Who could compete with Tesla?

Discussion in 'General' started by bwilson4web, Nov 18, 2018.

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  1. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member Subscriber

    Here is my ranking of who could compete with Tesla:
    1. Tesla - three models with different ranges, the clear winner not sitting on their hands.
    2. BMW - if they'll reassemble the BMW i3 team, they could do it. Dual motors, stretched aero body, larger battery, and they could make an honest Model 3 competitor.
    3. Hyundai/GM - the Kona and Bolt are essentially the same car, a gas body design with EV drivetrain dropped in. Dual motors and larger battery and voila, a competitor.
    4. Jaguar - generation 1, tolerable but needs refinement and a span of models. Still too much 'gas' design rules.
    5. Nissan, Toyota, other air cooled battery EV - still not serious. Air cooling does not scale well.
    6. VW - hot air powered, EVs. They do 'one of' and no more.
    Bob Wilson
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2018
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  3. TheMagster

    TheMagster Member

    Aren't the newer Nissan Leafs liquid cooled? I have a 2015 Nissan Leaf SV that I'm pretty sure has liquid cooling. The battery coolant is the only liquid that needs to be replaced as part of the car's maintenance.

    Also, Nissan/Infinity CEO has announced that they will drop production of ICE cars entirely in the near future. So that frees up a lot of resources to focus on better EVs. I expect an Infinity EV could compete with a Tesla Model 3 as a 'luxury' sedan, and the Leaf could continue to compete with Toyota Prius and other 'regular' commuter cars.

    Also, a used Leaf or used Chevy Spark are currently the only realistic options for EVs under $15k, and I think that will play a big role in EV adoption. People are floored when I reveal that I got my Leaf for $8k. That's cheap even compared to ICE cars. I would love a Tesla as much as anyone else, but even at the future $35k price they remain unaffordable for me.

    It is a big mystery to me why Toyota doesn't offer an EV (outside of the discontinued RAV4 EV using Tesla drivetrain). It seems like they are well situated to dominate they market if they wanted to, especially since they already have built up the eco-friendly brand with the Prius.

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  4. TheMagster

    TheMagster Member

    Oh, and another to watch in the near future: the Kia Niro EV has 200+ mile range in a CUV body for what will hopefully be an affordable price, to be released in early 2019. Should compete with the likes of the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V/HRV.

    Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is impressive as well, given that it is a massive SUV body.

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  5. marshall

    marshall Well-Known Member

    Your nissan has liquid cooling, but not for the traction battery.
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2018
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  6. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    Who could compete with Tesla?

    In the short term, nobody. Nobody but Tesla and BYD have access to the level of battery supply needed for even one single high-volume production of long-range BEVs. BYD is located in China, and at least so far, they have not demonstrated the ability to produce cars up to the very demanding standard of the North American or European new car markets.

    Long-term... Well, this is a very broad question. What is meant by "compete"? Whether or not any individual Plug-in EV (PEV) truly competes with Tesla is a matter of subjective opinion, not fact. Some think the Jaguar I-Pace does compete with Tesla on quality (altho obviously not quantity). Others say it's a good first effort from Jaguar, but misses being a true Tesla competitor in several areas.

    Long-term, I wouldn't count out VW. It's rather difficult to determine VW's level of commitment to building and selling long-range PEVs in large numbers, but I get the impression -- again, this is subjective opinion rather than objective fact -- I get the impression that buried in the ongoing snowstorm of vaporware that VW constantly churns out about how it's going to start making and selling PEVs in large numbers, is a kernel of truth. If there is any truth to the widely reported claims that VW has committed to spending $48 billion (!!) over the next few years on battery supply, then that indicates a very strong commitment indeed to building and selling PEVs in large numbers. That would dwarf the amount of money that Tesla has spent and will be spending in the near term; Tesla's entire spending on making and selling BEVs, not just the amount Tesla has spent on buying batteries and in building Gigafactory 1!

    Long-term, just about any of the leading legacy gasmobile makers might challenge Tesla. It's going to take more than a decade for the market to switch from mostly gasmobiles to mostly PEVs. That's a long time for legacy auto makers to realize their only hope for long-term survival is to abandon making almost all gasmobiles in favor of making almost all PEVs. Looking at past disruptive tech revolutions, it's very likely that some current market leaders will fail and be tossed into the wastebin of history; but it's also very likely that some current market leaders will survive the transition.

