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
TheStreet Open House

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) 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

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

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
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

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

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, 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
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 17,074.72 +3.50 0.02%
S&P 500 1,975.71 -2.09 -0.11%
NASDAQ 4,502.9750 -2.8770 -0.06%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs