Skip to comments.Tesla Reaches 20,000 Unit Production Rate Annually for Model S [car uses 100% electricity - no gas]]
Posted on 02/04/2013 11:41:37 PM PST by grundle
Big Milestone Tesla keeps proving the skeptics wrong. For years we've heard all kinds of arguments explaining why they couldn't possibly succeed, and why they wouldn't deliver what they promised, how the auto industry was too hard to break into, etc. From the first promo pics of the Tesla Roadster in July 2006 to now, every time Tesla hits a new milestone, the naysayers go something like: "Well, they did this thing, but they won't get to this next thing." So I'll be curious to see what they'll come up with now that its been revealed that Tesla's factory has now reached its goal of producing Model S electric sedans at a rate of 20,000 a year, or 400 a week.
This is a big deal because economies of scale; that is, the more you make of something, the less it costs you per unit because you can amortize your fixed costs over more products and you have more bargaining power with your suppliers. This is a big part of Tesla's strategy. It'll also help clear their backlog of orders, which have piled up to around 13,000-15,000, and promise faster deliveries to new customers (some people might be deciding against the Model S because of the long waiting lists).
Another change is that so far, Tesla has only been making the more expensive top-of-the-line 85kWh model. It will now have the production capacity to start making 60kWh models too, filling some of those orders.
The company is also working hard on the Model X release, which should happen in mid to late 2014. Automotive News reports:
The Model X development is undergoing the transformation from the functional initial prototype that was unveiled last year to a production-ready prototype. The company will be making final decisions on the interior and exterior dimensions of the car in the first quarter of 2013, Musk said in an interview.
A key part of the Model X will be its dual-motor all-wheel drive system, which Musk predicted would give the crossover "the best road handling of any car in the world."
And after that the next step will be a new model based on a third platform, closer in size to a BMW 3 and with a price around 30,000-35,000. This should be released in 3-4 years, and could be a major breakthrough for electric cars in my opinion, especially if the Supercharger network of fast-charging stations that provide free power grows all around the country and the world.
Do you have $60-80,000 to pay for an electric car? The Nissan Leaf, backed up by a major multinational company, is only about $19,000.
How does the Nissan Leaf compare with the Tesla—performance cost of charging, speed of charging, range, etc? Depending on the answers in 3 or 4 years I might find $35K interesting.
There's the answer! Free Power! Along with Free Housing, Free Food, and Free Medical Care, we'll be All Set. Well, with Free TV and Free Internet, of course.
Free power? Perhaps it is free if you pay for it years in advance, when you buy the car. Even then it's not likely to be free. Even if the raw power is somehow free, the maintenance of the network isn't.
EVs are good vehicles for a very rich country where citizens don't have even a single worry in their lives and who can easily pay $30-40K for a car. I don't know where such a country might be located; I suspect it's not in this Universe. The USA is mired in one recession after another, jobs are disappearing, taxes are rising - and these guys pop up and offer a car that not every millionaire can afford. A car that doesn't have any advantage over the gasoline car at this time.
The customer benefits from buying an EV as late as possible because the technology is bound to improve; and perhaps within a few years we may get a usable EV that is not as hobbled as today's EVs. But today there isn't anything on the EV market that would make sense to buy. There are EVs, and you can buy one or two, but it would be simply an act of charity toward inventors and businessmen who work on EVs.
The market of EVs will rise only when a common man can run the numbers and say "yes, this will save me money right now." Sell those EVs today for $10K and they will be gladly bought, with all their problems, because the price would match the value. Today's EVs are short range, city cars, you use them if your daily mileage is 20-30 miles at most. However they cost so much that you cannot cover enough miles in any reasonable time to realize the savings on gas. If you start driving them far then you will lose too much time charging them every 100 miles (if you can find a charger, that is.) EVs today are specialty cars, for a very narrow niche - and they are a poor fit even there.
I understand that without someone working on EVs we will never get one. However we don't practice jumping just because we want to visit the Moon. You make a simple calculation on the back of the envelope and discover that jumping will not work. The same should apply to EVs. You calculate what a battery can do, you calculate what it will cost, and you then stop right there and say to yourself: "Self, this is a ridiculous price. Hardly anyone will buy. Why don't you do something else until the situation changes?" But no, they went ahead, built cars, and now wonder how to sell them. That's a thought that should have visited them far earlier.
No such thing.
The Leaf is $39,000, not $19,000. That’s almost Volt territory, without having a Gasoline Engine just in case.
I think I’d rather get a “free” Hoveround from Medicare, if I was on Medicare of course.
No matter what the cost on these things the fact is they are status symbols.
