Tesla’s Secret Recipe To Remain Secret?

1 year ago by Tesla Mondo 99

Tesla Model S

Tesla Model S

"Mmmmm.....Tesla"

“Mmmmm…..Tesla”

WILL ANYONE DISCOVER TESLA’S RECIPE?

Shareholder meetings have become a great opportunities for auto CEOs to puff our their chests and show that they can cook up a Tesla, um, whenever the time is right. And you thought the time is already right? Silly you. Anyway, TeslaMondo thinks these CEO chefs are lacking a few key ingredients.

April 2014, BYD CEO Wang Chuanfu:“BYD could make a Tesla as soon as consumer demand for electric cars really takes off.” Since then, prolific BYD has released a range of cheapish, fleet-worthy cars and buses, but that’s about it. Nothing close to world-beating. The Buffett-backed outfit is strong on volume and value, but weak on excitement. BYD is indeed helping to usher EVs into the Chinese vocabulary, and that’s a good thing, but it obviously does not have access to Tesla’s secret blend of herbs and spices.

April 2016, FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne:If he can show me that it can be done, I will do it as well, copy him, add Italian style to it and put it on the market within 12 months.” This came at a shareholder meeting. Just last week, Daimler shareholders forced CEO Darth Dieter Zetsche to put on his apron and try to cook up a Tesla too. It’s coming in a couple of years. Those German ovens . . .

Like Bob Lutz, Marchionne has a troubled relationship with EVs. Just two years ago he told the world to avoid his compliance car, the electric Fiat 500. That’s a pretty strong vote of no confidence in EVs, yes? But now, two years later, he has the wherewithal to build a Model III clone in the next 12 months? No he doesn’t. He has neither the balls nor the technology.

Back to Tesla’s secret blend of herbs and spices: Tesla’s cost per kWh at the Gigafactory is a proprietary number, but we can use our collective imagination. It’s far lower than anyone else’s. You know the old adage that when it comes to performance, there’s no substitute for cubic inches? Well, when it comes to EVs, there’s no substitute for cost per kWh. It helps to have your own battery farm and a resident mad scientist. Remember him?

*Editor’s Note: This and other Tesla-related posts appear on TeslaMondo. Check it out here.

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99 responses to "Tesla’s Secret Recipe To Remain Secret?"

  1. Speculawyer says:

    Secret recipe? There is no secret recipe. All patents are public and open for viewing. And they have made a unilateral contract allowing anyone to infringe them as long as they are making on honest effort to sell EVs.

    The magic recipe is not secret. Here is their recipe:
    1) Use big batteries so the cars handle 97% of daily driving without anything but an overnight charge.
    2) Support the cars with strategically placed network of high-speed DC fast chargers in order to handle long distance driving.
    3) Make the cars very aerodynamic so they can have long range even at high speeds.
    4) Make the cars sexy looking so people want to drive them.
    5) Use a skateboard design with the battery at the bottom so you get: ability to swap the battery out, lots of space for passengers and cargo, low center of gravity for stability.
    6) Periodically update the cars with new technology (AWD, bigger batteries, autopilot, performance improvements, etc.)

    That’s it. That is how Tesla wins. Do those things and your EV will be better than an ICE car.

    1. Joshua Burstyn says:

      Well said.

      1. Nathanael says:

        Actually, the secret recipe was published. Google “Tesla Motors Secret Master Plan”.

        Any other company *could* follow this business model. It’s the standard businesss model which every succesful car company used in the late 19th /early 20th century.

        No other company has chosen to follow this business model. God only knows why. Maybe Faraday Future will do so.

    2. yoyodyn says:

      Assuming Tesla files a patent on everything it does. Which it may not.

      1. Speculawyer says:

        And there are definitely lots of trade secrets that they have. But the automakers can reverse engineer that stuff or design their own. I just wanted to summarize the bullet points of what made Tesla a big hit.

        Telsa really did great engineering combined with sexy designs. As an engineer, I tend to appreciate the engineering aspects most . . . but the sexy designs have definitely been key to their success. I know people that couldn’t tell the difference between an EV and an ICE that want a Model S because it looks so good.

