Tag Archives: tesla

Tesla builds another giant 50-Supercharger station in China

Tesla appears to be rushing toward its seemingly impossible goal to have 10,000 Superchargers online by the end of the year. In recent days and weeks, the company has been opening mega Supercharger stations with record numbers of stalls.

The latest is a new 50-stall Supercharger station in China, which makes it the biggest in the world equal to another station in China.

The news follows the launch of Tesla’s two new 40-stall stations in the US yesterday.

Tesla already had a 50-stall station in China, which became the biggest in the world when it opened in Shanghai last month. Now, Tesla updated its Supercharger station at the Baolong Plaza in Beijing from 20 stalls to 50 stalls.

Jason Man, a Tesla owner in China, keeps updated on the local Tesla charging infrastructure and says that a new impressive picture of the giant updated charging station started to make the rounds on Chinese social media:

It makes sense that Tesla is focusing on expanding its Chinese charging infrastructure since China is already the biggest market for electric vehicles, or any vehicles for that matter, and Tesla profited from the demand by tripling its sales to over $1 billion in the country in 2016.

Image result for Tesla builds another giant 50-Supercharger station in China

Tesla continues to have strong sales in the country this year, where it leads foreign electric car sales with no close second.

The company keeps growing in the market with Model S and Model X alone by expanding its presence with more stores, service centers, and Superchargers, but local manufacturing and Model 3 are expected to be needed to take the automaker to the next level in China.

Earlier this month, CEO Elon Musk said that he expects that Tesla will have a factory running in China in about 3 years.

With this new station, over the space of just a few weeks, Tesla opened 4 new record-breaking Supercharging stations – now bringing the total number of Supercharger stalls to over 7,500.

Electrek’s Take

Tesla is still a long way from their goal of 10,000 Superchargers by the end of the year, but they currently have over 80 stations under construction and several of them have 20+ stalls, according to Supercharge.info.

If they can bring most of them online over the next month, they should get pretty close to their goal.

Furthermore, Tesla recently demonstrated the ability to bring Superchargers online rather quickly. They added over 50 stations and 600 stalls over the last month and they deployed the new Supercharger corridor going to its giant Powerpack project in Australia in just 2 weeks.

I find it hard to believe that they will reach their goal with just about 6 weeks left in the year, but I wouldn’t go as far as saying that it is impossible – especially if they keep opening those new giant Supercharger stations like those in California and China.


Tesla builds another giant 50-Supercharger station in China

Elon Musk’s 1,000 hp Tesla Semi truck just became the second most desirable vehicle in the world

See, we’ve been expecting an electric truck from Tesla for a few months now and we expected it to be, well, a truck that runs on electricity. What we didn’t expect was what is possibly the most powerful, highway-legal truck in the world and what could soon be the fastest production car in the world.

First, let’s look at the stats of the Semi:

0-60 mph (96 kph): 5 seconds

0-60 mph with an 80,000 lb (over 36 tonnes): 20 seconds

Range: 500 miles (over 800 km)

Guarantee: 1 million miles (1.6 million km)

Charging speed: 30 minutes for 400 km range

And all of this awesomeness is packed into a Class 8 semi-truck with a drag coefficient that’s lower than that of the $2 mn Bugatti Chiron with a 6.5-foot cab that you can stand in.

This is, frankly, incredible. It’s a vehicle that’s more exciting than any car we’ve ever seen. And it even comes with Autopilot.

The truck is, according to Elon Musk, a big contributor to pollution. They’re large, toxic machines that pollute the Earth. The Tesla Semi, as Musk puts it, runs on sunlight.

The six-wheeled semi is powered by four independent electric motors that draw power from a battery bank in the base of the vehicle. These are the same motors that power the Tesla Model 3, so we are, in effect, looking at a 1000 hp powertrain. As Wired notes in its preview of the vehicle, torque is more important for trucks, and that’s a figure that’s not been disclosed yet.

The four rear wheels are powered by independent electric motors

Regardless, the staggering acceleration and power figures for the vehicle, and the fact that it’s running on a massive, electric powertrain, mean that torque must be, for lack of a better word, chunkmungous.

Musk claims that the vehicle can hit 60 mph in 5 seconds when unladen, and that it will hit that same speed in 20 seconds even when fully laden (around 36 tonnes, according to various highway codes in America). The vehicle will also comfortably manage 65 mph (104 kph), where diesel trucks will only hit 45 mph (72 kph) on average.

