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Superchargers and Model 3

Superchargers and Model 3

Just curious, once the Model 3 comes out and the years thereafter, there will be an exponentially greater number of users using the Superchargers. I wonder if there will be an issue with waiting for a charger. I know there will be more chargers coming online in the next year or two based upon the map but it doesn't seem like that is enought if TS stops there, taking into consideration the Model 3. What do you think?

socalsam | 24 juillet 2014

I wouldn't worry about problems that don't exist. The Model 3 is conservatively 3 years away. I would think they are smart enough to predict demand and will scale up as needed. I could envision a supercharger at every shopping center/mall in the country.

tes-s | 24 juillet 2014

Model 3? There are orders of magnitude more ICE - I don't worry about waiting for a gas pump except during a few peak periods.

johnl972001 | 24 juillet 2014

@tes-s

I agree with you about ICE but there is a gas station on every corner as well and pumping gas doesn't take 20-60min. per car. Hopefully TM will continue to install SC beyond the current map.

Bighorn | 24 juillet 2014

Plus the ICEs don't do 98% of their charging at home, give or take.

DTsea | 24 juillet 2014

there's a plug in every house.

As Model 3 car sales increase, that will fund supercharger expansion.

AlMc | 24 juillet 2014

JB has mentioned that they are working on technology that would greatly reduce charging time as well. I suspect we will see this with the ramp up of the Model 3.

johnl972001 | 24 juillet 2014

@AIMc

Thanks, that's good to know!

carlk | 24 juillet 2014

More cars that use the supercharger the better since more charging stations will be built for them. Eventually we could see a supercharger every 20 miles on the freeway.

I don't think we need to worry if people will jam the sc for free charges either. It's still not worth it to spend an hour or so for the few dollars saving when you can just plug it in at home.

mrspaghetti | 24 juillet 2014

As more Teslas hit the road, there will eventually be 3rd party superchargers. Demand produces supply - there won't be a shortage of charging options, they just won't be free.

djm12 | 26 juillet 2014

It's not as if the demand for Superchargers will suddenly jump up drastically in 2017. Tesla has been managing the increased demand during the past year fairly well. Congested SCs are slowly getting more stalls. (Gilroy, Hawthorne for example)

In three years, assuming US demand growth remains steady, Tesla may have four to five times the current demand for SCs - possibly much more. About half of the current SC locations are in areas that will need many, many more charging stalls. No fear - Lusk, WY will be ok!

If there is a concern, it is that most sites are saturated - there is no more room for more stalls. This means that new sister locations will need to be opened to offset demand. SJC is a great example - that site is in a crowded parking lot and I don't expect that Tesla will be allowed to install more stalls at that location.

The obvious solution is install more stalls (when possible) and to add new sites. In Los Angeles, it would be great to have more SC locations, spread out 5-10 miles from each other. (Hawthorne is not really "on the way" to anywhere - its a detour)

Tesla will also need to add a "congestion indicator" of some type to the map to allow drivers to determine the best location (among alternatives) for charging. So, when approaching the San Jose/Oakland/SF area, the map could indicate that Gilroy is busy, but Fremont is open.

Benz | 26 juillet 2014

Tesla Motors will keep on expanding the Supercharger network for many years to come. Nothing to be worried about.

Red Sage ca us | 26 juillet 2014

If it says 'Supercharger' on the sign, with a Tesla Motors logo, it will always be free.

Do not be surprised when it is announced 100% of Tesla Model ☰ vehicles are Supercharger enabled by default.

djm12 | 26 juillet 2014

I would actually be surprised by that Red Sage. I don't expect Tesla to offer the Tesla Model ☰ with free Supercharging - and as a shareholder I would be very upset at a failure to maximize profit on such as obvious optional feature. To get the price down to $35,000, only the minimum equipment can be offered as standard.

Tesla will not have any problem selling as many of these cars as they can crank out of the factory. For years to come, Tesla will remain capacity constrained.

Red Sage ca us | 26 juillet 2014

djm12: Tesla Model ☰ is the endgame, the goal, the prize. By the time it is available, the Supercharger network will have expanded tremendously from what is in place today. That will have been funded by the gracious purchases of the Tesla Model S and Model X. At a price of ~$35,000 a Tesla Model ☰ will still have a 25% gross profit margin even if it costs ~$28,000 to build.