The lower end market of electric vehicles is for people who already have cars but are looking for a status symbol.
At the higher end of the market, where you find Tesla and Fisker, you find more exclusivity and flashing the car “You can’t have, cuz you can’t even afford the price tag”.
Still, I was at the grocery store on Friday and a Tesla snuck up on me. Mind you, I’ve sat in both vehicles, which have showrooms at our local mall and was impressed with how luxurious and feature rich these vehicle contain.
If I didn’t like fast cars I could take anywhere I’d get a Tesla or Fisker myself.
But, I didn’t hear that Tesla sneak up on me....at all.
Quiet at a church mouse...
The back of the envelope calcs for current EV technology is you use extremely rare and therefore expensive materials to save using plentiful and cheap ones.
The math won’t work unless the two sides are reversed.
Not even close. I’ve been in the Leaf, Tesla and Fiskar.
If I had loot to blow on something I didn’t care about, I’d get a Tesla or Fiskar.
If I lived in the Magic Kingdom or the World of Make-Believe I might be interested in one of these.
This is shocking news!
Free is when you don’t have to pay for nothing or do nothing.
Not just that, but the charging capacity degrades much faster than an engine would wear out.
That must have been pretty cool seeing it go up and down the isles.
There ain't no such thing as "free power", unless you're talking about using one of these...
Tesla makes nice looking cars. The Leaf is about as attractive as a painted turd.
Bull...it’s coal powered...
A few cars after 465 Million in US government loans. A rolling Solyndra, thats all it is.
Kudos to Tesla for making an electric car that actually looks like a car ... not another egg on wheels. Now if only they could make it affordable.
If they actually had a marketable idea that was worthy of bringing to the market, why couldn’t they find investors outside the political realm.
Theres a reason that they had to go to the government for the cash.
Yeah, I think we all see the flaw here.
I actually drove their 1st test car at an investment conference 6 years ago.
I was walking toward the front door of the conference and this thing goes flying past me, with a high wirrhh and I got this huge grin on my face.
I thought “That is one kewel go-kart”.
So I walk up to this guy, who had the same grin on his face and asked if he knew what the heck that was and if it was some promotion gimmick for the conference.
He laughed and went into this business pitch about how it was the future...
I said “Yeah? Go Karts?”.
He laughed and introduced himself. I was talking to Elon Musk!
Didn’t know who he was but he offered me a test drive.
I’m like “Hell yeah, I want to drive it”.
This thing was zipping by at an incredible speed and when I learned it was all electric I thought “Kewel gimmick”.
So I sat in this electric Formula One and slapped the Go Pedal to metal. Scared the begesus out of me.
Still, I walked away with a huge grin but, still thinking “Ain’t no one gonna buy this POS”.
So, I’m looking at some companies to invest in and he finds me. Strikes up conversation and with great confidence and in business terms talks up the future of his offering.
Yeah, he’s going to start the market with a high end offering and he’s telling me all these details of what the car will offer in amenities and who his initial target market is.
Wants to know if I know any first movers, who acquirer wiz bang crap.
I tell him “Sure. My friend Woz will probably find this very interesting”.
Asks if I would introduce him.
Told him who to contact and next thing I know Woz pings me that it’s a totally kewel innovation, thanking me for putting them in contact.
Sure enough, Woz is getting one, when it comes available.
He’s a dork, interested in all things exclusive that are innovative.
I had spent a day beating up one of his Segway’s at his girlfriend’s and felt “That’s great. He’s actually interested in this dumb thing”.
Turns out, it’s a great car.
I have at three friends who have one or will be getting one.
I’ll have a chance to ride in one next month, when I visit a friend in LA.
They have private jet money and this thing is going to be their kicking around town car, when they are in LA.
Looking forward to giving it a whirl and will post my experience afterwards.
Dream on knucklehead.
“EVs are good vehicles for a very rich country where citizens don’t have even a single worry in their lives and who can easily pay $30-40K for a car. I don’t know where such a country might be located.”
Actually Norway likely fits that bill...but we CERTAINLY don’t.
I’ve never understood the almost automatic disapproval many FReepers exhibit regarding electric vehicles or even gas/electric hybrids.
Having some percentage of vehicles on the road relying on a different energy source is a good thing. It’s that much closer to being able to tell the mullahs to kiss off.
It’s a nuclear powered car. Or coal, or hydroelectric.
So, it’s expensive. New tech nearly always is. That will change over time with broader adoption, economies of scale and further advances.
They’ll likely always be more urban but that’s OK by me.
