‘Tesla Killers’ Are Having A Really Hard Time Killing Tesla

Discussion in 'General' started by interestedinEV, Aug 20, 2019.

  1. interestedinEV

    interestedinEV Active Member

    Here is the issue as I see it. When @David Green posts something, it has some verifiable facts and the rest is, let us call it, conjecture and wishful thinking. But some facts are not in question. Elon engages in hyperbole, he has not delivered on some of his promises (and maybe they should never have been made), shows immaturity when he unnecessary attacks people who question him (like the spelunker in Thailand), and exhibits an immense amount of arrogance. But, none of that should detract from the fact that he is a visionary, he is willing to put his money where his mouth his and that he has some very impressive and commendable achievements. Tesla created the BEV market, SpaceX broke the entrenched duopoly. Calling him for his failures is perfectly acceptable, but at the same time trying to belittle his achievements using questionable logic and unverifiable statements, is living in a state of denial.

    Every time a manufacturer introduces a product with new features, especially in the automotive market where you have over a dozen potential competitors, a few years later some other manufacturer will try and leapfrog the innovator with new features of their own. Model S and X were the only ones that provided the range and convenience features for a long time. It is not surprising that others now want to crash the party and the e-tron and I-pace may in someways be better than the S/X. They Taycan may better than the S/X in many ways but is likely to have a price point that is over the S/X. The basic fact however is that none of these would have come into the market with so much of investment and urgency from the Jaguar/VW/GM etc. if it was not for Tesla. Till even recently, Toyota poo-poohed BEVs but now are working with Subaru to try and be in the market. And S/X are improving, for the example the range is an impressive 370 miles.

    I always try to be logical, dispassionate and not have an agenda. To me, Elon is a complex personality but, all things considered, he has done a lot of good and moved the needle towards a more sustainable future. Not all seem to see it that way. Either they have an agenda (if you are short seller, you are motivated to talk down Tesla) or have a different sense of priorities or are blind to a few things but use a magnifying glass to others. @David Green is clearly biased against Tesla and I still do not understand his logic. If his only hatred to Elon stems from the fact that Elon lies, then I hope he exhibits the same attitude towards every person, politician, business, corporation etc. that lies.
  2. David Green

    David Green Well-Known Member

    I agree with most of what you were saying here. But I think you’re giving Elon Musk too much credit for moving the needle if it’s the environment you were talking about. A few things I have noticed following Tesla, they have no policies for the contractors they hire about environmentally friendly operations, including their escalation contractors that were working out at GF1. They hired the lowest bidder, but has the oldest equipment that pollutes the air of the most. Tesla has not even tried to make their factories clean and green, so far out he is the only one to build an electric vehicle and a carbon neutral plant . I am willing to bet that my Audi E Tron started life with a measurably lower carbon footprint than a comparable Tesla . I am also willing to bet, that the CEO of Volkswagen, does not commute on a Gulfstream G650, which is an airplane renowned for size, speed and range, but is terribly inefficient on short flights like LA to SF. As a person who cares about the environment, how can you possibly defend this behavior? And how can you possibly think Tesla is a company to save the environment, when the company takes little initiative to do so when it comes to their operations. When you look at the logistics around their factory, it is very clear that this is a very unorganized operation. They are trucking their cars to the lots, and around the USA, Which is much harder on the environment than hauling them on a train, interestingly Tesla tore out the train loading depot at the factory. I keep hearing about more production more production more production, but that just means more diesel trucks on the road to haul the cars, and parts Interestingly, it’s not only Volkswagen who has deployed more solar and clean energy initiatives for the factories, but also general motors who now has solar generation at most of their factories, and is buying a lot of wind energy to use at their factories, even at a premium cost. So all things aside, whether somebody agrees with me or not, it’s hard to defend these actions for a supposed green company that is on a mission to save the planet. I can tell you for fact, Boeing is very particular, and requires their suppliers, and subcontractors to use best green practices on their projects . They require it, contractually . I was laughing last year, when Tesla was having so much trouble with their paint shop, they have thousands of cars stored in different places like Lathrop, and I think they rented all of the Sun Belt diesel generators in California, to charge their cars . This is the kind of thing that just makes me laugh at a company that claims to be saving the world, especially when there are high-voltage lines running right next to the parking lot, they can easily tap in and set a service if this was a planned, and well organized operation . They also had parking lots with Sun Belt diesel generators in Oakland, Las Vegas, Dallas, and other places, Tesla is a great customer of sun belt rentals . They were also so unorganized about this, many of the cars have a 12 V batteries go dead and had to be replaced, which is more environmental impact . If Mr. Musk was such a genius, why does he have so many problems with things that all of the other manufacturers in the world have no trouble with? I mean tesla claims to be up to 5000 model threes a week in 2017, but yet when they did reach 5000 a week in 2018, they were not ready with their distribution system, it is so crazy that they have such a breakdown .
  3. interestedinEV

