Amazing to me the knee jerk response from most people is to criticize this company. Yes they have issues (as does literally every brand/company), but on the whole aren't we glad people are leading the charge towards electric vehicles? They've sped up the advent of electric vehicles by at least 5 years, possibly more like 10.
Looking forward to seeing this company continue to thrive.
It's quite possible to support the goal and criticize the players, especially when those players repeatedly fail to execute and use the lofty goal as an excuse for their failings instead of learning from their mistakes and getting better.
And why should Tesla get the credit for making green cars a thing? True credit belongs to Toyota for introducing the Prius 2 decades ago when gas was king and getting consumers to see alternative engines as viable options, and to California for its green vehicles incentives for making possible the financial structure that has kept Tesla alive.
> It's quite possible to support the goal and criticize the players, especially when those players repeatedly fail to execute
Repeatedly fail to execute? They've successfully rolled out several wildly popular fully electric cars. They've succeeded in making electric cars cool.
> And why should Tesla get the credit for making green cars a thing? True credit belongs to Toyota for introducing the Prius 2 decades ago when gas was king and getting consumers to see alternative engines as viable options, and to California for its green vehicles incentives for making possible the financial structure that has kept Tesla alive.
Toyota succeeded on one side of the equation: Creating the first commercially successful eco-car. Tesla succeeded in making them cool, and appealing to people who like cars. You need both of these things if you want to actually replace gas-powered cars.
Repeatedly fail to execute? They've successfully rolled out several wildly popular fully electric cars. They've succeeded in making electric cars cool.
They had hundreds of cars stuck in port in Europe and China over paperwork errors. In the US, they had hundreds of cars stuck in holding lots because they failed to arrange for transportation to their final destinations, or because they failed to coordinate pickups with the buyers, or both. They have a billion-dollar-plus assembly line that sits unused because it doesn't work. There are hundreds of Teslas stuck in shop because Tesla can't manufacture the parts they need for those repairs (and there are no third-party parts suppliers to take the load). They've missed nearly every deadline they've set for themselves, not because the goals are unreachable but because they've overestimated their capabilities or underestimated the difficulty of the task or both. They've paid millions in fines to the SEC, and they're likely to pay millions more soon, all because they can't get their CEO to use Buffer or a similar app/process that would let them review his many inane tweets before review. Their are credible reports of on-the-job injuries swept under the table to avoid worker's comp claims.
Tesla in theory could, and should, be a wonderful company, but that's not the Tesla that actually exists today. And that theoretical Tesla probably won't exist as long as Musk remains in control.
Ya but in the end they always delivered. The 35k model 3, scaling up manufacturing to over 5k cars a week, not going bankrupt. They missed the deadlines but eventually they delivered as promised.
Why is missing their self-imposed deadlines such a big deal to you, but the fact that they delivered later on, something that you gloss over entirely? Those were huge goals that they delivered on, that most critics said was near-impossible to do.
It wasn't that long ago that critics were calling Elon a fraud for offering an electric car for 35k, that it can never be done because the cost to build one cannot be under 35k, and that Elon was a car salesman scamming people for pre-order money. And now it's done, the 35k model 3 is delivered, and people are focused on what, missed deadlines they self-imposed in the past? Is that really the most important issue here?
It wasn't that long ago that critics were calling Elon a fraud for offering an electric car for 35k, that it can never be done because the cost to build one cannot be under 35k, and that Elon was a car salesman scamming people for pre-order money.
No one said that Tesla could "never" offer a Model 3 for $35k. There was a lot of chatter about them not being able to do so on anywhere close to the timeline Tesla claimed they would, and some of that came from Tesla itself. As recently as 2018 Elon Musk said that offering the Model 3 for $35k would bankrupt the company due to the non-existent profit margins due to the unit economics.
And while we're on that subject: Tesla also announced that in order to build the Model 3 for $35k they would need to fire the entire sales team and switch to online orders only, and eliminate referrals. So it seems that even Tesla still doesn't think that they can offer a $35k Model 3 profitably based on their existing unit economics.
And now it's done, the 35k model 3 is delivered, and people are focused on what, missed deadlines they self-imposed in the past? Is that really the most important issue here?
For investors, a company that perpetually misses deadlines is a serious, real-world problem indicative of poor planning, leadership, and management. It's one thing to miss the occasional deadline by a few days or weeks. It's another thing to miss every deadline announced, by months each time. At some point, the "self-imposed" publicly announced deadlines are just fraudulent statements intended to induce investors to buy shares of the company. CEOs have been criminally prosecuted for that in the past...another former SV darling is being prosecuted for that right now...
Even now you are saying above, that it's extremely hard to build and sell Model 3 for 35k. Even now you are listing many reasons why Tesla can't do it based on unit economics.
But when Tesla actually does it? What if they actually deliver? Then suddenly the 35k Model 3 is not important to you anymore.
Suddenly it's all-important to focus on "missed deadlines" of a few months.
It seems to me, critics only focus on the 35k Model 3, when it can be used as a talking point to attack Tesla. When Tesla actually delivers on the 35k Model 3, critics then focus on "missed deadlines". Critics never really cared about the 35k Model 3, they only care about attacking Tesla.
While we are on the subject, what proof do you have that a missed deadline is "intended to induce investors"? How do you know it's not just that technical difficulties?
While we are on the subject, which former SV darling are you talking about, that you are comparing Tesla to? I want to know why you think a company like Tesla, who delivered on successful projects many times and sold many cars, is somehow being compared to the company you mentioned.
> Yes they have issues (as does literally every brand/company)...
Just wanna draw attention again to the above quote from the comment at the top of this chain. Tesla's very public and always in the news. Of course we know about all the things you mentioned in your comment. That doesn't mean Tesla is a failure or needs to be razed to the ground. Work in any company big enough or that's in the public spotlight too long and you'll find exactly these kinds of issues running rampant. I'm not excusing the issues (they definitely need to be looked at and either fixed or learned from), but I do think it's important to look at the big picture instead of getting caught up in the weeds of relatively minor but overly publicized failures.
The bulk of your argument is that Tesla mismanaged expectations and is unruly due to Elon Musk. Neither of those have stopped the company from rising to the top EV brand in a decade and helping spur the rest of the OEMs to change their automotive strategy to electric.
They had lots of problems - they were slow to load and reload so the rate of fire was limited. They would misfire or not fire if it was raining. They were noisy so they were easy to locate. They were very inaccurate.
In all respects the longbow was a much superior technology, quiet, fast and refined.
ya but neither of those 2 things (Toyota's Prius 2, and California's green car incentives) were successful in making car manufacturers wake up and go electric. It was only when Tesla started making money that every car manufacturer is being serious about competing in this space, and even then they are behind.
Curious to see why you think credit goes to Toyota, instead of Tesla?
Car companies started going electric because California and Federal fuel standards require increasing fuel efficiency on a fleet basis, and the only way to achieve those goals is now through zero-emissions vehicles like hydrogen, fuel cell, or EV. Hydrogen tech and fuel cells are still too inefficient and expensive for consumer vehicles (especially given the rare-earth materials required for high-efficiency fuel cells). Batteries happened to get much cheaper due to their increasing use in non-vehicle electronics like cell phones, which made EVs the best choice from a tech and cost perspective.
In other words, Tesla didn't actually make car manufacturers "wake up and go electric." They were going to go electric anyway because it was the obvious tech choice.
Tesla's accomplishment was to show that people were finally ready to buy green cars that looked like normal cars. (The first hybrids and EVs from Toyota and Nissan looked like normal cars, and sold horribly. Toyota and Nissan introduced the butt-ugly designs because green car buyers back in the day wanted distinctive cars to show off their greenliness.)
t neither of those 2 things (Toyota's Prius 2, and California's green car incentives) were successful in making car manufacturers wake up and go electric.
California's green car incentives and fuel efficiency requirements are what drove most car companies to invest in green car tech in the first place.
I disagree. California's green car incentive drove most companies to invest in green car tech as a toy, but it was always a hobby. A side project for R&D.
Car manufacturers never took green cars seriously and never felt the need to transition large amounts of their cars from gas to green. It was only when Tesla started making a splash that car companies took electric cars seriously.
I wish I knew what was going on over there. First gen had some rough edges, but eight years later we're still glad we bought ours. Yet they went so long with the original design, I figured they just gave up on electric and kept the Leaf as a compliance car. Then they came out with the new one. Okay, so haven't given up. Then where's something other than a sedan? Like a Kia Sol or summat, because our next electric is going to be able to carry dogs.
So maybe Nissan got a head start, but of all the electric vehicle manufacturers Tesla is the only one moving things forward at the moment with saleable vehicles, that much I'll give them credit for.
Toyota has tried VERY hard to get hydrogen fuel cell cars to be "the thing" over electric vehicles. Tesla never said they wanted to make green cars a thing, they said they want to "accelerate the world's transition to sustainable energy"
My Model 3 was purchased the last week in October and has severely uneven fittings and gaps that are getting worse with time. I think the whole gap thing is generally myopic and stupid but this is really remarkable.
Yep. Look at look at a side-by-side comparison a Model 3 from about a year ago (Premium Interior) vs. today (Partial Premium Interior). In the first few frames, there's a notable improvement in the body tolerances around the frunk. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cSIC6zvQy5Y
FYI, Tesla doesn't really do "versions" like v2. They're always trying to improve "sw/hw issues, trim quality, gaps etc" over time. So those issues will get better over time without ever announcing a "v2".
And yes, I'm sure the first Model Ys will also have issues that should improve over time.
1. individual cars are a dumb way to "fix" the environment, they're hyper resource intensive and have so many problems
2. the good way is to build mass transit and radically change society, which is a political issue. tesla comes in a long tradition of sucking public funding into a private entity which cuts across that
3. additionally tesla propagandizes against the above
> 1. individual cars are a dumb way to "fix" the environment, they're hyper resource intensive and have so many problems
This may have been a poor way to say it, but it is the truth.
We will not buy or consume our way out of climate change or negative externalities that affect the environment.
> 2. the good way is to build mass transit and radically change society, which is a political issue. tesla comes in a long tradition of sucking public funding into a private entity which cuts across that
Again, a poor choice of words for an otherwise good point: if we want to see a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, we need to move away from the idea of ubiquitous transportation via personal vehicles.
> We will not buy or consume our way out of climate change or negative externalities that affect the environment.
That is silly. You have something that causes climate change (coal, oil). It can be replaced by something that doesn't (electric cars, solar panels, nuclear power). Unless your plan is to stop having transportation and electricity, that means the solution requires us to buy things like electric vehicles, solar panels, nuclear reactors, etc.
> if we want to see a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, we need to move away from the idea of ubiquitous transportation via personal vehicles.
Mass transit requires density. You can't reduce emissions by running huge empty buses through low density areas.
The transit problem is a real estate problem. You don't need more trains and buses, you need higher density near the existing trains and buses. That allows you to run one every 15 minutes instead of every hour and still have it full, which is what it takes to make it a viable replacement for a private car, and that is what makes it cost effective and affordable.
But even that, which would reduce the number of private cars significantly, would never eliminate the need for them entirely. There are things (large farms, industrial facilities) that must or should be away from higher density areas, and the people who work there need some way to get there and back. And mass transit still doesn't work in those kinds of low density areas.
> we literally have to buy and consume our way out of climate change.
This is like hoping that we can dig ourselves out of a hole that we already dug ourselves into.
> We're not going to _stop_ buying and consuming, and we're not going to manage to reduce it enough to stop climate change without massive economic recession
If we aren't going to forgo consumption, personal transportation as the only mode of transportation and a market that refuses to properly account for negative externalities, I feel that we should at least be honest about the situation instead of pretending that continuing the status quo will fix climate change and environmental destruction.
Let's just be honest and say that we don't intend to change things, and embrace the fact that climate change might usher in destruction and human suffering on a large scale. That way we can at least address problems as they arise instead of believing in a fantasy where a solution will fall into our laps if we just buy the right cars.
> This is like hoping that we can dig ourselves out of a hole that we already dug ourselves into.
Which is a good example, because that's literally how you get people out of a hole. You dig your self out -- you stop digging down, and start digging at a 45 degree angle upwards, so you and everyone behind you can safely walk out of that hole.
That's what we need people to be doing -- continue consuming, but sideways instead of downwards, so their consumption helps fix the problem.
> a market that refuses to properly account for negative externalities
Then you should be thrilled with what Tesla (and all EVs) are doing. They are eliminating some major externalities.
Other public transportation forms (like Buses and Trains) also have negative externalities that never accounted for. We don't shut them down, even though they have problems. We strive to improve them, just as we are doing for EVs.
For example, the buses in my hometown today get 5 miles per gallon on gasoline. I drive a Volt, it gets around 100 miles per gallon. (Since it's mostly powered by wind energy, not gasoline). Ignoring construction costs, there needs to be at least 20 people on any given bus, before that bus is more energy efficient than a modern PHEV / pure EV vehicle in terms of fuel spent.
In NYC, with the density they have, that's probably easily possible. In Michigan, we're nowhere near that density today, and none of us has the $200k-per-person cash necessary today to change that. But many people do have the $10k-per-person cash to replace gasoline cars with electric ones. That's a real impact people can actually make today.