Trust that it costs other manufacturers significantly less than that to build a car they offer at $35,000 though they claim a mere 6% gross profit margin on average. They have to account for the 'independent franchised dealerships' that act as middlemen. Tesla Motors does not have that lodestone to drag them down. And they would still get that industry average of 6% gross profit margin if the $35,000 car cost them $33,000 to build.

Don't worry. Your investment is secure. Most people will purchase the Tesla Model ☰ 85 at around $43,000 plus more for options. There is no need to price gouge, like the 'independent franchised dealerships' do, in order to charge 'what the market can bear'.

Tesla Motors wants to prove that electric cars can be affordable, as well as profitable, and they will with Tesla Model ☰.

centralvalley | 26 juillet 2014

Red :)

Doing my best BrianH imitation here, but I believe that you mean millstone, unless you were referring to the magnetic property of lodestones, then my humble apologies!

Cheers, my friend!

johncrab | 26 juillet 2014

The charging infrastructure landscape will be vastly different in 2017. I am also expecting Tesla to offer the Model 3 with or without Supercharging since many will want an in town car or will opt for pay to charge stations when they have to travel longer distances. This will also keep the cost down for the 3 and make it more attractive and competitive with other EVs on the market. No point in hitting the panic button now. I think it will all work out pretty well.

sberman | 26 juillet 2014

In case we forget, recall that not all Tesla Model S automobiles can use the supercharger.

Those with 60kWh batteries who elected not to purchase the supercharger option cannot use the devices.

So the framework has been established for not necessarily inviting all Model 3s to use the superchargers.

Grinnin'.VA | 26 juillet 2014

This thread ha lots of interesting comments.

Here's another. With the Gen 3 Tesla could change their SC pricing approach.
They could equip all Gen 3s to use SCs and then offer buyers three options:

1. Disable SC use via software and get the 'base' price for the car,
2. Pay the same up-front fee for SC service as other Tesla owners do and then use them 'for free' as much as the owner chooses to do, or
3. Enable SC use via software to charge fees for SC use based on the kWh of each charge. Bill for the amount of usage monthly via automatic credit card transactions.

If they wanted to, they could eliminate option 2 for new buyers after some cutoff date. Everyone who paid for 'free SC charging forever' would get it, but everyone else would pay monthly for the amount of SC use.

Wouldn't option 3 be attractive to some buyers? I think so.

Ron :)

jeffsstuff | 27 juillet 2014

I thought they already said that supercharging was included in the III. I forgot where I read it but possibly in a business article. Definitely within the last couple weeks. I'd be pissed if I bought an S60 and paid the 2k for supercharging and gen 3 users get it included for a whole lot less.

J.T. | 27 juillet 2014

@jeffstuff Just because something is included doesn't mean it's free.

It's included on the 85, also.

Model ☰ | 27 juillet 2014

@Grinnin'
As long as Elon is the boss your option #3. will not happen.

My guess is that SC will be included on the bigger batteries, but a option on the base version just like it is on TMS. But I think it will be cheaper on GIII then it is on GII. It's $2000 on TMS? Maybe $1000 to $1400 on GIII.

Mark K | 27 juillet 2014

Pricing objectives with MS are high margins to drive development, whereas with M III it's affordability.

So Tesla will likely change their pricing scheme for SuperChargers to meet the new objective.

My idea:

- First 10 charges are free, even on base model.

- Lifetime pass can be bought at any time for about $1,500.

The point of M III is to sway mass attitudes, so you have to make it very easy to try the new ecosystem.

Once owners try a few supercharges, they''ll be convinced it's an amazing deal.

I think TM will sell a sh**load of these cars in 2017.

Jolinar | 28 juillet 2014

@mrspaghetti
for that to happen, Tesla would have to release SuperCharger specs and communication protocols. Or somebody would have to hack in to Tesla SuperCharger and its communication with the car...

Hope Tesla will release it as a standard, that would be great for charging industry. Tesla would not have to make Combo and CHAdeMO adapters if charging stations could have SuperCharger plug included.

Jolinar | 28 juillet 2014

@Model ☰
I disagree that it will be cheaper on Model 3... While Model S/X are weatlhy guys, they tend to care less how much they save by charging free for 20minutes to 1 hour. But Model 3 buyers will be more motivated to charge as much as possible on free SuperCharging to save as much as they can. Thus I predict same cost or even more for Model 3.

