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Is the Diesel dead for autos?


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#51 bigleagueslider

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Posted 04 April 2016 - 05:37

GL- That is true with auto engines. But for heavy on-highway trucks, construction or agricultural machines, rail freight locomotives, or ocean transport ships, the CI recip engine is still the powerplant of choice.

 

One interesting exception are the large number of public buses where I live that use compressed NG SI engines.



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#52 Greg Locock

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Posted 04 April 2016 - 05:45

"heavy on-highway trucks, construction or agricultural machines, rail freight locomotives, or ocean transport ships"

 

Of those , in my opinion, agriculture and construction are the two markets where I can't see a neat alternative to hydrocarbons in a nuclear powered world. Not that I'm very optimistic about a nuclear powered world.



#53 mariner

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Posted 04 April 2016 - 10:05

Looking at the hood/fender labels I get the impression that US pick ups only have diesel in the bigger sizes eg on a Ford F 250/350 but not an F- 150, Which makes sense,. I guess, as Diesel has the low end torque for heavy work.

 

I have wondered if a mfr could do a hybrd pick up with a detachable battery pack. Most pick ups are heavy, have. high ground clearance and are below their GVW 90% of the time.

So you could have a two part batery pack. One part would be permanent and smaller to give "Prius mode" of regen and drawdown plus extra short term electric motor torque for short term extreme loads like vehicle recovery.

 

The bigger one woud be in a cradle so could be left behind on drive if you needed to load to max . GVW but would usually be under the frame to provide decent range for 90% of the things pick ups are used for



#54 BRG

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Posted 04 April 2016 - 18:35

The big boys just want to continue to do what they know, what they are good at, make money selling ICE cars. So far you can say they are right to do so, but for how long? 

 

BTW, don't get me started on the BMW i3....  

The big boys are making what they believe the market wants.  If Mercedes thought that their customer base wanted EVs, they would be making them.  BMW (without getting you started on the i3 which I presume has run over your dog or something) has already brought out two EV models, the other majors are looking at hybrids.  GM and Renault/Nissan already have EV models which haven't been great sales successes.  

 

The market will decide.  Tesla are just hoop la and pie in the sky claiming that they will grow to match the long established manufacturers in a matter of months rather than years or decades.  That just isn't credible.  

 

For those claiming diesel only succeeded because of tax breaks, I can only say that diesel fuel NEVER had a tax break in the UK (and indeed the idea of our government not taxing any car fuel to the utmost is a laugh) and yet the market share for diesel cars grew to about 50% and an emission scandal in far away California is unlikely to worry British buyers much - the whole thing is long gone from the media or people's memories.



#55 MatsNorway

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Posted 04 April 2016 - 22:50

One of the reasons i want a EV outside of the benefits of toll free driving in the cities here is that you can just boot it from the second you get in. Thats nice for my short commutes, i like that. A lot. Im dreaming of a 1959 Cadillac or older.. that is converted to EV so i get no road tax, no toll, no EU control since its too old. Sounds great to me. Also im driving a cadillac every day.  sounds like the dream.



#56 mariner

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Posted 06 April 2016 - 15:32

Maybe petrol is dead in Europe too.

 

http://www.autocar.c...and-diesel-cars

 

 

Rotterdam is significant because of the very high diesel share in Holland. It is also interesting because it is very much a regressive tax - hiting the poorest hardest- whereas many other emissions tax schemes hit the rich most, ilke Co2 based tax on new cars.


Edited by mariner, 06 April 2016 - 15:36.


#57 gruntguru

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Posted 06 April 2016 - 23:07

 

Im dreaming of a 1959 Cadillac or older.. that is converted to EV

You'll need to buy up the first year's output from the gigafactory to put batteries in that mutha.



#58 scolbourne

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Posted 07 April 2016 - 15:09

Most families in Australia and  USA will have more than one car , so it does not need to be a choice between petrol, diesel or electric. You can have one of each as required.

 

There is no way I would have an electric car in Australia as an only car , but it would happily meet my needs for 90% of the time. Diesel is almost essential for travel in the outback where there are many places where petrol is not sold and diesel SUVs offer far greater range.

 

I disagree with the idea that only 5% of  Australians make trips of more than 700km  in ten years. I would think this would be nearer 30% every year.

 

In cities EV could be required or made very preferable by the toll or tax system as it removes the local pollution, but for cruising between cities nothing really beats liquid  fuel for convenience and range.