The range of 500 miles (804 km) was also a surprise, as was the charging rate. Musk claims that the vehicle will give you 400 miles (643 km) of range after 30 minutes of charging via one of Tesla’s new Megachargers. And yes, these are more powerful than the Superchargers for the Tesla cars.

Thirty minutes might seem like a long time, but Musk shares a different perspective on the matter. He points out that topping up a diesel truck takes about 15 minutes anyway, and that drivers will usually need to stop for about 30 minutes when loading and unloading the vehicle. He also points out that 400 miles of range translates to about 6-7 hours of driving, after which a driver must anyway make a mandatory rest stop.

Another interesting observation was that 80 percent of the routes in America involve less than 250 miles (402 km) of travel. The driver can thus travel to the back of beyond and still make his way back.

The cab is simultaneously futuristic and minimalistic

From the outside, the front of the truck looks vaguely like an inverted boat hull: It’s shaped like a rounded wedge. The rear wheels are encased in a cowl of sorts and massive fins enclose the gap between the cab and the trailer, further improving aerodynamics.

On the safety front, the vehicle is sorted. All trucks will come with Autopilot, which will do things like automatic braking, lane assist and all the other Autopilot features.

Driver comfort is another factor that’s important and judging by the interior, there can’t possibly be much to complain about. The six-and-a-half-foot cab is tall enough for the average person to stand in and the interior layout seats the driver towards the front-centre of the vehicle. A jump-seat is present in the rear. Tesla claims that the design of the cab allows the vehicle to see the point where the truck front meets the road.

The control column is very similar to the Tesla Model 3. It’s a minimalistic design featuring a central driving wheel and two large, 15-inch touchscreens on either side. The touchscreens provide all the information a driver needs and even double as side-view mirrors. In fact, there are no mirrors on the outside of the vehicle. Obviously, the driver need not bother with gears or a clutch.

Cost of ownership

While it’s perfectly fine for geeks like us to drool over the vehicle, it’s the folk who operate trucks that are eventually going to buy the vehicle. To that end, Tesla claims that the cost of ownership of the truck will be at worst 20 percent less than that of a diesel truck. Better yet, the Semi can operate in convoy mode, trailing other Semis, resulting in a 50 percent saving as compared to a diesel.

The vehicle will enter production by 2019, says Musk.

The second most desirable vehicle?

Ah, yes. The truck revealed today is amazing and exciting and was, for all of 10 minutes, the most desirable vehicle on the planet. It had to relinquish that title, however, to the new Tesla Roadster that rolled out of the back of the truck at the end of the presentation.

The announcement of the Roadster caught everyone by surprise

An announcement that took everyone by surprise. The Roadster is not ready for production yet but even at this stage, puts every other gasoline-powered car to shame.

If you thought the truck was awesome, the Roadster is staggering. Musk is promising a 0-60 mph time of 1.9 seconds, 0-100 mph in 4.2 seconds and the quarter mile (402 metres) in 8.9 seconds!

It features a 200 kWh battery, a 650 mile range (1,046 km), seating for two adults and two small people (kids, dwarfs, midgets, take your pick). Better yet, the roof comes off and Musk also promises a “capacious” boot. That battery is twice the size of the one in the Model 3.

It’s almost seems like the perfect family car, and Telsa promises that it will be the most powerful production car ever made. And did we mention that it’s designed to hit a top speed of over 250 mph (400+ kph)?

And get this, this superfast Roadster is just the base model.

Lest we forget, Tesla also hinted at an upcoming Tesla Pickup truck, but teased no more than an image.

 Published Date: Nov 17, 2017 11:58 am | Updated Date: Nov 17, 2017 12:12 pm

Tesla opens two largest Supercharger stations and a customer lounge

Tesla has opened its largest U.S. Superchargers with an integrated and first of-its-kind customer lounge, food services and areas designated for families. The 40-stall Supercharger station in Kettleman City and Baker, CA are strategically located at halfway points between popular travel routes, connecting Los Angeles and San Francisco and Los Angeles with Las Vegas, respectively. Each Supercharger station will include access to food and craft beverages, a kid’s play wall, pet relief area, and outdoor space for families, according a Tesla spokesperson.

In addition to the amenities aimed at providing comfort for drivers, families and their pets while charging, the new Supercharger stations will incorporate a small apparel and accessories section where people can purchase Tesla-branded items, while also learning more about the company’s line of energy products through self-guided kiosks.


The “mega” Supercharger locations follow the installation of the world’s largest Supercharger station that recently came online in Shanghai, and arrives before the busy holiday travel season. Tesla’s high-powered charging stations in Kettleman City and Baker each have a solar canopy and Tesla’s Powerpack battery storage units.

Tesla indicates that the new customer lounges will be accessible 24/7 to Tesla drivers and accessible via a building code that will be displayed on their vehicle’s touchscreen.







































Photos courtesy of @MojaTeslaX via Facebook

The new locations are also adorned with a large overhead sign bearing Tesla’s logo and the word “Supercharger”.

The California-based electric car maker is committed to expanding its network of charging stations in the U.S. and abroad. Tesla has committed to installing 1,000 Superchargers in China by the end of this year, as it looks to expand its footprint in the world’s largest auto market. The company also began to augment its Supercharger network that’s been traditionally aimed at long-distance travel with new urban Superchargers designed for inner city and local travel. Teslarati was able to capture a detailed first look at Tesla’s urban Supercharger at the North Columbus Drive station in Chicago.



Tesla to Unveil a 200 to 300-miles Range Electric Semi Truck

Is this the new semi truck Tesla is set to unveil at the end of this month? The truck, posted to Reddit (then deleted, then re-posted) bears more than a passing resemblance to the image shared in a teaser released by the automaker itself (via The Verge). The sleek angled front also looks like something you’d expect to be electrically powered, if that makes any sense.

You can compare it yourself to the mostly shadowy teaser image shared by Tesla itself, but the main unifying factor here might be those flared fenders and angled headlights, which you can pretty clearly make out in the Reddit spy shot, too. The photo above was taken “somewhere in California,” where apparently Tesla has been known to test vehicles in the past.

Tesla’s officially revealing its semi truck on October 26, at an event teased by Elon Musk himself. The truck is rumored to have a range of between 200 and 300 miles on a single charge, which would be very impressive for an all-electric heavy-duty transport vehicle, though not something that’s suitable for long-haul trips. The big question will be how it charges – and how fast.


Tesla electric semi truck possibly spied in new photo

Tesla’s ‘tiny house’ hits the road in Australia

Tesla has a new way to demonstrate the possibilities of its home solar products to potential customers – using a ‘tiny house’ on wheels, which it can tow on a rolling tour with a Tesla Model X. The Tesla Tiny House made its official debut in Australia (via Electrek), where it will welcome visitors at Melbourne’s Federation Square, before taking off for a cross-country Australian tour.


The towable Tiny House is reminiscent of the mobile design studio it introduced last September, which was a reconfigured Airstream that let people build their own Tesla vehicle as a kind of mobile virtual studio. These solar-focused demonstration trailers also feature mobile design studios and configurators within, but for Tesla’s solar products, including solar panels and its Powerwall energy storage battery for the home.

The Tiny House has actual siding this time around, which is made up of sustainable timber with not artificial chemical treatments. It weighs 2 tonnes (around 4,400 pounds) and has 2kW solar generation capacity using 6 panels, which can feed the single Powerwall battery mounted on the side.


Tesla’s ‘tiny house’ hits the road in Australia to show off solar power potential

Tesla is talking to the music labels about creating its own streaming service

Put this one in the “You can do that, but why would you want to do that?” file: Tesla is talking to the music industry about creating its own streaming music service.


Music industry sources say the carmaker has had talks with all of the major labels about licensing a proprietary music service that would come bundled with its cars, which already come equipped with a high-tech dashboard and internet connectivity.

Label sources aren’t clear about the full scope of Tesla’s ambitions, but believe it is interested in offering multiple tiers of service, starting with a Pandora-like web radio offering.

The bigger question: Why doesn’t Tesla simply integrate existing services, like Spotify or Apple Music, into all of its cars from the start — especially since Tesla already does a deal with Spotify for Teslas sold outside the U.S.?


“We believe it’s important to have an exceptional in-car experience so our customers can listen to the music they want from whatever source they choose,” a Tesla spokesperson said. “Our goal is to simply achieve maximum happiness for our customers.”

But if Tesla does want to provide music to its customers — it delivered over 100,000 cars as of January and has taken 400,000 preorders for the Model 3, due out this summer — the labels are happy to sell their stuff to the company.

