Tesla Model 3 Breaks The Levee, Brings Electric Car Tipping Point Near

2 years ago by Tesla Mondo 101

When the levee breaks TeslaMondo

WHEN THE LEVEE BREAKS

We’ve tipped

Tipped?

Tipped?

This came sooner than perhaps even wise old JB Straubel-san had imagined. The EV tipping point about which we’ve been hearing, writing and pondering for the last few years, wondering when it would arrive — has arrived, despite low gas prices. The only problem is, Tesla can only build ’em so fast. As problems go, this ranks among the best, but it’s still a problem.

Quality control again at the fore

Tesla managed to retard Model X production while holding back a river of some 30,000 orders. People complained. Journalists and financial analysts made much of it. But Tesla did the right thing by slowing down. Well, this time around, the lake of orders is more like the Pacific Ocean. Can Tesla hold it back long enough to ensure a quality product but not so long that everyone throws their hands up and boos the company?

Why bother with a second reveal?

Tesla wisely decided to hold some cards close to the vest. The orders came in without Tesla detailing much of anything, really. Livestream viewers complained of Elon’s abrupt Exit Stage Left. We received no data about packages, specs, features , prices etc. We have plenty of missing info. To boot, Elon is now tweeting about spaceship steering controls that totally differ from the prototype. We’re hungry for Part II. But now that Tesla has too many orders to fill anytime soon, does the company really want more orders pouring forth? Maybe we should skip Part II and go right to an online configurator and production ASAP.

Video (below): Skip to the eight-minute mark. JB predicted the tipping point was almost nigh. He was right. Maybe TOO right.

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

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101 responses to "Tesla Model 3 Breaks The Levee, Brings Electric Car Tipping Point Near"

  1. manbitesgas says:

    Let’s not get ahead of ourselves here… Tipping point is still at least 2 years away. First because wee need to see how well the Bolt will do (first out of the gate) and what (if anything Nissan will offer and second because that’s really when the Model3 impact will start to be felt.

    Though established automakers have very little interest in pushing EVs fast, they just got a wake up call as to what people want. It’s gonna take them a little while to get their act together.

    1. Khai L. says:

      300,000 model 3 reservations are 300,000 customers lost to the incumbent auto manufacturers if they don’t do something NOW.

      We’ve reached the tipping point, because autosales are dropping this year despite a predicted rise. The model 3 reservations are just the clue they need to realize where the customers went. They will all make EV’s, not after it’s shown to be profitable.

      1. manbitesgas says:

        Sure. I’m just saying we should not underestimate the size of the needle that Tesla needs to move. It’s stepping on a lot of heavyweight toes. I’m 100% on-board with Tesla and EVs (drive a Leaf), but for me a “tipping point” will be when a major manufacturer offers a compelling EV (style/performance) at a compelling price and in significant volumes.

        Now, some of them may not be able to turn their boat around and we will likely need more new players, because Tesla just can’t build them all. Bolt has the tech-specs, but clearly falls short on “compelling”. Hopefully we’ll soon see what Apple has up it’s sleeve. That could be the weight necessary to tip that needle.

        Tesla can still fail in many ways despite the massive Model3 interest, so pinning all the hopes of success on one player is a little foolish.

        1. Kdawg says:

          “300,000 model 3 reservations are 300,000 customers lost to the incumbent auto manufacturers”
          ——
          A reservation doesn’t equal an guaranteed order. I have a reservation but may still end up buying a Bolt EV. (which I do think is ‘compelling’, as much as I hate that word now).

          1. manbitesgas says:

            Bolt really is a decent practical EV offering (tech specs). The concept looked great, but too bad final version looks like a jacked-up Honda Fit… And certainly many people may by a lot of them, primarily because it’s gonna be here soon and probably very available. More power to them and more power to GM for pulling one out of the hat.

            But placing a $35K ModelS next to a $37.5K Bolt puts “compelling” in a very obvious perspective… 😉

            1. manbitesgas says:

              I obviously meant Model3 not S…

            2. Mike says:

              Well GM has only promised or predicted 30,000 Bolts produced each year and there are probably some production constraints associated with batteries. I agree with previous comments that we are not at a true tipping point until some other car manufacturer finds itself with more demand than capacity.

