By Andrei Volgin:I admire Tesla Motors (TSLA) and wish the company all the best, but I strongly believe that its shares are greatly overvalued. As an investor, whenever I see that the market values a company several times more or less than my own assessment, I always ask two questions: What are the other investors missing? And, when are they going to realize that their expectations are wrong?
Tesla Motors has accomplished many remarkable things in its short life as a startup maker of electric cars. But, to clear up a common misperception, its supporters should understand that it has not--yet--made a profit in its core business: designing, building, and selling the Model S all-electric luxury sport sedan.
When Jaffray Stevenson’s car breaks down, or needs a small repair, the experience he has is a lot more like dealing with a computer glitch than a broke-down jalopy.
He is the owner of two Tesla vehicles, a Roadster, which he has leased since 2010, and Model S, which he has had for a little more than a year. If Mr. Stevenson, 54, an insurance broker from Grimsby, Ont., has a problem with either of his electric cars, he doesn’t take it in to the shop like most people would, and not just because the nearest Tesla service centre is about 100 km away in Mississauga, Ont.
There are two very different approaches when it comes to electric cars that yield different kinds of cars, address different target markets and use different kinds of batteries. The first approach is to build the best vehicle possible using electric power, aiming to compete with the best ICE cars, using commodity batteries.