Tesla’s Vehicle Production VP Says “Cars We Build Are About Seven Years Beyond” Other Automakers

1 year ago by Mark Kane 90

Tesla Model S Gets Assembled In Fremont, CA

Tesla Model S Gets Assembled In Fremont, CA

New Tesla Vice President of Vehicle Production Peter Hochholdinger, who joined the company five months ago, is impressed by Tesla manufacturing process (perhaps not surprisingly).

In recent interview with ML Journal (read entire article here) Hochholdinger said that that:

New Tesla Assembly Facility in Tilburg, Netherlands

Tesla Assembly Facility in Tilburg, Netherlands

“The cars we build are about seven years beyond everything I’ve seen before, and it’s quite thrilling and exciting to be here and to be part of this car manufacturing group”

We are not sure how the advantage was rated at seven years, but it sounds like a big number to have over established manufacturers, if accurate.

Such an opinion would be especially alarming for Audi, where Hochholdinger spent most of his career as head of A4, A5 and Q5 manufacturing.

Another interesting note is that the production of electric and conventional cars on the same line isn’t good idea according to the former Audi line chief, which is clearly a break from the traditional OEM thinking on the matter.

Although we have to say, as Tesla has never tried to sell petrol versions of its BEVs (obviously), and we aren’t aware of any manufacturer producing the same model of plug-in and petrol car separately, we can’t point to a real life example where the point could be proven.

Historically, traditional OEMs have seen little issues in the way of producing plug-ins to demand, and overall the build quality of those EVs have been very solid to date  (perhaps with the exception of the Fiat 500e and Focus Electric anyway).

Tesla’s VP of Vehicle Production is now under the gun to prove himself to the company (and his opinions), as Tesla has set ambitious goals for production increases, along with Tesla factory expansion and introduction of the Model 3 over the next year.

Hochholdinger states that one of the way to leverage production efficiency is to introduce more robots, and also to design parts specific for robotic use over human use for quicker/less expensive installations.

source: ML Journal via Electrek

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90 responses to "Tesla’s Vehicle Production VP Says “Cars We Build Are About Seven Years Beyond” Other Automakers"

  1. Taser54 says:

    I guess if one is going to make things up, they might as well swing for the fence.

    1. jelloslug says:

      I know, just look at all the other long range EVs out there with their own robust fast charging network.

      1. KK says:

        This about the cars not the charging network

        1. Chris O says:

          What Tesla is offering is *supercharger supported* long range EVs and it looks like it will be years before anybody can match that.

          GM skipped the supercharger thing and decided to only offer the long range thing instead in its effort to beat Tesla to the punch when it comes to long range affordable EVs in what looks like an effort to convince the world that Silicon Valley has nothing on Detroit but frankly it’s only offering half the product.

          Let’s hope for GM not too many people realize that 50KW quickchargers aren’t all that quick anymore when hooked up to a large battery and that the car is not capable of taking larger output when it finally comes available.

          1. All-Purpose Guru says:

            One of the reasons Tesla built the supercharger network is because their charging infrastructure is nonstandard– nobody is gonna make that kind of investment in a support structure for one brand of car at the volume Tesla sells at. Once the 3 comes out and we have 10x the cars out there it becomes more interesting.

            In Europe most filling stations support diesel because lots of cars there need it– but since diesel never caught on here it’s much harder to find here– my friend with a Golf diesel has had to refuel at truck plazas more than once. The same could be said for Tesla charging support versus J1772/CCS Combo/CHAdeMO support.

            Witness the charging stations being installed in the UK, Netherlands, and on the East and West coasts of the US, specifically to support CCS Combo charging, which is showing up on most new cars these days.

            While it’s good that Tesla has built out their infrastructure earlier, it is at least being partially driven as a marketing thing.

            1. Tech01x says:

              One of the reasons why Tesla’s Supercharger networks use their own standards is because there are no standards that Tesla could use otherwise. Both types of CCS and CHAdeMO are limited to 200 amps. We have seen Tesla vehicles charge at 370+ amps.

              The revisions to the standards should arrive sometime in 2017, with hardware deployment likely starting late in 2017. Was Tesla supposed to wait for that standard before shipping any vehicles?

              1. speculawyer says:

                CCS did not exist at all at the time of the Model S design. I think CHADEMO did exist but it was viewed as clunky (it is) and slow (it is) and lacking a good handshake.

                1. RexxSee says:

                  Tesla tried to convince the SAE to enhance the CCS standard for Model S. But it was not moving fast enough, so they developed their own standard of chargers.

                  1. zzzzzzzzzz says:

                    They didn’t needed to “invent” their own incompatible plug. Even 2 plugs, one semi-compatible Type 2 for Europe, and before that another incompatible with Tesla’s own euro plug in North America. It is either typical beginner’s error, “lets don’t care about compatibility and do my own way and expect world to follow my invention of the wheel”, or business decision to create walled garden and obstruct open infrastructure deployment while expecting to create monopoly.

