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Car 1 Auto Sales isn't paying off my trade-in since 12/31/2019; do I have any legal options to force it?
I've been to the dealership plenty of times. Was getting brushed off on the phone so now I'm there 2 or 3 times a week waiting for them to stop telling me no one can sign the payoff check. It's at the point where I've been told twice to my face they'll take it later that day or the next and it's not done. It wasn't until this week I finally got my registration.
Tariffs could mean a 2M drop in car sales and cost 715,000 jobs: The escalating trade war with China “will further harm the U.S. auto industry and American workers and consumers," said John Bozzella, CEO of the Association of Global Automakers.
TL;DR While no one knows what future generations of science will hold, I will say with certainty that companies peddling green energy products are in situation closely akin to the Dot Com Bubble. First, all of the electric vehicle stocks are massively overvalued at the moment. A brief list: Tesla’s PE Ratio is 1,170 in spite crashing recently. The average PE is around 18, and Tesla has gained the largest market cap of any auto maker in history, in spite only accounting for around 1.5% of all vehicle sales. As awesome as their team has proven over the years, there’s no way they could meet the market’s expectations anytime this decade. NIO is a Chinese electric car company. Note Chinese consumers are mostly poor and overwhelmingly prefer small personal transportation like scooters, motorbikes, ebikes. They have been losing money but that doesn’t stop their price from rising over 1,200% in the past year. Nikola is trading below its IPO price being more and more revealed as a scam. They claim to have designed their own working truck, but all they have is CGI mockups and a faked video where they rolled the truck down the hill. Engineers have debunked a lot of the claims their founder Trevor Milton made, but in short he claims his stuff does literally double of everything Tesla does in spite having no product or design team or history of the long process of creating that. Plus Trevor Milton resigned in the face of lawsuits and investigations pending. And in spite Nikola itself saying they were “highly dependent on their founder” Trevor Milton, they are still on Robinhood’s 100 Most Popular list! Arcimoto is a small company with 95 employees that makes small electric utility vehicles. They’ve only been selling cars for a year, they’re losing money, but they still have a market cap of 195 million. Aryo is an engineering sub-contractor specializing in EV. They have six employees, a revenue of zero the last two years, and a market cap of 68 million. The trend extends to related industries, with nickel and lithium stocks rising alongside anticipation of contracts from EV companies (with disappointingly meager results). And consider that as large a market cap these companies have, they also compete with older motor companies that are making their own EV and hybrid vehicles. On the wind and solar side, they have seen similar growth over the same time period, which is even more telling. SolarEdge, an Israeli innovation company, has risen over 200% in the last year and has a PE of 74. Vivent Solar has risen over 550% in a year, have under three thousand employees, are going into big debt with their investment, and have a market cap of 5.29 billion. Vestas Wind Systems has risen by 118% over the last year, has a PE of 57, a market cap of 32 billion, and only 25,541 employees. Note these are utilities companies, that have years long installation and maintenance contracts with cities who go into decades of debt to install these services. To show how slow the industry moves, my hometown still has a working coal power plant that was built in the late 1920’s. Sure there’s new windfarms being built, but this stuff was built to last and it costs a fraction as much to overhaul old stuff than buy new. Ergo the old stuff goes offline slowly, and new investments are made. This means the rise of the wind and solar industry is solely due toinvestor sentiment, not the growth of the industry itself. Then science itself comes in. In strictly performance and economic terms, gas is fundamentally better than renewables. The main issue comes down to energy storage: A gallon of gas contains 13 times more energy by volume than the best lithium ion batteries Tesla has to offer. That same gas has 50 times more energy by weight than lithium ion batteries. Plus, gasoline just goes into a tank and sits there, while batteries are broken into many cells with connective wires and packaging that aren’t space or weight efficient. Tackling this problem has been Tesla’s greatest hurdle, as they’ve had issue with new batteries randomly exploding. On top of that, electric motors offer a lot less horsepower for a given weight than a gas motor, along with a much lower top speed. Electric motors do offer instant torque, less maintenance requirements, and don’t need to idle, but that means little to the average consumer. Altogether with current tech an EV user would be limited in the range, weight, and speed he can move things. Where I live I don’t even have the garage to charge an EV in nor are there charging stations anywhere within 80 miles, and many people live likewise. This is also why you don’t see many electric airplanes. The range, speed, and payload are extremely limited. Of course, you say “But the science is moving forward, and we’re investing it that.” Two problems: Gas motor tech is also advancing as companies find ways to improve efficiency and reduce emissions. Of course they are, because not only is it a very good thing to do… It is a very Profitable thing to do. And why are we complaining when they raise efficiency on the type of vehicle that +95% of people drive? Next problem is that scientific progress is measured in decades and generations, not months and years. For instance, projections have put us 20 years away from fusion power… ever since the 1960’s. Much progress has been made, like using giant magnets to force atoms together or complex math to compensate for instability issues, but they still only making marginal improvements when the problem is no one can make self-sustaining fusion. Fusion requires isotopes of hydrogen, the lightest gas in existence. Fusion requires ludicrously high temperatures and/or pressures to work. Fusion creates a nuclear flash. None of the above cooperate with each other at all. In the case of solar panels, each decade has seen measurable improvement, but the base issues that were there over a century ago when it was just a laboratory novelty still exist. Namely, finite energy from sunlight even if they were 100% efficient (they aren’t), and the fact each panel is a significant investment. Current research revolves around solving mystery wear and tear that makes panels lose productivity and also making the panels self-cooling so they don’t lose efficiency at high temperatures. But still, the up-front costs are debilitating by any measure. So not only has the market priced in a revolution in the car industry, it has priced in major revolutionary advances in science that can’t happen anytime soon. I can’t predict the future, maybe in 50 years new energy storage devises will hit the market using a currently unknown caveat of quantum physics. But current scientific research reflects what will hit the market in 10-30 years. I mean it, even in military projects it takes that long for something to go from a concept to a weapon. Case in point, according to Ben Rich from Lockheed’s Skunk Works, the experimental concepts of radar absorbing paint and a radar resistant shape of aircraft were known back in the 1960’s. His book detailed some of the immense list of tricky technical issues involved in making an actual stealth plane, however. What generates this bubble? Look at 5 year charts of these stocks and you’ll see the pattern. The started going up last winter, dipped with the Coronavirus crash, and then immediately soared. I ask Why?
Essentials. Institutional investors are looking for high growth stocks safe from Covid induced bankruptcy.
Autists. Discount brokers, from Webull to TastyTrade to ThinkorSwim to Interactive Brokers, all have grown a lot, especially in the last year with quarantined and bored people looking for a way to make some money. Even wallstreetbets have seen their membership rise significantly over this period. Nothing wrong with that, but what do all these inexperienced investors consider good growth positions in ethical industries? That’s right, tech stocks and renewables, and the average number of stocks held is two per account. In some circles I follow, I’ve had to explain that day to day changes in the market price does not always reflect the business itself. And I’ve literally seen this question: “Which should I invest in, Tesla or Apple?” (FACEPALM)
Hedge Funds. These guys seek out high risk high reward schemes, and it is known that several capitalized in Tesla’s meteoric rise and were among the first to bug out. While it varies wildly how these guys make money, the high volumes surrounding the “meme stocks” would present them with many opportunities.
Venture capitalists. Rich people are no different, and several corporate heads in renewables said they were more concerned about science than making money. Nothing wrong with that, but you see where the market has gone with this?
But not all hope is lost for those of you who want to invest in renewables; Nuclear energy is seriously undervalued! Again, this is due to public perception effecting investments, and not the science itself. Progress continued to be made in the science even after Chernobyl caused the total halt of reactor construction, and now as old reactors start going offline and new reactors are cheaper, safer, and come in conveniently smaller packages they look more tempting than ever. Namely, Microsoft and General Electric are partnering to make NuScale, a small modular nuclear reactor that can be produced in bulk, shipped as one piece on a semi, installed into bunkers with a crane, and integrated with as many other reactors as you want. The streamlined process brings costs down, and the small size allows for small remote installations to cut their overhead power costs to near zero. So far, only the Pentagon is buying, but it is also just passed a rigorous certification process last week. Also, thorium nuclear reactors are becoming a thing. These are a lot less energy efficient, but physically can’t break down in a lot of the ways uranium plants have historically (I.E. coolant leaks). Technical hurdles remain, but this has been in the works since the 1980’s and only slowly has it been getting attention. And yes, nuclear is definitely a great option. From the perspective of energy density, kw per dollar, initial installation costs, and manning costs nukes lead all others by a ridiculously large margin. In fact, one of the biggest costs are actually the extreme safety and security requirements. And used parts have to be disposed of in lead containers and buried deep in a remote desert. In my autist opinion, I give an emphatic sell recommendation to the whole renewable industry. Do I recommend dropping everything and going into nuclear? No, I’m saying the damage is done with this human error. Someone has already bought at the top, and when the selling starts someone will lose money. This doesn’t mean renewables are doomed, either. Recall that Apple, Microsoft, and Amazon all weathered the Dot Com Bubble, because the bottom line is the stock market DOES NOT REFLECT THE ECONOMY, it reflects investor confidence.
