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The 40 kWh Model S was discontinued to increase the distance inbetween Superchargers.

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by Benz, Sep 13, 2013.

  1. Benz

    Benz Active Member

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    The 40 kWh Tesla Model S was a "hobbled horse" according to Elon Musk (compared to the 60 kWh and the 85 kWh). So therefore it was discontinued.

    But I dare to disagree with Elon Musk on that (the 40 kWh Tesla Model S being a hobbled horse). In my opinion the real reason was that if the 40 kWh Tesla Model S would have been offered, than the distances inbetween the Supercharger locations would have had to be even smaller, and therefore Tesla Motors would have had to place many more Supercharger Stations than that they have to place now. So what I actually mean is that the 40 kWh Tesla Model S has been sacrificed in order to increase the distance inbetween the Supercharger locations, and therefore automatically decrease the number of Supercharger stations that have to be placed to cover the are. All that to make free long-distance possible at a lower financial investment (more Superchargers will obviously cost more money, you know).

    Specially the people in The Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Switzerland, Denmark, etc. (actually the people from all the smaller countries in Europe who hardly ever do drive more than 100 km per day) would surely have chosen to prefer the 40 kWh Tesla Model S in much higher numbers, as it would have been priced at a lower pricepoint than the 60 kWh Tesla Models S. And most of these people would also not have chosen the Supercharger option either, just to keep the price as low as possible. But this does not fit into the picture (of this decade) of Elon Musk. I am not speaking of the long-term vision (as from 2020 and further), because there it would. It has all got to do with the level of annual sales figures, everytime you add a zero then there is a different picture (hundreds - thousands - ten thousands - hundred thousands - millions - ten millions). Yet we are at the picture of tens of thousands (official outlook for 2013 is 21,000 and we know already that surely will prove to be to concervative).

    I would appreciate your thoughts on this topic.
     
  2. rlang59

    rlang59 Member

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    The 40 did not support Supercharging.
     
  3. Raffy.Roma

    Raffy.Roma Active Member

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    @Benz

    IMO the Tesla Model S differentiates from other EVs for its long range. So I think that Tesla made the right thing to delete the 40 KWH Model S to stress the feature of long distance car for the Model S.
     
  4. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Active Member

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    The 40kWh was using older, presumably cheaper cell technology as well.

    if anything the 40kWh was canceled because the low demand for it meant two things:
    - people were buying up to the 60 to get more range and Supercharging
    - they wouldn't be able to make a profit on it

    Even if they could allow 40kWh to use Superchargers it's not the distance that's the issue. It's that charging a 40kWh car would take over twice as long as an 85kWh. Not in time, of course, but per mile. That means the charge:drive ratio would be too high. You'd not only have to build more Superchargers, few drivers would tolerate the impact on driving.

    Capacity ~ charging mph ~ range ~ performance.

    For now those are all intertwined. 60kWh is the base for long-range BEV because you get a range that covers most trips for most people combined with a charge:drive ratio from 1:2 to 1:4 on long trips. In effect it can be even better: some of the charging time is useful time; trip with low number of charges; destination charging.
     
  5. Rifleman

    Rifleman Now owns 2 Model S's!!!

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    The 40 was never intended to be a long range car, or to support supercharging. That being said, it still would have had a longer range than literally every other EV on the market (even the ones with Tesla insides like the Rav4 EV). It is a shame that it never made it to production, as it was at a price point that was accessible to many more people than the 60 or 85 offerings. While their initial take rate on the 40 was very low, I am convinced this was due to the fact that it never had a clearly defined delivery timeline, and that EPA numbers were not posted until after it was canceled. I know when I cancelled my reservation, When i had a reservation, I was planning on the 40 as it was the only version in my budget, but was going to hold off on hitting finalize until the EPA numbers were out so that I could be sure that the car would work for me. I cant say a blame Tesla for cancelling the 40, however, as when you are production constrained, not demand constrained, you don't want to burn production capacity on low margin 40's when you have orders for P85+'s waiting. Maybe in a year or two, when Tesla has ramped up production capacity to meet demand, we will see a return of a lower budget Model S to help bridge the gap between Gen II and Gen III. I know there are going to be alot of Leaf and Volt leases ending in 2015 that would love to step up to a Tesla (myself included), maybe Tesla will be able to come up with a way to get us into a Model S.
     
  6. PaceyWhitter

    PaceyWhitter Member

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    Humorously, I believe the reason the 40 was discontinued was highlighted by ItsNotAboutTheMoney, and it was about the money. I don't think Tesla was making a profit on them. I bet the 40 pack was more costly than they anticipated, combine this with the fact that people who were ordering 40's were probably more likely to order them without options (if they had more money they would likely get a 60) and you have a recipe for low profit margin.
     
  7. hj-45

    hj-45 Member

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    As for the original post... supercharging has always been off the table for 40s making it a little difficult to conclude its demise was due to supercharging distances. The company certainly did not make any money on the 40s the way they were delivered, but I know my car and interactions are responsible for at least two P85 sales. I am grateful Tesla honored those early orders instead of outright canceling. No regrets with my decisions/options. 138 miles working out fine for my circumstances.
     
  8. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    While I completely agree with this timeline counterargument, I do think there's some truth in what the OP is suggesting. One could argue the "consumer confusion" and potential "brand erosion" of "Tesla Model S Supercharging Technology" both go away with the removal of the "except the 40 kWh flavor" caveat to "all Model S (and future vehicles) are hardware capable of supercharging".
     