> Which is a good example, because that's literally how you get people out of a hole. You dig your self out -- you stop digging down, and start digging at a 45 degree angle upwards, so you and everyone behind you can safely walk out of that hole.
If you do this in sand, you risk having the structure of the hole collapse around you, trapping you. Either way, we're both taking what is meant to be an idiom a bit too literally.
> That's what we need people to be doing -- continue consuming, but sideways instead of downwards, so their consumption helps fix the problem.
> Then you should be thrilled with what Tesla (and all EVs) are doing. They are eliminating some major externalities.
They're shifting externalities. Mining lithium and raw materials for cars are both environmentally devastating and happen in regions with little to no environmental regulation. Manufacturing is both energy intensive and puts out pollution. I'm sure you're familiar with the conclusion reached by several analyses in which a used vehicle with an ICE will result in less net CO2 output than buying a new electric vehicle.
Many places in the US and China, where Tesla's vehicles are popular, generate electricity from burning coal. We have not come up with a solution that solves the problem of supplying energy to meet the grid's baseline demand with renewable energy.
> In NYC, with the density they have, that's probably easily possible. In Michigan, we're nowhere near that density today, and none of us has the $200k-per-person cash necessary today to change that.
I agree, that is a problem. But again, consuming new electric vehicles instead of used ICE vehicles will dig us deeper into the proverbial CO2 hole.
I'm not sure specifically what dishonesty you're pointing to, nor who "we" are.
As far as I can tell, these problems don't have such simple answers.
You may think it pedantic, but I think talking about "forgoing consumption" is absurd. It's literally impossible, and it's a fundamental truth to our existence. Thus, we shouldn't be anything less than blunt about it.
If you stop consuming, you die. We want sustainable consumption, not the end of consumption.
I don’t think it’s productive to prosecute the electric cars vs mass transit issue like this. We need to get to carbon neutral within 12 years. If your plan requires radically changing society, including moving everyone who lives in vast swaths of the country into urban areas, then your plan will not meet that deadline, even with total commitment.
To avoid climate catastrophe we need to embrace a multitude of solutions. I understand the frustration at hearing Musk criticize public transit. It’s triggering. But we are going to need sustainable personal vehicles for a number of use cases, even if we move as many people as we can to mass transit in a decade.
this is such a silly line of reasoning. you're saying we can only make the incredible deadline by changing things in a very moderate fashion, rather than a radical one? just like we've been doing to get to this point lol?
> "if we want to see a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, we need to move away from the idea of ubiquitous transportation via personal vehicles."
Unfortunately, this is extremely difficult in the United States... we've spent 70+ years building our entire country around the personal vehicle. Save Boston, NYC, Philly, Baltimore, DC, Chicago, and perhaps SF, ALL of our cities require owning a car. Strategically Musk might actually be going the right way... by starting to get people to think about transit in a different way.
Maybe the infrastructure that is in place to support cars could pivot to public transport?
We could replace some/all lanes on motorways/interstates with train tracks. Reduce roads in cities to one way and install trams in the other lanes.
Replacing interstates with rail doesn't work. For one thing, there is already rail running parallel to most of them, so there is no need for it.
Moreover, the usage is different. A person lives in the suburbs, they drive five miles through their suburb, then get on the interstate for 10 miles, then drive to an office park 5 miles off the interstate. If you get rid of the interstate, what are they supposed to do? Drive 5 miles to the train, take the train 10 miles and then walk 5 miles? Buy a second car to use for the other leg of the commute?
What you need is to relax the zoning/density restrictions in the city so that more people and businesses can afford to be there instead of in the suburbs. Then they can use the existing mass transit within the city, which unclogs the interstate for the people who can't, e.g. because one of their endpoints is outside the city for legitimate reasons or because they have to transport bulk material in addition to humans.
One possibility is to take a Lyft to the train station and then an Uber to your office. Which is slightly easier if you've automated the cars so that you don't have to load-balance the wetware part of it, but it's not entirely necessary.
Getting more people into the city is also helpful, but that's a lot of change. A lot of people have become adapted to the pace of suburb life, including me. Getting me into the city is less about cost than about the stress of having so many people around all the time. A lot of people want that, but a lot of people will want to live in the big empty green space, and would pay the costs -- including externalities, if we were to price them in. Improving city mass transit is good, but ultimately I think we'll also have to cope with a lot of people who just want to disperse at the end of the day.
> One possibility is to take a Lyft to the train station and then an Uber to your office. Which is slightly easier if you've automated the cars so that you don't have to load-balance the wetware part of it, but it's not entirely necessary.
Sure. But you can do that already. There are already trains/subways/buses in cities and there is already Uber and Lyft, without any need to close interstates that still have other uses, like transporting bulk material. (Notice also that most interstate highways go between cities.)
Moreover, the original claim was that we should have more trains which would make it so we wouldn't need electric cars. But now we're back to at least needing electric cars for Uber and Lyft.
> A lot of people want that, but a lot of people will want to live in the big empty green space, and would pay the costs -- including externalities, if we were to price them in.
Which is fine. Let the people who prefer the suburbs to live there. You don't need 100% of people to live in the city, what you need is to make it so that all the people who want to live in the city can afford to do so.
And fortunately electric cars powered by solar/nuclear get rid of most of the "externalities" of that -- the only one really left is traffic congestion. Which can be solved not by making it more expensive to live in the suburbs but by making it less expensive to live in the city. Then more people do, even if none of them is you, and there is less congestion on the road because all the people who do prefer to live in the city can use its existing mass transit system.
Sure, so a combination of on demand and better scheduling.
Lightweight electric transport (ebikes, scooters, golf carts? etc.)
Obviously implementation depends a lot upon the local geography/density/weather etc.
Definitely not proposing a one size fits all solution.
> Lightweight electric transport (ebikes, scooters, golf carts? etc.)
These already exist. But compared to an electric car they're less safe, slower, less comfortable, have less cargo capacity, etc. Their primary advantage is being less expensive. The reason they aren't already used more is some combination of not being able to meet the relevant safety standards and their cost advantage not overcoming their numerous disadvantages.
There is a reason hospital emergency rooms call motorcycles donor cycles. The fatality rate for that kind of transport is astoundingly high.
The reason they are less safe is because our infrastructure is setup for massive lumps of steel. I'm not suggesting driving lightweight vehicles on roads. I'm suggesting changing the roads so they are optimised for lightweight vehicles and big lumps of steel are second class citizens, either banned or only allowed to operate at certain times etc.
Get the big lumps of steel off the roads and you have far less issues at the ER.
> The reason they are less safe is because our infrastructure is setup for massive lumps of steel.
It isn't. If you want to go 60MPH on an ebike, it's not just hitting a car at 60MPH that will kill you, it's hitting anything at 60MPH with nothing to protect you from it, including the ground.
The only way for something with no airbags, crumple zones or even seatbelts to be as safe as a car is to limit the top speed to about 20MPH, at which point the collective response will be "no" because you're tripling the length of everyone's commute.
> the good way is to build mass transit and radically change society, which is a political issue. tesla comes in a long tradition of sucking public funding into a private entity which cuts across that
I don't understand how people can simultaneously hold this belief and then act surprised when others criticize the "green movement" as just an excuse to control people.
Modern personal transportation is one of the ultimate expressions of individual freedom. We're making it cleaner, we're reducing externalities, and still environmentalists want to herd people onto busses and trains.
> I don't understand how people can simultaneously hold this belief and then act surprised when others criticize the "green movement" as just an excuse to control people.
Massive subsidies to the entire car industry, from cheap roads to cheap gas, are a form of nudging society towards certain behaviors.
Building reliable mass transit, proper safe isolated bike lanes, and removing subsidies that are in place, are another form of societal nudging.
As an example, wide city streets are a form of subsidy, the city loses money on those streets, a 4 lane road in a downtown region of a major metro is a huge lost opportunity cost! But a combination of political and societal factors came together to cause cities sacrifice buildings for for car lanes.
> Modern personal transportation is one of the ultimate expressions of individual freedom.
I personally enjoy driving, but when visiting cities with real mass transit (Tokyo, London, etc), I feel a lot more free to travel within the city. No being stuck in traffic, transit times are a lot more reliable than driving, no worrying about finding parking and then walking to my destination, and no worries about not being able to find parking at all!
And in cities with "almost there" mass transit, such as Boston, so long as you are on the transit lines, everything is incredibly nice.
Honestly I think Bostonians complain about their transit system too much, whenever I visit Boston I am very pleased with MBTA's service!
> We're making it cleaner, we're reducing externalities, and still environmentalists want to herd people onto busses and trains.
Individual transit has huge external costs. From giant parking lots everywhere, to the fact that it just doesn't scale. Cities cannot grow beyond a certain size/density relying on individual transit. Self driving car's don't solve the density problem, while self driving taxis kind of solve the parking lot problem.
For that matter, an underground parking space in a condo in a metro area costs around $30k to build! Want two spaces for a family? That is $60k added to the purchase price. Housing that isn't incredibly expensive? Not going to happen if there is a $60k tax added to the price of every new housing unit in a city!
No one is arguing to build out mass transit in every single small town, but for the majority of the population that lives in metro areas, mass transit makes an enormous amount of sense.
Parking lots have lower tax rates, being unimproved land, than land with proper building on them. This reduction in revenue, for land in the most valuable part of the city, has obvious large $ costs. Of course cities can get around this by special taxes for parking lots to discourage them, but without proper mass transit in place, people still need to drive into a cities dense downtown core, and fees just get passed along to citizens. It becomes more efficient to just build mass transit, and put in proper building rather than concrete flatlands! Mass transit is a large up-front cost with rather low on-going maintenance costs compared to road ways (unless you are NYC and manage to defer maintenance for several decades...), but the property taxes from the additional land that is freed up is an ongoing revenue source that will last for centuries. Unfortunately few politicians care about "well the city will be super vibrant for the rest of time".
Obviously only applicable once a city grows beyond a certain size and starts building medium and high density housing.
I don't want say anything bad about mass transit for large cities where it makes sense. But you have to reach a certain economy of scale before trains become more efficient than cars. A train with just a couple of people uses far more power than a car does.
We can do a lot to encourage people to live closer together by ending subsidies, removing zoning laws, etc. But in the end we still need farmers and other professions living spread out across the country. We can't achieve perfect urbanization. And given that electric cars are going to be a necessary part of getting to zero emissions.
I live near one of the busiest highways in the country and it's just sorta background noise for the neighborhood. I'm not sure people realize not only how much exhaust is spewing out of that road, but also the noise. The volume level of major cities is going to decrease dramatically.
On highway 85 near Cupertino a few years ago they did something called “microgrooving” and it made a huge difference in tire noise, even inside your car. It’s dramatically quieter when you suddenly hit that section.
2. Smaller rims do not mean smaller tires. On a given car model, the outside diameter of the tire will be essentially fixed. If they have multiple wheel diameters, the tire sidewall height will change to accommodate the wheel diameter. Technically smaller-diameter rims actually mean larger tires.
Where I am (Manhattan) its truck noise. Trucks are the absolute worst in terms of noise pollution and emissions. Most modern cars/taxis around here are some sort of hybrid which shuts the engine when stopped, yet trucks are still in the stone age. And to top it off, there's really no political willpower to reign in bad trucker behavior.
I'm not in public policy or anything, but it's kind of baffling that no one is targeting fleet vehicles as the obvious first target for cleaning up. Trying to convince consumers of the value of electric vehicles is hard. Trying to convince a guy who is paying maintenance and fuel costs for 4,000 vehicles should be a piece of cake. Especially if you just force them through legislation. Mayor De Blasio could mandate all livery vehicles be electric by 2030 and that's an instant captive market of over 100K vehicles.
I noticed certain builds of the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 offer an electric motor assist that also includes idle engine shutoff. We can only hope that is becomes a standard feature, electric motors in traffic jams would be wonderful.
I dunno about the US but everyone I known in Europe that lives in a city or close to a highway is looking forward to the electric future. This has become a recurring topic in dinner conversations as more and more people have first hand experience with electric vehicles now.
Imagine how quiet a city like Paris, Rome or Berlin could be if all vehicles were electric?
I can't wait for this future to arrive and the fact that I will enjoy it a decade earlier -- at least -- I'll owe to Musk/Tesla. More power to them.
I'm sad to say that except for trucks the majority of noises from highways these days is from tires. I read a rather long article, in the Atlantic I believe. Apparently car weights have been on the rise for 70 years and on top of that the trend for the same weight car is for wider tires. The increasing noise has been a constant pain for highway planners because population density is increasing, traffic is increasing, and noise per car is increasing. Technology for noise abatement is improving, but expensive.
Given that Tesla cars and anything with similar range is likely to be another 1000 pounds heavier than cars in it's class, the prospect for quieter cars is poor.
Stand on a sidewalk sometime and listen. At constant speed or slowing down electric cars vs normal cars are pretty similar, but be careful to compare cars of similar vintage. This is part of the way I think legislation that add noise to electric cars for safety is misguided. Compare a 2018 BMW, Lexus, Acura, and MB vs a Tesla. Any of them could easily hit you before you easily hear them.
