Meanwhile Tesla has another 16 months or so to keep selling the Model 3 in large quantities. Color me unimpressed by the german companies' efforts thus far.
It is telling though that most of the companies are focusing on SUVs and not sedans. Tesla needs to up its game with the X and Y to address this.
Or at least one of these in Tesla:
To further this thought, what I would truly wish would happen would be that A Tesla-like "drivetrain platform" were available to boutique shops who could build whatever type of cab they wanted onto a standardized system.
I worked with a guy in the 90s that took a Corvette Z base and put a 1938 ford on top of it.
I'd like to have the same be done with Tesla drive train bases - where you can have an upper made to fit the lower. Clearly, there would have to be safety standards to be met, so don't waste time arguing that point...
Supposedly goes into production in 2022, and I can't imagine they won't kit some kind of camper version. If not, Sportsmobile or someone, and worst case is you build it out yourself. We're seriously thinking about one to replace what will be an old first-year Leaf and a 2005 Scion xB. Combine DogMobile and electric into one vehicle. :-)
If that picture is correct, though, it doesn't seem to resemble the old van enough to be appealing, IMHO. Like many pre-Tesla electric cars, it seems like it's going for that "futuristic" look...
Concept cars are mostly marketing.
The New Beetle was basically a bodykit for a Jetta, and it still took them 4 years to get it into production.
But I also second the idea of having a "sled" available as a kit car. I'm thinking the same concept as how the Lotus 7 is delivered.
I can't imagine buying a sedan or SUV though. The Delica is incredible for so many things - the utility and comfort is unmatched. Plus it has a cool glass roof! I hope to keep that thing running for a long time, and new fancy cars look great but they're functionally lacking in a big way to me.
Have you seen any worthwhile NV200 conversions? Nope! The NV200 was designed for ICE and it still has the old fashioned bonnet out the front, and it isn't a 'frunk'. The space of a camper van only really worked in the VW bus format with the engine at the back, everything subsequent is a bit small due to the bonnet.
If you go large with the camper van then you can't park so easily hence the original VW bus form factor makes sense, particularly if there is no roof extension as then you can park in multi-storey car parks.
My ideal Tesla based camper van also has structural elements so rather than 'bits of wood' attached to the vehicle the framework for the internal bits is also there to strengthen the vehicle.
More often for me, it's the modern headlights giving us x-ray vision through the tent walls, followed by all the LED flashlights and headlamps lighting up four adjacent campsites like Cape Caneveral. It's the excitable new arrivals, talking really loud and starting their drinking party at midnight after the rest of the campground has already gone to sleep. It's the repeated slamming of car doors every 15 seconds. It's that one person who keeps setting off his own car's alarm for some reason, and all the others who have their car set to beep or chirp at about 90 decibels every time they look at it...
I hate gas companies with a passion. Having a cargo van based on tesla, id have all the utility i would ever want, and not worry about gas costs if i want to take a week long road trip, slowly crawl through traffic or haul heavy big things.
idk it's a very well-established 92-year-old luxury brand number 1 in their category, now investing billions in building an all-electric crossover. they already have a large established, loyal customer base. $12 billion seems scarily low; meaning they know they won't need much to be able to sell this car.
this is a significant threat to Tesla; and the definitive moment we can say that Tesla has awoken the sleeping giants.
although on the flip this will help the industry as a whole; it's more likely than not that Tesla will sell even more electric cars because of this.
Meh until proven otherwise.
On one hand I guess yeah, on the other - is it really anymore?
I mean their latest endeavor, the X class, is nothing more than a fancier Renault Alaskan, and an expensive one at that.
I haven't seen any high-risk effort from them in years. During the last twenty years Toyota and Honda invested heavily in hybrids and hydrogen-powered cars, Renault-Nissan in EVs, BMW in carbon-fiber bodies. What did Mercedes do aside from making good-looking, well put together cars for the affluent?
(Don't know if there was actual hardware or just videos. To be fair, it will probably come to the depicted solution in due time.)
It's annoying, because the X is still so expensive, and the Dutch gov't is increasing bijtelling next year which will add a huge extra cost for business leasing.
For my use case I'd never need to fill up, except for long road trips. Unfortunately I need a 8 seater.
this whole concept of saving money on gas and buying a luxury car instead makes
100eu/week in fuel = 5200/yr
“normal” car = 20k
tesla model s = 80k
you could spend 100eu/week for 12 years and it would be cheaper to buy the fuel.
“nice” car = 35k
that’s gonna hit the break even in just 9 years. driving 100eu of fuel/week for 9 years is a pretty nuts amount of driving, still better to
get the cheaper car
With the rear-facing seats, it does. Although uncomfortably. You're better off with the Model X for that many.
> “normal” car = 20k
Yes, let's compare a value car with a luxury car. Brilliant. How much does a BMX X6 or a Mercedes AMG GLE cost?
Here's a hint: https://www.mbusa.com/mercedes/vehicles/model/class-GLE/mode...
After you subtract government incentives and fuel savings, the costs are identical. That's why Tesla actually sells cars.
For us the X is really the only full electric option.
The one thing I really worry about in the Model X is the maintenance of the falcon wing doors.
My VW Sharan now costs almost EUR 2000/year in road tax. It also goes into the garage for semi-regular TDi engine issues (last time we had to have the ECR valve replaced which also incurred 5 hours of labour).
TCO of diesels these days is not pretty where I live.
Depreciation is the usually the largest factor in total cost of ownership. If you're not factoring that in, you're not doing it right.
The first Leaf totally crashed in value, but that car is a POS (it's the Versa body and interior, which is absolute trash).
 https://www.truecar.com/used-cars-for-sale/listings/tesla/mo... (accessed Sept. 7, 2018)
Your 28 mile commute is easily doable with the cars you mention. I'd avoid the Fiat because Fiat, but used Leafs are pretty cheap. Or the Spark EV if you can find one. Look on plugshare.com to find charging locations so you know you have a back up plan, but don't let anxiety get in the way.
I leased our first Spark EV and had exactly zero problems an d zero maintenance except for wiper blades and a minor issue that was under warranty. When the lease ran out I purchased a second Spark EV because it handles 90% of our driving and I got a great deal, $10,600 total including incentives. Even if the resale is zero after 10 years it will be 3x cheaper to own than our Honda Fit.
And then you factor in the physical degradation of parts like the battery. An engine wears out at a far slower rate than a battery.
It will probably take a few decades for EVs to be everywhere, tech to advance slower (relative), and batteries to improve.
Compare the "nice car" with a Tesla Model 3 for a more reasonable comparison.
> it isn't really an alternative for someone looking at a Model S
Nothing in your comment is an alternative for the Model S. Did you ever consider something in the same category and price range?
P.S. A $20.000 car is a normal car. It's just a car. Not meant to carry handball team, not meant to do it at high speeds or useless acceleration, without driving itself around your driveway. Think of a VW Golf, a normal car.
A bicycle? Where? What makes the BMW M5 attractive is seeing how much a fully loaded Bobcat weighs... :)
Really though the upside is more you have the performance of a high end car for lower lifetime operating costs not that it’s cheap.
In terms of battery tech, that’s going to fit in any form factor. Which means someone replacing a battery in a 10 year old electric car will be buying the same technology as a new car’s battery while expecting to get another 10 years from it. All for a steadily dropping price.
Remember, electric means no internal belts, spark plugs, regular oil changes, etc which offsets most if not all the cost of a new battery.
Compared the Model S: I'm at 34K miles and just going in for the first service next week.