 

Diesels emissions are probably not a problem outside the cities and lower CO2 output makes them the environmental choice.



#59 MatsNorway

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Posted 08 April 2016 - 14:44

You'll need to buy up the first year's output from the gigafactory to put batteries in that mutha.

But i won't be needing the same quality and energy density batteries as a LiPo I got space for basically anything. Main hurdle is probably the weight limit.

 

Saw a two door Caddie today only $5700 if NOK/$ ratio is 7. Kinda ugly but also Kinda cool too and in good condition.



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#60 mariner

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Posted 08 April 2016 - 18:46

I only found out today that the SAE Automobile Engineering magazine had an article on whether petrol engines can match diesel efficiency in the May 2015 issue (pre Diesel-gate).

 

It had opinions from the technical directors of PSA, Kia, Bentley and BMW i.e. some industry heavyweights.

 

The overall thoughts seemed to be

 

- Diesel has gone about as far as it can on efficiency.

- Petrol has more potential left for improvement via several approaches: higher DI pressure, variable compression and HCCI, but all are difficult to implement

- As petrol gets down to diesel fuel consumption levels its cost will rise towards diesel; no free lunches.

- downsizing using turbos may have reached a limit. The new "real world testing" will make small turbos less attractive.

- Most interestingly some suggested that improving IC engine efficiency isn’t the way forward and more use of electrification via hybrid improvements might well be a better use of limited R+D funds. I guess this aligns with what MB and Porsche are saying about their racing efficiency gains - its the hybrid optimisation that really adds efficiency- i.e. given that then extra power is a matter of building enough short term capacity into the electric motor.



#61 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 08 April 2016 - 23:03

Most families in Australia and  USA will have more than one car , so it does not need to be a choice between petrol, diesel or electric. You can have one of each as required.

 

There is no way I would have an electric car in Australia as an only car , but it would happily meet my needs for 90% of the time. Diesel is almost essential for travel in the outback where there are many places where petrol is not sold and diesel SUVs offer far greater range.

 

I disagree with the idea that only 5% of  Australians make trips of more than 700km  in ten years. I would think this would be nearer 30% every year.

 

In cities EV could be required or made very preferable by the toll or tax system as it removes the local pollution, but for cruising between cities nothing really beats liquid  fuel for convenience and range.

 

Diesels emissions are probably not a problem outside the cities and lower CO2 output makes them the environmental choice.

I have travelled quite a bit in the Oz outback and have never had a problem buying petrol, some missions maybe not though though BP have made a petrol that does not give a high to petrol sniffers. Diesel though is often cheaper. LPG unavailable and no spare electricity to charge your electric vehicle,, sometimes for a 1000k radius.



#62 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 08 April 2016 - 23:09

I only found out today that the SAE Automobile Engineering magazine had an article on whether petrol engines can match diesel efficiency in the May 2015 issue (pre Diesel-gate).

 

It had opinions from the technical directors of PSA, Kia, Bentley and BMW i.e. some industry heavyweights.

 

The overall thoughts seemed to be

 

- Diesel has gone about as far as it can on efficiency.

- Petrol has more potential left for improvement via several approaches: higher DI pressure, variable compression and HCCI, but all are difficult to implement

- As petrol gets down to diesel fuel consumption levels its cost will rise towards diesel; no free lunches.

- downsizing using turbos may have reached a limit. The new "real world testing" will make small turbos less attractive.

- Most interestingly some suggested that improving IC engine efficiency isn’t the way forward and more use of electrification via hybrid improvements might well be a better use of limited R+D funds. I guess this aligns with what MB and Porsche are saying about their racing efficiency gains - its the hybrid optimisation that really adds efficiency- i.e. given that then extra power is a matter of building enough short term capacity into the electric motor.

Real world modern hitech diesels are often handgrenades, engines run so lean to make less emissions, constant cleaning or replacement of injectors as the engines run on real world fuel not what the fuel should be!

Little toy diesels in cars have a short life and very hi replacement costs. 

Even big truck diesels suffer from this to some degree, and that is where diesels should remain!

Interestingly I had a customer with a Amorak and he had no idea that his 2013 vehicle was effected by the VW cheats. 



#63 Tenmantaylor

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Posted 09 April 2016 - 12:39

Tesla are a mirage that will evaporate.  The economics don't add up.  I note that BMW have already sold more of their i3 and i8 cars in the UK than Tesla's total.  The big boys will win the EV race not the minnows.

