Tesla Chief Technology Officer JB Straubel Discusses Model 3


JB Straubel At CERAWeek

JB Straubel At CERAWeek


JB Straubel Does A Little "Walk And Talk" In This IDG Interview Last Year

A Younger, Thinner JB Straubel Does A Little “Walk And Talk” In This IDG Interview From 2013

  • It has “next generation” Tesla tech.
  • It’s about the size of an Audi A4.
  • It will wow everyone with features.
  • Every EV component, from battery innards to electric motors, is quickly dropping in price.
  • Lithium is plentiful already, but could be extracted from ocean water in the future.

A less-concise version here.

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

Some Straubel quotes from IHS Energy CERAWeek in Houston:

“We don’t really need more performance, we don’t really need much more range, we need to focus on cost”

Expanding on costs outside the battery:

“Basically every single part of that electric vehicle ecosystem is dropping substantially”

Categories: Tesla

Tags: ,

Leave a Reply

149 Comments on "Tesla Chief Technology Officer JB Straubel Discusses Model 3"

newest oldest most voted

This is why GM is trying to sponsor bills to limit Tesla Sales in the US.

They know Model III will be a Bolt Killer.

It could well be an ICE killer !

Bolt will be an ice killer and model 3 will be a bolt killer!

The Bolt will be a Bolt killer.

Round 1 goes to Allen 🙂

Bolt will be a Volt Killer …l o l GM Chopping 0ff their toes with their 0wn axe…

The size of the US small and medium car market is somewhere around 6 million units per year (2.5M medium, 3.5M small, compact, subcompact). If Tesla allocates half of their 500K Model 3 production to the US, then thats 250K/6M units, or 4% of the market. Hardly a killer.

Thank you–folks keep talking like this is a zero sum game. Both the Model 3 and Bolt could hit their targets with lots of room for growth.

Just having some fun with it…….

You missed the point, Tesla is not going to build every car sold, it is going to drive the laggard OEMs to make compelling EVs by just the threat of losing market share to Tesla’s superior products as Tesla moves into other segments.

All the money they (GM) is wasting trying to stop Tesla could build a very nice L3 charging infrastructure.

That’s like the people in my country. They don’t try to be better and only want the others to be worse.

What country is that you are talking about?

That sounds pretty much like most people in most countries. I think there’s even game theory research that shows that on average, people will choose outcomes that make them worse off as long as it puts them further ahead of their rivals.

Sick, but true.

Zero sum thinking: i.e. if you, my competitor, are doing well I must be losing.

I’m from Bulgaria.

Yep, except Bolt can only take 50KW of charging output, so even if GM were interested in supporting Bolt with proper charging infrastructure quick charging the Bolt will never be all that quick.

In an interview a GM engineer said they hadn’t decided on the maximum DC capability yet.

Actually GM was very clear about Bolt’s quick charge capabilities. From its press release:

Using DC Fast Charging, the Bolt EV battery can be charged up to 90 miles of range in 30 minutes. That’s consistent with 50KW of charging output.


It actually only implies a minimum, rather than an exact spec and doesn’t specify a limit. I’m only expecting 50kW max though. I don’t think GM’s interested in long-distance BEV at this point.

Where did you get it? I think GM didn’t tell if it will 50 kW or more.

GM said they hadn’t decided between 50kW and 60kW. Either way it’s kind of slow for a quick charge of a long distance vehicle.

GM can’t really state anything higher than that as things stand. There is no CCS charge standard that is higher than 50kW or chargers to support that standards. GM would be crucified if they advertised a charge rate that no one could actually take advantage of. When CCS gets around to creating the high charge rate standards it stands to reason that the battery pack could likely take much more than a 50kwhr charge rate.

Then why did GM say they were considering 60kW? Either the car or the charger has to go first in a move to higher rates. This was a good opportunity for GM to lead but they chose not to, or at least not by much.

This pure speculation based on old standard specifications. GM engineer only said that they DIDN’T decided what power rating they will use for Bolt, 50 kW or higher. That is all I heard. If you know newer announcement, please quote and link.

There are 120 kW CCS/Chademo chargers installed and functinal:

Thanks for the link. I didn’t know that charging speeds like this were available to NON-Tesla EV owners. Now we just need to get these chargers deployed at many more locations.

ALL Big Companies are EVIL they want full control.,Even though there is more than enough to go around , they want the whole pie.&.when they get in trouble ,their owned & paid for lobbiests ,come to the resue , All at the tax payer’s expense….a Win win ..

I don’t think they are worried about it being a Bolt killer. In fact, I highly suspect the Bolt only exists because of the threat of the Model III and what it may do to their ICE business. They want to be ready with a competing product and technology in case they suddenly have to start selling more EVs to compete.

DM…you are spot on! It’s a forced to build situation ,just in case they need to Make the transition ,this way they will be somewhat ready…They Deserve failure…

1) I don’t think GM cares much if the Bolt is a huge success or a flop. I guess more accurately, GM cares a whole lot less than LG does.

2) GM is not fighting Tesla because they are scared of the Model 3. GM is fighting Tesla because GM has a dealership network boat anchor tied to their leg. If new auto companies are allowed to spring up without the same restriction, it makes it difficult for GM to compete.