After living next to commuter rail and bus stops, I’m amazed that private car noise is even a complaint. A train horn is felt in your chest. Air brakes and audible announcements are much more noticeable because they’re intermittent where tire noise is a constant hum easily tuned out.
I moved right next to a Railroad crossing just about the time they started experimenting with a no horn crossing. Every now and then I still wake up to feel the whole room rocking from a fast train going by but it's still wonderfully quiet.
Tire noise has a much different "sonic signature" compared to exhaust noise and ICE noise, it is much closer to "white" noise and has not as much rumble. I'm not saying it's necessarily any better, but maybe it's going to be less annoying.
There are other places we could imagine setting up chargers too, like at grocery markets or other stores. Because Tesla batteries (and some but not all other EVs) are massively oversized for a typical single day's drive, you probably only need to charge every 1-2 weeks unless you are taking a trip, in which case you use superchargers or such.
Right now, it's not great. I say this having looked into an EV recently as an option. At the moment, my personal conclusion is that I'd need to rent a garage space, and then pay to have a charging point installed.
There are a small but growing number of street chargers available, albeit owned by different groups (presumably with rules and different payment routes) and with different changing and connection specifications. 
And of course, even if you're lucky enough to live fairly near a charging point, this doesn't make an EV comparable to an ICE car - as you then have the hassle/worry of finding a charging point, leaving your car where while it charges, and then presumably returning and moving it again, so as to free up the bay for someone else.
It's not insurmountable, but would take serious commitment from local government to change things significantly for street parking. I suspect it will come with time, critical mass of EVs, and some degree of homogenisation of the voltage and connector specs.
I think the real future here is when automation develops enough so these cars can drive itself to and from a parking location nearby. This will free up the space on these streets taken up by existing cars, allow more space for traffic and for stops for passengers to get in and out of vehicles.
I'd be very surprised if it takes me more than 5 minutes with pay at the pump.
It's a difference in magnitude that's the problem. For 5 minutes, of which half is spent actively interacting with the hose and payment, I can comfortably stand around. Anything more than that and I have to find something else to do while my car is occupied.
Tesla has tried to establish charging stations near shopping areas. There is generally lots to do. For example the last one I visited had multiple fast food places, an outlet mall and a casino. (This was in Primm, Nevada.)
Using that interesting measure of charge speed Tesla used in their new V3 super charger announcement a few days ago, MPH (miles per hour of charging), the new super charger does 1000 MPH.
US gas pumps are limited by EPA rules to 10 gallons per minute. A gas pump that is going top speed, filling a 25 MPG car, "charges" at 15000 MPH.
A lot of pumps seem to go at half that or even only a third of that, which in practice can cut that down to 5000 MPH, which is still much much faster than the V3 super charger.
On the other hand, I think I'd be much more likely with an EV to overlap charging with getting a snack from the convenience store (assuming EV charging stations have them like gas stations usually do...), whereas I prefer to stay with my car while gas is pumping, and so can't overlap that with the snack acquisition.
Roughly an order of magnitude more time in the best case scenario, so yes, quite a bit.
The only way filling up my tank would take 10 minutes was if I had to queue for the pump for over 5. Also, you get much less added range from those 30 minutes with an EV, so I really doubt it's a reasonable suggestion (even if superchargers were as ubiquitous as petrol stations).
Supercharging V3 was just announced with one beta station, 1000 MPH of charging. Pretty incredible.
You have to think of fueling up in a different way with an EV -- you're parked at home for many hours overnight, and at work for many hours too, plug in there if you can instead of making dedicated "fuel stops" like we do in gas cars.
The original scenario you're responding to is the problem of people who don't have a driveway or garage. They'll need to take their car somewhere that they can get a full charge while they do something else. Not an insurmountable problem, but it's definitely an impediment to universal adoption.
In the medium term, there seems to be opportunity for increases in charging speed as well. Tesla just announced v3 supercharging, which hits 1000 miles/hour and 75 miles of range in 5 minutes, and at the very least larger batteries will stretch that number. It's not clear how far they and others can push high-speed charging, but batteries are only going to get better.
I can’t remember which city or country but somewhere in Northern Europe too many people got EV too quickly for the existing charger infrastructure and they has to counter this by taking away or reducing planned city/state subsidy for new EV and artificially slow down growth
Is there a definition for mid-range vs luxury? I wouldn't consider a sedan that starts at $35K (with an average sale price of $60K), or an SUV that starts at $47K (over 50% higher than the median US worker's gross personal income) mid-range. Both the Mercedes A-class and Audi A3 start at $32.5K even.
> And in sales they're crushing competition that have been building cars for literally a hundred years.
I don't think that's a realistic assessment of where Tesla is at as a car company. Tesla is still not very good at the actual making of cars. For example, in the last five years Tesla has had more health and safety violations in their factory than the top ten automakers in the US combined:
Volkswagen is starting its push into EVs. They'll be releasing multiple electric models across multiple brands every year from now on. Porsche, Audi, VW, Skoda, and SEAT to start. I'm sure there'll be electric Lamborghinis, Bentleys, and Bugattis eventually (if you're in the market for those):
I think Tesla's main problems are that they are a small car company with an erratic CEO, inefficient and unreliable manufacturing, and they're about to face a lot of electric car competition from one of the biggest car companies in the world.
>For example, in the last five years Tesla has had more health and safety violations in their factory than the top ten automakers in the US combined
Because Tesla manufactures all its car in California, which has far stricter rules than other states. If other manufacturers moved their production there, Tesla would rank better than the competition
>Tesla cars have among the worst reliability of any car brand
And yet, Tesla owners keep recommending their cars more than anyone else, because the car is that good. There are many things that might no be "highly reliable" (even important things, like cars) that are so great to use that you'd buy them again against the current alternatives (like a Tesla vs noisy, polluting, gas-guzzling vehicles).
>In 2018, Toyota and Volkswagen each sold over 10 million cars
So what? How many of them are EVs? One could wonder how Nokia's sales were going when the iPhone started becoming mainstream…
>The Porsche and Audi engineers have to change [the Premium Platform Electric program] because Tesla’s Model 3 has gotten better than they thought.
>The e-tron as the first electric Audi is not only late. It does not reach some target values and has become far too expensive with more than two billion euros in development costs. The approximately 600,000 cars sold for the break-even are now regarded as an illusion.
>Volkswagen also wants to license its MEB electric car platform to other manufacturers. They already have one licensee
Oh, you mean the MEB platform that is being holding up until they can come up with something that is on par with Tesla tech and cost? Ah!
> Because Tesla manufactures all its car in California, which has far stricter rules than other states. If other manufacturers moved their production there, Tesla would rank better than the competition
> And yet, Tesla owners keep recommending their cars more than anyone else, because the car is that good.
How does that make the original statement false? If anything, it establishes a pattern where Tesla owners are far more likely to overlook these issues because of how much they like their car.
> So what? How many of them are EVs? One could wonder how Nokia's sales were going when the iPhone started becoming mainstream…
The OP was pointing out that some people are looking through a subjective lens when they claim that Tesla is crushing it. In a broader picture when you look into the sale of all cars, it's really not as significant. Ok, so these cars are not EVs. So what? It's not enough to say you're dominant in a niche, albeit a growing one. When you're not on equal footing as some of the bigger name car companies, you're much more susceptible to being crushed competitively if those companies make a play in the same space. I'm not at all saying that will happen, just that looking at this point requires a bigger, broader perspective.
> It's not enough to say you're dominant in a niche, albeit a growing one.
When you're facing technology transitions, looking at it as a niche is exactly the wrong perspective. Tesla is dominant in a field which is the future of automotive transportation. It is a small market not because it is a niche but because it is nascent. The difference is, strategically, very relevant.
ICE automakers are just realizing how far behind Tesla they are. I'd wager at least ten years. The model S was launched in 2012, VW et al won't be able to launch a similar offer before 2022.
I'm all for more EVs, but anyone who's followed the EV space for the past decade knows that most of these models are DOA.
Take the Audi e-tron for instance: the director of the Paris showroom (the only place in Europe where the car was displayed in public) himself told me late last year that they don't intend to sell the car in volume, that it can't compete with the competition, and that EV sales are mostly PR for a company like Audi (at least until ICE don't make most of the company's profits).
NB: this is not a regular dealership, but a fully owned and controlled store by Audi. Good luck with that!
And there have been many models launched before today. None are even close to model S levels of production volume, performance, range and battery durability.
If your reference is the Porsche Taycan, it is the equivalent to the Tesla Roadster: a low volume proof of concept. It is already more than ten years late (the Roadster launched in '08). If your reference is anything based on VW's MEB (VW, Audi, Seat, Skoda), add two years to publicized launch dates, as the MEB went back to the drawing board, deemed under-specced for what the market expects from EVs. This means production plants have not yet started to get designed, much less built, and are waiting on platform redesign and approval.
I think you mean: you speculate that the GT and Taycan will be in same category as the Model S and will be nicer than the roadster. Since literally nobody outside of VAG has sat in one.
You may also want to walk back the claims about overheating. In one of the press videos, a Porsche engineer explicitly says that the number of hard accelerations over a short time will be limited to 10, or so.
>Because Tesla manufactures all its car in California, which has far stricter rules than other states. If other manufacturers moved their production there, Tesla would rank better than the competition
I just want to point out that Tesla's California plant is Just the old GM/Toyota NUMMI plant. The article insinuates the safety violations are greater than any US based plant operated by other manufacturers over the past 10 years, a time period which includes the era in which GM/Toyota ran the very same plant.
So I'm dishonest, Forbes is dishonest, Consumer Reports is dishonest, TrueDelta is dishonest, Autoblog is dishonest, Reuters is dishonest, Wikipedia is dishonest, and CleanTechnica is dishonest. We're all dishonest together.
> So what?
So they operate on a larger scale and they're better at making and selling cars than Tesla is. There's no point crying about it. These are simply the basic realities.
>Tesla cars have among the worst reliability of any car brand
And yet, Tesla owners keep recommending their cars more than anyone else, because the car is that good.
You know what that exchange reminds me of? Harley-Davidson motorcycles, back in the AMF days. Those bikes were known for being unreliable pieces of crap that would shake their own bolts loose. Wear comfortable boots if you own one. And yet their owners wouldn't be caught dead riding anything else.
I argue that when you spend nearly $100 on a car (or big bucks on a bike), what else are you going to say? "I'm an idiot and shouldn't be trusted with large sums of money."?
>Owners appear to like, even love, the Model 3. It received top marks in CR’s recent owner satisfaction survey and also earned a positive road-test score. It’s a weird duality — and one the even CR acknowledges — that other aspirational, lifestyle and luxury vehicles share. Owners love the vehicles, despite persistent issues with the components inside them.
how again are they crushing the competition? they sell in a year what toyota manufactures in a day. a long reservation list isn’t an indicator of success, it’s an indicator of demand. and the demand, in relative scale, is low.
No. Valid argument. For the moment we are shifting emissions from one place to another. While that might change in the future, for the moment the environmental impact only happens somewhere else. This should not be forgotten, therefore those uncritical claqueurs are misplaced.
>> In Michigan, as one example, for just one extra cent per kilowatt/hour you can have 100% renewable electricity in your home right now. No new wires, no extra setup.
Not really. The electrons all go through through the same wires regardless of where they come from. I think the extra cent does in some way incentivize renewable power, but you don't literally get 100% renewable energy.
> you don't literally get 100% renewable energy. The electrons all go through through the same wires regardless
Yes, you actually do. Consumers Energy literally generates that amount of renewable energy instead of the equivalent from Natural Gas.
You are technically correct that my home does not get the specific "renewable electrons" that the wind farm itself generated, since the grid is all interconnected. But that doesn't change the fact that the power company burned less Natural Gas that month, for every user who opted instead for renewable energy.
But we're moving the emissions in a "more solvable" direction. By consolidating the emissions from millions of cars to hundreds (thousands?) of plants, we're making it a MUCH easier problem to address.
Burning gasoline in a car is far less efficient than burning coal in a huge power plant. The gasoline refining process is also power-hungry. As an added bonus, it's also possible to capture at least some of the pollution from a power plant in ways that aren't possible when you have to shrink things down to car size.
An average EV charged off a coal plant still pollutes less than an average gasoline powered car.
Nope, still entirely invalid. Switching from combustion to electric in vehicles decouples emissions from energy consumption in transportation, which is step 1. From that point on, it's generally up to the larger players e.g. governing bodies, energy suppliers, etc. to make the switch -- but not entirely so. There's already enough funding/incentives on the table to encourage people to not just decouple emissions from transport, but to eliminate emissions entirely eg by powering via their own renewable energy setup. Prices have dropped by more than 60% in five years down to just over 3 dollars a watt, and if that trend maintains itself, we'll be under a buck fifty in the next five. The only way that trend keeps going is if everyone, large players and small, have access and incentive to keep buying and drive costs down.
But none of those trends sustain themselves if the necessary energy decoupling doesn't take place, and that's what electric cars are aiming to do in transportation.
hey, words have meanings. you didn’t invalidate the argument nor did you even argue against it. invalidating an argument would have been pointing out a structural deficiency in the logic. arguing against would be pointing out the falsity of one or more points with counterfactuals. you did neither.
it’s true that emissions are transferred from car to power plant, so that’s a valid argument (edit: because it’s logically sound, not just because it’s true). you accepted and built on that argument by saying it’s a good thing for a bunch of reasons. so your opening sentence was entirely unnecessary.