In any case I'd view it as separate from business leasing because you pay nothing if you use it exclusively for business. If anything you get an extremely cheap business-subsidized car for which you pay the equivalent of a netflix+spotify account extra next year to use privately.
All indications are that German car manufacturers are taking the same path as Tesla has over the last ten years: start shipping in low volume at the very high end of the market and (re) learn how to build products in this market. My guess is that they are themselves expecting it to take quite a while to catch up; probably in the order of five to ten years. The currently announced and rumored models are stop gap solutions to not fall behind any further. They are behind in specs and pricing and they can't ship them in large enough volumes. But it is better than having nothing in the market.
It's what is going to come after those that is going to make or break them. Look for the second or third generation models of these vehicles by 2023-2025. By then they should have sorted out logistics and battery production issues and figured out how to make better EVs for less money.
Meanwhile, Model 3 sales alone are outpacing their high end conventional models in the same price class in the US. Considering that that is where car manufacturers make their money, that has got to be hurting financially. Likewise, Model S is selling pretty substantially in Europe, and out selling several of the BMW an Mercedes models in the same price class. In Germany! Model 3 has yet to start shipping here in serious volume.
With Tesla steadily increasing production, improving efficiency in their production, opening new factories (and planning to build more), rolling out to more countries, and dropping prices over the next five years, that is going to be a problem for other manufacturers for a while.
Where did you get that from? I could not readily find numbers for Europe. But for Germany this is certainly not the case. Looking at [1,2], Mercedes sells ~500 S-Class per month, where Tesla sells 50 Model S. Tesla Model S did outsell (in July):
- MASERATI GHIBLI
- BMW 8ER
- CADILLAC CTS
- JAGUAR XJ
- ROLLS ROYCE PHANTOM
- LEXUS LS
- CADILLAC CT6
- MASERATI QUATTROPORTE
- ROLLS ROYCE DAWN
- ROLLS ROYCE WRAITH
Tesla had outstanding marketing but failed in mass production.
SpaceX claiming to put humans on mars in our lifetime, an active reddit marketing team, elon's twitter, and a worldwide desire to reduce gasoline usage- All fantastic marketing.
Everyone is aware of the production issues, shoddy engineering, and people are getting wiser to Elon's outrageous claims.
I dont know if there is a way to save Tesla. It already peaked in popularity.
Yup. Currently if you want a real SUV shape (not just a tall sedan lift-back) with normal doors, your options are the new German entries. I wouldn't be surprised if there are a lot of people who value those qualities over 20-40 miles of highway range.
The good news for Tesla is that the Audi is the only one scheduled to release before the Y, so they have time.
Much better for these companies to take their time, get it right, and work it into their current production and supply chain than mess it all up and incur crazy high costs.
I love Tesla cars and have a lot of respect for Elon (minus a few dumb tweets), but to be honest, the viability of the firm after all the Germans come online is uncertain to say the least.
For Tesla to compete - even with a superior product - against tried and true brands that have been around for a century is going to be tough. Heck, look at tech; even IBM is still around today!
They sold more than 28,000 Model 3s in Q2. They're on track to deliver more than 50,000 in Q3. Will probably sell more 400,000 next year (assuming only a small improvement from the current run rate).
They'll probably exceed 80% of EV market share in the US for years to come. Legacy automakers haven't got any source of battery (the Chinese will keep their production for the Chinese market, or only sell them for high margin). We've yet to know how the traditional automakers plan to make EVs in volume (intention don't count anymore).
And today's article is basically the announcement that...demand has arisen. Expect to see an announcement from Panasonic or one of the other major battery suppliers in the next few days about breaking ground on a new factory.
It has--but it's not clear the whether the demand is for EVs or for Teslas.
The counter argument is that the demand for the 3 will be exhausted at some point, which could well be true. But the availability of the cheaper short range Model 3 will spike demand before that happens.
EDIT: fixed broken math
Gotta get those production rates up to pay off bonds and amortize capex though.
Are you sure? We did not have a reservation. We ordered a Model 3 LR AWD on July 25 and will be taking delivery by the end of September, per our delivery adviser.
So Q1 2019. And Telsa is always on time with self declared timelines, so you know those cars will be rolling off the line by then.
Can you name one legacy automaker who reach their EV sales/production goals more accurately than Tesla over several years?
All production targets set in 2015 by Musk have been achieved/exceed so far: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LTbQFdyizGQ
Once there is profit to be had and "game on," people are going to buy from existing brands with deep manufacturing expertise, not from a hype machine that might not be in business in 5 years.
Tesla is well below that of many other car manufacturers on receiving government subsidies. BMW has received them as well!
The superchargers are a weird thing. Tesla has been building them out of their own investment pocket. Is Mercedes going to do that? Are we going to have bespoke recharging stations competing for bits of commercial real estate? How about parking lots where there are the 'mercedes spaces', 'nissan spaces', 'bmw spaces', and 'tesla spaces'? How does that work?
I think it is great that BMW and Mercedes are "seriously committed" to electric cars, is now the time to seriously commit to some standards when it comes to charging and maintenance? Will we see third party battery packs at some point?
I keep thinking, is there an electric car market or is there a Tesla market? Remember when tablets were just iPads and everything else kind of sucked (and kind of still does?) Is that where we're going in the electric car space?
As you can tell I have way more questions than answers here. What does the 'flip' look like when automakers really flip over to electric as the mainstream car?
 Jim Collins (who is a Tesla bear) notes 19B raised including the acquisition of Solar City -- https://www.forbes.com/sites/jimcollins/2018/04/25/a-brief-h...
EU has EV-CONNECT roadmap with mandate to develop infrastructural system with the interoperability of plugs and vehicles. EU is going to spend €800 million to help set up the infrastructure. It's likely that there will be legislation that mandates that every charging station must sell to everyone else the basic charging. Of course it's possible to offer different charging options for different cars.
In the battery front they have already formed alliances that include big Asian investors and Berkshire Hathaway to build number of huge battery pack and cell factories inside EU.
"In another Tesla-inspired move, the three German carmakers are developing their own network of fast-chargers along major highways in a partnership with Ford".
Manufacturers are not competing on charging infrastructure, they are collaborating. Look up ionity and electrify America.
Tesla instead went ahead and made their own proprietary standard. No loss in doing so, but it isn't the upper hand and ability to dictate a standard that you imply
Distribute the wealth by independent chargers? This is going to be another high investment and low margin business, where BP and shell roll out electric chargers instead of gas stations.
Adapters are also a possibility - Tesla sells a CHAdeMO adapter for the Model S
One of top execs at MB is my good friend so I'm getting this information from top source; he told me their idea is to go with replaceable batteries. You will have some sort of docking station in your garage and when you park short-term the car flips the batteries for you with a loaded one, or long term just auto-plug itself and charges overnight. No cables, no mess.
They work on this solution together with Citroen and BMW but I cannot find anything official or online. Ii will be offered to gas stations around the country and will take 1/3rd of a space that car washes are taking currently. Supposedly you won't even need to get out of the car - you just drive on it, stop, wait for green light, continue with freshly loaded battery! Much more comfortable solution than Tesla's stations.
BTW: I spend summers in Florida and looks like Teslas supercharges are dissapearing; I seen plenty of them at all Wholefoods parking lots in number of 10 or 16; now there is only one.
As for the closing superchargers, that goes contrary to everything Tesla customers reports (https://teslamotorsclub.com/tmc/forums/florida.91/) and crowdsourced data (plugshare.com and others)
The facilities can't be cheap to build and likely they must have some multi-year term on the space they're using.
I'd be surprised to hear of one going away, let alone the statement that they're "disappearing" as if it's some kind of trend.