J.T. | 28 juillet 2014

@Mark K The often discussed Metro Charger might come into play with the Model 3 rollout. Both my daughters will buy one of these and both will have challenges finding charging options in their apartment buildings.

Perhaps a Metro charger with a limit of 10 minutes, hopefully giving 60-75 miles of range. Perfect for commuters and station cars.

tes-s | 28 juillet 2014

I think you are underestimating the progression of fee-based charging and availability of home charging solutions that will be in place 5 to 8 years from now when the Model 3 is sold to the masses.

When it comes out in a few years, charging infrastructure will have progressed. There are chargers being installed every day. The early adopters of the Model 3 will have no trouble charging - they are talking a few hundred thousand vehicles a year. You don't have to solve apartment charging to sell that many.

You don't have to solve world hunger to start saving a few people.

Red Sage ca us | 28 juillet 2014

centralvalley: Yes, I chose 'lodestone' because of the magnetic properties. It seemed more appropriate, since it is the... 'gravity' of 'independent franchised dealerships' that effect the inertial movement of traditional auto manufacturers... Keeping them away from electric vehicles as primary products. Perhaps it is a bit too eclectic a turn of phrase, but I rather like it. ;-)

Model ☰ wrote, "As long as Elon is the boss your option #3. will not happen."

Precisely.

There has been an interesting array of comments so far:

sberman wrote, "So the framework has been established for not necessarily inviting all Model 3s to use the superchargers."

jetstuff wrote, "I'd be pissed if I bought an S60 and paid the 2k for supercharging and gen 3 users get it included for a whole lot less."

J.T. wrote, "Just because something is included doesn't mean it's free."

MarkK wrote, "Pricing objectives with MS are high margins to drive development, whereas with M III it's affordability."

Jolinar wrote, "...Model 3 buyers will be more motivated to charge as much as possible on free SuperCharging to save as much as they can."

It seems the conflict between these statements revolves around the notion of profitability for Tesla Motors.

I would remind you that for this company, profitability is a means to an end. The goal of the company is not profitability in and of itself. It never has been.

The goal of the company is to prove that electric cars can be viable transportation that is affordable, desirable, and compelling for mass production and consumption by the populace at large.

That is to say, it isn't about 'charging what the market can bear'. Most people admit that whatever they paid for their Tesla Model S, they feel as if they got 'a steal' of a deal. They got the future, today, instead of waiting for an always promised 'tomorrow' that never comes from other automobile manufacturers.

I believe Tesla Motors wants to share that same feeling with future owners of the Tesla Model ☰ as well.

The attitude, philosophy, and experience of becoming a Tesla owner for the first time will be shared by all who make the purchase. Tesla Motors is not about exclusivity, but instead about inclusion. Newcomers to the fold will receive the same level of attention, education, and service that the early adopters did, and always will.

While it might make good business sense to offer a Tesla Model ☰ 60 at $34,990 with a paid option for Supercharger access... I don't think that will happen. There will be no subscription services, except perhaps for battery swaps. There will be no pay-by-the-month or pay-by-the-charge options for Supercharger access. It's all about having an experience with electric vehicles that exudes simplicity, convenience, and affordability. That is what will win over the masses.

I believe that prior to the release of the Model ☰, a mid-season refresh of the Tesla Model S will be unveiled.
The Model S 60 will go away.
The Model S 85 will be the base version.
The Model S P85 will be the mid-range car in the series.
An all-new Model S P85+ AWD edition will come to the fore.
And a superior Model S P135+ AWD car will appear as the new, top-of-the-line car.
All of these cars will be Supercharger enabled by default, of course. At the same time, the existing owners of Model S 60 will have Supercharging unlocked at no additional charge through a firmware update. From that point forward, all Tesla Motors vehicles will be Supercharger enabled from the outset. The continued expansion of the Supercharger network will be funded almost entirely from profits gained from the Model S and Model X. This will ensure a smooth transition as Model ☰ customers benefit from the success of its predecessor.

At least, that's how it would go if I ran Tesla Motors. Insanity? Perhaps. It's... a strategy.

Grinnin'.VA | 29 juillet 2014

@Model ☰ | JULY 27, 2014:

"As long as Elon is the boss your option #3. will not happen."

I expect Elon to consider any ethical initiative that's consistent with his goals.
Do you agree?

