Elon Musk vs John Peterson DEBATE

Ok I think it is pretty clear that John Peterson is the most prolific anti-EV voice on the internet. He has nearly 25,000 posts on one investment website alone. Google anything negative about batteries or EV's and his name is sure to pop up. The scary thing is that he has a pretty huge following, and people are actually listening to his lies. Some of which are as follows:

- He constantly makes claims that full EV's are a waste of battery use (he thinks hybrids save more petrol overall for the price).

- He thinks batteries are far too energy intensive to produce and only generate a payback if used in small hybrid applications. Despite not taking into account the ICE vehicle industry OR the oil/gas industry's cradle to grave energy inefficiencies OR the fact that EV's and their batteries could be nearly 100% recyclable and powered by renewable energy.

-He claims there are no economies of scale to be had in the battery industry so mass production won't bring costs down ever.

- He claims there are not enough physical resources in the earth to make all vehicles full BEV's

- He thinks battery technology is far from any significant improvement and even if we do get a breakthrough the new batteries will be far too expensive to ever be practical for at least 20 years.

- He thinks battery cycle life is unsuitable for full BEV's - they won't last long enough.

- He personally dislikes Elon and has labelled him as "suffering from some form of delusional ADD" because he thinks he is smart enough to run three cutting edge companies at the same time.

- He has attacked Tesla's methods of accounting and thinks they are violating company laws by using deposits to fund operations.

- And much much more.

I say we get these guys into a room and let them debate these issues.
Peterson is single handedly trying to destroy the BEV industry and Tesla most of all...because if Tesla is successful the tiny battery company that he owns a large amount of shares in is toast (because it relies on small battery hybrid type applications in vehicles to survive).

I know people will say that Elon shouldn't waste his time on people like this...but this is THE GUY in terms of the anti-EV crowd...silence him and we will go a long way towards silencing most of the EV critics out there.

Plus I think it would be awesome to watch Elon thrash this arrogant douchebag!

C'mon Elon! I know you read these forums (or somebody from Tesla does)...lets make this happen!

Just to add...there are multiple threads regarding John Peterson on this forum, the Tesla Motors Club Forum, and many EV forums across the web.
We NEED to take this guy DOWN!

A debate between Elon Musk and John Peterson would be the biggest EV internet media event ever. I'll put my money on Elon. But who should host the debate ?

On a separate note, some group should index & chronicle the long list of John Petterson inaccuracies, with quotes and citations for inaccuracies and keep it numbered & updated so others could cite it. Just make sure the rebuttal is irrefutable.

Proving John Peterson wrong in a business sense is all the satisfaction Elon needs.

Giving him more attention would just heighten any drama and give John just what he wants - more page views.

I think it's the wrong push to "silence him once and for all" because really, it would be more effective for him to say "I was wrong about Tesla, they are doing it right." than for him to just go away.

It should be up to other knowledgeable investment bloggers to call him on his errors. (especially if it's possible to post comments on his blog.) Some of his arguments may have been correct at one time, when batteries were less efficient, but as battery tech continues to advance, then John Peterson better re-invest out of lead acid and into better batteries.

Nah. What does he really matter? As long as people respond to and buy the Model S, and Dragon keeps docking at the ISS, etc., the world and Elon can totally ignore JP. He produces nothing, and generates no net value for anyone. A dog yapping along behind the racing fire engine.

Definitely not worth Elon's time.

Silence isn't always golden, remember Elon's " douche bag " critic before Broder ? At the very least, I'd post a list of Peterson's 10 biggest EV whoppers. Make it 100 if your ambitious.

Tesla might want to put out a paper addressing Petersen's main points, without mentioning Petersen by name and giving him free press.

I think a debate makes no sense. What has Petersen actually built? A doer vs. a talker. What kind of debate would that be?

So the main point is whether Tesla can show that batteries can be effectively recycled. Specifically whether cobalt and any other rare metals can be recovered in a process using lower energy than the original mining and purification did.