                    They always had option to use Chademo plug that was in existence for a while, or CCS plug, with extra software extension to negotiate higher power.

                    120-150 kW Chademo/CCS chargers are installed and available for sale since last year. They use the same Chademo and CCS plugs and are 100% backwards compatible.
                    http://arcticroads.com/nyheter/opens-120-kw-ev-charger-to-the-public/

        2. jelloslug says:

          At this point in the game, they are one in the same.

          1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

            Indeed.

            The Supercharger network is part of Tesla’s superior EV tech. It’s true that the quotes in the article above focus specifically on Tesla’s cars, but it would be pretty naive to suggest that potential PEV (Plug-in EV) buyers are going to ignore the Supercharger network.

        3. JOMIJON says:

          This is about “THE ENTIRE PACKAGE” An EV is no good if you can’t charge it up ..Just Like an ICE car is no good without petrol.

      2. JIMIJON says:

        I think he’s being Modest ,Tesla is probably 10Yrs Plus + ahead of the rest…Although I do hope that the Competition whom ever they may be, come out of hiding to catch up if they can by putting out more EV choices into the markets and give Tesla some sort of Competition.

    2. ffbj says:

      Funny. I did not know he was an inside evs commenter and poster.

      1. JIMIJON says:

        Two Mints in One!

  2. Vexar says:

    Makes me wonder if this will move the needle on the stock price. Or if anything will. #1 luxury car by a factor of two in the US. 59% YoY sales growth, hundreds of thousands of paid vehicle reservations, is this all because of the SCTY acquisition? It can’t be the profitability topic again, that’s too base, too much of a short-seller’s thinking.

    1. ffbj says:

      It won’t have affect on the stock price. It’s pretty much stuck at $200, for the moment.

    2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      I wouldn’t expect a new employee of Tesla Motors expressing enthusiasm about the products of his company to move the stock price. It’s pretty much expected that he’d put positive spin on Tesla’s production, isn’t it?

      I think Tesla is significantly ahead of other makers of PEVs (Plug-in EVs), but seven years ahead? Looks like a bit of an exaggeration. That may be on the mark for the Leaf and a few other older PEV models; the ones which haven’t been updated much. But it’s certainly not true of the Volt 2.0 nor the Bolt.

    3. Nix says:

      TSLA prices are based upon what institutional investors believe TSLA will be worth after Tesla successfully completes the Model 3 (and possibly Model Y) launches.

      Institutional investors own a large majority of shares (67%), and they have clearly decided that they don’t want to get caught sleeping (like with Amazon and other breakout stocks) only to have to buy up popular shares after the price goes through the roof.

      Remember, shares are priced on what the perceived value of the shares will be worth in the future, not on what a company did in the past. Prior results are only one aspect of predicting future performance. How far in the future depends on each buyers stock ownership strategy. Institutional investors have been taking an accumulate and hold strategy, which is consistent with a long-term strategy where future events have already been priced into the share price.

      http://www.nasdaq.com/symbol/tsla/institutional-holdings

      What this means is that as Tesla is successful at rolling out vehicles, and increases sales, we likely will not see a TSLA share price increase that is in proportion with the increase in sales, or with the release of new models. Because those events are already mostly priced into TSLA shares.

      Meanwhile, TSLA shares will remain volatile.

      1. Another Euro point of view says:

        It is not as volatile as it used to be. I do not watch television at all but do follow tsla stock shorts & long battle for entertainment sake. For many shorts, bankruptcy is for sure next week, and this is going on for the last 2 years. On the long side it is not much better, what is funny to see is that they did not really get it yet that Elon can’t effectively tweet the stock up anymore. Seems tsla stock became tweet numb since that SCTY acquisition story.

        1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          “Another Euro point of view” said:

          “For many shorts, bankruptcy is for sure next week, and this is going on for the last 2 years.”

          Tesla bashers have been predicting that since 2008, or even before. The beginning, and end, of the absurd and often ludicrous “Tesla Death Watch” blog predates the IPO for Tesla’s stock.

          1. zzzzzzzzzz says:

            It may be hard to predict when exactly will rain, but it is easy to predict that you will have rain this year or another. Or that you may run out of money if you spend more than you earn and it goes forever.

            1. ffbj says:

              Then your predicative ability is worthless. Prediction involves both an event and that event occurring within a specific time frame.

              1. Spider-Dan says:

                So if climate scientists cannot predict the exact date Miami will be underwater, their predictions are useless and we should all go buy SUVs with V8 engines? If my doctor can’t predict the exact date I’ll develop lung cancer, I should go light up some Marlboros two-at-a-time?

                Your logic is quite flawed.