They would like as many customers as possible and don’t want to end up in a world dominated by a handful of streaming outlets. Right now, Spotify and Apple have the clear lead: Spotify says it has at least 50 million paying subscribers for its service, and Apple says it has 27 million.



Driver killed in Tesla crash was warned seven times to put hands on wheel, report says

Joshua Brown’s Tesla warned him seven times to put his hands back on the wheel before he plowed into a truck.

A National Transportation Safety Board report on the deadly crash also found that Brown had his hands on the wheel of the Tesla Model S for 25 seconds out of 37 minutes that the car was on autopilot.

The crash, near Gainesville, Florida, in May 2016, drew attention because of the questions it raised about the safety of self-driving cars.

An earlier investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that the crash was not the result of any defect in Tesla’s autopilot feature, which can keep a car in a lane and brake to avoid traffic and other obstacles.

In this case, the car hit the trailer of a truck that pulled across its lanes of traffic at an intersection.

The NTSB cautioned that its report was only fact-finding about the crash. The agency said it was not drawing conclusions about why the crash happened.




US utility offers clients cheap Tesla batteries for grid backup

For the first time, a power utility has teamed up with Tesla to use its battery packs for extra grid power during peak usage times. Vermont’s Green Mountain Power (GMP) is not only installing Tesla’s industrial Powerpacks on utility land, it’s also subsidizing home Powerwall 2s for up to 2,000 customers. Rather than firing up polluting diesel generators, the utility can use them to provide electricity around the state. At night, when power usage is low, they’re charged back up again.



Green Mountain Power said the idea started after a power outage knocked out over 15,000 homes. “Three customers who had Powerwalls never lost power, so it carried their home through,” GMP CEO Mary Powell told WCAX-TV. “And unlike a generator, they didn’t have to worry about hooking it up, they didn’t have to worry about whether it was fueled.”

Once in operation, the Powerwalls will stay charged in your home. During times of peak electricity usage when its normal power sources (hydro, nuclear, wind, etc.) max out, GMP will draw from its Powerpacks and the consumer-installed Powerwalls. At night, when demand is low, the batteries are recharged.

Tesla says GMP is the first utility to do such a large-scale “grid-smoothing” installation. “There hasn’t been any really successful large-scale trial, so that’s why this is so exciting,” said Tesla CTO J.B. Straubel. “It’s been in development at Tesla for quite some time, but this is our first real deployment.”

GMP is offering 7kW Powerwalls for $15 a month or a flat fee of $1,500. That’s quite a bargain compared to the regular $3,000 price, but again, it’s only available for 2,000 homes. That’s presumably enough, however, to provide peak power backup in conjunction with the company’s industrial Powerpacks.

GMP thinks the Tesla batteries are not only less polluting than regular generators, but more economical too. “[Backup generators] are some of the dirtiest and … costliest forms of generation,” says Powell. “So when we can produce 10 megawatts of energy, that is an alternative to that peaking generation, that has tremendous economic value.”




Tesla expands in China with largest Supercharger station in Asia and new stores

Tesla China tripled its sales in 2016 to over $1 billion with over 11,000 deliveries and they continued their streak during the first quarter 2017 with a record quarter.

In order to support its growth, the company is expanding in the country with new Supercharger stations and new stores.



The automaker announced yesterday that it opened three new stores and completed the expansion of Asia’s largest Supercharger station over the last week alone.

They wrote in a press release (translated from Chinese):

“In the fourth year since our introduction in China, Tesla continues to strengthen its commitment to investing and expanding the service network and facilities in order to allow more Chinese customers to join us and to experience intelligent, convenient and environmentally friendly pure electric mobility.”

One of the new stores they opened last week is located at the ‘Galaxy COCO Park’ in Shezhen:

It’s the fourth store in the Shezhen region. They are also adding 3 more Supercharger stations around the city.

Finally, Tesla is also continuing its Supercharger expansion in the country.

Last month, the automaker announced a greater than anticipated expansion of its fast-charging network, which especially involves installing more charging stalls per station.

Tesla’s Supercharger stations had an average of 6 stalls per station and the biggest ones had between 8 and 12 stalls. A few had up to 20 stations, but now Tesla is planning stations with dozens of Superchargers – even some with between 50 and 100 stalls.

In China, they have 530 Superchargers at 110 different stations. Last week, Tesla expanded the Supercharger located in Beijing Huamao Center to 20 stalls – making it the largest in Asia.

