Canticle of the Sun

rickard

I’m busy as Santa in the EVTV shop vainly striving to tease clever out of not very good C++ code. Surrounded by too much equipment costing far too much to do so little. Fumbling with my blighted mind and recall, bereft of friend or assistant, and mired in an overwhelming sense of disorder and detail I’ve failed to address. My aging carcass failing to meet the call…

And as quickly, my own ingratitude smights me across the face with a sudden violence left gasping.

In truth, and oblivious, I preside over 12 or 13 various kilowatts of power ebbing and flowing at the whim of the clouds into and out of a Tesla Model S 85kWh battery pack on the wall with a cavalier indifference to the most humbling miracle of our age. The harnessing of electricity to do our work itself a scant 140 years recent of some 13,000 years of recorded or at least vaguely alluded to human history. As luck would have it, encompassing the brief three score and ten alloted me personally, and perhaps another ten if able.

And here I am with the power of 18 mighty equine steeds at my beck, call and fingertips in our little TEST setup designed and ordered not precisely to DO anything, but just to allow me to play with software and hardware to measure and direct its direction and flow. Assembled for my personal entertainment. Sunlight, silent as sin converted to electricity, measurable in flashing red LED, to iron shafts turning in the breeze.

Never mind that at the moment, it is powering every activity in our 14,500 square foot building. But most of all, that it comes and derives from everywhere and at the same time nowhere, conjured out of the ether, and available while the sun doth shine on both the good and the evil, and now when it does not as well thank you Elon Musk and John B. Goodenough.

What a privilege and miracle of our age. That with magic rocks we can bend the will of the very stars to do our bidding, be it as mundane as to turn the blades of a fan to relieve the heat of the day of the same sun. To sit at comfort and ease while in control of the world surrounding, even to its temperature and a fair wind. All measured in brightly lit red LED numerals for my entertainment.

This mangled mayhem comprised literally of junk pried out of the boneyard of discarded damaged cars and boxes of equipment that travelled 8000 miles to my shop floor on giant metal birds hurled into the air by other men. We give it no thought at all. It would be otherwise? To switch tirelessly 20 million times per second striving to guess my wonder and desire minute by minute and second by second. And to dance to whatever story I type onto the screen and assemble to other magic rocks.

On the roof lie quiet slabs of heroism, baking themselves in the horrendous rain of radiation from the sky, to part electrons from their rightful places in the very substance and heart of matter itself and redirect them to their destinations enroute to the wandering whims that might dance across my fancy.

And 140 years of belching billowing clouds of smoke and ash and thousands of miles of strung copper beads across the sky, the investment of two lifetimes of striving men, might as well never have been and likely shortly will be no more. All the power I might ever need falling silently on the roof structure above me, designed to shed the rain, never a thought to glean the sun. No roaring turbines. No pounding pistons. No thunderous roar of falling water. No thrumming of giant generators. Not even a hum. The silence of sunlight and the flashing red LEDs’. A few lines of courier text flickering on a laptop display. And more power than I can ever use, charging cars and making ice and light.

Our little controller is working well to communicate with the Tesla Model S battery BMS. The Chinese MPPT charge controller capably producing the full merit of 40 Panasonic HIT 325 watt panels. And a boxy, large Chinese 20 kW inverter, opened to allow me to admire huge old-fashioned transformers doing their work. I left all the lights on in the shop last night, to add to the two refrigerators that run day and night, in the hopes I could find our battery at low ebb this morning. It hardly marked it. Some strange glitch in my software that causes it to jump tracks in the night preventing my early morning autopsy, but it matters little. We don’t appear to have dipped below 70% state of charge, and by 2:00 in the afternoon we are back to a full larder of anxious electrons ready to loose the hounds of hell on any I direct.

What miracle is this? What age do we live in? The corrosively destructive negativism making noises on our little boxes strains to alter our view of reality. Whispering death and destruction to family and hearth of men. But it cannot. The evidence envelopes me. A beneficient universe overflowing with plenty, if we but put out hand to it… lightly and easily. Not to plow or strain or carry the weight of the world on our very backs, the stones of our churches nor the lumber of our cities. No more. With a waive of our wrist, inexhaustible power to fly to the very stars at whim. Or go to Schnucks grocery for a couple of quarts of V-8 juice. Your choice.