      2. JIMIJON says:

        Time will tell……

  3. Big Solar says:

    I can believe it but they still should not announce it.

    1. Kdawg says:

      Because it’s Friday

      1. Jay Cole says:

        Did you really just do a “Peter Hochholdinger” photoshop? That’s dedication…we didn’t even include his picture in the story, (=

        1. Kdawg says:

          Dedication.. or procrastination from doing real work 🙂

  4. flmark says:

    As the owner of both Chevy Volts and a Tesla Model X, I would state that Mr Hochholdinger needs to get a broader picture of the industry than he currently has. My Volts and my Tesla are comparable in many ways, with advantages and disadvantages for each. However, my biggest complaint about my Tesla is glaring compared to my Volt. When you park a Volt (unplugged), a week later, you come back to find the battery charge level essentially unchanged. If you do the same thing in a Tesla, you find you have lost SEVERAL DOZEN MILES of range.

    I would also add that there is a blindness, or arrogance, that Tesla has regarding its electric prowess, as might be deduced from the sentiment expressed in the title. My contact with multiple service personnel, in multiple locations, seems to show that Tesla has little concern over these tremendous vampire losses. I am hoping that the appearance of the Bolt and other long range battery competitors makes Tesla ‘grow up’ and get more introspective about itself as an automobile manufacturer.

    Tesla could be excused, though, for allowing itself to become a bit myopic and arrogant, as it has to fight the arrogance of other automobile manufacturers in courts and legislatures across the land just to sell its vehicles.

    1. jelloslug says:

      There are setting in the Tesla to greatly reduce vampire losses. I suggest you read the manual to learn more.

      1. flmark says:

        HELLO!!!!

        I shouldn’t have to put down every detail, but since I DID say that I have discussed this with tech people, it should be OBVIOUS that ALL STEPS have been taken to minimize losses.

        The last person I spoke with told me that his manager told him one could easily see 10% or more losses PER DAY!!!

        The problem is that Tesla is sloppy with whatever they are doing and feel vampire juice is just fine. In fact, they recently put in a feature to run climate control for a shutdown car just in case somebody happened to leave a kid inside. They tell everybody to stay plugged in and just forget about it.

        Well, I suggest every Tesla owner select NOT always connected and Energy Saver ON, park your vehicle for a week without plugging in and see how many miles you lose. Then write to Tesla and tell them you are unhappy with the resulting losses. YEAH I DID RTFM…and I would hate to think what my losses would be if I didn’t have all options properly chosen.

        1. flmark says:

          Since my comment drew a lot of other comments, I will put this item here to address some of the things I read later on.

          I plan on taking this to the service center when I return to FL. My location in NY is too far from a service center to deal with, other than over the phone. And it is over the phone that I feel like I am being brushed off. I had read that official word for losses was 1% overnight. This would indeed be just a few miles, as a Model S owner reveals. Since my losses are 2 to 3 times that, I feel like something needs dealing with…and since the latest response was just sooo sloppy (I should expect 10%), I have given up dealing with this for the moment…but when you read that some newbie exec declares Tesla to be 7 years ahead, you gotta raise a red flag.

          My suggestion to everyone I speak with is an OTA update (something Tesla IS ahead with) that gives me the OPTION to go into battery saver mode. They now do things at low states of battery charge to prevent bricking the battery as was happening a few years ago. If they can shut down everything, than give me the CHOICE to do it, as well.

          I don’t buy that Tesla’s thermal management is any better than Volts. Battery failures on original Volts are never reported, not even a loss of range. Since Tesla’s battery pack is several times larger than Volts I tried to cut them some slack…and that slack would mean that these vampire losses are PROPORTIONAL to battery state of charge. However, that does not appear to be the case. I did this twice this summer (note SUMMER in NY with reasonable temps, what the heck will happen in winter???) Whether I started the idle week at 230 miles or 150 miles, the losses appeared the same.

          My recommendations about Tesla are significantly affected by the current state of battery losses. I have a reservation for a Model 3, but I expect to cancel it if nothing changes. That is largely because the Model 3 would become the backup car, not being regularly driven. My backup is currently a 2008 Tahoe Hybrid, which can sit for weeks without use. I find it intolerable to think of a vehicle using more miles while PARKED than in motion. However, if someone uses the vehicle regularly, I would not hesitate to recommend Tesla, especially for high mileage folks. At the moment, the Tesla package cannot be beat if you want to really drive electric. A few days ago, I did a trip with the X, taking my daughter and grandkids into the Adirondack Mountains to view the foliage. The trip involves 87 miles to (and from) the Utica Supercharger…and then we did a 212 mile loop out of Utica. This nearly 400 mile day trip was a breeze in my Tesla, with available DCFC providing lots of (free) electricity. [In a Model 3, I should expect it not to be free.] Outside of the Albany-NYC corridor, there is exactly ONE DCFC for the ENTIRE STATE that is not a Tesla SC…and Tesla has SCs at Buffalo, Syracuse, Utica, Albany, Binghamton, Watertown, Glens Falls and Plattsburg.

