S2 E4: How Tesla batteries work with Ravindra Kempaiah

Conversation outline:

3:18 How did you first become interested in batteries?

7:56 How did Li-ion become the defacto batteries for vehicles?

13:34 How do batteries go from raw material to battery cells?

20:00 How can energy density be improved?

25:52 What is the electrical process of a battery when it is used to drive a vehicle?

36:07 Where is the bottleneck for energy density?

43:05 What are the raw materials in an 18650 cell?

44:20 Is cobalt really needed?

51:28 How are cylindrical, prismatic, and pouch style battery cells different?

59:48 What does energy density look like in 5-8 year?

1:01:51 What is the process of manufacturing a battery cell?

1:05:06 How will Maxwell Technologies improve the battery cell production process?

1:12:38 What is drying and coating?

1:13:39 What is calendaring?

1:14:48 What makes Maxwell’s Dry Battery Electrode so special?

1:21:30 How are Li-ion batteries recycled?

1:30:52 How do extreme temperatures and voltage impact battery longevity?

S2 E3: EQC production, VW Gigafactory, ID.3 pre-orders, Nikola Motor event, Model S & X range increase, Model 3 lease, and Colorado charging bill

Mercedes EQC hits low volume production

[InsideEVs] “Let’s get the stats out of the way first. The EQC packs an electric motor at each axle and an 80-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery. The combination is good for 402 horsepower, 561 pound-feet of torque, and, according to Mercedes-Benz, 277 to 293 miles of range per charge while consuming power at the rate of 20.8 to 19.7 kWh per 100 kilometers, when measured on the New European Driving Cycle. U.S.-specific numbers, via the EPA or on the globally accepted WLTP scale, aren’t available just yet. Recharging at 240-volt/32-amps takes 10 hours to go from 10 to 100 percent. Every EQC can handle DC charging at 110 kilowatts, allowing owners to go from 10 to 80 percent charge in just 40 minutes.”

Source: https://insideevs.com/reviews/349606/mercedes-benz-eqc-first-drive/

VW Group moves forward with $1.1b battery plant

“The Supervisory Board and Board of Management of Volkswagen AG took important decisions for the future of the Volkswagen Group today. As part of its electrification offensive the Volkswagen Group is to move forward with setting up a battery cell production facility in Europe under a partnership. To that end, the Supervisory Board approved investments of just under one billion euros at today’s meeting. It is planned to locate a battery cell production facility in Lower Saxony (Salzgitter). It was also decided to begin concrete negotiations on the planned new multibrand plant in Europe with the remaining potential locations.”

Source: https://www.volkswagen-newsroom.com/en/press-releases/supervisory-board-and-board-of-management-take-important-decisions-for-future-of-volkswagen-group-4982

Pre-orders for the ID.3 open for Europe

“The ID.3 1ST special edition, which has been especially configured for pre-booking, includes high-quality, high-performance equipment and is limited to 30,000 vehicles. Volkswagen is equipping the ID.3 1ST with the medium-sized battery option later available for the ID.3 series, which is expected to be most popular. With the three series battery options, ranges between 330 (205 mi) and up to 550 (342 mi) kilometers in accordance with WLTP will be possible. The pre-booking special edition has a range of 420 km (261 mi) (WLTP). ”

“Pre-booking is being offered in 29 European markets. The most important markets in Europe for the ID.3 will be Norway, Germany, the Netherlands, France, the UK and Austria. On average, Volkswagen plans to deliver more than 100,000 vehicles per year to customers.”

Source: https://www.volkswagen-newsroom.com/en/press-releases/volkswagen-offers-pre-booking-for-the-first-time-4956

Nikola Motor event

5 products in 2 days at a conference style event. The introduced an electric wav runner, electric ATV, electric OHV vehicles for military use, and two semi trucks, one for North American markets and one for European markets.

Nikola Two:

2,000 lb feet of torque

1,000 horsepower

500-750 miles of range (805-1,207 km)

13” instrument cluster

17” infotainment display

Torque vectoring rear wheels

Standard with advanced hardware capable of active safety features

Hydrogen version: 80 kg tank

Battery version: It will come with a 500, 750, or 1000 kWh

Production in 2022

Nikola Tre:

300-750 miles of range (483-1,207 km)

Hydrogen version: 60 kg tank

Battery version: It will come with a 500, 750, or 1000 kWh

Production in 2023

Advantages

I like Nikola CEO Trevor Milton’s enthusiasm. 

I also like Nikola has a zero emissions mission.

As it stands right now hydrogen appears to be better for long haul than battery electric vehicles due to large weight difference. 

They’ve been touting that refueling hydrogen is faster than batteries but that does not factor in any current or future development in DC fast charging like Tesla’s Semi Megachargers.

I think their two best chances of revenue among their product line are their semis and Reckless military vehicle.

Challenges

For commercial fleet vehicles, Nikola appears to be pioneering the production and distribution of hydrogen. They are building this infrastructure from the ground up as according to US Department of Energy, there are only 47 public hydrogen stations in North America.

The other challenge I see if having enough capital to drive new 5 vehicle programs and build a network of hydrogen stations at the same time. This sounds as ambitious as some of Elon Musk’s claims. Ultimately, execution will be the true proof of whether all of Nikola’s plans will happen.

Source: https://www.allthingsev.info/youtube/2019/4/30/nikola-world-recap-5-new-vehicles-in-2-days?rq=nikola

Tesla Model S and X get range bumps

Model S goes from 335 to 370 miles. (539 to 595 km)

Model X goes from 295 to 325 miles. (475 to 523 km)

“…which combines an optimized permanent magnet synchronous reluctance motor, silicon carbide power electronics, and improved lubrication, cooling, bearings, and gear designs to achieve greater than 93% efficiency.”

Source: https://www.tesla.com/blog/longest-range-electric-vehicle-now-goes-even-farther

Model 3 now available for lease

Model 3 leasing is now available for as little as $399 per month with 10,000 mi per year 36 month term. There are some caveats: 1) The Standard Range is not eligible for lease and 2) At the end of the lease term you must give the car back to Tesla. They have indicated they intend on using those vehicles for the RobiTaxi fleet.

Colorado EV Charging Bill HB19-1298

This bill was passed by legislators in the session that ended on May 3. It allows law enforcement to write a $150 ticket to anyone vehicle owner blocking an EV charging stop in Colorado. There must be a clear sign stating the statute and fine amount in order for the law to be enforced. There is a grace period of 30 minutes for EV once charging has stopped. The bill excludes EVs parked at a hotel and airport, or between the hours of 11pm-5am.

The bill was a bi-partisan bill backed by Representative Jovan Melton and Senator Kevin Priola. Once the bill is signed by Governor Polis the law will go into affect August 3.

I’m proud to say this bill was driven soling by electric vehicle owners in Colorado with a Denver Tesla Club member point person Kamala Vanderkolk.

Why did I support this bill? If any area intends to encourage EV adoption, it is imperative that charging spots are protected - especially in remote areas where there may not be very many charging options.

Bill details: https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/hb19-1298

Wrap up

Thank you so much for listening

If you’d like to get your question answered on All Things EV Podcast tweet me at @SeanMMitchell and use the hashtag #AllThingsEV.

If you enjoyed the episode please consider subscribing and writing a review. This will help the podcast show up to more people looking for a reliable source for EV news.

Lastly, if you would like to review the articles mentioned in this podcast you can go to AllThingsEV.info/podcast.

I’ll talk with you all on the next episode of All Things EV Podcast.

S2 E2: Bollinger Motors - Maker of Mid Mod Electric Trucks

Interview summary:

00:34 Where did Bollinger get its start?

3:53 What inspired you to make an EV over a combustion version?

5:01 Why do you personally prefer electric powertrains?

6:12 How has Bollinger been funded up unto this point?

9:23 What is Bollinger currently working on?

11:25 What inspired the retro style in your vehicles?

15:23 What are some of the features people will like about your vehicles?

17:02 What type of performance specs can people expect?

18:12 What type of range will your vehicles have?

18:52 Will your battery pack be actively cooled?

20:26 Will the vehicles be dual or quad motor?

20:41 Where does the battery pack sit?

21:58 How have you approached vehicle safety?

24:37 Will these vehicles comes to right hand drive markets?

24:55 What is your timeline for your 4-door vehicles?

26:45 What type of charging standard will the vehicles have?

27:48 What will the charge rate be?

30:09 Have you thought about how owners will charge in remote places?

32:05 What news can we expect this year?

Check out Bollinger: http://bollingermotors.com

S1 E9: Electric Volvo XC40, ice drifting in the Porsche Taycan, EVs in Norway, Vistra replacing coal power plants, Japanese rail installs Tesla Powerpacks, and coal powered EVs?

Volvo XC40 is going electric

[Automotive News] Volvo will reveal the full-electric version of the XC40 before the end of the year, the company told Automotive News Europe at a safety event here last week. Officials declined to provide additional details.

Adding a battery-powered version of the compact crossover to the lineup is a crucial step for Volvo, which wants full-electric cars to account for half of its global sales by 2025.

