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Richard230
02 April 2013, 1458
You have probably heard that yesterday Tesla reported that they sold 4,750 Model S sedans since the first of the year and made their first profit ever. Their stock closed yesterday at $43.93 per share, up 15.9% since the previous day. Today's Tesla news was that they will not produce the bottom-of-the-line 40 kWh, 160-mile range model, but instead will deliver the same car for the same price with the battery from the 230-mile model. However, the car's software will prevent using more than 40 kWh from the battery. For a $10,000 additional charge Tesla will fix the software for you to get the rest of the performance from the battery pack. Or, you could hack the software yourself. ;)

In an article in my newspaper today, Jack. Nerad, of Kelly Blue Book, was quoted as saying that he wants to see Tesla's sales number rise much higher. He is quoted as saying: "Nobody has really quite cracked the nut of a high-volume pure electric vehicle. That's what the Model S was supposed to do, or at least come close. Instead, it's evolved into a much higher-priced, lower volume, sedan status." Mr. Nerad goes on to speculate that Tesla's best hopes lie with the possibility that it will some day be absorbed by a competitor while retaining its distinct niche and brand, similar to the Fiat Group's acquisition of Ferrari. He believes that Tesla has "quality management and visionary engineering and they do a lot of things right. But it's hard to imagine how they can ever compete against the giants."

podolefsky
02 April 2013, 1639
This is an interesting article from Forbes on "Why Tesla is Beating GM, Ford, and Toyota". Makes it pretty clear that the Model S was *not* meant to be a high volume pure electric vehicle, it was meant to be a vehicle to fill a gaping hole in the automotive industry. The fact that Tesla is selling such a large % of it's production is evidence that they doing exactly what they should be doing.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/adamhartung/2012/07/11/why-tesla-is-beating-gm-ford-and-toyota-at-electric-cars/

electriKAT
02 April 2013, 1646
Agreed. I always thought the model S was just supposed to be "the next step". I believe they've already sold many more of those than Roadsters. So from that perspective, it is higher volume. Their next generation vehicle is supposed to have a $30k price tag. If it does I think they will sell an order of magnitude more than the model S. I will surely buy one.

More Tesla News:

Tesla announces 'revolutionary' lease option for Model S starting at $1,050/month (http://green.autoblog.com/2013/04/02/tesla-revolutionary-lease-option-model-s-500-month/)

BaldBruce
02 April 2013, 1841
Just the next step in a plan Musk announced back in 2006. He was a bit optimistic on the timing, but has nailed every other objective so far. (despite the mountain of naysayers) The shorted stocks are now running for the hills and therefore driving up the price IMO.



August 2, 2006The Secret Tesla Motors Master Plan (just between you and me) (http://www.elmoto.net/blog/secret-tesla-motors-master-plan-just-between-you-and-me)
By Elon Musk, Co-Founder & CEO of Tesla Motors

http://www.teslamotors.com/blog/secret-tesla-motors-master-plan-just-between-you-and-me

Warren
02 April 2013, 2020
Actually, he just said they will be postponing the "people's" Tesla for 4-5 years. No surprise. The "people" are broke. There was no interest in the 40 kWh Tesla, and there would be even less for a 100 mile car. Nissan has done tons of surveys, and focus groups. They could built a 30 kWh, Leaf for $39K, but no one will buy it. People have said they want a 100 mile Leaf, for less than the $28K, 75 mile one they are now selling. If you want an under 200 mile Tesla, and live in California, Mercedes will be selling a compliance B-class with a Tesla drivetrain by 2014.

Richard230
03 April 2013, 0732
I heard this morning on the financial news that Tesla's stock price dropped 2.5% overnight, after yesterday's lease deal was announced. The concept of leasing a Tesla S (or is that buying it and selling it back to Tesla?) might be good for their customers, but their stockholders were not impressed. Apparently, they wanted the "big announcement" to be about a new or improved product. I also heard that Tesla will be making another "big announcement" next Tuesday. :confused:

electriKAT
03 April 2013, 0828
Actually, he just said they will be postponing the "people's" Tesla for 4-5 years. No surprise. The "people" are broke. There was no interest in the 40 kWh Tesla, and there would be even less for a 100 mile car. Nissan has done tons of surveys, and focus groups. They could built a 30 kWh, Leaf for $39K, but no one will buy it. People have said they want a 100 mile Leaf, for less than the $28K, 75 mile one they are now selling. If you want an under 200 mile Tesla, and live in California, Mercedes will be selling a compliance B-class with a Tesla drivetrain by 2014.

