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Tesla has not yet created a Model 3 alpha

Discussion in 'Model 3' started by igotzzoom, Apr 22, 2015.

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  1. igotzzoom

    igotzzoom Member

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    #1 igotzzoom, Apr 22, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 23, 2015
    In its proxy statement filed in 2012, Tesla said it completed the so-called alpha prototype of the Model S sedan in December 2010, or less than 20 months before the first delivery of the car in June of 2012. The alpha model was described as an “engineering prototype” and it was approved by the board one month after it was completed.

    The company then finished its “beta” prototype—described as a validation prototype—in October 2011, about nine months before the sales launch. Tesla has delivered 57,000 vehicles world-wide, and aims to sell 55,000 in 2015.

    http://www.wsj.com/articles/tesla-ceo-elon-musk-gets-small-bump-in-pay-1429743232


    Mod Note: Adding in the following quote from the article so that the thread title makes sense:

     
  2. Trev Page

    Trev Page Member

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    Once can only hope Model 3 follows the development cycle Model S did and came to market pretty much on time. As long as they stick to "not being too adventurous" with the initial model I think they can pull it off.

    Model X however was fluke in terms of timescale timing:

    Tesla took on a bit more than they were prepared for with the Model X (doors, AWD, new autopilot tech, rear seats etc...) along with the unprecedented demand for Model S that pushed battery availability further behind than they thought. The Gigafactory and it's push to get building ASAP is a direct result of their past experience with battery cell availability combined with getting the price point down to where it needs to be going forward.
    As long as the Gigafactory comes online when it's supposed to and they can ramp up production then Model 3 should be pretty much ready to dovetail into their timescale. However, anything can happen in the meantime....
     
  3. FredTMC

    FredTMC Model S VIN #4925

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    Yep, a Elon recently said that they won't be as adventurous with Model 3. I agree that it's extrememly important that Model 3 gets launched without significant delays. Especially important since GF will be coming online (in stages).
     
  4. scaesare

    scaesare Active Member

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    The quote above is about the Model S history, yet the thread title is regarding Model 3 details...?

    Article behind a paywall... boo! :mad:
     
  5. Stoneymonster

    Stoneymonster Active Member

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    It just says they don't yet have a Model 3 alpha.
     
  6. AnOutsider

    AnOutsider S532 # XS27

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    That was my thought too. OP left this sentence out though that would have led to this thread making sense:

    That said, this solidifies my thought re: GM's Bolt. They've got more down, it seems, than Tesla has on the 3.
     
  7. stopcrazypp

    stopcrazypp Well-Known Member

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    The Bolt we only know they have a concept (which they indicate the exterior styling will be close, although interior completely different). They haven't created an alpha nor beta.
     
  8. AnOutsider

    AnOutsider S532 # XS27

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    Right. Does Tesla have any kind of styling down (that we know of) yet?
     
  9. mdevp

    mdevp Member

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    Considering that Elon also said that the mode 3 will not look like anything on the road today (paraphrased), it is a bit concerning that Tesla doensn't have an alpha if the M3 is due to for release in '17. Hopefully they have drawings/models drawn up on paper.
     
  10. green1

    green1 Active Member

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    Honestly we have no idea whatsoever what Tesla does or does not have in relation to model 3, they are bing very tight lipped about it.
    My best guess (but it's only a guess) is that they've got a fair amount of things done on it in terms of artists renderings, technical plans, etc, but not as far as clay model or prototype.

    I don't expect to see an Alpha until a year after MX ships, and I don't expect deliveries until at least 2 years after that.
     
  11. techmaven

    techmaven Active Member

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    Ah, no. I disagree. GM showed us almost nothing at the North American Auto Show. No cutaways, no performance information, no battery information, pretty much nothing. We don't know that the concept car they showed has really anything to do with the final production other than showing a rough direction of design. For example, examine the concept cars that GM showed before... the original Volt concept car was substantially different from the final product. Even then, they provided a lot more specs and specifics about the Volt concept car than the Bolt concept car. You don't know if the concept car has anything resembling the final production drive train or even the packaging is potentially completely different. GM hasn't even bothered to clarify the specifics of the 200 mile range claim (EPA, NEDC, 20 mph downhill, etc.)

    As for Tesla's Model 3, it might be that the AC induction motor, battery management system, and infotainment system software/processors, and so forth are already developed or straightforward derivatives of the existing systems in the Model S.

    GM might still have to develop a motor - the Spark EV currently uses a 130 hp permanent magnet motor. If they want to move away from permanent magnets, they have to develop a new motor. Certainly the leap in battery chemistry is much bigger and might require substantial rework of their BMS and if they are going to quick charge, they may still have to sort out the standards for CCS with more than 200 amps.

