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Tesla Q4 2019 Vehicle Production and Deliveries (tesla.com)
187 points by reddotX 19 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 323 comments



I love my Model 3.

Yes, its "luxury" is not up to the price. Sure, the customer service sucks. Yeah, repairs take a long time.

But for me, when I ride in a Tesla, I get a giddy feeling, like the first time I held an iPhone. You just know it's the future. There are so many radical, bold, and correct ideas. Every time I get a software update I'm a kid on Christmas morning. It is just such a fun experience, and for those of you who love to be on the bleeding edge, you'd probably love it too.

It's not a car for everyone but I get the same feeling about Tesla as I did about Apple when they came out with the iPhone. 8 years later and no company has managed to come up with a car that seriously competes with the 2012 Model S. Tesla was the first to market and remains the market leader. They've solidified their position in the minds of Americans. They have a grand vision and they're executing on it. This company is headed to the moon.


I have been driving my model 3 for a year now and I don't think I can go back to a gas car, a car that doesn't receive OTA updates, or a car that doesn't have a driving assistant similar to Autopilot.

I'm happy that a new car company is challenging the rest of the auto industry on what a car should be and forcing them to drastically improve their products rather than incremental changes every year. Now we are seeing new car companies pop up ( Rivian ) that are following Tesla's footsteps. It is all very exciting to me.


This is interesting because the idea of owning a car that takes regular OTA updates, and can be disabled or tracked remotely at any time by the manufacturer — to me is very scary/creepy.

Maybe I’m paranoid, but I have a hard time not extrapolating the OTA update experience from other software (desktop, phone OS’s) to cars too: updates breaking features inadvertently but with no prompt fix, injecting new spyware against your will but with no real alternate, updated terms of service that you have no choice but to agree to if you want to be able to drive home, etc.

Given the track record with OTA software updates everywhere else, we need positive assurance that the there won’t be these same profitable compromises of user experience, privacy, freedom, etc. eventually for these cars. Because the status quo is quite the opposite. Have you read the terms of service and related documents you signed when buying your Tesla, in full?

I fully agree about self driving / driver assistance though, and for example am thrilled that Toyota now includes in all their new cars (for free, as a base feature) their entire autonomous drivers assistance sensor suite and features: adaptive cruise control (works in stop and go traffic), lane steering assistance, automatic braking, automatic high/low beams, etc. (and it all works very reliably in my experience). I know it’s nothing like the autonomous features Tesla offers in their upgrade package, but this is a very welcome change in the industry.


OTA updates certainly present risks, but we shouldn't pretend there is no downside to the old approach. For example, both Tesla and Toyota have had similar problems with the brake software on their vehicles. Tesla had a software fix in a few days which immediately began automatically fixing vehicles [1]. Toyota also had a fix quickly, but they had to recall 185,000 vehicles so a technician could manually apply the update [2]. Were all those impacted Toyota's updated, how quickly were they updated, and how many accidents occurred because they weren't updated quick enough? This is especially important when it comes to self driving or driver assistance software. What happens if there is a bug discovered in Toyota's version of that software?

I think in the end we need some type of regulation or oversight on this because a company being either carelessly aggressive or anti-consumer with OTA updates is a serious risk, but that doesn't mean the potential of OTA updates should be thrown out with the bath water.

[1] - https://www.consumerreports.org/car-safety/tesla-model-3-get...

[2] - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2009%E2%80%9311_Toyota_vehicle...


I think the broader point here is not having control over something you bought. Like why not give the user the choice to opt out of telemetry or even non-essential auto-updates (like Debian)?


It might not be satisfying, but the answer is a reminder that you bought a car from Tesla and not a perpetual license to use their services. They are providing that service on the condition of you agreeing to their terms. If you don't agree, you can remove or disable the car's cellular connection. The core features of the car will still work, but a lot of noncritical aspects like maps, voice control, streaming music, the phone app, etc will be disabled.


Privacy is not something Elon or the U.S. writ large cares much about beyond the superficial, so it's not something Tesla cares about handling well for those of us who do value it. Not saying it will necessarily be any better with other manufacturers, but it is an area where they could differentiate. I would consider jumping ship from Tesla on this basis alone.


I'm completely with you on that, after those Jeep hacks that came out a few years back I think an internet connection on my vehicle is kind of the last thing I want.

Maybe I'm just paranoid though.


I wonder if there could be an option for your vehicle to only turn on the internet connection and check for updates while it's charging?


That is basically how it works today with Tesla. And you have the option of applying the updates.


It’s absolutely something you should be in complete control over. I should at least be able to offline the car unilaterally.


Little known fact. You can install off the shelf commaai eon kit for $800 bucks on a Toyota and you get almost Tesla level autopilot.

I just drove from Seattle to Portland on 3hr without any manual intervention. Was a blast.

Toyotas are great, I’ve always loved their simplicity and how long they last. I hope they have a good line up of electric cars soon.


(own a tm3, assume whatever slant for what follows)

well as to the one fear, being tracked all the time. do you have a smart phone? okay, you are tracked.

as to whether or not you need to fear being remotely disabled by the manufacturer that remains to be seen. what is more worrisome would be government mandating a manufacturer do it to one or more cars or the idea if a company folds a keep alive feature or such fails and all the cars go dark.

as to bugs, well that is a real issue and what perfect timing you have. recently Tesla made this big push to deliver version 2019.40.50.x in order to give people this preview on full self driving. Namely showing that it indeed recognizes lights, signs on the road and alongside, and more. However two issues.

1. I have had four .x updates since the first for bugs. Even .7 which just got to me Thursday crashes the display if you do sort your contact list you can crash the display and it has to reboot. The car still drives, just no display until it reboots

2. To see the FSD demo features you need HW3 which means all TM3s prior to recent do not have that but instead have HW2.5 Those who bought FSD either with the car or after were promised it included a HW3 upgrade that was heavily hinted as being performed before EOY19. It was not and Telsa has gone dark, meaning they won't give you a date or anything when asked. Telsa is going to piss off a lot of owners if they make this right

Now OTA is finally resolving issues many have had with lack of features other brands have had for a long time. You can finally select the track of music playing from your BT phone in the current playlist... clumsy but it works. You however cannot select which playlist to play. Voice commands finally showed up but Tesla does not provide a list of them, for that you have to rely on 3rd party sites for a quick list. [0]

As for FSD itself, all the safety side features are pretty much growing to be common place in other brands. Not consistent though and you do need to buy a new car each time you want improved or new features of it; unlike Tesla. Meaning a 2019 Corolla cannot do what a 2020 can in regards of programmable safety. This does not mean Telsa has the implementation, just that unlike other brands if they add a feature you don't need a whole new car to get it. The key FSD feature is that a Tesla will drive on nearly any road for you and do it very competently. Some brands geofence where you can use it.

[0] https://www.tesmanian.com/blogs/tesmanian-blog/voice-command...


Your comment made me think of a very important data point: what percentage of people who get an electric car (or just make it Tesla specific) would ever consider owning an ICE car again? I'm hoping it would be very low.

I own a Chevy Volt, and I know I'll never own a non-electric car again. Yes, I know my car has a gas engine, but I almost never use it (it is still very handy to keep me from having "range anxiety"), and honestly when it does switch on it just reminds me how I never want to own a pure-ICE car again.


According to this Bloomberg survey: https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/2019-tesla-model-3-survey..., 79.8% of Model 3 buyers strongly agree with "I will never buy another gasoline-powered car" (and 13.4% agree)


tbh, electric tech has gotten very good in general. In the last couple years I've replaced my lawn mower and chainsaw with all electric models. They share the same battery so I can just move the battery between the two devices.

In terms of performance, they're 90-95% as good as the gas models they replaced. But they bring so many other benefits to the table that I'm simply not ever going to go back -- mostly the lack of exhaust fumes, the much lower (and less messy) maintenance, and much much quieter.

There's still some use-cases where the gas variants are better, just like in vehicles, but they are few and far between and it's often worth it to just figure out how to get around using the gas models.

I really don't think there's a turning back at this point. It's really now a matter of filling out all the market ecosystems with electric vehicles.


I’m glad to hear electric lawn care equipment is becoming more viable.

i've got a strong hatred for the loud, smelly 2 stroke engines that wake me when trying to rest, and then the fumes... ugh.

im sure the anti-gov regulations people will disagree but, i cant wait for 2 stroke lawn equipment to be banned. there’s no way commercial gardeners will willingly switch to something more expensive with a shorter runtime unless forced to.


What electric chainsaw do you have? I cut ~3 cords of firewood a year, from logs ~12-20" in diameter, and I'll be happy to buy an electric saw at some point. But I haven't seen one that seems suitable for longer cutting sessions with moderate-sized rounds.


Most electric tools are fine for the majority of people or in certain situations but they're absolutely not for everyone and not 100% replacement for all jobs.

It's best not to think of them as straight up replacements in all cases because there is overlap. Think about drivers and wrenches, do you own battery powered versions? Have they completely replaced your traditional drivers or wrenches? Have they completely replaced your corded power tools? Do you have multiple 12/18/20/24v variants of the same tool?

If someone asked me to mow the lawn at my last home with a battery powered lawn mower, I would have laughed in their face. The roots and rocks in the lawn would have destroyed an electric mower's blade on the first mow. At my current home I would consider it, but yard size might be a limiting factor. For the home I'm in the process of purchasing it will be preferred as the yard is so small..


I have the Ryobi 40V lawnmower, chainsaw, and pole saw. (they're great!)

For really hard woods I get about 30-45 min out of the chain saw per battery. I use it for chopping up fallen trees (I live in a heavily-wooded area) so haven't done firewood exactly. I have 2 batteries and I get tired before I run down the second one.

Its kinda fun how it goes from dead silent to ripping through a tree. Although the bar length is probably too short for your needs. Plus a cord is a lot of wood (to me).

I figured anything that needs a more powerful chainsaw is best left to a professional anyway, so the battery-powered saw acts like a built-in buffer on hurting myself.


My gas weed whacker stopped working properly last year. I decided to get a Ryobi battery-powered one rather than fix the gas one. It's not quite as powerful and I'll probably end up getting a second battery.

OTOH, there's no fussing, it's quieter, and I also got a brush cutter attachment which can handle some places I pretty much had to do manually before.


> For really hard woods I get about 30-45 min out of the chain saw per battery.

One of the things that might not be clear to users of the gas equipment, when you say "30-45 min" that means active cutting. Unlike a 2-stroke, it doesn't have to be burning gas to be ready to cut.


I use the Greenworks line of tools. It's about as powerful as the gas Stihl I've used previously. The key was to use the larger battery that the lawnmower uses instead of the smaller one. It's a little heavier, but lasts quite a while. The only challenge is the recharge time is not as fast as topping up the tank.


I have a corded electric chainsaw (which I got for free). Should run practically indefinitely. Thinking of getting a beefy, over-powered pure sine inverter so I can run it from my electric car. Could get a smaller battery powered one for more mobile use.


A corded one seems like a great choice. I can't imagine a battery-operated one lasting long enough to be practical without getting quite big and heavy.


I don't know anything about chainsaws, but the parent mentioned being able to remove the chainsaw's battery pack. With enough batteries, and maybe concurrent charging, any length of cutting sessions should be possible.


I think it is the little things. One of my family members drove up to see me recently and I let them park in my garage. I was blown away when I walked into the garage with the smell of oil and gas. Granted, their car is an early 90s corolla, but still. Then I worried about oil leaking and put down a drip mat.

The thought of owning an ICE vehicle after owning a Tesla Model 3 for a year (Nov 2018 is when we took delivery) just does not sound appetizing whatsoever. My wife, who was originally a skeptic, is the one that suggested we sell our 2011 Ford Fiesta after purchasing the Tesla.


This makes no sense to me. After driving around an extremely inexpensive Ford Fiesta (14k MSRP for a 2019) you purchase a 40k Tesla then think, "Maybe I should get rid of the Fiesta"?

So you could have easily afforded a more expensive care but thought, "na, I'll go with the Fiesta. I don't like spending money on cars" but then said, "oh hell ya, I'm buying the Tesla" because you've got 40K burning a hole in your pocket?


