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The Almighty Buck Transportation

Tesla Aims For $30,000 Price, 2017 Launch For Model E 247

Posted by Soulskill
from the economics-of-scale dept.
An anonymous reader writes The biggest complaint about Tesla Motors' electric vehicles is that they're far too expensive for the average motorist. The Roadster sold for $109,000, and the Model S for $70,000. Chris Porritt, the company's VP of engineering, says their next model will aim for much broader availability. The compact Model E aims to be competitive with the Audi A4 and BMW 3-series, which both start in the low $30,000 range. To reduce cost, the Model E won't be built mostly with aluminum, like the Model S, and it will be roughly 20% smaller as well. The construction of the "Gigafactory" for battery production will also go a long way toward reducing the price. Their goal for launch is sometime around late 2016 or early 2017
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Tesla Aims For $30,000 Price, 2017 Launch For Model E

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  • Musk has mentioned [insideevs.com] in the past a range of around 200 miles.

  • As a Quebecer... (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 04, 2014 @10:20AM (#47383445)

    I'm pretty jealous of American billionaires who *do* things. Our billionaires mostly do things like wearing clown noses in space or union-busting convenience stores.

    With our hydro electric resources, we should be pioneering electric cars.

    But no, *doing* things is not in our culture. Corruption, incompetence and thinking small, that's Quebec.

  • by queazocotal (915608) on Friday July 04, 2014 @10:32AM (#47383499)

    He's planning on a big exit in 15 years or so. To Mars.

  • Re:As a Quebecer... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Trepidity (597) <.delirium-slashdot. .at. .hackish.org.> on Friday July 04, 2014 @10:35AM (#47383519)

    Our billionaires mostly do things like wearing clown noses in space or union-busting convenience stores.

    Oh, the U.S. has plenty of those too: 6 of the top 10 richest Americans have either the surname "Walton" or "Koch", and they do roughly the same kinds of things with their money that someone like Péladeau does. One of the remaining four has the surname "Ellison", and his visionary thoughts mostly involve yacht races.

  • That's certainly possible, yes. It's sometimes called a "series hybrid". While conventional "parallel" hybrids have both gas and electric engines connected to the drivetrain, in a series hybrid the drivetrain is 100% electric, but there's also a gas generator that feeds into the electric system when needed.

    Whether you should call that en electric vehicle or not seems to depend on what proportion of the energy is expected to ultimately come from gas vs. wall charge. If most of the energy comes from gas, then it's just a different configuration of hybrid vehicle. Diesel trains work that way, for example (electric drivetrains powered by a diesel generator), and are not considered electric trains. On the other hand, if it runs mostly electric and there is a tank just used for occasional range-extension, those are being marketed as "extended-range electrical vehicles".

  • by jo_ham (604554) <joham999&gmail,com> on Friday July 04, 2014 @12:21PM (#47384059)

    The compact Model E aims to be competitive with the Audi A4 and BMW 3-series, which both start in the low $30,000 range.

    So... is there going to be a compact Model LC for the sub-30K$ market? A car for the majority of drivers?

    I'm sure they are. They started with the premium sedan Model S, then next is the Model X SUV, then this 30k Model E. The trend is definitely towards more affordable vehicles. You just need to establish yourself as a solid manufacturer first with high-profit sales. The success of the 70k+ Model S has helped to fund the factory to allow them to build the cheaper models to come.

    It just takes some time.

  • by gururise (263174) <gene@@@erayes...com> on Friday July 04, 2014 @02:19PM (#47384663) Homepage

    The BMW i3 already does this. Its got a 66HP 0.4L generator that operates as a true series hybrid. The 1.9 gallon tank gives you an additional ~92 miles of range.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 04, 2014 @04:37PM (#47385297)

    Range anxiety is common - nearly everyone has it. We went from 2 gas to 2 electric only cars and we had it for a while at the start too. Eventually you know exactly what you can and can't do in the car, just like how you know how your ICE performs accelerating and handling on different roads and how far/long you can go on a tank of gas. It is amazing how quickly you stop caring about range when you buy a car that meets your 99% case. Our leaf gets ~75mi in our area/climate on an 80% charge. You get home and you just plug it in, so that means a comfortable 60mi a day without even blinking. 20mi to work and back (and if there is busy traffic it burns *less* energy to crawl) and there is plenty to pick up kids, do some errands, go out to eat, and plug in at home.

    In those rare days when I need more, there are chargers close to work I can plug in for a couple hours while I work, there are free L2 chargers at city hall (near grocery stores, restaurants, shops), and other chargers spread around. 8 months in and I've only used this option once...and then it was just to test and make sure my charge cards were working.

    I think what the industry needs most is a ParkAndBorrow model. Drive your car in and park it, rent an electric for a week for a low rate, return it and drive your car home. Even a trickle charge on a leaf gets you from 0 to 80% over night (10hrs?) so you don't even need special charge hardware for the common case test.

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