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posted by martyb on Tuesday August 01 2017, @04:41AM   Printer-friendly
from the production-needs-a-boost dept.

Tesla is beginning to deliver a small number of Model 3 cars, but there are concerns that Tesla will not be able to produce enough cars to meet demand:

Wall Street finally got to see all the details of the Tesla Model 3 during the car's launch event Friday. So far investors have given it the thumbs down with the electric car maker's shares down more than 2 percent midday Monday.

"We believe the Model 3 was as good as or better than expected, and pricing was as expected with considerable initial upsell. That said, the rubber now hits the road, and the fundamental questions remain unanswered," Bernstein's Toni Sacconaghi wrote in a note to clients Monday. "CEO Elon Musk sounds increasingly squeamish about the production ramp." The analyst cited how the $35,000 Model 3 car will not be available until early 2018 with only a higher-priced $49,000 model available this year. He also noted Musk's comment to employees to prepare for "production hell."

Speaking of "production hell", Tesla employees in California are threatening to unionize:

Employees at the electric automaker's factory in Fremont, California, have been agitating for a union since Jose Moran, a production associate, wrote a Medium post in January detailing difficult work conditions at the flagship plant. The bulk of the demands has since centered on improving equipment to reduce workplace injuries.

[...] Musk originally called injury allegations at the Fremont plant "disingenuous or outright false" but has since told employees to report injuries directly to him.

Although the base price of the car is $35,000, that can rise to $55,000 or more after options.

Also at MarketWatch, Ars Technica, and CNET.


Original Submission

Related Stories

Tesla Burns More Cash, Fails to Meet Production Targets 16 comments

Auto production is hard:

Having racked up its first quarter of burning through more than $1 billion of cash in the three months ending in June, Tesla topped that with $1.4 billion of negative free cash flow in the third quarter. In the past two quarters, therefore, Tesla has burned through more cash than the previous six combined. More importantly, it has burned through roughly four out of every five of the $3.2 billion dollars it has raised since late March through selling new equity and convertible debt and its debut in the high-yield bond market.

Consequently, debt has soared. Even just using debt with recourse to the company, on a net basis it has almost tripled since the start of the year to $3.36 billion.This would matter less if the primary objective of sucking in most of that external funding -- mass production of the Model 3 -- was fast approaching. Instead, it has receded further.

When Musk first talked about production targets for the Model 3 in 2016, they implied Tesla would be producing roughly 3,800 to 7,600 a week in the second half of 2017. By July of this year, Musk was guiding toward production hitting about 5,000 a week by the end of December. I estimated at the time that this implied a second-half average of maybe 1,400 a week.

Now, Musk estimates production might hit 5,000 a week by the end of the first quarter of 2018. As for this year, it might be in "the thousands" by the time New Year's Eve rolls around. He refused to say what the current run rate was. But I would estimate Tesla will be lucky to produce 10,000 Model 3 vehicles in total this year, or an average of 400 a week for the second half -- roughly 5 to 10 percent of the original guidance. As for the earlier target of 10,000 a week in 2018 ...

Also at NYT and MarketWatch.

Previously: Tesla Adds Lots of Certified Pre-Owned Model S Vehicles for Under $40,000 with New Warranty
Time to Bash Tesla Model 3
Tesla Reportedly Teaming Up With AMD for Custom AI Chip
Tesla Fires Hundreds of Employees


Original Submission

Tesla Sued Over Alleged Racism; Deliveries Pushed Back; Semi Truck to be Unveiled 28 comments

Tesla has been sued by an employee for alleged racist harassment and termination for complaining:

Tesla Inc.'s production floor is a "hotbed for racist behavior," an African-American employee claimed in a lawsuit in which he alleged black workers at the electric carmaker suffer severe and pervasive harassment. The employee says he's one of more than 100 African-American Tesla workers affected and is seeking permission from a judge to sue on behalf of the group. He's seeking unspecified general and punitive monetary damages as well as an order for Tesla to implement policies to prevent and correct harassment.

[...] The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Marcus Vaughn, who worked in the Fremont factory from April 23 to Oct. 31. Vaughn alleged that employees and supervisors regularly used the "N word" around him and other black colleagues. Vaughn said he complained in writing to human resources and Musk and was terminated in late October for "not having a positive attitude."

