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Tesla, Doomed to Failure? Bob Lutz thinks so!


David

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Found this great write up by Bob Lutz Industry auto Czar who thinks Tesla is Doomed and he gives some damn straight points to back his editorial up.

 

1) Distribution, Factory car shops are very expensive and Elen Musks Factory sales shop experience at Porsche ate through millions. So far this is not a sustainable model for auto's.

2) Once OEM existing auto companies get serious about long distant EV's they will eat up Tesla. Bolt is expected to be the first warning shot.

3) Cheap gas is not helping Tesla.

4) Auto companies who invested in Tesla did so to get R&D done without losing billions. Now many have left Tesla to go to work for the bigger auto companies like Toyota, GM, Ford, etc.

 

Bob says he likes Elon and knows history is full of Great Products run by Brilliant people that died.

 

Full Story Here!

 

post-12-0-22130100-1445998374_thumb.jpg

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1. Tesla will have to address the franchise model eventually, but that doesn't make Tesla unsustainable.

2. The Bolt is only a warning shot if there is a sleek, sexy, Cadillac EV3 followup.  The Bolt and the Model-S are not in the same segment.  The Bolt is a LEAF killer, not a Model-S killer.

3. The people buying Teslas aren't doing it to save $50 a week on gas.  This is a straw-man

4. How does this hurt Tesla?

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1. Tesla will have to address the franchise model eventually, but that doesn't make Tesla unsustainable.

2. The Bolt is only a warning shot if there is a sleek, sexy, Cadillac EV3 followup.  The Bolt and the Model-S are not in the same segment.  The Bolt is a LEAF killer, not a Model-S killer.

3. The people buying Teslas aren't doing it to save $50 a week on gas.  This is a straw-man

4. How does this hurt Tesla?

 

1) Very true, but Tesla for now has decided to buck the current trend, so this is going to be interesting if he can make the 2nd attempt work or not.

2) Yes the Bolt is a Leaf killer but also does zero in on Tesla and their cheap version they have always talked about. This should be noticeable as they push to have more EVs on public roads.

3) Agreed, I thought it was interesting to see him mention cheap gas.

4) I can only think that he sees this as a brain drain on the company but a positive for the rest of the auto industry. After all we have heard of plenty of Tesla engineers going to work at Google, Apple and even the rebirth of Fisker and especially GM on their new EV programs.

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The Telsa Model 3 is more of an Electric 3-Series killer.

Telsa has no problem attracting talent, and Tesla has pulled away Google and Apple engineers just as much as those two pulling from Tesla.

 

The guys that hacked those Jeep Cherokees got hired by Tesla to help make the connected cars more secure. 

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I'm amazed people pay money for Lutz's insights, when they can freely obtain ideas of similar worth at any conveniently located rest home.  

 

The thing is, while Lutz could be counted on to get engineers to do the right thing in a typical car, the market is quickly leaving him behind.  He'd be the man behind the development of the world's greatest flip phone and doesn't understand what all this Apple fad is about. 

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With thermal efficiencies targeting 45% for future engines, combined with better battery technologies and control systems…..hybrids and PHEV are going to proliferate faster than BEV.  Hybrids today are around 40-50 mpg, but in the short term, 60mpg will be the norm, with 80mpg longer term.  And PHEV will benefit as well. 

 

BEV will simply not advance fast enough to close that advantage gap over hybrids, and they will never have the infrastructure advantage. 

 

All one has to do is the math to realize that 80mpg with $2 gas, equates to very little cost and consumption, rendering the severely restricted BEV option as foolish.

 

And I can’t wait until that smug Musk can be put in his place, as well as all the weenies who think is so progressive and a God.

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the key thing lutz hit on here was the intense amount of capital required to design and manufacture vehicles, and to have the facility sell and service them.

 

Some posters on facebook pointed out the obvious; once you get BMW and Mercedes equivalents to Tesla in the market, who buys the Tesla?