Source: https://www.autonews.com/cars-concepts/volvo-xc40-full-electric-variant-debut-year

Porsche Taycan goes ice drifting

[InsideEVs] 

  • 0-100 km/h (62 mph) in “way below” 3.5 seconds

  • “more than a dozen 0-62mph standing starts with no fall-off in power”

  • “at least four 0-124mph runs without degradation”

  • top speed of at least 250 km/h (155 mph)

  • “It will maintain its top speed “for longer than you could drive at that speed on any public road”

  • range to be above 500 km (311 miles) NEDC (WLTP range of ~270 mi and EPA range of ~240 mi)

  • 800 V architecture

  • battery recharge in just 4 minutes to replenish 100 (62 miles) according to NEDC

  • 10-80% recharge in around 20 minutes

Source: https://insideevs.com/details-porsche-taycan-spill-test-drives/

It’s an EV world in Norway

[Teslarati] Norway registered 10,316 electric vehicles in March, comprising 58.4% of all car sales in the month. This was the first time that EVs accounted for more than 50% of all auto sales in the country. The market share of all-electric cars in the first quarter was also the highest recorded at 48.4%.

What is rather remarkable about Norway’s EV sales record was that it was largely driven by the Tesla Model 3, which set a new benchmark for competing electric car makers by selling 5,315 vehicles in March. That’s far above the previous record held by the Nissan Leaf, which sold 2,172 units in one month last year.

Source: https://www.teslarati.com/tesla-model-3-norway-electric-car-sales/

Energy provider Vistra is replacing coal plants with solar and battery storage

[PV Magazine] Illinois State Representative Luis Arroyo filed an amendment to House Bill 2713, the Coal to Solar and Energy Storage Act. The legislation aims to create a financial structure to keep at-risk coal plants online through 2024, while funding a build-out of solar+storage, energy efficiency, and transmission to replace the lost capacity.

Just last year, a study sponsored by NRDC and Sierra Club finds that old coal plants can be retired and safely replaced by solar and other resources. The study was written specifically to counter a push by Vistra Energy to gain subsidies for its old plants.

Vistra Energy and its subsidiaries own 5.5 GW of coal resources within the region noted in the legislation (MISO Zone 4), which represents 40% of the summer capacity within that region. The company is seemingly a (the?) major backer, as noted by their website and press releases supporting the document.

Source: https://pv-magazine-usa.com/2019/04/01/the-illinois-coal-for-solar-and-energy-storage-act-is-real/

Japanese Rail company goes Tesla with Powerpack

[Cleantechnica] 

Tesla has completed its largest battery storage installation in Asia in Osaka, Japan. The 4.2 MW / 7 MWh facility uses 42 Tesla Powerpack battery storage units, which were installed in just 2 days following their arrival onsite.

The customer is Kintetsu Railway, whose electrified trains operate on 500 km (311 miles) of track.

Source: https://cleantechnica.com/2019/03/29/largest-tesla-battery-storage-installation-in-asia-for-japanese-railway/

Are EVs really powered by coal?

The statement I see very often in the comments of my videos from contrarians regarding EVs is that they are no better than fossil fuel powered vehicles since they are charged from the grid, which they say, is powered by coal. This raises the question, are EVs really powered by coal?

The short answer is: it depends on where you live in the world. 

Mexico: 80% of power generated comes from non-renewable sources like petroleum, coal, and nuclear. 

China: 70% from non-renewables - 63% coming from coal.

Australia: 87% of power generation in the country from coal.

Mexican power: https://www.eia.gov/beta/international/analysis.php?iso=MEX

Chinese power: https://www.eia.gov/beta/international/analysis.php?iso=CHN

Norway: 100% of your electricity is generated by water through hydroelectric means.

Canada: 648.4 TWh of electricity, of which 66% came from renewable sources - and 59% of their renewable sources are coming from hydroelectric.

Norwegian power: https://www.ssb.no/en/energi-og-industri/statistikker/elektrisitet/aar

Canadian power: https://www.nrcan.gc.ca/energy/facts/electricity/20068

For this video, we’re going to dive into detail over what the US energy mix is and just how much comes from non-renewable sources like coal.

If we look at a graph of US power generation from 1965-2018, we instantly get an idea of where our power is coming from. The big blue line is coal. As you can see, coal hit its peak in 2007 with just over 2 million killowatthours generated and has been taking a sharp decline since then. This coal decline is in direct correlation to natural gas’s sharp incline, taking over as the dominant energy source in 2015 with 1.3 million killowatthours generated.

US power: https://www.eia.gov/totalenergy/data/browser/?tbl=T07.02A#/?f=A&start=1949&end=2017&charted=1-2-3-5-8-14

US Renewable: 16%

US Coal: 28%

US Natural Gas: 35.8%

Why aren’t renewables better represented in the US? Three words: supply and demand. Lack of demand keeps costs high. High demand typically drives research and development (R&D). R&D creates efficiencies usually result in lower costs and economies of scale, which consequently spur on even demand. 

This is certainly the case for any new technology. The cost is typically high in the beginning, but then falls as mass adoption takes place. Remember the cost of early mobile phones in the 80s? The Motorola DynaTAC in 1983 cost just under $4,000, factoring in inflation that’s over $10,000 in today’s money. You can now find smartphones for $200-$300.

I expect renewable sources of power generation to follow a similar ubiquitous trajectory. Here’s why: EVs are powered by electricity. As more people choose electric powertrains over fossil fuel variants, the demand for powering an EV at home will increase. If an owner sees that home electricity costs increase, they will look into ways to reducing those costs. What is the most cost effective and efficient way for a home owner to generate their own power? You probably guess it - solar power and home battery storage.

Electric vehicles will likely singlehandedly drive solar and battery storage costs - resulting in a vehicle powered completely by sun. In fact, even if an EV owner ops to not install a home solar system, large scale power providers are also driving renewable sources of energy.

Duke energy has committed to adding 700 MW of solar energy by 2022. 

NextEra Energy currently generates 2,000 MW of solar energy, 14,000 MW of wind energy, and has 100 MW of battery storage in their territory. 

Though some might say it’s important, these companies aren’t driven to save the world from climate change - they’re driven by profits. Power providers are learning that after up front costs, renewable energy power generators are extremely inexpensive and profitable. This expansion of clean energy generators only benefits the EV owner looking to power their vehicles from clean sources.

Duke power: https://www.duke-energy.com/our-company/environment/renewable-energy

NextEra power: http://www.nexteraenergy.com/sustainability/environment/renewable-energy.html

So to address the question, are EVs really powered by coal?

If you power your vehicle from the US grid, only partially and the grid is becoming cleaner each year. If you choose to install solar and home battery storage on your home, your EV can be powered by 100% renewables - something fossil fuel vehicles will never be able to claim.

Wrap up

Thank you so much for listening

If you’d like to get your question answered on All Things EV Podcast tweet me at @SeanMMitchell and use the hashtag #AllThingsEV.

If you enjoyed the episode please consider subscribing and writing a review. This will help the podcast show up to more people looking for a reliable source for EV news.

S1 E8: Mini Cooper, Taycan Cross Turismo, VW ID, Pininfarina Battista, Nikola Motor, Model Y Unveiling and a plethora of other Tesla news

All electric Mini Cooper coming later this year

[Autoblog] “The drivetrain is based on the middle model of BMW's i3 range, the i3S, with its 135 kilowatt/181 horsepower motor and 94 amp-hour, 33 kilowatt hour battery. The battery is a 96-cell lithium-ion unit from Chinese supplier CATL instead of BMW's previous supplier, Samsung, and it weights 441 pounds. Unlike the team-built, mainly carbon-fiber i3, the Mini is a standard three-door model that runs down the production line in Oxford, with a metal subframe that houses the electric motor, inverter, transformers, and control electronics so they can be slotted into place like a conventional driveline.”

Source: https://www.autoblog.com/2019/03/05/mini-cooper-se-battery-ev-review/

GM to invest $300m for new Chevrolet EV

[GM] “The new Chevrolet electric vehicle is in addition to the existing Chevrolet Bolt EV, further advancing GM’s commitment to an all-electric future. It will be designed and engineered off an advanced version of the current award-winning Bolt EV architecture. Additional product information and timing for the new Chevrolet EV will be released closer to production.”

Source: https://media.gm.com/media/us/en/gm/home.detail.html/content/Pages/news/us/en/2019/mar/0322-orion.html

Taycan Cross Turismo cleared for production

[Teslarati] “During Porsche’s annual press conference in Stuttgart last week, the company provided new details about the Taycan Cross Turismo, the Taycan sedan’s (formerly the Mission E concept car) more rugged sibling. The automaker noted that the Cross Turismo had been cleared for production next year, with the vehicle set to be produced alongside Taycan sedan in the company’s Zuffenhausen site.”