NOTE: I’m not saying GM is right or I agree with them about the dealership model. I’m just pointing out their true motivation.

I agree with 1) 100%
I agree with 2)75 %
I don’t think GM wants to lose out on all the money they make in parts for ice cars


Agreed… This has little to do with Tesla directly. If GM could start a new division and sell directly to public there wouldn’t be a problem. The Volt and Bolt probably wouldn’t have been Chevy’s. But that’s not the reality and if Tesla can do this wouldn’t dealers what’s to stop someone else, say a Chinese manufacture from doing the exact same thing? GM sees Tesla setting a precedense that once that door is open it can’t be easily closed. Also I don’t even think Tesla thinks in the long run their model will work. You can’t sell and service 500k/year cars with their showroom, limited service center model. To sell 500k cars you need inventory because you can’t build to order on that scale.

GM should start an EV division & sell only EV’s, Because, the regular GM dealers are not interested in selling EV’s & discourage customers from buying EV’s. They’re very negative about EV’s & steer customers away from them to an ICE car…It has happened to me more than once in the past…Not that I would ever again look at ,let alone buy a GM product after hearing about their antics.

Exactly as they did with their ‘Japanese-like’ Saturn division.

Exactly. Wonder what they would call it, Uranus?



You would need to radically reimagine the construction of an automobile to reduce the size of the service infrastructure. Identical wheel motors connected at each corner of a simple passenger cell, covered by lightweight front and back ends. Maybe even 3D printed parts. Keep a 5th wheel/motor unit around to replace one that goes bad, ship the bad one back to the company for a replacement. But it means relying even more on drive by wire controls and software.

Sublime said:

“GM is not fighting Tesla because they are scared of the Model 3. GM is fighting Tesla because GM has a dealership network boat anchor tied to their leg. If new auto companies are allowed to spring up without the same restriction, it makes it difficult for GM to compete.”

Well said, and I think this is a point that needs more discussion. In fact, I said much the same in a comment the other day, but I think you said it better here.

Exactly. And, if GM is is really interesting in selling pure EVs, it shouldn’t be wasting money in lobbying their political accomplices to attempt to stop Tesla sales. At the contrary, GM should shoulder with Tesla and every other car makers who are interesting in selling pure EVs (not hybrids, using its lobbying experience and power, to pass a modification to this absurd and obsolete car dealer law. They should fighting for, at least, the dealership model would not be an obligation for pure EV sales. Traditional car dealers would retain ICE and hybrid cars, but car makers should be authorized to sale pure EV in dedicated stores and internet.

This has nothing to do with a supposedly not level playing field.

Nobody is stopping GM from bringing plug-ins to the market under a different brand name like maybe “Saturn” or just plain “GM” that would allow it direct sales just like Tesla. Perfectly level playing field!

Instead GM is doing everything in its power to plug the loopholes allowing for retail models that would better fit plug-ins showing its true commitment to plug-ins: sideshow for compliance purposes.

They cannot compete with their dealerships. Dealerships and manufacturers can’t have common ownership.

GM cannot sell direct in the USA. It’s that simple.

Actually they can in Indiana and many other states. The restriction is that they can’t sell in the same vicinity as an existing dealer, but they can do so as long as they are far enough away. Ford actually did that in Indiana back in the late 90s as an experiment.

What GM is doing is closing that option completely simply because they don’t have plans to use it.

Factory owned dealers can’t compete with franchise dealers selling the same brand, but nothing is stopping GM from creating new brands that would not compete with existing dealerships.

Chris — Depending on the state, they would have to spin up a whole new company with zero ties to GM. Just starting a new badge/brand that sold variants on the ICE Chevy Spark (Spark EV) and variants on the ICE Chevy Cruize (Volt) would not be enough.

And if they tried and technically it were legal, they would definitely be attacked, and attacked much worse than Tesla. The political pressure from one political party to stop what they call “Government Motors” would be massive.

It would depend on individual state laws but I’m sure that with any state laws that are within the spirit of what the franchise dealer laws originally intended, protection against the factory offering the same products at a lower price it would be very hard to make a case against GM if it offered completely different products (EVs) under a completely different brand name.

Of course it was actually GM that made sure many state laws were changed to go beyond the idea to protect franchise dealers against unfair competition to laws that mandate the use of franchise dealers period.

By making sure EVs are locked into a retail system designed around the maintenance needs of ICEs GM helps keeping EVs a marginal product which no doubt fits its agenda as an ICE focussed car corporation that sees EVs as a sideshow for compliance purposes.

No. States that bar manufacturer dealerships have rules that bar common ownership with the manufacturer precisely to stop what you’re suggesting.

You are absolutely correct, I think GM’s real game plan is to force this through the courts. What I believe GM is setting the stage for is to take this case to the federal courts. If GM can get this to the supreme court they may actually get a decision that allows direct sales for all manufacturers, and then not have to fight many separate and expensive battles in every state. GM currently can’t make a case against the dealer franchise law directly, they really don’t have standing to sue the dealerships into allowing them to do direct sales. But I believe they do have standing by showing that allowing Tesla to bypass the dealer franchise laws will harm their business (I believe by arguing equal treatment under the law.) Another interesting developmnet that may allow for the challenging of the dealer franchise laws is what the FTC is up to. The FTC is already considering making direct sales happen, if the FTC were to allow direct sales across nationwide, I think it sets up a good case for GM to argue that they should also be allowed to sell direct (again equal treatment arguments). I think in that case… Read more »


Paul Stroller gets the prize! GM will push to make the laws as onerous as possible, thus forcing the issue to the courts. The hope being that the courts will strike down these anti-competitive laws and allow direct sales.
They can then claim cover in the form of ‘we tried’, while simultaneously initiating direct sales of their own.