    Also, looking at past disruptive tech revolutions, odds are that one or more new startups are going to emerge to challenge Tesla's lead. Where will Rivian be in another 5 years? Rivian in 2023 may look a lot like Tesla in 2012 or possibly even Tesla in 2015!

    Of the other current EV startups, I don't see much potential to rival Tesla. I hope that Bollinger and Workhorse are successful with their PEVs, but it looks like they are aiming only for niche markets, not the mainstream market which Tesla is busily gobbling up.

    Also, long-term, I expect BYD and possibly other Chinese auto makers to start selling low-priced BEVs outside China, probably first in countries with emerging industry and low safety standards, such as India; but later, eventually, in Europe and the U.S. As with Japanese auto makers in the late 1970s and early 1980s, I expect the initial entries to be of such poor quality as to be sneered at. Chinese auto makers will be aiming at the bottom end of the PEV market -- probably the BEV market, since engineering and building well-designed PHEVs is somewhat harder. But just as with those Japanese auto makers, I expect the Chinese auto makers to rapidly improve quality over several years, to the point that they will be fully competitive with non-Tesla PEVs being sold in the U.S. and in Europe.

    But meantime... Tesla won't be sitting on its hands! Tesla is a rapidly moving target in terms of EV quality. Aim for where Tesla is now, and you get a car that is at least 5 years behind where Tesla is when your car comes to market. Just like the I-Pace.

    Now, that's not to say other auto makers will never be able to compete with Tesla. "Never" is a long time! Circa 1910, it looked like no other auto maker would ever compete with Ford and its Model T. Yet Ford didn't keep its near-monopoly for more than about 10 years. According to Wikipedia, the Model T "was so successful Ford did not purchase any advertising between 1917 and 1923; instead, the Model T became so famous, people considered it a norm."

    But Ford sat on its hands and refused to improve the Model T; Henry Ford even famously refused to make the Model T in any other color but black. If Tesla ever starts sitting on its hands the way Ford did from (very roughly) about 1914 to 1922, then we can expect that Tesla will similarly lose much of whatever market share that I expect it to capture in the next 5 to 10 years.

    * * * * *

    @Bob Wilson: This is an interesting discussion! Thanks for starting it.
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  8. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member Subscriber

    Actually it was a question from one of the News comments. But as I mulled an answer, I realized this would be one of the better places to discuss it.

    As for VW, their Pike's Peak experimental vehicle suggests they can make a one-of. But when I read this: http://www.autospies.com/news/EV-Onslaught-Volkswagen-Secures-Enough-Batteries-To-Make-50-Million-Vehicles-97708/

    According to VW Group CEO Herbert Diess, the company is ready to handle production of 50 million electric vehicles. The executive said the MEB electric vehicle platform has been “booked” for 50 million cars. He added that battery procurement has also been readied to handle the impressive amount.
    . . .

    Today's LiON batteries are better and more affordable than the ones just 5 years ago. My first thought is VW has put in an order for what will be 5 year old battery technology while Tesla, a much more agile, engineering firm will have left them in the dust.

    A lot has been made of Tesla's quarter-to-quarter, feast and famine, but it actually compressing what others do in a year to a four times per year development and production cycle.

    VW reminds me of another old opinion:

    Skip to 1:20.

    Bob Wilson
  9. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    According to VW Group CEO Herbert Diess, the company is ready to handle production of 50 million electric vehicles.
    Please note that was later corrected to 15 million, not 50. Apparently someone mis-heard a VW spokesman saying "fifteen" as saying "fifty".

    "Tesla has no advantage..." -- Bob Lutz​

    Well then, I guess it's just a coincidence that Tesla's Model 3 is now outselling every other plug-in EV model from all other auto makers worldwide. ;)

    Sandy Munro, in his second "Model 3 Teardown" video, heaped effusive praise on Tesla's engineering and the efficiency of how Tesla uses single parts and single subassemblies to perform multiple functions. Since Sandy's opinion is based on an actual hands-on teardown of a Tesla Model 3, and "Dinosaur Bob's" increasingly outdated opinions about Tesla are based on second- and third-hand reports he got back in his day... Well, strange as it may seem to Dinosaur Bob, I'm gonna stick my neck out here and assume that Sandy is right about Tesla having significant advantages in its BEV powertrain.

