Can anyone be real competition w/o Supercharging?

Can anyone be real competition w/o Supercharging?

Ok, the Bolt is slowly being released, others car companies have made nothing other than a lot of talk.
Will any current or future EV really be any true competition for Tesla if they don't have fast charging equal to or better than Supercharging?
With no "fast charging" ability for long distance traveling, are they really competition?
Am I off base here?

Earl and Nagin ... | 15 december 2016

The bolt will be some competition for those for whom a Nissan Leaf proved sufficient from a range and self-esteem perspective that might otherwise have bought a Model III. It will also be competition for urban residents whose lives never take them far from home or fly when they do. This includes a large number of people in major cities who have never left their home cities.

KP in NPT | 15 december 2016

I suppose it depends on your circumstance - i.e. if it will be your primary vehicle.

It wouldn't work for us because both our commutes (185/300 miles one way) require supercharging. And that is even too slow if you are paired IMO. (going to/from work isn't the same as long distance travel - you just want to get there/home.)

So no, for us, any car without supercharging would not be a consideration.

SamO | 15 december 2016

Nope. It's the special sauce that separates Tesla from everyone else.

Without a fast charging Network, they are just pretenders.

amareshvanga | 16 december 2016

I agree with SamO. it is not the question of whether you are a urban dweller or whether you travel a lot.It is the question of having some back up in an odd 1 in 1000 chances that you got to take this car for long distance travel.Unlikely to happen but without this sense,human brain tends to get anxious and thereby translating into buy tesla mode.

EVRider | 16 december 2016

If you're only going to own EVs, you need supercharging or something comparable. If you're going to own both an EV and an ICE vehicle, it's not that important.

Rocky_H | 16 december 2016

@EVRider, Or, the obvious corollary: If you are going to own only EVs, and one of them is already a Tesla, the other one doesn't need to be.

Dramsey | 16 december 2016

The thing that keeps surprising me is that whenever the press breathlessly reports on the newest "Tesla competitor", they never mention supercharging...

Porsche has talked about 800v DC charging stations as part of their Mission E concept, but as far as I know they've shown any indication they're actually working on setting up such as infrastructure.

Dofpic | 16 december 2016

I just ordered my second Model S and other than the fact that the car drives amazing and I love it...I would haven't done so without the supercharging network that continues to expand at an amazing pace. Love it!

SUN 2 DRV | 16 december 2016

Rocky+10 Right on... there are lots of EV use cases that don't require Supercharging. In my priority list SC is important but not critical nor must have. 90 mile daily commute, fly for longer trips...

But for me the Model 3 wins for all the non-SC reasons too.

EVRider | 16 december 2016

@Rocky: Exactly, and that's why our second EV is a BMW i3. But that will change when the Model 3 is available. :-)

Rocky_H | 16 december 2016

Yep, when we do plan to eventually replace our secondary car (2005 Honda Civic Hybrid), it will probably be with a used short range electric car, since it will only be for around town use and never needs to be used for a trip. No sense spending a lot of money for that.

zanegler | 16 december 2016

The SC network solves what used to be a major constraint for the transition to sustainable transportation. There may be a few cases where an EV buyer would not care, having this problem solved is a game-changer. I also agree with @Dramsey that failing to mention the SC network when discussing the next so-called Telsa-killer is weak reporting.

PV_Dave @US-PA | 16 december 2016

Alternative >100kW DC charge networks are supposedly being built, but they've got a lot of catching up to do on both stations and vehicles. Tesla isn't going to sit still and wait for them to catch up, either.

It is disappointing how most of the mainstream press either completely ignores DC fast charging, or pretends that a 30 to 50 kW station is adequate for long distance travel.

David N | 17 december 2016

What if others just continue to lag and ignore the whole Supercharging issue.
If Tesla hits a home run with model 3, demand may current models may be backlogged for years.
Maybe that's what it is going to take to get their attention to actually do something.
Other car companies working w Tesla's existing Supercharging network kinda seems like a no brainer. I'm guessing they are too full of selfish pride.
My guess is Toyota/Lexus will partner w Tesla for technology and Supercharging access.
Elon will jump all over that because it will jumpstart the transition to EV's in a meaningful and committed way. The problem up to now hasn't been Elon, but the other car companies unable to recognize what will happen very shortly. Toyota/Lexus with Tesla technology, performance and Supercharger ability is a slam dunk. Toyota/Lexus lineup appeals to a huge audience of current and most importantly, potential buyers. Match a Tesla tech with Toyota build quality and it seems like a winner.
Your thoughts on who will be the first to partner w Tesla?
(On a serious level, not those compliant limited runs they had in the past)

sosmerc | 17 december 2016

I'd love to see Toyota partner with Tesla on fast charging and the development of a network. I wonder how much, if any time Elon spends on trying to get "partners" with this highly needed fast charging network. Seems like there were alot of potential "partners" in the room the other day with Trump. Hey, what about the US Government? Doesn't this qualify as "infra-structure" ? !!