 

Tesla hasn't figured out how to mainstream the vehicle its building and at some point if they don't have volume they just remain the kit car builders they are.  They will find out (like what CR is suggesting) that it's not all about software and electrics.  There are a whole slew of hard manufacturing issues with cars and servicing them that Tesla isn't capable of handling.  They think they can service a car with a software flash and that just ain't true.  It's the broken door handles and faulty climate controls etc. that create the needs for huge service and parts departments etc.

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I'm amazed people pay money for Lutz's insights, when they can freely obtain ideas of similar worth at any conveniently located rest home.  

 

The thing is, while Lutz could be counted on to get engineers to do the right thing in a typical car, the market is quickly leaving him behind.  He'd be the man behind the development of the world's greatest flip phone and doesn't understand what all this Apple fad is about. 

 

Guess that does make me officially old as I have yet to figure out the apple fad. The product is over priced, the design is for small hands only and the interface is a messed up jumble of Icons that does not communicate to me what it is supposed to do.

 

On the other hand I am young and bleeding edge with my Samsung Note, Linux and windows machines that make sense to me and the world of Scale Out Software based Storage like EMC ScaleIO and Isilon. :P

 

Nerd is still alive in me, let me think and use my brain, no thank you to the apple interface.

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the key thing lutz hit on here was the intense amount of capital required to design and manufacture vehicles, and to have the facility sell and service them.

 

Some posters on facebook pointed out the obvious; once you get BMW and Mercedes equivalents to Tesla in the market, who buys the Tesla?

 

Tesla hasn't figured out how to mainstream the vehicle its building and at some point if they don't have volume they just remain the kit car builders they are.  They will find out (like what CR is suggesting) that it's not all about software and electrics.  There are a whole slew of hard manufacturing issues with cars and servicing them that Tesla isn't capable of handling.  They think they can service a car with a software flash and that just ain't true.  It's the broken door handles and faulty climate controls etc. that create the needs for huge service and parts departments etc.

Very true, If Cadillac had the balls to do this right, they would take and put in one of the readily available 500+hp and over 700lbs of Torque electric engines with a slew of 400Ah battery cells into the bottom of the Escalade and have a 300 to 400 mile range Luxury SUV that people would line up to buy and spend money on and it would Hurt Tesla.

 

post-12-0-58458000-1446070530_thumb.jpg

 

This would do nicely, as a starting point for an EV Escalade. 420HP, 560 Lbs of Torque. with awd, this would move.

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Here read this as it shows more media people are now realizing the emperor Elon has no clothes.

http://mashable.com/2015/10/28/tesla-hype/#eX4T8PwSxgqR

Many will have to come up with new excuses to counter the truth.

 

I didn't know Nick had moved over to Mashable,  I'll see him next month in LA I expect.

 

I like Nick, but some of the thing he mentions in that article are simply F.U.D.

 

1.

"Tesla also sent out letters this summer to its most frequent Supercharger users asking them to limit their usage. Tesla claims it asked owners to limit usage in order to improve the ownership experience for all Tesla drivers."

 

The reason Tesla sent out those letters is because there are people who are abusing the Supercharger stations. It has little to do with reducing their energy bills as most Supercharger stations are off-set with solar generation anyway.  People were leaving their cars charging at the supercharger station to charge, and NOT charging at home.  Keep in mind that Tesla can see the data from the cars, and if they see a car that never charges when at its home address and always charges at a supercharger, that's abusing the system.  Some stations in California had lines forming for charging because people weren't moving their cars when done.  It's an asshole move at a busy gas station and it's an asshole move at a supercharger station too.

 

2.

The P90D with Ludicrous mode, for example, while neat, doesn't further the brand or EVs as a whole. Instead of adding another electric motor to the car, thereby increasing performance, Tesla could have spent those R&D funds to increase range or address known issues, like reliability.

