Six months on... let's take stock

Six months on... let's take stock

Well, today marks a significant point - the six-month anniversary of the first reveal of the Model 3 (well, it's 1 October here in Oz :-) and the excitement builds.

Where are we at? After surprising the world with nearly 400k Model 3 reservations, Tesla announced the "big ramp up" to even more aggressively pump out cars, bring forward the 500k per year target by 2 years. Astounding stuff - if they can pull it off. Instead of ignoring the Tesla phone calls, suppliers started jumping at them, EM setting them a stretch target of supplying in volume by 1 July next year.

We know that pencils are down, so that is a good sign that things are on track. Speculation mounts as to when the second reveal will be - later this year, or around the first anniversary? That will be a key indicator as to whether Tesla will begin to silence the naysayers. If the second reveal is on or before 31 March 2017, we can be confident Tesla has nailed it.

How do others assess the situation today? Tesla on target, behind, or even ahead?

All I know is that if I call 6 months one "wait", then I have only three more "waits" before I get my car (RHD market - but I'm quietly confident!!)

jdanielp_uk | October 1, 2016

Time passes...

Time passes...

Time passes...

A shiny new Tesla Model 3 arrives outside your house.

Mailrail707 | October 1, 2016

As far as I'm concerned, they're right on target. Unlike a lot of you, I was an early August depositor. My mind is already geared up for a loooooooong wait. To kill time, I look at the new and used Model Ss listed on EV Consolidator...and dream.

Red Sage ca us | October 1, 2016

I think the Model ☰ Reveal Part II will be within six months whether Tesla Motors has 'nailed it' or not.

Per JB Straubel, the original 500,000 per year target was for the Model ☰ alone by 2020. There is a chart he has shown (in 2013 and 2014) during Presentations that estimated a maximum Capacity at Fremont of 700,000 units by the end of 2019. What they are speaking of now is 500,000 for the combined output of Model S, Model X, and Model ☰ by 2018. I believe that is 100,000 more than the 400,000 amount that was on JB's chart for that year.

Elon Musk has always expected the Model X to perhaps sell at a 1:1 ratio with Model S. That was, I thought, a little on the low side, but I was looking at it wrong. In the US, SUVs are more popular than Sedans. In its market segment in the US, high end SUVs from competitors outsell their flagship Sedan counterparts typically by at least a 2:1 ratio, and often by as much as 3:1. But SUVs are less popular in other countries.

So, if Model S and Model X are manufactured at the same rate, but 40% of Model S and 60% of Model X built are sold in the US, then sales here would appear to favor the Model X here. If as many as 60,000 of each are built in 2018, that would be around 120,000 Generation II vehicles, leaving around 380,000 for Model ☰ Production. Even if only 80% of that goal is reached, it will be awesome. And with only half of those as Deliveries in the US, Tesla Motors would leapfrog a lot of long established traditional automobile manufacturers whose passenger car sales haven't exceeded 100,000 units in the US for years.

David N | October 1, 2016

"How do others assess the situation today? Tesla on target, behind, or even ahead?"

Well, it certainly is a question that many have an interest in, but unfortunately, with the limited/no information from Tesla, anything we offer really doesn't matter.

I'm with Red sage, if they can pull this off anywhere near what they've claimed, it will be nothing short of awesome.

David N | October 1, 2016

This is Elon / Tesla's pinnacle moment in history, it's what Tesla's existence/purpose has been from day one.
Even Elon has said that Tesla's continued existence may hinge on Model 3 success.
If Model 3 exceeds expectations, then Tesla will most likely be unstoppable.
If it falls short in any category or it turns out to be just "like the Bolt", then Elon/Tesla may lose some of their appeal and their dream of shifting everyone to sustainable transport will suffer.
Personally, I hope they hit a home run and gain worldwide attention like no one has ever seen.
We'll see in about a year or so.

JeffreyR | October 1, 2016

Once we start seeing spy shots of the M≡ around here we'll have a better idea of when production will start. I think Part II will be around the anniversary of Part I (March/31). That would be quite something and give folks a lot of confidence that they won't slip by months (or years).

Where is EVino when you need 'em?

brando | October 3, 2016

Red Sage wrote:
In its market segment in the US, high end SUVs from competitors outsell their flagship Sedan counterparts typically by at least a 2:1 ratio, and often by as much as 3:1.

Now that would make the GM decision to Make the BOLT seem more reasonable. Then perhaps they can build a sedan on this same platform?

