Electric Fraudsters

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Is everything named after genius inventor Nikola Tesla a fraud?

Tesla’s fraudulence is well-known. Well, maybe not so-well-known, given it’s not much reported that Tesla doesn’t make money selling electric cars. It makes money selling “credits” to other car companies in exchange for not having to make the electric cars which the government mandates must be made.

Which accounts for the other half of Tesla’s fraud.

Which is based on people buying stock in a company whose value rests almost entirely on the mandates rather than the market; i.e., its power to rent-seek.

“Investors” buy Tesla stock because they see government forcing the manufacture of electric cars. When the government can force people to buy something, it’s a pretty safe bet you can make money on the transaction.

But at least Teslas can move under their own power.

Nikolas, on the other hand.

They roll under the power of gravity.

As in, roll them down a hill.

Then film the event and use it to sell people on the amazing new technology  . . . pioneered by Boy Scouts and the pinewood derby.

The Scouts, of course, never pretended their pinewood derby cars were powered by anything other than gravity. And they never sold stock in their enterprise – or gulled a major car company (GM) to “invest” in it, either.

The amazing thing is the media actually covered the fraud this time. There has been widespread coverage of the scandal – first revealed by Hindenburg Research, which apparently specializes in revealing disasters.

Oh, the humanity! 

Within days of HR’s revelation that a 2018 promo film of the Nikola One – the company’s make-believe electrically-powered semi – wasn’t electrically-driven at all but rather gravity-propelled, the company’s head fraudster, Trevor Milton, joined Joe Biden in the basement.

An SEC and DOJ investigation is now under way.

Milton isn’t broke, though. He still owns shares in Nikola worth $2.5 billion, according to Forbes. He will also remain a consultant – italicized for the obvious reasons – and retain a Nikola-provided security detail that will cost the marks (whoops., shareholders) $100,000.

And Nikola – the company – is still apparently worth an astounding $10 billion, in spite of the fact that it hasn’t sold a single vehicle.

Whoever said that crime doesn’t pay?

It also continues.

Nikola hasn’t folded, in part because GM hasn’t demanded a refund. In fact, a former GM executive named Stephen Girsky is the new chairman of the company and GM itself will actually build the “Nikola” Badger, which will presumably be able to go up hills as well as down them.

Hilariously, Nikola – the company – “paid” GM with stock, not cash, to build the Badger. Stock which has fallen in value by almost 20 percent since the Hindenburg revelations.

Get that great GM feeling – with nonexistent Nikola parts!

Part of the Nikola gyp was the company’s claim to have Miraculous Hydrogen Fuel Cell Technology in the works – with the promise (of the check’s in the mail variety) that this would fix the electric car’s fundamental functional gimp; i.e., its short range and being tethered to a power cord. Using hydrogen and electrolysis to make electricity being faster than plugging in, though not cheaper – the electric car (and truck’s) fundamental economic gimp.

Another gyp-in-the-works (assuming it ever runs) is Nikola’s plan to not sell electric trucks at all, but rather to lease them – along with a hydrogen fuel contract. With taxpayers gypped to “help” pay for the hydrogen fueling stations en route along public highways.

This gyp isn’t unique to Nikola, which followed what the others already have in the works.

Everyone (well, the not-economically-illiterate) knows that electric cars aren’t going anywhere – via the force of gravity or batteries  – unless their cost comes way down. This has been promised, check’s-in-the-mail style, for literally half a century. But yet to be delivered.

Another fraud, of a piece with the 100 MPG carburetor – for those who remember carburetors.

A fraud compounded by the idea of the free lunch – which all too many suckers are lining up to buy.

It is one thing – a possible thing – to make an affordable electric car if you forget about making it fast and forget making it into a truck. Performance – and weight – are the enemies of efficiency. Electric car batteries are extremely heavy. A Tesla 3’s battery weighs 1,000 pounds. And the Tesla 3 is a compact-sized car. The Nikola/GM Badger truck’s battery will probably weigh 1,500 pounds – about the same as an entire classic VW Beetle.

Which may not have gone very fast but at least could make it back up the hill after you rolled it down the hill.

. . .

Got a question about cars, Libertarian politics – or anything else? Click on the “ask Eric” link and send ’em in!

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21 COMMENTS

  1. Hydrocarbons fuel and power civilization.

    The advent of the electric starter on an internal combustion engine killed battery-powered electric vehicles in 1908 or so. No more hand cranking the shaft to get ‘er to go. Game over. Push starters changed everything. Transmission in neutral, clutch down, push the starter button and boom, the engine purrs. Power like you can’t believe.

    A power plant, voila, electricity, you aren’t going to electrify a grain elevator with wind turbines.

    Tesla is down 43 dollars per share today. After hours, it is down another 12 dollars, 55 dollars loss per share in less than 24 hours.

    What is Elon going to do? Catch a falling knife?

    Looks like the institutional investors might be running for the exits.

    Tsla is in ‘disposition mode’, lol.

    After Three Mile Island, Consolidated Edison had a share price of 2.83 USD.

  2. Exactly Nasir. Its a true zero emissions vehicle. It doesn’t just shift them to the power plants location. If it hadn’t been a competitor to Saint Elon, I doubt the mass media would have covered this scam. I think Eric is being a little too hard on them. All they need to be practical, is some gimmick to reverse gravity. How hard could that be?… ^^

    • Oh don’t worry, I’m sure we can get Elon Musk to promise that it will be ready by 2020- wait, whoops, it’s already 2020. Frick, now we’ll have to choose a new round number for all our pipe dreams. Uh, by 2025! Sounds good, right?

