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Why there can never be a "Tesla Killer" car

Discussion in 'Model X' started by vandacca, Aug 24, 2018.

  1. vandacca

    vandacca ReActive Member

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    Something dawned on me today that I thought was very important in the area of EV competition. I know Elon has said many times that any EV sale is good for Tesla and the planet. While my gut could accept that rationale, until now I could never express why I intrinsically agreed with that opinion.

    For years auto manufactures have released specs for a "Tesla Killer", something that is going to out-compete and out-sell the Model-S or Model-X or Model-3. For example, the Porsche Mission E (Taycan), Jaguar I-Pace, Chevy Bolt, etc.

    It just dawned on me that no such car could ever be built, and here is why.

    Traditionally, people think in myoptic terms and compare some spec(s) of one car to a Tesla and indicate that it is better, so it will out-sell the Tesla. That spec could be price, fit/finish, luxury, market share, brand awareness, range, performance, etc.

    However, the flaw in that view point is not looking in broad terms to the overall market. One needs to step back and look at the big picture. The EV market is still a small fraction of the size of the ICE market. You may get a few people trying to decide between the I-Pace and Model-X, but the vast majority of buyers out there are ICE consumers.

    Therefore, the vast majority of comparisons/decisions will be between a "Tesla Killer" and an ICE vehicle, not an actual Tesla. In fact, if a consumer decides on the "Tesla Killer" purchase (basically an EV), then it opens the door to also looking at a Tesla.

    In other words, for every person that is introduced to a non-Tesla EV, it creates/educates a potentially new EV consumer who may then even consider other EV brands, including Tesla.

    Therefore, any dollar spent by the big automotive companies advertising, designing, building, selling EVs will harm their lucrative ICE sales and potentially bolster Tesla sales in the process.

    This clearly explains why traditional automotive companies drag their feet releasing EVs. Even when they do finally release their EV line, they only release a very limited number of them, and only in small markets. It also explains why dealerships down-sell their EV lines.

    The EV market has been growing at an exponential rate, which is good for Tesla as it will rise with the tide. Even if consumers buy a non-Tesla EV, it will hurt the automotive companies due to loss of an ICE sale, while at the same time validate Tesla's existence and business plan.

    Therefore, anything branded as a "Tesla Killer" will actually end up doing the opposite and promoting/helping the Tesla brand. It's actually a good thing when someone decides to buy a Taycan, I-Pace or Bolt because for every such purchase, there will be a significant number of Teslas sold as well. Not to mention, any EV sale is good for the planet.

    Let's be very supportive of all EV brands, because they are not Tesla's enemy, but rather Tesla's friend (at least until full EV saturation).
     
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  2. Sambas

    Sambas Member

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    Completely agree. The automotive companies will be hemorrhaging money if they build both EV and ICE vehicles. This is maybe why Toyota is staying out of the EV market so they don’t have to advertise against their own profitable cars!
     
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  3. Rockster

    Rockster Active Member

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    Basically, sales of compelling EVs are going to first cannibalize ICE sales, not other EV sales.
     
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  4. jboy210

    jboy210 Supporting Member

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    Definitely. Look how the Model 3 has decimated sales at the low end of BMW, Mercedes and Audi lines. And also impact Toyota Prius and other Asian car makers

    One telling fact is the #1 car traded for Model 3 is a Prius followed by the BMW 3-Series, Honda Accord, Honda Civic, and Nissan Leaf
     
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  5. S4WRXTTCS

    S4WRXTTCS Active Member

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    A slightly different take on it is that with Tesla it's not just the car, but the entire infrastructure.

    The Supercharger network, the service centers, the energy products, and at some point satellite based Internet connectivity. When people compare cars directly they're missing the bigger picture.

    Long term I probably won't be a Tesla customer, but they created an overall EV solution that's really hard to walk away from. Ultimately who I am, and what I want my car to be is at odds with the direction Tesla is going. I love the Model S that I have, but the writing is on the wall with minimization along with whether you really own the car or not.

    I'm probably better suited for a Porsche Taycan. But, like the OP says ultimately what really matters is creating EV customers. So the more EV's on the road the better.
     
  6. Bridor

    Bridor Member

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    I'm all for supporting other car companies, but I would suggest that we boycott Chevrolet until they come out with a decent electric vehicle. I applaud Jaguar for the iPace (I have preordered one). I also like the Hyundai Kona all-electric. I am looking forward to a long range Nissan Leaf Nismo.
     