A Deep Dive into Nikola's FCEV Design and Price Model
Hey everyone. I'm a mechanical engineering student with a hobby interest in finance. I've spent the last few days figuring out if Nikola's leasing model is actually possible. There's some really wacky stuff going on in Nikola's presentations and financial projections, and I wanted to share my findings. This is an absolute wall of words, and I wouldn't be offended if you didn't want to read it all. In the first half, I try to tease out the cost per mile of an actual Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV) given the specification Nikola lists. Next there is a portion where I look at the discrepancies between their Financial Projections and their Lease breakdown. Then a quick little peanut gallery where I look at their unrealistic assumptions and the hypocrisy of their comparisons. Finally, a more serious portion where I discuss the design, efficiency, and utility implications of Nikola's chosen power output and battery capacity. Hope you guys enjoy! Let's get started: Nikola claims that they have the industry first holistic leasing program, including maintenance, fuel, and use of the vehicle. They plan on leasing for $.95 per mile @ 30% margin. This implies an expense of $.73 $.67 per mile to Nikola. Hydrogen costs: According to the DoE, it currently costs $5.10/kg to produce, compress, and dispense hydrogen. Nikola claims they can do this for $2.47/kg. I highly doubt their estimate, and will elaborate on that later. Hydrogen has a specific energy 33.3 kWh/kg. A Fuel cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV) has an average thermal efficiency of 55%. A diesel semi tractor, which easily compares to Nikola’s offerings, consumes about 1.25 kWh of work per km (or 2.125 per mile) of useful work loaded. This implies the Nikola truck will use 3.86 kWh of hydrogen per mile, at a cost of $0.59 per mile, or $.29 using their estimates. The DoE estimate could be pretty rosy as well, Hindenburg cited a practical price of $16 per kg for hydrogen in their report. Nikola’s estimate in the leasing breakdown is 7.5 miles per kg of hydrogen @ $2.47 per kg. That works out to $.33/mile. Our estimates are pretty close, excluding hydrogen costs. It looks like, in a surprising twist, they actually overestimated the energy consumption of a tractor. Or maybe not. We’ll get to that ICCT Tractor-Trailer Fuel Consumption: https://theicct.org/sites/default/files/publications/EU_HDV_Testing_BriefingPaper_20180515a.pdf Why do I doubt their hydrogen cost estimates? $2.5 per kg implies $.075 per kWh of hydrogen produced The average price for Industrial electricity in Arizona, the state they are headquartered in, was $.068/kWh, some of the cheapest in the US. Of course, there isn’t a 1:1 conversion of electricity to hydrogen: an electrolyzer uses about 50 kWh per kg of hydrogen ( specific energy of 33.3kWh/kg), making the electricity expense alone in excess of $.10 per kWh of hydrogen. Electricity must also be used to compress the hydrogen. This would take another ~4 kWh, though we’re already over budget. God forbid they use California electricity at an average cost of $.15 per kWh. The electricity expense for the Electrolyzers alone exceeds their estimates, much less depreciation expense, cost of capital, maintenance expense, salary expense, etc. Clearly a bogus number. I suppose they can use renewable excess during off-hours for cheap, but the rapidly decreasing costs of energy storage will likely level out those low prices rather quickly. This also only works in Arizona and a select few other states; California not included. There is the issue of a startup paying to build huge electrolyzers that might have a utilization factor of ~30%, and additional high pressure storage will be needed. The abhorrent upfront capex needed to try and drive down operating costs is not viable for them. EIA electricity prices nationwide: https://www.eia.gov/electricity/monthly/epm_table_grapher.php?t=epmt_5_3 NREL H2 cost analysis from 2011. This is just about the most recent research I can find. The abject lack of new material tells me it’s not exactly a hoppin’ field: https://www.nrel.gov/hydrogen/production-cost-analysis.html#fn3 Fuel Cell costs: Part of the reason there are currently so few FCVs on the road today is the limited service life of a fuel cell. Fuel cells are precision manufactured components that degrade quickly when jostled & vibrated too violently. This is not good when combined with the rock-hard suspensions of semi tractors. The DoE targets a useful life of 150,000 miles for a fuel cell. Currently, there is no information confirming this target has been met. A Toyota Murai comes with a 100,000 mile warranty on its FC. For the sake of argument, I will assume Nikola FCs can meet this target. The DoE targets a cost of $40/kW for fuel cell production in 2020, provided mass hits 500,000. This hasn’t happened yet, but I will again assume this to give Nikola the best chance. As an aside: Nikola’s decision to use exclusively GM FC technology in their Badger pickup indicates to me they have nothing “up their sleeve” to make the technology more viable, despite my optimistic assumptions. I’ll assume the Nikola Two’s Fuel cell is 500 kW, less than the 750 kW claimed output. I think it likely their horsepower claim will be a peak power figure only achievable when the motors draw on the battery & FC. I cannot confirm this, because Nikola does not list the output of their motors and FC separately (along with myriad other questionable, or lack of, claims). I think this is reasonable, considering FC thermal efficiency is maximized between 20% and 30% load, and a semi will average ~90 kW of useful work required on the highway, translating to ~170 kW of FC usage. This is near the peak efficiency band of a PEMFC. This assumption also allows steady-state operation at 66% of the “rated” output. This implies an upfront cost of $20,000. A targeted useful life of 150,000 miles implies a depreciation expense of $.13 per mile. NREL Stack Durability and Performance vs load chart: https://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy19osti/73011.pdf Battery costs: Using BNEF 2023 battery cost estimates of $100/kWh, that equates to $25,000 of battery expense. Assuming a useful life of .25M miles, more than any existing warranty currently covers, that results in a depreciation expense of $.125 per mile. Chassis and the rest: Lastly, I extrapolated an FCEV COGS of $175,000 per truck from their Financial projections, minus the $45,000 of equipment already listed, and a 15% scrap value I pulled out of my ass to try and help nikola here, leaves $104,000 depreciated over 700k miles, or a $.15 depreciation expense per mile. Maintenance costs: Nikola assumed a $.061/mile maintenance cost. Any engineer should be able to see such a claim and immediately question it. Tires alone should account for $.03 per mile. That leaves…. $.031 for brakes, air lines, HVAC, wiring, electrical equipment, motors, inverters, those battery and FC expenses I already calculated, sensors, etc. They make no additional provisions for the battery/FC in their leasing breakdown. Pure, unadulterated bullshit. The ICCT puts BEV per mile maintenance at ~$.19/mile. How they squeezed 70% of those costs out, as an unproven startup, by going for a more complex FC-BEV hybrid is beyond me. Cost of trucking: https://www.thetruckersreport.com/infographics/cost-of-trucking/ Nikola Leasing cost breakdown, p19: https://d32st474bx6q5f.cloudfront.net/nikolamotouploads/investopresentation/presentation_file/5/NikolaInvestorRoadShowPresentation042720.pdf Leasing Conclusions: Adding their laughably low per mile maintenance expense of .061 + .15 + .125 + .13 +.59 gives us an aggregate $1.06 per mile expense for Nikola. Using their fuel expense estimate of $.29, this equates to $.76; still more than their projected gross expenses. The first estimate is 50% over they need for their claimed 30% gross margin at $.95 per mile. Note: I used a projected battery expense, projected FC service life target, and projected FC production expense. None of these have been met. I used the average resitive forces acting on a US tractor-trailer, which appear to be lower than the number Nikola uses. I did not include warranty expenses in my estimate. Additionally, these are EXPENSES, and includes 0 profit for the suppliers of these parts. The GM-Nikola deal clearly shows there will be little vertical integration in their production, and such allowances would have to be made. A more reasonable estimate, including a still optimistic 3% interest expense for truck capex, a .4% annual warranty expense (corresponding to their presented 3% estimated reserve). That reserve, btw, is very optimistic: Tesla used a higher reserve on the S for years, while building a simpler product with a warranty length/distance a literal order of magnitude lower than the Nikola truck. A *STILL* low maintenance expense of $.12, and a 10% margin for battery & FC production, we end up with an $.92 per mile expense, or more than Nikola can afford, even when using their untenable $2.5 per kg hydrogen estimate. This is before G&A expenses. Their leasing business model is not possible. Lease Projections v. Income Projections: Internal Chaos or Outright Fraud? It’s possible some of the folks at Nikola have already found those problems out, though. Nikola says they have plans to Lease their trucks. They’ve had presentation slides including the idea, and their truck descriptions on their website include a leasing plan. In their most recent presentation at the DB Global Auto Industry Conference in June, however, the Leasing cost breakdown slide was conspicuously missing. Their Financial projections slide showed 2,000 FCEV trucks being produced in 2023, and 470 million in revenue from FCEV sales. This represents $235,000 per truck, and their FCEV revenue scales exactly linearly into their 2024 projected sales; no room for residual from the 2023 trucks. They’re projecting to sell them! Revenue from maintenance and Hydrogen sales are also listed separately. Their Financial projections clearly show the upfront sale of trucks with additional Hydrogen fueling and maintenance revenue, and the leasing model slide has disappeared. It’s easy to see why. Their projected combined expenses and capex exceeds $7.5 billion through 2024, significantly more than their current $1 Billion in assets and a couple of lease payments would allow for. This would take some intense share dilution (not something I think Trevor would be on board with) or extremely expensive leverage. It’s not like they’re going to get cheap loans secured against their proprietary trucks, requiring their proprietary stations, to run only their customers’ preset routes. A bank wouldn’t want that kind of collateral. The leasing idea is a real mess. Nikla DB presentation, projections are 2nd to last page: https://d32st474bx6q5f.cloudfront.net/nikolamotouploads/investopresentation/presentation_file/7/Nikola_and_VectoIQ_Conference_Presentation_DB_Global_Auto_Conference__6.10.2020_.pdf One can claim that the lease model is still in the description of the trucks, but so are battery and fuel cell specifications for the Nikola one. The Nikola one was, ostensibly, never actually powered by hydrogen, and development has since been abandoned. It looks like their leasing Idea may have been abandoned as well. I’ll also point out that an expected 2024 FCEV maintenance revenue of 56 million on 7000 trucks sold, assuming an average of 50,000 miles per truck sold in 2024 (the average mileage if the trucks are sold at a constant rate through the FY) and 100,000 per truck in 2023, equates to 12.4 cents per mile, more than double the $.061 projected maintenance costs in the april lease presentation. Either they plan on making a killing from maintenance, or there was some aggressive re-shuffling of numbers when maintenance went from an expense to revenue stream, or vice versa. The same analysis of hydrogen expenses puts their per kg revenue at $4.08. Still low, but a hefty sum above their $2.47 cost average on the leasing slide. If we use their projected FCEV maintenance revenue of $.124, $4.08 per kg H2 revenue, and $235,000 truck price depreciated over 7 years w/no interest expense, the cost of ownership, according to their income projections, is $1 per mile for a 100,000 mile year. More than they say a diesel will cost. OOPS! That’s most of what I wanted to talk about. It’s pretty clear that Nikola cannot possibly make a profit with their lease model, and Nikola’s finance department has indirectly acknowledged this. Hydrogen tech is still many, many years away. Nikola’s move fast and break things approach (though I’m not convinced we’ve seen much moving outside of gravity assists) will end up a “move fast and bankrupt things” strategy. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I now want to take a few moments to look at some of the sillier things I found in my research: In a laughably exuberant turn of events, Nikola projects 25% gross margins during their first year of production. That’s downright cute! They plan on, ostensibly, slapping GM FCs & batteries on IVECO platforms, and beating the margins of all publicly traded auto companies sans Ferrari within a few months of production start. It's that easy. Get your shit together, Ford! On Nikola’s website under their trucks, they have a comparison of FCs, BEVs, and Diesel where they seem to forget their trucks have hundreds of kWhs of battery storage onboard. They claim “Hydrogen acts as a buffer and grid balance,” while “batteries are a drain on the grid.” You heard it hear first, folks, batteries can’t be used as a grid buffer, only a grid drain. They also claim H2 is the “most abundant element on the planet,” while “Batteries [are] made of non-renewable resources; dangerous/costly to mine.” Makes me wonder why they chose to put so many on their trucks. Also hilariously hypocritical, considering Platinum -required for PEMFCs- is one of the rarest metals on earth. Design considerations and odd choices: I want to take a moment to talk about chassis design and the implications of Nikola’s set power parameters. And I want to start with a quote from Elon Musk during the Tesla Semi reveal: “We designed the Tesla truck like a bullet,” Musk said. “A normal diesel truck is designed like a barn wall.” The Tesla Semi is more aerodynamic than a $2 million Bugatti Chiron sports car, he said. A bold claim, but I believe this to be correct. Cheesy, but correct. Why? Cooling requirements. The more cooling air you need, the less favorable aerodynamics you’ll have. In the simple representation of an engine, there is a fuel input, a work output, and a heat output. A gas engine -especially one not designed with fuel efficiency in mind like the Chiron’s- will likely only output ~20-25% of its fuel input as a work output. The Chiron makes 1,500 hp, and needs to reject 4,500-6,000 hp of heat at full throttle. The goal of a Chiron isn’t to slip through the air, au contraire. It’s designed suck in as much air as possible for cooling and brute it’s way to 270 mph through raw horsepower. Most modern sedans have more favorable aerodynamics than a Bugatti. On the other hand, about 90% of the inputs from an EV charger make it to the wheels -- a major factor that makes EVs so efficient. This means Elon can put, for example, 1000 hp of motors in his truck and only worry about rejecting 100 hp of heat at full load, an easy task. That’s less cooling than a Prius needs, and the truck can be designed with virtually zero air input constraints. He can swing his “3x the acceleration” dick around, and the only tradeoff is beefier driveline bits for the extra torque and bigger motors. C_D lists on wikipedia: Note almost every production car below Cd=.24 is either a small displacement diesel or electric. No supercars in sight. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Automobile_drag_coefficient The Chiron’s standard Cd is .38. A 1995 ford windstar minivan has a standard Cd of .35. Not exactly a prestigious club, haha: https://www.roadandtrack.com/new-cars/car-technology/a32329/these-rare-development-photos-tell-the-full-bugatti-chiron-story/ Hydrogen is a different story. The thermal efficiency of a FCEV -above 50% load- will dip down into the 40-50% range. The average efficiency of a diesel truck is ~45%, and it will dip to ~35% at max rpm, full load. ‘Ever seen the video where Trevor says the production trucks won’t need as much cooling as their current prototypes? He’s lying through his teeth. A 1000 hp FC would need more than 1000 hp of cooling; as much if not more than a 500hp diesel. It's also important to note that less heat is lost in exhaust from a PEMFC, and lower operating temps mean that actual cooling airflow required is significantly more than an equivalent diesel would require. 500 hp diesels are already built like a brick with a front aftercooler & radiator the size of a football field. Trevor’s dick swinging has major consequences. More cooling means more drag, more weight in heat sinks/radiators, and more power draw to move coolant. These all create positive feedback loops, e.g. more air requirements mean less favorable aerodynamics & more drag, which means more power draw at speed, which means more cooling, which means more air requirements... It’s not all fun and games like the pure BEV Tesla is making. Daimler’s recently announced H2 semi offering only has 300 kW, and they can recycle their waste heat to warm up incoming liquid hydrogen, Nikola uses compressed hydrogen and won’t have the same luxury. Running so much horsepower is a real head scratcher; one would think their head of R&D’s only experience was pouring concrete or something. It’s also important to note US tractor-trailers are hard capped at 80,000 lbs. This means that every pound of tractor weight is a pound taken from potential cargo. Y’know… the part that actually makes money. One has to wonder why Nikola is keeping ~5000 lbs of batteries on the tractor; their website showed they aren’t fans of the stuff. It’s enough to run a loaded tractor two full hours on battery alone, more than a regenerative braking system would require or power peaking during a hill climb. It’s dumb; 100 kWh would be more than enough when an on-demand primemover like a hydrogen cell is also onboard. It’s an expensive and opulent display to the vexation of customers, who would, in all likelihood, much prefer an extra 2 tons of cargo capacity. Features like 1000 hp and 250 kWh of battery appeal more to retail investors than trucking companies. Actual conclusion time: I think that I pretty conclusively showed that:
Nikola’s hydrogen cost projections are bogus. There isn’t even enough money there to pay for the electrolysis and compression, much less maintenance, depreciation, or labor.