Do you think my option #3 would be either unethical or inconsistent with Elon's goals?
If so, please explain.

Ron :)

Rocky_H | 29 juillet 2014

I don't know about his goals, but #3 is inconsistent with what he has actually said. When talking about sharing the Supercharger technology with other car companies, he said it cannot get into a metered system. Other automakers would also have to do it as an upfront price for future permanent use, so that it keeps the simplicity of pull up and plug in.

Benz | 29 juillet 2014

@ Red Sage

Wow, what a strategy. I like it a lot. It's very optimistic and progressive. And I hope that you are right. But I must say that I am personally a bit more on the conservative side when it comes to make a prediction about battery packs with a higher kWh capacity. I too think that there will be progress on that front, but just with smaller steps. So, I think that Tesla Motors will first announce a 100 kWh battery pack for the Model S and the Model X in 2016, and then a 120 kWh battery pack in 2020. But I really hope that in a few years time it turns out that I was way too conservative and that you were right.

Cheers

Grinnin'.VA | 29 juillet 2014

@Rocky_H | JULY 29, 2014:

"I don't know about his goals, but #3 is inconsistent with what he has actually said. When talking about sharing the Supercharger technology with other car companies, he said it cannot get into a metered system. Other automakers would also have to do it as an upfront price for future permanent use, so that it keeps the simplicity of pull up and plug in."

Yes, Elon said that. I know that Tesla isn't now contemplating such an option.
However, metering is trivially simple to do. And it's trivially simple to set up preauthorized credit/debit card transactions for payment. Further, it would be easy for Tesla to offer multiple options for owners of other EVs to use SCs, either as a prepaid or pay-as-you go service.

My option #3 doesn't conflict with the service promises that Elon has made. All of the existing promises continue in force. All existing customers can continue using SCs just as they always have. They can continue their 'free SC charging' for the life of their cars. Customers are given a new option, one that might appeal to lots of Gen3 buyers as well as others. New customers can pay for the existing up-front SC enabling deal, giving them the right to use SCs with no fee for the life of their cars.

For those who don't like my option #3, please explain what it is that you don't like about it.
What do you think?

Ron :)

Benz | 29 juillet 2014

@ Grinnin

I must say that I don't like your option #3. I think and hope that they will never choose to do it that way. That would be a bad choice.

Why do I say that?

It all has got to do with the goal of Tesla Motors: "Accelerate the advent of sustainable transport". Tesla Motors is showing other car manufacturers the right way to go.

Tesla Motors was not founded to sell electricity. That is certainly not a part of the "Secret Master Plan".

I think and hope that only Tesla EV's will be able to charge at the Tesla Supercharger stations, certainly in the current and next decade.

SCCRENDO | 29 juillet 2014

@redsage. One issue with suddenly allowing 60 owners free charging would be to annoy those who have paid $2000 for the option. You will see these forums explode.

SUN 2 DRV | 29 juillet 2014

If people think Model 3 Supercharging will be free/included, then why isn't Tesla doing that already with today's 60 kWh MS?

Manufacturers need features to differentiate their Good, Better, Best offerings and Tesla is currently using SuperCharger access as one of those differentiating features. Why wouldn't they continue to do that with the Model 3?

Pungoteague_Dave | 29 juillet 2014

RedSage - A Gen III "85" for $35k? BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA. That's the current price of a MS85 battery alone. Using Elon's most optimistic projection for the Gigafactory impact on battery cost, assuming a 40% reduction in the cost curve (bringing the battery's retail price with 25% margin to $21k), no one will be able to sell an 85-kwh battery-powered car for anything like $35k. That's teh reason we are seeing these crippled range cars like the Leaf, BMW and MB offering with smaller batteries - it is the best anyone can do given current battery costs and a $40k price target. Range costs money and is directly proportional to what you are able/willing to pay.

TM is being VERY careful to reduce expectations - indicating the target range for the top GEN III car is going to be 200 miles, much less than an MS85 gives today. Given the smaller footprint and lighter weight (although apparently the car will have more steel and less aluminum), I would be surprised to see anything larger than a 40 in the Gen III. Remember that the only way we get 85kwh batteries today is to have a 5'x8' battery pan under the car. That's one of the reasons the MS is so large. Given the GEN III's smaller format, there is no place to stuff 85kwh worth of batteries without impinging luggage or passenger space, something I am sure TM wants to avoid.