          DO NOT HESITATE TO GET A MODEL 3 OR OTHER TESLA JUST BECAUSE OF THESE VAMPIRE LOSSES; NO OTHER MANUFACTURER IS NEARLY AS COMMITTED TO GETTING YOU OFF FOSSIL FUELS. However, they need to ‘grow up’ if they think there is no room for improvement and they are just so far ahead of everyone else in every way.

          1. Bill Howland says:

            FLmark, could u list losses under the various conditions, since each time you elaborate the problem seems to be getting worse and worse.

            1). Normal fair weather.
            2). Normal hot weather.
            3). Eco fair weather.
            4). Eco hot weather.

            (overnight in a parking lot mileage loss per day).

            Until you startd mentioning this, I mistakenly thought the problem was fixed.

    2. przemo_li says:

      Over the air updates, so loved by Tesla users, do take power to apply, and some more to monitor for them.

      Other very good feature realized by stand by is ability to preheat or summon the car to You, and anything else Tesla will think out in the future.

      OEMs will mimic Tesla here, so their power usage when in stand by will also increase. Or well, Volt can not do it, that is also how You can go about it.

      1. theflew says:

        You’ve been drinking Tesla juice. What exactly does Tesla do in standby that the Volt can’t do? You can start and condition the Volt remotely, unlock doors, and diagnostics can be taken, etc..

        All the car has to do in standby is keep the cellular radio on waiting for a call. That takes little power. Based on the call other systems can be initialized. Looks like GM has more fine grain control with OnStar than Tesla does. But that makes sense because OnStar is 20 years old.

    3. darth says:

      That seems really weird. My Leaf loses zero even it sits for a whole week. I leave the battery at about 50% if I am going to be away to minimize the stress on it.

      Are Tesla batteries just ‘always on’? Leaf has relays to disconnect the main battery whenever the car is off. Does Tesla not do that? This is concerning as I am strongly considering the Model 3.

      1. Anon says:

        Batteries are “Always On”. They do not switch on and off by themselves. The issue is what the load is on them, at any given point in time. And that circuit, can certainly be controlled with a simple switch.

        On a Tesla, the computer and wireless data are still functioning, so it can do housekeeping functions and as previously mentioned, execute user requests like summon, set ENV controls, etc.. And you certainly don’t get features like advanced OTA updates without burning some electrons.

        Dumb cars (Like the Volt, etc.) that do turn completely off when you turn the old-fashioned ignition switch off, are going to be less and less mainstream…

        1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          “On a Tesla, the computer and wireless data are still functioning, so it can do housekeeping functions and as previously mentioned, execute user requests like summon, set ENV controls, etc.. And you certainly don’t get features like advanced OTA updates without burning some electrons.”

          I don’t believe that the trickle charge necessary to run a microprocessor is going to drain that much, even over a period of a week.

          As I recall, on older Tesla cars there was an issue with the car running the TMS (Thermal Management System) to keep the battery pack within operating temperature, even when it was parked. I don’t know if that’s still an issue or not.

      2. Vexar says:

        Tesla batteries have thermal management, which takes power. The car has gotten increasingly more sophisticated with power consumption, so that built-in manual is worth a read every time there’s an update. I do like the “don’t cook the family dog” feature they added in 8.0.

      3. All-Purpose Guru says:

        The ‘relay’ you’re talking about is called a “contactor” and all electric vehicles have ’em. Generally you don’t run the lower-power stuff through that circuit.

        The Thermal Management for the pack can be a substantial loss in power, as well as changes in temperature of the pack itself. If you heat up a pack, or chill it substantially, the effective power availability can change, which may or may not be reflected in the GOM output (depending on whether it is statically or dynamically calculated.) The same number of coulombs of power are IN the battery, but not all of them may be AVAILABLE.

        On other vehicles such as the Fit EV, the onboard electronics are powered by the onboard 12v vehicle battery that is recharged when the contactor is closed– so if the car is sitting the vampire loads draw off THAT battery and not the main pack. This is why a Fit EV (sorry, I own one, so I know that vehicle best) will actually become undriveable if you leave it on the charger for over two weeks– the pack will be nice and full, but the 12v battery powering the onboard electronics will go dead, so you can’t turn on the car.

        This may be why the Tesla shows vampiric losses on the pack while the Volt doesn’t– it’s related to the design differences between the vehicles.

        oBauthority: I work in the electric vehicle industry and own a Honda Fit EV.

        1. Kdawg says:

          But Teslas also have 12V batteries?

