New tesla sedan from 49k, thoughts?

  • Thread starter Ian_Brooks
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  • #1
Ian_Brooks
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Tesla motors said:
When Tesla formally announced the Model S Sedan last June, the MSRP bandied was about $60,000 for the all-electric sedan. In its newsletter today, Tesla has confirmed that the "anticipated base price" for the Model S will be $57,400. With a federal tax credit of $7,500 available, however, the Model S should cost just $49,900. Details on what's included in the base version of the Model S should be available at the vehicle's official unveiling next week. Tesla says that even with a sub-$50,000 price tag (just barely), the Model S is really competing with cars that cost much less:

Because of tax incentives and relatively inexpensive maintenance and refueling, the lifetime ownership cost will be closer to cars with far lower sticker prices. [...] The Model S will become the car of choice for environmentally conscious and discriminating drivers throughout North America and Europe.

For comparison's sake, the Fisker Karma, a luxury plug-in hybrid sedan, will start at $87,900. The Chevy Volt will probably be somewhere around $40,000, though GM has not made any official announcement about its price.

# - 300 mile range
# - 45 minute QuickCharge
# - 0-60 mph in 5.6 seconds
# - Seats 7 people
# - More Cargo space than sedans
# - 2X as efficient as hybrids
# - 17 inch infotainment touchscreen


Frankly this looks amazing, sounds less damaging then combustion engines. However if electric cars become mainstream- we'd have an increased demand on electricty, which is still widely coal powered.

Also with fuel cells technology improving, would there still be a market for electric cars? I'm biased a tad, I'm an electrical engineering student and a sucker for head turning car bodies.

thoughts?
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Answers and Replies

  • #2
Cyrus
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Let the big three FAIL so these companies can take the market up.
 
  • #3
Ian_Brooks
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so far at another forum we found that despite having full torque at 0 rpm (the acceleration is insane), the top speed might not be there with internal combustion engines, .
 
  • #4
Cyrus
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so far at another forum we found that despite having full torque at 0 rpm (the acceleration is insane), the top speed might not be there with internal combustion engines, .

Yeah, because we all go 160+ MPH.
 
  • #5
Flat
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Frankly this looks amazing, sounds less damaging then combustion engines. However if electric cars become mainstream- we'd have an increased demand on electricty, which is still widely coal powered.

I think it would be interesting to calculate how much pollution you eliminate by going from a combustion engine to an electric car powered by coal power plants (or maybe there is something to this effect floating around now?).
 
  • #6
junglebeast
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I think it would be interesting to calculate how much pollution you eliminate by going from a combustion engine to an electric car powered by coal power plants (or maybe there is something to this effect floating around now?).

Hopefully the world will wise up and switch entirely to nuclear power soon. This car looks awesome.
 
  • #7
Topher925
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Tesla can't even keep their promises with their roadster. I don't see how this car is going to be any different.
 
  • #8
russ_watters
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Yeah, we'll see what it actually costs and how it actually performs when it is released (it is still more than two years away!), but it certainly is pretty.
 
  • #9
Sorry!
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Wow that car looks amazing. As other said though, lets wait until it actually hits the market.
 
  • #10
I'm curious of how much electrical power this thing can store for use and then what the current draw is to charge in 45min. Everyone on one neighborhood block plugging in their car at the same time could be interesting.
 
  • #11
mgb_phys
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Not as daft as this
zero_model_s_01.jpg

They are planning a sports version, 60mph top speed, 60mile range for a mere 9000GBP = $13500!

Thats about 3 times the price of a CBR125 or a bit more than a CBR900!
Oh and the power/weight means you can't ride it as a learner, you need to be over 25 and have a licence for 3years.
 
  • #12
junglebeast
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Not as daft as this
zero_model_s_01.jpg

They are planning a sports version, 60mph top speed, 60mile range for a mere 9000GBP = $13500!

Thats about 3 times the price of a CBR125 or a bit more than a CBR900!
Oh and the power/weight means you can't ride it as a learner, you need to be over 25 and have a licence for 3years.

If it looked like this, it would sell:

http://www.evolvingtype.com/teddy/archives/images/suzuki_gstrider.jpg [Broken]

(this is a concept bike, unfortunately...because if they mass produced it, I would buy it. Or steal it. Basically I'd sleep with your mom to get my hands on it, if that's what it took..)
 