You are incorrect. The argument structure does not lead to the conclusion that the amount of emissions is necessarily higher. It's too ambiguous for that. It's possible to infer more than one argument structure from the writing. It was a series of questions and a statement, not a series of premises and a conclusion.
Different readers will infer different argument structures, but what I find interesting is that the assumed answers to the questions are conditioned on effort expended in becoming greener. So the questions are implicitly polarizing.
People with Tesla's who have taken steps to ensure zero emissions are more likely to respond no to each question. They are also more likely to do this, because they've invested significant resources toward producing an environment that doesn't have externalities. It isn't a random sampling. For someone who assumes no or for whom the assumption of no being possible is obvious, the implied argument is invalid. For others, it's easier to arrive at a yes to every question. Neither answer is correct though, because these questions are not able to be answered in a yes or no fashion. The actual answer is that this is conditioned on investment in green energy infrastructure. You'll notice many arguing in other comments to the effect that this is a boring argument, entirely on the basis of ongoing investment into green energy infrastructure. That doesn't happen randomly. They've thought through the implied argument structure and moved beyond it to the causally important factor on which the not quite an argument hinges.
And they call the argument boring; which it is, especially if you've ever bothered to consume any Tesla marketing since it tackles this question (spoiler alert: the efficiency gain is one of the reasons to buy a Tesla, not an argument against).
The argument implied as valid by your reply to the person who called it invalid was given several parents up. The chain was that comment, a person calling the argument boring, another person calling it valid, another person calling it invalid, a reassertion of invalidity, a negation of the claim of validity, and then your post re-asserting the arguments validity.
It was not a valid argument structure. The definition of valid is that an argument is valid if the argument structure is such that if the premises were true, the conclusion must be true. The stated conclusion of the post many parents is up is that the amount of emissions is higher. If you agree with me that this argument was not actually made, than you ought to agree with me that what was done must not be a valid argument: that conclusion is not reachable via the questions posed in the post, therefore, it is not a valid argument.
I'm a fan of syllogistic logic, so I shared your care for the definition of the word valid. Also, totally understandable to lose the context. This discussion is nested quite deeply. If I hadn't thought about the comment chain for an hour before giving my reply, I would have lost the context too.
This is a well-known argument called the Long Tailpipe Problem. It makes intuitive sense, but if we inspect the data from a comprehensive, well-to-wheel assessment, the answer is: "It depends."
The total systemic carbon footprint depends on the fuel and technology used for electricity generation in the particular country or region in question.
Electric cars’ carbon emissions can vary from similar to the average gasoline car (for countries with lots of dirty coal-fired plants) to less than half those of the best hybrids vehicles (in countries with lots of renewable power generation).
> For the moment we are shifting emissions from one place to another.
Well not exactly, we're replacing a product that will by necessity produce polluting emissions (and not only CO2, btw) from fossil fuels, with one that is able to use whatever source might be available, from coal and nuclear to solar and wind power. In programming terms, decoupling the responsibility of energy production from that of transportation, with all the flexibility that this entails. You become free to optimize energy production as a completely isolated problem from that of the vehicles that drive you around.
Thanks to regenerative braking, a Tesla gets the equivalent of 120 mpg, much better than any ICE car.
In fact the energy used in refining gasoline to drive an ICE car is a given distance approximately the same as the energy to drive an electric car the same. Which means that before you've accounted for turning the ICE car on, the electric car has already arrived at its destination.
It's worth noting those graphs are about what power is generated in-state, not what power is consumed in-state.
In VT's case, they shut down a nuclear plant with no in-state replacement for the power, and now they buy 60% of their power from out of state. A lot of which comes from Hydro-Quebec, so it's often still renewable in their case.
At least the means of production of the energy can be updated without needing to replace the car.
In an ICE, every car comes with its own power plant burning gasoline to produce energy.
With electric cars, power generation is distributed among a much, much smaller amount of power plants. Upgrading those is much more expensive, but by upgrading one, you've instantly upgraded all the electric cars powered by that power plant.
Sure, many countries are still on coal. But there are other considerations as well. Cities are hotspots for emissions, and need not be. Another important point is that nitrogen byproducts form simply from the high temperatures in internal combustion engines, not just from fuel.
In the US it depends on which state you live in. The Department of Energy has the Alternative Fuels Data Center that will show you national average and state by state emissions for four different types of engine.
It can be, but the grandparent comment seemed to imply that just switching to electric cars will do that, which is disingenuous. It can help, but the power grid needs to be overhauled as well.
If electric cars do take over, that will cause a substantial increase of needed power, something I don't know if it can today. Right now the USA hasn't built a nuclear reactor in decades. I would love to see a more distributed power network (I.e. every home has solar and wind power).
>I think we will be feature complete full self-driving this year meaning the car will be able to find you in a parking lot pick you up take you all the way to your destination
without an intervention. This year. I would say that I am certain of that, that is not a question mark.
>However people sometimes will extrapolate that to mean now it works with one hundred percent certainty we're requiring no observation perfectly. This is not the case. Once it is feature complete then you're sort of kind of the march of nines like how many nines of reliability do you want to be and then when do regulators agree that it is that that is that reliable so this feature complete post full self-driving this year with certainty.
The common theory is that additional 9s for self driving are not inremental, they require more like exponential effort. Possibly and probably needing new sensors or additional compute power to handle those corner cases. So you cannot linearly extrapolate progress.
The review put Super Cruise higher than Tesla Autopilot because of better driver monitoring and geofencing. It doesn't speak much to how far ahead each company is on self-driving technology. Both Super Cruise and Autopilot are bad representations of where GM/Cruise and Tesla's cutting edge is at.
The context is different between the two. Super Cruise got high marks because of its focus on driver engagement/awareness, it's very clearly an "assist" feature. Autopilot is intended to become autonomous, so driver monitoring is so much lower on the list.
Coast-to-coast AP demo was promised before Eo2017. Still waiting. Meanwhile, the AP cannot handle traffic lights, city traffic, conditions of bad weather, sections of road with poor or temporary lanes, it crashes to high-vis large stationary objects directly in line of sight and travel, yada yada. They don't seem to have anything solid to back up the promises with, so claiming that "enabling automatic driving on city streets and highways pending regulatory approval" is very deceptive and insincere with potential customers.
The coast-to-coast demo for EoY 2017 was not a promise either, but a goal.
Elon Musk, 2017:
>Our goal is — I feel pretty good about this goal — is that we’ll be able to do a demonstration drive of full autonomy, all the way from L.A. to New York — so, basically, from a home in L.A. to, let’s say, dropping you off in Times Square, in New York, then having the car go and park itself by the end of next year — without the need for a single touch, including the charging.
Elon Musk, 2018:
>I’ve been meaning to address this, because obviously I missed the mark on that front. I mean, focus was very much on Model 3 production so everything else kind of took a second place to that. We could have done the coast-to-coast drive but it would have required too much specialized code to effectively game it, or make it somewhat brittle in that it would work for one particular route but not be a general solution.
Who's hyping things up here?
>They don't seem to have anything solid to back up the promises (...)
So now you say "they don't seem to", because you don't know? Okay.
I guess my question would be... There's thousands or tens of thousands of businesses not meeting their stated goals. Why do you care so much about tearing down this particular one?
Perhaps you follow $tslaq on Twitter or perhaps not. Take a look. They're so toxic and focused on negativity around Tesla. It's senseless. If I don't believe in a business, I just ignore it. With Tesla there seems to be people who are religious or obsessed with hoping that they fail. That's pretty weird considering that pretty much all of humankind benefits from a better world should they succeed.
> “I think we have a good chance of achieving this”
That's still not promising anything though. It's setting expectations, but failing to meet expectations is not the same as failing to meet promises.
If I buy a movie ticket I can get disappointed about the film being bad (failing to meet expectation of enjoyment), but I'd get upset if they cancelled the screening after I bought a ticket (failing to meet promise of viewing).
Volkswagen is promising (to use your terms) to produce millions of cheap EVs in 2019... err, 2020... er, by 2025. They’re doing that for years, without producing barely anything. Meanwhile Tesla is overly optimistic, sets high goals, fails on some of them, is late, but still actually delivers a shitload of great stuff.
Yes, I’m still waiting on some things them dreamt about when I bought the car. OTOH, I’m happy with the purchase and the car got dramatically improved software-wise since I bought it, well beyond any other manufacturer’s abilities.
"Liar" is a stronger word than I would use, but given the claims (including dates) that Tesla made when I purchased an S100D in early 2017 -- seems like the answer is Tesla.
If not "liar", at least incredibly dramatically wrong about what they actually delivered for EAP and FSD. I'd say the burden of proof is now firmly on Tesla as they've made and missed a number of claims about the performance of their automation features.
What if i get that regulatory approval? There is plenty of privately owned land where i could tesla all day, some with traffic lights and everything. Or perhaps this feature is "pending" far more than regulatory approval.
Tesla is using the "we're just waiting for regulatory approval"-line for years on their Autopilot page. It's there to hide how far (behind?) development on this tech is.
Seeing how many videos exist of incidents where AP misbehaves (or even actively steers the car into barriers), it seems reasonable to assume that "regulatory approval" isn't the blocking issue for releasing full self-driving. (Could they release this feature with the traditional AP requirements of human oversight?)
I assume they mean they have equipped it with the sensor and computational capacity, and motor control, required (in their analysis) to implement self-driving when the software and regulators are ready.
I was a bit shocked at the price being as low. They're putting in a Supercharger two miles away. Before today I appreciated what Musk was doing but never considered getting a Tesla. As of tonight I am reconsidering. My only unknown right now is going to be service.
Service with Tesla has been pretty good. For small things (like problems with those notorious doors) they will drive to you and fix it, even if the car is in a parking lot at work. You can schedule over text message and in the app. It's a refreshing improvement over your average luxury car dealer, who treats service as a profit center.
The issue is with parts - delays for some body parts mean your car may be sitting in the shop for MONTHS waiting for key pieces.
tbh, if I got a, say, BMW, knowing the nearest branch is 5 hours away, I would factor the possibility that it can be in the show for WEEKS, if not MONTHS, waiting on parts. (my 3-series has spent 2 weeks at the dealership at least twice)
> (my 3-series has spent 2 weeks at the dealership at least twice)
I guess some things don't change.
I had a Z3 around 2000-01 and I distinctly remember driving down Austin's Mopac in my year old car with something like five warning lights' worth of problems glaring at me. Then at some point the dealership broke the clock during a service visit, and then there was the winter where the engine thermostat stuck wide open, so the car never warmed up and the heater didn't work.
Dealer service was terrible too. On one of my many trips in to the service department, I pulled in to a co-worker who had just relocated to the area with his 540i. They wouldn't provide a loaner car because he hadn't bought at the dealership. (Because he didn't live in the same state when he bought his car.)
My last service visit, I took the car in with a spare tire on and had to get the normal tire fixed elsewhere in the meantime. Of course, when I went to pick the car up, they refused to put the normal tire back on until I drove the car out front of the sales department and started jacking the car up to replace it myself.
Realistically you should factor in not having a car for any car purchase simply because your car could get totalled at any trip. But I find it surprising that parts and service could take so long. Being a BMW service center surely replacing parts is core to their job. I can get parts faster on my own.
My guess is that if some distribution region is without new produce to sell because some other part of the company has fucked up the logistics, QUESTIONS ARE ASKED IN UPPER CASE VERY QUICKLY, whereas if it runs out of some sort of spare parts, questions get asked in lower case.
I’d like to see vehicle manufacturers, for the purpose of regular retail owners, extend the warranty of a vehicle if it spends more time in the workshop than the allotted time set out in the repair manual.
If remove and replace engine is, for example, 10hrs, then the car should be in the shop for no more than, say, two to three days. If it sits there for days > weeks > months waiting for parts the new car warranty should be extended by the same amount of time.
My guess is that’d go a long way to fixing the spare parts waiting times.
What are the possible reasons for such long waiting times on spares? It can’t be freight delays; it can’t be that the part isn’t available.
It’s just as bad at Citroen here in the UK. I had to replace a wheel on mine after I dinked it. Citroen had a two week wait time for this. I managed to get a wheel off eBay next day for £60 and took it to the local hooky tyre outfit who put two new front tyres on and this wheel in 30 minutes while I waited without an appointment.
”What are the possible reasons for such long waiting times on spares?”
I get the impression that Tesla doesn’t like to keep a lot of parts in inventory. When a spare is ordered, it’s ordered from the manufacturer of that part.
Elon actually discussed this on the most recent conference call. He said that they’re trying to improve things by having parts shipped directly to service centres and body shops rather than via a Tesla distribution/logistics centre.
Premium cars tend to be less reliable, but it really depends on the car. Certain models are reliable, certain brands are more reliable, and if we're speaking in broad strokes certain countries make more dependable vehicles. If you want something that will just work, buy Japanese.
I had an old Toyota that I just drove and drove and would not die. Multiple cross country trips and I never ever serviced it, except changing the oil every ~50k miles. The thing just kept on going.