        1. ffbj says:

          Add to that an almost cult like following of Musk, dedicated, driven, staff, a laser like focus on improving their connected product lines, free advertising and insane satisfaction ratings and a gaggle of awards.

          All of this serves to accentuate the difference between this new company with a new way of doing things contrasted against the lumbering, ineffectual, bloated,gaseous behemoths of the past, who can’t even get out of their own way. They Stink!

    3. Foo says:

      You forgot one:

      7) Keep your space rocket hobby going on the side, so they’ll know this car thing wasn’t just dumb luck.

      1. ffbj says:

        Every budding young genius wants their own rocket.

    4. Holger says:

      Exactly – no legacy car maker has an excuse.

    5. Ash09 says:

      Oh come on, you’re making way too much sense here! We can’t have that now!

      Instead, let’s make an overpriced car that looks almost exactly like every other car out there, if not radically different.

      Then let’s give it an unreliable network of charging stations that are scattered randomly in various places nobody really wants to spend long amounts of time in. Car dealerships are the perfect spot, as they hate electric vehicles, so we’ll put them there too.

      Then when they don’t sell, we’ll just claim “nobody wants electric vehicles!” and continue selling gas cars as the world’s climate does disastrous things to cities and populations.

      1. Speculawyer says:

        That point about car dealerships made me laugh.

        Indeed . . . talk about a place where you don’t want to be and a place that doesn’t like EVs.

      2. Jouni Valkonen says:

        Ash, also, cry for goverment subsidies and try to argue that it is impossible to sell electric cars without huge subsdies.

        And when subsidies are granted, convert subsidies directly into profits.

        Also from BMW strategic playbook. Design an electric car that does not in anyway cannibalize Bimmer ICE car sales. But instead, try to sell electric car as a third extra car for rich families. And of course with full EV subsidies.

    6. beta995 says:

      The “secret” is the Will to SUCCEED.

    7. Clive says:

      Having the entire recipe, does not mean you know the proper way to put it all together.

    8. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      @Speculawyer:

      Here I was gonna write a post about how Tesla doesn’t really have any secrets, that everything it does is out there in the open, and if other auto makers have not done the same, it’s not because they can’t, but because they don’t have the interest or the will to do so.

      But you’ve already made all my points, and more! Thank you for a masterfully composed and well argued post, sir.

      1. Speculawyer says:

        Yeah, the other automakers have no excuse.

        They have the recipe right in front of them. But they are too busy selling ICE.

        1. Mxs says:

          So ICE technology has never served you well? Or you are just being hypocritical of anything other than Tesla battery powered car?

          WHat you stated is no secret exactly. But, Tesla doesn’t have the past, has been around very shortly and most of the time lives only because patient investors. Luxury, most other car manufacturers don’t have.

    9. jstack6 says:

      You may have forgot the important keys.
      -Make them safer that any vehicle.
      -Have FREE Super Charging and no ads.
      -Do remote software updates and diagnosis.
      -Make in the USA !

    1. HVACman says:

      Here is the resume of the company GM is currently partnering with:

      http://www.rnd.lgchem.com/global/lgchem/areasofexpertise/Battery-Materials

      Who do you want to handle the research and battery development – Dahousie and U of N, or LG Chem?

      What EV, and who’s cells, have the lowest battery pack and cell failure rate on the planet? The Chevy Volt and LG Chem. Who do you want designing/fabricating the battery for YOUR next EV?

      1. TomArt says:

        Where are the stats on that? I have not heard of Tesla’s batteries failing unless the pack was first punctured by a massive projectile or collision.

        The only failures I’ve heard of Volt batteries was the one that caught fire three weeks after it was put in storage because the scrap shop didn’t know how to prepare the damaged vehicle for storage.

  2. MTN Ranger says:

    Kind of off topic, but you started it with the Colonel Sanders photo. Kind of the weirdest promo I have seen in a long time: http://www.colonelsanders.com/#

    1. Foo says:

      Sanders was a creeper. “It’s finger lickin’ good”? I mean, c’mon.

