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Ultra-Economy EV

Discussion in 'Future Cars' started by TheTalkingMule, Feb 11, 2016.

  1. TheTalkingMule

    TheTalkingMule Active Member

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    I know we all like the higher-end S and X, but why not release the Model 3 and take the next logical step? At only 20% smaller than the Model S, the 3 will still be massive and have insane(unnecessary) performance levels. Can we think about maximizing efficiency/cost and go with something more the size of a Civic?

    0-60 in......who cares. Slow. Same as a base model Civic.
    One moderate sized motor, rear wheel drive.
    Very simple computer that's mostly for monitoring.
    No over the air anything, you gotta USB/bluetooth your phone in to do updates/communicate.

    The best thing about EVs is their simplicity, why not see how far we can push that? A skateboard with a laptop in it. By the time this came to production appropriate batteries would be ready, you'd only need 150 miles of range and if it's light enough that's a small pack. There are so many things that could be stripped out or made ever so slightly less convenient, shouldn't we be talking about that as the next step? Perhaps they already are, who knows.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Think about the economic impact a vehicle like this would have for a poor family 5-7 years from now. They could easily have cheap solar and if you could give them a battery EV, it would be world-changing for their wealth prospects.
     
  2. CSFTN

    CSFTN Member

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    Is this an actual question, or just thinking out loud? You know what you have posited as a question is in fact the plan? You know the main purpose of the S and X is to create enough revenue to build a $5B + electrical battery plant, far and away the largest battery plant in the world? And the reason to build the largest plant in the world is to push the price of batteries down far enough so that you can sell a battery powered car with a 200 mile + battery for under $40K, and still make a reasonable profit?

    Thats the last 5 years of Tesla in a nutshell.
     
  3. TheTalkingMule

    TheTalkingMule Active Member

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    Yes, I'm familiar with the plan.

    We're a month and a half from Model 3 announcement, lets move to the next one.
     
  4. Bangor Bob

    Bangor Bob Member

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    Like.

    Although they'll probably milk the 3rd-gen platform for a few variants first - CUV, Roadster 2. And at some point there's that pickup truck which they need to do. Pickup trucks need some serious disrupting and are where the profits are for GM and Ford. Doing to them what the Model S and X are doing/going to do to Mercedes/BMW/Audi/Porsche will be a big step for realizing Tesla's mission.
     
    • Like x 1
  5. CHG-ON

    CHG-ON Still in love after all these miles

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    "0-60 in......who cares. Slow. Same as a base model Civic.
    One moderate sized motor, rear wheel drive.
    Very simple computer that's mostly for monitoring.
    No over the air anything, you gotta USB/bluetooth your phone in to do updates/communicate."

    BOOORING! If I wanted that, I would have bought a Leaf-yuk. I bought a Tesla for the exact opposite reason. Realistic range, fantastic performance and nice amenities for my taste.

    But I do get what you are saying. I just think that Tesla should leave that to the mass market guys: lower margins, cutthoat dealer networks, etc. Let them duke that out because they know how to play in that sphere. Tesla belongs in the higher end world with MB, BMW, Audi, etc. Their model shows that pretty clearly.

    The way that they can benefit from that low end market is to be the battery supplier for them. That's where the money will be in that segment for some time.
     
    • Love x 1
  6. S'toon

    S'toon Knows where his towel is

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    #6 S'toon, Feb 11, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2016
    ...Sort of like a lower priced Bolt. :tongue:
     
  7. SmartElectric

    SmartElectric Active Member

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    Try a Smart ED. Very fun to drive for my short city commute (no highway). And then step into the Tesla for the weekend trips. Works for us.
     
