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Tesla Master Plan: GM got there first

Discussion in 'Electric Vehicles' started by Cosmacelf, Apr 26, 2017.

  1. Cosmacelf

    Cosmacelf Active Member

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    I just realized that with the Bolt, GM has reached Tesla's strategic pinnacle by shipping the Bolt, and has done it a year faster than Tesla. From day one, Tesla was always focused on eventually manufacturing a long range affordable electric car. The Model 3 will be that car, but the Bolt got there first, and about a year early (still TBD).

    And the Bolt is no slouch. It even has some design specs which beat the Model 3. In particular, front wheel drive which will give it better traction than the Model 3, and probably gives it better regen capability.
     
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  2. stopcrazypp

    stopcrazypp Well-Known Member

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    #2 stopcrazypp, Apr 26, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2017
    The Bolt was an effort by GM to call "first" over Tesla, but I disagree with the idea it beat Tesla to the master plan. The Bolt so far appears to be designed for sales around the same as the Leaf (~50k sales per year). They made design choices that limits its appeal at the given price point, and it is unlikely to bring EV sales to the next level. Model 3 on the other hand will likely do so (sales well over 100k per year).

    This is the ICE based FWD traction myth. With an ideal weight distribution, RWD in Teslas have done extremely well in traction. I doubt there are any significant traction advantages to FWD. Plus, with Model 3 you can always opt for AWD. The advantages of RWD is less understeer (which is why it is preferred in the premium market).
     
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  3. ahaer

    ahaer Member

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    1) Bolt implements 1 part of Tesla's strategy missing many others. Certainly haven't reached a pinnacle.
    2) Front drive is an optimization of packaging for an ICE vehicle. Rear motor/drive Tesla are supposedly very good in slippery conditions and suffers no space penalty. Rear drive is the only choice for traction during acceleration.

    That said, If GM had worked with Tesla to allow Bolts to access Supercharger at Tesla charging rates I would have seriously considered it...
     
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  4. Zythryn

    Zythryn MS 70D, MX 90D

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    And I am sure Elon is cheering them on!
    Tesla's mission is to speed the transition to sustainable transportation. And they know they can't do it on their own.
    What is sad, although not for Tesla fans, is that GM or one of the other companies, didn't beat Tesla to market with the Model S.

    As for which car "beats" which, I won't offer my opinion until I see the Model 3.
    For FWD, bah! I got better traction in my RWD model S than I did in any FWD car I ever drove.
     
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  5. MorrisonHiker

    MorrisonHiker S 90D 17.32.6ca28227

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    Good luck driving a Bolt across the US...or pretty much anywhere on a long distance trip unless you live on the east or west coasts.
     
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  6. skitown

    skitown Supporting Member

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    If GM is really losing ~$9K per Bolt, then I'm not sure it's fair to say that GM "got there first". Tesla's goal is obviously to produce an affordable car for consumers that also generates a reasonable and competitive gross margin, so it doesn't BK the company! It's taken this long because that's how long it's taken to scale up operations (IE battery production) to reduce costs, among other things. I'm sure if the goal was to produce a car that lost ~$9K per vehicle, they too could have done it long ago. GM stands to lose $9,000 per car on Chevy Bolt
     
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  7. Sonny Daze

    Sonny Daze Member

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  8. McRat

    McRat Active Member

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    GM needed a car for full autonomy systems. 100 miles of range would make it useless. Something small for tight urban areas, big back seats, 8 hour urban range, has all the makings of an autonomous taxi for tight urban settings. The power level is appropriate for 4 passengers and still have good acceleration.

    GM's answer to vehicle electrification (blasphemy alert) was the 2011 Volt EREV. Requiring only a 120v outlet and no remote infrastructure, while still having a pure EV range that started out covering 84% of commuters, it was the logical decision for driving on electricity at the time.

    GM has not made a vehicle yet to compete with Tesla's offerings.
     
