Model E is delayed?

Model E is delayed?

“Certainly, within five years we’ll have our mass-market electric car available,” Musk told Liu, who is also a correspondent for ABC News. “We’ll start seeing hundreds of thousands of electric cars going to market every year.”
Musk, in previous interviews, has said the lower-priced car would arrive in about three or four years.

I would think this might be concerning for TSLA since the stock is priced for perfect execution…

negarholger | 21/08/2013

Are you reading too much into it? He said available - the ramp up will take some time, 2016/17 I would expect only limited availability.

PorfirioR | 21/08/2013

What's a Model E?

Anyway, not important to me as an investor as long as Tesla is supply constrained and they continue to grow.

I know there is a little of spin involved but step back and look at this company for a second.They sell every single car that they can make, they are growing globally, AND they are making a profit doing it. If that's not execution, I don't know what is. No concerns at all from my part with Tesla as a company.

There are enough passenger miles logged in Model S vehicles to pretty much erase any trepidation I might have had regarding some catastrophic recall, which was the only thing that could have killed momentum. Rushing this mysterious Model E out the door in order to make a buck, would actually concern me more.

Brian H | 21/08/2013

The Model E market is fated and intended to dwarf the S/X market.

bonaire | 22/08/2013

Until workplaces get on board and install hundreds of thousands of workplace EVSE or wall-plugs allowing commuters to charge at work - nobody is selling 100's of thousands of EVs. Even with today's under $200/month lease rates for Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volts, in some cases, they are not moving. Nobody can "predict" market penetration like that. It's entirely wishful thinking until our employers get on board and install infrastructure. Sure, a 120-150 mile BEV charged at home "might" be adaptable to a 50-mile commute but factor in winter driving in some areas where range is crippled due to cold and humidity and the need for workplaces to get on board increases.

I think we all have to really think hard about whether you, your neighbor, their neighbor and all the people at the mall and Walmart will be willing to part with their ICE vehicles for an EV. I think it is a stretch to consider this short-term window and "call it" like many people are. I doubt we see a growth curve equal to even our wildest dreams for EVs until gasoline reaches $6/gal USD or higher. EVs are not selling that well in Europe right now - and I mean Leafs, Volts/Amperas, etc.

Have you or anyone you know talked to your employer to discuss plugging in? What is the feedback? Usually it is not very welcome. It is rarely welcome and some employers are on board but it's a low # when it is outside of California.

Timo | 22/08/2013

Think 200+ mile BEV. Model E will be able to use SC network. Leaf and Volt are not comparable, for their electric only range they are still city cars.

bent | 22/08/2013

If you have a 100 mile commute to work, then maybe you will need to charge your Tesla at work. Any less than this and there really isn't any need to plug in the car while at work. You plug it in at home overnight and that's it.

Brian H | 22/08/2013

Many (25% + ?) who test drive a Tesla become rapidly determined to buy one. The world will just have to adapt.

bonaire | 22/08/2013

Brian, I think this is a specious argument and there are prequalified steps to getting into a test drive. People making $45K a year are not getting test drives. This 25% is a number that has no factual basis. Same for the "every sale leads to 2-3 new sales". I doubt it from looking at the Vin assignments recently. I may buy a Model-E when they eventually come out and I can afford a Model-S but don't believe it is a smart thing to do for my family. I will run my Volt into the ground over the next few years and I am in the market for a good 120 Mile BEV when the vendors put them on the market for a viable cost. A model S 60 kWh would work for me. But I don't believe it is a smart thing to do for a family who has one kid who just went to college and another one in a few years. While I am all for Tesla's success, I think far too many people have way too high of a sales figure and success factor for the company. I thought Fisker might actually do well - until we saw the EPA rating of the car and the sluggish performance it had. Then the A123 debacle helped tank the company, with eventual bankruptcy.

Gen3Joe | 22/08/2013


My company is about to put in 5 220v 70amp chargers and are normally fairly conservative about these kinds of things.

When it was just me asking about chargers a couple months ago (I'm leasing a 2013 Leaf) they told me that they weren't going to put in any chargers until more employees bought EVs. Currently it's only me and another guy with a Volt. This position was discouraging to me because i knew this would be a barrier for more employees to start driving EVs (the whole chicken and egg issue).