Source: https://www.teslarati.com/porsche-taycan-cross-turismo-production-photos/

VW ID pre-orders start May 8

[Autoblog] “Jurgen Stackmann, Volkswagen's brand board member for sales, let the cat out of the bag at VW's brand press conference. "The first stage of this journey will get under way on May 8," Stackmann says. "That is when pre-booking for the I.D. starts. Starting then, customers who want to be among the very first I.D. owners can make a down payment to secure an early production slot." He continues, "I think it not improbable that the launch edition will already have sold out before the I.D. is unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show; the numbers being reported by our dealers indicate that.”

According to Top Gear the ID will have a WLTP range of 206 and 312 miles and a DC charge rate up to 125 kW.

Source: https://www.autoblog.com/2019/03/13/volkswagen-id-hatchback-orders-europe/

Pininfarina unveils their all electric Battista

“In aiming to be the world’s first fully-electric luxury hypercar, extreme levels of technology and functional design lie beneath the Battista’s carbon fibre exterior, supporting the delivery of staggering performance for a road car. Power and torque equate to 1,900 bhp and 2,300 Nm respectively, meaning the Battista has the potential to accelerate to 62 mph in less than two seconds, faster than a Formula 1 car, and break the 250 mph top speed barrier – all with a potential zero emissions range of over 300 miles. No more than 150 Automobili Pininfarina Battistas will be available from late-2020 at a price estimated between US$2m and US$2.5m. 50 cars are currently allocated to the USA, 50 in Europe and 50 for the Middle East and Asia region.”

Source: http://www.pininfarina.it/en/homepage/homepage.htm#

Nikola Motor closes on 400 acre land in Arizona today

“Nikola Motor Company (“Nikola”) and Saint Holdings today announced the acquisition by Nikola of approximately 400 acres of property in Pinal County at Inland Port Arizona in Coolidge.  Nikola plans to build its hydrogen-electric class 8 trucks at its manufacturing facility at this location and anticipates the project will bring approximately 2,000 jobs to the region by 2024."

Model 3 deliveries in Europe and China

[InsideEVs] 

Top five BEVs in Western Europe in February 2019:

Source: https://insideevs.com/tesla-model-3-outsells-evs-europe/

Tesla’s referral program is back

The new referral program will give both people 1,000 miles of free supercharging and allows the referee a chance to win a Founder’s Series Model Y and a Founder’s Series Roadster, both signed by Elon and Franz.

Source: https://www.tesla.com/blog/teslas-new-customer-referral-program

Tesla’s manic actions over the last two weeks

Over the last two weeks, Tesla dropped prices, announced they would be closing down all stores and going to an online purchase model, then back tracked by increasing pricing and opting to close down only low traffic and low performing stores.

Source: https://www.tesla.com/blog/update-tesla-stores-and-pricing

Supercharger V3 is now live

On March 6 Tesla introduced the long awaited V3 Supercharging. If you have a Long Range Model 3, you can change up to 250 kW or 1,000 miles per hour. It sounds like in the near future all Model 3s will be eligible for V3.

Strangely absent from this announcement is any explicit association of Model S and X with V3, which further stokes my suspicion that a battery refresh is coming.

“We’re launching V3 Supercharging for Model 3, our highest volume vehicle, and we’ll continue to expand access as we review and assess the results of millions of charging events. We will increase Model S and X charging speeds via software updates in the coming months. V3 Supercharging will roll out to the wider fleet in an over the air firmware update to all owners in Q2 as more V3 Superchargers come online. Our first non-beta V3 Supercharger site will break ground next month, with North American sites ramping in Q2 and Q3 before coming to Europe and Asia-Pacific in Q4.”

Tesla is also introducing a new feature call “On-route Battery Warmup” that will preheat the battery as you are headed to a Supercharging to optimize battery pack temperature and shorten charging time by 25% at V2 and 50% at V3 compared to V2 120 KW charge rates.

Tesla Model Y event

The Model Y event was last Thursday, an event I had the opportunity to attend. 

As I alluded to at the beginning of the podcast, I had an expected change in my travel plans when a blizzard came through Denver the day before the event. That caused Southwest Airlines to cancel my Thursday morning flight leaving me to figure out how to get to Los Angeles. After posting about my frustrations, a friend of the EV community offered his private plane which was in New Mexico - a huge thank you to this person for the extremely generous offer - you know who you are. The only reason why I did not accept his offer was because he would not find out if the plan would make it to Denver until the morning of the event. If is for that reason I decided to make the 21 hour drive from Denver to Los Angeles in my 75 kWh Model S. I left my house at 9 pm local time, drove through the night, and arrive at my hotel at 6:30 pm. I had enough time to shower and get over to the event in time for the start of the event being held at Tesla’s design studio.

The event began at around 8:30 and began with a history of Tesla’s vehicles today, including the S, 3, X, old roadster, new roadster, and semi truck, not to mention several S3XY and S3XYR references.

After about 30 minutes, Elon finally brought out the Model Y and it was very much what everyone expected - a Model 3 but a little bit larger and with a hatch.

The Y will be offered in 4 variants:

Standard Range: 230 miles, 0-60 5.9 sec, top speed of 120, $39,000, spring 2021 delivery

Long Range: 300 miles, 0-60 5.5 sec, 130 top speed, $47,000, fall 2020 delivery

Long Range Dual Motor: 280 miles, 0-60 4.8 sec, 135 top speed, $51,000, fall 2020 delivery

Long Range Dual Motor Performance: 280 miles, 0-60 3.5 sec, 150 top speed, $60,000, fall 2020 delivery

The cost of the Model Y begins at $39,000 and goes up to $74,500. To place an order for Model Y you’ll need to put down $2,500 up front. Delivery begins late this year with the higher priced variants first, and they’ll likely start deliveries first in California, just as they did with the Model 3.

Model Y production is expected to begin in late 2020 in North America, and in early 2021 in Europe and China. Standard Range production is expected to begin in early 2021 in North America, and in early 2022 in Europe and China.

United States, Canada, Mexico, China, Norway, Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Austria, Belgium and Spain. You will be able to order Model Y in additional markets soon.

Wrap up

Thank you so much for listening

If you’d like to get your question answered on All Things EV Podcast tweet me at @SeanMMitchell and use the hashtag #AllThingsEV.

If you enjoyed the episode please consider subscribing and writing a review. This will help the podcast show up to more people looking for a reliable source for EV news.

Lastly, if you would like to review the articles mentioned in this podcast you can go to AllThingsEV.info/podcast.

I’ll talk with you all on the next episode of All Things EV Podcast.

S1 E7: The Model 3 $35K, Model S and X pricing changes, the Polestar 2 reveal, Rivian’s digital jerry can patent, Nissan Leaf Plus pricing, and an all electric Macan

Model 3 $35K is finally here

“To achieve these prices while remaining financially sustainable, Tesla is shifting sales worldwide to online only. You can now buy a Tesla in North America via your phone in about 1 minute, and that capability will soon be extended worldwide. We are also making it much easier to try out and return a Tesla, so that a test drive prior to purchase isn’t needed. You can now return a car within 7 days or 1,000 miles for a full refund. Quite literally, you could buy a Tesla, drive several hundred miles for a weekend road trip with friends and then return it for free. With the highest consumer satisfaction score of any car on the road, we are confident you will want to keep your Model 3.”

“Shifting all sales online, combined with other ongoing cost efficiencies, will enable us to lower all vehicle prices by about 6% on average, allowing us to achieve the $35,000 Model 3 price point earlier than we expected. Over the next few months, we will be winding down many of our stores, with a small number of stores in high-traffic locations remaining as galleries, showcases and Tesla information centers. The important thing for customers in the United States to understand is that, with online sales, anyone in any state can quickly and easily buy a Tesla.”

“At the same time, we will be increasing our investment in the Tesla service system, with the goal of same-day, if not same-hour service, and with most service done by us coming to you, rather than you coming to us. Moreover, we guarantee service availability anywhere in any countries in which we operate.”