Because it's smelly, messy, and requires much more regular maintenance and weekly gas station trips. If you're not super cash-strapped, an electric car is a pretty fantastic value. And if you are cash-strapped, there are some great deals on used Nissan Leafs and Chevy Volts (depending on your use case) out there. End up saving the difference in money on gas and maintenance.


I'll be very interested to see how Teslas hold up after 10+ years. I own a 15 year old Audi that I drive maybe once a week. Every time I start it up, something new has failed. It could be another broken sensor, a worn rubber hose, a broken plastic clip, a short in the electronics causing a parasitic power drain, etc.

Part of it is the age, but part of it is that gas cars are designed to be driven. Letting them sit for any period of time will cause headaches. Electric cars should, in theory, be better in that regard as long as you leave them plugged in.


You're probably putting too much explanatory power in 'electric' vs 'gas'.

I'll speculate that things are failing on your Audi because it's an Audi, not because its gas powered. Go find someone driving a 15+ year old Lexus and ask them if something new breaks every time they drive. It's unlikely that they'll commiserate.


How is it fantastic value when it costs almost 3x as much?

I'm actually buying a new (used) car right now. Around the $15k mark, I can get e.g. a 4 year old 7 seater that's done 60k miles. Based on my previous car ownership, I expect to spend around $700/year on average on maintenance, and around $1000/year on fuel. In total, I can expect a first year total cost of 700+1000+1500 = $3200 of which the biggest cost is a 10% depreciation. If I were to buy a $40k Model 3 (with less seats, less cargo capacity) that had 0 maintenance and 0 fuel cost, I'd still spend $4000 the first year to depreciation alone. 4000 > 3200. How are you saving anything?


I bought a used Volt about the same age and miles for the same price ($10k-$15k). Its starting MSRP was the same as a Model 3 is now. So I have almost all the advantages of an electric car. Model 3s will get there, too, eventually (the fact that used prices are still super high tells you that people love the car... also, they've only had the cheaper trims in large numbers for the last year or so).

Your argument can be applied to any new car. Buying used EVs will be the better deal, just like buying a used ICE is a better deal than a new one. Certainly the case for me. I've spent nothing on maintenance (except tires and wiper blades) and very little on fuel (electricity is equivalent to $1/gallon gasoline).


Sure. Buying a new car, whether EV or ICE, is irrational from a financial standpoint, no matter how you look at it. The argument that a new EV makes financial sense, which was what OP said, is quite clearly untrue and people should stop repeating it.


You're seeing it wrong. We figured the Tesla would be useful for some things but not for long trips. Since there are gas stations literally everywhere we were worried we'd not be able to take the Tesla on long drives. It turns out we can take the Tesla on long drives everywhere we want to go, so we got rid of the Fiesta.

FWIW, we got every feature on a Model 3 AWD LR sans the 19" wheels, performance, and the white interior. After tax and whatnot it worked out to around $68,000. It had nothing to do with price, but with features / functionality. We bought one of the "higher end" Fiestas (the SEL) in 2011 and I think it worked out to around $20k after all of the options, dealer mess, and taxes.


I don't think I'm seeing anything wrong and you've only reinforced my point. You replaced a car with one that is over three times the price. Go ahead and compare the vehicles but it's not much of a comparison if you don't include that fact. What kills me about people that promote Tesla is how completely oblivious they are to how unique their situation is and how outside of the norm they are. I have a very high household income, probably in the top %3, and even I know most people don't just drop $68k for a car.

I want to say something I find interesting about Tesla owners. They seem to have a persecution complex where they think every diesel pickup truck is out to coal roll them and those nasty ICE owners are out to key their car the first chance they get. I think it comes from how condescending they know they are with the, "They hate us because they know we're the future" to the "their dirty, stinking, smelly ICE vehicles". And it doesn't take very much to go from, "You're care is dirty, disgusting, and filthy", to "You're dirty, disgusting and filthy". It's the ultimate in hating someone because they're poor. You're dirty, disgusting and filthy and if you don't want to be that way you should drop the extra $40k for a new car like I did.

The sad truth is most people driving either don't think about you at all in your Tesla or if they do think about you probably think, "I wish I had that kind of money, it's kind of neat".


It's in a different category. I'd think of it more like comparing a TV to a monitor. The latter is more expensive.


> suggested we sell our 2011 Ford Fiesta after purchasing the Tesla

It's a Ford Fiesta, you're not saying much here.


Very very true, but my point is that we've done about a dozen road trips now and the initial range anxiety we had has gone away.

Per https://supercharge.info/changes, Tesla opened, on average, 16 new superchargers in America per month. With the new supercharger v3 rollout it just means even more options. Our Model 3 has a range of 310 miles and there aren't a ton of places we'd actually want to go that we can't go thanks to the supercharger network. Other companies who are trying to make decent EVs still haven't solved the charging problem. EVgo is probably the best fast charging EV network outside of Tesla's, but they're only currently in California I believe.


>what percentage of people who get an electric car (or just make it Tesla specific) would ever consider owning an ICE car again? I'm hoping it would be very low.

My wife and I have a model S and a model X and we are seriously considering buying an extremely old 4x4 truck for hauling firewood, trash etc. That's about it however - I'd never go back to an ICE car for regular transport and if it were five years from now I'd get a used Cyber Truck instead of the ICE pickup.

My only real concern is some kind of disaster with a long-term power outage. I live near Seattle and Solar simply isn't cost-efficient compared to the very cheap (and green) hydro power that we have and the PowerWall batteries just don't seem good enough yet to bother getting them. I may go for a natural gas generator to help with any serious outages but that's about it.

My parents in the UK don't have garage space (which is very common there - street parking is the norm in many places) and so they are stuck with ICE for the foreseeable future until infrastructure improves enough that they can charge nightly without needing garage space.


> My parents in the UK don't have garage space (which is very common there - street parking is the norm in many places) and so they are stuck with ICE for the foreseeable future until infrastructure improves enough that they can charge nightly without needing garage space.

I live in an apartment in a not so big city in the US and don't have access to chargers. I still find it very convenient to find places to charge my Tesla and never worry about it!


We have a hitch on both our S and X for hauling trailers full of wood, trash, etc. Highly recommend over a pickup truck.


When thinking about backup generators, consider diesel. Their maintenance is two orders of magnitude less, and the hardware lasts far longer.


Driving a first-gen Nissan Leaf that we pre-ordered the day we were able. Eight years later, we’ve decided that we’ve purchased our last ICE. By the time the Leaf battery dies enough to be impractical, the ‘05 Scion can be replaced with whatever the new EV hotness (oh, please build the Buzz, VW). By then, I expect range to enough to just have the one EV and that’s it.

But, man, no more stinky, rattling gas-burners, please. I hop in that Scion, it feels primitive. Even our lawn tools are electric. The Honda generator is the only reason to keep a gas can around.


Right.

I plan to run my Model S into the ground, at which point I imagine the traditional manufacturers will have pulled their fingers out and I can start cycling through second hand electric Honda Civic equivalents like I did with ICE cars.


I bought a diesel SUV about a year after buying our Model 3.

But yeah, I can't fathom spending big bucks on an ICE vehicle anymore. It just feels so dated and archaic.


I had an accident in October. I've looked around for cars since this time and I really can't pull the trigger on any ICE cars. Even when factoring how cheap ICE cars are it becomes even more clear that for a few thousand dollars more I could eliminate oil/gas maintenence all together. The convienence alone is worth the 5k. I really don't know whats holding people back from such a superior product.


Many of us are waiting for affordable electric minivans that can sit 7 or 8. There's a lot of big families in America.


Same for me but with an actual real usable truck. I know that they tend to get vilified around here but as someone who uses the functions of it every single day, I have a feeling we're going to be waiting a while.


I bet in the next few years we'll see GM toss out an electric Colorado for all their municipal fleet customers that need something cheap to run from 9-5 and can be plugged in every evening and Ford will probably offer an EV F150 of some sort.

If you're waiting for either of the brands that start with T and end with A (which, let's be honest here are the only brands most people here will buy a truck from, because reasons) to make a traditional style pickup that happens to be electric you'll be waiting a long time because one has gone all in on being unconventional with their trucks and the other is allergic to new technology.


We bought a Chrysler Pacifica PHEV (plugin hybrid) minivan back in March 2018 and its been running fairly well. It has about 30-35 mile electric-only range and with my wife mostly doing just local in-city driving, we usually can get about 80-90% of the miles as electric-only.

It seats 7 comfortably and while not fully electric, it scratches our electric-car itch fairly well. Even in hybrid-only mode, we can get 28-30 mpg .. and in "electric" mode, it registers as about 65-75 mpg.


The Tesla Model Y and Model X both have 7 seater options. It wouldn't be as big as a minivan, but it does seat 7.


Affordable probably being the key word there.


Still early in the technology's development and permeation of society. Was just a few years ago that EVs were simply not feasible. Now they're downright common in some areas (Atlanta), have reached "affordable" (Tesla 3 in $30k range, good used Leaf for $6k), and options extend to 7-seat vehicles. The 6-seat Cybertruck will start in the $30k range. "Affordable 7-seat" is just a matter of time.


I mean the X is effectively a six digit purchase after sales tax (or a few options, like self-driving). It's not coming down that much. And $70K more than a new Voyager is... a lot.


Cybertruck promises 6 seats at $39,900.

Minivan is the next obvious incarnation of EV.


I’m personally waiting for one that costs less than $30k before incentives that is comparable to an ICE sedan/crossover in everything besides the power train. Because that doesn’t exist.


The Hyundai Kona and Kia Niro fit the bill pretty well after incentives (About $30k and $32k after federal incentive and plus destination charge and both will qualify for federal incentives in the US for quite a while... not counting California incentives). Limited availability, unfortunately, but they do exist.


I wish these cars were sold in all states. They are only sold on the coasts. It doesn't bode will for the companies when they drag there feet on electric vehicles. It's hard to purchase something with confidence.


Not sure if Tesla will sell something for less than 35k (yes, you can get the basic Model 3 for this price, I have it) but you have options from other manufacturers which can be very appealing if you get a good lease deal.


This is it for us. I’d happily drop my ICE minivan for a similar electric. Doesn’t need to go fast. Just needs to hold the family, the luggage, the dogs. I need function, not luxury.

Model Y could be interesting. The new Pacifica is stepping in the right direction.


My living situation, for one: I have no easy way to charge the thing while living in an apartment complex. That anxiety alone keeps me from going to a dealership. Range anxiety doesn't bother me, just the ability to keep the thing going every week without going way out of my way.


We're in a short term rental at the moment; I charge in the garage at 117V/12A (typical 120V/15A outlet) getting my Model S 4 miles of range per hour of charging. If I need to top up faster, our local grocery store has a Supercharger; we go grocery shop while the car fuels up (and it takes longer to shop than to fill the vehicle).

Several states require an apartment complex to allow you to install a charger (at your own cost). I think you'll see renters starting to make rental choices based on EV charger availability, too early to tell though. As a landlord, I've installed EV charging stations at no cost for my tenants, gotta be the change you want to see.


Nightly charging maintenance, to me, sounds worse than oil/gas maintenance.


It's trivial. I plug in at home and at work. I haven't visited a gas station in 6 months. Have a "full tank" every time I leave home and work. And my car is warm when I leave for work in the morning and when I head home at night.

It's like plugging your laptop in when you get to the office.


No worse than plugging in your cellphone before bed. You park at home, you plug it in; 10 seconds.

Most ICE adherents still don't grasp: every morning, your EV is "topped off" and ready to go full range. Rare long trips aside, you never have to "go to the station to fill up" - which you must every few days with gas.


Huh? I think it's one of the major upsides with an EV. Your "tank" is always full in the morning. No "Dang it, need to go and fuel up" first thing when leaving.


Nothing like downvotes for personal preference. People have different driving habits and desires, how does surprise anybody??


Same here, but I drive a leaf.

In a city it all makes sense - the grid has been there for ages, and how many trips are really longer than 200km RT in your average larger city?

I’m never going ICE again, if I can help it.

Companies must milk those R&D costs though... not to mention the oil industry. Money really is a double-edged sword.


I would consider a Tesla if it offered CarPlay. And I would prefer tactile controls instead of that hideous tablet.


