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

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