It is probable that the Gen III will use the same skateboard propulsion system format that we have in the MS. I get that there may be slightly more battery density in that car, but so far Elon seems to be guiding that better technology is what it is for now and they are taking a pragmatic approach to design - using what exists right here right now, now what MIGHT come in the next two years.

On the original question, I doubt we will see many GEN III adopters opting for the Supercharger option, which will and must remain a priced option. $2k is proportionately a lot more on a $40k car than on a $100k car, and a lot of Gen III prospects are looking for a daily use car, not so much for road trips.

Using a formula once told to me by my boss in an accounting firm - "We offer three option - low price, speed, and quality. Pick any two." When it comes to EV's you have three options:

1) Low price
2) More range/kwh
3) More quality/luxury

Pick any two.

jai9001 | 29 juillet 2014

@Pungoteague_Dave,

I think you are right on the mark.

I think people are being way to optimistic about the base Model 3.

I think at the 35k price point it will be much less powerful and more "Leaf" like than people realize.

At a 40kWH battery, do we really think they can the efficiency of the Model 3 to 5miles/kwh?

CraigW | 29 juillet 2014

Having visited most of the U.S. superchargers, I can say fears about being too crowded are a bit pessimistic.

The Supercharger network is designed for trips, not around-town-use. Most of us rarely use a Supercharger in our daily travels. It is more to reduce range anxiety than for every-day use. By the time the Model III is out, the existing network will be complete.

If the new generation car goes around 200 miles, then they will fit right in. However, they will be even more 'city constrained' than the Model S. Reason: Local use will approach 90% of all miles traveled because the people who can afford them will be more dependent on work and have less time to make extensive travel, than Model S customers.

Don't worry, have fun!

Grinnin'.VA | 29 juillet 2014

@Benz | JULY 29, 2014:

"I think and hope that only Tesla EV's will be able to charge at the Tesla Supercharger stations, certainly in the current and next decade."

@SCCRENDO | JULY 29, 2014:
"@redsage. One issue with suddenly allowing 60 owners free charging would be to annoy those who have paid $2000 for the option. You will see these forums explode."

Possibly I failed to describe my ideas clearly. Here's what I thought I said: BEVs from other car manufacturers could be given access to SC charging on the same basis as Tesla car owners -- by paying $2000 up-front to get SC-enabled cars.

Why would this be good for Tesla? Because it would accelerate the deployment of SC sites. Basically, the $2000 fee pays for the SC hardware, installation, and roughly the present value of the electricity that SCs will pump into the SC-enabled car in the future. So, more SC-enabled cars would finance accelerated expansion of the SC system.

There are economies of scale in the SC system. At low usage levels, they need to put SCs spaced roughly at the typical range of the car. And then most of the time a large majority of the SC stalls sit idle. With higher numbers of SC-enabled cars, the SC stalls can support much higher levels of usage without causing significant delays. 10 times as many cars do NOT require 10 times as many SC sites or stalls.

It's in our interest as MS owners for the numbers of SC-enabled cars to increase rapidly. I think Elon would wise to welcome BMW and others to join the SC party. It's good for BMW; it's good for Tesla. And it's good for expanding the number of BEVs on the road. Consequently, I believe Elon will gladly share SC use with other manufacturers when they get ready to join the cutting edge of the BEV revolution. Note that I didn't say "if", but "when".

Go Tesla!

Ron :)

Model ☰ | 30 juillet 2014

@Grinnin'
> I expect Elon to consider any ethical initiative that's
> consistent with his goals. Do you agree?

Yes, I expect Elon to consider any ethical initiative that's consistent with his goals and does not go against anything he had said/promised or is inconsistent with his/Teslas goals.

> Do you think my option #3 would be either unethical or
> inconsistent with Elon's goals? If so, please explain.

It's not unethical, but it is inconsistent with Elons/Teslas goals. Elon/Tesla goal is to promoting electric driving over the use of fossil fuels. The superchagers is "advertising posters" for Telsa and ev's. To charge by kwh will make it "the new generation fuel stations", not "free for life electric power". (Yes, I know its prepaid, not realy free). And he said in an interview this winter "it will be free for life for all Telsa vehicles". Yes, I was also thinking about your #3 until I heard him saying that.

