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Have Tesla and Apple disrupted the auto industry past the point of no return?

Discussion in 'News' started by Ktowntslafan, Oct 27, 2015.

  1. eye.surgeon

    eye.surgeon Member

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    Apple? They're years away from having any measurable impact on the industry, let alone disrupt it.
     
  2. MikeC

    MikeC Active Member

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    Great article.
     
  3. Ktowntslafan

    Ktowntslafan Member

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    The mere fact that Apple has entered the auto industry is a strong signal toward disruption, imo.

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    agreed

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    Support:

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/innovatorsdna/2015/08/20/teslas-high-end-disruption-gamble/
     
  4. Discoducky

    Discoducky Active Member

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    Interesting in that this article calls out a ton of good things that need to be completely re-thought/re-designed/re-engineered, but there are a ton of pieces that are currently standard in cars (re: vehicle infrastructure) that also need to be moved into the 21st century. Have you heard of CAN or FlexRay? FlexRay - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    How will cars communicate their sub-systems vehicle-wide when they all need to communicate faster and with higher bandwidth? Also, think about how could each of these components get smarter or have redundancy (power, communications and compute).
     
  5. Spidy

    Spidy Member

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    Author loses all credibility the way he talks about body design. Like companies just change a dozen panels and that's it. Has he ever looked at just the visible panels between two models? Those usually all look different.
     
  6. wdolson

    wdolson Active Member

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    Whether Apple and Tesla have truly disrupted the auto industry or not is still indeterminate. Apple hasn't produced anything, it is possible they will sink billions into a car project and fail. They aren't infallible and they are venturing into new territory completely outside of their old stomping grounds. Apple has the money to make a lot of mistakes and survive, so I would bet they are the most likely of the announced candidates to produce something, but right now it's vaporware.

    Tesla is a definite disrupting force, but they are still so small compared to the big players, their sales are down in the noise. Subaru is the smallest mainstream car maker selling in the US market and they produce 20X the vehicles Tesla does. Toyota, GM, and VW's production numbers swamp Tesla's. Toyota builds more cars a week than Tesla has in its entire existence. Tesla is the early mammal, currently small and insignificant in a world dominated by dinosaurs. To someone who understands the detailed biology, they can see these early mammals are a superior family, but the dinosaurs still rule and until something bigger happens, they will continue to rule. The thread about the Bob Lutz editorial in R&T shows the people running the mainstream auto business still don't get it. Lutz is more aware than most auto executives, but he thinks Tesla should build something very similar to a Chevy Volt.

    Tesla is not a guaranteed winner. Another economic downturn like 2008 could kill the company. Or something else could kill it. Tesla runs a financial tightrope. It's doing OK, but if something tanks the stock price, they are going to have trouble raising funds and the company will be in trouble. The big car companies can fail too, but they are more likely to get help from the government if they get in trouble. GM still exists because letting it go under was too big a hit to the economy when the economy was hurting. GM going out of business could have cost 1 million jobs. If Tesla goes out of business, it won't have that huge an impact on the economy. GM is too big to fail, Tesla isn't.

    I would give 70-80% odds Tesla will make it and be one of the bigger car companies by the end of this century, if not the biggest, but they have a long way to go to get there. If they can get the Model 3 out there somewhere close to when they say it will be released, and it is even average reliability, they won't be able to make enough of them and the auto market will be truly disrupted. Until then, Tesla is a boutique auto maker building amazing cars for the well heeled and those who can scrape together the money one way or another. The Model S and X have very limited markets because of the price and the bigger auto makers can write them off because of it.

    Tesla's disruptive force is currently like a big thunderstorm on the horizon. Time will tell if it turns out to just be a thunderstorm that will blow over, or a tornado that scours the landscape clean.
     
  7. autodidaddict

    autodidaddict Member

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    My takeaways from this article:
    * "To make a good electric car:" ... make it the way Tesla makes it.
    * Electric has won. Nobody seriously believes that any of the alternatives like biodiesel, fuel cells, or even gas-electric hybrids are the future.
    * Existing big auto manufacturers currently have their heads buried in the sand, hoping they can just "wait out" this disruption.

    I think the article author basically dropped Apple in there to get more clicks, I didn't see anything about how Apple is going to disrupt the industry, other than its tenuous association with Tesla. If Apple ends up making the rumored electric minivan, then it, coupled with Tesla's forthcoming Model 3, will be the tipping point where historians will look back and say, "this was the point of no return". At that point, anybody with their heads still stuck in the sand will die a slow, corporate death.

    As an aside - there's no way in hell I would ever drive a vehicle made by Apple as an early adopter. The last several years of their iOS software reliability have proven that Apple is struggling to maintain quality control at scale, and when that quality control directly affects my safety, I'm going to pass.
     
  8. jaguar36

    jaguar36 Member

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    That article is a mess. Apple hasn't touched the auto industry yet. Tesla is barely touching it.

    Electric cars appear to be the most promising way forward right now. But electric cars are far from mature, and its way to early to say that something else wont become more promising. Electric cars have a few very significant issues right now, it appears that they will be able to be solved but who knows.