Are you serious? Tesla did this and presented a tech demo in 2013:
> "auto-plug itself and charges overnight. No cables, no mess."
Another Tesla tech demo:
Also, what do you mean "superchargers disappearing?".
It seems that Tesla is way a head on a lot of things and it will take quite an effort/investment for the incumbents to catch up.
Though in reality, wide EV adoption is a WIN for everybody and is actually the core mission of Tesla, which is to "Accelerate Sustainable Transport"
> Are you serious? Tesla did this and presented a tech demo in 2013
Tesla seems to have faded it out of their roadmap. Cool tech but people seem to want to own the battery since it's a sizeable part of the investment in a car.
Europeans are different in that battery appears to be seen as a liability and therefore leased.
At stake is how much fast charging you use, as that seems to be what has the largest impact on the battery's life.
Tesla worked hard to avoid having dealers. And I believe that dealers will be a weakness for the legacy auto industry here.
Owning Tesla outside of Warranty is worse than owning Benz outside warranty. Unless Tesla expands its support and does a better job with "ownership" and "repairability" of their Cars, I would Trust an 8 year Benz to an 8 year old Tesla .
One bit of anecdata: full coverage on my 2017 Model S 100D (all options except performance) is only slightly higher than full coverage on the car it replaced: a 2014 Prius C with no options.
I was bracing for the worst, Re: insurance, but (I'm with Geico) the rate is...in my mind at least, very low. Perhaps they're factoring in all of the built-in safety features?
I pay about $95/month for Progressive insurance on my $28,000 Subaru BRZ. I got a quote on a $135,000 Tesla Model S P100D, and for the same coverage (Full coverage + Liability with moderate deductibles), it was $140/month.
Here's some actual data: USA Today found the Tesla Model S to be _the most expensive_ car to insure.  This was apparently such a problem that Electrek reported Tesla was considering starting their own insurance company.  Both of these articles are from 2018.
I certainly don't doubt that at all. 200 HP isn't a lot, but combined with being rear-wheel drive and coming with economy tires, it's enough to get you into trouble if you're stupid.
I'm 36 though and bought it because I wanted a car that has some pep when I want it, and good fuel economy when I don't. I average 33.5 mpg when it's stickered at 24 city/30 highway!
> Here's some actual data: USA Today found the Tesla Model S to be _the most expensive_ car to insure.
What I'm hearing is that the area I'm in generally just has really cheap insurance.
I bought this BRZ about 2 1/2 years ago. At the time, I was paying $90/month for an old 2000 Suzuki Esteem for only liability and uninsured motorist with Nationwide insurance. They quoted me $180 to insure my BRZ for full coverage. I decided to shop around and switched to Progressive after they quoted me the $95 for the BRZ with better coverage and lower deductibles.
With Tesla one thing is certain: at this time parts and skills are rare, expensive, and time consuming. So unless you live in the Tesla factory, getting the part you need and a person qualified to make the fix will cost a lot and take a long time.
They need to develop the support network just like they did with the charging network. Make partnerships with big car service chains, provide training, ensure a steady supply of parts, etc. That's a big logistical undertaking.
$250k/$500k for uninsured motorist.
As mentioned elsewhere in this thread, though, where you live can make a huge difference. If you feel like you're getting a raw deal, shop around. A lot of people never bother and car insurance companies know this and will creep up your insurance rates even if your driving history is perfect.
I always have to provide a mileage estimate to get an insurance quote -- and if I don't go to enough places that sell my mileage info, I have to send in a mileage declaration about once a year; so use shouldn't have anything to do with it.
In both cases (again) use has everything to do with it.
Since their introduction over 6 years ago, well over 200,000 Model S' have been sold, and Geico has insured quite a few of them.
> actuaries don't know how to price it in yet
This is pretty far from my field of expertise, so I can't make any kind of directed comment. I'll just say that it strikes me as unlikely that Geico either doesn't have enough data yet and/or doesn't know what it's doing.
I don't know much about
I'm not a subject matter expert either but I would love to hear from someone in the industry.
For Tesla parts are rare and expensive, authorized service partners are rare and expensive, so fixing the car costs a lot.
Tesla manufactures parts itself, and is still getting their main production lines working right.
They want to control everything, but are too hard up to stock parts.
For covering normal wear and tear maintenance, that would be an auto warranty – or extended warranty, service contract, protection plan, etc.
At least, those are the standard terms in the United States.
As far as I'm aware warranties only cover faulty / defective parts (and labour to replace), insurance is intended as accident cover, everything else is regular maintenance.
When I added my 16 year old to my insurance, there was quite a difference in cost, depending on which car we said was his primary car.
First, Teslas aren't exactly rare. Upthread, someone said 200,000 have been sold (have not fact-checked, but it seems plausible). Second, autopilot related fatalities are covered breathlessly in the media, ignoring all of the other, far more common sources of fatalities, such as drunk driving. And finally, there is no media coverage of the number of accidents prevented by autopilot, which I suspect is pretty high.
Current production rate is 107,000/year, more than 1% of GMs 10million/year.
However, your point stands: Teslas are, at this point, relatively rare.
The answer probably depends on state law and other factors. With autopilot the driver is nominally in control — which is why Tesla aggressively does the PR dance to blame the driver. My guess is that due to the newness and arbritration clauses, they have gotten lucky.
States can change that though — for awhile you couldn’t lease a car in New York because the law let someone injured in an accident due the leasing company!
That’s just an artifact of increased media coverage.
A lesson I learned the hard way.
I'll never buy another Fiat, not because I don't love the car. But because in my region, repair and maintenance options are limited compared with other brands.
Next time I'll go with a Ford/Chevy/Toyota/Whatever simply so I don't have to drive 200 miles away for service because the local dealerships are understaffed and only open banker's hours.
Edit: service not an MOT.
Like I said — Doctor's hours.
Otherwise it's a sales-focused dealership that can't be trusted with your car anyway.
This is literally fake news. I too assumed it will exorbitant from my 2018 Tesla M3 Long Range, then I got a quote from my agent (Safeco), it is same price as my 10yr old BMW. In fact, it is cheap for a new car.
$650 for 6 months (Tesla & X3) is not astronomical.
I paid $500/month as a 20 year old on a $5000 used Intrepid because I was in a high risk category in a major city. My uncle who lived on a farm in another state paid $500/year for both him + his wife on newer cars.
Point is, if he thinks it's fairly or underpriced for his particular situation, it probably is.
It's like saying that he literally has a fake profile because I know a guy redindian and he doesn't have a BMW. Or that the Tesla M3 must be a fake car because I don't own one.
I just looked up my actual bill for the split (it is even lower). I pay $257 for X3 ($42/m) & $357 for Tesla ($60/m). For context I am in Seattle market, 40s, clean record. When I said fake news, I meant the article seem to play on the FUD for Tesla/EV vehicles. Check the M3 forums, no one seem to pay $2500/6m unless in corner cases.
"BREAKING $50K Tesla Model3 insurance similar to other $50K car insurances"
Do you really think that fixing a car where the parts are very rare and expensive, in authorized garages that are rare and expensive, while taking a very long time because there's no network for servicing will be as cheap as fixing any regular equivalent car that does have that servicing network?
Any car that's expensive to fix will have more expensive premiums. And expensive to fix usually means: it's often involved in accidents, parts are expensive, garages that fix it are expensive, takes a long time to fix. Tesla checks the last 3 out of the 4 main boxes in most regions in the world.