Nikola’s leasing costs undercutting diesel is bogus. One can disprove that with their own financial projections, much less the real costs of FCs and H2 electrolysis.
Nikola’s plan to lease the trucks is totally divorced from reality, according to their own financial projections.
Nikola’s projected per mile operating & maintenance expenses are beyond indefensible.
A myriad of odd, marketing focused design choices limit the trucks on-road efficiency and utility to potential customers.
Tesla has soared 50% since announcing its stock split — last week
New York (CNN Business)Tesla is preparing to split its stock, making it more affordable for average investors. It may need to do another one pretty soon if its shares keep surging.Tesla (TSLA) has skyrocketed 50% since announcing the stock split on August 11. It now trades at nearly $2,100 a share.Once the split goes into effect on August 31, current Tesla investors will get five shares for each one they own. That will cut the price by a fifth, to almost $420 a share. The market value of Tesla, now hovering around $390 billion, will remain the same.But does Tesla deserve to trade at such a high valuation? While the Elon Musk-led company is generating consistent profits, its sales are dwarfed by the major auto giants.Tesla is expected to generate nearly $30 billion in annual revenue this year. That’s nothing to sneeze at. But Fiat Chrysler (FCAU) is estimated to report $100 billion in sales for 2020. GM (GM) and Ford (F) are each forecast to post annual revenue of more than $110 billion.Still, Tesla’s market value is now more than four times the combined market caps of Detroit’s Big 3. A majority of Wall Street analysts are betting against Tesla. Of the 33 that officially track the stock, only eight have a buy rating on Tesla while 15 have it rated a hold and 10 are recommending a sell on it.Only three of the Tesla analysts currently have a price target for it above $2,000. The consensus target is just under $1,300 — almost 40% below its current price.Tesla continues to be a big target of short sellers, investors who borrow the stock and sell it with the hopes of eventually buying it back at a lower price.Of course, Tesla fans can correctly point out that analysts have been consistently wrong and that Wall Street will eventually have to raise its earnings forecasts and price targets on the stock.Tesla may also get a further boost if it is finally added to the blue-chip S&P 500 index — a move that could soon happen now that the company has posted a consistent run of profitable quarters. Full Article: http://pioret.com/tesla-has-soared-50-since-announcing-its-stock-split-last-week
Why is leasing a car so taboo? [Fifth post of multiple posts] by request "financing Corolla after the lease"
I appreciate every comment, I’m flattered that you would even have a thought on what I wrote whether you agree or not or do explain your business differently than how I explain it or take up different positions that I do on the 3 different buying programs. Today’s post is motivated by the comments from the previous post, post 4. Some redditors mentioned that a Prius Prime is not really a good example of demonstrating financing after lease, which was honestly, my second point (ownership) only to my first point (considering leasing in the first place). I only added the second point, ownership after leasing, because it’s part of the lease conversation but it's not the objective. “Who’s car is it after the lease is over? It’s not my car anymore?” “Well, you paid monthly payments for a term of 36 months, that’s the lease” “That makes me feel like I paid into it but I don’t get anything at the end of the lease” Which triggers the response, “Well, you can finance the car if you want to keep it” “Okay, well, let’s talk about that. What does that look like?” Trying to finance the car at the end of the lease before you’ve signed the lease is ‘complicated’ but here we are. (I’ll have a bonus example for your consideration after today’s post/exercise) In today’s post we’re going to do a Corolla (unspecified so author’s choice) and also a non-hybrid Rav4 (also unspecified so author’s choice) tomorrow. I chose these after commenting with u/UNsoAlt Here’s the 2020 Corolla LE (please remember this is for bay area/most parts of Northern California) Starting Price $21,888 Selling Price $19,000 (currently dealers have $600 subvention so there's that) Lease end value after 36,000 miles $12,038 Best financing rate 0.0% (Tier 1+ not all will qualify) Best lease rate 0.984 (Money Factor 0.00041) 19,000 x 1.11 (tax and fees dmv, registration, documentation)= 21,090 - $2,000 (some money down)= 19,090 (loan)/ 60 months (term)= $318.17 (per month presuming 0.0% interest Tier 1+ O.A.C.) In summary: $19,000 Sale price $2,090 tax title dmv $21,090 out the door -$2,000 down payment $19,090 loan 60 months 0.0% interest rate $318.17 monthly payment You can double-check it here 36 months in the finance deal we’ll be in the car= $11,454,12 Ok, let’s look at the lease Auto Price: $19,000 Lease term is 36 months Money factor (also referred to as lease rate 0.984%) 0.00041 Down payment $2,000 Sales tax 9% Residual value (also referred to as lease end value) $12,038 Monthly payment: $132.49 Breakdown of the lease calculation So, just like post 4, what do have? Two different buying programs of the same car, same money down. Different monthly payments because different speeds of ownership. Just to reiterate where we’re forking off from Post 4. When you look at this specifically “Total Cost to Own After Lease Ends” and then you look at this “Total Cost (price, interest, tax, fees)” you’ll see the difference is $198.91. The big difference is the interest and tax when you finance after lease. However, all things considered equal the difference would be $200. In this post we’re evaluating the fundamental money difference between financing outright from the onset versus leasing first and then financing (with interest) and trying to point out the cost difference. Let’s return to our comparison. So, in the finance deal after 36 months and negating the $2,000 down because that’ll be same on both deals, we’ll be in the Corolla $318.17 x 36 months= $11,454.12 Where as, 36 months of leasing we’ll be in the car $132.49 x 36 months= $4,769.64 So, 11454.12 - 4769.64= $6,684.48 is the difference between the first 36 months of the finance deal vs. 36 months of the lease I think we can all agree at this point. Now if I want to finance the Corolla I would have to finance $12,038 but if you really want to fairly compare the finance deal vs. the lease deal you have to put the money you didn’t spend in the lease back into the deal at the time of financing the residual as a down payment because in the financial deal, all the money is put into the car and so all the money, spent or not spent, needs to be put back into the car at the time of financing the lease. $12,038 - $6,684.48= $5,353.52 Let’s say we get 2.9% on $5,353.52 and keeping our timeline the same as the finance deal we’ll pay off the $5,353.52 in 24 months so that 24 months plus the 36 months lease equals 60 months financing. You’ll find that the monthly payment has gone from $132.49 to 266.87 but in short if you decide to finance the Corolla after the lease you’ll be paying $1,051.31 more than just financing the car outright from the onset, this difference is due to tax and fees a second time and financing interest. So you, as the consumer have to consider, if this is the car for me do I want to pay $318 a month for 60 months or do I want to pay $132.49 a month for 36 months and then decide to finance 12,038 minus $6,684.48? Do I want to have paid $6,684.48 more at month 36 or is there something else I can do with that money? One more thing to consider, if you take the difference of what you paid more in financing after leasing, $1,051 and divide it by 36 months it’s an extra ~$30 dollars. So, if you can make your lease payment to Toyota $161.68 (instead of $132.49) then by the end of the lease you’ll have banked so much money that the financing after lease total in will be 5224.31 which puts us back under $5,353.52 and I fear I may have lost some of you here. All we’re doing is paying a little more than necessary (from 132 to 161) each month so that financing after lease doesn’t bite us in the ass later (the extra 1051). I’ve done this before. If I don’t buy out the lease and there are no outstanding dues on the lease return Toyota cuts me check back on the extra I put in or I can put it towards another Toyota. So, in conclusion, you can pay $318.17 for 60 months or you can pay 161.68 (about $30 more than $132.49) for the first 36 months, down pay $6,684.48 on $12,038 (this is the money you would have spent in the finance deal for the first 36 months), and then pay 217.68 for 24 months and the difference in price will be a wash and you’ll own the car outright. Don’t have the $6,684.48? Did you spend it on something more important than a car? Good, because a car is a depreciating asset, you’ll never get that money back if you put it into a car. Put as little money into a car as possible. Just lease another car. Before you go let me ask you something: Do you want to finance a car for 5 years and own it for 9 years? Or do you want to lease 3 new cars, three years each? Let’s say you’ve owned a car for 9 years where you paid $318.17 for the first 60 months and then decided you were going to keep it for another 48 months, no monthly payment. This is great, no monthly payment, you own it outright. All you have to do is pay maintenance and repairs. It shouldn’t be that hard because the car only has 108,000 miles on it. (1,000 miles per month) Then there’s me, driving only 1,000 miles per month, and I’ve made 108 payments (9 years) of $132.49 per month but my car is always new and current with the latest safety and driving features, always has a maintenance plan and is always under warranty. I don’t ever have to ‘buy a new car’ because I’m always in a new car. Which one suits you better? Lease or don’t lease but at ‘lease’ you know what leasing can do for your money. Please, do not finance for 60 months and then trade it in on month 37, for the love of God. Non-hybrid Rav4 tomorrow unless the comments tell me I do not to, this was very laborious for a near moot point. If you drive less than 1,000 miles a month consider the lease. If you're sure life will change a lot in three years, consider the lease. If you value the flexibility to keep as much cash on hand and would rather not put it into a car if you don't have to consider the lease.