    interestedinEV Active Member

    That is a first, that you and I agree on most of what I said. I am not denying that Elon is a basket of contradictions, but at the same time he has gone where many others have not. I do not think that manufacturers would have pushed BEV so much as they claim today if not for Tesla. He showed them a market exists. That does not mean that that there is in-efficiency in Tesla, that Elon is a good strategic visionary but a bad tactical manager. Tesla has problems and challenges but they have also momentum going for them. That is why I always taken a position that is in between the Tesla/Elon can do not wrong (as some in this forum) to that Tesla is toast (which is your position) spectrum. I believe that Tesla has many things going for them but the have headwinds and it will depend depend Elon to acknowledge the situation and take appropriate action. Neither Tesla's future success nor demise can predicted at this time.
  4. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member Subscriber

    Just responding to the noise. To me, Elon Musk remains a modern Edison and asset to our country.

    Bob Wilson
  5. Reminds me a bit, too, like the old Howard Hughes.
    bwilson4web likes this.
  6. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    That's a good summary, "interestedinEV". Looks to me like you are viewing both the virtues and the faults, and the successes and the failures, of Elon Musk in a clear-eyed fashion without any noticeable bias.

    Elon certainly is a polarizing figure. His great successes have earned him much attention and admiration... but also much envy from those who are jealous of his many successes, his popularity, and his wealth.

    bwilson4web likes this.
  7. interestedinEV

    interestedinEV Active Member

    Thank you. I believe criticism should be given when it is due and that are legitimate issues to criticize Elon Musk. Some of Tesla's wounds are self inflicted (turnover of critical staff due micromanagement, setting impossible targets, diverting energy by getting into unneeded fights etc.). There is a fine line between aggressiveness and being unrealistic and that is where good managerial instincts come in. So while I agree some of criticism may be from those "who are jealous of his many successes, his popularity, and his wealth.", not all the flak that Elon gets, is undeserved. But, as I have always tried to point out is that you have to look at the totality.

    Henry Ford comes to my mind. He created a market for automobiles and was even more of a innovator that Elon (consider the era). He however could not see the market shift and ceded ground to Alfred Sloan. As they say "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it" (or the more common phrase "Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it"). Elon has time to make course corrections, question is will he?
    David Green likes this.
  8. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member Subscriber

  9. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    Yes, that is a big problem with Elon: Many of his goals and aspirations are completely unrealistic. He himself admits his timelines aren't realistic, altho he seems to regard that as a virtue; he has made it part of his method of pushing his employees and co-workers to push beyond themselves to achieve the apparently impossible.

    So, some of Elon's most important successes, such as putting the Model S into production, creating a wildly popular Model 3, reducing satellite launch costs by ~80% at SpaceX, and getting booster rockets to safely land on their tails back on earth...

    These are spectacular successes, achievements which most financial analysts and industry watchers said were impossible, or at least could not be achieved in any practical way. So Elon deserves loud and long paeans of praise for those remarkable achievements.

    But not so much for some other things; his repeated insistence that he could use "basic physics principles" to speed up production in a factory to 5x or 10x industry norms, and his belief that Tesla can use sophisticated software to overcome fundamental hardware limitations in its cars to achieve true self-driving, when (in my opinion) the hardware is totally inadequate for that. Another example is his disastrous attempt to advance Model 3 production by 6 months, which wound up only delaying volume production of the car.

    And possibly his worst excesses: His recent claims that used Model 3's will become a fleet of robotaxis which will actually appreciate (increase) in value over time, and that anyone who buys any other car is a fool. Also, his claim that Tesla will achieve true Full Self Driving in 12 months or less... altho he seems to be engaging in weasel words there; he said quite clearly during the FSD presentation that "Full Self Driving" means the driver can safely fall asleep and let the car take him to his destination; but shortly thereafter he walked that back and said that FSD being "feature complete" would still require the driver to monitor the car's driving, ready to take over if needed.

    The fact that Elon is one of my personal heroes does not make me blind to his faults, and many times I have criticized him for his tendency towards hype and over-promising. But the thing is... It think Elon actually believes most of even his wildest claims. I'm convinced he really did believe Tesla could build touchless auto assembly lines that worked so fast that wind resistance would be a limiting factor for how fast the robot arms could move while assembling cars! And pretty clearly Elon really believed he could advance the timetable for mass production of the Model 3, or he wouldn't have tried to do it.

