Tesla Model 3: The Rebirth Of The American Sedan

DEC 27 2018 BY STAFF 146

The automobile as we know it has been fading.

An icon of the industry disappearing, some claiming it the end of an era. Ford recently threw in the towel, announcing the end of all car production and sales in the US with the exception of their Mustang.

The established industry has been pouring money into the concept of the SUV for decades producing a vast array of vehicles from compact cute Utes to go anywhere off-road machines. Hearts have been won by the visions of the go anywhere, do anything, Sports Utility Vehicle, but is it really the end for the automobile? To answer that question we need to address some other topics.

***Our thanks go out to InsideEVs commenter and author of this article Viking79 for allowing us to share this post with our readers. Check out the original post here.

Human-Caused Global Warming

The issue of human-caused global warming is unavoidable in this discussion as it comes in direct conflict with industry and the vehicles that people want to buy. It is well established by the scientific community that human emissions and actions are the primary cause of the current global warming trend. [US Climate Change Report]

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Industry has been aware of this for decades, but hasn’t wanted to change the vehicles they make citing they make what people want to buy. The EPA has set regulations for manufacturers to meet certain emissions standards, but the industry has done the minimum possible to meet those requirements as to not interfere with their profit machines.

The automotive giants have been making the vehicles “people want to buy” while ignoring anything else, any attempts to make environmentally friendly vehicles are token gestures to a small minority and at the same time are done for compliance reasons.  The cars designed are meant to appeal to a small market and meet the letter of the law.  So what changed?

The Birth of the Li-Ion Battery

Batteries have long been a weak point of portable electronics.  Earlier batteries were too heavy and not energy dense enough to make desirable portable devices.  Everything changed when John Goodenough invented the Lithium Cobalt Oxide cathode and Sony commercialized his invention in 1991.  The resulting batteries were more energy dense than anything before and had incredible longevity.

A decade later they brought about the total transformation of the portable electronics industry. Laptops could last for hours, smaller and smaller electronics were making their way to consumers’ hands and winning over their hearts.  The birth of the smartphone came in the late 90s and was popularized by Apple in 2007.  Drones started filling the skies, the radio controlled hobby industry quickly transformed from Nitro Methane internal combustion to Lithium polymer due to such incredible power and energy density.

Tesla

It was only a matter of time before a company came along and took the Li-ion cell that was commonly used for laptops and other portable electronics and make those into a car battery. The 18650 laptop cell was produced in large enough numbers that thousands could be used to make a large battery. A battery large enough to power a car for hundreds of miles.

This was revolutionary, taking the emissions from the tailpipe and moving them to the power generation facility.  The Combined Cycle Gas Turbines are far more efficient than a standard internal combustion engine and also more renewable energy is added to the grid every year, primarily in solar and wind.

With a battery electric car powered by renewable energy the emissions drop to almost nothing.  Even powered by natural gas they produce less emissions than gasoline or diesel powered vehicles. [Union of Concerned Scientists] The issue facing the industry is how do you make an electric car, and make it sustainable. Tesla had a plan.

Powerwall_Model3&SolarRoof

The iPhone was upsetting the established phone industry when Tesla’s first car, the Roadster, was getting ready to ship in 2008. In itself, the Roadster wasn’t a game-changing car, but it showed investors what could be done. This wasn’t a crazy impossible idea.

With the release of the Model S in 2012 it showed that Tesla had done its research. They were offering game-changing features: Lifetime supercharging, massive battery that no one thought possible or profitable, prominent touch display, over the air updates, factory service and sales. There was no doubt that this was a car of the highest technology well integrated into a desirable package.

With Elon Musk at the helm the company formed a vision of transitioning the world away from oil and to solar and renewable energy.  This has been the “Master Plan” posted by Elon Musk more than a decade ago at Tesla and brings me back to the American Sedan. How do you get the world to switch to renewable energy with a car that can cost well over 100 grand?

The Rebirth

In March 2016 Elon Musk stunned the industry with the unveiling of an all-electric car with an available range of more than 300 miles, fast acceleration, and a stunningly simple yet functional interior. It could recharge up to 170 miles in only 30 minutes.  It would offer full self driving, and the base car would start at only $35,000 US with over 200 miles range. Elon won the hearts of the consumer raking in more than 200,000 reservations in 24 hours.

Model 3 Delivery Event Stage

Two and a half years later and after a shaky start to production, the Model 3 is shaping to be a resounding success. Making up more than half the US EV market in July and August, and actually surpassing every luxury make in the US for sedan sales with an estimated sales of 17,800 cars. [Inside EVs August 2018 Sales]  It landed the number 5 on the list of best-selling cars in America for August 2018, and this was for a car averaging approximately $60,000 US, more than twice any other car on the list and better than almost any SUV.

The American sedan was reborn. Forged from the denials of the established industry and the desires of the people to transition from their oil burning addiction. Tesla offers a car that is both desirable and environmentally friendly. Finally, a “green” car that doesn’t have to be boring. The floodgates have opened and there is no stopping it.

Source: Cars With Plugs

Categories: Tesla

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146 Comments on "Tesla Model 3: The Rebirth Of The American Sedan"

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Great summary of the Facts!

And when the Model Y comes out, the sedan will be dead again. It’s the propulsion system, not the body style that is driving sales of the Model 3.

what do you base that on?
Just because other ICE sedan sales are dying , does not mean that EV sedan’s will as well.
Esp when it is $5K less.

The question you should be asking is why won’t they follow the same trend. What is so special about an EV Sedan over an EV SUV that is different to an ICE Sedan over an ICE SUV.

The $5k lower price is not one of them, as SUV’s are usually several thousand more than the Sedan they are based on. If the Y has the same internal volume as the S however, that means it’s potentially $20k cheaper than the equivalent in that sense.

Has the MX replaced the MS? Nope.
Case in point.