 

This one Mike (Z-06 here) and I found out about last Detroit talking to the Tesla people.... I thought this was fairly common knowledge. The D cars are just test beds for powertrain development of future vehicles.  The AWD availability? That was for the Model X. The lower power front motor in the P85D?  Every single P85D is a powertrain mule for the Model 3.  The ability to blend power front to back using that smaller motor?  You heard it here first I guess... there will be a Telsa Model 3D.

 

3. 

Swapping batteries sounds great... if Telsa actually offered it to more than a few owners.

The Gigafactory isn't done yet. I'll give you that Elon has a problem sticking to timelines, but lets not count this one as a lie or hype just yet. Without the Gigafactory, there is no supply to do the battery swap program in any usable volume.

 

4.

 

[snip] Summary: The Model X has excessively expensive and outlandish features.

 

Yes it does, and they're charging for it.   Honestly, I think if there is a downfall to Tesla, this fault will be it:  Spending lots of money on developing far out there features that even the most dedicated, wealthy, future adopter would hedge on...  Biodefense? Falcon wing doors that required special sensors and lots of extra development?   Had Tesla stuck to just normal doors and made a normal luxury SUV with otherwise normal for the class features, it would have come in about $30k cheaper. 

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Like Lutz, I like Elon Musk, in an anti-heroic kind of way. He can be a jerk, but we all cheer for Tony Stark in the movies too, right?

And unlike some, I think that Lutz is scary accurate in his assessment of the situation, both from a financial and personality perspective: Tesla has succeeded to this point largely on the backs of people who are bound and determined to do things differently. That, and attracting like-minded clientele has been their saving grace to this point.

But with the Bolt, GM has made a pretty strong move to keep Tesla shut out of the lower end of the market, and this will hurt them eventually. The wild card here is Elon Musk: how much of his money and himself will he drive into his project before he calls it a day?

Regardless of the outcome, he will be regarded as the greatest automotive outsider since the Brass Era days when the industry was just finding its legs. For this he should be applauded.

Edited by El Kabong
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Lutz also thought the Solstice/Sky, G8 and Cadillac STS were going to save GM, most of those "gotta have" products Lutz worked on from 2004-2008 led them to bankruptcy.

 

Secondly, Tesla is a hot item and a cool car.  The brand has serious cache, they need more volume than they have, but I think they will be able to expand the line up as batteries get cheaper and get more sales.  They'l find ways to sell cars, and beat the archaic dealership model.

 

Gas is cheap, but people spending $100,000 on a car aren't worried about gas prices.  And compare the rivals, other 600 hp sedans are getting 15 mpg on premium gas, so there is pretty big operating cost savings with an electric.

 

I think Tesla is strong, think of it this way, their crossover has 117 hp more than the most powerful Corvette ever.  

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Lutz also thought the Solstice/Sky, G8 and Cadillac STS were going to save GM, most of those "gotta have" products Lutz worked on from 2004-2008 led them to bankruptcy.

 

No he didn't.  The Solstice, Sky, GTO, and G8 were attempts to save the performance cars at GM through globalization.  It wasn't about saving GM per say, it was about saving performance.  The Kappa cars in particular were about 75% parts bin products.  He did them on the cheap and used a left-over production plant to build them.

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Drew I don't buy the power savings but it was a bit tacky to tell people to use them and then tell them not to use them in a letter. He needed to do a plan that would regulate these people and not chastise people.

As for the AWD model it could very well be a prototype but it was not presented that way to the public. No it was not common knowledge.

I think you missed on the quote. The Gig factory may or may not pay off. Not everyone is going to rush out to buy solar panels as they are still too expensive and in many areas like the mid west they are limited half the year on doing a lot. As for the batteries he needs to find a lot of customer other than just Panasonic. He at one point acted like other automakers would come to him. I hope he is not holding his breath on that one. The factory could be successful but it has just as good of odds being the ice berg Tesla hits.

