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The Almighty Buck Transportation

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

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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  • by CastrTroy ( 595695 ) on Friday July 04, 2014 @10:48AM (#47383583) Homepage
    Or you could rent a car for the few times year you need to travel more than 200 miles. Some people almost never travel that far. Some people go that far every weekend.

    I've always wondered how big of a generator you would need to keep an electric car running continuously, and whether it would be feasible to just tow it behind you on a trailer. Maybe make those available to rent so that people can make long trips on their electric car. It would probably be cheaper to rent than an actual car, and the money you'd save from using an electric car for most of the year would easily offset the cost of renting the generator once in a while.
  • by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Friday July 04, 2014 @10:59AM (#47383627) Homepage Journal

    Aluminum is as cheap as steel if you make very many vehicles, because of various advantages in the production process. It's also cheaper to recycle than steel, which in addition to its many other advantages is a big reason why the industry is headed in that direction. Ford is even going Aluminum for the F-150, and other models are likely to follow as they have become pretty well bloated and bringing the weight down is mandatory for meeting future mileage targets.

    If they plan to make many cars, then Aluminum should not really make the car cost more, especially starting from a blank sheet. And it really is a superior material in every way except repairability, and who repairs cars with any notable damage any more anyway? They just get written off and broken down for parts.

  • by Rei ( 128717 ) on Friday July 04, 2014 @12:03PM (#47383957) Homepage

    It's weaker, so the weight savings on major structural components isn't as great there. But I agree with you, I find this an odd move on their part. Unless they've got something out of left field in mind, like a composite frame.

    I really despise steel. I just got back from walking over to a muffler repair shop to have them fix a flange that's rusted away for my pickup. : One of many, many parts that's had to be swapped out over the past year due to rust damage. Oh, I better go back out and spray bolts on my Insight with some rust remover after I submit this post... got to do that daily now for a week or so or those rusted-to-hell bolts are going to strip when I remove the cover to change out the gasket. And the Insight is an "aluminum" car - but the engine is still mostly steel.

    I'm building a house now and am even looking to avoid steel in the concrete. For the foundation, we're just going to use fiber for reinforcement. For the walls (assuming the engineer signs off on it) we're going to use basalt fiber rebar. Most people don't realize that when you design a concrete wall, you decide how long it's going to live. The cement carbonates at a relatively constant rate (give or take somewhat depending on various factors like moisture), a given depth per year, which brings it down to a more neutral pH, which then when it gets to the steel allows the steel to rust (the highly basic environment normally protects it). When steel rusts it expands nearly tenfold, and thus the wall spalls out and is ruined. The lack of use of pozzolan in concrete because everyone wants it to harden super-fast so they can finish and move on to the next project only makes the problem worse. Roman concrete (with a volcanic ash pozzolan and no steel) has lasted for thousands of years, but little that we build today with concrete will last even 100, and in hostile environments (for example, bridges near the ocean) you may only get a couple decades. Basalt rebar should hopefully allow for the durability of ancient concrete while allowing for the tensile strength of modern concrete (my home is also going to have a vaulted structure to keep as much force as possible as compressive force, which concrete naturally tolerates well), and I'm going to use a pozzolan (basalt dust), which minimizes the CO2 footprint as well as increasing ultimate strength, durability, and watertightness. Oh, and my gravel/sand will also be basalt, and it's being built on basalt bedrock. ;) Mmm, lava....

  • by Fnord666 ( 889225 ) on Friday July 04, 2014 @04:04PM (#47385183) Journal

    I just did the calculation for myself, and compared to my $15k 40mpg Hyundai, and given the amount of gas I go through on a weekly basis, if I pay sticker price for the model E it will be just about at the break even point. Any subsidy is just gravy. My current car is only 2 years old, so I won't be in the market for a while, but I'll definitely take a long hard look at a Tesla when I am.

    Don't forget to factor in maintenance where the all electric vehicle will be cheaper. The estimated cost for 4 years of maintenance on a Tesla S is $1900. Compare that to $3316 for the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid and $3417 for the regular Hyundai Sonata. Maintenance costs for the Hyundais are from cars.com's "Cost of Ownership" page for each model. Maintenance costs for the Tesla are from Tesla motors. For more equitable "levels" of cars, the Hyundai Equus has a 4 year maintenance cost exceeding $6000.

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