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The TESLA Motors Battery Pack Kit

Discussion in 'Technical' started by fjavifp, Jul 11, 2013.

  1. fjavifp

    fjavifp Member

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    On the assumption that everything is possible, would it make sense for TESLA Motors to create a battery pack kit that could be used to replace the engine in any/most/some ICE car?
     
  2. NEWDL

    NEWDL R#350 R#1323 Sig23 8136

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    The easy answer to this is no, it isn't possible.

    Even if it was possible, and we use that assumption...

    TESLA believes in cars built from the ground up as an EV. They learned from the roadster that attempting to use an ICE platform causes more headaches than it is worth.

    I don't see this happening for many more reasons than the ones listed above, but those are the two that are first on the list!
     
  3. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    There are plenty of people who do EV conversions on their cars. Batteries, controllers, and motors are available for the purpose. You won't get Tesla level performance but you will get an EV. Google it.
     
  4. fjavifp

    fjavifp Member

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    Hi NEWDL, Hi Doug_G,
    And thanks for your comments.

    I appreciate that TESLA is at this stage focused on developing their own platforms, and I know that there are others out there who sell EV conversion kits at lower level performance standards - I would still argue the case of an eventual battery kit development that could be used to replace the ICE in that, say the classic car inherited from dad, the barn find project you work so hard to restore, that '67 Camaro you've been saving all your life to buy... emerging markets not able to afford mid-high end car prices...

    I haven't done any sort of market analysis, but wondered if it could be worth it...
    Kind regards
     
  5. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    You run the risk of someone screwing up the install and something like a fire happening with a Tesla battery pack too. Even though Tesla's part wasn't the problem in this example, they'd still get the blame in certain circles.
     
  6. Ampster

    Ampster Member

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    #6 Ampster, Jul 11, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2013
    At the right price, it is worth it to the many custom ev shops filling that niche. Go to diyelectriccar.com and you will find many in that space. As others have said, Tesla is focused on their own fully integrated cars, not kits. Tesla did a kit, if you want to call it that for Toyota, in the form of the RAV4EV. They do multi million dollar consulting jobs like that but not individual cars. I think AC Propulsion is in that space.
    EDIT. In fact, AC Propulsion did some early prototype work for the Tesla Roadster.
    High Performance Electric Vehicles also puts a kit in a Wheego and I think there are several others in Europe that do similar work.
     
  7. fjavifp

    fjavifp Member

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    Hi all,
    And thanks dsm363 and Ampster for your comments.
    As already mentioned in answer to previous comments, I am aware that TESLA is currently focused on developing their "own fully integrated cars", and that there are others positioning themselves in the "kit market" like the ones mentioned.

    But both these aspects, in my opinion, still do not present sufficient arguments against an eventual TESLA kit development which, at its own service centers, could be used to replace ICEs in already existing vehicles (perhaps a selected list, brands...?). This would do away with potential installation screw-ups by third party installers, would position TESLA in the said niche market for ICE conversions to EV, and would open the TESLA doors to a additional public who, at this stage, or for the existing models, are left outside.

    I'm not saying it needs to be done, again, I have not performed any kind of market assessment, feasibility study, or nothing of the like, but would be inclined to argue the case...

    Kind regards to all.
     
  8. fjavifp

    fjavifp Member

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    Hi all,

    Just wanted to revive this discussion...

    Here in Europe must cars are front engine, front-wheel drive, and range horsepower from 90, 110, 140, 170... My guess is that it should nto be so difficult to develop standard kits for this kind of vehicles, using the front engine compartment to house battery kits...

    Not so sure about necessary vehicle electronics though... any thoughts?

    Regards.
     
  9. Ampster

    Ampster Member

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    #9 Ampster, Jul 30, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2013
    I think there is a market for conversions just like there is a market for custom hotrods in the US. As pointed out earlier it is a niche market. I presume when Tesla had discussions with AC Propulsion before deciding to do the Roadster, that the subject was discussed. Certainly the Roadster is a conversion and it got Tesla into the market. I drive a RAV4EV and that is a volume conversion (2600 units over 3 years). I can tell you the best thing about the RAV4EV is th Tesla drivetrain and battery pack. I can also tell you the worse thing is the complicated service discussions between Tesla and Toyota whenever a check engine light comes on. What would normally be a two hour diagnostic visit often stretches into days. I think that reason argues against Tesla wanting to be in that niche market. No doubt that partnership got them an inexpensive factory and an investment by Toyota but those were the big benefits, not the profit on the RAV conversions.

