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2012 Tesla Model S Electric Sedan: Industry Analyst Weighs In

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2012 Tesla Model S beta vehicle, Fremont, CA, October 2011

2012 Tesla Model S beta vehicle, Fremont, CA, October 2011

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After a flurry of press events last October that included rides in 2012 Tesla Model S prototypes, Tesla Motors went mostly silent until it unveiled its Model X crossover last month.

But the electric crossover won't generate any cash for the Silicon Valley startup carmaker over the next year or two. That role belongs to the Model S sedan.

Tesla is working intensively on getting its all-electric luxury sport sedan finalized and ready for production, it says, with deliveries to paying customers sometime during the second half of this year.

So now that the Model X design has been revealed, it's a good time to return to the Model S sedan and assess both its prospects and those for Tesla Motors [NSDQ:TSLA] as a whole.

We turned to respected industry analyst Aaron Bragman, of IHS Automotive, for an evaluation of the company's current and long-term prospects.

We asked him five questions.

(1) Is the 2012 Tesla Model S for real?

Yes. I've seen the prototypes, the production line, the tools, and the plant. Tesla is nearly ready to start production; it will build the Model S, and in 2012 too.

But several factors remain that work against the company, not the least of which is a major competitive disadvantage against efforts being made by major automakers, despite the massive influx of cash that Tesla has enjoyed.

(2) Can Tesla sell 30,000 Model S sedans per year?

The $57,400-and-up $64,900-and-up 2012 Tesla Model S will be a curious proposition for a luxury-car buyer. It enters a segment (mid-size luxury sport sedans) that doesn't see huge volumes--and one in which brand loyalty tends to be strong.

2012 Tesla Model S beta vehicle, Fremont, CA, October 2011

2012 Tesla Model S beta vehicle, Fremont, CA, October 2011

Enlarge Photo

Tesla likes to suggest that the Model S is unique and will set itself apart from competition that includes stalwarts like the BMW 5-Series, Mercedes-Benz E Class, and a dozen other models.

Perhaps it will—if Tesla's sales goals are not terribly ambitious, they could be met. It's possible to sell a few thousand of anything in this country, on novelty value alone. IHS Automotive forecasts that if Tesla can get the car to market, it will likely sell at least a few thousand.

But the idea that Tesla could sell tens of thousands of Model S sedans in the U.S. is folly. The most popular vehicles in that segment only sell a few tens of thousands themselves, with some models--Audi A6, Jaguar XF, Lexus GS--well below 10,000 sales a year.

Remember that hybrid vehicles themselves, which are far easier to own and operate than pure electric cars, are still just 2 to 3 percent of the total U.S. market. And a recent Deloitte & Touche research note suggests that whether car buyers actually want electrified vehicles is still a matter of some debate.

(3) What's Tesla's core competence?

2012 Tesla Model S beta vehicle, Fremont, CA, October 2011

2012 Tesla Model S beta vehicle, Fremont, CA, October 2011

Enlarge Photo

Although it's less publicly recognized, Tesla has revenue streams beyond just selling cars. Because of the proprietary systems they've developed and patented--everything from motors to controllers to battery packs to software--they can also generate income providing turnkey electric conversions to existing automakers.

In fact, that's how they're generating their revenue right now.

Given the increasing mandate from California alone to put zero-emission vehicles on the road, soon, Tesla may find itself very busy providing limited-production electric models to automakers--just as it already does for Toyota, Smart, and Mercedes-Benz.

(4) What can we learn?

The 2012 Tesla Model S is one of the most vertically integrated cars I've ever seen. I wasn't aware how much of the technology in the Model S was developed in-house.

Tesla makes nearly everything on the Model S itself. The exceptions are some of the trickier bits, like the pedal box and steering column, which it gets from Daimler. Tesla even makes its own molded plastic parts, using machinery left by Toyota at the Fremont, California, assembly plant.


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Comments (66)
  1. Why does he say $65,000 and up on the pricing. I thought the Model S was $57,400 ($49,900 with rebate).
     
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  2. Guess $65K makes Tesla's mission sound more hopeless which seems to be the general message of this blog about Tesla's future. Maybe John Voelcker is right about that, I don't know. Volt/Leaf sales certainly aren't heartening (if that's any indication)and the expert he found to back up his opinion certainly does seem to have a few valid points. OTOH: Tesla already proved many experts wrong when it comes to where it's batteries are now in terms of cost and energy density, and having the right battery tech is the key to success in this game.
     
