Model 3 Reveal: Should Tesla “Show All The Cards?”


Tesla Model S Under Cover

Tesla Model S Under Cover




The company says it’s debating how much to reveal about Model 3 at the March 31 debut. Show all the cards, or hold a few close to the vest? TeslaMondo figures there’s a one percent chance it has sufficient information to weigh in on this question. That means there’s a chance! So here goes.

Unfortunately, the central question triggers a bunch of little questions, so this gets complicated pretty fast.

First question: Are we talking about physical features or invisible features, e.g. autonomous abilities? Seems Tesla couldn’t possibly show us a hard and shiny Model 3 only to physically change it during the brief incubation period between concept and production. But this begs the next question . . .

Second question: Will Tesla show us an actual car, or just images? If we see only images, it seems more possible that Tesla has something up its sleeve that affects appearance.

Third question: Will Tesla stay true to its credo about production cars adhering to the concepts? Look at Model S and Model X. How much really changed during their long incubation periods between concept and production? Almost nothing. WhiteStar looks so much like Model S that to this day, the dingdong press sometimes uses WhiteStar images with current Model S articles. Model X lost its nose cone but little else changed. The panoramic roof surprised us only because we failed to notice it until months before production. It was hiding in plain sight. In sum, Tesla bravely showed all of its cards with the S and X. Full frontal nude scenes, without any strategically-placed potted plants.

So, yes or no? Reveal all or not? Hang on a minute.

Ugly Tesla Model 3 Render (via Stumpf Studio)

Controversial Tesla Model 3 Render (via Stumpf Studio)

Tesla’s show-all bravery didn’t carry much risk when it had the premium EV space all to itself. But now Tesla is no longer just a billionaire’s wet dream. Model S is stealing everyone’s lunch money. Tesla now dominates automotive “mind share,” and everyone salivates over that. Wanna bet that Big Auto has an array of concepts under wraps, and will choose which to unveil only after seeing Model 3? With cash-rich rivals absolutely rapt this time around, and with precious little time for Model 3 to mutate between concept and production, a full frontal nude scene makes Tesla quite vulnerable.

So, show all? Or grab a potted plant?

No. It should show only what’s necessary to fill the order books. If they fill as quickly as we’re all expecting, and Tesla still has “one in the chamber,” all the better. Tesla could even start building the III without using all of its ammo. If/when demand wanes or competition threatens, BANG!

Yes. It should inflict maximum harm on, say, the Re-Volt. Show the world that once again, Tesla is years ahead of the smelly, shaggy auto mammoths. Reverse the “Look out Tesla” headlines. Make them read “Look out everyone else.” Use the short Model 3 incubation to full advantage. By the time the mammoths can react with their concepts, Tesla will already have Model 3s burning gas. So to speak.

TeslaMondo’s position:

Tesla should show the minimum necessary to trigger orders, and that’s not much. This assumes the cloaked features are standard equipment across the entire Model 3 range. If we’re talking instead about some sort of James Bond “gotta have it” option that affects only high-end versions, then a belated introduction could trigger an upheaval, as people try to change their orders. Not good. Tesla needs to pull off this product launch smoothly. The sooner Tesla knows the desired product mix, the better it can strategize the rollout. So Tesla should employ suspense, but not at the risk of delaying or complicating the most important automotive launch since the Prius.

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

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156 Comments on "Model 3 Reveal: Should Tesla “Show All The Cards?”"

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Chevy Bolt has all the cards on the table. If they don’t at least reveal that the 3 will be an equal value proposition (not necessarily cheaper, but better in ways, if it’s not cheaper), it will be assumed it’s NOT worth waiting for by many.
They are no longer in the driver’s seat for releasing an affordable 200 mile range EV.

With autopilot they won’t don’t need anyone in the drivers seat. It’s pretty much a forgone conclusion that it, the Model III, will be better than the Bolt, at around the same price.

While it is true that the Bolt, according to GM, will be in production a year from now, to speak as if it already is being produced is not correct.
The only card they are missing is the actual car, until it is actually in production.

Of course GM has other cards up their sleeves, like their political efforts to slow or even suspend Tesla sales in many states where they hold political power and influence. Just another example of their attempts to stack the deck in their favor.

Let’s be honest true autopilot is years and years away. Having my car pull out of the garage is novel, but it’s a solution looking for a real problem. If I have a garage I probably don’t want to deal with the weather outside my garage. Dollar for dollar the Bolt will offer more value for the money. The question is what options will the Model 3 offer the Bolt doesn’t and at what cost?

Also I’m not sure GM has shown all of it’s cards either, maybe AWD options?

Dollar for dollar, I would not purchase a GM over a Tesla. GM is a company with very poor track record of producing quality cars. I doubt if that will be any different with Bolt. Time will tell…

Yes the company that builds 50k cars a year has less issues than a company that builds 10 million a year – news at 11.

Ask yourself this…

How many people has Tesla MURDERED due to company known defects that were hidden for over a decade from the public?

Answer: None.

Now ask: How many has GM killed?

That answer varies, but is probably close to about 170-200 people who no longer live and breath on this Earth… The civil lawsuits for wrongful death, are still pending.

So, who are you voting for with your wallet?

Murdered is a very strong word. And the root cause was a part that was not up to spec and certain people knew at some point it was a problem. But to cause the issue too much weight had to be applied to the ignition switch as well. If you had a key with a normal set of keys hanging off of it then you were fine. They sold 100k’s of cars with this issue, but their weren’t 100k’s of accidents associated with it. Not making excuses for them because there was a communication issue internally with reporting the problem. The fix would have been a lot cheaper than the lawsuits and the needless loss of life. But this is an issue with any large company, it just doesn’t always lead to deaths.

That said I don’t apply one issue as a generalization of the whole company and every car they make. GM makes over 200 times the number of vehicles than Tesla. The Volt which people consider a sales failure is closer to the number Tesla sells in the US. And the Volt has a higher reliability than the Model S.

Breaking news – Consumer Reports’ annual April Auto issue just arrived. Their owners’ surveys caused them to score Tesla with a big black circle for quality. One of the worst on the market. And this from the same magazine that at one time was having a love-affair with Tesla.

The Gen 1 Volt? Despite CR’s apparent animosity with it based on their test drives, it scores much higher than Tesla, with a neutral open circle for quality from their owners’ surveys.

That’s rather far from “breaking news”; that’s exactly what Consumer Reports did with its last survey-based rating of the Model S. Most of the categories on the chart (graphic linked below), including the oft-maligned “Drive system”, were rated “Excellent”*. The worst rating on the chart was “Fair”. Yet somehow CR averaged this out as “Poor”… with a black circle.

I’m not saying that Consumer Reports’ rating system is broken, but it certainly does call their methodology into question. At the very least, I think CR owes us an explanation of how they arrive at a conclusion which seems unsupported by their own data.

Graphic of the last CR chart:

*It should be noted that all those categories which rate systems that BEVs don’t have at all (such as “Exhaust” and “Fuel system”) are rated “excellent”, so this may mean less than it appears. On the other hand, since it’s a reflection of BEVs being mechanically less complex than gasmobiles, perhaps that’s an accurate reflection of the expected improvement (over gasmobiles) in needed maintenance.

Auto Pilot was here yesterday.

Full Autonomous drive is years away.

