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Discussion in 'News' started by efusco, Mar 7, 2010.
The Associated Press: Tesla: engineers' death won't derail new model
Mistype? Probably not. In which case, disappointing, but not surprising. I've already made peace with the fact that I'll likely find another EV I like more before the S is even available.
Tesla has said all along it'll be two years from the day they actually get the DoE $ and although it's approved, $0 have been disbursed.
Well until they start getting specific about the factory location I can't see them setting any specific schedule. Using an article I read about REC's huge factory in Singapore being finished in 18 months and this being sort of a record I doubt Tesla will start rolling out cars earlier than 18 months after they start work at the "new" factory.
I fear by the time they actually do, the established automakers will have eclipsed them. Not many will go for an all electric from Tesla when they can get one from their favorite brand (especially considering they'd feel more comfortable in the stability and reliability of the company and product)
I guess we will see, but having dealt with many other car companies over the years, I have been far more impressed by Tesla than other "favorite" brands. If Tesla develops and supports their future models the same way they have developed and supported the Roadster, I think people will come to realize that Tesla is the brand to go with.
I have some fear that this might happen, but if Tesla is not too late with the Model S (even a year behind schedule), I think no one will be able to match them for quite some time. None of the large automakers have hinted at a car with more than 200 miles of range. They are either starting lower, with city commuters with 100 miles or less range, or starting with an expensive sports car.
The current EV efforts by large automakers don't bode well for Tesla's plans for an affordable third model, but I think Tesla can still occupy the luxury niche for BEVs quite comfortably (of course the size of this niche is a question).
Lancelac, I don't recall reading about Tesla needing two full years to start rolling cars out from when they got the money from the DOE. Regardless, even if that's the case, we're in pretty good shape because they closed on the loan in January:
Secretary Chu Announces Closing of $465 Million Loan to Tesla Motors
Until/unless Tesla comes out and says "we're delayed; no one is getting a Model S until the end of 2012 (or later)", I'm going to keep my fingers crossed that they're on track to get them rolling out to customers by the end of next year. I would think it would be in Tesla's best interest to inform depositors as soon as possible if that weren't the case, because they could lose credibility otherwise. If they announced a six or twelve month delay, people who were already willing to wait a couple of years can wait a little longer, but they can't make it look like a Mickey Mouse operation by announcing last minute delays, especially now that they're working with Uncle Sam's money.
So, bottom line is, I wouldn't take whatever was written in that article at face value. It's possible that no one with see a Model S until the end of 2012, but until we get the official word on a delay, I'm going to (naively) remain optimistic.
I, too, am keeping my fingers crossed, but it's totally naive to think that Toyota, Honda, and even Ford and GM are not working on EV projects. While they are not publicising the fact like Tesla must (being the newcomer) and like GM has the Volt (b/c they're trying to show the world they aren't completely lost in time), we know for a fact that Toyota has advanced battery technology. Ford has shown they can build a very good hybrid and they have experience with EVs in the past. Nissan is coming out with the Leaf very soon...and when it succeeds you can be sure that other secret projects are just waiting for the "Go" from the higher ups.
Tesla's advantage is that it is their sole product, they have a good reputation w/EVs, and they have a targeted market that other car makers are less likely to target. That said, many of us want a decent EV...ANY decent EV. And if Toyota puts out a comfortable Prius size or larger EV with a range comparable to the Model S before the Model S comes out I'm gonna be darn eager to jump on that. We know Toyota's gonna be around in 10 years and thus service available. They have more service departments and a long history with their hybrids. It'll all come down to price, timing and features for me. I'll wait an extra 6 months for a Model S, but if the timeline gets pushed back to late 2012 and Toyota's got a decent car by mid-2011 I'm gonna be all over that.
It's a great question -- I think we can't under-estimate the investment by Daimler into Tesla, which gives them a potential long-term traditional auto company partner to deal with some of the long-term concerns.
It's a huge competitive advantage for Tesla that they're not burdened with a huge dealer network that they have to keep feeding (and profitable). Going with the "store" model, and not relying on the after-purchase revenues, gives Tesla the ability to push EVs where all of the traditional car makers (and their dealers) would always rather push ICEs because of the service, parts and maintenance they require for years after the initial purchase.
This is why PHEVs, like the Volt (or a plug-in Prius), are acceptable to these folks, but I'm not aware of GM, or any traditional car company other than Nissan, specifically developing a pure EV. And the Leaf's range is limited, which means it can never sell in huge numbers. I don't know of a traditional car company that is developing a pure EV with 200+ mile range. Parts and service are too much of a profit center for these companies (and their dealer networks) to ever go pure EV. GM is in the process of reinstating 600+ dealers who were supposed to be closed as part of the government's buyout of GM. With that many dealers to kept fed, I don't see how they, or any other traditional car maker, can pursue a pure EV option with enough range to make it a family's only car.
A compelling argument can also be made for an electric car company that focuses on making electric cars and doing nothing but that.
I think it's probably a misstatement. I doubt news of a year-long delay would be dropped nonchalantly at the end of a sentence buried in a news article.
I'll be thrilled if you're right Todd...time will tell.