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The rapidly changing EV landscape. What does Gen III have to do?

The rapidly changing EV landscape. What does Gen III have to do?

The Fusion Energi last month moved into #2 in EV sales next to the Leaf. In my mind it is the first mass sales EV. No limited range and no need for SC's it's mid sized sedan normal looking give it broad appeal. Basically anyone who likes a Fusion has an EV option. I expect the Fusion Energi to move into #1 ranking and stay there until?
The Fusion is the first mass market EV that anyone can buy with limited understanding or worry about range or looking like a EV.

Audi has announced by 2020 plug in EV option on all models.

When the Gen III is released what is Tesla going to have to do to woo the Auto world? Things are already vastly different than when the game changing MS was released.

The $40k EV is already here of course Tesla will be pure EV but how much will that matter to the masses?

What can Tesla do to make pure EV's more attractive than say Audi's option of Plug in to every model?

Does anyone else see the landscape getting much tougher?

What will the Gen III have to be to stand out? And can it ever stand out like the MS did when it was released as the MS was just so far ahead of all others...

Volleyguy | 7 juli 2014

Red Sage

Interesting point on what is an EV. Of course a pure EV is a Tesla, Leaf or Focus Electric. Often the Volt is thrown in the picture which is a gas generator thrown on a EV. The Fusion Energi, Accord Hybrid and Prius Plug are plug in's.

Now no argument but we so far have driven 70% of our miles in electric so it is hard to call this a electric assisted gas engine when 70% of driving is on EV. In fact we often go days on just electric. In time as soon as we can get the 240v charger which is in a couple weeks to qualify for subsidy from government our driving % will be higher than 70% electric...

To me when you derive over 50% of your energy for driving from the grid it is primarily an EV...

I am just saying when I say we drive an Electric car (which I think of it as) with a gas engine back up people warm up to the concept VERY easily... I love pure EV (and am not going to say again I checked the Tesla website a couple hundred times in the last year waiting for SC's) and just had to go with what was the best we could live with.

I am not trying to rile up but Audi and Mercedes coming out with lots of plug ins. (every model of Audi)
It is just a step and leaves Tesla open to convert the masses to pure EV.

HurricaneFodder | 7 juli 2014

Why are we still talking about a Ford Taurus hybrid on the Model S forums? Maybe I will stop by the Ferrari 458 forums and talk about Pontiac Fieros.

Red Sage ca us | 7 juli 2014

MNGreene wrote, "They simply want a car they like at a price they can afford."

And I simply want them to have a better car they'll like even more at a price they can afford.

Volleyguy wrote, "To me when you [drive] over 50% of your energy for driving from the grid it is primarily an EV..."

OK, gotcha! We just look at the same percentages from opposite ends of the telescope.

;-)

jjs | 7 juli 2014

A little thought experiment.

Let's say they come up with an ICE car that gets 200,000 miles per gallon and it's total carbon footprint throughout it's life, inclusive of manufacture and disposal is less than that of a Tesla?

At that point who really cares what it is called? One has less environment impact. That is good.

Yes, I know that it will not happen. The point is to draw into focus what is important. At least for me.....and I think a few others.

As for why we are still talking about a Ford, we are not, at least I'm not. The OP posed a question regarding the changing automotive landscape and any impact that might have on Gen III.

So to get completely back on topic the answer is, none.

Bighorn | 7 juli 2014
Dr. Bob Reinke | 7 juli 2014

The Fusion Energi is not an EV. It is an ICE with an electric transmission--and a very inefficient transmission at that

Volleyguy | 7 juli 2014

So back to battery of Gen III. Is any Tesla fans here thinking evolution or a revolutionary tech? To keep the Tesla guys happy my wife said tonight she wished the car had a bigger battery. So selling her on a pure EV next time is getting easier as she loves driving electric.

Will it be a scaled down MS battery or something new we do not even know of?
50kw?
Can charging get even faster?

Kleist | 7 juli 2014

My guess is Gen3,will come with 50 and 75 kWh battery with 210 and 265 EPA. Model S will be upgraded to 100 and 125 kWh - you need to keep the pecking order.

I guess they can improve the specific energy density by about 30% and that would limit Gen3 to 75 kWh in order to keep the total weight around 3700 lbs.