The X is way over played but he had to do it for price. The structure was compromised. The rear doors may be cool in LA but in Buffalo in the winter I can see JR in the car seat eating a lot of snow. I assume in a roll over the doors have a release to come off? As much issue as people are having with rear power hatches I see this as a major defect just waiting to happen. Elons Minions would have bought it with normal doors two years ago.

The windshield is going to be an issue. Just imagine the price to replace it and it really adds little to the car.

I expect the 3 will be delayed and appear while he needs to put more money into a new S. How long can you keep selling the same car here at this price. And even then due to the aero how much can you change it. They will refresh it but I suspect it will not be a major change.

As for the X I think he needs the price a she knows volumes will be low and he needs the cash. The door may have been needed to justify the price.

In the end I agree there are some things off here in the story but he got more right than wrong.

Edited by hyperv6
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Lutz also thought the Solstice/Sky, G8 and Cadillac STS were going to save GM, most of those "gotta have" products Lutz worked on from 2004-2008 led them to bankruptcy.

 

Secondly, Tesla is a hot item and a cool car.  The brand has serious cache, they need more volume than they have, but I think they will be able to expand the line up as batteries get cheaper and get more sales.  They'l find ways to sell cars, and beat the archaic dealership model.

 

Gas is cheap, but people spending $100,000 on a car aren't worried about gas prices.  And compare the rivals, other 600 hp sedans are getting 15 mpg on premium gas, so there is pretty big operating cost savings with an electric.

 

I think Tesla is strong, think of it this way, their crossover has 117 hp more than the most powerful Corvette ever.

Even I did not think you are so foolish to think Lutz led them to Chapter 11.

By the time Bob showed up they were already knocking on the door. He was brought in to fix what he could in a limited time with nearly no money. To do what he did is a credit to his skills. The budget on the GTO was nothing and he was still able to pull it off. It was so tight the hood scoops and split exhaust had to wait a year. The Solstic's help put a renewed focus on Pontiac as well as the G8 but it was too little and too late as they really had nothing else to offer.

Bob did help with the Camaro return and he also started the Culture change that is still ongoing at GM as he said when he got there the culture was severely damaged. He also help funnel a ton of what money they had left in to new projects that would carry them out of Chapter 11 like the Cruze, Nox and other models. He brought us the HHR that many said was too late yet it sold almost every year well into the six figures in volume much higher than any Cobalt wagon would have.

The bottom line is Bob got more right than wrong and was the start of many of the things going right today at GM.

As for Tesla who gives a Sh*T bout a SUV with more power if you can't charge it in the same time it takes to fill the tank on a Gas Powered car. Most people will not wait 30 mins at a charging station that they had to drive 45 min out of their way if they are lucky to wait in line for the 30 min charge.

Until someone even Tesla can make a EV that is not a life style changer it will remain a novelty to most average buyers.

Here in Ohio a EV like a Tesla is more of a second car or a pain in the ass if you drive much. 200 miles may be good as a commuter in LA but out here it does little if you travel any were far. Turn the heater on in the winter and you had better keep close to home.

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It's not a prototype as more of a development platform.  The front P85D motor, will most likely be the rear Model 3 and possibly entry Roadster motor.  The technical know-how to blend the front and rear motors for AWD was needed ahead of the Model X.  All of the Tesla models are interconnected in this way.

 

Gigafactory will pay off.... I work in the energy sector... our solar division is the fastest growing division in our company and home batteries are going to follow right behind. The company I work for is making huge global investments in both of these, I just sat through 90 minutes of presentation on the subject today.  I will say that it will be the commercial sector that goes Solar/Battery combo first as they have the biggest incentive and biggest savings to do so. 

 

Gigafactory isn't just about car batteries.

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Lutz also thought the Solstice/Sky, G8 and Cadillac STS were going to save GM, most of those "gotta have" products Lutz worked on from 2004-2008 led them to bankruptcy.