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  3. John, if my rapidly fading memory is correct, Tesla states all its pricing in after-tax credit terms, so the $57.4 is already after the credit. This is from some of John V.'s old comments, though, so John V., could you please explain for us?
     
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  4. No John has it correct, 49,900 is the price after the tax credit. 57,400 - 7,500 = 49,900.
     
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  5. Thanks, CDspeed, and to others, as well, for the correction. There's some confusion for me because they aren't building the 160-mile versions at first (the $57.4k-7.5k=$49.9k), as John V., noted. But even if the timing is slightly different, it's still $57.4/$49.9 for the 160-miler. Correction noted, thanks again.
     
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  6. That's incorrect, the $57,400 is prior to the credit, the idea was to get the car to $49,900 after the credit.
     
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  7. Folks: The pricing was entirely our error, not Bragman's, and we've changed it to reflect the correct number. Our most abject and embarrassed apologies.
     
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  8. Ah, ok. Thanks for the correction, otherwise it was a great article.
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  9. John Voelcker: You only changed it once while Bragman is quoted twice in your article at the $65K number. Even the $56400 number isn't strictly correct since people will end up paying $7500 less due to the tax credit. It's weird that Mr. Bragman should be misquoted twice on this number and that Mr. Bragman should compare a vehicle he knows to start at $50K to one like the Panamera that start at $75K. Mr. Bragman seems to be confused about a number of things and seems to fit the same category of experts as Boston Consultancy Group and National Research Council that were so adamant that battery cost were very high and unlikely to drop any time soon only a few years ago while Tesla's cost currently seems to be at about 25-40% of their numbers.
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  10. @Chris: Damnit. You're right; I just changed the second occurrence. My fault, not his. However, two comments.

    (1) While the list price of the lowest-spec 160-mile model *is* $57,400, Tesla expects the bulk of the first year's cars to be MUCH higher-spec models. In fact they're not even building any 160-mile cars at first. That will come "later".

    (2) Bragman is a well-respected industry analyst on a number of fronts. His comparison with the Panamera makes sense to me, in that most early Model S cars probably have to sell for $75K-plus for Tesla to cover early marginal costs. And the early adopter buyers who establish the Model S are *precisely* the kind of people who buy a Panamera.
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  11. There are more comments in this thread
  12. Perhaps I'm mistaken but I always thought that analysts were supposed to be good with numbers... Unless things have changed since I last checked, Tesla is planning to produce 20,000 Model S's per year, not 30,000, and the starting price is $49,900 (after $7500 tax credit), not "$64,900-and-up" as Mr Bragman seems to be indicating.

    It's funny how these industry-linked commentators always seem to exaggerate or diminish the specs in order to maximize the negative impression. I'm sure that they are all just perfectly innocent mistakes...

    John, why didn't you include accurate numbers in parentheses after the obvious mistakes?
     
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  13. Chris: The pricing was entirely our error, not Bragman's, and we've changed it to reflect the correct number. Our most abject and embarrassed apologies.
     
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  14. OK. Thanks for clarifying that. Apology accepted. Maybe I was a little hasty...

    According to Tesla's website, they are still planning 5000 to 7000 Model Ss in 2012 and 20,000 per year thereafter.
     
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  15. "Remember that hybrid vehicles themselves, which are far easier to own and operate than pure electric cars..." You got to be joking. Since when is a hybrid easier to own and operate than a pure electric? From whom did you get that nonsense?

    With new battery technology, I think Tesla will have no problem selling 10,000 Model Ss a year.
     
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  16. Maybe he means that it's easier to haggle with a dealer than to purchase online. Or to have the ability to fill up at any gas station. Rather than having a minimum of 145 miles of range when you wake up each morning for your commute. (160 miles - - - with real world conditions and not in range mode, at times driving faster than 60 mph for the base model)
     
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  17. Anybody that chooses to commute 160 miles each day obviously has bigger problems than whether to buy an electric car or not...