Source: https://www.tesla.com/blog/35000-Tesla-model-3-available-now

Tesla now offers 6 options for the Model 3:

Standard Range RWD

220 mi range (354 km)

130 mph top speed (209 kph)

5.6 0-60 sec

2-4 week delivery

Features:

  • Manual seat and steering adjustment

  • Cloth seats and base trim

  • Basic audio

  • Standard maps and navigation

  • Tinted glass roof with ultraviolet and infrared protection

  • Auto dimming, power folding, heated side mirrors

  • Music and media over Bluetooth®

  • Custom driver profiles

  • Center console with storage and 4 USB ports

Standard Range Plus RWD

$37,000

240 mil range (386 km)

140 mph top speed (225 kph)

5.3 0-60 mph

Within 2 week delivery

Features:

  • 12-way power adjustable heated front seats

  • Premium seat material and trim

  • Upgraded audio – immersive sound

  • Standard maps & navigation

  • LED fog lamps

  • Tinted glass roof with ultraviolet and infrared protection

  • Auto dimming, power folding, heated side mirrors

  • Music and media over Bluetooth®

  • Custom driver profiles

  • Center console with storage, 4 USB ports and docking for 2 smartphones

Mid Range RWD

$40,000

264 mi range (425 km)

140 mph top speed (225 kph)

5.2 sec 0-60 mph

Within 2 week delivery

Features:

  • 12-way power adjustable front and rear heated seats

  • Premium audio – 14 speakers, 1 subwoofer, 2 amps, and immersive sound

  • Satellite-view maps with live traffic visualization and navigation

  • In-car internet streaming music & media

  • Internet browser

  • Location aware automatic garage door opener

  • LED fog lamps

  • Tinted glass roof with ultraviolet and infrared protection

  • Auto dimming, power folding, heated side mirrors

  • Music and media over Bluetooth®

  • Custom driver profiles

  • Center console with storage, 4 USB ports and docking for 2 smartphones

Long Range RWD

$43,000

325 mi range (523 km)

140 mph top speed (225 kph)

5 sec 0-60 mph

Within 2 week delivery

Features:

  • 12-way power adjustable front and rear heated seats

  • Premium audio – 14 speakers, 1 subwoofer, 2 amps, and immersive sound

  • Satellite-view maps with live traffic visualization and navigation

  • In-car internet streaming music & media

  • Internet browser

  • Location aware automatic garage door opener

  • LED fog lamps

  • Tinted glass roof with ultraviolet and infrared protection

  • Auto dimming, power folding, heated side mirrors

  • Music and media over Bluetooth®

  • Custom driver profiles

  • Center console with storage, 4 USB ports and docking for 2 smartphones

Long Range AWD

$47,000

310 mi range (499 km)

145 mph top speed (233 kph)

4.5 0-60 mph

Within 2 week delivery

Features: 

  • 12-way power adjustable front and rear heated seats

  • Premium audio – 14 speakers, 1 subwoofer, 2 amps, and immersive sound

  • Satellite-view maps with live traffic visualization and navigation

  • In-car internet streaming music & media

  • Internet browser

  • Location aware automatic garage door opener

  • LED fog lamps

  • Tinted glass roof with ultraviolet and infrared protection

  • Auto dimming, power folding, heated side mirrors

  • Music and media over Bluetooth®

  • Custom driver profiles

  • Center console with storage, 4 USB ports and docking for 2 smartphones

Performance Long Range AWD

$58,000

310 mi range

162 mph top speed (261 kph)

3.2 0-60 mph

Within 2 week delivery

Features:

  • 12-way power adjustable front and rear heated seats

  • Premium audio – 14 speakers, 1 subwoofer, 2 amps, and immersive sound

  • Satellite-view maps with live traffic visualization and navigation

  • In-car internet streaming music & media

  • Internet browser

  • Location aware automatic garage door opener

  • LED fog lamps

  • Tinted glass roof with ultraviolet and infrared protection

  • Auto dimming, power folding, heated side mirrors

  • Music and media over Bluetooth®

  • Custom driver profiles

  • Center console with storage, 4 USB ports and docking for 2 smartphones

Autopilot

$3,000

Enables your car to steer, accelerate and brake automatically for other vehicles and pedestrians within its lane.

Full Self Driving

$5,000

  • Navigate on Autopilot: automatic driving from highway on-ramp to off-ramp including interchanges and overtaking slower cars.

  • Autopark: both parallel and perpendicular spaces.

  • Summon: your parked car will come find you anywhere in a parking lot. Really.

    Coming later this year:

  • Recognize and respond to traffic lights and stop signs.

  • Automatic driving on city streets.

Model S and X price changes

At the beginning of February Tesla did away with the 75 kWh battery for Model S and X. For about one month they offered a Model S 100 kWh battery at 335 miles (539 km), calling it the Model S Extended Range and a software downgraded 100 kWh battery at 310 miles (499 km) now known as just the Model S. Model X came in at 295 miles (475 km) and 270 miles (435 km) respectively. The cost to extend the range of both S and X was $8,000. Though they are no longer advertising the size of the lower range S and X I estimated it has access 93 of the total 100 kWh pack.

Now, for the Model S they offer a Standard Range (270 mi or 435 km) which could to be a true 85 kWh battery since they do not mention a software upgrade option, Long Range (335 mi or 539 km), Performance (315 mi or 507 km), Ludicrous Mode upgrade for $15,000. For the Model X they only offer Long Range (295 mi or 475 km), Performance (289 mi or 465 km), and a Ludicrous Mode for $15,000.

According to Electrek, Tesla dropped the starting price of the Model S 100D $10,000 to $83,000. The Model X 100D sees an $8,000 price drop to a starting price of $88,000.

Source: https://electrek.co/2019/03/01/tesla-model-s-model-x-prices-options/

Volvo’s Polestar 2 reveal

78 kWh battery

311 mi 500 km (WLTP) or an EPA target range of 275 mi (443 km)

Pouch style cells that make up 324 cells, 27 modules with cooling plates

300 kW AWD dual motor, 408 horsies, and 487 lb ft of torque

Bluetooth phone key

Wireless phone charging

Up to 150 kW charging

Android Auto on 12.3 driver display and 11.5 infotainment display which include apps like Google Maps, Google Assistant, Google Play app store

Over the air updates

No dealerships

Retail experience - 60 stores open by 2020

Monthly service

$45,000 (39,900 EUR)

$63,000 (59,900 EUR) AWD 300kW, pano glass roof, weave tech seats, Harmon Kardon sound

Production begins in February of 2020 for China, Canada, California, Sweden, Norway, UK, Germany, Netherlands, and Belgium.

You can configure and reserve your car for $1,000 deposit.

Rivian patent reveals R1T auxiliary battery that pushes range beyond 400 miles

Teslarati: The patent, titled “Electric Vehicle With Modular Removable Auxiliary Battery With Integrated Cooling,” describes an external battery module that can be fitted to an electric vehicle, thereby providing it with additional range. This is especially important for Rivian’s trucks, since they are designed to go off-road. Thus, the company notes that there is a need for an “auxiliary battery system for an electric automotive vehicle to increase the range of the electric vehicle, and in particular, an auxiliary battery system that can be carried by the electric vehicle.”

My thoughts: Though Rivian doesn’t say how large the digital jerry cans will be, here’s a few objections they’ll solve: 1) extending the range when towing and 2) extending range while in remote areas.

Source: https://www.teslarati.com/rivian-r1t-auxiliary-battery-patent/

Nissan Leaf Plus pricing

Nissan: LEAF S PLUS starting price is $36,5501, SV Plus is $38,510, and SL Plus is $42,550 all with a 62 kWh battery and up to 226 miles of range.

I also noticed that the Leaf allows remote features like lock/unock, climate control, horn and lights, and car park finder. It also appears from screenshots that you can name your vehicle, just like a Tesla.

The car is equipped with J1772 and Chademo charging

Source: https://nissannews.com/en-US/nissan/usa/channels/us-united-states-nissan-models-leaf-plus/releases/maker-of-the-world-s-best-selling-electric-vehicle-announces-pricing-for-the-new-longer-range-nissan-leaf-plus

All electric Macan

Electrek: Porsche’s board has now officially approved the next-gen Macan as the company’s “first all-electric compact SUV”.

Oliver Blume, Chairman of the Board of Management of Porsche AG, commented today:

“Electromobility and Porsche go together perfectly; not just because they share a high-efficiency approach, but especially because of their sporty character. By 2022 we will be investing more than six billion euros in electric mobility, and by 2025 50% of all new Porsche vehicles could have an electric drive system. Nevertheless, over the next ten years we will focus on a drive mix consisting of even further optimised petrol engines, plug-in hybrid models, and purely electrically operated sports cars. Our aim is to take a pioneering role in technology, and for this reason we will continue to consistently align the company with the mobility of the future.”

Porsche said that it will unveil the purely electric Macan “at the end of 2019, followed shortly thereafter by its derivative, the Taycan Cross Turismo.”

Source: https://electrek.co/2019/02/26/porsche-macan-electric/

Wrap up

Thank you so much for listening

If you’d like to get your question answered on All Things EV Podcast tweet me at @SeanMMitchell and use the hashtag #AllThingsEV.

If you enjoyed the episode please consider subscribing and writing a review. This will help the podcast show up to more people looking for a reliable source for EV news.

Lastly, if you would like to review the articles mentioned in this podcast you can go to AllThingsEV.info/podcast.

I’ll talk with you all on the next episode of All Things EV Podcast.






S1 E6: Nikola Motor going all electric, VW Group surprised by Model 3 cost, Porsche European charging network, Volvo’s Polestar 2 event, Tesla’s Sentry Mode, and a ton more

What’s going on everyone. Welcome back to the All Things EV Podcast. In S1 E6 I cover Nikola Motor Company going all electric, VW Group surprised by Model 3 cost, Porsche expanding their European charging network, Volvo’s electric Polestar 2 event, Tesla’s Sentry Mode, and a ton more.

Let’s dive in.

Nikola recognizes the advantages of BEVs. Will skip FCVs at some point?