              While I like the Bolt you have to admit that the Model 3 is an incredible car at a modest price. Silicon Valley knows how to do “cool stuff” better than anyone.

              1. jerryd says:

                The only constraint on batteries is ordering them 2 yrs in advance so the production lines, refineries, etc can be built.

                1. Bret says:

                  I don’t think the batteries are going to be the constraint on the Bolt. LG Chem has that huge battery factory in Holland, MI ready to go. They are already making the Volt and Spark batteries.

                  I also believe Chevy will ramp up to way more than 30,000 Bolts per year, if the demand is there. Once again, they have the Orion factory online and can crank up production. I think the Bolt and Model 3 will both be great sellers. Nissan and BMW are the ones who need to make some moves now.

                  1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

                    That’s like predicting back in 2011 that batteries wouldn’t be a constraint on production of the Model S or Model X, because Panasonic had all those battery factories.

                    Didn’t work out that way, now did it?

                    The only way an auto maker can guarantee a high volume of EV batteries is to build and run the factories themselves. That’s what BYD does, that’s what Nissan does, and that’s what Tesla is in the process of doing.

                    Tesla wouldn’t be spending billions of dollars on a battery factory if they didn’t need to. We’ll know GM is serious about building long-range EVs in high volume only if and when they build their own battery factories.

            3. LOL says:

              We have yet to see how much bolt will cost, or how fast it will be able to charge or anything really, when you get your tesla 3. and don’t forget nissan and bmw.

            4. Foo says:

              And placing the Supercharger network behind the Model 3 also changes the “compelling” equation.

              Tesla’s already-built-out Supercharger network is a huge selling advantage when considering “what can I do” with an EV. The Bolt (and most EVs) look downright lame against that backdrop. The 200-mile Bolt is nowhere near equivalent to the 200-mile Tesla 3… WITH its Supercharger network.

              It’s the charging network that actually makes long-distance EV travel possible, not so much the car’s absolute range. This is very much part of Tesla’s genius.

          2. jelloslug says:

            I’m sure that there are many other with that sentiment but the key here is that if you don’t buy the Telsa EV you are going another EV. My wife will want to replace her Prius with an EV in the near future and has patiently waited for Toyota to make one. What has she been rewarded for her time? A crappy Volt knockoff and a worthless fuel cell engineering test.

            1. Stimpy says:

              The only way to “teach” Toyota is to put your money where your mouth is and go to a manufacturer that hasn’t *completely* buried it’s head in the sand.

          3. Trace says:

            Bill Maher just called me with a new rule…

            New Rule: Use of the word “compelling” is now banned unless you’re talking about Kim Kardashian’s butt!

        2. Will Davis says:

          Tipping point means the point the needle starts to move. NOT the point when it’s already moved half way.

    2. R.S says:

      Thats the hard question, when does it tip? And afterwards, when did it start to tip?
      What piece of straw broke the camels back, was it the last one, or was the back already breaking?

      What I mean: Could EVs still be stopped, or is now the point where the events that will happen, will be unstoppable? Because thats the tipping point.

      1. Sammy says:

        Good questions. I believe the boiling point with the current car industry has been ongoing with dealers and car companies milking customers. Model 3 announcement was the tipping point. As with many others, my action/decision that I will purchasing 2 Model 3’s, and will not be purchasing another gasoline car has already been made.

    3. Mister G says:

      1 million EV sales per year and growing might be beginning of tipping point.

    4. pjwood1 says:

      I’ve never been hit so hard as the “EV guy”, at work. I hear range anxiety, no surprise. Before a tipping point, OEMs will need an installed charging network. No amount of money gets you half-way to Tesla’s supercharge.info inside of a year, and therefore, no offering from a domestic, let alone a foreign manufacturer, gets serious consideration.

      I think perception is getting lay-popular, that “if it needs charging, the range is too short.” Just what my ears are hearing, post M3 announce. By delivery, the average American may know there is more than one charging speed. Baby steps.

      1. Kdawg says:

        People that drive gassers also need to wrap their heads around the concept of charging at home. Essentially you wake up with a full ‘tank’ each morning.

