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Hard to believe that only Tesla has mass-produced an EV with a range > 100 miles.

wdolson

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Jul 24, 2015
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everyone is hedging on the 200 mile car.
Nissan and GM have them in the wings, but they can't commit to producing a whole bunch of them yet because battery manufacturing isn't there (yet).
They aren't ready to produce enough cells to cover current market volumes when the pack size is doubled or tripled.
If we take current battery/cell manufacturing capacity and double the pack size, they can only produce half the number of vehicles - or less if pack size is three times bigger.
Catch 22 for them

Battery production is the big bottleneck right now. Tesla currently uses 10% of the world production of lithium ion batteries for the Model S and it's why they are investing in the Gigafactory. Without doubling world production of batteries, the production goal of 500,000 Model 3s a year is impossible. And that still puts Tesla at lower production numbers than every other major automaker selling in the US. Subaru is the smallest mainstream car maker selling in the US and they produce just shy of 900,000 cars a year. Tesla gets a lot of press and of course this forum is a hotbed of all things Tesla, but EVs are still a tiny segment of the market and even when the Model 3 is in full production that market segment could only be called "small".

The world produced 72 million cars in 2014 and another 14.6 million light trucks. Even if you just look at cars, Tesla's contribution to that total was only 0.07% of the world's car production. Tesla is projecting they will build 600,000 EVs by 2020. Assuming car production remains 72 million (it will likely grow, but let's make it simple). That's all the way up to 0.8% of total world car production. If it takes 1 Gigafactory to produce 600,000 cars (with Tesla sized battery packs). To get to 10% of the world fleet EVs with Tesla range battery packs will require 12 Gigafactories and it would put a huge strain on the currently production of lithium. There are a lot of deposits out there that are known but not in production yet or only in small scale production, so it's not hopeless. However it's going to take time to get these mines up to speed and those 12 Gigafactories won't build themselves. Currently nobody is making any moves to ramp up new battery production at anywhere near the rate Tesla is doing it. Tesla is at least 5 years ahead of any competition for mass producing a long range, mass market EV.

And we're just talking about the batteries for the cars. Tesla has expanded plans for the Gigafactory to produce batteries for solar energy storage too. That segment could take off too, which would increase demand for batteries even more.

The traditional car makers are also hidebound into the old technology because it makes them money and electric cars require new factories and they cut into dealer profits because of the lower maintenance costs. They have sort of painted themselves into a corner.

Unlike electronics which can be revolutionized in a year or two, cars take a much longer time to see big changes because cars are complex pieces of machinery with a much longer logistical tail to produce and maintain than a cell phone or a computer. EVs are probably the future of cars and Tesla has put a pretty good crack in the wall preventing EVs from becoming mainstream. The Model 3 may even put a small breach in that wall, but it's going to take decades before long range EVs become the norm because so much very expensive infrastructure needs to change. That includes building up battery production, building up the charging network (the Supercharger network is getting adequate for the Model S and might be for the 100,000 cars a year between the Model S and X, but it can't support Model 3 production numbers), building up the manufacturing, expanding the service and support, fighting the well heeled resistance to change, expanding electricity generation, and producing the new raw materials needed. And that's just for cars. There are also light duty trucks and commercial vehicles too.

We will probably see all this unfold over the rest of the lives of most of us here. Even if resistance to change evaporated tomorrow, it would still take a couple of decades to build all that stuff. It took a century to get to where we are today. That's a pretty big infrastructure to turn around.
 

jerry33

(S85-3/2/13 traded in) X LR: F2611##-3/27/20
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Mar 8, 2012
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Battery production is the big bottleneck right now. Tesla currently uses 10% of the world production of lithium ion batteries for the Model S and it's why they are investing in the Gigafactory. Without doubling world production of batteries, the production goal of 500,000 Model 3s a year is impossible. And that still puts Tesla at lower production numbers than every other major automaker selling in the US. Subaru is the smallest mainstream car maker selling in the US and they produce just shy of 900,000 cars a year. Tesla gets a lot of press and of course this forum is a hotbed of all things Tesla, but EVs are still a tiny segment of the market and even when the Model 3 is in full production that market segment could only be called "small".
Apple doesn't sell the most phones either but they rake in the majority of the profits.
 