Not too long after this though a vendor visited our headquarters in a Model S and was surprised to see we didn't have anywhere for him to charge. He had to plug into a 220 outlet next to a maintenance building. The next day one of our VPs Started asking around about interest in EVs and a few people said that they would get them if we had charging stations at work. All it took was interest at the top level of management.

I'm telling you man Tesla is making a HUGE impact on people's perception of EVs and the likelihood of their adoption by a significant portion of the market in the near future. That model s was definitely the catalyst for us getting chargers installed at work.

Go Tesla!

Brian H | 22/08/2013

Test drives are no longer so carefully rationed, since demo cars became more available, and the 25% figure was cited as a current ratio. You assert "no factual basis", but Elon is pretty careful with numbers. I'll believe him before you. Sorry.

ian | 22/08/2013

Exactly! Thanks for sharing Gen3Joe!

ian | 22/08/2013

The 25% was a quote from the last quarter report I believe (from Q1 to be clear), not the most recent one. They were most definitely still restricting test drives back then too.


mdemetri | 22/08/2013


With a Model S there is no need to charge at work. With my P85 I charge only every 3rd night on average. I have absolutely no need to charge at work, home charging every 3rd night is more than sufficient. Gen III/Model E will have a range >200 miles and therefore similar to the current MS60. They will also not need to charge at work unless driving well over 100 miles return trip to work. The whole concept of charging at work is obsolete with a >200 mile battery pack. This is Tesla's master plan and will usher in the EV revolution much faster than you think.

bent | 23/08/2013

With the very meager media exposure Tesla saw until recently, and their complete absence in the advertising space, it is reasonable to assume that people who have been going to test drives have been those who already take a special interest in the company. In a nutshell, it's been Tesla's fans going on Model S test drives. This factor will tend to boost the conversion rate and so it's unlikely to stay at 25% for very long.

bonaire | 23/08/2013

No not talking about Tesla. I am talking about the worldwide EV adoption and many mere-mortals who are on a more realistic budget. Moving from a $15K ICE to an EV takes a decision many cannot make if they have no way to support the decision to go to a $20-40K car purchase to "save money". If workplaces put in EVSE equipment, more people would get EVs. However, many places still have a wait and see attitude and a cost concern. Putting in "5 units" is nothing for a company of 1000 employees (or whatever such a sizeable organization mentioned above is). I've donated money to my son's college to have them install more EVSEs on campus - and they get matching funds from NY State so it can go farther. But for a school with thousands of students 6 or 10 more EVSE locations is nothing compared to the thousands of ICE on-campus every day from commuters. For typical EVs that will be in the world (under 100-mile range for the next few years) - at-work charging is the real catalyst to growth of EVs. I know most people here say "but there are no EVs other than Tesla". I cannot think this way since I advocate for all EVs whether Leaf, Spark EV, Volt, whatever. Maybe business owners have their heads in the clouds and can't think like "normal workers" and see that they will start to get off oil if they just had somewhere to plug in. Maybe they also think that "lots of bitching and moaning" will occur when a company starts giving away fuel to a select few employees and not others and they don't want the office politics. No matter what, this environment is changing and leading to a lot of new decisions to be made if we really (as a group) want to spawn the EV generation. Until then - we still are looking at a very small market segment of automobiles in our EVs. We're weird.

negarholger | 23/08/2013

+1 Gen3Joe - you hit the nail on its head.
We have 3 Leafs and one Volt at work. Two Leafs are in need to charge at work because they can make just to work and back and are lobbying the company for the last couple of years for charging station and always have been shot down flat. Since I bring the S to work the discussion is now on a complete different level and it is under consideration. The irony is that I don't need to charge at work at all.

bonaire | 23/08/2013

@Kleist, is it under consideration because a higher-up is thinking of getting an EV and "they" want to charge? Why isn't management thinking of a larger picture. One that says "our company is going to help get the USA off foreign oil and participate in good choices going forward"?

Also, what's your firm's position on the cost - will employees pay an hourly fee? Free fuel? Will there be backlash from others who want free gasoline? Or further backlash if they install four EVSEs and then 10 employees get cars and more chargers are demanded? I think this gets to be an interesting situation. An EV "snowball" where the demand for charging points will far outweigh installations.

Tesla does have it right - drag around enough batteries so you don't need to charge at work. In a way, you have "onboard infrastructure". The main trouble is - people can't afford what it costs to buy 40,60,85 kWh of onboard batteries. Today. Once prices come down and a 40 kWh car is available for $30K, things will become crazy in terms of public demand for EVs. I think a 120-mile EV (28-32 kWh) would be good enough for most people.