Nikola Motor Company announces BEV versions of their hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, Nikola Two and Nikola Tre (the European version). They will offer 500 kWh, 750 kWh, and 1 mWh packs. The 1 mWh pack is expected to give the semi a 400 mi (640 km) range in ideal conditions and 300 mi (480 km) in colder weather.

BEV @ 80,000 lbs. uses ~ 2.25 kWh per mile in real weather and normal hills on routes. 1MWh gets about 400 miles. Only 90% battery is useable. In cold weather, you get 300 miles / 1Mwh. Takes 69,000 “21700” cells @ 68grams = 1MWh. 10.5k weight in cells. 20k truck weight2) Fuel cell 80 kg H2 gets 7-10 miles per kg and uses same 2.25 kWh per mile as BEV. Fuel cell weight 15k -17k so about 3k – 5k pounds less than BEV. Fuel Cell can’t be beat long haul and BEV is good option for short haul. World needs both. ICE is enemy, not hydrogen or BEV”

Source: https://apple.news/A7HlnDLCHNSqaj5BXRyOqiA

Tesla Model 3 cost surprised Porsche and Audi after reverse-engineering

An article from Electrek shares Now a new report from Germany’s Manager Magazin (German and paywall) includes a deep dive into the state of Audi with comments from executives and insider sources.

It claims that Porsche and Audi, who are working together on a next-generation electric platform, had to change their approach because the cost was too high compared to what Tesla is achieving.

They report: The next-gen platform called Premium Platform Electric (PPE) was greenlighted almost two years ago and it is expected to be ready around 2020 or 2021.

Source: https://apple.news/Aa3R7hxibQO2b0ZE45BvsUA

Porsche's Charging Network Now Expands to 12 Countries and 49,000 Stations

InsideEVs reports that Porsche is expanding its Porsche Charging Service – launched in May 2018 – to five new countries, which will enable access to more than 49,000 charging points under single contract, through Porsche ID card or smartphone app.

The service was initially available in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium and Finland, and now also in Norway, France and Spain. Great Britain and Italy will follow shortly, which will bring total number to 12 countries.

Porsche Charging Service cost €2.50 ($2.85) per month in Germany, plus fees for using the charging points, which depends on particular provider, charging station and amount of electricity

Source: https://apple.news/Ans037kBPRzCn4br79onqhA

Audi says it has over 20,000 reservations for e-tron electric SUVs

Electrek: Audi announced that “more than 20,000 customers worldwide have already made advance reservations” for the e-tron, its new all-electric SUV – though most of them still have to wait a few months before delivery.

The German automaker confirmed the number during a delivery ceremony where Audi’s new CEO, Bram Schot, gave the keys of an e-tron to Winfried Kretschmann, Minister-President of Germany’s federal state of Baden-Württemberg, for a test drive.

Source: https://electrek.co/2019/02/14/audi-e-tron-electric-suv-20000-reservations/

Mercedes-Benz says its first electric EQC SUV is already sold out for the year

Electrek: Mercedes-Benz says its first next-generation all-electric vehicle, the EQC electric SUV, is already sold out for this year and “probably” even next year, but it doesn’t confirm the actual production capacity.

Source: https://electrek.co/2019/02/14/mercedes-benz-eqc-electric-suv-sold-out/

Electric cars are already cheaper to own and run, says study

The Guardian: Electric cars are already cheaper to own and run than petrol or diesel alternatives in five European countries analysed in new research.

The study examined the purchase, fuel and tax costs of Europe’s bestselling car, the VW golf, in its battery electric, hybrid, petrol and diesel versions. Over four years, the pure electric version was the cheapest in all places – UK, Germany, France, Netherlands and Norway – owing to a combination of lower taxes, fuel costs and subsidies on the purchase price.

Researchers from the International Council for Clean Transportation (ICCT) said their report showed that tax breaks are a key way to drive the rollout of electric vehicles and tackle climate change and air pollution.

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/feb/12/electric-cars-already-cheaper-own-run-study

Volvo teases Polestar 2 electric car with new picture ahead of unveiling

Electrek: Volvo is again teasing the Polestar 2, its first all-electric car, with yet another a new picture ahead of the unveiling planned for later this month.

When Volvo rebranded Polestar two years ago, it was off to a somewhat awkward but interesting start as it unveiled its first vehicle, the Polestar 1.

The car turned out to be a highly expensive plug-in hybrid, which quickly sounded outdated when the automaker announced that they would bring an all-electric “Tesla Model 3 competitor” to production a year later.

The company is talking about making only electric vehicles going forward:

Over the past two months, the automaker has been releasing images and details of the vehicle ahead of the unveiling.

Source: https://apple.news/AA-UgT6EIQHKnSdqUlKPwNA

Tesla releases Sentry Mode with surround video recording and blaring musical alarms

Teslarati: Tesla’s Sentry Mode update has started rolling out to members of the company’s early access program, together with an improved dashcam feature that enables side camera recordings and a pet-friendly Dog Mode. With the feature enabled, Tesla’s vehicles would be able to record video feeds from their external cameras to constantly monitor their surroundings. 

As noted by Tesla in a blog post, Sentry Mode has three states. Upon activation, Sentry Mode enters a “Standby” state, using the video feeds from the vehicles’ multiple cameras to monitor and detect potential threats. In the event that a minimal threat is detected — such as a person leaning into the vehicle — Sentry Mode would shift to an “Alert” state, displaying a visible warning on the center display and stating that cameras are recording. 

If a determined thief still opts to break into the car by smashing a window, Sentry Mode enters an “Alarm” state. This immediately activates the vehicles’ alarm, maximizes the brightness of the center display for some glare, and plays music at maximum volume. This state is aimed at attracting immediate attention to the vehicle, with the added bonus of (hopefully) disorienting a would-be thief enough so that the robbery attempt would potentially be abandoned.

When a vehicle enters the “Alarm” state, owners will receive an alert from their Tesla mobile app informing them that an incident has occurred. Owners would then be able to download a video recording of the incident that begins 10 minutes before the threat was detected by the vehicle, provided that they have a USB drive plugged into their electric car before the security feature was activated.

It should be noted that Sentry Mode, at least at its current iteration, must be activated every time an owner wishes to use the feature. To do this, users must navigate to Controls > Safety & Security > Sentry Mode. Sentry Mode is starting its rollout to Model 3 vehicles, quickly followed by Model S and X that were manufactured after August 2017.

Source: https://apple.news/ASc9k7JuYR4ypvezMTpstYw

Shell continues green energy acquisitions with home battery/EV charger company Sonnen

Electrek: Shell has announced its acquisition of Sonnen, a German company that specializes in home energy storage. Mostly known for its home battery packs, Sonnen also expanded into home EV charging last year. What does it mean for the industry which includes Tesla’s Powerwall?

Terms of the deal were not disclosed in Friday’s announcement. Shell previously invested €60 million in Sonnen in May 2018. After completion of this acquisition, Sonnen will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Shell.

Sonnen’s main product is its sonnenBatterie, a home energy storage battery similar to Tesla’s Powerwall. sonnenBatterie comes in two models, the eco and the more advanced ecoLinx, which includes home automation features.

The company unveiled its sonnenCharger last year. The home EV charger lets owners charge using solar power — from a Sonnen home battery pack, or from the entire network of Sonnen home battery packs when their own power is low.

Source: https://electrek.co/2019/02/15/shell-acquires-home-battery-ev-charger-company-sonnen/

Videos

Why the Rivian / GM / Amazon deal could be a win-win-win (13:36 minutes): https://youtu.be/88_BGaffLyk

Can a non-Tesla EV make it without the North American Tesla Supercharging network? (11:42 minutes): https://youtu.be/wRQfZ9i_Q0I

First impressions: Audi e-tron (7:48 minutes): https://youtu.be/N3awqDy8gPQ

Wrap up

Thank you so much for listening

If you’d like to get your question answered on All Things EV Podcast tweet me at @SeanMMitchell and use the hashtag #AllThingsEV.

If you enjoyed the episode please consider subscribing so you automatically receive new episodes.

Lastly, if you would like to review the articles mentioned in this podcast you can go to AllThingsEV.info/podcast.

I’ll talk with you all on the next episode of All Things EV Podcast.

S1 E5: Honda’s new battery deal, Porsche 3 years of free charging, an interview with Rivian’s CEO, EV winter driving efficiency, and a flurry of Tesla news

All Things EV Podcast S1 E5

What’s going on everyone. Welcome back to the All Things EV Podcast. In S1 E5 I cover Honda’s new battery deal, Porsche 3 years of free charging, an interview with Rivian’s CEO, EV winter driving efficiency, and a flurry of Tesla news.

Let’s dive in.

Honda inks battery deal with CATL

Under an agreement signed Monday, CATL will supply 56 gigawatt hours worth of batteries to Honda through 2027. To aid the Japanese automaker's research and development, the Chinese company will also set up in the first half of this year a facility in Japan's Tochigi Prefecture, one of Honda's R&D hubs.