    The average commute in the US is 16 miles, each way, which means that the Model S will be more than sufficient for more than 50% of commuters. That's more than 60 million people. That should keep Tesla busy for at least a few years...

    http://askville.amazon.com/average-commuting-distance-americans/AnswerViewer.do?requestId=2554434

    http://www.slideshare.net/marcus.bowman.slides/us-commuting-statistical-analysis
     
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  18. Actually, the base Model S would work as a commuter car for something like 98% of commuters, not 50%. 78% of commutes are
     
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  19. the comment system seemed to eat the rest of the above... anyway, 78% are
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  20. oh I give up, get a real comment system.....
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  21. Mark, last time I checked 98% > 50%, which is exactly what I said...
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  22. Ha, ha, I can't believe people missed your sarcastic tone.
    I have not purchased many cars, but have been in the situation where many repeated attempts to turn the process to price and bargaining were rebuffed by the salesman as he doggedly pursued defining exactly what we wanted, taking us out for test drives etc. He actually pretended shock when we started to walk out, and got his boss in (claiming he did not have authority to bargain), to the boss arrives to close the deal and still acted surprised when we wanted a discount, and again we had to make it crystal clear that we were leaving if we didn't get a deal. Finally we settled for $1k off... So if Tesla doesn't have normal dealers, their pitch is that the price is already better.
     
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  23. From the longer conversation I had with Bragman: All-electric cars require installation of a home charging station and most likely daily plugging in, whereas hybrids require no changes at all to daily routine except fewer visits to the gas station for the same miles covered. That was what he was trying to convey.
     
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  24. You are correct. Most EVs require a special charger. Model S does not.
    You can plug a Model S into a 120 volt normal outlet. It will gain only like 4-6 miles of charge per hour which is not much. You can also plug the Model S into a 240 volt outlet and gain 25 miles of charge per hour (6 hour total charge time)
    You can also purchase Tesla chargers and have installed to reduce that time even more.
     
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  25. He's completely mis diagnosed the market segment, from which all his other arguments flow.

    First of all, he's stated that it's 65k plus, which is adding the Federal tax credit onto the 57k starting point, instead of subtracting it. That alone is a 15k mistake.

    Second, he hasn't taken into account the cost of ownership as compared to ICE vehicles. A quick calculation of ownership costs for a Tesla vs comparable ICE car at $3 a gallon puts the Model S on par with a high $30k, low $40k vehicle range.

    How about re running your analysis with that market in mind? Changes things a bit, eh?
     
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  26. Mittar: The pricing was entirely our error, not Bragman's, and we've changed it to reflect the correct number. Our most abject and embarrassed apologies.
     
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  27. Thanks John, there is still the very valid point of lower operating costs expanding the target market, as well as the sheer innovation that Tesla is bringing to the table.

    How many cars that Tesla is competing with can match it's acceleration or handling? Yes, that's a rhetorical question :)
     
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  28. Additionally, to assume that Tesla will only be selling Model S in the US is a bit short sighted. Reservations for Model S are already being taken in countries outside the US and there's no reason to think that Model S sales will not be international.
     
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  29. I think the Model S will easily compete against BMW. The Model S is extremely innovative in many more ways then the current crop of mid-sized luxury sedans. And it's real world range will make it more attractive to buy and easier to own. I am a BMW 5-series owner, I can see that the Model S will be revolutionary in many areas that BMW, Audi, and Mercedes can't, like the two trunks, the openness of the interior, and seating for up to 7. And the base Model S is $57,400 before tax credits, that mistake aside this analyst was fairly positive, thought I think it's to early to predict weather Tesla will merge in with another automaker yet.
     
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  30. From the article:

    "In a nutshell, I am much more confident about Tesla's ability to survive now than I was this time last year."

    "At that point, I thought the idea that Tesla could survive without outside help from a major enterprise--likely another automaker--was remarkably uninformed."

    At this time last year Tesla already had solid business relationships with, & investments from, Daimler, Toyota, & Panasonic (its biggest supplier, in $ terms). So it looks like the only party that was "remarkably uninformed" was...
     
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  31. @Chris H., concensus in the automotive industry is that neither Daimler nor Toyota will use Tesla's systems long term and will move that development in house. If you know anything about either company, that seems extremely likely. The current business is already low-volume and niche, so it's not even much income to begin with.

    If Tesla makes it, it's likely going to make it on it s vehicles, not its system solutions. I don't see companies with the technical resources of Toyota and Daimler using Tesla in 2020 or 2025.

    Uninformed, you claimed, but I'd argue that in the long-term battle for survival, the tiny stock ownership and supply contracts will not mean much in either direction.
     
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  32. Perhaps Mr. Bragman could conduct an analysis at different price points.Not just the precise $65,000 point chosen by an experienced and respected analyst. But more randomized price points. Like $57,400 for the base model and say er, $49,000 for the base model with full tax credit applied.

    Though I'm not an expert, I am curious what the results would be.
     