Timo | 23/08/2013

Once prices come down and a 40 kWh car is available for $30K, things will become crazy in terms of public demand for EVs

It's not that far off right now. Tesla is estimated to get their Model S 3.1Ah batteries for $400/kWh. That's $16k for 40kWh. That leaves $14k for the rest of the car for $30k car. And that's old estimate, I bet they already get them far cheaper than that.

I think Tesla wants that next generation car to have at least 60kWh battery however. That's the reason to not make them right now. That and the build-up of SC network so that it can be the "only car" you need.

Tiebreaker | 23/08/2013

@bonaire, your neighbor, their neighbor and all the people at the mall and Walmart will be willing to part with their horses... they already did. It just took some time and a cheap T.

And a couple of questions:

Do any employers provide gasoline refueling (free or for a charge) for their ICE car driving employees? Especially for the knuckleheads like me who start with tank almost empty, and once at work, wondering if they can ever make it to the gas station?

"Moving from a $15K ICE..." Which $15K ICE car, new, in 2013? They are not that many...

And lastly - "I think a 120-mile EV (28-32 kWh) would be good enough for most people." is right on target for most commuters.

Teslation | 23/08/2013

What I read into Elon's comment to Liu is that he's concerned about battery production keeping up with Gen III sales, which could easily be 100k to 200k a year shortly after introduction. Elon keeps saying he doesn't want to be supplied constrained and battery production is an issue when manufacturing 100k-500k EV's a year.

On CNBC, 8/23, Elon said he supports building mind boggling, mega, battery manufactung plants. If you have order/sales potential of 500 k EV's and only have world battery production capable of supplying 200k EV's, that's a real big supply constraint.

To get everything timed in you might have to start building the first mega-battery plant ASAP. Starting out small with a lot of land would allow the battery plant to expand exponentially and as quickly as anticipated demand picks up. So when talking to Liu, it seems like Elon wants to make sure the batteries are in place first, and he's hedging a little on the time period introduction of the Gen III, for that reason.

Thinking ten years out, this is why I think designing the EV cars to allow old batteries to be leased in new cars will save a ton on new battery requirements in the future, ten years out, not to mention lower the up front cost of the new EV car 20-30 %.

wcalvin | 23/08/2013

I doubt that we see much of urban SCs until 2016+ (though Seattle is likely getting one at a new service center this winter).

Do remember that much of the market for ModE will lack a garage (or have their garage filled with storage items).

We could see valet services develop for overnight charging. If they have to return the car to a different parking spot in the neighborhood, the smartphone app will find it for the owner the next morning.

Brian H | 23/08/2013

Interesting little side note: an 85 kWh battery degraded to 70% (10 yrs?) is almost exactly the same as a new 60 kWh one, but with the steepest part of its decline behind it!

Teslation | 23/08/2013

Ssshhuussshh Brian, that's secret insider information, if that info gets out the stock could explode upwards faster than a hyperloop!

Teslation | 23/08/2013

Speaking of secrets, anyone notice the Seeking Alpha article today on superchargers, the guy apparently doesn't know Elon is installing superchargers in Europe. Guess that secret is safe and holding.

ian | 23/08/2013

nnt - Elon has always said he wants to hasten the advent of EV's so that's not a problem. They will still sell lots of their GenIII cars because, as the Model S has shown, they make DAMN good cars. Perfect? Nope. Nobody makes perfect cars. Elon has always welcomed competition and criticism.

This last part is why I've never flagged one of your posts to make it disappear. I know you're just trying to inject some reality into the conversations here and, like Elon, I welcome it. You're writing style can be a bit abrasive, though I know it's because English isn't your first language.


Teslation | 23/08/2013

I shouldn't do this but I'll let you in in another Tesla secret: Tesla builds the battery packs for MB. Just keep it quiet , shhuussh.

bonaire | 23/08/2013

100k-500k cars per year. You have to pick one. 100k per year is at least five years away. And for one firm to do 500k a year, that will require 15 billion of capex to reach using three to four factories. Chevy has one model doing 25000 a month, the cruze, it is priced low and is a world car so they sell maybe 40000 a month worldwide. However infrastructure does not exist to support such numbers of evs from all manufacturers nor the public demand there to buy them. The best compare for those numbers is the Ford Focus or Fiesta. Cheap, repeatable and able to sell to low income people. Many who drive less than 10k miles and have limited access to electricity. With low miles per year, many many people will not make a switch. There needs to be an ev that eventually is cheaper than comparable ICE cars. This wont happen until 2021 or later due to tech slowly oming down in price.