I just bought a brand new BMW and I had to take it back to the dealer to fix something that broke after 5k miles.
My car history includes Fords, Mazdas and Skodas (VW group), so nothing Japanese.
(Edit: Apart from the Mazda.... Obviously.....)
I don't know if the parent was talking about major crashes, or reliability issues, 2 weeks in the shop would be my limit of acceptability for any car, a month, I'd be asking for my money back assuming it were a reliability issue. And multiple 2 week waits or a month wait, I wouldn't be buying from that manufacturer or dealer again, whatever the reason.
Is that my European point of view? have I been amazingly lucky?
I’m waiting on a fender, a door, and a bottom trim, and I’m at about a month total in middle-of-nowhere Midwest. Luckily, I can drive the (heavily dented) car until parts come in, but if the car can’t be driven then you’re stuck with the rental your insurance provides.
It's much more nuanced. Compare hybrid Lexus and Tesla model S. Factor in electricity that is produced from coal plant, a lot of energy and pollution that come from extracting Cobalt and other substances. Creating the battery consumes a lot of energy as well and does produce waste. Then you have to recycle it.
EVs are great and on average they are way better, BUT if you drive very little and you get electricity from fossil fuels your Tesla maybe worse for the environment.
There are lot of reports of service being completely unresponsive, not answering calls. And people who work there are saying stuff like "you wouldn't believe how large our backlog is" or "I used to do an equivalent of 2 jobs, now I'll have to do 3" (not exact quotes, from my memory). The reason for this is obvious, Tesla has a cash problem.
I'm in So Cal. My S got backed into - repair of quarter and door panels took about 6 weeks.
For annual service and repairs, it's been pleasant for me. Granted, it takes a while to get the appointment now, but they've always given me a loaner that's often nicer/newer than mine (or $700 Lyft credit one time), so I haven't minded delays. Mobile service has also been great, responsive and very convenient.
Contrast that to the Mercedes dealership. Every time we take in our warrantied SUV, I feel like they're trying to take us for every penny they can - very unpleasant.
Supercharging does measurable damage to batteries. If you're on a long distance road trip and need to use it, okay, but if you regularly supercharge your car WILL have poorer battery condition by the time it reaches 80,000 to 100,000 miles.
This is not a problem for most owners who charge overnight at home.
The battery chemistry and heating / high amperage damage issues are unavoidable with current lithium ion chemistry.
I don't think you will find this information anywhere on Tesla's website. It's kind of bullshit in my opinion that they don't have at least a medium sized disclaimer saying "hey, don't supercharge all the time... or this will happen". I'm sure it's buried deep in the sales contract terms and conditions.
Anytime a li-ion battery is charging, discharging, or even just sitting there the chemistry is breaking down slowly. Charging at higher speeds, charging at higher temperatures, etc. all speed up that break down.
> Supercharging does measurable damage to batteries.
However, I'm calling bullshit on this statement, unless by "measurable" you mean you will maybe lose 1% more battery capacity (which would be maybe 3 miles of range) than someone who coddled their battery. Measurable? Barely. Meaningful? Not really.
My Model S is 5 years old and at 80,000 miles, and I supercharge regularly. My battery has gone from 265 miles to 260, which is inline with what is expected.
I supercharged an S a few times and noticed that you could throttle the charging if you want. Seems reasonable to balance changing rate with how much time you have. For similar reasons I recommend avoiding the natural inclination to get the more powerful charger possible at home.
I don't think there's real-world data showing that supercharging within the limits Tesla has programmed leads to very significant degradation.
Yes, it will happen, but then there are several factors that can affect battery degradation. If you don't care, it's not so bad that you're going to ruin your car. If you do care, it's like 5min Googling to find tips on how to care for your battery.
It is hard to describe exactly the niches they are trying to fill with the designs. I don't see the Y suddenly appealing to someone who didn't already want an X or Y or 3. The differences between models borders on what other companies would consider trim levels.
They are only cannibalizing the same market, as opposed to producing a pickup or a hatchback or a van on the same chassis. Are they limited by tech or capital? Or are they really attached to an idea of what a perfect car is and have trouble extending the vision?
To the surprise of many in the industry, sedan sales in May leaped up by 12.1 percent on the same period last year to 940,000 units, while the SUV segment seemed to lose momentum, growing 6.5 percent year-on-year to 761,000.
The SUV segment had retained a much faster growth rate though when the first five months this year were combined. Its sales grew 11.7 percent from January to May to 4.22 million while sedans rose 4.8 percent to 4.73 million in the same period.
"It is understandable that SUV sales growth has slowed a little bit after years of surging ahead," said Xu Haidong, an assistant to the association's secretary-general.
I have a 2004 Forester XT which is fast (beat all 3 $40k sports cars reviewed in the same magazine in 0-60 times), handles great (for a SUV), and has enough cargo space to be quite functional. The AWD system is great in the snow, and it has enough clearance to handle even pretty serious storms... (assuming plows are going anyway).
Sadly Subaru has abandoned the fast, but practical market. No WRX hatch, no turbo Forester, and the Crosstrek is very slow. The CVT is horrid as well.
Model 3 is small, low, and fast. Great as a second car, but not something I'd want as the primary car for a family + dog. I would not want to cross the Sierras in a snow storm with under 6" of clearance.
So the model Y fixes all my issues with the 3. A bit larger (smaller than an X though), a bit more clearance (by the looks anyways), and has generous cargo room. All while being as easy to park/drive as the smaller cars like the model 3.
Tons of capability in a modern car is determined by the traction control system and whether they tune it to stupid proof the handling for snowy roadways or tune it to try its best to make the car put power to the ground no matter what.
Without knowing the temperament of the electronic nannies it is very hard to bench race the off road capability of modern all wheel drive vehicles.
I'd like to see someone actually off road the thing and see what it can't do so you know what its limits are rather than zip around a rally course and sing praise which is what most YouTube reviews do.
The new Ascent will pull 5000 pounds, and it's only 37K pretty much loaded. You'll get 400 miles to a tank and you can pick it up tomorrow. Unfortunately the price point just isn't quite there yet for these things to make it worth the extra cash just yet. Electric is still a luxury good, but I'm hopeful for the future.
Yup - base trim pulls less, but the 37K touring ups the towing considerably.
FWIW, I've found CVTs are pretty straightforward for towing things at the right weight while on the road, but admittedly might tow less then a more conventional transmission would get you. I love the gas mileage improvement though. 30+ on the Outback, reliably (highway)
I'd like something roughly the size and price of a Model 3, but with a bit more storage space. I'm never going to buy a Model X unless I find myself suddenly wealthy or a used one comes up for sale remarkably cheap. I think this makes a lot of sense.
> Or are they really attached to an idea of what a perfect car is and have trouble extending the vision?
A problem is batteries.
You can make an ICE van or light pickup on a car frame, with different gearing and a bigger gas tank, trading acceleration and top speed (which no one ever reaches in most cars in practical use) for utility, and it's not a big deal because of the energy density of gasoline, and because neither the body nor the gas tank is all that expensive.
With a Tesla, what you have to scale up to keep useful range is the batteries.
Another problem is brand image necessary for the viable price point; a hatchback would probably be doable, but hatchback and luxury aren't things that necessarily fit well together (they aren't I possible for brands that have the association with luxury firmly established, but with Tesla already getting plenty of fit+finish flack, why do something that reinforces a pedestrian rather than luxury image?
Aerodynamics are also probably a significant issue: the design of Tesla vehicles, including the SUVs, look like they are staying very close to aerodynamic ideal, which makes sense because their is a notable effect on efficiency and hence range; this has been common with EVs back to the EV1 era. This gets back to the battery issue.
Seems to be a standard opinion in the US for some reason. Hatchbacks are more practical for urban or close suburban settings but for some reason don't fit the American image. VW is releasing its ID small hatchback anyway, which is going into production at the end of 2019, start of 2020. That's in fact more than a year ahead of even the Model Y production schedule. The ID looks like it will have a good range and pricepoint, more than 200 miles for $25k-30k. If Tesla wanted that market it looks like it's already passing them by.
I'm sure that's why they're trying to dig a more visible trench between the two levels by removing the jump seats and lower cost versions of the model S. They seem to want a sedan and an SUV, with a premium luxury version they can push new semi-experimental technology into that hasn't yet been proven in the industry as sustainable at scale, and then the more accessible models that leverage economies of scale from the successful bits of the higher end vehicles.
I guarantee that once the big rig version is making money, they're going to start making the smaller inner-city delivery vehicles using similar tech.
From day 1 (elon's "underpants plan"), Tesla's what-to-build-next strategy has focused around a few pieces: (1) The current and near future cost of a long range battery (2) Market size at various price points. (3) Using unit volume to drive battery cost reduction and open up new categories.
Mostly, they've selected the highest volume categories where their electrics compare favourably on price performance (and performance-performance) with high-ish-end ICE cars.
For the first car, this meant expensive sports car. Then, luxury sedan...
ATM, the $40k-$50k price range is the highest volume price segment where you can afford a good battery without performance or range compromises. At that price range, SUVs of various sizes are very popular. So, even small-ish differences in price and/or product opens up a bigger potential customer base.
Base model prices including destination charges without gas savings discounted.
Tesla Model 3 - $31450 right now after CA + Fed rebate
Tesla Model Y - $48200 likely no rebate available at release
Tesla Model Y premium over 3 = $16,750
Keep in mind the Model Y also includes the premium interior features which cost an additional $3500 to get by upgrading to the Model 3 mid range, bringing the premium over the 3 to $13,250. The Model Y also gets 80 miles of additional range over the base Model 3.
The base Model Y (RWD long range) is comparable in features and performance to the RWD long range Model 3. When you compare those two, it's only a 4K price differential (47K vs 43K). It's a bit misleading to say the Model Y has a 13K premium over the 3; that's only true if you compare two cars with drastically different feature packages.
You're forgetting the tax credits on the Model 3, which probably won't exist when the Model Y is released. This is also an important factor for the future because the price of the Model 3 will likely be lowered as the credits expire.
It is misleading because it is a very specific case in California/US. For people in other countries these things don't apply. We have 10k euro discount to Electric cars for instance. It would apply to both cars equally.
It also doesn’t include any of the autopilot features. Add $3,000 for the basics, $8,000 for full. And $4,000 for AWD. Oh, and $1,500 if you want anything but black. (All the same prices for the 3, but still something to consider.)
It's ignorant to compare Tesla to the rest of the industry. Tesla only pretends to be in autonomous driving. You can't in fairness compare Tesla to actual companies like Cruise/MobilEye/Waymo that have real autonomous driving tech.
I wasn't comparing anyone. However, every one of the companies you mentioned have fallen short of their claims early on. I couldn't say whether Tesla has real self driving tech in the works or not, ignoring what they have released, but it is clear that self driving in the real world is yet to be solved.
> However, every one of the companies you mentioned have fallen short of their claims early on
What's your source for this claim?
> but it is clear that self driving in the real world is yet to be solved.
Self driving will always be constrained. Sure we don't have the tech to go anywhere in the U.S without any human intervention, but that's not the end all be all goal. Being able to reliably operate a fleet of autonomous vehicles in a traffic dense metropolis is a fantastic goal, one very close to realization.
> Sacramento – Pursuant to state law and regulation, the Department of Motor Vehicles today issued a permit to Waymo authorizing the company to test driverless vehicles on public roads, including freeways, highways and streets within the cities of Palo Alto, Mountain View, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and Sunnyvale, in Santa Clara County. While Waymo has held a permit to test autonomous vehicles with a driver since 2014, the new permit allows the company to test a fleet of about three dozen test vehicles without drivers behind the wheel.
I am not saying Tesla is the company that should provide this, but at least Tesla generates headlines. We would need a modular approach, whether on a household level or on a regional level. The utility is not going to provide it and existing companies in SA don't offer household kits that includes a battery system like the powerwall.
It could be form over function. But my issue is that we have terrible power supply and no-one can fix the problem for themselves using solar. People here just get noisy generators that only provide partial power anyway.
A solar roof would also positively impact the sale price of your house. I don't have the answers here and maybe solar won't solve my country's issues. I am just throwing a rock into the bush.
Wouldn't you say that the original iPhone was also form over function? Blackberries had e-mail, a browser and a built in camera, didn't they? People do care about looks, and personally, if people buy a solar roof because they think it looks cool, I'm glad to see more people buying solar. The fact that Tesla can also sell them battery technology is great as well. I don't think that all solar vendors can sell you a compelling energy storage solution.
Sunrun is now the #1 solar company in America, because its offering better tech these days. Also, SolarCity lost its deal with HomeDepot, and the Gigafactory2 (Solar Panel Gigafactory) is idling / wasting money.
All in all, Tesla is running SolarCity very poorly, by any measurement. You can only buy SolarCity products from Tesla stores, and those few Tesla stores are closing down (or maybe not, depending on the mood of the company...)
> People do care about looks, and personally, if people buy a solar roof because they think it looks cool, I'm glad to see more people buying solar.
Virtually no one is buying Solar Roof. Last time I checked, the number of installations was under 1000, maybe under 100. There's no market for $100,000+ Solar Panels that fail to generate electricity.
