Tesla Motors Says Model S '12 Production Run Sold Out, Will be Profitable in '13
October 28, 2011 6:52 PM
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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
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
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.”
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RE: Tesla will succeed
10/29/2011 12:09:17 PM
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.
"So, I think the same thing of the music industry. They can't say that they're losing money, you know what I'm saying. They just probably don't have the same surplus that they had." -- Wu-Tang Clan founder RZA
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