Looking at purchasing a 2013 Xterra 4x4 with 40k miles for 14k. I have a paid off 2016 Ford Focus hatchback with 80k miles. Had it appraised at CarMax and they offered 4K, but the dealership offered 5500 but said if I trade in for a vehicle I could get upwards of 6200. Which don’t get me wrong, I’m all about, but was curious what the lowest amount financed in dollars y’all have seen? I don’t want to finance a whole bunch, but was unsure if trading in vehicle or just selling it outright first then coming with cash in hand would be better. Thanks in advance! Excited to get out of this piece of shit ford.
Tesla competitor Nio can surge another 28% amid transformation into 'next iconic auto brand,' Deutsche Bank says
Nio may not have the intense following enjoyed by the industry leader Tesla, but Deutsche Bank thinks the electric-car manufacturer can quickly dominate the expanding Chinese market. In a Tuesday note delving into whether the company could become "the next iconic auto brand," analysts led by Edison Yu highlighted Nio's growth in the competitive electric-vehicle market. For one, sales are trending higher. The team projected record third- and fourth-quarter deliveries and raised its estimates for full-year sales and earnings. As adoption of battery-powered electric vehicles "increases and word of mouth spreads, we believe Nio can take material share in the premium segment as consumers begin to understand the value proposition and quality of its products and services," Deutsche Bank said. The lifted forecast backs the firm's "buy" rating and $24 price target for Nio shares. That target implies a 28% rally from Nio's Monday closing level over the next 12 months. Nio gained as much as 7% following the note's release. Some investors balked at the bank's bullish outlook earlier in the month, saying Nio doesn't boast the same loyalty in China as other luxury automakers. There is some truth to such criticisms "given Nio is an upstart," the analysts said, but the bank continues to find "compelling evidence" that Nio is increasingly viewed as a player in the luxury-autos space. Nio's average customer-referral rate jumped to 62% in the first half of 2020 from 52% last year, according to the bank. Separately, a recent study by China's leading automotive web portal found that Nio had a higher referral rating in China than Tesla, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz, despite being just six years old. Nio's standing in the Chinese market is already translating to more sales. The automaker boosted its monthly production capacity to 5,000 in September after selling out vehicles produced in August. Third-quarter deliveries are set to reach 11,500, the analysts said, landing above the high end of the company's own guidance. Nio will still need to face off with other young Chinese rivals, but Deutsche Bank said it was confident the firm would lead the pack. "With the China EV market already the world's largest and now inflecting upward after the recent downturn, we believe Nio is well positioned to take share in the premium segment," the team said. Nio traded at $19.92 per share as of 12:40 p.m. ET. The company has three "buy" ratings, five "hold" ratings, and two "sell" ratings from Wall Street analysts. Source
[USA - UT] [H] Massive pile of games, guides, accessories, collectibles, and more; great stuff for DS, 3DS, Dreamcast, GB, GameCube, N64, NES, PC, PS1/2/3, PSP, SNES, Wii, Wii U, Xbox OG/360/One [W] PayPal. All sales help raise money for a family member battling cancer.
HELLO ALL!!! I have returned to continue offloading my game collection in to raise money for a family member battling cancer. We already owe a huge thank you to the many amazing people in this sub; your purchases have been a tremendous help. Also want to extend a thank you to the mods that keep this place running. Selling here has been an amazing experience, circumstances notwithstanding. UPDATE FOR THE CURIOUS: my family member is doing very well thus far. One surgery down and the first round of chemo has been completed. It was utter hell during that time. We don't yet know if more chemo is required, but are optimistic it won't be necessary. A second surgery is planned, possibly in 2021, which may also need its own round of chemo afterward. For now we are just focused on recovery. PLEASE THOROUGHLY READ the item notes, if applicable. All games are CiB unless noted and all items are coming from a smoke-free home. I did my best to note any issues like missing content or damage. I can add photos for an item once interest is expressed, but please be patient as responding to comments and adding photos will take time. Ask any questions! I am even open for some trading as there are many titles my friends desire and will gladly purchase from me. ATTENTION MOBILE USERS: please follow the previous suggestion. The reddit mobile site should display all table columns. App users may need to horizontally scroll the tables to see all columns, including the price and notes. DO NOT SEND A MESSAGE WITHOUT FIRST COMMENTING. It's sub policy and is meant to protect all of us. Plus it helps me best respond to comments in order received. REGARDING PRICE: Per sub rules, I am required to list a price. However, I had so many items to catalog with limited time available each day for price research. I did my best to factor in the condition and rarity, but I am certain my pricing is off with many items. If you see anything that is severely oveunder priced, please let me know; I won’t consider it threadcrapping as long as you’re polite about it (though I have no control over how the mods feel). If you are interested in an item with a bad price, then please make an offer; I am sure we can agree on a price that will leave both parties happy. I’m here to help a family member, not run a business. REGARDING SHIPPING: Extended shipping times and delays are to be expected due to the current pandemic. Also, please indicate if you desire a faster shipping rate and/or insurance. DOUBLE CHECK YOUR PAYPAL ADDRESS. Ensure the address on your account matches the address you want items shipped to. Helps avoid shipping to the incorrect location. COMMUNICATE, COMMUNICATE, COMMUNICATE! Please let me know if you're no longer interested in something so it can go to the next interested party. If at least 24 hours have passed with no response then I may sell the items to someone else. I'm flexible and am willing to work with any reasonable requests as long as you openly communicate. My confirmed trade thread. Thank you all! Oh, and f*ck cancer.
Majora's Mask Limited Edition; CIB; 3DS is in mint condition and was only played once for a few minutes to try out Smash Bros; the box is torn on the back from someone attempting to steal it (long story), but the box is in fantastic shape on the front and sides; includes a universal USB charger that can also charge a DS Lite
Inside a replacement case as the original was cracked; the original case can be provided on request
Game Boy Color travel case with accessories
MadCatz; case has pockets to hold various accessories and 8 games; includes the transfer cable, screen magnifier (with light), joystick, speakers, and the comfort grip with rechargeable batteries (and its charger and splitter cable); not sure if the batteries are good after all these years, but ironically you cannot use the grip and the speakers at the same time and I definitely preferred the speakers.
Hyperkin Tomee; purchased brand new and only used for maybe an hour; I couldn't find my official ones at the time and needed them for a project; loose
NES game plastic clamshell protectors
Hard plastic cases to protect NES games; I believe these were officially produced by Nintendo in the 80's/90's; I have 5 blue, 2 white, 1 pink, and 2 purple in stock
Mike Tyson's Punch Out
Super Mario Bros.
Super Mario Bros. / Duck Hunt
Super Mario Bros. 2
Super Mario Bros. 3
Bust a Move '99
Includes, game, box, and manual; box has creases from being flattened and some tears on the tabs; could be corrected by a patient collector with an iron; also includes a copy of the manual from the video rental store that used to own it; fun fact: Blockbuster was sued by Nintendo because they did the same thing, forcing them to create their own instruction manuals for game rentals
Includes game, box, manual, and Konami postcard; small crease on top of box; manual has some creases but they look like they could be ironed flat; cartridge is in great shape; this is the kind of shape you'd put into a plastic protector and display
Command & Conquer
Game and box only; cartridge is in good shape; box has creases from being flattened; could be corrected by a patient collector with an iron; fun fact: game has exclusive cutscenes and missions not included in the original PC version; those levels and scenes are being added to the upcoming remaster
Cartridge only; sticker on the back label and a scuff
Duke Nukem: Zero Hour
Includes game, box, manual; small crease on top of box; small inventory labels on the box that could be safely removed with the right cleaner; manual has some bent corners but they look like they could be ironed flat; cartridge is in great shape; overall condition: kicks ass and chews bubblegum; stick this one in a plastic protector for display
Includes game, box, and manual; box has tears, tape, and a sticker from the rental shop that used to own it; manual is in good shape; cartridge is in amazing shape
Includes the box, manual, and Game Boy transfer pak; box is in great shape, but has damage from when the sealing stickers were removed
Rayman 2: The Great Escape
Cartridge only; back has a price label that could probably be removed with a little heat and the right cleaner
Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire
Box and cartridge only; box has some creases but is in ready-to-display shape
The New Tetris
Includes box, game, manual, and other doc inserts; box has some scuffs and freys, but still good enough to put on display; one of the inner tabs is torn; cartridge is in great shape, but the front and back labels have stickers from the rental shop that owned it; labels could be removed with the right cleaners and patience, or left on as-is if you just wanna put this on display
Turok 2: Seeds of Evil
Cartridge only; has Blockbuster labels on the back and their engraving on the front
To begin with, let's discuss what is electrification. A lot of people think that it is between BEVs and ICE cars - actually there's a pretty big middle ground. We have 5 levels:
Literally unchanged from gasoline, although new technologies such as Mazda's SPCCI and Hyundai's CVVD are likely to make the existing ICE fleet more fuel efficient.
A mild hybrid (called an MHEV) is an ICE with a small electric motor to assist in the propulsion of the vehicle. Fuel savings are typically in the 5-15% range. The engine can often be turned off during coasting, braking and idling, but not always.
The classic hybrid (HEV) like the well known Toyota Prius can offer a major fuel savings in city driving, but only minimal fuel savings on highway (such as during downhill). Net, a well designed hybrid can save around 1/3 of fuel, assuming a 50-50 ratio of highway to city driving.
A plugin hybrid (PHEV) can offer around 30-100 km (approximately 20 - 60 miles) of range on pure electric, but must rely on its ICE engine after that. This is considered useful as people can go to work or other errands within a city, and they have the option to use fuel while going on road trips, which mitigates the need for high wattage chargers that charge slower than refuelling a car, long range batteries that are expensive, and addresses range anxiety concerns.
Battery Electric Vehicles
These are full Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV), which is what Musk is pushing. BEVs tend to need very large batteries because they have to address range anxiety, new infrastructure along highways, and their batteries will wear with time, although fast charging will wear EV batteries even faster. On the upside, they do not have any ICE components.
A few things stand out:
As you go down the levels, the cost of per vehicle becomes progressively more expensive.
The size of battery required also becomes more large, which drives the costs. Batteries are the bottleneck in technology.
Weight will also go up with larger battery sizes, so road wear will also increase. Axial weight wears out roads by the fourth degree (ex: a vehicle with double the axial weight wears out roads 24 or 16x as fast, so a 20% increase in vehicle weight will more than double road wear, which may mean that EVs may have to pay higher road taxes. )
The more radical the changes that are required the more you go down the scale
Production of lithium and other specialized elements will be needed for society to make these changes
So these represent challenges in EV adoption.
What some internal forecasts say?
The forecasts that I've seen and to be honest, I would be unsurprised if they were inaccurate, are mostly focused on North America.
In North America, by 2030, BEVs are projected to be less than 15% of the market
HEV, PHEV, and MHEV are projected to make up around 25-35% of the North American market
This means that less than half the vehicles are projected to be electrified at all
Globally, the projections call for 50-70% electrification (including BEV, PHEV, HEV, and MHEV)
Hydrogen is expected to take off after 2030. The further one goes in the future, the less accurate projections are and even these projections are not expected to be accurate. It's not clear internally if BEVs or FCEVs are a better solution.
This is a "pessimistic" forecast, but also one that tries to take into account a number of challenges unique to the North American market and describes North America as a laggard. A lot of this information, I can't share more in depth with you. Actually, there's a lot I have kept for NDA and other reasons. You'll notice for example I never really participated a while back in the "quarterly delivery" estimates. I didn't plan on doing so for NDA reasons, as I am personally quite heavily involved with tier 1 and 2 suppliers or former suppliers for Tesla. I've also been careful here to give ranges. North America is likely to be a laggard for a number of reasons.