Source: https://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Business-Deals/China-s-CATL-to-supply-Honda-with-EV-batteries-through-2027

Porsche Taycan

Porsche will offer 3 years of free charging to owners through Electrify America’s network in the US

There’s a few variable that aren’t clear are will the charging be capped by time or energy, or will it truly be unlimited. Additionally, keep in mind that Electrify American’s fast charging is no where near as dense as Tesla’s is currently.

Source: http://fortune.com/2019/01/29/porsche-electric-vehicle-taycan/

The Taycan was recently spotted in Norway doing winter driving testing

A reddit user NEXPTV posts several photos of two Taycan driving in snowy northern Norway. From what I could tell, these care appeared to have difference license plates as the ones spotted last October on Stelvio Pass in the Italian Alps.

Source: https://www.teslarati.com/porsche-taycan-test-mules-winter-driving-norway/

Tesla

Model 3 prices in US now $1,100 less expensive. 

With a starting price now at $42,900, this should make it a bit easier for some to take the plunge and purchase the best selling EV in the US. Tesla says this is a result of production efficiencies and doing away with the referral program.

Source: https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1093042991994830849

European Model 3 began yesterday

As seen from Tesla’s Twitter account and many new European owners. Congratulations to everyone. This quarter is all about Europe and China.

Source: https://twitter.com/Tesla/status/1093691279249092608

Sentry Mode and Dog Mode role out next week

Source: https://electrek.co/2019/02/07/tesla-sentry-mode-next-week-break-ins/

Tesla acquires ultracapacitor and battery company Maxwell Technologies

The technology company was purchased for $200m worth of Tesla stock. Maxwell claims that with their dry electrode technology they can achieve 300 Wh/kg energy density, with a path to 500 Wh/kg. What does this mean for you? It means the batteries will last longer and allow for more range.

According to website The Conversation, they estimates a Tesla has a 254 Wh/kg. If this is true, Tesla has acquired a company that can improve their range ~15% at worst and 50% at best. This would be battery range improves between 385 - 500 miles (or 620 - 805 km).

Source: http://www.maxwell.com

Source: https://theconversation.com/teslas-batteries-have-reached-their-limit-heres-how-they-could-go-further-64765

Tesla does away with 75 kWh battery

Tesla follows through with doing away with the 75 kWh battery for Model S and X. Now they offer a Model S 100 kWh battery at 335 miles (539 km) call it the Model S Extended Range and a software downgraded 100 kWh battery at 310 miles (499 km) now known as just the Model S. Model X comes in at 295 miles (475 km) and 270 miles (435 km) respectively. Though they are no longer advertising the size of the lower range S and X I estimate it has access 93 of the total 100 kWh pack.

The cost to extend the range of both S and X is $8,000.

Source: https://www.tesla.com

Rivian in Aspen, Colorado

Rivian was in downtown Aspen to display their R1T and R1S to residents and visitors. I heard about this a few weeks prior and decided to make the four hour trip from Denver to Aspen. There I had a chance to sit down with CEO RJ Scaringe in a gondola going up the side of a mountain. The conversation lasted about 17 minutes and topics ranged from their vehicle specs, tackling range anxiety in the wilderness, and ballistic battery drop tests. Give it a listen.

Source: https://youtu.be/TCLb8AoOIQE

Efficiency of a Tesla in 10-20F temperatures

AAA, the American Automotive Association, published a report stating that in their testing they determined that they saw “on average, HVAC use at 20°F resulted in a 41 percent decrease.” To me, that sounded quite high so I decided to do my own test. This is the audio from an 8 minute video where I compare total winter driving from early October to date with 130 miles (209 km) in 10-20F temperatures (-12C - -7C).

Source: https://www.aaa.com/AAA/common/AAR/files/AAA-Electric-Vehicle-Range-Testing-Report.pdf

Wrap up

Thank you so much for listening.

If you’d like to get your question answered on All Things EV Podcast tweet me at @SeanMMitchell and use the hashtag #AllThingsEV.

If you enjoyed the episode please consider subscribing so you automatically receive new episodes.

Lastly, if you would like to the review the articles mentioned in this podcast you can go to AllThingsEV.info/podcast.

I’ll talk with you all on the next episode of All Things EV Podcast.


S1 E4: Tesla Q4 2018 Earnings: Elon addresses my question and other retail shareholders'

What’s going on everyone. Welcome back to the All Things EV Podcast. In S1 E4 I cover Tesla’s Q4 2018 quarterly earning call. If you’ve watched the video version of my Q4 recap, I’d skip past this podcast episode because it is verbatim. I will publish episode 5 next week as usual and cover two week’s worth of EV news - and there has been a lot going on.

With that said, let’s dive in.

Q4 2018 quarterly call

Profit and Growth

Improving Service Operations

New Products

Retail Investor Questions

Institutional Investor Questions

Profit and growth

Last year was the most challenging year in Tesla’s history but also the most successful.

Tesla achieved an 80% market share of sales in US in 2018

They delivered more cars last year than all prior years combined

Even if there’s a global recession, we’re expecting deliveries to be ~50% better than 2018

Increased cash on hand by more than $700m dollars

Tesla will have enough cash to pay convertible bond

Elon is “optimistic about being profitable in Q1 (2019) - but not by a lot…”

Improving Service operations

Elon’s priority number one is improving service

27 new stores and service locations

Increased service fleet to 411 vehicles. Can scale up very rapidly.

Increasing functionality of Service app

If car detects something wrong, before the Tesla comes to a stop there is a towing or loaner on the way

Improving parts distribution by stocking all common parts at service centers

New Products

Model Y completed engineering and parts

75% of parts for Model Y are same as Model 3, versos Model X commonality with Model S was 30%

Capex for Model Y will be extremely low

Model Y production will most likely at Gigafactory in Nevada

Model Y might be 50% higher than Model 3

Gigafactory Shanghai has begun and expect to be in production by end of year (body, paint, final assembly, general assembly, and module production.

Say.com questions

199,452 shares and $62.3M connected

72,082 SHARES and 311 VOTES: Owners, many of them with large followings online, are becoming very vocal about Tesla's worsening customer service experience with delivery, service, and repair. This has a severe impact on sales and returning sales. What are you doing to change this growing negative reputation?

69,304 SHARES and 117 VOTES: How are you feeling about demand across the production line right now? 

46,013 SHARES and 130 VOTES: Can you please share an update on Full Self Driving?

44,595 SHARES and 138 VOTES: If and when will Tesla switch to 2170 cells? What percent range improvement do you expect?

37,859 SHARES and 188 VOTES: Where will the Tesla Semi & Model Y be produced? Can you share a timeline on the expected production ramp of these vehicles?

Institutional Investors

JP Morgan: What will CAPEX for Shanghai look like and how will you raise capital?

Loop Ventures: What does Waymo have that you don’t have? How important is autonomy in the Tesla story?

OppenheimerFunds: What is the geographic dispersion of Model 3? What is your expectation of reduction of production costs?

UBS: Any color on what price point your Model 3 demand will be? Do you have a new battery supplier to accommodate demand?

Deutsche Bank: When should we expect the Standard Range Model 3? Do you expect a 25% gross margin on Model 3 despite introducing Standard Range? 

New Street Research: How will Tesla react to a potential 2019 recession?

Goldman Sachs: How is Europe and China Model 3 orders shaping up? And preorders?

Wedbush Security: What is demand like in Europe for Model 3 in by region? What logistics and delivery opportunities and challenges do you expect? How do you envision the potential competitive advantage of Shanghai Giga in 18-24 months?

Bernstein Research: How much of price differential of Model 3 is structural (i.e. powertrain costs)? Are unites produced or gross margin most important to Model 3 sales?

Macquarie Group: Where are battery costs currently and where they will be at the end of 2019? Where you made aware of the Panasonic and Toyota deal?

Wolfe Research: Do you plan to offer a US lease product of Model 3? What has Model S and X lease been like in the past? Is there a restructuring charge that you expect in the first quarter and is it included in your expectations of a small profit? Will the change to servicing parts have a negative impact on working capital?

Baird Capital: What can you share about consensus? How do you feel about global recessions in relation to Tesla’s most recent layoffs? What can energy storage add to the bottom line in 2019? 

Wrap up

Thank you so much for listening

If you’d like to get your question answered on All Things EV Podcast tweet me at @SeanMMitchell and use the hashtag #AllThingsEV.

If you enjoyed the episode please consider subscribing so you automatically receive new episodes.

Lastly, if you would like to the review the articles mentioned in this podcast you can go to AllThingsEV.info/podcast.

I’ll talk with you all on the next episode of All Things EV Podcast.


S1 E3: Porsche Taycan production hike, Toyota / Panasonic battery partnership, the F150 going electric, and a flurry of unexpected changes at Tesla

Show Notes

What’s going on everyone. Welcome back to the All Things EV Podcast. In S1 E3 I cover news about the Porsche Taycan, Toyota / Panasonic battery partnership, the F150 going electric, and a flurry of unexpected changes at Tesla.