        1. Aaron says:

          When I get the question of “how long does it take to charge?”, I usually respond “15 seconds”, then proceed to tell them about overnight charging like their cell phone. Generally, people are quite positive to that notion.

          1. G2 says:

            I’m going to use that one, with thanks!

      2. Speculawyer says:

        “if it needs charging, the range is too short.”

        You have to recharge ICE cars with gasoline. How are they much different?

  2. “Why bother with a second reveal?”
    Just, maybe…they will show, not just the more refined Model 3, and explain the options, and some of the reasoning on them, and a Model Y!

    The Model Y, expected to be a CUV version body style on the same platform, would show that instead of making all pre-reveal reservations be requied to configure a sedan or get a refund, that they could choose the Model Y on the same reservation deposit! Basically saying that Tesla wants you to have the right car for your needs!

    Also, to tell us what the Towing specs will be, Supetcharging…paid option or included…or monthly by use? Etc.

    1. Murrysville EV says:

      Agreed on what the second reveal could contain, but it will not occur for a very long time.

      I would personally be very interested in a small CUV Tesla. And I’d like the Model 3 or mythical Model Y to be able to tow around 2000 lbs.

    2. Sammy says:

      I believe Tesla reveals bring them enormous publicity and customers. And Tesla has not disappointed in their reveals. Everything points to more sales/marketing/hype with the next Model 3 reveal.

  3. The real tipping point indicators of the interest and demand, maybe has started to show its legs, but the real tipping point of the auto makers will be seen in USA, when Ford, Fiat/Chrysler, Honda, Toyota, Kia/Hyundai and Nissan all agree to build More EV Choices in their product line than Hybrids and ICE vehicles, AND, when they form a combined plan to have Level 3 charging for all vehicles in every town over 100,000 population within 1 year; in and between all cities over 200,000 in 6 months, and within 3 years to have ubiquitus EV Charging in any Town of 1,000 or more, and covering ever State and County road at intervala under 20 miles!

    THAT is a real Tipping point!

    My guess…not before Tesla delivers a Million SEXY Cars!

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      Well said, Robert.

      The tipping point is not going to come from Tesla Motors, because one single small-to-medium-sized auto maker can’t possibly supply a large fraction of the entire global car market all by themselves.

      The tipping point will come when several other large auto makers get serious about making and selling compelling EVs in large numbers.

      The Bolt doesn’t cut it. GM has no intention of making that car in large volumes. If they intended that, they would never have contracted LG Electronics to build EV powertrains for the car.

      Tesla Motors is leading the way, but it is those companies which follow Tesla which will create the tipping point.

  4. David Murray says:

    I’m not sure how you define the tipping point. I would say we would need to be around 5% to 10% EV sales with a strong indication of continued growth. I think if we can make it to that point, then the end of the ICE era is near. But if we reach 5% to 10% of the market and there is no more growth, then we aren’t there yet. Take a look at hybrid cars, for example. I’m sort of surprised that all cars today aren’t hybrids. Nevertheless, they only represent a small portion of the overall market and that segment isn’t really experiencing any strong growth that I can see.

    1. pjwood1 says:

      At some point BEV becomes cheaper than hybrid. It will do this before it becomes cheaper than ICE, obviously because hybrids pay for an engine.

      The Volt is fascinating, and reliable, but it is still a big $$ parts list. If Lithium Ion can go from $1,000, to $145, over 2010-2016, will even $50/kwh be enough to replace $1,500-4,000 engine/transmission costs of a traditional ICE? It is these, wild-ass, guestimates wherein I believe the tipping point lies. The OEMs serve a captive market, because there aren’t enough Teslas for the needle to hit ~5%.

      Note: Borg Warner traded off, the day Model 3 reservations were announced.

      1. Paul Smith says:

        Watch how fast the price of gas rises if there is any movement in the price of oil. EVs over lifetime are already competitive.
        Battery prices keep dropping and the performance keeps improving. What could stop EVs now?

        1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          Nothing is going to stop the EV revolution. But we’re a long way away from having enough EV production to measurably impact the price of oil.

          Contrary to the enthusiastic pumping of TeslaMondo, we’re still at least a few years away from the EV tipping point. Probably several years.