AMERICAN ICE Sedans are dying because they are junk. Ford/GM continue to produce low-end junk and can not sell them. Surprise.

Your case in point would only work if all Sedans were replaced by CUV’s. They haven’t been, especially at the upper end of premium market.

Presumably German and Asian sedans are also junk as their sales numbers have been dropping since 2014 as well?

do you have numbers to back that?

Dropping is not the same as dying. This isn’t so much about how the sedan is powered as the culture of import-brand buyers vs. domestic-brand buyers. But yes, the domestic brands are cowards who try to jump from one hip gimmick to the next instead of committing to a solid reputation. So they are abandoning sedans to chase profit margins in the short term.

those guys are going to slit their throats. This is why I want to see GM and Ford broken up in to 5-10 car companies.
Once we get rid of a lot of MBAs at the top and put in engineers, then these companies will do fine.

Absolutely! Any company that is “too big to fail” needs to be broken up into smaller companies.

It’s a tragedy that this hasn’t been done already, and pretty much guarantees that financial crisis after crisis will keep occurring until they are broken up.

Thanks for posting!

Great job! Well done!

Actually, the military explored electric trucks in the 60s with the idea that lithium batteries would be the source of power.

really? Even before Dr. Heller invented Lithium batteries in the 70s?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lithium_battery#History
Amazing.

” It would offer full self driving, and the base car would start at only $35,000 US”
He just failed to mention how long it would actually take for these to arrive 😉 But it surely helped with the hype.

But still doesn’t take anything away from the achievements of Tesla. Was just funny to be reminded of these cocky announcements. 😉

Yes, I thought a lot on how to word that without being too misleading, that is what I ended up with 🙂

Edit: I wanted to remain true that Elon really pushed this as a starting at $35,000 car (we will get there, sometime 😉 )

Related question: What about Ford and Chevy’s fleet-sales of sedans? If Ford and Chevy don’t continue to make sedans for police/government use, then who will?

Our local police departments have gone all SUV for vehicles. Highway patrol might still use cars. Hard to say.

So waste more tax dollars on inefficient vehicles and gas money to run those behemoth

One of the reasons may be that modern sedan interiors aren’t big enough for police with all their kit. There are a lot of complaints from people moving from Crown Vics to the Chargers.

The Explorers and Edges have a lot more space and I’m pretty sure the police will be doing extensive TCO/requirement work before updating their fleets. It’s unlikely they’re just buying SUV’s because they like the look of them…

Correlation is NOT Causation.

The highway patrol in Colorado has adopted the Dodge Charger as their sedan of choice. They also use a large number of SUVs in the mountains. Most of the local police are moving to the Ford Edge SUV.

They should be moving to the Model S, the power and the Economics justify it.
The car would pay for itself + Profit doing police miles, at Police speeds.

$30-40k in fuel over the relatively short lifespan of a police vehicle? Unlikely.

MS/MX could easily run much longer than a standard ICE vehicle.
And the safety to our officers would be huge.

Engines aren’t the only thing that can be problematic in an ICE police car. It’s unlikely they would be run much longer than any ICE version.

The seats and interior start falling apart (due to the constant in and out and disinterest of those in the back), the suspension and steering start to play up, rust starts causing problems etc etc. They’ll still need replacing. Those components are not going to last any longer in an EV than an ICE, so the likely replacement mileage/time will be similar.

A 100-150k mile car is still a 100-150k with all the wear and tear that comes with it.

tesla is better built than the junk that GM/Ford sells them.

I see. Well argued. I’ll put you down as Tesla fanatic then.

It has nothing to do with being better built. Vehicles age and wear. That’s the fact of it.

What is also fact is repairing the same component on a Tesla will generally cost significantly more than on a Ford/GM. One is a premium marque, the other is a mainstream brand.

There’s also the issue of third party repairs. Larger fleets may well have their own maintenance department for basic repairs. Spare parts are easy to get for Ford/GM. Not so much Tesla.

considering the average MPG on a LEO vehicle is below 10, I think that it will be pretty easy to make that 30-40K up.

Where did you find that number?

https://www.autoblog.com/2012/03/16/ford-police-interceptors-get-official-fuel-economy-ratings-from/

And even taking your 10mpg figure you’d need free electricity and gas prices of $4 a gallon to be anywhere close to paying back.

What exactly do you think that EPA rating has to do with what a LEO’s car burns?
As I said, the average MPG on a leo is below 10. LEO departments typically budget for 10 MPG, NOT for 16-18 MPG, which is based on ideal conditions.

First, they are loaded with electronics, have much larger alternators and are able to power more.
Secondly, when a police pulls somebody over, how often does the car continue to run? Almost all the time. They are ready to go. So, the car sits there idling, burning fuel, and not getting miles.
Third, those cars are really that slow? Wow.

On a side note:
https://www.thrillist.com/cars/11-things-you-didn-t-know-about-cop-cars
The first one is interesting. History repeating itself.

But, #10 will help you to understand what a LEO’s car life is about.

I’d like to know what Low Earth Orbit has to do with the topic at hand.

Or Law Enforcement Officer.
But on this site, LEO probably is more Low Earth Orbit.

Ohio state troopers have those AWD Chargers around

Yeah, I see Ford Explorers where I used to see Tauruses and Crown Vics.

Yeah. Going to city hall to b/s about it

It’s a terrible shame to see Ford and GM making these choices. I’ve personally worked with a lifelong GM engineer who was passionate about energy-efficiency, and I worked with a younger engineer who designed part of the General Motors EV1 electric car. I guess it was the corporate leadership who didn’t perceive a good business case? Why couldn’t Detroit sustainably penetrate the smaller car market? Does anyone have any insight into this?