Although customers who have reserved a Tesla Model 3 (at a cost of $1000) have seen their delivery dates pushed back, they apparently remain loyal to the company:

Even as the company led by Elon Musk struggles with manufacturing bottlenecks and pushes back production targets by at least a quarter, many reservation holders aren't budging. Bloomberg News contacted 20 consumers who paid deposits for the Model 3 and none had canceled their orders. Regardless of the concerns raised by slower output and an uncertain future for U.S. electric-car tax credits, Nomura analyst Romit Shah predicts the affinity for Tesla Inc. products will prevail. "We believe there is a real passion for the brand," Shah wrote in a report to clients that reiterated a $500 price target for Tesla shares, the highest on Wall Street. "It is bigger than loyalty because much of the enthusiasm comes from people who have never owned a Tesla. The only comparable we see is the iPhone."

Finally, Elon Musk says that the Tesla Semi Truck will be unveiled during a live webcast at 8 PM on Thursday, and that it will "blow your mind clear out of your skull and into an alternate dimension".

Previously: Elon Musk Says Tesla Pickup and Semi-Trucks Are Coming
Time to Bash Tesla Model 3
Tesla Discussing Autonomous Semi Truck Testing in Nevada
Tesla Fires Hundreds of Employees
Tesla Burns More Cash, Fails to Meet Production Targets


Original Submission

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  • (Score: 3, Funny) by c0lo on Tuesday August 01 2017, @04:55AM (3 children)

    by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday August 01 2017, @04:55AM (#547515) Journal

    Time to Bash Tesla Model 3

    I'll gladly bash it, free of charge**... you only need to deliver one to me; and wait... there's more! I'll even zsh it.

    ---

    ** which means I'll run bash on it until the battery goes flat.

    --
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0 https://soylentnews.org/~MichaelDavidCrawford
    • (Score: 2) by MostCynical on Tuesday August 01 2017, @06:14AM (2 children)

      by MostCynical (2589) on Tuesday August 01 2017, @06:14AM (#547534) Journal

      Assuming you can get a command prompt..

      --
      "I guess once you start doubting, there's no end to it." -Batou, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex
      • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Tuesday August 01 2017, @10:58AM

        by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday August 01 2017, @10:58AM (#547586) Journal

        Assuming you can get a command prompt..

        Ummm, well, that's a problem... with a petrol car, one may try to root it [youtube.com] (first 12 secs mildly NSFW - and the rest don't matter).
        I'll try to find a howto that works on EVs specifically.

        --
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0 https://soylentnews.org/~MichaelDavidCrawford
      • (Score: 5, Interesting) by c0lo on Tuesday August 01 2017, @11:13AM

        by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday August 01 2017, @11:13AM (#547587) Journal

        It may not be even that hard [jalopnik.com]

        Recently, an intrepid and curious Tesla owner found a hidden four-pin connector, and with a hunch and some trial-and-error work discovered that it is in fact an ethernet port, and wired up a standard ethernet cable to connect to it.

        What he discovered next is notable for how strangely familiar it all is to anyone with even a passing knowledge of computer networking:

        The car's internal 100 Mbps, full duplex ethernet network consists of 3 devices with assiged IP addresses in the 192.168.90.0 subnet, the center console, dashboard/nav screen and one more unknown device. Some ports and services that were open on the devices were 22 (SSH), 23 (telnet),53 (open domain), 80 (HTTP), 111 (rpcbind), 2049 (NFS), 6000 (X11). Port 80 was serving up a web page with the image or media of the current song being played. The operating system is modified version of Ubuntu using an ext3 filesystem.

        --
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0 https://soylentnews.org/~MichaelDavidCrawford
  • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 01 2017, @04:56AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 01 2017, @04:56AM (#547516)

    Motor Trend got a short, twisty test drive off Mullholland Drive (near LA), in one of the cars that was on the way to the Model 3 Launch event. First impressions are quite stiffly sprung with very sporty handling. Steering in the normal setting was light, but there is also a sport setting that gives more feedback to the driver. This sporty handling means a rough ride for anyone that lives where the roads are less than perfectly smooth (anywhere where frost heaves and salt damage roads).