Some 15 refineries were going off line courtesy of Himicane Harvey, from Corpus Christi, Texas, to Port Arthur, Texas, the Energy Department reported. The list included the largest refinery in the U.S., the Saudi-owned Motiva plant in Port Arthur, which began what it called “a controlled shutdown.”

Taken together, the closures represent about 25% of U.S. refining capacity. With 15 Houston refineries closed as of Wednesday due to flooding, gasoline prices are rising. The national average hit $2.43 per gallon as of 2:15 p.m. Wednesday, up 7 cents from a week ago, according to consumer information site GasBuddy.com.

The irony is absurd. Would you believe the shutdown is largely a function of loss of electrical power? Once it hits the evening news, Americans across the land will rush to the local gas stations to fill up, potentially triggering a year-long “gas shortage” that makes no sense at all. We currently have a RECORD 500 million barrels of crude oil on hand – a glut by any other name would smell as light, sweet, and crude.

I’ve made the claim in the past, to no ones wondering ears, that I can move farther on the electricity used to refine the gasoline than I can on the gasoline itself which you may keep by the way. It would appear a lack of electricity is bringing the iron wheels and bubbling pots of the refineries to a screeching halt. While they actually sit in the baleful glare of the Houston sun – enough power to do anything they want. So arrogant and mighty they fail to know just WHAT to want…

Harry Shilling is working heroically to wrest my virtually abandoned aircraft hangar and aircraft from the clutches of a group of American Kestrel’s. His daughter was actually on television announcing Anheiser Busch’s decision to can and ship hundreds of thousands of cases of WATER to the gulf coast. A lot of the locals wish they had stuck to plan and shipped beer instead. She’s done well as brewmeistress.

I was in San Diego during the last gasoline shortage in 1978. Starting out, it really wasn’t much of a shortage. A few gas stations closed an hour earlier each day as their deliveries were a little short of what was ordered. They were “on allotment” as supplies were just a tad low. Then it hit the televised evening news and in the apartment complex where I lived at the time I could actually HEAR the engines of ALL the cars in the complex start up in a simultaneous crescendo of rumble and belching smoke.

And off everyone went to fill up before it was gone. Ironically, nearly half the storage capacity of gasoline in the country resides in our own vehicle tanks. Nominally half full, if everyone fills them up, it sucks up 25% of the gasoline in the land. By morning, it WAS gone. Four hour waits inline for a rationed maximum of 10 gallons. One enterprising Mexican hero hauled 80 five gallon cans of gasoline up two flights of stairs to his one-bedroom apartment, Exhausted, he sat down for a quick RC cola and a moon pie – and a Pall Mall cigarette. Took out two blocks and 30 people killed or injured.

They instituted a bizarre law that you could only go to the gas station on alternate days based on whether you ha license plate ending in an even number or an odd number. This immediately gave rise to a burgeoning black market trade in stolen license plates. A pickup truck without a tank in the back was unsaleable. Diesel cars became all the rage. The microscopic Honda car recently introduced was going for twice the sticker price on two year old models. Tempers were short and the sound of gunfire announced the gasoline waiting lines. It was over a year before the place returned to normal.

Johnny Carson actually cracked a joke about a potential toilet paper shortage in New York City and by morning there was not a square to spare anywhere in the city.

So no, 2017 has no particular intellectual property rights to the concept of silly. Even if a shortage of electricity in a sunbaked Houston causes a gasoline shortage to go along with the stench of drying flooded ground.

I sit surrounded by all the pieces necessary, not for society, but for any single man with a clue to free himself individually and by his own hand of all of that. And the costs have declined to the point where it is all obtainium even by mere mortals. And if current trends prevail, I can see a day within a half dozen years or so where it can really be done at a rational cost anyone might consider. With electricity generated precisely at the point where it is needed and used.

And the question of distributing it, even two blocks away, would cause an immediate question as to why? Doesn’t the sun shine there?