News

Porsche

Taycan:

EV website Electrek is reporting that Porsche is upping their production numbers for their first all electric sedan, the Taycan, to 40,000 units per year. Porsche previously stated they were going to produce 20,000 units. They clearly have a growing confidence in the demand for the Taycan if they are doubling production expectations.

For some context, in 2018 Tesla produced just under 25,745 Model S units and 26,100 Model X units. 40,000 units annually from Porsche would be extremely impressive. One thing is for certain, production of a vehicle should be one of the easiest hurdles for Porsche, a company that has been around since 1931.

Personally, this is THE EV I am most looking forward to in 2019. The vehicle will have 310 miles (500 km), a 0-60 mph (0-100 kph) time in under 3.5 seconds, 600+ horsepower, and a charge rate of 350 kW.

Source: https://electrek.co/2019/01/21/porsche-taycan-production-40000-electric-cars/

Toyota

Toyota and Panasonic battery production:

Toyota’s press release states:

  • By around 2030, Toyota aims to have sales of more than 5.5 million electrified vehicles, including more than 1 million zero-emission vehicles (BEVs, FCEVs).

  • Additionally, by around 2025, every model in the Toyota and Lexus line-up around the world will be available either as a dedicated electrified model or have an electrified option. This will be achieved by increasing the number of dedicated HEV, PHEV, BEV, and FCEV models and by generalizing the availability of HEV, PHEV and/or BEV options to all its models.

  • As a result, the number of models developed without an electrified version will be zero.

Toyota also adds:

  • Toyota will accelerate the popularization of BEVs with more than 10 BEV models to be available worldwide by the early 2020s, starting in China, before entering other markets―the gradual introduction to Japan, India, United States and Europe is expected.

  • The FCEV line-up will be expanded for both passenger and commercial vehicles in the 2020s.

In my opinion, this is a huge step in the direction of electrification. Batteries are at the core of electric vehicles and to ink a partnership with Panasonic is a major public commitment.

Source: https://newsroom.toyota.co.jp/en/corporate/20353243.html

Ford

Ford going electric with F150

Car and Driver quotes Ford President Jim Farley saying on a January 16 investor phone call that “We're gonna be electrifying the F-series—both battery-electric and hybrid.”

This is likely in response to the host of new vehicle start ups charging ahead with all electric pick up trucks like Rivian, Altis, Bollinger, and Tesla. Understandably, too, as the Ford truck series alone sold more than 1 million unites in 2018.

Though Ford’s plan’s sound cool, they have not released any specs on the truck and we likely won’t see this truck hit production until after 2020.

Source: https://www.caranddriver.com/news/a25933730/ford-f-150-electric-pickup-truck-confirmed/

Tesla

Model 3 receives European approval

Last week LA Times reporter, Russ Mitchell, broke the news that Model 3 received approval from European authorities to sell their car on the continent. I have seen multiple reports this week that the first wave of Model 3s have arrived on European shores. Though not confirmed, it is my understanding that Tesla marries the drivetrain with the car in their Netherlands facility.

Source: https://twitter.com/russ1mitchell/status/1086377186041331713?s=20

Tesla increases, then decreases Supercharging prices

According to Electrek, Tesla increased their charging prices on Superchargers more than 30% last week. After customer backlash, Tesla decided to reduce the price increase by 10%. This price increase is just one of several adjust Teslas has made to increase their changes of profitability in Q1 2019.

Source: https://electrek.co/2019/01/22/tesla-cuts-supercharger-prices-back-down-customer-backlash/

Tesla referral program will end on February 1

In another surprising and unexpected piece of news from Elon last week he stated that Tesla would be doing away with the referral program on February 1. Elon shared on Twitter saying, “The Tesla customer referral program will end on Feb 1. If you want to refer a friend to buy a Tesla & give them 6 months of free Supercharging, please do so before then.” When asked if it was ending for good he responded by saying, “Yes, ending on Feb 1. It’s adding too much cost to the cars, especially Model 3.”

Source: https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1085771520058679297

Tesla lays off 7% of employees

The other bombshell of news coming out of Fremont last week came from a grim letter from Elon to employees that Tesla will layoff about 7% of their workforce to remain profitable.

If you recall Tesla laid off about 9%, or about 3,000 of their workforce in June of 2018 as a push toward a profitable Q3. With this most recent round of layoff they are laying off another 3,000.

It’d be one thing if it was “just” a round of layoffs. The tone of Elon’s most recent letter to employees depicts a very, to use his words, “extremely difficult challenge.” He adds, “ This quarter, as with Q3, shipment of higher priced Model 3 variants (this time to Europe and Asia) will hopefully allow us, with great difficulty, effort and some luck, to target a tiny profit.”

Continuing Elon says, “Tesla will need to make these cuts while increasing the Model 3 production rate and making many manufacturing engineering improvements in the coming months. Higher volume and manufacturing design improvements are crucial for Tesla to achieve the economies of scale required to manufacture the standard range (220 mile), standard interior Model 3 at $35k and still be a viable company. There isn't any other way.”

He ends the letter by thanking those who will be departing and says that he is deeply grateful for their contributions to Tesla.

My thoughts: This is tough. To those impacted by this round of layoffs, I’m very sorry to hear. I don’t think anyone expected layoffs after two positive quarters. Furthermore, the outlook Elon is depicted is grim. Tesla will need to cut costs and get even more efficient with how they make their cars with less employees. I do have some thoughts on how they can do more with less that I will share in a video on my YouTube channel this week. If you’re not subscribed and are interested in my thoughts, I’ll put a link to my YouTube in my show notes on my website, AllThingsEV.info/Podcast.

Source: https://www.tesla.com/blog/tesla-company-update%20

Layoffs, price increases, referral program ending, and unconfirmed reports of a Tesla spending freeze all point to a very challenging next 6 months. With that said, we should get more clarity on Tesla’s plan to produce revenue in their upcoming January 30 earnings call.

YouTube

This week I had a chance to visit a Colorado power provider, United Electric, to see Colorado’s largest Tesla Powerpacks install. United Electric has purchased a 4 MW battery storage system from Tesla to help reduce their peak rate costs in what they call peak shaving. This is an eight minute long interview that I think you’ll really enjoy. Let’s take a listen.

Source: https://youtu.be/dyAhUREGDzA

Wrap up

Thank you so much for listening

If you’d like to get your question answered on All Things EV Podcast tweet me at @SeanMMitchell and use the hashtag #AllThingsEV.

If you enjoyed the episode please consider subscribing so you automatically receive new episodes.

Lastly, if you would like to the review the articles mentioned in this podcast you can go to AllThingsEV.info/podcast.

I’ll talk with you all on the next episode of All Things EV Podcast.


S1 E2: New EVs from Nissan, Cadillac, and Audi; Tesla on track to exceed Q4 2018 and more

All Things EV Podcast S1 E2

Show Notes

What’s going on everyone. Welcome back to the All Things EV Podcast. In S1 E2 I cover new EVs from Nissan, Cadillac, and Audi, Tesla on track to exceed Q4 2018 production numbers, and why I think the EV leader discontinued their 75 kWh battery pack.

News

Nissan

Nissan:

Nissan today unveiled the Nissan LEAF e+, further broadening the appeal of the world's best-selling electric car*1 by offering a new powertrain with additional power and range.

The "e+" refers to the increased energy density of the model's 62 kWh battery pack and the higher output of its powertrain. The new powertrain adds to the car's range by approximately 50 percent, with EPA-estimated range of up to 226 miles (364 km), ensuring that there's a Nissan LEAF to meet the driving needs of a wider range of customers.

160 kW motor

250 lb-ft torque (340 Nm)

70 kW (100 kW peak) charging

Source: https://nissannews.com/en-US/nissan/usa/releases/nissan-leaf-e-joins-world-s-best-selling-electric-vehicle-family


Cadillac

Cadillac:

GM’s future EV platform, which Cadillac will be the first to use, will be flexible, allowing the company to respond quickly to customer preferences with a relatively short design and development lead time. The Cadillac portfolio will eventually benefit from a variety of body styles that can be spun off this architecture.

The most advanced components within this platform are the drive units and battery cells, both of which are being designed for maximum usability throughout GM vehicle lineups in different countries. The EVs can be configured in front-, rear- or all-wheel drive, and the output of their battery systems will be adjustable based on vehicle and customer needs.

Source: https://media.cadillac.com/media/us/en/cadillac/home.detail.html/content/Pages/news/us/en/2019/jan/0114-cadillac-ev.html

Audi

Electrek:

At the debut of the Audi e-tron in the Netherlands yesterday, Andreas Mindt, Head Exterior Design at Audi, said that the company plans to unveil a “smaller e-tron SUV”, a car that is described as a compact electric SUV, according to AutoWeek Netherlands, who were present at the event.

Source: https://electrek.co/2019/01/10/audi-small-electric-suv-compete-tesla-model-y/


Tesla

CNBC:

Last year, in total, Tesla sold 145,846 Model 3s, the company's mid-size, four-door sedan that started production in 2017. That easily outpaced the 111,641 units sold by the Model 3's closest luxury vehicle competitor, the Lexus RX.