Twiglett

Single pedal driver
Oct 3, 2014
3,989
4,677
Austin
Battery production is the big bottleneck right now. Tesla currently uses 10% of the world production of lithium ion batteries for the Model S and it's why they are investing in the Gigafactory. Without doubling world production of batteries, the production goal of 500,000 Model 3s a year is impossible. And that still puts Tesla at lower production numbers than every other major automaker selling in the US. Subaru is the smallest mainstream car maker selling in the US and they produce just shy of 900,000 cars a year. Tesla gets a lot of press and of course this forum is a hotbed of all things Tesla, but EVs are still a tiny segment of the market and even when the Model 3 is in full production that market segment could only be called "small".
(snip)
Exactly
It's this minor detail that makes me laugh every time I see another news headline screaming "<insert company here> about to launch Tesla killer"

But, if you put this into perspective and look at, for instance, the BMW 7 series is being handily out sold most months by the Model S.
BMW 7-Series Sales Figures - GOOD CAR BAD CAR
And that car counts as mass produced :)
 
Now, I totally agree Toyota dropped the ball here (personally, I'm really pissed how they limited the RAV4 EV production, but you can thank CARB and lack of profit for that one), but remember, they have been investing in fuel cell tech for years now, and it's difficult to convince people to buy your new inferior product when the existing tech is much better and more affordable. Eventually, they'll have to give in and stop their public EV hating campaigns, it's just a matter of time now.

How, exactly, did CARB make the Rav4 EV a limited production? It would not have existed AT ALL without CARB, both in 1997-2003 and 2012-2014.
 

David99

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Supporting Member
Jan 31, 2014
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Nomad (mostly US)
I think all car manufacturers had years of experimenting and market research in their head. EV were expensive, mostly because of the battery so every EV made was equipped with a small battery to keep cost down. To reduce cost more they all used mid to lower level cars as a basis. Nothing anyone wants to buy. People buy these cars because they can't afford more. But that was the way to make EVs in the past. EVs were made and sold as being eco friendly, being rational, doing the right thing, rather than emotion.

Tesla is the only one that went the opposite way. They realized we can't keep the cost down if we want decent range, so let's try to go for a higher end car where people are willing to spend more money on and where the profit margins are much higher. Placing the Model S in the upper class segment they were going for customers that are willing to spend more on a car that sets them apart.

Every other manufacturer was aiming for efficiency and compact and cost effective. It's un-sexy and not a profitable market. Tesla went for the opposite. A high performance car, luxury car, a sexy car.

Now why did no one else think the same way as Elon? That's exactly his brilliance. Seeing a path to success that everyone else thinks is not going to work. Of course now they all follow and do the same thing.
 
Well, I would say the problem here also somewhat leads in the topic. We all know Tesla is government funded and therefore they likely have more resources than any other manufacturer.

I've seen an EV named Onuk by DMA in this year's autoshow here in Turkey. It's a carbon copy of the Roadster. It has a similar range, it looks like an Elise and well, it pretty much is one... except that it probably is made out of somewhat cheaper parts and its 0-100 is 6.5.

The Turkish government is also readying up an another that reminds of the BMW 645, but with 4 doors. Both are OTW, however funding is a problem and so is the market which is flooded with ICEs. Time is what is needed for EVs to really take off at this rate.
 

glhs272

Unnamed plug faced villian
Aug 21, 2013
952
972
Burlington, WI
We all know Tesla is government funded and therefore they likely have more resources than any other manufacturer.

Tesla is neither "government funded" nor do they have more resources than any other manufacturer. I think your confusing tax credits and other incentives available to all car manufactures as government funding of Tesla. Tesla simply does a lot with limited resources.
 

wdolson

Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
Jul 24, 2015
9,278
19,929
Clark Co, WA
I think all car manufacturers had years of experimenting and market research in their head. EV were expensive, mostly because of the battery so every EV made was equipped with a small battery to keep cost down. To reduce cost more they all used mid to lower level cars as a basis. Nothing anyone wants to buy. People buy these cars because they can't afford more. But that was the way to make EVs in the past. EVs were made and sold as being eco friendly, being rational, doing the right thing, rather than emotion.

Tesla is the only one that went the opposite way. They realized we can't keep the cost down if we want decent range, so let's try to go for a higher end car where people are willing to spend more money on and where the profit margins are much higher. Placing the Model S in the upper class segment they were going for customers that are willing to spend more on a car that sets them apart.

Every other manufacturer was aiming for efficiency and compact and cost effective. It's un-sexy and not a profitable market. Tesla went for the opposite. A high performance car, luxury car, a sexy car.

Now why did no one else think the same way as Elon? That's exactly his brilliance. Seeing a path to success that everyone else thinks is not going to work. Of course now they all follow and do the same thing.

Elon Musk has the ability to know the technical stuff inside and out, has a fairly good sense of styling, and is an outstanding businessman. Finding all three in one person is very rare.

Well, I would say the problem here also somewhat leads in the topic. We all know Tesla is government funded and therefore they likely have more resources than any other manufacturer.

I've seen an EV named Onuk by DMA in this year's autoshow here in Turkey. It's a carbon copy of the Roadster. It has a similar range, it looks like an Elise and well, it pretty much is one... except that it probably is made out of somewhat cheaper parts and its 0-100 is 6.5.

