FORTUNE -- During an O'Reilly Factor conversation last night about Tesla Motors (TSLA), guest Eric Bolling made two demonstrably untrue statements about the cleantech industry within the span of just 15 seconds. Even by the loose standards of cable news punditry, this was a galling disregard for basic facts.
What follows is the relevant part of the conversation between Bolling and host Bill O'Reilly:
Bolling: The reason Solyndra didn't work is because they couldn't get the price down to where homeowners could afford to put them on their roof.
O'Reilly: That's true
Bolling: And guess what, we lost $500 million in Solyndra.
O'Reilly: But in Tesla we're not losing because they paid the money back.
Bolling: We got lucky on one Bill, but for every Tesla there are four Solyndras...
For starters, Solyndra didn't fail because homeowners couldn't afford to put its solar panels on their roofs. How do I know? Because Solyndra was building solar panels for commercial buildings, not residential ones.
Second, Bolling is very wrong about the winners vs. losers breakdown of companies that received loan guarantees from the U.S. Department of Energy. Of the 31 programs that received such loan guarantees, only four have gone the way of Solyndra (i.e., failed completely and been shut down). Moreover, as of last check, the overall program is on track to turn an overall profit (inclusive of the Solyndra losses).
Finally, Bolling also later suggested that Tesla -- and other companies in the DoE loan program -- borrowed from the government instead of raising private capital:
Are you going to tell me that all those smart guys on Wall Street, with tens of billion of dollars to loan, wouldn't see Tesla and say, 'You know what we'll loan you that money, instead of the government..."
This isn't really accurate, since the government loan guarantees were conditioned on the recipient having also raised substantial funds from the private sector (often in the form of equity, which is higher risk than debt). Tesla, for example, raised more than $270 million in private funding -- including from Wall Street stalwart J.P. Morgan (JPM). So, yes, those "smart guys on Wall Street" (and in Silicon Valley) did take a big chance on Tesla. And in Solyndra for that matter (so much for the idea that they're always so much smarter than the government guys).
I'd like to blame all of this misinformation on some young intern, but Bolling insists that he alone is responsible for his own research:
Perhaps it's time to hire some help...
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If Elon Musk started a new company, it would make...
FORTUNE -- Elon Musk has conquered the roads with Tesla Motors (TSLA). And he's rocketed into orbit with SpaceX. Might he now be considering something (literally) in between?
During an interview at today's New York Times Dealbook conference, Musk admitted that he began designing a new means of supersonic travel after the Concorde was canceled in 2003:
"I do think there's an MOREDan Primack - Nov 12, 2013 4:36 PM ET
Is Tesla's Elon Musk going to be in trouble for a tweet?
FORTUNE -- Last week we discussed how the SEC had issued a Wells Notice to Netflix (NFLX), after its CEO Reed Hastings possibly disclosed material information via a Facebook post.
Could Tesla Motors (TSLA) boss Elon Musk be next? This is what he tweeted last Monday:
Am happy to report that Tesla was narrowly cash flow positive last week. Continued improvement expected through MOREDan Primack - Dec 13, 2012 3:22 PM ET
Fisker sales are strong, but well below expectations.
FORTUNE -- Troubled electric carmaker Fisker is expecting to generate around $200 million in 2012 revenue, Fortune has learned from multiple sources.
It's a decent figure considering that the five-year-old company only began delivering actual vehicles in July 2011. But it's also well short of what the company was promising prospective investors. For example, one source tells me that documents circulated last November by MOREDan Primack - Dec 13, 2012 2:05 PM ET
Electric automaker Tesla Motors (TSLA) today filed to raise more than $190 million in new capital, largely to fund development of a crossover vehicle dubbed Model X.
The Palo Alto, Calif.-based company said today that it plans to offer 5.3 million shares of common stock, which today is up around 6% from its $26.72 per share opening price. Goldman Sachs (GS) is underwriting the offering.
Tesla also said that founder and CEO Elon MOREDan Primack - May 25, 2011 3:27 PM ET
Three weeks ago, shares of Tesla Motors (TSLA) dropped more than 21% in a two-day period. Not because of any product recall or poor earnings report, but because short-sellers realized that a "lock-up period" was about to expire, allowing company insiders to sell shares they had been required to hold for 180 days following Tesla's initial public offering.
The shorts were right.
At least two of Tesla's early venture capital backers chose MOREDan Primack - Jan 13, 2011 12:50 PM ET
Don't get swept up in the hype of the Tesla IPO. Clean tech is not yet ready for prime time.
by Heidi N. Moore, contributor
It's a common convention for horror movies to have at least one character who, cornered by the monster/attacker/murderer/villain, yells to his compatriots, "Go on without me! Save yourselves!" The same phrase should also be common among clean technology companies listing for an initial public offering.
Tesla Motors, MOREmoorehn - Jun 29, 2010 2:46 PM ET
By Heidi N. Moore, contributor
Uncertainty: The Washington Post says that the death of Sen. Robert Byrd, 92, will further complicate the already byzantine road to financial reform. Related: The American Prospect says nothing, not even Byrd's death, will stop the course of financial reform. Related: At Harvard Business Review, Justin Fox reviews the ideas of financial reform versus its ideals.
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