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The new Model S sedan, which will carry a price tag of $57,400

Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk recently announced that the company would launch an all-electric Model S sedan next year. Now, Musk has told Bloomberg Television that next year's production of the new Model S has sold out, and that he expects Tesla to earn a profit in 2013.

Recent reports noted that Tesla has lost money on every Roadster sold, which includes the two-seat Roadster and the Roadster Sport, which had price tags of $109,000 and $128,500 respectively. The news came yesterday that a new Roadster will arrive in 2014, and that a range of vehicles are expected over the next four to five years as well, including the new Model S sedan, which will carry a price tag of $57,400.

"The Model S starts at half price of the Roadster, about $50,000," said Musk, noting that the original Roadster will no longer be in production and was always limited. "The Roadster is high price, low volume. Model S is mid-price, mid-volume. Our third generation, which will be in 3 or 4 years will be low price, high volume. It is the only strategy that could work because we need to build up the economies of scale."

Tesla Model S [Source: Tesla Motors]
The loss on each Roadster was just part of the problem for Tesla. The company is also facing scrutiny in regards to its worthiness of receiving government funding. Many have compared Tesla and Fisker Automotive's EV loans to the huge $500 million loan given to solar company Solyndra, which went bankrupt in September.

"I defended it and I have said if you have a portfolio of loans, and they're acknowledged to be high risk, you're going to have some failures in the mix," said Musk regarding Solyndra. "One should not expect to bat 1000. Critics say why can't the government bat 1000. The best venture capitalists on Earth can't bat 1000, why do you expect the government to?"

Musk is looking ahead to a brighter future for Tesla, brushing aside worries regarding competition such as that from BYD. Musk said he didn't think BYD's products were all that "great" or attractive anyway, and that the technology isn't all that strong. According to Musk, BYD needs to concentrate on the issues at hand in China.

Tesla Model S [Source: Tesla Motors]

The upcoming potential for a profit in 2013 and the Model S sellout have Tesla thinking optimistically toward the future where Musk envisions the entire industry going electric.

"I think the entire industry will go fully electric," said Musk. "I think that all modes of transport will go fully electric with the exception, ironically, of rockets. The question is just how soon.”

Source: Bloomberg Television

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One hand feeds the other
By wordsworm on 10/28/2011 7:57:39 PM , Rating: 2
If Musk succeeds in making electric cars the norm, that would drive the price of gas way down, and make fuel for rockets cheaper since the demand would fall. I can't help but wonder how far he'll go.

RE: One hand feeds the other
By delphinus100 on 10/28/2011 8:23:57 PM , Rating: 2
However, rockets don't burn gasoline...

Though to be fair, many rockets, including Musk's Falcons, do burn what is essentially high-grade kerosene, similar to jet fuel. Reduced gasoline demand, and the drop in crude oil prices that come with that, still might have that effect.

But then again, and unlike commercial aircraft where it is a driving factor, the cost of fuel is not what makes space launch expensive. Otherwise, it wouldn't cost much more to go to orbit, than to fly across the Pacific.

RE: One hand feeds the other
By wordsworm on 10/29/2011 2:55:13 AM , Rating: 2
Isn't kerosene a gas?

RE: One hand feeds the other
By HolgerDK on 10/29/2011 9:19:29 AM , Rating: 2
Isn't kerosene a gas?

No, its a liquid:

RE: One hand feeds the other
By wordsworm on 10/29/2011 9:48:54 PM , Rating: 3
I guess gasoline is a liquid as well. So, maybe 'gas' was a poorly chosen word. I wonder why they call those boxes in cars 'gas tanks' and those places you go to pump gasoline, diesel, etc., into the vehicle, gas stations... most peculiar. They should call them liquid stations. But, it wouldn't be the first time that vernacular is a poor vehicle for precise communication.

So, I will amend my original post to say that should Musk successfully convert consumers into users of electric vehicles, it would have the effect of lowering fuel costs for his rockets at SpaceX.

RE: One hand feeds the other
By CheesePoofs on 10/30/2011 10:46:08 PM , Rating: 2
Fuel is a tiny fraction of the cost to launch a rocket, probably significantly less than 1%.

RE: One hand feeds the other
By Laereom on 11/1/2011 12:17:07 PM , Rating: 2
They call it 'gas' because it's short for 'gasoline'. It has nothing to do with references to state of matter.

RE: One hand feeds the other
By spread on 10/31/2011 11:09:31 PM , Rating: 2
No, its a liquid:

No. It depends on the temperature. It has a boiling point and can turn into a gas.