That Lexus luxury SUV (which is made by Toyota) finished 2018 second on the list of best-selling luxury vehicles, followed by more luxury SUVs like the Mercedes-Benz GLC (an estimated 62,435 units sold) and the Audi Q5 (61,835 units), according to Kelley Blue Book.

Source: https://www.cnbc.com/2019/01/08/teslas-model-3-was-2018s-best-selling-luxury-car-in-us.html

Model3VINs.com:

The website reports that at only halfway through the first month of the quarter, Tesla has registered 54,079 Model 3 VINS to-date in Q1 2019, 73% are for markets outside of North America. 

For some context, their current highest VIN registration quarter was Q4 2018 where they registered 75,648, with 99% being VINs for North America.

Though I don’t expect for this to happen, at Tesla’s current pace for the current quarter they will register 324,474 VINs.

Source: http://www.model3vins.com


Research

Video: The reason Tesla's 75 kWh battery is going away

This video will cover my theory on why. 

1. Larger battery offerings (https://youtu.be/uJMG01wesTs)

We know that Tesla has the ability to offer a longer range vehicle based on what we’ve seen with the Roadster and Semi. What we don’t know is will Tesla use the current battery cells, the 18650 (18 mm x 65 mm), the 2170 (21 mm x 70 mm) or something completely different. Video: https://youtu.be/ifaE3DUJD34

Elon said in an interview with MKBHD that doubling the modules of the Roadster would only increase the volume of the pack 80% or 4-5 inches higher. Video: https://youtu.be/MevKTPN4ozw.

The potential switch also aligns with the end of Tesla and Panasonic’s agreement of 2 billion 18650 cells announced in 2013, which according to my estimates has ended. Article: https://insideevs.com/tesla-model-3-battery-cooling-track-mode/

2. Supercharger v3

A breakdown of a Model 3 by the YouTube channel Ingineerix

notes that the charging cable on the Model 3 appears to be able to take a higher rate than S and X due to its diameter. Video: https://youtu.be/rDYbvI32OBE

Finally, if this is not convincing enough, Elon stated recently that V3 should arrive some time early 2019.

Conclusion

If Tesla moves to 2170 cells for S and X, it should by nature of the battery architecture be able to withstand an upgrade from 120 kW charge rate to something higher.

Both Elon and JB Straubel are on the record saying that they think 350 kW is too high.

Here’s what Elon had to say on a Q1 2018 quarterly call:

“We’re definitely going to be improving our Supercharger’s technology. The thing about a 350 kW charger is that it doesn’t actually make a ton of sense, unless you got a monster battery pack or have like a crazy high C rating… We think 350 kW for a single car; you’re gonna frag the battery pack if you do that. You cannot charge a high-energy battery pack at that rate, unless it’s a very high kW battery pack. So, (for us), something along the couple of hundred, 200-250 kW, maybe.” Article: https://www.teslarati.com/tesla-supercharger-v3-first-details/

If Tesla moves to a 250 kW Supercharger this ~2x improvement on it current 120 kW charge rate.

This could potentially get a 0-100% charge in about 30 minutes. If we apply Tesla’s current approach of charging quickly on the front end, then slowing down at the battery  gets closer to a full charge, we might see an 80% in 15 or less.

Could this also impact the size of the battery in S and X? Elon has said on multiple occasions that he does not see the battery going beyond 100 kWh but perhaps he meant based on the 18650 cells. 

Wrap up

Thank you so much for listening

If you’d like to get your question answered on All Things EV Podcast tweet me at @SeanMMitchell and use the hashtag #AllThingsEV.

If you enjoyed the episode please consider subscribing so you automatically receive new episodes.

Lastly, if you would like the review the articles mentioned in this podcast you can go to AllThingsEV.info/podcast.

I’ll talk with you all on the next episode of All Things EV Podcast.


S1 E1: Tesla Q4 2018 Results, Byton at CES, Toyota on CNBC, and Tesla's largest asset and liability in 2019

All Things EV Podcast S1 E1 

Show Notes

Purpose of this podcast

Give you the listener a well-rounded look at what’s happening in the Electric Vehicle space.

This means that in addition to what Tesla is doing, I will also cover the electrification efforts by new entrants like Rivian, Atlis, Lucid, SF, Byton, as well as legacy automakers like GM, Ford, Kia, Audi, Porsche, and Jaguar.

The EV space is just one aspect, though, I also think it’ll be important to cover the renewable energy and energy storage that will power these vehicles, so I’ll be doing that as well.

About me

Model S owner in Denver, Colorado with 160K miles (257K km)

Denver Tesla Club with 1,000 owners and enthusiast

YouTube channel with nearly 10,000 subs

Residential real estate

Why am I starting this podcast?

A few years ago I ran a pretty successful sales podcast called RealSalesTalk. After two years I eventually discontinued it to focus on my real estate business in Denver. Somehow, though, I alway knew that I would come back to the platform.

Podcasts are a great way to consume content when not at a computer and on the go. They are perfect for drive-time commutes, walking, working out, or just in remote places with little to no internet access. Best of all, it’s a killer way to be productive and expand your knowledge in an otherwise lost time block of the day.

With that said, let’s jump in.

News

  • Q4 2018 Tesla numbers

Production in Q4 grew to 86,555 vehicles, 8% more than our prior all-time high in Q3. This included:

  • 61,394 Model 3 vehicles, in line with our guidance and 15% more than Q3.

  • 25,161 Model S and X vehicles, consistent with our long-term run rate of approximately 100,000 per year.

Q4 deliveries grew to 90,700 vehicles, which was 8% more than our prior all time-high in Q3. This included 63,150 Model 3 (13% growth over Q3), 13,500 Model S, and 14,050 Model X vehicles.

In 2018, we delivered a total of 245,240 vehicles: 145,846 Model 3 and 99,394 Model S and X. To put our growth into perspective, we delivered almost as many vehicles in 2018 as we did in all prior years combined.

My thoughts: This was a monumental quarter for Tesla and I expect for it to be equally profitable if not more to Q3 2018. I’m exciting about where Tesla is headed and have a personal goal to increase my stock investment into the company now that there is a visible path to consistent profit.

Source: http://ir.tesla.com/news-releases/news-release-details/tesla-q4-2018-vehicle-production-deliveries-also-announcing-2000 

  • Byton at CES

InsideEVs: “BYTON is well on track to secure a production license in China. If you’re going to build a standalone, fully independent car company from scratch, you also need to control your R&D, design manufacturing and assembly. With this license, we’ll be able to control our own destiny” – Daniel Kirchert- Founder

My thoughts: I personally am onboard with what Byton is doing for the simple fact that they have the talent and money. The majority of Byton’s employees come from many of the luxury automakers like BMW and Infinity.

Source: https://insideevs.com/byton-founders-exhude-confidence-at-ces

Toyota on CNBC

Bob Carter, executive vice president of sales for Toyota Motor North America:

“Our approach is a portfolio approach. We don’t think one technology is absolutely the best solution for each customer. We are working on an entire portfolio of hybrids, which we have been selling since 1997, plug-in hybrids, and full battery-electric as well as our fuel cell vehicles.” 

“I’d argue to the contrary. When you are looking at full electric, whether it’s Tesla or others on the market, they represented last year less than one percent of the industry and as you know, the industry had a fabulous year last year. Our strategy is to keep utilizing our hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and eventually bring in battery-electric vehicles as the market grows.”

This to me this is an ultra concentrative play on Toyota’s part. Essentially they are saying we are going to be all things to all people. This is a zero risk strategy. And in my opinion, this is a recipe for mediocrity and more importantly obsolescence.

Source: https://youtu.be/naN40spDu9c

Research

Video: Tesla’s most valuable asset. https://youtu.be/jHB23Z0VlUA 

My thoughts: This will continue to be a cash cow for Tesla as their customer base grows. I do not expect them to do away with the referral program. I know some have commented that most people who used an owner’s referral code had already decided to buy a Tesla so it has little impact on the purchase process. I’d say to those people you are missing the point. The purpose of the referral program is to leverage owners to to talk about Tesla and their car. By doing this, they are dominating mind share and influencer marketing for a fraction of the cost of traditional advertising.

Video: Tesla’s $1.8B liability in 2019. https://youtu.be/uR7N4-yMfBA

My thoughts: If you follow me on Twitter you know I’ve been vocal about this issue. I think Tesla needs to quickly fix this. One thing I didn’t mention in the video is how many owners I’ve talk to in the last 3-4 who are having the same issues. Because of my relationships at Tesla I’ve offered to and helped around 50-60 owners. This is becoming a common occurrence now, which is why I decided to use my platform to make an Open letter to Elon and Tesla.

Wrap up

Thank you so much for listening

If you’d like to get your question answered on All Things EV Podcast tweet me at @SeanMMitchell and use the hashtag #AllThingsEV.

If you enjoyed the episode please consider subscribing so you automatically receive new episodes.