    2. Scott says:

      That depends on if you consider a car technology and it follows the 2% inflection on the “S” curve. Or if you consider it a standard mechanical widget- then there is no real % that is universally agreed upon.

      If you go by the tech adoption curve using 14.5 million passenger vehicles sold in the US annually and just look for 2% of that (290k cars) then we’re currently on pace for 2019 as the tipping or inflection point.

  5. SparkEV says:

    Second reveal could have some “unsavory” features. For example, no free supercharging and battery smaller than Bolt. It might be the right time to do so to curb so much enthusiasm. They way it’s going, they might exceed 1 million preorders before the year is out.

    1. Tech01x says:

      With a Cd of 0.21 or 0.22 with a resulting CDa in the 5’s, they don’t need the same size of battery as the Bolt to achieve 200 miles of highway range.

      The Bolt’s 0.315 CD and CDa of 8.05 sq ft is particularly poor aerodynamics for a fuel efficient vehicle.

      Even if Tesla chooses to charge $2,000 for Supercharging, that’s still cheaper than a Bolt without CCS. Add the CCS option to a Bolt and you still don’t have access to the best long distance charging network available.

      1. Kdawg says:

        Note Tesla said 215 miles, not 200. Also, I only see Car & Driver saying 0.312 Cd, but have not seen anything official from Chevrolet.

        1. Priusmaniac says:

          From the Cd of 0,21 and 0,312, if we consider half friction, half aerodynamic drag, that would roughly mean that the Model 3 would do with only 50 KWh what the Bolt need 60 KWh for. So the base would be 50 KWh and the higher energy battery 70 KWh.

          1. TomArt says:

            My guess is 55 and 65.

        2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          I’d put a lot more faith in the numbers for Cd from a major auto review source like Car & Driver than I would from any auto maker’s “official” numbers.

          Independent testing is much more likely to give numbers closer to reality.

          1. TomArt says:

            That’s my assumption, as well.

      2. theflew says:

        Chevy hasn’t told us the Bolt’s Cd. Car & Drivers number was based on the Sonic which is less aerodynamic than the Bolt given the Sonic has a shorter wheelbase, grill and non flat undercarriage.

      3. Speculawyer says:

        Those Cd numbers show that only Tesla “gets it”.

    2. Kirk says:

      If they delivered a battery smaller than the Bolt’s, that would actually be a great thing. Given that they are achieving a range of 215 EPA miles, a smaller battery would indicate greater efficiency and less cost to recharge.

      1. SparkEV says:

        We might be the minority who cheer for smaller battery. Looking at forum comments, people always want bigger battery. I suspect that’s why Tesla didn’t come out and say it outright. Lots of anti Tesla media will say stupid things like “Model 3 worse than Bolt.”

        1. Kdawg says:

          Bigger battery = faster charging though.

          1. Priusmaniac says:

            More KWh/h, but in this case same %/h and same miles of autonomy/h with the smaller battery.

          2. SparkEV says:

            Against Bolt, smaller battery will still be quicker. Bolt is 50 kW, Tesla 90 kW peak, even with their steep taper, it’d be more than 60 kW average to 80%. If they read my bitching about quick taper, I hope they’ll have less taper for Model 3.

            Now if they got the chemistry right so that it can charge at 3.2C (15 min to 80%), that’ll pretty much kill gas cars in terms of convenience.

            1. Priusmaniac says:

              The C race is one. Exciting!

        2. Speculawyer says:

          Big batteries provide much more than longer range. They can be charged faster since there is more parallelism. They provide more performance due to the parallelism. When well designed, they provide a lot of redundancy such that cells can die without causing any problems.

          I agree that there is a market for short range EVs that will be very affordable. But if you really want to compete with gas cars, you need to have a big battery for the above reasons.

          1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

            Not in this case. If the Model ≡ achieves the same range as the Bolt with a smaller battery, then it should perform every bit as well.

            The Model ≡ won’t need to charge as fast in kWh per minute/hour. The important metric is miles of range per minute/hour of charging, and if both cars have the same range, then it’s the fraction of the battery’s capacity that’s important, not the absolute number of kWh.

            Ditto with battery life. Sure, all else being equal, a larger battery gets cycled less often and so lasts longer. But a less efficient EV takes more energy to go the same distance, so it gets cycled just as often as the more efficient car with a smaller battery pack.