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  9. stopcrazypp

    stopcrazypp Well-Known Member

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    Not sure I really buy this. I think the Bolt is primarily an effort to call "first" over Tesla. Everyone in the industry knew Tesla was planning a 200 mile car in the $30k range. Beating Tesla to it would be a huge PR win. GM's efforts started with Envia, but that fell through, so they went with LG Chem.

    I agree with this part. GM was really serious about the Volt and I believe they genuinely thought this was the way forward for electrification. However, the first gen Volt was a swing and a miss (came out too expensive). Gen 2 is getting closer (gen 2 really is the car that gen 1 should have been). There are other issues, like how the production car turned out much less sporty in styling than the concept. And despite this compromise in styling, the rear seats remain extremely cramped, without a 5th seat (somewhat addressed in Gen 2). But in the long run, I think the writing is on the wall that PHEVs will only be a transitional phase (and a very short lived one given how fast battery and rapid charging technology is progressing).
     
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  10. anticitizen13.7

    anticitizen13.7 Enemy of the Status Quo

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    The Bolt is not a true long-range electric car, as it has neither the charging hardware nor the network support required for coast-to-coast travel in North America.

    Bolt's problem is that it is merely good, not great. It looks no different than a Honda Fit: utilitarian and uninspiring. If businesses want people to switch from gasoline cars to electric cars, the electric cars have to be better.

    If Tesla built cars like the Bolt, they would not have the same enthusiastic following that they do with Roadster and Model S/X. Far fewer customers will stretch their budgets to buy a 30k car that looks like it cost 17k and can't easily travel as far.
     
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  11. anticitizen13.7

    anticitizen13.7 Enemy of the Status Quo

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    Apple iPod was a latecomer to the DAP market, but it succeeded in finally ending the audio CD player era by offering the right combination of (1) music capacity (2) user interface (3) ecosystem integration with iTunes software and (4) method for legal digital music purchasing via iTunes Store.

    Almost all MP3 players prior to that time from what I can remember had terrible user interfaces, very limited storage, and had no supporting ecosystem for easily organizing and buying music. Even after iPod, Sony , Microsoft, and others could not get their ecosystems to function well. Zune and others ceased to exist.
     
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  12. Cosmacelf

    Cosmacelf Active Member

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    Geez guys, calm down. I wasn't trying to say which car, the Bolt or the Model 3, was better. I was just pointing out that GM did beat Tesla to selling a car that meets Elon's oft stated goal of affordable long range EV.

    And fine, front wheel drive traction probably won't matter. It does seem that the regen is pretty good in the Bolt (and it slows all the way to a stop on regen) and that might have to do with FWD. Or not, but it is better than existing Teslas.

    And the SC network is indeed way better than the CCS network, but that gap will close rapidly in a couple of years. It already is close to par in California.
     
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  13. thegruf

    thegruf Active Member

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    @skitown makes the valid point i think - the Bolt increasingly looks like a "compliance" car, and if the rumor is correct they are losing $9K per car there is little incentive for them to increase production.

    What I suspect Tesla have achieved is manufacturing of profitable EVs (sure they losing money due to the vast setup and infrastructure costs), but fundamentally I think they can make the M3 profitable. This is in no small part due to the Gigafactory battery supply.
    Remember in a base M3 the battery could be 1/3 to 1/2 the value of the vehicle.

    Others I think will make EVs, will struggle for battery supply from external sources and most likely will struggle for profitability on EV models.
    Initially at least there will be attempts to hide such losses in overall figures.

    This I thing is the real crux and what has the automotive industry seriously worried about Elon and Tesla.
    I suspect nobody else has worked out how to do EVs profitably, and useably (superchargers).
    They are progressing but it may well take quite some time to do so.
     
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  14. SabrToothSqrl

    SabrToothSqrl Active Member

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    The bolt is to EVs what Keystone Light is to beer.
     