It looks like China remains an important market for Tesla in the short-term, especially since the recent success that they have been having the country. In the long-term, it will likely involve local production, which has been rumored for years, and the introduction of the Model 3.



Tesla expands in China with largest Supercharger station in Asia and new stores

Elon Musk’s Tesla starts taking orders for solar glass roof tiles; delivery due this year

Tesla has started taking orders for traditional-looking glass roof tiles that soak up solar power to generate electricity.

Installations are to start next month, beginning with California and gradually rolling out to other U.S. markets, Tesla said. Overseas markets will be added to the mix next year, said Elon Musk, Tesla’s billionaire CEO.

“I think it will be great,” Musk tweeted.

In a blog posting, Tesla said “the typical homeowner can expect to pay $21.85 per square foot” for the product it calls Solar Roof. That’s significantly more than the cost of a traditional asphalt roof, based on Consumer Reports’ estimates, but closer to competitive in price when the anticipated electric-bill savings are factored in.

For a 3,000-square-foot roof in the Seattle area, the estimated cost is $79,500, plus $7,000 for a Powerwall battery system. (The math works out to more than $21.85 per square foot because there’s a higher proportion of power-generating tiles.)

Anticipated savings include a $21,000 tax credit and $41,900 in reduced electricity bills. Net cost over 30 years: $23,600.

That’s close to Consumer Reports’ estimated cost of $20,000 for a 3,000-square-foot asphalt roof, although estimates for the Seattle area could be less.

To check the estimates for your house, try Tesla’s Solar Roof Calculator.

Solar Roof builds on the solar-panel installation business set up by SolarCity, which merged with the Tesla electric-car company last year. Musk had a significant interest in both ventures, and he has repeatedly touted the synergy that comes from integrating solar energy systems with Tesla’s Powerwall batteries and electric cars.

The roof tiles are due to be made on a pilot basis at Tesla’s factory in Fremont, Calif., and production is expected to ramp up in the months ahead at a new facility in Buffalo, N.Y. Installation will be performed by SolarCity, which is now a Tesla subsidiary.

“Black glass smooth and textured will be first,” Musk said in a follow-up tweet. “Tuscan and French Slate in about six months.”

Musk discussed the roof tile design, and the business model behind it, last month during a TED talk in Vancouver, B.C.:

“You can adjust the texture and the color to a very fine-grained level,and then there’s sort of micro-louvers in the glass, such that when you’re looking at the roof from street level or close to street level, all the tiles look the same whether there is a solar cell behind it or not.So you have an even color from the ground level. If you were to look at it from a helicopter, you would be actually able to look through and see that some of the glass tiles have a solar cell behind them and some do not. You can’t tell from street level. …

A solar glass roof will be less than the cost of a normal roof plus the cost of electricity. So in other words, this will be economically a no-brainer, we think it will look great, and it will last. We thought about having the warranty be infinity, but then people thought, well, that might sound like we’re just talking rubbish, but actually this is toughened glass. Well after the house has collapsed and there’s nothing there, the glass tiles will still be there.”

Musk said that in most areas of the U.S., houses should have enough roof area to provide power for all of the household’s needs.

“If you, say, were to fast-forward to say 15 years from now, it will be unusual to have a roof that does not have solar,” he said.

The development of electricity-generating roof tiles is part of a dizzying array of technological initiatives that Musk has been juggling over the past few years.

Other initiatives include Tesla’s Model 3, an electric car designed for the mass market, and a soon-to-be-unveiled all-electric truck; SpaceX’s crew-capable Dragon capsule and super-sized Falcon Heavy rocket; the Hyperloop mass-transit concept; an effort to develop lower-cost tunnel boring equipment; and the Neuralink venture to implant wirelessly connected computer chips in human brains.




The crucial money decision Elon Musk made when he was broke

In a span of less than four months, Tesla Motors (TSLA) founder and CEO Elon Musk has added $2.3 billion to his personal wealth . Musk is now worth more than $13 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaire Index, but it could have worked out very differently.

In fact, a crucial decision Elon Musk was forced to make in 2010 when, by his own account, the billionaire was broke, is one of the reasons Musk has been able to cash in on Tesla’s rapid share rise this year: Musk held on to shares at the very moment when a sale to raise cash would have made financial sense.