Understood as I was worried about the exact same things but after a week or maybe even a day of driving a model 3 I don’t miss tactile at all, the screen makes sense, and I like the Tesla software better than I did CarPlay on my previous car. I know those seem like bold/ridiculous statements, but it’s really all surprisingly well thought out


Interesting! I Guess I have my expectations super low given previous experience with car UI.


This is exactly right. The UI in cars is terrible. The Tesla UI is top notch.

I even implemented one of the UI elements in my sass application. I can't imagine saying that about any other car "infotainment" system.

It is really nice to have maps/nav/spotify NOT dependent on my phone or even my phone's cellular connection. There is zero latency from the time I sit down in the driver's seat until I am ready to go. Nothing to connect. Nothing to boot. No apps to open up.

I walk up to my car. Open the door. Sit down. Push a button on the steering wheel. Say "Drive home". Push down on the "stalk" (turn signal, but on the right). And press the accelerator. No key or fob. No ignition. No gear shift.


It's funny, people often compare Tesla (or electric cars in general) to the transition to iPhones from our flip phones and the complaints are the exact same: "I would prefer tactile controls"


I would consider the fact that one’s eyes should be on the road while driving to make the complaints slightly different.


Do you really use dashboard buttons or knobs without looking? I can't.

Steering wheel buttons / stalk controls I can use without looking, but Tesla has those as well.


I might glance quickly to find where the knob is, but I don’t have to keep my eye on it to grab it, nor (more importantly) to adjust it to where I want it.


Model 3 is on autopilot over 90% of the time. Meaning it is handling the mechanics of steering and acceleration.

The risk of using the touchscreen in my Tesla vs using a tactile control in a traditional car is night and day in favor of the Tesla. Even if you have to look at the screen and not tactile controls.


It sounds like you are abusing the autopilot for something it wasn't intended to be used for.


Not at all. I am fully in control of the vehicle and paying attention.

I am not physically executing most maneuvers. And as a result, I am MORE alert to the conditions around me.


The success of touch phones doesn't necessarily indicate that everything should be touch-based.


Months and thousands of miles on our Model 3, and I would still prefer tactile controls over the way Tesla does it. And this from someone who experienced input on the iphone working way better in practice than the keys on a Blackberry.


I hope you see the difference though


I really missed CarPlay/Android Auto and physical buttons at first as well. So much so that I would still use google maps on my phone for navigation. However gradually I found the maps on the Tesla are quite good enough, and the bluetooth integration covers the rest.

I don't miss physical dash buttons either, because figuring out the touch screen is pretty natural. Just like any other software. Plus it is nice to have new buttons added from time to time.


Having never used CarPlay, I don't understand why it's a deal breaker. I've used Android Auto and while it was better than the stock infotainment system in virtually every car I ever used, it wasn't so good that not having it in a vehicle would be a deal breaker.

It can't just be "no CarPlay is a dealbreaker".

Of all the infotainment systems I've used, including Android Auto, Tesla's is the best by orders of magnitude.


> "Having never used CarPlay, I don't understand why it's a deal breaker."

Deals are context dependent. This should read "a deal breaker for <someone>". Clearly it's not a deal breaker for you, which is fine. Could very well be a deal breaker for someone else.


I believe that's implied. I was looking for clarification on what makes CarPlay a deal breaker since it is a comment that comes up often.


Having the same apps on your phone available on the media display in the car is quite compelling. For someone in the Apple ecosystem, that means CarPlay.

Would you ever seriously consider an Apple iPhone? Given comments you've made regarding iOS and Apple in the past, I suspect not, which makes the whole point moot in your context.

Different people value things differently. That's okay, and you don't need to agree with their value judgements. Refusing to see that other's value judgements are okay for them—while not necessarily the same as yours—is important.


So you're dismissing my questions about CarPlay (not even it's virtues) because of an opinion you've formed of me based on my comment history? That's something... I haven't even looked at yours.

Do you always formulate a plan of attack when someone questions you about things?

> Would you ever seriously consider an Apple iPhone? Given comments you've made regarding iOS and Apple in the past, I suspect not, which makes the whole point moot in your context.

Every time I upgrade my phone. Being critical of something doesn't mean you dislike or dismiss it.

> Different people value things differently. That's okay, and you don't need to agree with their value judgements. Refusing to see that other's value judgements are okay for them—while not necessarily the same as yours—is important.

I don't disagree with you. In my comment I said I had never used CarPlay AND asked why people valued it. I then compared it (indirectly) to Android Auto, and then said that I didn't find Android Auto a compelling enough reason to influence my car buying decision. Again, I asked what is so compelling about CarPlay that it's a dealbreaker given all the other factors that go into purchasing a car.

Thus far your arguments for CarPlay have been to attack my character and frame me as an Apple hater.


> ” So you're dismissing my questions about CarPlay (not even it's virtues)”

No. That’s why I opened with what for me would be the most compelling reason for CarPlay to be a deal breaker: integration with apps already on my device.

> ”because of an opinion you've formed of me based on my comment history”

You and I have discussed Apple and iOS before, more than once. It seems I just happen to recall them better.

Phrases like “hater” (and it’s opposite pejorative, “fanboy”) are unhelpful and I’m careful not to use them. You’re right, you can be critical of something without disliking or hating it.


> You and I have discussed Apple and iOS before, more than once. It seems I just happen to recall them better.

Not to slight you personally, I just don't pay attention to usernames in online discussion forums for the most part so that contextualization and framing is lost on me. It's rare that I take not of a username or think "oh it's that guy".

> Phrases like “hater” (and it’s opposite pejorative, “fanboy”) are unhelpful.

I would disagree. While they might be inaccurate labels, however they succinctly communicate the perception of the person using the label.

Saying "you think I'm an Apple hater" conveys the same sentiment as "I get the impression that, after you having looked through my comment history, you think that I am irrationally prejudiced against Apple Products".


“Irrational” is not what I intended by “seriously consider Apple or IOS”: my intent was that after having considered the trade offs and what Apple is likely to do in the future, Apple and iOS are not something you would seriously consider as a contender. Apologies for any part I may have played in that misunderstanding.


Considering we have had discussions about Apple products in the past and you've browsed by comment history, then you'd know that my job requires me to use Apple products and of the 3 machines issued to me, 2 are Apple. You could also probably infer that most of my family uses Apple products and that I am tech support for them.

For you to assert that I would never seriously consider Apple products implies one of two things. Either I am making an informed decision based on my extensive knowledge of them and the company, or it's an irrational decision based on my feelings.

Why do I need to justify myself to this extent and still not have an answer to my original question about why CarPlay is such a dealbreaker?

To elaborate my original question further...

I realize the overwhelming majority of car infotainment systems are hot steaming garbage. I would even be willing to say all of them are, with the exception of Tesla's.

With that in mind, why is CarPlay a deal breaker for some consider a Tesla. To me, CarPlay being a deal breaker means either there's a problem Tesla's system or CarPlay has value beyond what Tesla is doing. So which is it and why?

Thus far the best answer I have gotten is "you would never seriously consider an Apple product".


The carplay experience is basically the general UX of an iPhone on your car display, which will be better than almost every car manufacturer's UX. That plus being able to have an up-to-date UI for Google Maps with Google's traffic visualization and navigation.

The difference I see with Tesla is that many owners will say that the Tesla UX makes carplay redundant, outside of the iPhone's lockdown on sending/receiving texts and whatnot (although maybe they have an entitlement to use it, certain uses like Google Glass/Focals by North/Cars seem like something Apple would give text message permission to).


I've never used CarPlay but that's the general impression I have of it. Having used Android Auto, it's definitely a huge step up from a regular car infotainment system but not really from Tesla's UI/UX.

Android Auto is also not a deal breaker for me in purchasing a car, not even close, so I'm generally curious why people view it or CarPlay as dealbreakers.


>And I would prefer tactile controls instead of that hideous tablet.

Other than typing in an address to navigate, or setting a particularly weird preference, the tactile controls on the steering wheel do just about everything and it's all I ever use.


There are very good EVs that give you that instantaneous acceleration while also giving you CarPlay/Android Auto and tactile controls. I personally own a Jaguar I-PACE and absolutely love it.


Does it have a range more than 234? The 2012 Model S had a range of 265 miles.

One of the biggest problems for most people about EV adoption is range. No one really beats Tesla on this datapoint just yet. Not Jaguar, not VW, not Mercedes, and not Porsche. VW's ID.3 should beat that, but it won't even be released in the US and isn't out until the middle to end of this year.


There are some good EVs that can compete with Tesla's range. The Hyundai Kona has a range of 258 miles and the Chevy Bolt has a range of 238-258, depending on if you get the 2019 or 2020 model.

I own a Bolt in Maine and absolutely love it.


My 2018 Model 3 LR AWD has a range of 310 miles. That Bolt is not really competing with current Tesla models. I’m all for more EVs, but find it disheartening to know that in 2019 and 2020, existing manufacturers are barely competing with the 2012 model S on range.


Your Model 3 also cost ~$15k more than my bolt. Possibly even more since I was able to get out the door for $25k before taxes and ~$2k tax refund.

The Tesla competitor to the Bolt is not the Model 3 Long Range, it is the Model 3 SR with ~250 miles of range. The 2020 Bolt beats the Model 3 SR in terms of both range and price.


> I was able to get out the door for $25k before taxes and ~$2k tax refund

MSRP on the 2020 bolt is $36,620. How were you were able to talk them down $10k on the price?


I honestly don't know. I got a 2019 at the end of this year right before the 2020's were released. I had found a couple decent deals on Hyundai Konas, which still have the full federal tax credit, and when I pointed this out to the Chevy dealer they came back with a significant amount of dealer cash back.

In the end I got $9k off from the dealer and $2k off from a Maine-exclusive tax credit that is related to VW's emissions fraud settlement.

I think I just got really lucky.


I wish I could upvote you again. Your response was really good and exactly what I wanted to know. I have no idea why you're being downvoted. :(


Thanks for the sentiment. I assume it has something to do with speaking favorably about an EV vehicle that isn't a Tesla while in a Tesla thread.


The super charger network is the real Tesla range story, IMO. My Model 3 gets nowhere near the quoted range but I’m fairly confident there’ll be a supercharger en route to my common long distance destinations. In the UK at least, other charge networks are too unreliable.


> Does it have a range more than 234? The 2012 Model S had a range of 265 miles.

I assume you're talking about EPA range, which in and of itself is problematic. The 2019 I-PACE is not comparable to the 2012 Model S. It's comparable to the 2019 Model X.

That said, recent software tweaks that Jaguar has made put its range at over 250 miles. This is even with Jaguar holding back a portion of the battery pack to prevent premature degradation. Comparing Jaguar's 2019 EV to its equivalent (class and price) 2019 EV from Tesla, it has more range.


There's a lot of assumptions that people who don't drive Teslas (and EVs, depending) have, that just don't translate very well.

"Fill up time" is one, EVs don't regularly "fill up".

Tactile controls is another. Between auto settings (lights, wipers, etc), voice (you can now turn the vents with your voice) and the streering wheel knobs (volume, etc), asking for "tactile controls" is like asking the wrong question.


Voice control quickly falls apart when you’ve got a car full of kids. Having to tell everyone to stop talking so you can turn the wipers on is just plain bad design.


I think this is another example of what I was trying to say.

The wipers are automatic and initially (like 18 months ago) they weren't good. But instead of asking "why couldn't they put simple tactile wiper controls" a much better question was "Why can't they train a neural net and make the car smarter so the wipers work better than manual controls?"

And the answer was, yeah they could. And they did and today the wipers are quite good.


I'm a Model 3 owner who loves the underlying drivetrain technology, and a fair number of Tesla's design decisions, but am largely in the camp of the GP (I've posted on this before: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=21173756 , which received some valid counterpoints and a correction ). It's funny you mention the wipers, because just a couple of days ago I was frustrated by the lack of tactile wiper controls; even the auto-wipers on the next-to-latest software version handled the mist poorly. There's certainly a significant degree of subjective weighting in terms of peoples' preferences. "OTA UX updates" would not be something I would care about in car that was more conventional in its controls, nor do I want or trust the ad-hoc "Autopilot". Moreover, I would really like Tesla to meaningfully commit to giving the user strong privacy and access controls regarding the data Tesla collects and access they have; I'm sure many people love Tesla having remote root on the car, but it bugs the hell out of me and I think it's much harder to do user-rooting on the Model 3 than the S/X (haven't been following this topic lately).