The official word from the likes of Ford & GM is that they deduce from their own sales data that people want trucks & SUVs and no longer want sedans or smaller cars. Assuming they’re being honest, the explanation is that they’re deceiving themselves, a plausible explanation given how insular top company brass can be. They’re in denial that the theory of disruption could apply to the sedan market, an explanation to which many of us like Viking79 subscribe. Either way it’s an interesting way for Ford & GM to retreat and make room for Tesla and the like. If we look to the future, Ford & GM are wholly unprepared for the disruption they’ll face in the truck & SUV market. As Rivian, Model Y, and Tesla pickup are introduced and become plausible alternatives to ICE, the same disruption, over a similar time frame (remember Model S started six years ago), will occur. Just like sedan consumers, eventually truck & SUV consumers will hold out until an ICE-free version fitting their needs are available, killing ICE sales in a second wave of disruption. By the time they figure out both were waves of disruption rather than a “change in… Read more »
Dream ON! Lutz bought into EVs and one was designed by 2008. Put that in Tesla’s timelie. They then waited until they had a suitable design. All under GM patent. And made the motors. The important part is that it was electric drive from the beginning. This whole cloth revisionist fanboy narrative is because they are more impressed by their on myths than factual history. And it’s clear that GM came out with the first mass market long range EV. And the execution was nearly flawless (at least by tesla standards) and on time. And they have produced nearly as many electric drives as Tesla with few problems. GM is taking a different marketing route than Tesla, but why not? 220 will be when the rubber meets the road with a new GM crossover ev and another model too. In production. Tesla won’t make the ‘Y’ by then. If it ever does it might have the $35k Model 3 by then but I wouldn’t hold my breath. There’s no doubt fanboys deeply fear GM, otherwise they wouldn’t need to use it as their favorite whipping boy as they know it is a capable market force and their EV engineering is… Read more »

What are you talking about? The Bolt?
The $40,000 car with a plastic interior, bad seats, and no rear suspension?

I’m sure GM engineers could design a better car, but lets not kid ourselves they ever got the green light to do it.

After all GM develops the Corvette and did the EV1.
What the engineers can do and what management will green light…

Test question: Does the Bolt successfully compete with the BMW 3 series?
That’s all you want to know, if GM ever gave the engineers the commitment to go and create a great EV.

I believe Chevy has improved the seats and suspension a bit starting with the 2018 model.

That is what has been reported. Too bad it took them a whole year to fix those problems… assuming they actually have fixed them.

I got my Bolt for $28k after credits. What i3 goes 240 or more miles? I have NO complaints about the seats and I’m 6′ and 190lbs. In fact, I find I can stay comfortable for longer periods than my bigger cars and trucks for whatever reason. It has the stability of a lcg and 360 lbs. I have no complaints. The controls and propulsion is seamless and plenty of power. 18,000 miles and I know vehicles. No complaints at all.

Let’s turn this around! Who makes a better mass market vehicle for the price of a Volt or a Bolt? Not Tesla.

So you paid $36k then waiting to see if the IRS gives a tax credit on your tax bill?

Not buying GM lame ass anymore

Sorry but the Bolt is just a compliance car meant to allow GM to sell more gas guzzlers. It IS a good car, but GM won’t produce it in the numbers that people want it. Tesla Model 3 monthly sales now beat Bolt’s estimate for the year. GM does not and never has made a mass market EV.

Hyundai now does. The Kona EV matches the Bolt pricing, beats it in miles per charge, and very shortly it will be $7,500 cheaper because GM’s tax credits are expiring nest year. And the Kona has more equipment standard, as Hyundai always does. And a better warranty, as Hyundai always does.

Nothing could be further from the truth. You’re so badly wrong that you can’t even be taken seriously. GM has had the time, money, and know-how to build way better electric vehicles than Tesla if they wanted to. Obviously they never wanted to.

“GM appears to have been completely unable to figure out how to explain the concept of a plug-in hybrid to people beyond the early adopters. They didn’t necessarily want a big market, they wanted to sell enough for regulatory compliance.”

“I would get horror stories of people going into a dealership, and the dealer would say, ‘Oh you want a Volt, you must be interested in the fuel economy. Well I have 35 Chevy [Cruzes] in inventory on my lot. Let me try to sell you one of those.'”

“I think GM sold basically as many Volts as they wanted to. They wanted to sell just enough to be seen as a leader. The initial marketing was, I won’t say insincere, but it was a little odd and it seemed grasping.”

https://www.wired.com/story/chevy-volt-obituary-oral-history/

I think it is evident now that Lutz had the wrong vision for electric cars. It made the most sense to a corporate behemoth, but not what people wanted. I think Mary has better direction, but she is still hand tied by investors of GM that don’t want EVs: focus on the trucks. GM has said outright that they won’t do a full EV truck.

GM (et al.) is going to be in for a real surprise when Rivian and Tesla steal their profitable truck market from them. Make an EV and make it better than an ICE for important metrics and people will buy it. Make it compact, slow, or otherwise undesirable and expect it not to sell (Volt, great car but not a big market).

PS, Rivian just took out Tesla’s PU project. For one – its battery is more advanced. And it’s production ready.

There is plenty of room for both Rivian and Tesla (look how many trucks are sold across Ford, GM, and RAM. I wouldn’t say Rivian’s battery is more advanced. Rivian will likely make Tesla pull its pickup plans forward.

I’m sure that Rivian’s SUT (not really a pickup) will kill the market for Tesla’s pickup in the same way that the Bolt EV killed the market for the Tesla Model 3.

That is… it didn’t even make a noticeable dent.

BTW — It’s both sad and pathetic that you feel such a compulsion to keep posting fact-free anti-Tesla pravduh here. Nobody is buying the B.S. you’re shoveling out. Why not stop wasting your time, and ours?

GM still is going to sell it’s trucks to fleets. That’s where EVs trucks must hit to cause the disruption

In due time, first they hit the high profit high end trucks. Fleet sales are more about volume than profit. If you look at Rivian’s first vehicles they will be high priced low volume models, but these often make up a high percentage of profits. I imagine that they will come in with a mid priced Model later to get the volume.

