Tesla’s Innovative Capital Financing

It’s interesting to look at this one statement regarding Tesla’s finances, $9m in the bank after taking deposits on 1,200 orders. I picked a number at random, a number between the $4k and $60k deposit required when placing an order calculated that they have taken $20m in deposits, which means they have burned through half of the money committed by customers before delivering but a fraction of the orders they took.

This might not be a bad thing because I’d bet that a very large percentage of those customers would still have placed an order with a deposit even knowing that Tesla lacked all of the capital to deliver on the cars they committed to selling.

You couldn’t do it because of SEC regulations covering the number of allowable investors (as well as being accredited investors) but it would be quite dramatic if Tesla had come out and said from the get to that the first 1,000 customers would in fact become investors in the company in exchange for a larger upfront deposit. That could have generated the additional $20m that Musk says he needs to break even without all of the drama they are experiencing right now.

In an employee meeting, Musk shared the company’s finances, which indicated that Tesla has about $9 million in cash.

[From Tesla Motors seeks cash to keep moving forward | Green Tech - CNET News]

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Home Automation – WiFi Thermostats

I’d buy one of these. We have had an RF thermostat in our house for 5 or 6 years now, it’s a pretty neat and reliable device that has a portable receiver that you can take from room to room, and a base unit that then responds and controls the forced air heater. It’s programmable to 4 different daily settings. What I really like is that the portable remote allows you to heat your home to the baseline room that you place the remote in, in other words, rather than the thermostat responding to a fixed location you can move it from room to room.

What is really cool about the Ecobee is that it can respond to utility alerts regarding power conditions. For a forced air installation alone this would be a non-issue, but for a HVAC installation this is quite significant.

The Ecobee connects to a thermostat through a standard HVAC interface, and hooks in to the Internet via a home WiFi network. The thermostat regularly synchronizes its data with a secure Web portal. Once networked, the thermostat can receive alerts, too, from whoever installed the device. Dolmer noted that utilities “are becoming a huge part of what we’re doing,” far ahead of Ecobee’s plans, and that utilities might purchase and install new thermostats in order to both improve conservation and send messages to customers, potentially at little or no cost to the customer.

[From WiFi thermostat puts power (and cooling) at your fingertips]