            However, there are other considerations than just EV range. Running the cabin heater in winter can cause a big hit to EV range, and there the larger battery pack might hold up better. So the Model ≡ needs to have a more efficient cabin heater than the Bolt, to maintain parity. That’s probably going to be harder to deliver than lower drag. Especially with that huge glass roof; no insulation there!

    3. Pinewold says:

      My speculation for the second reveal is a lot of good news Performance of 5.4s 0-60 for base model 3, dual 4.4s and P version sub 4 seconds. Base battery will be 60kWhr 250 mile range, upgrade to 75kWhr 300 mile range. Autopilot Level 3 autonomous – you can watch netflix on the highway!

  6. Mister G says:

    We are not near the tipping point…when we get to million EV sales per year and growing that’s the tipping point.

    1. Texas FFE says:

      Are talking about the world or just the US? There were 17 million vehicles sold in the US last year, a couple hundred thousand EVs hardly puts a dent in that number. I think we need to see at least a million+ EV sales per year in the US to say the tide is turning.

      1. MisterG says:

        In the USA.

  7. Driverguy01 says:

    Here is an interesting (very good) video of Tony Seba. I think you guys will enjoy it.

    1. alchee says:

      Watched the video and feeling disrupted now ))

      Btw, it’s dated to 2014…

    2. Ian says:

      Interesting video.

  8. Benjamin says:

    No, and bad analogy!

  9. Sammy says:

    The tipping point has happened. Nobody considers Porsche, BMW, Audi, Ferrari, or Mercedes cool any more. The title has been taken over by Tesla – the coolest and most innovative company.

    1. Sammy says:

      Specifically two things that caused the tipping point –

      1 Dieselgate(VW/Audi/Porsche) involved.

      2 Model 3 release

      1. pjwood1 says:

        Model 3 is grabbing a lot of bandwidth, within the ’emissions’ thread at TDIClub. The next 4/21 “deadline” comes right before VWG announces final Q4 2015 results, on 4/28. So, that’s yet another hopeful moment, for resolution.

        A survey from one of the 19 lead class-action lawyers asked about willingness for buybacks and fixes. VW’s disaster has turned a lot of “fix it” into “buy it back” requests. 7 months later, you’re that much closer to wanting out of a normal car anyway.

    2. arne-nl says:

      +1 … and it was the Model S.

      Because it was the first EV that could fully compete with its ICE peers on its own merits. Even without tax incentives it would still be strong offering.

      So many people handed over their hard-earned money to a start-up for a car that only existed as a prototype, with absolutely no guarantee of when their car would arrive, and with which options/specs.

      History has simply repeated itself, in an incredible manner.

  10. Speculawyer says:

    I’ve been saying it for more than a year now . . . it all comes down to the Gigafactory. If Tesla succeeds at pushing down battery costs by 35% like they are shooting for, the dam will break the rEVolution will break out into the mainstream.

    Or, it could be GM & LG Chem that do it. But batteries at $100 to 150 per KWH are the key.

    1. arne-nl says:

      Lower battery prices will happen, gigafactory or not. The $145/kWh price revelation for the Bolt batteries was the battery price tipping point. And the price will not stop at $145/kWh.

  11. Texas FFE says:

    Ford sold almost 490,000 Focus models in 1999, the first year the Focus was in full production. The best year for Focus was 2001 when over 540,000 were sold and over 200,000 are still sold every year. If an EV model doesn’t sell more than 200,000 units a year can it even be called “popular”?

    No, we are not anywhere near a tipping point. The tipping point will be when it makes more sense to the average person to buy an EV as opposed to an ICE. Until then EV owners will be just early adopters and not average motorists.

    1. Speculawyer says:

      Well it depends on how you define ‘tipping point’. I view the term as referring to the point where permanent change is assured. It is like when you are pushing on something to tip it over . . . you don’t have to push on it for the 90 degrees. You just need to get it to angle where gravity will be powerful enough to finish the job. That might be a pretty small angle but once you pass it, that object is on its way of tipping over.