Tesla will have the Supercharger Network and therefore offer better bang for the buck than Bolt. Even if you never plan on using the Network, residual values will be higher because of the Network.

On features, I am almost certain Tesla will offer a better value dollar for dollar than Chevy.

If Chevy Bolt truly offered outstanding value people would switch from Malibu Premier, Buick Regal and Cadillac ATS that have much higher margins than Bolt will have. Tesla has no such problem.

Actually Tesla does have the same issue. How many people will wait on a Model 3 which will have lower margins regardless of options than a Model S. Up until now if you wanted a Tesla the entry price started at $70k. Now that number is something less. Potentially every Model 3 sale in the beginning is a lost Model S sale.

While there are people who will wait for the Model 3 instead of going in debt (maybe – even further) for a Model S, and people who have a Model S that will buy now a second Tesla in the Model 3, There are also those who will have one of each in their driveway – a Roadster, An S, and An X (Already) and will add a 3 to complete the family!

There are also those people who never wanted the Model S – because they like smaller cars, that will buy the Model 3, and there are those who will buy a Model 3, and in the future Add or Upgrade to a New Model S (if not a CPO one) – either way – there is enough demand being built up – that I would expect Tesla will have difficulty keeping up in delivering S, X, and 3 – even at 500,000 cars a year in 2020!

theflew said:

“Potentially every Model 3 sale in the beginning is a lost Model S sale.”

But in the real world, it simply doesn’t work that way. Sure, some buyers will be attracted to the lower-cost Model ≡. But what you’re ignoring is that the publicity for the Model ≡ will cause a lot more people to look at Tesla cars, and some of those will be attracted to the more upscale Models S and X.

If you doubt that’s true, just look at what happened to BMW sales when BMW introduced the more downscale 3-series and 2-series. Did sales of the more expensive BMW models drop? Heck no!

GM likely has a $5K cost advantage because of its scale. Given that the Volt is more reliable than average and the Model S less reliable than average — an understatement but we wouldn’t want to say just how unreliable, it also seems that one of these companies knows how to build cars.

Not to worry. Tesla has telegraphed that its $35K car will sell for more like $65K. The Bolt EV will be $37K. At those price deltas you’d hope the Model 3 would be better (though likely less reliable).

DonC continued his serial Tesla bashing campaign:

“Tesla has telegraphed that its $35K car will sell for more like $65K.”

Certainly not. But you’ve certainly telegraphed that you’re a hard-core, incessant Tesla basher.

Yeah, Some here have some EV hate issues to deal with. Gotta burn gas you know. You do know it’s not healthy to keep carrying that hate around all the time right??

Tesla builds EV’s because it is the right thing to do not because they are forced too.

GM’s poison pill will always be their dealers. Especially in the EV space. Dealerships don’t even attempt to deny it even the least little bit anymore. They are that arrogant.

“They are no longer in the driver’a seat…” Interesting viewpoint. Now assume that Tesla took the easiest possible path and merely scaled the Model S down to 80% and made it out of steel for a starting price of $35K. i would expect that vehicle would totally leave the Bolt in the dust. The actual Model 3 can only get better from there. GM should enjoy its “driver’s seat” because even if it exists, I don’t think it’s going to last.

The Model S has slightly less interior space than the Bolt, so 20% smaller would not be good. Also, the 20% of the model S weight even with aluminum weighs more than the Bolt. So steel will make it easily heavier.

flew, you don’t have a clue obviously.
No one is going to confuse a Bolt and a 3 or S on room.
The S has much more shoulder, hip, leg room, where it counts.
Most of the Bolt room is high, narrow and not as useful.

Headroom is important. The Model S has terrible rear seat headroom compared to other similarly sized sedans.

Bolt read seat passengers will have far greater head room. The S packaging aimed for CG and exterior looks, not interior space.

Makes perfect sense … apart from the fact that scaling down and using steel rather than aluminum might cut costs by a few thousand dollars, if that. In fact, it wouldn’t surprise if Tesla stayed with aluminum. A big cost of using aluminum is the changeover. Tesla is currently working with aluminum so for it the changeover costs would only occur if it went to steel.

If you want to indulge, why not just assume that Tesla will offer a smaller touch screen and save $15K?

I can buy a Samsung 18″ tablet on for ~$550. Even if Samsung makes enough of those to benefit from some economy of scale, your estimate that the Model S’s 17″ screen costs Tesla $15,000 is downright Ludicrous™.

Even for a Tesla basher, DonC, you’re not making any sense.


I think his point was “if you want indulge in fantasy….”, I don’t believe he was honestly implying that a 17″ TS costs 17K

I agree that the Bolt is “in the driver’s seat” when it comes to 200 mile range mid-priced EV’s. Tesla will need to show enough to provide pause for those considering a Bolt and also gain the interest of $35k ice buyers as well.

If I were Tesla, I’d give a few details to interest the ice buyers (pictures and acceleration if matching similar priced 3 series for instance) and also focus on the charging network to emphasize advantage over competitor’s EV offerings. Leave the rest for later.

I would definitely play the card that the Bolt won’t have automated cruise control because of ‘no blended brakes’ and that model 3 can leverage the autopilot for that and more. Not much more besides the cost and range are interesting at this point really… The real cost comparison once the two cars actually become available for configuration in detail will not just be the low entry point but the range of cost form bare bones to fully loaded…

Now that makes sense. Yes, Tesla should definitely and immediately play up all the ways in which the Model ≡ will be better equipped than the Bolt. Things like faster onboard charger, driver assist features such as adaptive cruise control, over-the-air software updates, and of course Supercharger access.

Tesla should do that right out of the starting gate. Most of the other details should be held back, so Tesla can dribble them out one or two at a time, every time media attention flags.

When I first saw the BMW i3 at a car show I asked if it came with adaptive cruise control and I was emphatically told that it did not, this was just last year. But the first i3 I test drove did have stop and go ACC. The Volt did not have ACC when it first came out but now it does.

No matter what Chevrolet is saying now, I would not be in the least surprised to see ACC as an option when the Bolt goes on sale or get added on one of the earliest refreshes. I have read that the Bolt was designed with autonomous control and ride sharing in mind. ACC is the corner stone of autonomous control so Chevrolet has to be thinking very seriously about ACC on the Bolt.

Well, I would think the Basic Formula is: Show a Car that Drives on Stage, Show the Performance Specs (Remember – they said it is up against the BMW 3 Series, so – it should be able to out Accelerate that, in 0-60 and in 1/4 Mile Numbers) – so show winning numbers there; remind people that Supercharging is included; show the Supercharger Map that is current, Plan for year end 2016, plan for 2017 (& maybe for 2018, too!); and maybe show a few samples of the new cells that came off the line at the new Pilot Plant for Gigafactory 1! (Possibly even a whole Battery Pack Example!) If they show Battery Options of 50 kWh (that can deliver 220+ Miles at 65 Mph – remember – targeting a CD of 0.20 or less, and the Model S is 0.24), and a 65 kWh Battery that gives 260+ Miles, (and maybe – an 80 kWh Battery that can deliver 300 Miles!); put the prices right up there on screen: Like $35,000, $45,000 & $55,000 and Max all in at $60,000 (Just $10,000 under the Current Model S 70). They might find people challenged by the all optioned Cost… Read more »

But “range” is no longer exclusive to what you can carry with you! 200 mile range with no infrastructure provides marginal benefit in many parts of the country over 100 mile range. You still can’t drive from Minneapolis to Duluth, or Cleveland to Cincinnati on a single charge. The Model 3 doesn’t have 200 mile range, with the Supercharger network is has nearly unlimited range.