RE: One hand feeds the other
By bjacobson on 10/28/2011 10:10:19 PM , Rating: 2
yeah cause rockets burn gasoline@!!! wait what???

RE: One hand feeds the other
By wordsworm on 10/29/2011 2:26:00 AM , Rating: 2
Where do you think the kerosene used in rockets comes from?

RE: One hand feeds the other
By veculous on 10/29/2011 10:27:37 AM , Rating: 1
Rockets don't use kerosene; jets use kerosene. The difference between a rocket and a jet is that a jets use atmospheric oxygen to burn their fuel whereas rockets carry their oxygen on-board.

For example, some rockets burn liquid hydrogen with liquid oxygen. And then there's propulsion grade (>98%) hydrogen peroxide (consumer grade = 3%).

In any case, a rocket must be able to burn its fuel in the absence of an atmosphere.

RE: One hand feeds the other
By wordsworm on 10/29/2011 7:48:24 PM , Rating: 3
You should contact SpaceX and the Russian space program to tell them to stop using kerosene in their rockets.

RE: One hand feeds the other
By CheesePoofs on 10/30/2011 10:47:04 PM , Rating: 3
RE: One hand feeds the other
By Spuke on 10/28/2011 10:49:44 PM , Rating: 2
If Musk succeeds in making electric cars the norm, that would drive the price of gas way down
Keep dreaming. You really think OPEC is going to drastically lower the price of gas? LOL! Here's what they'll actually do (what they've always done). Lower the supply to the point where prices continue to stay high. Maybe even higher.

RE: One hand feeds the other
By web2dot0 on 10/29/2011 8:48:04 AM , Rating: 1
Do you work for OPEC or something? :-D The price will go down because if people go all electric (a hypothetical situation), oil rigs will have to SHUTDOWN. In order to keep the operation running, they will have to lower prices.

If you and me don't need gas, you can make the price cost $100000/litre, and I wouldn't care.

BTW, if there is such a obvious signs of collusion, the gov't will step in. Your cynical view will not hold water.

The reality is it won't happen because you can turn the country into all electric overnight. But to say that IF the hypethetical situation happens nothing is going to change is ridiculous.

Besides, you actually WANT to make electric cars the norm because we will get rid of our dependance for oil. Is there something wrong with that? Swallow the blue pill because I really want to show you how deep the rabbit hole is.

RE: One hand feeds the other
By Kurz on 10/29/2011 12:10:39 PM , Rating: 2
Its actually the Red Pill.

Oil Rigs will shutdown, but only because the demand and the prices and income aren't there anymore to support the operation. Consumers drive demand and innovation not the other way around.

Though the question is where we going to get all that extra energy from? How will we effectively store electricity (Since so many Megawatt hours are wasted every day, chemical based batteries are not viable for this on a large scale)? How do we harvest electricity? All these questions must be answered.

RE: One hand feeds the other
By Dorkyman on 10/29/2011 4:40:32 PM , Rating: 2
I take it you've never taken an econ class, right?

And your hypothetical (if we all drove electric cars) makes as much sense as "You know, if pigs had wings they could fly." Well, yes, I suppose they could.

RE: One hand feeds the other
By jimbojimbo on 10/30/2011 3:02:08 PM , Rating: 2
Have you been watching the news for the past 40 years or so? OPEC's been pulling this crap for years! As alternative fuels get popular they've been known to up production to lower costs so as to make gasoline the better alternative again. Then when everything's back to gasoline they'll lower production to raise the prices. After all they don't want to pump all their supply out so they'll just lower production. They don't give one crap about shutting down rigs or laying off workers. They only care about how much money they keep making.

RE: One hand feeds the other
By delphinus100 on 10/29/2011 7:45:15 PM , Rating: 2
You remember that one of the few 'benefits' when the economy bottomed out, was that gas prices went down due to decreased demand, don't you?

I do. (So do airlines and truckers who'd been dealing with record high fuel prices, not long before.)

Even OPEC can't beat the laws of supply and demand.

RE: One hand feeds the other
By jimbojimbo on 10/30/2011 3:04:16 PM , Rating: 2
They aren't gods and can't control immediate prices but the economy is still crappy so how cheap is gasoline these day? Pretty damn expensive. Right where they want it.

RE: One hand feeds the other
By wordsworm on 10/30/2011 6:52:59 PM , Rating: 2
Exxon just posted record profits. They're not suffering at all from the recession.

In all seriousness, though, if energy was cheaper, it would revive the economy in a big way. Electric cars, on a massive scale, would have a huge impact on the environment and economy.

So, let's hope Musk succeeds...