I think GM should support the law that says a manufacturer without dealers should be allowed to sell cars. Then they could create their own new manufcaturer to put all of their Electric Vehicles in and sell them direct, as Tesla does.

You’d soon see all the falling behind / don’t want to try and sell BEV / EREV / PHEV, etc dealerships start begging for them. Not this 2/3 won’t sell an ELR garbage, or the Volt is only sold in a small handful of dealerships if you aren’t in a compliance car state model of sales. It would do us all some good. It’s not just GM, there are only a couple of Ford Dealers within 250 miles of Huntsville, AL that are Ford EV certified dealerships but I couldn’t find a Focus Electric anywhere in that 250 mile radius. You can’t sell products you don’t have and don’t intend to be certified to sell.

The Model 3 is going to be a BMW 3 series killer. This is the first time I’ve heard anyone at Tesla say that it’s going to be the size of an Audi A4. The A4 is 5″ longer and 1″ wider than a 3 series. Not a huge difference, but all it needs to be is a little bigger and a little better than a 3 Series to do the type of damage that the Model S has done to the luxury car market.

Yeah, and Indiana, the land of Mike Pence, lots of coal, no solar leasing and generally less progressive politics, than neighbors IL and OH, pulled the “Kill Tesla” amendment yesterday.

GM has no idea how many of us are watching them testify, that Tesla should be subject to “Equity” in the effort to kill electric cars (again). And it’s not just us. “GM on Tesla” appears to have driven the stock up, yesterday too.

GM is fighting Tesla. Otherwise, they would overtly fight the dealership model (which I believe they’re also doing, but more secretly).


It’s disheartening to see almost every comment section on this site has turned into a pointless p*ssing match between the various electric vehicle fanboys.

Can we maybe try and root for all electric vehicles until we hit, say, 10% market share?

Just a thought.

A big hell yeah to that! Aren’t we all on team EV anyway, no matter the badge on the car?

N0 we are not all on the same EV team.GM is reluctantly building EV’s for carbon credits only ,that way they can sell more gas guzzling SUV’s & Large sport ICE trucks. Gm is also attempting to shut down Tesla from selling direct, By lobbying against Tesla from Selling their own cars..

So Ford dumps a crappy, unavailable, built-by-Magna Focus EV on us and a couple barely PHEVs but it’s *GM* who sucks and is dragging their feet on EVs. Did I have that right?


Not everyone building EV’s is doing it to prevent humans from destroying themselves by mindlessly dumping carbon into the atmosphere every time they pick up a six-pack at their local carryout. There is no even playing field of good-willed BEV automakers yet.

GM builds cars to make money. They do not see EV’s as money makers. They do not understand that building DCFC charging stations is part of a sustainable transportation approach that needs nurturing.

GM don’t get CARB Credits for making EV charging stations, so they don’t bother. GM does not do anything, unless they make money off it. That’s the only reason they build and sell cars with old tech– they still make LOTS of money building oil-burning clockwork.

GM does not exist to help humanity, they exist to help themselves. So, picking one EV maker over another, is (sadly) still perfectly valid.

Nope, there are Musk cult members, there are electric car fans, there are Big Oil/Government/Big Whatever conspiracy theorists, there are environmentalists. They all have different goals and ideas. Sad, but there is too much internal fighting for peanuts in this tiny 1% market share crowd to be optimistic about outcome.

As a city dweller, pedestrian, and avid bicyclist, I’m a ZEV fanboy. So long as it’s a ZEV, I don’t care what technology it uses. It’s fine with me if a ZEV uses a battery, a hydrogen fuel cell, alien technology, or unicorn farts. I’m technology agnostic with regards to ZEVs.

OK, I am in favor of cars powered by unicorn farts, anyone against it is a Fudster and a unicorn Basher. 🙂

Realdb2 said:

“It’s disheartening to see almost every comment section on this site has turned into a pointless p*ssing match between the various electric vehicle fanboys.”

I sympathize with your viewpoint, but you need to understand that feelings are running hot and high against GM at the moment, because GM backed a bill to block Tesla’s sales in Indiana. A surprising number of people posted in response to InsideEVs’ article, saying they had seriously considered buying a Bolt but now vowing never to.

Give it a few weeks for the anger to cool somewhat… but it’s not going to disappear entirely.

Details (and, at the moment, 163 comments!) here, if you’re interested:

“Tesla Responds To GM-Backed Anti Direct Sales Bill In Indiana”


Realdb2 — I agree with your post in principle, and I actively try to promote all electrics.

But unfortunately too many of the car makers who are currently selling EV’s don’t agree with your viewpoint. And unfortunately they from time to time have to be called to the carpet for their actions.