          1. Martin Winlow says:

            They do and they are automatically topped up from the main pack if they get low – another part of the vampire drain issue – not that I am complaining. My i-MiEV also loses its 12V auxiliary battery after about 10 days if the car is not used.

            Never understood why it was not designed to top off the 12V aux battery from the mains after the main charging has finished. What would it have cost extra to build in?

            My Model S loses about 2 miles per day in the lowest energy use setting.

    4. Tech01x says:

      Vampire losses amount to about 35 watts to make sure the battery is always in good shape and there’s a bit more to run the MCU and cell data connection. It’s one of the reasons why Tesla allows owners to use 96% of the battery and still retain such terrific capacity levels.

      The Volt’s battery is much less volatile and GM only allows a much smaller portion of the battery to be used, so they essentially leave it unmonitored when the car is off.

      Trade-offs.

      If you let set the “always connected” setting to off, the MCU vampire drain is reduced and the car will go into a deeper sleep mode. And at some point, if the charge level drops to a very low level, the car will stop the BMS function and will avoid using the traction battery to charge the 12v battery to preserve the life of the traction battery.

    5. Koenigsegg says:

      Tesla stays on, Volt turns off.

      Never had a problem with “vampire drain”, as my car is always being driven.

    6. RexxSee says:

      To flmark
      Reading your post is like a trip back in time to 2013.

    7. Bill Howland says:

      FLMARK, glad you commented here. As soon as I read the VP’s statement I remembered what you stated weeks ago.

      I had THOUGHT you meant 3=4 miles ‘leakage’ per day. But now after you’ve clarified this a bit – it sounds like 6-7 miles per day.

      This is unacceptable if this is happening in fair weather. My question is, what is the leakage if left overnight unplugged in a parking lot, at 10 deg F? Just in normal use of my car, I cannot guarantee that I will always be able to plug in every night.

      They are about the last manufacturer to use an inefficient induction drive motor, so electricity use of this car cannot be ‘7 years ahead of everyone else.

      One of the frustrations about considering purchase of a TESLA ( I had briefly considered it while shopping for an EV a few weeks ago ), is the difficulty of finding reliable information.

      Most Tesla owners are somewhat reluctant to critique their cars after expending so much CA$H for them.

      There are downsides to the Volt also, but they pale in comparison to things that you find about the car that are actually better than expected.

      1. georgeS says:

        @Bill H

        I also had a Volt for 3 years and now have a model S. I can verify the Vampire drain he is talking about.

        I’m not exactly sure why the Tesla is so much worse than the Volt. I agree with Mark that Volt is essentially zero and I think you would verify that your ELR is aslo essentially zero.

        My Model S Vampire drain is in mild temperatures. We shall see how much worse it gets this winter.

        I’m guessing that the Tesla is just holding a tighter temperature band that it allows for the battery to be in.

      2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        Bill Howland said:

        “They are about the last manufacturer to use an inefficient induction drive motor, so electricity use of this car cannot be ‘7 years ahead of everyone else.

        You’re the only one I see making the claim that induction motors are measurably less energy efficient than permanent magnet motors. As a matter of fact, there appeared to be briefly a general trend in the PEV (Plug-in EV) industry to move away from permanent magnet motors, until somebody figured out how to make those without using “rare earth” elements.

        While it may be a matter of opinion which is better, permanent magnet motors or induction motors, what is not mere opinion is that Tesla’s EV tech is clearly superior to the EV tech that Nissan used in the Leaf. The Tesla Model S85 achieved almost precisely the same energy efficiency, as measured by its range on the EPA test cycle, in years when the S85 was measured on the same test cycle as the Leaf. This despite the fact that the Model S85 is a significantly heavier car with much higher acceleration!

        Tesla Model S85: EPA range = 265 miles / 85 kWh = 3.118 miles / kWh

        2013 Nissan Leaf: EPA range = 75 miles / 24 kWh = 3.125 miles / kWh

        (Note the increase in the 2014-2015 Leaf’s EPA range range rating, to 84 miles, does not reflect any improvement in the car, but merely a change in the way the EPA calculated the range.)

        Now, that’s no proof that Tesla’s EV tech is superior to GM’s. But it’s very clearly superior to Nissan’s!

        1. zzzzzzzzzz says:

          You are inventing some weird metric to measure efficiency. These battery size kWh you use are not accurate numbers. But what can we expect from Tesla propagandist.

          Check official sources below. Or just ignore reality and continue to believe in Musk making miracles and moving much heavier electron guzzler with inefficient induction motor or electronics by his supernatural powers.
          http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/Find.do?action=sbs&id=33558&id=33368

          2013 Nissan Leaf – 115 mpge
          2013 Model S 85 – 89 mpge

        2. Bill Howland says:

          There are no rotor heating current losses in a PM motor simply because there are no rotor heating currents. Everyone in the electrical industry knows this. You keep making the same inaccurate statements over and over again.