    Rather daring of me, I know.
    :D :cool:

    Oh, and I don't need an expert opinion from Sandy Munro or anybody else to see the advantage that Tesla gets in unrestricted (or nearly unrestricted) battery supply from its Gigafactory 1. That's so obvious that anyone with the least interest in the subject should be able to see it. All the other EV makers, other than BYD and Tesla, will have to stand in line to get part of an inadequate battery supply. Supply will almost certainly lag significantly behind demand as the market (and the demand) for compelling long-range plug-in EVs grows exponentially for the next 10-15 years.
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2018
  10. gooki

    gooki Well-Known Member

    Who could compete with Tesla?

    It’s not just an EV race. The autonomous vehicle revolution is an arms race. First to market has the potential to take significant market share. In each region the AV market will support two major players with the remaining fighting for less than 10%. You don’t want to be in that 10%.

    With autonomous vehicles it’s no longer a race to the bottom. The continued revenue can support a higher cost vehicle. So cheapest vehicle won’t necessarily win market share.

    With this in mind.

    VW and BMW don’t appear to have any significant software talent.

    Mercedes Benz may get there but I expect them to be late to the party.

    PSA won’t get there on their own.

    Toyota seem to be slow in both EV and AV.

    Honda are moving a bit faster, but still too slow. No significant software talent.

    Nissan, Renault, Mitsubishi seem to lack vision. No significant software talent.

    GM/Cruise may get there but I expect them to be late to the party.

    Ford won’t get there on their own.

    FCA won’t get there on their own.

    Hyundai/Kia have proven they can iterate fast and have grasped the essentials of EV tech. They still have to prove their software prowess. I also suspect they have the vision required to make it.

    BYD, Geely, SAIC I expect to become strong players in the EV space. Software and execution are the unknowns here.

    As for the small players.

    JLR (Tata) will remain a niche manufacturer.

    Bryton have a lot of catching up to do, I’m not sure how deep their pockets are.

    Nio at least has products on the market. But i don’t think they can get there on their own.

    Dyson may make a nice EV, but they don’t have the software talent to pull of AV.

    So that leave the technology companies.

    Waymo, and Uber will likely pair up with some of the manufacturers above (many of whom already have a stake in Uber). Once critical mass of the AV fleet has been reached I’d expect Uber/Waymo will put the squeeze on and play manufacturers of against each other to drive prices down. If Waymo fully cracks AV, but finds the auto industry moving too slow on EVs they may start designing and producing their own vehicles with someone like Magna Steyr, and once proven outsource the scaled build.

    Apple will come in guns blazing if they crack AVs while the market is young.

    Baidu will pair up with one or more of the Chinese manufacturers. I wouldn’t underestimate them. And once proven will look outside of China. I expect Baidu will be happy licensing their technology rather than owning the fleet. This way they get continued revenue, while being able to leverage the established vehicle manufacturer brands.

    Tesla have a huge advantage in EV technology, software and battery scale. Their evolving at a much faster pace than the incumbents. Their relationship with mobile eye taught them a lot about ensuring they own their technology. They know to be successful they have to control the fleet.

    To answer the original question, who could compete with Tesla?

    In short, it’ll be Waymo plus OEMs or Baidu plus OEMs, with Hyundai/Kia having an outside chance.
  11. 101101

    101101 Well-Known Member

    Lets get real. Outside of upstarts like Rivian there are not EU or US companies that can compete with Tesla. Those big US and EU firms don't really make competitive products. They've had some sales but their quality is low if you really get down to it. And they don't have responsive managements that have a clue, what they have instead are professional liars (politicians.)

    Among the group of US and EU companies that are established only the Porsche Taycan looks like a half way serious product but upon closer examination even it is a joke because of 1. Compliance numbers even for a boutique maker and 2. Long tail pipe charging scam.

    These are the competitors in order of their potential:

    1. Toyota
    2. Honda
    3. NIO
    4. BYD
    5. Hyundai
    6. Kia

    Could be some other unnamed Chinese makes that will quickly rise to the top. I discount Nissan because its been in the fail convincingly game too long.
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