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[dupe] Tesla Model Y will be unveiled March 14th (theverge.com)
62 points by rising-sky 51 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 72 comments

Teslas are finally getting close to good enough for the average consumer. The $35k price rag is still the biggest hurdle. Once they hit the $25k mark and can produce a decent volume of them, it will finally hit the point of no return. Why buy a Camry when you can have a cheaper to operate and maintain electric car that is also much safer? And once a used Tesla is an option, other manufacturers pretty much will have to offer similar products. I think we will hit that inflection in about 10 years.

> The $35k price rag is still the biggest hurdle. Once they hit the $25k mark and can produce a decent volume of them, it will finally hit the point of no return.

Apparently 35k is already the average car price in the US, so the model 3 is already a mass-market car. The gas and other operating savings are also significant to further bring that value down so I think we're already comfortably past the point of no return. It's all ramp up from now on. If I was in the shoes of a traditional car maker I'd be very worried. Tesla may still fail but EVs will take over soon either way.

> If I was in the shoes of a traditional car maker I'd be very worried.

Why? They'll just make EVs. They already produce multiple drivetrains. An EV drivetrain is just another one. Countries and cities are legislating against ICE cars so all car manufacturers need produce battery electric or hydrogen fuel-cell cars.

As they transition to EVs they'll still sell ICE cars which are cheaper to buy, faster to fuel, and have better range.

> They'll just make EVs

I wish they would, but they're lagging way behind. Developing a good EV drivetrain, and particularly a good battery is not trivial and so far no one is matching Tesla. Hyundai has some reasonable models now and Renault/Nissan have had some basic models out for a while. Nothing compares to Tesla yet so if I was Mercedes/BMW/Audi/etc I'd be very worried right now.

> Nothing compares to Tesla yet

Volkswagen is starting their push into EVs now. The Porsche Taycan uses 350 kW chargers to charge faster than Teslas. I'm sure 350 kW chargers are on Tesla's roadmap but Volkswagen got there first:


Volkswagen's MEB EV platform will be used across four VW brands (VW, Audi, Skoda, SEAT) to deliver 27 different EV models by 2022:


How many models will Tesla have available by 2022? VW is also looking to license the MEB platform to other manufacturers (like Ford):


I think Volkswagen will be the EV leader in a few years. It'll be interesting to see if this helps them get ahead of Toyota to become the world's biggest car company.

So VW is ahead of Tesla because they've made a bunch of announcements of things they may ship in the future? It's all vaporware until you actually ship. They didn't "get there first" on 350kW chargers when there's not a single car on sale that can use them. They're making a bunch of announcements and maybe they'll do well, I hope they do, but they're still quite a bit behind Tesla.

> So VW is ahead of Tesla because they've made a bunch of announcements

No, they're ahead because they'll be delivering more options at a larger scale.

This makes no sense. You can't be ahead in the market by making announcements while shipping less product. That they will in the future deliver more options at more scale is your prediction. I hope it works out but it remains to be seen.

It will work out. It's not like these cars aren't being tested now. Watch a test of the first MEB based VW model which will go into production at the end of this year:


I've followed the announcements and reviews. There is no doubt they will launch the cars, it's your prediction of market success that remains to be tested. So far no one has come up with a drive train that rivals Tesla in power and efficiency. Everyone is either having to install more batteries for the same range and/or having less power. Tesla's advantage is not only in having more cars out in the market, it's even more so in having better technology than anyone else in the batteries, motors and electronics. See the Munro interviews if you want details on those. I do hope quite a few other existing car manufacturers get there as well but my point stands, they are behind in EV technology and if they don't catch up the writing is on the wall. The fact that VW is making massive investments is just more evidence of that. Most others are not even doing that much as far as we know.

> they are behind in EV technology

When will Teslas take a 350 kW charge? Porsche is doing that this year.

How many models will Tesla have available in 2022?

Number of models is irrelevant, being able to buy the same car badged as VW/Audi/Skoda/Seat is just price discrimination and adds no value. A real-world comparison of charging speeds is still an open question. The next generation of Tesla superchargers goes live in 4 days and will work with actual cars on the road. By the time actual roll-out is done we'll have to see who has the better network. Hopefully it starts to standardize more between them all because right now Tesla is well ahead in the charging network.

