Seeking Alpha

Analysis: That's BMW coming on in Tesla's rear-view mirror

  • Barclay analyst Kristina Church thinks BMW (BAMXY) could pose a competitive threat to Tesla Motors (TSLA -2.8%) with the i3 EV and i8 plug-in hybrid offering different propositions to green consumers.
  • The two models sandwich the Model S in terms of target audience and could disrupt the thesis that the Gen III launch is guaranteed to meet expectations, notes Church.
  • Early reviews of BMW's electric launch have been favorable.
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Comments (129)
  • EarlyMorningTrader
    , contributor
    Comments (88) | Send Message
     
    Neither of the BMW models is an electric car. They are both hybrids. As such they have internal combustion engines that require gas tanks, catalytic converters, exhaust pipes, mufflers, fuel pumps, fuel injection, cylinder heads, pistons, piston rings, engine blocks, crankshafts, oil pumps, transmissions, and all of the attendant servicing and certifications: smog certification, oil changes, catalytic converter maintenance, trips to the dealer for said maintenance and also frequent gas station fill ups. In what manner, shape or form are they competition to a Tesla Model S? They are both slower and have very limited range without turning on their "range extender" internal combustion engines.
    6 May 2014, 11:41 AM Reply Like
  • Logical Thought
    , contributor
    Comments (4705) | Send Message
     
    This "maintenance argument" is absolutely hilarious. When is the last time you bought a new car? Modern cars need almost nothing more than a Tesla does except a $100 annual oil change until the 100,000 mile mark or so, when you may spend $1000 changing some belts and fluids. Then at 150,000 miles you may need a new $3500 transmission... around the same time that you'll be wanting to replace your 30%-degraded $25,000 battery. And don't forget the higher Tesla insurance rates that are kicking in all over, due to their much higher collision repair costs.
    6 May 2014, 11:48 AM Reply Like
  • Anton Wahlman
    , contributor
    Comments (1933) | Send Message
     
    Actually, the i3 is available in two versions: Pure electric, and with an optional Motorcycle-style range-extender, which enables you to refuel quickly at any gasoline station, should you need it when you can't find a charging station or you don't have time to wait. It enables you to get up to approximately 70 miles of range in one minute, at any gasoline station.

     

    In any case, as a pure range-extender, you are also incorrect about the i3 having a transmission. It does not. It is either on or off, like regular generator. As such, it should require very little and infrequent service.
    6 May 2014, 11:51 AM Reply Like
  • dannydyn
    , contributor
    Comments (145) | Send Message
     
    $100 oil change!??!?!

     

    LOL... what are you driving, a pinto?

     

    Any comparable luxury vehicle to a Model S, takes synthetic oil.... and dealers charge you between $300-$500 just for the oil change.
    6 May 2014, 11:51 AM Reply Like
  • Tippydog
    , contributor
    Comments (2150) | Send Message
     
    The idea that only pure EVs are competition for Tesla is just one of those little nuggets of error that people willl laugh about in hindsight, after its all been sorted out. We will look back and chuckle like we do when we reflect on Blackberry or JDSU Uniphase. "This company's competitive position is so strong. They are the leader in a new technology."
    6 May 2014, 11:52 AM Reply Like
  • Anton Wahlman
    , contributor
    Comments (1933) | Send Message
     
    On the subject of oil change, the Chevrolet Volt has a far more complex generator with a much heavier duty cycle, compared to the BMW i3 with range-extender. In the Volt, you need a $40 oil change every 2 years. That's it. The BMW i3 should not be any more, other than that the strict age of the oil may require an oil change every 2 years there too. As such, the BMW has a 8 year drivetrain warranty and unless I got it wrong, also comes with 4 years of free maintenance.

     

    As I understand it, the Tesla maintenance program is $50 per month ($600 per year), so compared to the BMW i3 (free, or $40 once every 2 years, or $20 per year) or Chevy Volt ($40 once every 2 years), you can draw your own conclusions. It looks to me like Tesla's maintenance program is anywhere from 20+ times more expensive, to infinitely more expensive, than BMW & Chevrolet, for the first few years.
    6 May 2014, 11:58 AM Reply Like
  • Ford Prefect 1969
    , contributor
    Comments (2282) | Send Message
     
    @150,000 miles you may need a new $3500 transmission... around the same time that you'll be wanting to replace your 30%-degraded $25,000 battery

     

    Um LT. You are out by at least 100% in both directions.

     

    No chance of 30% degradation in 150K miles. None at all. That is the degradation figure at nearly 700,000 miles by the math. It's not linear so maybe 15% (still very unlikely) at 150,000 miles.

     

    Also $12,500 for a battery swap would be very much on the high side for replacement of a puny 85KWh pack after 10 years of cost reductions and energy density increases when an 85KWh pack never started as high as $25,000 to begin with (and please don't regurgitate special cases of people changing their minds having ordered a 60KWh battery at a time when supplying an 85KWh pack costs Tesla an entire car sale with cell availability as the key constraining factor on production).
    6 May 2014, 12:02 PM Reply Like
  • Anton Wahlman
    , contributor
    Comments (1933) | Send Message
     
    @ Ford Perfect 1969

     

    The BMW i3 doesn't have a transmission.
    6 May 2014, 12:09 PM Reply Like
  • Tales From The Future
    , contributor
    Comments (5236) | Send Message
     
    " In what manner, shape or form are they competition to a Tesla Model S?"

     

    BMW has trademarked i1 all up to i9 and they own the "Mini" brand as well, the "Mini" brand is positioned well for small city EVs in the future.

     

    The i5, a larger van-style car is already rumored. There could be an i7 and a i9 over time. The i3 and i8 are the just the first steps from BMW...

     

    BWM can introduce an entire i series protfolio of EV and range extenders if the market demands that in a few years.

     

    TSLA has limited means in contrast to BMW and other competitors like Audi etc.

     

    I'm not saying TSLA will fail but its market cap is *completely* out of sync with the competition and their global sales volume and capacities.
    6 May 2014, 12:12 PM Reply Like
  • Ford Prefect 1969
    , contributor
    Comments (2282) | Send Message
     
    Sorry Anton, I should have put that in ""s

     

    That was quoting LT's comment
    6 May 2014, 12:13 PM Reply Like
  • robiniv
    , contributor
    Comments (173) | Send Message
     
    What a silly discussion about maintenance cost. As if someone is going to look for the cheapest solution to transportation, calculate it all in detail, and then end up with a Tesla S. It's ludicrous.
    6 May 2014, 12:14 PM Reply Like
  • cpkhoo
    , contributor
    Comment (1) | Send Message
     
    I had 2 BMWs before, maintenance is really problem. Performance and reliability no way near Tesla. How to compare
    6 May 2014, 12:15 PM Reply Like
  • jamesbwood13
    , contributor
    Comments (2) | Send Message
     
    The most I have ever been charged for an oil change on a 2000 M-B SL500 (takes 8.5 quarts of synthetic oil) is $175 at a dealer and it is usually "only" about $120. Where are you getting this $300-$500 price?
    6 May 2014, 12:15 PM Reply Like
  • PeterJA
    , contributor
    Comments (2778) | Send Message
     
    "at 150,000 miles... you'll be wanting to replace your 30%-degraded $25,000 battery"
    Not when your range still exceeds the i3 or i8 (whose batteries also degrade). But the Model S battery is better than the Tesla Roadster's, and may last 500,000 miles. Also, a replacement in 10 years will not cost $25k, thanks to thousands of battery researchers and a gigafactory or three, and thanks to the credit you will likely get for your old battery (repurposed as home/grid storage).

     

    "higher Tesla insurance rates... due to their much higher collision repair costs"
    What's the collision repair cost of BMW carbon-fiber bodies? (assuming they don't catch on fire like the Porsche that incinerated Paul Walker)
    6 May 2014, 12:18 PM Reply Like
  • Keith_69
    , contributor
    Comments (175) | Send Message
     
    Lies ! My corvette uses synthetic oil and I get it serviced at the dealer and it costs me 149$.
    6 May 2014, 12:19 PM Reply Like
  • ThosEM
    , contributor
    Comments (93) | Send Message
     
    dannydyn:

     

    You must get oil changes at a dealership. For my BMW, at any independent shop, six quarts of Mobil 1 swapped out costs about $90 in Maryland, not known for an unusually low cost of living.
    6 May 2014, 12:20 PM Reply Like
  • option31
    , contributor
    Comment (1) | Send Message
     
    German auto = high repair bills. Speaking form experience Jetta and Passat TDI. The dealer does not know what a 3 digit bill is 4 digits they are very well at doing. And the cars are in shop nearly as much as you get to drive them. Yes I know BMW but their history is not even as glorious as VW and VW stinks
    6 May 2014, 12:21 PM Reply Like
  • Anton Wahlman
    , contributor
    Comments (1933) | Send Message
     
    @ Tales From The Future

     

    BMW has strongly suggested additional i models, and you are right that anything from an i1 to an i9 would be obvious candidates. Obviously, they won't share much more detail until they think it's optimal for them to do so. I expect that for models hitting showrooms in 2017, we will start hearing more in 2016.