This past August 21st we were visited by a total eclipse of the sun. Cape Girardeau resides in the path of totality. But Carbondale Illinois and Southern Illinois University were dead smack in the middle of the path and so would see the longest duration total eclipse. Worse, they were designated an event center by NASA and a big splash was planned in their football stadium for the event. They lorded it over Cape Girardeau for weeks leading up to the event. Their day in the sun so to speak.


The morning of the 21st dawned with cobalt clear skies both places. But about 20 minutes before the event, the skies closed and a light rain began in Carbondale. It continued until about 20 minutes after the end of totality. I couldn’t help it. I laughed till I cried.

I had recently purchased an Azure Dynamics eTransit Connect that had been sitting in Boise Idaho for several years inoperative. At a loss as to how to make it go, the guy finally called and wanted to know if I would make an offer. I offered him $2500 for it thinking I could use it for odd parts we don’t have for our own eTransit connect as they are total orphans at this point. Azure Dynamics went bankrupt in 2012. Would you believe that that was NOT ENOUGH for the vehicle. He valued it higher than that and wanted MORE. He had no idea what it was worth, just whatever I thought plus some MORE. So we settled at $2750. People never change or vary very much from the norm.

So I invited Byron Izbenhard of Kalamazoo down for the solar eclipse. He fixed mine the last time with a wake on charge module-ectomy. Thinking he might at least take a look at it to see if it could be resurrected. He stopped in Illinois to join Kevin Smith and his buddy Kyle and they all came down to stay. No hotels were available for a 100 miles and the cottage I offered had a fouled air conditioner which made for a hot night. So they all stayed in Kevin’s camper, parked INSIDE my set room, which is air conditioned as it turns out.

In any event, we all had a great time playing with the toys. Incredibly, there is a wakeup signal to the battery which is routed through the inertia switch on the van. After actually removing the battery and inspecting it we could find nothing wrong with it – 342 volts in both halves. So we reinstalled it and Byron found the inertia switch and reset it without much hope of a change. Presto, we had a working AZD van. Actually a second one. By pressing and resetting a rubber button.

The eclipse commenced here at 11:54 AM and reached totality at 1:21 PM for a bit less than two minutes. But I have to say, while I pretty much knew what would happen, it has been 99 years since such an event on the U.S. continent. And it took me by surprise. A surreal twilight, cicadas broke into evening song, birds were diving for their roosts, the temperature dropped 15 degrees. It was one of the most bizarre sights of my life. And video/photos don’t touch it. It is famously difficult to video or photograph for one thing. But it just doesn’t ecompass the eerie twilight and change in temperature that accompanies it.

It is the nature of humanoids to treat all miracles as ordinary, and all manner of misfortune as exceptional. But to have the sun go dark and actually FEEL the loss of radiant energy puts a point on just how much energy falls on our heads. We are familiar with both the cool of the night and the heat of the day and give it little thought. But to FEEL in the course of two minutes, the midday sun go dark, makes the point in a way no other event can.

The entire thing is really a miracle. And while everyone is pretty aware that it is a rare event, I doubt 1% of the population is really aware of how very rare in the entire universe it really is. Indeed, the odds against it happening at all are actually just preposterous – like winning 1400 Powerball lotteries in a row.

Objects vary in their apparent size to our eye based not only on their true size, but their distance. The sun is 864,576 miles in diameter while our moon is 2,159 miles in diameter. And so if they were the same distance away, the sun would naturally appear to be 400.452 times larger in the sky.

Of course they are not the same distance away. The moon is about 238,900 miles from earth. The sun is 92,960,000 miles from the earth, give or take. Incredibly, this is about 389.125 times farther away. What are the chances, eh?

And so the apparent diameter of the moon, is just SLIGHTLY smaller than the apparent diameter of the sun, and it can block out the sun’s radiant disk, leaving the corona visible around the moon in a once in a lifetime visual. The odds of this unlikely distance/diameter ratio being repeated ANYWHERE IN THE UNIVERSE are PREPOSTEROUS. If you did have TRILLIONS of GALAXIES, and we really probably do not, that really probably isn’t enough.

Coincidence? You know, I’ve just never been good at the whole coincidence thing.

