Electric cars, hybrids, and related vehicles


#461

So did he light up during the call?


#462

I believe what he’s talking about is the fact that the car, as offered, costs too much.

Before you write that off as a stupid self-obvious statement, here is some elaboration: the car was originally promised as a $35k base model, with higher-priced versions. As they have rolled out the car, though, they’ve started at the top end (extra-range models, dual-battery models, etc). These are the $45 and $50k models. They have still not delivered on the initial promise of a $35k base model. I am pretty sure that’s what they are working toward, and as Elon says, once they can deliver that model they will have a ton more demand.

I signed up for that model when the car was first announced but I’ve since gotten my deposit back when it became clear they were focusing on the $50k models etc.

I know they’re working on getting the manufacturing costs down so they can offer a $35k car and still make a profit. I have no idea if they can get there though.


#463

As I understand it, in the auto biz, the higher priced cars have higher margins–you make more selling Audis than VWs, on a per-car basis. You make money on lower priced cars through massive volume (which I’m sure results in massive service department use, where dealers make their money as well). Getting to the point where you can sell large numbers of lower-priced cars at a profit, though, seems to be the sticking point. Established car companies are further along the curve in terms of the up-front investment necessary to make inexpensive cars at a profit (R&D, production, distribution, support, marketing, etc.) than a company like Tesla.

It kind of makes sense that Tesla would start at the top end, where the margins are higher, and use the profits to bankroll the ability to make money on lower priced models. The problems that Tesla has had stem from, among other things I think, their messaging, because they emphasized the affordability angle long before they could deliver on it, and their efficiency/process, which so far has not seemed terribly scalable from low-volume high-end cars to high-volume low-end cars.

The autonomy stuff is a mixed bag in terms of their positioning I think. There are certainly those who respond favorably to the idea of super high-tech semi-autonomous cars, but there are others who rightly point out the gap between the implied claims and the real-world performance.

Anecdotally, I have heard mixed things about or from Tesla owners. A lot of them seem to be engineers or people with an engineering bent or mindset, for whom the tech in these cars is a positive draw and who think of them more as engineering experiments and cutting-edge technology, and don’t necessarily think of their Teslas the same way they would another type of car. Others are folks who were drawn in by the promises of performance, efficiency, and hyper-modernity, but who still really want the same level of high-end car experience they were used to from existing luxury brands. The former group seems a lot happier with their cars than the latter.


#464

#465

While it’s true the base model is $35k, when you add the $1k for not-black and $5k for the assisted driving package you’ve already hit $41k so that does seem like a more realistic price for the low end car. Still too high for me though. :(


#466

VW is going to release a pretty interesting model next year.

Cool stuff:
1- Priced as a Golf (probably a mid-upper range golf, though).
2- 600km theoretical range on the higher capacity model (the link shows the lower capacity one). Will probably amount to 300km real highway range at 100km/h which is my sweet spot.
3- They plan to turn up 1m vehicles by 2025. This is a mass market effort.

Sadly I have to change car right now. But I’m going with a VW on a financing plan with return so in 3-4 years time I can shift to this model if it somewhat meets the expectations. Only thing that sucks is that right now charging stations are not too common over here. Hopefully a law that will force big gas stations to install them will pass.


#467

That Neo is a concept; no guarantee what the final version will look like. But, as VAG already has significant investment in EVs, and has been producing e-Golfs and now the Audi e-Tron with some success, yeah, that looks like a good direction to be thinking in.


#468

The outside is a concept, but the car will enter retail in 2020, so I think the exterior of the three models in the line will be somewhat similar to what’s shown?. I really don’t care about the aesthetics, just the performance.

But anyway, it’s a modular EV platform (modular for manufacturers, to reduce costs). I think they have a good shot at being the first truly mainstream EV manufacturers. Certainly they are banking on that more than anybody else but the only-EV manufacturers.


#469

Heh, I care about aesthetics a lot, especially the interior, which is one reason the Teslas leave me cold. But I do think for many the performance/tech specs are key. Though don’t underestimate the appeal of sexy sheet metal (or fiber or whatever it will be) in attracting market share!

I agree that VAG is pretty well positioned to take EVs mass market. They certainly have some non-technical reasons for wanting to push into green tech, given their, um, checkered recent past.


#470

If that’s what they’re calling it then I need to insert the worlds largest rolling eyes Emoji here.


#471

Pretty much the only important point for me with EV is the range, and I’m sorry, but 180 miles on a charge just won’t do. I commute about 90 round trip each day, and charging availability is non-existent around here unless I run a cord from my house.

The 300ish mile version might do, though it still wouldn’t work for out of town stuff. We often drive down to NYC, which is about 3 hours, and this would give us a round trip of that.

Damn but we need a breakthrough in battery tech.


#472

If you don’t go over 60mph on the highway, it looks like there are several Tesla models that go over 300 miles on a charge.

Looks like there’s still a few models that can do it at 65mph, but at 70mph there’s only two models that go over 300, and 75mph or above, there’s none.


#473

Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft, or Volkswagen Inc. I guess it would be in English. Also used as shorthand for Volkswagen auto group, as the corporation includes a ton of brands, including VW cars, Audi, SEAT, ŠKODA, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Porsche, Ducati, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, Scania and MAN.

But yeah, unfortunate. “Phrasing!”


#474

They tend to call themselves VW AG, to be fair.


#475

Probably to avoid what we were talking about! Car forum people are lazy though and love short acronyms, so often the “w” gets lost, at least on the American boards.


#476

SIGH.
Telsa have not ‘lost another CFO’. Its the same guy, deepak, who came back temporarily to cover for the CFO who did leave. Nobody expected him to stay forever, he has been at the company 11 years in total (how many years does the average auto company CFO last?), and probably desperately wants to have some time off with his mega millions. PLUS he is staying on for two months anyway, and will be an advisor after that anyway.

So much bullshit is spread in news headlines about Elon & Tesla its frankly ridiculous.


#477

You can already comfortably do 210 a day in a tesla model S. My S easily does that, and its an old one, and I live in the UK which is colder, and thus you get less range. Plus thats a S85D. A 100D would get that range with a lot of room to spare.
Of course that assumes fairly ‘normal’ driving, not gunning it like a maniac at every stoplight.


#478

I would advise anyone who can’t/won’t home charge to pass on an EV. It’s one of the best things about an EV (never, or very rarely, going to a station). Conversely, it would SUCK if I had to go to a charging station regularly, even if it was once a week or so.


#479

And this is why EVs aren’t becoming more mainstream faster, or at least one reason. Tons of people don’t have detached houses with their own garages for charging points. Lots live where they either have curbside parking, a big lot shared by all the residents, or something similar, none of which allow for reliable or safe charging options right now.


#480

As an EV owner, I’m not going to dispute that. If you can’t charge at home, or some other place your car is regularly at (e.g., work), I would pass. At least in the US, our infrastructure isn’t there, yet.

EVs, at present, definitely aren’t for everyone. They’re mostly for the upper middle class and up, living in an urban/suburban environment.