Google nearly bought Tesla in 2013

“A book due out next month makes a surprise claim about Tesla Motors Inc.: the electric-car maker was in such dire straits in early 2013 that it almost was sold to Google,” Claudia Assis reports for MarketWatch.

“At the time, Tesla was struggling to turn Model S preorders into actual sales, and Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk turned to his friend Larry Page, Google’s co-founder and chief executive, writes Ashlee Vance, a Bloomberg BusinessWeek reporter and author of the book, citing two people directly familiar with the arrangements,” Assis reports. “In the book, Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future, Vance describes how the depth of Tesla’s troubles had been hidden from Musk. After he found out, he fired some senior executives and promoted other employees. He also ordered some employees to work on closing car sales, regardless of their actual jobs, Vance writes, citing a person who was at the meeting.”

Assis reports, “Simultaneously, Musk proposed that Google buy Tesla and assure him it would spend $5 billion in a factory expansion.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Tesla. Living on the edge.

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19 Comments

      1. While it is nice to finally see practical electric cars on the market, you are an early adopter. You’re not saving money at all, you’ve paid a huge premium to fund Tesla’s continued development. I hope they succeed, but they are nowhere near a point where they are sustainable/profitable.

        Why is Tesla not making money? Because most car enthusiasts would rather spend $90k on a Porsche than a Tesla.

        1. No.

          Because they are in the Build,build,build phase. Superchargers surging, battery factory growing. All this from a mere pittance of a loan from the government (which was $450m, but still a pittance) that was PAID BACK in record time!

          Yes I am an early adopter. As I am with iPhones and Apple watches. With the Tesla, I get a lot of money back over 10 years. A massive $4000 a year comes back to me because I don’t buy gas anymore. That amounts to $40000 over 10 years. Then I have no costs associated with….
          oil changes,
          engine problems,
          gaskets,
          spark plugs,
          hoses,
          piston damage,
          filters,
          oxygen sensors,
          transmissions,
          catalytic convertors,
          mufflers,
          radiators,
          antifreeze pumps
          gas tank,
          gas pumps,
          gas filters,………you get the picture.

          I was one of those who lusted for a VW…oops, I mean a Porsche. Was on my bucket list, so to speak. Then I found out it cost an arm and a leg just to keep the Porsche on the road.

          Just maintenance on a porsche over 10 years will cost you more than you paid for the car brand new.

          On a Tesla all you have is the Battery, the Motor, Brakes, and Suspension as the only major systems. The Battery and Motors are warranted for 8 years UNLIMITED milage. As far as the brakes are concerned, well you hardly use them at all, the KE gets pumped back into battery causing the car to “brake”. Brakes don’t wear out as much as on normal ICE cars.

          Bottom line, the cost of ownership is way way CHEAP! And you get to enjoy bleeding edge high technology.

          If all that was not enough, consider that in 8 years time battery technology will be way better, taking my range from 450 Km on a full charge to (I’m guessing) maybe approaching double that.

          1. I would object to only one thing you said. ICE cars should not be called normal. They are, in fact, crazy. Most of the energy you put into them is transformed into waste heat. How crazy is that?

            1. Some people have been creative with that ‘waste’ heat by using the engine to cook food on the way to a picnic. 😀 I understand there are some actual books published on the practice.

          2. I know little about electric cars or Tesla so I’m not disputing your numbers but I read that in general electric cars cost one third gas for fuel costs.

            that’s good but not quite your $100 vs $6. if you’re driving the same distance.

            1. it is 12c per KWh. I have 85 KWh battery. A full battery takes me 400 km. sometimes more.

              Supercharges are FREE (actually they are in the cost of the car….I assume). Whenever you fill up at a supercharger it is totally free from now till the car dies. A lot of city chargers are totally free.
              When you take all this into account the the 12c per KWH it takes at home drops to something very low. This results in me only spending $6 when I would normally have spent $100. That’s just a fact after having my Tesla for two weeks.

            2. ok,

              I see some of those free city charging stations around. my own town. i didn’t really believe until now they were ‘really’ free.