I had not heard this and I have to say, I'm quite disappointed if it's true. I have been expecting this to be my next car. Although I can't really blame Tesla. I took a quick look at their website and did not see mention of this. Can you post a link to an article or announcement?

Warren
03 April 2013, 0955
Most of the car sites mentioned it. It was a tweet from Musk. Looking back at it, he said 3-4 years.

http://www.autoguide.com/auto-news/2013/03/bmw-3-series-rival-3-to-4-years-away-says-tesla-ceo-elon-musk.html

But really, a cheap EV is not a place he should play. There are lots of OEM's going after that market.

electriKAT
03 April 2013, 1112
Thanks for the link. The way I interpret this, the delay is only about one year, from 2015 to 2016. That's not so bad, but I'm still disappointed.

"In previous reports Tesla reps had indicated a 3 Series rival was in the works, priced at around $30,000. At that time the projected launch was for 2015. It now appears as though it would be 2016 at the earliest."

I'm not sure I agree with you about whether they should bring a cheaper EV to market. There are plenty of OEM's going after the luxury car market too, and Tesla seems to be doing OK there. As much as I love the LEAF, I still don't feel like Nissan has their heart in it, not to mention Ford or Mitsubishi. Tesla knows electric, and will not release a vehicle unless it lives up to the name.

ZoomSmith
03 April 2013, 1127
As much as I love the LEAF, I still don't feel like Nissan has their heart in it

Have you seen a recent interview with Carlos Ghosn? Seems like LEAF is all he talks about.

__Tango
03 April 2013, 1133
As much as I love the LEAF, I still don't feel like Nissan has their heart in it

i'm interested as to why you think that? (no, i'm not trolling...i genuinely want to understand why you think that)

Warren
04 April 2013, 0812
I think Nissan is/was very much into the Leaf. I think they did a lot of market research, and figured that an electric Prius would be a hit. They started this project during the boom. If the bubble would have continued for another few years, gas would have been at $5, and people would have jumped on it.

These are very different times. Now very few people can be sure they will be in that suburban house, with a $2K charge cord in the garage, Leaf distance from a secure job, for the five to eight years it takes for an EV to make sense. If I was young and still working, an F150 pickup would make the most sense. You can throw your worldly possessions in the back, and head to North Dakota for a job, when your temp IT job ends...and take your electric two wheeler with you. :-)

electriKAT
04 April 2013, 0831
Have you seen a recent interview with Carlos Ghosn? Seems like LEAF is all he talks about.


i'm interested as to why you think that? (no, i'm not trolling...i genuinely want to understand why you think that)

In response to both, I have not seen the Carlos Ghosn interview, but I know the LEAF is all he has talked about for years. But I get the impression he is the only one at Nissan who really believes in EVs. Most of the Nissan commercials show the gas models and never seem to mention the LEAF. There is a dealer near my house which has not had a LEAF on their lot in months. I stopped by once to see the LEAF and asked how sales were going etc. They acted like it was a novelty and not a real car. When I asked why they did not have one sitting outside, they said there wasn't much interest and Nissan was making way for the new model year of their small SUV (Rogue?). Now it's something else. Of all of the major OEMs, I think they're doing the best job with it; certainly better than Ford. But the LEAF has been available for three years. I guess I expected more by now.

Warren
04 April 2013, 0844
Ghosn is head of Renault-Nissan. Nissan is only one part.

It took the Nissan Leaf six months, from its launch, to reach a thousand sales month in the US. Sales then slumped/stagnated, and it took another 21 months to reach two thousand a month.