    2. sven says:

      Thanks a lot. I played the video game on my phone that pops up (when you press on the 16-bit Colonel) on the subway ride home from work and then when I got home. I’ll never get those two hours of my life back. 🙁 But it was fun. 😀

    3. Scott Franco says:

      The photo tends to imply the Colonel went happy…..

    4. G2 says:

      I was eondering why that woman is eating chicken held by Ho Chi Minh? ?

  3. Speculawyer says:

    “Back to Tesla’s secret blend of herbs and spices: Tesla’s cost per kWh at the Gigafactory is a proprietary number, but we can use our collective imagination.”

    As far as that number goes . . . no one, not even Tesla, knows. I’m sure Tesla has some estimates but it will depend heavily on raw material costs and execution.

  4. Mikael says:

    This “article” belongs in biased Tesla-fanboys only sites.

    1. Speculawyer says:

      Have you seen your avatar? 😉

    2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      TeslaMondo is an unapologetic Tesla promoter and stock pumper. One should always keep that bias in mind when reading something from TeslaMondo.

      That said, he’s also a very entertaining writer. And if you don’t like what he writes, nobody is forcing you to click on the link.

      P.S. — Yeah, what Speculawyer said. Given your chosen avatar, it seems rather odd for you to complain about someone else being a Tesla cheerleader.

      1. Mxs says:

        You kind of give him a nice pass …. Not something you do to the other side when they speak, eh?

  5. MJP462 says:

    @TeslaMondo
    So, yeah. It is probably best not to use the term, “German ovens”. Especially when it is forced and on a Jewish holiday.

    1. Speculawyer says:

      Youch!

    2. TomArt says:

      Yeah, that jumped out at me, too – not exactly the most appropriate metaphor…

    3. Hansel says:

      I agree. Most assuredly unintentional, but still inappropriate.

        1. Evil Witch says:

          Oh, I’ve got an oven…

  6. Anon says:

    Many people are apparently trying to copy Elon’s “Secret Recepe”… Faraday and LeSee, are recent examples. And credit need to go to GM for the longer range Bolt, even though they kind of forgot about that whole EV Ecosystem / Fast Charging Network thing. 😉

    I think that’s precisely the idea he’s had in mind; copy him. Yes, please.

    But how well they’ll do– that’s the fun part of this unfolding spectator sport.

    1. Speculawyer says:

      Grading GM’s Bolt on my list:
      1) Big battery? check.
      2) Supported DC fast charge network? Nope.
      3) Aerodynamic? Kinda . . . close.
      4) Sexy looking? Meh. At least it is not ugly.
      5) Skateboard design? Check.
      6) We’ll see what they do but I doubt they quickly improve on it.

      So they get 2 and 1/2 out of the 6, IMHO. :-/

      1. vdiv says:

        I think the Bolt EV will be a great car, just like the first gen. Volt has been. However GM’s approach with it will either make it a success, a disappointment, or a miserable failure. Unfortunately so far the signs are mixed at best.

      2. Mxs says:

        Lol … Just add to your masterful list …

        1) can produce on time in desired volume
        2) enough service points to deal with issues (you know there will be plenty for a 1st gen. Mass produced car.

        GM instantly looks better, doesn’t it? ……

        1. Speculawyer says:

          1) would be nice but I don’t think LG Chem & GM could handle 400,000 orders either. GM has the assembly lines LG Chem can’t crank out that many batteries. Tesla is the only one building a Gigafactory and they have the demand that needs it…assuming that they succeed in driving down costs.

          2) not an issue for me since I live within 15 miles of the Fremont factory. And I don’t think this will be much of an issue because Tesla could always outsource this.

          1. HVACman says:

            Hmmm…yeah, LG Chem is way too small, compared to Tesla and their soon-to-be (phase 1 at least) complete Gigafactory.

            http://lgcpi.com/about-lgcpi/the-lgcpi-story/lg-chem/

            A $22B company, they have THREE manufacturing facilities in Asia dedicated to LION, plus their Holland MI facility, all fully operational NOW. They aren’t Giga, they are TERA Lithium Ion producers. Make batteries for 20 auto manufacturers, mobile, fixed, industrial. Their research facility alone is a whole friggin’ campus.

            http://www.rnd.lgchem.com/global/lgchem/inside/Facility

            And their parent company, LG, is like a Death Star of Korean manufacturing. If LG Chem needed more manufacturing capability to make 400K Bolt batteries, LG can clear out one corner of one of their less-busy plants to handle it.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LG_Corporation

            1. TomArt says:

              GM is not their only client. It is not simple to just casually “ramp up” at will, on demand.