Ryan H said:

“The Model 3 doesn’t have 200 mile range…”

According to who?

Tesla says the Model ≡ will have a 200 mile range. The Bolt will have a 60 kWh battery pack and very probably an EPA rated range of 200+ miles. So, Tesla had better deliver on that promise.

I guess keeping GM’s Bolt away might be the easiest task, just tell the people that the range will be at least equally high, it has more hp and they can use the Supercharger. The cars that will come to market between March 31 and the official release will get tougher, because then they will have announced something and the others can beat exactly that. The more cards are on the table, the easier for the competition. Giving the vague promise its going to be better than the Bolt is easy, but if they tell to much facts, those facts can be outdone, at least as a promise, by other competitors.

We have no idea what the model 3 will be; If it turns out to be a family sedan segment car, it will eclipse the cute little hatchback commuters Nissan has and GM has planned.

EVs will take off when someone has the courage to build in this segment of the market.

I agree, but my sense is that Tesla will be right behind the Bolt EV, and Nissan/Kia/Ford are working on their 200 mile EV’s but are not quite where Tesla is. I’d say that those 3 would not be able to easily change their plans, regardless of what the Model III shows. Of course, Carlos Ghosn did not look like a happy camper when he saw the Bolt EV, so maybe he has suggested some improvements.

As long as the Model 3 supercharger option is reasonably priced it is game over for everyone else. Remember, you have the perception of buying a reasonably priced luxury car in the Model 3 versus an overpriced econobox that the Bolt will be seen as. Perception is everything with cars.

I keep laughing at people calling the Bolt an econobox yet it has more interior space than the Model S. And what is luxury – leather, gadgets, etc… It’s not like the Model S is a Bentley. The performance of a Model 3 will be more limited buy the size of the battery pack than anything else. That’s why their is no ludicrous mode on the lower end Model S. At best it will have somewhere in the 5 second range for 0-60 times. Meanwhile the Bolt will do it in high 6 seconds. I think the real question will be packaging. A sedan is not as family friendly as a CUV or as comfortable. Also it will be interesting if GM has an AWD version of the Bolt – it’s is a CUV after all. Finally Supercharger access is blown out of proportion. 90% of daily driving is less than 50 miles. So Superchargers are only addressing a 10% need. What would be interesting is if Tesla provided usage information for their Superchargers (e.g. average distance from home for users) and overall usage of each location. I think that would paint the real picture of how important they are.… Read more »

I keep hearing that the SC network is going to be such a great selling point for the Model III but sales of Model III are still at least two years away. If you follow Plugshare you will see that there are many more CCS/CHAdeMO stations than SC stations getting installed right now. By the time the Model III makes it to market the CCS/CHAdeMO network might be pretty competitive with the SC network.

The SC network might not be much of a selling point by the time the Model III makes it to market.

You’re driving 400 miles to Grandma’s house with kids in the car. You can A. Stop at a super charger and charge at 120kW’s for 20-30 minutes and finish the drive, or B. Stop at an open source DCFC like you’re suggesting and charge at 50kW’s (some are 20-24kWs, be careful) for an hour and a half to three hours. Which option do you pick?

You are talking like Model 3 is here right now. It isn’t, you will need to wait couple of years or more for basic version of it. By these years, in case Bolt will be selling in good numbers, you will have more CCS chargers than Tesla chargers on coastal highways and it is likely Bolt will be able to accept more than 50 kW, and 120 kW CCS/Chademo chargers will start appearing in the US as they do in Europe now.

Tesla 3 won’t sustain 120kW for long if it’s anything like S; its charge taper will be severe. It may get bit over half the energy in 30 minutes (maybe 110 miles range). It’s better than Bolt’s 90 miles in 30 min (no taper at 50 kW), but most people won’t stop until about 80% charge (or more if it’s “free”)

Nisan has already sold more ev’s than Tesla and they all have less than one half the range. Ever ask your self why? No supercharger network is necessary. That is the reason that GM is not building one. A 200 mile range is more than enough for most drivers. Personally I would never drive cross country when I can fly in one twentieth the time.

The flew, obviously another Tesla hater or shorter.

Apparently. He’s spreading FUD about the Model S, that can carry SEVEN people with rearward seats installed– yet keep repeating the lie that the little Bolt has a TARDIS-like interior.

And does the little GM Bolt have a FRUNK, too? Autonomous options, or a supercharger network? No, of course not.

Simply Laughable.

The Bolt is supposed to have a cargo volume of 56.6 cu. ft. with the rear seat folded down. I haven’t read anything about whether the Bolt has a frunk. But the Bolt will be able to carry a roof rack and at least a receiver cargo rack.

The Tesla Model has a rated cargo capacity of 58.1 cu. ft. The frunk adds another 5.3 cu. ft. of cargo capacity. So the Tesla cargo capacity with the frunk is only a little more than 10% larger than that of the Bolt excluding external cargo capacity.

You don’t know what autonomous features the Bolt will have and in a lot areas the CCS/CHAdeMO networks are or will be much more developed than the SC network. I don’t see anybody spreading any FUD except for maybe a couple of Tesla fanboys.

Texas FFE said:

“I don’t see anybody spreading any FUD except for maybe a couple of Tesla fanboys.”

Then you need to take your blinders off. DonC and zzzzzzzzzz have both made multiple posts in this comment thread.

And I don’t see any FUD from Tesla fanboys here. (Even if they are wrong in a few places, that doesn’t make it FUD. It’s not deliberate bashing, like the Tesla bashers.)

If you actually think you see FUD from Tesla supporters here, then you should schedule an appointment with your optometrist soon.

Pushmi, you might have some useful comments to add, I don’t know. Your posts have always been so full of inflammatory nonsense that I no longer waste my time reading them. Trudge on if you must but don’t be surprised when your comments fall on deaf ears.


You may post some interesting information at times, but at other times it feels like you are so afraid of somebody taking away your precious Tesla toys that you are looking for some virtual fight even if nobody cares about it. It is supposed to be comments section where you can post civil critical comments too, not some Tesla/Musk praise & worship section with feeble emotional worship & cheer-leading only. We are not in Musk church here, it is not a religion and not a football match.

If you think I had posted something factually incorrect in other comments under this article, you may address these comments directly with factual information and I’ll be grateful to learn new facts from you and may change my opinion. There is no point to accuse me not being devote Musk worshiper or cheerleader as I’m not going to be such, I have my own mind.

zzzzzzzzzz said:

“It is supposed to be comments section where you can post civil critical comments too…”

Spreading FUD and lies about a company and its products, in a discussion about those products and/or the company, isn’t being “civil”. It’s being a troll.

And I’m far from the only regular post-er here to call FUDdites trolls.

I post critical comments about Tesla, too; especially about all their hype. But I don’t post half-truths or lies. You might try doing that.

CCS/Chademo are better developed for sub 100 miles range EV in cities than Superchargers. That might benefit those who can’t charge at home or work. But they’re completely inadequate for long distance travel. Even in supposed “EV heaven” like CA, one can’t drive across (east-west) using CCS/Chademo. I don’t see this changing any time soon. Rollout is slow.