  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Grishnakh on Tuesday August 01 2017, @05:00AM (24 children)

    by Grishnakh (2831) on Tuesday August 01 2017, @05:00AM (#547520)

    For the high price of this car, you could get a Bolt, which is either similarly priced, or less (the Bolt doesn't go up to $49k or $55k as mentioned in the summary here: I went through Chevy's site and built a fully-optioned model for a little under $43k). The Bolt isn't exactly a sports car in looks, but neither is the Model 3. And the Bolt has a far nicer interior, with an actual dashboard in front of the driver, plus a screen in the middle with some knobs for frequently-used things, whereas the Tesla just has a touchscreen in the middle which does everything. The idea that you should be using a touchscreen to adjust the HVAC or radio settings is completely idiotic. The Chevy also has more controls on the steering wheel, so you can adjust things (like cruise control) without looking down at the screen.

    Normally, I'm not at all a fan of GM or American cars in general, but I do believe in comparing apples to apples, and AFAICT the Bolt is a better deal and a nicer car to drive. This "let's put everything on a big touchscreen in the middle!" is the stupidest thing I've ever seen happen to car UIs. It's like the dumb Windows 10/Metro or iOS loving hipsters have now gotten into automotive human factors, and the results are going to be a disaster. On top of that, my usual complaint about American cars (from the Big 3) is not-so-great reliability (though it's better than in decades past), and lousy interiors. But the Tesla Model 3 has by far the worst interior I've ever seen on a car. So since the Bolt is the only full EV with comparable range on the market that I know of, the comparison is valid, and the Bolt wins easily.

    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Whoever on Tuesday August 01 2017, @05:07AM (2 children)

      by Whoever (4524) on Tuesday August 01 2017, @05:07AM (#547521) Journal

      Because the infrastructure for long drives isn't there for the Bolt.

      Compare, for example, the presence of SuperChargers vs. CCS chargers along I5 or any major highway. As soon as you are out of the cities, there are very few chargers, but almost no CCS chargers.

      Furthermore the Bolt charges at half the speed of the Tesla. Then, finally, consider where many of the CCS chargers are located: do you really want to spend an hour charging at your local GM dealer, or would you prefer to stop near a restaurant or coffee shop (typical location for SuperChargers along the highways)?

      • (Score: 0, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 01 2017, @09:35AM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 01 2017, @09:35AM (#547572)

        > Because the infrastructure for long drives isn't there for the Bolt.

        Give it up already. In the near future and with very few exceptions, anyone that is buying either of these electric cars already has a gas car. And with the "recharge" time on the gas car only a few minutes to get 300-400 miles, guess which one is going to be used for long road trips.

        Of course there are a few hard core electric converts who will be willing to stop at Superchargers for an extended charge, but if Tesla production follows projections, there will not be nearly enough Supercharger hookups. Remember that you need many more electric charging points than you need gas pumps...because one car hogs the charging point for that half hour.

        At peak times (holiday weekend?), and being generous at 5 minutes for a gas fillup, the ratio is 30/5 or 6x the number of charging points. Then factor in the 150 miles that the Model 3 gets and they have to stop 2x as often, for a factor of 12. Just the parking spaces at these extended Superchargers are going to use up a lot of acreage. Then there is the substation required, along with the branch mains to get the power there. No doubt there will be build out, but in the meantime, that half-hour charge just turned into an hour while you wait for the next car in front of you to finish.

        Extended road trips in electric cars are going to be popular with magazine writers & reality shows that want to tell a story, but not with ordinary owners that just want to get there.

        • (Score: 4, Informative) by BasilBrush on Tuesday August 01 2017, @04:26PM

          by BasilBrush (3994) on Tuesday August 01 2017, @04:26PM (#547692)

          But most of the time EVs are charged at home. So most of those Teslas and Bolts are not competing for public charge points.

          --
          Hurrah! Quoting works now!
    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Whoever on Tuesday August 01 2017, @05:16AM (6 children)

      by Whoever (4524) on Tuesday August 01 2017, @05:16AM (#547523) Journal

      I went through Chevy's site and built a fully-optioned model for a little under $43k

      Fully-optioned, but not comparable.

      Bolt does not have options for 1. Extended-range battery and 2. Autopilot self-driving. Considering the extended range battery is $9k, the Tesla isn't expensive for what you get when compared to the Bolt.

      Also, add in things that get included in the Model 3 but are extra on the Bolt, such as a 240V charger, then the Bolt isn't such a good deal.

      • (Score: 2) by Grishnakh on Tuesday August 01 2017, @01:48PM (5 children)

        by Grishnakh (2831) on Tuesday August 01 2017, @01:48PM (#547642)

        Also, add in things that get included in the Model 3 but are extra on the Bolt, such as a 240V charger, then the Bolt isn't such a good deal.

