Print 49 comment(s) - last by karimtemple.. on May 29 at 11:01 AM

Tesla wants to release a quality, yet affordable EV (unlike the Nissan Leaf)

Now that Tesla Motors has freed itself of federal debt, many are wondering, "What's next for the automaker?" According to its CEO, creating a quality electric vehicle that is also affordable is the main goal. 

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that his company's Model S is a great EV, but it's a luxury car that is out of the price range of many consumers. He compared it to the Nissan Leaf, which is an affordable EV, but lacks quality (in Musk's opinion).

“With the Model S, you have a compelling car that’s too expensive for most people,” said Musk. “And you have the Leaf, which is cheap, but it’s not great." 

Musk said the ideal affordable Tesla EV would be available in about three to four years, and would be sold for under $40,000 USD. It would also have a range of about 200 miles per charge. 

Tesla CEO Elon Musk

With Tesla paying off its $465 million federal loan from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) an entire nine years earlier than expected last week, some suspected that Tesla's next move would be an acquisition by larger companies like Daimler AG and Toyota Motor Corp. Daimler AG has 4.87 million Tesla shares valued at $425 million and Toyota has 2.94 million shares valued at $257 million.

While Musk recognizes that an acquisition is possible in the future, he doesn't see his company being sold to another automaker.

“Tesla just seems very expensive [to other automakers],” said Musk. "I’d guess it would come from outside the auto industry. It would be a buyer with a very large cash position."

Musk said Apple is a large company that could qualify as a suitable buyer for Tesla at some point.

However, Musk isn't selling anytime soon. He wants to stick around to continue selling Tesla's popular Model S sedan (the company sold 4,900 in the first quarter), seeing profits soar (Tesla's profit came in at 12 cents a share for Q1, which was a boost from a loss of 76 cents a share in Q1 2012) and developing the affordable Tesla EV.

"What the world really needs is a great, affordable electric car," said Musk. "I’m not going to let anything go, no matter what people offer, until I complete that mission.”

Source: The Detroit News

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RE: affordable
By karimtemple on 5/29/2013 10:07:08 AM , Rating: 2
This comment provides good insights, but to be fair the exact phrasing was "under $40,000."

I'm going to play Devil's Advocate here, because it's fun.

$20k is under $40,000, haha. Obviously it could mean e.g. $38k, but consider that he explicitly names the LEAF as a competitive target -- the LEAF is $28k.

Now $20k is a lot better than $28k, but aside from the whole "green" thing (who cares lol) and local/federal EV incentives, consider the daily cost. "kWh cost" in Google shows me an NPR article that says the average US cost was $0.12 in 2011. Conservative 3rd-party EV ratings appear to put the LEAF at about 3.4 miles per kWh.

That's $0.035 per mile. If your actual MPG on your combustion engine is 22 (avg 21.5), you're looking at $0.164 per mile. That's almost five times the cost. You can literally divide your monthly fuel cost by 4.5 to get your new monthly fuel cost on EV -- based on averages, about $125 a month.

$125 a month is about the difference between a $21k loan and a $28.8k loan. So far the theory that EVs would have less maintenance (and maintenance cost) seems to be holding up as well.

Peace and I'm out!

"I mean, if you wanna break down someone's door, why don't you start with AT&T, for God sakes? They make your amazing phone unusable as a phone!" -- Jon Stewart on Apple and the iPhone

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