Has anybody ever made a Cobalt Lithium Ion battery from material recovered from previous batteries? If not, why not? If so, why hasn't this been publicized?

It's a key point because it renders all the embodied CO2 footprint arguments moot.

On the other hand, if Cobalt Lithium Ion batteries cannot be effectively recycled, then Tesla needs to show a road map that will let them solve that by the Generation III car. For example, the projected use of a different battery chemistry, given X or Y improvements expected within a certain period of years.

John Petersen (correct spelling) provides consulting services for manufacturers in the energy storage and storage sector:

It would not surprise me if he once offered his services to Tesla, and is in a huff over being spurned by that young whippersnapper Musk.

I agree that Petersen is best ignored and not placed in a spotlight on a larger stage.

JP = grumpy old man. Wasting his time on things he hates. No discussion needed.

I think that neither Tesla or Elon Musk should waste any time on the likes of Peterson or Broder. The company needs to focus on fine tuning their manufacturing plant to tighten tolerances, make it more efficient, reduce labor costs and optimize the supply chain. The last thing Peterson and Broder is getting credibility. Ignore them and they will be forgotten. Those guys are like religious fanatics.

I stand corrected, it's Petersen, not Peterson.

Ignore the guy.

The thing about Broder was not the man or his writing; it was that it was featured in the NYT, and apparently was a bait-and-switch from a planned article on the "step change" upcoming for Superchargers.

While I knew I would get the "waste of time" comments I honestly do feel that Mr Peterson is influencing a large number of people with his junk science in terms of the EV's impact on the environment.
This is horrible because it could ultimately effect public opinion and with it vital investment and funding for battery research, which is a BIG deal.
However I do like Daniel's idea above where Tesla could put out a paper addressing some of these Petersen claims but don't give him the publicity by addressing him by name.
It would be good if somebody independent could do a real and unbiased research paper on all this.
Obviously EV haters won't necessarily believe a paper from Tesla.
And every anti-EV study I have seen seems to be funded in someway by big oil.
Guess we can't blame them for trying...70% of the demand for their product would evaporate if the world's transport sector went electric. Oil only provides 5% of the world's electricity generation so its no wonder why big oil is terrified of the EV.

Teddyg - read JP responses to moderate arguments... arrogant ingnorance to put it mildley. I have the same everyday at work, words do not help and the only cure is to get results. It doesn't make a difference how many followers... at the end all these guys ask me: how did you do it?... simply by not being distacted by you BS.

The steady growing number of EV's that are visible on the roads, will make people change their minds about EV's. The people who do agree with him now, the same people will disagree with him later. It's just a matter of time. Therefore, in my opinion such a debate is not needed. This is my view on this topic.

I think we need an appropriate forum for that kind of debate. Oh, I know, we can have a Greatest Rap Battles episode, EM vs JP. My money is on Elon }B)

Honestly, Elon Musk is already doing what he is supposed to be doing. Backing up his philosophy by manufacturing the cars and rockets and solar panels. He is putting his money where his mouth is.

What is this other guy doing. Just making claims. Like others have said, he is just barking.

Im more inclined to following someone who is making things happen rather than the guy in the background saying he is going to fail. Thats not constructive at all.

Debating the virtue of EVs has already degraded to the point where it's comparable to the Evolution or AGW debates. The facts are so weighted to one side that the Anti-EV, Creationist and Denier advocates are simply cherry picking data and torturing reality to fit their narrative. You can't debate that... it just turns into a spectacle. You can't reason someone out of a position that they didn't reason themselves into...

Ignore. Let time prove him wrong. Not worth anyone's time.

Is this John Peterson guy a member of the flat earth society too?

Silence him...? Nah, just prove him wrong.

Tesla already puts out a lot of good info about BEVs on its site, when people see more of them on the streets and hear from happy owners, that will be proof enough.