I get that I am an outlier compared to most Tesla owners who weigh things differently. I'll just be glad when there are alternatives at the level of battery, drivetrain, and mechanical & aerodynamic efficiency of a Tesla that take a different tack on controls, interfaces, and remote access.

But I agree with @null_turkey - after the Model 3, it's clear any vehicle I would buy next for daily or near-daily use would not have a pure ICE drivetrain; at a minimum, it would need to be a plug-in hybrid.


>Having to tell everyone to stop talking so you can turn the wipers on is just plain bad design.

My S and X both have "normal" wiper controls on a stick attached to the steering wheel, although I almost never use it since they are set to automatically turn on and change intensity depending on rainfall.


Don't get it twisted - the Tesla should be your personal haven - don't let anyone encroach on that :)


Wiper controls use the standard column stick just like any other car. Same with lights.


Well, I have a Ford Explorer and CarPlay and the Ford UI are all touchscreen. And a smaller one than my 3.

That said, I miss CarPlay for Messages (recently added to Tesla but not as good) and better Spotify controls (how exactly is Tesla sorting albums?). I guess Waze, too.


I want tactile for volume, air conditioning, and lighting. These are the items I need to control while keeping my eyes on the road.


For the Model S/X (and I believe the 3 as well) the roller knob on the left of the steering wheel is tactical volume control, and the one on the right is configurable with tactical buttons to control cabin temperature, screen brightness, fan speed, and a few other things too. Highbeams are controlled by a stalk to the left of the wheel, and I've very rarely needed to set the main headlights to anything other than "auto".

I think if you wanted to own a Tesla and never use the touchscreen while driving, it would be entirely possible although you wouldn't get access to some infotainment features that many other cars don't have anyway. With voice commands, though, a lot of those would work anyway.


You can literally hit the tactile knob on the right of the steering wheel and say, "Turn the heat up to 65" and it will do this. You can say this while keeping your eyes on the road. You can turn up the volume with the left tactile knob on the left side of the steering wheel. The headlights are automatic. Amusingly, you can also say, "My butt is cold" and it will turn on the seat heater in your seat.

Tesla allows you to do all three of the things you stated while keeping your eyes on the road. I can do these things in my Model 3 today.


As others have pointed out, this doesn’t work so well when you have a back seat full of noisy kids.


As others have speculated, we have no reports of this from actual users with noisy kids. Promoting speculation to fact like this is unhelpful.


Implying that I'm not speaking from first hand experience?


That is implied by your phrase "As others have pointed out".

You get tactile for volume. If lighting is automatic, that just leaves ac?


That might not be bad, I haven’t researched it. I had heard at some point that all controls were on the giant tablet.


You must not have heard from an actual Tesla owner.

In the most recent update (last week) virtually everything can be done by voice. You can literally say, “my butt is cold” and it will turn on the seat heater. You can say, “turn up the heat” and it will turn up the heat.

The volume and whatnot can be controlled via the tactile roller knobs on the right and left side of the steering wheel.


AC can be controlled by voice as well. Both the temperature and the direction of the vents.

I mean, I think it's more of a party trick honestly. I set the AC vents once when setting up the car and haven't touched it since. I set the temperature once a season, roughly.


It definitely works way better than you would think. It seems like after most people drive one a little bit they are convinced. (I was.)


Why are you wanting to read messages whilst you are driving?!


It doesn't show any text, it's only Siri doing interactions but it's a quick UX to scroll through and see names and unread.


You're not looking for a Tesla based on your criteria. Tactile controls are antithetical to updating the UX with software updates. It doesn't appear either complaint is inhibiting sales.


> Tactile controls are antithetical to updating the UX with software updates.

Tesla already has some tactile controls - they're on the steering wheel. I think people are just asking for more of them. If Tesla continued along in the same vein, a few more software defined controls wouldn't hurt UX updates at all - they would just give users more options for the UX functions they use most often.

> It doesn't appear either complaint is inhibiting sales.

People buy cars as entire units, they don't buy features piecemeal. I could just as easily claim Tesla is selling cars in spite of its dearth of tactile controls.


This is the opposite direction Tesla is moving though. The last few updates have drastically improved voice commands (with some hiccups; an update or two actually made them worse). It is unlikely Tesla will increase the number of software defined physical controls in the vehicle, just my two cents.


The Xmas software update includes hands-free texting. Between that, the voice commands, the entertainment apps, and built-in navigation, I don't really miss Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.


it just hurts my eyes to be looking at that screen. as a driver, i also wear gloves, which is a nogo in a tesla. for your average driver (you dont even really need a speedometer at regular traffic flow speeds) these dont matter, so for us we are marketed to by companies like bmw. we'll get a driver's electric one day, just not yet.


I think the cost benefits of owning an electric car. Low maintenence cost, environmental positive, etc far outweight how entertained we are in our cars. Regardless, there is no feature that carplay has that Tesla doesn't. The last update allows Tesla owners to read messages and improves voice commands.


I prefer not giving other software access to my phone.


i own Chevy Bolt and it contains what all you need + range is 260miles


I’ve driven an S but not a 3. It was certainly pretty shocking to floor it at first. As for the 3, I don’t think I could get behind the central mono display, but perhaps I should take one for a drive based on your experience.

The cockpit in my current car, a Mustang GT, is pretty stellar. It’s got the performance pack so it comes with an oil pressure and vacuum gauge on the dash. Between that and the center display showing me tire pressures (can see the PSI of each corner) or oil temperature and I’m golden. https://rallyways.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/new_2015_mu...

It’s very driver focused. You’re low in the car and the central tunnel is very high so you feel like you’re in a tank.

Anyway... the same giddy feelings you have when you drive your Model 3 are similar to the feelings I have when I drive this thing. The V8 revving to 7k is sublime, especially when the moisture is high in the air and the exhaust really starts to crackle and pop.

I’m not against EV vehicles by any means. I think they are awesome and will certainly own one at some point. But for a while I’m gonna keep playing with my physical switches and gauges. Beating the hell out of a high revving motor with a six speed will never get old.


I don't consider everything in the car feeling "high" to be a positive. If anything, the high beltline in modern cars is a huge drawback. And it has nothing to do with driver focus.

The rear deck and door sills on our model 3 are ridiculously high but the view out the front is amazing, like a Porsche or better. Super low dash, low fenders, you're looking on the road RIGHT in front of you. Not 20 feet down the road past a long high hood.

OTOH, in my track car (BMW M Coupe) I can actually see out the rear and sides.


> Beating the hell out of a high revving motor

You really lost me there.

What's a noise got to do with anything - to see how silly it is, just put on speakers and turn on a revving sound. Or get an electric vehicle the generates a revving sound (inside your vehicle preferably to others) - so now tell me what's the revving sound do?


It's not at all silly. A flat crank V8, or flyby from something Merlin engined are some of the nicest sounds to come out of engineering, while most EVs give off a most unappealing note in the cabin. Hard to argue with EV performance though.

It's easily fixed, and I predict before too long the premium makes like Porsche, Aston etc will get there, simply by including sound profiles in their EVs. Car makers already tune cabin and door sound, so it sounds "right", and have varying baffles to send more engine note to the cabin when you hit sport mode. They can figure out downloadable sound packs to go with their EVs -- choose your favourite from straight six, v8, v12 etc, maybe some completely off the wall ones.

Probably sensible to pipe some limited amount of that outside the car too, considering many EVs are dangerously silent at low speed, and some jurisdictions are bringing in a minimum EV sound level below 25mph (IIRC) to compensate.


You'll see more and more of this. The Porsche Taycan makes a fake noise at low speed.

The Audi e-Tron does the same. I walked by one the other day that was reversing out of a parking spot and it sounded extremely strange: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MUcbXplAvSc


Odd noise from that Audi, but effective enough to make you look.


If you don't know you don't know. It’s not something that can be explained. It’s like sex... tough to explain to someone who’s never experienced it.

https://youtu.be/AAsbucFABNE

https://youtu.be/ECpM31zrdMY (skip to :30 seconds -- this might be the most badass thing I have ever seen)

https://youtu.be/XOl9O9FSB9E (skip a few minutes in ... but this is a horrible driver and not the best sound quality)

So to answer your question noise matters a lot - to a lot of people.


What makes you think I never experienced a revving engine? Heh.

You can't explain it because it is all in your head, it is an illusion, a subjective sense of empowerment that does not actually exist. It is a yearning by people that cannot make any other mark in the world, just a big noise. Look how much noise I can make! It is an atavistic feeling of the lizard brain.

You are neither better, nor more successful, nor looked up - it is just noise and that noise satisfies you, because it makes you (mistakenly) believe that people are paying attention to you.


Or I just like the noise. I have the most fun with my car when I’m in the middle of absolute nowhere with no one else in sight or earshot. Your argument is way off base.


The noise of a good engine is something I miss myself.

There is something to be said for the elegance of silence and sheer power, though!


> But for me, when I ride in a Tesla, I get a giddy feeling, like the first time I held an iPhone. You just know it's the future. There are so many radical, bold, and correct ideas. Every time I get a software update I'm a kid on Christmas morning. It is just such a fun experience, and for those of you who love to be on the bleeding edge, you'd probably love it too.

I'd love to agree with you, but the thing is, with a car the "bleeding edge" can literally be a bleeding edge.

A phone can do comparatively much less harm. Even ones with high radiation levels and batteries exploding didn't do much harm, all things considered. An out of control car... that's another thing entirely.


> with a car the "bleeding edge" can literally be a bleeding edge.

And that's precisely why I used the term "bleeding edge" :) But more with regards to the support/repair experience, and less with regards to safety.

I think Teslas on the road today are relatively safe. You have idiots using Autopilot incorrectly, but you have to go through a fair amount of effort to abuse Autopilot. The car handles phenomenally and performs well in crash tests. I haven't really seen cases of "out of control Teslas" - at least, nothing suggesting an anomaly compared to other manufacturers.


The only "out of control" Teslas I've heard about are people misusing autopilot.

I could engage the cruise control in my 2011 VW Scirocco and drive straight into a concrete barrier, I don't see any material difference.

In fact I'd imagine that this is happening all over the world on a pretty much daily basis but we don't hear about it because it's not Tesla.


The difference is, using your example, on Tesla it's called Autopilot, while on the VW Scirocco it's called cruise control.

Naming makes a very big difference in how people perceive and use things.


Other cars get software updates too, just you need to go to the dealership to get them. And they are not exempt of bugs either, but its just more trouble to have them fixed.


> Other cars get software updates too, just you need to go to the dealership to get them.

Not in every case. The past two software updates I've gotten for my I-PACE have been over-the-air. In fact they installed while I was driving the car without interrupting anything.


I didn't know they did that. Would be really nice if it became widespread.

My dealership wants to charge me $330 to do software updates to several components in my pickup that will fix some bugs, since its out of its bumper to bumper warranty.


I know for a fact based on prior employment that other OEMs have the capability and infrastructure in place to implement OTA updates. I don't know why they don't since as a vendor we weren't privy to those kinds of business decisions and I assume they have their reasons. The infrastructure mostly gets used for telemetry (drive-train related stuff so they can decide what they can and can't skimp on) at present.


I’m curious... what kind of car do you drive? I’d like to look up the safety data.


Volvo V40.


It's a shame Volvo hasn't brought that car to the US for almost a decade. I may consider the new XC40 electric when it arrives over here.


> 8 years later and no company has managed to come up with a car that seriously competes with the 2012 Model S.

Elon tweeted something to this effect earlier in 2019, and people have sort of lapped that up as an irrefutable statement. It's not.

The statement only makes sense if your only dimension for evaluating competitiveness is raw range, perhaps indexed by price. This is only because no reputable long-range EV manufacturer is exposing the full battery capacity to the consumer. Tesla throws power tools out to the general public and says, "If you use it wrong, it's on you. Don't suck." Other manufacturers take a more conservative approach.

The result? Sometimes habitually overcharged Tesla battery packs take a nose dive. Sometimes people Smart Summon their cars into posts. Sometimes people on AP smash into fire trucks. "Well, you're holding it wrong" is Tesla's answer when that happens, absolving themselves of responsibility for inducing or encouraging those behaviors in perniciously subtle ways. This is not something to celebrate.