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  • #13
Ian_Brooks
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apparently the 50k price tag is due to the expensive Li-Ion batteries is uses. They're trying to have this compete with the BMW5 series.

Fingers crossed that the interior is as mouthwatering.
 
  • #14
berkeman
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Hopefully the world will wise up and switch entirely to nuclear power soon. This car looks awesome.

A guy I swim workouts with has a Tesla, and the cost numbers for commuting in it were pretty impressive (not the purchase price, though). A non-fossile-fuel source of energy makes it moderately attractive. He pays a premium for wind electrical recharge power sources, and still is ahead versus Arab gas. Probably some US subsidies are involved in his price structure, though. Interesting alternative going forward, though.
 
  • #15
Blenton
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It doesn't matter if its still powered by coal generated electricity, one large powerplant is more efficient than several combustion engines so all in all there will be an improvement (not to mention the reduction of smog in cities)
 
  • #16
russ_watters
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It doesn't matter if its still powered by coal generated electricity, one large powerplant is more efficient than several combustion engines so all in all there will be an improvement (not to mention the reduction of smog in cities)
That isn't necessarily true due to efficiency losses in the conversions and transport. It also likely depends on the kind of driving and kind of car. Electric is much more efficient than conventional gas powered for city driving - but then a regular hybrid can realize most of that efficiency gain while still being fully gas powered.
 
  • #17
mgb_phys
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apparently the 50k price tag is due to the expensive Li-Ion batteries is uses. They're trying to have this compete with the BMW5 series.
The 50k price is because that's what BMW/Mercedes/Porsche charge.
Although I don't know how they are hoping to achieve it when the roadster, built on a $30K Lotus costs $120K

I think they stand a good chance with this. You buy cars in this price range because of image and performance.
Acceleration (which this is great at) matters more day-day than top speed (which it isn't) in the USA (perhaps not in Germany)
Image this wins hands down, it's rare enough to turn heads and has the extra electric car interest factor. So that puts it up in Lamborghini/Masserati territory rather than BMW.
 
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  • #18
I like it.
What it looks like is secondary to me. The battery reliability tech is what's important.

I really don't want to spend big bucks to turn peoples heads. Tuning peoples heads doesn't save me a dime.
 
  • #19
LowlyPion
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Not as daft as this
zero_model_s_01.jpg

They are planning a sports version, 60mph top speed, 60mile range for a mere 9000GBP = $13500!

Thats about 3 times the price of a CBR125 or a bit more than a CBR900!
Oh and the power/weight means you can't ride it as a learner, you need to be over 25 and have a licence for 3years.

I'm having a little difficulty visualizing Peter Fonda or Dennis Hopper looking all that cool on one of these.
 
  • #20
Coin
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Tesla is definitely making impressive progress. I can imagine these actually getting bought at this price. If the economy were doing better and the price of gas were doing worse, it seems like Tesla would be in pretty good shape right now.

How do these compare to the Volt featurewise?

When do these hit market?

The Chevy Volt is $40k, but that's supposed to be with Chevy losing a bunch of money on each one. Toyota has reportedly sold the Prius at even bigger losses at various points. Is Tesla selling these at a loss?

Is Tesla still manufacturing these in England?
 
  • #21
junglebeast
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I expect that the price of fully electric cars will continue to drop as the factories start to recover from their initial investment costs and the market takes hold. Electric cars are incredibly simpler to build than gasoline cars.. forget about all those millions of moving parts and tangles of tubing under the hood. Basically all you need is a battery, a motor, a drive train and a place to sit.
 
  • #22
mgb_phys
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Tesla is definitely making impressive progress. I can imagine these actually getting bought at this price. If the economy were doing better and the price of gas were doing worse, it seems like Tesla would be in pretty good shape right now.
Economy maybe but nobody is buying tesla roadsters rather than Posche/Audi to save money on gas!

When do these hit market?
My guess is never, at least not at this price and not looking like that.
The Roadster is an easy build, it's just a Lotus Elise + electric motor. The Lotus is very light with a fantastic chassis and is used as the basis of a lot of specials, this is supposedly a built from scratch platform. If thats true then it's an amazing time/cost project for a new company.
The publicity shots also show fancy accessories (racing front brakes) which suggest that this is a concept car and the final model will look a lot more normal at a much higher price.