      • Hi Chuck!

        The irony is an economically sensible and practical electric car is possible. Right now. But not with “ludicrous speed” – or the ability to travel at 75 MPH for several hours at a time. And meeting all the government saaaaaaaaaafety ukase while doing it.

        Forget about all that – if it were possible. Instead, focus on keeping it very light – 2,500 lbs. or less – and designing it to be capable of keeping up with traffic up to about 75 MPH for short hops. Make the realistic range about 100 miles. This could be sold – without subsidies – for around $20k or even less.

        Now you’d have something to compete with IC economy compacts.

  3. I’d like to see these two blasphemers of N.T.’s name on SHARK TANK. No sales yet… product that violates the laws of physics and no way to pay for it…. they’d get thrown out the window.

  4. Eric,

    How very sad (for tax payers). This place is right down the street from me, a couple miles. I was actually a little enthused about the Nikola Badger, with its claimed 906 HP and 0-60 in 2.9 seconds. It would still be a niche luxury vehicle, but otherwise kind of neat, I thought.

    So, they towed it up the hill I guess? If you’re going to commit this level of fraud, why not just put a diesel engine in the thing so it looks a little more convincing?

    • Hi BaDnOn,

      I also think a 906 hp truck that can get to 60 in 2.9 seconds is neat… provided whoever is buying it pays the full bill.

      Nothing wrong with fun, even to excess.

      But it dodges the issues of economics and practicality. A Hellcat is lots of fun, too. Does it make sense to buy one for everyday transpo? How many people can afford a Hellcat?

      A 906 hp truck that can get to 60 in 2.9 seconds is apt to cost at least $70,000 (like a Hellcat). Which automatically makes it a toy.

      Again, nothing wrong with toys. But it makes my teeth ache to hear people wax ecstatic about toys almost no one can afford, which makes their “green” qualities (assuming they have them) as irrelevant as the square footage of the McMansion most of us can’t afford.

    • The State of CA, which has no electricity, or at least, regular blackouts and brownouts, has banned sale of everything but electric cars, starting in 2035. Another sure sign we are in Clown World XXL. Enjoy…

  5. Eric,

    As if on cue today King Gruesome announces he’s banning the IC engine by 2035 because of, fires, or something. https://www.cnet.com/roadshow/news/california-gas-diesel-car-truck-sales-ban-2035-newsom/

    I apologize on behalf of our dictator out here. I seriously actually wonder if he’s trying to stay in the news for when he announces California’s secession after Trump wins in a landslide in November. The question that faces me and the million of normal people in the Northern part of the state is can we just Greater Idaho or finally form our State of Jefferson and let the left libtard cities sink into the Pacific under the weight of their own stupidity…

    • That governor is an imbecile. I caught a glimpse of him on the TV and he had that Chuckie Manson crazed cult-like look in his eyes. Governors don’t even have the authority to do that (executive orders are not laws), but that never seems to stop them. I feel really bad for any normal person living in Commiefornia. Not that any state is a bargain at this point, but CA is not merely off the rails. It’s heading for a yawning, bottomless chasm.

  6. Pinewood Derby … thanks for the memories!

    Great name for a gravity-propelled pickup, though: Nikola Pinewood 1500 crew cab — built truck tough! In Trevor’s dreams, anyhow. Winch optional for uphill grades.

    As for the other misappropriator of a great scientist’s name, Tesla held its Battery Day yesterday. A $25,000 EV was promised. But TSLA stock closed lower, and fell some more this morning.

    Evidently, investors don’t think a $25,000 EV can make any money. Not that Tesla EVER has made any money, mind you, excluding the sale of emissions credits. But hope (and hype) springs eternal.

    Nevertheless, fanboys in attendance at the drive-in event hooted their klaxons (as the British say) at the news.

    Honk if you love Elon!

  7. Is it true that the Boys Scouts of America were sued and for forced to accept *gay* scout masters? Then they got sued out of existence due to these pedaphiles were abusing scouts? (Like being forced to hire Bill Clinton to babysit your lovely teenage daughter) The BSA were forced to do something then held accountable and blamed for the failure. GM and Ford are fully on board with this electric vehicle BS. But the car companies will ultimately be blamed for the failure of the electric vehicle and then the public will be blamed as well. Then comes the Motor Law and only the government gets to own transportation.

    • Hi Hans,

      Yup. The BSA was forced to admit both gay scout leaders and women. It ruined the whole thing. I say this as an Eagle Scout. My troop’s scoutmaster was my buddy’s dad – a crusty Korean War vet who took us on death marches and we loved him for it. Some of the best times of my life. I feel terrible for today’s kids, who missed all this stuff.

      • When my sons were in Boy Scouts, at least monthly (except Dec) we went on weekend back packing trips. We met in a parking lot after the Dads were done with work late on Fridays and drove to the planned trail head. Those young men learned how to hike in the dark and set up camp quickly. Sometimes, we just sprawled out on either side of the trail and bedded down. Made them tough and resourceful. Once a year, we went on either a long week long hiking or canoe trip. The last I participated in, was a 200+ canoe trip.

    • The BSA membership requirements history is a little complicated. I could write a book on the topic. At the risk of hijacking the thread, I’ll just say creating a unit with a “traditional” membership makeup is still possible for any group that wants to go that route. The expanded membership requirements just gives groups more options. I share this info without endorsing or condemning any unit’s specific membership choices.

  8. Hey but on the other hand, at least he did make a real zero emission truck (i suspect if it was a more experienced con artist like musk he would have been able to spin it that way, and the share price would have shot up !)

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