Also suggests if Model 3 orders slump an SUV version could take up the slack or help continue growth curve.

So Red Sage or JefferyR or anyone:
Any other Manufacturer build both Sedan and SUV on the same line? Do we have another Tesla advantage?

Red Sage ca us | October 4, 2016

brando: The key words in what you quoted are 'high end'. The BOLT is definitely not high end at all. (smileyfacegrin) I think that GM wants to call the BOLT a 'crossover' because four of the vehicles in the top 12 sales this year are classified as 'Small Sport Utility Vehicle' by the EPA -- and none of them are GM products.

But, for the sake of comparison... The Toyota Corolla outsold the RAV4 during 2015 by a 1,339,024 to 664,382 margin worldwide. The Honda CR-V moved 696,594 units to outsell the Civic at 548,430 units worldwide last year, while the FIT only moved 339,144 units. So far during 2016 in the US, the Honda Civic at 255,599 units has outsold both the CR-V (231,609) and Accord (231,415).

The numbers are a bit different when you look at high end brands though. This year the Porsche Cayenne has sold 10,267 units versus only 2,985 of the Panamera. The AUDI Q7 has sold 19,410 units compared to only 2,616 of the A8 L. The BMW X5 has sold 29,069 units to suckers across the US, while only 8,038 have been duped into the 7-Series. The Mercedes-Benz GLE has sold 33,354 gas guzzlers while the S-Class has only found 11,974 buyers.

I think that Tesla Motors' primary manufacturing advantage is simply that they are building electric cars. The NUMMI factory built Sedans and Pickup Trucks for years, but I doubt they were on the 'same line' at all. There was nothing in common between the Geo Prism and the Chevrolet S-10 to my knowledge. And the Model ☰ will not be built on the same lines for Model S and Model X.

gregcropper | October 8, 2016

I'll say this; if complications from autopilot or autonomy delay the launch of the Model ☰, I'll be steamed. I simply don't car about those things. Frankly I think the whole thing is silly. Who buys a car but doesn't intend to drive it?

To Red Sage's point, I appreciate that Tesla's high end sedans and SUVs are displacing gas guzzlers. If you think about environmental impact, Tesla should be working on mail jeeps, garbage trucks and city busses to reduce pollution.

EaglesPDX | October 8, 2016

Six months is a long time with no information for customers who paid $1K. It would be different if Tesla didn't ask for a deposit or ask for as much faith that Tesla will make the upgrades (hatchback, towing option) that buyers asked for after viewing the prototypes.

It is fair to ask for at least an every six months update.

As you noted, in theory the design phase is over and the specs our out to suppliers to start ramping up for production of the first vehicle promised for 12 months from now, late 2017.

Be nice of Tesla to tell the 400K buyers via an email and special access to a part of the website what the final design decisions were, even if some are not final, Tesla could say that and share the information. It would be good customer relations.

Six months out from the deposit and 12 months out from first delivery, Tesla owes customers an progress report.

jordanrichard | October 8, 2016

Tesla made no secret that the car wouldn't be out/built until late 2017. What update does Tesla "owe" people? The Bolt is supposed to be out in 2 months from now and the only thing they have said it starts at $37,495. No mention of what the "Premier" version cost. No mention of what the 240V charging option will cost and even those who have spoken to dealers, weren't given ANY specifics on pricing.

Red Sage ca us | October 8, 2016

gregcropper: Elon Musk offered the 'Master Plan, Part Deux' in July 2016. As part of that, he outlined the expectation to 'Expand to Cover the Major Forms of Terrestrial Transport'. In particular, he wrote...

"In addition to consumer vehicles, there are two other types of electric vehicle needed: heavy-duty trucks and high passenger-density urban transport. Both are in the early stages of development at Tesla and should be ready for unveiling next year. We believe the Tesla Semi will deliver a substantial reduction in the cost of cargo transport, while increasing safety and making it really fun to operate.
"With the advent of autonomy, it will probably make sense to shrink the size of buses and transition the role of bus driver to that of fleet manager. Traffic congestion would improve due to increased passenger areal density by eliminating the center aisle and putting seats where there are currently entryways, and matching acceleration and braking to other vehicles, thus avoiding the inertial impedance to smooth traffic flow of traditional heavy buses. It would also take people all the way to their destination. Fixed summon buttons at existing bus stops would serve those who don't have a phone. Design accommodates wheelchairs, strollers and bikes."

The United States Postal Service has already announced they are looking for a replacement for their current series of mail carrying vehicles. This is an excerpt of a blog entry from their Inspector General made in July 2014...