apsley | 17 december 2016

Your question is related to the ultimate question: will we ever have a common fast EV charging standard? Right now, pretty much any gasoline car can fill up at any gas station, and until we have a similar situation with EVs, they won't take off. It's hard to predict what will happen: whether the Supercharger network will become the only standard, or whether another standard will become dominant. Netscape was pretty dominant in the browser market for a while, but no one uses it now. If the ICE manufacturers decide to start building EVs in a big way and choose a different charging standard they could overwhelm the Supercharger network. But I think that Elon wouldn't mind as long as emissions were going down.

kaffine | 18 december 2016

I put 40k miles a year on my car now. Even with that amount of travel I doubt I would ever use a super charger. All my charging will be done at home. The only time I could see using a SC would be if I had to return to work shortly after getting home. Not sure if a SC would help enough though might have to go by the other office and grab a work truck instead.

I think the SC network is great and was essential for Tesla. However I can see other car companies getting away without an equivalent. I am sure there are a lot of Tesla owners that have never used a SC or have only used one once or twice just to test it out. The SC network will give Tesla a large advantage but others will be able to compete. I think destination chargers are going to be more important for those that can't charge at home being able to charge while I'm doing other errands will be great. However unless they are proprietary and only work with 1 brand it won't give anyone an advantage. I'm trying to remember the last time I did a road trip that could not have been done by a long range BEV only charging at home, I think it was 5 years ago and I wanted to fly but someone else said they would do the driving so we took their car.

If I am traveling long distance I fly and generally try to avoid having a rental car. This might change with AP or FSD features though.

That said I wouldn't consider the Bolt until it has been on the market for a few years to see how well it holds up. I will by a Tesla M3 as soon as I can as I trust Tesla to know what they are doing in EV to not have any major issues I do expect them to have issues just not major ones with the batteries or powertrain. Any other car company I would want to see how their batteries are holding up for a few years first. I can see battery management making a huge difference in how well they last and that takes a lot of work to get correct.

I keep hoping one of the other car companies is going to take Tesla up on the offer to get access to the SC network. The longer it takes the less likely I think it will be. Depends some on how Tesla charges for access will the other company have to pay a large fee to buy in to help pay for the existing SC network or will they just get charged a fee per car with SC capability. I would think they would have both a fee per existing SC and then a per car fee not counting the fee for electricity per charge.

dyefrog | 18 december 2016

"That said I wouldn't consider the Bolt until it has been on the market for a few years to see how well it holds up. I will by a Tesla M3 as soon as I can as I trust Tesla to know what they are doing in EV to not have any major issues I do expect them to have issues just not major ones with the batteries or powertrain."
Curious what metric you would use to instill confidence that Tesla knows what they are doing? I think even non-Tesla cheerleaders would have to admit that Tesla leads the industry in technology, innovation, batteries, etc. even though others, especially Japanese automakers, have been building EV's longer.
I don't want to discourage you from buying a bolt but could you explain what the bolt offers that the Model 3 does not, assuming you don't live in CA or OR. There have been many comparisons between the two on the Model 3 forum and I've yet to see any advantage of the bolt.
Your points on the supercharger are certainly valid but it's nice to know that if you only have one car, the Tesla is the only logical choice in an EV. If you buy the bolt, you most certainly will need another car if you venture outside your 100 mile circle of comfort.

tranhv68 | 18 december 2016

What is even more important is having the ability to plug in for 5 minutes and getting 25 miles so I can make it home in a pinch. Even with fast charging for the bolt it could take up to 3 times longer if it is even available. More likely the bolt driver will have to find a level 2 charger and wait over one hour to get the same range I would get in 5 minutes. I live in Orange County and the SJC, fountain valley, and Santa Ana chargers are all within 20 miles of my home. Supercharging is like insurance. I rarely use it, but it is very handy to have in an emergency. | 18 december 2016

@apsley - Common charging standard would be great. It is likely to remain a bunch of incompatible standards due to various self-interests.