Raw range aside (achieved by said battery capacity exposure), the Taycan's drivetrain puts out more power, both one-time and on a repeated basis, than any Tesla drivetrain. The 2019 I-PACE offers a luxury interior and more range than an equivalently-priced 2019 Model X, along with CarPlay and Android Auto. The 2019 e-tron (given its ~20% battery buffer held back) is only about 10% less efficient than a 2019 Model X, but it also has a superior interior as well as excellent road noise isolation.

In 2019 Electrify America has averaged a new site a day. Non-Tesla EVs can now use that charging network to get pretty much anywhere a Tesla EV can get using their proprietary supercharging network.

The rest of the market is not as far behind Tesla as a lot of pundits would have you believe, and in many ways competitors are actually ahead. Continuing with the iPhone analogy, in ten years we could very well find the EV industry looking like the smartphone industry today, where Apple still makes very good smartphones with a respectable user base while a variety of Android phones command the bulk of the market share.


So, I drive a Leaf (with DC fast charge) and a Volt (the latter every day). Tesla is STILL ahead dramatically. Model 3 is the most efficient electric car you can buy in spite of having a long range. The other electric cars have large buffers in part because their chemistry is not as mature. The charging network is still vastly different in availability, speed, and especially price (Electrify America is often much more expensive than gas), although thankfully it has improved a lot.

Most other electric cars are made as a kind of electrified conventional vehicle still. Tesla is the only one that isn't. Rivian is coming, which will change that. They GET electric vehicles the way Tesla does, and I think that will change things.

Porsche DOES seem to "get" electric (I like they're going for 800 Volts), but Taycan is still incredibly limited in availability, and their efficiency is so low that the effective charge rate is actually lower (plus network isn't built out).

Tesla is still years ahead of everyone. Model S still doesn't have effective competition (Taycan isn't it due to price, availability, efficiency).

I hope this changes. Rivian has a chance of making a mark. Taycan is a Porsche, so is going to be limited to Porsche's. GM has squandered their good entrance of the Chevy Volt (and to a lesser degree the Bolt) by not supporting electrification. I think if we had a much better incentive system and if we had updated and enforced the Gas Guzzler Tax on SUVs and trucks, we'd have more than just Tesla.

What's really amazing to me is how much Toyota has squandered the enormous advantage in electrification they had when the Prius first came out. Literally 15 years ahead of Model S, they had a half-electrified, modern, mass-produced electric car... they could've easily upgraded it a bit and swapped in a full lithium battery, but they didn't and haven't since it came out in 1997. 23 years ago!!! Toyota is to electric cars what Nokia was to smartphones.


Toyota is definitely an interesting case. They clearly think BEVs aren’t fit because batteries slowly charge a fixed capacity. They think hydrogen fuel cells are a better drop in replacement. In that sense, they’re in a better position to replace ICEs with hydrogen FCs in their hybrids. They could side step the whole BEV generation that way. Or, BEVs could fall in price so dramatically that a full charge is more range than any driver wants to drive in a day - say measured in MW of capacity instead of KW.

Interesting times for sure.


Unfortunately, hydrogen is just fundamentally not as compelling. Fundamentally much less efficient (round-trip), volumetric energy density basically identical with state of the art batteries (which are improving), much more complexity, greater safety concerns (really high pressure plus the most flammable gas there is), material constraints... You still need a lithium battery. You cannot charge at home. The fueling infrastructure is more expensive than gasoline pumps or electric charging stations (and sometimes not even faster than Tesla's 250kW v3 charging... i.e. if you have two cars fueling, often the second car takes much longer as the station's buffer tank is emptied... to get the 5 minute fueling speeds, the hydrogen must be compressed to extremely high pressure... 5000psi... and cooled to cryogenic temperatures otherwise it will heat up the existing hydrogen gas inside the car's tank). The fuel is more expensive than gasoline.

In fact, a high end long range Model 3 has more range (322miles) than the Toyota Mirai (312mi) but costs less ($49k vs $59k). Is dramatically faster (4.4 seconds 0-60mph vs 9 seconds). Also has vastly greater number of charging stations (and can slow charge from any 120V outlet).

Fuel cells themselves are expensive. Estimates are about $11,000 or so for the Mirai fuel cell stack (not counting the secondary systems like the lithium battery or even the hydrogen tank), or about the same as what the 75kWh Tesla Model 3 Long Range's pack which has greater range. So fuel cell cars will be fundamentally more expensive up front, more expensive to run, more maintenance, with less convenient charging.

To me, a plug-in hybrid (even if using synthesized carbon-neutral hydrocarbon fuel) is much more compelling if you wanted a technological alternative to pure electric. You're not going to be stranded due to lack of charging infrastructure, can charge at home, don't require super high pressure tanks, can fuel fast, etc. At least they have that going with the plug-in version of the Prius.

But hydrogen just doesn't make sense for cars. Maybe on very large vehicles (ships, maybe airplanes) that can use liquid hydrogen (much denser than compressed hydrogen and doesn't require ultra-heavy high pressure tanks).


I think hydrogen starts to make sense if we ever live in a world where energy becomes free. You can replace the dino oil with hydrogen, since you can create hydrogen for 'free' using electrolysis. Then it becomes a way to store gasoline-like energy... but I still think all your points are valid for cars. Maybe, but batteries definitely seem better near-term.

Given we've got quite a few other hurdles before the utopia of free energy... well, batteries are for sure the better option now.


Electrolytically produced hydrogen is super expensive... not because the energy is expensive but because the electrolysis equipment is expensive (particularly if you decide to run it only when there's "free" electricity). Hopefully that changes, but it'll ironically probably require batteries to get super cheap so you can run the electrolysis equipment 24/7.


I think Toyota is right, but they would need to take the lead and build a hydrogen refill network and stop relying on others for it.

Similarly BEVs other than Tesla make the drive between Sf and LA impractical at best, because refueling is difficult.

The real genius of Tesla is the vertical integration of the super charger.


They might have reason to suspect governmental support to deploy hydrogen infrastructure. It might be there following the Fukushima disaster.


>Taycan is a Porsche, so is going to be limited to Porsche's.

Porsche is owned by Volkswagen, who seem committed to catch up to Tesla. At least some of the expertise and lessons learned are likely to be used across Volkswagen


I definitely hope so. We need all the players we can get.


If you think the eTron competes with a Tesla you haven’t really looked into them. The range in the eTron is pathetic, it’s tiny, a lot less efficient and slower. The 20% battery is guarded because their chemistry sucks, not because of any reliability advantage.

The iPace on the other hand, would have made a wonderful gas car, it’s poor electric drivetrain is a setback.


Isn't that just the F-Pace?


Engineering Explained did a good piece on the Taycan, and at the end, they cover the difference between the Porsche and Tesla philosophy on battery; and how the Porsche philosophy gives them a consistent throttle feel, a 'held back' battery buffer so regen ability is not inconsistent, etc.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lYMRXlRoHyQ

But, at the end of the day, the Taycan is still just breathtakingly inefficient compared to the Tesla.

It's all fine and good that other manufacturers are "holding back" capacity, but all that means is you're hauling around battery weight you can't use, and won't use until you've burned through a certain % of battery longevity. If you do at all.

It's not "helping" anyone, it's just giving them bragging rights about effectively, fake degredation numbers.

Here's some great data on how Tesla batteries degrade:

https://electrek.co/2018/04/14/tesla-battery-degradation-dat...

I guess the question is, would you rather see that a smaller number that never goes down? Or be able to use more of the capacity?


I'm playing with the idea of buying an electric car as my next car. Due to that I'm following quite bit what's happening, sites like Electrek and Teslarati, and a Finnish youtuber called "Tesla Joni" who make sort of "every day" videos about living with Tesla Model 3.

So yeah, there starts to be competition. VAG is bringing ID.3, Polestar will start selling their 2, Ford is bringing the so-called Mustang and even BMW will have EVs that look more or less normal cars. Still all of those are not as interesting as Tesla. I now drive a SEAT Leon which I bought as new 3 years ago. It has been in normal service twice and zero updates to software. Nothing to infotainment, nothing to engine, nothing to electronics. And when buying the car I didn't even think things like that. But now when following what Tesla does, it's a completely different way of owning a car. Like xvector wrote here already getting a new software upgrade is super nice for the car owner. The same is visible in fore mentioned Tesla Joni's videos. Now when thinking about the "real" car manufacturers like VAG, BMW, Mercedes and Polestar, I'm pretty sure they will sell you the car and that's it. I'm especially concerned with Polestar as the software is coming from Google - 5 years and it will be listed in killedbygoogle.com.

And that's why the Apple analogy is so fitting. No matter what you think about iPhone, iPad or Macs, they are being supported much longer than any other manufacturer does. My 2013 iPad Air is still getting regular OTA updates, even though it will not get the new iPadOS.


Rivian and Taycan are both interesting like a Tesla. But neither Rivian nor Taycan are going to be as affordable as the Model 3 is today and the Y and Cybertruck will be in the future. Rivian is like Model S and X pricing. Taycan is above that, on the same order as Tesla's next gen roadster for their top end version.

Model 3 really is a masterpiece, IMHO. Affordable, more efficient than any other car, fantastic electric range and the fastest charging speed you can get, and as cutting edge autopilot/assist tech (not to mention infotainment) as you can get in any production car.

I wish someone would try to one-up the Model 3.


Cybertruck and Rivian are both very interesting, but pick-ups are not that common in northern Europe. I wonder if those will even be available here. Taycan obviously is interesting too, but like you said, it's quite expensive. And with a quick googling, Porsche doesn't seem to be updating the software that much.

I know this starts to sound like I'm obsessing about the software but the thing is that I'm very much intrigued by the idea that a car manufacturer would actually continue developing features to a car you already own. There's even rumors about an SDK being released by Tesla at some point of application developers. I'm using Android Auto daily and I quite like it, but I live as I live in Finland it's not even officially released here so I need to side-load the app to get it installed and upgraded. Android 10 changes that as it's built-in, though. Still there are not that many applications that support Android Auto. I'm using Spotify, Google Music, Google Podcasts, TuneIn and Waze. All of those are usable, but for example starting a navigation with Waze means I need to stop to do so remember to start navigation before leaving. Yes, it supports voice commands, but pronouncing Finnish street names in English is quite challenging. And yes, it supports Finnish for voice commands too and navigation would be easier, but then I lose the possibility use Spotify with voice commands as artist/band names are not understood if I have Finnish as the language (#FirstWorldProblems).

Anyway based on Tesla's record so far, if they would release an SDK and build up an ecosystem for it, I'm pretty sure they would succeed with it too.


im waiting for a polestar 2, personally.


>Sometimes people Smart Summon their cars into posts. Sometimes people on AP smash into fire trucks. "Well, you're holding it wrong" is Tesla's answer when that happens

This morning I was driving my car at 65 miles per hour in a straight line. I could have killed anyone around me with nothing more than a turn of the steering wheel. For better or worse, society has accepted that when you're in control of a vehicle, you better hold it right.


Tesla also used to say that "hey, you only really need to touch the steering wheel every 15 minutes", before they were coerced into something more realistic. So, there are nuances.


You're fighting FUD with FUD.

> In 2019 Electrify America has averaged a new site a day. Non-Tesla EVs can now use that charging network to get pretty much anywhere a Tesla EV can get using their proprietary supercharging network.

This is laughably wrong and misleading. In fact, most of the implications in your comment are. (eg, that Tesla only has more range because they're playing russian roulette with battery packs).


Raw range is one of the biggest reasons holding most people back from buying an EV. And Tesla's 'exposing full battery capacity' seems to be working quite well. Battery degradation isn't actually an issue despite what you say. Sure if you supercharge the batteries constantly and go 0-100% charge all the time, then yeah they'll degrade, but so would ANY other battery exposed to those conditions. Very rare to actually have people drive that way.

Taycan is slower in a 0-60 than the Model S, and at a $50k+ price premium... sure it corners better and likely has more repeatability, but I'd hope you'd get something for the huge loss of range. It's a specialty product though, since noone drives their cars like that on the street (for long, anyways).

