TMC is an independent, primarily volunteer organization that relies on ad revenue to cover its operating costs. Please consider whitelisting TMC on your ad blocker or making a Paypal contribution here: paypal.me/SupportTMC

Why not mass produce?

Discussion in 'Tesla Motors' started by DDB, Sep 16, 2006.

  1. DDB

    DDB Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2006
    Messages:
    590
    There's so much commotion and anticipation regarding the Roadster, and such a pressing need in our society today, why not have a plant in each state?

    I realize there may be some logistical issues, but I look around Dayton, OH, and I talk to city leaders about Delphi plants that are closing left and right--you better belive there are tax breaks, incentives, and a work force that would love to pitch in... I realize the venture is young, but why not have 50 different spin-offs, or pilot programs, and see what others can do?
     
  2. tonybelding

    tonybelding Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2006
    Messages:
    1,091
    Location:
    Hamilton, Texas
    Who's going to pay for it? With $60 million in finanancing, Tesla Motors have access to Lotus's low-volume facility in England. The last time a new startup car company tried to open and run their own factory, it was Delorean Motor Company. Remember how that ended? I think Tesla's people are canny enough not to repeat that mistake. They want to have their own factory at some point, but they aren't starting there.

    Big car companies like GM, Ford, DaimlerChrysler, Toyota or Honda could open plants mass-producing electric cars. They have the capital, they just don't have the technological vision for the future.

    Also. . . One has to seriously question whether the electric car is ready to be mass-produced for Joe and Jane Sixpack. Right now they are producing an exotic supercar, and a relative handful of buyers are willing to pay a premium for its incredible performance. When you get down to economy cars where miles driven per dollar spent is what really matters -- then the numbers aren't quite there, not at today's Li-ion cell prices.

    There is one way we could see electrics (or plug-in hybrids) reach mass production very soon. That would be if our national leadership -- in practical terms, the President -- declared it a wartime priority. Our country is at war, and if we made a strategic decision from the top to move away from burning gasoline as fuel, we could do it. I've read that GM, after Pearl Harbor, switched their production from cars to tanks and airplanes in less than one year. If they could do that, they certainly could shift to electrics and plug-in hybrids today, but it would require a sense of urgency that nobody in business or government seems to feel yet.
     
  3. david_42

    david_42 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2006
    Messages:
    112
    Location:
    South of Portland, OR
    Money

    In practical terms, mass producing the Roadster will not change the price much. Too many of the parts are labor intensive. Plus, I doubt the battery manufacturers could handle the demand. A 150,000 Roadsters would mean over a billion cells.
     
  4. tonybelding

    tonybelding Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2006
    Messages:
    1,091
    Location:
    Hamilton, Texas
    Right. . . Although, somebody from Tesla admitted having Lotus build the car is also part of the problem. It allowed them to bring the car to market quickly, but it's expensive. I've read that Lotus make an obscene amount of money on each Lotus Elise they sell (which makes sense if you consider a Miata sells for about half as much), and one must presume Lotus will take a hefty cut out of each Tesla Roadster they assemble.

    I've been wondering whether the Roadster will be produced in Tesla's new US factory when it's completed? They are building the factory in anticipation of making "White Star" sedans there, but it would be nice if they could also migrate Roadster production from England to the USA and bring costs down.
     
  5. asdar

    asdar Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2006
    Messages:
    26
    I think money is part of the problem, but I also think they probably wanted to gain some experience while building the roadster.

    When you think what goes in to the manufacture of one car model it's astounding.

    I'm in manufacturing, but I wouldn't have a clue where to start. I'd have no clue what parts are available aftermarket or what patents are active, that you have to redesign around.

    The tooling requirements alone are staggering for a company that's just starting out.

    Even with experienced auto engineers you run into the problem of experience. Most auto engineers deal with one section of the car. They might be on Doors for 10 years, and even then, they might know what tolerances they can design to, but they didn't have a hand in making the tooling that makes those tolerances possible.

    The one sure way to absolutely kill the Tesla roadster is to produce a bad car. A car where the knobs fall off and the doors don't close securely. My estimation of Tesla's business smarts went way up when I heard they outsourced to Lotus. This way they get the chance to see the challenges first hand and develop the experience in manufacturing without the risks.
     

Share This Page