Author Topic: ALSN - Alison Transmission Holdings Inc  (Read 5439 times)

walkie518

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Re: ALSN - Alison Transmission Holdings Inc
« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2018, 05:04:40 PM »
Isn't there a big question mark on how EVs could impact ALSN?

ALSN manufactures transmissions for hybrids (think buses)...as for full electric vehicles, I don't think there is material risk for the foreseeable future.

Daimler has wondered if any of Tesla's claims are true

That said, even if Tesla can produce an electric semi with a 500 mi range, how many will Tesla produce?  Tesla can't produce enough to satisfy current demand for its sedans.

I don't think Freightliner (Daimler), Mack, Volvo, or Western Star have plans to produce any electric trucks?  There would need to be a large move with more than a marginal player (sorry Musk) at the forefront.

And demand for truck freight has increased alongside the growth of online retail...I'm not worried about Musk disrupting anytime soon. 


Astrea

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Re: ALSN - Alison Transmission Holdings Inc
« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2018, 12:34:26 PM »
Isn't there a big question mark on how EVs could impact ALSN?

ALSN manufactures transmissions for hybrids (think buses)...as for full electric vehicles, I don't think there is material risk for the foreseeable future.

Daimler has wondered if any of Tesla's claims are true

That said, even if Tesla can produce an electric semi with a 500 mi range, how many will Tesla produce?  Tesla can't produce enough to satisfy current demand for its sedans.

I don't think Freightliner (Daimler), Mack, Volvo, or Western Star have plans to produce any electric trucks?  There would need to be a large move with more than a marginal player (sorry Musk) at the forefront.

And demand for truck freight has increased alongside the growth of online retail...I'm not worried about Musk disrupting anytime soon. 



They did add some language in the risk factors this year: "In addition, we compete with manufacturers developing alternative technologies, including electric drivetrains, that may or may not require a transmission".

There is the notion that EV trucks may not require a transmission (seems like the Tesla Semi is single gear whereas ALSN EV systems are 4-6 transmission systems) but that may be because people see what happened in the auto space and assume that's what is going to happen for trucks.

I think transmissions and multi-gearing become more important the heavier the vehicle gets. And commercial vehicles are designed primarily to haul weight. In theory, you could bypass the transmission system and just tack on more batteries and a larger electric motor. But I think that if you start doing that, then that is going to hinder the truck's ability to do its job, i.e. haul weight.

So it seems like transmissions may well provide an important benefit to EV trucks. If you do away with transmissions, then you have to have a bigger motor, that's problematic in terms of packaging. It's problematic because it's a significant drain on the battery, so you need more battery and that's more weight etc.       

I agree we're not there yet - EV trucks are likely to be at least 3-5+ years away before they start making any meaningful impact. That gives ALSN time to position itself and spend somewhere in the region of $100 million in annual R&D whilst generating $550 million in annual FCF. 24% of revenue is after-market which might also be a little more resistant to sudden disruption.

But even if EV trucks have multiple transmissions in the future, there are questions as to the economics of EV transmissions, will ALSN be as dominant and competitively advantaged when the technology sorts itself out? The hardware will likely be simpler but the software may be more sophisticated.

Anyhow, those are some thoughts.




 

walkie518

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Re: ALSN - Alison Transmission Holdings Inc
« Reply #12 on: August 31, 2018, 01:04:32 PM »
Isn't there a big question mark on how EVs could impact ALSN?

ALSN manufactures transmissions for hybrids (think buses)...as for full electric vehicles, I don't think there is material risk for the foreseeable future.

Daimler has wondered if any of Tesla's claims are true

That said, even if Tesla can produce an electric semi with a 500 mi range, how many will Tesla produce?  Tesla can't produce enough to satisfy current demand for its sedans.

I don't think Freightliner (Daimler), Mack, Volvo, or Western Star have plans to produce any electric trucks?  There would need to be a large move with more than a marginal player (sorry Musk) at the forefront.

And demand for truck freight has increased alongside the growth of online retail...I'm not worried about Musk disrupting anytime soon. 