 

I disagree. Tesla will cause some big casualties or least force big auto to change tack before they would have wanted (already happening).

 

Either way Musk will see it as a victory. His goal is to make transport sustainable. If he can dominate the car industry at the same time then I think he sees that as a bonus, not a primary goal. With this higher level of aspiration I believe he is destined to succeed. He is laying the foundations for a transport business model beyond what big auto currently understands and if he gets there first he will succeed and the rest will be playing catchup.



#64 BRG

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Posted 09 April 2016 - 15:50

I disagree. Tesla will cause some big casualties or least force big auto to change tack before they would have wanted (already happening).

 

It was already happening BEFORE Musk started his Tesla vanity project.  All the majors are already ahead of him in the game. He is a great showman in the Steve Jobs mode, except he isn't bringing innovative products to the market, just making a lot of noise.  If you want a small EV now, you can go and buy one from Renault or Nissan or BMW today.  Or you can put down a deposit with Tesla and wait two years for delivery - if they haven't gone bust in the meantime taking your deposit with them.



#65 MatsNorway

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Posted 09 April 2016 - 17:24

But no one wants a small EV. People wants range, safety, design and performance. Tesla has all that.

 

You say they are not innovative? who else packed all that in one car? What performance EV was there before Tesla?

 

You talk about innovation as it has to be something groundbreaking. For me  to be it you simply have to have a better working combination of several factors.

 

iphone was not the first fullscreen only mobile. But i was the first that worked well enought to sell to the masses.

 

Most of the apple products where not the first ones, they simply are more often a better package.

 

Its not for me, but i recognise a well buildt pc when i see one and when Macs where milled out of a solid lump of aluminium i was in awe. People whine like idiots because they can get the same performance for less dollar if you go PC. but you miss out on the build quality. Build quality is hard to put on paper. a laptop needs cooling and rigid chassie so why they did not build laptops out of

alu/metal before is beyond me. Its more common now tho.

 

For the record. I don't doubt BMW or Audi is in capable of beating Tesla. But its not happening in the near future.


Edited by MatsNorway, 09 April 2016 - 17:38.


#66 imaginesix

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Posted 09 April 2016 - 19:33

It was already happening BEFORE Musk started his Tesla vanity project.  All the majors are already ahead of him in the game. He is a great showman in the Steve Jobs mode, except he isn't bringing innovative products to the market, just making a lot of noise.  If you want a small EV now, you can go and buy one from Renault or Nissan or BMW today.  Or you can put down a deposit with Tesla and wait two years for delivery - if they haven't gone bust in the meantime taking your deposit with them.

That's not entirely true, Tesla has a number of strengths relative to the competition. Perhaps the biggest is the gigafactory. They also have a very powerful and positive brand identity, such as being identified as *the* electric car company. Also their innovative design and sales model count for something.

Sure they have weaknesses too, but you can't honestly analyse their prospects while ignoring one side of the coin.

#67 bigleagueslider

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Posted 10 April 2016 - 03:30

Tesla's "gigafactory" might turn out to be a massive financial liability should some improved battery technology come along. This is quite possible considering the efforts being made to develop better battery designs.

 

One issue that Tesla has versus the established OEMs is that the OEMs have huge cash flow from sales of other vehicles to support production and sales of EVs that are not profitable.



#68 Tenmantaylor

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Posted 10 April 2016 - 10:16

It was already happening BEFORE Musk started his Tesla vanity project. All the majors are already ahead of him in the game. He is a great showman in the Steve Jobs mode, except he isn't bringing innovative products to the market, just making a lot of noise. If you want a small EV now, you can go and buy one from Renault or Nissan or BMW today. Or you can put down a deposit with Tesla and wait two years for delivery - if they haven't gone bust in the meantime taking your deposit with them.


Have you even driven any of the cars? Have you a clue how massively more advanced the technology in the Tesla is than any other car ever made? I've already drive a self driving car. The tech is all in there already while big auto are only just releasing cars with 1/3 the range that don't have any charging infrastructure. I could drive 300 miles a day for free if I bought a model s today and at no inconvenience to myself in charge time. I could sit on the motorway in self drive mode. No one else has got anywhere near this level of offering in an EV.

And don't forgot Apple didn't do anything first either. They did it best. I think Tesla have already done that.

#69 BRG

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Posted 10 April 2016 - 19:09

You talk about innovation as it has to be something groundbreaking. 

