Tesla unveils more affordable Model 3, gives glimpse at Apple's future auto competition

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  • Reply 81 of 117
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,232moderator
    volcan said:
    Marvin said:
    A large part of the cost at the entry level is the battery, which is estimated at $250/kWh just now. This would be $15k on an entry model. Tesla's Gigafactory is how Tesla plans to lower the price:

    I question whether lithium battery technology is sustainable. Lithium is not very plentiful. Fuel cell with hydrogen may be a little more future proof. If you use geothermal power to extract hydrogen from sea water it could be economical.

    Countries around the Pacific rim and even Iceland where you have volcanos near the ocean could become energy producing super powers which might help decrease dependence on fossil fuels.

    There is no question that storing energy in a battery is more convenient and with fewer moving parts is cheaper and requires less maintenance but using lithium seems like short term solution. We will eventually need a new battery technology that is not dependent on an element that is so rare.

    That could well be a problem:

    Tesla in stand-off over lithium supply

    "Tesla has yet to announce any lithium supply deals with big producers, leaving it unclear where it will source the lightweight natural material it will need to start producing batteries by 2017 with Panasonic, its partner.

    The Gigafactory is set to supply batteries for the 500,000 cars Tesla hopes to produce by the end of the decade, as well as to power homes. The company hopes that by supplying its own batteries it can cut its costs per kilowatt-hour by more than 30 per cent, crucial for the mass-market uptake of electric vehicles.

    But that will require secure, long-term supplies of lithium, more than 70 per cent of which is found in Chile, Argentina and Bolivia. Due to growth in demand for electric batteries, the global lithium market is approaching a shortage, with no new supply coming on stream next year, say analysts. At the same time, battery factories being built in China are set to increase demand for lithium.

    “The most likely outcome is Tesla will pay high market prices for lithium through at least the end of the decade,” adds Mr Lowry, who formerly worked for FMC Lithium, one of the big producers.

    So far two companies have announced supply deals with Tesla, and neither is expected to produce substantial amounts of lithium until after 2020. That could leave the company short of the lithium it needs when its factory starts operating — or trying to sign supply agreements when the price of lithium hydroxide is higher.

    Tesla will need about 24,000 tonnes annually of lithium hydroxide, according to Benchmark Mineral Intelligence, out of a market last year of 50,000 tonnes."

    There are alternative designs they can try:

    http://phys.org/news/2015-04-ultra-fast-aluminum-battery-safe-alternative.html

    That has advantages in charging speed, durability and safety (no more fires, including with mobile devices) and there are models in production. The following is one that uses air to react with Aluminium:

    http://www.car-buying-strategies.com/blog/battery-for-electric-vehicles-that-doesnt-suck/

    That mentions the possibility of mixing the two types of battery together. The higher capacity Aluminium-air one would be physically switched out every 1000 miles or so while the Lithium one would be charged from it so you get the higher voltage. It wouldn't use a charging plug. The Aluminium-ion one above could be charged.

    You'd have maybe a 10kWh (35 mile range) Lithium battery costing $2.5k and a 400 kWh (1400 mile range and 500kg+ lighter than equivalent Lithium) Aluminium battery costing $12k.

    The small battery would wear out every 2 years, the larger air-based one would need replaced/recycled about 10 times per year for average drivers. The ion-based Aluminium battery could be charged and would only need charged 10 times per year.

    They could make an Aluminium one in smaller blocks and have the blocks degrade/replaced separately. They can have a hatch in the floor inside the car or have them slide out from somewhere outside. They'd be light enough to carry by hand.
    nolamacguyvolcanpalomine
  • Reply 82 of 117
    nolamacguynolamacguy Posts: 4,758member
    hexclock said:
    A side note about the perceived environmental benefits. Nearly 70% of electricity generated in the United States comes from fossil fuels, so you might feel better about yourself driving an electric car, but in reality it's just shifting the problem somewhere else. 
    there are fewer electricity-generating facilities than cars -- it's easier to regulate them for acceptable pollution levels. 
    justbobf
  • Reply 83 of 117
    justbobfjustbobf Posts: 261member

    Seriously? Looks fugly to me. Especially the interior. image
    Awww, come on! The car is amazing, especially the interior! Sure, it may not be for everyone; one would have to like modern art, I think. I would never expect a main-stream manufacturer to create such a car—this is far too radical for them (speaking of the interior). 
  • Reply 84 of 117
    justbobfjustbobf Posts: 261member
    gfedor said:
    sog35 said:
    Dude, the average price of a car in the USA is $33,000.