RE: One hand feeds the other
By Dr of crap on 10/31/2011 10:23:02 AM , Rating: 2
OPEC doesn't control oils price and hasn't for some time.
Have you heard recently about OPEC driving oil prices?
Oil price is controled by trading on oil futures. Has been since about 2005.

RE: One hand feeds the other
By danjw1 on 10/29/2011 10:25:41 AM , Rating: 2
It is going to be quite some time before you see big rig trucks going electric. Natural gas, is a more likely route for them. Still a fossil fuel, but it burns a lot cleaner then gasoline and we have it in significant supply.

Tesla will succeed
By topkill on 10/28/2011 9:27:41 PM , Rating: 3
They are hitting on all cylinders (pun intended). The Model S is a really attractive vehicle that performs better than the BMW 7 Series and it starts at a much lower price.

Clearly, not everyone wants an EV and luckily people have choices to drive whatever works for them. In other words, no need to bash each other for what we like.

With the Model S offering 160 mile range and options up to 300 miles...this clearly expands the number of people who can seriously consider an electric vehicle.

RE: Tesla will succeed
By chrnochime on 10/28/11, Rating: -1
RE: Tesla will succeed
By topkill on 10/28/2011 9:45:15 PM , Rating: 2
Did you not understand the "(pun intended)"?

Do I have to actually say "this is a silly joke, a play on words...otherwise known as a PUN."???

RE: Tesla will succeed
By Spuke on 10/28/11, Rating: 0
RE: Tesla will succeed
By topkill on 10/28/2011 11:09:17 PM , Rating: 1
Yeah Spluge/Spuke (same thing) you're just a fucking genius.

Of course you're too stupid to tell the difference between "Tesla will succeed" (a prediction) and "Tesla has succeeded".

If you want to make a prediction go for it. If you want to debate someone else's predictions, that's cool too.

If you just want so show what a stupid douche-bag you are...then go fuck yourself.

RE: Tesla will succeed
By Dorkyman on 10/29/2011 4:44:13 PM , Rating: 2
I love it when people feel the need to use four-letter words when writing, as though it gives them that added "oomph" to convince us that they really, really are right.

RE: Tesla will succeed
By topkill on 10/31/2011 12:20:46 PM , Rating: 1
Nothing to do with proving I'm right or wrong. I just get tired of people attacking me rather than debating the point. If he had an opinion or some information to shoot mine down great.

If he just enjoys calling people idiots, then he's a douche-bag as charged...and fuck him. :-)

See, nothing to do with proving a point, just stating the facts. LOL

RE: Tesla will succeed
By Ryrod on 10/29/2011 12:26:45 AM , Rating: 2
I have to agree with topkill. I think they have a real possibility of succeeding. They won't be the next GM, Toyota, or Honda, but I can definitely see them as a small independent manufacturer like Lotus (until GM bought them out). Sadly, I think Tesla may suffer the same fate as Lotus in the long run, but for right now, the cars look good and get mileage that would allow more people to take the plunge vs. the Nissan Leaf.

RE: Tesla will succeed
By Solandri on 10/29/2011 1:17:09 AM , Rating: 2
The thing they're really pushing is the state of the art in battery energy density. Their top battery for the Tesla S is supposed to be 85 kWh usable capacity and 540 kg, or 157 Wh/kg. Their mid-grade pack is 65 kWh for 540 kg, or 120 Wh/kg. In comparison:

The Volt's 10.4 kWh usable pack is 197 kg, or 53 Wh/kg.
The Leaf's 24 kWh is 300 kg, or 80 Wh/kg.
The plug-in Prius' 1.3 kWh is 42 kg, or 31 Wh/kg.

So either they are way, way, way ahead in battery energy density technology, in which case they will be very successful. Or they're cutting their engineering margins razor thin to achieve these high energy densities, and they're going to be in a world of hurt in 5-10 years when their packs start to die prematurely.

RE: Tesla will succeed
By topkill on 10/29/2011 12:09:17 PM , Rating: 3
Thanks for the info Solandri. I've been looking for that info and have come across it.

I do know they are using the new Panasonic batteries which are actually 265Wh/kg at the cell level. Considering they use have the overhead of the packaging, wiring, cooling, etc. Plus they probably don't use more than a certain % of the depth of discharge to extend battery life.

Most manufacturers have a 10-15% overhead for packaging, etc. With the smaller 18550 cells, they probably have more simply for all the copper wiring it takes to tie them together. Assuming Tesla has an overhead of ~25% for packaging, they would only be using 73% of their capacity to get the 300 mile range in their battery pack.