     

    My personal preference is for the current i3 with range-extender, but I would prefer it to have a larger gasoline tank. 2 gallon is just hard to manage. Somewhere between 4 and 6 gallon would be optimal for that car.
    6 May 2014, 12:21 PM Reply Like
  • ThosEM
    , contributor
    Comments (93) | Send Message
     
    I don't often agree with you, but you nailed this one...
    6 May 2014, 12:21 PM Reply Like
  • Ford Prefect 1969
    , contributor
    Comments (2282) | Send Message
     
    @robiniv

     

    Not really - fuel and maintenance are distress purchases. If you count the value of the thing on your driveway, fuel and maintenance is just a cost to the first owner a drain on residual value when it comes to reselling it.

     

    The effect of those distress purchases is really significant when it comes to expensive cars. Much better to have the majority of the value in the vehicle you actually own and a bare minimum of expenditure in the shop and the gas station. The difference in total cost of ownership is going to be really profound when all said and done.
    6 May 2014, 12:23 PM Reply Like
  • Keith_69
    , contributor
    Comments (175) | Send Message
     
    Ok, first of all. ANY vehicle that is bought OTHER than a model S, is competition. You can have the best in class of what ever but if people are buying 'less in class' over it, well there you have it.

     

    That being said, the assertion is that they are directly aimed at Gen III from Tesla. And they are available now, not in 2016.
    6 May 2014, 12:24 PM Reply Like
  • dnorm1234
    , contributor
    Comments (1126) | Send Message
     
    >"dealers charge you between $300-$500 just for the oil change."

     

    You must have "sucker" written across your forehead. Mobil1 oil and filter change at my dealer is $100. At an independent it's even less.
    6 May 2014, 12:29 PM Reply Like
  • dnorm1234
    , contributor
    Comments (1126) | Send Message
     
    >"What's the collision repair cost of BMW carbon-fiber bodies?"

     

    What sort of price increase in home insurance to have a high-voltage charging device installed in your garage? Certainly not zero.
    6 May 2014, 12:36 PM Reply Like
  • EarlyMorningTrader
    , contributor
    Comments (88) | Send Message
     
    In the six month period prior to selling my 2007 BMW I spent over $10,000 in repairs and maintenance for: turbos, brakes, various sensors. It had 128,000 miles on it. I sold the BMW a few days before I took delivery of my Model S. I've also owned 3 Porsches that took thousands and thousands of dollars to repair. A couple of Jaguars that simply fell apart - both while under warranty and after. So....If you eliminate "range extenders" and everything that goes with them - maintenance and costs go WAY down!!
    6 May 2014, 12:40 PM Reply Like
  • chipdoctor
    , contributor
    Comments (1303) | Send Message
     
    @dannydan,

     

    If you are paying $300-$500 for an oil change then you must be your dealer's favorite customer.

     

    My son has a Chevy and even his first two years of synthetic oil changes are free.
    6 May 2014, 01:15 PM Reply Like
  • chipdoctor
    , contributor
    Comments (1303) | Send Message
     
    Hi EMT,

     

    Yet, even with all your repairs, you still have not matched the price of one battery pack replacement....
    6 May 2014, 01:18 PM Reply Like
  • winfield100
    , contributor
    Comments (839) | Send Message
     
    BMW is too embarrassed to tell the truth in their ads.
    185 miles on a charge????? on a 22kWh battery???

     

    http://bit.ly/1g5NXqI
    6 May 2014, 01:21 PM Reply Like
  • PeterJA
    , contributor
    Comments (2778) | Send Message
     
    "What sort of price increase in home insurance to have a high-voltage charging device installed in your garage? Certainly not zero."

     

    For a 220-volt outlet like for a clothes dryer? Zero.
    6 May 2014, 01:22 PM Reply Like
  • Renew America Roadtrip
    , contributor
    Comments (2) | Send Message
     
    Hasn't cost me a cent. I have two chargers.
    6 May 2014, 01:27 PM Reply Like
  • Bodian
    , contributor
    Comments (59) | Send Message
     
    Dude, maintenance on a BMW is free for 50k miles. I know, I own one. So you need to come up with a better argument as to why to own a Tesla vs. BMW. But it really doesn't matter, because other autos just entering the debate poses a problem and not just for the EV vs. ICE debate. The real problem is there a finite # of people in the world who buy $100k vehicles, and Tesla has saturated this market. That is an excellent feat and it says a ton about the company and product, but there are literally no more buyers out there at this price range. That is why sales have peaked in every region they sell to, once the back log is run off. They make a neat concept car for a niche market, with no real chance of hitting the absurd targets that their shill at Morgan Stanley set in order to off load billions in bonds. So now the next debate is the so-called Tesla for the masses. Can they make a $35k vehicle and sell them in enough volume (and at their lofty margins) to get the companies lofty market cap to make sense. I doubt it, and that is true reason why I am short this story.
    6 May 2014, 01:27 PM Reply Like
  • Anton Wahlman
    , contributor
    Comments (1933) | Send Message
     
    @ winfield100

     

    That's with the range extender, and I don't see it specifying the driving cycle used. On the current US EPA driving cycle, it is expected to achieve 135-140 miles. However, some foreign driving cycles typically yield results at least 25%-30% higher, so hence BMW citing a range of 120-185 miles. By the way, the page you linked says 120-185, not 185.
    6 May 2014, 01:28 PM Reply Like
  • winfield100
    , contributor
    Comments (839) | Send Message
     
    @TFTF "BMW i8
    $135,000 23 miles EV+gas 7.1 kWh battery
    exactly how is the i8 better?
    6 May 2014, 01:35 PM Reply Like
  • otiswild
    , contributor
    Comments (40) | Send Message
     
    After 50k miles, where things that go wrong are not cheap to fix?

     

    They're most assuredly _not_ free.

     

    I would never own a German vehicle, especially since Lexus caused them to start cutting corners and reducing costs. I had a W126 Benz where cost was literally no object in its design and manufacture. It was quite durable but it was also still quite expensive to fix. German cars newer than, say, 1995, are shit for reliability and resale value. Better to lease!
    6 May 2014, 01:35 PM Reply Like
  • Valueseeker
    , contributor
    Comments (1197) | Send Message
     
    @robiniv, It's strange, you Tesla boys do all the math about savings at gas pump when you charge at super chargers. Yet, as soon as someone brings up true costs to own (insurance, maintenance, fire damage repair etc.) you do a complete about face!
    You sound like a Tesla sales person.
    6 May 2014, 02:07 PM Reply Like
  • robiniv
    , contributor
    Comments (173) | Send Message
     
    Bodian, I think you absolutely nailed it with
    "The real problem is there a finite # of people in the world who buy $100k vehicles, and Tesla has saturated this market."
    Even if the model S has the lowest imaginable total cost of ownership (which we will only be able to know in a few years) the investment is just not for everyone. Most people can't put this money on the table. Others would never be willing to do it for 'just a car'.
    Having said that, IMO the maintenance issue is exagurated. I own 2 Volvo's which get an oil change and general maintenance once a year (i don't care what the manual tells me, i just do once a year) and it costs me half a day in time and something around 400 euro for each car.
    The most expensive maintenance on my cars is tyres, but in all pictures I've seen so far, model S does also have these
    6 May 2014, 02:14 PM Reply Like
  • winfield100
    , contributor
    Comments (839) | Send Message
     
    @Anton. Did you read the ad? the implicit premise of the ad is 120-185 miles per charge. Nowhere does it say, even in quotes this is with the range extender. It implies you can get up to 185 miles per charge. this is where marketing "stretches" the truth. when the buyes learn the actual EV range, there will be a lot of BMW EV SUX

     

    http://bit.ly/1g5NXqI
    6 May 2014, 02:29 PM Reply Like
  • bwmaki
    , contributor
    Comments (428) | Send Message
     