That is exactly what innovation means, not doing the same thing better!

 

Have you a clue how massively more advanced the technology in the Tesla is than any other car ever made? 

No.  Because it isn't.  Tesla's batteries and electric motors are no better than Renault's or BMW's.  If you really believe that they are, then you are one of the True Believers and there will be no persuading you otherwise.



#70 Tenmantaylor

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Posted 10 April 2016 - 22:54

The intellectual property around the batteries and motors will indeed count for a lot and I'm aware Tesla use third party suppliers much in the same vein every auto manufacturer does. So please do tell in detail why you are so convinced big auto have an advantage over Tesla when clearly their products are by all measures inferior?

And to bring Apple up again, they don't create or innovate hardware yet have dominated the mobile device industry for years. They are less technically capable than Samsung for example. Hell, they even buy a large amount of components for the iPhone directly from them including the latest announcement to finally switch to the superior OLED screen. Apple dominate through superior design, user experience and crucially unique business models and value propositions. Tesla are going to do the same to the car industry. They already have IMO, I find the flat earth short termism quite hilarious. Musk isn't Steve Jobs and isn't trying to be, he's Charles Foster Kane.

#71 BRG

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Posted 11 April 2016 - 17:02

So please do tell in detail why you are so convinced big auto have an advantage over Tesla when clearly their products are by all measures inferior?

a) Their products aren't inferior, by any measure other than the 'Tesla are wonderful, Musk is God' one.  The BMW i8 is every bit as impressive as Tesla's S, and it's a BMW with a BMW badge on it which counts for a lot in the marketplace.  You might think that is nonsense, and I would agree with you, but for very many buyers it makes a big difference.

 

b) The big manufacturers are just that, big manufacturers. With massive resources, extensive experience, huge R & D facilities and so on.  Tesla are a start-up minnow with a dubious economic base.


Edited by BRG, 11 April 2016 - 17:02.


#72 Talisman

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Posted 11 April 2016 - 20:04

The intellectual property around the batteries and motors will indeed count for a lot and I'm aware Tesla use third party suppliers much in the same vein every auto manufacturer does. So please do tell in detail why you are so convinced big auto have an advantage over Tesla when clearly their products are by all measures inferior?

And to bring Apple up again, they don't create or innovate hardware yet have dominated the mobile device industry for years. They are less technically capable than Samsung for example. Hell, they even buy a large amount of components for the iPhone directly from them including the latest announcement to finally switch to the superior OLED screen. Apple dominate through superior design, user experience and crucially unique business models and value propositions. Tesla are going to do the same to the car industry. They already have IMO, I find the flat earth short termism quite hilarious. Musk isn't Steve Jobs and isn't trying to be, he's Charles Foster Kane.

 

Apple knows its limits.  Apple doesn't manufacture the iPhone nor does it distribute it.  They leave that to the experts.  Tesla wants to own every inch of the design, manufacturing, distribution, charging and aftercare network.  While you may be wowed by the superficialities of the car Tesla's quality control issues are well known.  That is despite limited production numbers.  Just wait till the Tesla 3 hits the streets and 'normal' non Tesla fanatics buy the car, the quality issues will seriously hit them hard.  Also think you can multiply the number of Teslas on the streets by ten and still have no problems accessing a supercharger?



#73 Tenmantaylor

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Posted 11 April 2016 - 21:24

I like BMWs, I own one. Ive driven an i3 more than most on this forum no doubt.

Tesla have just taken the biggest pre order of pretty much any consumer product in history. It doesn't matter if it's on time or not. I hope Tesla slay GM in the EV market. GM champion mediocrity and the status quo. Giving people what they think they want rather than what they can't live without.

Many minnows went on to dominate. Think Apple and Microsoft against against IBM and and Xerox. Samsung and LG against Sony and Panasonic. Change happens. GM have no right to sales superiority. Yes, they were considersed too big to fail and we're bailed out but should they have been? They've been pedalling polluting mediocrity for decades, relying on the uninformed lowest common denominator customer.I welcome passionate tech missionaries such as Musk to the Auto world. It needs it.

#74 gruntguru

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Posted 12 April 2016 - 03:31

a) Their products aren't inferior, by any measure other than the 'Tesla are wonderful, Musk is God' one.  The BMW i8 is every bit as impressive as Tesla's S, and it's a BMW with a BMW badge on it which counts for a lot in the marketplace.  You might think that is nonsense, and I would agree with you, but for very many buyers it makes a big difference.