Key to Gen3 is to build at the same or lower cost then a BMW 3 series for the base model. That is the holy grail... and all of a sudden you can buy a EV for less money then an ICE. As ICEs will be come more complex (hybrid) to be more efficient on the other hand any small battery advancement will lower the cost for the EV. EV will have fattening profits, while hybrids become unprofitable to buill... this will not be a gradual transition, but happen within only a few years - Gen3 is the spark.

Design, acceleration, supercharging, etc are just tools to take as many excuses away as possible - and they are important - but the main driver will be simply how much does it cost me to build the car.

A traditional company would say - we need 30% energy density the we are competitive and everyone works
towards that single goal. The brilliance of Tesla is they are not improving one single metric only, but as many as there are out... 30% specific energy density plus 30% cell cost plus 30% gross margin plus no dealer overhead plus supercharger plus etc.

Grinnin'.VA | 8 juli 2014

@Kleist | JULY 7, 2014
My guess is Gen3,will come with 50 and 75 kWh battery with 210 and 265 EPA. Model S will be upgraded to 100 and 125 kWh - you need to keep the pecking order.

As I see things, the main difference for the 'pecking order' is "performance" -- acceleration, cornering, etc., not range. Gen3 doesn't need to go from 0 - 60 in under 5 seconds. Most of its buyers aren't looking for a car for drag racing. They're looking for a very good, reliable car that can do what they routinely do with cars.

I think increasing the range is the single most important thing to making Gen3 a huge success. To sell hundreds of thousands per year Tesla can't require drivers to 'plan' their road trips to include inconvenient delays at inconvenient times and places.

Possibly my thinking is skewed by my somewhat extensive research, trying to figure out how to drive my MS85 from the Washington DC area to Denver without multiple annoying delays for charging. I don't think most folks are willing to go through this. Tesla MUST build a robust SuperCharger network and cars that can drive at freeway speeds at least 600 miles per day with two stops for food and recharging. That means that a 200 mile practical range just will not cut it.

In the mean time, as an early adopter I intend to do what I must to drive my car-of-the-future (almost) using its capabilities and putting up with its limitations.

Ron :)

jjs | 8 juli 2014

@Grinnin' - I must have missed something. If you start fully charged, say from your garage, travel 200 miles, stop to charge, then drive another 200 miles and stop to charge and finish you driving day driving another 200 miles....doesn't that give you your 600 miles in a day with only two stops?

Haeze | 8 juli 2014

Tesla Model S is being outsold by other electric vehicles ? Oh No !

Breaking News: This just in ! The $17k Toyota Corolla outsells the $120k Lexus LS600h !

TomServo | 8 juli 2014

Test drove a Fusion and Volt, we own two Volt's. The Fusion drives like a cheap car, the Volt like a small BMW and I'm operating BOTH our Volt's over 95% of the time off the grid. Only a few LONG trips required the use of it's ICE. With federal/state credits and dealer discounts I bought BOTH Volt's for $56K

They are the best bridge vehicle until we can electrify the entire country.

Red Sage ca us | 8 juli 2014

Perception of Performance vs Range...

Kleist wrote, "My guess is Gen3,will come with 50 and 75 kWh battery with 210 and 265 EPA. Model S will be upgraded to 100 and 125 kWh - you need to keep the pecking order."

Grinnin' Ron wrote, "As I see things, the main difference for the 'pecking order' is 'performance' -- acceleration, cornering, etc., not range. Gen3 doesn't need to go from 0 - 60 in under 5 seconds. Most of its buyers aren't looking for a car for drag racing. They're looking for a very good, reliable car that can do what they routinely do with cars."

I sort of disagree with you both... I've written before that the BMW 3-Series cars, when using the same motors as the BMW 5-Series or 7-Series, have better performance numbers. The BMW 3-Series also outsell the more expensive cars under the marque by a very wide margin. There is no need for a pecking order based upon price/performance ratio. The difference between the cars is range and perceived comfort and luxury level. People buy the car they need, to fit their lifestyle. It is the higher priced cars from BMW that have larger fuel tanks, and greater range -- to make up for their gas guzzling -- not the 3-Series.

The Tesla Generation III vehicles will have better range and performance as compared to Tesla Model S and Model X. The same battery capacities will be available for every car that Tesla Motors sells. The smaller, lighter, more nimble GIII cars will be quicker, faster, and more fun to drive, while going further on a charge. There is no reason whatsoever to step down performance to increase range. There will always be a market for the larger, more expensive Model S and Model X, and it will not be harmed by a successful GIII in any way.