@Jolinar
> I disagree that it will be cheaper on Model 3... While Model S/X
> are weatlhy guys, they tend to care less how much they save by
> charging free for 20minutes to 1 hour. But Model 3 buyers will
> be more motivated to charge as much as possible on free
> SuperCharging to save as much as they can.
> Thus I predict same cost or even more for Model 3.

As others already have said - Model ☰ owners is less likely to go on long distance trips. And by the time Model ☰ is delivered most off the supercharger network is completed. The strategy is to deliver an expensive car (TMS/TMX) with a high profit first to get the money they need to mass produce the GIII for a lower price/lower profit. Same goes for the superchagers. The TMS/TMX pays a higher price to build out the charging network so its ready when the GIII cars enters the market.

It will still be a lousy hourly payment to sit around an hour just to get some few free electrons :)

Red Sage ca us | 30 juillet 2014

We've Got Calls in Queue...

Grinnin' Ron asked, "For those who don't like my option #3, please explain what it is that you don't like about it. What do you think?"

Take a look at the design for the Superchargers. Notice the big empty place in the middle? That was done on purpose. There's no touchscreen. There's no buttons labeled 'REGULAR', 'PLUS', and 'SUPREME'. There's no card reader. There's no payment slot. The experience of using a Supercharger is similar to that of owning a Tesla product. It is completely unlike owning and fueling an ICE.

This may give an illusory feeling of freedom and independence. Good. Mission accomplished.

Going to an onsite payment and verification pay-per-use system changes all that. Charging then becomes the same sort of inconvenient drudge it was for decades with fueling ICE vehicles. Instead of simplicity you add complexity. Instead of convenience you experience anxiety. Instead of smiles you bring on frowns.

When things go wrong, a card is declined, a reader doesn't work, someone enters a Zip Code instead of their PIN, a fraud alert is erroneously detected by a financial institution, or any number of other problems that might routinely take place, you end up with an exponentially higher number of calls to your Customer Service department. The more people on the phone trying to work on billing issues for a whopping $2.55 worth of electricity a pop, the fewer there are available to handle actual issues, like damaged cables, defective connectors, or vandalized Superchargers. Just avoiding those issues from the outset by not worrying about billing at all will actually save the company money while delivering a better experience to your Customers in good times and bad times.

There will be no subscription services, except perhaps for battery swaps. There will be no pay-by-the-month or pay-by-the-charge options for Supercharger access. It's all about having an experience with electric vehicles that exudes simplicity, convenience, and affordability. That is what will win over the masses.

omarsultan.ca.us | 30 juillet 2014

I will also join the camp that SuperCharging will forever be free:

1) Most importantly, Elon has said so--as noted upthread, free Supercharging is fundamental to the Tesla experience - it is a clear differentiator and hard if not impossible to match--look at BMW's lame announcement this week. M3 customers are looking forward to being able to afford the Tesla experience and will not want to be treated as second class citizens, especially, this they really are the target market for Tesla--the rest of us are (very willing) stepping stones
2) There is no compelling financial reason - they are already making 25+% GM on the cars and the current SC cost structure seems like it will scale--unlike other companies, I do not see Tesla damaging the brand or undermining the mission to make a quick buck
3) Superchargers are captured as a marketing expense. Marketing is generally a cost-center and not set up to collect and/or recognize revenue
4) It is not trivial to collect and maintain payment data--there are costs associated with SW updates, there are costs associated with HW updates, there are costs associated with regulatory compliance, there costs associated with customer service to handle payment problems, etc, there are costs associated with fraud. The costs can be justified, but I don't see it in this case.

O

Bighorn | 30 juillet 2014

Elon said it, I believe it, that settles it.

Red Sage ca us | 30 juillet 2014

SCCRENDO wrote, "One issue with suddenly allowing 60 owners free charging would be to annoy those who have paid $2000 for the option. You will see these forums explode."

joehuber wrote, "If people think Model 3 Supercharging will be free/included, then why isn't Tesla doing that already with today's 60 kWh MS?"