Yes, data is not the plural of anecdote, and I want to agree with the source that Tesla repairs are more expensive (repairing anything aluminum is expensive; see: Audi A8), but I am just not seeing these high costs reflected in ANYONE's bills.
The cost of insurance is more related to how often certain cars get into accidents or get stolen and then adjusted for he driving record of the person driving the car. It has almost nothing to do with repair costs of the car itself.
Source: a Mustang GT costs more money to insure for me than a Mercedes C63 AMG. Repair costs on the AMG are borderline criminal and yet according to the actuaries it’s a lower risk.
A very large (and the most variable) part of the actuarial cost of car insurance is third party liability, not the liability the insurer takes on for repairs to your own car or fire/theft.
The difference between insuring a 19-year old man and a 55-year old woman on the same car is huge.
2005 Mercedes E320 CDI: $572.40
2018 Tesla Model 3 Long Range: $641.76
Anybody want to buy a 2005 Mercedes?
That's an interesting claim. Any firsthand data to back it up?
For me, insuring a 2014 Tesla Model S cost less ($405) than insuring a 2006 Toyota Prius ($429). Six-month period, Progressive Insurance, California, no accident history, identical coverage on both except the estimated mileage was 5,000 annually on the Prius and 12,000 annually on the Tesla -- that's right, driving the Tesla more than the Prius.
It's odd that insurance would be lower for the Tesla if it's supposed to be "through the roof."
(and for what it's worth, our Model X is even lower -- $337 for six months. Again, identical coverage.)
They do seem to have velocity problems with service scaling, and dealers and independents may be able to help with that, but I see no reason to expect it to be a problem once growth levels out.
I don't particularly like the lack of 3rd party general maintenance, but most of Tesla's target customers probably don't care.
My knee-jerk reaction is to respond that "Well every part they make is going into a new car, they don't have the capacity yet to keep up with production while building spare parts"
But after more thinking, I think you're right. They should prioritize at least having enough spare parts on hand so that people aren't waiting months for new body panels. I think pleasing the people who already have a car in their possession is more important than getting cars to more customers. People on the wait list already know they're going to wait a while, but having to wait an excessively long time for replacement parts creates a very negative user experience and I think is more likely to lead to order cancellations.
Mercedes & Tesla trade at the higher end, where just the impact on perceived quality (in addition to the quantifiable financial benefits of buying a car that will maintain value) is important. OTOH, EV are already knowingly buying a car that ranks poorly on that front. Who wants to buy a 2015 model EV in 2018? Range improvements alone would kill the price.
So... not sure it matters too much yet. Going forward.. who knows. I think tesla may already be "in for a penny, in for a pound."
There's a fair argument that the volt is a better economical buy than the used leaf.
If you need a commuter car to get you to and from work every day, and errands/visiting people in town on the weekends, getting one with a fuel cost per mile of 15% of normal (or even free if your work offers charging) makes a lot of sense. The 90 mile range is rarely a limitation at all.
If you need a car for frequent long trips out of town, the 90 mile range would be a huge hindrance. In that case I would discourage you from buying a 2015 Leaf.
But if we're being honest the money you lose after a decade is a lot less then the money you saved when you purchased it.
In fact, they specifically poached a number of former executives from BMW's M division to lead those projects.
But when it comes to warranty you should take care, people imagine this is like the warranty on their phone. It's not, basically it says the body won't rust. The rest is covered by dozens of other clauses that more or less just guarantee than almost nothing gets replaced under warranty.
Furthermore, almost 80% of electric cars are leased . When electric cars aren't being made for compliance reasons, or to lower the overall emissions of an auto maker's fleet (and thus subsidized in some way), then resale value will be of critical importance.
What a terrifying statement! I owned an AMG Benz for about 3 years and it was nerve racking towards the end. Glad I kept it in good shape and nothing blew up on my watch.
Engine or ABC work on those cars can cost a fortune, for one because you'll need a shop that really knows what they are doing, for another because the parts are expensive.
Maintenance as you've correctly identified is key, as is a good inspection prior to purchase and a good warranty by the company you buy it from.
On the plus side, you can buy these for a very small fraction of the new value even with very low mileage. If you want to pity someone it would have to be the first owner, it's fairly regular to see write-offs in excess of $4/mile driven.
Most shops in the US won't do more than basic work on them. Being so rare, you typically have to go to the dealer or a Euro-import specialist shop in the US. These shops typically won't work on a new-new car, they typically wait until the model is 5 years old before picking up the equipment for them (which can be expensive).
It's not a cultural different, but an economics one. I'm sure getting a Ford Mustang fixed in the UK is expensive despite being a car any American mechanic is comfortable working on.
The issue is that German cars in particular have a reputation for being quite expensive to maintain outside of warranty. In general for most cars it's not a big deal.
Mercedes has been around almost 100 years. A new powertrain isn't a big deal if the processes are in place.
Tesla is probably crunched on repairs since they have so much unfulfilled demand.
And Mercedes (and VW) has dumped poor reliability cars on the US market for two decades now. The only experience they have is marketing to stupid US buyers.
Need charging stations built, parking lots ripped up and wires ran, local grids probably need upgrades, not to mention all the kinks to still work out that make owning a corolla/camry type vehicle far cheaper for 90% of people. EV is great for people who can afford to experiment and have a spare car, but people on a budget who need something that works, which is the majority, can't go for that yet.
Generation capacity is another issue - less cost than location and if there should be more incentives. Although if we suddenly need to build lots more generation capacity in short order it will put pressure on supply chains and have a cost impact as well which will feed through.
Mercedes is more experienced in building cars that last for a long time. The C-Class is known for being able to drive up to 1,000,000km.
Further it is still fundamentally an engineering issue to have cars last longer, the Germans have a very long history at being the best engineers. So they too will benefit from having less parts.
They are so nicely tuned and set up to last for a long time. Chains instead of rubber, higher quality parts and well tested engines really do work miracles.
And I expect to see very similar paterns for electric cars as they are all pretty much premium segment anyways. We just need a bit more time for the TCO to ve a good metric.
Sources: owned and driven a lot of cars from the very low end to the very high end with a lot of in between.
I mean if we're just comparing anecdotes, I bought an entry-level model Toyota Yaris 6 years ago, I've driven it 140000 km, and i've only done the maintenence the manual suggests (oil, filters, other fluids, brake pads..) and it's still running like new. The rest of my family drives Japanese cars (toyota, honda, suzuki) and they have had very similar experience - no extra maintenance for years except a few initial bathtub curve manufacturing defects that got fixed under warranty.
My previous car was a Kia Rio which I had to replace clutch twice between 60,000 Km and 90,000 Km. Both times it was clutch cable failing and finally the gearbox died at about 120,000 and I ended up abandoning it.
I think my next car will probably be a Mazda I know a lot of people here (Australia) that drive them and everyone I've spoken to has good things to say.
Ive had 325 & X3. After the 5 year mark (and free maintenance ends) BMWs have sky high maintenance. I am not even talking about dealership maint. I go for 3rd party and still lots of stuff breaks or needs repairs (waterpump etc) - everytime the bill comes to a cool 1-2-3K. My X3 is the the worst offender, every 2 years I have to cough up 3K range repairs... ouch
Having to pay $3K every 2 years means that you either got a lemon or you're doing something wrong. But this happening on 2 different models strengthens the second option. Going for "3rd parties" also suggests you may have gotten low quality parts and repairs. There are models that have a couple of known issues but having all the issues on different models is peculiar.