    Have you gone car shopping lately?  To get a nicely equipped Honda Civic will cost you close to $27k.  Go buy a Honda Accord and you are at $30+.  Go buy any decent sized SUV and you are at $35k-$40.  Same with a full sized pickup.

    $35,000 is mainstream.  Especially since this car will give you 70mpg (based on electric vs gas prices) and save you couple thousand a year just on gas and repairs/maintenance.
    Actually, I have been shopping for a new car lately, but even the average price you quote is still too high for basic transportation.

    I bought my current car in 2001 for $18,000 (cash) and it was not a basic stripped down model either.  Owing for inflation that equates to $24,000 in present dollars.  However to buy a comparably equipped car today would cost upwards of $28-30,000.  With car prices increasing faster than inflation the idea that a $35,000 car is now "average" is ridiculous.

    If the goal is to innovate and sell glitz then sure, Tesla and others are right on the mark with what they're offering today, but the market of available consumers that can afford that is small.  If the goal is to innovate and get more folks out of hydrocarbon vehicles, then the price has to come down substantially more IMHO.

    Your argument about saving on fuel and maintenance costs is valid.  Lifetime costs should be better with something like a Tesla, but the up front cost of purchase is still a barrier.  To finance a $35,000 car at today's rates of ~3%, your monthly payment would be upwards of $625-$770.  I am considered upper middle class and I can assure you I cannot afford that type of payment regardless of the long term savings.

    Don't get me wrong, I think Tesla's cars are wonderful and would love to have one.  I'm not against the strides they and others are making in the alternative to hydrocarbons arena.  My gripe is that we need to move past the finance innovation on the backs of the rich with the promise of more reasonable pricing down the road.  We're down the road already.  Tesla and others have been making these innovations for years now and we're not seeing the promise of affordable cars.  Lots of innovation (which is fun and good), but not much (if anything) on the affordability front.

    I'd gladly do without Ludicrous speed, gull wing doors, glass roof and fancy styling if I could just get a car that gets me away from hydrocarbons, descent range (100miles + per charge) at a price that still allows me to put a roof over my family's head and food on the table.  A $35,000 Tesla does me no good sitting in the garage if I can't also afford the garage.


    But, you could probably lease one fairly affordably. Our Leaf is $240/month. Want a cheaper electric? Try a Chevy Spark: about $180/monthly payment with a lease. 
  • Reply 85 of 117
    Agree 100%

    Telsa is already losing about $17k for each Model S they sell.  And those cars cost $70-$130k each.
    Imagine how much Tesla is losing on the Model 3 which as 75% of the features the Model S has?

    Telsa must be losing at least $10k on each Model 3 they will sell.  Even with mass production there is no way that car cost less than $45k to design, build, and market.
    They aren't losing money on each car. They would be profitable with double digit margins if they weren't pouring all the profits from the S and X back into preparing for the 3. So you can't make any assumptions about the costs of the 3.

    Their biggest problem is going to be whether they can actually manufacture the volumes needed to keep up with demand before everyone gets tired of waiting.
    edited April 2016 propod
  • Reply 86 of 117
    sog35 said:

    Telsa is already losing about $17k for each Model S they sell.  And those cars cost $70-$130k each.
    Imagine how much Tesla is losing on the Model 3 which as 75% of the features the Model S has?

    Telsa must be losing at least $10k on each Model 3 they will sell.  Even with mass production there is no way that car cost less than $45k to design, build, and market.

    They aren't losing money on each car. They would be profitable with double digit margins if they weren't pouring all the profits from the S and X back into preparing for the 3. So you can't make any assumptions about the costs and margins of the 3.

    Stupid double posting.
    edited April 2016 tallest skil
  • Reply 87 of 117
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 3,982member
    sog35 said:
    Things I like:

    1. Very nice overall design
    2. $35k is very reasonable. Especially with the additional $7-$10k in tax credits
    3. 0-60 in less than 6 seconds is very good
    4. 200+ mile range
    5. Cool glass roof

    Things I don't like:

    1. Interior is too plain. Large touch screen looks tacky and bolted on
    2. No speed gauge on the driver side.
    3. Front nose of the car looks 'naked' and awkward

    Prototype! Production model will look stunning. Check out S and X prototypes. They were unrefined when showed. Btw, why would you need speed gauge at traditional place for barely looking at it and while the Autopilot is standard in model 3? 
    edited April 2016
  • Reply 88 of 117
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 3,982member
    sog35 said:
    After seeing this I think Apple should drop all AppleCar plans.

    The smarter move would be to buy Tesla or stay out of the car business all together.