Of course ICE vehicles have the same problem - does the gas station have what you need - regular, premium or diesel?

brando | 19 december 2016

Autos are a very big market.
You couldn't give me many of the cars for free.
People seldom use logic to purchase, but people often buy what they want/can except.
Good news, the options for purchase appear to be increasing. Disruption seems to have started.
Let the electrification continue.

kaffine | 19 december 2016


From what I have seen Tesla has not had any major degradation issues with their batteries in the S. I saw one account of a S being used in a commercial application that had 200k miles and only 6% degradation. I think the battery did get replaced at 200K miles but it was due to something Tesla noticed not the customer. In most other cases I have seen of batteries being repaired it was due to Tesla noticing an issue with the battery pack and not the customer. From what I have seen there is an initial degradation then it tapers off so while you might lose 4% the first year the second year it will only degrade 1 or 2%.

I know they had some early issues with the bearings in the drive units but they seem to have solved that and seem to be taking care of the customers that do experience issues with the drive unit.

The Bolt doesn't offer anything the 3 doesn't. I live in NV so not sure which will be available first I will guess the Bolt will be. I don't care if it is a hatch or a sedan. It is just a long range EV that could handle my commute (180 miles a day). However I want to be sure the battery degradation doesn't limit the range after a year or 2. If the 3 doesn't offer an option of more than 215 miles I will likely get a used S instead.

The 3 does have a few things the Bolt doesn't. EAP and or FSD capability is the main one I want. The other is that I trust Tesla to build a great reliable BEV. Last is that the 3 comes in RWD or AWD while the Bolt is FWD. And I don't have to go to a car dealer to order it.

jordanrichard | 20 december 2016

Kaffine, the Bolt may not meet your needs. Sure it has a range of 238, but that isn't realistic. Meaning, that is not from real world driving, with long stretches of highway use. Realistically you can lope off about 10-15% of that 238. So that gets you 202-214 real world miles. With your stated commute of 180, that leaves you with only 30-44 miles to run any errands you might have. That's cutting it close, considering how long it will take you to fully charge back up, the Bolt.

The M≡ will certainly have more than 215. Since it is perceived that GM beat Tesla to the punch with the Bolt. They certainly won't let GM beat them on range.

jordanrichard | 20 december 2016

One more thing, if where in NV you live gets below 50 degs, you can scratch even more miles off the range of the Bolt. I am in CT and right now it is in the teens. As it has been during the previous 2 winters, 30% range reduction is par for the course. This morning I drove 143 miles, but used up 189 miles to do it.

kevin | 20 december 2016

The Bolt can't compete unless it's widely available, which it appears not to be.

bp | 21 december 2016

When the Model S was introduced 4 years ago - it was the only long range EV on the market. Tesla was leading the pack with an EV with enough range to satisfy most daily driving. And now that the Bolt is hitting the market, Tesla will start to have competition for long range EVs. Tesla had a 4 year head start over their nearest competitor.

Tesla then introduced the SC network, which allowed further extended the range and enabled road trips, and is continuing to aggressively extend the network. While there are commercial chargers available, they charge slower and primarily have coverage in the major cities. Today, there isn't a road trip charging network for the Bolt or for any new long range EVs other manufacturers are planning to bring to the market. It's likely Tesla could have a 5+ year head start over their competitors.

Tesla has also been very aggressive on the introduction of AutoPilot and Full Self Driving. While other manufacturers have their own programs, Tesla likely has at least 1 BILLION more miles of data available than anyone else, because they have many, many, many more vehicles on the road with AP hardware than anyone else. And with data coming from an increasing number of AP 2.0 cars, Tesla will continue to have a huge lead. It's possible Tesla could have another 4 to 5 year head start over other manufacturers.

The only area where Tesla has lost their lead is in production of a low cost, more mainstream, long range EV. Chevy beat Tesla to the market with the Bolt. However, Chevy doesn't have a road trip charging network. And while they've announced they plan to start doing some autonomous driving testing with the Bolt next year, that will be with a small number of test vehicles - and by the time the first Model 3 is sold in H2 next year, Tesla will have AP 2.0 in each Model 3 and be much further along in developing, testing, and enabling AP/FSD functionality compared to the Bolt.

