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  • BMW And Volkswagen Join Forces To Take On Tesla's Supercharger Network [View article]
    Valueseeker, you obviously haven't followed the trials and tribulations that Tesla goes through to install Superchargers. In many jurisdictions it takes many months.

    50kW chargers really aren't all that useful for long range BEVs. They are too slow and too expensive. Long range BEV's don't need intra-city charging, but will use destination charging (40-80A J1772). 50kW at $35k to $80k a plug is just plain stupidity. Each 50/62kW charger that is installed is just wasting money. They could be putting in 80A J1772 to benefit all EVs, even Chevy Volts and the eventual deployment of BMW/Nissan/GM 200+ mile BEVs. That infrastructure is likely to be needed well into the late 2020's. 50 kW DC chargers, on the other hand, will look idiotic the moment any of them ship 200+ mile BEVs.

    Again, the only reason to support 50 kW DC chargers is because you don't believe you'll ship a 200+ mile BEV anytime soon. So your existing 24-30 kWh BEVs that you'll be selling for quite some time to come will need intra-city charging support.

    Just like the battery plant situation, you'll know well in advance that the majors are truly serious about long range BEVs when they do things that are consistent with the needs of long range BEVs. Like starting to support the mass installation of 100+kW DC charging at realistic locations - not auto dealers.
    Jan 23, 2015. 07:26 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • BMW And Volkswagen Join Forces To Take On Tesla's Supercharger Network [View article]

    Tesla is the crowd right now. They are the only manufacturer making cars that can reasonably go long distances. Their cars are the only ones that can charge over 100 kW.

    We'll see when the others ship a car that can charge over 100 kW and make 120-140 mile jumps between charge points with 80% of the battery. Until then, Tesla drivers are the only ones. Everyone else is really part of the L2 charging network, supporting destination and intra-city charging. Of course, most Tesla's don't need intra-city charging at all.

    A far more appropriate comparison is that slow J1772 == ISA. Tesla already supports the "ISA" of the EV charging world, which is basically 24A to 30A J1772. It also supports "EISA" or 40A to 80A J1772, which very few support, but is backwards compatible. In Europe, Tesla supports Mennekes, which is the rough equivalent. In this analogy, Microchannel == CHAdeMO. Tesla will support that too, with the CHAdeMO adapter, due to go on sale soon for $450. If CCS gets anywhere, then Tesla can make an adapter. We don't know if Tesla's connector in the U.S. will become the "PCI" of the industry, but the lead is significant and grows by the week.
    Jan 23, 2015. 12:36 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • BMW And Volkswagen Join Forces To Take On Tesla's Supercharger Network [View article]
    An additional note is that Tesla's HPWC is 17-19 kW for $750 + install costs, while the BMW DC CCS 24 kW charger costs $6,500 + install costs. The resulting price is about $900-1200 for the HWPC compared to $8,500-10,000 for the BMW. The charge rate isn't sufficiently higher with the BMW CCS to make that price worth the jump.
    Jan 23, 2015. 12:26 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • BMW And Volkswagen Join Forces To Take On Tesla's Supercharger Network [View article]
    The biggest takeaway people should get from BMW & VW's announcement is that these two companies don't believe they'll have a 200 mile BEV for sale anytime soon.

    For instance, if BMW was going to ship a 200 mile capable BEV in 2016, that car will likely have upwards to 60 kWh of battery. At roughly 1.5C peak, that battery can take 90 kW of charging. At a 2C peak, it can take 120 kW of charging. If they believed they would have the ability to ship a car than take 90 kW charging rate in a year, they would need to be building out the 90+ kW EVSE charging network in advance to compete with Tesla's 120-135 kW Superchargers. Instead, they make an announcement that they are looking at installing 24 kW to 50 kW charging. Not only that, they are looking at putting in 2 plugs at each location. That's hardly enough to handle congestion.

    Looking further down the pike, when they do have 200 mile capable cars, the internals of these 24 kW to 50 kW EVSE's will have to be almost completely replaced. That's because the copper and aluminum wiring inside them aren't going to be sized to handle 100 kW through 150 kW charging speeds. It means that it will cost almost the entire original install cost to bring these sites up to 100 kW charging.

    Therefore, this announcement is either BMW and VW wasting a lot of money putting in EVSE's that will be obsolete in 1-2 years, or they really don't believe they will have 200 miles BEV's in 1-2 years. Even at a 3-4 year range, these slow DC EVSE's make no sense. There is no way there is any payback on these EVSE's as a whole since they are both slow and expensive.
    Jan 23, 2015. 12:21 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Incredible Shrinking Tesla Disclosure [View article]
    Yeah, you still aren't getting it.

    Tesla's Fremont factory only makes Model S's. Except for a very few, they are all custom ordered with a named end purchaser.

    Any number of other automakers make several models on the same line, which means you have to wait for, say, a batch of Versa's to complete before the Leaf batch. Further, your custom order has to be slotted into production of vehicles that are intended for dealer lots. Then it would have to be shipped to you. So that custom Porsche 911 made in Germany would be slotted amongst other 911's bound for dealer lots and delivery would take some time assuming delivery in the U.S.

