Model 3

The Tesla Advantage

edited December 2019 in Model 3
Tesla has shown several areas where they have a distinct and growing lead over legacy Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) competitors.

"A company succeeds by profitably pursuing their mission.... Tesla has jumped the automobile market and has locked in their lead with:"
  • Great vehicles (S, X, 3, R2, Semi, & CT) including performance, features, looks, range, and safety
  • Worldwide Supercharger and Destination Charger networks
  • Big, automated car & battery factories
  • Paradigm shifts for ordering, selling, and marketing
  • New approaches to vertical integration, software/technology updates, and driving assistance/automation
  • Tesla fans, early adopters, and technology enthusiasts


 Executive Summary

  1.  Clear Motivation
  2.  Energized Workforce
  3.  Safety First
  4.  The Tesla Effect: Fans, Early Adopters, and Technology Enthusiasts

  5.  Strategic Engineering Choices
  6.  High-tech Features
  7.  The Model 3 Has Innovative Design Features
  8.  Build A Better Battery
  9.  Style and Substance

  10. First-mover and Competitive Advantages
  11. Charging Networks
  12. A Much Better Driving Experience
  13. Controlling Costs and Customer Experience
  14. The Gigafactory: Tesla's Not-so Secret Weapon
  15. Demand, Supply and Profits

  • Why Not Join Supercharger Network?
  • Pride, Prejudice, and Perspective
  • References to Other Contributors
  • Change Log

This started as response to another FUD article. Once I got going, I realized it was probably better as a top-level post. And, since the Model 3 section is where most of the new folks are, I thought I would at least start it there. I don't have to remind the old-timer Teslans here about all of this, but maybe this will be helpful for others. I have moved it to the General section to see if folks there would find it useful, but it did not last long.

Due to issues w/ editing the post I have broken it down into sections in comments. I have added links to the OP to each of these sections. Luckily they are all in a row so you can follow the first link and read through.

Please let me know what I can clarify, correct or add....

If you found this post useful, please use my referral code when get your Tesla Grin on:

If you liked this post, here are some other posts you might enjoy:
  • All the reasons I pre-ordered a Tesla Model 3 — by Mark Morford @ SF Gate, starts w/ "Few events in human life match the soul-cringing unpleasantness of buying a new car in America."
  • Oh Yes! Model 3 is Unveiled — recap right after the unveiling plus a bunch of other info added as it became available including pictures of the trunk, glass top, and manual recessed door handles
  • Rebuttal: The Gigafactory is Tesla's Huge Mistake — my thoughts rebutting a short's view that Gigafactory is a bad idea.
  • Under Promise, Over Deliver — my thoughts on what the Model 3 Unveiling should include as well as some revisions after the event.
  • How To Easily Include the Model III Symbol** — inspired by @Red Sage over a year ago.
  • The Wait Begins: What it was like at Santana Row this morning — what it was like to wait in line and some polls/counts I took while in line
  • Model 3 PD [Ludicrous] will be a sub-3-second car — "Tesla does not make slow cars." -- E.M.
  • Daydreamer's Script for The Model 3 Event — a vision I just had to share about what an intro video to the M3 Unveiling could be like.
  • Model 3 vs. Model S: How will they be different? — A very busy thread started over a year ago. I've updated w/ some actual Model 3 info as well.
  • Model 3 FAQ — Another of J.T's Frequently Asked Questions posts. Need I say more
  • Teslarati - Tesla Model 3: A change is coming and it will be huge — Our @PhillyGal's ode to Tesla and the Model 3
  • Tips & Tricks — Inspired by J.T's great FAQ, this post shows how to post images, search this forum and other useful things.
  • Model S Efficiency and Range — JB and Elon's blog post on range and efficiency
  • Wait, But Why: How Tesla Will Change The World — Part 2 of four-part series on Elon and his companies; this post covers the story of energy, cars and Tesla.
  • TMC: @Doug_G's "Cold Weather Driving" Blog — The one I always reference when people ask about dealing with the cold.
  • Good Model 3 summary page by The Verge w/ great 5-minute super cut of Reveal Video.
  • "Why You Hate the [non-Tesla] Service Department" by John Cadogan, Australia
  ➥ Referred by @brando