Grinnin' Ron said, "I think increasing the range is the single most important thing to making Gen3 a huge success."

Yes. It will be very important. And GIII will have a greater range, relative to battery capacity, than the Model S. Tesla could likely engineer a version of a 60 kWh GIII that had a range over 400 miles, and an 85 kWh version that approached 600 miles. Result? It would drive like a Toyota Camry, and people would just buy a Camry instead. You will get extreme range, far beyond a Camry Hybrid or Prius of any stripe, without any loss in performance, when battery packs of 170 kWh or more become readily available due to Gigafactory production of higher capacity batteries in coming years. Those may be available for purchase with the car, as well as temporary rentals via battery swap when on the road.

"To sell hundreds of thousands per year Tesla can't require drivers to 'plan' their road trips to include inconvenient delays at inconvenient times and places."

This is why potential owners must be properly educated as to what there is about using an electric vehicle that is more convenient than using a petrol powered car.
Waking up to a full tank every day.
Knowing that on the road you can plug in and walk away to eat, drink, use the restroom, whatever -- without babysitting the car, finding a parking space away from the pump -- then doing those things afterward.
Learning that you don't have to 'fill up' between Superchargers, just 'top off' to make it to the next one, and later with larger battery pack capacities, the one after that.
Having the freedom of never paying for fuel on the road ever again.
The traditional auto industry has already had decades to gleefully inform the public of the inconveniences that may take place with EVs, while never noting any issues whatsoever with ICE vehicles. Either a Customer can accept them, or they can't. They can always buy something else and enjoy paying for gas or diesel instead.

The following is from Measuring Up to Competition...', which I wrote in May:

Elon Musk has already thrown the gauntlet, announced the new cars would target the BMW 3-Series vehicles directly. The very mention of those cars brings forth memories of their storied legacy of being the best handling, most sport oriented, highly sought after vehicles in the price range. They also happen to be the historically best selling Series in the BMW product range.

But new competitors have also targeted BMW 3-Series of late, and done so successfully. So those efforts must be weighed and measured as well. I trust that Tesla will apply their due diligence in that regard.
Vehicle Horsepower / Torque
BMW 335i 300 HP / 300 LB-FT
Cadillac ATS 321 HP / 274 LB-FT
Mercedes C350 302 HP / 373 LB-FT
Tesla GIII 300 HP / 317 LB FT
Considering the target market, I really don't think Tesla can do any less with their base model than this, and hope to command attention.

I could be wrong. Really. I could. But I really don't think so, and I really don't think this is 'too much' to ask of Tesla.

This is from The Pivotal Case for Generation III Performance...', which I wrote on June 12:

When it comes to sales, PERFORMANCE MATTERS.

Elon knows, as I do, that in mass market sales it is not good enough to only be 'good enough' to match a Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, or Ford Fusion. Notice how well the Mitsubishi Lancer and Galant sold over the years? Hyundai Sonata and Kia Optima didn't start making major moves on the sales charts until they were obviously more than just another 'also ran' in the segment.

The same will be true of the Tesla Generation III. It must be built with performance in mind. That is absolutely imperative to gaining sales. Tesla will build more of them than any other vehicle in their lineup from the very beginning.

Brian H | 10 juli 2014

Volley;
In general, the higher the battery capacity, the faster it charges per kWh. (It charges to 50% in the same amount of time regardless of size, so a larger battery gets more kWh per hour.)

EdwardG.NO2CO2 | 10 juli 2014

@jjs, I think he is saying you need a buffer of 20% or so an I agree. The problem it will take a few years to get people to understand that long distance travel is not that common and for those that travel long distances regularly perhaps GenIV will be it. I hope both the 265 mile range and huge increases in Super charger installs happen before GenIII STARTS delivery. I another manufacturer or two sign on to the SC concept that will get it done.

Grinnin'.VA | 10 juli 2014

@jjs | JULY 8, 2014 wrote:
@Grinnin' - I must have missed something. If you start fully charged, say from your garage, travel 200 miles, stop to charge, then drive another 200 miles and stop to charge and finish you driving day driving another 200 miles....doesn't that give you your 600 miles in a day with only two stops?