              Further, GM has no intention of building more than, at most, 50k units per year. At least Tesla is realistic about demand and is doing everything in their power to meet it.

      3. HVACman says:

        7) configured for Uber, taxi companies, and other urban center transportation businesses for hauling people at minimal operating cost – better the the Prii now commonly used for taxis. – check

        8) ultra-easy back-seat access for rear infant/child seats and their contents – check

        9) great for mobility-challenged to get in and out – check

        10) versatile enough haul the kids, then adapt to haul a lot more than a 9′ surfboard. – check

        11) Built on a new fully-engineered global EV-specific platform (the BEV II) that can be adapted to a CUV, hatchback or sedan, depending on market interest – check

        12) I can test-drive one, buy it, and have it serviced right here in rural Redding, CA, just like I did with my Volt, without a reservation, at get the tax credit in 2016 – check

        There is a market for sexy. Have at it, Tesla. There is a much larger market for practical/versatile. The Bolt fits that bill to a “B”.

  7. Secret recipe … skimpily design the safest best performing vehicle the team can; then provide great customer experience and service to drivers.

    The teams within Tesla are constantly listening to their customers and constantly making design details better … each week, each month.

  8. TomArt says:

    Yeah, it really isn’t that much of a secret, really. I’ve been following Tesla and various commentaries and blogs since 2008, and the formula is remarkably simple: brute force. Take existing cells (cheap, high volume availability), remove most of the safety features to simplify manufacturing further, pack a crapload of them into an oversized skateboard, slap a cool-looking car body on it with powerful AC induction motors (no rare-earths), and watch everyone be surprised when you saw it all along and got tired of waiting for it to happen. I understand perfectly, except I don’t have the capital to pull things like that off. Never will. Good for Musk.

    1. Nathanael says:

      To be fair, Martin Eberhard didn’t have the capital to pull it off either. He managed to meet Elon Musk. 🙂

  9. Leeper says:

    I think the old say is ” there is no replacement for displacement”.

    1. Speculawyer says:

      There is now.

      🙂

  10. Carcus says:

    Great video, thanks for that.

    Interesting to learn that both GM and Magna “have (paid for) the mad scientist”, along with Tesla. Too bad Nissan did not.

    1. carcus says:

      add, ..

      After watching the mad scientist video, it makes me wonder if the real secret sauce is Tesla’s small cell battery format.

      Which would be pretty ironic as everyone has always assumed that Tesla was handicapping itself by not going to large format (pouches, etc).

      We know from his presentation that once you’ve got the correct additives in the cells (more secret sauce) it is crucial to keep them cool and keep them out of the high voltage charging range as much as possible. (not that that’s news, but he did emphasize it in the Q&A at the end)

      So the small cells with ribbon cooling probably makes for more uniform cooling, and the ability to eliminate the small errant cell (little consequence in pack capacity) helps keep overall pack voltage right where you want it?

      Just random guessing, but obviously there’s some reason.

      1. Speculawyer says:

        Yeah, I’ve gone back & forth on that small cylindrical cell issue. I still can’t tell if they are doing the best thing or if they are just doing that style because they spent a lot of time on it and have refined it to be quite good.

        1. carcus says:

          I think we’re seeing real world evidence that the Tesla packs can go 12+ years and 150,000+ miles. That’s a pretty big deal and key to Tesla’s future sales. Even though the “mad doctor’s” advance lab testing techniques are useful, in my mind there just is no substitute for real world results.

          The buying public’s confidence in the batteries is crucial… and it may be that Tesla can’t afford to experiment too much with the next big thing. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

        2. super390 says:

          I think all the status quo automakers lack the stomach to mass-produce the non-laptop cells their designs require so that they can get real economies of scale, and that’s what screws them up. The commodification of laptop cells solved more problems than it caused.