    Its pretty evident that Tesla will be losing $10k or more for each of these cars they sell.
    No way on earth does this car cost less than $45k to build and sell.
    Tesla build the Gigafactory in Arizona with new battery technology which allows them to produce battery at cheaper costs. Did you follow Tesla lately? The battery costs 60% of an EV, so if you can make cheaper battery, you can cut down the product cost significantly.
    propod
  • Reply 89 of 117
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 3,982member
    sog35 said:
    Here's the competition. The Chevy Bolt which will cost $30k.

    Insane. Tesla must be losing $20,000 on each model 3 they sell


    Chevy Bolt can kiss my ass good bye. My $1000 already went to Tesla 1 hour before the event started. Who wants Chevy Bolt at that price when Model 3 will be 6 months later with ridiculously stylish looking,  better performance, greater tech and cheaper price ? DOA Bolt!
    edited April 2016
  • Reply 90 of 117
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 3,982member
    quinney said:
    smalm said:
    I'm not sure why anybody thinks Tesla can make a profit with a $35000 car when they don't know how to do it with a $75000 car…
    Probably because they have made the effort to understand what Tesla is doing.  Tesla's margin on the Model S is about 25%.  Their bottom line is negative,
    not because they are losing money on the cars they sell, but because they are building out a worldwide network of charging stations, building an enormous
    battery factory, adding hundreds of sales galleries and service centers, and designing and building new car models and the assembly lines to produce them.
    People frequently opine that Tesla is burning money.  When you burn money you are left with nothing but a pile of ashes.  The money Tesla is spending is
    leaving them with tremendously valuable assets, which they are already using to good advantage.  Traditional car makers/dealers trivialize what Tesla is doing
    at their own peril.
    A lot of folks in this forum need to take Economics 101. They don't understand the difference between Fixed Cost and Variable Cost. Why the hell they keeping saying Tesla is losing money for selling cars? 25% margin on S model with expensive batteries produced by Panasonic in Japan. They have the Gigafactory in Arizona now that can produce better batteries for less. That's why they can still make money for selling Model 3 at that price. People are dumb when saying Tesla losing money on cars sold. Tesla didn't. Tesla lose money because they invest in infrastructure and such. These are considered fixed cost, not variable cost. SuperCharge Stations provide free charges for all Tesla owners across US. They absorb that cost for now but will recoup the money in the future when they start charging owners when they use these stations.
    propod
  • Reply 91 of 117
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 3,982member

    sog35 said:
    The Bolt looks like total crap and cost almost as much as the Model 3. Give me a break.

    The Model 3 already has 200,000 preorders.  How many does the Bolt have?  Must be very little because Chevy has not announced any pre-orders numbers.

    The Bolt looks like a Egg on 4 wheels and drives as slow as one.
    The Model 3 is faster than a BMW 3-series and looks amazing.

    Because Tesla fans are stupid and will spend $144K on a Model X that isn't even as well equipped as a Jeep Grand Cherokee, let alone something like a Range Rover SVR (which is in the same price range). Anyone who puts a deposit in a car that's 2 years away, IMO, is an idiot. Especially when the final specs/features aren't even known and with their horrible track record with delays.

    Have you ever actually driven a Tesla (Model S is only one people would reasonably have tried). Take away the blinding acceleration and you have a POS overpriced car with poor finish and build quality. Oh, but it has Ludicrous mode. That makes up for all the creature comforts it lacks. /S
    I'm one of these 200k and can see Musk's vision for the future. You don't. Musk rised to Billionaire from $28k borrowed from his father to start his investment.
    edited April 2016 propod
  • Reply 92 of 117
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 3,982member
    sog35 said:
    Why are you talking about the Model X?

    We are talking about the $35,000 Model 3.

    Everyone knows the Model X is an overpriced car made for a specific customer. 

    And why is putting down $1000 downpayment idiotic when you can get a 100% refund at anytime?  Put that $1000 in a zero-risk investment and you are lucky to get $10 in investment return.  So all these people are risking is $10.  Plus if they order early they have a very good chance of getting tax credits worth $7,500-$10,000.

    And maybe just maybe these 'idiots' understand that electric cars are far better for the environment than gas cars.

    Your irrational hate for Tesla is weird.

    You mentioned the 200,000 pre-orders the Model 3 had vs the unannounced Bolt pre-orders (which is a strawman anyway, since Chevy doesn't do pre-orders) to somehow imply the Model 3 is a better car. I countered that if people were stupid enough to buy a $144K Model X without even driving one, then there are obviously going to be lots of Tesla fanboys that would plunk down $1,000 to pre-order a Model 3. It has nothing to do with how good the Model 3 may or may not be, because none of the people ordering has a clue.

