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Elon Musk  (Source: blogcdn.com)
Tesla will make the announcements next week

Tesla Motors plans to reveal some news about its updated dealer service and the company's Supercharger network next week. 
 
While the details of these announcements are unclear right now, Tesla CEO Elon Musk has made it clear that service will be completely revamped and made a top priority.
 
"I'm an engineer, so service is not something that I naturally do," Musk said. "But it's the right thing for the company and I think we have the opportunity to re-engineer service."
 
As for the Superchargers, it’s likely that the company will be adding more in certain areas as more Model S’ are hitting the roads (and customers would enjoy driving longer distances knowing that Superchargers are plentiful along the way).
 
Tesla made another announcement earlier this week pertaining to financing. The automaker is partnering with Wells Fargo and U.S. Bank to offer customers more financing options for Tesla’s vehicles.
 
Tesla has had a pleasant 2013 so far, as the company recently announced that it is shipping over 500 Model S EVs weekly.
 
It also reported that the company is now profitable thanks to the Model S exceeding sales targets. Tesla Model S sales reached 4,750, which topped the sales outlook of 4,500 posted in the February shareholder letter.
 
Tesla recently shared another bit of Model S news, this time concerning the battery. The automaker decided not to produce the 40 kWh battery pack because only 5 percent of customers chose that option. Instead, customers will receive a 60 kWh pack.
 
The only small hiccup in Tesla’s schedule is the delay to production of the Model X. Tesla had hoped to begin production of the vehicle this year, but those plans have been put off until late 2014 (meaning deliveries will likely be pushed to 2015). 

Source: Reuters



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RE: The SHOCKING truth about electric cars!!!
By FITCamaro on 4/5/2013 7:49:03 AM , Rating: -1
And then what? How many people in this country do you think can afford a $70,000 car? And once those 26,000 people get their cars, who will buy one then? They have a lot of orders right now because those who can afford them and want one have put in the order, and have been waiting a few years. But what happens after this initial demand? Do you think they'll be able to keep up that kind of demand per year long term?


By mjv.theory on 4/5/2013 9:02:42 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
And once those 26,000 people get their cars, who will buy one then?

Somewhere out there in distant lands beyond the borders of the continental US, there are over 6.5 billion people.

The present premium prices of EVs is genuine cause for concern, but is only a bump on the road toward improvements from economies of scale provided by an increasing market.
The present scepticism of EVs motivated by range anxiety is genuine cause for concern, but incremental improvements in battery tech and a gradual increase in fast charging station infrastructure will eliminate this worry over the next few years.

The electric motor is already far superior to internal combustion engines. Everybody wants an electric car, it's just that some are so afraid of change that they are not yet aware of it.

P.S. Did you read the article on Volt drivers - a tank of fuel lasts many of them thousands of miles.


RE: The SHOCKING truth about electric cars!!!
By Drexial on 4/5/2013 9:05:19 AM , Rating: 5
I don't understand how the same arguments pop up every article. This is a start up company with a product that has start up costs with a developing product. EVERYTHING has been a toy for the rich before they get cheep enough for the masses.

Go ahead and tell me a product that went straight into mass production for everyone and was affordable for everyone on release.

The Model T was not the first car, mobile phone companies didn't start with plans offering a free phone, you couldn't snag a 50" 1080p LCD from target when they first hit the market. Hell when 720p plasmas first went on the market, you could have bought a Model S with how much they cost.

This is also only the companies second product, and the first one was $110,000 and that was a shared platform with Lotus. This is a completely fresh platform built from the rubber to the roof in house at Tesla. It gets 3 times the range and is larger better performing and can seat up to 6. and costs 30k less on the high end. These cars are only going to get cheaper as battery production and technology advances.

People keep saying that batteries need to advance before this becomes viable. Well there needs to be a demand for them to put money into advancing them. That demand is at first going to cost the early adopters. Then it will trickle down to the every day man.

They have already stated that after the X there are plans for a more economical car. I believe the target was under $20k. Which given it would be smaller and lighter, I could see them easily getting fiesta/focus sized car over 200 miles in range for less then $20k by the time that comes to.