So it would seem they are not cutting the margins thin but rather just using a better cell chemistry for the application. Now, if only they could get that in a bigger form factor they could probably get an extra 10% range out of the weight pack by simply having less overhead.

RE: Tesla will succeed
By Keeir on 10/30/2011 3:44:28 AM , Rating: 2

I expect better from you. The Volt's pack is 16 kWh. That is the "correct" comparison number and I think you know this as well. You didn't list "usable" numbers for any other car, and calling 10.4 "usable" is misleading as well. The Volt will use a maximum of 10.4 kWh before adding gasoline energy to the mix. It will still deplete the battery further than this. The Volt/Prius are required to match thier AER for much longer than a pure BEV. For the Roadster, Tesla has pretty much admitted that at the end of 10 years, less than 50% of initial range will be available. (BTW, I have seen nothing to suggest that Tesla's largest battery pack is more than 85 kWh total.)

True, the makes the Volt roughly 81 Wh/kg, far below Tesla numbers, but I think you might be able to guess some of the reason.

A Battery Pack regardless of size contains certain components that one can not get rid... These components do not get portionally larger or wieght more as the battery pack expands... so a bigger battery ought to have a better Wh/Kg just simply by being bigger.

The real disappointment is the Leaf's energy density... considering its an Air Cooled System! (Is the Model S Air Cooled or Liquid?) But I have seen how they are intenting to make individual parts easily swappable, which is leading to the lower energy density.

Oh, and Tesla IS running the engineering margin close. But thats to be expected... got to roll the dice somewhere if you hope to produce a better product than the major players.

RE: Tesla will succeed
By Solandri on 10/30/2011 3:06:17 PM , Rating: 1
Those are all usable kWh figures - they match up closely with the EPA figures.
Volt: (36 kWh per 100 miles) * 35 miles = 12.6 kWh (121% spec 10.4 kWh usable)
Leaf: (34 kWh per 100 miles) * 73 miles = 24.8 kWh (103% spec 24 kWh usable)
Preliminary Tesla S 65 kWh pack (the middle 230 mile one):
(30 kWh per 100 mile) * 245 miles = 73.5 kWh (113% spec 65 kWh usable)

I shortened all the later entries by removing "battery pack" and "usable". The buffer between "usable" and "full capacity" is what I was referring to as engineering margin. I haven't been able to find the full capacities of the Leaf and Tesla batteries.

(I may have mixed up the regular Prius battery with the plug-in hybrid. Don't have time to research it right now.)

RE: Tesla will succeed
By Keeir on 10/30/2011 10:37:54 PM , Rating: 2


You do realize the EPA numbers are based on charge from the wall, not what goes into the battery? And they include a 12 hour trickle charge?

For example, you estimate the Leaf somehow has a 97% charging efficiecy at 220V? I don't think so. Somehow I think that all chargers are between 80-90% efficient. At best, if the Leaf takes 24.8 kWh from the wall... then only 22.8 kWh go into the battery and at worst 19.84. Since the Leaf's entire battery is 24 kWh, and even Nissan is not stupid enough to infringe below 5% and above 95%... then I doubt there is much more than 22 kWh -usable- and much more likely its an even 20.

Since the Leaf and Model S are BEVs, they do not disclose what parts of the battery are usable versus full capacity.

Furthermore, to imply the Volt's battery is only 10.4 kWh is indeed misleading. It has the ability use far more than this, just the car will turn on the generator at this point.

Like I was saying, your mixing and matching numbers... which doesn't make any sense. Use the Full Capacity, or the Usable Capacity, but don't use the artifical cutouts in place to ensure ranged operation like the Volt and Prius both have.

RE: Tesla will succeed
By Jedi2155 on 10/31/2011 5:45:05 AM , Rating: 2
I'm betting the charger is closer to 90% efficient as that is typically the efficiency of a switch mode power supply like in our PC's. I highly doubt it is much higher than 95%.

Yeah about that...
By vol7ron on 10/29/2011 4:27:41 PM , Rating: 2
"One should not expect to bat 1000. Critics say why can't the government bat 1000. The best venture capitalists on Earth can't bat 1000, why do you expect the government to?"

Maybe because venture capitalists are spending their money. The government is spending tax payer's money (yours and mine).

Again, the "government" isn't some all-knowing organization, they are elected officials made up our neighbors. They are regular, ordinary people. Why should they have the right to spend your money or my money how they see fit. They are not any more capable in spending my money than me and it is not theirs to spend. I worked hard for it, I studied hard to work hard for it, and I should be the one that makes the ultimate decision in how I spend the fruits of my labor.