The Turkish government is also readying up an another that reminds of the BMW 645, but with 4 doors. Both are OTW, however funding is a problem and so is the market which is flooded with ICEs. Time is what is needed for EVs to really take off at this rate.

Tesla receives some help in the form of tax credits to buyers of their cars in the US and some other countries. But the US federal credit is $7500 and a well equipped 85D costs around $100,000 (the 70 is as low as $70,000 base price and the P90DL is $143,000 fully loaded). That's a small rebate on such an expensive car. After the 2008 financial crash the US government gave Tesla a $465 million loan, but they paid it off early in 2013. Other than some tax breaks many US corporations get, they get no help from the US government at all these days.
 
How, exactly, did CARB make the Rav4 EV a limited production? It would not have existed AT ALL without CARB, both in 1997-2003 and 2012-2014.

That's exactly my point. It was only built for CARB/ZEV credits, just like the fuel cell is reaping all the rewards now, instead of trying to help progress vehicle technology, and build this vehicle for every state.

The few thousand copies sold did not help with adoption of electric vehicles (IMO), as now Toyota gets to say that no one wants electric vehicles, and/or is willing to pay the $50k price tag for the RAV4 EV.
 

ecarfan

Well-Known Member
Moderator
Well, I would say the problem here also somewhat leads in the topic. We all know Tesla is government funded and therefore they likely have more resources than any other manufacturer.
Absolutely untrue as pointed out be several other posters, and it is obviously absurd to say that Tesla has "more resources than any other manufacturer". Tesla is a tiny company compared to all other auto manufacturers that mass produce cars. In the US all new EV sales qualify for a $7,500 tax credit which of course proportionately helps vehicles like the Leaf far more than it does Tesla.
 

cpa

Active Member
May 17, 2014
3,621
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Central Valley
Tesla is neither "government funded" nor do they have more resources than any other manufacturer. I think your confusing tax credits and other incentives available to all car manufactures as government funding of Tesla. Tesla simply does a lot with limited resources.


You are mostly right; however the State of Nevada has provided Tesla many tax (property and payroll) and other direct benefits in order to lure the Gigafactory to Sparks. In addition, the Internal Revenue Code does permit net operating losses for corporations to be carried forward for twenty years. That means, losses for income tax purposes can be used to offset future taxable profits. (So the net operating loss incurred in its first year of business is available until its twenty-first year.) While it is extremely possible that some of these losses from the earliest years may expire worthless, Tesla may be enjoying a significant reduction in federal income taxes for many years after it starts turning a profit.

There is an alternative minimum tax limitation on the utilization of net operating loss carryforwards, so Tesla will pay some tax, but at a significantly reduced effective rate.

So, directly Tesla is enjoying millions of dollars in Nevada incentives, and indirectly Tesla will be receiving sizable reductions in future income taxes; whether this is government funded or not is open for debate! :smile:
 
That's exactly my point. It was only built for CARB/ZEV credits, just like the fuel cell is reaping all the rewards now, instead of trying to help progress vehicle technology, and build this vehicle for every state.

The few thousand copies sold did not help with adoption of electric vehicles (IMO), as now Toyota gets to say that no one wants electric vehicles, and/or is willing to pay the $50k price tag for the RAV4 EV.

Toyota has no intention of venturing away from petroleum power in any meaningful quantity in the next 25-50 years. So, CARB didn't limit the RAV4 EV... it created it.

It is Toyota who talks smack about EVs, and built the RAV4 EV in precisely the limited numbers to meet regulatory compliance in California only.

CARB is the good guy here. I will state that Tesla would not exist without CARB. They benefitted from:

1) Tesla was able to expand their business to help other manufacturers meet the CARB mandates with the Smart ED, then Toyota RAV4 EV, and finally the Mercedes B-Class ED at a time when they needed the business. Toyota alone paid them $100 million.

2) Tesla has made more than $100 million on CARB credits.

3) Huge benefits of being "legit" when other main stream auto manufacturers also made EVs.
 

David99

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Jan 31, 2014
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No doubt Tesla is using any tax credit, loophole and incentive they can legally get. That's part of running such a company. Any major company does this. Certainly the big car companies get similar benefits. So it's kind of a moot point to discuss benefits these large companies are able to get. They are similar across the board so they are not the reason no one else was able to make a similar EV so far. Lack of resources or money was certainly not the reason other car companies didn't.