Musk, who had $200 million in cash at one point, invested “his last cent in his businesses” and said in a 2010 divorce proceeding, “About four months ago, I ran out of cash.” Musk told the New York Times’ DealBook at that time, “I could have either done a rushed private stock sale or borrowed money from friends.”

It’s a dilemma that many entrepreneurs face, but there is a big difference between the options available to Musk and the options available to most business owners. Musk was able to live on $200,000 a month in loans from billionaire friends — while still flying in a private jet — rather than sell any of his Tesla stake. Though the root of the problem is the same: intangible assets or, in other words, a business owner who is “asset rich” and “cash poor.” And it can lead business owners to the most difficult decision of all: having to sell a piece or even all of their company.

This is not a problem limited to founders of technology start-ups based in California.

“It’s really one of those tough scenarios with no good answers,” said Richard Stumpf, CFP and managing partner of Wichita, Kansas-based Financial Benefits. Stumpf has worked with farmers in this situation, and sometimes for reasons that are similar to what drove Musk to admit he was broke: divorce.

“It happens all the time here,” he said. “Farming 2,000 acres … asset-rich, cash-poor. And the options are limited, quite frankly.”

Even if you have friends as nice as Elon’s, borrowing money can cause problems. Years ago a friend of Stumpf’s, who owned a heavy road construction company, got into a bind and borrowed money from buddies. He eventually paid them back, but got behind and risked ruining relationships. In the end the business survived better than his strained friendships.

Even for business owners with collateral to back the loan, the cash flow needs to be coming in to meet debt payments. And in many cases lenders are picky about asset types they will accept. Intangible assets are not the type of collateral that a typical commercial lender will accept, said Andrew Sherman, partner at Seyfarth Shaw, who has worked with companies at all stages of development.

“The bank is in the business of collecting interest, not foreclosing on collateral,” Stumpf said. “Selling the business or some of the ground that you don’t want to sell can be the only way to survive,” he said.


This can be a good problem for business owners who have contracts lined up that will create significant cash flow but for which expansion is first needed. But selling equity to fund expansion is often a dreaded decision — and for good reason.

“You don’t want to go the way of angel investors, because you know you’re giving away a whole lot more than you’re getting,” Stumpf said. “In a fast-growing business, you sell 10 percent for cash to make it continue to grow, but when you’re growing 30 percent to 40 percent a year, that’s a heck of a return on capital” being given to someone else. “It’s a shame when that happens with a viable business,” Stumpf added.

Sherman said many entrepreneurs need to turn to the equity markets to solve cash flow problems, reaching out to angels, angel networks, online funding or private placements, especially when they lack real estate or inventory or equipment to pledge as collateral. In the short term it can be attractive, since it does not need to be paid back, but in the medium and long run it can be “a very costly source of capital” for a business that is growing and can expect its equity to increase in value, Sherman said.

One hybrid strategy is to partner with an angel for a bank loan, where the angel provides a guaranty with its personal balance sheet to secure the loan and receives equity or warrants in return. The business owner is still giving up equity, but far less equity than in a straight sale, since the risk to the investor is much lower, Sherman said.

There is an operating principle of entrepreneurship that makes it likely that business founders will face this situation at some point in a company’s development. Owners plow profits back into a business, and the business itself is often 80 percent to 90 percent of their net worth, Stumpf estimated. In a fast-growth business, retained earnings should be low because the owner is reinvesting in the business.

“They will do whatever they can to keep the business alive,” Stumpf said. His prime example is himself. “What I took out of paycheck in the first few years was insignificant. I was buying new computers or subscribing to information services or doing marketing programs. I don’t have a million dollars’ worth of a factory behind me, but I was still doing same thing — reinvesting in the business rather than taking big paychecks home.”

As CEO and co-founder of small-business finance company Biz2Credit, Rohit Arora has a lot of experience with business founders facing the decision to sell as a result of early success. Owners of quickly growing business are barely paying themselves and can only withstand so much of a lack of equity in the business before it becomes a cash flow challenge. “While you’re doing great on paper, just to keep operating at the expanding scale, we have seen owners have to get an equity infusion,” Arora said.

Entrepreneurs can raise money in the debt market, but after a certain point debt gets very expensive. “It’s a classic mousetrap,” Arora said. “A growing business that looks good and there’s lots of money going in and out, plenty of cash flow, but any time there is a hiccup, all the cash flow gets sucked up.”