    I was going to say $100 is pretty steep plus top line modern synthetics can go up to 25,000 miles before change. $8- 9/quart. $300-500!!! crazy man.
    6 May 2014, 02:42 PM Reply Like
  • Vico Confino
    , contributor
    Comments (217) | Send Message
     
    Thank you Early Morning Trader
    Could not have said it better myself.
    When are these charlatan auto makers going to realize that Elon Musk is only playing with them.
    When push comes to shove, Elon will bury them.
    ICE vehicles are dead meat and will sit rotting on today's dealers lots once Elon revs up his advertising campaign and educates the 99% of the sheeple who still have never heard of Tesla.
    The future of ground transportation is here, get on board naysayers.
    Vico Confino
    Noble Prize Winner
    Clairvoyant
    Prophet
    6 May 2014, 02:54 PM Reply Like
  • robiniv
    , contributor
    Comments (173) | Send Message
     
    @yogibaba, pls read my post again and please, please, don't call me a Tesla boy. My only investment in Tesla is through put options I bought a month ago. They are doing great so far, and I'm quite sure they'll do even better soon
    6 May 2014, 03:08 PM Reply Like
  • daniel549
    , contributor
    Comments (8) | Send Message
     
    False. Unless you're speaking of a cheaper lower end Honda or Hyundai, you will find that most "performance oriented vehicles" will have a higher stipulated service attention. Try oil changes every 3750 miles or at MOST 5000 miles.

     

    You'll still have the major 15/30/60/90/120k MAJOR services (which at a dealership will cost you $400-$1200). Wanna go elsewhere? Goodluck trying to keep your warranty unless you had an adequate paper trail, along with timely service details.

     

    Here's a quick list of things that come due SERVICE-wise before a new transmission that a Tesla does NOT have to worry about:

     

    -differential fluid, ATF or clutch, catalytic converter (brand new OEM is easily over 2k), alternator issues? battery issues? CV boots (if its FWD)

     

    Don't forget the possibility that your performance car is not built for performance and longevity. Your lack of understanding of ICE cars and necessary maintenance with the cars that are in the same range of competition with Tesla is absolutely hilarious.

     

    http://bit.ly/1j9XsKB

     

    ^here's an Audi maintenance schedule

     

    Here's another funny assumption you are making: the current cost of a Tesla replacement battery. Who's to say 5-10 years down the line when Tesla reaches 100k miles, the battery does not cost half or 3/4.

     

    It's funny how people who probably have never made an oil change or changed nothing on their car but maybe their windshield wiper fluid chime in saying new cars don't require any maintenance. Ignorance is bliss.
    6 May 2014, 04:20 PM Reply Like
  • Bodian
    , contributor
    Comments (59) | Send Message
     
    robiniv- hahaha, yes I've seen pictures too and also noticed that the model S has tires. for awhile listening to all the fanatics talking about this car I imagined that it floated on nothing more than peace and goodwill for all nations. only time will tell how those little rubber doo-dads will wear with the weight of 9000 laptop batteries crushing down on top of them.
    6 May 2014, 04:53 PM Reply Like
  • Bodian
    , contributor
    Comments (59) | Send Message
     
    vico confino- musk is a smart guy and has a great product, but what an absurd statement, or rather, list of absurd statements strung together. I see a lot of parallels between musk's cultish followers and Justin bieber's beliebers. let's keep some perspective here, this isn't the yahoo message board.
    6 May 2014, 05:13 PM Reply Like
  • Bodian
    , contributor
    Comments (59) | Send Message
     
    early morning trader- what a silly argument. I've owned countless remote control cars over the years and non of them have lasted without me having to replace countless components from batteries to electric motors, wheels, shocks, etc. I also have had to replace my battery a few times and rewire the headlamps on my golf cart. They both share the same technology as the model S.
    6 May 2014, 05:20 PM Reply Like
  • David at Imperial Beach
    , contributor
    Comments (4318) | Send Message
     
    When was the last time you took a vehicle in for service or a repair? A modern car can't ever seem to get out of the dealership without running up a rather expensive bill. It apparently takes hundreds of dollars of a mechanic's time just to raise the hood. You talk casually about $1000 to change some belts and fluids. It shouldn't take anywhere near $100 to change every fluid and belt on a vehicle, yet you were low-balling the estimate if you were talking about a BMW! If your transmission needs replacing, then it's time to trade in that lemon.

     

    A Tesla is mechanically a much simpler car than an ICE vehicle. Even with the premium prices that Tesla charges, you should come out ahead with a Tesla. If you are getting screwed on your Tesla auto insurance, switch to AAA.
    6 May 2014, 05:34 PM Reply Like
  • BillyFloyd
    , contributor
    Comments (3) | Send Message
     
    Well, I think maybe you haven't owned a BMW, or read the owner blogs about them. They are NOT like owning a Toyota. But my bigger issue is all-electric is just a fundamentally different experience than a hybrid. I own a Nissan Leaf, and the all-electric experience is addictive for those that love it, and motivationally different. So this should only be a BMW all electric model vs. Tesla consumer question. Having said that, I don't know how they compare for price and value. Because Tesla started life by innovating from a blank slate, I think they will always be much more flexible and opportunistic than a big mass auto player. So ... I would expect the Bimmer to be more expensive for total cost of ownership for the consumer (and no one is replacing their batteries and other arcane ideas - you just turn in the car if you want a new ride). And I would expect the support for the owner experience of trip superchargers, etc. will be enormously better for a small, innovative e-car company, rather than a mass market mature combustion company that is dabbling at e-cars on the side. If BMW surprised the e market with commitment of resources, and successful product like Tesla has already pulled off (as opposed to Fisker), that would be much new credit to BMW. But I don't think that likely.
    6 May 2014, 07:08 PM Reply Like
  • Water Brothers Financial Co...
    , contributor
    Comments (379) | Send Message
     
    Thank god - someone actually making non-emotional apple to apple comparisons and pointing out that Tesla is not a strictly charitable enterprise but charging substantially more than BMW - whose dealers are considered stealers as to service - dares. And we are finally starting to hear that the BMW entrants are solid, attractive competitors for the "inspirational" EV business. If one were to read SA solely , one would think BMW was a smallish, inexperienced, lowend, undesirable competitor priced as a novelty - whoops that's Tesla.
    6 May 2014, 08:01 PM Reply Like
  • Valueseeker
    , contributor
    Comments (1197) | Send Message
     
    @robiniv,
    OK, my bad. I misunderstood :)

     

    BTW, I respect the Tesla car, and Mr. Musk for pushing the EV industry forward. It definitely is a good product no doubt. Only issue is the lofty share price.
    6 May 2014, 08:21 PM Reply Like
  • Ford Prefect 1969
    , contributor
    Comments (2282) | Send Message
     
    @Bodian

     

    Nice to see a credible short.

     

    In a return of candour I would caution you that the stories about demand peaking were made up by people that were not credible shorts or actually even shorts at all.

     

    Sir it is your money for which I am grateful.
    6 May 2014, 08:46 PM Reply Like
  • Logical Thought
    , contributor
    Comments (4705) | Send Message
     
    >>Your lack of understanding of ICE cars and necessary maintenance with the cars that are in the same range of competition with Tesla is absolutely hilarious. http://bit.ly/1j9XsKB here's an Audi maintenance schedule.<<

     

    Hi Daniel,

     

    Assuming that comment was directed at me, I can assure you that I spent five years running a car on the track back when such cars really WERE "maintenance heavy" (a '91 964 model 911) and did almost all the work on it myself. (At the time I was living outside of Manhattan and had a garage and all the tools I needed.)

     

    As for that Audi maintenance schedule you were kind enough to provide, you may want to have another look at the specifics. The oil change interval is for an initial one at 5000 miles, and then each 10,000 miles (which for many people is once a year). The AdBlue fluid is only for the diesels and you can do that yourself for $10 (http://bit.ly/1jb8CyF) For most of their engines the spark plug change is only once at 55,000 miles and then only every 60,000 miles thereafter. There's a diesel-only particulate filter at 115,000 miles. Then it appears there's one belt that needs to be replaced at either 55,000 or 75,000 or 115,000 miles, depending on the engine. Everything else is just "check"-- you know, kind of like the annual service "check" for which Tesla charges $600.
    6 May 2014, 09:20 PM Reply Like
  • Tropea
    , contributor
    Comment (1) | Send Message
     
    I have a Porsche Boxster and it takes 10 quarts of Mobil 1, just serviced last week at dealer $159.00
    6 May 2014, 09:31 PM Reply Like
  • maggas
    , contributor
    Comments (473) | Send Message
     
    "SATURATED MARKET"
    dude, you have no idea what you are talking about. to the contrary. every bmw and benzer will eventually buy a tesla. ok, not every.
    by the way, on my 320 class, E, 3300 dl on sensor, water pump, ball joints, and the certified benz shop , broke radio.
    6 May 2014, 11:35 PM Reply Like
  • cparmerlee
    , contributor
    Comments (4264) | Send Message
     
    Anton wrote "but I would prefer it to have a larger gasoline tank."