        I didn't see that about the Bolt. I did see that the 120V charger was an optional add-on, which makes sense: why on earth would you ever use 120V for charging unless you really had to?

        • (Score: 4, Informative) by RS3 on Tuesday August 01 2017, @05:03PM (4 children)

          by RS3 (6367) on Tuesday August 01 2017, @05:03PM (#547706)

          I didn't see that about the Bolt. I did see that the 120V charger was an optional add-on, which makes sense: why on earth would you ever use 120V for charging unless you really had to?

          I work for a guy who bought a Bolt a few months ago and he absolutely loves it. He only has the 120V charger that came with the car and he has had no problem. He often uses it for more than 200 miles a day with no problems. You can vary the charge rate- I've heard him mention 8 and 12 amps (@120V). That's all I know about that. He is considering buying the 240V charger but so far it's not a problem.

          I've been in it many times (not driven it yet) and it's really nice. It does not have full autopilot but it has some auto-braking that has saved his butt a few times. It also has optical and RADAR sensors which have warned him about other cars, obstacles, etc.

          • (Score: 2) by Whoever on Wednesday August 02 2017, @03:58AM (3 children)

            by Whoever (4524) on Wednesday August 02 2017, @03:58AM (#547834) Journal

            He only has the 120V charger that came with the car and he has had no problem. He often uses it for more than 200 miles a day with no problems.

            Then he is using some other charger. 120V chargers only charge at around 5 mph (~1kW and roughly 4 miles per kWHour). It takes a long time to get enough charge for 200 miles at 5mph.

            • (Score: 2) by RS3 on Wednesday August 02 2017, @04:51AM (1 child)

              by RS3 (6367) on Wednesday August 02 2017, @04:51AM (#547846)

              Then he is using some other charger. 120V chargers only charge at around 5 mph (~1kW and roughly 4 miles per kWHour). It takes a long time to get enough charge for 200 miles at 5mph.

              Nope, sorry, I know him extremely well, and we're both BSEEs. He has only had the 1 charger that came with the car. I've plugged it in several times myself. You can control the charge rate on the dash app. I know of 8 and 12 amps, selectable by user. Not sure if there are other rates.

              I'll get the details from him and post back here re: charge rates, etc., but I assure you he has only the one charger. He is considering another and has been discussing with me whether to buy the mid-level or the super charger. Pretty sure he'll get the mid-level one, but that's as much as I've bothered to learn about the subject.

              • (Score: 2) by Whoever on Wednesday August 02 2017, @06:14AM

                by Whoever (4524) on Wednesday August 02 2017, @06:14AM (#547860) Journal

                You claim to be a BSEE, but answer this: what's wrong with my math?

                I gave you the important figure that you might not know (approximately 4-5 miles of range per kWH). You know the voltage and current from a 120V outlet. It's a simple sum from there.

            • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 02 2017, @12:49PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 02 2017, @12:49PM (#547918)

              Chevy says about 4 miles per hour of charge with Basic 120VAC charging,
                    https://www.chevyevlife.com/bolt-ev-charging-guide [chevyevlife.com]

              It's pretty easy to guess what's going on: The car is driven much less than 200 miles on most days, so the battery is kept topped up. Every now and then there is a 200 mile day, and it takes several days to get back to full charge after one of those long days.

    • (Score: 5, Informative) by bzipitidoo on Tuesday August 01 2017, @06:31AM

      by bzipitidoo (4388) on Tuesday August 01 2017, @06:31AM (#547538) Journal

      > I went through Chevy's site

      Took me a while to realize that automakers' websites are hardly better than their salespeople. Probably written by the same people. They're very grudging on telling you the lowdown. Like their salespeople, their websites keep trying to steer and drive you to the hype, snow you with marketspeak, and dazzle you with colors, shiny things, and luxury options. And they're annoyingly persistent.

      I looked at the Bolt. Took a little digging to get past the marketing drivel on their website and get to the pertinent numbers of how far can you go on a charge, and how long does it take to recharge. Those crucial numbers were about half and double respectively of the Tesla Model 3's numbers. As I recall, no matter how powerful the charging station is, the Bolt simply cannot be recharged in less than half an hour, and then it's good for only 150 miles. That makes the Bolt impractical for a road trip. The Model 3 is tolerable, if still not quite as fast as a combustion engine vehicle. GM gets an E for effort.

