Print 36 comment(s) - last by andyhi.. on Oct 28 at 12:21 PM

Tesla Motors' third generation electric car platform will spawn multiple vehicles

When it comes to modern all-electric vehicles, Tesla Motors is normally the first name the pops into the mind of car enthusiasts. The company burst onto the scene with its two-seat Roadster, and later introduced the Roadster Sport.
According to a new report from AutoCar, Tesla lost money on every Roadster sold despite its $109,000 price tag ($128,500 for the Roadster Sport). Now that production on that first generation model has ceased, Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk states that the next generation Roadster will arrive in 2014.
 Tesla Roadster and Model S [Source: Tesla Motors]
The new third-generation platform that will underpin the new Roadster will also be shared with a new 3-Series sized vehicle according to Musk. “This platform will spawn a range of cars in the next four to five years,” Musk added. “It’ll be a more mass-market platform for cars like a 3-series as well as the new Roadster. These cars will supplement the Model S range.”
Tesla is launching its all-electric Model S sedan -- which is roughly the size of a BMW 5-Series -- next year. The Roadster was loosely based on the Lotus Elise, while the Model S is an all-new "from scratch" design. It will have a base price of $57,400, so we wonder how long it will take for the company to actually make money on the vehicle.
Companies like Fisker Automotive and Tesla Motors are currently in the news as many question their worthiness of receiving government funding.

Source: AutoCar

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Great Company
By Dr of crap on 10/27/2011 10:15:56 AM , Rating: 2
How did they get funding for this??!!??
Oh yea, the govt kicked in cash!

So Tesla lost money on each car sold.
The Volt is break even.

Seems like EVs are not a good business model and that's why they need govt subsidies to survive!

RE: Great Company
By thereaderrabbit on 10/27/2011 10:36:19 AM , Rating: 2
Agreed, this might represent another technological frontier that communist China could do better job blazing a trail in.

RE: Great Company
By gamerk2 on 10/27/2011 11:54:09 AM , Rating: 3
I remember when Integrated Circuits were loosing money on every unit produced; guess we should have stuck with Vaccume Tubes?

All technology goes through a period where it looses money, until the point where economies of scale comes into play. EV's are no different.

Using your logic, we should never invent anything, because it initally sells at a loss.

RE: Great Company
By Kurz on 10/27/2011 12:05:04 PM , Rating: 3
Except that technology was actually Viable, Faster, Cooler, and more robust.

The Cars need at least twice the range (Looking at Nissan Leaf) before they become a viable alternative.

RE: Great Company
By DT_Reader on 10/27/2011 12:45:51 PM , Rating: 2
A "viable alternative" for you, maybe. With a 20 mile commute, a 50 mile range is all I need. I'd love a $15,000 EV with a 50 mile range; I have no use for (can't afford) a $60,000 EV with a 200 mile range.

RE: Great Company
By Kurz on 10/27/2011 1:05:46 PM , Rating: 2
How long will that 50 mile range be viable?
Batteries go through Oxidation Processes that eat away at their ability to hold a charge.

RE: Great Company
By BZDTemp on 10/27/2011 2:16:09 PM , Rating: 2
You may wanna look into 2-wheeled electric motorcycles. There are some very interesting things going on in that world.

RE: Great Company
By Spuke on 10/27/2011 3:00:41 PM , Rating: 2
a 50 mile range is all I need. I'd love a $15,000 EV with a 50 mile range
You've just proved that EV's are NOT currently a viable alternative. If you're waiting for prices to drop to $15k before you buy, good luck. CAFE 2025 will NOT allow cheap cars in the market, especially EV's. And before you say you'll buy used (you won't but I'll mention it anyways), good luck again standing in line behind the other people wanting a $15k EV too.

RE: Great Company
By johnsmith9875 on 10/28/2011 9:57:59 AM , Rating: 2
You know in the old days people owned 2 cars. A smaller car for tooling around town, and a big car for going on family trips.
Its obvious an electric car is for the shorter grocery runs. To dismiss an entire technology because its range is not equal to or greater than what is out there now is a rather silly position to take.

Even with my long daily commute, its well within the range of an electric car's capacity.

RE: Great Company
By Dr of crap on 10/27/2011 12:56:59 PM , Rating: 2
Why are they loosing money?
Why not charge a higher price?
Oh yea, they they wouldn't sell ANY.
Yes there has to those that will buy the first of anything, but there also has to be buyers.
I don't agree with your statment about every new product loosing money.

At some higher price point sales take a nosedive. Unless you have a product that is really good and is better than whats out there now. EV, hybrids are not that much better than the "normal" cars.
To be in business and sell your wares at a loss is NOT a good idea. If it truely is a good product sales will increase and your cost will come down. Basic econ, but these EVs just can't be selling at a loss. How are they getting funding if that is truely the case?

RE: Great Company
By Spuke on 10/27/2011 3:04:10 PM , Rating: 2
How are they getting funding if that is truely the case?
One word? Solyndra.

RE: Great Company
By johnsmith9875 on 10/28/2011 9:51:41 AM , Rating: 2
Solyndra is more of a case of free market executive theivery than any problem with an electric infrastructure.

RE: Great Company
By V-Money on 10/27/2011 2:28:30 PM , Rating: 2
Look at the Prius story, it didn't go as smoothly as hoped and not many people (even in the company) thought it would be as successful as it is now, and they lost money on the first batch.
It is still early in its phase, eventually as time goes on battery capacity will go up, weight will go down, and prices will become more affordable. As for government funding, thats a different argument I'm not getting into.

RE: Great Company
By johnsmith9875 on 10/28/2011 9:53:29 AM , Rating: 2
I remember when a light emitting diode cost $20 retail at Radio Shack.
There weren't luddites whining, saying we should go back to light bulbs on control panels. You know some folks have vision about the future and about technology.

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