  8. Red Sage

    Red Sage The Cybernetic Samurai

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    Because what you suggest is NOT anywhere close to 'the next logical step'. Hyundai already tried that method a bit over 25 years ago with the Excel, a car that was a licensed knockoff of the Mitsubishi Precis. If not for the backing of Hyundai Heavy Industries and the Korean government, they would have gone out of business long, long ago. As it is, it took a couple of decades to overcome the bad taste the Accent left in the mouths of the populace, even though their cars have been increasingly better, and often as good as contemporaries for a good, long while. Tesla Motors does not have a Sugar Daddy with deep pockets to cover such failures, and they don't have a couple of decades to waste working up from the bottom of the industry. Hyundai probably should have started with a direct competitor to Acura, Lexus, and Infiniti back then instead of going after the still nonexistent 'cheap commuter car' market. Most major manufacturers have completely abandoned the sub-$15,000 price point for new cars, and it is likely that by 2020 even more would have abandoned the sub-$20,000 market as well. You want a cheap car, buy a used one.
     
  9. Twiglett

    Twiglett Single pedal driver

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    disagree with this
    Most folks don't want a car that underperforms.
    Its only this way in ICE world because economy means crappy performance.
    BEV don't have to have that disconnect.
    Its for this reason that I don't drive using the ECO button - in a BEV it makes pennies difference.
    Sure you can brag that you can get an extra 10miles per charge or your wH rate is 190wH/mile - but in the end it makes so little difference to the cost of moving around its pointless.
    So if there is no economy reason to deliberately make it slow and boring - why do it?

    Bottom line - the economic cost to me to turning off ECO and instead driving like I stole it is $1.50 a week.
    That could be easily offset if I did most of my charging at the myriad of free charging options in my area.
    I can halve my driving cost by doing that. So a BEV is already an ideal cheap to run car - why hobble it by making it slow?
     
  10. Bangor Bob

    Bangor Bob Member

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    That's an incredibly American-centric view of the auto industry. There are still a couple billion new customers in Asia, Africa and South America who won't be affording a 3-Series equivalent any time soon.
     
  11. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Active Member

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    Tesla's has one car factory, so there's no point trying to make something amazingly cheap at this point. They're looking to max out the factory at this point. Time to push lower is when they're adding capacity.
    Costs still won't be low enough to allow an econobox approach. If you can't truly make it cheap, you're dealing with buyers who'll pay for some frills. It's a common trap for getting economies of scale, and why the gap from the $70k Model S isn't _that_ far away from the $35k target of the Model 3.

    I think that smarts and connectivity will ultimately be a cost saver through lower insurance premiums. Besides, connectivity is important for the utility of the car: you want to be notified when your car is Supercharged, and Tesla wants you to be notified, because they want you out of the stall as soon as possible. Use of data could be limited to automotive functions as a cost-saving exercise, with stuff like streaming offered as an option. But Tesla should be able to negotiate a better deal for data than the one you get yourself, so given the need for built-in connectivity, there's really not much justification for limiting it.

    I do think that the base Model 3 doesn't have to have special performance. I think the i3/Bolt 0-60 in 7s is sufficient, as long as they can actually build to the $35k price or less: the pep of 0-60 in 7s is really there to ensure adequate performance at higher speeds.
     
  12. 1208

    1208 Active Member

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    Tesla M, M for micro.
    21767.jpg
     
  13. TheTalkingMule

    TheTalkingMule Active Member

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    And I guess once the car-making world gets a hold of the Model 3, they can just reverse engineer the thing and we'll let them fight their way to the floor on price. It's just a selfish wish to see the best engineers go through this process rather than the execs at General Motors. I think the price floor for a decent EV in 2022 will be staggeringly low.
     
  14. Twiglett

    Twiglett Single pedal driver

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    I don't think the modern engineers are not really good engineers, just that they are not given a clean sheet to work with. They do not have the opportunity to design everything in the car from scratch. They are encumbered with a culture of working inside the box and inside a large ICE car maker, not in a silicon valley tech company.
     
  15. S'toon

    S'toon Knows where his towel is

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    Agreed.

    I've been thinking that the Bolt would drop in price once the Model 3 comes out. It probably wouldn't be able to compete at the same price point as the 3.
     