But the biggest advantage is not that. It's having electrical motors that are cheaper, lighter and more powerful (Munro has a great slide on that). It's having cells that are cheaper to build and better integrated (Munro was apparently blown away). It's having power electronics that are better. That's the kind of advantage that makes for higher margins and better products. I'd love it for others to surpass it, but it hasn't happened yet.

I'm not particularly in favor of Tesla, just EVs for several reasons. I do hope all the traditional manufacturers come out with great EVs. They just haven't yet.

> The next generation of Tesla superchargers goes live in 4 days and will work with actual cars on the road.

350 kW chargers are already rolling out on the Ionity, Fastned, and Electrify America networks. They use the CCS standard. They already work with cars on the road:




Why is Tesla so far behind?

I don't know of a single car that you can buy that takes 350kW. In fact I don't know of a single car that you can buy that charges at higher rates than the Teslas. And you keep doubling down on charging rates as if that was the single metric by which to compare manufacturers and conveniently ignore all the other stuff I've pointed out.

> I don't know of a single car that you can buy that takes 350kW.

Volkswagen knows. They'll sell you a Porsche Taycan. Then they'll sell you an Audi e-tron GT:


And then they'll sell you a Porsche Macan:


Better planning, bigger scale.

Meanwhile Tesla is still losing money. They were down $1 billion in 2018:


When will Tesla's technology be profitable? The closure of the retail stores doesn't inspire confidence.

Researched each of those models -- none of them are actually available for purchase currently as best I can tell.

you can make a 1000KWH car, and still be much less efficient than a 250KWH car. Range and speed is what matters not KWH. Aerodynamic, efficiency of enerygy conversion, etc.. comes into play.

> Number of models is irrelevant

No it's not. Right now, there just is no EV "family car".

I would love to buy a model 3, but with that ridiculous trunk there's just no way I could fit my kids stuff in there.

All the EVs currently being built (or announced) are just commuter cars. Sedans and small SUVs are great for driving to work on your own, but I think it'll be really awkward to go on a skiing trip with a family of 4 in a Model 3 or in a Nissan Leaf or whatever.

(technically there's the Nissan eNV, but that car is hideous)

Maybe Volkswagen will be the company that finally builds a practical EV...

You're ignoring my point. Having different models is obviously great for different uses. Hence S/X/3/Y/etc. Number of models is irrelevant when it's a bunch of different versions of a VW Golf like you get with VW/Audi/Skoda/Seat/etc.

The current MQB system isn't just used for VW Golf and Audi A3.

The system scales from small compact cars like the Audi A1 or the VW Polo to big family cars like the VW Touran or Skoda Superb or even SUVs like Skoda Kodiaq.

If their strategy works out, and they can introduce a system like that for EVs, they can start introducing multiple new models per year.

> Number of models is irrelevant when it's a bunch of different versions of a VW Golf

It isn't a bunch of Golfs. It's hatchbacks, crossovers, and buses built on the same modular platform:



You quoted 27 different models. That's not 27 different types of car, it's all those duplications over a few model types. And when they're all in the market we'll all be happy. Until then it's just a promise.

You might as well say the same thing about the entire car industry. It's a silly perspective.

The MEB platform can be adapted to hatchbacks, sedans, crossovers, vans, and even dune buggies. That's what will give Volkswagen economies of scale Tesla doesn't have.

It isn't just a promise. It's the mass market arm of their EV strategy.

Debating against things people haven't actually said is not productive. I think having common platforms is an advantage, hence why the Model Y is reportedly heavily based on the 3. That's what all the manufacturers do. I was specifically talking about your claim that number of models was an advantage that VW had. In EVs they currently have almost no models and ship almost no cars. They've announced a platform and somehow to you that's them being ahead of Tesla who is already at a ~400k cars/year rate. I hope VW and all the others get their act together and ship millions of EVs every year. If they end up crushing Tesla that's no problem for me either. But this argument of yours that VW is somehow ahead in EVs without actually selling any significant amount of EVs is just ridiculous. It's just a promise until they ship.

