Tesla’s Model 3 Breaks 300-Mile Range Barrier

Bloomberg  9:00 AM ET

Three hundred ten.

That’s the electric range of a $44,000 version of Tesla’s Model 3, unveiled in its final form Friday night. It’s a jaw-dropping new benchmark for cheap range in an electric car, and it’s just one of several surprises Tesla had in store as it handed over the keys to its first 30 customers.

Tesla has taken in more than 500,000 deposits at $1,000 a piece, Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk told reporters ahead of the event. That’s created a daunting backlog that could take more than a year to fulfill—even before Musk took the stage in front of thousands of employees, owners, and reservation-holders to lift the curtain on the company’s most monumental achievement yet.

“We finally have a great, affordable, electric car—that’s what this day means,” Musk said. “I’m really confident this will be the best car in this price range, hands down. Judge for yourself.”

Here’s some of what Tesla disclosed at its plant in Fremont, California:

Two Battery VersionsTesla has simplified the manufacturing process “dramatically,” Musk said. In the same factory space where Tesla can build 50,000 Model S or Model X cars, it will soon be able to produce 200,000 Model 3s. Part of that is due to a simplified package of options. The car comes in two battery types: standard and extended range. Here’s how they break down:

Standard Battery:Price: $35,000Range: 220 miles (EPA estimated) Supercharging rate: 130 miles in 30 minutes Zero to 60 mph time: 5.6 seconds Long Range Battery: Price: $44,000 Range: 310 miles Supercharging rate: 170 miles in 30 minutes (Same as Tesla’s Model S) Zero to 60 mph time: 5.1 seconds

Only two other electric cars in the world have broken the 300-mile range barrier: the most expensive versions of Tesla’s Model S and Model X, which are ultra-luxury cars that cost $100,000 or more. The long-range Model 3 has cheaper range availability than the current record holder, the $37,500 Chevy Bolt, which can go 239 miles on a charge in a package that’s significantly outclassed by the Model 3.

Every year the battle for cheap range gets a little bit more fierce.

The $35,000 standard Model 3 version won’t be available until Fall. The longer-range version is available now for the thousands of Tesla employees who placed reservations last year. A $5,000 premium options package includes an all-glass roof, open-pore wood decor, premium sound, heated seats, and premium seat materials.

Unlike previous cars, Tesla didn’t disclose the size of its two battery packs. All cars will be identical from the outside, with no additional badging indicating battery size or premium options. The plan is for the Model S and X to eventually do the same.

We Drove the Model 3The Model 3 is elegant inside and out, and in ways that are difficult to appreciate from the photos. I was allowed to drive one before the event. It’s not as fast as the more expensive Model S—the quickest production car in the world—but the steering is tight and it feels somewhat lighter on its feet because of its smaller footprint and lighter battery. The glass-roofed interior feels like a mini-atrium, and the touch screen is bright and intuitively laid out.

There were a few technological surprises. The ventilation system is a marvel, stretching in one long strip that spans the front seat. The touch screen allows both the driver and the passenger to instantly direct a wide flow of air wherever they want it. The scrolling dials on the steering wheel move in all four directions and allow you to adjust everything from the side windows to the music playlist.

Some of the executives responsible for the Model 3 have been there from the beginning, leading Tesla from a tiny upstart to an icon of automotive desire. Chief Technology Officer JB Straubel was the battery architect behind the original Tesla Roadster. Chief Designer Franz von Holzhausen designed the company’s three most vaunted accomplishments: the Model S, Model X, and Model 3.

“The interior is nothing like any other car out there,” said von Holzhausen. “When you get in the car, how does it feel? When you see the car, how does it make you feel? When you drive the car, what does it inspire in you?”

Curse of the S CurveDespite these achievements, Musk sounded grave about the road ahead. “The biggest challenge that we face here is ‘S Curve’ manufacturing,” he said, describing a ramp up of production that starts slow, then increases dramatically before tapering off. “That ‘S’ portion is us going through hell, basically.”