 

Secondly, Tesla is a hot item and a cool car.  The brand has serious cache, they need more volume than they have, but I think they will be able to expand the line up as batteries get cheaper and get more sales.  They'l find ways to sell cars, and beat the archaic dealership model.

 

Gas is cheap, but people spending $100,000 on a car aren't worried about gas prices.  And compare the rivals, other 600 hp sedans are getting 15 mpg on premium gas, so there is pretty big operating cost savings with an electric.

 

I think Tesla is strong, think of it this way, their crossover has 117 hp more than the most powerful Corvette ever.

Even I did not think you are so foolish to think Lutz led them to Chapter 11.

By the time Bob showed up they were already knocking on the door. He was brought in to fix what he could in a limited time with nearly no money. To do what he did is a credit to his skills. The budget on the GTO was nothing and he was still able to pull it off. It was so tight the hood scoops and split exhaust had to wait a year. The Solstic's help put a renewed focus on Pontiac as well as the G8 but it was too little and too late as they really had nothing else to offer.

Bob did help with the Camaro return and he also started the Culture change that is still ongoing at GM as he said when he got there the culture was severely damaged. He also help funnel a ton of what money they had left in to new projects that would carry them out of Chapter 11 like the Cruze, Nox and other models. He brought us the HHR that many said was too late yet it sold almost every year well into the six figures in volume much higher than any Cobalt wagon would have.

The bottom line is Bob got more right than wrong and was the start of many of the things going right today at GM.

As for Tesla who gives a Sh*T bout a SUV with more power if you can't charge it in the same time it takes to fill the tank on a Gas Powered car. Most people will not wait 30 mins at a charging station that they had to drive 45 min out of their way if they are lucky to wait in line for the 30 min charge.

Until someone even Tesla can make a EV that is not a life style changer it will remain a novelty to most average buyers.

Here in Ohio a EV like a Tesla is more of a second car or a pain in the ass if you drive much. 200 miles may be good as a commuter in LA but out here it does little if you travel any were far. Turn the heater on in the winter and you had better keep close to home.

 

But what about a whole country investing BILLIONS in the engineering of NEW road infrastructure to recharge as you drive those awful batteries you claim was tacky for Musk to tell abusive assholes to stop abusing taking out the need to charge your battery at a charge station...

 

From 2013 that article

http://www.theengineer.co.uk/automotive/in-depth/your-questions-answered-inductive-charging-for-road-vehicles/1015724.article

 

from 2015...closer in being a reality...

http://www.cnbc.com/2015/08/20/high-tech-roadways-that-could-charge-your-vehicle.html

 

http://money.cnn.com/2015/08/18/technology/uk-electric-cars-roads/

 

150817190639-charging-highways-780x439.j

 

 

 

PS: I agree with the Bob Lutz stuff you said...

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Drew I don't buy the power savings but it was a bit tacky to tell people to use them and then tell them not to use them in a letter. He needed to do a plan that would regulate these people and not chastise people.

Oh, and SuperChargers were never intended to replace regular charging at home. They are a courtesy add-on. What was tacky was people parking there all day or using it for all of their fill-ups.

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Here read this as it shows more media people are now realizing the emperor Elon has no clothes.

http://mashable.com/2015/10/28/tesla-hype/#eX4T8PwSxgqR

Article says a lot of the same things I've been saying for a while now.

 

Tesla isn't a Gov't department, it's a business, with investors. Without a profit, the company will fail… at some point. Loosing half a billion a year is not a sustainable scenario.

 

Model 3 is the most important vehicle past, present or future @ Tesla (as I've also stated before). It alone will save or sink the company. I have a feeling Musk would have liked to also make it a high-priced car and coattail on the image the Model S has created & benefits from, but the Co. desperately needs economies of scale to eventually make a profit, thusly it's priced at 1/3rd the other 2 models. That's many many market tiers below where the S sits, and with a LOT more competition. So not only will the development costs be very formidable, so will marketing and a serious attention to quality/reliability. Add to that a possible introduction date up to 5 years from now (based on past track record), and the 'problem solver' comes with numerous problems of it's own.