    Take the Cadillac ELR as an extreme example on that end. That model was made on the line that makes other vehicles at a pretty high volume. The 2014 Cadillac ELR production was cranked up, the 2014 production allotment were made, and then those lines moved onto other vehicle models. Then those cars were shipped to dealer lots and sat, and sat, and sat with a few purchasers. You can't custom order a 2014 ELR because they aren't making any. You can get a real sense of demand since there were lots of them sitting dealer's lots.

    Now, for a delivery in Fremont straight from the factory, if there weren't any custom orders in front of you, could be built almost immediately. The factory isn't building thousands of cars on spec to sit in dealer lots, so there isn't any production of spec cars in the way. They only make Model S's, so there's no waiting for other models to clear the line. I said a week because production takes 2-3 days, 1 day for parts sorting/prep, an extra day for color batching. So we're talking 4-7 days. A delivery in Fremont would basically take about week if there were zero custom orders in front of yours. For each week of delay, there's roughly 1,200 custom orders in front of yours.

    Now where it gets extra complicated is that Tesla does not fulfill orders in a first come, first served basis. Higher end models have priority. And batching occurs at several levels including geographic region. Try ordering a P85D for Hong Kong delivery for example and tell me that Tesla isn't production constrained.
    Jan 15, 2015. 03:10 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Incredible Shrinking Tesla Disclosure [View article]
    You're missing a whole bunch of data points. Always a dangerous thing to do when trying to forecast.

    Tesla definitely gave production rates in public interviews after the Q3 ER.

    If Tesla was not production constrained, any delivery of any Model S could be achieved from order to delivery from the factory within a week. Any day further than 1 week means there are cars ahead of your order in line. For overseas markets, add between 2-6 weeks. There are a number of order tracking spreadsheets that show far longer delays than that. Your logic is severely flawed.
    Jan 15, 2015. 10:55 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Highs and lows from Elon Musk's talk at the Detroit Auto Show [View news story]
    He also said this, ""Our aspiration was to deliver 33,000 cars" last year. We sold, in terms of cars, far more than that."
    Jan 13, 2015. 06:46 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How Will Tesla's Model 3 Fare Against Affordable High-Range EVs? [View article]
    Mr. Carlson,

    Thanks for running through the calculations. It's size and shape is going to make it more like the i3 or Leaf in terms of Cd, so I think it will struggle with efficiency at highway speeds. It, unfortunately, won't be light as it will have 3x the battery of an i3 and is unlikely to be made the same way an i3 is made to achieve that low weight. A Mercedes B-class electric is closer to what it will have in terms of efficiency.

    The slow DCFC rate is really puzzling. The Kia Soul's NCM battery apparently can be peak charged at over 2C, approaching 3C, but given it's Kia, who knows what stunt they pulled to claim that. They certainly didn't provide sufficient data and journalists have not followed up on it. However, it is possible that the "safe" discharge C rate and the charge C rate are very different, depending on how the chemistry is tweaked. Maybe it is a mistake, as all we have is from that Bolt subsite. We just have been given so little information and it appears that even the "green" journalists have not been able to ask the hard questions.

    At this point, without further information, I'm thinking the 200 mile range is based on city driving at a steady speed... say 30-40 mph. EPA range is likely closer to 150 miles than 200. Still, even at 150 miles it's a big step up and will win many converts.
    Jan 13, 2015. 09:38 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • How Will Tesla's Model 3 Fare Against Affordable High-Range EVs? [View article]

    Both the Bolt and the Model 3 are still vapor. The Bolt didn't get any more real today, since they showed what is clearly a concept car. It potentially has less to do with the real product than the Volt concept car shown in 2007.

    The difference with the vapor is that Tesla has built 2 separate 200+ EPA range rated mile pure battery electric cars. Tesla is building a massive battery factory to supply batteries for its products. Tesla recently expanded their factory for the Model X, and the Model X prototypes shown are far more real in terms of where they are in the process than the Bolt concept. Further, we know that the Model X is a relatively straightforward derivative of the Model S. GM has not produced any BEV with 200 miles of EPA rated range. GM hasn't really shown us really anything yet.
    Jan 12, 2015. 03:59 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How Will Tesla's Model 3 Fare Against Affordable High-Range EVs? [View article]
    chipdoctor, we're talking about GM. The company that is willing to kill you over less than $5. The company that had 77 separate recalls in 2014 with 26.6 million vehicles affected in the U.S. alone. That's the company that is more credible in your estimation?

    In any case, GM provided no details in their Bolt concept car presentation to validate their claims at all. Since they have never produced a 200 mile BEV using any common mileage range standard, GM needs to prove their claims. Tesla has already built 2 BEVs with 200+ miles of EPA range.