The size of the continent means that driving distances are much greater and people take longer trips more often
The low taxes on fuel and the political climate
The less generous government investment into the auto industry (China for example has huge state backed investment into the industry)
The higher swings from winter to summer (nations in Europe, even countries that are considered "cold" such as the Scandinavian nations or Finland have relatively mild winters compared to North America)
Incomes in North America will be a bottleneck because longer driving distances require larger batteries
The preference for larger cars, along with pickup trucks
A final problem is the uncertainty of the unknown is likely to be much stronger in North America knowing the limitations and lack of government support. It is a company's own cash rather than the public's that car makers are using, and that is in short supply in a recession.
There are other challenges, such as the higher demand for long range towing in North America (a weak point of EVs). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S4W-P5aCWJs I've mentioned that it is much harder to improve energy density than this person alludes.
Why a forecast with low EV demand for North America?
Generally, the forecasts I've seen are followed by more frank conversations than what the public will say. Most companies will put out an image that they want people to believe, but internally, companies will try to maximize their own revenue and ultimately, profit. EVs remain a money losing investment, and may remain so for decades. Actually if the Chinese government aggressively subsidizes EVs and if exports are allowed, EV manufacturing may never be profitable anywhere in the world because nobody will be able to compete with the combination of Chinese government subsidies and economies of scale (China also has the largest car market in the world). Even internally, the Chinese state backed car companies would be reliant on these subsidies. Remember, cars are a low margin product, so even a modest subsidy, absent of tariffs, could have huge impacts. Companies without as generous government support are effectively subsidizing with their ICE profits or investor money (like Tesla is, as they have to raise money every year). China is expected to win if this occurs the "EV race". On one hand, this will lead to cheaper EVs, but on the other hand, it will accelerate the decline of good jobs in North America, which means fewer people are able to afford EVs. It is important that we remember that the automotive sector remains a major employer and that many of these jobs are a ticket to the middle class, perhaps the only ticket, that many people in society have. Right now, due to the pandemic, companies right now are actually cutting investments in many cases to survive the COVID 19 recession. I can't go into details, but I can tell you that there have been some EV and H2 investments that have been delayed. In the case of the US, these barriers may be overwhelming. Most EVs that you see currently are aimed more domestically at the European and Chinese internal markets. They are smaller vehicles, and range is less important. In other words, larger vehicles with bigger batteries are needed for North America, but those cost too much. This would require much higher car prices to fill the demand for larger cars, but North American incomes are not higher than say, Norway (often held up as a model), which is a barrier. Norway is often held up as a an example of the future, but it is a rich oil rich nation that is not at all reflective of the world. Aloa helping Norway is the high availability od hydro electricity. Incomes are actually expected to fall in the next few years due to the COVID 19 recession. Here is a good discussion of the impacts: https://www.coxautoinc.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Cox-Automotive-Mobility-EV-White-Paper-FINAL-9-21-20.pdf Targets for carbon emissions are also less strict than in Europe (although to be fair, that is carbon emissions, on other non-carbon emissions, there are times when the North American regulations are actually more strict than the EU is). Politically, it is less likely that there will be large increases in the gas tax for the next couple of years. Raising gas taxes is also politically unpopular during a recession when people have less income and those who do have jobs often are paid less. The political climate is also very partisan and any dramatic nation wide increases through the US and Canada are likely to be bitterly opposed, and could result in a "yellow vests" type of protest. This was caused by a combination of factors:
Macron, the leader of France raised diesel taxes more than petrol (gasoline) taxes
Previously car owners in France had been encouraged to choose diesel over petrol due to its superior fuel economy
Lower middle class car owners faced declining economic prospects and did not have the money for higher taxes (they live paycheck to paycheck)
Relocating was often not an option, as Paris and the larger French cities did not have that much better paying jobs after living costs were factored in and many could not afford to relocate
Unique to France, Macron had cut taxes on the rich - this was seen by car owners as a regressive tax for that reason and keep in mind that lower middle class people cannot afford newer more fuel efficient or for that matter, although not scrtuinized at the time of protests, electric vehicles, as they live paycheck to paycheck
Macron had indicated that the money raised from taxes would not be used to fund "green" initiatives, but rather to reduce France's public budget deficits
Certain professional and business activities were tax exempt
Many of these factors have parallels in North America and political attitudes are arguably even more hostile than in France. Any major efforts to raise gasoline taxes in North America would likely be even more politically toxic and contentious because of the worsening economy from COVID 19 and because many of these factors apply. It will be politically difficult to make these changes and perhaps only a few "Blue states" and very left wing areas of Canada could do so. Even that is now in question, as cities like New York City are facing an exodus, and they tend to be the most "car skeptic" areas, which in turn means less political power.
Other contributing factors
These are not the only considerations to a delay in EV share surge.
There is likely to be high levels of unemployment, which means lower car sales (buying a car is considered an "optional" expense and buying a more expensive EV is even less appealing to people who are unemployed or afraid to lose their jobs). Buying a car is considered often an unwise purchase during these times, and the more expensive is less appealing. One notable exception is trucks, which may be used as a revenue generating asset. Trucks tend to play a bigger part in the North American auto market than anywhere else, and no the Cybertruck is not the solution because of long range towing.
Changes in recreational activities. Road trips fell less than car buying. https://www.wbur.org/hereandnow/2020/07/28/road-trip-safety-coronavirus Much like how many businesses have found video conferencing with Microsoft Teams, Zoom, or other similar services an adequate replacement for business travel via aviation, it is expected that there will be a permanent shift towards more automobile road trips after COVID 19. This disadvantages EVs that suffer from range problems and long range charging issues (or a shorter charge-discharge lifespan from fast charging). Driving distances for road trips are longer in North America compared to other parts of the world however, which is a drawback for EVs.
The problem is that there is a K shaped recovery (https://www.cnbc.com/2020/09/04/worries-grow-over-a-k-shaped-economic-recovery-that-favors-the-wealthy.html), where the upper middle class recover, the rich get even wealthier, but the middle class and especially the poor lose income. Normal people are not buying a house because of the pandemic - rich people or upper middle class professionals are. So those buying new vehicles and moving to the suburbs are those that had more money to begin with before the coronavirus crisis. They are the people already likely to buy cars. The only silver lining is that those moving to suburbs may be able to get chargers for EVs, since its easier to charge at a house than apartment, for their next car when the economy recovers and should EV prices fall. One other may be that city car buyers and other buyers may opt for smaller vehicles, which already have EV platforms around the world. People who are lower income in the K recession may desperately want a car to get away from mass transit for safety reasons, but they do not have the money to buy anything more expensive (a barrier for EV adoption). The US and Canada had a high and mid level of economic inequality respectively, combined with more people in car dependent suburbs, so that means that while EVs may be affordable for the upper middle class, a K shaped recovery will mean that the lower middle calss is in trouble. This may however in North America, lead to a modest resurgence in small cars, which has been recently dominated by Crossovers and Trucks. Most projections do not expect this to last. The 2008 recession only led to a short trend of smaller vehicles. This played a role in 2008's aftermath in the failure of Fiat to take off in the North American market. People spend more time in North America in their cars than in Europe or Asia, so space is at a premium. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-5vrpTPj5Vk&t=3m42s The problem is that while people may want cars, most people outside of the middle class may not be able to afford EVs. People leaving mass transit (who on average were poorer to begin with, especially outside of NYC) are buying smaller vehicles not because they necessarily want to (only a small percentage do, judging by the trends after 2008), but because it is what they can afford. This is less true outside of North America, where cars we North Americans consider compact are the mainstream cars. The affordable EVs are all cars which are small, have small batteries, and cannot really succeed in North America outside of being a city car. If cars were sold with smaller batteries, they would incur more charge-discharge cycles and use up their battery life. Fast charging would worsen the process. https://thenextweb.com/shift/2020/03/13/scientists-fast-charging-destroys-electric-vehicle-batteries-tesla-panasonic/ The only other way would be to subsidize the purchase of EVs and manufacturers. One big question car manufacturers are unsure of, is how much political will there will be to do this in the aftermath of the recession when other priorities (ex: helping those who have lost their jobs find new work) may take precedence.
We are seeing these problems right now when we have single digit EV market share - the risk would be even higher for multi-digit EV market share. The element doesn't have to be unobtainable to be a problem - it just has to be very expensive to obtain and the substitutes much worse than the element. This would send EV prices up. It may not be lithium, cobalt, or nickel. It may be another element on the periodic table. But the risk of a "gotcha" element is there. It's been suggested that $100 or $80 per KwH is the breakeven point when EV cost of ownership is lower than fuel (it may be lower in North America though for reasons described earlier). Getting there and staying there may be difficult. This is an even bigger problem for North American vehicles, because of the need for larger batteries due to the driving distances. The combination of these factors explain why compared to the rest of the world, North American adoption will be slower. These barriers, while not insurmountable, mean that NOrth Americans will adopt EVs later than the rest of the world.
Affordability and a sense of perspective
I think that one of the big flaws of the pro-EV community is that it is domianted by upper middle class techies. Based on their collective post history, many upper middle class people lack a sense of empathy and understanding of what the average American (or Canadian or other citizen) lives like. Let's put this into perspective. 78% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck and most Americans would not be able to cover a $1000 US emergency.
"I don't think we're going to see things like cash-for-clunkers this time around," he said. "We do see the potential for a pretty significant average age growth in the coming years." He added, "I would not be surprised if we see a jump in the four- to six-month range as opposed to just a one- to two-month range."
So may be the average age of cars in the US may be your 15 or more year old car, which in 2030 would be an MY 2015 car. Maybe even older. I won't go too far off topic, but let's just say, I'm not a fan of capitalism at all. Let's just say my political views on economics make Bernie Sanders look like a moderate. So too do many people in my generation (Y). Socially, I'm moderately conservative, but that's another story. Anyways, the point is that if more people were middle class, from a more economically left wing ideology, they would be able to afford a middle class living, such as a car, and perhaps the economies of scale might favour EVs a bit more, at least if the "gotcha" elements were addressed. If folks can't afford a new cheaper gas car, an EV, even with cheaper batteries and public subsidies might be even less affordable. Even if EVs were cheaper throughout due to lower maintenance (and there is no assurance of that due to battery replacement costs - because keep in mind, cars will have to last for longer now), the upfront costs are a huge barrier for a society that mostly cannot even afford current cars.
I am not at all happy at these trends. Often I am accused of being a "short" of Tesla stock, even though I have never shorted or traded Tesla stock in my life. Actually, my job security right now is more tied to electrification, so a trend towards electrification is better right now for my long term career prospects in the industry. I don't like seeing people involuntarily forced to buy older cars. It pains me deeply, as new cars are usually safer, and better in most regards (except of course on one's wallet). There is a high level of uncertainty with these projections and the further into the future one goes, the higher the level of uncertainty. That does not mean however, that one should assume the best or worst for EV adoption. Furthermore, the further one goes into the future, questions about if FCEVs might take off are also in play. That being said, I trust the projections internally in car companies more than I do say, a company like McKinsey or the BCG, because their life is literally on the line. EV adoption has a lot of barriers, but they are likely to be far worse in North America. The challenges are not just one barrier, but are multi-factorial and have been explored in depth here. The barriers are the driving distances, the politics, the economic challenges, and the technical challenges. Another problem is that we do not know if EVs or H2 will win out. As it stands, EVs are mainly for the upper middle class and I think they have lost perspective on how most people in society live. Getting batteries cheaper is much more difficult than say Moore's Law or Dennard scaling in compute. Perhaps that may be why Techies are so bullish on EVs - they think everything is like Moore's Law. Even Moore's Law itself is in question with the ever increasing costs of chip fabs. I wish this were not the case, but the realist in me says otherwise. Throughout the industry, I"ve noticed that given these constraints, most feel that PHEVs is the best option. They are more affordable due to the smaller battery, do not have the range anxiety issues, nor the charging issues of BEVs. Normally one ends on an optimistic note, but I think I will end with this. I think we have to be very cognizant of how difficult it is to transition from one type of propulsion to another. It's not as easy as it sounds, and often advocates underestimate these difficulties. The barriers exist, but are larger in North America. Overcoming them is a massive technical, economic, and political challenge that will take a longer time than elsewhere. However, overcoming these challenges means that one must first acknowledge the difficulties, something many have yet to do.