 

I think you have misjudged the marketplace. Those 300,000 pre-orders are an indication that the Tesla badge also counts for a lot.

 

Yes the I8 is impressive but it is in a totally different category to the Model S. The outdated Tesla Roadster is the most comparable model and when it hit the roads (eight years ago!!) there was nothing from major manufacturers to compare it to. Apart from that the I8 is actually a plug-in-hybrid - something Tesla has never produced.

 

Even the Model S is four years old and yet the premium model is today the fastest accelerating sedan you can buy - combustion or electric. So there is no point trying to compare other offerings - there are none.

 

Apple knows its limits.  Apple doesn't manufacture the iPhone nor does it distribute it.  They leave that to the experts.  Tesla wants to own every inch of the design, manufacturing, distribution, charging and aftercare network.  While you may be wowed by the superficialities of the car Tesla's quality control issues are well known.  That is despite limited production numbers.  Just wait till the Tesla 3 hits the streets and 'normal' non Tesla fanatics buy the car, the quality issues will seriously hit them hard.  Also think you can multiply the number of Teslas on the streets by ten and still have no problems accessing a supercharger?

Superficialities? Like 0-60 mi/hr in 2.8 s?

 

Quality control issues? Tesla's first attempt at a 100% build was four years ago. I would say their QC is coming along OK - I have seen far worse in "new model" releases from big-auto. And the Model 3 will no doubt be even better - especially for those patient enough to wait 12 months into the build before they buy.

 

Superchargers? Did you watch the Model 3 release video? Doubling the number of superchargers every 12 months will get you times 10 in 3.3 years. I don't think car production is going to outstrip that. Remember too, the Model 3 has much lower battery capacity and thirst than the Model S - so less time at the supercharger. No doubt Tesla will start charging for charging so there will be some incentive for owners to do it at home.

 

Still - its a good thing you guys are raising these points - a dickhead like Elon Musk wouldn't have worked them out for himself.


Edited by gruntguru, 12 April 2016 - 03:34.


#75 Talisman

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Posted 12 April 2016 - 15:49

I'm glad Tesla has the cash reserves to build that supercharger network on top of increasing production capacity dramatically. Oh and the dealer network....

No idea where the vitriol comes from, I simply don't think Tesla is as strong a proposition as its fans believe.

#76 BRG

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Posted 12 April 2016 - 19:06

I think you have misjudged the marketplace. Those 300,000 pre-orders are an indication that the Tesla badge also counts for a lot.

 

That's 300,000 fully refundable reservations world wide on a car not even built yet?  BMW sold 154,000 actual cars just in the UK alone in 2014.  



#77 gruntguru

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Posted 13 April 2016 - 00:51

 

I'm glad Tesla has the cash reserves to build that supercharger network on top of increasing production capacity dramatically. Oh and the dealer network....

No idea where the vitriol comes from, I simply don't think Tesla is as strong a proposition as its fans believe.          

Totally agree. Tesla is clearly stretching itself to the limit. The Model 3 needs to be as good as the Model S for the company to survive. OTOH if the Model 3 is the "next step" I believe it will be, Tesla's fortunes will skyrocket.



#78 gruntguru

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Posted 13 April 2016 - 00:52

 

That's 300,000 fully refundable reservations world wide on a car not even built yet?

Impressive eh?



#79 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 13 April 2016 - 05:59

Impressive eh?

Suckers!!  I hope they do not borrow money on that as about 200000 will renege well before delivery and half of those will renege when the time to pay comes up. 

If for no other reason the finance is not there. Trying to borrow money on a niche market vehicle will be near impossible.

I suspect Tesla already know this and are using the numbers strictly for bragging rights.



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#80 mariner

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Posted 13 April 2016 - 10:32

More info ( and opinon) on European anti-diesel actions.

 

http://www.autocar.c...cing-slow-death

 

IF the Germans are turniing agaisnt Diesels  - Gosh!



#81 Tenmantaylor

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Posted 13 April 2016 - 16:19

Suckers!!  I hope they do not borrow money on that as about 200000 will renege well before delivery and half of those will renege when the time to pay comes up. 

If for no other reason the finance is not there. Trying to borrow money on a niche market vehicle will be near impossible.

I suspect Tesla already know this and are using the numbers strictly for bragging rights.