Jaguar I-PACE, although comparably priced to the older Model X base model (which by the way they discontinued), is exactly the same range as the old Model X 75D (238 vs 234). And it's WAY less efficient (80MPGe for the Jag vs 93MPGe for the Tesla).

Comparing the e-tron as if the battery buffer doesn't exist is disingenuous. Unless Audi decides to unlock that for free (ha, good luck), you need to compare apples to apples. You can't just add the buffer back in to up your efficiency since you still need to charge the buffer. The rated efficiency would be just as bad if they unlocked the whole battery. Also, a reminder, the e-tron is a tiny car compared to the Model X. The efficiency on that thing is just laughable.

I'll agree that the European competitors are definitely offering a better interior quality, fit-finish, etc, but you're paying a pretty heavy cost for that. Tesla's fit and finish isn't that bad these days, and it's only been getting better.

All of these issues I noted above though lead to one problem: the cost to charge the car is awful. This is exacerbated by the outrageously expensive fast chargers by Electrify America et al. It's significantly more expensive to use one of those fast chargers than it is to charge at home. The Tesla network is more expensive than home, but not that much.

For comparison (using 50kWh as a baseline, and my power cost in Texas): * Charging at home: 50kWh @ $0.12/kWh = $6 * Charging at a Tesla Supercharger: A recent fast charge I did that was ~45kWh (not exactly comparable, but close) = $8.57 * Charging at an Electrify America station: $1 session fee... plus $0.58/min @ 125kW (assuming I get that full 125kW, which is unlikely) = $14.92

And I'm being generous to the EA station. My understanding of how they work is you get locked in at the max pricing the station offers. If it was a 350kW station (which most cars can't use, and DEFINITELY can't use for the full charging period), the price per minute is $0.89. So that real fee would be closer to $20 (assuming you can take some advantage of the faster charging).

I can say with confidence that although there are more fast charging stations coming, they are horrible to use. It's a mishmash of different apps, poor reliability, and overpriced fees. I've used some of them with my other EV car and the experience is horrible.

Please, get your facts straight. Most of them are outright wrong.


Exposing the raw battery capacity? I guess all these people who are having their 2012-2017 Model S' range reduced and charging speed cut in half or worse are just delusional: https://floridanewswire.com/battery-gate-warranty-gate-charg...

As for your speculation on EA's pricing, have you ever visited let alone used a station? You seem unaware of their membership program which offers $0 session fees and reduced prices per kWh. Given how new their network is, pricing seems completely fair.


I'm aware of the reduced fees with membership pricing. Problem is, unless you're using them constantly, it's a huge waste. I don't roadtrip all the time, so a $4/month fee eating away at that will erode every benefit I get from the cheaper fees.

Per the 85 and 90 pack issues, sure there seems to be some problem with them... especially when supercharged repeatedly. Unclear what the actual issue is though. Doesn't seem to impact every other line they offer though (70, 100, and all other variants). Might just be the actual degradation though.

It's funny, because I haven't seen huge news about the Nissan Leaf problems. They have garbage degradation curves and haven't fixed it after many battery iterations... besides the lawsuit for 2011-2012 model years, it seems everything else is considered 'OK'.


This is exactly why I want one, and I’ve been close to ordering a Model 3 several times now. But it seems like each time, I hear a horror story from a friend with a Tesla: random stuff breaking, bad service experiences, weird behaviors. Just last month a coworker had the brakes fail on her day-old Model 3.

I bought a used Nissan Leaf 3 years ago and haven’t had a single thing go wrong with it. I’m afraid to give up the reliability of a more conventional car to drive “the future.”

It is telling, however, that pretty much everyone I know with a Tesla (including the ones who have had problems) love it and don’t regret their decision to buy it.


That stuff happens. It happens with other cars too. A few problems here and there, mediocre service and still being (subjectively) the best car in the world are not mutually exclusive.

I had to take mine in for service twice - once for a flat tire near a service center and the other time for a cracked windshield - and it was a mixed bag. The tire replacement experience was horrendous. The windshield replacement was easy.

Their customer service isn’t great. The people I’ve interacted with are very friendly, but they never seem very knowledgeable and they all seem new. If you ever have to call, you end up being sent in circles.

But then there are all the other things that make the whole experience unlike any other car. I could go on all day.

I’ve driven an EV before my Tesla and I went back to a gas car after less than 2 years. There is no other car in the world at any price point that I would rather drive than a Tesla. It’s hard to understand until you’ve had some experience driving one. There are so many little details than add up to a driving experience that is significantly less effort than in any other car.


I have a used 2015 Nissan Leaf that I bought last year. No problems at all with it. It cost $8000. Can Tesla do that?


It's a simply fantastic car. 18 months and 25k miles on ours. Everything else just feels silly. Having to wait for the engine to warm up to get cabin heat. Having to press buttons on keys or remember which driver has the keyfob. Having to stop for gas.

The always on/always connected/always ready to go thing is just amazing.

Every time I see something else I lust after (RS5, RS6 avant, the XC90 in that pretty blue with the silver mirrors..) ... I just wonder how I could ever spend such an insane amount of money on such an outdated technology.


Yeah, remember Blackberry users telling you your iPhone 3gs wasn't a "business phone"?


They did have a point at the time. Exchange integration and MDM wasn't great. Apple is still somewhat uncommitted to the "enterprise" market, though it's reached "good enough" now.


I really want to agree with you — and I do to some extent, but I’ll counter with what made the iPhone:

It did a cell phone absolutely right.

- Visual Voicemail; Full internet browser; Music player; Fluid, Threaded SMS conversations; Contacts that looked like contacts ...

For every phone use case, the iPhone delivered a sense of “Finally!”

The Tesla experience had that aura to me when they pitched the battery swap technology — that’s when you said, “holy hell, they nailed it”

However that was dropped, and all other releases have felt lumpy and pumpy. The only thing I believe we all truly love is the acceleration... and really, that wasn’t a “product first” choice, just an attribute of the electric technology.

I really want Tesla to be successful — they just don’t know who they are.


Interesting that we compare Tesla to Apple. We don't know who they (Tesla) are because the normal thinking is that they are a car company.

I would consider them in competition with Uber/Waymo/etc moreso than in competition with Ford. There auto summons is something I've not seen in any other car. The ability to detect street signs, cones, people, bikes, etc via visualizations is impressive considering they are using just cameras.

They are a technology compnany, and there platform is a car not your phone.


Do you own one?


Don’t own a vehicle — have driven and “been driven” by one


> 8 years later and no company has managed to come up with a car that seriously competes with the 2012 Model S. Tesla was the first to market and remains the market leader.

I actually worry about this. Tesla is the scrappy underdog for now and thus they are really innovating - but what happens when traditional automakers start going bankrupt because they aren't keeping up with the change over to EV? I wouldn't want a Tesla monopoly either.


The other manufacturers are catching up, so there is a chance that it'll be the other way round. Here in Norway, many people buy an electric car as a second car, with many preferring something cheaper than a Tesla. Tesla still tops the sales tables, in part due to the massive tax benefits. If in 5 to 10 years time the legacy manufacturers can compete on both the low and high end, and win on reliability, customer service & manufacturing scale, then they'll easily give Tesla a run for their money.


Imagine each car brand had their own mutually incompatible proprietary gas station network.


I mean we have adapters now that allow Teslas to charge at non-Tesla points.

More generally though I think comparisons between charging stations and gas stations are almost always invalid for a few reasons. First is that charging stations have the potential to be ubiquitous in a way that would be impossible for gas stations. I.e. you don't need to bury giant tanks in the ground and have a complex fire suppression system in order to charge an EV, rather you can get started with just an electric outlet. Second is that for many people, charging overnight at home is sufficient to get you through the day. I.e. a charging station is only necessary for trips that are more than a couple hundred miles, which is only a small fraction.


> I mean we have adapters now that allow Teslas to charge at non-Tesla points.

I'm saying imagine the others were tied to manufacturers and made them mutually incompatible like Tesla.


I wonder how you might feel about your car if you are caught in the middle of an emergency (earthquake, fire, take your pick) and your car has 60 miles if range left, you are at work and have to drive home and evacuate your family.

We were planning and ready to buy two Tesla’s this year. The first one in April, when my wife’s car lease expires and the second around September. We even installed a 13 kW solar array and n preparation. Now we have exactly zero interest in the segment.

What changed our minds?

The last fire season here in CA.

It became obvious to us that owning any electric vehicle, given the state of the technology and infrastructure, could be dangerous. The technology is not well aligned with real-life events that require a significant degree of reliance on self transport.

We absolutely want to own electrics but feel we could not rely on these vehicles when it really matters. That’s a moment when driving the future could cost you and your loved ones the future.


FUD

> I wonder how you might feel about your car if you are caught in the middle of an emergency (earthquake, fire, take your pick) and your car has 60 miles of gas left, you are at work and have to drive home and evacuate your family.

60 miles of gas or 60 miles of electrical range in an emergency is all the same, you are SOL. At least with an electrical car I can plug in every night and be assured that I will have a fully or mostly fully charged car in the morning. With a gas car, I will fill up my car once a week and run down the miles until I need to fill up again. Gas stations need electricity to work and if I can't fully charge my car with electricity, then I sure as hell can't fill it with gas.


Nope. Very wrong my friend.

First of all, unless you are in the middle of nowhere --which is even worse for electric vehicles-- the gasoline distribution infrastructure in every city in the world is such that you are likely to have up to dozens of gasoline stations available to you within a 60 mile radius.

Second. Obtaining 300 miles of range takes 5 minutes at the pump.

Third. If you are paranoid, you can store 100 to 150 miles of range in a sealed container in the trunk of your car and even thousands of miles in sealed drums at home (a friend of mine did that).

Fourth. Obtaining 300 miles or range, even without gasoline station takes a few minutes and short water hose to siphon fuel from other vehicles. One could even pool resources with other drivers to extend the range of one vehicle and help each other out.

Fifth. We own three vehicles. We make it a point to keep them fueled at or above half a tank precisely because we live in earthquake and fire country. We can use a water hose to collect fuel from two of our vehicles, pump it into the third and have more enough range to get out.

We are not preppers or survivalists at all. No, we don't have a couple of 50 gallon drums of fuel buried in the backyard like our friend. However, our perspective is based on having experienced and lived through at least one major earthquake (Northridge, 1994, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1994_Northridge_earthquake, lived 1 mile from the epicenter) and several bad fires, two of which encircled our neighborhood.

This isn't theory, this is reality.

I would have a lot more respect for down-votes if they were accompanied by cogent arguments. As much as we really, truly want to get away from our IC engine cars today, the last fires here in CA drove the point home like nothing else. My wife was stuck away from home for eight hours. I was lucky enough to have been able to get to my kids at school after a 200 mile round-about detour that took six hours. Nothing sharpens an argument more than when you are facing real conditions with real consequences.

The flaws of the charging infrastructure are such that you'll find yourself competing with hundreds of other Tesla (or EV) owners. This isn't theoretical, this is real and it has already happened:

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7755753/Chaos-Calif...

https://keyt.com/traffic-2/2019/12/27/tesla-drivers-stuck-wa...

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2019/12/07/black-friday-tesla-fa...

Our local Tesla supercharger station is always packed and people are waiting for a turn.

And these were not even emergencies!!!

When emergencies strike things are worse, because now we are dealing with potential life-threatening circumstances:

https://www.caranddriver.com/news/a29428694/electric-car-own...

https://www.inc.com/jason-aten/californias-power-outage-demo...

It's one thing to be an electric car enthusiast/fanatic and want to defend them at all cost. I it a VERY different thing to be driving home while you see everything on fire at a distance around your neighborhood and you know that your kids, your loved ones and your pets need you to be there for them. Calling this FUD is absolute bullshit. Unless you've had that experience, with all due respect, you have no idea what you are talking about. We wanted to buy electrics this year and the experience surrounding the last fires drove the point home like nothing else.

I love electric cars, but the technology and the infrastructure simply isn't ready to deliver the same level of reliance that IC vehicles offer with ease. Which stands to reason, the technology and the infrastructure has been built over more than a century. I applaud early adopters. We were going to be among them. Great plans, to paraphrase, don't always survive contact with reality.