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  33. Jeff: The pricing was entirely our error, not Bragman's, and we've changed it to reflect the correct number. Our most abject and embarrassed apologies.
     
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  34. Doh! Thanks John, I'm just thankful I chose not to launch an expletive laced response...this time!
     
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  35. After absorbing the feedback on the article, I also am encouraged and remain positive. Not simply on Tesla’s survivability, creativity, and willingness to break the auto industry's love for anything that consumes oil, but in the well informed and intelligent EV following of individuals that can easily refute all the inaccurate information. John Voelcker has written many good, accurate articles and in the spirit of providing some varied points of view, some inaccuracies slip through the cracks. Thanks for keeping the masses informed on EVs and their associated technologies. P.S. I also enjoy John Briggs quick feedback – he always seem to show up.
     
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  36. I think there is one independent company people overlook and could be comparable to Tesla. The Morgan Motor Company, though not exactly similar, Morgan has been in buisness since 1910. They have remained independent and is being run currently by Charles Morgan the grandson of founder Harry Morgan. Though Telsa is looking to become a larger company, I think Morgan is an interesting example because it may be small but it has managed to survive for 102 years. And their cars are sill in demand, the average waiting list for a Morgan is one to two years, and some models have generated up to ten year waiting lists. This is why I wouldn't predict a future merger for Tesla just yet, car companies have survived in different ways, we'll know in time.
     
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  37. Sadily I found most of this artical not very good..... and I'm not talking about the pricing error.

    Tesla already has about 10,0000 resevations for a car that isn't even in production yet and it is a fairly new tech. I don't think there will be to many problems selling the other 15,000 around the world but I could easily be wrong too.

    Someone else has already pointed out the agreements with other auto makers that were overlooked in this artical.

    Disadvantaged? No other auto manufacturer is making an all electric car with a range up to 300 miles, not to mentiontion the fast chargers.

    The fact the Tesla makes almost everything in house is to their advantage. No delays and they set their own price.
     
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  38. 10,000 not 10,0000... lol.
     
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  39. @jim m, you claimed that the Tesla agreements with other auto makers were "overlooked in the artical," but they were covered pretty clearly in #3, no? Also, I'll point out yet again that the supply agreements with Daimler and Toyota are low-volume agreements that really aren't that appealing financially. Great for PR, but with current volumes, still not great business to have.

    Long term, neither Toyota nor Daimler is likely to outsource this level of technology to anyone, much less a competitor, so expect to see limited options for Tesla in systems, at least those used in the major OEM's vehicles.

    There's a lot to like about Tesla overall, but claiming the systems side will help significantly financially long term is a major stretch IMO.
     
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  40. I am unclear how / why the comparison to Panamera is even in this discussion. The car >starts< at $75K and runs to like $125K. It's weird looking and in no way differentiated from other luxury-car competition (it's not especially fast although it is somewhat unusual looking).

    Model S starts for $25,000 less -- i.e. that's an entirely unrelated category -- and caps out below many models of Panamera's start point. It also will blow the doors off many Panamera's depending on which Model S you buy and typically for tens of thousands less.

    Nevermind that for anything other than a 300+ mile road trip, Model S is also more practical. By far.
     
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  41. Tesla already has over 10k sales booked. That $600M or so has to go a long way to making the company solvent. Now I know that the sales are early enthusiasts, and once they are produced, the sales will slump as initial market demand has been satisfied. I do think expecting a continuous 20k/year is somewhat optimistic but possible in a few years after Tesla brand becomes more established, with quality and reliability known. Bragman, never mentioned the large number of pre-sold Model Ss.
     
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  42. @Roy: Good point, although Tesla has not (to my knowledge) provided data on how many customers who put down deposits actually converted into purchasers. As Nissan will tell you, that number is considerably below 100%--although I could make the argument that for Tesla, since the deposit is higher, the falloff will be lower.

    But bear in mind that some fraction of those reservations will not become sales, so I'd expect 10K reservations to translate into something between 5K and 9K actual sales.
     
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  43. You may want to learn that the reservation rate is approaching 1000 / month (definitely above 500). And that is without knowing what the final interior looks like and of course no test drives yet. Once deliveries start and people can experience it, there is no chance that rate will stay below 1000 / month.

    I am ready to bet that by the end of 2012, they will have a waiting list of at least 20,000 cars even if they deliver up to 7,000 during the year.
     
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  44. Actually that's a great point, all these orders are without even driving the car. Many without even riding in it.