Yes, that would work except:
1. There is no SC site 200 miles from my home.
2. I'd need to stop twice, spending roughly 40-60 minutes each, separated by less than three hours on the road. Normally, I eat my meals separated by about 5 hours. So I'd be spending at least half an hour waiting for my car to charge at the stop that didn't include a meal.

Bottom line: The current SC system and MS forces me to adjust my schedule, delaying my trip compared with driving an ICE car. Also, I've seen nothing from Tesla that suggests that they intend to eliminate this weakness in the next year or two. For me, long trips in my MS85 (which is on order) appear to be rather demanding (extra planning required) and risky. I wish this wasn't so, but that's the reality I see.

Ron :)

P.S. If ANYONE thinks I'm missing something or misinterpreting something, please explain.

jjs | 10 juli 2014

@Grinnin' - I see. I think we see it the same. My assumption was you were able to use SCers everywhere for your trip.

If not, then indeed, there is more planning and a good deal more time. This will not sell to the average consumer. True.

Shows the need to continue to build out the SCer network and continue to educate. People underestimate the convenience of charging at home and the complete lack of local range anxiety. The kind that comes from rushing to a meeting only to find out you HAVE to stop for gas or risk running out.

As for long distance travel it will not by as quick as ICE in the short term. The Model S simply requires more time per mile to refuel. Long trips will take longer. That is reality. For me, and I think most people, that is more than offset by it's superior refueling for all local driving.

Extra planning will be mitigated over time with the SCer build out and improvements in in-car SCer directions. However even this mitigation will have it's limits. Get too far off the interstate system for too long and extra planning again comes into play.

Anyway, I see your point and agree. Thanks for the clarification.

EdwardG.NO2CO2 | 10 juli 2014

@Grinnin, I agree with what you are saying and my comment just above your last one applies to your previous comment. So I believe you also need a 20% buffer as well. Weather conditions need to be considered as well as elevation changes so a comfort factor is important.

In addition sales reality and actual experience (real reality) are quite different for most people. Evaluation during purchase must fit the imagined need not just the real need. In discussion with most of my friends I find their estimates are way off reality. It can also go the other way as well. A couple of friends didn't think it through and were surprised at the charging away from home issue.

Grinnin'.VA | 10 juli 2014

@jjs | JULY 10, 2014

Good to hear that you understand the problem.

Reading this forum, I've gotten the impression that many participants have drunk too much Tesla Cool Aid: They refuse to acknowledge that for now Tesla owners face challenges in driving on long trips.

In my case, I have a brother-in-law who lives over 1500 miles from me. He told that I'd be foolish to try to drive my Tesla to his home. Maybe I'm a bit 'foolish'; I intend to prove him wrong. I think I'm just a bit adventurous, daring to drive the first practical BEV car of the future as an early adopter.

Thanks for your post. Keep grinning.

Ron :)

Thom EM | 10 juli 2014

The Fusion demonstrates just what the Volt has already demonstrated: that folks aren not willing to pay a premium to have long range trip capability free of gasoline. They do seem ready to pay a modest premium for the capability to make their shorter day to day trips without gasoline. If anything, the Fusion shows that having full seating (5) is more important to them on average than 20 extra miles of range (or so), afforded by the Volt.

So the trade is between a fossil fueled range extender and additional battery capacity to extend the range to road trip levels. The G3 is going to have to achieve an incremental cost per mile of range that is comparable to the cost of using fossil fueled range extension. Here I'm including fuel cells since the hydrogen will come from fossil fuels for the foreseeable future.

The i3 is the only vehicle now offering optional range extension, with a cost of about 80 miles of range extension for about $4k, I think. Correct me if I'm wrong, but this says incremental battery capacity cost has to come in at $50 per mile. Given that a mile will use about 0.25 to 0.3 kWh, we are looking at $150 to $200/kWh to be competitive. Currently Tesla is charging $8k for 25 kWh or 57 miles of range extension in the Model S (deducting the $2000 to enable supercharging). That is $320/kWh or $150/mile. So Tesla needs at the very least to cut incremental battery cost in half to compete with the hybrids' cost advantage for intermediate sized cars, and 1/3 would be more convincing. Some of this can be accrued through reduced energy costs, but most people don't readily appreciate that.