            3. That’s cool, but I think most people when they read you only spend $6 vs $100, are not factoring in free electricity. When I ran the numbers, when I was looking at the Model S, I figured it saved me about ¾ of my gas cost, so if I spent $100 a week, then that would be cut to about $25.

          3. Good points, and as I said, I am looking forward to all-electric powertrains, but let’s not forget that you paid up front for a battery pack that costs more than all of that stuff put together. Buying a tank of fuel at a time means you dole out a relatively small cash flow over time rather than paying up front for a very sophisticated expensive electric system and a miniscule recurring recharge cost.

            Most modern automobiles have negligible costs for mechanical/hydraulic items in the first 80k to 100k miles.

            how much is your replacement battery pack when your first one is at end of life and needs recycling?

            1. I’ll pay upfront $100k.

              Let’s just consider gas costs alone……

              After 10 years it be as if I only paid $60k.

              You buy an ICE car today for $60k and after 10 years you will have
              spent so much on gas that it will appear as if you spent $100k.

              Now if start to consider services and mechanical repair costs it gets worse for the ICE car.

              I feel like I am trying to argue Mac vs PC. All I can say is once you drive a Tesla you won’t go back.

            2. First, you need to state how much you drive, because I don’t think you drive the average amount. I think you drive well over double what the average person drives.

              That’s based upon you stating you spent an avg of $100 on gas a week. That’s $5000+ a year. At national averages of $2.50 a gallon, that’s 2000 gallons, and in the average luxury car that gets around 25mpg, that’s 50,000 miles a year. Are you driving 50k a year, since that’s a lot more than your average person.

              I spend about $1400 a year on gas in my BMW. Now, I spend about $700 a year on gas in my hybrid Lexus, 12500 miles @ 46mpg @ $2.50/gal. I figured if I bought a Tesla, I’d spend about $350 a year on electricity. So, my savings are just over $1000 on gas over my old BMW, and only $350 over my hybrid.

              In 10 years that works out to 125,000 miles driven, and $10,000 in gas saved over my BMW and $3500 over my hybrid. Of course gas will likely go up in the next 10 years. Also, at some point, the Tesla will need a new battery pack, which should get cheaper as the Gigafactory comes on line. While I can see the $10k gas savings over my BMW being nice, I can’t figure out how you get a $40k differential. And, when I compare the gas savings to my hybrid, I really can’t justify the expense purely on gas savings.

            3. Some info:
              1. I am going from a gas guzzling SUV (18 litres/100km average) to a Tesla.

              2. In Canada gas is a lot more expensive. We used to detour over the US boarder just to save on gas. That, thankfully, is now no more. If you are luck enough to live in US or Saudi Arabia making an argument purely on gas probably won’t do it for you.

              3. Why wouldn’t you take free chargers into the equation? Two reasons why you should: One, chargers are everywhere. Whenever you are out shopping you plug in. Two, Solar with home battery is coming soon. look for an announcement from Tesla at end of this month. My dream is to buy a home solar station, then I am laughing and it’s all free after the initial investment.

              4. In the last two weeks I did 1900 Km. That’s pretty normal for me. For my gas guzzling SUV that’s easily two tanks. Maybe more. Each tank is $120 canadian. So let’s say that converts to $100 US per tank.

              Hope that explains where I am coming from.

              BTW, If you are going from a hybrid or some other quite efficient car you need to consider the other benefits. I am not going to go over these except to say that maintenance is a big cost of ICE car’s.

            4. I’ll pay upfront $100k.

              Let’s just consider gas costs alone……

              After 10 years it be as if I only paid $60k.

              Oh, BTW, replacement battery pack after 10 years, will be way cheaper. EVEN if they were not, the above math still applies…..in ten years you pay $100k and I pay $60k.

              You buy an ICE car today for $60k and after 10 years you will have
              spent so much on gas that it will appear as if you spent $100k.

              Now if start to consider services and mechanical repair costs it gets worse for the ICE car.

              I feel like I am trying to argue Mac vs PC. All I can say is once you drive a Tesla you won’t go back.

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