    Another factor that isn't taken into account are the people like me, that fully intend to buy a Tesla when I'm further into my career and can make financial sense of it. I know that's tough to quantify, but it's certainly not an insignificant amount of people.
     
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  45. Your bet is probably a good one considering the ecomonic situation for most people should, and I'm stressing that word, be getting better in the next couple years.
    These reservations are made and the economy is in the gutter. It's amazing any startup company is doing this well.
     
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  46. In think what Mr. Bragman isn’t taking into account is one of the biggest problems with all other EV and hybrid cars in the market place... UGLY!!!!

    People today don't want anything they plan on spending a lot of money on to be tasteless looking. The technology can be ‘off the roof’ amazing, however, if it looks ugly, it's not going to sell well.

    We are a species that prides itself of image, and the proof of that is right on our bodies... FASHION (clothing, jewelry, watches, hand-bags, etc)! Even the MOST unfashionable people on this planet are still concerned with image within their peer group. We spend TENS of BILLIONS of dollars extra, just to 'look good', when we could simply survive fine on just average.

    In the case more almost ev
     
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  47. ...In the case more almost every EV and hybrid car on the market (besides Tesla and Fisker), the vehicles don't even remotely resemble the better looking all ICE counterparts. Even in some cases, where the vehicle comes close, they end up putting really ugly wheels on the hybrid version, or do something that runes the look of it.

    It s almost as if these car companies really don’t want people buying these ‘greener’ vehicles. Take for instance the Nissan “Leaf”. Anyone that would find this car appealing is likely not very concerned with their image (well, other than maybe an Ed Begley Jr ‘type’). On the other hand, had Nissan built the ‘Leaf’ to resemble a Nissan ‘Altima’, they would have sold hundreds of THOUSANDS of it by now!

    I think Mr
     
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  48. I think Mr. Bragman is going to be fairly surprised at how many Tesla Model S’s will end up selling in the long run, purely due to one KEY factor… IT LOOKS AMAZING!
     
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  49. Interesting discussion mostly by a bunch of people without any real knowledge other than misc. readings on the Internet. If you want the "Facts" go to Tesla website and pull up the SEC Form 10-K which was just files the end of Feb. Orders were as follows: over 8,000 12/31/2011; prices: after giving in US the $7,500 tax incentives were: $49,900 (45kWh battery pack), $59,900(60kWh); $69,900 (85kWh) and for the performance version which is the only one I think I read they will start selling is $84,900 with tax credit. They make lot of interesting statements in this document, like they say the range predictions of 160 miles, 230, and 300 may be overstated by 30% if run on EPA's 2 cycle schedule vs/ Tesla's constant 55 mph.
     
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  50. Part 2 from Tesla Form K-10 filing. The financials are very interesting (disturbing). For 2011, Tesla loss $254,411,000 and for 2010 they loss 154,328,000. Put while R&D is a large part of this, their long term capital expenditures (debt) increased from $71M in 2010 to $268M in 2011 which is all the money being spent to get ready for Model S, but as most automotive companies do with tooling for the body panels or chassis parts and some major plant tooling is pay this at start of production and that is yet to come. For Tesla, this is a huge killer if they have not forecasted correctly and the remaining $188.8 M remaining from DOE will not even stratch the surface, I suspect.
     
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  51. nice numbers. So where does Tesla sit at the end of 2013 after/if selling a total of 25000 cars?
     
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  52. Jim, you should read the "risk" section Tesla writes in their 10K. I personally do not think they will make it. I think either 2 possibilities might happen. One, they will intelligently delay start of production to get it right and get it fully tested, or two, Musk due to his ego will force start of production in spite of not being fully ready because without it, the company will likely sink. Both options are bad for Tesla. I do not think the purpose of 10K is to present future P&L projections. You would need to ask Tesla for a perspectus and since the stock trades on NASDEQ, I don't think you will get it, but try their website.
     
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  53. Part 3 is from Tesla Form 10K on warranty information; Tesla reports the following in warranty expenses - 2009 - $1.508M, 2010 - $2.231M and for 2011 $2.75M or for the roughly 2,150 vehicles = $6.5M..that seems high! If an auto OEM had this much, say GM with 12M vehicles under warranty = $36B! no way can a company survive. Tesla's battery pack is a colossal mistake using 6,831 computer laptop batteries. Tesla has tried to overcome some of the problems but at extremely high cost and complexity and that does not really solve the major problems with this particular battery chemistry and inherent poor reliability over time.
     