     

    Yes, this seemed a bit odd when they announced that product. I guess they are really pushing the concept that the I3 is a city car and the extender is something that people shouldn't use much. Presumably on an i5 or i7 they would have something much road-worthy.

     

    And I am not sure about the efficiency when running on the extender. Have they made any claims about that? The Volt seems to be good for almost the same MPG (within 20%) as a Prius when running off their gas engine.
    6 May 2014, 11:50 PM Reply Like
  • Navy Man
    , contributor
    Comments (401) | Send Message
     
    Norm - well it was zero for me. I called USAA to tell them I put in a 220V outlet in my garage to charge my Tesla and they yawned.
    6 May 2014, 11:57 PM Reply Like
  • cparmerlee
    , contributor
    Comments (4264) | Send Message
     
    Bodian wrote " The real problem is there a finite # of people in the world who buy $100k vehicles, and Tesla has saturated this market."

     

    Well, you are right that the market for $100 cars with range issues and green appeal is finite. It is not completely tapped. However, there is a legitimate question just how deep the pool is. Tesla bulls want us to believe that the US sales have been in steady decline since last August because Tesla just decided that they would rather sell to other people. There may be a small bit of truth to that, but I think it is mainly hogwash. Most Americans who want an S for $100K have their S already.

     

    Norway is a special case. Otherwise Europe doesn't seem to be happening very much. There does seem to be considerable pent-up demand in China, but it will go through the same cycle as the US. Will that be after 10,000 units or after 40,000 units? I don't know, but it is a small market.

     

    Tesla supporters are in big-time denial about this, not because they have reasoned through the actual data that is available but because they are afraid that if they accept that it is an increasingly saturated market, then the party will be over.

     

    Relax, there is another set of buyers who have $100K but didn't want the S with its cramped space. They are lining up for the X. That will start the cycle again. If the price point remains around $100K then this X market will saturate quickly. So Tesla will probably have to move into a lower price tier before they can ever ship the GenIII. Of course they won't admit that publicly today. Why should they?
    7 May 2014, 12:04 AM Reply Like
  • surferbroadband
    , contributor
    Comments (2039) | Send Message
     
    @ Logical Thought. I have had to replace a catalytic converter at 100,000 miles. And you forgot that Tesla is putting the cost of the new batteries at half the $25k figure you are putting out.

     

    Every oil change is $25 for every 5,000 miles. That is 25 X 20 = $500 for 100K miles. Also the Gigafactory will be cranking out replacement battery packs in addition to the packs for new cars.

     

    That sounds like Giga bucks to me.

     

    Please get your pricing numbers correct. Tesla is bringing down those costs, which is also bringing down your arguments.
    7 May 2014, 03:05 AM Reply Like
  • Logical Thought
    , contributor
    Comments (4705) | Send Message
     
    >>Please get your pricing numbers correct. Tesla is bringing down those costs, which is also bringing down your arguments.<<

     

    @surferbroadband If you want to buy a new 85kWh battery from Tesla today (for replacement), how much will they charge you? Well, the upgrade is $400/kWh including $2000 (?) worth of supercharging. So we've got 85 x $400 = $34,000 less $2000 = $32,000. If we take Musk at his word that the gigafactory will cut costs by 30% and assume that he chooses to pass those costs along to the customer (and actually, why should he?, but that's a different argument) then a replacement 85kWh battery will cost you $32,000 x .7 = $22,400.

     

    (I guarantee you that Tesla won't be selling replacement batteries at *its* cost. To prove my point, why don't one of you Teslarians call the company right now, pretend to be an electric car gadget freak who is driven crazy by even a 5% capacity loss, and ask them how much they'll charge you today for a new battery?)
    7 May 2014, 06:38 AM Reply Like
  • Ford Prefect 1969
    , contributor
    Comments (2282) | Send Message
     
    I did ask nicely before....

     

    "$34,000"

     

    (and please don't regurgitate special cases of people changing their minds having ordered a 60KWh battery at a time when supplying an 85KWh pack costs Tesla an entire car sale with cell availability as the key constraining factor on production).
    7 May 2014, 07:47 AM Reply Like
  • Anton Wahlman
    , contributor
    Comments (1933) | Send Message
     
    @ cparmerlee

     

    Per the relevant California regulation that was BMW's objective in architecting the i3's range-extender, it can't yield more range than the battery, and in no case more than 100 miles. If we postulate that the EPA will rate the REx version at 73 miles on the battery, the gasoline tank can't cause the car to drive more than another 73 miles.

     

    Now, seeing that it won't be used that much, the MPG doesn't matter as much as far as cost is concerned. It wouldn't really matter if it yielded 10 MPG or 70 MPG, but in this case we can say with some certainty that it will yield a combined MPG of very close to the Volt 1.0. I'm guessing 40 MPG in the city and a little under 35 MPG on the highway. Perhaps 36 MPG combined.

     

    What BMW should have done is to reduce the size of the battery to 16 kWh, yielding more like a 60 mile range (or even less), and then equip the car with a gasoline tank of at least 6 gallon. That would have make it into a more capable Volt competitor.
    7 May 2014, 10:47 AM Reply Like
  • clarkhenry
    , contributor
    Comments (6) | Send Message
     
    In what decade was this?
    12 Sep 2014, 01:32 PM Reply Like
  • clarkhenry
    , contributor
    Comments (6) | Send Message
     
    Well, last year I spent over $10,000 on my 2007 BMW 335i to replace turbos, sensors, brakes, etc. etc.
    Now I have a Model S.
    12 Sep 2014, 01:32 PM Reply Like
  • Anton Wahlman
    , contributor
    Comments (1933) | Send Message
     
    This isn't news. The i3 and i8 have been known for years, and the timing of their launches in Europe and US alike have also been known for about a year or so. The entry of these excellent cars into the marketplace is simply not news. The i3 is extremely easy to park, should be relatively inexpensive to repair, and ought to exhibit very modest tire wear. When equipped with the $3,850 optional range-extender, it also provides for refueling up to approximately 70 miles in 1 (one) minute, once the battery has drawn down near-zero. The price starts just above $42,000. I have driven it, and the driving experience was outstanding. BMW made the first delivery to US customers last Friday. The first deliveries were made in Europe last November. In April, it appears to have out-sold the Tesla Model S in Spain to the tune of 10:1.
    6 May 2014, 11:44 AM Reply Like
  • defunkdreader
    , contributor
    Comments (64) | Send Message
     
    So... buy lithium. Best way to be manufacturer-agnostic and retain the EV exposure.
    6 May 2014, 11:51 AM Reply Like
  • dannydyn
    , contributor
    Comments (145) | Send Message
     
    The i3 looks like a hard-boiled egg, and i8 looks like it belongs in a different era. Neither one comes close to the practicality of the Model S.
    6 May 2014, 11:52 AM Reply Like
  • dnorm1234
    , contributor
    Comments (1126) | Send Message
     
    >Neither one comes close to the practicality of the Model S.

     

    That good old $80,000 practicality.
    6 May 2014, 12:02 PM Reply Like
  • Anton Wahlman
    , contributor
    Comments (1933) | Send Message
     
    In terms of practicality, the BMW i3 is extremely easy to park. It is certainly true that the Model S has a much larger luggage space, and can fit 3 people in the back seat. That said, the i3 isn't a dramatically tiny car on the inside, and in terms of headroom for the two back seat passengers, I thought it had approximately one inch or more, compared to the Model S.

     

    Other forms of practicality include repairability and tire wear. Let's see how those shake out over the next two years.
    6 May 2014, 12:04 PM Reply Like
  • ThosEM
    , contributor
    Comments (93) | Send Message
     
    $80k practicality sure beats $136k impracticality. That's why I never bought a Tesla roadster.
    6 May 2014, 12:15 PM Reply Like
  • Tippydog
    , contributor
    Comments (2150) | Send Message
     
    Anton makes an incredibly important and often overlooked point.