It is like Apple, they only have I believe 23% of the phone market but 90% of the profit. Hit the high profit items and your influences far out weighs your sales.

Also don’t forget WorkHorse and Bollinger. In total they still don’t make more than a fraction of what Ford and GM make, however they will make enough trucks to really cut into the profit margin of those companies.

I doubt they’ll be making more than Rivian in for the foreseeable future, and Rivian are aiming for 50,000 by 2025. So that’s around 150,000 vehicles a year at best, in 6 years.

Workhorse will take a small percentage out of fleet sales, Bollinger will, well, probably not really do much more than a few thousand largely jeep sales and Rivian will perhaps take a small chunk out of the top end of the Denali/Platinum truck sales.

If the cost of production/weight of batteries hasn’t gone down enough by that point then EV’s have issues in general. If they do then Ford and GM will probably have a BEV option by that point.

Neither WorkHorse nor Bollinger are aiming for high production numbers. Their EV sales won’t amount to even a rounding error for Ford and/or GM light trucks, at least not for the near future. It’s possible that either WorkHorse or Bollinger might decide to move into high-capacity mass production, but if so, it would take them several years to achieve that.

Yeah, he’s just a GM fanboy… deeply worried about how much of GM’s market Tesla will soon be stealing, and deeply in denial of just how far Tesla is ahead of any other company in EV engineering.

Dude… you’re getting spittle on my screen. 😉

The only thing your rant actually shows is just how terrified you are that Tesla is going to bite deeply into GM’s sales in the coming years.

And you know what? You have good reason. Be afraid! Be very afraid…

Oh, and the auto maker whose EV engineering is second to none: That’s Tesla, of course. If you don’t believe me, just ask Sandy Munro.

Go Tesla! Keep Going Tesla!

Just remember Fords “commitment” to plugin-hybrids. The CMAX, 7 years on the market and ZERO battery improvement. It’s almost as if Ford did research on what range sales would start get demand over their CARB limits and intentionally Never Got It There.

The Hybrid concept has been PROVEN on the market for 20 years,
and yet there is still ZERO Hybrid Pickup Trucks and Ford doesn’t have a Hybrid SUV either.

Ford has a big commitment to investing Nothing in Future Tech.

GM made a hybrid pickup. It cost too much and didn’t sell well.

Dodge have just released a hybrid truck, but it’s a very mild type. We shall see how that sells.

The GM pickup hybrids were crap – marginal improvement at an uncompetitive price. If they did what VIA was doing, then they wouldn’t have a problem – a real all-electric range and capacity for substantial regen, plus the simplicity, efficiency, and extreme reliability of a motor or two and fixed gear reductions!

The B3 missed the ball whizzing overhead many years ago. They don’t have a prayer now. Too slow, too late, and half-baked. Very sad and very disappointing.

Sure, but at the time that was just about as good as you’re going to get. Even now a PHEV is still a cost issue for most vehicles, let alone a truck.

One of the other issues on the reliability front is pickups were pretty much bullet proof and where they weren’t they were easy to fix. That’s changed a little now with more modern electronics but they’re still very easy to maintain. Something that Rivian (and to an extent companies like Dodge) are toying with “negatively”, with their more complex air suspension etc.

Bypassing a variable transmission is going to vastly improve reliability, particularly for trucks that do a lot of towing.

There just doesn’t seem like there’s much of a smaller car market in the US. Ford make some great small cars. The Fiesta is one of the best selling in Europe and the Focus is also a great selling car. Both are staples vehicles for young and old alike as either primary or secondary vehicle. They’re reasonably built, reasonably priced and can handle quite well, especially when they’re converted to hot hatches (like the ST and RS). https://www.autoexpress.co.uk/best-cars/94280/best-selling-cars-in-the-uk-2018 https://focus2move.com/europe-best-selling-cars/ Neither seem to have done well in the US though, where the hatchback is second fiddle to sedans, which are in turn subsidiary to SUV’s. Perhaps it’s also image? In Europe Ford are considered a good, mainstream manufacturer, along with the likes of VW, Toyota and Honda. In the US Ford seem to be the butt of all the jokes and just another “junk” domestic, VW seem to be marketed more towards the “German” crowd and Toyota/Honda are considered far more reliable than the others. People who want bigger vehicles gravitate to US specific models (the trucks and large SUV’s) and as such there may not be as much of a stigma there. GM on the other hand have never managed… Read more »

Fusion and Taurus is great Ford Sedans but CEO wants SUVs. He’s getting can after 4Q results. 4th CEO from ford in this last decade

Neither of those are smaller cars, and their sales have collapsed in the last few years.

They peaked in 2014 and have dropped by 1/3rd since then.

http://carsalesbase.com/us-car-sales-data/ford/ford-fusion/

Better than Europe, where it peaked in the late 90’s/early 2000’s and has truly collapsed since then. From around 300,000 to 50,000 as CUV’s took over, or people reverted back to hatches.

http://carsalesbase.com/european-car-sales-data/ford/ford-mondeo/

It’s not quite as bad in the US, where people have sedans as “small” cars, but in Europe the sedan really is the “jack of all trades, master of none”. Too big as a second car, yet not practical enough as a primary vehicle.

Not practical as a primary vehicle? I thought Europeans didn’t have children anymore. What are they requiring their primary vehicles to do? They don’t buy 500 pounds of stuff per trip at Wal-mart, Sam’s Club, Lowe’s or Home Depot.

Over here, when I see sedans and hatches, they are Asian or European. Plus, with those brands building more factories in the US, it’s considered smart and even patriotic to buy those brands since the factory saved the town and surrounding community from economic ruin.

