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Tesla Roadster, version 2.5  (Source: Tesla Motors)

Tesla Model S Prototype  (Source: Tesla Motors)
Losses are significant, even considering the downward-trending market

It's been a wild ride for Tesla Motor company enthusiasts.  After months of eager anticipation, the company became the first automotive public offering since Ford in 1956, and dumped 15.3 million shares onto the market aggressively priced at $17 (2 million of these shares were sold late, via an over-allotment option).  

That high price turned out to be an early victory for investors, who saw share prices spike up to a peak of 30.42 last Wednesday -- a gain of 78.8 percent.  However, those gains have since been erased as TSLA has taken a sharp plunge on the stock market.  The stock now sits at 15.50 (at press time), well below its IPO price.

The stock market as a whole has been struggling over the last week, with the DOW Jones Industrial Average dropping last week into the 9000s after poor job reports.  For an unproven company like Tesla that particularly spelled trouble.  

Josef Schuster, the Chicago-based founder of IPOX Capital Management LLC and manager of the Direxion Long/Short Global IPO Fund comments, "The company is a great concept with relatively weak fundamentals.  Markets are weak and in a weak market right now this is hurting the company even more."

Despite having one of the first true electric vehicles on the U.S. market -- the Tesla Roadster, recently update to "Version 2.5" -- and several upcoming vehicles, investors are finally falling out of love with the company and taking a hard look at its financials.  Tesla lost $29.5M USD in Q1 2010 -- almost double what it lost in that quarter last year, and over half of what it lost 
overall last year ($55.7M USD).

Electric vehicles have received a firm monetary and public commitment from U.S. President Barack Obama.  Tesla faces tough competition in the near future, from entry-level competitors like GM's 2011 Chevy Volt and Nissan's 2011 Leaf EV.

However, it'd be premature to write off Tesla entirely.  Its Model S entry-level luxury EV looks promising, if it can keep costs contained.  It also has a key new contract with Toyota to help the Japanese automaker develop electric vehicles.



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By UNHchabo on 7/7/2010 7:28:36 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not debating the efficiency of hydrogen, I'm merely stating that currently, hydrogen has the edge on usability on long-distance road trips. I'm thinking of days when I might be driving for 10 hours at a time, like when I did this for 6 days straight while moving across the country.


By lelias2k on 7/7/2010 10:55:37 PM , Rating: 2
Good lord man, were you going at 30 mph??? lol

I came from Savannah to San Diego (~2500 miles) in 3.5 days, and only in the last day and a half I drove more than 8 hours...


By UNHchabo on 7/8/2010 2:51:14 PM , Rating: 2
I may have been exaggerating a little bit with my drive-time per day, but it did take me 6 days of driving, at least 8 hours per day, to cover ~3000 miles. I had a trailer attached to my car, and I discovered that if I went more than 55 my gas mileage plummeted in a big way.

It was especially hellish because Google Maps put us at around 48 hours of driving, which divides up nicely into 6 days of 8 hours each. Not only that, but those 8 hours fall nicely around decently well-known cities. The problem is that the speed limit is 70 for a large portion of I-80, so if you're going 55, 8 hours of driving becomes 10.

Afterwards, I vowed that I would never again drive more than an hour with a trailer attached to my car. When I move back across the country, I'm shipping my stuff, not transporting it myself. That way I can travel at the speed limit without dropping to single-digit gas mileage.


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