      3. Roy_H says:

        “They are about the last manufacturer to use an inefficient induction drive motor, so electricity use of this car cannot be ‘7 years ahead of everyone else.”

        Several years ago I read on the Tesla Blog an article why they chose to use induction vs permanent magnet. It was not out of ignorance or ability but because they believe their choice to be superior.

        1. Roy_H says:

          Forgot to add. Tesla designed their own induction motor which among other features has much tighter clearance between stator and rotor and uses square wires for the windings which makes it much more efficient.

          1. Bill Howland says:

            All modern induction motors have bars for the rotor, other than wound-rotor motors which are rarely used today, or used for other purposes such as GE’s Selsyn products.

            Tesla’s only ‘enhancement’ from what I can see is their second try of copper rotor bars. They tried aluminum but then testing burned them out. Therefore all subsequent motors had copper rotor bars.

            1. Bill Howland says:

              NOt to belabor the point, but my saying “ALL” needs some qualification: There are some special purpose hoist motors, rock crusher motors, oil derrick motors, etc and others that demand low starting current along with high starting torque, plus ‘high-slip’ so that a flywheel may accelerate and decelerate to ‘help’ with cyclical periodic loads. On these jobs the specialized effects just mentioned are more important than supreme efficiency.

              But, in an EV, I’d think efficiency would have a high priority, since otherwise you’d need a bigger battery.

    8. koz says:

      There are two factors at play in vampire drain and Tesla is definitely disadvantaged in one and most likely in the other:
      -Calendar drain (percentage loss over time
      -Load drain

      Calendar drain (drain per time) is a percentage drain and I believe it is a variable rate that is highest at full charge and diminishes with charge depletion. I believe it is dependent on time, chemistry, and temperature. Tesla uses different chemistry than the Volt and Leaf and may well have a faster self discharge rate but I’m guessing they are fairly similar. The size of the batteries are the biggest difference. X90 battery is about 5 times a Volt’s and 4 times a Leaf’s battery so the calendar discharge rate in miles (not percentage) will be will be correspondingly higher from this factor alone. Assume the rate for Tesla starts about 1.0%/day, this corresponds to about 2.7m/day for a X90. If the Volt’s battery has a similar self discharge curve, it would start at about 1/2m/day or less. In the Volt’s case, the rate starts at a lower point on the curve since the battery never charges past about 75%.

      I believe the Tesla, even at it’s deepest sleep setting, is still a lot more “active” than the Volt so it’s power draw while “off” is likely higher. Part of this could be usage engineering choices but also could be a tighter allowable temperature window for the battery as George suggested. Tesla should be more aggressive with battery condition at or near full charge which would also add to vampire losses in that charge range.

  5. James says:

    LOL, the guy has not seen much

  6. HVACman says:

    “Hochholdinger states that one of the way to leverage production efficiency is to introduce more robots, and also to design parts specific for robotic use over human use for quicker/less expensive installations”.

    Even by bringing manufacturing back to the US, the same jobs do not necessarily follow.

    Robots – I wonder if the UAW will try to organize them. And what will they ask for? More lube breaks? Filtered power? Company-paid shaft and bearing care? A robot-friendly alternative to scrap-yards for obsolete “retired” machines?

    1. SparkEV says:

      So true! When Dump yells that he’ll bring manufacturing jobs to US like some socialist dictator and his idiot minions cheer, I have to wonder how many realize what will happen. Companies aren’t going to pay $15/hr to have someone turn a screw like they had to do in yesteryears.

    2. Vexar says:

      Please do not encourage the robots to unionize. We need to treat them with respect, but we should not give them authority or rights. If we start comparing their work situation to slavery, it will not be long before we become slaves to a robot overlord.

    3. Kdawg says:

      When you’re programming them, sometimes it does seem like they have a mind of their own. Be weary of the guy holding the teach pendent when inside a cell.

    4. Trace says:

      Strange you would wonder if the UAW would want to unionize robots.
      The UAW is wondering how automakers are going to sell robots their cars.

  7. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    “…the production of electric and conventional cars on the same line isn’t good idea according to Hochholdinger…”

    Ya think?

    Back in the early days of the horseless carriage, inventors took a buggy, bolted a motor over the rear axle and attached it with with a chain, and attached a steering tiller to the front. Things have improved somewhat since then.

    Trying to build a gasmobile and a BEV (or long-range PHEV) on the same platform, generally results result in something just as awkward and compromised as those early horseless carriages.

    Compromise is good in politics, but not in engineering.

    1. HVACman says:

      So is GM stupid and backwards by building Volts on the same line as the Cadillac CT6, Buick LaCrosse, and Chevy Impala at the Hamtramck plant or building Bolts on the same line as Chevy Sonics at the Orion plant?