I have followed EVs since late 2007 and do not see demand nor ability for the auto community to supply at those numbers. The public generally does not care. They are intrigued by the model s and some plunk down the money for it. But even with the cheap lease and now lower prices of other EVs out there, they still are not selling as well as auto company leaders expected, which is why some like Toyota and VW are waiting. Some may say "but tesla gen iii will be good looking and be cool". Well, the competition is already working on some of them as well. I can empathize with the hype but feel you guys are buying a marketing ploy and not reality.

bonaire | 23/08/2013

@Tiebreaker. The 15k car i mention is basically todays used market, which is where most cars are sold. Bew, you can get a deal on a cruze, sonic, focus, etc and get rolling for 15k. Scion, kia, hyundai are big new car sales in my area due to the lower income of the old town we live near. These people are not ready for EVs and usually have one or two cheap used cars in their driveway. The ev snowball does not happen until they are proudly lined up on the used car lots.

mdemetri | 23/08/2013


IMO, the best and quickest way to grow the EV revolution is to build vehicles the public wants to buy, not by promoting inferior and consumer non-friendly EV's with very limited range such as the Leaf and the BMW i3. IMO, promoting poor-range vehicles via a massive installation of chargers at work places is the wrong way to go. These are inferior vehicles and supporting their continued production is not the way to spark the EV revolution. What Elon is doing is the clear way: build vehicles that have the range, performance and beauty that makes them better than a similar priced ICE vehicle in every way. This is not true for Leaf's, Volt's or i3's; you can buy a superior ICE vehicle for a lower price.

As clearly demonstrated by 1) Model S sales to many who spent 2-3x more on a car then they have ever done before and 2) the poor sales of 40kwh Model S's (so poor that Elon never made them); building vehicles with >200 mile range is the only way to go. Elon has a clear plan that is working:
Roadster profits funds Model S production, Model S profits funds Model X production, Model S/X profits funds Model E etc. Only when an electric vehicle is superior to a similar priced ICE will the EV revolution happen. And that means vehicles with range >200 miles like all Tesla's now and in the future. It will take time, but supporting inferior vehicles via a massive installation of chargers at work places is not the way to go. Elon will make these obsolete in short order.


bonaire | 23/08/2013

How far do you drive daily? Studies of real people have found most drive 40 or less per day. Data from thousands of volt owners on ahow the fleet usage could be handled by a 120 mile BEV for about 97% of all driving. Many people could commute on a typical route with todays "inferior" BEVs. But many choose bot to due to being close to round trip limits. I get the idea of "infrastructure on board" that the big batteries allow for but that is not necessary for most needs. I know some volt owners with say a 12 mile to 18 mile one way commute who do all their driving electrically. I wouldnt call them inferior. Just different. This is fast becoming an Apple versus rest of world type of scenario.

bonaire | 23/08/2013

I don't believe the reason they pulled the 40. There is a marketing and ZEV credit basis for that move. They will save the 40 for gen III. I believe that if they reintroduced the 40 model S today, it would sell very well.

Brian H | 23/08/2013

Here's the core of what you don't get:
Tesla builds cars that people REALLY want. Even brief exposure is enough to cause potential buyers to become determined to have one. Further, to date TM has been unable to fill demand without a single dollar spent on anything recognizable as normal marketing.

The world is an oyster for a company with those achievements/advantages.

BTW, your analysis of the 40kWh car's status is fatally flawed, for the same reason as much of the rest of what you say. Regardless of "usual" commute distance, the buying public WANTS a car with the ability to go 200 mi. without refill. You may feel this is irrational, but it's demonstrated by the sales failure of every lesser model.

mdemetri | 23/08/2013


I drive <25 miles per day to work and back. But this argument misses the point. The public views cars as freedom; people want to be able to drive to varied destinations on weekends and on vacations. It is not just about getting to work and back. EV's with limited range (<200 miles) will never usher in the EV revolution. The public wants the freedom to be able to jump in their car and drive hundreds of miles at a whims notice. Tesla provides that and I look forward to other manufactures providing the same. Anything less will limit EV's to a niche market.

carlgo | 24/08/2013

"Build it and they will come". Field of Dreams.