    I am aware that a case could be argued. But I don't think Elon Musk is interested in a niche market. He sees his company as a major disruptive force, changing a very old industry. Therefore I think that case has probably already been rejected by Elon Musk. I know 4 people that work for him, 3 at Tesla and one at Spacex, and I don't have any inside information. I do have insight into Musk's leadership style and I don't think he would lead the company in that direction. The conversion business does not scale up like the manufacturing business. Besides, Tesla is sitting on a manufacturing plant that is probably 25% occupied. That capacity scales up pretty well for the future projects they plan on manufacturing. There are plenty of people ready to enter that niche market but Elon Musk has a bigger vision than that.
     
  10. fjavifp

    fjavifp Member

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    Hi Ampster,
    To be honest I don't know what to think... I somehow agree that it is not for the current TESLA Motors to do conversions, but without having done any numbers, I am not so sure as to the size of the niche market such conversions would represent, in order to know if it could merit focused attention by TESLA...

    I also think we have significantly different perspectives... when I think conversions I'm thinking about two types of cars or markets: classic cars and emerging economies, whilst I think you think "only" about North America and other developed economies... please correct me if I'm wrong.

    For classics I admit it is very niche worldwide, and I would guess demand would be really low as I expect people would want to stick to their gasoline drinking engines. But I do see high potential for emerging markets (China, India, Brasil...) in which the majority of people cannot afford Model S, nor will they able to afford GenIII. They could however go for a conversion of their existing cars if technically and economically feasible, contributing to the change towards electrification, and not feeling left out.

    As to whether this would mean a shift in company direction, or a change in Elon's management style... I don't know, what I don't think so... to me it could simply mean a new division within the company dealing with such conversions (like I would also envisage a Recreational and Utilities Division...), and I think conversions would indeed significantly scale up for years to come until EVs become mature and affordable to the mass public... but I admit I'm only guessing...

    Regards
     
  11. mitch672

    mitch672 Active Member

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    I'd say there's less than zero chance of Tesla getting into the conversion business.
    Elons stated goals are to accelerate the switch to EVs.
    They can best do that by delivering a mass market lower cost vehicle, that's coming in Gen3
    Conversions are notoriously labor intensive and one of a kind, the exact opposite of the desired outcome.
    There are plenty of conversion shops around to handle the few people willing to pay for a conversion
    (Which will likely cost more than the Gen3 vehicle)
     
  12. Ampster

    Ampster Member

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    As you said in your initial post, "everything is possible", but as most of the opinions in this thread suggest, it is not likely.

    I have been to a number of developing countries and the conversion of bikes and mopeds to electric is more likely there, but not for Tesla.
     
  13. fjavifp

    fjavifp Member

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    Hi mitch672,
    I obviously cannot argue about the chances of TESLA getting into the conversions business - I simply have no idea...

    That said, I hope you are right in saying that GenIII will be a mass market vehicle... if I remember correctly I think I heard say GenIII will compete against BMW 3 Series, Audi A4, and the like, and to me these are only just mass market cars for developed countries, but far from it in the developing world where, we will all agree, there's huge business to be made...

    I also don't know how labour intensive conversions would be, but obviously the idea would be for it to be easily done and not at all one of a kind by standardising the kit to fit for must (or a selection of) front-engine front-wheel drive. Of course it should also be significantly cheaper than GenIII for it to make sense, so as you see, I am really out on a limb...

    Regards
     
  14. mitch672

    mitch672 Active Member

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    #14 mitch672, Jul 31, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2013
    If you haven't seen how difficult and time consuming performing an EV conversion to a former ICE vehicle, I suggest you watch some of the videos from Jack Ricard at EVTV: EVTV Motor Verks | Electric Car Conversion Videos

    Each conversion is unique for each vehicle, including mounting the motor (fabricating motor mounts), the adapter plate to connect the motor to the transmission, fabricating battery boxes (and fitting them in). It's all custom, and different for each vehicle, that's why no such "kit" can be created.. There would have to be hundreds of kits, each customized to a particular vehicle and model year. In short, it would be a massive waste of Teslas resources to get involved in this in any way. They need to become a mass market manufacturer, not a custom one-of kit producer. As I've said, there is no lack of small mom and pop conversion shops who do this work, there are plenty of EV components already in the market, there is no need (or financial payoff/motivation) for Tesla to be involved in any way.