Endnotes and References:
[1.1] "The Mission of Tesla"
[1.2] "The Secret Tesla Motors Master Plan (just between you and me)"
[1.3] "Master Plan, Part Deux"
[1.4] "All Our Patent Are Belong To You" or search for: "Tesla All Our Patent Are Belong to You" (geek reference
[2.1] "Model 3 One-Million-mile Drivetrain"
[2.2] "Tesla One-Million-mile Battery"
[3.0] "Tesla 'Safety' Blog Posts" [@OP's note: Tesla has not done a good job of tagging articles; several are missing]
[3.1] "Model 3 achieves the lowest probability of injury of any vehicle ever tested by NHTSA"
[3.2] "Model S Achieves Euro NCAP 5-Star Safety Rating"
[3.3] "Model X Earns a 5-Star Safety Rating from Euro NCAP"
[3.4] "Tesla Model X the First SUV Ever to Achieve 5-Star Crash Rating in Every Category"
[9.1] "The quickest car in the world, with record-setting acceleration, range, and performance."
[11.1] "Tesla Supercharger Network" (main page)
[11.2] "Tesla Destination Charger Network" (main page)
[11.3] @rishi.nair points out that Nissan has invested in charging networks too, just not to the same degree as Tesla.
[12.1] "What is the Cause of the Tesla Grin?"≡sla-grin
[12.2] "Winter Driving Redefined (video)"
[13.0] "Find Us" (Tesla sales, service, and charging locations world-wide)
[13.1] NUMMI Plant:
[13.2] "Tesla hilariously finishes dead last in mystery shoppers study, salesmen found to act like ‘museum curators’"
[16.1] "Google (news): Audi e-tron concept"
[16.2] My response to OP "Why won't other vehicle manufacturers take Tesla to the offer and provide supercharger access for their offerings as well?"
[16.3] "Chevrolet Cracks Open the Bolt, Shares Drivetrain Details"
[16.4] "Is The New Chevy Bolt Really An LG Bolt?"
[16.5] "WIRED: How GM Beat Tesla to the First True Mass-Market Electric Car"
[16.6] "OP: BMW #waitordrive commercials focused on Model 3 reservation holders"
[17.1] @Red Sage's comments from "Why won't other vehicle manufacturers take Tesla to the offer and provide supercharger access...?"


  • edited November -1
    Mollom forced me to remove a few bullets and several links. I'll see if I can improve the foot notes section a bit later.
  • edited April 2016
    well done
  • edited April 2016
    :: Slow Clap ::
  • edited November -1
    @JeffreyR - Terrific post. I've read some of your other detailed posts and this one is right up there. It includes great substance/factual data to be converted to a media article.
  • edited November -1
    @ PhillyGal - I always thought that slow claps were rude, you know, a sarcastic response to something you don't like. I assume that is not what you meant in your response?
  • edited April 2016
    Regarding regen - when I was lined up, the guy behind me was a Model S owner and was asking me about the Leaf. After a bit of discussion, I commented how when I spreadsheet the uploaded Leaf telemetry data, I can calcuate the energy "regen rate" because the Leaf separately reports how many kWh consumed comes from regenerative braking, and that the resulting figure amazed me. He said that Tesla don't report that piece of data, so he doesn't know what kind of regen rates he gets.

    Is that correct? If so, it's something that Nissan does but Tesla doesn't :)

    FYI, over my first 16 months of ownership, the Leaf power regeneration rate was 36.5%, i.e. of the total amount of power consumed to drive the vehicle, 36.5% of it came from regeneration.
  • edited November -1
    Fantastic post!

    What's "stationary storage"?
  • edited April 2016
    @bj - No way! For my generation at least, slow clap is a high form of praise. Like you're too stunned to clap fast, and the subject was way beyond those forced mid-level applause. Something epic was said or done.

    I think it's a spot on, fantastic post that we need to bump to page 1 for a while.
  • edited April 2016
    @JeffreyR - FYI.

    The link to Supercharger network doesn't work. I think you used a relative link and it resolves to instead of the correct one
  • edited April 2016
    Out of the list of Tesla's advantages, the one that is most difficult to duplicate is the Supercharger network. Might be too late for the others to ever catch up.
  • edited April 2016
    Not sure about data people are pulling from their cars, but the Model S <EM>does</EM> show regen in a graph while you drive. It may be that the telemetry just has negative values for regen and the owner needed to calculate the percentage. I'll leave detailed answers to those actually doing that sort of thing.