The real news is from Renault. France has one fifth the population of the US. The Zoe went on sale, in France, in March, and sold 1,089 in France, where the recession is much worse than here. When it starts selling in the rest of Europe, I think that one little car will beat all US EV sales.

__Tango
05 April 2013, 0905
Thanks kat.

I know that silicon valley is not the rest of the country, and the fact that folks feel that Nissan hasn't really pursued the EV market solidifies that. Around here, there are LEAFs and Teslas EVERYWHERE. Literally, you can't drive on the freeway anymore without seeing 1 every few minutes.

Nissan is also running a lot of LEAF ads on the TV. I'd say about 1/3 of the nissan tv ads are about the LEAF.

I was wondering how other parts of the country were doing in that regard. Bummer. :(

electriKAT
05 April 2013, 0918
I would love to see that many EVs on the road in my area. I do occasionally see Volts, and a few LEAFs, but it could be a week or two between sitings. I have seen two model S's "in the wild". That was pretty exciting. As for commercials, I have seen dedicated LEAF commercials, but maybe 10:1 compared to Nissan commercials for their gas vehicles.

podolefsky
05 April 2013, 1009
I see Leafs and Teslas all the time here, and I've started seeing a few Model S's...but I live in Boulder, the "Silicon Valley" of the Rockies.

I'm not sure if this is true in other parts of the country, but here you can get to a charging station at any Walgreens, and lots of other places. If you look on Plugshare, the Boulder/Denver area is completely covered.

Skeezmour
05 April 2013, 1224
Seattle/Tacoma Wa area has a TON of Leaf's. More Tesla's up in the Seattle/Bellevue area. (our high tech region)

electriKAT
05 April 2013, 1618
As much as I love the LEAF, I still don't feel like Nissan has their heart in it, ....

OK, I take it all back. Look at this:


NIssan Leaf comes to SimCity, makes first free DLC an ad (http://green.autoblog.com/2013/04/05/nissan-leaf-comes-to-simcity/)

By Jon LeSage
Posted Apr 5th 2013 3:56PM

Nissan has rolled out several more public charging stations to support Leaf electric car drivers in their travels. Sounds great, but these stations require a vivid imagination and Internet access – since they're only available to SimCity gamers.

On April 2, the "Nissan Leaf Charging Station" was made available as free downloadable content (DLC) for SimCity users, who can charge their fake EVs for the next six months. Of course, part of the deal is being advertised to for half a year. The whole thing is a marketing ploy for Nissan.

This is not the first time video games have been used as virtual marketing venues by auto companies. The idea behind the Leaf DLC is that you live in your virtual SimCity and find creative ways to build revenue streams. The charging stations are new destinations in your city where your Sims community can drive Nissan Leafs, recharge and get happy. It's all green – the pixels create no in-game garbage or sewage – and it somehow magically uses no power, so no need to worry about dirty coal powering your Leaf. Nonetheless, initial response has been, well, somewhat negative.

News Source: Joystiq

Richard230
05 April 2013, 1727
Speaking of electric car news, I just heard on the radio that Fiskar (sorry about the spelling) just laid off 150 of their 250 employees today. Apparently the closing of the A123 battery company has put the hurt on their production.

chef
05 April 2013, 2209
In response to both, I have not seen the Carlos Ghosn interview, but I know the LEAF is all he has talked about for years. But I get the impression he is the only one at Nissan who really believes in EVs. Most of the Nissan commercials show the gas models and never seem to mention the LEAF. There is a dealer near my house which has not had a LEAF on their lot in months. I stopped by once to see the LEAF and asked how sales were going etc. They acted like it was a novelty and not a real car. When I asked why they did not have one sitting outside, they said there wasn't much interest and Nissan was making way for the new model year of their small SUV (Rogue?). Now it's something else. Of all of the major OEMs, I think they're doing the best job with it; certainly better than Ford. But the LEAF has been available for three years. I guess I expected more by now.Car sales vary by region and most certainly from one dealership to the next. I'm sure there are some dealership owners & salesmen who, out of ignorance or ego, despise EVs. The two Nissan dealerships in Austin sell Leafs like gangbusters. There's life for EVs outside of silicon valley :)