> I think having common platforms is an advantage

Yes, an Volkswagen advantage has.

> that number of models was an advantage that VW had

It is. Their MEB modular platform allows them to target every segment across multiple brands while maintaining economies of scale in manufacturing. They're good at it:



As I say, better planning and bigger scale.

Huh? I mean if you average top line BMWs with Yarises then maybe. What you have to look at is the average size of a car loan. That is probably a much bette indicator of how much people can afford to spend on a vehicle.

I mean of all cars. Here's an example of fresh data. 37k is the average purchase price for January 2019 and there aren't many brands/categories below 30k:


Yeah but you can’t compare the Model 3 to all cars. It’s closest equivalent is a mid sized luxury car. And most consumers are not getting those. It’s real competitor is a mid sized sedan aka the Camry. Average transaction price for those is $25k. You can’t include pickup trucks in the comparison as there is no way you can use any Tesla models as a pickup.

With federal and state incentives the price drops below $30k for California which is Tesla's biggest market so far. People have also been willing to pay 5-10k more for Tesla than their previous cars. So Tesla just needs to stay ahead of the demand at each price point. It's not like people pay for their cars in one go they pay in bank installments. And the $150~250 savings in gas and servicing costs makes the monthly cost of ownership of $25k Camry and $35k Tesla the same over 5years. With Tesla ownership being cheaper after 5years.

The point is that what people are willing to pay for a car is already well within the range of a Model 3. If you wanted to compare like for like the actual comparison is a BMW 3 Series or Mercedes C Class, not a Camry. But you can definitely include pickups in the comparison since most people that buy a pickup or SUV have no actual use for them, it's just a fashion symbol. And yet here's the Model Y on the way. The model 3 is already a feasible mass market car in the US any way you run the numbers. Even a Camry goes to over 35k. If you see the numbers I quoted there are now very few car types that average below 30k.

$26,950 with incentives and gas savings - https://3.tesla.com/model3/design

When I saw that site a few days ago, including gas savings in the price seemed somewhat dishonest. Including government incentives makes sense, but not gas savings.

Counterpoint: car prices should be required to estimate annual upkeep and insurance costs next to the sticker price. Tesla is cherry picking here, but having this data known to consumers would be a positive.

The standard car window sticker I’ve seen at normal car dealerships does have information on the expected gas costs. https://commons.m.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Fuel_economy_label...

TCO information is probably harder to estimate but if it were done in a standardized way Tesla would probably suffer given how unreliable their cars are and all the maintenance horror stories of cars being in the shop for months and months due to backlogs and backordered parts... Consumer Reports and other independent agencies do try to estimate some of this I think.

That means you raise the prices of both cars to compare, but you raise the Tesla less. It's still misleading to show it as a reduction, unlike the incentives.

The display both, I just wish they would label it better. Something like "cost to buy and own for 50k miles".

It is already a mass market car. Model 3 is the best selling car in California for the second half of 2018. By best selling, I don't mean in the EV category, I mean above Civic, Accord, Camry, Corolla.

See https://cleantechnica.com/2019/02/23/tesla-model-3-was-top-s...

...and the price just dropped, so you can expect even more competitiveness than the data from 2H2018.

That's a great statistic and I don't want to diminish it in any way, but part of the reason why the Model 3 is selling high right now is because sales* that were made over a multiple year period have been clumped into a shorter period.

* When I say sales, I mean the time when Telsa "won" the customer, not when contracts were signed or they received full payment.

You are right.

I wonder how long it'll take for the production/sales to reach "steady state", ie when the pre-order bubble has been absorbed.

I doubt $25k is feasible in the short term.. maybe in 10 years due to production efficiencies but then we'd also be factoring in inflation so it could be a wash. But even more exciting is how much more advanced autonomous will be in 10 years - it might even not make sense to own your own vehicle, just summon one instead.

I'm actually worried about when they do hit the lower priced market. One company doesn't have to satisfy everyone. Tesla has done a great job at satisfying the luxury/mid-to-high market.