        3. Nathanael says:

          The small cylindrical cell format is actually superior.

          Reasons why small cell format is superior:
          (1) One cell can fail and the rest of the battery pack is fine. (Individually fused.)
          (2) One cell can be substandard and the rest of the battery pack is fine.
          (3) Parallel wiring means one cell can have fairly poor amperage and the pack as a whole can still produce huge amounts of instantaneous power.
          (4) Cell isolation provides easy thermal safety against fires.
          (5) Manufacturing smaller cells is easier. Most of the cost in small cells is in the caps and packaging… which Tesla doesn’t include, its cells are basically raw cylinders.
          (6) Making battery packs of varying sizes is easier. More cells, fewer cells.
          (7) Easier heat dissipation: more room to run heat dissipation tubes between cells

          Reasons why cylindrical is easier then rectangular:
          (1) Few orientation problems during mechanical assembly (just up/down)
          (2) no asymmetrical chemical behavior due to square shape — simpler chemical behavior within the cell, meaning less failure potential.

          1. carcus says:

            Makes sense to me. But you’d think with all these adavantages, other EV makers would already or at least soon be following suit…

            I guess with the legacy car makers you never really know what their motivation is. … but with the Faradays, BYDs, and Apples …. will certainly be interesting to see what develops.

      2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        I’m certainly not an expert in the field, but I have read extensively about battery tech. It seems fairly clear that most of the non-Tesla EV makers thought larger format batteries would be a more cost-effective way to pack a lot of kWh into a battery pack. In practice, that doesn’t seem to have been the case. In practice, larger format batteries have lower energy density, and (as has already been said) a greater problem with heat dissipation. Also, if just 1 large format battery cell goes bad, your battery pack may lose as much as half a kWh of capacity. Whereas with Tesla’s small format cells, losing one or a few is pretty negligible. Tesla’s battery packs are designed to allow for the probable failure of a few cells over the life of the pack. Battery packs from other EV makers… not so much.

        I find it curious that so many analysts keep writing as if Tesla using small format cells is a liability, and a sign that Tesla’s tech isn’t really that advanced. I’d say at best that’s a questionable assertion, and it may well be 180° wrong.

        1. Speculawyer says:

          I think the problem is that they were thinking few cells and low KWH. The problem is that if you want a really good EV, you need many cells and large KWH. Parallelism matters. You get more charging performance and more driving performance.

          Tesla appears to have got it right. They aimed 5 years ahead and won.

      3. TomArt says:

        Actually, those are the exact reasons why Musk started with, and insists on continuing with, the small, cylindrical format – easy to cool, easy to thermally and electrically isolate, if needed.

  11. floydboy says:

    ‘Those German ovens’?!
    LMAO, I hope they’re not too close to the sun, ’cause that’s where you’re flying!

  12. agzand says:

    The (not so) secret recipe is losing $19000 per car. Others are not willing to do that. I can’t believe their battery costs are much lower than the others (it could be lower a bit due to lower safety factors) because their batteries use off the shelf components.

    1. nwdiver says:

      ??? The shape is off-the-shelf… not the contents…

    2. Anon says:

      Yeah, people still don’t understand the difference between profit and reinvestment in research, battery factory building, and expanding a global fast charging system for BEVs.

      Repeating GM’s excuse for not doing the same thing, does not make it true.

      1. agzand says:

        From their latest 10k: Net cash provided by (used in) operating activities in 2015: ($524.5) million dollars. It has nothing to do with investing.

        1. super390 says:

          How can building the charging network not be an operating activity?

          1. Agzand says:

            The entire value of their charging network it $250-300 million, according to their filings. They had a typo that valid it much higher in their latest filing but they corrected it.

        2. Nathanael says:

          Tesla is expensing their entire R&D budget. If they capitalized the R&D budget like *normal* companies do, they’d be breaking even.

          1. Mxs says:

            Which not very many companies would be allowed to do fr too long …. Amazon comes to mind.

          2. Agzand says:

            Most companies expense R&D unless it is shown that it results in a proven product.

      2. Agzand says:

        All guys who insulted me one way or other on this thread, go and check power pack pricing for yourself. Elon said it will be $250 per kWh. It is now twice that. Typical Tesla bait and switch on pricing. Same thing will happen for Model 3.