Yep. The carpet crawlers and evening callers…

Is there anybody left believing GM will really pay 145$/kWh ? Otherwise than to justify such a high price tag for a subcompact..

Nobody will want the Bolt, then GM will say there is a lack of demand!
I would drown GM executives in a poll of gasoline if I could… These people, along with the hydrocarbon industries are planet killers! They are global scale nastiest pests. They must be dealt with!

“Is there anybody left believing GM will really pay 145$/kWh ?”

You know that this number is just for the CELL price, right?

Many people mix Apples and Oranges when it coees to battery pricing.

If the Model3 is really a Audi A4-sized sedan, it will likely sell for $45-50k with very modest options.

Otherwise, Tesla will sink money, especially with a central CA plant and a strong USD compared to most key export markets for Tesla (Norway, China, EUR).

I have to repeat my prediction: A $35k base Model3 launch by late 2017 is a suicide mission (for Tesla’s finances and balance sheet).

Yes, just like the Model S and the Model X, Tesla will start selling the higher optioned Model 3s first. Probably the only Model 3 you can get for the majority of 2018 will be above $50k.

Then they will start selling the version with the smaller battery, and most people buying that will still pay more than $40k when they add things like autopilot and leather seats.

And apart from some early headlines claiming Model 3 is not the promised $35k car, by mid 2018 the media will generally refer to it as “starting at $35 000” and that will be correct.

All this time you’ll be screaming “I told you so” while we will be making money hand over fist.

s, this simply means low-end Model3 car orders will ship by maybe 2019 or 2020.

(This is my base scenario)

Which means this car is years away for most people.

I expect a huge backlash from first-time Tesla customers not familiar with these delays.

Who wants to wait until 2020?

And the car industry as well as new entrant from Asia and IT sectors (Apple etc.) won’t be asleep until 2020.

There will be plenty of long-range EVs to choose from by the end of this decade.

You say there will be plenty of other EV choices by 2020.

Those companies will have the same constraints that is currently holding Tesla back. But with their own battery factory, superior charging infrastructure, autopilot, Tesla will be the only “compelling” car that would be available on large scale even with the delays.

And their direct sell model is an icing on cake. Consumers will step out of their way to avoid any dealership interaction.

I prefer by far Tesla’s suicide to spread out clean cars than the long painful suicide from smog, climate havoc and illnesses of petroleum cars we’re committing for a century.

Are you suggesting GM is paying LESS than $145, despite it being a previously unheard of low number?

I know it’s impossible to look past your anti-GM bias but what other traditional automaker has embraced moving people with electrons more? They’re selling the 2nd gen Volt and are 8 months out from a 200 mile car while the others d*ck around with 100 milers.

They scrapped the most promising BEV in 2003 and replaced it with a hybrid… 10 years later…

I said they “WILL” pay… one years sees much drop in pricings. And to begin with I don’t believe for a minute that they *accidentally* leaked the most vital competitive component price. Marketing ploy.

None of us have any idea what the terms of the contract are. LG could be pricing in anticipated improvements. We don’t know. They didn’t accidentally “leak” anything. It was in a financial presentation to analysts.

I put 30k EV miles on that hybrid in 3yrs, more than I’ll be able to in my 80 mile range e-golf. How many EV miles are you getting in your own car?

“Nobody will want the Bolt”

You are totally deluded. The Bolt will be an enormous success, model 3 or not. Speaking of model 3, that most likely that won’t show up until 2018 at the earliest giving the Bolt a good head start.

Totally agree. Let’s see a 30kWh Leaf SV for $35,000 or a 60kWh Bolt for $37,500. GM will sell zero Bolts, that’s a laugh.

My crystal ball cleary says:

There will be more demand than GM and Tesla both can satisfy while cranking out every single car they can make.

Rather than wait for the Tesla Model 3 to become available a lot of people that did not reserve in time will compromise and buy the Bolt instead.

Over time GM will redesign the Bolt to be more competitive with model 3 in what will then be defacto expected features, like adaptive cruise control.

GM tries to level playing field and of course they don’t like that competitors want personal exception to laws to do what they are legally forbidden to do.

Tesla doesn’t play nice either trying to marginalize other electric cars with their “walled garden” proprietary charging network approach.


Your lies are getting boring.

You’ve been told a hundred times that Tesla has invited EVERY other car company to join in the Supercharger network. Tesla even opened up their patents for any other company to use.

So far no other company has taken them up on this offer. This is not Tesla’s fault.

Tesla started their final production testing of the Supercharger standard before any other standard was available with anywhere near Supercharger charging rates. The rest of the world failed to be ready in time for the Model S to go into production validation testing. Again, not Tesla’s fault that every other standard failed to be ready in time.

Enough of the willful ignorance.

Nobody in Chademo or CCS alliance asks any bag of cash from Tesla so that somebody with Model S would be able to plug in some obscure Chademo or CCS charger. The driver pays for charge, charger follows open standards, and that is all. Nobody “invented” Ford-only or Toyota-only gas stations on this planet yet but Tesla.

Dear pe-troll disinformer, those are standards. Why in the world a standard would ask money for ???
And those are weak, already obsolete standards. The next generation ask for much faster recharges.
Tesla built his own because the standards weren’t moving at all toward fast charging.

zzzzzzzzzz said:

“Tesla doesn’t play nice either trying to marginalize other electric cars with their ‘walled garden’ proprietary charging network approach.”

