For those complaining Tesla's vehicles are toys for the rich. The Model 3 arrives in 2017 for $35K
The $35,000 price is just what was expected, and Tesla is well known for unveiling its cars well before they are available to buy. Still, it will likely disappoint many that a cheaper Tesla won't arrive until 2017 at the very earliest.
What's taking so long, you ask? Right now, the batteries that would power the Model 3 would cost about as much as the car is slated to. Tesla is building an enormous lithium-ion battery manufacturing facility in Nevada to make its own batteries for far less money the "Gigafactory" mentioned in Musk's tweet.
That $35K is obviously based model but it should have at least 200 mile EPA rated range. The price is before federal tax credit of $7,500 and state incentives so $27.5K (or less if you live in a state which cares about emissions).
These are early days of energy storage research that should have began 50 years ago.
After all what is gasoline but oil converted to a compact energy storage device?
That is the future and Musk sees it like it is already here.
There's ways to make liquid fuel from renewable sources. That fuel then has to be transported to thousands of retail outlets throughout the country. Oil companies excel on that last part, since they've been doing it for a century.
But oil companies didn't want to pay the money to make the first part practical. So it has not become practical.
Leaving a hole for batteries to improve to the point where they can take over moving around cars. Which will take away a very large chunk of the oil company's business.
Yet another instance of short-term thinking greatly hurting a company in the long-term.
Not good for the environment, peace, or your health but off the charts good in terms of energy density.
Gasoline has an energy density of 12 kWh/kg although that is a little misleading because internal combustion engines only have about 20% thermal efficiency. Sill that means about 2.5 kWh/kg or 2,500 Wh/kg of usable energy. A lithium-ion battery while having 5x the energy density of Lead Acid batteries only has about 150 Wh/kg.
It is a cruel irony that oil was "so good". It blinded the human race for a century and stifled innovation. Everyone knows about GM's first electric car but this one made by Detroit Electric was made in 1916 but alas oil was just too good. Maybe Tesla can make good on that potential just over a century later.
Tesla's Model 3 and Chevy's Bolt EV will be the first real test. If they can make a car people like at ~$35K with a 200 mile range it is a game changer. More sales = more economies of scale = more profits towards R&D = cheaper & lighter batteries. A self reinforcing cycle which someday will make the idea of burning gasoline in your car as silly as needed to add kerosene to turn on your TV.
For a funny take on "What is is like to own a Model S (aka Magical Space Car)"
How many miles will it power the house?
It's not the range, it's the recharge time. If a battery pack lasts 250 miles and can be recharged in the same amount of time it takes to fill your tank, then it would be awesome as people wouldn't have to worry about range if the initial charge from the house is used up.
I want one. Or two. Hooked up to a solar array. Who wouldn't?
A thing of beauty....clean as a whistle...unlimited near free home power...no strings to the power grid required....unless you want to sell some back.
Imagine shrinking that monetarily and physically down and down and down and....bingo...who needs a power grid?
Using a home charger you get about 30 miles of range per hour of charge. To save money you program it to charge when your electric rates are the cheapest (usually 11pm to 6am).
Using Tesla's supercharger network it would be about 150 miles of range in 20 minutes (my guestimate using the smaller pack compared to existing Model S charge curve) . Faster but still a lot slower than filling a tank. Then again how often do you drive more than 200 miles from home?
They can't be recharged quickly, currently. That is where the research is going although that's a lot of current to dump in in five minutes.
... and that's off one charge.
It's doable, the infrastructure needs to built for long haul pack exchange
and build around a rental car system. But only Nissan offered cars for this purpose. The system/use didn't expand, and it was scrapped.
I remember watching the Electric 500 on ESPN some 15+ years ago, where retrofitted compacts (usually Honda CRXs) raced 500 miles in the usual oval round -n'-round fashion. The batteries were conventional 12v neg. ground wet cells fitted to slide-out banks installed in the rear area of the rocker panel. Motors were off-the-shelf types. On a pit stop, the battery banks were swapped out in a 17-20 sec. time frame, much like good NASCAR refuels & and tire changes.
It's my rule of 10-30-70: 10 mins for a recharge (or a quicker battery swap), $30k dollar vehicle cost, 70 mph with a.c. & radio blastin.' When these levels are reached, it's all over for standard ICE commuter cars.
You might find this interesting:
Still in my opinion despite how cool this is it is only going to be niche. Most Americans don't travel 400+ miles per day. You plug it in when you get home and it automatically charges not right away but at the absolute cheapest rate of the day. The 1% of the time you are traveling long distance well you use a supercharger and yes it does take say 15-20 minutes. Now compare how many hours in a year you spend pumping gas.
The ability to charge off peak is huge. Think about over 10 years and 120,000 miles.