But wait, there’s more. Would you believe there is going to be ANOTHER total eclipse of the sun in North Amerian in just seven years? The next total eclipse for North America will come on April 8, 2024. It will run almost 90 degrees, at right angles, to the path of this one. And would you believe, speaking of irrational odds, where the dead stroke CENTER of the path of THAT eclipse will be??????

Cape Girardeau Missouri… and would you believe, Carbondale as well. I’m predicting rain for Carbondale again.

Thus far in 2017, as of the first week of September, our little planet has generated about 286 million billion British Thermal Units of energy based on crude oil, coal, and natural gas – the fossil fuel triumvirate. Solar production is a relatively infinitesimal 803 thousand billion BTUs’ Removing all the brazillians of zeros, picture 286 to 0.80. Another impossible ratio. But in my tiny shop in the eclipse-crossed midwest, it feels like the first moments of dawn of a new age. With a whispered sense of a secret…known to just a handful. Harnessing the power of the very stars…

And so my Canticle of the Sun…

Jack Rickard

34 thoughts on “Canticle of the Sun”

  1. Pretty amazing that you’ll get to totality for both eclipses! What odds.
    We had totality at my shop in Corvallis too. Blessed with perfect weather and a full load of out of town campers (arriving days early to avoid traffic) had many of us calling it a “burning man without the dust, and with flush toilet and running water.” Half the fun was the eclipse, the other half was hanging out with wonderful old friends. Definitely a great experience.
    Thanks again for your insightful and entertaining writings!

  2. Hi Jack,
    Your opening lines will warm the heart of any mariner stuck in a sail ship in the South Pole…

    You are very much liked – loved even. And you have quite a followership. I particularly like that you did a Captain Bigglesworth stint apart from sailing the high seas.

    I noticed the program listed the state of charge of the pack at 100%. Are we getting an option for stacking a second pack soon? With one controller? Then there is this article on the Tesla forum about pack life longevity and full charge. How about providing ability to set maximum charge state limits, say 70, 80, 90 and 100%?

    I have just checked the store and cannot find the full Tesla pack option? When will these be available, may I ask? Best Regards.

    1. Still hammering at the software at the moment. And then another hardware prototype using some of the stuff from the 30kW pack development. We’ve gone to contactors with aux contacts to detect welded contacts for example. Two CAN ports. A couple of external signals one for CHARGE ENABLE that I already need badly with the MPPT Charge controller. Internal DC-DC converter and a battery to eliminate the need for external 12v to operate this thing. I don’t HAVE a battery to convert to 12v until I get the internal contactors in the pack to close, so need a 12v battery to start the process, then recharge it once the contactors close, etc. etc.

      And I’m again humbled that even using Tesla’s BMS, we’re basically adding a BMS layer to that and there are a million little “gotchas” in stuff I just had not foreseen. But I’ll grind it out.

      Jack

  3. I am wondering how this thing would work for me right now. In one way, I want it, your system, to be on a trailer which can power a tiny house. In another way, I want it built on a trailer to use as a way to charge/power a Nissan Leaf as to increase the range. Ideas to make it happen?

    1. Hi John, please do not get a trailer!

      85KWh loose on a trailer pulled by a Nissan Leaf is completely incomprehensible and can be just a little DANGEROUS. Did I just say what?

      Now if you want Jack to design a hack for a Tesla (specifically a Model S) to connect to a Chinese inverter, that after supercharging connects to a small house, we may be onto something. Did I just say that? Please forget I said that.

      Elon, how about a check on how many hours of charge convert to rubber on the road and how many are used for camping ?

  4. Jack,
    What is the dimension, in inches, of the distance from hub to hub on the Tesla rear drive assembly.
    I am trying to figure out if the Tesla drive assembly will fit my electric Corvair(Electrovair III), without having to flair the wheel wells.
    Keep up the good work,
    Larry

  5. As a young boy, the Space Race was in full swing and I was into all things Space-related. I still recall perusing the eclipse tables at 5 or 6 years old and despairing. But damn, it was worth the wait! Same experience as you Jack; rationalizing just doesn’t prepare you for that little peek behind the curtain.