Best to let it go. John Petersen (a pseudonym - I'm sure) is articulate and well written, and he clearly wants to bring TSLA down. Elon should keep on delivering BEV value to the many excited customers and pick his fights accordingly, i.e., NY Times) Changing the world is never an easy endeavor. You've got to pick your fights.

This reminds me of Apple. Let's stick to the facts. How many cars are in use today? What is their reaction and evaluation of the Model S? Users who would like to comment on this would be valuable.

hmmm, maybe we start a super pac or a non profit to promote EVs and clean energy overall...can then get funding from the industry and fund targeted research, hire bloggers, etc... basically what the big oil is doing to fund the likes of this subject..

I am not going to weigh in on a debate whether John Petersen need to be confronted in on-line postings or not, but one thing is clear to me: it is way below Elon Musk, or anybody at Tesla, for than matter, to engage him.

JP posts his well written musings on Seeking Alfa web site. His scheme is very predictable from article to article: among the long chain of well written and reasoned logical or mathematical constructs he usually includes just one either factually or logically wrong step, which would predictably lead to the desirable (to author) conclusion. All one need to do is to follow his chain of reasoning (often long and tedious process), find the step that is factually wrong, and expose it.

For those who advocate engagement, my advice is to become a member at Seeking Alfa (free) and chose to be JP's follower. This way any article he publishes will be sent to the follower's e-mail. It would be then the job of Tesla owners and enthusiasts to post comments to the article, exposing all the inaccuracies which are constructed by JP to arrive at the pre-determined conclusion.

I would not advocate anyone joining seeking alpha or any of the other blogs out there of similar ilk. I have been reading many of the Tesla articles on those sites recently and they are incredibly biased. The only reason I started reading them at all is because I am now a stockholder, and on my yahoo stock app these articles show up. I think I am going to find a new app to follow stocks with because I'm tired of seeing blogs geared to the know nothing day traders of the world when I pull up the latest stock prices.

I am open minded and interested in hearing all information about Tesla and EV's in general, but the articles on seeking alpha and Motley Fool are just ridiculous, biased, and agenda based. The last one I read (not by Petersen) said that EV's have not improved much in the past 100 years. It was just absurd. I read the comments and it had been already ripped to shreds by many others.

Let's not join these blogs and give them more followers--which is exactly what they want.

In Seeking Alpha, they get paid by the view, as it happens. The articles are member submissions, not staff.

Debating Mr. Petersen is a waste of time, I have tried with no success and Nick Butcher has written several excellent responses again it has done nothing to silence Mr. Petersen. He is beyond facts and reason. Not worth the time in my humble opinion.

Dallas Teslan,

People look at the same information and make differing conclusions all the time, and it is OK. Making decisions based on inaccurate information, however, is not a good idea.

Seeking Alpha posts articles that are submitted to the site; these articles are not written by staff. There are quite a few balanced and bullish articles about Tesla. The reason I mentioned this site is because this thread is about JP, and he just happens to post majority, if not all of his articles on Seeking Alpha.

Regarding the Motley Fool, majority of its members are actually bullish on Tesla.

May I suggest that perhaps your sampling period is too short?

Going back to my original post, I am not urging people who think that engaging with EV naysayers is useless to get involved. I DO, however, suggest that those who think that getting involved is a must, get engaged with JP directly, rather than spendi time posting appeals to Elon Musk on this site.

Silencing JP is not the point. He has his interest in promoting the idea that Tesla will fail. Majority of people on this forum take it to heart for Tesla to succeed. How is it staying silent in the world of clashing ideas going to help? Perception is reality.

vrinshpun, perhaps I should give these blogs more time but it seems to me based on what I've read, they seem to be geared to the day traders of the world---many of whom know little to nothing and are constantly looking for a "hot tip" on what stocks to short.

Regardless of their views on Tesla (yes, even if they write more positive articles) I'm just not sure it is my thing. I tend to invest for the long term and tune out all the "noise".