Compounding the problem is 50kW limit on current chargers. While they may come up with higher power in time, Tesla already has higher power in strategic places. Model 3 will be ready to go (so to speak) while Bolt will sputter at least for first few years.

However, if SparkEV is to continue (unlikely, I know), I may stick with it instead of Bolt or Model 3. It’s completely adequate for my needs and at $15K post subsidy (or sometime $13K on sales), I don’t think spending double the money will get me double the pleasure.

Traveling long distances, 400+ miles, it’s good to stop every couple of hours and eat or take a break. Unless you have to drive Spartan, driving straight through without breaks, 50kW is adequate and it’s still nine times faster than L2. Faster is always better of course and I don’t see apartment dwellers wanting to wait an hour to charge up their car. But if we are still comparing SC network with the CCS/CHAdeMO network, there are very few SC stations that will do apartment dwellers any good anyway.

I totally agree you need breaks for long trips. My rough estimate is 2 to 3 hours of freeway driving, 130 miles to 180 miles. That’s why I think it’s nonsense to have 400 miles range in EV; it’ll just cost more, weigh more, waste energy for something that’s rarely, if ever, used.

But the break should be short. With Bolt + 50 kW, it’d be an hour or more while Tesla could do it in 30 min or even less if they design it like I propose in my “hoping for Tesla” blog post. Compared to gas cars of 10 min to 15 min, Bolt takes way too long.

In addition, Tesla has Chademo adapter allowing it to use Chademo in a pinch. I agree apartment dwellers won’t do well without home/work charging, but Tesla offers real alternatives with long distance driving ability and local use with Chademo adapter.

Objectively, Tesla would offer far better value than anything, at least with regard to fast charging. They have all the advantages of Chademo + superchargers.

I am surprised you came down so hard on theflew. Nothing in his post said “Tesla Hater” to me. He simply pointed out some legitimate questions. I do agree, 100%, that the SC network is and should be a huge selling point for the Model III. However, the fact is I would probably only use such a network a few times a year if I had a M3, as I don’t usually drive more than 200 miles in any one trip. On top of that, there will likely be a fee attached to the SC network for at least base M3’s. That’s fair, and most owners would be happy to pay a fee for using a SC if they happened to go on that one longer trip. Others would probably buy into a subscription service, if their needs involve more frequent long trips. Also, the Bolt EV is fairly roomy, that much is already clear. No, it’s not a 7 passenger car(neither will the M3), and we don’t know about any frunk on the M3.


Hmmm, yes, I think we need to see a pattern of posting FUD before we label someone a “Tesla hater”, unless the post is full of outright lies, and his wasn’t.

On the other hand, I think the claim that the Bolt has “more interior room” than a Tesla Model S is an assertion yet to be proven.

Let’s see a side-by-side comparison of all of the measurements: Not just leg room and head room, but also hip room and shoulder room, for both front and back seats. It’s easy to present a distorted picture by cherry-picking one measurement and saying “See! Car A has more interior space than car B!”

Yes, the rear seat of the Model S has limited headroom, and just looking at the roof line of the Bolt, it seems pretty clear it is better in that respect. But one measurement out of 8 (or out of 12, if you include a separate measurement for the middle back seat) isn’t sufficient to judge overall roominess.

Hard to believe the Bolt EV will have more interior space than a Model S.

if they have a tow hitch they should definitely show that, i know ppl who will wait for it then. if they say nothing about it they will not.

they definitely need to show the whole car atleast, you know the appearance. but maybe hold back some of the bells and whistles if they like

I’m not putting an artist’s rendering or a photoshop of my $1000 dollars down to get a Model 3. I’m putting down real actual money.

Don’t show me an artist’s rendering, or a photoshop of what the Model 3 might look like. Show me the real car.

Tesla never disappointed – feel free to get to the back of the line while we put our deposits in ahead of you 🙂


Except on every release date they’ve promised, and every price they’ve promised.

I don’t mind if a few thousand people are the guinea pigs on Model 3. Once they get the kinks out (which could take Tesla some time based on history), I’ll start shopping.

2nd mouse gets the cheese.

I guess they are debating how to handle elevated expectation and not to disappoint. Even if they already had Model 3 prototypes ready it is still going to take them 2-3 year to make it into production. It is a whole new territory for Tesla.

I still don’t understand the timing of when they are going to start sales, and when they are going to do the reveal.

Are they going to start sales before they do the reveal on the 31st? Especially in Europe and other timezones ahead of the US?

I really feel that they need to come out with a base model and a performance model in the reveal. The performance model should blow the doors off everything that’s out there even if it ‘s well over $60k. Remember they’re not competing against the Bolt they’re competing against the BMW 3 series and other comparable models.

They would also be competing against themselves which they need to be very careful about doing. Many people don’t need or want a car the size of the Model S. If you give me a mini S that’s cheaper and smaller I would take that in a minute. But it hurts Tesla’s margins. The Model 3 is also competing with both EV’s and ICE cars and there are a lot in it’s price range. The Model S/X have limited competition at ~$100k – basically the Germany automakers.

That is a hard question. Yes reveling it all will allow competitors to copy paste although you still need to do the work. But it is essential to remind what the Tesla adventure is all about. It was and still is the objective to hastened the advent of global electric vehicles. The Tesla patents where made available in that spirit and the Model 3 is the culmination of the successful strategy of trickling down from an initial high priced sports car, a lower priced Model S and now an affordable car for many more. The Model 3 will in any case benefit from the superchargers that have been set in place and if the competition set in, well, hasting the advent of electrification is still the prime objective. Beside more companies proposing similar Model 3 ev are needed because even at 500000 a year that won’t be enough to change over the entire park. So, yes full reveal give the most ev bang to replace ice cars as fast as possible. Let it be copied if they want and can, Tesla will still shine more and like the Model S, the Model 3 will still be improving at each software… Read more »

“because even at 500000 a year”

There is no battery capacity for that, Tesla only built a small pilot plant in Nevada (14% of total) so far.

The “Gigafactory” is a plan that lacks $4-4.5 billion in funding to close the gap and build the remaining 86%.

Low-end Model3 cars will likely ship by 2020 only. Who will want to wait 4-5 years for this car?

I see a giant backlash coming – delays, price hikes and general execution issues that already hampered the Model X launch.

TFTF, nice set of lies there TFTF.
So bad I won’t even bother other than pointing it out.

He’s a shorter. Ignore the Troll…

Jerryd, here are my details with links and sources about the 14% and the missing $4-4.5 billion (including investments Tesla and Panasonic made since the project started):

Instead of accusing me of lies, post your own proofs or please point out any errors I made, thanks.

The post notes around 100K car ceiling if current part of Nevada factory is going to supply them. It is quite a big number for first production years, and Panasonic may add some more from its own factories. I don’t think anybody really expects 500k production in the first year whenever that year will come.

Thank you for posting some Truths there, zzzzzzzzzz, and in doing so refuting a few of tftf’s lies.

That is right initial production is always lower and since GM is only starting with 30000 Bolt, starting with 100000 Model 3 is in any case way more already.

If you think these 100k Model3 cars (which is my optimistic assumption on battery output, it could be lower) are easier to build than a Model X:

Shipping a “cheaper” car in larger volumes is actually much harder than shipping a more expensive car in low volume (where you can hide inefficiencies thanks to larger gross margins per unit).