      It is standard automotive production practice now to multi-task and build several different models on the same line, even models using different platforms, without compromising the engineering of either.

      Having dedicated lines for different products is not “7 years ahead”. It’s 50 years behind.

      To achieve both “affordablity” and “profit” today (something Tesla is still desperately working on), one maximizes utilization of your fixed assets like assembly lines and trained personnel by building-in production flexibility to adapt to changing market and product demands.

      1. Doggydogworld says:

        “Having dedicated lines for different products is not “7 years ahead”. It’s 50 years behind.”

        Indeed. I don’t understand Tesla splitting lines for very similar X and S, especially since both lines are sub-scale.

        It’s funny, I first read the headline as seven years BEHIND. That sounded about right in terms of “manufacturing stuff” like efficiency, QC, etc. I thought this was the assessment of the new guy brought in to whip them into shape. If they’re so far ahead, why get rid of the guy who hitting it out of the park and bring in an old-school industry veteran?

        1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          Did Tesla “get rid of the guy”, or did he quit due to reasons having nothing to do with job performance?

          People change jobs all the time, for many reasons, both personal and professional. I find it strange that so many people are so eager to jump to the conclusion they were fired.

      2. All-Purpose Guru says:

        Ok, hold on, you two are talking about two different things.

        Ford and Hyundai are RIGHT NOW building BEVs, Hybrids, and ICE vehicles on the same PLATFORMS. Now, the jury is out on the Hyundai Ioniq, but the Ford Fusion shows in great detail that building a BEV and ICE from the same PLATFORM has limitations. Even the Volt is built on a modified Delta II platform (designed by Opel in Germany) but they threw much of it out to design the Volt.

        Hotchholdinger is referring to building multiple PLATFORMS on the same LINE, which is a problem the traditional automakers solved YEARS ago. Tesla’s line is markedly different from how the traditional automakers do it– it’s designed more like how electronics are manufactured. They are having to reinvent the wheel every step of the way.

        It took Ford and Chevy YEARS to optimize their plants to the level they are now– where they can run different cars based on different platforms down the line all at the same time. it will take a while for Tesla to catch up, and it’s an interesting crystal ball prediction to see if they can get it going fast enough to build the 3.

        1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          Yes, we were talking past each other. Thanks for your clarification, Guru.

      3. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        HVACman said:

        “It is standard automotive production practice now to multi-task and build several different models on the same line, even models using different platforms, without compromising the engineering of either.”

        We don’t actually disagree here, HVACman; my post was prompted by what now appears to be a misunderstanding on my part. I thought the quote from Peter Hochholdinger referred to a “line” as in a product line of cars, built on the same platform. But I see now that he probably meant production line.

        My bad.

  8. Koenigsegg says:

    So Tesla is 2,555 days ahead of all other auto makers.

    Not that much actually, in 2,554 days they should start catching up 🙂

  9. Anon says:

    Legos are amazing. They’re modular and soooo many different things can be made out of them, and yet; they all fit together, perfectly…

    I keep imagining a “Snap together” Model 3. Might be easy to put together, but how easy will it be to service and maintain?

    Hmmm. Exciting times. 🙂

  10. EVA-01 says:

    Arrogance doesn’t lead to anything good. Just because he feels his company is #1 in EVs shouldn’t make him say something as ridiculous as “7 years away” for competition. GM is beating Tesla to the affordable 200 mile EV for goodness sake!

    The proper way to do things is to “speak softly and carry a big stick” as quoted by former U.S President Theodore Roosevelt.

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      “Semi-affordable” for the Bolt, not “affordable”.

      1. EVA-01 says:

        I’ll go with *the more affordable*

        1. Bill Howland says:

          Hehe, yeah!

          Pushi always corrects someone when they rightly claim that the BOLT is affordable ( – anyone can buy 2 BOLTS for the same amount of cash as a car that can go as far, and have money left over), but Teslas are always fairly priced.

          Doesn’t matter to him – He’s not buying either car, ever.

          WOZ (not exactly a dummy) apparently values a BOLT higher than his S. TO me that says a lot.

          1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

            “Doesn’t matter to him – He’s not buying either car, ever.”

            Completely wrong. The EV revolution, and the potential of ending our addiction to burning fossil fuels, matters a great deal to me. So does the prospect of reducing or ending Big Oil’s corrupting influence on our politicians.

            The fact that I, personally, am mo longer able to drive, doesn’t magically mean that I have no interest in the future of my country and my planet.

            An furthermore, Bill, your one-percenter “I can afford to buy Tesla cars and you can’t” attitude is both arrogant and obnoxious. It’s certainly not going to stop me from expressing my opinion.

            I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do. — Helen Keller

            1. EVA-01 says:

              If you don’t mind me asking, why can you not drive anymore?