        1. TomArt says:

          What the heck are you talking about? The cost for Tesla has been approx. $200/kWh at the cell level 3 years ago. By now, the pack level is under $200/kWh.

    3. carcus says:

      Two secret steps to losing money:

      1. Subscribe to seeking alpha
      2. Short TSLA

      ….shhhh! It’s our secret.

    4. Rick Danger says:

      Please, agzand, let us bask in the warmth of your brilliance.
      If Tesla is losing $19000 per car, then surely, with the ramp up of 2015 and now 2016, they are losing money at an unstoppable rate, so do let us in on when the Tesla Bubble Will Burst since, according to you, their collapse is imminent.
      C’mon, take a stab at it. How far off can you be??

      1. Agzand says:

        There is no reason to be sarcastic/insulting. I don’t have anything against you. The exact timing will be difficult to predict, but it could be toward the end of this year, or sometime next year, when they price Model 3 much higher than $35k. Basically any quarter that the numbers show such discrepancy that it cannot be explained by the usual excuses.

    5. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      agzand said:

      “The (not so) secret recipe is losing $19000 per car.”

      Gosh, so I guess they should make fewer cars so they’ll “lose” less money? [/snark]

      Amazing that when it comes to Tesla, so many people confuse investing money in future growth with “losing” money. Do you “lose” money when you invest it in your 401(k)? I think most people would say “No”. So why is it different when Tesla invests in future growth?

      “…their batteries use off the shelf components.”

      Some off the shelf, and some proprietary Panasonic tech. And the Gigafactory will produce a lot more of its own components, starting with raw steel, aluminum, and copper (see diagram linked below).

      If you doubt the Gigafactory can substantially reduce battery costs, it’s likely because you haven’t read enough about the subject.

      Gigafactory production diagram:
      http://bioage.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8341c4fbe53ef01a511774655970c-popup

      1. Agzand says:

        Every fanboy repeats the same arguments but the numbers do not show that. Their price for the new roadster battery and recently the power pack shows they don’t have a significant advantage in battery cost. Their operating income is negative and deteriorating as they sell more cars. It has nothing to do with investing. You guys can keep denying the earth is round or 2+2=4 but it doesn’t change the facts. Why prices are going up if battery costs are so cheap? Where is the $55k model S or $75k model x? Where is the bigger powerwall?

        1. TomArt says:

          AS far as I know, there were no promises for the Model X to start at the price points you mention.

          Capital expenditures only account for about half of Tesla’s so-called losses. What I want to know is where the R&D costs are tabulated. Not all of their growth is in capital (more stores, more service centers, more superchargers). Some of their growth is paying lots of people to design, test, build and test again, prototypes of cars and battery cells.

          If those costs are being accounted for, then these so-called “operating losses” are not a testament to Model S and Model X production.

          I do not expect Tesla Motors, as a company, to turn a GAAP profit until at least 2020, if not 2022 or later. They are still ramping up Model S and Model X production, and they have one hell of a ramp-up for Model 3 production, not to mention putting together the production line to begin with. Then, they will have development costs for developing the Model Y CUV and the new Roadster, all based on the Model 3 platform.

          Also, the base Model S has a gross margin of 25%, with the fully-optioned models at over 28%. If you also consider that the car is bigger, all aluminum body, has luxury features like motorized door handles and motorized side mirror standard, etc., then going to a $35k Model 3 is not so big of a stretch. It will be mostly steel, no motorized luxury features, smaller car, fewer battery cells, smaller motors, smaller rims, smaller windows, agnostic dashboard with central instrument cluster, etc.

  13. Terawatt says:

    This is pure fanboy stuff, not journalism. What exactly is the technology possessed by Tesla that others don’t have? Tesla has made their patents available to all. And in any case EV drivetrains are very simple – that’s one of the chief advantages!

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      Anybody can buy paints and canvas. What did Michelangelo, Rembrandt, and Picasso have that others didn’t?

