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Cracks Form in the Tesla Story as Germans Assemble Luxury EV Assault

CatB

Member
Mar 2, 2013
887
695
Alexandria, VA
Oh that's funny. Shame he didn't read that master plan blog, apparently Tesla has succeeded in its mission by making sure that "electrics are here to say."
Shall we start the victory dance?
 

jgs

Active Member
Oct 28, 2014
1,581
933
Ann Arbor, Michigan
"I predict that these cars will be vastly superior to Tesla’s models in terms of performance, refinement, and impact on the environment".

Cool! I (with at least equal data to back me up) predict the German entrants will run on unicorn farts and pixie dust! And they'll fly! Or at least they'll have way more and better press releases. And more dynamic ones. Very much more dynamic. Did I mention dynamic?

But seriously, bring some credible competition, by all means, the sooner the better.
 

Sgutz

Member
Mar 28, 2015
155
35
Ottawa,ON,Canada
I read the story with interest and it's an affirmation that ev's are the eventual destination for everyone, but the article is clearly a speculative editorial, lacking the usual requirements for a serious argument (like actual evidence for example). We will all benefit when there is more competition, but writing a bunch of meaningless words of unsubstantiated conjecture isn't the right approach.

No doubt the German automakers will enter the market, but they will run into the same laws of physics that Tesla has faced. They won't be able to magically make a car that can go from Munich to Berlin at 100+ mph either. There's just not enough room in a typical car body to house the batteries and the law of diminishing returns will ensure that the increased battery weight is actually resulting in a loss of range and performance.

Furthermore, the Germans and every other car maker are up against their own PUblic Relations machines. They have defended ICE cars so long and disparaged EVs for a decade. Suddenly extolling the virtues of electrics now will make them look completely stupid. I've driven German cars for over 20 years, and loved them, but now I happily await my P85D. There will be competition, but it won't be any easier for Porsche or Audi to get traction (maybe even harder). Tesla has a solid foothold that is theirs to lose and it will be fun to see how this market evolves.
 

Lerxt

Active Member
Feb 21, 2014
1,002
109
Australia
I read the story with interest and it's an affirmation that ev's are the eventual destination for everyone, but the article is clearly a speculative editorial, lacking the usual requirements for a serious argument (like actual evidence for example). We will all benefit when there is more competition, but writing a bunch of meaningless words of unsubstantiated conjecture isn't the right approach.

No doubt the German automakers will enter the market, but they will run into the same laws of physics that Tesla has faced. They won't be able to magically make a car that can go from Munich to Berlin at 100+ mph either. There's just not enough room in a typical car body to house the batteries and the law of diminishing returns will ensure that the increased battery weight is actually resulting in a loss of range and performance.

Furthermore, the Germans and every other car maker are up against their own PUblic Relations machines. They have defended ICE cars so long and disparaged EVs for a decade. Suddenly extolling the virtues of electrics now will make them look completely stupid. I've driven German cars for over 20 years, and loved them, but now I happily await my P85D. There will be competition, but it won't be any easier for Porsche or Audi to get traction (maybe even harder). Tesla has a solid foothold that is theirs to lose and it will be fun to see how this market evolves.

This is spot on.

Also, I wonder when car manufacturers will get that for most EV owners PHEV's just don't cut it
 

anticitizen13.7

Not posting at TMC after 9/17/2018
Dec 22, 2012
3,638
5,761
United States
I read the story with interest and it's an affirmation that ev's are the eventual destination for everyone, but the article is clearly a speculative editorial, lacking the usual requirements for a serious argument (like actual evidence for example). We will all benefit when there is more competition, but writing a bunch of meaningless words of unsubstantiated conjecture isn't the right approach.

No doubt the German automakers will enter the market, but they will run into the same laws of physics that Tesla has faced. They won't be able to magically make a car that can go from Munich to Berlin at 100+ mph either. There's just not enough room in a typical car body to house the batteries and the law of diminishing returns will ensure that the increased battery weight is actually resulting in a loss of range and performance.