    Thanks folks. I appreciate the positive feedback and yes I see @Philly Gal's ::slow clap:: as being supportive too. Slow out of surprise not because it's forced. She is way too supportive and classy to have it mean anything derogatory.
    Can I just whine a little bit more about Mollom!?! It took 30 minutes to post the above. I mean from the time I was done writing the post in my text editor to the time I gave up on trying to get the last three bullet points posted took 30 minutes. Aaaarrgh!
  • edited April 2016
    Thanks, good point. I forgot it's a different website! We'll see if Mollom lets me fix them.
  • edited April 2016
    Battery packs that don't move. See PowerWall preso and links in main menu.
  • edited April 2016
    Another advantage is that Tesla has Elon Musk and an energized and talented workforce. People love working there.
  • edited April 2016
    @Chunky Jr. +1 That's some of what I was trying to get at in the first section, which in my mind is the hardest thing about Tesla to duplicate.
  • edited April 2016
    @Philly Gal +1
    <em>"low clap is a high form of praise. Like you're too stunned to clap fast, and the subject was way beyond those forced mid-level applause. Something epic was said or done. I think it's a spot on, fantastic post that we need to bump to page 1 for a while."</em>

    Like I said before @Philly Gal (aka Electric Jen) is way too classy to be dismissive or derogatory. Thank you so much for your support. High praise indeed coming from you.
  • edited April 2016
    bj,, Tesla says generally speaking you get 70-80% back in regen. So going up a hill of a given height and going back down the other side, you will get about 70-80% of the energy back that you used to get up the hill.
  • edited April 2016
    Nissan has a charging network and it features Chademo quick chargers. It relies on third party charging stations such as chargepoint but Nissan also gave out free charging to buyers in certain regions during certain time periods. Tesla's network is exclusive (currently) and its Supercharging network features higher amperage (which is needed since the batteries are so much larger) but a Leaf will also fill up 75% in 25 minutes (I know my brother and I DC quick charge on long trips).

    Jordanrichard -- what bj was posting was not the regeneration rate of the vehicle but rather what mix of energy the vehicle consumes that its self generated (B mode or regular regen braking -- not friction brakes). Nissan does allow for some nice parsing of data with its telematics system (which might go down in 2020 when the 2G network it relies on is dismantled).
  • edited April 2016
    Excellent Post!

    One very minor error - The Mountain View liquid cooled/heated Supercharger cables do not provide more power or faster charging, but allow for thinner cables that are lighter and easier to use. A primary reason for this new design is for colder climates, the cable can be heated to make it more flexible. It's cooled in hotter climates to not overheat the thinner wires at maximum power. It's possible they may allow for higher power in the future, but that is less clear.
  • edited April 2016
    @JeffreyR: +1 for an amazing post!
  • edited April 2016
    Is the stated production target of 50 GWh for Gigafactory 1 still accurate? I thought it was officially mentioned somewhere that GF1 will be somewhat bigger than early plans...
  • edited April 2016
    Thanks for the support. Strange I thought the temperature control of the Supercharger stalls was explicitly about being able to pump more power, and the improved flexibility/ergonomics was a happy side effect. I guess I have it backwards.

    From Elon's June/2015 shareholder meeting:
    The possibility of a big deal is implied by Musk’s next remark: “It also has the potential for increased power of the Supercharger long-term.”
    <a href="">Charged: "Tesla’s liquid-cooled Supercharger cable could enable faster charge times"</a>

    As a big guy, that lives in a temperate climate, the idea of needing a lighter, more flexible cable just did not stick in my head. Think Sherlock Holmes' clutter in the attic effect.

    @adias.angel Thanks!

    I would not surprised at all if the Gigafactory plans have been adjusted. I was relating the basic "huge" numbers that I remembered. If you have a link to newer/better information, I will update the info.
  • edited April 2016
    Here is a more technical article about liquid-cooled cables I found in the comments of the one I posted above:

    <a href="">Transport Evolved: "Tesla’s New Liquid-Cooled Superchargers Pave the Way to Even Faster Charging"</a>

    From the article:

    <em>"To reduce the resistance of a cable for a given current, you can either increase the cable’s cross-sectional area, or reduce its temperature. A super-cooled cable is capable of carrying a much higher current than the same cable in a warm climate, so by cooling the cable along which the electricity passes, Tesla engineers have been able to improve the design of the Supercharger stall cables, replacing the bulky, stiff, unwieldy cables of early superchargers with a more flexible, smaller, liquid-cooled cable."</em>
  • edited April 2016
    @JeffreyR +1; Right On!; Far Out!

    PS: Am I showing my age?
  • edited April 2016
    @artC no more than I do understanding what you mean ;^)
    Now get off my grass!
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