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  54. A mixture of real numbers and meaningless uninformed conjecture from a guy who obsessively posts anti Tesla stuff here. Sad. I do hope that Tesla will prove it's army of skeptics wrong in the next few years.
     
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  55. Does anyone on this thread actually own one of these vehicles? Do these vehicles have heat and ac? If so, how much does that drag on the batteries?
     
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  56. Wow!! another "lets compare the 100 year legacy of gas to electric" analogies.

    FAIL!!

    Unless someone comes out with a very compelling extended range hybrid, i think you will see a significant movement to EVs. gas prices will not stay this high, but will not go back to what they were either. they will settle at 20 to 40 cents per gallon higher which has been the trend every year discounting the financial crash of winter 2008/spring 2009.

    people who can afford it will quickly realize that driving EV will save them a few hundred a month MINIMUM. i see a significant market share loss among the $50,000 + gas based vehicle market.
     
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  57. If you drive over 20,00 miles per year the savings are substantial like $4000 dollars per year for gasoline. Now mutiply that over a 7-10 year vehicle lifespan and that adds up to $28,000 to $40,000. As long as electricity prices don't soar you could recoup much of your money on gasoline savings alone over 7 to 10 years over a simularly price gasoline vehicle. So the longer you own an EV and the more miles you drive per year will really make a difference on how much you save over a gasoline vehicle. Also on maintenance costs for the EV should save you even more money since it will not need any oil changes and regenerative braking will reduce the need to replace your brake pads as often. Ev's can save lots of money over the life of the car.
     
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  58. Estimates have been stated that the A/C and or heat will reduce capacity at only 5% to 10%, for the Model S & X. Thus, if you are driving an 85kWh version of the Model S with either the A/C or heat system on, you would likely only get a total of 290 miles, before the battery runs out. Also, the fast you drive past 55 MPH will also reduce the capacity further.

    On the flip side, the more you slow down (in stop in go traffic), and or downhill driving, the battery will regenerate power, thus you will gain a percentage of capacity back.
     
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  59. Idiot. There are >10,000 paid reservations for the 'S' right now. Buyers range from people who have never paid over $28K for a car to those who already own 5 cars worth many times the cost of the 'S'. Plus some who are ALSO reserving an 'X'. Etc.

    Ever heard of "word of mouth"? Tesla owners and buyers are having to time-budget extra wherever they go because people stop them to ask questions, and they LOVE doing it.
     
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  60. looks like Aston Martin :-)
     
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  61. I am buying this car, not as opposed to the midsize luxury cars (like the BMW 5-series and Mercedes E-class), but as opposed to the top end luxury cars. I don't know why people continue to compare it to the 5-series and E-class when it's much more comparable to the larger cars, both in size and features. It is an ultra-luxury, through-and-through. The only thing comparable to the lower-end Mercedes and BMWs is the price. When you compare the price to the S-class and 7-class, you are comparing apples-to-apples. I hope to see some of these comparisons.
     
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  62. I am surprised that he uses the sales comparison with Porsche, implying a likely sales potential of 8,000 cars per year. Telsa themselves say that one of the cars it will compete against is the 5 series BMW which also does seem more logical to me. Annually BMW sell around 200,000 of these cars worldwide. In 2011 they sold over 50,000 of them in the US. To be honest if I had the money I'd buy one of these over a BMW anyday.

    Gee guys plus its an american car where is all the patriotism we keep hearing about.
     
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  63. I feel that Tesla can sell 10,000 Model S's their first year since they have had lots of people pay the $5000 deposit to reserve one. As to 20,000 Model S being sold well for a $57,400 or 49,500 minus the $7,500 tax credit that is unlikey since no vehicles sell that well in that price range. To sell more than 10,000 cars I suspect Tesla will have to market their Model S well and even if gasoline prices go over $5 per gallon they will only sell a little better since buyers of $50,000 cars are not as likely detered by high gasoline prices as are buyers of small inexpensive economy cars. No one spends $50,000 on a car to save gas money. However if you drive 20,000 miles per year and average 25mpg in a simular car 20,000/25mpg=800gal x $5=$4000
     
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  64. One thing that is missing, is that the car is different (but proven due to the roadster), people like to be unique, and this card does that without making you look like your trying too hard. I also think this is a simpler car to maintain than a hybrid, as you can fuel at home exclusively (due to range), therefore never soiling your shoes in a gas station again.
     
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