More and more convinced that the infrastructure has to be in place before there are mass purchases of electrical vehicles. Not all-day glorified trickle chargers at some random office buildings either, but Supercharger/changers damn near everywhere.

Glorified all-day trickle chargers at some office buildings just aren't the answer. There is a market for limited range commuter cars, but these will be second cars in most families and they will spend their money on long range transportation first.

Teslation | 24/08/2013


These are Elon's words not mine, Elon has stated his goal is to get Fremont plant production up to its original capacity of 500k cars a year, just at Fremont.

Don't short the stock, next earnings release will still show dramatic yoy arg comps, (year over year accelerating rate of growth comparables), for Tesla earnings.

bonaire | 24/08/2013

This year and last year differ. The comp is Q2 -> Q3, really. YoY is kind of bad and most people understand this.

There will need to be thousands of super-chargers, though. Not hundreds. People want convenience. We have 110,000 gasoline stations in the USA and some have 24-32 pumping points each. That is the level of convenience we need. To fill a car is 5-10 minutes, so if the technology is to match gasoline, and one day it will, then DC fast charging in 10-15 minutes is critical. At tens of thousands of fast-charging points. Even with a 300-mile BEV (and many will be this size - it is only early-stages now, everyone can share the same battery "culture") - the infrastructure must be far bigger than the SC network proports for the next 5-years. I think most people would choose a 40 kWh BEV though. If fast charging is out there, then for those occasional long distance runs - take your ICE vehicle or rent or fly/car-pool with someone else. The BEV will be supplemented by ICE and mass transit. 85 kWh is only needed because you have "infrastructure on board". It seriously is not a need but a want that adds to the price.

Charging at home is 80% of all charging for EVs. Perhaps more. Those long-distance trips must be convenient (as you guys say) and DC fast charging is the way to do it. Forget the brand, it is the engineering of this that must become cheap and commonplace to replace oil usage. I think this is a 15-20 year process that began in late 2010 with the Leaf/Volt/Roadster blend of initial horseless carridges. EV-1 was an outlier. Home conversions were cute. A whole lot more evolution is going to happen. Some catch-up. Some leap-frogging. Give Nissan time, or Toyota, etc. But, a whole lot of people aren't considering changing. Until they feel the pinch of gasoline prices like in Europe. $3.75/gal is the new normal and peoples' habits seem to be staying about the same. Who needs to get away from high gas prices? Poor people. Who can afford EVs? Rich people. Doesn't line up yet.

One lingering problem. SUVs and Pickups are darlings of the USA. And a cause of much of the oil usage and long-distance convenience needs in many locations, from mid-west to big suburban sprawl. A 1/2 ton pickup is highly needed by someone. Anyone. And not Via Motors, they're too slow to market.

In terms of miles per charge - I get as much as 51-52 miles out of 10.4 kWh of usable storage in my Volt today. I could easily live with a 40 kWh for all my driving. I also use mass transit for longer distances, could use a standby rental for long distance, rare needs. I do think that pulling the 40 and focusing on "higher cost exclusive luxury with bigger battery, higher cost, more ZEV credits applicable" was more of a business move than reality but it's only an opinion.

These discussions have multiple sides to them, but have a common end-goal. To get off oil. Let's do this. I'd hate for it to become like the fight between cromagnon and neanderthal and only one species of EV will survive. (or Apple/Windows, take your pick) There's room for many species and I bet Tesla uses the future China plant to make a 20 kWh city car for Asian metro areas. That kind of thing helps as well as the big, convenience-laden stuff we are talking about now. I mean, they already have nearly 1000 BYD electric taxis in China - they're well ahead of the USA in that usage. City council voted down allowance of a Nissan Leaf-based taxi service in Arlington, VA last year.

jstack6 | 24/08/2013

Model C, I think the model E ,like Jag XKE will be the replacement for the Roadster, the smaller 25% gen III Tesla was supposed to be the model C for compact. Everyone knows how Elon like the looks of the Jags, his 1st car was a Jaguar and looked good but ran bad.

I even made a website about it. I can't wait to place my order!

Teslation | 24/08/2013

Get off oil, +1

Brian H | 24/08/2013

I'm afraid you are about 1.5 yrs too optimistic on that site. Late '16, early '17.