably do a very rough calculation to see how problematic.

    A very fast DC charger (360 kW) can hit 1000 volt so that's 360 amps (that's nuts).

    A typical DC cable looks to be 25mm2

    Over one meters, that's a resistance of 0.001344 ohms.

    Using P=I^2 * R, over 1 meter that's a power loss of (360A^2)×0.001344ohms = 174 W

    For 3m: 522 W (typical Tesla fast charger cable length)
    For 5.5m: 957 W 
    So you lose nearly a 1kw room heaters worth of power over a longer length cable. No wonder they have to liquid cool them. 

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,375 ✭✭✭✭prawnsambo

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  • Registered Users Posts: 21,989 ✭✭✭✭ELM327

    True. But worth noting nonetheless as there's a perception that musk = tesla and vice versa.

    Even more interesting when you consider that up to now, Tesla chargers have been 400V, so the 360A would be 670A at peak.