The Model 3 is an all-new auto platform for Tesla, with a new motor technology and a new battery architecture. The car is designed for ease of manufacturing, and even the dashboard is completely void of knobs, dials, and gauges. Almost everything is controlled with the car’s single 15-inch touchscreen, which accepts inputs from voice commands and the two control knobs on the steering wheel.

Musk reiterated his projections of a very slow start in the next few months and then ramping up rapidly to a rate of 20,000 a month by the end of the year, and 50,000 a month by the end of 2018. It’s an aggressive schedule that will more than double Tesla’s total production rate in six months, and then quintuple it by the end of next year.

“I have high confidence that we’ll get to the end of the ‘S Curve,’ but it is impossible to predict the shape of it,” Musk said.

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Tesla makes fine cars and I expect this one to follow suit. There is a reason that the stock market values them more than they value GM.

And there is a reason that some buyers don't care about their carbon footprint -  the performance!  Now that the 300 mile range is available, it will be interesting to see how many 3's Tesla will sell.  The company still has to prove that they can handle mass production.

Tesla, live in Texas outside of Fort Worth.  In the last year I have seen one Tesla.  And there is one charge station available around me.  Not going to buy a Tesla and not going to buy Tesla stock (extraordinarily inflated value).  The infatuation with Tesla stock is Elon Musk and his hyperbole.  It is said to be near its maximum borrowing capacity and needs funding for the "3".  What's more the handful of 3s all went to employees of Tesla to test out and none of them was the scaled down version hyped.  It is a good looking car but what does a replacement battery cost?  And if the subsidy from the government goes away, the price will be to high.  And Obama is not president anymore so you can expect that extravagance to disappear.  The Chevy Volt is out of production, it was a hybrid.  Ford has hybrids as does Toyota.  All preform well but have a back gasoline engine to charge or provide power when the battery is depleted.  So hybrids are still dependent on petroleum.  Gasoline and Diesel are not going away for many years.  There needs to be a vast improvement in batteries for the all electric car to make it.  For instance what does a home charge station cost to own and install?  I bet you can buy a years worth of gasoline for one and charging the car is not cheap either, those kilowatts build up cost, you know.  Get real.

Let's see, where to start? How about at home.  The charging stations are for travelers away from home.  They are designed for fast charging.  The number of supercharger locations will triple in the next year.  The majority of Teslas are charged at home where there is no need for a fast charge.  Seldom are the batteries fully discharged from local driving.  Home charging stations generally run from less than $300 to about $900 depending on how fast a charge they provide and how many vehicles they charge at the same time.  As EVs become more common, there will be a much greater demand for home chargers and the price will come down substantially. Battery technology continues to advance and is already at the point where reasonable range distances are available.

I won't be a buyer of the stock either but that's only because I have better places to invest than the stock market.

As the cost of battery packs continues to go down, there will be no need for a subsidy, electric cars will be competitively priced with combustion engine cars. As production ramps up, other unit costs will go down.

It matters not one wit who is the president.  The market determines winners and losers.  Hybrids will probably be around for some time as a number of major auto manufacturers have said they will continue to offer them along with EVs as they phase out combustion engine vehicles.  Most hybrid owners report that they rarely visit a gas station.

Many skeptics who are car fans will be sold the first time they drive a Tesla.  I have a late model Toyota Avalon with a V-6.  It has really nice acceleration and passing gear.  The Tesla Model 3 performance is far superior.  The 0-60 mph time is two seconds less than the Avalon.

I'll gladly leave the determination of my being "real" to the members.  :-)

Tesla surges as Wall Street bets on Model 3

Noel Randewich and Sweta Singh reuters.com  #Technology News  August 3, 2017 / 7:52 AM

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) jumped 6 percent on Thursday as its quarterly report fueled bets that its new Model 3 sedan will propel the luxury electric carmaker into the mainstream.

Chief Executive Elon Musk is counting on the Model 3, Tesla's least pricey car to date, to make the company profitable and establish it as the leading electric carmaker ahead of BMW, General Motors and other long-established players.