    1. I came here to type basically the same thing. 😉 It’s not quite Big Gulp. Pretty close. Just years too early. ….Actually I think he did change the idea to more upmarket foods as he refined the idea.

  6. I had entered a comment to the August video in the you tube channel but I’m not sure it gets looked at for response. What I’m curious about is why you would fuse the batteries on the negative side of the battery? I stated that the fuse would probably work for protection but after it opened the circuit, anything on the line side of the fuse would remain at line voltage , essentially the whole circuit (not desirable). I stated that the fuse would work for short circuit and overload but on second thought the short circuit aspect of the fuse would not work because the short probably would be line side of the fuse and therefore the fuse would not have a chance to work.

    1. Ideally the ev would have good frame isolation for both B+ and B- lines. I had the displeasure of working on a golf cart last month that did not have frame isolation. DC hurts. It had a brushed DC motor so even if it was properly designed, graphite dust from the brushes can cause voltage leaks. Some packs have the fuse dead center in the pack. The 12 volt chassis ground on dino burners is so last century.

  7. “Cape Girardeau Missouri… and would you believe, Carbondale as well. I’m predicting rain for Carbondale again.”

    CHORTLE!

    Dear Sir, you must realize, that just for thinking that, let alone expressing it in pixels on a digital screen and divulging it to world at large via the internet, you will forevermore be slowly turned on a spit in the hottest part of Dante’s inferno. Though even the devil himself will have to acknowledge that he could never surpass the pure unadulterated evil of that thought and every time he walks by your slowly roasting carcass, he will have to humbly bow his horned head and jealously acknowledge that with that, you had him beat. 😉
    Cheers!

  8. Jack, you are not alone with Selfish Solar concept:
    “Legion Solar with SolarRegulator™ does not put energy back into the grid. Our solution allows you to contain the energy that you produce on your side of the meter where the utility company does not own. As a result, it is not necessary to seek interconnection approval and/or permits pertaining to grid tied solar interconnection. Legion Solar works with your existing rate program to simply drive your consumption down. In other words, the utility company only sees less consumption from you, not a grid tied solar system.”

    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/plxdevices/legion-solar-2-energy-made-simple

    1. I understand your desire to promote your kickstarter program. And I generally applaud innovation and anything in alternate energy or solar is laudable. But this is EXACTLY the tact that Selfish Solar is devised to destroy. Everyone touching solar wants to do a LITTLE BIT of solar. A toe in the water. Kind of like not using plastic grocery bags will save the earth. MOst of what I perceive as problems with solar equipment is this desire for a wider market by making it all things to all people and certainly something that can be used to do a LITTLE BIT OF SOLAR.

      This is kind of like getting people to convert to electric cars by offering them rides in a golf cart, or more to point, an elevator. It gives precisely the WRONG impression, accentuating the limitations, which are not limitations of electric cars at all, but limitations of golf carts and elevators.

      It is my position that the costs of equipment have dropped sufficiently for us to do REAL SOLAR POWER for our homes or shops or commercial buildings. To actually power them that way. Not to dabble with it or put a toe in the water. BIG solar. 50kW arrays. 85kWh batteries. 20-50kW inverters.

      And of course, one of the cost saving strategies is to repurpose electric car equipment to this purpose, particularly the batteries. As several have pointed out, there should even be a way to repurpose the motor inverters to produce 60Hz AC. Imagine a Tesla inverter that can do 350kW. Ok, since it is more or less continous, let’s derate it to 200kW.

      100 watt solar systems to recharge my phone simply misses the point and actually makes the WRONG statement. Solar is good for little things. No. The message is that solar has reached the point where we could realistically really use it for electrical power, with very little added by the grid. And eventually nothing.

      I hardly invented off-grid solar. But again, for cost reasons those tend to be weeny 5kW systems. Try 50kW. And for cost reasons, let’s reuse EV parts. And that really implies a 360v buss.
      Jack

  9. Hey Jack, I know this has been brought up before, but would you ever consider turning evtv into a subscription based service? Like the good old days of publishing…….I’m sure you’ll find a couple of die hards willing to pay a monthly fee, myself included.

    1. They were the good old days of publishing. Today, there is a constant competition from free online videos and blogs such that it really doesn’t make much sense.

