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Tesla's continuing viability as a company thread.

Discussion in 'Tesla Motors' started by qwk, Dec 21, 2011.

  1. qwk

    qwk Model S P2681

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    Ok, so now that I've had some time to read and think through all of the info that has come out in the last 24 hours, I'm getting concerned about Tesla selling 20k cars a year.

    Now, before anyone gets butthurt, I'm a huge fan of Tesla and their tech, and I want this company to succeed more than anyone I know. I think what concerns me the most after seeing the option/price list is that Elon's ego is too big for his own good. What I mean by that is, when selling something in this price range, you cannot *sugar* on ANY customers. By making the base Pack car so unnatractive that the demand will be almost 0, Tesla is going to alianate many customers. It's very obvious their goal is to upsell customers to a bigger battery.

    The sad thing is, all the 160 pack car would need is a QC port(even at reduced power), and a little better get up and go. While 6.5 seconds 0-60 is ok for a mediocre EV like the leaf, it is pathetic for a Tesla that costs $60k.

    For me it's either a base pack car or a sport, no inbetweens. I don't need the range, but I'm definately not driving a $60+k slug. The problem for me is, after reading all of the negative feedback from people that want a base pack, I'm not 100 sure I want to plop down $100k for a car from a company with a shady future.

    I'm writing this thread in the hopes that Tesla reconsiders their choice with the direction of the base pack car. I know that if they do, they will sell a whole lot more cars. I would buy a base car and a sport model.
     
  2. jkirkebo

    jkirkebo Model S P85+ VIN 14420 EU

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    Uh, the Leaf is nowhere near 6.5 seconds ? 0-100kph (0-62mph) is quoted as 11 seconds over here, which I find plenty fast enough. I might replace it with a Model S if they announce a CHAdeMO adapter, but I would be perfectly happy with the same performance as the Leaf (which I think is a brilliant car).
     
  3. qwk

    qwk Model S P2681

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    Yeah, I know, but the leaf is only going to get better. I guess I should have worded that differently.
     
  4. VolkerP

    VolkerP EU Model S P-37

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    I like to reply with the answer that JB Straubel gave to Eberhard regarding the lack of 3 phase support in Tesla's charge port architecture: "There's the DC port. Do it yourself." So far they've been adamant to any enthusiast input requesting Tesla to extend their architecture.

    If you want to charge the 40kWh Model S with > 20kW, you need an external DC source and Straubel basically says, go for it alone. Perhaps crimping a CHAdeMO receptable to a Tesla connector.

    Tesla announces additional information regarding charging adapters for begin of next year. Possibly this includes a CHAdeMO->Tesla plug adapter.
     
  5. qwk

    qwk Model S P2681

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    That is a very good point. Now we can only go by what we know, but no 3 phase and no DC port will mean a sure flop in Europe. Hopefully Tesla is smarter than that. That is just common business sense.
     
  6. AnOutsider

    AnOutsider S532 # XS27

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    Plus the base fisker karma is more than the most expensive model s and it's 0-60 is even slower. Sorry, I'm not buying the whole doom and gloom for tesla because the base car will take 30 minutes more to charge.

    As for performance, look at all manufacturers. Most models do not have the same performance throughout the product line, and this isn't even tesla being nasty, it's a technical limitation. As far as Elon's ego? I think it's more the negative attitude of others on display here than Tesla.
     
  7. Citizen-T

    Citizen-T Active Member

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    You can't compare today's Model S with some unknown future iteration of the Leaf. I hate when people do that. I hear it all the time from iPhone lovers. "Yea, well, the iPhone doesn't have 4G still...but the iPhone 5 is rumored to have 10Gs!"

    On a more serious note. I have always planned on getting a 160mi Model S, and I don't think my plans have changed. The lack of Supercharging doesn't really bother me because I never really intended to take it on long trips. You'd have to stop every hour and a half to recharge. I was a little bummed by the 6.5s 0-60, but I knew it wasn't going to be 5.6s. I was hoping for 6s, but honestly, if you put me in a 6s car then in a 6.5s car, I'm not sure I would be able to tell the difference.

    I've said this elsewhere, but the biggest disappointment for me is that you have to buy a $3,500 package just to get a camera. As a customer, that is kind of annoying, but as an investor, that makes me think that very few cars are going to leave the factory without that extra package. Which is good for the margins.

    So, I don't know how representative I am of the 160mi pack market, but for me at least, the official pricing hasn't changed anything.
     
  8. qwk

    qwk Model S P2681

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    Fisker is pretty much history. They will not be able to sell as many cars as they need at their price points. Not a valid comparison.

    As for performance, there are not many $60+k cars that are that pathetic, and if they are, they have other luxury features that make up for it. A base Tesla S is very far from a luxury optioned car. Yes, it's electric, and enthusiasts will go for it, but not an average bmw/mb buyer. Therein lies the problem.
     
  9. Zextraterrestrial

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    160

    I think the 160 isn't that bad if you do a lot of city / commute driving and live in a city, Especially if you have another car for long trips. The 0-60 time isn't that bad for a 'big' sedan. We have a 2002 Lexus Ls430 and the 6.5s 0-60 that it has feels pretty good. I'd imagine that is about what the test rides were pulling at the factory since there were 5 people in the car.