  7. tpham07

    tpham07 Active Member

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    im not worried about other EVs, the more the better. We need less ICE, period.

    That being said, only a tesla is a true replacement for an ICE car because of superchargers (you can drive anywhere thanks to them).
     
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  8. ⚡️ELECTROMAN⚡️

    ⚡️ELECTROMAN⚡️ Fritterer and waster of hours in an off hand wayer

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    What do you mean by this statement?
     
  9. DCGOO

    DCGOO Member

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    There are many factors, the performance, the charging infrastructure, the range etc. But by far the biggest factor is the DEALERS. The primary reason traditional car dealers sell cars, is for the recurring service revenue. Any effort to reduce the required service will not not be regarded well by the DEALERS. “Bring your car in every 7500 miles so we can charge you to......” There is no maintenance requirement to have your Tesla serviced ever. Why would a traditional dealer ever want to sell one of those?

    There will be no Tesla “killer” until the franchised dealer model of sales and service changes significantly. That change is not limited by technology. I do not see that happening from the traditional manufacturers, for a very long time. It is more likely to come from a company with no existing dealers, somebody like Apple for example.
     
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  10. S4WRXTTCS

    S4WRXTTCS Active Member

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    Man, I really butchered that statement. That was completely unreadable. I guess that's what I get for posting while on lunch at work where I'm in a hurry.

    What I meant is we have a good feeling as to where Tesla is going direction wise with their cars in terms of minimization of internal UI/UX features, and with advancement of self-driving features.

    The two really go together.

    I'm certainly a fan of self-driving features, but I'm still someone that likes driver cars. Cars that are built around the driver with the intention of the experience of driving it.

    I'm also a fan of "pay-as-you-go" model of cars like what Volvo introduced where most everything is in one monthly payment. This makes sense for a lot of people, and the computerization of vehicles. Where you no longer own/maintain a vehicle. You don't have to worry so much about someone crashing into it, or the car becoming obsolete. I feel like Tesla is primed to go this direction because of the vehicles they make. They're also really against user repairability, and this model is a good way to avoid all that.

    For myself I think it's a matter of what balance they strike.

    Self-driving then I'm in regardless. Self-driving will likely necessitate a pay as you go type model where you simply pay a monthly amount.

    Not self driving then I want something driver/ownership centric.

    If Tesla doesn't make much progress with self-driving then I'll likely switch to a Porsche Taycan that's more suited for people who want a drivers car, and for people who want to actually own their car.
     
  11. MXWing

    MXWing Active Member

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    The idea was so intriguing that I modeled the TCO as the first lesson of economics is “there is no free lunch”.

    I verified there is no free lunch in Volvo’s program.

    The structure ensures you are always paying the depreciation of the vehicle.

    I use a subscription model to change my phone yearly but that’s a principle of 800 vs 50,000.
     
  12. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    My TLDR interpretation:
    Any true "Tesla Model S/3/X killer" supports the EV initiative, and thus the mission of Tesla, Inc.

    A "Tesla, Inc. killer" would be something else entirely, yet the media coverage seems to confuse the two concepts.
     
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  13. MXWing

    MXWing Active Member

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    Every additional EV is ammo for the bearish press machine to lash out at Tesla. Keep repeating the same lies over and over and eventually some people believe it.

    Bolt car of the year... as will the iPace, and the Taycan after that. And Tesla’s? Forget car of the year. If they don’t end up last in reliability, it’s a huge win for them.

    They all take share from Tesla!

    They are all free cash flow positive!

    They don’t burn like Tesla’s do!

    Look, the 500 Bolts LG Chemical made doesn’t have panel gaps!

    Until any of them have a frictionless nationalwide charging infrastructure, they are all dead on arrival.

    The press isn’t going to label them DOA. If they were honest they might. At the very least, these are all compromised as limited utility second car status.
     
  14. Darmie

    Darmie Supporting Member

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    Let's not forget the main reason GM crushed the EV-1. For all the talk of such a clean car that the EV-1 was that only verified that GM also made dirty cars. That would have been a PR nightmare. So, any company other then Tesla, needs to tread lightly on the sales of their clean EV.
     
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  15. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Well-Known Member

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    What killed GM and Chrysler?

    It wasn't one vehicle. It was a bunch of different vehicles with which they couldn't compete well.

    It's not because of consideration that there can't be a Tesla killer. It'd be an accumulation of other competition.

    There can't be a Tesla killer car, but there could be a Tesla killer gang.
     