Those who have Fords generally like them, and they are decent vehicles, as others have said, but the image just isn’t there.

$35k 3 please. And drop the price of overpriced multi coat red back to $1,500 thanks

Whenever I see “$35k 3 “, I get a case of giggles. That’s pretty funny joke.

In 2 years time you’ll be able to buy a more fully optioned Tesla Model 3 for the same price as a Base model 3 for the same dollars: $35,000.

What will you do then?
Will there even be demand for the base?

Of course. Many people prefer to buy a new, lower spec vehicle than a used older vehicle.

Do not worry, we have seen it before. The goal posts will be moved again just like they have been doing the last twenty plus times.

“Will there even be demand for the base?”

One would have to be either quite ignorant or crazy to believe the high demand that exists now will somehow disappear within a year or so.

Tesla Post today

Frequency too low.

I think that the Model 3 is a hit AND a sedan just goes to show that the whole SUV/CUV thing is mostly the marketing department convincing people that they actually want one. There is nothing “sporty” about a Tahoe and 95% of SUVs never even see a dirt road. I see the original SUV craze just being a rebranding of the family station wagon.

The sedan is probably the best mix of performance and utility, especially when you add the hatchback.

I think the small crossover is basically the station wagon of our time. People like the combination of smaller size and practicality of the hatchback. However, there is a penalty to be paid in aerodynamics that Tesla was unwilling to conquer first given the available batteries.

American car makers have certainly had a lot of success in re-labeling their hatchbacks as “CUVs” and “SUVs”.

I’m rather far from convinced that the “car” market is disappearing. It’s certainly true that Americans want a car with a rear hatch rather than a sedan-style trunk, but I don’t see that as all that much of a change. I think this is far more about Ford and GM’s marketing departments trying to market everything as an “SUV” or “CUV”, no matter how small they are, because those sell better to Americans.

And not because nobody wants “cars” anymore. I find it ludicrous that compact and even sub-compact cars are now being labeled “CUVs” and even “SUVs”.

Hmmm… “jumbo shrimp”, anyone? 🙄

Most people don’t care about performance though, so a “rebranded” wagon with more practicality is going to catch on. It’s worth pointing out that the sedan as we know it is a relatively short lived vehicle. It became popular in the 60’s in the US (later elsewhere) and then peaked in the 90’s before dropping in popularity again. Perhaps in part because it was the stopgap between the less efficient higher vehicles of yesteryear, and the more efficient higher vehicles of today. Today’s popular “SUV’s” are essentially the sedan platform with the practicality/some of the design features of cars prior to sedans (higher ground clearance, smoother, less harsh ride, easier to get in and out with a more upright position and generally more interior space for it’s length. The Model 3 is a hit for multiple reasons. It’s a good car in it’s own right, but it’s got cachet, it’s the only mass market EV that can do 300 miles and it’s fast, meaning environmentally concious people with money will gravitate towards it, performance oriented people will gravitate towards it and those wanting a car to show off will also gravitate towards it. What market it’s taking from elsewhere is… Read more »

Sedans are the smoothest vehicles I’ve ever ridden.

I disagree. I find the ride too harsh in a lot of the one’s I’ve been in. SUV’s usually have more forgiving suspension. Tyres are probably the most important part though. Most SUV/CUV’s have far more practical everyday tyres, with a decent amount of sidewall to give extra cushioning.

Maybe modern sport sedans, and cheap sedans, that’s possible. I haven’t ridden in a sedan in many years. I’m talking real sedans, like 80s and 90s Cadillacs. The Ford Crown Victoria. They are amazingly smooth vehicles.

Yeah, they don’t make those any more, largely because they didn’t do corners very well. :p

I wasn’t aware that only ’80s and ’90s Caddys were “real” sedans. 😉

In general, sedans certainly have smoother rides than pickups, SUVs, minivans, and other “light trucks”. No question about it. I used to get motion sickness when I was a kid, riding in a sedan… but never in a pickup or any other type of light truck, because the rougher ride didn’t give me as much motion sickness.

I think what it has going for it is efficiency. You will never get as good efficiency in an SUV, and in Model 3 that means longer range and faster charging for the same price.

A battery electric CUV with a 20% efficiency hit goes from 300 miles range to 240 mile range, charging 170 miles/30 minutes to 136 miles/30 minutes. Or it costs substantially more for the larger battery, but chargers need to support the higher charge rate. This wasn’t visible with a gas car, you put in a larger gas tank adding a few dollars to the vehicle.

It depends how you compare efficiency. Compared to the platform they’re based on the efficiency is relatively poor, but compared to the platform they compare to space wise they’re usually pretty comparable.

Eg. The CRV is based on the Civic platform, but it’s around 20% less efficient. The CRV has comparable internal space and legroom to the Accord however, and has about the same efficiency.

At an educated guess – to translate that to Tesla I’d expect the Model Y to be a fair amount less efficient than the 3 (obviously, even though it’s the same platform), but to be similar in efficiency and internal volume/space as the Model S.

So for someone looking to buy a Model 3, the Y wouldn’t make sense (same as someone looking at a Civic isn’t likely to be interested in the CRV). But for someone looking for something with more space than the 3 then the Y suddenly becomes an option. Physically smaller externally than the S (especially length, probably a foot shorter at least if we go by standard CUV/Sedan ratios) but with similar efficiency and more luggage and similar legroom.

A sedan is simply a 4-door car with a fixed roof. It was the dominant form of American car pretty much from the mid 1920s onward. I don’t know what you’re talking about with “It became popular in the ’60s.” Every major US auto producer before the ’60s had a lineup of sedans in different sizes; the 2-doors and convertibles were basically derivatives of the sedans. They didn’t even have specific 2-door models except for a few luxury coupes and convertibles before the Mustang and GTO changed things in 1964 and created a craze for fast coupes.