 

What are you basing the reneging on? After they've test drove the Chevy Bolt?  :drunk:

 

How on earth is the model 3 a niche vehicle? The Roadster was. The model 3 will be BMW 3 series sized with 7 series internal space and i8 performance. At 3 series price. 

 

Big auto failed at attempting the EV. Twice. Tesla are doing it right, making it better and from the ground up with new business models in sight. 



#82 Talisman

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Posted 13 April 2016 - 19:20

How on earth is the model 3 a niche vehicle? The Roadster was. The model 3 will be BMW 3 series sized with 7 series internal space and i8 performance. At 3 series price. 

 

Where are you getting this from?  Musk says the 3 should be roomier than equivalent petrols but doesn't specify further.  The base spec which is roughly at 3 series price offers decent but nowhere near i8 performance.  Thats the only model we really know about.  Making false claims on their behalf doesn't really do anyone any good.

 

re: financing that is one part of Tesla that is utterly boringly conventional.  We were offered PCP deals.  I don't think financing from the customer POV is an issue.



#83 Canuck

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Posted 30 April 2016 - 19:06

A few things spring to mind as I catch up on this thread.

  • 325,000 deposits of $1,000 each is $325,000,000 - a healthy chunk of cash from which to build operations.
  • As noted, likely most of those deposits will fail to turn into an immediate sale and nobody sitting around Elon's boardroom table thinks any differently.
  • Worst case scenario - they received an interest-free (or very-low-interest), likely entirely unsecured loan of $325,000,000 - that's a smart play for funding.
  • Porsche was also on the bring of failure (some would have us believe) prior to the introduction of the Cayenne SUV, now dubbed the model that saved Porsche. I no longer remember which post spawned that orphan thought. Perhaps the Tesla 3 is their Cayenne.
  • BMW, MB, Nissan, Renault and all the rest of the large, established industry also have large, established buracracy and politics. Elon's game is a katana among battle axes.
  • The Prius was a major manufacturer's effort. The Model S of course Tesla's. It speaks for itself which one is more engaging, interesting and has everyone's attention including performance enthusiasts.


#84 BRG

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Posted 30 April 2016 - 19:46

  • The Prius was a major manufacturer's effort. The Model S of course Tesla's. It speaks for itself which one is more engaging, interesting and has everyone's attention including performance enthusiasts.

Seriously?  You are comparing a sub £30k family saloon design dating back nearly 15 years with a far more recent almost £60k sporting car?   How about comparing a Citroen 2CV with a Subaru Impreza WRX?  Or an apple with a lemon?  Or should that be orange?

 

There are tens of thousands of Priuses around, many earning their keep as cabs. The Model S is a niche product. Yes, people will look with interest at the Tesla, they also look with interest at top range BMWs and Mercs, but they still buy Fiestas.



#85 Disgrace

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Posted 30 April 2016 - 20:31

325,000 deposits of $1,000 each is $325,000,000 - a healthy chunk of cash from which to build operations.

 

Yep, but Tesla's quarterly free cash flow towards the end of last year was double that but with a negative sign. They have everything to prove.



#86 Canuck

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Posted 30 April 2016 - 22:34

Most definitely I'm serious. My point, one that...what's the inverse of a fan boy? A hater? One that a hater clearly misses - nobody wants a Prius. It does nothing for EV as a commodity, isnt better than its non-hybrid counterparts for mileage and until recently was shockingly ugly. It's a misinformed holier-than-thou environmental statement, a favourite of private-helicopter-to-my-limo stars pretending to be environmentalists, and as you pointed out, a reasonable taxi in a country full of tiny cars but that's it.

Tesla put their car(s) and money squarely behind all-electric necessitating that they also solve the difficult problems that presents. That's balls and that's the only way these challenges will be solved, when someone's back is against the wall and their economic future riding on it.

Nobody takes hybrid as real change - it still uses carbon-based fuel plus has all toxic side-effects related to batteries and gets worse mileage than a diesel of similar size. My 400h accelerates better than its non-hybrid counterparts but the mileage isn't exactly stellar and its ability to run all-electric extends to parking lots and perhaps school zones.

No - say what you will about Elon "Stark" Musk, his company has made tremendous strides in taking all-electric cars from the butt of jokes (what was the British all-electric car they tested on TG?) to novelty (their Lotus-based design) to the excellent Tesla S - a mainstream car for the well-healed. There are so many Tesla S models floating around oil-centric Calgary that I see one on almost every drive never mind every day. The Chevy Volt or Bolt or whatever they're called is non-existent on those same roads. I've seen one - just one. So yes, while interested people still buy Fiestas, there are substantially more interested people in Teslas than in Volts, despite their dramatic price difference, enormous corporate backing and widespread dealer network.