     

    The Model S is a terrible car to park. The BMW i3 is fantastic in this simple function that every person who drives in congested areas has to think about every time they drive.

     

    Here in Silicon Valley, its a huge issue.

     

    Tesla is going to be shocked at how well the i3 does in Tesla's back yard in Silicon Valley.

     

    Even very wealthy EV buyers are going to gravitate to the mid range market where the i3, new Mercs and new Nissan will live. Tesla is going to start to look awfully big, awfully expensive, and awfully glitzy, as the next wave of EVs rolls through.

     

    Tesla is late on Gen 3. Thats a big problem.
    6 May 2014, 12:18 PM Reply Like
  • Renew America Roadtrip
    , contributor
    Comments (2) | Send Message
     
    Only two people in the back seat? Even the Leaf can fit three. Doesn't the i3 without range extender strike most as just an expensive Leaf?
    6 May 2014, 01:27 PM Reply Like
  • niboryak
    , contributor
    Comments (114) | Send Message
     
    ''tippy'' == AGREED. I'd rather see a big push on the Gen-3 BEFORE the X-suv. ..At least TSLA's advertising now thanks to the new partnership with Alibaba. Includes pricing; financing; lease payment info; actual online payments and so much more. They now call AAPL a China stock. Won't be long before TSLA gets the same call IMO.
    6 May 2014, 01:43 PM Reply Like
  • alphadog76
    , contributor
    Comments (11) | Send Message
     
    Yes it is practicality. It can hold 7 passengers, can hold 5 golf bags... and you skip the gas station fill ups once a week with 270 miles every day you wake up and is warm like your automated cup of coffee, with all your automated updates Tesla has only ever had one recall, HOW many has GM Ford Toyota or even Mercedes and BMD had... Yeah thought so.
    6 May 2014, 04:20 PM Reply Like
  • Bodian
    , contributor
    Comments (59) | Send Message
     
    I suppose so, except it's a bmw and probably a nicer car in nearly every way. but I guess the argument can be made that BMW 3-series is just an expensive Sentra. and my diamond back is just an expensive huffy? but, your right, the tesla model S is also 'just an expensive leaf'...
    6 May 2014, 05:41 PM Reply Like
  • happyflying2007
    , contributor
    Comments (101) | Send Message
     
    Tippy,

     

    Again, you have no idea what you are talking about in Silicon Valley.

     

    Tough to park? I drive a very large SUV. No problem.

     

    BMW i3 hot in Silicon Valley? No chance. Never heard one person talk about it. Many talk about Tesla.

     

    Keep up the fairy tales in your head though.
    6 May 2014, 06:26 PM Reply Like
  • alphadog76
    , contributor
    Comments (11) | Send Message
     
    I should of wrote you can park a Humvee in a compact spot! In America.. Maybe Europe.. Tesla needs to make their model "E" or whatever it will be named with the name change now.

     

    Can I ask something, why do all you guys want Tesla to fail? this is a company in America creating American jobs?
    6 May 2014, 07:05 PM Reply Like
  • Anton Wahlman
    , contributor
    Comments (1933) | Send Message
     
    @ happyflying2007

     

    I disagree on the parking, in most cases. Many parking spaces are tight, and many people's garages aren't large enough anyway.

     

    As for the i3 in Silicon Valley, there are probably over 200 or 300 orders now, and the first delivery just took place the other day. So you will be starting to see them on the streets very soon. Most people don't know about it, obviously. But they will. You just wait a few months. It will take some portion of this market.
    6 May 2014, 07:40 PM Reply Like
  • cparmerlee
    , contributor
    Comments (4264) | Send Message
     
    Alphadog wrote "why do all you guys want Tesla to fail?"

     

    That is a straw man argument. Two things:

     

    1) The CEO is rather arrogant, and a lot of people don't care for that, especially when much of what he says is complete hogwash. Some people wouldn't mind seeing him knocked down a few notches.

     

    2) The issue that most bears talk about is the stock value being grotesquely high. I don't know that I have ever heard anybody say they wish for Tesla to fail. Speaking personally, I hope they succeed, but only if they don't ruin the capital market for other companies that need and deserve funding for the green economy. And I really don't like the idea of Musk (or any other single person) getting into a commanding position for batteries such that he could essentially hold other companies hostage. I think we are all served better with vigorous competition -- both for battery technology and for the vehicles themselves.
    7 May 2014, 12:20 AM Reply Like
  • Ford Prefect 1969
    , contributor
    Comments (2282) | Send Message
     
    OK now that is the bear argument to end all.

     

    "I really don't like the idea of Musk (or any other single person) getting into a commanding position for batteries such that he could essentially hold other companies hostage."

     

    Welcome to Tesla country.

     

    Just a tip, when you short a stock like TSLA it does not make the price go down. You kinda borrow the shares, then you have to pay interest, then you have to pay the owner capital gains appreciation on the top when the broker calls the stock back on margins. Nothing makes me happier (or richer) than seeing short interest in the $billions driving headlong into good news.
    7 May 2014, 05:46 AM Reply Like
  • ThosEM
    , contributor
    Comments (93) | Send Message
     
    It seems to me that a much bigger threat to Tesla Gen III is posed by the Merc Model B, which is available soon and comparably priced with Tesla's target for Gen III. But if Model B takes off, Tesla makes money too, since they produce the drive train. So it still looks to be a duel to the death between those who can and those who cannot give up their energy wasting, greenhouse gas emitting, fossil fueled Snoopy blankets.
    6 May 2014, 11:57 AM Reply Like
  • Tippydog
    , contributor
    Comments (2150) | Send Message
     
    ThosEM

     

    I agree with you. The Merc EVs can really do well. A threat to both Tesla and Nissan. When Tesla finally gets around to showing up with a Gen 3 class car some time in 2019, it will find that wired up Gen 3 garage fully occupied with 25 cars from great suppliers, all trying to get 10 percent of the market and willing to sacrifice margins to zero to do so.

     

    You are correct that Tesla will get a small revenue stream from Merc, as an auto parts supplier, at least for a little while if Tesla can be a good parts supplier. Sort of like Delphi or Dana Holdings. That 8x ebitda value contribution can put a floor under the Tesla stock in the range of $25 per share.

     

    Auto parts suppliers. Often good deep value in those stocks. Good idea.
    6 May 2014, 12:11 PM Reply Like
  • ThosEM
    , contributor
    Comments (93) | Send Message
     
    Tippydog: are you allowing for the inevitable demand for larger Merc Model B batteries and more horsepower? At some point, the battery will be a substantial fraction of the car's price, and Tesla will rule that roost.
    6 May 2014, 12:23 PM Reply Like
  • Tippydog
    , contributor
    Comments (2150) | Send Message
     
    Well, they aren't looking too promising in batteries so far.

     

    But assuming they cobble some kind of aberrant deal together with Panasonic, then maybe they can become a battery manufacturer.

     

    If I had to sit down with a blank piece of paper and a computer and try to find an industry that is less appealing, more competitive, moe capital intensive, and has worse cost and risk characteristics than autos, I am certain that industrial manufacturing of batteries would rise to the top.
    6 May 2014, 12:43 PM Reply Like
  • otiswild
    , contributor
    Comments (40) | Send Message
     
    B-class has too-small a battery and no DC quick charge. It is an autofail CARBifornia compliance car.

     

    Shame, really. They should have made it 40kWh usable and juiced the motor to get sub-7s 0-60 times, preferably with 2 or 4 motor AWD. Guess they didn't have the flexibility to do that since the B-class platform is not designed specifically for EVs.
    6 May 2014, 01:38 PM Reply Like
  • Anton Wahlman
    , contributor
    Comments (1933) | Send Message
     
    @ otiswild

     

    Not having DC charging is clearly a minus. The 0-60 time is more than adequate for 99.999% of people. 4 wheel drive on this car? Why? The B-class was indeed to fit alternative fueling systems under its high-up floor. This includes hydrogen as well as batteries. That's why they fit so well there.

     

    There is a clearly a market for a car with a bigger battery. At 36 kWh gross, this is still bigger than offerings from Nissan, BMW, Ford, GM and Honda.
    6 May 2014, 01:41 PM Reply Like
  • otiswild
    , contributor
    Comments (40) | Send Message
     
    "4 wheel drive on this car? Why?"

     

    Put a taller final drive ratio in the front and a shorter one in the rear, so you get the benefits of AWD (traction, handling, acceleration) as well as improved efficiency due to having a "2-speed" "transmission", at the cost of maybe 80-100kg.
    6 May 2014, 01:51 PM Reply Like
  • Anton Wahlman
    , contributor
    Comments (1933) | Send Message
     
    @ otiswild

     

    Surely you know better than Mercedes as to how to reduce cost in their cars. Not.