And even you don't have the full picture when it comes to your own cars. No data on how much it costs and how long it takes to fix say a Model 3 in case something happens. Either a failure or an accident. Expensive or not BMW parts and garages are available at every corner. How about Tesla parts? Tesla garages? Do you honestly think this doesn't have any impact on the cost and length of the repair? Tesla forums are full of (admittedly anecdotal) evidence that getting quick and affordable service is the exception not the norm.
This isn't an intrinsic problem for EVs or anything like that. It's just a problem for manufacturers that didn't develop any serious support network for post sale services of any kind.
MB parts are readily available and reasonably priced in general.
Source: I turn all the wrenches on our cars and most of my parents’ cars, except only tire changes and bodywork. Over the years, that’s 5 Mercedes, 2 Hondas, 2 Smarts, 1 Alfa, 2 VWs, 1 LEAF, 2 Jeeps, and 2 classic Mustangs.
Off-topic and just curious: Are you from Pittsburgh? I've seldom seen "to be" dropped as often as I do here. :)
I’m not a yinz-er, but all my cousins are. ;)
But I'm sure auto manufacturers and dealers will invent new ways of making money. Paid software updates? Prohibitively expensive batteries and battery swaps? Charging slightly more for the increasing number of parts that make up the rest of the car and break down regardless of drivetrain?
An ICE powered car can happily chug along with relatively little maintenance for far longer than any of today's batteries will last. The engine won't wear out as quickly as the battery. This means the resale value of an EV could be vastly diminished if the buyer realizes the utility of the car has gone down because the battery is worn to a level that would require the above mentioned swap. Also, with the quick pace of advancing technology an old EV has very little resale value unlike classic tech that mostly gets touchups these days, so 5 years difference isn't that noticeable.
So don't worry about these guys, as long as something can break down they will find ways to milk you for the repair. And on top of that there's nothing stopping classic manufacturers from dumping dealership networks altogether as soon as they go EV only if they find this to be a financially sound move.
I'm pretty sure everybody is just calculating what's the perfect time to introduce subscription services so they don't cannibalize current sales. So future sales and support models will surely be very different from what we take for granted today.
Given how clumsy the nav is to use in the first place - you have to use an abcdef touchscreen keyboard for input! - I decided it wasn't for me.
Plus the Atkinson cycle parallel hybrid drivetrain is a fantastic invention.
This problem has been around for more than a decade but VW won't fix it. Why would they, it's a great little earner?
$200+/tire still costs more than brakes and need to be changed much more frequently.
The last time I had brakes done, it was $80 for the back pair (about a year ago), and $120 for the front pair (about six months ago). And that was at a dealership, with tax and labor.
$100-200/pair doesn't sound average to me.
Brake pads easily last 60k miles and cost maybe $50 per corner, and the rotors are about the same but last twice as long (though it's recommended you replace at the same time, not always necessary).
Of course, once you get into drilled factory rotors on an STi or M3 or something, you're gonna hit the $200-$300+ per corner for rotors pretty quickly.
I dunno, I've just always find the margins on brake work seem insane compared to anything else.
OTOH, I also find the German marques' brakes last far longer between changes than the Japanese.
I used to get rotors turned. Then I stopped because it was a pain. Unless a rotor has been grooved by a completely worn brake pad (i.e. the backing plate and rivets made contact), I haven't seen any difference in performance or longevity.
I just swapped pads last weekend for a track day, my rotors are grooved and should be replaced next time I have to replace my street pads, but once the pads are bedded in, they still grip amazingly well.
I used to turn the rotors on my European cars, but about 10-15 years ago the alloys started warp after being turned just once or twice. Easier to just pay to replace than take the risk of doing the labor twice.
But replacing performance tires every 20k miles? If the EVs have similar tires, that expense won't be impacted.
On a hybrid, all this is transparent to user and even recharges your battery.
And the dealers make a HUGE margin on tyres - the markup vs third party is close to 100% and the third parties are still making a good margin.
There's also things like A/C maintenance etc which is pretty profitable for them.
If Cadillac made an electric car (and it wasn't a piece of shit) it might just bankrupt that dealership.
The dealers that might do well with EV's are the quality/value brands like Toyota. I've made one dealer visit in my 4 Runner's 200k mi. life and it was something I could have easily taken elsewhere.
And don't get me started on their sad excuse for door handles. They've been producing cheap trash designs since the 90's. Even my old 95 Tahoe suffered a few broken door handles. They can't help but make a flimsy plastic carrier and a thin flimsy cast zinc handle that fails after a few years. The usual culprit is a small thin bit of plastic which holds the whole thing together breaks or the handle snaps from mechanical fatigue. It's laughably pathetic and partly why I won't ever touch another GM ever again.
GM in a nutshell: A decent drivetrain surrounded by plastic trash.
Actually these problems still would exist in an EV.
A BMW really does feel better to drive than a Camry (more responsive acceleration, more responsive steering), and it comes with all sorts of small amenities that you get used to.
I drive a Camry because it's cheap and reliable and gets me from home to office with minimal drama. But I can definitely feel when the engine power lags and gears shift awkwardly going up hills or onto highways, and steering feels kind of numb and floaty. Think of the difference between cheap clothes and expensive ones: you can feel the difference, but it's unclear how much that difference is worth to you.
Also, if you look closely, you can see where the designers were careful to cut corners. Some of the button interfaces on my Camry's steering wheel and certain other panels aren't beveled, so it's harder to use them while your eyes are on the road because you can't navigate the buttons by touch. There's no automatic climate control, so you fiddle with it more. And so on. I wouldn't pay an extra $30k over 5-8 years to fix those things now, but if I had the spare income and knew I'd be spending an hour a day in my expensive box, I might.
All of my criticisms were based on my observations driving the 2018 model. I think the Camry is the reigning champion of "best bang for your buck," but it leaves plenty of room for improvement if you have a bigger budget.
Depending on how all this is weighted and added up, it can be the right thing to replace a car sooner than later.
Luxury cars aren't build to last. The target market is generally not keeping their cars around for more than a few years. I keep the proverbial purse strings pretty tight for most things, but even for me, the additional cost of premium gas is largely unnoticeable. I do get frustrated by some engineering choices: On the Hyundai, if you had 13mm & 10mm sockets and a Phillips head screwdriver you could practically disassemble the entire car, but on the Mini I needed three different size Torx heads to take the stereo out - thanks BMW.
I largely avoid the dealer for maintenance, but after a few snafus at my local garage, I went to the dealer for a new radiator, and they gave me a brand new Mini as a loaner, and I lived 40 miles from the dealership - which in many ways feels more akin to an Apple store than a garage with a sales office. Every time they work on the car, no matter how small the job, it gets a complimentary car wash there.
Parts are marked up tremendously compared to my Hyundai, but again, the cars aren't necessarily built to last, so much as they're built for experience. This is exemplified in my Mini by "lifetime transmission fluid." There's no (easy) way to drain and refill the fluid in my automatic transmission (I'm in a city, I'm done with stick for now) because the fluid is "good for the lifetime of the car." At 12 years old and 150,000 miles, I've definitely exceeded the expected lifetime of the car.
But it's fun to drive. It's easy to park. It's surprisingly well equipped for something so old. The interior trim is nice, although particularly with a Mini, there are more than a few "form over function" UX issues. People express shock when I tell them how old the car is. The experience at the dealership is tailored for people who have more money than free time, and who trade for a new car after two or three years. No one ever expressed excitement about getting into my Hyundai, but I still get people telling me, as we get in the car, that they've "always wanted drive a Mini Cooper"
The other thing luxury vehicles offer that's less sexy but worth the premium: Advanced safety features. It used to be that you paid extra money for things like chrome and leather interior. Nowadays, what sets luxury vehicles apart are the cutting edge tech and safety features.
