I'm often asked why I'm critical of @Tesla / $TSLA and @elonmusk and how that fits with my investment in and advocacy for clean energy technology.

My criticisms are based on my experience as an engineer, clean energy developer and former investment banker. A thread 👇🏻

Firstly, I like EVs. They’re great for city cars, particularly for those that can charge them at home. They're efficient in stop / go traffic (capable of energy regeneration instead of braking) and are economically superior vs internal combustion engines in low gears.

However, they're less compelling for heavy vehicles and at highway speeds vs ICEs in top gear. Also, long distance travelling is inconvenienced with long charge times (where one has to wait for the battery to charge as opposed to charging at home).

My favourite car enthusiast @harrym_vids recently visited @JCBmachines (a British manufacturer of heavy machinery since 1945) to check out their experiments with electric and hydrogen tech to get to zero emissions with their machinery. Great viewing

In summary electric is great for light vehicles but for heavier equipment it’s totally unsuitable. Consider that a 20 tonne excavator would need eight tonnes of batteries to operate. With that comes a very long time to charge. It's simply unfeasible.

Now, roughly one third of emissions are from transport so it’s important to knock this on the head. But in that sector we have cars, trucks, boats and planes. It’s obvious that lithium ion cells can’t be the clean energy solution for most of these vehicles due to weight.

However, hyrdrogen produced by clean energy sources can. H2 cells have a greater energy density than lithium ion cells and H2 vehicles can be refuelled as quickly as current fossil fuel refuelling methods.

Now this is where I get angry with @elonmusk...

@Tesla relied on taxpayer funding and perpetual capital raises on promises of battery swaps, Cybertruck, Semi, robotaxis, solar tiles, “Full Self Driving” – most of which will never happen. By his own admission $TSLA was close to bankruptcy recently.

But $TSLA was saved by stock price manipulation ("funding secured") followed by the post-covid market meltup. Despite reassurances that $TSLA would no longer rely on capital raises Musk repeatedly put his hand out offering fantastical new promises.

Now some say he’s just late to deliver. Some say he’s a fraudulent snakeoil salesman. The jury is still out. However, the hype has distracted from tech that could actually solve the problem of heavy vehicle emissions. And when it comes to greenwashing, I call it out.

11 / 18
Consider @SpaceX’s achievements. Wow! But their rockets are powered by fossil fuels. Meanwhile, Jeff Bezos’s @blueorigin got to space on hydrogen powered rocket tech. Yet he’s not considered to be the clean energy "engineer" that Musk claims to be.


Meanwhile, EV hype caused by the $TSLA share price bubble has increased demand for lithium ion and other rare earths leading to new mines opening up all over the world. Many are unethically operated.


Unfortunately Tesla’s smoke and mirror show has led to the belief that internal combustion tech is bad. It's not – it’s the fossil fuels that they use which are bad. Industry has had over a century to perfect ICE tech and it’s relatively light and cheap to manufacture.

Importantly, the changes required to convert ICE tech to be powered by hydrogen are minor. The big hurdle to overcome here is the lack of refuelling infrastructure. And with governments throwing money at EV subsidies this issue has been overlooked.

And while the world waits endlessly on Cybertruck and Semi, fossil fuel powered heavy machinery plugs away with hydrogen tech unable to get up in light of a lack of government support. Alas, this same tech could truly lead to emissions free trucking, shipping and aviation.

Now, the financial trickery that $TSLA uses to manipulate its stock price is a separate topic and well covered by the $TSLAQ crowd. Without getting into "funding secured", gamma squeezes and false promises the issue here is that it takes capital and attention away from H2.

I hope that this explains why a renewable energy advocate would have little respect for @elonmusk and his long list of false promises and financial trickery. I believe that time will show that he’s a conman that distracted from viable solutions to emissions free transport.


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More from @anthonypesec

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