     

    With that logic, you'd put 4 wheel drive in every car. It's in a small % of cars. It carries extra cost, and if you live in a balmy climate most people don't want to pay for it.

     

    If you're driving in Montana in the Winter, it's a different story. But that's not where this car will be selling.
    6 May 2014, 02:51 PM Reply Like
  • otiswild
    , contributor
    Comments (40) | Send Message
     
    Electric motors are simpler, lighter, cheaper and more robust than traditional engines. Model X has already been announced to have AWD with different ratios, and Model S will be getting it in a refresh.

     

    Frankly, I'd like to see 4 motors per car, with the front 2 being taller-geared than the rear 2, perhaps with higher wattage in the rear. This would allow for "free" limited-slip diff, torque vectoring, etc. without the complication and friction of differentials and with not much more (if any) weight. SLS AMG Electric Drive already has this, but Tesla could probably do it better and cheaper with volume production. Heck, the Chevy Spark EV motor is compact and powerful (105kW / 542Nm), imagine one of them for each wheel (with short-shafts so they're not unsprung), with a 40kWh battery that can safely discharge at 5C and 10C in 10s bursts. So you can send ~1000Nm of torque to the rear wheels to launch (200kW with efficient traction control and "locked diff"), then transition to FWD as speeds rise and the taller front gears get powered. With torque vectoring, cornering is made more precise and handling is improved, as each wheel can be separately regeneratively-braked, so in a turn the inside wheels can be 'braked' and make the turn tighter.
    6 May 2014, 04:21 PM Reply Like
  • cparmerlee
    , contributor
    Comments (4264) | Send Message
     
    ThosEM wrote "and Tesla will rule that roost. "

     

    but, but, but, but ... folks have been telling me that the battery packs are already a small cost of the S, less than 25% of the cost, which puts the large pack at a cost of about $18K. If that is true, then Tesla will be just another parts source, not somebody that "rules the roost".

     

    And here's a news flash. When Merc sees enough volume to get its interest, it will produce its own packs. Using Tesla is simply a way to get to market quickly without a big capital investment. If Merc has high volumes, they only stay with Tesla if that is the lowest cost and Tesla is a good company to partner with -- and a "rule the roost" attitude will get them ejected pretty darned quick. Have you ever had any dealings with German companies? They really don't like to be lectured.
    7 May 2014, 12:31 AM Reply Like
  • otiswild
    , contributor
    Comments (40) | Send Message
     
    I guess it remains to be seen if the German auto industry is as lethargic and stupid as the US auto industry. I doubt it's THAT bad, but I also doubt they'll be able to keep up with Tesla in electrified transport given how many of their execs hate it. In 10 years I bet we'll see German exec still touting diesels while Tesla's 2 generations ahead of them in electrics. The Germans will also probably develop proprietary prismatics that cost 2x or more what Tesla's batteries cost, then complain about the expense.
    7 May 2014, 10:42 AM Reply Like
  • Ericbeneker
    , contributor
    Comments (4) | Send Message
     
    the I8 is a 130k+ two seat sports car with an all electric range of less than 20 miles and the I3 EV is seriously limited in range as well.

     

    As Model S owner #2672 with over 50k miles I'd like to say this car is an awesome machine and still feels and rides like a brand new car....A true quality product. I see no reason why the X and Gen3 will not be designed and produced with the same quality. I dont think the same can me said for BMW's
    6 May 2014, 12:15 PM Reply Like
  • otiswild
    , contributor
    Comments (40) | Send Message
     
    Also, i8's EV-only performance is shit, >9s 0-60 according to Road & Track.

     

    BMW's interesting stuff is their usage of CFRP, the EV parts are not up to the state of the art (which is currently defined by Tesla).
    6 May 2014, 01:40 PM Reply Like
  • ZZZaapp
    , contributor
    Comments (5) | Send Message
     
    EMT-you are only half wrong. The i3 EV is all electric but is as ugly as home made sin. The i8 starting at $135000.00 is not exactly price competitive except to the folks to whom $45000.00 (based on the 85KW version of Model S) means nothing.
    6 May 2014, 12:15 PM Reply Like
  • FLroller
    , contributor
    Comments (17) | Send Message
     
    Without a supercharging network around the coutry, no auto manufacturer will be able to bring an EV to market that remotely competes with Tesla, because it will be encumbered with the same range anxiety that had heretofore prevented EVs from becoming mainstream. Nissan offering free electric via charge cards to be used at public level2 charging stations doesn't cut it. Charging at a rate of 17 miles per hour of charging is nothing compared to the full charge I can get in my Tesla at a supercharger or a 20 minute charge to make it to the next supercharger if I'm in a hurry.
    6 May 2014, 12:15 PM Reply Like
  • Valueseeker
    , contributor
    Comments (1197) | Send Message
     
    @FLroller,
    For the price difference between a cheaper EV and Tesla model S 85, I would just buy another car, or keep my old gas car. If I'm really range concerned, Volt or BMW i3 REX would be a good choice, which is way cheaper and still gets me mostly EV miles. Even for i3 owners, BMW will give them a loaner a gas car for longer trips for free.

     

    You are also forgetting that most EVs now have the DC fast charge option, and its network is growing all the time. Nissan is even going to offer longer range Leaves.

     

    The fact remains, that model S is a car for 0.1%. 1% can afford it, and 10% of that 1% thinks like you do to consider it.

     

    If I were Tesla, I would forget Gigafactory and use that $2B to speed up model X delivery. In fact, I suspect this is a very likey thing to happen.
    6 May 2014, 08:57 PM Reply Like
  • WulfherSS
    , contributor
    Comments (246) | Send Message
     
    I have been in the i3 and it was instantly obvious that Tesla has no need to worry about BMW. It is a small barebones and cramped car. As for their plug-in hybrid, well it's not in the same class.
    6 May 2014, 12:29 PM Reply Like
  • nsmyth
    , contributor
    Comments (38) | Send Message
     
    I do think BMW e series vehicles are a threat to Tesla sales. I am a Model S owner and there are many demographics that purchased the tesla Model S. I likely would have considered the i3 were it available when I purchased the S a year and a half ago. With that said, I am very very pleased with the S and have zero regrets. Its a true pleasure to drive. It may be the case that Tesla helped to accelerate the move of BMW to electric drive trains, which is of course the mission of Tesla.
    6 May 2014, 12:32 PM Reply Like
  • Dan Fichana
    , contributor
    Comments (1920) | Send Message
     
    Look at the specs
    The i8 is more costly, has slower acceration and has a 20 ish plug in range.
    That would be competition for the Fisker- if Fisker was still around.
    The i8 is a 2 door, 4 seater, but the back seats are pretty cramped (near useless for a US grown adult) - check out insidev's review. When step 1 says "become a contorntionist- not a good sign.

     

    The i3; again not really competition for Tesla. It is smaller, has a lower range in pure EV mode and I would say it is direct competition for the Leaf, Focus EV, and Spark, but for people who want more luxury than said cars.

     

    The REX one puts it in competition with the Volt and Cmax.

     

    I would consider the i3 a compact car, maybe even mid-sized, but it by no means a "large" car like the Tesla Model S.

     

    Not really squeezing Tesla;
    I3 may get squeezed by the Leaf and Model S
    I8- well most people who have 140 K to blow on a car, well, I think the Model S may be a better choice unless they have no super chargers around, travel at excessively high speeds, never use the back seats or never need lots of storage space. That is a pretty small audience.
    6 May 2014, 12:36 PM Reply Like
  • otiswild
    , contributor
    Comments (40) | Send Message
     
    i3 really needs about 2x the usable battery for the BEV variant, and at least 50kW REx unit that gets 50mpg (easily done with a purpose-built Atkinson-cycle engine).
    6 May 2014, 01:42 PM Reply Like
  • nd_grad
    , contributor
    Comments (16) | Send Message
     
    Has the author actually seen or driven the all electric BMW i3? While it may be a Leaf competitor, it is not in the same league with Tesla.

     

    Tesla remains the only viable replacement for any ICE vehicle. When we took our 3300 mile trip to Montana in our Tesla Model S, for example, it was quiet, smooth and delightful. We charged at 50amp RV outlets which were easy to find. By contrast, it would be necessary to stop every hour (or so) to charge the BMW or Leaf.