    Further, since the deposit is 100% refundable then none of those pre-orders has any commitment. So that makes them even less useful to judge demand since we have no idea how many will back out after seeing the Model 3 announcement (since over half of them ordered BEFORE they saw the car), how many will back out after waiting 12, 18, 24 months for the car, or how many will back out after seeing the final car and its actual price/features and options.

    Ordering early means nothing for tax credits. The initial Model 3's will be the higher-end models (like Tesla has also done in the past) so the people who decide they want to spend more will get their pre-orders before those that want to wait for the base $35K model. That is, if Tesla doesn't already hit their 200,000 vehicle limit by the time the Model 3 is released.

    Considering how poorly equipped the Model S and Model X are for their price points, what makes you think the Model 3 is suddenly going to be "fully loaded" when it debuts? Teslas existing cars are highly relevant to show us what the Model 3 will bring (fast acceleration, cheap interior, lack of features).


    Nothing irrational about my opinion since I work in the automotive engineering field. If you saw a Tesla the way I do (as a series of assembled components and sub-assemblies) you'd realize there's NOTHING special or unique about them. People act like they created some incredible machine that nobody else in the world knows how to.
    Good luck to your career. EV will be everywhere in the next 5 years and you should be looking for employment since gasoline cars ain't sell shit!
  • Reply 93 of 117
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 3,982member

    smalm said:
    auxio said:
    A bit dramatic, but a few more things to consider before you pre-order.
    It's far from dramatic - the problem ist not Tesla investing billions.
    The real problem is that Tesla is loosing money selling cars. The more cars they sell the more money they loose.
    You have no clue what the crap you just spit out. Model S margin is 25%. Losing money my ass. Do some research or go back to stupid!
  • Reply 94 of 117
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 3,982member

    peter236 said:
    The thing is that Apple can't even compete with Samsung. Major players like BMW, Audi and China's BYD are way better car manufacturers.
    You just won the Post of 2016 April Fool!
  • Reply 95 of 117
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 3,982member
    Bookworm said:
    This article is misleading..  

    The quote of:
    "The first 200,000 U.S. units will also qualify for federal tax subsidies supporting electric vehicles, potentially making the car as cheap as $27,500." 

    Is just wrong, the government subsidy is for the first 200,000 EV unit of ANY type for a company.  Tesla has already stated that they have sold around 75,000 Roadsters, Model S's and X's..   So with ongoing sales of those, by the time the Model 3  hits any streets probably only 50-80 thousand units will qualify.

    The writers and editors need to do some fact checking before making blanket statements like that.    People now think that if they are in the 200K they get the subsidy.  It will be lucky if only 1/3 or 1/4 of the Model 3's will quality. 

    Again, that's 200,000 cars from a single manufacture of ANY model that qualifies.   Check the facts please!



    Tesla sold 75,000 cars WORLDWIDE. Only US owners quality for tax credits.
  • Reply 96 of 117
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 3,982member

    gfedor said:
    sog35 said:
    Dude, the average price of a car in the USA is $33,000.

    Have you gone car shopping lately?  To get a nicely equipped Honda Civic will cost you close to $27k.  Go buy a Honda Accord and you are at $30+.  Go buy any decent sized SUV and you are at $35k-$40.  Same with a full sized pickup.

    $35,000 is mainstream.  Especially since this car will give you 70mpg (based on electric vs gas prices) and save you couple thousand a year just on gas and repairs/maintenance.
    Actually, I have been shopping for a new car lately, but even the average price you quote is still too high for basic transportation.

    I bought my current car in 2001 for $18,000 (cash) and it was not a basic stripped down model either.  Owing for inflation that equates to $24,000 in present dollars.  However to buy a comparably equipped car today would cost upwards of $28-30,000.  With car prices increasing faster than inflation the idea that a $35,000 car is now "average" is ridiculous.

    If the goal is to innovate and sell glitz then sure, Tesla and others are right on the mark with what they're offering today, but the market of available consumers that can afford that is small.  If the goal is to innovate and get more folks out of hydrocarbon vehicles, then the price has to come down substantially more IMHO.

    Your argument about saving on fuel and maintenance costs is valid.  Lifetime costs should be better with something like a Tesla, but the up front cost of purchase is still a barrier.  To finance a $35,000 car at today's rates of ~3%, your monthly payment would be upwards of $625-$770.  I am considered upper middle class and I can assure you I cannot afford that type of payment regardless of the long term savings.