One has to pinch every penny and keep assembly and supplier costs down while keeping QA at acceptable levels in the $30-50k range (the BMW 3 and Audi A4 are very high benchmarks in this category; Toyota in general is one of the very few companies able to churn out millions of cars per year in this segment at high operating margins).

Summary: Shipping the Model3 is actually much harder from a financial perspective (Tesla has to make profits one day to survive in a cap-ex intensive sector),

Good job of moving the goal posts there. You claimed that the Gigafactory won’t produce enough batteries to supply Model ≡ production, and when we pointed out that was just another of your lies, you tried to switch the subject to the supposed difficulties of producing a simpler, less expensive car.

Now, you are right to say that with the Model ≡, Tesla will have to watch its costs more closely. But Elon already said they only expect to make ~15% gross profit off the car, as compared to ~25% off the Model S, so it’s not like Tesla is going into this blindly… as you want us to believe.

“You claimed that the Gigafactory won’t produce enough batteries to supply Model ≡ production”

Not enough by miles for 500k cars/year.

To ever get there you would need billions in new investments (which Tssla doesn’t have) and 2-3 years lead time.

Tesla has scaled back the Gigafactory considerably, it’s explained in detail here:

You are a hate troll constantly trying to stir up s**t all over the internet to drive traffic to your paid-per-click blog posts on Seeking Mediocrity.

“to your paid-per-click blog posts on Seeking Mediocrity.”

If I link to my own material on SA (to explain a point and sources for people cryin “FUD” and “lies”, it’s to blog entries.

I don’t get paid anything on those blog entries, you can check that.

But nice try.

How about refuting my numbers, projections or arguments instead of ad-hominem attacks?

Wow, how many outright lies did tftf put in that post? At least 5 by my count.

I keep hoping the moderators will ban him, and anyone else who is only here to disrupt useful discussion and spread lies about Tesla Motors and its cars.

Then list the five errors.

They are not merely errors; they are lies. Tftf knows they’re not true, but posts them anyway.

Here are the five I counted; I’m sure others would count more than that.

1. “even at 500000 a year… There is no battery capacity for that”

That capacity won’t be needed until 2020 at the earliest, according to Tesla’s plan. Plenty of time for the Gigafactory to expand to planned full capacity. In fact, there is some suggestion it may be even bigger than originally planned.

2. “Tesla only built a small pilot plant…”

No, it’s a very big pilot plant. If it produces 14% of the planned total Gigafactory production, that will make it the biggest (or more precisely, highest capacity) single li-ion battery factory in the world.

3. “a plan that lacks $4-4.5 billion in funding…”

No, it only lacks — if memory serves — about 2.1 – 2.3 billion of the needed approx. $5 billion.

4. “Low-end Model3 cars will likely ship by 2020 only.”

B.S., of the same exact type that tftf has been spewing out for years on Seeking Alpha.

5. “Who will want to wait 4-5 years for this car?”

Repeating the same B.S.

“B.S., of the same exact type that tftf has been spewing out for years on Seeking Alpha.”

If it’s all BS, I hope you will reserve your Model3.

At just $35k which you will get it on time in 2017 (remember, Tesla never delivered a car project late) and with free-for-life Supercharger access.

Build quality and materials will be excellent, an EV equivalent of a BMW 3 or Audi A4 – and all that for just $35k.

Tesla will also have category-leading margins on tnis car as they claimed.

It’s magical.

Tesla should keep its powder dry on the Model 3 as much as possible.

Show the exterior, and keep the interior covered up with the exception of the center screen size.

Announce the basic features (autopilot, supercharigng, fwd/awd, two battery sizes, etc.) but leave the details for later.

That would probably be enough to keep the orders coming in.

On interior knowing that a full backseat for 3 is available is also an essential if you happen to have kids.

I have a Volt now. To me, the Bolt vs Model-3 decision boils down to these factors:

1) Performance & All-wheel-drive option
2) Features and technology
3) Appearance
4) Fast charge infrastructure
5) Utility & Usability
6) Dealer/Service Locations
7) Price/Range

I don’t think Tesla can beat the Bolt at 5, 6, and 7. So Tesla needs to beat the Bolt at 1, 2, 3, and 4. If they don’t provide that info before the Bolt is available, then Bolt wins (for me) by default.

0. ignition switch related DEATHS and anti-consumer tactics in MD, MI and now Indiana , for me trump everything else. Read and think.
I for one would not buy stuff from a bully, not even for half price. If gm is a bully or not, that to me is clear.

So you also wont by Toyota’s because of brakes, Honda and a bunch of others because of airbags and VW because of diesels emissions. You have to put this in prospective up to this point Tesla has built cars where cost is no option and they are making 30% margins on them. They sold 50k+ last year, GM sold 10+ million. On statistics alone more people will die in a GM, Toyota or VW based on part failures alone.

But Tesla you ignore grew 61% last yr flew. Can GM do that?
And why did Tesla increase production 61% when other large lux sport sedans, it’s competition, lost 3-20% production and they are scared to death od that little 50k production car company, if Tesla is so bad? ;^))

5 and 7 the Bolt will not win in:

5) Tesla > Bolt in terms of usability because of
– slower charging of Bolt = less usable for long distance travel
– no automated cruise control, not as convenient in stop and go commute traffic
6) Bolt > Tesla in terms of number of GM service locations, as long as they are equipped to deal with the electric vehicle, which is not necessarily a given
7) Tesla > Bolt entry price point for Bolt after incentives is higher than tesla after incentives.
8) Business ethics – do you really want to give your money to the corruption machine that buys politicians to suppress the competition ? To me that makes a big difference.

> 5) Tesla > Bolt in terms of usability because of > – slower charging of Bolt = less usable for long distance travel > – no automated cruise control, not as convenient in stop and go commute traffic I would lump the above items under number #2: Features and Technology To me, #5 is things like seating, headroom, leg room, storage room, visibility, and basic ergonomics. It’s hard to beat a wagon/hatchback for this. > 6) Bolt > Tesla in terms of number of GM service locations, as long as they are equipped to deal with the electric vehicle, > which is not necessarily a given My local dealers have always supported my Volt, so I would expect the same for Bolt, and they are just 5 minutes from my house. The nearest Tesla dealer/service is 3 hours away. For me, that’s huge. > 7) Tesla > Bolt entry price point for Bolt after incentives is higher than tesla after incentives. It seems a bit early to make that call. A loaded Model-3 may cost more than a loaded Bolt. > 8) Business ethics – do you really want to give your money to the corruption machine that buys… Read more »

I think they will reveal a real car, on stage. And it will drive by itself. Only then will they be able to create a wow-effect and a queue of registrations. But the press might be not invited on stage after the introduction, so that details of the interior need not to be shown.

Showing only a drawing or a moving rendering will seed doubt about the promised production date, send the stock south and hamper the ability to get more cash, needed to invest in more scale for the 3.

I think if they plan to start taking orders, then they are going to reveal an actual prototype. There may be some details missing, but I think we’re going to see exactly what it looks like.

Agreed. I don’t see how Tesla comes to the masses with pictures / drawings and asks for $1000 reservations.

I think it is a moot point. They don’t have all the cards. They are still dealing.

Show it all!