If someone actually thinks they can defend the case of electrics being equivalent --I won't even go for better-- to IC vehicles and the infrastructure in place to support them, please speak up, I am more than willing to listen. But please, pretty please, with sugar on top: Don't insult anyone's intelligence or call things FUD when the reality of the differential in technology and infrastructure requires almost walking on water to even remotely approach equivalence.


To get a sense of the scale and throughput difference in the infrastructure and technology all we have to do is compare gas station statistics vs. charger stations.

There are about 10,000 gas stations in CA and approximately 1,200 Tesla Supercharger stations in the State.

How long does it take to load-up with a 300 mile range with each technology?

Gasoline, about 5 minutes plus another 5 for the transaction (in and out of the car, paying, etc.)

Tesla (can't do 300 miles but let's just call it topping off), about 80 minutes.

Round numbers:

One gas pump can service approximately 144 vehicles per day.

A Supercharger station charger can do about 18 vehicles per day.

That's basically a factor of 10 difference in throughput. Which, during an emergency or holiday/high-travel-volume event is an absolutely MASSIVE difference.

If we assume 10 gas pumps per station and 10 chargers per Tesla location, the total number of vehicles that can be serviced per day in CA is:

Gas stations: 14 million cars per day

Tesla Superchargers: 216,000 vehicles per day

That, right there, is the difference. The infrastructure isn't anywhere near the ubiquity, availability and performance of the IC engine fuel delivery infrastructure.

We can deny this all we want, but reality hits you hard when things deviate from the ideal.

I mean, the army could go down neighborhoods distributing gasoline to people in worse case scenarios. What are they going to do, park massive diesel generators to charge electric cars? Not going to happen.

My educated guess is that we need a better energy delivery mechanism for electric cars. It has to be something you can pump into a tank in 5 or 10 minutes. Pushing electrons into a battery, without fundamental advances in technology, seems like a bad long term plan.

I mean, Tesla doesn't have that many cars in the Southern California region in comparison to conventional vehicles and their Supercharger network flops with holiday travel and becomes a liability during emergencies. That's not a good long-term plan. The cost of adding a million EV's will require an absolutely massive investment in the charging network. Ten million and the numbers become almost unthinkable. A hundred million feels like a joke to even consider.


Keep in mind that in a Tesla because you charge at home and leave every day with a full tank. You could easily escape natural disasters on that range.

But yes, Teslas are not optimal from a prepping point of view.


Of course, yet life doesn't really work out to be a nicely aligned set of ideal conditions. The gasoline equivalent to that would be to top-off your gas tank in 5 minutes every day (which is silly).

I do want to clarify that my comment has nothing whatsoever to do with the cultural phenomenon of prepping. We are not preppers at all. We have some supplies at home for earthquake preparedness because, after having lived thorough a couple of large quakes, it would be silly not to have learned from the experience and be a reasonably ready.

The perspective we gained by observing what happened during this last fire and power-outage season drove home a point we really had considered much prior to that event.

Perhaps this was because we were within a couple of months of ordering our first of two Teslas that we became a bit more critical and analytic about the decision. I don't know. A friend of ours reached exactly the same decision without any input from us. In their case they had placed a deposit on a Rivian SUV. They live in Northern California. When I told him of our decision to not order our Tesla's he revealed they had made the same decision with respect to their Rivian order. They turned around and bought a Suburban instead, replacing their old one.

I think this is a real issue. It's disconcerting that this can't be discussed with honesty in a place like HN. I want electric cars, with Tesla and Rivian being the top contenders for our eventual purchase. But, I have to tell you, it's really disconcerting to see, feel and be at the receiving end of something that has become a religion. Try to have any reasonable conversation about Tesla on HN where you might disagree with the cult and you'll be treated to a bunch of down-votes (read: silly, childish passive-aggressive behavior) and even personal attacks. The good news is that facts don't require belief, which means that the truth is what it is, downvotes or otherwise.


This thread is already essentially 100% Tesla marketing, both for the cars and for the stock, but maybe you'll read this comment and acknowledge there's nothing false in it. Thanks in advance to the Tesla cult for the downvotes!

[1] https://teslamotorsclub.com/tmc/threads/sudden-loss-of-range...

[2] https://www.thedrive.com/sheetmetal/17892/tesla-driver-slams...

[3] https://teslamotorsclub.com/tmc/threads/back-to-the-old-ping...

> Every time I get a software update I'm a kid on Christmas morning. It is just such a fun experience, and for those of you who love to be on the bleeding edge, you'd probably love it too.

Same! I too get giddily excited when my $100,000 car gets software updates from an $80B company that can't design batteries properly and has to remotely reduce their capacities by 30% and charge rates by 40% (without my permission!) to prevent the car from catching on fire in my garage! [1] /s

It's so encouraging to see my self-driving car get frequent half-baked updates making it drive into highway barriers and firetrucks [2] and ping-pong between lane lines like a drunk driver! [3] /s

I just wish Apple could do the same downgrade to my phone's CPU and battery performance whenever they feel like it! It'd bring tears to my eyes, in awe of their power over me. /s


Yes, Tesla has not been a paragon of good. I never claimed or excused this. I am specifically talking about my experience with the Model 3.

I have enjoyed my time with it and I’ve enjoyed my updates. It’s been great fun.

That’s all.


Epic!


>Thanks in advance to the Tesla cult for the downvotes!

In one of the (many) depositions, it was revealed that Tesla has some serious PR firms on retainer to control narrative. You can see on Twitter bot networks of accounts tweeting the exact same message. Tesla understands modern marketing.


This is impressive, but the most impressive part is that Tesla will likely grow another 50% in the coming year given their guidance.

Tesla China can now produce 3k cars a week, let’s extrapolate that to the year at a really conservative 2k, which results in about 100k extra cars annually. The same can be expected from the model Y ramp which according to Tesla rumors is already well under way, given that it’s effectively the same process as the model 3.

All while not being legally allowed to sell in half of the USA due to outdated car dealership rules, I’d expect this trend to continue given their product roadmap. If they can keep this trend going for 10 years, they’ll be the largest car manufacture in the world. Hah kidding, that would just be impossible to keep up for so long.


If self driving cabs happen within those 10 years, I don’t think anything can stop them.

If that doesn’t come to pass, Tesla has a tougher road. They will face competition. But from where? Companies still selling a large % of ICE vehicles can’t market their EVs effectively. So realistically Tesla won’t start getting competition until the petroleum tipping point in the auto industry. I don’t know when that will be. Not next year!

And that’s the starting gun for Tesla’s competitors. Tesla has already been building factories, flat out, for a decade.

So, I would say “impossible” is too strong a word.


>Companies still selling a large % of ICE vehicles can’t market their EVs effectively.

This is nonsense. Every major manufacturer is marketing an EV. The problem is that nobody, including Tesla, has figured out how to make these cars profitably.


My understanding was that they aren't profitable because they are sinking every penny into growth. Not because they're selling cars at a loss.


That's your understanding based on what, exactly?

Because I can see in their financial statements that their R&D spending is decreasing over time, and that their investment is actually below what is required to maintain plant and equipment depreciation.


What about the new factory in China and the myriad of products being brought into production right now like the model y, semi, roadster and solar roof? Do you have any credible source that Tesla is selling cars at a loss?


Yup, it's the Amazon model.


This comment demonstrates a lack of understanding of both company's business models.

Here's the two company's R&D spend:

https://ycharts.com/companies/AMZN/r_and_d_expense

https://ycharts.com/companies/TSLA/r_and_d_expense

Amazon: billions and billions. 9 Billion this quarter alone, which is more than Tesla has spent on R&D in their entire existence. Tesla? 300 million this quarter and trending down.

Amazon was generating REAMS of cash flow, for 10 years before they earned a profit. Billions and billions of dollars for investment. Tesla is regularly cash flow negative, almost half a billion per quarter on average:

https://ycharts.com/companies/AMZN/free_cash_flow

https://ycharts.com/companies/TSLA/free_cash_flow

So can you explain how these "models" are at all similar? Do you think all unprofitable companies are like Amazon?


Yes I can.

On a separate note, I've been wondering how Tesla's relationship with China will affect Starlink. When I first learned about Musk's satellite internet plans, I was optimistic that it could bring unfettered internet access to the billion+ people subject to aggressive internet censorship. Now I doubt Musk will go against a country that is providing over a 1/5th of his car sales.


Starlink requires bi-directional user terminals - they're not just a passive dish, but also a transmitter. That means whereever in the world you deploy them, unless you're in international waters, you're going to need a spectrum license. SpaceX won't be going against any countries - they'd just end up with their users going to jail.

If SpaceX wants to deploy in China, it will be on China's terms. I think that Tesla's chinese factory doesn't greatly change that. SpaceX will get permission to sell to users in China only if the Chinese leadership thinks it's in China's and their interests.


I'd also argue that there is basically 0 chance that China thinks putting telecommunications infrastructure under a US companies control is in their interest.


Well, it might happen as part of a quid pro quo deal. China also has plans in this space: http://www.ecns.cn/news/sci-tech/2018-09-19/detail-ifyyehna1...

If China wants access to the US market for Hongyan, SpaceX and the FCC might be able to negotiate some form of access for Starlink to the Chinese market. Likely this would involve access from China relayed through Chinese ground gateways.


Sure, but I think that China would rather keep the US out of their infrastructure than get into the US infrastructure, and the reverse. Neither side seems likely to make such a deal.

China especially heavily leverages their infrastructure for geopolitical purposes. Censoring and monitoring inside the country, launching attacks outside of the country, etc. I really doubt they want the US to get any leverage in the form of controlling some of the nodes, even if they are supposed to by agreement only route traffic from inside China to inside China.


China could always license the use of Starlink connections to certified Chinese ISPs which they trust to wire them up through the government provided censorship box.


Radio spectrum is regulated by virtually every country on their own land. As a result, companies wanting to beam data into / out of each country have to work with local regulators for legal access. This means working with the Chinese government which also likely means going in / out the great firewall of china. It has nothing to do with Musk going against China, but if you want to play in a country, you play by their rules and respect their laws. Personally, I just imagine how much Starlink is going to help much of rural Africa and some of the most (internet-wise) under-served parts of the world.

Starlink doesn't mean that magically Russia, Cuba, and North Korea are all going to have unfettered internet access.


Starlink is done by SpaceX, not Tesla.


Why do you think China will make that distinction?


I doubt they'll see any difference between them though.


Chinese government might not care too much about this kind of corporate details. Elon & Tesla will simply be kicked off China if he tries to mess with communists censorship rules.


The auto industry is really going to go through some changes in the next decade. It wouldn't surprise me if a few majors like GM, Ford, BMW, Mercedes, Chrysler, Nissan. etc are still around or on their way out. At this point Tesla seems to be doing better every month while other manufacturers just can't mount a serious challenge when it comes to EV's. The more time that passes, the stronger Tesla seems to get.


This EV transition will likely wipe a few out, for sure. It's hard to imagine how the pension burdened American co's will survive. But Tesla actually lost market share quarter-over-quarter in the US. It's a rough market for autos right now.


Say what? Where did you see that? Autos overall are down, Tesla is selling record numbers, how did they lose market share?


>Autos overall are down, Tesla is selling record numbers, how did they lose market share?

Tesla's revenues as a percentage of total auto sales decreased last quarter. Simple math.


Please cite sources or numbers. As I understand it global auto sales are down and Tesla is up, so simple math would not support your claim. If you have evidence, please present it.


At least they've seen it coming earlier than Nokia did.


I thought Elon tweeted early last year that Tesla was on track to build 500K cars in 2019 year. 370K is way off from that number.


https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1098080063801585664?lang...

> Meant to say annualized production rate at end of 2019 probably around 500k, ie 10k cars/week. Deliveries for year still estimated to be about 400k.

For deliveries 400k isn't too far from 367,500. But it's not clear (to me) what their annual production rate is.

One would hope/imagine that if they get their production rate competitive with the biggest producers of automobiles (anything with 4 wheels), like Toyota, Ford and GM, then the average selling price could come down a bit, too.

I just want a decent-looking electric car (preferably hatchback) I can charge at any available charging station with no frills but 250-300 mile range for $25-30k USD. I know batteries aren't there yet!


367k is 9% off the 400k target. 9% is a lot.


The actual guidance (not that tweet) was 360k-400k [1]

[1] https://ir.tesla.com/news-releases/news-release-details/tesl...


