This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Tesla Triumphs but Questions Remain

The NYT writer blames his failure to fill up the car's battery with a full charge on advice he was given by Tesla. The real question is this: If he indeed received this bad advice, why did he follow it? Driving an electric car to a place near the range limit requires knowledge of mathematics, basic physics, logic and common sense.

This includes:

1. charge the car as much and as often as possible;

2. drive smoothly and not too much above the speed limit;

3. don't sit and idle with the heat on, thinking it will help.

If Jimmy Doolittle had piloted his plane in the same manner the NYT treated the Tesla Model S this Winter, he would never have made it to Tokyo, let alone China.

In the end, Tesla managed to turn a piece of crummy publicity into a PR triumph. All it took was for other people -- CNN as well as regular owner-volunteers -- to re-create the NYT journey, and achieve a successful result.

There are many reasons Tesla is succeeding as a company -- although that does not constitute a prediction for the stock. One of them is product positioning. There simply isn't another car in the market that's anything like it.

The $80K (and up) Tesla Model S has a EPA-certified average range of 265 miles. The only other all-electric car that beats 100 miles is the $50K Toyota RAV4 EV, which uses the Tesla drivetrain with a smaller battery. All other cars are below 100 miles, with the best-seller being Nissan LEAF at 75 miles.

Yes, I know: If you want the electric car experience for only the first 38 miles, and being able to go 370 miles in total, the GM's (GM - Get Report) Chevrolet Volt (and soon Cadillac ELR) is for you. And while that's a car that I personally prefer, considering that it costs half or less than half of the Tesla, it's not the same. It doesn't have the same acceleration, suspension, interior space, etc.

Tesla has loads of patents, a new kind of sales experience, and of course a car that is totally unique in its market positioning. This should make for a successful company.

Considering the large short interest, I'm modestly optimistic on the stock as well, but we shall see. In either case, not bad for a company that went from zero to an amazing 100% market share in record time.

At the time of submitting this article, the author was long TSLA.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.
3 of 3

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
GM $27.71 3.01%
TSLA $151.04 0.38%
AAPL $93.99 0.31%
FB $102.01 0.10%
GOOG $682.40 -0.10%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 15,973.84 +313.66 2.00%
S&P 500 1,864.78 +35.70 1.95%
NASDAQ 4,337.5120 +70.6750 1.66%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs