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A rather extensive analysis and design exercise

Discussion in 'Model 3' started by ProphetM, Jun 30, 2015.

  1. ProphetM

    ProphetM Member

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    I came across this analysis today:

    Will Tesla's Model 3 Compete? - Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA) | Seeking Alpha

    I took a look around this forum and didn't see it mentioned, so hopefully this is not a repeat. This is by far the most in-depth assessment of what the Model 3 is likely to be like that I have seen. It is freaking long. They delve into size, battery type and configuration, drivetrains, cost breakdowns and more. I said 'design exercise' in the thread title and it is very much that - they basically design the entire Model 3 lineup except for the styling. There is a whole lot of speculation but it's so well thought-out that by the end of the article you can't help but start feeling that even if Tesla doesn't do this, they should do this. They explain how the Model 3 can come in at $35k to start, compare favorably to the BMW 3-series at every level, and make a profit at the same time. If they even come close, the Model 3 will be amazing.

    They use "is" a lot as if they are describing decisions that have already been made, but this is only in the context of their design exercise; think of it as historical fiction set in the future.
     
  2. igotzzoom

    igotzzoom Member

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    Most everything in that analysis looks pretty feasible. I'd be happy with the specs of the 344 or the 366. Can't wait 'til next March (or whenever it's finally shown)!
     
  3. MassModel3

    MassModel3 Member

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    That was a good [long] read and a great analysis, even if only in the realm of pure supposition. :tongue:
     
  4. igotzzoom

    igotzzoom Member

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    Yeah. It's pure supposition, but pretty well thought-out. $45k is about the ceiling for my next car purchase. If I can get those specs for that price, I'll be a happy camper.
     
  5. ryanjm

    ryanjm Tesla Podcast Host

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    I'm gunning for the performance, dual-motor Model 3, so I would be VERY happy if their analytical estimate is in the ballpark and the car gets from 0-60mph in 3.1 seconds for $60k (plus another ~$15k in options, probably).
     
  6. ProphetM

    ProphetM Member

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    The middle model of the 3 they describe - the 366D - is basically everything I want from a car. The 300+ mile range is especially surprising. If Tesla can actually accomplish that, they will absolutely destroy all comers.
     
  7. the dude

    the dude Member

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    #7 the dude, Jul 11, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2015
    very good article but I think they have got the battery sizes wrong

    I don't think 44kWh will give a 220 mile range, and I doubt they will design a pack with foot wells
     
  8. wallet.dat

    wallet.dat Member

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    I'm hoping for performance that exceeds that of the MS P85D in every category. It's certainly feasible and the idea of a smaller, lighter model outperforming a larger luxo sedan of the same nameplate is not without precedence.
     
  9. mwulff

    mwulff Member

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    I found the pack design interesting. It could actually be used differently to improve more clearance when seated. Instead of placing the dibs in the pack inside the footwell, why not place the seats there. This would allow for more headroom for tall people (a real problem in both Model S, BMW 3 series and so on).

    I can't help but wonder if a 20700 cell would fit inside the battery pack modules for the Model S. Presumably they would allow for a longer range Model S as well. Personally I dream of a 110 kWh pack for my Model S. It would eliminate a few edge-case range problems I have from time to time.

    But very interesting and well worth the read.
     
  10. JER

    JER Member

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    It mostly seems plausible, though I'd like to see the working for cost, mass and performance.

    The prediction of higher power supercharging with the Model 3 is probably off. As I understand it, beating 1.5C without degradation is going to take more fundamental improvements to the cells, no matter how much power the charger can deliver.

    On the other hand, it may have understated the power output possible from the performance model. The P85D seems to be peaking at about 5C discharge on launches, so by analogy the pack in the hypothetical 366PD could deliver 330kW. That would match pretty closely the output of two P85D front drive units. Two of those in the Model 3 would be 440HP on an AWD car weighing ~3350 lb - spectacular! :)

    Whether those mass targets are realistic with the steel chassis is another question, though. I don't even know how to begin that analysis.
     
  11. Saghost

    Saghost Active Member

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    The article cost analysis was based on aluminum chassis; as far as I know Tesla hasn't committed for certain yet, just said they were considering going to steel.
     
  12. ratsbew

    ratsbew Member

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    I'd much rather prefer aluminum even if it costs an extra couple thousand dollars. I realize that it would be much harder to reach $35,000 if it's all aluminum though. I'm betting that some body panels will be aluminum.
     
  13. tga

    tga Active Member

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    Wasn't it "not aluminum" vs "steel"; ie, Tesla/Elon said "not aluminum" and people assume steel? Personally, I'd love to see liberal use of CF to save weight (a la i3)
     
  14. wallet.dat

    wallet.dat Member

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    CF is still much more costly to produce than steel, and the whole reason behind using something other than aluminum is to reduce cost. Otherwise, a much more exciting guess would be beryllium :)
     
  15. Bangor Bob

    Bangor Bob Member

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    per pound. But the whole idea is to have a lot fewer pounds. With carbon/thermoplastic rather than carbon-epoxy your tooling is all low-pressure, manufacturing for load-bearing parts can be cheaper and fewer steps than say, forged aluminum castings. Cycle time can be quite good as well. Very short cure times once you eliminate thermoset epoxies. No autoclaving, vacuum bagging, etc. Your body-in-white can have radically fewer parts, which can also represent a savings. Material costs are higher, obviously, but the idea is to save on labor, material handling and heavy equipment.

    Using something lighter than aluminum allows for less battery for target range, despite BMW sort of messing up with the i3 and not really getting the savings expected.

    Not saying they're going to do it, but at some point the financials will make sense. Better to do it before they strand too much capital in metal-forming equipment. OTOH, it's more timeline risk...
     
  16. EVNow

    EVNow Active Member

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    44 kWh and 220 EPA miles @ 5 miles/kWh ? LOL.

    What is the author smoking ?
     
  17. mkjayakumar

    mkjayakumar Active Member

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    For 220 miles you need 60kWh minimum what with some buffer needed and all that.
     
  18. JER

    JER Member

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    200 Wh/mile does seem optimistic. It is a significantly smaller, lighter vehicle than the Model S though, and that is getting under 300.

    If I recall correctly, the EV1 could approach 200 under ideal conditions.
     
  19. igotzzoom

    igotzzoom Member

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    Yeah. I was going to say those weight targets look REALLY optimistic. If it is going to be steel, I'd count on more like 3,500-3,800 lbs. My guess is it's going to be a mixed-metals vehicle. Aluminum hood, roof, liftgate, steel fenders and unibody. There's a chance there could be some use of carbon fiber, but at the price targets they're looking at, I'm thinking it's going to be very small amount, and possibly only on the higher-performance/price models.
     
  20. mkjayakumar

    mkjayakumar Active Member

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    ... or could it be that Musk is simply being too optimistic and 200+ mile may be wishful thinking.
     

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