      And I would say that with the Model 3, we will have passed that tipping (if we haven’t passed it already). EVs are pretty much going to continue to grow unless there comes a strong force in the other direction (like tax credits completely going away, gasoline becoming ridiculously cheap, etc.)

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        The tipping point in a disruptive tech revolution comes when market penetration by the new tech is growing exponentially every year, and most people can see increasing growth is unstoppable and inevitable. That generally doesn’t happen until the new tech has 5-10% market penetration.

        We’re still a long way from even 5% for the EV revolution. It’s going to be at least a few more years, and probably several, until the actual tipping point is reached.

        But in the meantime, we’ll have lots of fun arguing about whether or not it has already occurred! 🙂

  12. scott franco (No M3 FAUX GRILL!) says:

    I watched the video. The part that struck me is that they realized that if they followed their plan, the would need MORE LITHIUM POWER STORAGE THAN EXISTED IN THE ENTIRE WORLD. So they decided to add their own.

    Telsa redefines the idea of go big or go home. Its really a different kind of company, the kind Apple was until the bean counters inherited it.

  13. Kdawg says:

    I think “Tipping Point” of what, needs to be defined. Tipping to what, that is.

    * The end of the ICE car?
    * “Mainstream” sales of EVs? 5% of new sales?
    * 50% of accumulative cars on the roads are EVs?
    * That EVs won’t disappear?
    * That EVs will cost less than ICE cars?
    * Or….

    1. Speculawyer says:

      The point where big change is going to happen unless force is presented to stop it. Think “what is the angle at which you need to tip a soda machine before it tips over on its own?”

    2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      The tipping point beyond which market penetration (sales of new cars) is growing strongly and exponentially year-on-year, and the point at which the average person sees the new tech as more desirable than the old tech.

      The “S” curve on the left on the graph below can be seen as the trend for market penetration in a disruptive tech revolution, and the stars as the tipping points:

      And no, while 300k+ Model ≡ reservations (likely soon to be 400k+) is exciting, it’s not yet the tipping point of the EV revolution. But it’s certainly a harbinger!

  14. Three Electrics says:

    300K reservations represents roughly half a percent, or 1 / 248 of all global auto sales, and those reservations will turn into deliveries over multiple years. So, while it’s a spectacular achievement, I’m not sure it represents a “tipping point” (if that can even be defined).

    1. ffbj says:

      Probably true. I think of it more as a wave set, with each wave getting progressively bigger. Sort of similar to the Elliot Wave Theory, where waves come in sets of 5. So now we are in the second wave, by my estimation, 2020 will be the start of the 3rd wave…etc

  15. scott franco (No M3 FAUX GRILL!) says:

    So just to a point on the video. Tesla talks about achieving 1GW battery storage to the grid.

    The USA has, at current, more than 12GW (Gigawatts) of power storage capability in the form of PSH or Pump Storage Hydro. This (apparently underappreciated technology) delivers power storage at a fraction of the cost of battery storage, but is not sexy.

    1. Aaron says:

      And PSH doesn’t degrade with time. I’m surprised it hasn’t become more widespread.

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        Pumped hydro energy storage is unquestionably the best, most efficient, longest lasting, lowest maintenance form of large scale energy storage — where it’s available.

        But it’s only available where you have two large water reservoirs at different heights within close proximity.

        Pumped hydro is a side benefit of dams used for flood control and drinking water supply. It’s much too expensive to build just for the purpose of energy storage. So that’s why it’s not used more.

        I once did a back of the envelope calculation to find out how big the water tanks (two) would need to be to use pumped hydro storage for a single-family dwelling house. Turns out each would need to be ~10x as big as an average backyard swimming pool, assuming a 30 foot drop between upper and lower tank. Obviously not cost-effective to build that.

        1. Ambulator says:

          Building a reservoir for pumped storage isn’t too expensive to be considered, not when you already have the mountain. There are proposals around here to build one every few years. Environmentalists don’t like them, though, so it’s hard to get them built.

        2. Priusmaniac says:

          Even that is being disrupted.
          This is one interesting proposal I recall seing a while ago:

          https://gigaom.com/2011/01/19/a-new-energy-storage-option-gravity-power/

    2. Kdawg says:

      Are they using solar to store the hydro?

