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Tesla Motors' Stock Finally Falls

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 32 comments
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Wall Street's favored child of the year has finally hit some rough terrain. Third-quarter earnings were meek, causing stocks to tumble 20.9 percent on Tuesday in after hours trading. Now, a third fire in six weeks in a Model S is causing more than a few heads to turn. The latest fire was in Smyrna, Tennessee where federal investigators are getting involved amid fears that there might be some fundamental engineering problem.

Tesla has been the symbol of the potential and progress made in marrying high-end technology with excellent design in automobiles. If these fires continue, though, then the stock price and public good will may never fully recover. Generally speaking, car fires are very, very unlikely, but roughly 33 still happen every day. Given the sheer number of vehicles on the road that are actively used, that still leaves a Tesla Model S several times as likely to catch fire over the past six weeks than any given regular auto.

A recall or retrofit might be necessary based on federal investigation findings – both of which would be catastrophic for the young automaker.

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  • 17 Hide
    thefiend1 , November 8, 2013 3:26 PM
    "Finally Falls?" It sounds like you were rooting for the stock to fall.
  • 12 Hide
    bochica , November 8, 2013 2:39 PM
    damnit Edison, can't you just leave it alone?!?!?!?
  • 12 Hide
    izmanq , November 8, 2013 4:18 PM
    Electric car is the future, this is just a glitch :)  Go Tesla
Other Comments
  • 12 Hide
    bochica , November 8, 2013 2:39 PM
    damnit Edison, can't you just leave it alone?!?!?!?
  • 8 Hide
    ethanolson , November 8, 2013 2:44 PM
    The fundamental problem is the type of battery can horribly destabilize... but usually doesn't. Put 134 batteries in the pack and you have a potential hazard. A few will catch on fire. That's just going to happen.
  • 3 Hide
    rwinches , November 8, 2013 3:05 PM
    Well the front of the car was on fire but no flames or smoke from under the car where the batteries are mounted. What does that mean? Did the hot motor ignite flammable car parts? Just what kind of road debris did the car hit? How do they keep the motor cool? I do know that electrical fires are wicked.
  • -5 Hide
    Nilo BP , November 8, 2013 3:19 PM
    Tesla is so last semester. Now to see who the teenage girls at the trading desks are babbling about this time...
  • -7 Hide
    r1Master , November 8, 2013 3:24 PM
    DRIVERS NEED TO STOP HITTING THINGS ! ! ! Don't blame the manufacturer for something that is clearly the IDIOT drivers fault... *shakes head*
  • 6 Hide
    karkacool , November 8, 2013 3:26 PM
    Oil companies bought the stocks, planned some fires and then sold the stocks. It is that easy to manipulate your mind when you have money :)  Wish all the best for Elon Musk, hope he makes it.
  • 17 Hide
    thefiend1 , November 8, 2013 3:26 PM
    "Finally Falls?" It sounds like you were rooting for the stock to fall.
  • 12 Hide
    izmanq , November 8, 2013 4:18 PM
    Electric car is the future, this is just a glitch :)  Go Tesla
  • 5 Hide
    DRosencraft , November 8, 2013 4:20 PM
    Tesla's goals are admirable. But they've always struck me as horribly arrogant and having too much self-importance from their spokespeople and leadership. The way some people have been hyping the Model S in particular (like whoever it was that decided it deserved a safety rating above their own scale) has been worrying. It's almost as if they're trying to hype it as much as possible to cover-up a problem.

    I hope the company succeeds in a pure sense. I mean selling a lot of quality vehicles. They are one of the biggest driving forces behind electric vehicles in the US right now. But they do concern me. Every time I hear about them I get a queasy feeling something bad is going to happen, like there's gonna be a disastrous scandal to come out. May be the case of right message and wrong messenger as far as changing the car and energy culture.
  • 4 Hide
    danwat1234 , November 8, 2013 4:21 PM
    Quote:
    Well the front of the car was on fire but no flames or smoke from under the car where the batteries are mounted. What does that mean? Did the hot motor ignite flammable car parts? Just what kind of road debris did the car hit? How do they keep the motor cool? I do know that electrical fires are wicked.

    The motor is in the back, as are the high voltage power regulators. They are water cooled with radiators in the front. In the front you have the cabin/battery air conditioner, electric steering, a small compressor (maybe for the optional air suspension, maybe for the brake booster, not sure), lead acid acessory battery somewhere, etc.

    It will be interesting to see what got hot since it wasn't the battery this latest time I don't think.
  • -2 Hide
    chicofehr , November 8, 2013 5:42 PM
    Will probably be another Solyndra and go bankrupt. Green tech just isn't profitable yet. Still another 20-30 years before this stuff can make money without the Gov't bailing it out like wind mills that kill millions of birds every year and and make the people near by ill and solar panels that take 10+years to pay themselves off and product lots of pollution in China where they are made. Also electric cars wont stop pollution. We still have to charge them and the only electrical power generation that doesn't produce much pollution is nuclear which has its own long term problems.
  • 1 Hide
    BranFlake5 , November 8, 2013 6:50 PM
    I'm saddened to hear Tesla is struggling. I'm cheering for them and hoping engineers will find a solution or the manufacturing process changed. Regardless of what causes it (Driver or Car) I'd like to see the problem fixed. Tesla has something going for them but their IHS safety rating means nothing if you're at risk of fire.