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  15. Mr X

    Mr X Future Owner

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    Lol. The Dolt looks like a POS and you can't drive long distance effortlessly nor does it have a simple navigation system.


    It is not a compelling vehicle in any way. It's an ugly generic hatchback that is electric.


    Feels like driving a UPS truck lol. No one ever dreamed of driving a vehicle like that.


    Model 3 is compelling, sexy and desirable. Dolt is not. GM lost.
     
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  16. McRat

    McRat Active Member

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    #16 McRat, Apr 26, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2017
    If it was an effort to claim 'first' to 200 mi affordable EV, a G2 Volt EV variant made much more fiscal sense. It has a lower CdA. The gas tank, exhaust system buffer, spare tire area, would have the necessary additional room by relocation of components to the hood area. The weight would be OK from removing the ICE, exhaust, fuel weight, ICE cooling system. The aero would have improved due to the smaller heater exchanger openings necessary (a huge drag). So the car would not need either 238 miles nor as many kWh of battery per mile of range due to less aero drag.

    Or? A 2 seater like the EV1 with ultra low CdA (3.95 CdA twenty years ago). 35kWh would be all that is necessary assuming current technology inverter and motor. This allows 4 kWh for buffer if you hit the EPA Combined Range when driving 65 mph steady state. By using modern steel alloys and lithium batteries, the cost would be low without a big weight change.

    I'm convinced the Bolt was designed as a LIDAR and taxi platform. Since urban driving normally averages about 25 miles covered in an hour, 255mi (EPA urban rating) was needed for 8 hours all weather taxi service.
     
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  17. Tam

    Tam Active Member

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    It's a compliance car. Until it can do LAX to NYC in 55 hours then I'll consider it a real practical car, not a compliance car!
     
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  18. McRat

    McRat Active Member

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    I've done LA to Miami in 44 hours towing a freaking trailer with a pickup. What is so special about 55 hours in a sports car?
     
  19. stopcrazypp

    stopcrazypp Well-Known Member

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    The T shaped battery architecture has its history, but I think fundamentally it doesn't make sense for a practical EV. The floor battery makes a lot more sense, and I think GM made the right choice to follow industry trends and not use the Volt architecture as their basis.

    2 seaters are a niche market. GM probably won't even be able to sell enough for compliance if they made the Bolt a 2 seater.

    The reason I doubt this is because there are not optimizations made to the Bolt for sensor integration. It's all tacked on the roof as other cars are done. If the Bolt was designed as a self driving platform from the start, I would have expected to see some optimizations for this.
     
  20. anticitizen13.7

    anticitizen13.7 Enemy of the Status Quo

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    We probably have different idea of what "long range" means.

    After the Bolt's initial 200 miles are expended (I leave about 30 miles buffer for unexpected situations), the driver is stuck recharging for 30 mins every 90 miles. It might be worse depending on prevailing highway speeds as the Bolt is not aerodynamic. One 30-minute stop isn't bad, since people do need to eat lunch and use restrooms. Beyond that it gets annoying.

    Contrast that with a Model S, which goes 230-300 miles on an initial charge and then adds 170 miles in a 30 min Supercharge.

    400-470 miles travel in Model S with minimal inconvenience is hugely better than 290 miles in Bolt. The Bolt would not suffice for any of my long distance drives (typically 400-500 miles/day).

    People here will also react very negatively to GM since GM has tried to stop Tesla sales via influence over state legislation designed to protect car dealers. This makes GM about as popular with early adopters and tech enthusiasts as RAMBUS (of failed RDRAM infamy) and SCO (who unsuccessfully tried to sue Linux out of existence). Even years after RDRAM lost to DDRx-SDRAM and Linux rules supreme in servers, Android phones, and Chromebooks, the mere mention of RAMBUS and SCO can make techies foam at the mouth with rage.

    I note that the TMC community generally does not exhibit anywhere near the same level of hostility towards Nissan, Lucid, or other companies either producing or planning EVs.
     
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