      Where Tesla succeeds brilliantly isn’t by inventing proprietary tech. It’s by the implementation of tech, both existing and what Tesla has developed. It’s by putting it all together into a compelling format or package, arguably better than anybody else ever has.

    2. Speculawyer says:

      Yeah . . . so how are GM, Ford, Chrysler/Fiat, BMW, VAG, Mercedes, Toyota, Subaru, Nissan, Mitsubishi, and anyone else doing in the EV space?

      Do tell.

      1. Mxs says:

        You will see soon enough. It’s like asking how is Tesla doing in selling ICE??

        Do you see what I have done there?

        1. Rick Danger says:

          You’ve done nothing, just like your comments contribute nothing.
          Blah, blah blahhhhhhhhhhhhhh

  14. rs_rwc says:

    Getting hard to tell the difference between Telsamondo and this website.

    How about we leave this Tesla love-in and notice Volvo’s announcement from yesterday – first full electric car in dealerships by 2019, among other things –

    http://www.autoblog.com/2016/04/21/volvo-electric-hybrid-one-million-cars/

    Consider the possibility that unlike with the S and X, Model 3 customers may not tolerate being beta-testers, that Tesla will need significant additional time like a normal car company to test run their production line. And that other car companies like Volvo will field, or will have unveiled appealing Model 3 competitors by 2018 in such quantity and variety that Tesla stock will decline and not support another draw from the capital markets, and people will realize that Tesla may not make it financially, and so will want their reservation money back. But they won’t get it, a $400,000,000 “run on the bank” if you will. From the Tesla Model 3 Reservations Terms and Conditions –

    “You understand that we will not hold your Reservation Payment separately or in an escrow or trust fund or pay any interest on your Reservation Payment.”

    400,000 screaming people at Tesla dealerships.

    Reinforcing this financial implosion would be a hesitancy to purchase Tesla because their warranties, wholly owned repair shops and supercharger network might shut down.

    Pride comes before the fall. Just sayin’.

    1. arne-nl says:

      You really believe this stuff you’re making up?

      Especially where you start wandering off in lalaland where other automakers have a plethora of competing products waiting to beat Tesla. Hahaha. Until now there has only been talk of ‘Tesla fighters’. Vapourware.

      Until 2020, there will be only two affordable long range EV’s in the market to compete with the Model 3, and they are very different cars. There is more than enough room in the car market for all three of them to be successful.

      1. Nathanael says:

        Yeah. Literally the only other carmaker’s long-range electric car which will come out before the Tesla Model 3 is the Chevy Bolt. Nobody else has a chance in hell of finishing one before late 2018, and most of them will be 2019 at the earliest.

      2. rs_rwc says:

        In summary, thing are moving along –

        Apple 2019 (earliest) mileage ???
        Audi Q6-etron 2018 350 miles
        BMW i3 2017 120 miles
        Chevy Bolt 2016 200 miles
        Citroen E-Elysee 2017 155 miles
        Honda Clarity 2017 ??? miles
        Hyundai Ioniq 2016 155 miles
        Mercedes 4 “Tesla Fighters” 2018 ??? miles
        Nissan Leaf 2018 200 miles
        Porsche Mission-e 2020 310 miles
        Volvo 2019 500 km
        VW new EV 2019 300 km
        VW e-golf 2018 186 miles

        By 2020 this will all doubtless be improved, with more selection. A car maker need only show a car a year before it is available to appeal to its brand loyalists to dissuade them from purchasing elsewhere. Also all of this will start to weigh on the Wall Street analysts.

        1. arne-nl says:

          Apple 2019 – vapourware
          Audi Q6-etron – vapourware
          BMW i3 2017 120 miles – not long-range
          Chevy Bolt 2016 200 miles – one of the 2 I mentioned
          Citroen E-Elysee 2017 155 miles – not long range, only in China
          Honda Clarity 2017 ??? miles – vapourware
          Hyundai Ioniq 2016 155 miles – not long range
          Mercedes 4 “Tesla Fighters” 2018 ??? miles – vapourware
          Nissan Leaf 2018 200 miles – the other one I mentioned
          Porsche Mission-e 2020 310 miles – after 2020 I said until
          Volvo 2019 500 km – vapourware
          VW new EV 2019 300 km – vapourware
          VW e-golf 2018 186 miles – maybe sort-of long range, but nothing firm yet

          You just proved my point, thank you.