    Sure the current big automakers will have to do a ground up design to make a decent car, but they do that every few years anyways. It may be massivie investment, but its something that is a regular occurrence. They are very good at it already.

    The author seems to have no idea just how similar a Tesla (let alone the mythical Apple car) is to a ICE. Sure the power train is different, but that is really just a small part of the car. The vast majority of the systems are exactly the same.
     
  9. SpiceWare

    SpiceWare Member

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    Varporware? Has Apple actually announced a car? I've only seen rumors.
     
  10. electracity

    electracity Active Member

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    How does the author explain the Volt and Bolt, which GM developed while producing record profits?

    It is possible that Tesla and Apple could disrupt the auto industry. But they simply can't build most of the EVs in that disruption, short of buying a major auto manufacturer. The author overstates the disruption of electrifying the drivetrain, and doesn't understand the scale of the industry. Plus a lot of his specifics are just dramatic and ignorant.
     
  11. brucet999

    brucet999 Active Member

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    I love the idea of electric cars, especially if powered mostly by solar panels, but I cannot see how all or even most of the ICE vehicles in the US could be replaced with electric. When my MS arrives, I will double my (admittedly low - modest house, no air conditioning) electricity consumption. If most ICE vehicles were replaced with electric, US residential electricity use might increase maybe 60%.

    With environmentalist resistance to new nuclear power plants and pressure to close existing coal power generation plants, resistance to natural gas production, where is that increased generation capacity going to come from? Solar won't charge my car at night and net-metering is already being strongly resisted by power companies in California even at today's 4% of the total. Edison, PG&E and SDG&E dominate CA electricity and they are proposing Grid fees, lower prices on power put back onto the Grid and outright limits to the amount of private solar allowed on the system.
     
  12. BriansTesla

    BriansTesla Old school meets new tech

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    Here are some answers:

    From Elon

    I personally installed 10KW of solar at my business, and after 5 months of operation, the system has produced as much energy as my MS has used in about 2 years. Plus I get a Washington production credit of $.54/Kwh.
     
  13. wdolson

    wdolson Active Member

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    Tesla started Tesla energy to build systems to store solar energy collected at peak sunlight hours. They plan to build home storage systems as well as battery farms used by utilities.

    JB Straubel has pointed out that we can meet all the electricity needs of the country with a single solar array about the size of the Texas Panhandle and store it with a battery array the size of Amarillo. He points out he's not advocating for a giant solar array, but that's just the total area needed which can be done by putting arrays on the roofs of most commercial buildings and a lot of houses. Solar is a lot less efficient the further north you go, so there will probably have to be some traditional power generation for at least a while, but we can step up our power generation to meet the demands from electric cars.

    The biggest bottleneck to mass producing EVs today are the batteries. There simply aren't enough of them. To switch over to building all cars and light trucks as EVs will require 200 Gigafactories. It's going to take a long time to build that capacity. I suspect the demand from the public will be there before the capacity is.

    OK, rumorware then? Though it's kind of an open secret Apple is working on something car releated.
     
  14. brucet999

    brucet999 Active Member

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    #15 brucet999, Oct 28, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2015
    Great, except that a system big enough to recharge your car would be so expensive as to cost more than Grid power, and the output rate of PowerWall is only 5kW, about as slow as using 120V AC.

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    No way they pay you $0.54 per kWh. That's way more than the highest retail price. Maybe $0.054

    SoCal Edison charges some of the highest residential rates in the nation - upwards of $0.39 per kWh and they will not approve a home solar array with capacity bigger than average usage for the previous 12 months.
     
  15. Patrick W

    Patrick W Member

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    But just think of the great possibilities if they got together (Tesla cars and Apple touchscreen and apps). :)
     
  16. wdolson

    wdolson Active Member

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    I hope not. I hate Apple's UI designs.
     
  17. CHG-ON

    CHG-ON Still in love after all these miles

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    Tesla yes. Apple no. Apple hasn't delivered or divulged a thing. Making computers and mobile devices is an entirely different ball game than making a car, where lives are at stake.

    And I am a complete Apple fan boy.
     
  18. Rockster

    Rockster Active Member

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    I couldn't agree more.
     
  19. voyager

    voyager Member

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    #20 voyager, Oct 29, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2015
    Most of the times, the driver is the car’s only occupant and doesn’t need the extra bulk that only hampers mobility (including finding a parking spot), which also means that 95% of the energy is used to move around the ‘device’ that’s supposed to move the driver.

    We don’t use brick-like mobile phones, nor are we stuck behind bulky desktop computers. Technology enables us to make things smaller, handier, and change the way they look. Why shouldn’t this apply to the car?

    In other words, it is high time that the benefits of electric propulsion 'trickles down' to smaller vehicles people can afford without the usual fiscal incentives. That will upset the industry. This drive must be more decisive, especially since it looks like oil prices will stay low. In other words, the whole EV movement may get stuck.
     

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