    Full disclosure...I plan on spending way more than I really ever wanted to spend on a car, so probably the 300 sport, and I recently picked up this bad expensive electric toy hobby(RC helicopters). The electronics have improved amazingly over the past few years, and the battery charge/discharge rates provide some insane power if you can keep stuff cool! And they are Clean!

    I think Tesla has an awesome product even at the high price for the base w/ a few upgrades, so long as all of the car details are done to perfection.
     
  10. AnOutsider

    AnOutsider S532 # XS27

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    I think the average BMW/Mercedes buyer will likely be going for the 300 mile (or 260 at worst) pack anyway. Go configure one, the pricing levels end up fairly similar. Tesla sort of pushed things by offering something at the lower end of the range (I think on average the Model S should be about a 75-79k car), but it comes with disadvantages. Let's keep in mind that the Model S isn't Bluestar.

    Anywho, even in luxury brands, 0-60 is usually lower in the base models than the higher models (due to the engines and tuning).
     
  11. Citizen-T

    Citizen-T Active Member

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    Also, I don't think Tesla wants to sell a lot of 160mi cars. Elon has always said that that pack would make up the smallest percentage of cars leaving the factory. If they are production constrained, it makes the most sense that they would want to sell the highest priced cars first. That's the theory behind the Signature Series, but considering that they only need to sell 45,000 to 65,000 cars before they get to BlueStar, if there is enough demand to do it in the 80k range, then they should.

    I'm sure the 25% margin that they are targeting assumes a very small percentage of 160mi packs.
     
  12. bint2k

    bint2k Member

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    we all just have to rob a bank or two and then we can all drive the 300+ model s =)
     
  13. Mycroft

    Mycroft Life happens

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    #13 Mycroft, Dec 21, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2011
    If there is any margin on the $50,000 40kWh car, it's VERY slim. Look at the price difference between the Chevy Volt and the Cruze or between the Nissan Leaf and a similar ICE car. We're still at early days with this technology and marketing hype aside, comparing these cars to BMW and Mercedes luxury cars is tenuous at best.

    I think the 300 mile Model S doesn't compare so well to the Audi A7 unless you account for the EV premium. That said, I do think the $100,000 Performance version compares very favorably to the $100k Porsche Panamera. Only gearheads who lust after the engine noise would prefer the Porsche.

    I don't think Tesla will have a problem selling 20,000 cars a year. And the technology is going to improve exponentially. In five years, it'll be a whole 'nother ball game!
     
  14. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

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    IMO the thread title makes no sense. Some people will love the Model S no matter what, some will be sensitive to this or that option, some to how much it costs. I don't think that questions Tesla's viability as a company; they are currently producing a niche product, albeit a niche that many of think will grow in the coming years, and they are looking like they might just be good at it. We all have our points of view and the truth is that all of our input is going towards designing what I hope will be one of the best cars ever made; however, Tesla will not be able to make everyone happy all of the time on all aspects, options and details. Which auto-maker can?
     
  15. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

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    The Mercedes E350 has 0-60 of 6.5 seconds, as well, and costs $50,490 -- slightly more than the base Model S. Each of the options is slightly cheaper from Tesla than from MB: paint, leather, technology ($6450 to match Tesla's $3750+950). The pano roof is cheaper from MB, but it's also a lot smaller.

    The chief issue with the 40kWh pack that I see is the charging options. We begin to see why Elon said that he thought that the majority of buyers would choose the 60kWh pack; without access to the DC supercharger, the 40kWh cars are clearly targeting the "around town" segment.
     
  16. qwk

    qwk Model S P2681

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    I already posted that I should have worded it differently. I wasn't comparing it to any future Leaf, as obviously a Leaf with that kind of performance most likely isn't going to happen. I meant that kind of a performance might be ok for a cheaper EV(Leaf is the only other EV at this point that isn't a micro car), but not for a $60k+ EV.
     
  17. qwk

    qwk Model S P2681

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    Let's hope so. I really hope you are right.
     
  18. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

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    And with a Model S you going to save the world for future generations.
     
  19. richkae

    richkae VIN587

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    qwk: with all due respect your complaint about the 40kW car 0-60 is totally crazy.

    The 40kW car is very competitive in terms of performance with cars in its price range.
    The Lexus ES350 has a 7 second 0-60, the BMW 528i is about 6.6 seconds, the Mercedes C350 is 6.5 seconds.
    The Model S competes with ICE cars that cost $10000 less because you will make up that money in just 3 or 4 years if you drive 12000+ miles per year.

    The totally valid complaint about the 40kW Model S is the lack of quick charging.
     
  20. EVNow

    EVNow Active Member

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    #20 EVNow, Dec 21, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2011
    Let me ask the question this way. Does the QC port on the 40kWh model work ? If it does - but somehow is barred from using the supercharger - it is even more bizarre than I thought. For someone who can build the whole car - making the supercharger work at lower wattage is child's play.

    With Leaf, SV doesn't even come with the CHAdeMO port. So, Nissan actually saves $$ by not putting the QC port on the lower model. To get a trim with QC is only $3k more.

    To gauge how important QC is - you have to just look at the SV/SL split. IIRC, 80% of the people have SL, with QC.
     

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