With just a small pilot plant in Nevada (not enough cheap batteries) and Tesla’a history if delays the lower-end Model3 configurations will likely ship between 2019-2020 only.

Plenty of time to reveal the details later.

Anyone who still believes in a ‘late 2017’ launch probably also believes in Santa.

“With just a small pilot plant in Nevada (not enough cheap batteries) and Tesla’a history if delays the lower-end Model3 configurations will likely ship between 2019-2020 only.”

Just where the heck are they getting batteries for S and X? I don’t believe battery supply will be a constraint early on. Musk even said as much recently.

Yes, they of course have cell supply from Panasonic’s plants in Japan for S and X today.

The issue for the mass-market Model3 is this:

Tesla touted lowering battery costs by “30-40%” (!) thanks to the magic of the new Gigafactory. This would make the Model3 possible at just $35k base price.

Otherwise, I have two questions:

– Where’s the margin on a Model3 car if battery cells are – still – imported from Panasonic’s current plants in Japan?

– And if Panasonic can improve efficiency over time in Japan (update the factory lines or the battery chemistry, adapt the cell size, e.g. 20XYZ instead of 18650 cells) why build a giant Gigafactory for $5billion in Nevada?

Loboc asked: “Just where the heck are they getting batteries for S and X? I don’t believe battery supply will be a constraint early on.” It’s better if you simply assume everything tftf posts about Tesla and its cars is an outright lie. You’ll save yourself some grief with that assumption, and it will be pretty close to the truth. Panasonic is supplying battery cells for the Models S and X from its existing factories, in Japan and elsewhere. Gigafactory 1 will be supplying cells for the Model ≡. The Gigafactory is ahead of schedule, and is scheduled to begin producing by the end of this year. Only a Tesla basher like tftf would try to get anyone to believe the Gigafactory won’t be able to supply the Model ≡ with batteries, when the car isn’t scheduled to go into production until a year later than the Gigafactory starts producing batteries! Another of tftf’s lies is to characterize the pilot portion of the Gigafactory as “small”. If this pilot portion is intended to produce 14% of the planned total output of Gigafactory 1, then that will make it the highest capacity battery factory in the world, even without any further… Read more »

“Only a Tesla basher like tftf would try to get anyone to believe the Gigafactory won’t be able to supply the Model ≡ with batteries,”

Nowhere did I write that. I wrote that Tesla only has a pilot plant ready for ESS cells (by late 2016) and EV cells (by late 2017).

The output is very limited, there is no Gigafactory – if Tesla receives 200k orders for Model3 they will need until 2020 to fulfill them and the low-end config will of course come last.

Don’t twist my words.

Anyone who expects to get their low-end Model3 for $35-40k before 2020 will likely be disappointed.

If Tesla can make any money on these cars at $35-40k is a whole other question.

I love Santa I believe come on santa

Most likely hidden cards(WAG)
1) Bolt has sub 7 second acceleration – wait for Bolt product release then beat Bolt best time by a good margin.
2) Percentage of aluminum vs. steel – Bolt aluminum body panels may have caught Tesla off guard – want to beat Bolt but need to see how Bolt handled it and see if Tesla can do the same. Consider all aluminum to win Uber business.
3) Range – Bolt or Tesla may have a battery with better chemistry – wait for Bolt and compare. If Tesla has much better range don’t reveal the true range so the competition does not have time to build larger packs. If Bolt has Better Range, talk to LG Chem about building a line in Gigafactory

I really hope the Model 3 is real. And it having all these crazy self driving features really don’t do much for me in that I all ready know how to drive.

What I’m wondering about is will I be able to fit in this car and enjoy sitting in it. Also I wounder how this new car will handle Vdot’s stoplight fetish in my area.

100% rumor here: Tesla is an “energy” along w/ an auto company. A card I suspect they have in the works which they’ll hold till the end is two way charging, aka vehicle to grid(home). Consider this: the average car is parked on average ~20 hours a day unused. If parked at home, the car could be used as stationary storage, where Powerwall will suffice when car is away. Combined with Solar City (or whomever) roof top solar, this should not only make big auto shiver, but likely big utility as well. I could forsee some interesting “bundle” deals arise from this.
So pretty sure Tesla will show majority of physical appearance, but they will certainly be aspects saved ’till even after first delivery.

IMO, using a car for grid storage isn’t going to work unless there are major advances in batteries. There may be an interesting option where a customer could power their home in an emergency, but it would be more novelty than anything.
Year over year battery degradation is a major concern and will continue to be a major concern for BEV customers until rated cycles triple. At 2000 to 3000 cycles, having the grid reduce battery life by 50% isn’t going to work for the majority of consumers.

Walt said:

“A card I suspect they have in the works which they’ll hold till the end is two way charging, aka vehicle to grid(home). Consider this: the average car is parked on average ~20 hours a day unused. If parked at home, the car could be used as stationary storage…”

Cycling a BEV’s battery pack to power your house would be a foolish way to wear out the battery pack a lot faster than it ought to.

It would also void the warranty.

If you want a battery pack to serve as stationary storage in your home then, buy a battery pack for that purpose. The Tesla PowerWall may be the most well advertised, but there are also other vendors for that.

You should be able to get stationary storage at a cheaper per-kWh price than the pack in a Tesla car, since a home stationary storage battery pack doesn’t need nearly as high a power output as a BEV’s battery pack.

If they want to generate a large amount of pre-orders they are going to have to show at least a working prototype. Tesla is well known for delays, who would put down a payment having only seen a picture of a car that might be 5 years off? Yeah, they are claiming “late 2017”, that’s most likely not going to happen especially if they still don’t have more than a computer generated picture of it.

“Someone out there” wrote:

“…who would put down a payment having only seen a picture of a car that might be 5 years off?”

Given the large number of pro-Tesla posts to InsideEVs, I’d say a lot of them would.

But no, I don’t think Tesla will do a “reveal” of a mere picture of a Model ≡. That would give their reputation a hit, and it would be an “unforced error”. But then, given the large number of differences between the prototype for the Model X and the production vehicle, I doubt the prototype Model ≡ is going to be a very close representation of the production Model ≡.

LOL sure but I do think that the Tesla fanboy crew here is a very small but noisy group.

I don’t see why people constantly harp on GM’s ignition switches in their old low-end econo-cars. If I had one of those vehicles in years’ past, I’d actually be grateful that there is a ‘temporary safety workaround’ that I could do, and is the immediate fix GM provided until the ignition switch could get replaced, namely a big plastic bubble around the ignition switch key formed so that you can ONLY use the ignition switch key and no other keys dangling from it, which is what caused all the problem. GM is being sued because of deaths, but If I had the car I’d be certain to discover the trouble prior to any official notification, since I’d use the ignition switch every day, and it was obvious the weight of the other keys caused all the problem and the resultant litigious actions. What I don’t like about the 2 GM cars I have right now, which have *NOT* been addressed by any safety recalls, is that when the garage is cold my vehicles will start the engine in a closed garage without my permission, if I habitually use the remote start function. It is especially bad with the ELR, since… Read more »

There should probably be some carbon monoxide detectors. There have been people killed because they left their hybrid “on” in the garage and the hybrid fired up the engine after the battery got too low in the middle of the night thus killing people in their sleep.

Chevy had a recall for 64k Volts a year ago to fix that exact issue. Software was changed to shut the car off after 1.5 hours. Obviously all new Volts are already set up this way.

The engine won’t start unless you execute a remote start. Not sure how this would be “without permission”. The engine could start, though a software upgrade changed this, if you left the car on and the battery was depleted. However, in this case the engine would only stay on for a few minutes, in a properly ventilated garage the danger was non-existent. Quite different from a regular ICE vehicle.

People now use a variety of defeat devices since in some circumstances, like using the car as a power supply, when you want the engine to come on and replenish the battery.

I don’t know what is “properly ventilated” but many not so old attached garages I have seen here don’t have any dedicated ventilation. I suppose local code doesn’t require it, why it should? I certainly would not want to deal anything with a car in my attached garage that may confuse starting gas engine with starting climate control under any circumstances, or starting gas engine on its own just because somebody forgot to press some button or key or some software setup went wrong. Please don’t compare with regular older non-hybrid gas cars, as it is very obvious when gas car engine is running and there is no chance to leave it on in the garage accidentally, especially with mechanical keys.

CO detector may help, but it is bandaid when something goes wrong, not a substitute of primary safety features.

zzzzzzzzzz said:

“…many not so old attached garages I have seen here don’t have any dedicated ventilation.”

I was surprised that our attached garage has no ventilation, in a house built circa 1985. The heat builds up there in the summertime to something fierce.

I was talking about that problem with a friend of mine; he claimed that was a safety feature, in case someone left a car running in the garage, the fumes wouldn’t leak out and get into the rest of the house.

The problem with that theory is that the garage has an access panel to the attic, which would certainly allow some of the toxic fumes up into the attic and therefore into the rest of the house.

Seems to me it would cut down our air conditioning electricity bill to install some vents, either in the walls right under the ceiling (hot air rises), or else one or two of those spinning roof vents.

“is that when the garage is cold my vehicles will start the engine in a closed garage without my permission, if I habitually use the remote start function.”
Isn’t there a setting “Never start engine while plugged in”? My 2013 Volt is set to that.

No. and No. I have 2 recalls pending on the volt, one, Because I’ve never had a problem with it, the ‘hatchback’ strutt, and the second, is to turn the car off. Due to the amount of equipment I have in my garage, I do have an interconnected smoke detector. A carbon monoxide detector is unneeded in my town as even the smoke detector isn’t legally required – i just have it because of all the autonomous things I have going on in my garage. I don’t have a problem with the car not turning off. Its the car starting the engine that I don’t like, and If I habitually hit the remote start upstairs, I have no way of knowing whether the engine is running or not. The full solution is to pretend I dont have remote start – on a cadillac no less. Also, most of the time neither of my cars are plugged in, especially in the mornings. I don’t want a ‘properly vented garage’. I never plan to run either engine in my garage, and it is a violation of basic building code in my town to do so in an insulated, attached garage. Even standby… Read more »

I didn’t realize the 2011 Volt didn’t have that setting.

Bill Howland said:

“If I had the [GM] car I’d be certain to discover the [ignition switch] trouble prior to any official notification, since I’d use the ignition switch every day, and it was obvious the weight of the other keys caused all the problem…”

That seems extremely unlikely, since the problem went undiagnosed by the public for so long.

It’s also extremely unlikely that the problem manifested in the majority of vehicles that switch was installed in. If the occurrence of the problem was common, it would have been diagnosed much sooner.

I’m referring to myself, not you.

If everyone was as smart as you, the trouble would never be found, I’ll grant you that much.

Now that I mention it, in fact I DID notice a problem with one of the ultra cheap Saturn company cars I was given to drive 10 years ago. The ignition switch was the least of that car’s problems. The quality was so poor the only thing you could say the car had going for it was its ultra-cheap price. I’m really surprized that GM painted itself into a corner where it could BE sued. There was an engineer (who Barra fired), that changed the design of the switch without changing the part number, and that was considered fraudulent. But on everything you buy, including cars, there is always the disclaimer that ‘continual improvements may be made to a given model, and the company has no requirement to upgrade previous sales’. The same ‘part number’ could be considered the same model, just as part of a continual upgrade. I’m sure if a company like FCA was involved in this, they’d say, “ONLY AUTHORIZED KEYS SUPPLIED BY FCA CORP. MAY BE USED ON THE KEYRING NEAR THE IGNITION SWITCH”. So, an ignition key, and trunk key wouldn’t have been enough weight to cause any problem – the ‘unauthorized keys’ caused the… Read more »

Bill: Didn’t GM’s recall address this very issue of the engine starting and running in a closed garage? I had my car in for minor work and the Chevy dealer did some updated software work, and I thought it was related to the very problem you are talking about.


Hi Lou…. Yes GM had a recall (which I specifically have *NOT* completed on my 2011 VOLT) that turns off an abandoned car after a while so that the engine will not eventually start. This is *NOT* my concern, since I’ll use the car being on to provide emergency ‘Vehicle to Home’ power to run the fridge and microwave if I don’t feel like running my portable generator. The remote start keyfob surprized me one day when I pushed it upstairs in my main living area, and 10 minutes later went into the garage and found the engine running with all the doors closed. As mentioned CLarkson Cote says the engine will shut off at the end of the 15 minute time period, and in the Volt, will shut off in only a few minutes, which I haven’t tested myself. In the ELR (different from the volt), the engine only runs at a fast idle and does not generate enough heat to get beyond 140 deg F. The engine will never shut off on temperature since that only happens at 145 deg and the heating load in the ELR ‘swamps’ the engine heat output. If this car was made 80… Read more »

This discussion is academic. The most likely explanation for the partial reveal is that the Model 3 is nowhere near designed. Exuses exist to mute the effects of this missed deadline.

+1. Hadn’t though of this but you’re likely right. Makes sense.

Troll approves troll.

Makes sense!

Yeah, really. How startling.


All the Tesla fans will of course want Tesla to show all its cards, immediately or even sooner! But it would be a very poor business decision for Tesla to do that, for at least two reasons:

1. Tesla will do much better in keeping media “buzz” going about the Model ≡ if it reveals details one or two at a time, rather than all at once. Media buzz equals free advertising!

2. Tesla ticked off some of their would-be Model X buyers by revealing too much too soon about the initial prototype. Most notably, Tesla showed a photo of a cavernous rear cargo area with a flat bottom, all the way up to the front seats. The actual production Model X, with 2nd row seats can’t fold flat nor be removed, and an uneven floor where the 3rd row seats are folded, is considerably different! Tesla would have done better by not revealing things they would later have to change.

Much as I’d love to see all the available details about the M≡ ASAP, I would rather Tesla do what’s best for the company.

Tesla Mondo wrote:

“Look at Model S and Model X. How much really changed during their long incubation periods between concept and production? Almost nothing.”

Wow, seriously!?!?

The Model X was originally conceived as a CUV variant of the Model S. What eventually went into production was a far different vehicle. For example, the Wikipedia entry for the Model X says: “The Model X will… share about 30% of its parts content –- down from around 60% expected when development began.”

I’m more than a bit shocked that Tesla Mondo would make an assertion about a Tesla car which is this far away from well established facts.

They should have 2 versions. A small CUV version (Bolt knockoff) with more utility. And basically a 20% smaller Model S version.

That has been the expectation all along.