You may not like Musk and Tesla or maybe you're simply a skeptic (which is entirely valid) but they are still a game changer. If there are many of you in the automotive boardrooms of the world, those companies will pay a very heavy price indeed.

They aren't there yet, but they're coming hard and fast. They're loaded to the brim with young, exceedingly talented problem solvers who's perspective on life is "how do I make that happen", and the killer difference is, that's where their boss came from. He's already done game-changing enterprise. He knows. He fosters it, rewards it, lives it. How are stodgy old GM or the Game-of-Thrones Porsche-Piëch family dynasty going to compete with their egos and structures in the way? If they catch up, it will be in spite of themselves, not because of.

 

edited for spelling


Edited by Canuck, 30 April 2016 - 23:03.


#87 gruntguru

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Posted 30 April 2016 - 22:48

+1. 

Can only click the "LIKE" button once. Pity!



#88 GreenMachine

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Posted 30 April 2016 - 23:15

I agree too, as far as that post goes.

 

The auto world is facing great change, and Musk is at the leading edge of that change.  However that carries big risks, and it remains to be seen if, even though Musk is a great innovator, he can also be successful in this venture.  For the moment though, it is clearly a case of 'so far, so good'.



#89 Greg Locock

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Posted 01 May 2016 - 01:57

At the time the Prius was almost moonshot technology. Like Apollo it was based on decades old analysis. Unlike Apollo you didn't pay a red cent towards its cost of development. 50 mpg is still not a bad figure.

 

The A2 was also a very interesting car, except that nobody bought it. It was a dismal failure in the marketplace and was withdrawn rather rapidly.

 

The argument about mass ignores the advantage of regen, a car with regen (and hence by necessity motors and batteries or equivalent) is only half as sensitive (roughly) to increase in mass as a car without regen. Of course the weight of the batteries and motors are the Prius raison d'etre, otherwise you'd just have a Yaris.



#90 404KF2

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Posted 01 May 2016 - 03:16

I would have bought an A2 if it had been sold in Canada.  Instead I bought a couple of smart diesel convertibles, which do 60 US MPG day in day out.



#91 BRG

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Posted 01 May 2016 - 19:46

Personally, I see Tesla as being a slightly more successful version of de Lorean. 

 

The future may be EVs, but it will be EVs made by Renault or Mercedes or Toyota, not by a minor player like Tesla, however innovative they may be. Musk is pouring his money into a business that makes millionaires out of billionaires.



#92 GreenMachine

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Posted 01 May 2016 - 21:26

It's early days yet, but I think we can say that Tesla is way more successful than Delorean.  How it plays out in the next 5-10 years remains to be seen.



#93 Canuck

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Posted 02 May 2016 - 01:36

All his money into Tesla? Oh my. You've missed the successful launch and docking with the space station of his rocket then? And, what I believe to be the first and only company to be successful at landing their first stage rockets on a platform (as opposed to dropping them in the ocean) for reuse.

Make no mistake, this is an ambitious man with the will and heart to make things happen. You keep saying he's going to lose to the establishment but fail to grasp the following: by putting his money where his mouth us, he has no choice but to be on the very, very leading edge of every single key piece of technology to make it successful. That means Tesla will likely own some of the key patents as they develop the solutions to the obvious problems (the ones we all like to gripe about - charge time being first and capacity being second), but also all of the problems we don't know about - that nobody knows about because nobody else is doing it.

So you have a handful of OEMS running hybrid and lurching around plug-ins in their labs, meanwhile Tesla have hundreds of cars being tested where it matters, feeding back terabytes of data in real time to engineers and genius propeller heads that developed the technology in the first place. Further...how many quality engineers (emphasise and interpret that however you like) with substantial automotive depth are there vs. all-electric automotive engineers? So in the game of all-electric, you have the smartest guys in the game already at Tesla, with a broad pool of engineers to draw from to develop the parts that are more pedestrian. They are very quickly building the secret sauce needed to make it a success. And how much do you want to bet that the key engineers / PhDs / visionaries if you will, are also Tesla stock holders of substantial value? Even if the established industry decided to try an poach the best minds from Tesla, how weak would their offers be in comparison? Bueracratic structures, unions, pension-fund shareholders and all of the other joys on top of a smaller piece of the pie even if the base salary happened to be larger.