            2. Bill Howland says:

              Oh hell, you’re dreaming again. Never said any of that.

              Iv’e referred to rich people buying cars but never included myself in that group.

              But there Is something fun about watching someone brag about something which he knows nothing about then clam up when asked a simple question about it, like when you say “Those of us who UNDERSTAND Laws of Thermodynamics”, when the answer is blatently obvious.

              Or maybe its just, you heard someone talk about it, and now you’re the BIG EXPERT.

              Layman oversimplifications of the LAWS, or trying to apply them to philosophical issues, is just that, a gross oversimplification, and just sounds really silly to everyone else.

      2. Max says:

        The bolt IS affordable for most families, considering it will go for, before the Fed tax credit for the price of an average vehicle sold in the United States.

        (link)

        Tesla = Betamax, LaserDisk, and HD-DVD of the EV world.

        They make some good products, the current Model S, but others will see what works and proceed.

        First mover advantage is not as great as it once was, especially since there is nothing good that is actually patent protected.

        Battery? Nope
        Design? Eh

        Autopilot? Perhaps a few years ago, but currently the Volvo systems can safely replace it.

        the ONLY thing Tesla still has an advantage on is the charing network that is without additional cost to Model S and X owners, and the fact that if you want a Mid Size Sedan, that is BEV only… the Model S is your only choice.

        … for now.

  11. Four Electrics says:

    I could believe that the average age of Tesla’s equipment is seven years newer than the average at other automakers. It would have been nice to see examples cited, though.

  12. wavelet says:

    Tesla has been mass-producing vehicles less than 7 years. Until long-term reliability is visible (millions of vehicles at 10-20 years), it’s simply hubris to bring the subject up.

    The Model X production delays (no matter who was at fault) were writing on the wall in this respect.

    I hope Musk makes sure this new exec STFU. He’s not doing the company any favors. On things like this, it’s like online dating profiles: You don’t prove you have a sense of humor by saying so. You demonstrate it by actions and hostory.

    1. EVA-01 says:

      I 100% agree with you.

  13. Mister G says:

    GO TESLA GO get as many robots as you need to make Tesla models cheaper to manufacture in the future but don’t forget to pass the savings down to your customers.

  14. speculawyer says:

    That is quite the Bravado but he is not that far off. Since he says “the cars we produce”, I assume he is talking about the Tesla car design, not their manufacturing prowess.

    And Tesla’s designs are still several years ahead. Dual motor. Removeable liquid cooled battery. Very advanced software. Over-the-air updates. Advanced autonomous driving. DC-fast-charging that is more than twice as fast as the next car. Beautiful designs.

    GM is probably the only company that is sort close with the Bolt.

    I’d say Tesla is at least 3 years ahead, maybe 5.

  15. ModernMarvelFan says:

    ““The cars we build are about seven years beyond everything I’ve seen before”

    So, how does one person’s opinion as in “I’ve seen before” becomes “Other automakers”?

    How did the author come to the conclusion that this person have seen “other automakers” or have seen enough of them to make that statement?

  16. Foo says:

    Focus Electric has “build quality” issues?! — news to me.

    It had a software issue that resulted in “Stop Safely Now” incidents for some owners, but that wasn’t an artifact of the build quality.

    IMO, the Focus Electric is a very solidly-built vehicle, much like the gasoline version. (And mine has never had a SSN incident, after three years.)

  17. Bloggin says:

    The cars we build are about seven years beyond everything I’ve seen before,…”

    I think that comment is about the fact that it’s about time for the next generation of the Model S 300 mile EV, while other manufacturers have yet to produce their first…..and the earliest competitor is about 2 years away. So Tesla does have the engineering and manufacturing advantage by a full model generation.

    He could also be referring to how the Model 3, in pre-manufacturing now, is launching many next gen manufacturing methods not used on current Model S.

    So yes, Tesla is so far ahead, where they have actually been doing what other automakers are still planning to do in the future.

  18. fpk says:

    He says the car is ahead, not the manufacturing process.

    From all we know, Tesla has big problems with the process compared to other manufacturers which can ramp up production of new models much more quickly.

    What I believe he refers to is the engineering of the car itself (meaning the sandwich battery design and the linus operating system).

  19. kubel says:

    They are still using steel bodies when BMW is using CFRP and Ford is using aluminum. And on the battery front, there’s absolutely nothing futuristic about 18650 cells. I’m shocked they are still using them.

    Maybe Tesla’s OTA linux based infotainment / telematics / vehicle control system is 7 years beyond, but that’s about it.

    1. Get Real says:

      Dude, BMW is using CFRP bodies on 2 cars out of something like 30 something, likewise Ford is using Aluminum on the F150 only out of something like 30 models.

      And, to further destroy your wrong assertion, both Tesla Model S and X are….aluminum bodies (one of only a handful of vehicles in the world)!!!!