I’m 34 years old and will make $184,000 this year (total HHI approx. $220k), live in Boston, MA and work as a self-employed Informatics Consultant
Section One: Assets and Debt
General household background: My husband (T) and I got married last year and haven’t fully combined our finances. We have a joint savings and a joint credit card for shared expenses. We each have separate personal and business accounts. When we met, I made much less than him and six years later, I make much more but I came to our relationship with a ton of student loan debt and embarrassingly bad credit. He had zero debt and very strong credit. There have been times through the years when we each prop the other up financially. We have also both been with abusive, manipulative people in the past that made very irresponsible financial decisions, so we are probably slower to go fully combined than many other couples. For the purposes of this MD, I am including T in some places because our habits do have an effect on the other, but he is responsible for his own accounts and I won't include his expenditures that affect his personal or business accounts. He maintains his own emergency savings and as of today, I am the only one saving for retirement. We will both contribute once we buy a house. My pre-tax income: Approx. $288,000/year, but since I changed jobs this year and took time off between jobs, my income in 2020 will be more like $184,000 – I’m a fully independent 1099 contractor charging $160/hr for my consulting services and aim for a 12-month invoiced average of $24,000/mo. T’s pre-tax income: Approx $36,000 this year– he works in the restaurant industry and was furloughed in March due to the pandemic. He’s gotten creative this year to keep himself busy and keep some money coming in. SEP IRA: $12,280 - The bulk of this is rolled over from my last employer's 401K account. I have prioritized student loan debt repayment, house down payment and emergency savings for now. These are almost met so I will get aggressive with contributions here soon. Emergency savings balance: $16,106 – contributing to this until I get to $30k; the balance was at $20k and then I depleted this down to $8.5k while I had no income for 3 months earlier this year Joint HYSA: $63,064 – This is the account earmarked for a house down payment. We have contributed $48k to this between the two of us. T's parents gave us a $20k wedding gift and we used $5k to pay off the last of my >7% student loans and the other $15k is in here. Checking account balance: $20,928 – All of my accounts are tied to this one and there’s more “slush money” in here than usual at the time of writing this. I maintain $3,000 in this account as my "spending money". This week I transferred my "income" from my business account, which is why it's so high. My auto-payments, savings, credit card payments, etc. all come out of here. Investment account: $5,222 – Opened a Betterment account with high-risk asset allocation last year mostly as an experiment. I would like to contribute more once the house is purchased. RSAs: I have 5,000 shares from one of the companies I consult with that I started working with when they were still incubating. These will fully vest in January next year. I do not include this in financial planning as it may amount to nothing. Life Insurance: $200,000 - 20-year term policy (not counted in my Net Worth). I got this after college to protect my student loan co-signer. Even though I now owe far less in loans, I keep my mom as my primary beneficiary because she is likely to need financial assistance in retirement, and if I am alive I will help, but if something happens to me, she'll get this. That peace of mind, for me, is everything. Business savings account: $39,900 – I think of this money like it doesn’t exist and don’t factor it into my Net Worth calculation. This is 35% of every invoice that I put aside for all of my estimated income and employment taxes. I’ll feel a lot better next year when I figure out what my tax burden is. If I don’t use all of this, I’ll be pleasantly surprised and I’ll put it directly into savings in some form. Business checking account: $2,000 – This account exists as my central business account, to auto-pay my business credit card in full and to receive payments from customers. Credit card debt: $0 - Paid in full weekly. Student loan debt: $56,966 - Graduated with a life science degree and $130,000 in debt Car: $3,000 approx. - 8 year old car, fully owned and bought with cash. KBB is actually more than this value but I don't plan to replace this car for a while, so I'm estimating what I think it could be worth when I sell it to upgrade. Net worth: $65,634 (including the joint savings account)
Section Two: Income
Main Job Monthly Take Home: $15,600 - Average expected transfer from business account to personal account after I take out taxes
Section Three: Expenses
Rent: $1,100 - $2,200 total, split equally with T. We have a large two-bedroom in the Camberville area. This includes laundry, heat, hot water, and gas. Emergency savings contribution: $2,000 HYSA contribution: $3,000 Student loan payment: $3,000 - Includes overpayment; minimum is $601 SEP IRA contribution: $1,000 Health insurance: $470 Dental insurance: $21 Car insurance: $94 Other car expenses (gas, oil changes): $25 - Average of last 6 mo, WAY down because I left my commuter job and I now work from home most of the time. I expect this to stay low for a while. On-street parking pass: $40 - Annual Rental insurance: $13 Life insurance: $11 Electric: $37 - My half; average of last 12 mo WiFi/Cable + HBO: $60 - My equal half Cell phone: $89 - My half; we combined separate carrier plans to a family plan last year and replaced T's awful phone and upgraded mine using a BOGO deal and that is included - interest free - in the monthly payment Cat: $86 - Average of last 6 mo, doesn't fluctuate much. Annual vet visit is $85. No insurance. T has a dog he brought into the relationship and he covers all expenses for him. Physical therapy: $137.50 - Bought in packages of 8 ($1,100) for a discount off single-visit prices. I have a monthly appointment. Personal care: $152 - Average of last 6 mo Groceries: $70 - Average of last 6 mo. My half. Dining out/delivery: $151 - Average of last 6 mo. My half. Donations and gifts: $200 - I pick different orgs for this. This month will be METAvivor to support breast cancer research. Subscriptions: $199 - Netflix ($13), Hulu ($6), Spotify Premium ($10), iCloud storage ($3), PlayStation Network ($60/yr), Adobe Creative Suite ($11); VSCO ($20/yr); QuickBooks ($12.50), Rent the Runway ($139)
Sunday - $125.63 10:00am - Wake up, peek at my Apple Watch - basically just my alarm and sleep/fitness tracker at this point. Very happy I was able to sleep late. Text with some friends, check in on a cell phone game I play (Covet Fashion - anyone else?), and Reddit. 11:00am - Decide coffee is more important than cuddling with pets and reading at this point. Get up. Feed our cat. Make French press coffee with fresh roasted beans. 12:00pm - I tidy the house a little as a procrastination tactic to avoid working out. T comes in from walking our dog and has mail. In it is a letter from my bank explaining why I was denied a credit line increase. Cue me spiraling about how my old financial issues seem to follow me no matter how good I am today. I frequently feel behind my peers, and that line of thinking is a trap, I know. I’m extra emotional about this because I’ve also just received the news that lenders may not want to give us a mortgage because of self employment. I worry out loud that I'm holding us back. (This is the internal dialog of a probably PMSing person going into an emotional spinout.) T, as usual, shrugs it off and says we’re fine. We’ll figure it out. We always do. Gives me a pep talk that’s more pragmatic than my brain wants to be right now. I mope for a little longer and play Covet. 2:00pm - Decide I need to stop feeling bad for myself and do my PT and a workout. I’m supposed to do a 30-40 min routine a minimum of 5 days a week. I’ve also recently been cleared to get back into some cardio so I decide to add on a mixed cardio workout from YouTube. 3:30pm - Finish workout. Glad I did it because I do feel better. I take a moment to affirm my gratitude for having a pain-free day and easy movement. The money situation will be resolved and is less important than my health. Time for a shower though. Wow, is it hot and humid today! 4:00pm - Give myself an at-home facial. I had awful acne, sometimes cystic, for most of my life and I don’t take a single clear skin day for granted. Before COVID I went to an esthetician every other month for a facial ($120/visit+20% tip). I had actually bought a pack of 6 visits for $600 in February. Due to the pandemic, they closed soon after and I haven't used it. The salon has just recently reopened though so I keep considering going back. But for today, I use a pumpkin enzyme peel, a hydrating masque, and then finish with my normal skincare routine. We’re going out to eat tonight so I put on makeup for the first time in months and I spray my hair with dry shampoo followed by a curling mist and pin it up to help it not look slept on. Then I get dressed. I’m wearing a shirt rented from RTR that has an open back so I go braless, which feels very on-trend for COVID. 5:00pm - Feed our cat first dinner while D walks our dog, then I water and groom my house plants. 5:30pm - Sign into QuickBooks to check whether my last client paid their invoice from last month, and they did on Friday. I update the invoice and send them a receipt. But then I notice an issue with my QB subscription (I recently changed versions) and since it’s the end of the month, I need to clear this up ASAP. I add a reminder to my to do list to call them tomorrow. 6:00pm - Leave the house to drive to Providence for a dinner reservation with friends; T drives us in his car. Realize I forgot Lactaid. I’m running low at home anyway so we stop for gas (T pays with his money) and I run into the grocery store next door. Grab deodorant and my vitamins at the same time because I’m almost out of both of them too. - $31.63 7:00pm - Get to dinner and meet our friends. We drove an hour away for this meal because the restaurant is going out of business due to the pandemic. T knows the owner well and we visit at least a couple times a year. They scaled their menu way back to feed people safely outside and while it’s amazing, I’m reminded of how the restaurant industry is just getting absolutely pummeled. But this meal is an amazing send off. We pay the bill and add a generous tip for a total of $442 for 5 people. T puts it on the joint card, and $94 will be my portion. - $94 9:45pm - We zip across town to try to get in for a nightcap at an old haunt of T’s when he lived here. Order a round of drinks at the window. T’s friend pays for us to thank us for driving down. 10:30pm - We part ways with T’s friends and briefly stop by another of T’s friends’ houses. She just got engaged yesterday so we congratulate her and she gives us our own congratulations cake - we just celebrated our wedding anniversary. This friend is a talented pastry chef and made our wedding cake for us, and this little one she gave us tonight looks just as beautiful as that. 11:50pm - Finally home. Move my car to make room for T’s car (street cleaning tomorrow). Feed our cat second dinner while T walks our dog. Jump into sleep clothes, then do my night routine (floss, brush, mouthwash, makeup remover, face wash, toner, serums, moisturizer, eye cream) and dab on some acne spot treatment. I’ve had about 7 deep pimples show up since yesterday and I mentally calculate that yeah, this probably is PMS related. No wonder I was such an emotional mess this afternoon. 12:30pm - Finally in bed. Set my alarm. Read a little until my eyes are heavy. Put on my eye mask. Do two minutes of deep breathing. Asleep by 1am. Monday - $66.20 7:15am - Alarm goes off and I immediately hit snooze. I slept so poorly. One of those nights where you feel like you’re always just drifting in and out of consciousness and never really sleeping. 7:30am - Alarm goes off again. Still too early but I keep my eyes open. Check my phone to glance at my calendar and the weather. Look at my client emails to see if there are any fires (none, phew). Check Covet to see what scores I got overnight. I leveled up! Fun surprise first thing in the morning. 