Tesla isn't making an money up to date so that might explain why other car manufacturers weren't interested in the business of EVs. What none of them saw coming was the public success of the Model S. Despite not being a huge financial success so far, the reputation and attention Tesla has reached through the Model S is literally priceless. Of course now everyone is seeing it differently. Toyota sold 2.1 million cars in the same amount of time Tesla sold 11,000 cars. That's aprox 200 times more. So it's understandable that the car industry wasn't willing to spend a huge amount of money into developing a 0.5% market share product that makes no profit. I think none of them thought the Model S would be such a public success. They didn't think the change towards EVs would be so quick, thus their rather weak attempts in making good EVs up to now. I would say BMW is the only exception that made a decent enough effort. Again, I think it's clear the thinking has changed at the other car manufacturers.
 

wdolson

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Jul 24, 2015
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Clark Co, WA
No doubt Tesla is using any tax credit, loophole and incentive they can legally get. That's part of running such a company. Any major company does this. Certainly the big car companies get similar benefits. So it's kind of a moot point to discuss benefits these large companies are able to get. They are similar across the board so they are not the reason no one else was able to make a similar EV so far. Lack of resources or money was certainly not the reason other car companies didn't.

Tesla isn't making an money up to date so that might explain why other car manufacturers weren't interested in the business of EVs. What none of them saw coming was the public success of the Model S. Despite not being a huge financial success so far, the reputation and attention Tesla has reached through the Model S is literally priceless. Of course now everyone is seeing it differently. Toyota sold 2.1 million cars in the same amount of time Tesla sold 11,000 cars. That's aprox 200 times more. So it's understandable that the car industry wasn't willing to spend a huge amount of money into developing a 0.5% market share product that makes no profit. I think none of them thought the Model S would be such a public success. They didn't think the change towards EVs would be so quick, thus their rather weak attempts in making good EVs up to now. I would say BMW is the only exception that made a decent enough effort. Again, I think it's clear the thinking has changed at the other car manufacturers.

Except for the deal with the state of Nevada on the Gigafactory and the federal loan back in 2009 which they already paid off, they aren't taking advantage of any economic aid that isn't available to other companies who want to do the same thing or tax advantages available to companies in general.
 
No one has created an affordable, mass market EV with a range of 150 or 200 miles yet. Not Tesla either.

So we have affordable EVs on one end, and long range EVs on the other. And the Volt which actually is both, except I'm not allowed to call it an EV on this forum. It's just a plug-in hybrid. I forgot.
 
I don't understand the title since I think there aren't any "mass-produced" EVs at the moment. The largest five car makers sell between 8-12 million vehicles a year each and a total of 85-100 million passenger cars are produced annually this decade (roughly a quarter of global output is being sold in China alone).

Even counting/adding PEHVs there is no "mass-production" of xEVs at the moment - regardless of range achieved. The output numbers are simply too small.

I don't think we can speak of "mass-production" before 1 million pure BEVs are produced per year - that (equal to around 1% car market share) might take until the end of this decade (and even adding PHEVs, total output will still be in the single digits) - Tesla will only get to around half a percent of passenger car marketshare at full output in the most optimistic scenario.

PS: The only mass-produced electric vehicles are bicycles with batteries at the moment.
 

ggr

Expert in Dunning-Kruger Effect!
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Mar 24, 2011
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I don't understand the title since I think there aren't any "mass-produced" EVs at the moment. The largest five car makers sell between 8-12 million vehicles a year each and a total of 85-100 million passenger cars are produced annually this decade (roughly a quarter of global output is being sold in China alone).

Even counting/adding PEHVs there is no "mass-production" of xEVs at the moment - regardless of range achieved. The output numbers are simply too small.

I don't think we can speak of "mass-production" before 1 million pure BEVs are produced per year - that (equal to around 1% car market share) might take until the end of this decade (and even adding PHEVs, total output will still be in the single digits) - Tesla will only get to around half a percent of passenger car marketshare at full output in the most optimistic scenario.

PS: The only mass-produced electric vehicles are bicycles with batteries at the moment.

I don't think you get to make up your own definition of what is or isn't "mass produced".
 
I don't think you get to make up your own definition of what is or isn't "mass produced".

I don't have time to argue over definitions. Wikipedia has a nice entry on car output by model:

List of best-selling automobiles - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Nissan LEAF is of course the best-selling EV model at the moment with close to 200k lifetime units sold - however it's close to the end of its life and will be replaced by a 2nd gen LEAF soon after the 2016 model.

(And it didn't achieve regular 100+ miles of range until the 2016 edition).

Compared to all other cars, EVs are still in a niche. I think (pure battery) EVs as a category crossing the 1% output mark (compared to 100% passenger car output/year) is a good benchmark - we are far away from that.

Maybe the Nissan LEAF 2 will become the first true "mass-produced" EV (since I assume the Model 3 will be delayed, be more expensive and the GM Bolt will not be sold globally, at least not under the same Chevrolet branding).
 

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