Gasoline engine 30mpg @ $3 per gallon = $12,000
Gasoline engine 30mpg @ $4 per gallon = $16,000
Gasoline engine 30mpg @ $5 per gallon = $20,000
BEV 300 watts per mile @ $0.10 per kWh = $3,600
BEV 300 watts per mile @ $0.04 per kWh = $1,440
Right now batteries are expensive and heavy but they are getting about 10% cheaper and 6% lighter a year. This is a trend which has been happening over a long time and shows no signs of stopping. So in 10 years or so you're going to have 400 to 500 mile battery packs which are cheaper and lighter (making the car even more efficient) than we have now. Combined with thousands of super chargers for long trips, and tens of thousands of destination chargers at stores, restaurants, and hotels. It is going to be a non-issue by the time most people are ready to own a BEV.
More research is happening as we speak!
Recharging station for the empty batteries you drop off...
Make the batteries 'plug and play', combined with someone pulls the old one and replaces it while you sit and get a cup of coffee or whatever...
A standard home 120v outlet needs many hours to charge it.
A standard home 240v outlet (like what powers an electric dryer or electric stove) takes a few hours to charge it.
For those options to be practical, the question becomes how many times you drive 200 miles in one day. Personally, I do about 40 miles in a typical day, and then the car sits in the garage for 13 hours or so.
Specialized chargers (high voltage DC, requires "industrial-grade" electric service) currently charges their cars in about 15-30 minutes. So if you're doing a road trip, you could top off while you stop for lunch. There aren't many of these chargers spread out yet, since there are not a lot of electric cars yet. But at one time there were not many gas stations either.
2016 Toyota Camry MSRP: $23k-30k (gas powered)
2016 Toyota Prius Plug-in MSRP: $30k (all-electric range is 11mi, then gas powered)
2016 Honda Accord MSRP: $22k-32k (gas powered)
2015 Nissan Leaf MSRP: $21k-27k (all-electric, but range is 88mi)
Officially the first Bolts should roll off the assembly line in 2017 but the skuttlebutt is that Chevy is looking to beat Tesla to market and it might (take it wait a grain of salt) be available very late in 2016. Price should be "low thirty thousand".
Malibu hybrid. Designed to blow away Ford's Fusion hybrid, which already blows away the Prius.
And the Lincoln MKZ hybrid, for the same price as the gas MKZ, which starts at under 40 grand before any rebates or tax bennies.
A Lincoln with 40MPG for 30 grand or so after incentives? Why wouldn't that be on top of the list?
And the Lincoln is probably a better price comparison. At least so far, Tesla has been trying to be more "luxury" than an Accord or Prius. While the 3 is supposed to be "cheap", it'll probably still have things like leather seats that those cars do not have on the low-end models.
for midrange cars.
Tesla's pricing has been in the Mercedes 500 range, so they could give you all sorts of stuff. But it's going to be tough to come up with leather seats and high end electronics for 35 grand. Look for option packages that will put it in the 40's, and higher.
I suspect the next couple of generations of hybrids will be the way to go. Many of us can't install charging stations at home, and recharging on a long trip will be a pain for the foreseeable future.
Personally, I'm sold on Chevy for now. My 2013 Cruze Eco gives me mid 30's MPG overall and so far 56,000 trouble free miles. I'd have little hesitation trading it in for the new Malibu hybrid. (The Lincoln would be a severe temptation for may aging ass to luxuriate in, though)
So it's probably not too hard for most people to "install". Electric service frequently enters the house in or near the garage anyway, so adding an outlet is pretty easy.
The main stumbling block is the 240v chargers themselves aren't cheap. They run $1k-3k. Once you pay that, you hang it on the wall and plug it in.
But yes, most people won't be going all electric for a while now. I was looking at a Leaf since my daily commute is 30 miles, so it can handle that easily. But I think I'll go with a hybrid this generation.
like me. Landlords may or may not allow charging stations. And while I have 240V for my stove and dryer, it may be a PITA to install a charging station. Besides, running a cord out to the parking lot???
Condo owners with no garage may have problems, too, and even more problems with idiot condo associations.
The worst part of it is Long Island electric rates, which are around the highest in the nation-- without solar panels or a windmill, it could take forever to recoup the initial cost.
After all that, though, if I had a house I might seriously consider an electric as my second car. The Volt would work as the only car-- still the best of both worlds.
For the most part, new technology is quite expensive. The developers need to cover their R&D, new manufacturing startup, distribution, etc...
Simple computer storage is an excellent example. Back in 1993, you'd spend about $1,700 for 1.5Gb of storage. That's $1.15 per Mbyte, today you can pick up a 3Tbyte drive for about $95 or $0.0000317 per Mbyte.