7:45am - Get up and get my morning routine underway. Brush teeth, shower (not a hair washing day), face routine, put on mascara, get dressed, feed our cat, make coffee. I’m almost out of coffee beans. I have this set for auto re-order but I usually go through a bag every 10-11 days, and they only offer 7 or 14 day intervals. I keep a bag of Dunkin Donuts whole bean coffee on hand just in case. 8:30am - Get on my weekly meeting with my “boss”. Where I’m a consultant, she’s not my boss the same way if I were employed by her, but she runs the group for which I primarily consult. She is a true boss lady and I feel extremely lucky to work with her. We spend the first 15 mins of the meeting talking about mortgages - turns out she actually bought a house her first year being a consultant too. She is going to refer me. Then we talk about work. I’ve been managing a very challenging project in an area I (used to) know nothing about, but then again, no one else on the project did either. I’ve finally assembled a team of experts and we are making real progress. I have nothing but good news this morning, which is a change from the last few months. Nice way to start the work day. 9:30am - Switch gears and get on a weekly status meeting with another client. Everything is going smoothly here. We end early because there wasn’t much to go through. Jump back into work for the first client - project check-ins and deadline reminders, holding a vendor accountable for fixing an issue… the usual. 10:45am - Clock out. Pack up the top I wore last night and a jumpsuit to return to RTR. Say goodbye to T and leave the house to go to my gyno for a follow up appointment to check on my new IUD to make sure it has settled in properly. I find on-street parking and pay for 1 hour ($2.90) and the co-pay for my visit is $30. - $32.90 12:00pm - Still at the doc. IUD is all good but I said yes to getting a free flu shot while I’m here and they’re taking forever to bring it to me. Check my parking and it’s about to run out. Add another 14 mins just as the NP comes to apologize and say she’ll be back in 5 mins. I say it’s okay and she warms my heart when she says, “I appreciate that but it’s not okay, you shouldn’t have needed to wait!” I love my entire doctor’s office. They come in with the shot and send me on my way. I swing by a FedEx to drop off the RTR bag. - $0.50 12:30pm - I get home and as I’m pulling into the (freshly street cleaned) spot I usually park in on the street, I notice there are oil marks on the road. I mention it to T when I get in the apartment. My mechanic retired early in COVID so T agrees to take me to his mechanic to make an introduction after my last meeting this afternoon. I need a state inspection, and I think I need my suspension and brakes replaced. This is going to be expensive, but I’ve been putting off any repairs because I barely drive my car since COVID. T then reminds me we had talked about getting a new router because I drop Zoom meetings all.the.time, and he found one he likes while I was out. It’s $200. I decide I’d rather deal with dropped meetings for now especially in the face of a big mechanic bill. He’s fine with not spending the money too. I make us deli meat sandwiches with a side of potato chips. 1:00pm - Settle back into my home office with my lunch and clock in. A ton of emails from one client came in while I was out. I eat while I catch up on the various situations that popped up. 2:30pm - Take a short (forced) break. While on a call, my cat jumped onto the windowsill and I watched him purposefully knock my baby avocado tree off to make room for himself (he truly enshrines the “cats are jerks” stereotype). I clean up the mess, hope the plant is okay, and then pick up my dishes from my lunch. I start the dishwasher, grab a Polar Seltzer can and go back to my office. Time to work on some slides. I turn on my new Discover Weekly playlist on Spotify for motivation. 3:45pm - After back and forth with a vendor, we still can’t get an issue resolved. I probably need to go to my client’s office because I can’t troubleshoot remotely at this point. I interrupt T’s gaming to ask if I can use his car tomorrow. He has no plans. I add a block to my calendar, fill out a symptom self-assessment form and notify the client office coordinator of when I’ll be onsite. Back to the slide deck, then a strategic planning meeting with the leadership team. 4:45pm - That last meeting ran late. And I’m so tired. I feel like I’m running on empty. Slides still aren’t done either and need to be done. I mentally prioritize car, slides, and then QuickBooks call. I got a voicemail from a mortgage lender but that’ll have to wait. T is still gaming with a friend so I stay clocked in to do a little more slide work. 5:15pm - Go to the shop with two cars to drop mine off. Find out they’re closed (T thought they were open until 6). He goes to the grocery store and I go back home. Park in a different spot and check the road where I had been parked moments ago. Oh yes, that is some nice, fresh, wet oil. I quickly pop the hood to check my oil level. It’ll be fine for now. 6:00pm - T comes home and spent $40.61 total on pork chops, sliced deli meats, yu choy, instant coffee, potato chips, whole grain nut bread, mayo, and pickles. I’ll transfer half of that to him when we reconcile the credit card in October. T asks what I want for dinner and we agree to reconvene for dinner at 8pm. He goes back to gaming and I call QuickBooks while feeding our cat first dinner. - $20.30 7:10pm - The QuickBooks issue was entirely user error. OF COURSE. I log in and snag the promo price for QuickBooks Online. I’ll pay monthly for the first 3 (discounted) months and then upgrade to the annual pricing. Since I have my business bank accounts open, I confirm the deposit amounts for all of my invoice payments for the month. I transfer to the business savings for tax withholding and schedule a transfer to my personal checking account on Oct 1st for the remainder, which will be my after-tax income for October. - $12.50 7:40 - I do PT and no workout. Too tired. And I'm hungry and dinner smells awesome. 8:30 - T made rice with beef, enoki and button mushrooms, green and yellow onions, tofu, egg. I put way too much chili crisp on my bowl and it hurts so good. He has a beer and I have water. He beats me to cleaning up the dishes and suddenly reappears from the kitchen with a vanilla chocolate chip ice cream sandwich. Turns out he got it a month ago from his friend that owns an ice cream shop (he and his industry friends food swap A LOT) and his man forgot to tell me it was in the freezer! I take two Lactaid and eat 3/4 of it. Heaven. We catch up about the day, then try to find something new to watch since finishing Ratched. We settle on season 2 of Marcella but it doesn’t hold our attention. We put on Twitch, I play some Covet and then read the news while he games with friends. 11:15pm - I decide it’s finally time to move the sleeping dog off of me and I can not, in fact, live on the couch with him forever. The second I move, our cat realizes it is time for second dinner. I feed him, do my nighttime routine, and get into bed. Asleep before midnight. Tuesday - $16.00 7:45am - Alarm. I was having a really strange dream and feel like I slept badly too, but my sleep tracker says 6h45m. Not the worst but not the best. Check Covet, LinkedIn, the weather. Notice a ton of work emails - luckily it’s nothing super urgent. 8:15am - Get up and do my morning routine. As predicted, I did not have enough fresh roast coffee so I make a house special blend with the fresh roasted and Dunkin Donuts beans. 9:00am - Clock in and hop on a few client meetings. Nothing particularly exciting. 11:00am - Pack up my laptop to visit my client’s office to troubleshoot an issue. Circle the building to see if I can find on-street parking - nothing. Park in the garage instead. Take a voluntary COVID test upon arrival. 12:10pm - Leave client site. They ordered BBQ lunch while I was there and told me to bring home enough food for both T and me. Pay for garage parking on the biz credit card and this will be fully reimbursed by my client when I submit my invoice for the month. At home, T and I feast on ribs, pulled pork and chicken, potato salad, mac and cheese, biscuits and cole slaw. - $16 1:00pm - Client meeting. Runs a bit over. Clock out when I’m done and go to the shop with T in two cars for attempt #2 at dropping my car off. 2:00pm - Back at home, less one car. Check Covet. My group has been super active today. Spend a few minutes catching up and strategizing with them. And then clock back in because my to-do list just keeps growing. 3:30pm - Mechanic calls and asks if I can come to the shop so he can show me some concerns. This sounds expensive. I have no meetings scheduled tomorrow, so I decide to deal with this car stuff today and get focused work done tomorrow. I put on my shoes and decide to go for a walk. 4:00pm - Mechanic still has my car on the lift and walks me through the problem areas. There’s nothing that’s a surprise to me and I appreciate that he takes the time to do this. He hits me with a $2900 estimate. This is only slightly higher than what I expected so after talking through which parts we can get OEM and which ones can be aftermarket, I agree to the work. I’ve owned this car for 70,000 miles (bought it at 30k miles) and this is the first time I’ve ever had to do major maintenance work outside of my regular oil, fluid, belt, brake and tire changes. On my walk home, I notice I’m not even feeling badly about this and my main emotion is genuine gratitude that I can afford this. It was less than a decade ago that a serious repair on a former car caused me to need to go without some utilities and food. I wish I could tell my younger self that it will get better because I was often in a very dark place because of (lack of) money. 4:30pm - Home. Grab a can of Polar seltzer water. Clock in as I notice my primary client’s email has blown up. I really want to just be done for the day but I decide to get to Inbox 0 so I can start my day tomorrow without small tasks hanging over my head. 5:30pm - Inbox 0 achieved. I could do more but the internet went out again and T is already on the phone with them. That’s the third or fourth time today. They are sending a service person out and I hear him making the appointment for tomorrow. I’m fine with clocking out. Our cat gets his first dinner. 5:45pm - Get an email I want to follow up with right away. Add 15 more minutes of billable time while T walks our dog. Then I read the latest drama watch MD and check on Covet. I’m going to fall behind in that if I don’t submit some looks tonight. 6:45pm - I got sucked into another R29 MD and the comments filled me with anxiety about posting my own. Decide I need to put my phone down. 7:00pm - T intercepts me to proofread his menu and social posts for a takeout pop-up. It sounds amazing and we work through some revisions together. I joke sometimes that working for him is my second job. 7:30pm - Talk to a friend about logistics for a camping/hiking trip this weekend. Then throw on workout clothes and do PT. Feel more sore and tired than usual so I decide not to do a cardio workout afterward, even though that was my intention. 8:30pm - T makes dinner for us: noodles with pork belly and pulled pork, yu choy and button mushrooms. Then T calls a friend to talk about a specialty order he needs to place while I play Covet. We watch an episode of Marcella after that and the Internet goes out again. He works on a prep list and I go back to Covet. 10:45pm - Feed our cat second dinner, do my nighttime routine and get into bed. I’m so tired. Read in bed and lights off by 11:30. Can’t fall asleep though because my back pain is really flaring up for some reason. Get up to take ibuprofen, and then I finally fall asleep at 12:30. Wednesday - $14.75 7:45am - I’ve been awake for I’m not sure how long while attempting to keep sleeping but I’m giving up now. My back is in serious pain. I'm so tired that I indulge in lots of Reddit browsing and Covet playing. 9:30am - Finally get up after making the mistake of reading news coverage of the debates last night. My sleep tracker says I got a little over 4h of real sleep. These days are much rarer than they used to be, but sometimes my back really just acts up and I don’t always know why. Also it is extremely windy this morning and I realize we left the windows open... it must have poured last night because the couch is soaked. This is... not a good morning. Can I have a do-over? 10:45am - My teeth are brushed, cat is fed, couch is disassembled and drying, and I did the dishes from dinner last night, but I am dragging today. There are no work emails and I have cramps on top of the back pain. Maybe that’s why my back hurts more. Ugh, why? I realize that I have to go easy on myself today. I eat some Triscuits because my stomach is going to have to deal with coffee and painkillers this morning. 12:15pm - I feel human again after a shower. It is a hair wash day, which always feels nice, and the Ibuprofen has kicked in. T vacuumed while I was in the shower and tells me there’s a big crack causing an air leak and it’s in bad shape. Everyone tells me they swear by the Dyson Pet so we look it up: $600! I didn’t see that coming. We decide to try to make the vacuum work with duct tape for now until Back Friday sales. Make deli meat sandwiches for us, and eat while playing some Covet. 