      1. scott franco (No M3 FAUX GRILL!) says:

        Germany, which went big on wind and solar, is expanding its PSH to match (and generating new complains from greenies who disagree with the land use). I suspect most PSH is used to offset wind, as it generally is harvested at night and given back in the day.

        California has a similar layout (we have about 3 or 4 PSH plants). We also have both extensive wind generation and also lots of solar in the southern deserts (including the famous Ivanpah bird cooker).

        The most famous plant here is the helms plant, run by PG&E. My take after extensive reading on the subject is that in California, PSH has kept up with renewables, but that renewables aren’t really advancing that fast. Home solar is advancing faster, and I doubt there is really a plan to store that power.

        1. Priusmaniac says:

          In California this could be interesting:

          http://valhalla.cl/en/

  16. Otto says:

    Sales of SUVs and trucks are UP, so any discussion of tipping points is ludicrously premature at this time. EV adoption may happen faster than MSM suggests, but don’t the echochamber here warp your reality…

  17. Priusmaniac says:

    Well, personally the tipping point is when I can switch my 400 miles range Prius seating five against an ev that can do the same in about the same price range all in.
    The Model 3 will have a higher autonomy version close to 300 miles, seat five and be rechargeable in a now reasonable 40′ time at a supercharger. Ok 300 miles is not 400 but that’s close enough for a first ev and there are indeed serious advantages in esthetics, acceleration and other features. So that was definitely the tipping point for me. Even enough to reserve prior to unveil. I guess many had the same thinking.

    1. Speculawyer says:

      People need to drop the “must do everything that my gas car can do just as well” fallacy. Mp3 players have crap quality compared to CDs. Cell phones have crap quality and drop calls. But they still won.

      EVs have advantages that make up for some shortcomings. Such as cheap to fuel, less maintenance, fewer repairs, fuel at home, quiet, fast acceleration, no oil changes, no smog checks, grow your own fuel with solar PV, no transmission, etc.

      1. Stimpy says:

        Exactly. We went from dumb phones with a week+ of standby battery life to smartphones that typically last around 1 day.

        The smartphone is so superior in daily use to the dumb phone that this tradeoff is worthwhile. Same with EV vs gas cars. It’s already far superior for 95% of use cases. It would be nice, but it doesn’t ABSOLUTELY need to match that remaining 5%.

      2. Priusmaniac says:

        Right I get the philosophical view but I happen to really need 5 places, not 4.5 and I need the range not half of it, and at an affordable price all in, so in my case it is only now that Tesla Model 3 makes it possible. I3 seats 4, Leaf is too short on range, Model S is out of budget. Pragmatically Model 3 is first real match case.

  18. Ian says:

    What is the tipping point for gas stations that lose half their customers. If they can’t afford to operate with half the revenue they will close. If they don’t actively adapt to charging EVs it will be Route 66 all over again. Goodbye muffler shops, and quick lube joints.

    1. Mxs says:

      Jeez, reading your post is like reading the end of world predictions. I am sure you,like many here, used services of these shops frequently. Now you just put 1000 bucks down for your Tesla, so from all of a sudden you question their business plan for the future when BEV’s have a decent portion of the market????

      1. Ian says:

        I bought my leaf in 2014 as a primary vehicle and if I get a model 3 it won’t be until around 2020. This is something I realized a while ago with my 2nd veh (2011 Xterra)that only gets used for long trips once a month,or blizzards. I don’t put enough mileage to justify changing my oil every 3 months. My last change was due in Dec and it’s still golden brown(changed in October and now it’s April). (I will only have it changed because I feel that it’s been in to long and may affect engine wear)I have only used a public level 2 charger for my leaf other than my own and it was at a restaurant so no extra money was spent on snacks or drinks at a gas station. this is stuff that becomes pretty obvious once you drive 100% electric. You go to a drive through to get a coffee and find yourself noticing the rusty tailpipes half falling off cars and talk about how you will never have to get one fixed because you don’t have one. You drive pass a gas stations and chuckle as suckers line up to get in as you drive by for the hundredth time. In 20 years your kids might ask you what a muffler was or where you worried that you car would explode from the flammable liquid you stored in it. When you take your EV to the dealers they say it as well. Besides spraying the hinges and checking the battery and brakes there is nothing to do. I would not be investing in a muffler shop or gas station or transmission shop, or oil change shop in the future. Brakes don’t wear as fast either but you still need them. Tire shops will be the only safe bHis nests. Every EV driver out there must have had some of these same thoughts floating in the background of their day to day drives. End statement – I wonder what happened to all the horses when there were no more carts to pull.