     

    In fact, it would not be possible for us to drive around on many days without charging in any other electric car since we frequently travel 120 to 150 miles per day.

     

    In the vein of full disclosure, we have been driving a Tesla since June 2010 and it's still a thrill each and every day. We have around 42,000 miles on the vehicle and there has been zero (0) degradation of the battery or the range. in December 2012, we replaced our gas guzzling Prius with the Model S. These are the only two cars we own. Also, we charge both vehicles and power our house with a 5.1kW solar system. While it's not yet affordable for many people, it's possible.

     

    Conclusion - There is currently only one all electric vehicle that's a threat to the traditional auto makers, Tesla. If you have not yet driven one, take one for a spin. The experience is like stepping 30 years ahead in automotive technology.
    6 May 2014, 01:03 PM Reply Like
  • cparmerlee
    , contributor
    Comments (4264) | Send Message
     
    nd-Grad wrote "While {the I3} may be a Leaf competitor, it is not in the same league with Tesla."

     

    I think you missed the point. Nothing is a direct competitor to the S except a used S. The issue with the S is that it is a product for a tiny niche and that has already played out in all the big markets except China. The X is a slightly bigger niche, but it will quickly play out. The question is TSLA stock price and market cap, and none of that has anything to do with the S or the X. If TSLA planned to remain in the $100K bracket, it would be a $25 stock. The extra $175 of stock price is entirely due to the dreams and promises for the GenIII era.

     

    And the I3 proves that there will be PLENTY of very credible competition long before Tesla ever ships the first GenIII. People need to come out of the denial bubble. Things are moving quickly now. BMW just doubled their production volumes for 2014 and will still have a big backlog. It is hitting a big sweet spot and there are still at least 3 years of product improvements before the BMW product faces its first Tesla competition.

     

    Today the I3 is where the GenIII will have to compete. By the time Tesla can get there, there will already be a half million very attractive vehicles (Leafs, I3s, Volts, etc) in the space where the GenIII has to play. The question is not how everybody else is going to compete. The question is how Tesla can compete when they are getting started so much later than the big suppliers.
    7 May 2014, 12:49 AM Reply Like
  • Frank Greenhalgh
    , contributor
    Comments (2048) | Send Message
     
    BMW is certainly committed to EVs. Realizing that its weight vs battery range, they (with VW and investors) have built a carbon fiber plant in the state of Washington. In Germany BMW has built a robotic assembly plant for carbon fiber assembly. You glue carbon fiber pieces, not weld them. The i3 only weighs 2600 lbs. The i3 was scheduled for a run of 20,000 in 2014. Now I hear that demand has increased it to 40,000.
    6 May 2014, 01:03 PM Reply Like
  • Dan Fichana
    , contributor
    Comments (1920) | Send Message
     
    I'm not so certain about that demand, could be, but likelihood seems low.

     

    Here's why: Leaf and Volt sales and the market dynamics.

     

    Total leaf sales in 2013 were 47,000 @ MSRP of 29 K

     

    Volt sold a tad under 30,000 units in 2013 @ MSRP of 34 K

     

    Those are are selling average for thier respective msrps.
    (A tad below if counting the rebates).

     

    Bmw msrp base a tad over 41 K

     

    So selling 40,000 units per year may be tough. So what makes you think 9% of BMW 3 series drivers or any Volt or Leaf drivers are going to switch to an i3 or any other driver for that matter?
    Why would you pay 10 K more for a BMW when you can get a Leaf for 10 K less?

     

    Volt drivers if they have the money may go with an ELR
    Leaf drivers may go with a Model S.
    essentially you can model the i3 as a step up from a Volt or a Leaf.
    I expect the following sales for the i3 to end consumers- 14-17 K units per year with a growth that follows other EVs.

     

    The Model S is an anomly is that sense, and we can not expect ever car when adjusted for price to sell alot more than expected in its price category.
    6 May 2014, 05:27 PM Reply Like
  • Valueseeker
    , contributor
    Comments (1197) | Send Message
     
    I think, 40K bmw i3 could be just for the first year, to catch up with pent-up demand. Thereafter, it could become 20K again. At least, they aren't projecting 500K. It's clear, they will adjust as needed.
    6 May 2014, 08:16 PM Reply Like
  • cparmerlee
    , contributor
    Comments (4264) | Send Message
     
    Yogi wrote "40K bmw i3 could be just for the first year, to catch up with pent-up demand."

     

    They certainly wouldn't be planning all that production capacity for a six-month run. However, they certainly could drop the I3 down to a 20,000 run rate next year and add the I5 at 30,000 units or something like that. The point is that by the time Tesla can actually get into the market, there will be lots and lots of well established plug-in vehicles. That doesn't mean that Tesla can't make a splash. But it is insane for anybody to think they will just start mowing down all the established brands because of their superior _____ (you fill in the blank).

     

    And let's look at the I3. This is a pretty impressive piece of technology, even if you don't like the looks of it. If we are saying that its first year is a big hit at 40,000 units and then that model settles down to 20,000 or 30,000 a year, what does that tell us about the likelihood that Tesla will be soaring to 500,000 units a year? Does anybody seriously think the GenIII will be 20 times more attractive than any other product?
    7 May 2014, 01:00 AM Reply Like
  • Frank Greenhalgh
    , contributor
    Comments (2048) | Send Message
     
    See:
    http://bit.ly/1cxytgg
    6 May 2014, 01:10 PM Reply Like
  • winfield100
    , contributor
    Comments (839) | Send Message
     
    Note from the BMW page for the i3, the range for the vehicle
    http://bit.ly/1g5NXqI "120 - 185 miles per charge" they conveniently leave out the part that says when it uses gas. they are too embarassed to be honest because the range is too low, the price is too high. It does NOT have a 185 mile per charge unles you add, well, when the range extender is running to charge it using gasoline while running.
    The marketers wont tell the whole truth it seems
    6 May 2014, 01:18 PM Reply Like
  • Anton Wahlman
    , contributor
    Comments (1933) | Send Message
     
    @ winfield100

     

    This is hardly a secret. The EV-only version of the car was just certified by the US EPA at 81 miles. The EV-only range of the REx version will obviously be a shade less, given the additional weight. Then add another approximately 70 miles. Let's call it 70 + 70 = 140. You have the option of refueling up to 70 miles worth of range in 1 (one) minute at any gasoline station.
    6 May 2014, 01:33 PM Reply Like
  • winfield100
    , contributor
    Comments (839) | Send Message
     
    @Anton, why are you ignoring the point the marketers conveniently state
    "120 - 185 miles per charge
    Fully charged in approximately 3.5 hours"

     

    the implicit point here is the i3 can get up to 185 miles per charge. Many EV buyers won't be sophisticated enough to understand its NOT 185 miles per charge, it's 185 miles per charge while running a gasoline engine.

     

    The company is too embarrassed to tell the unvarnished truth.
    It's "hardly a secret" only to those who understand and Drive EV's. I certainly would like to get 185 miles on 22kWh, over 8.4 miles perWh
    6 May 2014, 02:38 PM Reply Like
  • Anton Wahlman
    , contributor
    Comments (1933) | Send Message
     
    @ winfield100

     

    As I pointed out, it's approximately 70 miles on electric and then another 70 miles on the generator, for a total of approximately 140 miles. The BMW web page for its range-extender isn't inconsistent with this, even if there is always some clueless person who don't understand the basics.
    6 May 2014, 02:54 PM Reply Like
  • winfield100
    , contributor
    Comments (839) | Send Message
     
    @Anton, then WHY does the BMW web page say "120 - 185 miles per charge
    Fully charged in approximately 3.5 hours" and NOT your 70 electric, 70 gasoline. extremely deceptive webpage and brochures
    http://bit.ly/1g5NXqI

     

    I certainly hope you NEVER advocate for a gasoline Tesla
    6 May 2014, 04:20 PM Reply Like
  • cparmerlee
    , contributor
    Comments (4264) | Send Message
     
    Winfield wrote "the implicit point here is the i3 can get up to 185 miles per charge. Many EV buyers won't be sophisticated enough to understand its NOT 185 miles per charge, it's 185 miles per charge while running a gasoline engine."

     

    Oh, so you don't like it when companies make misleading statements? Gee, I know another car company that has been doing a bit of that.
    7 May 2014, 01:03 AM Reply Like
  • tombland
    , contributor
    Comments (152) | Send Message
     
    Don't forget that Tesla's mission is to accelerate the global shift to electric vehicles. BMW's attempts, however good or bad are exactly what Tesla want, and should be welcomed. The publicity that is generated by the likes of BMW manufacturing electric vehicles is exactly what is needed to raise awareness among the public. A greater acceptance and knowledge of electric cars creates a wider audience, and then it's merely a case of letting the buyer choose the car that works best for them. The rest is all chiffchaff.