How about we give you an adapter that will let you plug your EV into a Tesla Supercharger? Then we can watch and laugh as you fry your battery pack, which isn’t designed to accept the 90 kW – 120 kW charging rate.

…that is, assuming you actually own an EV, which seems very doubtful, given all your EV bashing.

It’s Bizarro-world thinking to castigate Tesla because other EV makers don’t give their EVs big enough battery packs to accept truly rapid charging! But then, a complete disconnect from reality will never stop someone who actually likes to post FUD.

When you will have that pink unicorn adapter, let everybody know. I don’t think I would want to do anything with it. I doubt you would be able to do solder 2 wires together, not to mention CPU board for the adopter, if you don’t even have a clue about power negotiation in DC chargers.

OMG you are a broken record. How many IEV articles are you going to try to segue into GM-bashing?

The new Audi A4 is not small car 186 inches long.
What battery that big car will need for 200 miles range?
I was hoping Model 3 to have the size of BMW 3 E46 sedan.

If you’re going to get serious about aerodynamics, chopped-off tails and short bodies can’t get you below about 0.19 cD unless you’re covering all the wheels and other radical measures. The long tail also wins you more crush space on both ends by rearranging components. The GM EV1 is credited with 120 wh/mile at 50 mph.

I like and Ford Probe IV concept but many people don’t that’s why Tesla won’t do car with 4 covers. Electric car with the size of Audi A4 will weight around 1700kg /3750lbs/.
I was hoping Model 3 to be big like BMW 3 E46 sedan with energy comsumption with 10% lower than Tesla Roadster because better drag coefficient.

The A4 size is between US compact and mid-size cars. At those dimensions, while the Model 3 wouldn’t be small, it certainly wouldn’t be large, and in particular the width reduction would help. And if Tesla is smart, they’d work to keep the turning radius down.

Also, for comparison:
2016 320i: 182-183″ L x 71″ W x 56-57″ H
2016 A4: 186″ L x 73″ W x 56″ H

95.17% of the A4. Not exactly a stark difference.

The old BMW 3 series E46 is 176 inches long and has very good size for me, wife and kid with stroller.

Audi A4 size?

I don’t see how such Tesla Model3 with modest options (let’s not forget about he “free” Supercharger promise for Model3) can sell below ~$45-50k before 2020.

The $35k base price and late 2017 launch date are beyond optimistic at this point.

I honestly don’t know why they didn’t revise their Model3 estimates after the Model X launch fiasco!

Maybe they already revised them?

Not in their financial reporting, they stick to the earlier estimates and promises (late 2017, $35k base etc.)

I think “free” just means no per use charge. I expect Supercharging on a Model 3 to cost $2,000 or more. I also expect a typical low-end Model 3 to cost over $40,000 for a long time.

There was no Model X launch fiasco. It was late, because it could be late. The Model S sold in numbers foreseen for Model S and X together. Financially the X was not needed yet and waiting ment costs would go further down and the margin up.

It gave Tesla the possibility to take time to work on the hard engineering task for the falcon wing doors. Because of the doors, the margin had gone down, which was corrected by postponing the launch.

The launch of Model 3 is independend of that of the X. The X being late doesn’t mean the 3 needs to be late. The launch date of the 3 only depends on the margin; if Tesla sees costs are down enough, they go by the promised launch date. If not, they find an excuse to postpone it a bit.

The first delivered Model 3 are going to be at a loss anyway like for every new car of any type of any brand, it is just impossible to recoup all the costs invested in engineering, tooling, molding, training, just at one. You need to sell many cars just to break even so the margin on the first cars doesn’t matter much, so the sale start date is not that essential for margin neither. Accordingly starting selling as planned is the better option for market confidence.

tftf continued his Tesla bashing campaign:

“I don’t see how such Tesla Model3 with modest options (let’s not forget about he ‘free’ Supercharger promise for Model3) can sell below ~$45-50k before 2020.”

Given the uniformly negative and dire short-seller predictions you frequently make regarding Tesla over on Seeking Alpha, you must be constantly amazed that Tesla Motors manages to exceed your truth-twisting, fact-free basher conspiracy theories!

How’s your batting average for predictions about Tesla Motor’s growth and its achievements, tftf? Not so great, is it? 😀

“How’s your batting average for predictions about Tesla Motor’s growth and its achievements, tftf?”

You can achieve pretty much anything and hit any revenue goal when you burn cash.

Imagine the Model3 at $30k or even $25k instead of $35k – of course Tesla would sell even more cars.

Business 101.

Making these cars PROFITABLY (especially since California is the cheapest location in the world to have a car plant for mass-market vehicles, especially with a strong USD compared to FX in Norway, Europe and China – Tesla’s major export markets) is another question.

