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Shocker:An electric car company actually meets production goals (and yes, it’s Tesla)

Discussion in 'Model S' started by carrerascott, Jan 27, 2013.

  1. carrerascott

    carrerascott FUEL FTR

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    Not sure if this has been posted yet, dated Jan 26 2013.

    http://gigaom.com/2013/01/26/shocker-an-electric-car-company-actually-meets-production-goals-and-yes-its-tesla/


    Once again electric car pioneer Tesla Motors is the lone firm out of its electric car peers that says it’s going to do something, and then actually (usually) does it. According to Automotive News, Tesla has now reached its goal of producing 400 Model S electric cars per week, or around 20,000 cars per year.
    This rate of production has been Tesla’s goal for months — if not years — and it’s a big step on the company’s path to profitability this year. Back in November, during its latest quarterly earnings, Tesla said it was on track to reach this milestone after having to scale back its original production goals a couple months earlier in September. It also means that all those customers on the waiting list to get their Model S cars — there were 13,200 as of the third quarter — will get their cars sooner, rather than later.

    However, as I’ve written before, Tesla seems to be the exception rather than the rule in the struggling world of independent electric car makers and batteries made for electric cars. Electric car infrastructure maker Better Place shuffled out its second CEO in as many months last week, and laid off a big chunk of staff in the face of very slow adoption of its electric car service in Israel.
    Electric car startup Fisker hasn’t made any of its hybrid electric Karma cars in months, and is looking for a Chinese partner, investor or acquirer with deep pockets to offer it a lifeline. Fisker’s original production goal at the beginning of its life was 5,000 Karmas in 2011, and it’s made around 1,900. A123 Systems, which has been making batteries for Fisker’s Karma, went bankrupt last year and then was bought by Chinese auto tech giant Wanxiang.
    For the auto giants like GM and Nissan, which have been making their own mainstream electric cars, production isn’t a problem. It’s just that sales are a little slow. GM sold a total of 23,461 Volts in 2012, up from the 7,671 sold in 2011, and Nissan sold 9,819 Leafs in 2012, according to AutoblogGreen. GM originally wanted to sell 45,000 Volts in 2012.

    So why is it so hard for independent electric car companies to meet their targets, and large auto makers to hit sales targets? For the auto giants, the market is only just emerging. GM’s Volt and the Nissan LEAF are the first mass produced plug-in battery cars on the market in the U.S. Auto exec Bob Lutz, who kickstarted GM’s Volt and is now on the board of some startups, says the transition to electric cars will be very slow.
    For independent car startups, commercial scale production can be daunting and take a lot longer than expected, too. Many things can go wrong, and the it can take months to streamline the process of auto manufacturing. Tesla was founded back in 2003, and its pilot car — where it made errors and suffered delays — was the original Roadster. It’s taken Tesla this many years to get to its closer to mainstream auto maker status just pushing out 400 cars per week.

     
  2. 100thMonkey

    100thMonkey Member

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    I think the explanation for the slow adoption rate is actually pretty simple... EV's are expensive compared to ICE vehicles and typically offer less range. On top of the 20-30% range reduction of an ICE in inclimate weather, EV's can see as much as a 50% loss of range, add to that the fact that batteries loose range with age and I think it's understandable why people want lots of extra, even more than an ICE. Tesla is heading the pack in it's success in overcoming many of the challenges by offering a high end luxury car that is designed to exceed expectations and offering a long, almost ICE like range and the prospects of a fast charging network. That said, I think EV's will really start catching the eye of the mainstream en mass when the typical range not only equals that of the average ICE but actually exceeds it, by say double, with a 500-600 mile ideal range, providing plenty of extra for inclimate weather while also taking into account a 20-30% age related range loss over 10 years.
     
  3. Al Sherman

    Al Sherman It's about THIS car.

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    Agree. Most of the folks I "preach" to are worried about range. Specifically that they have to charge for an hour every 250 miles or so to go on vacation road trips. They don't seem to be able to put this in perspective.
     
  4. jwal

    jwal Member

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    This is good!! :biggrin: i really hope the Model S outsells the Leaf in 2013.. That will make so much good publicity for Tesla..
     
  5. JohnQ

    JohnQ Active Member

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    I'm not sure what perspective that is ... if I drive from CT to the Outer Banks (an annual trip) then I can charge in Newark (hour+ break because I want as much range as possible) then need to stop at an RV park for an overnight charge (heading down the Delmarva). That's a hassle for a trip that I make in one long drive with two 20 minute stops. For me, I'll just take the ICE on that trip. For others, they want an EV to do everything their current car can do.
     
  6. Al Sherman

    Al Sherman It's about THIS car.

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    Exactly. The perspective being that they want to replace the ICE. Not keep the ice to supplement on long road trips.
     
  7. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    The Model S is the first electric car that makes sense to most people. All the others you pay $35K or so to go sixty miles (50 miles the second year of ownership). Sixty miles will get me to work and back if I don't go anywhere else. With the Model S you pay ~$85K to go 250 miles. It's a no-brainer.
    The sixty mile cars should be $12K to $18K because they basically compete with used cars as a second car.
     
  8. strider

    strider Active Member

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    That's one trip per year. It makes a lot more sense to rent an ICE for that one trip than to buy gas the other 51 weeks.