All that being said, my next vehicle is probably going to be a Ford Transit Connect. Hard swing back toward utility and serviceability. I'm going to miss the Mini though, warts and all.
That's very obviously an anti-theft measure to deter casual smash and grab jobs.
Torx head, sure. Two different size Torx? I mean, fine. Three? Now the crowbar comes out, and they've ruined your entire interior. I say this as someone who lives on a street that has had a lot of smash and grabs, before my wife and I began weekly garbage cleanups & installed a very visible camera on our building facade.
In many cases with BMW/Mini, I would contend that it's very obviously a deterrent from having you do casual work on your own car, and pushing you into their service model. By comparison, Hyundai publishes their service manuals online in their entirety, for free - or at least they did in the 2000s when I was driving that car.
It should have at least another 5 years and 50-100K miles in it.
I mean, I get it - my father drives his 1973 Z28, and it didn't make it all the way to 2018 without a lot of work over the decades. I think that if I lived in a suburban house with a garage, I'd lean towards keeping it as a project car. I've got a project building in Philadelphia instead (small venue, Airbnb & home, with walls originally erected in 1761!), and I walk ten minutes to work, when I'm not working from home, and it's a three minute walk to the subway/bikeshare/bus stop.
I used to find joy in taking care of my car, but in my current situation, it feels like I've got better things I could do with my time.
I seem to recall Porsche going to 30k mile intervals, but I believe that they had a shorter filter interval. Of course, they were using a synthetic. My understanding is that this was a move to make their cars more environmentally friendly, and I'm not sure whether engineering approved, but the manufacturer only really cares about longevity for the duration of most leases or initial ownership periods (obviously a reputation for longevity helps sales overall, but if they're going to cut corners they're going to focus on initial ownership satisfaction).
IMO there's no point in discussing oil change intervals unless you have an oil analysis (e.g Blackstone Labs) to prove the condition of your oil.
I don't know any modern brands that are using non-synthetic oil.
That is not a good idea if you want your engine to last.
I bought a used Nissan Leaf with ~12k miles it that was certified with all the extra warranties offered from a certified dealer. The very first time I took the car in for inspection at ~20k, I was told all the brake, coolant and transmission fluids needed to be changed for the tidy sum of $475.
Brake fluid, for one, isn't due to be flushed until 45k / 36mo.
Page 19, reduction gear oil should be "inspected" every 15,000 miles or 12 months. Unsure what kind of inspection they'd do, but annual replacement seems like overkill (unless Nissan cheaped out on the fluid and/or cooling).
In the end, the service writer was probably sputtering because he didn't know how to argue with alternative facts.
What? No. Without even looking, glycol based brake fluid (DOT 3/4/5.1) should be replaced at least every two years because it's hygroscopic.
Looking at the link you provided, Nissan recommends brake fluid be changed every 15,000 mi / 12 months (severe usage, page 16) or 30,000 miles / 24 months (less severe usage, page 19).
Nothing on that Leaf needs to be done until 100k miles, with the exception of maybe brake fluid.
But yeah, it was pretty obvious that the dealer wasn't thrilled about carrying and selling this model. They don't push them or advertise them at all -- I'm guessing because they hardly go in for repairs or maintenance.
Nobody can survive without turning customers into revenue streams, so we have SaaS, in-app purchases, and so on. I predict that automobiles will go that way, they will essentially become a service, whether you get one exlusively to yourself or share it on demand.
OEM's are looking at their 2-5% margins and then eyeing lyft and uber's 40% margins (well, +/- the burning-all-of-it-plus-investors-money-to-capture-global-market-share bit).
It's not SaaS, it's MaaS they're all gunning for.
Leaf's are pretty cheap relative to new, I think some buyers remorse is leading to a flooded market but I'm not sure.
Tesla's aren't that much less than new (although I was looking at "certified" ones through Tesla.) I decided there wasn't much reason to buy used.
Maybe in 3-5 years it will be different.
The reason to buy used is that there is no waiting list so you can get it now.
Which implies as a corollary that if Tesla was able to fill current demand for new cars, then the price of used Teslas would drop substantially.
Once the technology stabilizes a bit and becomes more common, resale probably won't be any worse than everything else.
With that in mind, a $16k 3 year old Bolt is actually not that bad.
Whether those batteries were attached to a set of wheels or packed inside a box for a residential/utility install was secondary.
Do you have a citation for that?
I don't know that long-term durability of EVs is even knowable yet, the oldest Model S is only four years old. Average age of cars on the road in the USA is 12 years, so we'll need to wait a while for good comparison data.
But generally, EVs have a lot fewer moving parts. There's less to break. Theoretically, they should last significantly longer.
Most of the main stream media seems completely oblivious to the struggles with parts and service Tesla is having. Twitter and the forums are filled with people who have had their cars waiting for parts for weeks and sometimes months. And this supply chain will be strained moreso after all these Model 3s have been in service for a while.
Meanwhile, some people talk about how superior this system is. Can anyone explain the difference between a "dealer" and a "Tesla service centre/store"?
In many (all?) U. S. states, your headlights must be functional at all times. IOW, if you have an obviously non-functioning headlight, you can be pulled over at noon on the summer solstice. Don't plan on being out after dark? Many states require you have lights on in the rain. Or that matter, can you guarantee you won't be caught out after dark?
So, in summary, by the law of many states the Tesla would be unusable for that year.
See, the system works! /s
> Headlights are only required in dark and rain
...and in tunnels and in designated “daylight headlight areas” (often forested areas that are typically overshadowed); there are lots of places that cannot be accessed conveniently without crossing such a stretch.
> times when police aren't out trawling for violations to meet quota.
Even aside from th mistaken idea that times other than heightened enforcement (whether quota driven or otherwise) are safe from ticketing, there are lots of heightened enforcement times that can happen in dark and rain; and they are often times that people are likely to wait to to drive—particular holiday periods, for instance.
I don't think the implication was that a non-Tesla party would be faster at getting a Tesla part; rather they would be faster at getting a non-Tesla part.
If a random mechanic can get a random non-Tesla part, why is there a need to affiliate themselves with Tesla? Bunch of shops in my area advertise that they "fix German cars" without flying a Mercedes-Benz or BMW logo.
If they cost $2k and are backordered a year then why hasn't some dude in china with a set of dial calipers and a Rolodex of people who own factories that make plastic car parts isn't making good enough knockoffs for $500 and selling them on eBay and Alibaba for $1000?
Such services are available for the most common vehicles, not every vehicle. It also takes time to prepare, and if the market is small (Tesla is still a niche luxury car), then why even bother?
I know, I know, there are cities where it's a relatively common vehicle. That's not enough, it has to be relatively common on at least one whole continent.
Also, just realized who I was replying to.
Thanks for all the things you've written over the years Ben. When I was first getting back into tech your presentation on split testing was invaluable and your articles and HN comments are always great.
The thought that cars will run their own "personal errands" when the users are not needing the cars is fantastic, and honestly, an obvious thing I had never thought of.
A couple things will be interesting when self driving cars are a full reality:
* Car drives over to the store and a worker loads it up with the items you purchased
* Car is added to an Uber Fleet when youre not needing it and makes you a few dollar per hour.
* Car gets washed/serviced autonomously
* Car monotnously drives around in killing time/parks free-far-away when your in a Financial District and parking isnt available
* Car is shared between multiple families/households.
* Apartment complexes have a dedicated shared car schedulable for use by tenants.