    Still, I rather doubt he honestly believes the stuff about Model 3's actually increasing in value over time, or honestly believes that everyone who buys some car other than a Model 3 is a fool. Those sorts of assertions are the sort of B.S. that one sees at investor presentations... and generally I think even the investors themselves know it's hype taken to the level of outright B.S. The sad thing is that apparently investors have come to expect that level of hype, to the point that if they don't hear it, then they don't think the presenter or the entrepreneur "really believes" in his company or his product.

    Not that I think this should excuse hype. I deplore how businesses are so dishonest that pretty much all of them, except small mom & pop companies. lie regularly: They lie to the public, to their investors, to their customers, and even to their own employees. I've seen that at almost every company I've worked for, over the years.

    I deplore it, but that's the reality. How much Elon should or should not be excused for engaging in that level of mendacity just because it's part of regular business... well, that's a matter of opinion. Perhaps my expectations for truth and honesty are naive; certainly my own tolerance for spin, stretching the truth, and outright mendacity seems to be lower than that of the average person.

  10. DaleL

    DaleL Active Member

    Here is my 2 "cents". Tesla began in 2003 and has yet to make an annual profit. Last year Tesla lost almost a billion dollars, despite having 2 profitable quarters. The first 2 quarters of 2019 have resulted in another billion dollar loss. Other car companies are certainly watching and interested in Tesla and its products. The "Tesla Killers" are not meant to kill Tesla, rather they are just a way to gain experience in the EV market. I am quite confident that each of the major automotive companies have bought and dissected various Tesla cars. However, if Tesla cannot make money on its core product, electric cars, then it is unlikely that established automotive companies can either.
    David Green likes this.
  11. David Green

    David Green Well-Known Member

    Exactly, Well Said Dale... Tesla has got to make a profit, and the other makers squeezing into the S and X space has forced Tesla to lower prices on their most profitable products. VW, Audi and othesr will not be profitable on EV's because they have a competitive advantage over Tesla, they will do it because they are more organized and make less mistakes. This is just like our construction business, we are wildly profitable even though we do not charge more than other contractors doing the same kind of work, and we actually pay our employees above the industry norms, but I am on site every day dawn to dusk making sure we do not make costly mistakes that other companies always seem to make.

    IMO Tesla would be profitable today if they had great leadership and could avoid all the hell they seem to go through.

    Last edited: Aug 23, 2019
  12. interestedinEV

    interestedinEV Active Member

    You have a point and to a certain extent, I agree with you that economics may be against BEVs for now. However, there are certain advantages the established companies have will hopefully lower their costs. They include

    1. Tesla had to create the supercharger network from scratch. VW is setting up EA instead of paying a fine, so it is not an additional or new investment. Others are setting up a network of chargers. So new entrants do not have that expenditure.
    2. Established manufacturers already have a lot of experience with production engineering, manufacturing, supply chain management, reusable components and parts, distribution etc. They have lines they can retool for this. So their costs of entry may be lower.
    3. Cost of batteries and improvements in battery technology in the last 10 years and continuing drop in costs will help improve margins. Some, especially Toyota has a lot of experience with battery technology from the hybrid offerings.
    4. Ability to learn from Tesla's mistakes.
    5. Investment in AV technology. Tesla is spending billions on autonomous driving and going it alone. Other manufacturers can spread this cost over a larger pool of vehicles and there is a lot of collaboration between them to reduce these costs.
    6. Most other manufacturers still have the $7,500 federal credit they can use, Tesla does not and hence a slight price differential can be compensated by the credit.

    That said, this is still new territory, and that it still requires considerable investment. So there is still an economic advantage for ICEs but I think it is shrinking and that established manufacturers with the right strategy can be profitable. VW seems to be making all the right moves and they have the heft to push their way in. Again my 1 -c-.
    David Green likes this.
  13. David Green

    David Green Well-Known Member

    Bob, you must have really low standards for a car to think your Model 3 is so far ahead? In what way? 2-3 generations ahead? What metric are you calculating that by, certainly not comfort, convenience, features, build quality, usability, or anything else I can think of. Are you still touting MPGE? haha! What are the best selling car segments in the USA? Oh ya, trucks and SUV's and none of them lead in fuel efficiency, so I venture to say the average person does not care much about mpg? I was talking to the sales guy at Dave Smith Motors in Kellogg, ID (I am cheap, so that is where I buy mine) and he said they have been getting the new 2020 GMC HD pickups inky the truckload and they are gone in less than a week even at prices well over $70K if you get the diesel. Man, I am sure happy with mine, it is as quiet on the freeway as our Audi (a diesel pickup is quieter than your Model 3 on the freeway? unbelievable... I guess GM is generations ahead in insulation and sound deadening), tows great, and pulling 20 MPG so far, a huge improvement over the older model that was in the 15 MPG range.

    Did you see Tesla is switching to LG batteries at GF3? HAHA! I guess I will not have to listen to how LG is inferior anymore...
  14. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member Subscriber

    Efficiency: 25 kWh/100 mi

    The Hyundai Ioniq Electric has the same efficiency, 25 kWh/100 mi, but half the range, 120 miles. My 240 mile Model 3 charges at +100 kW peak rate which is critical for efficient, cross country trips and left shifted (i.e., starts at peak rate) versus the slower ramp up of the Hyundai Ioniq Electric.

    Built to Tesla specs, we'll see. Actually the press reports are Tesla is talking with three battery companies. Regardless, Munro & Associates at the June 21 EV Conference reported:
    • $177.75/kWh ~= $13,331.43 / 75 kWh - Tesla Model 3
      • 8.0 kg ~= 597 kg / 75 kWh
      • 250 kW peak charge rate at V3 SuperChargers
    • $441.65 ~= $9,716.23 / 22 kWh - BMW I3
      • 22.1 kg ~= 487 kg / 22 kWh
      • 50 kW peak charge rate at any CCS-1 station
    • $205.00 = $12,300.00 / 60 kWh - Chevy Bolt (LG Chem)
      • 9.7 kg ~= 584 kg / 60 kWh
      • ~66 kW peak rate demonstrated, 80 kW claimed
    Per Monro, the Tesla battery is cheaper to build and lighter per kWh. Per user experience, the Tesla battery is 4-5x faster to charge with an early peak so partial charging is significantly faster (call it early loading.)

    Bob Wilson
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2019
  15. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member Subscriber

    Looking for something else, I came across:

    They report 2019 sales of "Tesla killers" as:
    • 81,100 - Tesla Model 3
    • 10,225 - Tesla Model X
    • 8,200 - Tesla Model S
    • 2,513 - Audi e-tron
    • 1,522 - Jaguar I-Pace
    Bob Wilson
  16. David Green

    David Green Well-Known Member

    Bob, I am missing something in your numbers, if your economy car Model 3 consumes 25 kWh per 100 mi, how does it have a range of 240 miles with 50 kWh battery? Have you found on 100% of your road trips a full to empty range of over 240 miles? I am not an EE, but those sound like Mickey Mouse numbers.

    My E-Tron is averaging 38 kWh/100 Mi so far, but the average is higher on short trips around town of 10 miles or less. We have observed 35 kWh/ 100 Mi on longer journeys. Some people in the E-Tron forum are seeing 250+ miles of range, I am closer to 225 miles. But let's not forget , comparing E-Tron to Model 3 is a joke, different size, class, and capabilities. Its like comparing my pickup to a prius...
  17. David Green

    David Green Well-Known Member

    Haha! what a biased video, lets look at Model S and X sales 2018 over 2019 Down 50%

    This guy gets his info from Clean Technica? haha! Come on... BTW Bob, how is the stock price? Are you making millions?
  18. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member Subscriber

    Agreed! It is actually getting (50 kWh / 240 mi) * 100 ~= 21.8 kWh/100 mi. The EPA number of "25 kWh/100 miles" is in error. So let's do the same for the Hyundai Ioniq Electric, (28 kWh / 120) * 100 ~= 23.3 kWh/100 mi. I like your approach.

    I drive to maximize my block-to-block speed and minimize my costs:
    1. First drive as far as possible to reach the last SuperCharger within range.
    2. Subsequent segments as short as practical for minimum charger time and cost.
    3. Meal breaks extend to meet the next, furtherest charger.
    The "100%" is a foolish question, another fail.
    My primary requirement is cheapest operating efficiency, fastest block-to-block time. In contrast, you value something different.

    Bob Wilson
  19. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member Subscriber

    Fair enough. You're not a paragon of facts and data either.

    Bob Wilson
  20. David Green

    David Green Well-Known Member

    Agree... The same as Clean Technica loves Tesla, I do not love them, so I find the negatively written stories for my source, of course the truth lies somewhere in between...

Share This Page