      I kind of learned this in the 1990’s with Boardwatch. The more I gave away, the more I got. Kind of a counter-intuitive law of the universe.

      I support a couple of people with Patreon and had considered that. But the constant begging on YouTube for Patreon support has kind of turned me off of it entirely.

      The quest for Euchre has become desperate and universal. And very distasteful to view. While my previous fortune trickles away before my eyes, I remain kind of transfixed with a reluctance to join the ingnomious grubbing for quarters in the carpet.

      I appreciate your support in so many ways. We’ll stumble along as we have. But thank you.

      Jack Rickard

        1. There is merit in your words. But I would offer a bit different perspective. I have alluded to the fact that pricing of rapidly moving technology is graven in jello and that I don’t spend much time on it. What I haven’t mentioned is that profits are too.

          Bob Mahoney of Exec-PC in Minneapolis told me 25 years ago that making money was not a sufficiently complex set of goals to be self sustaining. I puzzled over that for some time. He later sold Exec-PC for twenty something million and literally bought an island.

          IF your object is either to MAKE a lot of money or so commonly to somehow “save” a lot of money, I have some bad news for you. Money is always going to plague your day and every waking thought.

          If you have a MISSION and work at it, particularly in the areas of technological innovation, you won’t have time to think about money very much and ultimately you won’t be able to get out of the way of it.

          Don’t ask me how I know.

          Jack Rickard

          1. Jack,

            The small fortune is just an old joke that I thought was kind of funny but I realize that showing a profit on a small business is just an excuse for IRS to gain more taxes. I think George Hamstra talked about that at one of the EVCCONs. The real profit comes when a brand is built and the business is sold. But in your case, I believe you are after achieving something more than just making money. There are 100,000 EVs on the road now and look at the price of crude and gasoline. I bet those big oil boys hate you! And you are not done, as you are now going after those guys who have wires going into almost every house in America. Figure those guys are not going to be real happy with you either by the time you finish,

            Keep up the fight and know that there are those of us out here who appreciate all you do!

            Randy

    1. Asphalt in Lithium battery also reduces dendrite growth according to research at Rice University. General info on New Atlas – http://newatlas.com/asphalt-lithium-metal-batteries/51587/

      Published info in ACS Nano
      http://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acsnano.7b05874

      Rice University (Houston, TX)
      2017-09-27 in ACS Nano.7b05874
      “Ultrafast Charging High Capacity Asphalt-Lithium Metal Batteries”
      Tuo Want, Rdrigo Villegas Salvatierra, Almaz S. Jalilov, Jian Tian and James M. Tour
      .
      Anode – Asphalt (gilsonite), graphene nanoribbons, Lithium (Asp-GNR-Li)
      Faster charge (20mA/cm2) and slower dendrite growth
      Combined with sulfurized carbon cathode for high power density (1322W/kg) and energy density (943Wh/kg)

      1. It’s very interesting. And it smells of something difficult to manufacture. But I do like those numbers. And yes, it will be something stupid like asphalt or gypsum or vermiculite that finally gets us to the next step function in battery capacity.

        Jack Rickard

  10. Jack.. great

    I also think that Tesla could become the dominant company in 15 years.
    But when saying that it would be honest to say Panasonic-Tesla

    The succès of Tesla was only possible because of full support of Panasonic.
    Without Panasonic no Tesla succès would have been possible and this never mentionned.

    What is my forecast for the next 5years.
    Tesla3 is the turning point for Tesla and the company will have stop burn cash in q1 2019.

    If they sell tesla3 at 250k units year for 3 consecutive years at 40000$ average for 60kwh they will generate 10.000 $ margin because they could produce tesla3 for 18.000$ plus 8000$ Battery and 4000$ factory salary in California.
    The only car that could perturbate this plan is prius plug-in with 12kwh battery priced at 27.000 $ or a BMW plugin serie3 at 35000$.

    But without a gigafactory this is difficult to manage for Toyota or BMW. Building a battery factory take a lot of time and money to beat Panasonic Tesla within 5years.
    Maybe it’s probably to late also to fight on actual technology and the real final battle will be solid state battery factories.