I can't think of a company that does well across market segments from 20k to 100k, and I wouldn't expect them to.

I don't know why Tesla fans ignore that Chevy and Nissan are already big in the pure EV market at mass market prices, and almost every manufacturer had a plug-in hybrid offering for in-town electric-only and gas for long trips.

It's because GM can't produce Bolts without a significant loss (for now) and Leafs aren't taken very seriously by most people because of their shorter range, fast battery/value degradation and frankly, funky appearance.

Any many of us are energized (no pun intended) by moving completely away from gas. So while plug-in hybrids are better than ICE cars, we don't get excited about them the same way.

Nissan leaf seems like a joke. Batteries are degrading quite quickly, the solution? Update the battery display from 5 segment to 4, so you can't tell when the battery is below 80% within 3 years (which triggers the warranty replacement).

Chevy is better, but not great. Who wants a hybrid? Worse acceleration, MUCH more complexity (two drivetrains), still go to gas stations, still need oil changes, still noisy, etc.

Try a $35k leaf and a $35k tesla sometime.

In the pure EV market isn’t Tesla eating everybody else’s lunch? One stat I saw from Sept 2018 was that Tesla had something like 2/3 of the market share for EVs in the US.

Am I the only one who sees the release date and think "Cute, they released it on Pi Day :)"


It's america: 3/14

In the rest of the world, Pi day is the 3rd of February next year. Overflow error.

I would think it would be July 22 (22/7)

I'm curious about the options that they'll offer initially. With the Model 3, Tesla only sold the long-range, premium version at first, which IIRC is more profitable than the basic $35k version. Maybe they'll repeat this with the Y and sell just a more expensive model first as well.

The S and X both released premium versions at first, so if Y did the same thing, it would be the 4th in a row.

For Roadster I don't remember, so maybe the 5th in a row.

S 3 X Y

This was intentional and I'm just now catching on, right?

The only reason the Model 3 is named that is Ford owns "Model E" and said that Tesla couldn't use it.

And yes, this has been Musk's plan since the Roadster.

Ah, that makes sense. Thanks!

Before today, I'd only heard the S3X was the plan.

Why did this get marked as dupe even though it is the only one I have seen on the front page? And the only one I can find at all through search.

Tesla will produce in China? Interesting they're finally going that route.

Cars tend to be affected a lot by tariffs. A good way to make more money selling cars Is to sell more cars (at a similar margin) and a good way to do that is to make the cars cheaper (at a similar margin) and a good way to do that is by cutting out tariffs (and possibly reducing transportation costs too).

Making cars (and batteries) in China is a statement that Tesla think their cars will be more popular in China if they can reduce the price and that will justify the cost of making the factory there.

Note that this is just following in the footsteps of the Model 3, which will also have the low end models manufactured in China.

It's ~200 miles each way from SF to Tahoe. I imagine that's a pretty important number for people considering an electric SUV.

Model 3 advertises a 325mi range, and Musk says the Y will get about 10% less than the 3.

>I imagine that's a pretty important number for people considering an electric SUV

A very small subset of people, sure. Tesla buyers also exist outside of SF.

With the altitude change I wouldn't expect 200 miles of range to be sufficient for SF->Tahoe, reverse might work.

0.9*325 = 292.5 miles.

A friend tracked his battery use on a trip from SF -> Tahoe, the climb took around 30 miles of range, which I thought was pretty reasonable. He climbs two 7200 feet passes, and was driving quite quickly.

The cold actually reduces range considerably and increases charging times. I’ve even heard reports of being unable to charge a Tesla through a standard 120VAC outlet if the weather is below freezing.

I haven't had a problem with 120V. They have always given me 3-5 miles of charge per hour regardless of weather. But I have had superchargers go at that same rate when it is cold.

I quickly learned my lesson to charge in the evening or after driving for a while instead of first thing in the morning :)

You should read about what happens to lithium batteries when you charge them at below freezing temperatures.

Is this a regular commute for large parts of the World?

It is for the world as envisioned by SV product managers, as seen in their marketing slide decks.

You really think that range on flat terrain is the same as range when climbing thousands of feet in elevation?

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