“…the sedan… became popular in the 60’s in the US”…

Hmmm, the term goes back to 1912. The “three-box” sedan body style was certainly quite popular in the U.S. by the 1950s.

It is well established by the scientific data that human emissions and actions are the cause of at least 3 1/2 % of the current global warming trend……but if you go political it surely must be 90-98% of the cause. Crazy.

No it is not. I was a major disbeliever and what I found was asking for real numbers on all the sources is hard, I go convinced by going to Alaska and seeing the damage personally.

Also in Toronto I notice the difference in the air quality once they start the Clean Airprogram so today I want to see it done more and more regardless of what people think of climate change because I had to breath the air of a lot of dirty cars when I lived there.

Even today with the dirtiest cars gone, if you go down to the lake at Oshawa and look towards Toronto you can see the dark haze caused by all the pollution from cars and industry.

You don`t need to believe in “Global Warming” or “Climate Change” to want the end of ICE cars and the burning of oil. You just want good health for you and your children.

Correlation is NOT Causation.

The clean air argument is good one.
Back in the 70s Denver had some of the worst winter air quality in the world, often beating out LA for worst in the country. Denver sits in a depression where several rivers converge and is subject to temperature inversions that trap pollutants along the front range of the Rockies and cause the infamous “Denver Brown Cloud”. Over the last 40 years ICE vehicles got cleaner (unleaded gas, catalytic converters, low sulfur fuel, mandatory emissions test, better mileage) and the power stations in the Denver metro area switched from coal to natural gas. That has helped air quality dramatically, but the next step is to eliminate all vehicle emissions by switching to EVs and continue cleaning the grid by adding in more renewables (currently 28% from XCEL and increasing all the time.)

If you lived in Denver in the 70s when you couldn’t see downtown from the nearby suburbs you should be rooting for (and buying) EVs.

Except that the Cause Does Correlate.

Yeah, coming in from the foothills there was dome of pollution over the city. Early 70’s.

Climate change is real. Look 👀 at weather. It’s going to be 60F in December in Ohio by the great lakes

weather and climate…make sure you know the difference.

Climate effects weather patterns

Climate is the study of weather patterns over a long period of time. In the case of climate change, you will see higher highs and lower lows with an average showing an upward trajectory.

So in short, it can get hotter, it can get colder, and all things averaged over, say, ten years shows a gradual rise, these changes may look minor to the casual observer at a lazy glance, but its affect on arctic glaciers, ocean plankton life – responsible for 70 percent of our planet’s oxygen – and wind and current patterns is quite fascinating and concerning when thinking about the related quality of life concerns on the horizon.

Yeah, I don’t get this thing of claiming that weather and climate are two different things. If it’s weather lasting longer than two weeks, we call it “climate”.

It’s all meteorology, just short-term vs. longer-term.

(Which doesn’t at all mean that short-term outlier or extreme weather events “disprove” global warming. It should come as a surprise to exactly no one that weather/climate shows more short-term variation than long-term variation, since we experience that variation on a daily basis!)

That argument is no better than those put forward than the climate change deniers. “It’s been a cold winter in X so no such thing as climate change”.

Neither is how climate works.

I wanted to avoid the topic as much as possible, but it is the elephant in the room. I am not a climate scientist so will not argue one way or the other, but climate scientists agree that humans are the primary cause of the current heating cycle and in fact the earth would be going through a cooling cycle were it not for humans.

It is all in the US report cited in my article above (this was released under the current administration by the way). I would suggest going to a climate forum if you want to debate that report.

My argument is the current climate conditions set up a case for Tesla’s success.

Here is the text from the report overview: Multiple lines of independent evidence confirm that human activities are the primary cause of the global warming of the past 50 years. The burning of coal, oil, and gas, and clearing of forests have increased the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by more than 40% since the Industrial Revolution, and it has been known for almost two centuries that this carbon dioxide traps heat. Methane and nitrous oxide emissions from agriculture and other human activities add to the atmospheric burden of heat-trapping gases. Data show that natural factors like the sun and volcanoes cannot have caused the warming observed over the past 50 years. Sensors on satellites have measured the sun’s output with great accuracy and found no overall increase during the past half century. Large volcanic eruptions during this period, such as Mount Pinatubo in 1991, have exerted a short-term cooling influence. In fact, if not for human activities, global climate would actually have cooled slightly over the past 50 years. The pattern of temperature change through the layers of the atmosphere, with warming near the surface and cooling higher up in the stratosphere, further confirms that it is… Read more »

PS, what makes this statement so powerful is this:
“Multiple lines of independent evidence confirm…”
Trying to get scientists to agree on something is like herding cats.

Yes, and “climate scientists” is not one little field. It includes geologists (and all the variants), paleontologists (all the variants), meteorologists, oceanographers, biologists, anthropologists, etc., etc. The evidence is strewn across all major fields of endeavor that study the earth and our biosphere for clues about the past and present.

I think the burpless cow feed is the way to go. A multipronged approach, mainly reduction of ocean acidification, and trying to slow down the melting of the permafrost are of paramount importance, since once that goes, then all the glaciers go, and droughts and water shortages world-wide, it’s not a pretty picture, and it’s probably to late to do to much to stop it, so we have slow it down as best we can.

Sad to say, but a long worldwide depression would probably be of benefit if we could reorganize the entire planet around renewable energy, carbon sequestration and carbon removal, sort of a moon shoot for the planet, as we are all in this together and regardless of your political leanings, beliefs, gods, or whatever, when the planet goes we all do. So we all go down together.
As far the determination of human caused global warming, it’s settled, it’s evident and apparent in all parameters for such measurements that the planet is warming and it’s caused by humanity and our works.

Please present links to the source of your information. Otherwise, it’s not possible for us to verify your claims.

It’s not just todays carbon output of 7 Billion People.
It’s the previous 200 year history of carbon output from 1 Billion to 7 Billion people.