    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by bradley13 on Tuesday August 01 2017, @07:43AM (5 children)

      by bradley13 (3053) on Tuesday August 01 2017, @07:43AM (#547551) Homepage Journal

      Just to add my two cents worth - nothing to do with specifications: I would never buy another car from any of the brands that produce in the heavily unionized rust belt. Two reasons.

      Personal experience: the cars are crap. I owned two, my mother never bought anything else. They often look nice, but reliability and quality are just not there. Unless things have changed in the last ten years or so, which I very much doubt.

      As to why: I have no chance of finding it, but I read an article 10-15 years ago that did a breakdown of the production costs for various brands of cars. For cars produced by GM & Co., the personnel costs were massively higher than for any other brand. Given that they price their cars competitively, the result is obvious: they use lower quality parts and materials.

      FWIW: I'm not saying that auto workers in the rust belt are overpaid. This has a lot more to do with union work rules, which force manufacturers to pay for a lot more union hours to accomplish any given task.

      Anecdote: I didn't work in the auto industry, but I did do a computer installation in that area. We had ordered the installation of wiring for sensors and valves ahead of time, in a unionized sewage plant (it stank, but not of sewage - the molasses plant across the road was...indescribable). For the installation, a co-worker and I needed to verify the wiring before hooking up the computer. One person at the computer end, one person wandering around the plant at the sensors and valves. Send a signal, check to see if it arrives, simple stuff.

      Obviously I did not know my way around the plant, so I needed a supervisor as a guide. Neither I nor the supervisor were allowed to touch anything, though. There was a union position for the guy who opened the junction boxes, but he wasn't allowed to touch the wiring. There was a union position for the guy who attached the meter to the wires, but he wasn't allowed to read the meter. There was a union position for the guy who read the meter. And union rules required us to be accompanied by an operator, another specific union position. So where two of us would have done, we were a troop of six. Four of those jobs did not need to exist.

      That's the kind of climate where the Chevy Bolt is produced. Those extra labor hours have to be compensated somewhere, and the most likely place is by buying cheaper materials. No thanks...

      --
      Everyone is somebody else's weirdo.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 01 2017, @08:55AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 01 2017, @08:55AM (#547565)

        That's the kind of climate where the Chevy Bolt is produced.

        Yeea.. naaahh! It's changing anyway... globally, rust belt included.
        I believe being warmer will be a plus for Detroit and Chicago, ain't so?

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 01 2017, @09:10AM (2 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 01 2017, @09:10AM (#547567)

        > That's the kind of climate where the Chevy Bolt is produced.

        You forgot about the GM bankruptcy. Many things changed and one was the union rules, they are still around, but much weakened. Meanwhile, there are rumblings of a union at the Tesla plant.

        In both cases, car assembly is highly automated, with many fewer workers than you might remember from your time in the plant.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 01 2017, @04:17PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 01 2017, @04:17PM (#547688)

          obviously not automated enough with humans complaining about workplace injuries.

          • (Score: 2) by SanityCheck on Tuesday August 01 2017, @10:56PM

            by SanityCheck (5190) on Tuesday August 01 2017, @10:56PM (#547772)

            If they were a bit nicer to the robots then there might be a few less "accidents."

      • (Score: 4, Informative) by richtopia on Tuesday August 01 2017, @06:34PM

        by richtopia (3160) on Tuesday August 01 2017, @06:34PM (#547723) Homepage Journal

        I think most of your data is out of date. American automakers aren't perfect, but particularly during the automotive industry crisis in 2008 they re-evaluated a lot of their infrastructure. Many contracts were re-negotiated to reduce labor costs and improve competitiveness; for example the subcompact Chevy Sonic was able to be produced in Michigan largely because of cheaper labor (http://www.autonews.com/article/20110519/blog06/110519871/gms-chevy-sonic-plant:-more-than-cheap-labor).

        The big three have also realized that public perceptions on their quality are severely lacking, and have made huge strides to improve quality control. Specifically with the electric drive train of the Bolt it is probably one of the most researched electric drive trains on the market now. General Motors is betting big on the Bolt and I think the car has benefited for it.

        Your concerns are valid; American automakers had a poor track record for a long time. However I would not write them off completely today. They have heard complaints like yours and have spent the last decade dealing with their problems and make a product I trust. With that said, it is actually pretty difficult to find a poorly engineered vehicle for sale in the USA today, as all major manufacturers realize the importance of quality control.