I've always known, that if Tesla were successful, that eventually they'd eventually have affordable vehicles. I just wish I could own an all electric vehicle.
I was actually being generous, I normally pay >5k for daily drivers and run them for 5-10 years.
What is the gasoline cost over 10 years?
It still isn't going to be cheaper but something to think about.
A 3-year-old used Model 3 will run about $15k.
A 6 to 8-year-old used Model 3 will run about $5-8k.
My last car was 12yo when I bought it (94 accord) My current was 10yo.
My two requirements when buying a DD, 1. gas mileage over 30 2. Ultra dependable
Oh and my last requirement....Cheap enough to pay cash for. (I normally buy one owner cars from old turds) it may take me a while of searching but I find what I want. Like last year I wasn't ready to ditch my Accord, but a deal I couldn't refuse fell into my lap 2-3 years before I'd scheduled replacement. I bought the Accord hoping for a 3 year car and it just kept kicking. All I ever had to do was replace both CV's, Alternator, Dist cap, upper A-arm, rear hub bearing. Paid 3500, drove for 10 years sold for 1k.
Now my current car my Daughter will get in 3 years, then I'll buy something for my son and I'll drive it for 3 years. Then I'll buy the replacement for one of theirs when they total or head off to college. So I'm looking at >5 years of ownership for the next 4 or 5 vehicles at least.
It's just as reliable, it costs the same, and it's had a lot less wear and tear.
I'm staying away from Fords though
Still way out of my range. When they've been around for a while and are selling as used cars--if they sell for $10k without being close to the junk yard in terms of mileage on them, then they'll be an option for me.
then I can afford.
But I appreciate the effort anyway I guess.
Funny that the people who could most benefit from freedom from gas will be the absolute last ones to get it, if ever.
at $27K, but I'm so happy to see this. Maybe a used one some day? I currently drive a 2011 Mazda that I bought new. I only have 34K miles on it. I'm typically driving less than 10 miles a day now, so won't need a car for a very long time I think EVs are very cool!
A plug-in hybrid or a Nissan Leaf will easily get you the range you need on all-electric.
(Still requires a place to plug it in though.)
I wonder if you can just remove the battery from a hybrid and use it like a normal vehicle.
Folks that buy a used hybrid say 5 years old with plans on running it 15 years will need two replacement packs at least. Assuming the battery pack is still supported.
The vast majority of first-generation Priuses (Prii?) are still using their original battery pack. They've lost a little capacity, but nowhere near enough to need replacement. And those are NiMH batteries, which wear out much worse than Li-ion batteries.
Now, will it carry 20 bags of concrete and pull a trailer with 20-4x4x8', 10-1x4x8', 2 wheelbarrows, 4 shovels, a gas powered auger, 2 gallon gas can, and 5 people?
Till then, I will stick with my F-150 crew cab w/Ecoboost.
maybe- if they're still in business.
Anyone that believes Musk's timelines and cost projections at this point still believes in the Tooth fairy and Santa Claus.
Meanwhile, the Model X "signature version" starts at $132,000 and fully loaded - $143,750
Tesla has a big problem-they are losing about $4,000 on every car they sell NOW. GAAP losses are higher. Last quarter they burned ~$350 MILLION. The $700M just raised by diluting stock will last ~2 quarters.
Anyone thinking of buying a Tesla Lithium Battery mobile should definitely read what owners have to say. They aren't trouble free.
And next month the Hydrogen Electrics are going on sale.
Tesla has no unsolvable problem. The $4K per car is dubious numbers. It takes the total company losses and divides it by the number of vehicles. Their expenses were high due to the fact that they finished R&D on the Model X in Q2.
The reality is yes Tesla has some huge capital expenses (like building and expanding production lines, building battery factory, etc) and yes they have some huge R&D costs. However each model S had a gross profit margin of 23% compare that to an industry average of 8%. Meaning that $100K car actually costs $75K to build. Every car company in the world would love to have gross margins like that. Unless sales start flatlining as production rises they will reach profitability.
Another way to look at it. If I build a car factor for $1.2B and it became operation just in time to produce 1 car (say $100K sales price) before the quarter ended would anyone be dumb enough to claim I lose $1.1999 billion per car?
The idea the will go bankrupt is silly. Tesla is sitting on early $1B in cash and has a $750M credit line. The Q2 loss due to increased cap ex was outsized. The average quarterly loss for prior four quarters is closer to $160M. Yes Tesla is spending those gross profits and investor funds to build things nobody has ever built before.
Lastly Hydrogen isn't ready for primetime and currently it has huge inefficiencies (or requires reforming natural gas). Hydrogen is a useful part of the solution but it isn't the magic bullet you make it out to be. Hydrogen will be more important in order to get things like semi trucks and passenger jets off fossil fuels.