They did add some language in the risk factors this year: "In addition, we compete with manufacturers developing alternative technologies, including electric drivetrains, that may or may not require a transmission".

There is the notion that EV trucks may not require a transmission (seems like the Tesla Semi is single gear whereas ALSN EV systems are 4-6 transmission systems) but that may be because people see what happened in the auto space and assume that's what is going to happen for trucks.

I think transmissions and multi-gearing become more important the heavier the vehicle gets. And commercial vehicles are designed primarily to haul weight. In theory, you could bypass the transmission system and just tack on more batteries and a larger electric motor. But I think that if you start doing that, then that is going to hinder the truck's ability to do its job, i.e. haul weight.

So it seems like transmissions may well provide an important benefit to EV trucks. If you do away with transmissions, then you have to have a bigger motor, that's problematic in terms of packaging. It's problematic because it's a significant drain on the battery, so you need more battery and that's more weight etc.       

I agree we're not there yet - EV trucks are likely to be at least 3-5+ years away before they start making any meaningful impact. That gives ALSN time to position itself and spend somewhere in the region of $100 million in annual R&D whilst generating $550 million in annual FCF. 24% of revenue is after-market which might also be a little more resistant to sudden disruption.

But even if EV trucks have multiple transmissions in the future, there are questions as to the economics of EV transmissions, will ALSN be as dominant and competitively advantaged when the technology sorts itself out? The hardware will likely be simpler but the software may be more sophisticated.

Anyhow, those are some thoughts.




 
I've been spending more time on the topic of EV risk largely on the back of the recent developments, i.e. Musk Mess. 

I've come to learn a few things and would love some feedback should anyone know more on the topic. 

Most of us probably know that lithium batteries are the cornerstone of all EV power.  Most if not all of the supply in the world comes from Bolivia, which isn't exactly known stability.  Making matters worse, supply is currently limited.  FT published an interesting article on the topic last year: https://www.ft.com/content/90d65356-4a9d-11e7-919a-1e14ce4af89b

Digging a little deeper, it appears that there might only be enough room for one major EV player given current supply constraints resulting from mining capacity.  This might be a short to intermediate term problem for EV producers once hybrids and EVs hit the mass market in force.  However, if all else remains equal, it's likely that Musk's Gigafactories might be the only game in town producing at scale, at least for some time.

That said, lithium is something like 2% of the mass of these batteries (they are mostly nickel and graphite), and considering that urine has been known to be a source of electrical energy (https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/04/160418095918.htm), it's probably likely that should we face a wall, someone smart will find a way. 

I have commented elsewhere on the Tesla semi as a risk to ALSN.  This might be more real than I thought previously, but given Tesla's financial situation, this still might be a 10 year risk.

Between Tesla's first-rate battery technology and opening of new charging stations all over the country, it's likely Tesla can achieve its goals should the company become profitable...as in, the battery technology is better than many give credit.  That said, Tesla is facing so many problems, it may go broke before these trucks hit the market. 

CapriciousCapital

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Re: ALSN - Alison Transmission Holdings Inc
« Reply #13 on: January 18, 2020, 09:34:01 PM »
Revibing this thread 1 year later. ALSN has some interesting qualities-- it's a manufacturing company with negative tangible book value, in a high-margin business that pays out nearly 100% of its earnings instead of reinvesting in itself.

Value^2

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Re: ALSN - Alison Transmission Holdings Inc
« Reply #14 on: January 19, 2020, 06:26:49 AM »

I've been spending more time on the topic of EV risk largely on the back of the recent developments, i.e. Musk Mess. 

I've come to learn a few things and would love some feedback should anyone know more on the topic. 

Most of us probably know that lithium batteries are the cornerstone of all EV power.  Most if not all of the supply in the world comes from Bolivia, which isn't exactly known stability.  Making matters worse, supply is currently limited.  FT published an interesting article on the topic last year: https://www.ft.com/content/90d65356-4a9d-11e7-919a-1e14ce4af89b
 
I think you should review your views on lithium supply etc.