The Chevy Volt is $40k, but that's supposed to be with Chevy losing a bunch of money on each one. Toyota has reportedly sold the Prius at even bigger losses at various points. Is Tesla selling these at a loss?
I don't think chevy have any real intention of selling the volt, it's to keep government regulators of their backs while they wait for the economy to pick up so they can sell pickups/SUVs again.
I would look at Japanese comapnies (like Mistsubishi's electric Smart), VW are sticking with ultra-efficent small diesels and nobody else in the small car market has the R+D effort or money to spare.

Is Tesla still manufacturing these in England?
It's supposed to be built at a brand new plant in California, presumably to take advatange of the cheap labor market? Or they are hoping for a big state hand-out.
The roadster is a Lotus Elise so was built at Lotus's factory.
 
  • #23
Tesla can't even keep their promises with their roadster. I don't see how this car is going to be any different.

I have been following the Tesla roadster since it was announced two years ago. I would of bought one, but you can't live comfortably in a car.

From the initial specs to the current release model, the price has go up 1,500 dollars the range per charge has dropped 30 miles, the tranny has lost a gear, and the 0-60 acceleration has improved by about a second. So I'd say yes they have broken some of their promises but really it is not that big of a deal.
 
  • #24
Coin
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mgb_phys thanks for the insights.

It's supposed to be built at a brand new plant in California, presumably to take advatange of the cheap labor market? Or they are hoping for a big state hand-out.
The roadster is a Lotus Elise so was built at Lotus's factory.

Well I mainly asked because I live in the general area where the factory is to be built, but last I heard ground-breaking had stalled out. I was thus surprised to see them announcing a car at a price point that would seem to require owning their own factories, before work on the factories have even begun. That was before I saw this on the Tesla page:

Availability:
Deliveries to begin in 2012
Refundable Reservation: $5000

Oh... right.

The Tesla plant will be and was always intended to be built with rather large hand-outs from the state and federal governments, in fact last I heard the main reason the factory building was being delayed was that the hand-outs the federal government has been giving to the big three automakers have been threatening to eat into the fund that was supposed to be giving hand-outs to Tesla to build their plant!

As far as why they're building the plant here, I don't think the bay area is really characterized by cheap labor, I always assumed they wanted the plant here so that it could be close to their engineering/design facilities. And of course then there are the California government hand-outs...
 
  • #25
mheslep
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Tesla can't even keep their promises with their roadster. I don't see how this car is going to be any different.
How so?
 
  • #26
mgb_phys
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As far as why they're building the plant here, I don't think the bay area is really characterized by cheap labor
Yes - that was irony.

Although the roadster is built on Lotus Elise, Lotus actualy subcontract all the parts anyway so it can be assembled anywhere.
My guess is that they announce a new model to keep the pressure on the other car makers and when they get a big enough hand out they will build a plant to assemble roadsters.
 
  • #27
mheslep
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I'm curious of how much electrical power this thing can store for use and then what the current draw is to charge in 45min. Everyone on one neighborhood block plugging in their car at the same time could be interesting.
If the 300mi range is correct I think its a poor design choice. It doesn't make good sense to design a long refueling time (hours) vehicle for cross country travel, and certainly not without the supporting infrastructure.

Tesla Roadster, range 200mi, was ~15kWh / 100 km (62mi) and that energy/distance appears to be a fair rule of thumb for recent EVs. If the sedan range is 300mi, then it needs a charge of 72kWh, call it 75kWh. Low side battery costs are $450/kWh (2007), so I expect at least $34k out the $60k MSRP goes to the batteries. The remaining $26k will go along way on an EV drive train + chassis.

Fully charging 80kWh (~95% charge eff.) in 45 minutes requires an untenable 107kW power source, or 243 Amps at the claimed 440V. For comparison, the high end charge stations used in Israel by vendors like Project Better Place are 6kW.

Edit: Tesla lists 300 OR 160mi range options. That 45 min charge must be for the 160mi
 
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  • #28
mheslep
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I expect that the price of fully electric cars will continue to drop as the factories start to recover from their initial investment costs and the market takes hold. Electric cars are incredibly simpler to build than gasoline cars.. forget about all those millions of moving parts and tangles of tubing under the hood. Basically all you need is a battery, a motor, a drive train and a place to sit.
EVs are simpler, but this is hyperbole.
 