     

    Personally I think the touted 200 mile range of Tesla's Gen III is smoke and mirrors. It's not beyond the realms of possibility that they put that figure out there just to give other manufacturers something to aim at, when the reality may be that the Gen III will be closer to 300 miles or above thanks to the new technology within.
    6 May 2014, 01:42 PM Reply Like
  • Frank Greenhalgh
    , contributor
    Comments (2048) | Send Message
     
    The BMW i3 is a "City Car"according to BMW. It is easy to park, comfortable for four to drive in and with an EV range of 80 miles probably satisfies most peoples daily commute. If so it makes a wonderful "second car." Actually the Gen III will be competing for that audience.
    6 May 2014, 02:12 PM Reply Like
  • tech01x
    , contributor
    Comments (809) | Send Message
     
    I just test drove one an i3. A nice car, but no one is really cross shopping a Model S with an i3. All the attributes of the i3 are available in the Nissan Leaf if you get the revised battery chemistry and the Leaf is available for far less cost. Both are ugly. Both are anemic. Both are probably pretty good city cars if you really want that kind of thing.
    6 May 2014, 02:56 PM Reply Like
  • carlomiami
    , contributor
    Comments (297) | Send Message
     
    Kristina has no clue of what it is to own a high-end car, Tesla has no competition in BMW is not a comparable car, people who drive a test will get caught driving a BMW.
    Maybe a Ferrari or Landrover, the BMW is a hybrid , and not an equal compare to a totally electric car.
    Also the S model is model is a much more luxurious car then any BMW and the current market
    People who own a Tesla are all about money status in luxury , BMW makes common cars , get it .
    6 May 2014, 02:57 PM Reply Like
  • marshgre
    , contributor
    Comments (519) | Send Message
     
    @fgrindle

     

    As long as the Gen III seats at least five and lands the 200+ mile range it will sell far better than a 80 mile city car.

     

    * SA still hasn't found a fix for the iPad app - still can't post replies. Very frustrating *
    6 May 2014, 02:59 PM Reply Like
  • marshgre
    , contributor
    Comments (519) | Send Message
     
    @fgrindle

     

    As long as the Gen III seats at least five and lands the 200+ mile range it will sell far better than a 80 mile city car.

     

    * SA still hasn't found a fix for the iPad app - still can't post replies. Very frustrating *
    6 May 2014, 02:59 PM Reply Like
  • carlomiami
    , contributor
    Comments (297) | Send Message
     
    Sorry for the text, I was taking to the computer and it made a few mistakes.
    6 May 2014, 02:59 PM Reply Like
  • carlomiami
    , contributor
    Comments (297) | Send Message
     
    Talking
    6 May 2014, 03:00 PM Reply Like
  • Ampfreak
    , contributor
    Comments (3) | Send Message
     
    The German magazin "Bild" made a Test with the BMW i3 in February. The range without built in range extender was almost 90km (56 miles)! This is approximateliy 50% loss in range in cold weather. Tesla Model S looses at equal conditions approximately 20%.
    6 May 2014, 04:55 PM Reply Like
  • Frank Greenhalgh
    , contributor
    Comments (2048) | Send Message
     
    If the i3 is rated at 80 miles, 56 miles represents a 30% decrease not 50%. When the Gen III is designed, and the Gigafactory is up and running, BMW will have sold about 200,000 i3s. Who knows if the Gen III can meet its promises. In four years we will also be seeing i5s etc.
    6 May 2014, 05:24 PM Reply Like
  • cparmerlee
    , contributor
    Comments (4264) | Send Message
     
    fgrindle wrote "56 miles represents a 30% decrease not 50%."

     

    And let us not overlook the fact that there will be virtually no cold weather loss of the range that the extender provides. So if the I3 is equipped with a range extender, it total range loss would be more like 15% -- in other words, less of a cold weather range impact than the Tesla GenIII will suffer. More importantly, you can always get home in an I3, no matter if the weather is very cold and traffic is creeping along for hours.
    7 May 2014, 01:10 AM Reply Like
  • bobinfla
    , contributor
    Comments (4) | Send Message
     
    I have a theory. Since it was only a year ago, or a month, or yesterday, that the story was that no one will buy an electric car, everyone has range anxiety, batteries catch on fire, and after Tesla makes a small little blip by selling a handful of EVs to the 1%, EVs will disappear again just like they did 100 years ago. Now, regardless of any arguments about whether they are true EVs or hybrids, or whatever, BMW enters the scene with some cars that will be considered as EVs by the masses. This only helps push the concept of EVs more mainstream, which will only help Tesla, not be competition which will hurt their sales. As the perception changes and EVs are considered "normal" instead of exotic, then the story will not be one of EV vs EV fighting for market share amongst a limited number of wealthy tree-huggers, but cars that on their own merits are fighting for market share out of the roughly 65 million cars being produced annually. I don't percieve that BMW I-cars will take such a giant bite out of that 65 million that there won't be enough left for Gen III.
    6 May 2014, 08:44 PM Reply Like
  • Ampfreak
    , contributor
    Comments (3) | Send Message
     
    @ fgrindle
    BMW Europe quotes 160km (100 miles) range, some sources say even 170km. 56 miles range and 100 miles quote equates to 56%. But its true, with the range extender its all different. But then it is no more an EV it is then a complex Hybrid with a noisy engine and more service costs.
    7 May 2014, 05:17 AM Reply Like
  • Frank Greenhalgh
    , contributor
    Comments (2048) | Send Message
     
    I think that BMW marketing decided that the EV plus optional charger would meet the requirements of a larger audience than just an EV with an 80 mile range. Many will buy it as a second car especially if their commute is less than 80 miles each day. The small motorcycle engine and its 2.7 gallon tank eliminates range worries when needed. The fact that the i3 drives like an EV regarding instant acceleration and one pedal braking makes it an ideal commuting car at $45,000?
    7 May 2014, 11:51 AM Reply Like
  • Ford Prefect 1969
    , contributor
    Comments (2282) | Send Message
     
    $45K buys a relatively serious BMW 3 Series, i3 just not competitive with ICE and it's not really pure enough to be of interest to a green freak. It's a weird styling statement - apparently it is well received in Barcelona.
    7 May 2014, 12:25 PM Reply Like
  • Frank Greenhalgh
    , contributor
    Comments (2048) | Send Message
     
    The i3 is definitely a statement. A car designed to appeal to a commuter who is tired of spending $50 a week for gas, and wants a high end car. The interior of the i3 is high end. The EV acceleration and braking are really what EV drivers desire and BMW gives it to them. To some it may look ugly but as the Prius made a statement with the rear window and profile, the Hummer?
    7 May 2014, 01:31 PM Reply Like
  • Ford Prefect 1969
    , contributor
    Comments (2282) | Send Message
     
    Hummer - that was the most subsidised car in history. True, it was heavy enough to qualify as a commercial vehicle if bought by a company. Total tax write off for the sake of registering an LLC.
    7 May 2014, 01:47 PM Reply Like
  • Bodian
    , contributor
    Comments (59) | Send Message
     
    News just hit that both version of the i3 (with or without range extender) will get the full $2500 ZEV credit in California.
    7 May 2014, 01:53 PM Reply Like
  • melissabrittany
    , contributor
    Comments (41) | Send Message
     
    BMW, one of the Big Three automakers in Germany, is looking to take on Tesla head on by releasing its new i8 plug-in hybrid sports car and the less expensive i3 city car and , the i8 will be packed with high-end features and better performance. The i8’s top speed of 155 mph and 4.4 second 0-60mph time exceeds the Model S’s top speed of 125 mph and 5.4 second sprint from 0-60mph.
    14 May 2014, 05:08 AM Reply Like
  • EarlyMorningTrader
    , contributor
    Comments (88) | Send Message
     
    The i8 does not beat the P85's 4.2 second "sprint from 0-60mph". And the i8 costs much more, seats only two persons and has less than 200 mile range even with the "range extender". Also - the P85 top end speed is 130, not 125. Now, it's a lot more common for drivers to go all out zero to 60 (getting on the freeway in light traffic) but how many times have you gone 130 mph, in a car, in your life?

     

    The i8 is, however, really gorgeous.
    12 Sep 2014, 01:28 PM Reply Like
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