 

I like the S, I see them everyday whispering around. It's slinky, and even tho it's styling is not what many would say is 'leading edge', it has presence. However I think the X was a major misstep- it's priced too high and the falcon doors are both gimmicky and without benefit (how are the front passengers supposed to exit in the oft-portrayed uber-tight parking spaces??) I am very interested to see any released figures comparing pre-orders (if released) for the Model X vs. actual sales.

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before the nation (and world) can go electric only, the distribution needs to be figured out. The automakers can convene and do it in an agreed to fashion, or, they end up having happen what is most likely, the world order determines all the parameters of a global vehicle network.

 

The time is ripe to work in electric recharging and overall regridding of America to accommodate electric vehicles that can recharge in 5 minutes like a gas vehicle can.

 

The automakers are going to trip over themselves trying to be the first best autonomous car (which leads us down the road to oblivion but that's another story); this is going to not only divert money from developing electric distribution and recharging, its probably going to kill development money on performance and ICE vehicles too.

 

The model 3 might turn out to be a Hurculean effort by the upstart to build for the masses, but the very thing Lutz has in his article will be Tesla's achilles heel.  You can't sell and market a volume car at low price without the support of a dealer network that is large, organized, and proven.  The car arena is not friendly to unproven products and unproven manufacturers.  There is a huge level of trust involved by the customer with cars, and the whole CR Tesla nitpciking thing just goes to show you that when the mainstream models hit for Tesla, the scrutiny and expectations will be even higher.

 

Enjoy the Volt. They could develop a longer range battery option for the Volt to compete in longer ranges.  Right now its the best mainstream option for bridging into plug in to the grid electrics.  And being able to gas up when on the road.  Cadillac could build a Tesla competitor if they wanted to put the cash out to do it.  So could BMW or Merc or Audi.  Chevy needs to make Voltec propelled mainstream models now.  Equinox, etc.  

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      The release of the 2020 Porsche Taycan is a feat in and of itself. The car itself is downright sexy, is has a handsome interior, and performance that is pure Porsche. Over 700 HP for the Turbo S model is impressive. It also costs what you would expect an electric super-Porsche would be since the range topping Taycans are coming out first. These are the Turbo and Turbo S which cost over $150,000. After these come onto the market, less expensive and less powerful versions will come. Would this be the car that I will buy? Sure, once I get that CMO position at a major company. This is a dream electric car, but not one that I would consider just yet. 
      What about an attainable electric car? There are a few on the market that cover the bases. Vehicles like the Hyundai Kona Electric, Chevy Bolt, Nissan Leaf, and others have good to respectable range, decent features, and are not the most expensive vehicles. Average prices of $40,000-$45,000 is a bit steep, but electric cars usually command a premium over gasoline vehicles. They also have good driving aids such as blind spot monitoring and adaptive cruise control, something that my current car has and is top priority for me. They’re all very good cars but with flaws such as build quality and designs that keep me from considering one. My problem is simple: performance. Electric cars have instant torque at 0 RPM and can be extremely fast. These EVs just don’t cut the mustard for me since they are more about range than blistering speed. For around $45,000, I can get a gas-powered car such as a Genesis G70 3.3T that is faster, has better range, and the safety features I want. Let’s continue from good electric vehicles to “the best”.
      Right now, you are probably thinking: “Anthony, you are forgetting the king of electric vehicles. They are synonymous with electric cars and have a huge cult following.” Guess who that is? Yes, that is of course Tesla. You can’t write about electric cars without talking about Tesla. They are a very S 3 X Y R brand indeed. The Model S introduced expensive but seriously quick electric vehicles. The X brought us an odd but much-needed crossover. The 3 is the bread-and-butter maker with a starting price around $40,000, and acceleration that beats almost all vehicles in its class. The Y hasn’t come out yet but is a crossover version of the 3, and the Roadster is a $250,000 supercar. Even though there are three models currently available, I will focus on the Model 3 Performance since that is the one I am most interested in.
      There is a lot to like about the Model 3 Performance. It has “performance” in its name and with 450 HP, it is one of the quickest sedans I’ve ever driven. The instant torque from the motors is intoxicating and it handles well for a heavy vehicle. Does it tick all the boxes to convert to a Tesla-fanatic? No. Why? The interior. I am not a fan of controlling absolutely everything with a touchscreen and not having my speedometer in front of me.
      The Model 3 Performance can have semi-autonomous driving, but it is a $7,000 option. Tesla’s Autopilot driver-assist system is standard and is regarded to be one of the best, if not the best driver-assist system. Tesla has sold over 250,000 Model 3 vehicles and it is a genuinely amazing feat for a young company. The range is good at over 310 miles. Pricing starts at $55,000 and is fully-loaded around $64,000. If you are okay with the minimal interior and styling, get yourself a Model 3. I personally am not a fan of either of those, so onward we go.
      This brings me to a car I am waiting for: The Polestar 2 fastback. Polestar used to be a sub-division of Volvo, like AMG is to Mercedes-Benz. You can still get Polestar-tune Volvos, but Polestar has branched out into their own brand. The Polestar 2 is their first all-electric car. It has over 250 miles of range, 400 HP, and most import to me, gauges that are straight in front of the driver. The design is bold yet looks like an even more modern version of a Volvo. Since Polestar is a sporty company, the performance upgrades include upgraded shocks, brakes, and bigger wheels with Swedish gold seat belts. You get this package mainly for the gold seat belts. Is it pricey at over $60,000? Yes, but it feels justified for the 408 hp and range of 275 miles. 0-60 is said to be around 4.7 seconds but I suspect it will be lower. Will they sell Tesla Model 3 numbers of them? I highly doubt it since they area new brand, but it should be a great competitor to the Tesla Model 3.
      I like the concept of electric vehicles. I know that one day, there will be one charging at my house. Am I ready for an electric car? Yes. Is there any on the market that jumps out at me and gives me the satisfaction I have for my current car at a reasonable price of around $40,000 new? No.
      Do not get me wrong; there are electric cars that make sense for a multitude of situations. Range and charging are getting better, more features are getting added, and manufacturers are creating electric-only ranges of vehicles that will bring down the costs of more performance-oriented vehicles. I can go in-depth about certain electric cars in a future article. For now, I think I will keep my car and wait until something really catches my eye. That, or wait a few years and hope the Porsche Taycan depreciates enough that I can buy one.
       