Furthermore, the Germans and every other car maker are up against their own PUblic Relations machines. They have defended ICE cars so long and disparaged EVs for a decade. Suddenly extolling the virtues of electrics now will make them look completely stupid. I've driven German cars for over 20 years, and loved them, but now I happily await my P85D. There will be competition, but it won't be any easier for Porsche or Audi to get traction (maybe even harder). Tesla has a solid foothold that is theirs to lose and it will be fun to see how this market evolves.

Based on comments to the blog post, C&D's readers aren't buying what "The Continental" is saying. Not only are they not buying it, many are actively ridiculing the blogger.
 

Sgutz

Member
Mar 28, 2015
155
35
Ottawa,ON,Canada
This is spot on.

Also, I wonder when car manufacturers will get that for most EV owners PHEV's just don't cut it

The bigger problem the premium brands will face is price/performance for electrics. It is relatively easy to manufacture an EV for under $70k that can outperform any ICE car. What distinguishes a company like Porsche from Toyota is their current engine technology and once everyone switches to electric motors what differentiates a $200k 600hp Porsche EV from a $70k 600hp Tesla? They will be forced to introduce EV cars that compete with their own ICE models, so will want to charge more $ for them. This will ultimately starve off their own money making ICE models since their EV cars will need to be priced to compete with the rest of the market selling cheap electric cars that perform just as well. There's already lots of people in the Tesla world wondering if there's a reason for the higher priced P85D when the 70D gets it done for half the price. So EV buyers certainly aren't going to pay even more for a Porsche EV with a marginal performance bump. The only real difference between future EV models will be the logo on the hood/bonnet and that's going to change the market dramatically - possibly to the point where the premium brands will no longer be able to compete.

Anyone who thinks Tesla didn't disrupt the industry with the Model S just needs to wait a couple years to realize how wrong they are. Even if Tesla eventually goes out of business, they have opened Pandora's Box in the auto industry and now all companies will be tripping over each other to serve a market that Elon is largely responsible for creating.
 
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Bangor Bob

Member
Jan 5, 2015
670
486
Bangor, ME
what differentiates a $200k 600hp Porsche EV from a $70k 600hp Tesla?
If Porsche is very, very clever, a $100k battery which weighs half as much for the same capacity, and a $100k body which weighs 1/3rd as much. And a few UberSchnellChargers, or something. Long odds on that, though, IMO.
 
Feb 12, 2015
21
0
Bloomingdale
The only time you can drive 110 mph in Germany, for more then 40 seconds at a time, is when you get up at 0400h in the morning (Sunday morning that is) to drive fast to nowhere in Bavaria. The only thing realistic about this article is that ICE vehicles are going out of business faster then a P 85 D does 0-60! lol
 

Sgutz

Member
Mar 28, 2015
155
35
Ottawa,ON,Canada
If Porsche is very, very clever, a $100k battery which weighs half as much for the same capacity, and a $100k body which weighs 1/3rd as much. And a few UberSchnellChargers, or something. Long odds on that, though, IMO.

Yes, this is the real race and lots of companies including Tesla and Toyota are investing heavily, as well, but it's very hard for anyone to maintain a lock on innovations like this - even with a solid patent portfolio. If one company gained some technical advantage it's likely to be a short term lead because the next innovation will be just around the corner. Someone will develop the Salt Water-Mylar battery that charges in 5 minutes and obsoletes anything that came before it. Personally, I'm holding out for the fusion ion battery for my future Tesla P-infinity-D :wink:
 

Xenoilphobe

Active Member
Jan 2, 2014
4,579
4,295
Fairfax County, Virginia
Yawn!! I went to my local MBUSA dealer to look at SUV's GL350 Bluetec which I have always admired. Once I priced it out the way I wanted it - I realized I would be into the $80ish range and then with the $800 maintenance and old tech/ engine / electronics/ transmission and non ergonomic controls - I just couldn't do it!
I ended up buying a 2nd Tesla - this time a lightly used 2014 P85+ loaded for under $80K. I can never go back. Ever
 

Merrill

Merrill
Jan 23, 2013
3,759
1,290
Sonoma, California
I'm all for other manufactures getting into the EV business, it is good for everyone. When they can make a car that looks as good as the Model S and drives like the Model S and handles like the Model S goes as far on a charge as a Model S and you can go to a supercharger to recharge for free then we have competition.
 

