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The Street / Greencarreports article on SC

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by balefire, Jan 5, 2014.

  1. balefire

    balefire Member

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  2. DriverOne

    DriverOne Member

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    I agree somewhat. But the author says this'll be an "enduring" competitive advantage. I can't see that for two reasons:

    1) If it takes 3-4 years for Tesla to build out the network, there's no reason anyone else should take longer.
    2) Musk has said they won't use the SC as a competitive moat.

    It makes sense not to try using the SCs as a moat, because a) they can't, see point (1) and b) their goal is to spur EV uptake.

    Presumably they'd charge other car makers for the privilege of using Tesla's existing SC network. That would mean another revenue stream for Tesla.
     
  3. jerry33

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

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    Except that the other car makers are doing EVs begrudgingly and are trying to limit costs. Nissan is really the only exception.


    True, but if other car makers are paying to use Tesla Superchargers, it will increase Tesla's competitiveness.
     
  4. JST

    JST Active Member

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    Let's also not forget that GM or Ford could very easily make construction of a series of fast chargers a condition of selling a notional 200 mile electric car, thus pushing the cost down to the franchised dealers.

    And each company has a pretty vast network of dealers, making the real-estate dance that Tesla is going through unnecessary.

    I do agree with the premise of the article that fast charging is where the future of the electric car lies, and that GM and Ford et al. should be embarrassed that they didn't think of it (or execute it) first. I also agree that without a 200 mile range, fast charging is much less important. You need both.

    So, Tesla remains out in front, but if GM or Ford set their mind to it, they could erase the fast charging advantage very quickly. Will they? We shall see.

    The other thing that the article doesn't mention that has been discussed here is the battery recycling component.
     
  5. jerry33

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

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    Not really. Each dealer is independent so the car manufacturer would have to negotiate, just like Tesla does. And because dealers can see that EVs will eventually put most out of business or substantially reduce their revenue...
     
  6. Cosmacelf

    Cosmacelf Active Member

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    Ever seen a dealer parking lot? Not usually a lot of spare parking available. And they typically don't have amenities (like food) within walking distance. The established car companies are going to be protecting their margins and doing what they know how to do for a while yet. I don't see anyone else building oft a supercharger network anytime soon. It'll be interesting to see what Nissan decides to do...
     
  7. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    #7 ecarfan, Jan 5, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2014
    Anton Wahlman's article in TheStreet is very perceptive and I agree with his conclusion but he appears to make a factual error when he states the cost of establishing a Tesla Supercharger, quote:

    "How much does all of this cost? Let's say that a Tesla charging station with 10 outlets on site costs a total of $2 million including real estate, construction, etc. "

    I thought, based on various posts on these forums, that the typical cost was much less than $1 million even for 10 bays.

    The big automakers are really asleep at the wheel, blinded by their focus on short term profits and hobbled by dealer networks that don't want to sell EVs.

    When Tesla's North America SC network is built out to the numbers indicated on the 2015 map (less than 2 years from now!) the European SC network will also be well established, the Model E will be close to starting production and I predict that the big automakers will still not have competitive EVs on the market. Tesla stock will hit new highs during the first year of Model E production.
     
  8. JST

    JST Active Member

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    The relationships between manufacturers and dealers can be incredibly tense, but automakers frequently mandate--or "suggest"--investment in facility upgrades. See, e.g., this story on Lincoln: Lincoln Kills Most Dealers, Turns Remainder Into Boutique Hotels | The Truth About Cars

    As I said above, the manufacturer could also tie that investment to getting a new product. Or, of course, it could split the cost, or pay for it entirely. Ford's Q3 profit in 2013 was $2.6 billion. Ford Motor Company Financial Earning Reports & SEC Filings for Ford Investors Assuming that the cost of a supercharger site is around $1m, it could build out 2600 such sites just using money it made in the third quarter (note--I am not saying that's remotely realistic--just trying to give a sense of scale).

    You wouldn't need every dealer to sign on. Ford has 3,000 dealerships in the US. Even ten percent participation would be 6 times the number of Supercharger sites that Tesla has built to date.

    To be clear, I don't think Ford or GM will do this. And without a product like the Model S, it wouldn't make sense for them to do it, anyway (which is why Nissan's CHAdeMO strategy seems unlikely to succeed). But the argument that Tesla's charging network will be an enduring competitive advantage overlooks the size and scale of the companies with which it is competing, and the advantages that size and scale brings. Tesla's primary competitive advantage is and will continue to be it's vision, and the fact that it is willing to do something transformational when all the other companies aren't.
     
  9. Cottonwood

    Cottonwood Roadster#433, Model S#S37

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    I don't know where this million dollar price tag comes from. You can only get that high if you factor in some pricey real estate. Tesla is not paying for real estate, nor would Ford if it used its dealers. The price that I have heard for the install cost of a Supercharger, assuming the mall, restaurant, hotel, etc provides the real estate is more like $150-200k.
     
  10. PhilBa

    PhilBa Active Member

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    Agree totally. Look at where Tesla is putting SCs - close to freeways and "travel plaza" like amenities. Dealerships don't cut it.

    I do think that if the majors truly want to compete with the Tesla network, they would band together and create EV Travel Plazas. My guess is that they would partner with several major chains like 7-11, dennys, crackerbarrel and so on.
     
  11. kendallpb

    kendallpb Model S: P 8061

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