"About 142,000 long-life vehicles (LLVs) out of the 190,000-vehicle total delivery fleet are near or have exceeded their expected service life. Replacing these aging vehicles is daunting, particularly given the Postal Service’s financial constraints.
"But fleet replacement isn’t just a major challenge; it’s also a big opportunity. Because the LLVs are up to 27 years old, they aren’t as fuel efficient as newer models. They also lack many of the safety features now considered standard for vehicle fleets, such as back-up cameras, front airbags, and anti-lock brakes. The next generation of vehicles can incorporate the latest safety and environmental bells and whistles, which will protect employees, cut down on fuel costs, and help the Postal Service meet its sustainability goals. Also, given the growth in packages, new vehicle designs could address the challenges of larger and irregularly shaped items."

It would be great if Tesla could meet their needs. But it could take a while. Personally, when it comes to municipal or government vehicles, those are typically purchased once, and left in service for ages. Because of that, they can wait to be replaced later. Same thing for industrial vehicles like custom tool trucks and whatnot. For the sake of their continued survival, Tesla must concentrate on selling vehicles to the public at large rather than fleets. Because that continual, revolving income will allow them to reach the level of profitability needed to support their continued expansion.

Frank99 | October 8, 2016

This is such a perfect use for a BEV. The delivery trucks spend all day accelerating and decelerating going from house to house, so regeneration would be a huge help. They seldom exceed 45, so miles/kwh is going to be high. It's unlikely they exceed 150 miles in a day, so a battery pack would be reasonably sized. And they park every night in the same place, making charging easy and making maintenance easy.

Unfortunately, I don't think it's the right time for Tesla to bid on this contract, but I hope the winner uses an EV platform.

EaglesPDX | October 9, 2016

jordanrichard " What update does Tesla "owe" people? "

1. What does the final design look like.
2. How was the liftback upgrade accomplished.
3. What is the towing capacity.
4. What is the maximum range that can be purchased.
5. What are the options that can be purchased.

These things are known to Tesla now and should be shared with customers who have collectively given Tesla $400,000,000 for 2 years.

gregcropper | October 9, 2016

jordanrichard is right. We knew what we were getting into when we put down our deposits. Tesla doesn't "owe" us anything at this point. If you don't like that Eagles, you can get your money back and shut up about it.

jordanrichard | October 9, 2016

EaglesPDX, what liftback upgrade? No one ever said they created a liftback option. All Elon said was they improved the size of the trunk opening. That is literally a quote from Elon. Where in that do you get that they ditched the trunk design for a liftback design like the MS?

Also according to who, does Tesla owe you any of you listed items. Just because you think they owe it, does not mean they do. Legally all Tesla owes a reservation holder, is the opportunity to place an actual order, ahead of others based on when they placed their deposit.

gregcropper | October 9, 2016

EM just tweeted that an unexpected product announcement would be made on October 17th. I hope it's news about the Model ≡.

CraigW | October 9, 2016

EaglesPDX, for those of us who put our $5000 down on the Model S in 2009 - and took delivery in 2012/13 - we don't have a lot of sympathy for your complaints. The original design was pretty close to the finished product and we didn't get any updates. There were no Superchargers planned. We didn't know anything about models available, and nothing was said until nearly 2012. There was no such thing as a dual motor - though I did see one being installed when I went on my factory tour in JAN 2013 (I wasn't supposed to see this). We had to take most everything on faith.

Well -- that faith certainly paid off and we view your comments as being those of a somewhat spoiled child. Ease up, you are going to get a car that is worth every penny you paid for it (I did with the Model S) and you will be driving something others will be fervently wishing for. Some patience is inorder.

gregcropper | October 9, 2016

Well said, CraigW. I think Eagles is trying to foment discontent among deposit-holders.

SamO | October 9, 2016

+100 @CraigW,

EagleDouche is a fucking TROLL.

SamO | October 9, 2016

Go buy a Bolt, dipshit.

gregcropper | October 9, 2016

I'm hoping the new product announcement has to do with a vehicle to grid device. You know, for every new EV sold, it's almost as much demand on the grid as building a new house. As EV sales grow, so will demand upon the grid.

EaglesPDX | October 9, 2016

@gregcropper "EM just tweeted that an unexpected product announcement would be made on October 17th. I hope it's news about the Model ≡."