    Assuming that gigafactory will produce 100gwh battery in 2021 it’s worth to mention this will enough to produce 10mio 10kwh plug-in cars.. enough to become N1car manufacturer in 2022.

    Of course this will lead to massiv brand shift and take over of Fiat Chrysler by Tesla.
    Because the future of car is not electric but plug-in until 2035.

    We need 750wh/kg batteries to go full electric in order to have 120kwh pack at 175kg max and charging at 3C speed ( 20min) or better.

    Panasonic Tesla can keep leadership and become N1 company in the world.
    And Tesla will than be worth 500b$ or 3000$ per stock in 2025 because tesla is just more than building electric cars anyway.

    1. MR. Risch:

      You are treading the same ground all Wall Street analysts have brought with them – a four function calculator and a hole where the clue should be.

      Technology companies don’t ever stop burning cash. If you see Tesla start to show a profit – get out.

      Technology companies are about growth. Growth in sales, revenues, brand recognition, and intellectual property. The eat money like drunken sailors and whores and it is not entirely accidental. If you actually make any money, the federal government, the state government, the county government, and the city government are all there with their grasping little paws outstretched, demanding an undeserved cut of something they had nothing to do with creating.

      IF by some accident of accounting and fudiciary malfeasance, you find yourself actually suffering a profit in the waning weeks of your fiscal year, buy something. Equipment, people, inventory, SOMETHING to cause growth the NEXT year. Running out of places to spend money MEANS you are running out of ideas and innovation. SO if all else fails, profit. But that signifies the end.

      Apple Computer was left in the able hands of a true accountant, born raised and trained. THey now have 200BILLION stranded overseas of profits they can hardly use because to repatriate those dollars would incur huge taxes. Their growth slows along with their ideas and innovation. You can only update iPHone and iWatch so many times before you reach a true market saturation. So they timidly dabble furtively in the back yard on an electric car.

      I told them years ago, buy Tesla and SpaceX and Solar City and do a stock swap merger and let Elon Musk run it. Now THERE is a man with ideas and innovation that knows HOW TO SPEND A SHITPOT FULL OF MONEY. He would go through that $200 billion in months, not years.

      I explained the Tesla thing rather thoroughly in a video a month ago. But it is taken as just another opinon of a Tesla fanboyz.

      RIGHT NOW, Tesla is threatening to make their automobile business IRRELEVANT. They took on this massive battery storage in Australia and suddenly Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands are besieging him with pleas. Some of these areas face 10 MONTHS without electric power. THe few solar installations in Puerto Rico lost about 20% of their panels and faced TWO DAYS of intense effort by as many as two people, to get it back up and their power source running in perfect order.

      I expect Tesla to work something out with the debtridden nearly bankrupt Puerto Rico, to again upstage power companies worldwide with his concept of solar and battery. Before he even gets it completed he will face emergency level demand for batteries and solar from all over the world. He needs THREE more Gigafactories and frankly he needs them YESTERDAY.

      So how much money is made per Model 3 is almost too cute for words. He needs %100 billion and pretty quick. I think he’ll get it. We could face some, “ahem” dilution in our stock value, but it will ultimately all be for the good. Recent events lead me to believe my $959 proce target is already hopelessly conservative and will seem “too cute” in arrears.

      Things are accelerating very fast. I liken all this process, which I went through with the Internet and now EV’s, as pushing a freight train uphill inch by painful inch against seemingly impossible odds. But once you crest the hill and it slowly starts down the other side, you need to get a good firm handhold and a place to brace your feet. The acceleration becomes actualy frightening.

      This is about to happen in solar and electric cars at the same time. And Musk and Tesla are right in the catbird seat with it. I hope and pray they fail to turn a profit for at least another 15 years.

      As to Panasonic, you have it all backwards. Tesla has made Panasonic and yes, indeed raided them for talent and expertise. Panasonic would have shut down the 18650 lines long ago had it not been for Tesla and have been mired in a very low margin high volume consumer battery business of no great growth prospects. Elon Musk basically puts them in the heart of the beast of electrical power worldwide for the next century.

      Jack Rickard

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