Profitably means having enough cash to re-invest because the car business is cyclical and highly cap-ex intensive.

should of course say:

“…California ISN’T the cheapest location…”

They need to raise money by selling more shares now and can’t afford any negative announcements. Read their 10 K SEC form for 2015. They write they need 2 billions to complete Nevada factory assuming Panasonic will invest additional billions. Then they’ll need more billions to make ends to run company until Model 3 gets to mass market and stops negative cash flow. They write they didn’t finalize Model 3 design or suppliers yet – it means it will take many years to get whole new design to full production, and they will need invest money all these years.

zzzzzzzzzz said:

“Read their 10 K SEC form for 2015.”

You appear to be confused. You’re posting to InsideEVs, not Seeking Alpha or some other stock investor site.

Why in the world would anyone want to read that unless he was planning to invest in Tesla stock?

“Why in the world would anyone want to read that unless he was planning to invest in Tesla stock?”

Wow, just wow. Maybe you will realize one day that Tesla (as any other public company) has to include the bad stuff in such documents.

If they don’t they are liable. These documents state the actual, not the lofty PR talk or Musk’s interviews.

But continue to believe in a $35k Audi A4-like EV shipping by late 2017 and printing money for Tesla – manufactured in California with a strong USD and a “free Supercharger” access tag attached.

Some things are simply too good to be true.

We will see in less than 24 months how many of these promises actually come true.

Yep, you’ll find all the same style dire warnings in the Google IPO docs in 2004.

They seem very prone to producing very negative outlooks for some reason.

Reminds me of MSDS warnings.

Recent interviews have emphasized efficient manufacturing for the Model 3, and they have also emphasized a host of new/unique features for delaying Model X.

Therefore, for the first time ever in the history of Tesla Motors, I do not see any reason for them to miss their promised deadline.

They already have the skateboard, dual motors, autopilot, brilliant user interface, etc., etc., etc. Combine that with a straightforward, production-friendly design, and they just might be filling orders in 2017.

If they don’t miss their deadline (I doubt it, 2018 looks more realistic to me) this car will sell for at least $45-50k for the first years in usbale configs.

The size, expected build quality etc. simply won’t work with the promised $35k base price.

Why not?

No GM for me. I was going to buy one but I decided to wait and support Tesla instead.

It reminds me Microsoft Windows and IBM OS/2 battle some decades ago. IBM released their quite decent OS, but Microsoft kept feeding market with their great future vaporware just around the corner any time soon. And it worked for Microsoft, they got their monopoly and abused it as much as they wanted.

OS/2, the operating system that was so awesome, that IBM didn’t even bother to sell their own IBM PC’s with OS/2 loaded on them?

IBM killed OS/2 by being IBM.

They wanted to be the big gorilla, and force developers to pay thousands for development kits, and they did a lousy job of supporting drivers for non-IBM hardware. They were used to supporting businesses and not individual end consumers, and did a lousy job at customer support. IBM did an even worse job getting other OEM computer makers to pre-load OS/2, because they were not invested in other OEM’s competing against them for hardware sales.

So end-users, developers, EOM’s, and hardware makers flocked to Microsoft. A natural reaction to the slow bureaucracy of IBM’s closed culture, and self-belief that they would simply use their weight to push everybody into OS/2.

OS/2 failed because of IBM being IBM.

“We don’t really need more performance, we don’t really need much more range, we need to focus on cost.”

This is 100% true. I don’t need an EV that goes 0-60 in 2.8 seconds (8-10 seconds will do), but I do want one with enough range that I don’t deep-cycle the batteries to death.

As for cost, lower cost will definitely help, but I’m much more concerned with depreciation. My Leaf’s depreciation was abysmal – enough to make me second-guess getting another EV.

Tis is the new normal. Cars become more like computers and TV sets, losing value while better options come on the market.

But at the same time that is good. ICE cars didn’t get much better, so they had to invent other models and needs to keep us wanting: SUVs, CUVs, etc. But EV get better and cheaper fast. Although we early adapters will be hit hardest. Range going from 100 to 200 miles really matters, but going from 200 to 300, later, matters less. So the depreciation is at its fastest from 2015 till the end of 2018 or 2019.

I agree 100%. Tesla has put too much effort into fast acceleration. Should have spent more on reliability,range and comfort.

Lol, why don’t you make your own car company and show them how its done? LMAO

pete — you obviously never read the Tesla “Secret plan” (that was never a secret). There is a big reason why they started with high performance vehicles, and are working down to more everyday cars. https://www.teslamotors.com/blog/secret-tesla-motors-master-plan-just-between-you-and-me “As you know, the initial product of Tesla Motors is a high performance electric sports car called the Tesla Roadster. However, some readers may not be aware of the fact that our long term plan is to build a wide range of models, including affordably priced family cars. This is because the overarching purpose of Tesla Motors (and the reason I am funding the company) is to help expedite the move from a mine-and-burn hydrocarbon economy towards a solar electric economy, which I believe to be the primary, but not exclusive, sustainable solution. Critical to making that happen is an electric car without compromises, which is why the Tesla Roadster is designed to beat a gasoline sports car like a Porsche or Ferrari in a head to head showdown. Then, over and above that fact, it has twice the energy efficiency of a Prius. Even so, some may question whether this actually does any good for the world. Are we really in need of… Read more »

“…I’m much more concerned with depreciation. My Leaf’s depreciation was abysmal – enough to make me second-guess getting another EV.”