    Come on Tesla, you got this.

    By the Way, Now would be a great time to buy a few shares. Tesla is definitely going to put effort into this and when their stock jumps right back up, you'll be happy you bought a few shares. Of course this is the most optimistic outlook.
  • -4 Hide
    Grandmastersexsay , November 8, 2013 7:10 PM
    This shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone. Innovation drives the industry, not the other way around. You can't just will the technological problems away, no matter how much government money you throw at it.

    Why have fossil fuels been so successful? Because they contain a lot of energy per pound, contain a lot of energy per cubic foot, and are extremely stable in their liquid form.

    Batteries of today are just too heavy and expensive. Much of the economic gains found from using electricity generated from coal powered boilers and other high effeciency methods, is wasted by having to expend energy accelerating the mass of the batteries. Compound that fact with the astronomical prices of batteries and any chance of commercial viability goes out the window.

    The vast majority of these green technologies are scams coming from people looking for easy government money. If something needs government money to get off the ground, the free market already has a better solution.

    The real future lies in something like light duty fusion power or antimatter collection, containment, and power generation techniques. It might take decades or even centuries to get there, but we'll still have safe and affordable fossil fuels available as an option until then.
  • 1 Hide
    falchard , November 8, 2013 7:24 PM
    Electric Cars are a terrible idea to mass produce.
    They are ecologic disasters. A thousand pounds of toxic waste that has to be replaced every 3~5 years in each vehicle. Preferred to be powered by either Coal/Oil Electric plants, or Nuclear Power. Of the three Nuclear Power is "Greener" but produces a lot of toxic waste. Solar does not currently produce enough energy in their life time to warrant their manufacturing. Wind does not produce a lot of energy and requires vast areas of open space.
    If Electric cars would be adopted by the majority of people, we would have a HUGE waste problem.
    Best alternative I have heard is Hydrogen powered cars, but they require a rare mineral as a catalyst.
  • 1 Hide
    Grandmastersexsay , November 8, 2013 8:05 PM
    Quote:
    Electric Cars are a terrible idea to mass produce.
    They are ecologic disasters. A thousand pounds of toxic waste that has to be replaced every 3~5 years in each vehicle. Preferred to be powered by either Coal/Oil Electric plants, or Nuclear Power. Of the three Nuclear Power is "Greener" but produces a lot of toxic waste. Solar does not currently produce enough energy in their life time to warrant their manufacturing. Wind does not produce a lot of energy and requires vast areas of open space.
    If Electric cars would be adopted by the majority of people, we would have a HUGE waste problem.
    Best alternative I have heard is Hydrogen powered cars, but they require a rare mineral as a catalyst.


    Any gaseous fuel, hydrogen included, is a terrible idea for vehicles traveling 65+ mph. You know how car accidents look in the movies? You know, 25 mph impacts result in huge fireballs and cars getting blown serval stories into the air. That's how it would be in real life if small cars traveling at highway speeds were powered by hydrogen.

    Your comment about nuclear power generating a lot of waste is rather silly too. To put things in perspective, if we could make a 250 hp nuclear engine for a car that had the same power to waste ratio as the typical nuclear power plant, that engine could run at full power for 24 hours a day for an entire year and only produce 8 pounds of nuclear waste. A typical nuclear power plant produces about a gigawatt of electricity and only produce 20 metric tons of nuclear waste per year.
  • 4 Hide
    wdmfiber , November 8, 2013 8:44 PM
    I think people on here misunderstand. Tesla is not in trouble, lol. It's just the stock had been on fire(pardon the pun). From the low $30's to almost $200... as in; if you invested 30 grand about 8 months ago... today you could buy a decent ...house!

    If your smart and have disposable income to invest, there is a lot of money to be made. Remember the Google IPO? $85 a share. Should have got a loan, 85 thousand invested... would be over a million dollars now.

    Twitter just went public, I'm throwing ~10 grand at it, after it settles down and trades sideways for a bit.
  • 2 Hide
    wdmfiber , November 8, 2013 9:21 PM
    Quote:
    Oil companies bought the stocks, planned some fires and then sold the stocks. It is that easy to manipulate your mind when you have money :)  Wish all the best for Elon Musk, hope he makes it.

    That would be like Bill Gates coming over to your house on poker night; "just trying to make some extra money"... Lol

    Exxon Mobil has so much money they can't even do anything with it(antitrust laws). And if they gave it all away; in a couple of months they would have enough money to buy every share of Tesla. As they make almost a billion dollars per week(profit).
  • 4 Hide
    ivyanev , November 8, 2013 11:01 PM
    I don't wan to understate the problem, but when lamborghinis caches on fire everyone laughs at the pictures, but at the end of the day they are still the "hottest" cars out there.
  • 0 Hide
    _Cosmin_ , November 9, 2013 3:54 AM
    Maybe now their price will drop significantly and we all afford one...
  • 0 Hide
    Au_equus , November 9, 2013 11:23 AM
    At its core tesla motors has always been a tech company. But over the past 6 months, even the CEO, has stated the stock price was over inflated by 400%. The stock was long overdue for a correction.
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