1:00pm - Time to do work! T also goes out to get some work done. 2:30pm - T is home. I got a letter from my health insurance company that 10% of May’s premium will be refunded to me in the form of a check as part of COVID-19 premium forgiveness. I’ll take it. 3:30pm - Clock out. Today feels like I’ve mostly been herding cats. But I checked off a ton of little things on my to-do list so that’s a win. Log into Trade Coffee and my next coffee is supposed to be roasted this week and shipped next week. I decide to order a bag of coffee beans for immediate shipping. - $14.75 3:45pm - Time to get myself paid (AKA last day of the month). Log into QuickBooks and get my invoices in order and ready to send tomorrow. Put on Spotify for motivation. I’m feeling peckish and grab a few pieces of chocolate butter almond toffee. 4:50pm - Carrier arrives to check our internet. Invoices are almost ready to go but I take a break because the internet will be going in and out. Chat with friends about logistics for this weekend - looks like it’s going to rain so we may scrap the camping plan and make a day trip out of the hike. 5:30pm - Get a call back from a mortgage lender that is willing to have a conversation with us. They are not nearly as concerned about our self employment as other lenders were. We spend an hour on the phone. I feel encouraged and hopeful that maybe this can actually happen. I have a message from another lender asking if we can set up time to talk too. T and I spend a little time looking at houses. I don’t want to get too excited yet, but we’re feeling a bit better. 7:00pm - Catch up on some local news and text a bit with my friend. She just adopted a kitten and is finding super cute stuff for her online. 7:30pm - Do PT. No workout tonight. Then take our dog for a walk. T makes dinner. 9:00pm - Eat dinner: rice stir fry with brisket, yu choy, mushrooms, and corn. Watch an episode of Marcella. It’s getting better but we make fun of the characters a bit. 10:00pm - Do my nighttime routine and feed our cat second dinner. I’m not messing around tonight and take a sleep aid. Get into bed, read a bit, and am asleep by 11. Thursday - $3211.13 7:45am - Alarm, snooze. 8:00am - Alarm again. Keep my eyes open this time. I slept through the whole night, which is an amazing relief. And I have no back pain! Check on Covet and then work email. My COVID test was negative, yay! Text a friend to wish her happy birthday. 8:15am - Out of bed, and do the morning routine. No hair wash day. 9:00am - Client meeting. Nothing noteworthy. 10:15am - Clock out. Tidy the kitchen, then proofread my invoices for services provided in September (totaling $24,594) and hit send. T comes back from his walk with our dog and noticed he’s limping. We shelled out $1200 earlier this year for a limp that ended up going away on its own with no explanation, so we're a bit concerned. We still have some of the anti-inflammatories for him though, so we give him that. I will be getting pet insurance for our next pets. 11:00am - Back to work. Nothing noteworthy. I make deli meat sandwiches for T and me while he is on a Zoom with a property developer that is presenting an opportunity to open a restaurant in 2022. 2:00pm - Take a break from work; T wants to talk about the restaurant opportunity. There’s a lot I can advise him on in business, but the restaurant industry has a lot of specialty knowledge too. Owning his own place is the end goal for T, and we also talk about how this factors in with our other goals too. I am extremely supportive of him making his own decision about whether this is the right opportunity for him. He goes back to the dining table to contact some friends and advisors, and I go back into the office/second bedroom. 3:45pm - Dragging a little. It’s a fairly quiet day for all of my clients, which is great because I can tackle projects that need more free space to think and be creative, but on the other hand, I start to lose focus if it’s too quiet for too long. Get up to stretch my legs and get a Polar seltzer. Turn on Spotify. Open the office windows. And then jump back into work. 4:30pm - Mechanic called and my car is ready. He forgot to add the alignment to the quote, and then with the addition of tax, the total damage is $3105.13 (in short, four new brakes, new struts, new bushings, one new bearing, and a new oil pan because yay salty-rusty-fun winter roads). I immediately apply an overpayment from my savings to my credit card at home. - $3105.13 5:30pm - I have every intention of doing PT but while on the way to change into workout clothes, T stops to ask me a question relating to the restaurant opportunity. We end up talking through investment scenarios, hiring strategies, and more, and suddenly an hour has passed. Oops. 6:30pm - Wash my face and put on some makeup. T and I leave to meet a friend and her SO for her birthday dinner. I expected we’d be outside, but we’re not. I don’t love sitting inside in a restaurant during the pandemic, however, I am very grateful to spend time with friends. We drop a small fortune but the steaks are amazing. We split checks between couples to pay. The bill for T and me is $212, and I will pay half. - $106 11:00pm - Back home finally. I feed the cat and do my nighttime routine while T walks the dog. He is still in pain. I take him to bed with me and try to be his comfort buddy the way he does for me when I feel crappy. I read and am asleep by 12:30. Friday - $3.50 7:45am - Alarm, snooze. 8:00am - Alarm and wake up. Check Covet, news, weather and email. My group chat with some close friends blows up and many memes are exchanged. 8:30am - Get up later than I should have. Do my morning routine at warp speed. Glad it’s not a hair wash day. I can’t be bothered with it, so I put it up in a sock bun. 9:00am - Zoom meeting with a client. One of them is a hiker and has a background photo from a trip he took last weekend in the area I’m going tomorrow. It’s gorgeous. I get really excited, which is the energy I need to make up for what’ll probably be a 4:30am wakeup tomorrow morning. My meeting ends 15 minutes early and I use this time to place an RTR order - I could’ve done this yesterday and received the delivery today but I completely forgot. I order a cute I’m-not-ready-for-summer-to-end cropped floral top and a structured plaid peplum top that’s more professional. 10:00am - Pack my bag and head to my client’s office for an issue that has been confounding me all week. Find on-street parking to save my client some money and put the max time (2h) on the business credit card. Set an alarm so I can move my car into the garage if I need to go over. - $3.50 12:45pm - Leave my client just as I get a notification about my parking expiring. The issue is still not resolved. I’m going to have to come back next week again. Run home for my next round of back-to-back meetings. 1:00pm - Make it to my desk and on the Zoom meeting exactly on time and earlier than the client I’m meeting with. Success! Go straight into two more meetings after that. Between meetings, I am super hungry and can’t resist eating a handful of potato chips and two sugar cookies that came with the take-home BBQ lunch earlier this week. 3:00pm - Come up for air. Make a sandwich so I can eat some real food. Read documentation while I’m eating so I stay clocked in. Around 4pm, I switch to updating my project trackers and send out some week end updates to stakeholders. I have one last task I need to do before Monday but I don’t have any more time so I leave about an hour of work for Sunday. The week was really light anyway due to some of my mental health time, and I’ve only logged 32h of billable work. With the projects that are going to ramp up this month, I will likely work overtime in the coming weeks so I am not worried about this week. 5:15pm - Clock out. Quickly change into exercise clothes and get my PT in. 6:15pm - Feed our cat first dinner and then go to my friend’s for dinner and hiking planning. T stays at home to do some work. My friend is cooking and using vegetables from her garden so I bring a bottle of wine we’ve had at home forever and a quarter of the cake from our other friend and she makes spaghetti squash, turkey tomato sauce, and roasted squash seeds. We eat while making sure we're all set for tomorrow. 9:30pm - Home, feed our cat second dinner. Walk through the plan for tomorrow with T and pack. 10:30pm - Nighttime routine. Take some ibuprofen proactively. Read until my eyes are heavy and I am asleep by 11:30pm. Saturday - $41.03 4:30am - Alarm. Question my sanity. Do my morning routine with no hair wash. Make coffee and sandwiches to go. Do some stretches and get the pets set up to be on their own for a while. 6:00am - Arrive at my friend’s house. Eat some fresh baked bread, peanut butter, and banana with them. Pack up the car and hit the road. 8:00am - Stop at a convenience store to pick up snacks: mixed nuts, bananas, peanut butter crackers and protein bars. We also get two more liters of water. We are already hungry and decide to each get an egg and sausage sandwich too. The total is $20.66 and I’ll pay half of it. - $10.33 8:30am - Arrive at the trailhead and find free parking. Triple-check our equipment and supplies, and then hit the trail. 12:00pm - Reach the summit. We’re mostly fogged in and it’s cold and rainy. Add a few more layers and a rain jacket. Find a rock to post up on and eat our sandwiches, bananas, and mixed nuts. By the time we finish eating, the wind picked up but that caused the fog to clear out a bit. We were rewarded with gorgeous red, orange and yellow views of the valley. It’s getting really cold though, and we decide it’s time to head back by 12:45. 3:30pm - Arrive at the car. Eat a protein bar. On the trek back, we all openly fantasized about having ice cold beers. As soon as we get on the road and have service again, we find a brewery that’s on the way home. 5:00pm - After one brewery is full for outdoor seating, we find another one with a table outside. I have a beer flight and T has a beer, and we split pretzel rolls, a sausage, and a chicken salad. We put my friend and her spouse’s food on the same check; I put the whole thing on the joint card and offer to cover tip so we can compensate them for gas and driving. The total check is $87 and we leave an $18 tip; after my friend Venmo’s us for their half of the bill before tip, $61.40 is the remaining and I will transfer half to D. - $30.70 8:00pm - We safely make it back to our friends’ home and grab my car, and a quick 10 mins later, we arrive home. D walks our dog and I feed our cat. My coffee arrived today (just in time because I finished the DD coffee this morning too) and my RTR bag came, which is unusual - They usually don’t deliver on Saturdays but I’m not complaining! T showers and then I shower. It’s the best shower I’ve ever had. I really want to wash my hair but don’t want to wait for my hair to dry (and don’t want to sleep with it wet either!) so just put it up in a bun to hold it over until tomorrow. 9:00pm - D makes tea for us and I grab Ibuprofen and ice packs. My knee is in some serious pain but luckily I have a video meeting with my physical therapist on Monday. I was a little over-ambitious giving the green light to this trail... We watch an episode of Marcella. 10:00pm - I do my nighttime routine and go to bed. I fall asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow. Week's expenses: Food + Drink: $235.05 Fun / Entertainment: $41.03 Home + Health: $61.63 Clothes + Beauty: $0 Transport: $3,108.53 Business: $12.50 Reimbursable: $19.50 Reflection: Outside of the car repairs, this week is fairly typical overall. Two expensive dining out meals in one week is rare for us since the pandemic, but we've been doing takeout at least once a week, and going out ended up replacing that. Otherwise, T is really quite good at cooking cheaply at home, and this is an area of significant savings since the pandemic. I also tend to curtail my internet shopping a lot, so the lack of unplanned purchases this week is also not unusual. I often wait a week or two after I've had a thought that I want something to make sure it's a need and not just a want. I probably go a bit overboard with this and sometimes put off needs because any purchase could make me feel anxious about spending money. A goal of mine going into this was to confront my relationship with money, and I feel I've accomplished that this week. It's a work in progress. I admit I sometimes avoid looking at my account out of fear for what I'll find (which again, is really quite nonsensical). I never find bad news, but I think I get somewhat scared I'll let my spending get out of control, or that something terrible will happen and I'll be right back where I started. But reflecting on this... I think I'm doing pretty well with good financial habits and making progress on what has really been a rocky financial past. And that perhaps a lot of my fears are negative self-talk, or potentially even traumas from my past that I should probably discuss with a therapist. This is something I would like to focus on, and if anyone has felt similarly before, I am open to feedback! Thanks for reading!
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