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    • By Anthony Fongaro
      EV-curious. That’s what I would call myself. Someone that is interested in EVs but just hasn’t found the right one. There are many aspects of an EV that is appealing to me. Instant torque, quick acceleration, the ability to charge at your house or apartment, and the continuation of creating semi-autonomous driving. It’s all so exciting! I’m ready to go out and trade in my 2016 Volkswagen GTI for one now! Or am I? Let’s take a quick look at a small field of electric vehicles, starting with the brand new 2020 Porsche Taycan.
      The release of the 2020 Porsche Taycan is a feat in and of itself. The car itself is downright sexy, is has a handsome interior, and performance that is pure Porsche. Over 700 HP for the Turbo S model is impressive. It also costs what you would expect an electric super-Porsche would be since the range topping Taycans are coming out first. These are the Turbo and Turbo S which cost over $150,000. After these come onto the market, less expensive and less powerful versions will come. Would this be the car that I will buy? Sure, once I get that CMO position at a major company. This is a dream electric car, but not one that I would consider just yet. 
      What about an attainable electric car? There are a few on the market that cover the bases. Vehicles like the Hyundai Kona Electric, Chevy Bolt, Nissan Leaf, and others have good to respectable range, decent features, and are not the most expensive vehicles. Average prices of $40,000-$45,000 is a bit steep, but electric cars usually command a premium over gasoline vehicles. They also have good driving aids such as blind spot monitoring and adaptive cruise control, something that my current car has and is top priority for me. They’re all very good cars but with flaws such as build quality and designs that keep me from considering one. My problem is simple: performance. Electric cars have instant torque at 0 RPM and can be extremely fast. These EVs just don’t cut the mustard for me since they are more about range than blistering speed. For around $45,000, I can get a gas-powered car such as a Genesis G70 3.3T that is faster, has better range, and the safety features I want. Let’s continue from good electric vehicles to “the best”.
      Right now, you are probably thinking: “Anthony, you are forgetting the king of electric vehicles. They are synonymous with electric cars and have a huge cult following.” Guess who that is? Yes, that is of course Tesla. You can’t write about electric cars without talking about Tesla. They are a very S 3 X Y R brand indeed. The Model S introduced expensive but seriously quick electric vehicles. The X brought us an odd but much-needed crossover. The 3 is the bread-and-butter maker with a starting price around $40,000, and acceleration that beats almost all vehicles in its class. The Y hasn’t come out yet but is a crossover version of the 3, and the Roadster is a $250,000 supercar. Even though there are three models currently available, I will focus on the Model 3 Performance since that is the one I am most interested in.
      There is a lot to like about the Model 3 Performance. It has “performance” in its name and with 450 HP, it is one of the quickest sedans I’ve ever driven. The instant torque from the motors is intoxicating and it handles well for a heavy vehicle. Does it tick all the boxes to convert to a Tesla-fanatic? No. Why? The interior. I am not a fan of controlling absolutely everything with a touchscreen and not having my speedometer in front of me.
      The Model 3 Performance can have semi-autonomous driving, but it is a $7,000 option. Tesla’s Autopilot driver-assist system is standard and is regarded to be one of the best, if not the best driver-assist system. Tesla has sold over 250,000 Model 3 vehicles and it is a genuinely amazing feat for a young company. The range is good at over 310 miles. Pricing starts at $55,000 and is fully-loaded around $64,000. If you are okay with the minimal interior and styling, get yourself a Model 3. I personally am not a fan of either of those, so onward we go.
      This brings me to a car I am waiting for: The Polestar 2 fastback. Polestar used to be a sub-division of Volvo, like AMG is to Mercedes-Benz. You can still get Polestar-tune Volvos, but Polestar has branched out into their own brand. The Polestar 2 is their first all-electric car. It has over 250 miles of range, 400 HP, and most import to me, gauges that are straight in front of the driver. The design is bold yet looks like an even more modern version of a Volvo. Since Polestar is a sporty company, the performance upgrades include upgraded shocks, brakes, and bigger wheels with Swedish gold seat belts. You get this package mainly for the gold seat belts. Is it pricey at over $60,000? Yes, but it feels justified for the 408 hp and range of 275 miles. 0-60 is said to be around 4.7 seconds but I suspect it will be lower. Will they sell Tesla Model 3 numbers of them? I highly doubt it since they area new brand, but it should be a great competitor to the Tesla Model 3.
      I like the concept of electric vehicles. I know that one day, there will be one charging at my house. Am I ready for an electric car? Yes. Is there any on the market that jumps out at me and gives me the satisfaction I have for my current car at a reasonable price of around $40,000 new? No.
      Do not get me wrong; there are electric cars that make sense for a multitude of situations. Range and charging are getting better, more features are getting added, and manufacturers are creating electric-only ranges of vehicles that will bring down the costs of more performance-oriented vehicles. I can go in-depth about certain electric cars in a future article. For now, I think I will keep my car and wait until something really catches my eye. That, or wait a few years and hope the Porsche Taycan depreciates enough that I can buy one.
       
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