At six months, fair to say it is an expected announcement if it's about the T3. Every six months is a reasonable expectation for an update especially for people who have put up $1,000. That Musk is calling it an "unexpected product announcement" doesn't bode well for it being a T3 announcement.

Be nice if final design is in fact done that Musk share what the final design turned out to be. How big is the hatchback, what is the towing capacity are the two big promised upgrades to the T3.

With a year to production, Tesla has to have the specs out to suppliers. They should share the info with customers.

sp_tesla | October 9, 2016

"gregcropper | October 9, 2016
EM just tweeted that an unexpected product announcement would be made on October 17th."

Fully folding rear seated with adjustable head rest.

Red Sage ca us | October 9, 2016

CraigW: +42! The Ultimate Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything about "Why Is the Incessant Whining by Newcomers Seen As the Protestations of Spoiled Brats to Longtime Tesla Fans?"

SamO: +1! But is it really necessary to insult copulating bridge dwellers by comparing them to him? (smileyfacegrin)

gregcropper: I think that metric is a bit off. No one complains that the installation of an electric oven, or washer/dryer combination that uses 240v at 1% of households is going to cripple the electrical grid in residential areas. Of course, I live in California, where the buildings are replaced so often that anything over 25 years old might as well be considered a historical landmark...

EaglesPDX | October 9, 2016

Apparently it is another product, not a Tesla vehicle or powerwall or solar city update. Be nice if Tesla took care of current products (T3, Powerwall) before going on to other products with future delivery dates. Put in an order for a Tesla Powerwall to match up to 8.5 kW solar system over six months ago, not a peep. Put in the $1,000 deposit for the T3 over six months ago, not a peep on final design parameters like max range, options, liftback utility, tow rating etc.

Badbot | October 9, 2016

PDX would you want accurate real numbers???
I suggest you wait for tesla to build a few cars from the parts for 300 prototypes and do some TESTING.
Until they do that THEY don't know what numbers to announce.
Sorry but NO amount of your whining will ever be constructive to seeing any parameters released.

EaglesPDX | October 10, 2016

@Badbot "PDX would you want accurate real numbers?"

If design is finished, tooling and ordering of parts has begun (as it must to be delivering cars in 12 months) why wouldn't the numbers such as dimensions be accurate?

Tesla took deposits on orders. It said design and engineering were completed some time ago. There is no reason, other than poor customer relations, for Tesla not to provide a six month update to paying customers on the final design of the car.

jordanrichard | October 10, 2016

EaglesPDX, the Bolt is due to hit the streets in under 2 months and they still haven't told anyone what the car and related options will cost, other than the base price. So before you go disparaging Tesla for not coughing up numbers for a car that is a year away, I suggest you go ask your local Chevy dealer why they don't have their shit together yet for your beloved Bolt.

SamO | October 10, 2016


Lol. +1

dsvick | October 10, 2016

Are we really going to start the whole poor customer service rant again? After you went for several pages over the TMC forums and realized you were the only one that actaully thought that way we'd hoped you'd come to your senses. Apparently not.

Was there any promise or implication that you'd get regular updates when you placed your reservation? No. So why, all of a sudden do you think you need/deserve them now? If you're unhappy about the lack of communication you can cancel your reservation and wait until the second reveal to place it again - that's all they owe you, nothing more. Just deal with it and have a little patience and quit whining, or take your money back and leave the rest of sus in peace.

makobill | October 10, 2016

Guessing we'll find out on 10/17 - as my money's on an 'update' for the Model 3... We'll see!

gregcropper | October 10, 2016

I may get a lot of static for this, but I don't care about autopilot. It isn't necessary for the adoption of EVs, which is Tesla's stated mission. There is a lot of distracting controversy. People don't understand it. It gives ammo to naysayers. And you can't tell me that all that extra equipment to make it work isn't adding to the cost and prolonging the launch. Maybe I might change my mind, but I don't get it. But on the other hand, I don't get why Tesla is buying Solar City either.

Please just build my Model ☰.

topher | October 11, 2016

Auto-pilot is part of Tesla's long term plan to accelerate the advent of sustainable transportation. You don't have to want it, but Tesla needs to make it. It works to reduce the total number of cars on the roads. Energy use for cars is divided into embodied energy and usage energy. We need to reduce both, and Tesla is one of the few that understands this.

The Solar City acquisition is more a marketing thing for Tesla. They will be able to sell all three components for sustainable transport: energy production, energy storage, and energy use. It will be a lot easier for them to sell PowerWalls if they also sell Solar panels.

