How Google and Tesla Are Combining Forces

Tyler is a member of The Motley Fool Blog Network -- entries represent the personal opinion of the blogger and are not formally edited.

Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) has received a lot of coverage for its new wearable technology. Google Glass has become the target for a lot of companies in good and bad ways. Some companies are already banning the device, while others love the idea. Tesla Motors (NASDAQ: TSLA) seems to fit into the second category. Tesla Model S owners and Google Glass explorers can become a fan of both items, benefit both companies and experience great products. 

A Tesla app is now available for Google Glass. While it may not be a huge story, I think there is relevance here. First of all, it shows that these companies aren't scared to work together, and it may actually increase speculation of a potential buy out by Google. I don't think the chances of that happening are very high, but I do think it would be a good fit for both companies -- if the price were right. But let's not get ahead of ourselves, let's deal with what we have. 

Features

Before getting into the features of this app, we should understand that it is only available for the Tesla Model S. It's certainly a starting point that should grow into other models and develop more features. However, for a starting point, it does include some convenient features. 

<img alt="" src="http://www.wired.com/images_blogs/autopia/2013/07/teslaglass.jpg" />

The picture above shows some of the features that this collaborative effort will include. The app will allow users to:

  • View battery life and charging status.
  • Impressive remote control capabilities including: start and stop charging, opening the charging port, lock and unlock doors and the ability to honk the horn or flash the lights.
  • Ability to view the interior and exterior temperature of the vehicle and set the auto climate system according to the owner's desires.
  • If for some reason, the owner cannot find their car, the app relies on built-in GPS of both the Model S and Google Glass. 
  • Functionality is currently limited, but is expected to increase dramatically as Google releases more tools for developers. Eventually, there will be voice command and push notifications available. 

For users that own a Model S and Google Glass, absolutely. However, for people that don't own one of the two, it's probably not worth the investment. If functionality of the app can increase, this could change in the future.

Pressure rises

Tesla has begun to revolutionize the automobile industry. Toyota (NYSE: TM) thought it had what customers wanted with the Prius. The Prius is a hybrid vehicle that runs on both gasoline and electric power. Tesla's vehicles are fully electric, meaning there is none of your typical maintenance. Fuel filters, gas stations, smog checks, oil changes, spark plugs, and timing belts all become a thing of the past with a Tesla Model S. Tesla has applied pressure to companies like Toyota who have tried to develop highly economical vehicles that use minimal gas. 

Valuations

Tesla isn't an established company like Google and Toyota. Google and Toyota are both at least fifteen years old but Tesla is just now getting a foothold in a very competitive industry. I, as with most investors, typically value companies based on cash flow and similar metrics. While this is important for well-established companies, a young company like Tesla shouldn't have a bunch of cash, it should have a huge increase in capital expenditures. Since 2009, its capital expenditure spending has increased by a phenomenal amount of 2,017%. Meanwhile its revenues have grown by 844%. This is exactly what you want to see out of a young company.

As for Toyota and Google, typical valuations metrics are fine. Google's earnings yield is 3.9% while Toyota's free cash flow yield is 2.4%.  Both of these companies show a P/E higher than some investors would like, but Google's is actually lower than its industry average. Toyota's P/E is 20.1 and Google's is 25.6 (3.3 lower than the industry average). Toyota is the only company that issues dividends and its dividend yield is 0.6%.

The Foolish bottom line

Elon Musk has made his vision clear: Change the world. Tesla is getting closer and closer to doing that every day. It might not be raking in huge amounts of profit right now, but Musk never claimed it would this early on. His vision is not nearsighted, and investors should keep that in mind. The company is growing very rapidly, and its stock has increased nearly 215% YTD. Google and Toyota are both solid companies that may not present great value. 


Tyler Wofford has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Google and Tesla Motors . The Motley Fool owns shares of Google and Tesla Motors . Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. Is this post wrong? Click here. Think you can do better? Join us and write your own!

blog comments powered by Disqus