There is no such thing as free electric power. Somebody has to pay for it in the long run. Home owners is my guess. Then there is the bypassing of the gas tax, which eventually will lead to taxing electric cars by the mile.
Thanks for the story. I wish Tesla the best. Elon Musk is a perfect example of how successful African Americans can be in this country.
Uhmmmm...He’s fairly white and Hebrew..
He’s also from South Africa and an American citizen.
forgot about that.
The investment group I belong to is heavily “Heb” and I was focused on that.
You usually don’t have to pay for nothing unless you get your nothing from the government, then everybody pays.
So I’ll be curious to see what they’ll come up with now that
How about, what’s the trade in value when the battery goes dead, and needs replacement.
I heard that there is a 152” plasma TV that sells for $500,000 that is selling very well. And there are companies that sell $50,000 and $100,000 stereos that are doing well. When you have a niche market for a very expensive item, there is always the possibility that there will be enough millionairs and billionairs out there to keep your doors open.
And that is the tesla market, and why this has nothing to do with electric cars, but with the concept of unique, expensive items having a market in the limited number of rich people. Kinda like cars were before Henry Ford applied the assembly line to their manufacture.
Electrical power is cheap. You can produce lots of power by simply discharging a capacitor into a very low resistance. It's electrical energy thats expensive.
I think it's because electric cars are being purchased with our tax money.
Personally, I think a hybrid gas/electric car makes a lot of sense. Trouble is, batteries still suck. I'm still wondering why there isn't a diesel/electric hybrid out there, other than locamotives. From what I understand the watermelons (green on the outside, red on the inside) disdain diesel, because it's not "clean". I would think it would make a lot of sense to set up a diesel engine as your generator, because they will run nearly forever.
So, its expensive. New tech nearly always is. That will change over time with broader adoption, economies of scale and further advances.
Yeah, think radio-telephones and their growth over 50 years. At one time, the unit was thousands of dollars plus obscene air-time costs, so you had to justify the purchase and the use of the service with the money you save being in contact. I remember one radio reporter who justified the expense by the number of news scoops he picked up because his station could let him know now of a breaking event, rather than the next time he checked in. Newspaper reports in that town hated him.
Now radio-telephones (you know them better as cell phones now) are so cheap the government is giving them away.
You nailed it, that's exactly my feelings.
The taxpayers have subsidized companies to design, build and sell not only the finished product but the companies that supply parts for them.
On top of that taxpayers subsidize charging stations and cites, counties, states and the federal government to buy these overpriced vehicles for their fleets.
Let the companies build a product that people will buy with their own money and get tax dollars out of the equation, that's capitalism and that's how this country is supposed to operate.
It is affordable, at least as much so as the equivilent size/performance BMW or Merc.
If you've got the high 6 figures to spend on a luxury performance vehicle a Tesla S costs about the same as a liquid hydrocarbon powered car. There might be the battery replacement down the road, but lower running costs until then pay for that.
Where EV vehicle economics fall down is at the level of the ordinary mass market car.
Nissan declared yesterday that they are abandoning any further R & D & production on electric/battery cars.
Too expensive...too short a range...too long a recharge...and other factors.
I have at three friends who have one or will be getting one.
I saw one pulling into a Financial District parking garage here in Boston a few weeks ago. GORGEOUS lines on that thing. At first glance I mistook it for a Porsche Pan American, but then I did a double-take and realized the rear wasn't as boxy. Wow.
And it made virtually no noise whatsoever, either.
I’m not talking about Mercedes or BMW price .... I drive a Mazda 6. I want to see something other than an egg in a more affordable price range.
There axtually is at least one diesel/electric hybrid car but not in the US. I’ve had it explained to me that diesel is costly, hybrid electric is coatly and so the combination of the two is economically unfeasible as far as the market. While the cost issue is true, there is atleast one as I mentioned. We get short shrift on diesel passenger vehicles and small trucks. Why, I’m not certain but some have said it pertains to refinery infrastructure limiting the amount of diesel fuel that can be made available.
I don’t automatically accept anyone’s rationale. The “green” agenda is clearly a crock that cannot exist outside govenment subsidy and penalizing alternatives. That does not mean, however, that every single thing promoted as being “green” is bad. I don’t care about carbon emissions. I do care about cars, and there are some pretty cool ones that just happen to be electric. For example, Fisker and Tesla.
Wonder what sort of subsidy they received early on? The FCC certainly rearranged the broadcast and communications spectrum to accomodate it.
Are you kidding?
Ya seen the price of a new Porsche, a new Corvette..a Humvee etc, etc? And they take gasoline at 4+ dollars per gallon..
And in a 1/4 mile, the Tesla eats them alive.