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Tesla Bluestar

Does anybody know anything about the car that is supposed to be developed after the Model S? I heard that it is supposed to be their "cheap" car.

Only that it will be a family sedan, about ½ the price of the Mod S, 5-seater, due perhaps in 2016. By that time battery tech may have jumped ahead, so range is pure speculation. Production volume perhaps 5-10X Mod S levels.

That's still smallish compared to the capacity of the majors, but by that time Tesla models should be the acknowledged quality leaders.

Awsome! Where did you get this information? I couldn't find anything on it except on forums and blogs like this.

It was on the old forum, and may have gotten lost in the move to these new forums. I seriously doubt you're gonna get more information on the Bluestar until after the Model S is released, since they haven't STARTED designing the Bluestar yet. The Bluestar is going to be based off the Model S, and you can't design something based on something else UNTIL that something else is actually FINISHED first.

Check out the clay model that appears in the Tesla career video @01:22. Is that the Gen 3?

No, either early model of Model S (pictured from angle) or Model X.

I hope the Bluestar doesn't look too similar to the S. I'm not saying that out of vanity. I just think it will be boring if all of Tesla's cars look sort of the same. I really think it's lame the way that the average person can't spot the difference between a BMW 5-series and 7-series outside of the badge. Even the 3-series looks the same, only shorter.

While I think Bluestar will be a great step, I think people should still be prepared for an expensive car. Tesla keeps saying that it's going to be a $30,000 car in the same way that the S is a $50,000 car. I fully expect well-equipped Bluestar's to cost $50 - 70k.

I'm not saying that's a bad thing. I just hope that someday, Tesla gets to a model that will have similar (or better) range and performance characteristics as an S, but at a price that competes with Camrys and Accords or even down to American cars like Malibus and Impalas and Tauruses.

I think that's when things will get really interesting. That will be when many Americans could start to consider buying an electric car, and then when a healthy selection of these cars enter the used market, then almost every American will be able to consider an electric car.

That's when we'll truly see how viable this sub-industry becomes. That's when we'll see demand for charging infrastructure and innovative, affordable, and easy solutions for people who don't have garages for instance. That's when we'll see all manufacturers start to come out with electric cars. Then I think we'll see tons of innovation.

Think of the innovations Tesla has already achieved, for example, some of the touchscreen controls and diagnostics to physical innovations like the skateboard battery pack and the frunk.

Now imagine that Honda, Toyota, GM, Ford, VW, Hyndia, and even Kia enter the fray. The amount of innovation is going to explode and it's going to be really exciting.

Well, considering that a $60K version of the S carries and costs about the same as a $35K ICE car (according to Teslarumors.com), a $40K Bluestar should have a TCO about the same as a $25K ICE. Not tea bags.

P.S.
Elon sez the Bluestar will be like a smaller S, but steel, not aluminum (cost), weighing about 20-25% less. Battery tech will be the next generation along. TM can't afford to play with radical "skin" designs until it has that 10-fold volume jump established.

While I think Bluestar will be a great step, I think people should still be prepared for an expensive car. Tesla keeps saying that it's going to be a $30,000 car in the same way that the S is a $50,000 car. I fully expect well-equipped Bluestar's to cost $50 - 70k. (olanmills)

I agree (except that I'd guesstimate a range of $40k-$55k, $60k max).

I'm not saying that's a bad thing. I just hope that someday, Tesla gets to a model that will have similar (or better) range and performance characteristics as an S, but at a price that competes with Camrys and Accords or even down to American cars like Malibus and Impalas and Tauruses. (olanmills)

I don't think that's where Tesla is going. IMO Tesla will (and should) carefully maintain their premium brand image. There's a reason why a Smart does not have a Mercedes brand name and logo attached to it, even though it's the same company. I think Tesla will stick to the upscale market, but that's not a problem because they will license and/or build their technology for other brands to use them in their vehicles -- like they already do with Toyota for the RAV4 EV. The RAV4 EV isn't cheap, either, but I can far easier see Toyota build an "E-Camry" with Tesla's drive train, than building Tesla a car that has to make some compromises to appeal to the Camry's price sensitive audience.

That way the electric vehicle revolution will continue to avalanche down to larger market segments, and Tesla will make a profit along the way, but Tesla will never build cheap cars under their own brand name.

VB;
On arithmetic factor to consider is that the lower the sticker price, the higher the fuel share of TCO. So the 5-15X reduction in $/mi. of an EV has a proportionately bigger impact.

Typo: One arithmetic factor...

Brian,

I can't see it being steel. It only makes sense to be aluminium because they already have expertise in that and the more aluminium they purchase the less expensive it is.

If they go with a steel body they'll gain a ton of weight and will have to deal with rust through warranties. They will also have to learn how to work with steel, which will raise costs.

Body panels aluminum, load-bearing structures steel? Thing with steel is that it is way stronger than aluminum, so for load-bearing structures you just need much less of it. That makes it less heavy than direct weight comparison.

jerry;
Tell Elon. He's said steel. There are new high-strength steels that cut the weight penalty considerably.

Cost kills. It's the reason Model S doesn't have Roadster's carbon fibre body.