  16. Red Sage

    Red Sage The Cybernetic Samurai

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    Dude. It's not about being 'American-centric'... It's about realizing that Tesla Motors has a specific focus today. They must have that focus, because they do NOT have the MONEY or the CAPACITY to address the extreme low cost electric vehicle market. Attempting to do so without those advantages would be FOOLISH at best, and STUPID at worst. They have to do the SMART thing so that they can SURVIVE long enough to do the RIGHT thing. Part of the goal, all along, was to convince those companies that do have money, capacity, resources, and influence to adopt electric vehicle technology in a manner that matters, as opposed to making 100% cost penalty econobox compliance cars in low volume. Even General Motors is still doing 'baby steps' with the Chevrolet BOLT. You aren't likely to see one of those in the Amazon, on the Congo, or traversing Mongolia anytime soon either.
     
  17. Red Sage

    Red Sage The Cybernetic Samurai

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    I agreed with your whole post up to this point. Here the thing is... Stop by the BMW site for a moment:

    BMW 3 Series Sedan Model Overview - BMW North America

    Notice that for the 180 HP 3-Series vehicles, whether gasoline or diesel powered, a 7-second 0-60 MPH ranking is pretty standard. So, with 20 more horsepower, and electric drive, the Chevrolet BOLT will be right in line with them in acceleration. The 240 HP 3-Series each break the 6-second barrier. And the 320 HP 3-Series get below 5-seconds to 60 MPH. I believe the last of these is what the base Model ≡ will, and must target. It must distance itself from all the other cars at its price point.

    I reiterate that you do NOT get significantly improved range by using a low power motor in an electric vehicle. There is no need to use a 150 HP, 180 HP, or 200 HP motor instead of a 300+ HP motor in an electric car that has at least a 60 kWh capacity. The energy reserve is more efficiently used when you tap its potential with a properly matched motor. That is why the Tesla Model S 40 has a greater range than the 400 lbs lighter Toyota RAV4 EV, which also had a Tesla Motors drivetrain, and a slightly higher usable capacity, but only a 154 HP motor.

    Plus, you must keep in mind that high end Fusion (325 HP), Accord (278 HP), Camry (268 HP), and Malibu (250 HP) vehicles do not have wimpy powerplants. The Model ≡ in any configuration, must be immediately impressive. All that costs Tesla Motors is a few more windings of copper wire, and perhaps a handful or two of more battery cells.
     
  18. Model 3

    Model 3 Active Member

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    First, like so many other’s here, I don't believe Tesla will make a car like that. But I kind of like the idea, except the range. There is a lot of small under-performance short-range EV's out there, what's with just one more? I go with everything you said, excerpt it need 200++ EPA range and a way to use the supercharger network (at the moment I don't care about if it is free with the car, a one-time-fee, pay-as-you-go or anything else, just that you may be able to use it). If you get a Civic, don't you expect to be able to go cost-to-cost if you want, or whatever long route that you may want to go? Not in comfort, and not fast, but you can do it. Why should you not bee able to do the same in an EV? I would love to see a car like that :)

    ... but again, it will not be made from Tesla, and is not the next logical step for Tesla, and therefore will probably have to go for ChaDemo or CCS for DC fast-charging.
     
  19. Red Sage

    Red Sage The Cybernetic Samurai

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    Yes. I put these sorts of requests in the same barrel as those that want Tesla Motors to build other types of wimpmobiles. No one asks Ferrari to build a CR-X. No one begs Porsche to build a Dart. What is the fascination with begging Tesla to build a Golf, or Camry replacement? Honda, Dodge, Volkswagen, and Toyota can build their own fully electric analogs of their 'affordable' cars. You know, just as AUDI, BMW, Cadillac, Infiniti, Lexus, Maserati, Mercedes-Benz, and Porsche can build their own fully electric versions of their luxoboat flagship vehicles. There is no need for Tesla to adopt the style and mission of other companies.
     
  20. YBT

    YBT Member

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    OP: the car you have described is not exactly 'compelling' - hardly inline with the philosophy of the brand.

    Rest assured, Mitsubishi et al will make many different versions of this car for you in the years to come.
     

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