Not all along. Elon tossed that idea out at a public talk, when he wasn’t sure how “radical” they would go with the design. And he was talking about “radical”, not segment size/style.

So I have a dumb question about the economies of scale…

What’s a better value, doubling your aluminum purchase, and getting it at a lower price per unit (lb, Kg, linear footage, or whatever) versus adding steel to your shopping list?

I admit, I have absolutely no idea what Tesla is paying for their rolls of aluminum that they turn into car bodies, but my first thought is that if they used the same material, they could shift inventory from one production line to another as needed.

Since steel will only be used for the 3, careful inventory control will be needed.

But again, what do I know?

I found this: According to “World Auto Steel” (a vested interest, it should be noted) refers to a study done at MIT that says using aluminum is 60-80% more expensive than using steel. The study itself is behind pay walls so I haven’t verified this claim. That is quite a difference.

The cost of Aluminum in the car is not that high neither since the mass is limited to about 1000 Kg. So if steel can be had for 1000 $, the Aluminum will go for 2000 $. Overall on the car that is 3% versus 6%. But if it is on net cost with a 30% margin that turns into 5% versus 10%. The 1000 $ extra is still worth it because of mass saving that trickles down in lower battery need and other parts on an electric that can then be cheaper in return and perhaps save as much $. But strictly speaking on car body 1000 $ is 1000 $. The real question is would people avoid a Model 3 at 36000 $ instead of 35000 $ or would the margin be unacceptable at 27 % versus 30 %.

If my understanding is correct, it’s not merely the cost of sheet steel vs. sheet aluminum that’s the issue. Aluminum is harder to work with. For example, it’s much easier to weld steel than aluminum… or perhaps it’s more precise to say that it’s much easier to find welders with experience welding steel than experience with welding aluminum, and that welding steel offers more flexibility than aluminum in welding techniques. Note the same applies to Tesla’s parts suppliers. If they can work with steel instead of aluminum, then that makes it significantly easier for them — and less expensive for Tesla to buy the parts. I would guess that the cost savings from working with steel — stamping, welding, and whatnot — outweighs the cost savings from buying a roll of sheet steel vs. the same square footage of sheet aluminum. Here’s a quote: “…aluminum has a thermal conductivity about six times that of steel, and because of this ability to rapidly conduct heat away from the weld area, there has always been an inherent problem, particularly when starting a weld on this material. …it is not uncommon to experience incomplete fusion at the start of an aluminum weld because… Read more »

Ford uses rivets and adhesive to assembly their aluminum trucks.

Harder to work with is something they had with the Model S, but by now Tesla must have an impressive experience and know how on that. So, we are back at square one 1000$ more for the material.

While we consider materials, I wonder if Tesla could ofset the extra 1000$ cost of Aluminum by offering an extra crap residual value at the end of life of the car. There is already value remaining in the battery materials but the Aluminum could be accounted for as well.
You would then have a kind of consign value on the car like for a bottle of Coke, that would take all those valuable materials into accound and provide money back for them whatever the state of the car, old or crashed.

If Model 3 is supposed to be available in 2017/18 it should be a slightly cheaper (50k?) version of Model S with steel chassis/body, 60kWh battery, slightly different body/interior (hatchback?) not to cannibalise sales of Model S. Such design could be further optimised for lower cost as the production slowly ramps up.

If Tesla decides to design a whole new model optimised from the beginning for production of 500k units they will be another 2 years late and will likely run out of cash along the way.

Elon has already gone on record as saying the 3 will price in at $35,000 after tax rebate. There is no $50,000 car “for the masses”, that’s well above anything close to what average people can afford. Even $35,000 is a hefty price.


There is no point in offering a $35k car if it isn’t available in large numbers. They have to build up capacity first. It is better for Tesla to do it gradually, leveraging what they already have, rather than burn cash for 3 years and watch others taking their position.

Not 35000 $ after tax rebate but before is what was said.

The features I’d like confirmed (ideally) to reserve are :

Optional higher capacity battery -> achieve similar range to the 90D
Dual motor option
Sportback design (not some tall ugly hatchback)

They can sell you one today.

Too big, too expensive— have a look at the A5 Sportback, that’s more like it. I’m willing to spend around 15k on those types of options and around here so are a lot of other people. People who drive 4 series GT beamers and A5 Sportback audis. Tesla knows that so I hope they have a global market in mind rather than the requirements of being as cheap as possible for the average American… I mean how hard is it to add a leather interior option for 3k, adaptive air suspension for 1.5 k, bigger battery for 3k etc. ? Plus didn’t Elon Musk say they’ll build higher option vehicles first?

Why don’t you just buy a Model S? The idea for the Model 3 is a “cheap” car that average people can afford.

There’s not a single mention of the Chevrolet Bolt in the article but yet many of the post revolve around comparison to the Bolt. It’s quite obvious that interest in the Bolt is intense and, if performance comes anywhere near expectations, it should do very well in the marketplace once production begins. It’s going to be a long ten months though with all of us jumping on and dissecting every little scrap of information that comes out about the Bolt and the M3.

More than 10 months…new stuff will leak out right up to production, and even then, they’ll keep adding stuff like they do with MS & MX.

I believe he was referring to Bolt deliveries in 10 months.

It does indeed refer to the “Re-Volt.”

tftf complained about being called out for his FUD:

“Don’t twist my words.”

I don’t need to. Quoting exactly what you said is sufficient:

” ‘because even at 500000 a year’

“There is no battery capacity for that, Tesla only built a small pilot plant in Nevada…”

That’s one direct lie — it’s a very high capacity “pilot plant” factory, not a small one — and one lie by implication; you imply that the pilot plant will be required to supply 500,000 battery packs per year, yet you know perfectly well that the plan is for both Gigafactory output and Model ≡ production to ramp up between 2017-2020.

You also know that Elon has said Gigafactory construction is ahead of schedule, and that the Gigafactory is not in the “critical path” of Model ≡ production… meaning the planned build-out of the Gigafactory will stay ahead of what’s needed for Model ≡ production.

It truly is amazing how many lies and half-truths you can pack into such few sentences. But then, everyone should have something they do well. Clearly you’ve found your calling, tftf.

Maybe you can volunteer to build the Model3 and Gigafactory for free with a few friends?

Because there are no funds left to finance these expansions as Tesla’s existing bonds come due between 2018-2021 and credit markets turn sour – which makes refinancing very hard.

The last equity offering was at $24x in mid-2015, look at the chart how happy these investors must be.

They could have gotten the stock at $14x ($100 cheaper) a few months later on the open market.

Or maybe you will find the missing billion for all this cap-ex on Tesla’s balance sheet?

Tesla will find the missing Billion on April 1st. 🙂

Well, Musk wasn’t completely forthcoming with the Model X – the 0-60 times were conservative estimates, and other things came out as they were first released peacemeal on Model S, from the 70kWh and 90kWh packs to dual-motor AWD and Ludicrous Speed. I presume that Musk will stay consistent with that model – let the success of the existing models and the visuals of the new model, with estimated specs, speak for themselves.

Surprised there is no article here. Just heard that Tesla is increasing the free towing range to 500 miles, from 50.

Basically the same deal as we original Roadster owners had.

Big selling feature if it also applies to the ‘3’.

Yupe, we covered that one too…maybe your cache just needs an update?

Tesla Increases Distance For Free Warranty Tows From 50 To 500 Miles