    • (Score: 1) by Zobeid Zuma on Tuesday August 01 2017, @03:48PM (1 child)

      by Zobeid Zuma (6636) on Tuesday August 01 2017, @03:48PM (#547681)

      Your views of the user interface are directly counter to my own experience. A couple of years ago I got a new Jeep Grand Cherokee, and the control layout on that thing is a nightmare. It has a small touch screen, buttons, dials, more buttons on the steering wheel, everything. The touch screen is very laggy and unresponsive, the interface seems designed to confuse. It's hard to even tell what gear it's in, and the shifter is highly erratic. It also seems very determined to run the heater in summertime and the A/C in winter. Getting it to communicate with my phone was an adventure too. Oh, and I had to pay a large extra fee to "activate" navigation, which turned out to be awful. After owning the Jeep for a year, it was still tripping me up and doing things I didn't understand.

      Then I got to borrow a Tesla Model S. The huge touch screen seemed strange at first, but I only had to poke around at the interface for about five minutes, and I had it figured out. It was a night-and-day difference. It was an epiphany, like going from an old flip-phone to an iPhone. Suddenly I realized just how awful most car controls really are, and that it doesn't have to be that way.

      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Grishnakh on Tuesday August 01 2017, @04:27PM

        by Grishnakh (2831) on Tuesday August 01 2017, @04:27PM (#547693)

        A couple of years ago I got a new Jeep Grand Cherokee, and the control layout on that thing is a nightmare. ... The touch screen is very laggy and unresponsive, ... It's hard to even tell what gear it's in, and the shifter is highly erratic.

        Why did you buy that POS if it has that many problems? Those are things you can tell on a quick test-drive. And the shifter thing is something those Jeeps are infamous for, and really should be recalled for, as they're downright dangerous.

        Your experience isn't indicative of touchscreen vs. controls. Most cars have discrete controls, and people get along just fine with them, as long as they're not Jeep Grand Cherokees. My 2015 Mazda has lots of buttons and controls, and works great.

        Then I got to borrow a Tesla Model S. The huge touch screen seemed strange at first, but I only had to poke around at the interface for about five minutes, and I had it figured out.

        Great... now, I want you to open the sunroof without looking at the touchscreen. If you can't do that, then the UI is a total failure. Similarly, I want you to turn the heat up or down, without looking at the touchscreen. Looking away from the road is dangerous, so if you have to do that, it's a failure. I can do all these things in my car (and all the cars before it) solely by touch, because the switches are located in specific locations, and they have tactile response. The problem is that these days, hipster idiots like you don't understand the value of tactile response, and don't understand why you have to keep your eyes in front of you instead of looking at a big touchscreen.

    • (Score: 2) by KilroySmith on Tuesday August 01 2017, @04:41PM (4 children)

      by KilroySmith (2113) on Tuesday August 01 2017, @04:41PM (#547701)

      First I'm a died-in-the-wool Tesla fanboi.

      Second, the Bolt is a good car. Chevy should be applauded for getting a long-range, well-designed electric vehicle to market - the fact that it was BEFORE the Model 3 is another feather in their cap. Job well done.

      The styling of the Bolt isn't much to my liking - but that's true of just about every compact hatchback out there. The good thing about the Bolt is that the styling doesn't scream "I'm one of those weird electric vehicles", like just about every other EV.

      The one missing piece for the Bolt is charging - lack of a fast-charge capability, and a fast charging infrastructure makes it a great city/suburban car that you can't road trip with. Five or ten years from now, that situation may change, but that's the way it is today. That was one of the brilliant insights of Tesla for the Model S - it couldn't replace people's ICE car unless they could road trip; so they built the Supercharger network on their own.

      • (Score: 2) by richtopia on Tuesday August 01 2017, @06:41PM (3 children)

        by richtopia (3160) on Tuesday August 01 2017, @06:41PM (#547725) Homepage Journal

        The Supercharger network is one of the reasons I don't want to support Tesla.

        You are correct that charging infrastructure is critical for the adoption of electric vehicles. And Tesla was correct in building a network to serve their vehicles; today they have the largest network.

        However, I am disgusted that the company has made their network proprietary. The automotive industry already developed a standard for electric vehicle charging. If gasoline was manufacturer specific it would be such a headache to find the correct refueling station for your vendor, and would lock out completion from the market. If Tesla offered "free lifetime charging at all Tesla chargers" but used the SAE J1772 connection and charged non-Tesla vehicles I would applaud them.

