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LA Times article: "German automakers who once laughed off Elon Musk are now starting to worry"

Discussion in 'Electric Vehicles' started by ecarfan, Apr 19, 2016.

  1. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    German automakers who once laughed off Elon Musk are now starting to worry

    Quote:
    Claudia Kemfert, head of energy, transport and environment at the German Institute for Economic Research in Berlin, said German carmakers have been arrogantly negligent to Tesla's challenge... "German carmakers have completely misjudged the gigantic economic opportunities of sustainable mobility," she said. "The German car industry is in the process of squandering the chances for the future just like the big utilities blew their chances with renewable energy. Tesla is at the same time both a danger for German manufacturers, but it's also a wake-up call."
     
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  2. UKM3

    UKM3 Member

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    Was about to post a link to that piece before I came across your post. Great bit of journalism, really well researched.
     
  3. voyager

    voyager Member

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  4. BMW ///M3

    BMW ///M3 Banned

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    any body can make a EV, heck BYD made a 200mile EV already.
    if BMW or Benz wants a EV they can hack it up in no time. the only question is are they willing to, and how they are going to market it.
    kinda hard to sell a pure EV while selling a 600+hp 4.4 twin turbo V8 monster that gets 15miles per gallon.

    making an EV was really never about technology rather a business decision.
     
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  5. deonb

    deonb Active Member

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    And where will they get the batteries from, prey-tell?

    To launch something at the volume of the 3-series in an EV, you need to consume more than the entire production output of the world today. Does BMW have some secret Gigafactory that they're not talking about?

    Not that it can't be done. But it takes planning. It's not "hack one up in no time".
     
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  6. BMW ///M3

    BMW ///M3 Banned

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    they are already making i3 pure ev, last time i checked they are not making their own battery either.

    believe or not a car manufacture barely makes anything themselves, most parts are supplied by third party vendors, battery is no exception.

    as long as there is a demand, some vendor will sell them the battery.

     
  7. lklundin

    lklundin Member

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    #7 lklundin, Apr 20, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2016
    Let me explain why the past tense is not appropriate, at least for VW.

    Having a VW in the family I got this letter yesterday with a colourful invitation ('Einladung').

    And I think: "Here it finally is, VW realized that Diesel is double-dead so now they will introduce their new and serious BEV".

    And so they did.

    Together with a "original Volkswagen Currywurst" (check the Wikipedia, if you like) their electro-highlight of the day is:

    "Elektro-Quad-Parkour für Kinder mit anschließender Verlosung von 3 Elektro Quads", i.e. a children's parcour on electrical quads, with a three-electro-quad raffle.

    All I could do was laugh, probably at my own naivety.

    PS. Let me see if I can manage to upload photos of the actual invitation, it has also something about some antiquated technology, called a Tiguan...
     

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  8. deonb

    deonb Active Member

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    1) They've only sold like 50'000 i3's and i8's globally
    2) The i3 battery is around 22kWh.

    So they've effectively sold what would amount to 15'000 Teslas.

    When you sell 15'000 cars you can just hop over to Radio Shack and buy some batteries. Not so when you sell 500'000.

    People think the iPhone was able to kill all competitors at the time just because it was a superior product. Not the entire story. Apple actually secured all of the glass output at the time and they were the only one able to manufacture glass touch screens in any significant quantity and it took competitors years to catch up. They're still often hailed as being the company with the best supply chain management in the world.

    Not that Tesla is especially great with supply chain management. In fact they're horrible at it. When the built the Roadster they just estimated costs by looking them up in a catalog and not even phoning the suppliers. It hurt them on the Model S as well.

    But even Tesla knows that you can't rely on "some vendor" to magically come up with all of the batteries for a product that will need more batteries than have ever been produced in the history of mankind.

    Who knows. Maybe 10 years from now you WILL be able to just order that amount of batteries from Amazon. But waiting and seeing is not "hack it up in no time".
     