Tesla is leading the pack, solving the key problems and owning the technology. They could still fail, but it's less likely than you think. Worst case scenario they'll fund their continued development by licensing key patents to the rest.

#94 scolbourne

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Posted 02 May 2016 - 03:06

I think Elon Musk actually believes in the good  that comes from electric cars, because I think he has made his patents free to be used by everyone. He is a business man but only so that he can further his other gifts to mankind. He is heavily involved in developing solar power and manned  Mars missions, with an unmanned  mission to Mars planned for 2018  and manned in 2025.



#95 gruntguru

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Posted 02 May 2016 - 03:09

Of course the weight of the batteries and motors are the Prius raison d'etre, otherwise you'd just have a Yaris.

A Corolla - surely?   :)



#96 gruntguru

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Posted 02 May 2016 - 03:12

Personally, I see Tesla as being a slightly more successful version of de Lorean. 

:rotfl:  :rotfl:  :rotfl:  :rotfl:



#97 ensign14

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Posted 02 May 2016 - 06:07


There are tens of thousands of Priuses around, many earning their keep as cabs. The Model S is a niche product. Yes, people will look with interest at the Tesla, they also look with interest at top range BMWs and Mercs, but they still buy Fiestas.

 

Will they still buy Fiestas when a Tesla comes out in the same price range?



#98 imaginesix

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Posted 02 May 2016 - 17:28

This whole discussion is an exact duplicate of the thread about the Nismo LMP1 exercise.

Some loved it because it was bold, daring, different, and risky. It introduced some technical excitement into the motorsports landscape. Others hated it because it was bold, daring, different, and risky. It attempted a shortcut to success by bypassing generations worth of hard-earned racing lessons.

Views on Tesla are the same, making it nearly impossible to get any thoughtful analysis on their real prospects because people can't help shaping the rhetoric to fit their personal preference to see them succeed or fail.

#99 BRG

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Posted 02 May 2016 - 19:26

This whole discussion is an exact duplicate of the thread about the Nismo LMP1 exercise.

Hardly.  The Nismo was obviously never going to work, although there were plenty of enthusiasts blinded to its faults.  No-one was very surprised at its demise.

 

Tesla cars are fine and good looking cars if your fancy takes you down the EV route.  But the company is tiny and the big boys will squash it with their own EVs. A lot of car buyers are very conservative.  They buy Fords or BMWs or Hondas and aren't going to change to some upstart newcomer.  Tesla may survive and gradually grow but its economics are against it.



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#100 Tenmantaylor

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Posted 02 May 2016 - 21:30

Of course the gap always seems bigger than reality because of our habit of measuring efficiency in mpg or l/100km when diesel fuel contains typically 10% more energy on a volumetric basis. Coincidentally the price of diesel seems to reflect that around these parts.

 

Diesel has been cheaper again in the UK recently, at least level, for the last year or so.

 

The 10% energy density is true but there's more to the efficiency of diesel vs petrol than the fuel itself. The way the power is generated also counts for a lot. Creating most the necessary power to 'make good progress' lower down the rev range make's the power more accessible in normal driving conditions and therefore more efficient in normal conditions, not just at peak conditions (hence the smaller differential between min/max mpg claims on diesels than petrols). To generate anywhere near peak power in an equivalent petrol would require more gear changes and stressing of the engine.

 

Find me a 1600kg petrol car that can do 0-60 in 6s and can do 60mpg. They don't exist, even ten years later! You can't get a petrol worth driving that does more than 35mpg. I almost bought the N/A 330i instead of the 330d. Beautiful sounding engine but it was gutless in comparison. Yes, on the rare occasion I got to throw it around it would be sweeter (lighter) and more rewarding but 90% of the time I'd just have been throwing an extra £250 a month down the drain due to the miles I'm doing these days. And wouldn't be able to overtake anyone without emptying the tank. Turbo petrols address this to an extent but I'd argue they also lose some of the appeal of petrol and changes the engine characteristics closer to that of a diesel anyway, something petrol heads often use to bash diesel engines in the first place  :drunk: And let's not even talk about petrol hybrids and rewarding driving in the same sentence. I'd rather go straight to electric. There are some massive battery developments on the horizon which will solve the range/mass issue very soon. It's closer than you think.