RE: Yeah about that...
By mufdvr3669 on 10/30/2011 1:18:30 AM , Rating: 4
Totally agree. That's why I say get rid of the police, fire department, homeland security, military, etc. I'll buy my own guns and we'll all wild wild west it out here.

RE: Yeah about that...
By wordsworm on 10/30/2011 2:25:16 AM , Rating: 2
It would be interesting to see what would happen if everyone had a direct say in what happened to their taxes. ie., you choose to give your taxes to schools if you believe in that, or roads if you believe in that, etc. I am sure it wouldn't work, but it would certainly be interesting.

RE: Yeah about that...
By vol7ron on 10/30/2011 12:31:45 PM , Rating: 2
I am not certain it wouldn't work, but yes, you need some sort of decisive agent making the ultimate say. When the government first started it wanted the more wealthy landholders to have the say. Later, they wanted to put intelligence tests on voting, but this was run by bosses that were corrupt. Eventually everyone was given a fair voice/vote, instead of being forced into how to vote.

The problem is that our culture has advanced, mostly attributed to improvements in technology. People are more connected these days, but unfortunately, the average intelligence has dropped. Not to mention, there are more and more immigrants (legal and illegal) that infiltrate our society and are given a voice, that doesn't follow suit with what our original founding fathers had set. Mind you, many people escaping Europe and coming to the Americas were trying to escape the tyranny and high taxes that were instilled on them.

I'm not sure how we can improve our intelligence. But I'm afraid that one day the majority vote might have us all wearing gold chains and driving Escalades, but living in impoverishment conditions - an obvious generalization/overstatement of ghetto decisions of wants vs needs. So while I do agree, that I would like to have more of a decision to where my tax dollars are spent, I feel that our current system isn't set up to adequately appropriate the decision of the masses. Still, I don't expect my tax dollars to be spent as investments; instead it should be used for operational expenses. And since I have no control in them being spent as investments, if they are, I believe they should not be put towards risky investments - the government should be batting 1000 on those investments.

RE: Yeah about that...
By vol7ron on 10/30/2011 11:58:45 AM , Rating: 2
Sarcasm noted. But, it's funny that you list those things, verses art museums, tax-incentive programs, affirmative action, or welfare.

My point wasn't that I disagreed with what the government spends money, merely that if they take my money and spend it on something, I expect them to "bat 1000". If I wanted to put my money in something risky, I should be the one that determines the amount of risk and what that investment is - it is not the government's role to make investments.

RE: Yeah about that...
By FITCamaro on 10/31/2011 7:16:22 AM , Rating: 2
I don't mind the government partaking in research spending towards future investments. But that research should be for the everyone's benefit, not a single corporation.

But when they do make "investments" it also better be towards a level playing field. Not promoting one technology because another doesn't meet their approval. And it better damn well be a sure thing in every likely scenario.

Solyndra wasn't a sure thing even in the best scenario. Fisker And Tesla are also risky at best. $57,000 hybrids as mainstream vehicles(which is what is was originally billed as)? Yeah I'll pass.

This is the first EV I've seen...
By Boze on 10/29/11, Rating: 0
RE: This is the first EV I've seen...
By ianweck on 10/29/2011 7:48:16 AM , Rating: 2
I saw my first Leaf on the road a couple of months ago and my first Volt a couple of weeks ago. Neither one looked too bad, much better than in the pictures. For me the Leaf was just ok but I thought the Volt looked pretty sharp. Definitely like the look of the Tesla S though.

RE: This is the first EV I've seen...
By Samus on 10/29/2011 9:59:46 AM , Rating: 2
I've seen the volt on the road and it is pretty striking.

RE: This is the first EV I've seen...
By Flunk on 10/30/2011 12:05:34 AM , Rating: 2
I actually like the Volt more than this, it's got a shorter wheelbase and is lighter. Not to mention the completely unproven Tesla brand which is currently known for being completely unreliable.

RE: This is the first EV I've seen...
By Keeir on 10/30/2011 3:53:34 AM , Rating: 2
Yes and they have yet to release the Battery Information.

For the Roadster, the Battery was expected to lose ~30% every 5 years. That's a serious issue. Of course you can pre-buy a replacement for 35,000 or so...

All of this is fine for an ultra luxury unique car. That won't fly in this luxury segment the Model S is in...

PS. I love the look of the Model S. I wish someone would take this body style, reduce the battery in half, and put in a couple Lotus Range Extenders. If Tesla can sell the Model S for ~50,000... surely someone can sell the above option for the same price... 22 kWh of battery (~10,000) ought to be able to buy a 2 2 cylinder Lotus Range Extenders and install them...

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