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  9. BMW ///M3

    BMW ///M3 Banned

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    fair point, but as of this moment tesla is yet produce 500k cars, right? last year they made 50k cars.

    by the time they can ramp up to 500k cars, that will be at least in 2019. 3 years from now.

    a lot can change in 3 years. but with model 3 reservation hype, all car makers in Germany had taken notice that is for sure.

    and lastly regarding the battery, other vendors could also as we speak, increasing their factory capacity. you just never noticed or heard about it since their capacity is not as big as centralized as the gagafactory.

    at the end of the day, Tesla has no control or monopoly over the supply of the raw material, all they have or will have is a processing facility. and the fact is there are many other vendors who have the same ability to process the raw material as well.



     
  10. stopcrazypp

    stopcrazypp Well-Known Member

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    Funny you mention BYD. Yes, they made a "200 mile" EV, but that is on the optimistic Chinese / NEDC cycle. On the EPA cycle, the latest version would get around 170 miles (the previous car was rated as a 300km/186 mile range car, but got only 127 miles EPA).

    Their car is also dog slow, the battery pack extremely heavy, and it doesn't cost much less than the S70 (despite being purely econobox style). They did trash talk Tesla early on (saying they can easily do what Tesla is doing in an instant), but reality proves this is a lot more difficult to accomplish than to talk about.
    (250 Mile Range @ $35K) BYD e6

    Unlike other automakers however, at least BYD has their own battery production lines and are rapidly expanding their factories right now, so they are not all talk.
     
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  11. youlikeadajuice

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    In my mind, Tesla also has a huge advantage with the supercharger network. Other automakers introducing longer range EVs are still just providing the vehicle and looking at someone else to provide the fast charging network. A 200 mile range EV isn't much better than an 80 mile range EV if there is no way to really take it on the road.
     
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  12. Iz

    Iz EVs are here to stay

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    Very good article. There is a certain "holier than thou" attitude in thinking they can catch up by end of decade. While that is possible, the charging network, as indicated by youlikeadajuice is very important. Tesla is also building a brand, which like Apple, is seen as trend setting and leading edge. The 350,000+ reservations are going to impact sales for most automakers.
     
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  13. BMW ///M3

    BMW ///M3 Banned

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    yes so far major advantage for tesla's sc network

    but BMW/other car makers were also forming a pack in terms of mapping services and other AP learning networks etc.
    so I will not be surprised that they form a pack in terms of developing charging standards and networks as well.

    at this moment they are already agreeing on the CSS standard in terms of charging.

    the landscape can change very quickly. Ev car is much simpler so don't be surprised in 2-3 years a few players would catch up.


     
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  14. McRat

    McRat Active Member

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    What is truly amazing is that Tesla makes all it's cars without slave labor necessary. Something BMW has had issues with in the past... :D
     
  15. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    Neither of us are automotive engineers. But I think it is an error to say that EVs are "simpler" than traditional cars. Yes they have far fewer moving parts, but battery design and drivetrain systems management is complex. The old automakers have minimal experience with it and Tesla is obviously far ahead in those areas.

    You would be wise to review your assumptions.
     
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  16. BMW ///M3

    BMW ///M3 Banned

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    the fact that apple a computer/phone maker with 0 experience with 4 wheels can and will build an ev in 3 years should prove my point of ev is much much simpler than ICE cars.

    the landscape will change a lot very very quickly.

     
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  17. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    And now you are just making stuff up. No one outside of Apple management knows when Apple will start selling a car, and only they know just what sort of vehicle it will be. Tim Cook has stated that Apple does a lot of serious development work on many ideas that they never bring to market. At this point those of us who aren't high up in Apple do not know anything specific about what Apple may do in the personal transportation space in the future.
     
  18. BMW ///M3

    BMW ///M3 Banned

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    they say 2019, time will tell. at least I believe it.
    and it is not only apple either, google too. they are not gonna wait for each other and shareholders won't wait that long either.



     
  19. McRat

    McRat Active Member

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    Apple tends not be an innovator. They tend to take an existing product and glamourize it.

    I doubt they will produce a car until somebody else puts an autonomous car in actual production.
     
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  20. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    "They" is who exactly?
    Don't believe everything you read on the Internet.
     

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