As far as the grid arguments, why do you thing electricity is cheaper at night? It's because most plants don't ramp down production in those hours. Because it would warp and damage the furnaces and because by the time they brought it down they would just have to ramp it back up. So power plants are producing essentially the same amount of power at night as they are during the day, so they would be putting wasted energy to use at night.


By SublimeSimplicity on 4/5/2013 9:36:27 AM , Rating: 2
Excellent points...

In fact there is a picture on the main page of the 40 year birthday of the cellphone. That big honking monstrosity on the left, would cost about $9k in 2013 dollars and the service plan would have been about $500 month for about 100 minutes.

I look forward to the day (in probably 10 years) when we look back at the Model S with disbelief that people spent close to $100k for a car with the functionality of a $20k one (in 2013 dollars).


RE: The SHOCKING truth about electric cars!!!
By Drexial on 4/5/2013 3:17:16 PM , Rating: 2
I would say that the Model S is at least equivalent to the 5 series as far as how well equipped it is.

As far as having a car for under $20k. It would only need half the HP of the lowest optioned Model S, giving it around 150 HP, which is about average for a Focus/Cruze sized car. The battery wouldn't need to be as strong given the reduced power, this would also reduce weight, which would in turn require less power from the battery. Figure a car weighing between 2800-3200 lbs. I cant wait for instant torque in a car like that. Swap in the motors from a Model S, tweak the software, upgrade the batteries. There will be a future, and it will be an interesting one for electric cars.

I see this being possible fairly soon, of course with inflation that goal might be more of a $20k car when it comes out.


RE: The SHOCKING truth about electric cars!!!
By lelias2k on 4/6/2013 8:17:26 AM , Rating: 2
OMFG, I am so happy to find intelligent people commenting on an article about electric cars!

I have been saying the same arguments for years.

Furthermore, I was a Volt specialist at a Chevy dealer. Considering how handicapped that car is for having to carry the whole ICE package, it is a fantastic ride.

I notice the types of people who bash electric cars are:

a) Never drove one.
b) Close minded people who can't accept change.

During our test drives, I never had one customer coming out of it unimpressed. They might not all buy the vehicle (there are REAL trade-offs at the moment), but they all finally got their eyes opened to a whole new driving experience.

In my view there's only one thing stopping us from moving in the electric car direction: oil corporations and their endless supply of lobbying money.


By topkill on 4/6/2013 3:44:52 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, there is a small, but VERY vocal contingent on DT who absolutely hate EVs. Some of them are simply luddites who can't help themselves. Others, have somewhat legitimate issues with EVs as they are receiving subsidies.

Of course, I've argued with them that Oil gets subsidies, STILL...after over 100 years, to the tune of at least a few billion a year. And then I argue that they get much more than that in the form of a larger military that we have to maintain to support our interest in the middle east due to oil.

In comparison, EVs have had somewhere around $200million in subsidies since that $7,500 was started and they feel this is the absolute epitome of evil. Not sure how $200M TOTAL is worse than $2-$4BILLION per year for Big Oil...but there you go.


RE: The SHOCKING truth about electric cars!!!
By mjv.theory on 4/5/2013 9:46:30 AM , Rating: 2
I agree with much of what you say. Certainly, based on price alone, the Model S & X will not be appropriate for the majority of drivers/families, but you've got to start somewhere. We can be quite confident, in fact certain, that there will be at least a 2x-5x improvement in battery capacity over the next few years - and likely 10x or more in the next couple of decades. We might well expect resistance for a change from ICE to EVs from vested interest incumbents and luddites, but electric transport is desirable and inevitable.

I believe the next model planned is along the lines of a 3-series BMW. Still the "luxury" market, but heading in the right direction. It'll probably take at least 5+ years for Tesla to get down toward the bottom end of the market. However, other manufacturers and other areas of the world (after all the vast majority of cars are not produced in the US) will play a significant role in bringing EVs into all market segments. I would not expect Tesla to complete the elimination of ICE cars entirely on their own.


RE: The SHOCKING truth about electric cars!!!
By Pneumothorax on 4/5/2013 10:15:09 AM , Rating: 2
Your 2-5x increase in battery capacity is some serious pie in the sky thinking. LiOn/LiPo battery density hasn't really improved a whole lot in the last 10 years. The only way right now to add 2-5x more battery capacity is to increase the Kwh size of the pack to 2-5x. Even with Teslas supercharger stations, it still takes over an hour to do a complete charge on their largest capacity pack so that's over 6x slower than filling up my 550 mile range 335d.


RE: The SHOCKING truth about electric cars!!!
By Guspaz on 4/5/2013 10:26:59 AM , Rating: 2
If memory serves, the rate of improvement for lithium ion has been something like 8-9% per year for a while now. Let's take 8%, then a 2x-5x improvement would require 9 - 21 years. To say this will happen "in the next few years" is indeed pie in the sky.


By mjv.theory on 4/5/2013 1:03:44 PM , Rating: 2
Fair to say that my hopes of rapid improvement in battery tech may include an element of optimism. Even so, there are several areas of research showing genuine promise. Whether these prove to be economically manufacturable remains to be seen, but "pie in the sky" labelling is IMO a little harsh and/or pessimistic.

Although it may not meets with Musk's complete approval, the Volt-style idea of an EV drivetrain with a range-extender generator is also extremely viable. There is certainly room for much optimisation, particularly with regards to a specifically designed generator. As demonstrated by the experiences of many Volt owners, even with a moderately small battery pack, very considerable improvements in efficiency can be made given that most people, most of the time only do fairly short journeys. Obviously if you drive a thousand miles every day or have no facility to plug-in at home, then your outlook may differ. Personally I would struggle with a Leaf and a Model S is way too expensive. Nonetheless, I remain of the opinion that the sooner the internal combustion engine is decoupled from the wheels of transport, the better. Also, I believe the time is ripe for an effort like Tesla's to change the automotive landscape.


By SublimeSimplicity on 4/5/2013 2:15:04 PM , Rating: 2
But battery improvements don't come in a steady stream of 8% a year. For years we had NiMH (with very marginal improvements) then Lithium ions came out with over 2x the capacity.

Improvements seems to come in breakthroughs, not so much incremental improvements when it comes to batteries.


By lelias2k on 4/6/2013 8:21:02 AM , Rating: 2
My thoughts exactly. Funny how pessimists tend to look into one direction only.


By wiz220 on 4/5/2013 1:30:58 PM , Rating: 2
Ya, it is a bit optimistic. I went to a Tesla dealership here in CO and the salesperson told me that when you need to replace the battery (after 8 years I believe) you can expect the new replacement battery to have roughly twice the range. That's still a pretty good improvement, especially since you'll be paying the same amount as you would have for your original battery, but certainly not 2-5x over a few years.


By Dr. Kenneth Noisewater on 4/5/2013 1:58:19 PM , Rating: 2
Envia and other researchers are claiming 400Wh/kg or greater, and LiS and metal-air batteries may push that past 600Wh/kg. Envia may have some of its improvements integrated into batteries over the next 3-5 years.

That's not pie in the sky, it's pie on a window ledge about 6 stories up.


By SublimeSimplicity on 4/5/2013 2:25:36 PM , Rating: 2
Lithium sulfur is right around the corner. Metal-Air is a long way for prime time (if ever).

But an LiS battery with a Si anode is good for 4x-6x current capacity. To put that in real world numbers that's a Nissan LEAF that can go 280-400 miles on a charge for the same cost as today... or one with 2x the range of today for $10k less.


RE: The SHOCKING truth about electric cars!!!
By mjv.theory on 4/5/2013 4:19:47 PM , Rating: 2
When saying "the next few years", I had in mind something like, "by the end of the decade". There are enough regular reports of potential improvements in battery tech that the possibility of a 2x increase by 2020 is surely not too fanciful. For a vehicle like the Model S, a 2x improvement in battery capacity might mean a real world 400-500mile range, or 10k off the price. For vehicles that are smaller (and cheaper) than Model S, an improvement in battery capacity is even more significant, since the cost and the weight of the battery pack would be an even greater percentage of the overall price and weight of the vehicle.