One of Arora’s clients, an entrepreneur in his 30s who rapidly grew a series of franchised smartphone stories in New York City, borrowed often from the Biz2Credit platform as the business grew to 50 stores over four years. The expansion was so swift that it turned into an asset-rich, cash-poor situation, with the entrepreneur needing more money to run the 50 stores, and for reasons from payroll to stocking expensive smartphones. The notorious Samsung Galaxy Note 7 fire recall put this owner in an immediate cash crunch — he had to wait three to four months for compensation from Samsung.

He really only had two options: Sell a stake or sell the entire operation. He ended up doing both, initially selling a stake but ultimately selling the entire business to a large distributor of phone accessories who was keen to reach customers directly.

“I’ve seen it so many times,” Arora said. “He needed to give up equity, and once he got it, it stabilized the company. But as an entrepreneur, it was difficult working for someone else. He decided it was better to get totally out.”

“In any high-growth business, I don’t think you can do anything much different to avoid it,” Arora said, though he does suggest that geographic expansion beyond an existing successful footprint be considered with caution.

For entrepreneurs, the good news is that there’s always another business to create with the proceeds from a sale. The smartphone store entrepreneur could have sold to a bigger chain or even at a higher price if his hand hadn’t been forced, Arora said. But he made good money and is now back with several new businesses, including one in the smartphone accessories market.

He took what he learned about selling accessories and doing smartphone repairs to the online world, where margins and volume are higher. And instead of lamenting the loss of physical stores, the entrepreneur has eliminated the risk of a cash crunch associated with retail locations.


Tesla workers are threatening to strike

The Tesla workers who are key to ensuring the automaker meets its lofty production targets are threatening to strike, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.

The German industrial trade union IG Metall is calling for a worker strike at Grohmann Engineering, the German engineering company Tesla bought in November, claiming workers have been making 30% below union wages since Tesla acquired the company, according to the report. IG Metall could decide by late Tuesday whether it will call for a strike to negotiate new wages.

Tesla denied the claim that Grohmann workers were making 30% below union wages.

“We continue to work directly with Tesla Grohmann employees and are prepared in the event there is an action initiated by the union,” a Tesla representative wrote in a statement to Business Insider. “We don’t anticipate any impact on the Model 3 timeline.”

The California-based automaker acquired Grohmann as part of an effort to further automate its factories and speed up production.

In the past, Tesla has experienced severe manufacturing issues, most notably with the Model X, which suffered three years of delays. (The Model S also faced delays and was delivered in mid-2011 instead of 2010.)

The Model 3 will serve as Tesla’s greatest test yet, and it is scheduled to begin rolling off assembly lines by the end of this year. Tesla ultimately hopes to sell 500,000 vehicles a year starting in 2018.

The electric-car maker missed on deliveries in 2016 (it shipped 76,230 cars, versus its forecast for 80,000 to 90,000) and must now contend with the Model 3 on top of Model S and Model X production.

There’s a lot of pressure for Tesla to execute on the Model 3. The company is valued as high as Ford and GM despite selling a fraction of the vehicles.

Tesla factory workers in Fremont, California, are looking to form a union because of what they say are difficult work conditions and “excessive mandatory overtime.”



After a Twitter complaint, Elon Musk makes a rapid fix

Some owners of electric cars have made it a habit to use charging stations as parking spots well after their charge is complete, and other electric car drivers are getting sick of it.

One took the problem straight to Tesla CEO Elon Musk last week when he tweeted to him, “The San Mateo supercharger is always full with idiots who leave their tesla for hours even if already charged.” Within minutes, Musk replied: “You’re right, this is becoming an issue. Supercharger spots are meant for charging, not parking. Will take action.” Six days later he did, and while some are debating the merits of his solution, others are applauding his fast response, as strategy consultant Richard Jhang did when he wrote on LinkedIn: “Idea to execution in 6 days. Copy that.” To remedy the problem, the company is “introducing a fleet-wide idle fee that aims to increase Supercharger availability,” per a Tesla blog post.

“For every additional minute a car remains connected to the Supercharger, it will incur a $0.40 idle fee.” If the car is moved within five minutes, the fee is waived.

(An app alerts Tesla owners when the charge is nearly complete.) Inc.com calls it exemplary customer service, while Loic Le Meur, the man whose tweet got the ball rolling, writes on Medium that it was Musk’s personal response that won him over.

“That is one of the reasons he is so successful,” he writes. “He manages a 30,000 employee public company like an agile startup.”



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