EDIT: Looking into it more: the Solar Roof does generate electricity decently. But to make it fit and look more like a normal roof, almost 60% of the tiles do NOT generate electricity. Any tile that needs to be cut to size is a pure-glass tile without any solar panels inside of them. This means that you get far less solar at far higher costs than a typical installation.
They won't get that for a long time. Autopilot is a driver assist feature. The step to "the driver doesn't have to pay attention/be present" is gigantic, and I'm not holding my breath until Tesla will get that right.
That's a good point, and I guess highly dependent on location. I honestly don't know how this works in the US, though in Germany pretty much every private parking lot has signs that the road traffic regulations apply, which would then result in the same limitations as on the road. I think (read: hope) that there is some regulation for traffic on privately owned parking lots in the US, and at least a superficial skim of what information the internet has to offer, there are some rules of the road that may also apply to private property (e.g. reckless driving, impaired driving, vehicular homicide, ...). This might limit what Tesla can (or is willing to) do even on privately owned parking lots.
But I'm not a lawyer (obviously), so this is just an idiots' take. I guess this question goes on the list of "problems modern technology presents that regulations need to prepare for".
>For those driving without Autopilot, we registered one accident or crash-like event for every 1.92 million miles driven. By comparison, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) most recent data shows that in the United States, there is an automobile crash every 492,000 miles.
Did you even bother reading the article? Because the point is, as of right now, the number of human driven miles completely and utterly dwarfs the number of autonomous miles. That's why in order to compare the relative safeties, you'd need several orders of magnitudes of more sample data from the autonomous driving side.
Please try to understand the underlying statistics, it's really not hard.
That isn’t what the article says. It concludes with this:
> In summary, this article shows that the idea that self-driving cars need to drive hundreds of millions of miles before we can be convinced that they are safe is full of flaws. It is misleading to just focus on fatality rates where many other correlated measures for reliability are available that are easier to measure. It is wrong to focus primarily on accidents; the focus should rather be placed on the avoidance of safety-critical situations.
Read the first half of the page, it is what it says. It is countering claims like this one:
> For those driving without Autopilot, we registered one accident or crash-like event for every 1.92 million miles driven. By comparison, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) most recent data shows that in the United States, there is an automobile crash every 492,000 miles.
I posted the article to show how Tesla's way of measuring safety/accuracy is flawed. The article does a very good job demonstrating that. I agree with the article that we should come up with a procedure/policy driven approach to validating the safety of autonomous vehicles, because there would be no easy way to validate the safety of autonomous vehicles given the volume of human miles driven.
But the slope looks horrible for people in the middle row, and there's a reason the 2 people in the back row during the demo were extremely short Asian women...it doesn't look like there's any headspace there at all.
Have you been in a Tesla before? They are surprisingly roomy on the inside. If you've been in ICE cars with much less efficient use of volume, you will be impressed when you spend time in an EV without all the huge engine, transmission, and various extra parts that aren't a flat battery and watermelon-sized electric motor.
Closer in size to the Rogue/X-Trail, I think, and probably a little larger.
I can't find dimensions for the Model Y, but it's based on the Model 3 which has 113.2" wheelbase and 184.8" length. The Qashqai has 104.2" wheelbase and 172" length, while the X-Trail has 106.5" wheelbase and 182.7" length, much closer to the Tesla.
Probably a better comparison would be to another premium SUV coupe: the BMW X4, which has 112.8" wheelbase and 185.4" length.
Excited, a Tesla Model 3-like SUV at a 10% premium sounds like my perfect car. As nice as the Model X is, it's prohibitively expensive and I'm not a fan of the falcon wing doors so I'm hoping the Model Y hits all the sweet spots.
FWD has a reputation for being good in the snow, I grew up with a FWD Saab that was pretty awesome in the snow. Mostly because it had tall narrow tires, FWD, and well over 60% of the car's weight over the front wheels.
However RWD is actually better... assuming the car has a good front/rear balance near 50%... like the Telsa. Any FWD gets LESS traction when climbing than driving on the flats. A RWD gets MORE traction when climbing than driving on the flats. Of course when driving down hills you can always throttle off and just use the brakes.
Additionally your limited traction budget in a RWD allows the front wheels to be dedicated to steering only. On a FWD you have to spend part of your traction budget on acceleration.
So get the RWD, it's cheaper than AWD, and better in the snow than FWD.
Oversteer (RWD without enough traction) and understeer (FWD without enough traction) are two sides of the same coin.
Personally I'd rather have oversteer, which is easily compensated for (a bit of steering and let off the throttle), but doesn't impact your path around the corner. It's also quite fun.
Understeer on the other hand does impact your path around the corner, the car plows straight ahead as you ask too much of it. Additionally the threshold for understeer is lower since it's the front tires trying to handle acceleration and steering. So a RWD has more traction at a given speed than FWD.
Keep in mind that the that RWD in terrible in the snow comes from things like empty pick up trucks (no weight on the rear wheels) or old American sedans and sports cars that had large engines in the front and not much weight out back. Generally even with a perfect 50/50 weight distribution that the RWD is going to have the advantage.
Dunno, it's not rocket science. Sure if it snows a few times a year, ignore it.
But if it snows often there's a simple choice. Do you want to lose the ability to accelerate (oversteer), or do you want to lose the ability to accelerate and steer (understeer)?
Even a single hour in an abandoned parking lot should get you familiar with either, and it's quite instructive to spend significant time over the threshold of sliding to help prepare you for the occasional surprise on real roads.
>However RWD is actually better... assuming the car has a good front/rear balance near 50%... like the Telsa. Any FWD gets LESS traction when climbing than driving on the flats. A RWD gets MORE traction when climbing than driving on the flats.
You don't even need "good" weight distribution for RWD to hill climb better. I live on a hill. My RWD pickup goes up it better than the FWD wagon which has near 50-50 weight distribution.
The AWD wagon (same model and generation running the same exact tire) and the pickup in 4wd will run circles around anything with two driven wheels though. All three vehicles are old so no limited slip diffs or traction control so it's a fairly scientific comparison.
>Additionally your limited traction budget in a RWD allows the front wheels to be dedicated to steering only. On a FWD you have to spend part of your traction budget on acceleration.
Basically anything that makes a car handle well in the dry makes it handle well in the snow. Everything behaves the same but your coefficient of friction is less.
Another important point to note is that with old time RWD the slipping tire got all the power while with electrics the rear tires work in a positraction mode where power is directed to the tire with traction, which is much much better in the snow.
Not an issue in this day and age, IMO. While FWD is more controllable, and safer in the snow, modern stability control systems have done a _lot_ to bridge the gap.
My 2006 era RWD car has the manufacturer's optional stability control, and I'm constantly impressed by how effectively it keeps the car in-line in snow. Even on long, sweeping turns, where it's hard to know when you're beginning to slide. This is without any kind of steering control, with only engine power limiting and individual-wheel braking.
Much more important, is to have proper tires for the season. Even if you don't experience snow, you need tires with the appropriate temperature ratings. Summer tires will turn rock-hard in freezing temperatures, and lose a lot of grip. Even on bare pavement.
RWD EV is probably better than FWD ICE. They'll generally have better weight distribution and the fine-grained control over the torque is better.
Anyway, if grip is important, you might as well go for AWD. The difference from RWD to FWD is tiny, if any (I also live in snowy-lands and have driven both). But going to AWD, especially with the dual motor AWD you get with EVs, is a world of difference and probably worth the upgrade.
I prefer to have an optional locking differential on the drive wheels for snow.
In my experience, the most common problem with snow is getting enough traction to move out of parking spot or up a steep incline. Like most AWD vehicles, the AWD Tesla has an open differential which does not help much in these scenarios. When traction gets dicey it behaves like a 2WD with torque spread between one front and one rear wheel.
Indeed, most cars are single wheel drive (FWD or RWD with an open differential).
Some more expensive sporty cars have limited slip differentials, mostly to avoid inside drive wheels spinning in sharp corners. It helps in the snow as well of course.
My Subaru WRX had a limited split in the center and rear, so it had three wheel drive when slippery. The higher end STI had an option for a front limited slip differential. Apparently when rallying on tight courses they would pick three wheel drive because it allows rotating around the inner front wheel for very sharp turns. It's great fun, plant a wheel (literally motionless), the car spins around it, until you let go of the wheel and the car launches in that direction. On more open courses the rally drivers would select the four wheel drive to get the most of the traction when going mostly straight.
The Tesla AWD is actually 4wd, but under software control. I wouldn't say as nice as a locking differential, but pretty close and able to get some power to all four wheels.
Friction is non-linear so you're going to need very fast feedback loops on the brakes to simulate a locked differential. One can't just apply a fixed amount of braking to every wheel and have stuff magically work out.
Yes. On normal cars this is achieves by sensors and brakes that I believe work at 100 times a second and up. Tesla have the advantage that they have similar control over acceleration. This technology has been common for years, and early on it had lots of downsides, but it's most recent versions is quite good. It's becoming more and more popular, even on enthusiast cars.
The main issue is while limited slip differentials do work, they are expensive, add weight, and they add friction. So the software solution gets you better MPG, better HP, and more control. There's many different names for it, traction control, torque vectoring, traction assist, etc.
Even Subaru who bet the heaviest on AWD (selling only AWD until they sold the BRZ), and had one of the best respected AWD systems is moving to open differential with the brake assist, on at least some of their cars. Not sure about the STI and WRX though.
That's also what I mean of course. All modern AWD systems and even just FWD/RWD cars use the ABS to do traction control with open-diffs. The base AWD system in a Subaru is three open-diffs and then ABS braking is used on any wheel that's slipping to make sure the torque still reaches the other wheels.
Right, as I mentioned, I'm an 80's VW van enthusiast. I've transplanted subaru engines into VW vans, but I always clip the unused sensors (like traction control) from the wiring harness. I haven't touched anything newer than 2005 yet.
So, despite "everyone doing it" by your words, I was just unaware of how it worked because it's not relevant to me. My VW syncro van has both forward and rear locking differentials anyway.
Interesting point. This should actually be an advantage for Tesla as the engineering and manufacturing costs would be much lower to produce front, rear and all wheel drive options than a traditional ICE car. I'm guessing they're hoping people buy the dual motor option for this scenario though.
Well there's a few problems with that. First of all FWD saves money, complexity, and weight on an ICE car because you avoid a long drive shaft, and you can mount the engine transversely which is more compact. You also get more interior room in the car since there's no hump for the drive shaft.
With an electric car you don't save anything with RWD vs FWD, you end up with poorer steering, poorer acceleration, and worse hill climbing, especially if it's snowy or icy. Nor is it cheaper to produce.
As a result even electric cars intended for city use like the BMW i3 and Renault have RWD.
On the model 3 the rear motor is larger and a permanent magnet motor (which is more efficient) and the front motor is an induction motor. So a FWD would have less power than the RWD, and it would also have less range than the RWD. Not sure Tesla would want to try to sell a car slower (because FWD), slower (because of less HP), and with less range (because of efficiency) without it being cheaper to produce.... just to have a FWD.
On an ICE vehicle the only difference between rear and all wheel drive is a differential and a drive shaft. Maybe I don’t know enough about electric vehicles, but “dual motor” sounds a lot more expensive.
> On an ICE vehicle the only difference between rear and all wheel drive is a differential and a drive shaft.
You need three differentials for AWD as you first need to split the power front/back and then right/left in each axle. That's two more differentials than in just RWD or FWD. You also need to package all that together with a gearbox. That's why many manufacturers don't even offer an AWD option, and having both FWD and RWD versions of a car is very rare if it happens at all.
Meanwhile Tesla already builds all their cars to have two independent motors front/back each with their differential. They could very easily build a FWD car right now just by omitting the rear assembly. The cars are apparently even already designed to work with just the front motor for reliability so even the software update would be simple.
And building AWD cars by having two electric motors is almost surely not more expensive than the ICE way. Electric motors are much simpler than combustion ones and you eliminate all the mechanical parts needed to split the power between the axles. Control also becomes much better as the software gets to adjust power independently to both axles.
>And building AWD cars by having two electric motors is almost surely not more expensive than the ICE way.
You need a differential for each driven axle. The expense of the extra motor and motor controller vs the expense of the transfer case (or FWD based equivalent), and drive shaft (not really all that expensive) is probably close to a wash or slightly in favor of the ICE vehicle. I don't think you understand how cheap and commoditized drive-train parts are. Like really, these assemblies are cheap and almost go together like legos (from an OEM perspective). It's not like you burn tons of engineering hours making a FWD or RWD vehicle into AWD so long as whatever floor pan you're working with was designed to be AWD compatible.
Thinking about it some more, maybe in a mass produced ICE AWD can indeed be a cheaper add-on. Something like a Subaru that does AWD for all cars. I was thinking more of the direct Tesla competitors that tend to charge quite a bit for AWD as an extra. But it's hard to compare from the outside as adding AWD to a car is often associated with different trim levels too.
Someone like Sandy Munro that does detailed costing would be able to answer this definitively for a few models. But it will most likely depend on the actual implementation to see what ends up cheaper. According to Munro Tesla has a big advantage in the cost, weight and performance of the motors right now compared to other EVs so that might be enough to tip the scale. I'd love actual data though.