  16. Electricfan

    Electricfan Active Member

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    I disagree. I watch too much youtube though. But anyway, one of the things I watch is all the super new batteries coming down the pike. I firmly believe in 5 yrs there will be a battery for EVs that recharges extremely fast - comparable to a gas car refilling its tank. It may also be safer, cheaper and more energy dense. At that point Tesla will be "killed", if they stick with the chemistry they have now. Hopefully they would have the cash to re-design Tesla batteries and survive, but if not, we'll all be getting rid of our early adopter EVs and getting new ones we can charge anywhere in seconds, just like gas cars can re-fill their tanks anywhere today. Tesla is very much at risk, if they don't stay on the cutting edge of battery tech. I knew I was buying a car that would be obsolete at some point. I hope like crazy its sooner rather than later. And Tesla adapts.
     
  17. S4WRXTTCS

    S4WRXTTCS Active Member

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    The subscription model likely fits Tesla a lot better than Volvo.

    With a Tesla you have a good chunk of the cost of the car being in Software, and in fact Software that's depreciating while not even being available yet. Another large cost is the battery who's lifetime is easily 3X to 4X longer than a huge chunk of people turn there cars in after. Why should I take a large depreciation hit on something that is only marginally better today?

    Then we have the repair times which are INSANE for Tesla. Sure that's a problem that Tesla needs to address, and they're in the process of it. But, as it is today a subscription model would get people into another car the day of the "mishap" versus waiting months for their car back.

    It also fits Tesla because part of the depreciation is going to be the fact that people know they can't repair them. Right now if you have a Tesla that Tesla won't service you have to go find a person named Ingineer.

    The subscription/service type model fits so well to Tesla that it really wouldn't make much sense to me if they didn't pursue it.
     
  18. MXWing

    MXWing Active Member

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    Your monthly payment would be between 3000-3500 per month to change a Tesla once a year.

    Worth it? Someone has to pay the depreciation no matter how you move numbers around.
     
  19. S4WRXTTCS

    S4WRXTTCS Active Member

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    Oh, I'm talking about 2-3 years from now as the self-driving technology starts to evolve. It's also not really the right time now because there are still tax credits, and other incentives in some states.

    I'm also not thinking about it in terms of "Changing a car every X amount of years". I'm thinking more of a modular approach to it where only certain elements got updated/serviced/etc.
     
  20. UCFKnights

    UCFKnights Member

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    And just where are you finding gas stations where you can refill your car in seconds? I admittedly run my truck pretty low as I hate going to gas stations and want to minimize my trips there, but the best I can fill it up in is usually at least 4 minutes, and most stations its at least 5 minutes. And I'm the type who rushes on it, putting the nozzle in the car and picking my fuel grade before it asks me too. I'm not the type who seems like they're learning how to use the nozzle for the first time.

    Infact, one of the really nice things I've noticed with the (for-pay) electric plugin stations is the payment mechanism is always super fast. I can tap my phone, it unlocks the plug within 3 seconds max, plug in my car, and its giving my car juice. I've never been able to get a gas pump to start pumping in under a minute

    I mean seriously, the best you can do at a gas pump is this:
    - swipe card
    - wait 5 second for it to ask you if its credit or debit (perhaps first two items are switched around randomly)
    - wait 5 second for it to ask you to enter a zip code
    - take 5 seconds to enter zip code on crappy keypad
    - wait 10 seconds for it to authorize your card for
    - take 5 seconds asking if you want a car wash
    - take 5 seconds asking if you want a receipt
    - finally ask you to put the pump in the car and select grade
    - take 10 seconds to open the valves and start pumping
    - take at least 3 minutes to pump gas
    - take 10 seconds to put gas pump back, put filler cap on
    - wait 10 seconds for receipt to print

    I'm amazed every time I fill up gas how slow it is to pay for it. The gas stations need to look at the payment system from ChargePoint and similiar EV charging stations. Especially the busy stations where they don't have enough pumps.

    And the biggest benefit of others selling EVs to Tesla is the more EVs on the road, it helps to alleviate the biggest concern, the number of charging stations. If people start seeing charging station at the restaurants they go to, the grocery stores they visit, etc, they won't feel any need to have the range anxiety.

    Even with Tesla's supercharger network, the map is faarrr too sparse to alleviate most people's concerns, because they don't understand charging at home (or possibly can't, in apartments, condos, etc). People need to see the charging stations every block. And stores will only add them when they're getting used.
     
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