    Don't get me wrong, I think Tesla's cars are wonderful and would love to have one.  I'm not against the strides they and others are making in the alternative to hydrocarbons arena.  My gripe is that we need to move past the finance innovation on the backs of the rich with the promise of more reasonable pricing down the road.  We're down the road already.  Tesla and others have been making these innovations for years now and we're not seeing the promise of affordable cars.  Lots of innovation (which is fun and good), but not much (if anything) on the affordability front.

    I'd gladly do without Ludicrous speed, gull wing doors, glass roof and fancy styling if I could just get a car that gets me away from hydrocarbons, descent range (100miles + per charge) at a price that still allows me to put a roof over my family's head and food on the table.  A $35,000 Tesla does me no good sitting in the garage if I can't also afford the garage.


    Dude, your $18k car in 2001 was a low end car which was around nice equipped Civic or Corolla. The mainstream was Accord or Camry and it was around $24k back then. These Accord and Camry are around $30k+ now.
    edited April 2016
  • Reply 97 of 117
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 3,982member
    tzeshan said:
    sog35 said:
    After seeing this I think Apple should drop all AppleCar plans.

    The smarter move would be to buy Tesla or stay out of the car business all together.

    Its pretty evident that Tesla will be losing $10k or more for each of these cars they sell.
    No way on earth does this car cost less than $45k to build and sell.
    Is the $1000 downpayment transferable?  I have suspicion many people making a reservation is to sell the reservation later at a huge profit.  May be several thousands dollars.  
    Not transferable without approval from Tesla.
  • Reply 98 of 117
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 3,982member
    focher said:
    So much misinformation. 

    1.  The tax credit is 7500 for the first 200k vehicles from each manufacturer then has a "ramp down" over multiple quarters that is not volume based. 

    2. Existing car manufacturers absolutely have a barrier to their entry in the EV space - their existing product / revenue and dealers who make most of their profit on service and maintenance. 

    3. The Model S has captured 25% of the luxury car segment in the US. It's the #1 selling luxury car. 

    4. The base Model 3 is $35k BEFORE any tax credits or rebates (some states also have additional over the federal credit). It will be cheaper than the Bolt, much better performing, and is not a Chevy. Tesla is an aspirational brand. Tesla owners are rabidly in love with the Tesla and its products. Sound familiar?

    5. Elon Musk has said again and again that he started Tesla to kickstart the move to EVs. He wants the other manufacturers to join in. 
    Have you seen the cars driven by the vast consumers? They will buy the Bolt ten to one over this car. By the time this car is released the Bolt will be on its second revision and the rest of the global auto industry will  have their EVs out.
    Bolt will be a failure just like Volt. 10:1 my ass!
    edited April 2016
  • Reply 99 of 117
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,985member
    sog35 said:
    Chevy Bolt is a bigger deal than this Model 3. It's a full electric vehicle being made by a company that people think is run by "stupid 'murican rednecks".

    Tesla, a company that announced the Model 3 several years ago, and is supposed to be ahead of everyone else in technology, is going to get beat to market by GM. By over a year. When the rest of the car companies start building electrics Tesla will be finished. They literally have zero technology that everyone else doesn't already have.

    Musk was an idiot for wasting resources on that POS Model X and those useless Falcon Wing doors. He's more interested in flash than substance and he's going to pay for it. Should have ignored that vehicle altogether and put all that (wasted) effort into the Model 3 instead.
    The Bolt looks like total crap and cost almost as much as the Model 3. Give me a break.

    The Model 3 already has 200,000 preorders.  How many does the Bolt have?  Must be very little because Chevy has not announced any pre-orders numbers.

    The Bolt looks like a Egg on 4 wheels and drives as slow as one.
    The Model 3 is faster than a BMW 3-series and looks amazing.
    The Bolt is being purchased by many government/municipal agencies. They sell quite a bit. 
  • Reply 100 of 117
    knowitallknowitall Posts: 1,463member
    Agree 100%

    Telsa is already losing about $17k for each Model S they sell.  And those cars cost $70-$130k each.
    Imagine how much Tesla is losing on the Model 3 which as 75% of the features the Model S has?

    Telsa must be losing at least $10k on each Model 3 they will sell.  Even with mass production there is no way that car cost less than $45k to design, build, and market.
    They aren't losing money on each car. They would be profitable with double digit margins if they weren't pouring all the profits from the S and X back into preparing for the 3. So you can't make any assumptions about the costs of the 3.

    Their biggest problem is going to be whether they can actually manufacture the volumes needed to keep up with demand before everyone gets tired of waiting.
    That could very well be true, I hope that is the case.
    But do we have real numbers about this, or are we guessing? 
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