Red Sage ca us | 10 juli 2014

Thom EM: That's part of the reason I suggested that the base version of GIII have a 60 kWh capacity, that could be 'unlocked' to 85 kWH if a person chose to do so, for a fee. No need for a swap, just build all the units (60, 85, 85+) with the 85 kWh battery pack, and use software to control how much is available for use. There would be a 135 kWh battery pack available for Performance+ top end versions of the platform.

Brian H | 11 juli 2014

RS;
I think you're dreaming in rose-tinted Technicolor. But we'll see.

Red Sage ca us | 11 juli 2014

Brian H: Oh, I always have. ;-)

AmpedRealtor | 11 juli 2014

"The Fusion demonstrates just what the Volt has already demonstrated: that folks aren not willing to pay a premium to have long range trip capability free of gasoline. They do seem ready to pay a modest premium for the capability to make their shorter day to day trips without gasoline."

No it doesn't, not at all. The Fusion and Volt are in the $30k-$40k price range. The only way to "pay a premium to have long range trip capability free of gasoline" is to plunk down $80k+ for a Model S. Currently the premium, if we are going to call it that, is over $40,000 to get an EV that can travel more than 100 miles. That's not something you can ascribe to consumer willingness or choice, that is an economic issue.

If there were a 300 mile EV available for $50,000, I suspect you wouldn't be able to make the same claim. When the price difference is that high, we are not dealing simply with consumer choice. Very few consumers have the luxury of making a choice between buying a $40k car and a $80k car.

CraigW | 15 juli 2014

For us Tesla bigots to think the general public will wake up tomorrow morning to see the advantage of BEV vehicles is complete folly.

IMO, most people buy their car based on price and appearance. The fact that the Hybrid allows them to do 60-80% of their driving without gas is simply a real plus.

I agree with the posters who think the hybrid is a really good way to introduce people to the EV world. Most people are somewhat irrational about their range anxiety. Go on a trip around the US if you want to end all semblance of this anxiety. The Hybrid introduces them to the fact that they don't have to put up with high gas prices.

I tell all those I discuss this with that there is absolutely no excuse for not owning a BEV (be it Leaf or Tesla) as a 2nd car today - absolutely no excuse - but that message takes time to sink in.

It is not range that sells the Tesla, it is range anxiety. That is where the GenIII will be able to make its mark. How many of us go to more than 5 different Superchargers in a year - not 5 total, but 5 different ones? Most of us don't go as far as we think - but we won't buy a car because we might want to do it.

Red Sage ca us | 15 juli 2014

CraigW wrote, "For us Tesla bigots to think the general public will wake up tomorrow morning to see the advantage of BEV vehicles is complete folly."

I absolutely agree. I do believe though, that the one thing that we must hope for is that the statements of the Naysayers can all be shot down by anyone who takes the time to explore, investigate, and study the facts. The misinformation provided by Naysayers is unfortunately what the general public is first exposed to, and learns initially.

That is why I believe that the test drives for GIII, taken by the merely curious, will be so very, very important. They must be of significant levels of awesomeness to the point that people do not forget, and feel compelled to learn more from proper, reliable sources on their own. That way, they will understand that it is the Naysayers' position that is folly.

Education through marketing, instead of obfuscation through advertising.

SUN 2 DRV | 15 juli 2014

I think Amped had it exactly right.

There are more Toasters sold than Teslas... So what?

The Fusion Energi is a fine car, a friend of mine bought one instead of a Leaf. But neither one is in the same category as a Model S, so why even try to compare them?

The Fusion Energi is a top sell Plugin Hybrid.

The Model S is the world's best EV.

Buy which even one suits your needs. Or get one of each! :-)

DonS | 15 juli 2014

The fear of running out of energy with an EV is well known before the purchase. The joy of free Superchargers, never going to a gas station or an emissions test comes after the purchase. That is why hybrids are still so popular.

djm12 | 26 juli 2014

If the Model III lives up to even half of the hype, Tesla will sell them as fast as they can build them for years, even if the price creeps up a little bit.

Think of the Nissan Leaf - it's going on five years now and has seen only marginal improvements. Same story with the Volt - very little change. The BMW i3 actually reduced range from the Active E - going clearly in the wrong direction. There's no obvious BEV competition.

Has anyone driven a BMW 3-series recently? The new turbocharged four-cylinder engines for the F30 drive like crap compared to almost any EV. Like most Active E drivers, I hated taking it into service and getting a loaner car - even the sporty 335 was no substitute.

No worries, the Model III is going to kill any ICE competition.

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