Unfortunately, the flip side of EV tech improving rapidly year-on-year is the swift depreciation of EVs only a few years old. This is, unfortunately, to be expected when buying any “early adopter” product, whether it’s a DVD player or an EV.

I would hope that the Model ≡ will do better than the Leaf at holding its value, both because a 200 mile EV should have a much better resale value than a ~75-80 mile BEV, and because Tesla is doing a fine job of keeping resale value on its cars high, mainly due to high demand but helped by their CPO refurbishment program.

However, nobody can predict how well (or poorly) the Model ≡ will hold its resale value.

Yes, resale value for any EV is very difficult to predict. Not only because of the changing technology, but also because of the impact of tax incentives. Specifically, what impact tax incentives sunseting will have on used prices.

I predict used EV prices will actually go up temporarily as tax incentives sunset.

But isn’t it pretty obvious that the first models of new tech depreciates very quickly? Technology moves forward, there will be a very limited demand for a used 100 mile car when 200 miles becomes the norm. That is the risk you take when you’re an early adopter.

First, Tesla protects the depreciation of their vehicles. Second, up to a point, old cars can take new battery packs and software upgrades. I see no reason why depreciation of a Tesla would be a concern.

The only real concern are for the pre-autopilot and pre-AWD models. Those require hardware upgrades in order to stay current, and so far, such physical upgrades are not being made possible.

It’s clear that lithium supply won’t be a long term problem, but cobalt may be. Someday we’ll probably switch chemistries, though.

“It will wow everyone with features”.

I am little bit scared when those words comes from Tesla as it could very well also mean “very late, loss making and unreliable”.

Personally, as long as the model 3 has real 200 mile range for $35k before tax credit and similar features to my 2016 Leaf SV I will be happy to buy a model 3.

Unless some big changes within Tesla in coming 12 months any Model 3 I am under the impression that selling a Model 3 bellow $50K will mean handing over cash from Wallstreet.
For $45K: already a sizable amount of it.
For $40K: more…
For $35K: a really big amount of it…
It is not a big problem however if Wallstreet is willing to carry on giving it away, with Tesla being the only new car maker in the US for the last decades you have basically part of a nation behind this company as I can read here everyday so finding this cash should be OK I believe .

Do you have any specific information to back up your assertions or are you just talking out your backside?

I suggest we wait a month for the Model 3 reveal before we go making unfounded assumptions about the car, much less Tesla as a whole.

Of course that timetable wouldn’t be convenient to the short-sellers who are trying to squeeze out a little more profit for themselves at the expense of a company building a better future.

Here are my specific to back up my assertions. Tesla net loss for 2015: $0.9B Capex investments as per cash flow statement: $1.6B. As capex investments gradually reduces profit on the income statement over the asset’s life through depreciation, let’s take an average asset life (Gigafactory, machines, superchargers) of 5 years. So $1.6B in capex reflects in the profit and loss report through 1/5 of that $1.6B amount. So we only have $320M depreciation expenses, it does not explain the $0.9B loss. Now they have depreciation expenses coming from previous investments but no matter how you take the figures it is difficult to explain such a large loss just by rapid growth. Again, if you look at their P&L for year 2015, you will see an expense item named “Selling, general and administrative”. Amount of that expenses is $0.9B. So here we have a more likely explanation of the current losses. To sell that tiny amount $50K cars per year they need to cover a huge geographical area, including places like Finland, they sell little in Germany but still do need to achieve that to have many shops, service centers etc…That’s probably a more likely explanation together with having to… Read more »

What I meant was can you further explain your assumptions that:
” I am under the impression that selling a Model 3 bellow $50K will mean handing over cash from Wallstreet.
For $45K: already a sizable amount of it.
For $40K: more…
For $35K: a really big amount of it…”

I’m interested to know how you come by these figures?

I see after a long wait that PVH has yet to explain with specific numbers his unfounded assertion that:

” I am under the impression that selling a Model 3 bellow $50K will mean handing over cash from Wallstreet.
For $45K: already a sizable amount of it.
For $40K: more…
For $35K: a really big amount of it…”

This lack of further explanation is I stated that he was probably talking out his rear-end like most of the serial anti-Tesla posters that have been carpet-bombing the Tesla threads lately regarding stocks and finances.

In any case PVH you did manage to say something that is both accurate/intelligent and obviously makes some of the people I mentioned above unhappy when you stated later that:

“The thing is E. Musk is very well connected so there is a large chance of success.”

So thanks for that!

You’re missing some critical information.

Model S has been reported at being anywhere from a 25% to 28% profit margin.

Once Model X production ramps up, the same will be true of the X.

Musk’s target for Model S/X profitability was to beat Porsche, which the S has at least tied so far.

Musk’s target for Model 3 is about 15% profit margin. We’ll see if it gets there.

That’s gross profit margin, which means profit before any expenses are deducted. Gross profit minus operating expenses gives you a company’s operating profit and operating profit margin, both of which are big negative numbers (losses) for Tesla.

That is what you are supposed to believe to remain part of the herd and it also helps if you can’t read a balance sheet, profit and loss report and cash flow statement. I wish EV’s a quick success as we made enough damages to earth as it is now but I can’t believe a second that Tesla will make any else than abysmal losses selling a car at $35K. Now it could be considered as some sort of community project as to improve life on earth and be funded with everyone’s money, why not. There is a real utility to EV’s, I do not deny at all. The thing is E. Musk is very well connected so there is a large chance of success.