We’ve exceeded the capacity of the planet to absorb the surplus carbon that is not naturally produced by nature.

This is true and by 2100 will be about 11 billion people. We can pretend we’re “doing something” about climate change, but whatever’s proposed merely delay the inevitable by few months. We can’t even stop people from fighting wars (just look at US), there’s no way humans are going to agree to curb GHG emissions on global scale in any meaningful and lasting way.

Looks like everyone except the US and one or two others are the only holdouts globally. In other respects, renewables are accelerating the proliferation of modern technology to developing countries because they don’t need centralized power plants and 100s of miles of transmission lines and cable and fiber optics to gain power, access the internet, or make calls locally and around the world.

Holdout US cut more CO2 than most of Kyoto signers. Virtue signaling with some nonsense treaty means nothing. Fact is, climate change effect will only be delayed by few months even if entire US disappeared completely.

That happened largely because of fracking. The reduced cost of plentiful gas meant it out competed coal in that period.

Unfortunately GHG and climate change are just one symptom of the problem.

The real issue is overpopulation of the planet. The only way we can sort that out is a reduced growth rate to start, and then a negative growth rate to a more sustainable level.

Even if we in the west go back to using a similar amount of resources as most people in developing countries it still won’t be enough. That’s never going to be a realistic proposal. Very few people want to give up their homes and live in one room, or their cars and live with a bicycle etc.

We did LOWER our CO2. I would not say cut since that implies an active focus on that.
And what Trump is up to makes me edgy as we increase EVs.
The reason is the same for China.
Our AE, Nukes, and nat gas are all ran at around 95%S and more.
COAL plants are being ran around 50%.
So, where will the extra electricity at night time come fromt? Not hydro, solar, nuke, or nat gas. Some wind, but most will be COAL.
That could increase our CO2.

And yet the US cut its CO2 emissions by 15%. None of the Paris Signatory nations have come close to actually cutting emissions by that much. US greenhouse emissions are down nearly to the levels called for in the non-binding agreement. And the other countries have either stayed at the same level of emissions or gone UP!

And if Germany was sitting on a huge reserve of NG, they would have done better. Slapping each other on the back for doing what makes sense economically isn’t really helpful. It is also much easier to decrease when you are so incredibly wasteful.

I hear you, but it is just ironic that the US is getting lambasted for not joining a non-binding agreement, while the US is the only country actually close to achieving the goals for reducing CO2 reduction. It is like the reduction CO2 isn’t the actual goal.
So what is the real IPCC goal? I think a large part of it is wealth transfer, not emission reductions. Not all of it, but a large part. At least two of the IPCC management have stated that this is the case, but that isn’t proof. But if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck…

IPCC has some REAL issues with their measurements.
For example, America’s values are measured all over the nation. We also do calculations against what the gov says.
With nations like China, they REFUSE to allow measurements. So, it is based on what a nation, that is known for constant lying over nothing, says.

We have a few sats in the sky that measure GHG. We need more.

wrong.
Most of Europe actually cut their more than America but over a longer period of time. Basically, they started it in mid 90s, while America’s started down in 2009.

In addition, it appears that America went up slightly in 2018 (~3%), though China went up huge (~4.5-5).

If Tesla had not let others use their patents, there would be no Chevrolet Bolt EV.

Tesla’s patent sharing require that the company using the patents share all their patents in a similar manner. Bolt EV does not use any of Tesla’s patents.

“Tesla’s patent sharing require that the company using the patents share all their patents in a similar manner.”

I find it amazing that so few people know that. It’s not like it’s exactly a secret.

Tesla announced their patent share offer in the summer of 2014; GM had already been producing the Volt, ELR and Spark EV before then…

“…citing they make the vehicles people want to buy”. Really? Tesla has shown us that people really, really want to buy EV’s. Fact is, the big automakers simply cannot make EV’s without trashing their established distribution/sales model. The dealerships buy cars wholesale from the automakers and sell to consumers at cost (If they’re lucky; dealerships actually take a loss of $200/new vehicle sold, on average). They make some money on the financing side, but their biggest profit driver by far is in servicing the vehicles they sell. The drivetrain in an ICE vehicle contains 2,000+ moving parts typically, whereas the drivetrain in an EV contains around 20. That translates to drastically less maintenance over the life of the car. EV’s require no oil changes, and regenerative braking means the brakes need replaced far less often. Overall servicing requirements are far less for an EV vs an ICE vehicle. To a dealership, selling a car that requires much less maintenance would be like giving it away for a song. They simply can’t do that and stay in business. The established automakers are married to the dealerships, for better or worse. It’s not that they can’t make an electric car – they… Read more »

How’s GM losing money on car they don’t build. Most of the battery and parts are from Korea

Not to say that GM is losing money building and selling the Bolt EV, but an auto maker could lose money on designing and developing a car even if it didn’t put it into production. In fact, auto makers lose money (at least on paper) on every concept car they make. However the “halo effect” may in some cases more than make up for money lost on designing and building concept cars.

Many times I wish model 3 was actually a hatchback. I still think that sedan is dead as format … for mass production vehicle. Tesla gets away with it, because there’s nothing like it. But if there was, I think non-sedan car would clean up the stats. Hatch is just so much more practical for so many people.

Yeah, that’s one reason why I think the Model S did so well, because it was really a hatch (just not as tall as hatchbacks, proportionally speaking). The Y should do VERY well!

Say that to the Camary or Accords

And upward swing of Korea’s Sedans

Sales peaked in 2014 (2015 for the Camry), like most of the other sedans on the market in the US.

http://carsalesbase.com/us-car-sales-data/honda/honda-accord/
http://carsalesbase.com/us-car-sales-data/toyota/toyota-camry/

Toyota’s overall vehicles sales are up this year as well.