* Be able to chose the car for your immediate present needs (car/truck/sport)
* Have a car anywhere in the world
* Save money as you no longer need private parking space in your property.
Also most likely the cost of private car ownership is likely going to increase to the domain of luxury.
First because car manufacturer will want a piece of the fleet pie (see Volvo) and that will be a disputed market between Manufacturer/Uber-like/Rental Companies.
Then government are going to like fleets. Working with a few large partners is going to make stuff like dynamic traffic management doable, cities will be able to enforce very strict policies, and minimise the space allocated to car. For example in the EU they are destroying public parking space in the cities, do not allow building of private parking space either for offices or houses.
So car manufacturer won't want to sell you car and government won't want you to own one - good luck :-)
How many gas powered self driving cars are they making?
There is also the issue that car infrastructure dominating humans living spaces and running out of space has become an increasing issue and EV/vehicle automony only embeds the issue deeper into our societies practices. We should be finding ways to replace cars.
Disclaimer, I come from rural South Australia and would have found it very difficult to live without a car due to the long distances involved and complete lack of public transportation outside of the (only) city center. So I empathize with the rural need for cars. But the majority of people who would buy an autonomous EV are not going to be rural, and probably have better alternatives.
I've owned an unreliable car, that didn't start every time, and it totally sucked.
Think cattle, not pets.
So when I wrote "In the long run" I thought I could rely on HN readers to connect the idea that electric cars will fully replace fossil fuel ones and that self-driving will be ubiquitous.
I believe that that presentation on A/B tests has had more of an impact than anything else that I've written. :-)
oooh I didn't even consider that, an excellent idea. I hope this comes to fruition.
And what's left for you to repair? The simplicity you ask for will be introduced exactly where these home repairs used to happen: oil, filters, spark-plugs, a hose here, a cap there, etc. But the rest of the car stays mostly the same or gets even more complex. Most mechanical parts that aren't touched by the transition from ICE to electric motor could stay the same (suspensions, brakes), while the interior electronics will become more or less the equivalent of today's smartphones. Too complex for most people to try fixing themselves.
Who says that you need to own it either? Perhaps you just subscribe to a car service like zipcar or somesuch and you text msg the car to drive over to you when you need it, and when it's not being used or books it goes off to get itself serviced and whatnot. Sounds great to me.
That's where it's going, my friend!
As a city dweller I got rid of owning a car in 2015. Now I just hop in someone elses car using a ride sharing app if I'm going a short distance. If I am going a long distance I can rent someone elses car, either from a company that owns a fleet or from an individual using Turo / GetAround.
In SF you can rent a car to drive somewhere using Uber's GetAround integration for as little as $8/hour. Crazy.
I would expect to see market segmentation not only by model but by average car age and care standards, so the fleet operator can potentially demote cars from one tier to another to get more service life out of them. I imagine you will see budget subscriptions that are more likely drawing from a pool of 3-6 year old cars and more premium subscriptions that are drawing from a pool of almost new cars, as well as potential tiers in between.
I have no insurance to pay.
I have no fuel costs to pay.
I have no parking costs to pay.
I have no maintenance costs to pay.
I have a car whenever I want, for an affordable price, that is relatively modern, sometimes with a driver and sometimes I drive myself.
The true cost of a vehicle is much higher than the car payment.
There's also the loss of being able to buy and customize a car that's exactly what the end user wants. This doesn't matter at all to a lot of drivers, but matters a great deal to some.
What happens when I drink too much before needing to go home?
What happens if my car gets hit in the parking lot or broken into and I need to deal with calling the cops and trying to obtain the security camera footage before leaving?
The truth is no solution is without problems.
The transportation as a service model has more pros for me than cons. Plus it would mean fewer cars on the road overall and less need for parking spaces when autonomous vehicles can take us places and no longer need to be parked to wait for us.
For alot of car buying folks, the financing and available inventory determines the 'want'.
Though it will be interesting to see if self-driving cars reverse that trend. If a long commute becomes a pleasurable chunk of me-time instead of a grueling slog staring at the brake lights in front of you, maybe people won't place such a premium on living close to work.
Cars are a terrible way to get around in a crowded city. The city is far too dense to drive easily, cars take up way too much precious space and are huge increasers of smog.
In germany and other european cities, they already started banning diesel and other high pollution vechiles from entering major city centers because of both smog and congestion issues.
This kind of ruling will only increase.
Nissan Leaf owner almost since they first rolled off the production line, and not one recall or update was required to keep the vehicle running tip-top. Sibling comment ruled out the Volt, so what were these buggy EVs that had required software updates?
The Fiat 500e had two recalls while I owned it. Both were for a possible propulsion system fault that could result in the vehicle stalling while driving. They sent a flatbed tow truck instead of letting me drive it in.
The BMW i3 had a recall for a safety issue, unrelated to the electronic nature of the car. Although it's probably fair to relate it to the "let's make an all-new car design from the ground up" impulse behind it.
BTW, I just went back to a more traditional plug-in hybrid over weekend. Five years as an EV driver (not in a Tesla) was a long time to be feeling range anxiety.
I look forward to watching Mercedes and Porsche stick the landing.
I suppose it would be in poor taste to make jokes at the expense of Fiat reliability in this case. But holy cow, so much for the simplicity and reliability of electrics. :-P Thanks for sharing your experience. I will say as a counter example that our Leaf is the most low-attention vehicle we’ve owned. By eliminating gas stops, we literally just get in and drive between yearly check-ups (which amount to “check battery, change cabin air filter”).
Aside from the few recalls and range anxiety, my experience with EVs has been stellar as well. I wish there was a long-range EV I could afford... (that didn't look like a Bolt.)
Kind of dreading dealing with gasoline engines again. I'm basically treating this new car as an EV with a extra-large REX.
Yes the manufacturer pays for recalls, but since it's from one large customer; the dealers probably generate less revenue from the manufacturer vs a horde of consumers
These are commonly "electric system warranties."
But then again, these aren't quite at the level of the clearcoat... anyone who's ever had an electrical gremlin knows how expensive diagnosing those can be.
When your brake squeals, any mechanic can figure out what part to replace. When your battery slowly drains over two days, it is much more labor intensive to figure out what part is responsible or where on the wire harness there's a short...
We'll see what happens with EVs made by legacy automakers, but they have far less experience in this space.
Also I've seen gasoline engines get pretty reliable these days. The standard maintenance that my Toyota Camry needs for the first 120K miles is an oil/filter change, cabin filter change, tire rotation on a yearly basis. Maybe a brake pad change once in the 120K. But electric cars also need the cabin filter, tire rotation, maybe brake pads. So really it is just the oil/filter change that remain.
When I upgraded the tires on my first Spark EV at 10000 miles and got a look at them I was amazed that the rotors still had the factory crosshatching on them and the inside of the wheels were clean instead of being filled with brake dust.
This is illegal in many states.
Ultimately though, the nature of manufacturing determines almost everything in automotive. For manufacturers to be competitive they have to highly efficient assembly lines, which means a nearly constant output of vehicles per month from a typical plant. Supply is constant, and But demand is seasonal, and responds to various factors, many of them regional, and some of them hyper-regional (a hail storm for instance). Manufacturer’s need to be able to keep vehicles from stockpiling outside of the factory, and they work with dealers to do this through various incentives, loans, and programs.
Dealerships provide a measure of adaptiveness, because each dealer has his or her own lines of credit and capital, relationships with local city councils, charities, and media, and local knowledge of real estate in a way that would be difficult for a vertically integrated system to manage. Successful dealers are treated well, and unsuccessful ones are muscled out if they aren’t doing their job of moving units in their region.