        1. Ian says:

          Damn spell correction….

  19. HVACman says:

    I give up. Musk has hypnotized the entire world into the belief of a Tesla-based fantasy land that conflates “refundable reservation” with “order”, “concept model” with “production”, and today’s EV world with 2018’s. I just can’t believe what I continue to hear and read in opinion columns and on these forums. I’ll just stand aside, watch the wheels of auto business reality slowly grind away at the story, and say no more.

    1. Will Davis says:

      What’s your damn problem and why are you so bitter? Tesla hypnotised nobody.

      A reservation IS an order. If we’re going to be pedantic the literal definition OF an order is a request for something to be made, supplied or served. It can also mean a written direction to deliver property.

      Now, even though these deposits are refundable and nobody has optioned out their cars or paid the final sum, they are still orders. You slap down a grand, you’re ordering a position in the waiting list. The fact it’s refundable changes nothing.

      Pedantry aside, it was inaccurate of Musk to assume that each deposit is worth $42,000. Although we’ve established a deposit counts as an order, we’d be foolish to assume there will be no cancellations. However, you can HARDLY expect a businessman to NOT make his successes sound as good as possible can you.

      My own guess is that the number of cancellations won’t be too high. If someone’s dedicated enough to plonk down a grand on a car before they even saw what it looked like, and if Tesla customers are anywhere near as fanatical as Apple customers, we should see the majority of these reservations carry through to delivery.

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        Will Davis said:

        “If we’re going to be pedantic the literal definition OF an order is a request for something to be made, supplied or served.”

        Well there are various definitions of the word “order”, but in the context of an order for a car, the meaning is a contract between seller and buyer, where the seller contracts to build a car to the customer’s specifications, and the customer contracts to buy it.

        A refundable reservation doesn’t qualify on either account. In fact, according to what someone else posted, the fine print in the agreement for the Model ≡ reservation specifically states that Tesla isn’t promising to build a car for the potential customer.

        A reservation is not a sale, nor is it an order.

  20. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    TeslaMondo wrote:

    “Maybe we should skip Part II and go right to an online configurator and production ASAP.”

    Wow, talk about putting the cart before the horse!

    Maybe Tesla Motors… not “we”… needs to do a few things first. Like hiring thousands (tens of thousands?) of employees, and get the Gigafactory running and producing battery cells in quantity, before they can fire up the Model ≡ production lines… which have yet to be built.

    For high volume production, Tesla will also need to build one or two more auto assembly plants; perhaps in China and Europe; and finish out the Gigafactory.

    It’s amusing to see TeslaMondo pump his TSLA stock, but let’s not confuse that with reality.

  21. Rick Bronson says:

    Another interesting news on Tesla.

    https://www.yahoo.com/gma/france-courts-tesla-idea-turning-old-nuclear-plant-165354281–abc-news-topstories.html

    May be they should acquire some plants from Aston Martin, Maserati and then start making EVs out of those plants, that way they can accelerate the production sooner.

    1. MisterG says:

      GO TESLA GO

  22. Speculawyer says:

    tip·ping point
    noun
    the point at which a series of small changes or incidents becomes significant enough to cause a larger, more important change.

  23. enerc77 says:

    For me this is tipping point. The proof is in this news “Tesla Model S Outsold Mercedes-Benz S Class In Europe In 2015”. That happens in Europe….

  24. Lou Patrick says:

    I think the “tipping point” might actually be a forced decision to minimize ICE cars in Europe and Asia. As we saw in China, the smog was so bad that there are bans on days that a car can be driven into the city. From what I heard, London may be about to start some sort of similar restrictions. My guess is that India and other nations where pollution is not particularly regulated will tip the needle by force. There may not even be anywhere near enough EV’s available, there may not be a robust charging network, circumstances may really push this. People will either drive an EV or take electrified public transportation(or died bicycles).