After my many years of experience and intensive study concerning the stock market, I have discovered that: The best way to end up with a million dollars in the stock market is...to start out with two million
. (its an old joke, but I couldn't resist). I did well with Ford stock at one point, but there were other attempts at investments that ended in losses. I ended up with a modest profit (after lots of risk), cashed in, haven't gone back...too many scars.
The potential risk IMO is that if sometime in the next 6-24 months develops a superior solid state battery cell
IMHO, solid state batteries are so desirable for a mobile vehicle, I believe they WILL come, and blank checks will be issued to any entity that can solve whatever problems crop up along the way. That being said...
The Gigafactory making 18650's and the new 20700's will have most of those cells go into EV and hybrid packs for several years, but...even after
solid state batteries start coming online, I am of the opinion that the recent announcement of the "power wall" device is where there will be an ongoing need for the Gigafactory cells. I believe this will be because of the near impossibility of coal-burning electrical generating plants inability to expand existing plants, or build new ones. This is a long-range payoff play, but it is exactly the type of investment that made Buffet a billionaire.
You can't just turn off a coal-burning plant at night, and then power it up when all of the air-conditioners come on in the summer noon. This is why many places have cheaper electricity at night, to encourage people to charge up their EV at night, when the plants are at an idling speed. I have read of it called "time shifting the load". The social model to make this happen will be similar to the German model.
Clearly if you own a Tesla (or any one of the EVs available), it would be nice to plug that large battery pack into a home inverter to keep the power on during a blackout (maybe not the air-conditioner, but the fridge, the TV, computer, cell-phone charger, etc). However, that particular convenience is only icing on the cake, the real meat of this scenario is having Tesla power-walls tied to the grid
. Hundreds of thousands of Tesla power-walls would charge up in the middle of the night, and then they can knock the peaks off of power surges during the daytime. "Smart meters" are being installed in California, which give the homeowner a small discount on their electricity, in exchange for the state having the right to turn off your air-conditioner for a couple hours when the coal-burning electricity-generating plants are maxed out.
Why would a home-owner want to allow one of these to be added to their garage? tax credits
..plus its somewhat desirable to know your home has power when the grid temporarily goes down. It is especially desirable if the whole deal is structured so that the home-owner has very little out-of-pocket expenses for the install. If that system is deemed to be successful, I suspect the next phase will be a gradual roll-out of state-sponsored solar-PV panels being mounted on the roof of any power-wall home that is interested. Solar power would charge the power-walls when it's sunny, which further reduces any coal-burning that might be needed.
I'm not saying that I think the Gigafactory will be working overtime, but...I also don't think they will be idle. I am certain they will stay busy making and selling as many cells as they can. I can envision solid-state batteries taking over vehicles, where weight and bulk are a critical parameter, but for the "power wall", the 18650/20700's should continue to be used until something cheaper per kW comes along.