That is why I would do this in stages, ahead of the launch of Tesla Model ☰, but after the launch of Tesla Model X. To review:
The profits from Model S and Model X will fund the Supercharger expansion, because those cars will likely always have the highest gross profit margin per unit.
At some point after the launch of Model X, the 135 kWh version of the battery pack would be revealed as an option for both Model X and Model S.
At that time the Model S 60 would be discontinued.
Anyone with an unfulfilled order for a Model S 60 would get an 85 kWh battery pack that was software limited to 60 kWh, with Supercharging enabled.
Those who had recently received their Model S 60 prior to the announcement, and paid the $2000 fee for Supercharging, would be in the same situation as those who complain about having paid for the $250 Parcel Shelf, after it was made an included line item.
I'm thinking this would be done in the last half of 2015, or the first half of 2016. Either way, it would be at least another year from now, and up to about 18 months away. It should not be done before the higher capacity battery pack is available. It should definitely be done in time to inform future Model ☰ owners that Supercharging will be 'Free for Life' for them all. This is because the Model ☰ is the endgame.

Red Sage ca us | 30 juillet 2014

Free Range Supercharging...

Pungoteague_Dave enthused, "A Gen III '85' for $35k? BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA."

Hi, Dave! Haven't noticed you here for a while! Nice to see you again! Great that you are in such a jovial mood, too. ;-)

Anyway, if you go back to the first page of this discussion, I actually wrote, "Most people will purchase the Tesla Model ☰ 85 at around $43,000 plus more for options." I predict a Tesla Model ☰ 60 will cost ~$35,000 and be equipped about as well as a typical Toyota Camry LE, rather than like a Lexus ES.

"Using Elon's most optimistic projection for the Gigafactory impact on battery cost, assuming a 40% reduction in the cost curve (bringing the battery's retail price with 25% margin to $21k), no one will be able to sell an 85-kwh battery-powered car for anything like $35k."

Well, there's a way to do it... but you wouldn't like it! ;-) Again, I expect that the Tesla Model ☰ 60 will be the entry level vehicle for Generation III. One part of the cost curve that people seem to overlook is the number of 18650 battery cells inside the battery pack.

According to JB Straubel the achievable storage capacity for lithium ion batteries increases by ~8% per year. He personally witnessed an improvement of ~40% in energy density from the Tesla Roadster to the Tesla Model S 85 between roughly 2007 and 2012. I am presuming a similar improvement between 2012 and 2017, possibly coming earlier in 2016.

If that happens, then rather than ~7100 battery cells to store 85 kWh, or ~5000 of them to store 60 kWh of energy... Newer battery cells will only take ~4300 battery cells for 85 kWh, and a mere ~3000 to store 60 kWh. Presto! You've saved 40% in costs just by reducing the number of battery cells needed for the target storage capacity. Once those battery cells are supplied from the Gigafactory, your pricing drops further, as each cell costs only 2/3rd of before. Thus your total cost for a 60 kWh battery pack is only 40% of what it was in 2012. And as a bonus, the more batteries you make, the cheaper they get.

With my calculations, your $21,000 price for an 85 kWh battery pack only represents the decrease in cell count from ~7100 to ~4200. With a further reduction in per cell cost by supplying them from the Gigafactory, that 'retail' price drops to only $14,000. That's barely a third of my proposed $43,000 retail price for the entire vehicle.

"That's teh reason we are seeing these crippled range cars like the Leaf, BMW and MB offering with smaller batteries - it is the best anyone can do given current battery costs and a $40k price target."

No, their problem is they are buying their batteries from LexCorp instead of Tesla Motors... ;-) Seriously though... The problem with the other auto manufacturers is that they still have to deal with the lodestone of 'independent franchised dealerships' acting as middlemen in the transaction. What they can offer for $35,000 is not the same as what Tesla Motors will be capable of because of that handicap.

Other manufacturers claim an industry average of a 6% gross profit across their entire fleets. Tesla Motors would achieve a 6% profit even if a $35,000 car cost $33,000 to build. They can get a 25% profit on a $35,000 car if it costs as much as $28,000 to build. This is the number one reason why Tesla MotorsNEVER use 'independent franchised dealerships'. They drive up the price to the Consumer by far too much.

Just because the Tesla Model ☰ will be a smaller vehicle than the Tesla Model S overall, doesn't mean it can't have a similar length wheelbase. Please note -- it's an electric car. You can put the wheels wherever you want. I doubt the NHTSA will care about what the front/rear overhangs are without a highly explosive fuel tank in the rear, and no ICE up front. Crumple zones will be vastly superior to any other car in the class. I expect it will still use the very same battery pack configuration as the Tesla Model S and will be compatible with battery swap stations.