If you dig around on the forums where Tesla bears hang out you can see photos of parking lots full of newly built cars with nowhere to go, and how hard of a time they are having managing a slightly higher rate of production.
But let's not forget owning a car in europe is vastly more expensive and also far less needed for a lot of people. (especially those living in large cities with public transportation).
Im in my mid twenties and don't own a car, neither do most of my peers.
The ones who do all buy older, second or third hand vechicles which are easier to maintain and also cheaper. (toyota/volvo for instance). Most people seem to be mostly concerned with the primary function of a car, which is getting someone from A to B. Other functions seem to be less "useful" for most people i know.
Also, driving distances are vastly shorter for a majority of europeans.
Luxury cars seem to be mainly gained by using either a private lease contract or getting one on a company's expanse for bussiness purposes.
That's not really how walmart works. They don't jack up prices in local areas after the businesses go away. They just operate on much smaller margins and sell cheaper versions of things which is what gives them so much staying power.
Searching "Walmart predatory pricing" returns quite a lot of results.
The “pro” argument for it is that it keeps more money intra State rather than sending it upstream to the parent company’s home country / State.
The con is that you’re shafting consumers and eliminating true competition.
Manufacturers with large offline presence would have inflated staff numbers, higher labor costs, massive real estate presence and are harder to operate in case of a downturn.
Having some well-resourced locals willing to take up those risks seemed like a win-win at the time.
You don't need a real estate agent to buy a home. Do they make it easier for some folks? Yes, but you definitely pay for that convenience. You always have the option of doing it yourself (again, which saves a lot of money). Buying a car should be the same way. If you need help selecting a car (or whatever it is that dealers do), pay extra for the service. For everyone else, buying direct from the manufacturer makes more sense.
Trade-ins, used cars, service and maintenance are the margin drivers.
If you go through TrueCar, or any of their white-labeled sites (Costco Auto, Amex Cars, Overstock Cars), you're more or less buying direct.
Because local dealerships are well connected politically.
Car dealerships will change, but I think that the carmakers could benefit from having them - if they play it right. They have a lot of inertia, so change is hard, but they also have deep pockets. And in Germany, they have the government in their pocket.
Or, manufacturers will share more sales revenue with dealers to align incentives (which will raise vehicle costs compared to production cost), which they’ll have to do anyway to support the sales infrastructure of they aren’t going to take it over; of course, Tesla has greased the legal skids to enable carmakers to deal directly if they decide not to rely on a dealer network, so that’s not a durable competitive advantage, just a place where Tesla has paid a first-mover cost.
If you read The Innovator's Solution you'll find that it is common for top leadership at the legacy companies to recognize the coming future and announce initiatives to fix it, but their initiatives fail because the company's existing distribution networks undermine the initiative.
So the fact that dealers are not aligned with manufacturers in this case is a special case of a general trend, and historical data points are not promising for the future of legacy manufacturers.
Unless Tesla cracks the ride sharing market with self-driving cars (new market), for example, they are not out of the woods, yet.
There's lots of ways you could encourage people to bring their car in for service for upgrades or customizations.
For one thing, most tires lose performance long before they become unsafe (there are a few models advertised as only losing ~10% of their performance at 50% wear). In a world where your car needs less maintenance in general, pushing people to do the maintenance sooner isn't as hard of a pill to swallow.
But the limiting factor on most cars is that the things a consumer might wish to change, the cars aren't designed to make those changes simple. Put more engineering effort into maintenance accessibility and you can give the dealer a reason to exist.
dealers will end up consolidating and there is easily one generation if not two still to be had doing service for petrol cars and related needs. dealers may morph into on demand rental hubs and the like.
now oem and after market parts companies of which I work for are going to have to scramble a bit. the heavy duty market will be a refuge for awhile.
How true is that? Batteries are expensive and wear out faster than engines. Even in conventional cars, some of my more expensive repairs have been electronics. And it's not like an electric car doesn't have a hundred mechanicl parts that wear out just as fast as a conventional car.
I could see a specific brand or model being very reliable, but I'm skeptical electric cars will make extensive car maintenance far less common than it is now (especially anywhere that doesn't require emissions testing).
That's a lot of regular maintenance that just went away.
Per https://cleantechnica.com/2018/04/16/tesla-batteries-have-90... real world data suggests that Tesla batteries are operating at better than 90% efficiency after 100,000 miles, and are projected to be operating at around 80% efficiency after 500,000 miles. The often repeated claim that batteries will wear out faster than engines is contradicted by the evidence.
There isn't enough real world experience to prove it, but electric motors are physically simpler than internal combustion ones and it is believed that few electric motors will need repair before hundreds of thousands of miles. That gets rid of more big repair bills that car owners face.
Consider that as https://www.yourmechanic.com/article/the-most-and-least-expe... points out, the per year maintenance on a used car is generally $1-2K per year.
My (anecdotal) evidence was that I replace my regular car battery in my cold-weather state every few years, and it does barely anything! And my sister just replaced the main battery in her 2006 Prius.
On a more applicable note, a Leaf loses 33% of its range after 56k miles . I'm not nearly as familiar with Teslas (unfortunately); perhaps they have cracked the formula to long-lasting batteries.
The Leaf and Tesla both use lithium-ion. I don't know why the apparent difference. But per https://www.tesla.com/support/vehicle-warranty-m3, Tesla's battery warranty is 8 year or 120k miles, and comes into effect if your range drops by 30%. So they expect better performance than the apparent real world performance of the Leaf.
I also do not know why there would be a difference in those technologies.
Life finds a way...
BWT, you use breaks a lot less on an EV, does that have an effect on degredation or is it simply a function of time?
People are still going to crash, and they'll need parts. EV parts are more expensive.
EVs use more tires because of instant torque.
If everything else fails, dealers can just raise their margin at point of sale.
They usually last 25k-30k miles on the Porsche.
Many car owners are afraid to go anywhere besides the dealer for routine maintenance 'lest they void their warranty (which is not the case, but that doesn't stop dealers from raking in money from those people).
That depends. Initially, your argument stands.
While it will take years to figure out how to engineer in planned obsolecence into the electric car product, it will eventually happen. I would love to hear an expert opinion on this, actually.
However there is very good money to be made in spare parts, and the dealer network can be a huge part of that. From what I've read Tesla is dropping the ball on spare parts at the moment.
Maybe they'll just switch to mandatory monthly maintenance fees!
They realize that have a monopoly on auto sales and won't willingly give any revenue stream.
"Through the grapevine": they have mandated costly architectural redesigns, and they have had a right of first refusal for at least some dealership owners who wanted to exit the market and sell their dealership to people other than Mercedes Benz itself. They may also have mandated in increase in maintenance service-related revenues to further tighten the screws on dealership owners.
People like to interact with the physical cars given it is such a large purchase. They get to bring their family, sit in it, talk through options with a salesperson. It's like telling Apple or Chanel to get rid of their stores. It's ridiculous.
For servicing most people want to take their car somewhere local to be repaired. And many types of servicing need a workshop i.e. to get under the car.
So, can't Mercedes do the same?
Dealers have been going through a process of consolidation to the point that one group or company owns many dealerships across multiple brands. Autonation has gotten so big it's a public company.
As soon as one OEM tries to rebel, the dealers will tighten the screws across all their sales outlets, relying on their other OEM properties to carry them through. Dealers have all the leverage.
Tesla was only able to do it because they had no legacy distribution network they had to keep alive or else risk their board finding a new CEO.
Mercedes really can't afford to piss off these dealers.
If MB decided to go back to dealers, nobody would trust it.