  • #29
Kurdt
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Looks like an aston martin. :!!)
 
  • #30
chroot
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It's a pretty car, a neat concept, and I'm sure it's fun to drive.

Unfortunately, it doesn't really solve any problems. More specifically, it just replaces current problems with a new set of slightly different problems, some of which may be even harder to solve than those created by gasoline-powered cars.

In reality, the answer to our collective transportation needs is not a $50,000 car with a thousand pounds of hazardous batteries that need to be frequently replaced. The Tesla Model S will cost more than twice as much as the average car sold today. It will cost more than the average person makes in two full years. It is not a solution; it is a slap in the face.

We don't need better cars, we need fewer cars.

Skip the Tesla car. Use a regular, cheap, gasoline-powered car when you need one, and ride a bike when it's possible. (The majority of car trips in this country are shorter than two miles, have no passengers, and no cargo!) You'll save money, spare the environment, and get rid of those extra pounds. Invest the money you'll save in a college education for yourself or someone else, and we'll really make the world a better place.

The auto industry has spent an entire century slowly forcing people to become dependent on automobiles and perpetually in debt. They've done this by systematically defeating public transportation projects and by designing and marketing their cars primarily as status symbols. Tesla Motors is just more of the same -- flashy, costly, pointless landfill fodder that no one really needs. One of the most intelligent decisions you could possibly make is to simply check out of this idiotic system and use a more functional, practical, and reasonable mode of transportation whenever it is available to you.

- Warren
 
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  • #31
mheslep
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chroot said:
...In reality, the answer to our collective transportation needs is not a $50,000 car with a thousand pounds of hazardous batteries that need to be frequently replaced.
The Tesla Model S will cost more than twice as much as the average car sold today. It will cost more than the average person makes in two full years. It is not a solution; it is a slap in the face.
Tesla is a luxury exotic, not meant to save the world. Buy a Zap car at $12k for the bare bones. And its 10 years, 4000 charges for the batteries in the upcoming Chevy Volt.

We don't need better cars, we need fewer cars.

Skip the Tesla car. Use a regular, cheap, gasoline-powered car when you need one, and ride a bike when it's possible. (The majority of car trips in this country are shorter than two miles, have no passengers, and no cargo!)
light passenger: 29.48 avg miles per day, 4.37 avg miles per trip. That's roughly %25 of US oil usage. PS I used to bike 25 mi/day before family expansion.
 
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  • #32
chroot
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Tesla is a luxury exotic, not meant to save the world.

A fair point. If people want to pony up the cost of a college education just so they can be the first to own a shiny new status symbol, so be it.

light passenger: 29.48 avg miles per day, 4.37 avg miles per trip. That's roughly %25 of US oil usage. PS I used to bike 25 mi/day before family expansion.

Where did you get this statistic? I'm looking through BTS numbers now for 2009.

- Warren
 
  • #33
Cyrus
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A fair point. If people want to pony up the cost of a college education just so they can be the first to own a shiny new status symbol, so be it.

- Warren

Cough cough HONDAS2000 COUGH COUGH :biggrin:

I think this car is uber sexy.


The problem with electric cars are battery disposal. But, is there any methods that can make this cleaner? It seems like a problem that is more easily solved than trying to take the C02 back out of the atmosphere.
 
  • #34
chroot
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Cough cough HONDAS2000 COUGH COUGH :biggrin:

Yep, Cyrus. I've been there, I've done that. I wasted my money on a petty status symbol, then watched as it fell to insignificance in only a few years. The 350Z, the RX8... so many new cars came out in the few years after I purchased the S2000 that pretty soon, no one cared anymore anyway. I realized the friends I had made through car clubs were really just acquaintances who had made the same bad decision I had made. I realized that the only people who were really impressed by my car were high-school boys. I probably would have chased the automotive industry's dangling carrot and put myself into debt to buy another, newer, flashier car, but I happened to discover cycling. That was the antidote that cured me of the irrational disease of American car culture.

- Warren
 
  • #35
mheslep
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...Where did you get this statistic? I'm looking through BTS numbers now for 2009.

- Warren
Table III.A-6. http://www.epa.gov/fueleconomy/420r06017.pdf [Broken]
 
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