    Further, those that believe that GM can produce a light enough body for 200 mile EPA range based on a Sonic platform with few changes, then you haven't gone through the calculations. Take an i3 and extrapolate. Take a Leaf and extrapolate. Take a Model S 60 kWh model and extrapolate. Take the most optimistic battery specific energy gains possible with NMC and extrapolate. Until GM provides enough details, the Bolt's 200 mile range is nothing more than fiction.
    Jan 12, 2015. 03:28 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How Will Tesla's Model 3 Fare Against Affordable High-Range EVs? [View article]

    Did GM reveal the construction materials and methods of the Bolt to you in confidence? They have not announced anything about the Bolt's construction, so how do you get that it builds the Bolt's body in white any cheaper than Tesla Model 3? We don't have that kind of information for either vehicle.

    Note that GM provided almost no real information the Bolt concept, even less than expected. To compare to the original Volt concept car, GM provided on 1/2007:

    Volt concept weight: about 3,200 pounds
    Bolt concept weight: ???

    Volt concept electric hp: 161 hp
    Bolt concept electric hp: ???

    Volt concept battery weight: 400 lbs
    Bolt concept battery weight: ???

    Volt concept battery capacity: 16 kWh
    Bolt concept battery capacity: ???

    Volt concept pure battery range: 40 miles
    Bolt concept pure battery range: 200 miles

    Volt concept estimated price: $40,000
    Bolt concept estimate price: $37,500

    Volt concept charging time: 6 hours @ 110v
    Bolt concept charging time: 80% in 45 minutes, unknown rate/type

    There's a lot of critical information missing to evaluate GM's claims especially since they've never released a 200 mile BEV product.
    Jan 12, 2015. 11:14 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How Will Tesla's Model 3 Fare Against Affordable High-Range EVs? [View article]
    It will be very good for Tesla that GM is coming to the table to compete. I hope Nissan does too. Then we will see real products in the real world. Unfortunately, all we have right now is vapor to compare.

    The Bolt as shown is no more real today. GM showed a concept car, and go look at the Volt concept car shown in 2007 in comparison to the real Volt product that you could buy in December, 2010.

    See GM Bolt's subsite:

    Unfortunately, GM hasn't released details on the battery pack size, charging speed in terms of kWh (80% full in 45 minutes), nor the details on how it gets 200 mile range. No Cd ratio, no 200 miles at ? mph in order to find out how realistic the claimed range will be in the real product. The concept car doesn't have a CCS fast charge type 1 port, but 80% full in 45 minutes with probably 55 kWh battery is about 60-65 kW charge rate, probably using the top end of Combo CCS EVSEs.

    Using NCM, I expected a far faster claimed fast charge rate... at 2C, it should charge at about 110kW, or 80% in about 20 minutes. Real world actual rate, of course, will vary.

    Of course, it's actually $37,500 estimate price, not $30,000 and it has 4 seats in the concept car. I suspect the real prototypes will look far different from the concept car.
    Jan 12, 2015. 09:40 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • An electric Bolt from GM [View news story]

    Ah, we don't have any details on GM/LG's battery economics nor energy density. Hence I haven't commented on it. However, it is still likely to be behind Tesla's in terms of energy density and economics. At 5,000 vehicles, GM can afford to lose tremendous amounts of money in order to create a halo product and grab the ZEV credits.

    Quickly... is a matter of perspective. GM has to pay the money to scale up. Look at the previous history. Both the LG Chem battery plant in Michigan and the Nissan battery plant in TN took significant government loans. We can see how long it took to build and scale previous battery plants.

    If the Bolt has a negative gross margin, there isn't a big scaling up that going to happen. We'll see what they do this time.
    Jan 11, 2015. 01:47 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • An electric Bolt from GM [View news story]
    Davewmart, as for Boston Power, their plan is to sell lithium cobalt batteries for over $600/kWh in 2017. Good luck to them.
    Jan 11, 2015. 12:24 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • An electric Bolt from GM [View news story]
    The WSJ article specifically references the Michigan plant. If we start throwing out various important details, well, we kinda have to throw out the entire article since it's a prediction.

    As for LG Chem's new factory in China, that entire production will be occupied by hybrids and PHEVs in domestic (China) production. Remember, China has their own EV programs and quite an aggressive ones at that.

    Again, to build 100,000 x 200 mile BEV's, each battery pack has to be roughly 55kWh and so that's 5.5 gigawatt hours. That's bigger than the LG Chem plant in Michigan + the new LG Chem plant in China + the Nissan Smyrna plant combined (at nameplate capacity). Cost to build the LG Chem plant in Michigan to build just over 1 gigawatt hour capacity was $300 million (actually, 60% of nameplate capacity in terms of actual production). That plant has never hit even 50% of nameplate capacity in reality, so they will have to build out further.

    In comparison, Tesla already used about 2.5 gigawatt hours in 2014 and will likely use around 5 gigawatt hours in 2015, but will use more battery capacity in each vehicle. The Gigafactory first phase is likely around 11.5 gigawatt hours (1/3) and combined with existing Panasonic factories, will have more than 15 gigawatt hours of production in 2017. Right now, the current plan for GM/LG we know thus far is for 1/15th of that.
    Jan 11, 2015. 12:19 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment