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Model E concept in 2014?

Hey guys,
Since 2012 Elon has been saying Tesla will have an "affordable" car available in "three to four years."
Problem is that if that were true that should have meant a 2016 release for Model E. If he keeps saying "3-4 years" in 2014 then we are talking about a 2017/18 release at best.
At some point you have to show a concept and put some real resources into actually designing/building/testing and prepping the factory for mass production of Model E.

If we don't see some concrete action on this front in 2014 I am afraid Elon may have been a bit ahead of himself as to when a truly affordable EV will be available from Tesla and we will be looking towards the end of the decade for Model E, which would be disappointing.

Here's to seeing something of substance from Tesla in 2014 on the Model E!

p.s. I understand they are super busy and have their hands full with Model S and X production but a concept shouldn't be too hard to keep our hopes up in 2014!

Cheers!

One the Q2 earnings call, Elon noted a majority of resources were being shifted to the X - I don't think you will see anything on the E until the X is well on its way to production.

O

The FORD Focus is pretty close with liquid cooling and nice lines. It hard to match a Tesla but the Focus is available now and very affordable. Some might like the look of the LEAF so there are a few choices until Tesla rolls out another great vehicle with the Gen III.

Not that it matters but the originally called it the Tesla C. Then they just registered the name Tesla E so everyone thinks that is the name. I think the E name is for the Roadster 2 that will be like a Jag xkE and we know Elon loves the looks of a Jaguar just not the unreliable expensive drive train. We will see in 1 while.

I agree that we won't see anything for a while on the, as I prefer to call it, Gen III. At least until Tesla tells us what they are going to call it, it's the Gen III.

Cheers!

Concept and concrete don't mix well in most cases. He could have a concept drawn and built very quickly but to what end? Give it a while, be patient, it will be worth the wait. He delivered the S and now the X is coming on, whatever is next he will want it to be special also, special takes time. I'm personally looking for the new roadster, I would really like to see a Tesla Supercar to compete with anything on the road today. A truck would be cool also.

If its any indication of timeframe, Model X debut was Feb of 2012. Beta cars will begin in Fall of 2014, regular production in winter 2014, but most likely spring of 2015. So three years from debut to production.
Lets assume a Model E 2014 debut, that might lead to a 2017 production.
Hey, that's my guess.

The biggest danger to the model E is if the Nissan Leaf finds away to raise capacity of their battery cells to a 150 miles of range or more at existing Leaf Prices which could really rewrite the game rules for Tesla.

The same can ring true for Tesla finding a way to raise capacity of their battery cells to 400 miles of range or more at existing Model E prices. Do you see the number correlation here?
If Nissan could, so could Tesla, not to mention the cost per kwh advantage that Tesla has over virtually all other EV manufacturers. So even if Nissan really wanted to, they would have a much larger gap to fill to even begin to catch up to Tesla. And finally, the Model E will look nothing like any current competitor EV offerings. Elon has stated that in order for EVs to appeal to the general public, the cars have to look like any other car on the road to avoid scaring away potential buyers. Until the others stop making their EVs look like early 90's hatchbacks pressurized with 300psi of air, about to burst, the word competition should not even be used when comparing them to Tesla.

In a talk to Model S reservation holders in Munich last night, Elon said there would be a clay model 'Gen III' revealed in the summer of 2014 and a prototype revealed in Jan 2015. A range of 300 Km.

More range "optional". = bigger battery.

Until the Leaf has much better performance to go along with a decent range I'll wait for the Model E, TYVM.

Also the Leaf is tiny; I want some room for my 35+ large.

That's quite a shoe size.

To me Leaf doesn't look tiny. Haven't been in it though, one Volvo that looked kind of large outside had really cramped interior, so I guess it is possible that Leaf interior is tiny.

The big Karma is classified as a sub-compact because its interior is so cramped. Mostly to accommodate the V6.

Since Model S is planned to be "updated" and redesigned within 3-4 yrs from now..

How about this scenario :

The current Model S is re-packaged to become Model E --> with 199 mile range.

The "new" 2016 Model S with new look, will have the auto-pilot feature and other new quirks.

stephan;
That's a mid-model update, not a redesign. That will be another 3-4 years on.

Brian,

The Karma has an I4 not a V6. ;-)

http://www.vl-automotive.com/ has gas-version of Karma called VL Destino. Much better that way. V8 without battery or electric engine/generator combo.

gone;
Yeah, I forgot; a 2l 4cylinder. Whatta kluge!

I understand that a clay modeling of the Model E should be made public this summer but I wondered if anyone had any opinions about the rendering made by Theophilus Chin: http://www.autoevolution.com/news/tesla-model-e-rendered-76721.html

Looks like Skoda. Not going to look like that.

It's not just the range that makes the Tesla infinitely more desirable than the Leaf, it is also the charge time. A Tesla can be half charged in 20 minutes at one of their Superchargers. Even if the Leaf did substantially increase their mileage, it still takes hours to charge it.

Not to mention that the leaf is butt ugly!!

They key enabling technologies for the BEV are:
1. Battery - Tesla is playing for keeps and most likely has improved on the NCA Li-ion tech. Then they will scale the manufacturing with capacity more than the rest of the world! Who is even close in making this kind of commitment? For Nissan, the Leaf BEV is just a side bet. Their pouch/pack and chemistry tech has proved to be inferior. It is like AMD trying to compete with Intel giant semi fabs.

2. Charging tech and network - Tesla has the tech that has proved to work with rapid charging SCs. Plus it will reach critical density by the end of the year in the US/Canada and Western Europe plus start in China. Nissan, BMW, Mercedes are not even playing in the long range market.

The rest of the stuff like induction motor, etc are impressive, also will take time for competition to replicate. No big barriers to entry. I think that Nissan, BMW shot their wad and came up short. Mercedes, Toyota, Honda are betting on Hydrogen fuel cells which have no infrastructure and not energy efficient. GM, F are just playing around... their primary interest are profitable gas guzzlers - look around!

The critical point is when the KW-hr/kg and $/KW-hr reach the mass market points for Tesla. By then, SC networks will be deployed in the US, Canada, Western/Central Europe, Greater China, Japan. I think that the ICE auto industry will be caught with their pants down.

Just like the DVD rental industry got caught by Netflix and other video streaming. Or what Apple and later Android/Google did to Blackberry, Nokia, Motorola. They key enabler was the microprocessor tech, memory density and display.

Tesla is really going to have its hands full producing enough Teslas when affordable models are available. They are having trouble building enough $100K cars!

There is no way they can make enough compelling GenIII/Es. We are talking long delivery times, speculators and all that. And there will be issues with the charging infrastructure.

What if:

Tesla decided not to produce vehicles and instead simply supplied turn-key electromotive systems to other manufacturers.

There would be enormous advantages for both Tesla and the other manufacturers, I think unbeatable ones actually.

And then Tesla/SolarCity could also profitably Supercharge all of these vehicles around the world and become the Chevron of Electrons.

The term "world domination" is pretty close to it. And E.Musk accomplishes his goal of electrifying the transportation system and moves on to other things.

carlgo: Yes, Tesla could follow the Microsoft/Intel model and supply the battery packs, drive train, power electronics, SC network, etc. However, every manufacturer would have their own requirements. Quality control would be an issue too. Elon Musk, like Steve Jobs is too much of a perfectionist to go for this kind of model.

Tesla could have outsourced just about everything from induction motors, step down gears, power electronics, and even the body. It would have been a disaster like the Dreamliner with delays, logistics, poor quality, etc.

Instead, the market is giving Tesla hi valuation at $23B. Nearly $6B if the shares are short. Tesla could raise $2.5B with minimal dilution. They could use $500 to start the battery gigafactory. Model S, X production could be increased to 100,000 autos, with another $500M is incremental investment to what they have already done. The company would still have $1.5B to deploy for Model E manufacturing. A few crumbs to continue expanding the SC network.

They key is the the battery tech. What I see failures like A123, Envia, etc and Tesla success, it is obvious that Elon knows what he is doing. I own a 85P/Pano loaded. I had already test drive an SigP, but I was still skeptical when I got my car in July-2013. However, I am impressed by the precision of the drive train, steering, electronics, body work. It is version 1.0 of their production car!

I think that Tesla has sustainable competitive advantages that will enable them to become major auto manufacturers and quite likely disrupt the ICE auto industry.

I'm curious what auto manufacturers Tesla will spank and put out of business in the next 5 to 10 years. Porsche and Maserati on the overpriced toy end. Who else? Would be okay with me if one or two of the Big 3 go bye bye.

Who buys a Dodge?

@TSLAholic
"Until the others stop making their EVs look like early 90's hatchbacks pressurized with 300psi of air, about to burst, the word competition should not even be used when comparing them to Tesla."

A naive view of the low-end market!

"Even if the Leaf did substantially increase their mileage, it still takes hours to charge it."

Actually it can be fully charged in 40 minutes. Typical Leaf drivers quickly recharge
their cars in 10-15 minutes for a quick additional 30-35 miles for city trips.

@Bubba2000

"For Nissan, the Leaf BEV is just a side bet. Their pouch/pack and chemistry tech has proved to be inferior. It is like AMD trying to compete with Intel giant semi fabs."

Really? Your comparison is backward, I.e. Nissan has the 'deeper pockets'.

" I think that Nissan, BMW shot their wad and came up short."

Please! And you know their target market better than they, right?

"I think that Tesla has sustainable competitive advantages"

Like what?

"that will enable them to become major auto manufacturers and quite likely disrupt the ICE auto industry."

Dream on!

lorenfb;

"it takes hours to charge" for long range road trip. There are no SC:s for Leaf which is ENORMOUS disadvantage.

Bubba2000 is talking about battery tech with "pouch/pack", not money.

"I think that Tesla has sustainable competitive advantages"
Like what?

That's easy: Actually practical long range cars.

Tesla has no real competition right now. Every other BEV manufacturer makes city cars.

Could always go back to calling it the Bluestar.

I'd consider electric cars from other manufacturers, but they are even further away than the Bluestar. Tesla is the only company building real infrastructure to support their cars. I personally can't buy a BEV until that infrastructure is in place. In my opinion, Tesla now has a HUGE advantage even though the Bluestar is still several years away.

That said, I would love to see SOMETHING in 2014 to keep me excited. Otherwise, I might suffer Bluestar fatigue and go buy something like a plug-in Fusion.

Lorenfb,
Nissan, BMW, etc may have more money, but their EVs are nothing but golf carts. They are targetting city driving because they do not have the battery tech.

Capital is not an issue with Tesla. I think they got the right battery chemistry (Li-NCA), optimized format (18650) and packaging. Elon has said newer chemistries could give Model S a 500 mile range but at a higher cost. The gigafactory could bring those costs down. That is the key enabling tech. The markets will be more than happy to raise the capital.

Model S, X have significant potential till Model E is deployed. With the Supercharger network expansion, the value of S, X will increase as range anxiety will not be an issue.,, and demand will go up. With incremental investment of less $1B, Tesla could increase combined production to 100,000 autos/year. For this small number of autos, Panasonic is reopening their shuttered battery factories with minimal incremental investment.

Hi margin features could be added to S, X like smart cruise, anti collision, AWD, etc. The battery pack itself is populated only to 7,000 cells for the 85 KW-hr. They could increase it to 100 KW-hr. All these features can have 50% gross margins or more. Sales could exceed $10B worldwide with net margins of 12-15%. With the Model E growth in front, SC network, etc a PE of 50 is possible.

As I have said before, the market and many investors are underestimating the disruptive potential of Tesla. It is like pricing Microsoft, Intel in 1984 wit the same metrics as IBM, Wang, Digital Equipment Corporation, etc.


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