This thing better be KISS.

and what about the small SUV they mentioned a while back on the same platform?

As for SC, I prefer pay as you go.

Trollnonymous asked:

“and what about the small SUV they mentioned a while back on the same platform?”

What about it? Surely you weren’t expecting it to debut at the same time as the Model ≡, were you? Just as the Model S came out years before the Model X, we can expect the Model ≡ to precede the Model Y (or whatever the CUV version of the Model ≡ will be called) by a few years.

“Surely you weren’t expecting it to debut at the same time as the Model ≡, were you?”

Wishful thinking I guess…..lol
At least tease us with a few photo’s. 🙂

One interesting question remains, what will they do after the model 3?

I would like to see them take on the light commercial vehicle market and/or pickup trucks.

As I understand it, the plan is to follow the Model ≡ with a CUV version, just as the Model S was followed by the Model X.

After that, the next generation Roadster.

After that… who knows? Likely Elon won’t be in charge of the company by then.

Yeah, the possibility of a pickup has been mentioned a few times. But that would need a really big battery pack, to enable hauling and towing heavy loads. So that will need battery prices to come down even more than they already have.

Model 3 crossover? That’s more like a model 3.1 IMO.

I don’t see the point of another Roadster though. They needed the first one as a proof of concept but that is done now. There is no money in making a handful of super fast cars, it would just be a wasted effort.

I think by the time they have got the model 3 up and running batteries should be cheap and good enough to do pickups, although I think doing commercial vehicles is more interesting. Nissan has done well with the e-NV200 despite it’s lacking battery capacity. I think Tesla could do even better.

Musk promised a new Roadster shortly after production ended of the original, but he wanted the Model 3 platform to do it. The question is whether the New Roadster or the 3-based CUV will come first.

For profitability and market share, I would hope that the CUV comes out first.

An all electric Tesla full size truck would be AWESOME. 250 mile range for $50k would be sweet indeed

Somewhere in there they also have plans to revamp a second generation of the Model S too.

Frankly, while I think an electric pickup truck would be great, the anti-EV attitude from the broader truck culture in the US is way too strong for it to make sense for Tesla to jump on that grenade. When truck makers get feedback about what buyers want for new drivetrains, they get a bunch of requests for diesels and more powerful V8’s. Or superchargers/turbos. People calling for pure EV pickups are by far a minority among actual truck owners.

An electric compact pickup, a beefed up Model 3 architecture would be a big seller and a great way to leverage investment: next model following Model 3UV.

They’d aim at the meat of the US car market with a compact pickup.

And other markets to. For example, Brazilians are in love with compact pick-ups.

If GM had taken the Voltec to their trucks, like VIA’s serial hybrid designs, then attitudes would have changed quickly.

A plug-in full-size pickup could have been done by now. You put a flat 40kWh+ pack under the cab, dual motors for AWD and a turbocharged V6 generator up front, and you’ve got a truck that can outperform every real and CG truck commercial ever published.

No transmissions to fail…instant max torque off the line for hauling and towing…great city mileage…it’s a gold mine if you have vision and intelligence.

It could be on the market now – the ability and tech have been around for nearly a decade. I’ve been waiting and wishing for someone to do it, and eventually VIA showed up, but then don’t seem to have the financial backing they need to ramp up.

Tesla loves to discuss vaporware products to cover up their Model X Fool Wind Door disaster.

So true. Every time a Model X pulls up and opens those falcon wing doors, crowds run away screaming in terror.?

Calling it a Bolt or ICE killer is really kinda silly. That kind of thinking is so far off the scale of unrealistic as to be laughable. Sorry to be so brunt, but working in IT, I’ve heard literally thousands of ‘X is a Y killer’, and yet the market just expands and MAYBE a products dies. How many iPhone killers have you heard of? How many Blackberr… oh, um, bad example. But anyway… point is that you narrow the true scope of something. The two cars may cut into each other sales, but the only real loosers would be the ICE that a person would have bought and THAT market is very diluted indeed.

Just as there are MANY kinds of cars, there will be for the foreseeable future.

“It’s about the size of an Audi A4”

That is a compact car…

He could also have said “It’s about the size of a Ford Focus,” but that doesn’t sound nearly as good.

Sorry guys, Audi A-4 is listed as a D Class Segment in Europe which is considered a large car. Here in the US where the people have been growing larger the Audi is considered a mid-sized car.

Of course it all depends on what classification system you use, Euro, EPA, FHA, NTSA etc.

“Here in the US where the people have been growing larger the Audi is considered a mid-sized car.”

Considered? By whom?

EPA clearly classify the A4 as COMPACT class.

If you actually sit inside the A4 and compare it with cars such as Accord and Camry, then you will clearly know that it is significantly smaller!

Measurement doesn’t lie, only people do…

I guess you missed the part where I wrote:

“Of course it all depends on what classification system you use, Euro, EPA, FHA, NTSA etc.”

See here:

You are quoting ONLY the EPA ratings which are only concerned with interior volume so the A4. Since we don’t have a Model 3 yet we don’t know what its interior volume is yet.