        • (Score: 2) by KilroySmith on Tuesday August 01 2017, @08:05PM (2 children)

          by KilroySmith (2113) on Tuesday August 01 2017, @08:05PM (#547737)

          Musk: That was already said. Actually we've already said that. The intent of the Supercharger network is not to create a walled garden. Any other manufacturer that's interested in using them, we'd be happy to accommodate. It's just that they need to be able to accept the power level of the Superchargers, which is currently 135kW and rising, so any car needs to meet the Supercharger standard. And they'd also need to agree with the business model, which is we don't charge people on a per-charge basis. They'd need to contribute to the capital costs proportional to their fleet's usage of the network. So we think that's pretty fair.

          https://www.engadget.com/2014/06/09/tesla-to-share-supercharger-patents/ [engadget.com]

          • (Score: 2) by vux984 on Wednesday August 02 2017, @12:00AM (1 child)

            by vux984 (5045) on Wednesday August 02 2017, @12:00AM (#547787)

            Any other manufacturer that's interested in using them, we'd be happy to accommodate. It's just that they need to be able to accept the power level of the Superchargers, which is currently 135kW and rising, so any car needs to meet the Supercharger standard. And they'd also need to agree with the business model, which is we don't charge people on a per-charge basis. They'd need to contribute to the capital costs proportional to their fleet's usage of the network. So we think that's pretty fair.

            And yet they've had no takers so far??... Gee, I wonder why?

            • (Score: 2) by arslan on Wednesday August 02 2017, @02:25AM

              by arslan (3462) on Wednesday August 02 2017, @02:25AM (#547822)

              Everyone else prefer's their own walled garden? They feel they can't profit enough off the business model Musk has laid down? They hate Musk for disrupting their industry? They can't cope with the rate of change of the power level and provide the safety required?

  • (Score: 2) by kazzie on Tuesday August 01 2017, @05:51AM

    by kazzie (5309) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday August 01 2017, @05:51AM (#547530)

    I thought panel-bashing was went the way of the dodo ages ago. But if it can help the Tesla factory keep up production, it's fine by me!

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by ledow on Tuesday August 01 2017, @07:25AM (13 children)

    by ledow (5567) on Tuesday August 01 2017, @07:25AM (#547545) Homepage

    Again - a problem you can't just throw money at.

    The tech is stuck. The parts productions don't scale. The device ends up expensive. Sure, you can subsidise several thousand of them, hoping to break even. But it's not a practical, long-term solution.

    Now, short-term blips in the stock price mean almost nothing, the same as stock valuations in general when the profit line reads zero. But literally not being able to deliver a new model for over another year, in any kind of significant numbers, is another year where Ford et al play catchup with billions coming in from their other car sales.

    I've said it before. Tesla sells in the tens of thousands per year. Every other car manufacturer is orders of magnitude above that. They're letting Tesla take the R&D hit to see what sells, then when something takes off (electric cars aren't, in any significant number) they'll take over the market in seconds.

    If I were an investor in Tesla, I'd be keeping a close eye. Because though you may not invest for the long-term but for short-term rapid gain, it's going to be a very small window where Tesla actually becomes worth it.

    A billionaire throwing money away on tech is great fun and everything, but it's not business. At best, they'll own a patent that one of the big car people want. The way things are going, though, they don't really do much that the others aren't already capable of.

    • (Score: 5, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 01 2017, @07:34AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 01 2017, @07:34AM (#547549)

      At best, they'll own a patent that one of the big car people want.

      https://soylentnews.org/article.pl?sid=14/06/13/1018228 [soylentnews.org]

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by coolgopher on Tuesday August 01 2017, @08:04AM (8 children)

      by coolgopher (1157) on Tuesday August 01 2017, @08:04AM (#547553)

      > Again - a problem you can't just throw money at.

      I think a gigafactory or two will prove that statement wrong in due time.

      Don't think of Tesla as a regular company. It's not. Its aim is not to become large, profitable and comfortable, rather it aims to evolve as rapidly as it can possibly sustain (and probably faster yet), and leave behind it a wake which drags everyone else along forward with it. This isn't a company with a vision, it's a vision with a company, and the scale of that vision eclipses any mere single company.

      I clearly sound like I've drunk too much of the cool-aid, but I'm genuinely impressed with what Musk has, and is, pulling off.

      • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Tuesday August 01 2017, @11:20AM (6 children)

        by kaszz (4211) on Tuesday August 01 2017, @11:20AM (#547589) Journal

        I think a gigafactory or two will prove that statement wrong in due time.

        Every car manufacturer will have a electric car. But only Tesla will have batteries to go with it ? ;-)

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 01 2017, @01:43PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 01 2017, @01:43PM (#547640)

          there are a dozen or so battery factories of same size as tesla's gigafactory in the works atm worldwide

        • (Score: 2) by Immerman on Tuesday August 01 2017, @01:50PM

          by Immerman (3985) on Tuesday August 01 2017, @01:50PM (#547643)

          Well, it does seem like his vision is to get the masses driving electric vehicles, and producing one of the critical components is probably a much more secure investment than trying to compete with the big automakers once they really get into the game.

        • (Score: 2) by ledow on Tuesday August 01 2017, @03:05PM (2 children)

          by ledow (5567) on Tuesday August 01 2017, @03:05PM (#547665) Homepage

          Again - do Tesla's batteries do anything that other's don't? Not really.

          They use the same chemistry, in the same cells, they're just produced en-masse. Are we suggesting that only Musk can do that, or that if the tech takes off that the Chinese - say - couldn't catch up and take over in a matter of weeks?

          At best he's a source of ignition for someone else's rocket. At worst, he's just throwing money away on tech we already have.

          • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Tuesday August 01 2017, @03:20PM

            by kaszz (4211) on Tuesday August 01 2017, @03:20PM (#547674) Journal

            For one he actually does something. And the point is likely the capacity and price of his batteries.
            Wouldn't surprise me either if he is already working on the next advancement.

          • (Score: 2) by cmdrklarg on Tuesday August 01 2017, @06:15PM

            by cmdrklarg (5048) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday August 01 2017, @06:15PM (#547719)

            At best he's a source of ignition for someone else's rocket.

            I think that is precisely what Musk's goal is: to light a fire under others.

            --
            The world is full of kings and queens who blind your eyes and steal your dreams.
      • (Score: 2) by ledow on Tuesday August 01 2017, @03:03PM

        by ledow (5567) on Tuesday August 01 2017, @03:03PM (#547664) Homepage

        I shall return to this post in one year.

        (P.S. SoylentNews - I have suggested as a feature before, to be able to do this. Tag a comment, which pops up again at a specified time, and you can reply and your comments get sent to the OP even if the article is locked!).

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 01 2017, @05:06PM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 01 2017, @05:06PM (#547707)

      For another take on Musk, see the Autoextremist this week,
          http://www.autoextremist.com/current/2017/8/1/the-greatest-pr-show-on-earth.html [autoextremist.com]

      Peter is from Detroit, was formerly a PR/advertising guy and he's really hard on GM for not supporting the Bolt with a great press launch. At the same time, he sees through Tesla as a cult of personality. He's convinced that if the Model 3 production numbers approach what has been projected, the build quality will suffer greatly...

      And he's a good writer, fun to read his bombastic columns.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 01 2017, @08:33PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 01 2017, @08:33PM (#547746)

        Ha, one of the letters to Autoextremist this week,

        Boy, I'm sure happy my new Model 3 that I didn't order wasn't delivered. I couldn't have evacuated the Outer Banks due to the power outage... probably can't buy a generator within range of the Muskmobile either.

        Brings up a good point, if there is a widespread power failure, anyone with an electric car is sol unless they managed to charge in advance (and then leave the area).

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 02 2017, @12:23AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 02 2017, @12:23AM (#547793)

          Can't a generator charge an electric car?

          Seems the real solution is an electric pickup truck, with room in the bed for a generator. A generator and a big tank of gasoline, or maybe diesel.

          Do they make diesel generators?

          Electric pickup truck, diesel generator, and a 500 gallon tank of diesel.

          Range problem: Solved. Power Outage problem: solved. You are welcome.

  • (Score: 2) by rigrig on Tuesday August 01 2017, @08:41AM

    by rigrig (5129) <soylentnews@tubul.net> on Tuesday August 01 2017, @08:41AM (#547563) Homepage

    CEO Elon Musk sounds increasingly squeamish about the production ramp.

    Maybe because there are a lot of people out there that aren't quite sure if they want one, so they need to hear "Buy one now or lose out (or worse: get stuck with the cheap model while your neighbour has the deluxe version)"

    --
    No one remembers the singer.
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