"...I doubt we will see many GEN III adopters opting for the Supercharger option, which will and must remain a priced option."

Nope. It won't be an option. It will be standard. For everyone. Everywhere in the world.

As for your 'pick two' challenge... Tesla Motors doesn't make luxury cars. the Tesla Model ☰ will be an 'Affordable Performance Economy' car line. It won't break the bank to buy them. They will be a lot of fun to drive. They won't burn any gas.

I have gone over all of this numerous times in popular threads that cover the Tesla Model ☰ in the General Forum if you'd like to discuss this further.

Grinnin'.VA | 31 juillet 2014

@Red Sage | JULY 30, 2014:

"Grinnin' Ron asked, "For those who don't like my option #3, please explain what it is that you don't like about it. What do you think?"

"Take a look at the design for the Superchargers. Notice the big empty place in the middle? That was done on purpose. There's no touchscreen. There's no buttons labeled 'REGULAR', 'PLUS', and 'SUPREME'. There's no card reader. There's no payment slot."

Red, either I failed to describe my option #3 clearly, or you misunderstood what I meant.
What I'm suggesting does NOT:

* Require any modification of the SC hardware or software at the SC sites.
* Involve use of a card reader for credit card transactions.

Each authorized user would get SC-compatible hardware and software installed in their cars by their manufacturer. Authorization for SC use could be done online, setting up standing preauthorized credit card transactions. When an authorized 'pay-as-you-go' SC user plugs in, the SC would verify the user's authorization and payment status before turning on the juice. SCs already verify the user's authorization and refuse to pump electricity into unauthorized batteries.

At least a few gas station brands in my area routinely pump gas and bill to the customer's CC account in a similar fashion using a special 'key' that the customer places near a sensor at the pump. My suggestion is that Tesla could offer similar functionality for SC 'pay-as-you-go' charging with the existing SC authorization verification in place of waving a special key at the pump. For the customer, this payment process is quite a bit more convenient than using a credit card.

Tell me please, what's wrong with Tesla offering such an option ALONG WITH the prepaid ($2000 for the life of the car) SC deal?

Ron :)

logicalthinker | 31 juillet 2014

@Grinnin Ron,
Because, Quote: "Anything Tesla does [re: Supercharging, answering a question about the possibility of future non-Tesla Supercharger-standardized paid charging] will always be free"
Source: words of Elon Musk.

end of story. Glacias, as Mr. Bean said on the French Train.

Red Sage ca us | 13 août 2014

Grinnin' Ron: No punch cards. No credit/charge cards. No RFID. No Pay-As-You-Go Service. No Monthly Subscription. No single individual will have to pay for access to Superchargers, on site, ahead of time, in preparation for use, at all, for Tesla Model ☰ or vehicles from third party manufacturers that are Supercharger compatible in the future. EVER.

Grinnin'.VA | 14 août 2014

@Red Sage | AUGUST 13, 2014

"Grinnin' Ron: No punch cards. No credit/charge cards. No RFID. No Pay-As-You-Go Service. No Monthly Subscription. No single individual will have to pay for access to Superchargers, on site, ahead of time, in preparation for use, at all, for Tesla Model ☰ or vehicles from third party manufacturers that are Supercharger compatible in the future. EVER."

You've said this before.
However, that isn't convincing to me.

My question is WHY? PLEASE EXPLAIN YOUR REASONING!

Ron :)

P.S. I have NEVER suggested that SCs include punch cards, credit/debit card readers, RFID readers, or month subscriptions. Why are you implying that I advocate such things?

Baribrotzer | 14 août 2014

Not to start a different argument....

But it may be a bit like the health insurance industry: Health insurance companies spend quite a lot on large internal bureaucracies, whose main purpose is to deny policies to prospective customers, or disqualify policy-holders from treatment. Or, in other words, it might actually cost Tesla more to charge money for electricity than to give it away.

Also, there's the difference between short-term profits and long term business viability: A business can hurt its own sales by squeezing every possible penny out of their customers and getting bad or ambivalent word-of-mouth. And Tesla seems to be making a point of taking a very long view, and generating the best possible word-of-mouth.

Brian H | 14 août 2014

Bari;
That pretty much covers it. It's not a material expense in the business, generates sterling goodwill, and altering it would incur more costs than it would generate, along with terrible PR. Stoopid idea.

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