    What I tell people is that if you have 2 or more cars, 1 of them can be an EV right now. You keep an ICE for those long trips but the other cars can be EVs for daily driving.
     
  9. JohnQ

    JohnQ Active Member

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    That one trip is simply an example of where the EV won't work for me, there are more. As you noted, I have an ICE so can choose the right vehicle for the right application. Much the same as deciding to take the minivan to the hardware store to pick up plywood rather than the sedan. It would be galling, however, to have to pay the extra week of car rental expense when I've purchased the EV. So, no surprise, one buys the right vehicle for one's needs.

    Going back on topic ... what Tesla provides is a car that will meet 92% of my driving needs, in a fantastic package. And that remaining 10% I can use the ICE. If it met only 70% of my driving needs I would make a different choice.
     
  10. 100thMonkey

    100thMonkey Member

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    I've been wrestling with this question for over two years now. I have found that while we can buy a short range EV that meets most of our needs (the Leaf), we want a car that will meet not only all our needs but even to the point of fantasy, a cross country road trip that we may never take. It's counter intuitive, I don't want to rent another car, I want to take "my" car on that once a year long road trip. It's true for me and I suspect it's true for a lot of folks that it's those infrequent trips that often have the highest attached value emotionally. it will be interesting to see if the P85 is enough to meet essentially all our needs and wants. My dream is a long day of driving up winding mountain roads where we can test the cornering and take in some breath taking views.


     
  11. aviators99

    aviators99 Model S - R140

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    If the supercharger network is complete and you could complete the trip without the RV stop, would you still want to use an ICE?
     
  12. JohnQ

    JohnQ Active Member

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    Almost definitely. The tradeoff between the extra time stopping and the EV powertrain likely lands on the EV side. But I have to experience supercharging on a long trip for myself.
     
  13. Krugerrand

    Krugerrand Active Member

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    I'm not going to argue the sentiment, indeed, I believe you and think it's a correct interpretation for many. But, it's an irrational thought process. And once you (and others) realize that, then a decision based on knowledge AND common sense can be made.
     
  14. napabill

    napabill Active Member

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    Spoken like someone who has never had the pleasure of driving Tess on a regular basis. My second car is a MB S550, not a bad ride. But I'll do anything to use Tess. If it means a couple of extra hours, no problem. Small price to pay. But you have to be there to understand.
     
  15. JohnQ

    JohnQ Active Member

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    Experience will most certainly add perspective. Looking forward to gaining that experience.
     
  16. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

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    Also, if you're driving down for your n weeks at the beach, do you really want to be stuck driving some crappy rental ICE for all your local driving at your destination? I am so completely spoiled by the silent joy of driving the Model S; I would do a lot to avoid the rent-for-long-haul scenarios.

    But we've all wandered very far from the thread topic....
     
  17. neroden

    neroden Happy Model S Owner

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    I just did the defensive driving course (for the insurance reduction). Which reminded me that for safety, you're supposed to stop every two hours, or more often, and rest your eyes for at least 5-10 minutes before starting again. (If you've got multiple drivers, then I guess you can do that trip in one run, but please don't do it solo.)

    - - - Updated - - -

    And what is your image of a cross country road trip? Mine is a leisurely trip exploring the byways and sleeping at various towns along the way. For which Model S works. However, I know a startling number of people (at least...12?) whose idea of a road trip is a gruelling endruance test driving day and night with no stops except to change drivers. I cannot recommend any electric car to them, and I may never be able to. I also think they're nuts.

    I think I have a similar, though different, emotional-reaction feeling to you. I could do fine with a Leaf for most of the year, but I have to make 120 mile round trips 4-6 times a year (most of which are unpleasant medical things) and it would be super annoying to have to go back to a gas car for those. I just *hate* gasoline. I want to be cruising comfortably in an electric car on those trips, partly to take the edge off the most unpleasant days of the year.
     
  18. artsci

    artsci Sponsor

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    I make a similar trip from Baltimore to Emerald Isle, NC in late August every year for summer vacation. It's over 400 miles, with the last 100 or so on back roads through rural NC. Normally I drive the full distance in one day, getting up at some ungodly hour to beat the potentially horrible traffic on the DC-to-Richmond stretch. I end up at Emerald Isle wiped out from the drive (which makes a great start for a vacation). My wife, who is much more sensible, goes separately and makes the trip in two days, stopping overnight in Rocky Mount, NC.

    This year I'm definitely going to make the trip in my Model S. If Tesla installs a Supercharger somewhere south of DC (the Richmond area or perhaps a bit further south would be ideal) that will help. But if not, there are plenty of RV parks and motel/hotels along the way where I can charge overnight. Once I get there, a 110V connection is all I'll need. This will make what's a very boring long drive far more interesting as well as less intense, which is a much better way to start a vacation.
     
  19. Martini

    Martini Member

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    I don't think people appreciate how cheap it is to rent a car for infrequent use compared to owning a second car. The total cost of ownership is just so high. Renting a car for long trips is a very sensible option.
     
  20. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    Somehow being in a unfamiliar car on an unfamiliar road in unfamiliar surroundings doesn't really do it for me.
     

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