          1. arne-nl says:

            Oh, and I expect some of these cars will come to market, but not before 2020.

            1. arne-nl says:

              Oh my, what imprecise wording. Did I write that?

              I meant that some of the cars on the list that are both affordable and long range (> 200 miles EPA) will come to market, but not before 2020.

              Porsche, Audi Q6 and Mercedes “Tesla fighter” will not be affordable. Apple and Clarity are question marks in that respect.

              And watch the test cycle! The current Nissan LEAF 30 kWh gets 250 km/155 miles NEDC, which is a joke. The announced 186 miles e-Golf is NEDC, only slightly more than the current 30 kWh LEAF. JC06 is even more unrealistic.

              1. rs_rwc says:

                Definition of vaporware from Wikipedia:

                “Vaporware is a product…that is announced to the general public but is never actually manufactured nor officially cancelled. Use of the word has broadened to include products such as automobiles.”

                Based on the failure of Tesla to ever meet price points announced 18 months before the car appears, a $35,000 Model 3 is vaporware. That is, it will be a long time before a unit will have a $35,000 MSRP, if ever. See this link from June 2014 example –

                http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2459612,00.asp

                Model X – $55,000
                Model 3 – As low as $30,000

                Never mind the fine print in the reservation agreement, the $35,000 figure was ubiquitous in the media, and that’s what hundreds of thousands of people thought they were signing up for. Never in history has $400,000,000 been globally crowdsourced from 400,000 people three or four years in advance for vaporware.

                This will not end well when the middle class Model 3 reservation holders, who are much more sensitive to price than rich folks, realize in 2018/2019 that they have been given the “bait and switch”.

                You can arbitrarily define a $50,000 Model 3 as affordable, or long range as 200 miles instead of 150, or believe that the Honda Clarity will never be built, or that the Citroen will never be sold anywhere but in China, or that Apple will not announce some specs by year end 2018 that will compete very favorably with Tesla, or that Volvo’s Chinese owners will not push them toward an electric lineup, or VW won’t get their act together in response to the diesel scandal, or even believe Ford when they say 100 miles will satisfy their customers (there is no upside to them saying anything else at this point) etc etc. Here’s the big picture – the Model 3 reservations have demonstrated to existing manufacturers that there is a market for a $35,000 EV, and they may now actually try to satisfy it, vs Tesla’s empty promise to meet that price point. The EV landscape will likely look very different by 2018/2019, with Tesla relegated to the BMW/Acura market segment and higher, and so they won’t scale up, and so their viability may be in jeopardy.

                1. TomArt says:

                  Nobody is doubting the landscape will change, but the automotive industry is slow, at best – more like “glacial”.

                  In the possible event that Tesla does deliver the first Model 3 “by the end of 2017”, then the only 200+ mile EV competition at that price point will be the Chevy Bolt.`

    2. Priusmaniac says:

      Volvo was the first with the seatbelt but the last one to make cars aerodynamic, so I wouldn’t hold my breath on a future, potential, perhaps, would be, Volvo ev sedan. Volvo is a super conservative manufacturer which is exactly the opposite of Tesla.

    3. Nathanael says:

      Tesla is very intelligently prioritizing Model 3 reservations made by its *employees*, who get to deal with the whole early-production line beta-testing phase. Most bugs should be worked out by the time outsiders get their cars.

  15. Nix says:

    Here is what Tesla’s secret recipe has been so far:

    Step 1: Build a car that provides a vastly superior driving experience compared to their ICE competitors in the same vehicle class.

    Step 2: Repeat step 1 in different vehicle classes.

    1. Mxs says:

      But your 1) it’s not really true. Anybody can sell me a very expensive car and claim it is vastly superior to much less expensive cars.

      Only if you are blind BEV fan you can make a claim like yours.

      1. Rick Danger says:

        Or someone like you, who obviously can’t read and comprehend.
        What a hopeless hater.

      2. TomArt says:

        Well, I’ve been trying to give you the benefit of the doubt, but now I realize you’re just a troll.