    As a stockholder (and Model S owner), if they where to get involved in this now, I would immediately sell all of my TSLA shares, as there would be zero chance if them ever producing a profit. Bringing the Gen 3 vehicle to market at the lowest possible cost (and as quickly as possible) is their focus for the foreseeable future (along with producing as many Model S's as they can sell currently as well)
     
  15. fjavifp

    fjavifp Member

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    Hi mitch672,

    And thanks for the link to the conversions videos.
    I am sorry I don't agree with your analysis, and the conclusion youderive from it by which you would go as far as selling your TESLA stock...

    I never said nor implied TESLA should move away from their current focus to car manufacturing. I only argue the case that, if they are to reach as wide a market as possible, versus US, EU, China and others high-end segment, it would be worth considering making EV technology accessible to as wide a public as possible, and hence the idea of standardised -economic conversion kits for those who cannot afford current or near-future models...

    Just consider the top ten selling cars in the world for 2012, and imagine the potential market, say in 5 years time, when all these people may be considering buying a new car, wishing it were electrical, and not being able to afford the Roadster, Model S, Model X nor GenIII:
    AllModel2012
    1Toyota Corolla1,097,132
    2Ford Focus1,036,683
    3Hyundai Elantra829,192
    4Toyota Camry797,466
    5Ford F-Series785,028
    6Chevrolet Cruze784,014
    7VW Passat/Magotan782,694
    8Nissan Tiida/Versa/Sunny774,846
    9VW Golf750,466
    10Ford Fiesta742,037
    I for one if I had bought last year a Ford Focus, and were to buy a new car in 2018, I would likely prefer spending xk$ in a conversion, than 2xk$ in another Focus, or 3xk$ in a GenIII (primarily because I will most likely not be able to afford the 3x...). Like me, I'm guessing many tens of thousands around the world, so I would not worry too much about your shares' benefits...

    Regards.
     
  16. mitch672

    mitch672 Active Member

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    Can't say it any clearer to you "not going to happen", wish all you'd like, Tesla has clearly defined goals & strategy, and conversions are not among them. It's simpler, and less expensive to put all of those old cars through the crusher, and use the raw materials to build new EVs, and that's what is eventually going to happen, as the conversion from ICE vehicles to EVs accelerates. No company is going to want the warranty liability, and the ongoing support for a bunch of bastard conversions. Those are the hard facts and truth, regardless of what you believe or desire. Those who can't afford new EVs will be able to afford the last generation of well used EVs, such as older 2010 and on Nissan Leafs, Chevy Volts, Toyota RAV4EVs, Renault Fluences and Twizzys, etc.
     
  17. fjavifp

    fjavifp Member

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    Seems someone forgot to take their medicine this morning... you should really take it easy, after all, we are only exchanging ideas here, and there's no need to get all excited
    I don't wish it or desire it, I make my point like you make yours (well, no, not really like you...)
    Regards
     
  18. mitch672

    mitch672 Active Member

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    I'm all done making my point, you sir do not listen and comprehend very well.
    you just don't get that a new vehicle manufacturer wants nothing to do with converting other manufacturers older vehicles, and however many times I tell you this, you still won't comprehend that.
     
  19. fjavifp

    fjavifp Member

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    Likewise.
    I do listen/read and comprehend very well, I just don't necessarily agree with what you say nor appreciate how you say it.
    That said, I respect your opinion "regardless what you believe or desire".

    Regards.
     
  20. Ampster

    Ampster Member

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    #20 Ampster, Jul 31, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2013
    As you said in your original post everything is possible. However, based on the opinions expressed here your idea got no traction in this forum. I have a lot of respect for the opinions of the experienced people here. You admit that you have no experience but persist in your argument. Prove them wrong, write a letter to Elon Musk and tell him about your vision.
     

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