RE: The SHOCKING truth about electric cars!!!
By Pneumothorax on 4/5/2013 10:58:20 PM , Rating: 2
Call me pessimistic, but there's just too many 'pop-sic' articles touting some new fancy battery tech that never sees the day of mass production


RE: The SHOCKING truth about electric cars!!!
By lelias2k on 4/6/2013 8:26:17 AM , Rating: 2
You are pessimistic. :p


By topkill on 4/6/2013 3:35:30 PM , Rating: 2
+1 :-)


By 1prophet on 4/6/2013 8:33:25 AM , Rating: 2
It's not pessimism but the instant gratification mentality the corporations have brainwashed most of the public with for consumerism reasons,

and these companies have to announce some sort of breakthrough or progress because of the instant gratification mentality most investors have today.


By Mint on 4/6/2013 3:09:33 PM , Rating: 2
Just saw an article about a Li-S breakthrough couple days ago. They're definitely promising now that cycle life is improving.

You'll see them in consumer electronics long before they appear in cars, though. Cellphone companies will pay at least 5x as much as they do for Lithium-ion if they can get a battery with twice the density.

For example, Samsung's Galaxy S4 has ~10Wh of capacity. If they paid $50 for a high density 20Wh battery instead, they could easily charge $80+ for that extra feature. This works out to $2500/kWh, while current batteries are <$500/kWh.


By Masospaghetti on 4/5/2013 10:23:55 AM , Rating: 2
1. The cars start at $50k, not $70k.
2. How many Mercedes, BMWs, Cadillacs, Land Rovers, Jaguars, full size Chevy & Ford trucks and SUVs, etc do you see driving around? There's plenty of people who drop more than $50-70k on a vehicle.

Just Mercedes sold 26,000 vehicles in March 2013. Audi = 13,000. BMW another 27,000. Total light truck sales about 500,000 - obviously this number includes some cheaper models, but you get the idea.

I know some people actually use their truck for hauling stuff, but there's also a lot of people who use them for commuting.


By MightyAA on 4/5/2013 1:25:12 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed.. $70k for a car is not uncommon now and these days. How about a optioned Audi A6 or A7? How many Porsche's do you see on the road? All in that price range too. Do you honestly think that only "rich" can afford? Upper middle-class... there's a lot of us.


RE: The SHOCKING truth about electric cars!!!
By Spuke on 4/5/2013 1:27:52 PM , Rating: 2
That vast majority of those cars are the LOW end models not the higher priced one's. Most are decently optioned to right around $40k. Land Rovers and Jaguars are WAY more expensive than your average Mercedes, BMW and Audi so their customers would be Tesla's moreso than the aforementioned makes. Chevy and Ford trucks range from low $20's to over $50k depending on options and trims. Not all are highly optioned, I see mostly low optioned trucks.

I do agree with you that there is most definitely a market for $50-$70k cars but your average person is NOT in that market.


RE: The SHOCKING truth about electric cars!!!
By BRB29 on 4/5/2013 1:31:59 PM , Rating: 2
Everyone I know paid 50-100k for a car. Of course they all bought it new with many options. While I think it's a waste of money, what do you expect from a single person in their 20s making 6 figures?
You can make 100k easily in 4-5 years after college regardless if you work for the government or private.


By Spuke on 4/5/2013 2:00:09 PM , Rating: 2
Dude, average household income in the US is like $50k a year. Your friends aren't average. I'm quite familiar with your area, it's one of the wealthiest in the country. Lots of people with money there but definitely not average. On a side note, your friends should be spending that money on retirement not $100k cars. They could easily have a couple million in retirement by their mid 50's if they invested wisely. My wife and I BOTH make $160k and there's no $50k car in our garage. The only $50k I would ever own would be used and it would be in the $30k or lower range.


By Mint on 4/6/2013 2:43:49 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
but your average person is NOT in that market.

Your average person is not in the market for any new car.

http://www.edmunds.com/industry-center/commentary/...
70%+ of new cars are bought by people earning over $50k/yr, and 30% of cars are bought by people earning over $100k/yr. US median fulltime wage is only $40k/yr.


By flyingpants1 on 4/7/2013 3:32:58 AM , Rating: 2
No.. The cars start at $70k. The price was raised and the 40kWh version was dropped completely. After the tax credit it's $62.5k.. But your loan is for the full 70k.


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