You wouldn't be getting your Model ≡ at all, were it not for Tesla's long term goal, and altruistic vision.

Thank you kindly.

EaglesPDX | October 11, 2016

@gregcropper "I may get a lot of static for this, but I don't care about autopilot. It isn't necessary for the adoption of EVs, which is Tesla's stated mission."

AutoPilot's key features are becoming standard equipment. Dynamic cruise control, auto braking, blind side indicators, cross track indicators, lane keeping are key safety features per Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Top safety picks now have to be able to auto brake at up to the 25 mph and avoid hitting the care in front.

Autopilot was already a given in the T3 so nothing to "reveal" there as far as a six month update.

The key questions were adding liftback functionality, tow rating, instrumentation layout.

The 400,000 plus T3 buyers are owed an update.

gregcropper | October 11, 2016

No, tesla does not "owe" their reservation holders an update.

gregcropper | October 11, 2016

@topher. Thanks for setting me straight. I'm sure you can appreciate my frustration though.

SamO | October 11, 2016


Tesla's mission is to "accelerate the transition to sustainable energy" now that includes production (SolarCity), storage (TeslaEnergy) and sustainable transporations (TeslaMotors).

Looked at through that lense, the SolarCity acquisition makes perfect sense. And also why the Model 3, as the next Tesla vehicle, IS their priority.

Autopilot and it's bigger brother, Autonomous, allow Tesla to capture more "travelled miles" more quickly since their vehicle fleet will be optimized for high usage instead of the 1% useage a typical car drives now.

alfieyeung | October 11, 2016

It had been over 6 months, any news on tesla 3?
All I read are from online or 3rd party talking about tesla 3, but I never see Tesla 3 gave any information for reserve holder. More detail on the car.. etc....
As a reserve holder, all we are doing........ was wait..... wait...... wait.......

dsvick | October 12, 2016

@alfieyeung - "It had been over 6 months, any news on tesla 3?"

No, nothing official. Yes, we're all waiting, it was completely expected (by most) that there would be a long delay between the initial annoucment and the final details being released. Be patient, it'll come ...

gregcropper | October 14, 2016

Earlier in this thread I expressed frustration at all the attention given to Autopilot. Then I realized something. While a lot of people have made a stink about a single death in Florida attributed to Autopilot, which was of course a tragedy, nobody has given any attention to the fact that EVERY DAY in the United States, 92 people die in automobile accidents where there was no Autopilot. That's like 35,000 people a year.

jordanrichard | October 15, 2016

gregcropper +1

EaglesPDX | October 15, 2016

@alfieyeung "It had been over 6 months, any news on tesla 3? As a reserve holder, all we are doing........ was wait..... wait...... wait......."

Apparently Tesla has a reputation for poor customer service such as not providing a six month update on the T3's supposedly finished design where issues like max range, liftback utility, towing capacity have been resolved.

Tiebreaker | October 15, 2016

@EaglesPDX - There is a thing called a trade secret. No wonder every test mule of an unfinished product from every manufacturer is heavily disguised.

As far as I could say, none of those issues have been resolved. (nudge, nudge, wink, wink)

EaglesPDX | October 15, 2016

@Tiebreaker "There is a thing called a trade secret."

But the final design and options of the T3 are not such a thing.

The final design was "locked up" six months ago according to Musk so there is no reason for Tesla's poor treatment of customers by withholding the final design results.

KP in NPT | October 15, 2016

No one is being treated poorly but you, in your own mind. (couldn't happen to a better person.) Stop trying to make mandatory 6 month updates happen. You are the only one "outraged" (I use quotes because I suspect it's really just shit-stirring) - I don't recall GM or any other automaker giving updates. You'll get an update when they're ready. You are owed nothing. Do you really have nothing better to do than to troll the tesla forum with made up indignation over updates that were never promised to you? Get a life.

EaglesPDX | October 15, 2016

@mp1156 "Stop trying to make mandatory 6 month updates happen."

You'll have to speak to the starters of the several threads on the topic, all asking where is the six month update on the T3? Seems to be a common question. It is certainly a reasonable one.

KP in NPT | October 15, 2016

You're the only one crying poor customer service Because an update that some would like isn't happening. Yes, we all crave Model 3 news. But since nothing was promised beyond reveal part 2, we sit and be patient while wishing for updates instead of being petulant pot stirrers.

gregcropper | October 15, 2016

If full autonomy was available, then my new Model ≡ could deliver itself.

Red Sage ca us | October 15, 2016

No news is AWESOME news.