    Basically, we don't know in either case where the two vehicles are in their development. We don't have a rough guess as to what is going on for either vehicle.
     
  12. evme

    evme Member

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    Just Google for: "Tesla Offers Slight Glimpse Into Model 3’s Status"

    It will get around the paywall if your referrer is Google.
     
  13. stopcrazypp

    stopcrazypp Well-Known Member

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    After that statement in January, Elon also said in a conference call in February that they won't be as adventurous on the 3 as they were on the X. So it can go either way (some have taken those somewhat contradictory statements to mean they haven't decided on the design yet).
    http://www.leftlanenews.com/elon-musk-tesla-wont-go-super-crazy-with-model-3-initial-design.html

    However, given the Model X is pretty much wrapped up design-wise and they don't really have another huge project (Roadster 3.0 is pretty much done already), it should be all hands on deck to design the Model 3 even if they didn't have a final design yet at the beginning of the year.
     
  14. igotzzoom

    igotzzoom Member

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    A few thoughts...Yes, the Bolt "concept" was little more than a styling buck with just enough motive force to run it on and off the stage, not a road-worthy prototype. My thought is GM will probably use as much of the 2nd-gen Volt's hardware as makes sense. The Volt's motor with 149 hp and 295 lb-ft would probably be more than sufficient for the Bolt, so my guess is they may just use the Volt EV motor pretty much as-is. It seems GM's pretty far along on the internal R&D of the Bolt.

    But as much as it has improved in its agility and efficiency, I still see GM as mired down in a lot of legacy process and procedure which slow down the development of a new vehicle, whereas Tesla, ruled as it is by a benign despot, can fast-track through a lot of decisions that don't require direct government or regulatory approval or testing. At first blush, it may look like the Bolt will beat the Model 3 to market, but my guess is they'll both hit showrooms within about 6 months of each other.
     
  15. TimV

    TimV Member

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    Why would Tesla have alpha level units of the Model 3 a full two years before it is supposed to be produced? I would imagine they are currently deep in the design phase of Model 3. Alpha units won't be made for quite a while.
     
  16. Breezy

    Breezy Member

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    #16 Breezy, Apr 23, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2015
    Yep. Tesla delivered the Model S quickly, by automotive standards: 3 years from prototype to production. Assuming Model X does actually arrive later this year, it will be ~3.5 years from prototype to production. GM's normal development time is 5 years but they've been secretive about the Bolt. I think they've been at it for a while behind the scenes.

    Given that there has been no prototype or concept shown at this point, I think it's realistic that the Model 3 is three years away at this point. Developing quality, mass market vehicles is hard. I don't expect they will be able to shorten automotive development time much more than they already have.
     
  17. Johan

    Johan Took a TSLA bear test. Came back negative.

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    #17 Johan, Apr 23, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2015
    Wait... Why would the author of this article claim to know whether there is an alpha or not?

    It's one if the goals of Elon's incentives package. When there is an SEC filing that says his options for reaching that particular goal become vested (correct term?) then we'll know. Not before that.

    Please read: The 2012 CEO grant

    The next logical step in the 10-stage rocket is a completed MX production vehicle. The next step after that is a completed Model 3 alpha.
     
  18. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

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    IIRC he said that he wants* it not to look like a small Model S, unlike anything anything else on the road, being really practical without being a weird-mobile.....

    *That was back in Detroit in January and suggesting how he wants it to look implied that the design wasn't final (or possibly not even existing) at that point.
     
  19. Lex

    Lex Member

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    As a Mopar guy I was going to credit Lee Iacocca's Chrysler for this whole Model X idea but if I recall this is going to tow a good load too (the Caravan/Voyagers notoriously had car transmissions that melted under load) so maybe the 21st century minivan project was more than the engineers expected ?

    I agree and bet they have an awesome futuristic practical design but personally I hope they've ended it there for now -- the Roadster model worked. The Model S is a macro model of that same design philosophy. The Model X keeps the till ringing. And the E could change the world.

    Every time Model S and Roadster owners drive they bring possible engineering improvements to new models as every small bit and piece can reveal a design flaw or a possible scaling issue, etc.

    - - - Updated - - -

    * who is currently sporting a Tesla keychain ;)
     
  20. kurtatx

    kurtatx Member

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    It's critical Tesla gets this right. If they aren't ready for alphas (it's early), they aren't ready. The future of the company hinges heavily on this model.
     

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