Volker, good points. It would make a lot of sense if Tesla created a new brand for truly mass market cars, but I still would like to see Tesla designed cars rather than just them providing technology to the big guys. Or at least, if Tesla was to work with someone like Toyota on a mass market EV, I would like Tesla to work closely with them to design an EV from the ground up. The Tesla powered RAV4 is a complete letdown IMO. I want to see Tesla push EV's into the mainstream, both because I think it will make them wildly successful and because it will silence the critics who claim that they're not really improving or changing anything, that they're only "making impractical toys for the 1%".

Brian,

My bad. I missed that particular post/tweet/interview of Elon's where he said that.

olanmills,

I believe that Tesla will have to make their own mass-market cars and be successful at it before any other manufacturer will make more than a short range commuter EV. Until the other manufacturers start to lose sales, there is absolutely no incentive for them to make EVs that compete with their ICE cars--and plenty of disincentives.

jerry;
Agree; the Secret Master Plan is going to have to be pushed thru to the bitter end. Perhaps then the reverse takeover of the hollowed husks of one or a few of the 'majors' will be desirable. Minus the UAW.

If Nissan can make the Nissan LEAF and FORD Focus sell it for $36K w 100 mile range Tesla can easily make a BlueStar 5 passenger EV w 160 mile range for $30K in 3 years. EVen the LEAF and FORD Focus EV will be in the $30-35 price range by then and all battery EVs will have a range of 140 give or take 20.

Aluminum would be expected as they do a lot of it. Better range, more features like V2H Vehicle to Home and of course 240 and Fast Charging. Most likely also the battery could be removed rather quickly for for battery swapping or longer range battery rental on vactions. Tesla hinted at news similar to that maybe be released about the S later in 2012.

I'll order the Tesla as soon as they open on line ordering, even if I haven't seen what it looks like !

I'll order the Tesla as soon as they open on line ordering, even if I haven't seen what it looks like !

I think they will reveal several different versions at the same time like they did for Model S, so you might have to look at what it looks like.

More than just different battery sizes (I think) in case of GenIII "affordable" car. By that time they have the factory figured out and have established good supply chains and standardized their manufacturing methods. It would be easy for them to make multiple versions at once.

The Bluestar really needs to bend the mould. Make it a ford focus size car, maybe a little bigger to acomodate the battery pack. Sell it for $25 000 and Tesla will not only take the market it will force the other manufacturers to seriously use all the battery tech they have now to compete, and i suspect the likes of Toyota and VW and others have the tech but dont want to destroy the sales of their ice cars. But if Tesla released a simple basic car with a 200 mile range for $25 000 not only would they other manufacturers have to jump to attention, but EV cars would be sellign more than ice cars withing a year or two.And with the talk of the new technology coming to cars in the next few years the cost of the batterries could drop by more than a half and have more range. The next 3-5 years is going to be very interesting whatever happens.

$25K is not happening. Pixie dust batteries are not yet available.

Maybe offer "installment plan" (is that the right term?) for battery separately of rest of the car so that you pay what you would pay for gas each month. That should allow under $25k car once we are somewhere in vicinity of $150/kWh.

....installment plan

Sounds similar to the retail Solar City deal: get free solar panels and pay a reduced house electric fee to Solar City by your usual monthly installment payments.

In the case of a bluestar battery, there's no upfront battery payment, (or a small upfront payment say 10%-25%of Tesla's battery cost), and you make monthly payments to Tesla Motors, less than a typical gas payment.

Eventually, used batteries may become available for even lower monthly payments, even less than your usual gas payment.

Hmmm seems we should put that in Tesla's secrets file.

Brian, your job is to go around and say it can't be done for secret coverup.

Timo, shhhshh, keep it quiet or the stock may pop to $600/share faster than a SpaceX rocket can make it to orbit.

For reference use Secret code phrase: "Bluestar Total Cost Of Ownership."

Installment plan will never happen. ;-)

They already lease the Tesla, similar to an installment plan but you get a new updated EV at the end of each lease period, that cost less and goes further.

Consider all the other automakers are trying to move up into Tesla space and Tesla plans to make the smaller less cost version GEN III.

Nissan could jump up with their planned Infiniti, or another platform that is similar and high end. Mercedes with the Smart and B class could jump ahead.

Also Batteries batteries are improving by leaps and bounds. A 200 mile range battery could be available by 2016 for any EV.

I don't see why Tesla can not make this car in the very near future.

The Leaf already goes 124 miles on a charge - how hard would it be for Tesla to go 200 miles with their technology?

I have a feeling that the gen3 will be a long ways away sadly. They are enjoying selling high cost vehicles right now. They even axed the lower cost version of the S.

Next will be an even more expensive SUV (with worse mileage). They are positioning themselves as a BMW/Caddy competitor. Don't expect a low cost model any time soon. Sorry.

I don't know why Nissan just doesn't take two Leaf drive systems (AWD anyone?) and an extended battery pack and make an improved/stretched Leaf already. A 50% larger leaf battery would yield 187.5 miles.

goodori;
completely wrong. The whole point of making MS and MX is to get rich enough to make the Gen III. 10X+ the volume, at half the price and maybe half the margin.

To Volker,
Gruss nach Berlin!

http://www.ted.com/talks/elon_musk_the_mind_behind_tesla_spacex_solarcit...

This is a great video with Elon Musk, founder of Tesla. Watch the video from 4:45 to answer the above question about the "affordable" Tesla which could be available as soon as 2015. The rest of the interview is also great!


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