I'd say within 10% fulfills (if barely) "about X".


Says 500k, corrects himself to "mean" 400k, still misses by 10%, Tesla shill blogs report they "crushed" expectations:

https://www.teslarati.com/tesla-tsla-q4-2019-production-and-...


The communicated expectation was always 360k-400k. This was a range that “everyone” said was impossible to reach even at the low end.

A tweet issued after hours and corrected the same day does not change the range explicitly stated in every earnings call and quarterly statement Tesla issued throughout 2019.

It doesn’t matter what you or I think. The market speaks for itself. After announcing the number the stock is up ~3.5%. That indicates that reaching the lower range number was not fully priced in as of yesterday, and that the market deems this to be good news.

Also, the annualized run rate with GF3 producing 3k/week would exceed 10k/wk based on 100,000 cars produced in Fremont in 13 weeks in Q4. Getting GF3 to 3k/week less than one year after breaking ground was also something the pundits said was “impossible”.


>This was a range that “everyone” said was impossible to reach even at the low end.

Really? Because I follow some of TESLAQ on Twitter, and many were expecting 115k delivered this quarter. Consensus was around 110k. One prominent poster had 367k for the year, and was within a fraction of a percent of what Tesla ended up delivering (isn't it odd that analysts can forecast more accurately than the CEO?)

I'm not sure where you are getting the idea that "everyone" said the low end would be impossible. I don't know a single analyst who thought that. Care to provide a source?

>stated in every earnings call and quarterly statement Tesla issued throughout 2019.

I don't think they stated that number in any call except the Q3 call, but you could easily prove me wrong. What he did state, though, that Tesla wouldn't be "self-constrained to 400,000 units" (Q1 call). He also said that Freemont would be producing 8,000 - 9,000 cars per week in Q3 (Q2 call).

>The market speaks for itself.

Ah yes, the old infallible market. What does stock price have to do with anything?


Tesla Q4 2018 Update:

> “In total, we are expecting to deliver 360,000 to 400,000 vehicles in 2019, representing a growth of approximately 45% to 65% compared to 2018” [1]

Finding a listing of consensus analyst estimates for 2019 made early in the year is a lot harder. But as late as last week the consensus was barely 360k.

[1] - https://ir.tesla.com/static-files/0b913415-467d-4c0d-be4c-92...


What was the expectation from skeptics? 0?


The stock market doesn't seem to care.


No one can point to $tsla as a functioning example of a rational actors.


Put your money where your mouth is and short the stock (or buy put options) :)

PS> I am a Tesla owner who then bought the stock as well since the experience was so revolutionary. I agree with the other poster who compared it to the 2007 iPhone.


Well, that statement may or not be right. I guess only the future will answer that one, but;

How do you really value a company like Tesla?

According to skeptics the company should've been dead 10 times over already. But if you actually do some research, you find that the technology is sound, the execution is there, and not at least the vision of an electric future is there. Further more its CEO has stated that 'We're going to do these other things also.' - Referring to Full Self Driving and production rates. It has a track record of delivering; 'maybe not on time - but we get it done.' There's no real reason to doubt that they are serious, go watch autonomy day and you'd get the idea.

The vision isn't just automotive, it's solar for homes and grid batteries as well. a decentralized power grid for the future.

Meanwhile all the promised competition and Tesla killers have proven to be vaporware. And that's before you start looking at the logistics of making an electric car. With electric cars you need batteries and lot's of them. No other car manufacturer has access to enough volume to even begin to compete with Tesla, these battery factories haven't even been built. And the electric motors of competitor are less efficient by a large margin, meaning they need larger batteries for the same range, and higher charging speed to be able to charge the same distance in time as a Tesla.

Buying tsla is right now like buying a part of the future, and no other company is close.

Is the share price ridiculously high? Yes, but which other company in the world right now is stumping the competition as badly as Tesla. The only real comparison is Apple after the release of the iPhone. But while apple got real competition after 4-5 years. Tesla still rules all the important metrics regarding electric cars wh/km, accel, charging speed.

And apple still keeps most of the profits in the mobile market, even tough they have a small market share.

So maybe it is rational pricing that you are seeing, the markets are trying to value more than just cars produced. After all the CEO is landing rockets on barges as well so who knows :)


>The vision isn't just automotive, it's solar for homes and grid batteries as well. a decentralized power grid for the future.

The "issue" is, these are low margin businesses. Why don't you provide some actual numbers? How many cars, roofs and batteries do they have to build/install to justify the market cap?

Much of the Tesla valuation is based on self driving taxis and appreciate cars, and that ain't happening for a while.

>But if you actually do some research,

You don't think funds with billions on the line are "doing research"? That's...presumptuous.


Tweets are hype.

Official statement: "We reaffirm our prior guidance of 360,000 to 400,000 vehicle deliveries in 2019." That was met.


Another official statement was

> Barring unexpected challenges with Gigafactory Shanghai, we are targeting annualized Model 3 output in excess of 500,000 units sometime between Q4 of 2019 and Q2 of 2020

Source: https://ir.tesla.com/static-files/0b913415-467d-4c0d-be4c-92...

Of course it's not yet Q2 2020.


So he violated his agreement with the SEC again? Specifically he didn't get his statement pre-approved by Tesla's lawyers to assure accuracy (since it is factually inaccurate).

In fact this exact type of tweet is listed by expressly in the updated agreement[0].

[0] https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/26/business/elon-musk-tesla-...


If the SEC's new standard is to reprimand every CEO that makes a forecast the company ends up coming short on they're gonna get pretty busy pretty quick...


It isn't. It is a settlement agreement that Musk personally and Tesla agreed to in order to avoid additional fines and penalties from his previous misconduct.


There was a lot of drama when Musk made this tweet, and we don't know what sort of discussions or agreements have been made behind closed doors.

Musk hasn't made similar tweets since then, so it seems plausible that SEC did indeed give some sort of warning, or that the parties have had some sort of clarifying exchange regarding their agreement.


The SEC publicly sued over this tweet, and basically lost. All they got out of it was the new agreement that makes the previous agreement clearer. Not the sort of punishment they were asking for.

This is all a matter of public record, it was not handled behind closed doors.


Thanks for the info, I wasn't aware of the lawsuit and its conclusion. That definitely settles the initial point.


Yeah certainly seems as far as that whole thing is concerned no one cares to check / reinforce on the SEC side :) not that we can know for sure tbh. Bit of a super grey area all this imho. But like, if you're a potential TSLA investor and you can't be bothered to do two minutes of homework to figure out Musk's communcation "style", i don't know, like, should the SEC protect you? Maybe? Maybe not... And all things considered, there are plenty of CEO's doing worse by their shareholders than Elon so far...


So you're saying that Musk, Tesla's CEO, should be able to mislead investors unabated and that "buyer beware" is the solution rather than the SEC doing its job? I don't understand that argument.

Ultimately Tesla and Musk agreed with the SEC that his previous conduct was wrong, and that's how we got to this settlement agreement. So to argue now that the SEC is wrong and that Musk's behavior is fine because that's his "style" seems to fly in the face of Tesla's own viewpoint on historical events vis-a-vis misleading tweets.


Well a couple things. First as another commenter pointed out i believe correctly, this tweet was sent before that aggreement was finalized so your point is moot technically. But let's assume for the sake of market integrity CEOs shouldn't lie. (doesn't stop politicians from getting elected or prosecuted but i'll leave that aside :). This was not as you seem to claim a lie. This was a forecast which cannot be proven before hand to be false or not. The exact tweet was: TESLA made 0 cars in 2011, but will make around 500k in 2019. Followed by a clarification that same day that he meant an annualized rate of around 500k. You can't factually prove this was wrong the day it was made. As it turns out it seems to me he got damn close and it was totally a legit forecast and not excessively bold but obviously you're welcome to have a different view.


There's a difference between "objective forecasting" and "hype". One should always be acceptable, the other should have some limitations or basis in reality.


>CEO that makes a forecast the company ends up coming short on they're gonna get pretty busy pretty quick...

Would you be shocked to learn that when a company realizes they are going to to materially miss a forecast they are obligated to notify shareholders? This is how it works.

You know, the exact opposite of Elon saying "profits from here on out" then losing $700MM the very next quarter.


That aside, 112k reported Q4. That's pretty damn close to 500k annualized.


And according to https://www.statista.com/chart/13435/tesla-vehicle-productio... this compares to 86k in Q4 2018, and ~25k in Q4 2017.

As a long term investor, is the exact number all that important compared to the general shape of the curve?

(N.b. I have no position in $TSLA)


He didn't say it was "annualized." Therefore he made a factual reporting error, which means the statement likely wasn't pre-approved, and therefore directly violated the SEC agreement (both versions).

A follow up tweet doesn't allow him to bypass the pre-approval process he agreed to in the settlement.


You don't need to be inferring the statement wasn't pre-approved. Musk has stated as much in court documents.

Where you are wrong is your claim that it needed pre-approval under the first agreement. Only statements that Musk, in his own opinion, believed contained material facts need pre approval. Gloss on publicly known figures is not material, that is what Musk thought he was posting, therefore it did not need per-approval.

The SEC tried and failed to push the argument you are trying to push in court. You can view the complete docket here. https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/7946295/united-states-s...

You can find musk making the admission I claim he made above in this court filing. You can also find a better version of the argument I made about the tweet not needing pre-approval. https://www.courtlistener.com/recap/gov.uscourts.nysd.501755...


Thanks for the links, nice to see this clearly described. The journalists were much happier to write about a prospective scandal than about the fact that it didn't happen, so even as a not-quite-casual observer, it hasn't been so easy to pick up the details on this.


Get your dates straight. That tweet is before both that article and that updated agreement.


> Nor does that agreement ban such tweets, it only requires that they are run by lawyers first.

But it wasn't run by the lawyers because it contains a factual reporting error the lawyers would have flagged. Thus he violated the SEC agreement.

Nobody said the tweet was banned. The tweet violated the agreement because it likely wasn't pre-approved (or his lawyers are really really bad).


Sorry, I removed that and the next part of my post about 20 seconds after posting it exactly to avoid getting into pointless fights like this. We had bad luck with your refresh time...

But, you are still messing up your dates. He did not violate the agreement because the original agreement was in effect at the time and it did not require running this past his lawyers.

This has run out through court already, the SEC did not win.


>the SEC did not win.

What do you mean? Tesla and Elon settled fraud charges:

https://www.sec.gov/news/press-release/2018-226

Stop the gaslighting.


The sec sued asking for punishment for violating the agreement. The judge basically said, ya, no, but why don't you guys write up a new one that everyone agrees on the meaning of. And that is what happened.

A settlement where you get literally nothing that you asked for is a loss not a win.

Edit: I just realized you linked to the wrong settlement. One sec, I'll find the right one for you.

It seems that the SEC didn't release any press releases over their loss (shocking, I know) - but here is an article: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-04-26/musk-sec-... - you could also refer to the original article you posted in your original incorrect claim that Musk violated the updated agreement.


>you could also refer to the original article you posted in your original incorrect claim that Musk violated the updated agreement.

What are you even talking about? I made no such claim.

Elon Musk settled fraud charges with the SEC, and is being sued in civil court, as we speak, for the same infraction (shocking, i know).


Sorry, I thought I was replying to Someone1234, you are right you did not make such a claim.

Elon Musk settled charges with the SEC before this tweet happened.

Elon Musk "settled" contempt charges over this tweet with the SEC, in the sense that the SEC capitulated and agreed to no punishment whatsoever after some strong words from the court that barely fell short of a ruling against them...

I haven't been following any shareholder lawsuits closely, I'm willing to bet that there are none over this tweet though. This tweet did not move the market, and to the extent that it was incorrect or even plausibly inappropriate it was immediately corrected. I strongly suspect all shareholder lawsuits are over the previous "funding secured" tweet and tweets around that tweet in time (before any settlement with the SEC happened). That is not the same infraction as the tweet being discussed here.


Does the agreement apply retroactively?


The original agreement, which this tweet allegedly violated, was from Oct. 2018.


Someone1234 explicitly alleged that the tweet violated the updated agreement, which was made after the tweet was...

The allegation that it violated the original agreement was tested in court by the SEC, and effectively failed.


No


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