The Bolt does have some nice features though - where Tesla continues to be behind. The Bolt has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto - putting it far ahead of Tesla's onboard infotainment system which continues to have problems playing simple USB music and other than access to a smartphone's calendar, has relatively minimal integration with mobile devices. Fortunately, this is an area Tesla should be able to address with a software update.

jordanrichard | 21 december 2016

Sorry, but I disagree with the notion that GM "beat" Tesla to market with the Bolt. Selling a car on a limited bases in 2 of 50 states is not what I would call the "market". I guess one could then say that Toyota beat Tesla by coming to market with an EV CUV (Rav 4 E) before Tesla came out with their CUV version of the Model 3.

Earl and Nagin ... | 21 december 2016

Actually Toyota beat Tesla by over a decade with their 2001 RAV4EV. However, clearly attitude and motivation are also key enablers (or disablers) in addition to the other features discussed. It remains to be shown whether GM's Bolt will be pushed to ensure success or crushed to ensure failure.

SUN 2 DRV | 21 december 2016

First to market doesn't matter, unless that gives you some sort of enduring benefit.

IMHO The Bolt and Model 3 are coming to market at virtually the same time because most people have long 3-10 year car buying cycles. The 12 month difference is immaterial.

What will matter is the nationwide/worldwide availability, the eventual charging networks and the features for the price. The Bolt's hatchback is a big selling point for some folks, the Model 3 sexy looks matter to other people.

They both have a place and I'm glad to finally have multiple reasonably priced choices.

dyefrog | 21 december 2016

I thought I read somewhere that the original S60 base price was in the $40's? If so, aren't claims to first affordable long range EV somewhat subjective. Factor in that there are some out there that feel the demographic for the Tesla can readily take advantage of the Fed credit whereas the bolt buyer general can't. Not that I agree but if true, the $45k S60 of 2012 is effectively the same price as the current bolt for the average buyer.

Bighorn | 21 december 2016

The quickly discontinued S40 came in at a promised less that $50k after the tax credit. I think the base MSRP was ~$57,400.

carlk | 21 december 2016

Supercharger is the differentiator. Without it the Bolt is only a Leaf for people with longer daily commute needs. Neither could do traveler outside the city or be the only car a family has.

carlk | 21 december 2016

BTW unlike Bighorn I've used superchargers very few times. On the other hand even that we would not be able to be a Tesla only family without it.

SUN 2 DRV | 21 december 2016

I hate the fish mouth nose cone on my 2013 Model S, but the rest of the car more than makes up for it.

So to me the Bolt is at least as good looking to me as my Model S. I think the Bolt is fun looking and I wouldn't hesitate to buy one based on its looks. I'd certainly compare the roominess and ability to carry cargo vs the Model 3 and make my decision based on functionality.... the looks don't sway me one way or the other...

carlgo2 | 21 december 2016

The more expensive the EV the more important the availability of charging. I do not think that the Tesla model of putting SCs off in parking lots is appealing to established companies selling upscale EVs. I see them using more of a gas station approach, attended and for-profit. If so, then that is more likely going to result in partnerships than Tesla's approach.

NKYTA | 21 december 2016

@carlgo2' and these charging spots will be built where? By whom?

What is more upscale than a P100DL today, that -already- has cross country charging, across a bunch of countries including the US?

That is a head scratcher...

carlk | 21 december 2016

That should be P100D not P100DL. L is no longer an option now.

bp | 22 december 2016

With around 400,000 Model 3 reservations, Tesla has a large order backlog.

While Chevy has distributed a few Bolts, it appears they are planning a slow ramp up of production, and without a long distance charging network, the longer range of the Bolt essentially restricts their use to within 100 miles of the "home" charger.

Before the Model 3 starts shipping (H2 2017?), if the Bolt is a serious competitor to the Model 3, Tesla will see cancellations as customers shift to purchasing the available Bolt rather than possibly waiting up to 1-2 years to get their Model 3's.

Though with the lack of long distance charging, and the inclusion of EAP/FSD hardware in every Model 3, it seems unlikely the Bolt will see a lot of Model 3 reservation holders jump ship.

NKYTA | 22 december 2016

@carlk, but I just saw one one the 101 yesterday. ;-)