JST

Active Member
May 23, 2013
1,560
222
"But despite this decidedly pragmatic approach, Tesla is far from developing a car within a year, something it flippantly told the industry it could pull off. “They don’t even know what they don’t know,” an executive jokes."

Sometimes, not knowing what you don't know is a pretty big advantage.


 

Grendal

SpaceX Moderator
Jan 31, 2012
5,807
7,121
Santa Fe, New Mexico
My big problem with all of these articles about how a mass manufacturer could step in and take Tesla's business is the fact that mass manufacturers (other than Nissan) aren't interested in making EV's even though Tesla has shown them that consumers want them. Why? Because of the same reason that Dealerships wouldn't sell a Tesla. The mass manufacturers are still married to the ICE and don't want an upstart EV (even one that they make) taking away sales from their bread and butter moneymaker. The only way it will happen is exactly the way that Tesla has been doing it so far. Tesla will make a car that is better than theirs and take away their business until they make an EV to compete with Tesla. So far the majors have had 3 years to make something even remotely close to a Model S and the best they managed to bring up is the Cadillac ELR. The Model S made that car a joke. It sold a few cars in spite of itself and that was it. So we'll see another few years of talking about it and hear every other day about how someone will crush Tesla and absolutely nothing will happen. I'll predict 2018 to 2020 before anyone manages to make something that realistically competes with Tesla.
 

mwulff

Member
Jan 15, 2015
348
25
Danmark
I'm pretty sure that BMW, Mercedes, Porsche and VW has the technical know how to build a Model S competitor if they wished. It would take time and it would probably be better than the Model S in some ways.

But, these companies don't get software and I mean this in a big way. The software that runs the average BMW is horribly and working with it is even more painful. To upgrade a single module on a BMW can require that the car remains plugged into a diagnostics computer for up to 24 hours. If you have ever tried the iDrive system you know what true ui-pain is. The same basically holds true for all german manufacturers.

So to think that they can build something that will be updated over the air and work as well as even Tesla's version 1 software inside of 5 years is probably giving them too much credit.

No german manufacturer has started deployment of a super charger network yet. I hear rumblings about 50 kW DC charging which for a long-range car is inadequate at best. The supercharger network really is the ultimate competitive advantage for Tesla and the fact that it's free makes the message even more compelling. A 300 mile BEV without supercharging is a no go in the market now, which is why you see the german manufacturers fumbling about with silly hybrids that are little more than concept/compliance cars.

Then let's not forget that they all have dealers to contend with and the dealers will prefer to sell the ICE cars because they guarantee service/repair income for the dealership. So it will be an uphill battle to even ship the cars. Even now our local Nissan Dealer will refer to the leaf as "that little expensive thing you don't want and doesn't work well". Imagine what a Mercedes dealer would say about an EV vs. "A real mans V8 AMG".

I think they are at least 5-10 years away from a serious BEV contender to Tesla's cars.
 

Johan

Ex got M3 in the divorce, waiting for EU Model Y!
Feb 9, 2012
7,486
9,693
Drammen, Norway
The type of argument this article puts forward is pretty hard to refute:

- Anyone could build and sell an EV like Tesla has, they just want to wait for better and cheaper batteries

- Tesla is constantly saying they are going to build new models and come out with new technology but the time frames seem optimistic. Since the future hasn't happened yet there can always be doubt about if they will succeed.

It's just that reality and actual events so far show that people do want Teslas cars, Tesla does follow up on their plans, the German auto makers haven't yet built EVs that can compete.
 

3mp_kwh

Active Member
Feb 13, 2013
1,117
263
Boston
He also said an upcoming Cadillac PHEV would cut into Tesla sales.

And think about whose lunch will be eaten by the Cadillac CT6's rumored 37 miles of range? Where Cadillac doesn't offer near the trunk storage of Tesla, they crush the battery storage of our German friends. And they did it with version 2.0, of a proven PHEV drive train.

I get caught in the mistake of reading occasional C&D stories, since cancelling the mag years ago. Genuinely stupid comments, like "energy-sucking" prove that was the right move.
 

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