Sedans sell for many reasons and will continue to do so, IMO. The vast majority of sedans now have sleek style, handle better, steer and drive better, are more aerodynamic, and are more efficient than SUV’s. I’ve been in the new car sales biz for 35 years and I’ll tell you that the look and style of the vehicle plays a big part in the decision making. Many people started buying SUV’s because they thought they were safer. Now that lane departure, auto emergency braking, blind spot monitors, backup cameras,etc., etc., etc., are on all vehicles there will be less and less danger of fatal accidents. For example, all the sedans that the Koreans make are IIHS top safety pick. Safer than many of the SUV’s out there!

TLDR.
But When Model Y comes out, a lot of Model 3 owners will be trading in.

Advertising article, and very inaccurate.
The first reasonable EV was the leaf, using liion batteries.
Tesla sell cars because they are nice and electric, not because they’re sedans. If model 3 was a SUV it would probably even sell more – and I’m not a fan of SUVs. Efficient is Paramount for range and SUVs don’t help the EV cause, but they’re here.

Cars are getting cleaner, ICE included.

Using natural gas as a way of producing electricity example is deceiving, because it’s one of the cleanest fossil, but coal use is far from small. I never got deep into it but I think investing in clean electricity production would be better for the world pollution than investing in EVs – as we speak.

The world needs both!

Roadster used large Li-ion battery consisting of 18650 cells long before the Leaf. My point was that Tesla showed that you could scale the 18650 cells into a large scale battery. Are you disagreeing with that?

If you note on Tesla sites they accuse me of being a GM troll, it definitely is not an advertising piece. It is how I feel. The car is the first EV to warm the hearts of people and help smooth the transition to EV. It is the ’65 Mustang in its desirability and Model T in its change to industry.

Cars like the Leaf, Volt, really have no chance of changing established industry. They are the cars that non EV people don’t like, small market cars.

Fast cars warm the hearts of people, reasonable priced cars are sold by the millions. Cars like the Nissan leaf (under $35k) will sell 4:1 or more, cars like the model 3 (priced over $50k) in the near future. Nissan leaf was just the first, add Zoe’s, VW, Kona, …
I believe model 3 saturated the market (in the US), I’m curious to look at the sales during 2019.

American Auto industry sucked big time in the last years (I’m from Europe, maybe I’m biased), many see in Tesla the potential to change that trend, and that leaves many (rightfully) excited.

Nissan Leaf can hardly sell 13,000 a year in the US. The Model 3 is selling at roughly a 200,000+ per year rate and that is with the $50k and up model. Add in the $35k model and demand could easily double. My guess though is the high end market will saturate some, but Tesla could easily sell between 300,000 and 400,000 Model 3 cars in the US in 2019 (Hard to know how many they ship to Europe and how quickly they can bring costs down to make $35k model viable).

I wish ppl would understand that Coal based electricity is a DISASTER on EVs. China with ~80% is horrible. I see so many fools that will claim that China now has clean coal and they impley that it is cleaner than nat gas. Chemically, that is IMPOSSIBLE. Nat gas is CH4, which produces [CO|CO2] + 2(H2O). Coal, AT ITS BEST, is basically oil. Therefore its structure would have 2(CH3)+[CH2]n where n is typically 10-1000. Burned, it will produce, at best, [[CO|CO2] + H2O]n IOW, it will be less than 1/2 of the cleanliness of nat gas. THAT IS AT BEST. In General, even with high efficiency coal, it is less than 1/3 of the cleanliness.

yes, I know. It was off topic, but somebody had posted about how clean all EVs were and that is false.

You must be getting your “news” from a fake news source.

I haven’t seen any claims that China is using “clean coal” tech… not even one.

And you can’t figure out what the well-to-wheel efficiency is for EVs powered by coal-based electricity, nor the amount of greenhouse gas emissions, by looking at chemical formulae.

The Union of Concerned Scientists says that all-electric cars have lower cradle-to-grave emissions than comparable gasmobiles even in areas where most of the grid power comes from coal. I think they have pretty solid facts and figures backing up their claim; certainly more relevant and more accurate than the figures used in anybody else’s study.

https://www.ucsusa.org/clean-vehicles/electric-vehicles/life-cycle-ev-emissions

I respect the group, but something is not right. Let’s take Colorado – more than half of electricity comes from coal, 25% from natural gas, and let’s assume the rest is clean. Coal plants emissions are over 1000g of CO2/kWh, natural gas half of that. That means that a model S 100 full charged with coal electricity would issue 200g/km. Considering the mix, would be about 125g/km. The average new European car (even luxury Diesel cars) do better than that. If the study considers average cars and we know the US consumes a lot of SUVs and trucks, it distorts the study (and I don’t think the study makes that mistake from a brief reading). I’m not considering that ICE makers “lie” about emissions but I’m not considering charging efficiency of 85% for EVs, phantom drain, cold weather efficiency decrease, extra miles looking for a charger and vehicle production impact. EV makers “lie” as much as we can see from reports about i-pace or 40% decrease in range for model 3 in cold weather. EVs are the way to go, but bigger efforts should be made for clean electricity production, coal is going down very fast in the US but… Read more »
Do Not Read Between The Lines

No Model Y yet.

Duh! It won’t be revealed until March (most likely).

“In itself, the Roadster wasn’t a game-changing car…”

I firmly disagree, and I’ve been following the “story” of Tesla Motors, and the EV industry, since shortly before the old Roadster debuted in 2008.

The original Tesla Roadster single-handedly transformed the public image of electric cars. Before the Roadster, EVs were seen as “punishment cars”; slow, uncomfortable, and ugly; cars that only someone dedicated to the “green” cause would be caught dead driving.

After the Tesla Roadster… Heck, just the news that it would be put into production prompted GM to put the Volt into production, and one or both of those caused Nissan to put the Leaf into production.

Tesla’s first car was most definitely a game changer!

Keep Going Tesla!