Big electric motors are actually pretty cheap. They've existed in industry for over a century, and their manufacture is entirely automated. The raw materials cost of two motors each with half the power matches that of one motor.
The motor controllers are probably the more expensive part, although most of the cost there is engineering design cost (much of industry doesn't use fancy motor controllers needed for a car, and cars use high power MOSFETs which are rapidly evolving tech). Tesla designing them in house will eliminate much of the cost over enough volume.
Silicon Valley transport tech needs to visit the north some time. There is going to be a very rude awakening when everyone realizes their machine learning models only handle light rain in the southwest.
I mean... Traditional cars have to burn the gas and convert it to kinetic energy before it even get to the wheels.
The electric motor just takes the electrons to power without the need for a transmission. In addition, the speed can also be controlled instantly by varying the frequency of the AC power.
But since you asked for a source:
"advantages of powertrain solutions with electric motors are faster response time (order of milliseconds) and possibility of dual direct control either by speed or torque, increasing the flexibility of the control of pitch-plane vehicle dynamics ."
Not really...check weight distributions for any modern vehicle, you will find the majority of the competent manufacturers get it right around 50/50 front/back. Meaning your FWD Honda has no advantage over a RWD BMW except for the tendency for the Honda to understeer and the BMW to oversteer. This is the main problem in less than ideal traction conditions...
I'd be willing to wager that most front wheel drive sedans sold in the US are closer to 60/40, not 50/50. Pickup trucks (very popular in the US) also have a weight distribution much more skewed to the front.
50/50 distribution is more common for sports cars sure but that is not the majority of cars sold.
This is true, at least for premium cars. However even if the FWD honda and RWD BMW are similar in the flats. The hardest thing to deal with when it's slippery is the climbs, and then the RWD has the advantage.
Even on the flats, when cornering the FWD has the front wheels steering and accelerating, while the RWD uses different wheels for that. Granted not a big difference, especially since when it's slippery you aren't using many HP.
FWIW, a traditional RWD car is usually pretty close to 50/50 weight distribution, while a FWD car is usually closer to 70/30.
However a RWD racing car is typically also biased with more weight on the driven axle, e.g. the Porsche 911 is around 40/60. So it's pretty pretty clear that more weight on driven axel == good. It's just not possible to get 40/60 in a BMW 5-series type car while keeping the practicality.
Anecdote: growing up in the UK in the 70s / 80s, snow was rare and most drivers didn't know how to cope. RWD was common in Cortinas, Sierras etc but it was the little rear-engined, RWD Skoda Estelle that I remember doing the best in the snow. I particularly remember an orange one weaving past abandoned cars.
With "normal" cars, there are two differences between front and rear wheel drive: one is the tendency to under vs oversteer, which does not affect your ability to get going. The other is the fact that front-wheel drive cars have the weight of that heavy IC engine over the driven wheels, giving more traction. Grandparent was pointing out that's not the case with a Tesla.
When I grew up in Sweden everyone had RWD cars and got around fine. But it was common to put some sand bags or lead shot in the trunk to get more weight on the rear wheels. The other thing you need are real snow tires.
In my country where there is usually snow on the roads, or at least ice, for most of winter, BMW saloons (RWD) are pretty common here too. I think people buy them on purpose so they can slide around tight corners.
RWD is no issue in the snow, if there is enough weight on the rear wheels, as in cars like the 911 and the VW beetle. RWD is only an issue, if the engine is in the front of the car. Most electric cars have the battery in the middle of the car, putting enough weight on the rear wheels. Additionally, traction of electric cars can be controlled much better than with combustion engines.
The EPA testing is well known to return lower numbers than the EU version. Generally it seems like the EPA numbers are pretty good for electric cars. Without trying, consumers are pretty close. If you are careful you can beat them. The EU numbers on the other hand tend to be overly optimistic.
While I think it's fair to present the data in the US units on the US page, I was a little surprised to see English descriptions & "cu ft" as a unit of cargo space on the german version (https://www.tesla.com/de_DE/modely). Note: All other models are well translated, including these stats:
Y: "540 km range"
3: "530 km Reichweite"
Without being a car enthusiast these are clearly not in the same category to me. I have hard time believing anyone being close to an X would not feel it: it is much higher. You feel much higher on the road seating in it.
It is less clear cut between S and 3, but driving them is making you feel how much larger/bulky the S is (having to fit luggages in the 3 is also making you realize how smaller it is). And S wouldn't fit in my garage while my 3 is fitting just fine :)
I mean unless you're not a car person to the point of "it has four wheels, it is a car"...
This is the electric car I’ve been waiting for. We’re a family of 6 and for the longest time the Model X or some huge hybrids were our only options. This is half the price of an X. I can afford it. Bring on the 7 seat version... in Europe... (starts waiting).
Not much information available yet. I found one photo showing the rear seats don’t have headrests, but we’ll see. I think it still ticks all the boxes for me. Seriously considering putting a deposit down.
I'm reminded of Meet the Parents ("I have nipples Greg. Can you milk me?")
I'm sure my parents' Caprice station wagon had more volume. That's also not an SUV.
But car categories are definitely blurring these days. A lot of so-called SUVs just look like cars with the roof bulged up a few inches and a juice to the ride height. It's weird. The BMW X6 is an ugly abomination in my book ("let's take a car, and just... inflate it a bit, yeah?")
Is it supposed to be? It looks a whole lot like the Model 3. Maybe a hatchback version of that. It looks like most places are calling it a "small crossover", which is basically just a sedan with a couple of inches of extra space in the back.
A lot of sedans are actually longer than SUVs (when I was looking to buy a car I had a spreadsheet with all the dimensions). Eliminating the trunk and lifting it a few inches seems sufficient to call it a crossover or SUV.
Crossovers are — and I intentionally oversimplify — half way between a station wagon/minibus and SUV (4x4 wagon). The main features are higher ride, more head space (the roof of the Y is significantly higher than in the 3), more seats, hatchback instead of a trunk, and flexible seating.
The X and Y are well into crossover territory, they aren’t minibuses or SUVs.
Isn't the whole "a truck isn't a car so an SUV must not be a car" is an americanism based on some weird US regulation history? Outside the US SUVs are cars. And the largest SUVs such as the X5/Q7/XC90 are built on the same platforms as their non-suv siblings. The truck-based-original-SUV isn't a thing except in the US I believe.
Indeed. I have an love my 2004 Forester XT. The new forester is MUCH larger and drives like a boat, no Turbo, and they added a CVT. The new crosstrek is near identical in size to my forester XT, but is MUCH slower.
So I put off buying another Subaru and am looking closely at the model Y.
Touch screens should be banned on security [edit: safety] grounds. You need to take your eyes off the road to perform simple operations such as adjusting heating. Relying on muscle memory with physical knobs is much safer. And it's not just Tesla, it's a worrying trend for many car manufacturers.
I've got a Model X, and the touchscreen is only dangerous when using the on-screen keyboard. If I need to type something whilst driving, I engage Autopilot. There is voice recognition for the phone connectivity and Spotify, but I rarely use it.
Turning on windscreen heater, heating, and all that stuff is pretty straightforward, the on-screen buttons are always in the same place and are next to the bezel so you can anchor your hand. Plus cabin heating can be controlled via clickwheels on the steering wheel.
I think maybe the seat heaters are a little distracting. You can only tell their state by looking at the screen, and they cycle through settings. That's something I'd like a button for, or at least to be able to control via the clickwheels.
Studied HCI and Usability Engineering at university, did my dissertation in usability of web systems, and generally share your concerns. Not aiming to dismiss them, more say that in my experience it's not as bad as one might expect.
It's no more a distraction than opening a drink, taking a swig of said drink, or having to look around to see why the kids are crying in the back of the car.
Let's not suggest that Autopilot is safe completely unsupervised, and let's also not suggest that all drivers always look at the road 100% of every drive they take. There is a realistic middle ground, and I'm very grateful to have Autopilot to be an extra set of eyes.
Fully agree with this statement. As a person who study UX for living a lot of people actually doesn't understand for what User Experience stands for. It is not just nice interface and simple clear minimalistic design although those are also important factors.
When you put a large touchscreen on the right side of the driver seat the moment you need to get feedback from the vehicle or do something you are distracted and your eyes are not on the road.
Now before all Tesla owners say, yea but my autopilot is on, and yea it is not as bad as I though it will be, you are still distracted and the primary task that you have in the vehicle (driving) is now with not optimal user experience which might lead to the worse case scenarios.
The physical knobs are far better way to perform tasks in your vehicle while driving, mainly because of the muscle memory your body and brain will generate, you will not only perform the task faster but you will not put constrain on your brain to read, watch or whatever you need to do to perform a task.
You also forget that you are not alone in your Tesla at the road. You have thousands of other drivers who might be as equality distracted or even worse. So imagine what happens when you play with your screen on autopilot and you are not watching your back mirror, while maybe a drunk driver is approaching very fast.
Now I am not against Tesla or autonomous driving, quite the opposite I can't wait the day the autonomous driving will be so advanced that people won't need to drive, mainly because majority of the people don't take driving seriously and the end results is the worst one possible, people loosing their life over car accidents.
There were statistics in my country alone that more people die every year from car accidents than people in active war times.
I believe that Tesla can do a much better job to build futuristic vehicles rather than just placing a tablet in the middle of the car.
>rather than just placing a tablet in the middle of the car.
They didn’t “just” place a tablet. They did a lot more than that. More than I could ever mention in one comment.
But to take just one thing, just because there is a tablet, that does not mean there are no buttons and other physical hardware controls. There are plenty of those. So I really don’t understand the motivation of your rant.
Well let me explain it to you then. The motivation of my rant is safety.
When you put a x amount of inches screen in the front of the vehicle right next to the driver, and making that screen to take input from the driver and display output for the driver, you are distracting him. When you are distracting a driver of a vehicle that leads to car accidents, car accidents kill other people and ruin lives.
If you are on a hype train and you don't take driving seriously if you want put in your car a 4k 65 inch Samsung TV to watch your favorite show, but I don't see a reason then why you should be on the road endangering other people lives.
I like Tesla as a company and I like Elon Musk I would love to have an electric vehicle one day, but that doesn't mean I should I agree with some engineer design decision to place a tablet in the middle of the car.
I don't believe that either the software nor the hardware is so advanced today that car manufactures can safely build big screens without distracting the driver attention, which should be on the road.
I also think that Tesla is leading that game for now which means that other car manufactures will follow...
The last thing we need is 20+ inches screens in vehicles while people are successfully being involved in car accident with their phones...
Nobody is taking away the accomplishments of Tesla, but then again I don't see why we shouldn't comment or criticize something when it is not right or could be better, simply because I want to see that future with amazing electric vehicles and I am just hoping for Tesla to consider other design options because they can solve the driving problem, rather that you ranting of my motivation to comment.
Everyone wants safety. I’d urge you to drive a Tesla for a while and understand it before making erroneous assumptions about any problems you might imagine the screen might have. I suspect that small screens are a much bigger problem than well designed larger lagom-sized (just-right sized) screens.
Anecdotally I have a "normal" car with hardware buttons and still look down to adjust the AC/heat etc. because there are many, many controls. My car also has a touch screen that controls the stereo and navigation - many other cars have this same setup. I don't see this as an issue worthy of concern, over say cell phone use while driving.
Dumb question maybe (excuse me for not searching this out) but does Tesla have voice control? Seems like an obvious way to tackle this problem.
"Tesla turn my heat up"
"Tesla tune to SiriusXM channel 100"
Whilst I agree with you and I honestly don’t know whether I would ever buy a car that was basically touch-screen only (although there are controls on the wheel), Telsas have a bunch of features that allow them to safely self-pilot, at least for the small amounts of time that you would take your eyes off the road to make adjustments like this.
I’ve only driven cars with radar cruise control (with always-on auto-breaking) and lane & blind-spot detection and I now find these features invaluable to feeling safe whilst driving and avoiding the pitfalls distractions can cause.
This is such a red herring. The critical factor isn’t whether an operation is simple (adjusting heating) but rather whether it is time sensitive (force a wiper swipe, hit the brakes, etc.) and the also how frequent the operation is. With something like heating, there is much more leeway for giving attention to the road as needed, because it’s not as time sensitive. Nor is it a very frequent operation especially if the car has excellent climate control which makes the example verge on moot.
If people are going to adjust the volume more often than adjusting the heat, then you get a hardware button in the Model 3 for example, but not for heat adjustment.
There’s a lot of misinformation out there. I’ve seen HN posters flat out state (wrongly) that you have to use the screen for things where you don’t have to. Examples: volume control, pause/play, wipers, windshield wash. Take these skeptics with a grain of salt when they assert opinions about stuff they have no experience with.
At first I was worried about the center console but quickly came to realize it was a non issue. Even the speed being displayed there did not matter as normal eye movement when driving would pick it up if not out of the "corner" of my eye. I was totally comfortable with it before I made it home from picking up the car. My eighty year plus old father had zero issues with it. He is of the type where you don't play with buttons/etc unless stopped. to each his own
As for buttons, many cars have automatic climate control and I rarely if ever have changed mine. If I need the front or rear defroster its merely a glance and tap; muscle memory almost as much as with a button. Heat seater, my seat is right there on the bottom of the display. temp is a simple tap left or right. all again "muscle memory" because I am used to the car. Same as if I had to drive a friends car - you learn and you learn quite quickly.
