Big Auto Freaks Out as Tesla Model 3 Deliveries for Q1 Track Toward 8,000 to 10,000

The major automakers are increasingly in a bind. They’re faced with a choice — keep investing in dirty energy vehicles that pollute the air, the water and wreck the climate, jump feet first into the EV revolution, or play both sides. And it’s this dichotomy that’s producing some rather freaky behavior.

(GM has often talked big about its EVs like the Volt and the Bolt. But its policy positions are contradictory to a rapid clean energy vehicle ramp.)

We’ve heard a lot of talk from some major automakers about how many electrical vehicles they’ll be producing in one year, two years, three years or more. And even as these companies have been beating the drum about ‘Tesla killers,’ how they have enough capital to own the EV revolution, some of them keep lobbying for dirty energy vehicles by attacking U.S. fuel efficiency standards.

It’s an inherent contradiction between communication and dedicated action. One that has generated a degree of legitimate distrust in the notion that some big auto manufacturers will follow up on their clean energy promises. Whether the talk is little more than a PR campaign aimed at tamping down public loyalty to those like Tesla who operate under a 100 percent clean energy business model. At the very least, it shows that auto industry focus is starting to fragment between traditionals (which include many backward-looking CEOs) who still support harmful legacy combustion engine production while hiding behind token ‘compliance cars,’ and the progressive-minded within the industry who want to rapidly jump into the EV market and compete.

(Not a compliance car. Nissan and a handful of like-minded major auto manufacturers produce and market seriously competitive EVs. Others appear to be dithering and dissembling.)

As uncertainty over auto industry intent expands due to various contradictory behaviors, here in the U.S., Tesla has been consistently ramping its production of 100 percent clean energy vehicles. And this has generated an equally predictable gnashing of teeth from the usual suspects in the financial media.

During the fourth quarter of 2017, Tesla’s factories pumped out a record number of electrical vehicles. In total, it delivered 29,870 zero tailpipe emissions cars. These included 15,200 Model S, 13,120 Model X, and 1,550 of the new Model 3s. This was the highest production quarter for Tesla and it was enough to propel its total sales for the year to over 101,000.

(Tesla Model 3 is one of the major spear-heads of a clean energy revolution. And it’s helping to goad other western automakers into a larger and expanding EV market. Image source: Tesla.)

Q1 of 2018, however, is likely to see even more. Present delivery estimates for Model S and X alone range from 22,000 to 30,000. Meanwhile the Model 3 is likely to have expanded deliveries more than fivefold to between 8,000 and 10,000. So a total of 30,000 to 40,000 Teslas will likely have hit the road by the time March elapses.

This is particularly significant when one considers that the first quarter is typically a lower selling point for most automakers even as sales have tended to peak for Tesla during Q4. During Q1 of 2017, Tesla sold 25,418 EVs. A number that will likely grow by 20 to 60 percent during 2018.

Moreover, recent reports indicate that Model 3 production is surging.

On March 19th, it was found that Tesla had ordered a large new batch of VINS. As a result, the total Tesla Model 3 VIN count had jumped to nearly 16,000. An indicator that Tesla Model 3 production — which has ranged between 700 and 900 per week since January is also likely expanding.

So it seems that the Tesla production bottle necks are starting to clear and that its ramp is jumping yet again. What this represents is a major call on the traditional auto-manufacturers. The time has come to ante up the EVs, or get out of the way for new clean energy leaders. Bluff time is over.

Human Caused Global Warming: 97 Percent Study Under Attack by Oil Company PR Firms

Earlier this month, John Cook of Skeptical Science published a ground-breaking study in the scientific journal Environmental Research Letters showing that 97% of scientists agreed that global warming is being caused by humans. This study received far-ranging acclaim both in the media and in a number of scientific journals for both its thoroughness and its accuracy. The study is now considered to be the definitive work on scientific consensus on the issue of human-caused climate change.

Over the years, an increasing consensus among scientists that humans are causing an ever more visible and damaging global warming has served as a warning to the world’s public. Sadly, this message has been confused — primarily by monied interests who spend massive amounts to spread doubt on the issue of human caused climate change. The result is that only about half the public believes there is a scientific consensus that humans are causing global warming. In one example, The Heartland Institute, which receives large sums to operate PR campaigns on behalf of oil companies, recently engaged in a campaign to misinform the American public by directly targeting teachers and school children.

The most recent example, however, takes aim at the 97% study itself. According to reports from DeSmogBlog, a non-profit PR firm, which receives most of its money from oil companies like Talisman Energy and operates under the dubious name Friends of Science, has been issuing attack statements directly aimed at creating doubt in the validity of the 97% report. These statements appear to be crafted to generate exactly the kind of misunderstanding the 97% report reveals.

‘Friends of Science’ asserts:

Detailed analysis shows that only 0.5% (65 of the 12,000 abstracts rated) suggest that humans are responsible for more than 50% of the global warming up to 2001, contrary to the alleged 97% consensus amongst scientists in the Cook et al study. Citing fear mongering and faulty methodology Friends of Science reject the study and President Obama’s tweet as careless incitement of a misinformed and frightened public, when in fact the sun is the main driver of climate change; not human activity or carbon dioxide (CO2).

It is important to note that ‘Friends of Science’ did not reveal their methodology to support this statement. Frequent requests for this methodology among the media have been met only with silence. Equally telling is the fact that the statement attempts to politicize the issue by harping on President Obama’s tweet rather than seeking to logically refute the 97% paper. Finally, the organization leans on the typical climate change denier claim that the sun is the primary driver of present warming. A claim that has been dis-proven over and over again in the scientific literature, should ‘Friends of Science’ care to read it. Or they could simply go argue with NASA whose instruments show that though solar irradiance is declining, the Earth is still accumulating more heat than it radiates out into space. Clearly, based on these statements alone, it’s obvious ‘Friends of Science’ doesn’t even know the science they’re purportedly talking about.

On the other hand, the 97% percent study is entirely transparent in its own methodology. In short, John Cook’s survey asked the scientists who authored the papers what the consensus position of those papers were.

From the 97% study methodology:

Nobody is more qualified to judge a paper’s intent than the actual scientists who authored the paper. To provide an independent measure of the level of consensus, we asked the scientists who authored the climate papers to rate the level of endorsement of their own papers. Among all papers that were self-rated as expressing a position on human-caused warming, 97.2% endorsed the consensus. This result is consistent with our abstract ratings, which found a 97.1% consensus.

In addition, the entire database of the 97% study’s methodology is available as part of the study’s publication. So from ‘Friends of Science’ we have a statement issued that is unsupported, that directly goes against the scientific findings of major organizations like NASA, and that directly refutes the claims made by scientists about the papers they authored.

Not very scientific. And not at all friendly to science. But you can bet that the denier blogosphere will go nuts over this ‘Friends of Science’ canard.


Must Read 97% Study By John Cook

Enemies of Science Shown to Pose as ‘Friends’

Heartland Institute, Which has Worked Directly with ‘Friends of Science’ in the Past, Funds Campaign to Misinform School Children

NASA Report: Greenhouse Gasses, Not Sun, Driving Warming

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