Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA): Reliance On Uncle Sam, ‘EV Triumphs,’ and A Mega-Move On Deck

Editor’s Note: Related tickers: Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)

Tesla sales beating Mercedes, BMW and Audi (CNN Money)
You know the Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) Model S, the $70,000 (and-up) electric car that “nobody can afford”? Well, evidently, more than a few people can afford it. In fact, in the first quarter of this year, more people bought a Tesla Model S than bought any of the similarly priced gasoline-powered cars from the top three German luxury brands, according to data from LMC Automotive. About 4,750 buyers bought a Model S while just over 3,000 people bought Mercedes’ top-level sedan. This is not a perfect comparison, of course. Actual selling prices for the Mercedes S-class sedan start toward the upper end of the Tesla Model S price range, according the the auto pricing Web site TrueCar.com, while prices for the other cars are at the lower end.

Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)The Genius of Tesla (Slate)
Tech writers love to compare Tesla to Apple. As Steven Johnson pointed out earlier this year—and as many other writers have as well—Elon Musk’s electric-car company seems to be following the master plan Steve Jobs drew up when he brought Apple back from the brink in the late 1990s. Both companies sell high-end products that inspire evangelical fervor in their supporters and incredulous, irrational hatred in their opponents. Both are adored by critics. Consumer Reports just gave Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)’s Model S sedan a near-perfect score, one of the best in the magazine’s history. (On the other hand, a New York Times reviewer did (controversially) have to call a tow truck.)

In defense of Tesla’s price tag (Fortune)
FORTUNE — Tesla Motors made news last Wednesday when it posted its first quarterly profit. But the maker of luxury electric vehicles continues to come under fire. The U.S. government gives a $7,500 tax credit to anyone who buys one of its cars, but at more than $70,000 for a Model S sedan, only the rich can afford to benefit. The Department of Energy has also provided the Palo Alto, Calif.-based company with a $465 million loan guarantee, which boosts returns for Tesla’s wealthy owners while putting taxpayers’ money at risk. No wonder many are furious with Washington for “subsidizing cools cars for rich people.”

Sorry, But Tesla’s Only Profitable Because Of Your Tax Dollars (Business Insider)
Electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)’s stock has rocketed up after the company reported positive earnings and operating cash flow for the first quarter. The stock had been heavily shorted, and short covering evidently fueled the stock’s take-off. Color me skeptical. The company was heavily shorted for good reason, and is even more ripe for shorting after the run-up. (Personal opinion. Not investment advice. You’re on your own about that.)

Energy Innovation: Tesla’s May Trifecta of EV Triumphs (The Energy Collective)
Electric vehicle (EV) company Tesla is having a really, really solid month so far, and we’re not even half way into it. With the EV industry reeling from grim news regarding Coda’s bankruptcy announcement and Fisker Automotive’s apparent demise, Tesla Motors is basking in a trifecta of great news stories that emerged from their camp. Arguably, the most surprising news was announced this week as the emerging car company completed their first quarterly profit in its ten year history.

Is Tesla About To Offer Battery-Pack Swapping For Model S? (Green Car Reports)
Last week, one day after Consumer Reports called the Model S the best car it had tested since 2007, Tesla quietlyannounced that it will make the car a whole lot better. On page 38 of a May 10 filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) discussed factors that may influence the adoption of electric vehicles. Among the factors discussed was its ability to “rapidly swap out the Model S battery pack, and the development of specialized public facilities to perform such swapping, which do not currently exist but which we plan to introduce in the near future.”

Disclosure: none