I give my friends a simple test with their cars. Put yellow dots on each you use during a drive to and from work. You can do this before or during. You would be surprised how much you don't use center console buttons. There is a reason why some controls are replicated to the steering wheel.
Plus if you want to get down to it, if I really want to change something in traffic that is involved; though honestly I don't know what that would be; I let the car drive for awhile. It can do that.
As for the presentation, I had to laugh. My TM3 is blue and for a bit when watching the TMY driving videos I was hard pressed to see the physical difference
I own a Prius. The center-mounted instruments were weird for about 5 minutes, then a total non-issue. I concur.
I've done the button dot thing. Or rather, I did it with velcro and stickyback sandpaper, because the dash lights in my old Pontiac went out and it was more fun to make it tactile than fix the lights. I realized I could quickly distinguish hook velcro, loop velcro, and 3 grits of sandpaper, so that gave me 5 "colors" to work with. I coded the HVAC controls, the radio presets, and the rear defroster controls. That's about all I used on a regular basis.
It was great. Previously I could find these controls without looking, but knowing I was on the right one meant groping to the end of the button row and counting back. My eyes never left the road, but my attention definitely faltered. Once they were tactile-coded, I had instant confirmation, and it took a lot less attention to interact.
Modern cars tend to be the complete opposite of this pure-tactile experience. The Lincoln Touch console, with its capacitive controls that activate before you even register that you've touched them, are the absolute worst. You can't grope over to a control without looking, or you'll change a dozen other things on the way. Touchscreens are only slightly better, in that they tend to have borders you can follow with your fingers, and buttons are often placed along the edges. But not always.
On the Prius touchscreen, I can get in the ballpark without looking, glance down to fine-adjust my finger placement, and get my eyes back up to the road even as my finger makes the selection. But that only works on the radio presets which are along the edge of the screen. Input source selection goes to a shit-tastic "pretty 3d" screen where the sources' display order can change, so you absolutely have to read the display to make a selection. (The steering-wheel copy of the "mode" button can also cycle between some, but not all, sources. It's worse than useless.)
I've spent some time in a Model S and I can't love the touchscreen implementation. It's not the worst I've seen (that trophy goes to Lincoln, hands-down), but it's way more distracting than it needs to be. I feel like it was designed as a showpiece first, an interaction method second, and a reliable cockpit control not at all.
Model S owner here and as many others in this thread noted - it is not any more dangerous than knobs.
I also heard opinion that UX is much worse than with physical controls. Indeed if you design the UI poorly, but this is not the Tesla's case. And I would yet have to see any physical UI that can be improved during the car's lifetime.
So you can reach out, without taking your eyes off the road, unerring find the control and adjust it? Because that is what I can do with a conventional switch or knob.
I have Carplay in my car - which I like a lot - however I'm under no illusion that using it while driving, is much much worse in terms of the amount of time it takes my attention from the road, than a similar physical control.
Lets take the temperature control for example. I am not able to adjust it with the touch controls without looking (or it is too difficult), however I am not able to adjust it with knobs as well, because sometimes the feedback is either missing or there is a bug in controller or whatever and my temperature is changed one step more than I wanted. Am I being more confident with knobs? Yes. Do I still have to check the result? Definitely. Do I spend less time checking the knob related 8-segment/LCD panel vs Tesla UI? Not sure, probably not.
Btw I have to take my eyes off the road when I check the speed and the mirrors and that is something I do quite often and considering the behavior on the roads more drivers should.
There are buttons for most common operations so yes.
There are also voice commands so yes.
In the case of climate control you can use muscle memory if you really want to, to hit a button always ready in the same place on the edge of the screen, and then use the hardware buttons from there, so yes. Personally I would glance at the bottom edge of the screen (center) while approaching the button with my finger, but you don’t have to do this, and you can easily do it with a flick of they eye while traffic is in a calm pattern, at a moment of your choosing. It’s not like your eyes need to wildly search the screen for the button... it’s right there in a known fixed place.
People have such far out misconceptions about Tesla cars. It’s bizarre.
Yes, I meant one EXTRA dial. Things like temperature, volume, radio station, wiper speed, cruise control follow distance, etc. Whichever one isn't on the two 4 way control knobs would end up on the dial.
It would also be in reach of the passenger and you'd end up with less fingerprints on the screen.
You have it backwards. The claim is that touch screens are less safe. The claim is being presented with evidence that contradicts the claim. That’s not the same as making a new claim that touch screens are safer.
I can guarantee you that every time I take my sight off the road, even down to speed/rev/consumption/etc screen behind the steering wheel, I can't properly register whats happening in front of me. Have enough driving experience in various cars to see this is consistent. I can clearly register car in front of me slamming the brakes or similar bright event, but for example a deer running across the road, nope. Or car changing lane, especially without any lights on during day (btw why the heck is this not mandatory everywhere, all the time? it can literally save lives every single effin' day).
Central panel is much worse in this - there can be an atomic blast on the horizon and I wouldn't notice it, its just too far on periphery of the vision. It is bad, it is lame, and what is/was perceived as 'premium' feature is actually cheaping out on customers.
I have 15-year old beamer which doesn't even support mp3, and on board computer means it shows me outside temperature and consumption. Everything is manual, with dedicated knobs of various shapes. I love it and wouldn't want anything else (which is worrying since this stupid trend took over whole car industry and eventually I will have to switch my car).
>I can guarantee you that every time I take my sight off the road, even down to speed/rev/consumption/etc screen behind the steering wheel, I can't properly register whats happening in front of me.
Maybe your controls are too dark and hard to read. I haven’t had this problem with the large Tesla screen, although I almost never have to look at it. When I do it’s very clear and the important things are in known fixed places and easy to read.
If I do need to look at the screen I can turn on auto pilot or cruise control, a subset of autopilot functionality. Cruise control can be turned on at 0 mph or higher, and it follows the speed limit, dynamically updating as it changes, with user-adjustable leeway above or below. The cruise control maintains distance to the car in front of me and slows or stops for deer running across
the road. Yes other cars have this but the point is it takes care of that point about cars stopping suddenly. So no worries while glancing at the screen. I’m not sure what it does for your hyperbolic atomic bomb scenario.
All in all, it’s not as bad as you think, although for some it does require a taste adjustment I guess.
> especially without any lights on during day (btw why the heck is this not mandatory everywhere, all the time? it can literally save lives every single effin' day).
Nope. This kills cyclists and motorbike riders. Our eyes/mind get used to headlights and don't see any speciality in them anymore which leads to overlooking those as they are just part of the normal scenery.
In former times, when only motorbikes were driving with headlights in bright daylight, you were much more aware of the fact that there was a "special vehicle" approaching you.
I believe Elon is part of a tragically large group of people that continue to stubbornly define their expectations of the future based entirely on stuff they saw in Star Trek TNG. "Just because you can put a touch screen somewhere doesn't mean you should" is a thought that will never enter their minds regardless of how many people die as a result.
Will be interested to see what the standard range pricing ends up being, they would really be on to something if they could make a version of this that is closer to Model 3 pricing. It seemed weird to me that when other car makers are abandoning the sedan style entirely that Tesla would pick it for it's stab at a more affordable model. As a city dweller that still needs to tote around kids / pets / supplies a hatchback / crossover is a great combo of utility and not being ungodly large.
I am a fan of electric cars but why no one seems to care about SW and HW inside, especially for always-on, always-connected HW? I've heard they had to SSH into customers machines to fix something. And that one day they kept Kubernetes cluster insecure and let someone run mining on it. I won't trust the software - I need a device where I can at least set up the firewall. But an open firmware would be even better. But it won't happen because of how these industries work. That is a pity because it's up to you how you secure your home pc. But it's up to manufacturer to secure your connected devices and they are not always doing maximum. Over time, there will be many connected cars and IoT devices with outdated, broken, wrongly-configured firmware (look at routers nowadays). And don't tell me you can remotely control driving servos in such cars. Because if you can, a hacker can become a serial killer or a hitman soon...
So they thought before being able to produce the other models in a reliable way, why not release yet another model?! Great idea publicity wise, I doubt that this can be sustainable in the long term though. Why not focusing on getting one thing right?
'In infantry battles, he told us, there is only one strategy: Fire and Motion. You move towards the enemy while firing your weapon. The firing forces him to keep his head down so he can’t fire at you. (That’s what the soldiers mean when they shout “cover me.” It means, “fire at our enemy so he has to duck and can’t fire at me while I run across this street, here.” It works.) The motion allows you to conquer territory and get closer to your enemy, where your shots are much more likely to hit their target. If you’re not moving, the enemy gets to decide what happens, which is not a good thing. If you’re not firing, the enemy will fire at you, pinning you down.'
I don't get why Teslas have bonnets! The Y even has a flat panel where the radiator traditionally is! They are trying to look like a conventional car from the distance!
I remember when the first Renault Espaces turned up. Suddenly a car without a bonnet! (Okay, technically, perhaps it wasn't the first. But it was the first different-looking car to suddenly be everywhere that I remember!) That was revolutionary and different.
Its a pity that Tesla feel the public need them to disguise their cars. I want an electric car which can seat 6 but on a normal 4-person footprint. I want a people-carrier!
You need headlights, room for the front motor, suspension, turn signals, federally mandated bumpers, ultra sonic sensors, radar, fog lights, etc. Sure there's a small frunk storage area, and the frunk seems pretty popular among owners.
Additionally you need a crush zone to make the far safe. The model 3/y are known as a "cab forward" design that has pretty much minimizes the front area as much as possible.
Which I find more amusing is the electric cars with a large grill... despite not needing a large radiator.
> Its a pity that Tesla feel the public need them to disguise their cars.
Tesla's success is due to the fact that their vehicles look like normal cars. The products further up their roadmap are likely to challenge the status quo of vehicle design (like the "Blade-Runner" Tesla pickup truck).
The mclaren f1 put the driver in the middle, forward. There's lots of innovative ways to better use the space. Putting the 'additional storage' in a low bit with nothing using the space above it is just squandering footprint.
Did the announcement say whether the first Y's would be built in Fremont or Nevada? In January Elon said "most likely" Nevada, did that get updated?
That Nov 2020 date is a lot firmer if Fremont than Nevada, which is the main reason I'm asking.
I would have expected the first line to be set up in Fremont -- that's where they have the experienced assemblers. And while that would slow production of the 3, it would also allow them to adjust the ASP up towards the more profitable models.
Fremont has no more room. I think it's 6 assembly lines for the S, X, and model 3 (except for batteries and motors which come from Nevada). So they are at capacity and not changing anytime soon.
The model Y will use the battery and motors from the model 3 and Tesla is building a new assembly line in Nevada based on their experience building 3 assembly lines in Fremont. Given that the y shares 75% or so of the parts of the model 3, it shouldn't be nearly as hard as the first model 3 assembly line. I don't believe the model 3 shared any parts with the S and X, and obviously are targeting a much simpler and efficient production line to hit the much lower price points.
So given they are producing 5k a week model 3s and have learned quite a bit in the process it doesn't seem nearly as risky to start a new line for the Ys in Fremont. Time will tell of course.
I'd love it if they did, seems like a retrofit for the 25% different parts would be MUCH faster than building a new line from scratch. I suspect the USA market no longer needs 5k m3s a week, but so far the Europe and China market demand seem to be healthy.
Is it supposed to be a midway point between Model 3 and Model X? Or is it supposed to be the cheaper version of Model X? I can't tell exactly where it fits into the lineup since "midsize SUV" can mean a lot of different things and is pretty vague (especially since the model X is considered a "compact crossover SUV" per wikipedia).
I am not a fan of Tesla nor electric cars. The future of transportation is not electric, (please get yourself out of Elon’s reality distortion field) it’s Hydrogen- one of the most abundant elements in the universe. Once the challenges are solved, we will use saltwater as a fuel. (Water aka H2O has 2 hydrogen molecules and 1 oxygen molecule, the salt can be used as a catalyzer in hydrogen extraction.
The cheapest 5-seat Model Y is $51k, 7-seat is $54k. I bought a 2018 Acura MDX (7 seats) with 3k miles for $42.3k. At $3 per a gallon of premium gasoline and $60 for each oil change, I think I'll spend $11.7k in about 3-4 years. So, the 7-seat Model Y sounds better, doesn't it?
Broaden your world view. HN is a worldwide community and internet is not universally good. Some people live in rural places as well, or on sail boats, or only have satellite internet, but they all love tech just the same.
I live in a first world country (Australia) with notoriously slow internet.
It gets the job done. Perhaps it would be nice if his delivery was as slick as Steve Jobs, but I think it's disputable whether him being a better speaker would have any practical benefit to the company. Would it have any effect on Telsa product sales?
My problem with his delivery wasn't the stuttering—I doubt most of us could speak any better than him in public—it was him interacting with randoms shouting in the crowd. It's cute once or twice but you couldn't hear what was being yelled so Elon's responses were often devoid of context.