Tesla's stock is up 63 percent in 2017, underscoring Wall Street's confidence in Musk.

The Palo Alto, California company late on Wednesday reported quarterly results that beat average analyst estimates, and it said it received more than 1,800 reservations per day for the Model 3 since its launch last week.

Tesla had $3 billion in cash on hand at the end of the June quarter, reassuring investors who were worried after Musk warned on Friday that the automaker would face six months of "manufacturing hell" in ramping up production of the Model 3.

Musk said investors should have "zero concern" that Tesla would fail to reach its production target of 10,000 vehicles each week by the end of 2018.

William, isn't that far off.

Tesla didn't exactly lie to us outright. The company kept its promises, but it has also masterfully obfuscated the fact that you can't really go out and buy a $35,000 Tesla right now, or even soon. I can't even get mad at Tesla for pulling it off, either: The staggered, two-part launch was a masterful class of marketing and deception. 

The details on why the true cost of a Tesla Model 3 is higher than advertised have been widely covered, so here's the short version: The $35,000 version of the car is pretty bare and does not have Autopilot, which is an incredibly important feature for a car that’s been described by the company as self-driving-ready. This means that customers will have to dish out at least $5,000 more to get what they were promised, an additional $3,000 more to get full self-driving capabilities once they’re available, and $9,000 on top of that to get a better range and a nicer interior. Plus, there's a $1500 cost to install the home charger.


The above doesn't mean they won't be successful. The iPhone has proven there are markets for over-priced-feel-good technology. I think we'll find out how healthy Tesla isn't when the big guys get into the electric car biz full throttle. My belief is that they will remain a relatively small player or be bought out by Honda, lol.

If you're an investor in Tesla, the time it takes for them to roll out these cars has got to be a concern.

The above is exactly what new car dealers do, and have done for decades, it's called "bait and switch" - or in dealer parlance, "up selling".  The only appreciable difference here is that those individuals interested in buying a Tesla know it, before hand.  And therefore it is not the problem that some would make it out to be.  Far from being "bought out", the odds are that Tesla revolutionizes the auto manufacturing industry in a number of significant ways. The auto majors have been scrambling to catch up for a couple of years now and have adopted and announced much of what Tesla has pioneered.  Investor confidence is not now, nor has it ever been, a concern.

I have not been to Fort Worth lately but Teslas are on every corner in Dallas and Houston. I guess Cow Town likes their F150's too much to part with them.

A lot of those Dallas and Houston Tesla drivers likely have an F-150 parked in their garage.  And maybe an SUV for carrying a crowd. I keep a pickup just for towing my boat and driving the mountain roads in Arkansas.  If I did that more than just occasionally, I wouldn't have a combustion engine truck.  I'd have a B1.


Still 98% of my driving is stop-and-go, short trips here in Shreveport with the occasional trip to Dallas or New Orleans.  A Tesla would work just fine for Dallas.  I'd need about another 25 miles range for New Orleans...unless I stopped for lunch at one of my favorite restaurants in Baton Rouge.  I suspect that they will have spaces reserved for charging EVs in the near future.  If I was still managing restaurants, I would.

Tesla lowers price of Model X, saying margins improved

#Technology News  reuters.com    August 4, 2017 / 3:43 PM

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) on Friday lowered the base price of its Model X SUV to $79,500 and said improving margins were behind the move, which came as the automaker is ramping up production of its new lower-priced Model 3.

Some analysts have been concerned that the launch of the Model 3, whose base price is $35,000, would steer some potential buyers away from the Model X SUV to that lower-priced sedan.

But Chief Executive Elon Musk said earlier this week that demand had not waned for the luxury electric sport-utility vehicle.

"When we launched Model X 75D, it had a low gross margin. As we've achieved efficiencies, we are able to lower the price and pass along more value to our customers," Tesla in a statement on Friday announcing it had lowered the previous $82,500 starting price of the vehicle by $3,000.


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