  9. Benz

    Benz Active Member

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    Yes, it's much easier to promote a brand and a product when you can say: "all Model S (and future vehicles) are hardware capable of supercharging". And it makes your brand also more premium as well (without the 40 kWh Model S).

    I think that when they first decided to offer the 40 kWh Model S, they had not expected that Tesla Motors would be so successful so soon. I mean that they might have expected to be successful of course, but maybe in 2015 or so. And when they saw that succuess came so soon, then they decided to change their course/plan. And that's a wise thing to do, see possibilities and react accordingly.
     
  10. wycolo

    wycolo Active Member

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    40 KW Model_Ss have got to be the most rare of all collector MSs ever!
    --
     
  11. TylerCA

    TylerCA Member

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    I wouldn't be surprised if that is the case. It afterall is a business and the board @ Tesla had to make a decision on improving margins & reducing debt
     
  12. richkae

    richkae VIN587

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    I really don't think the supercharger was a factor. At some point Tesla decided that they can sell all of the production as 60 and 85kWh cars.
    They didn't need the 40kWh.
    If at some point in the future they can produce more 60 & 85kWh cars than the market can absorb they will revisit the decision on the 40kWh car.
    They may never have that problem and leave the market segment that would want the 40kWh car unserved until they can produce Gen 3 ( or somebody else beats them to it ).
     
  13. sublimaze1

    sublimaze1 8Dec2012 / Leeroy Jenkins

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    Marketing

    The 40Kw without air, basic paint, basic radio, non-tech, 19 ... was the base model that could be quoted. Call it bait-n-switch, call it entry model. Whatever.

    It was certainly a fair marketing tool, got the press to notice, and we simply found out that the 40 was not what the Model-S buyer wanted (en masse) and hence, was discontinued.

    IMHO (opinion alert) the state of Hawaii would be the niche for the 40 - maybe not the Big Island - but certainly much more so than anywhere else. And City EV drivers would be better off with a Leaf or a Volt from the standpoint of sheer size and parking.

    Marketing. Still a win.

    And yes, a very rare car indeed.
     
  14. purplewalt

    purplewalt Active Member

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    My understanding is originally there were three sizes of battery packs: 40 kWh, 60 kWh and 85 kWh.

    Around March 31, 2013 Tesla announced that they would no longer offer the 40kWh battery pack: it would would offer a 60 kWh battery that would be limited to 40 kWh charge capacity.
    --So there was some economy by reducing the manufacturing and battery pack module for 4% of the orders Tesla had at the time.
    40 kWh has a maximum range of 160 mikes. (HAS, because I know someone who has a 40, he strictly drives it in town.)

    For this battery pack, there is a ~$10,000 fee to upgrade from a 40 to a 60, and it USED to be $2,000 to then have access to a Supercharger, but that may have been raised to $2,500.
     
  15. dpodoll

    dpodoll Member

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    It's possible they never intended to develop a 40k battery, or offer a 40k car, long tem. Could have been marketing ploy to keep the entry level price at $50K at introduction. May have lost $$$ on the ones they sold, and may be glad to get it behind them.
     
  16. evmile

    evmile Member

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    The 60 kWh battery is even rather rare. When I picked up my Model S at the factory I would say less than 10% were 60 kWh.

    I think the "budget" Model S is a used Model S for the next two years.

    I doubt if they will revisit the 40 kWh.

    I think next year we will see a 100 kWh battery option and a price reduction on the 60 and 85 kWh batteries. So the 60 kWh battery will become the 40 kWh price point in a year.

    When they offer a 115 kWh battery they will finally be where most ICE cars have been - 400 mile range.
     
  17. Mayhemm

    Mayhemm Model S P85+ "Lola"

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    I don't know where this assumption comes from, but I keep hearing it over and over. No ICE vehicle I've ever owned; large (Ford LTD), small (Audi TT), efficient (2L TFSI), gas-guzzling (5L V8) has EVER had a 400-mile range. Maybe rated, but never real-world.
     
  18. aronth5

    aronth5 Long Time Follower

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    Our Prius V has more then 500 mile range but then again not 100% ICE either. Often get over 50mpg on local driving.
     
  19. gvillager

    gvillager Member

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    My Hyundai Sonata has a 18.5 gallon tank. I can easily get 400 miles of city driving and 500 miles of highway driving on a tank of gas.
     
  20. fluxemag

    fluxemag Member

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    I love my "40". I never considered taking it for road trips, because we could always take my wife's car. I got all the appearance of the more expensive cars, with leather, wheels and the pano roof, but without the extra range and performance. I wouldn't have bought the car if it were 10k more, because I just can't justify the expense, especially not just so I can drive to SD once a year. However... now I'm thinking of how cool it would be to be able to road trip this savage beast. The prospect of driving my wife's Lexus for 6 hours haunts me and fills me with sorrow. Heading up to the mountains of AZ, running up the California coast, it all would be so nice with Supercharging. But really, it's going to be a stretch to do PHX-SD or PHX-LA or PHX-LV even with the 60. I believe the map of proposed superchargers has one in the West Valley, so you can top up before heading across the desert. But $13k for the upgrade? Probably not worth it, that's a lot of plane tickets.
     

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