Tesla Model 3 Battery, Volvo Drive Me, Affordable EVs, T.E.N. Future Car News 29th April 2016

Tesla Model 3 Battery, Volvo Drive Me, Affordable EVs, T.E.N. Future Car News 29th April 2016

On this week’s show : Tesla’s VP of Investor
Relations Sets an analyst straight on Model 3 battery costs and specifications, Volvo
launches a new Drive Me trial in central London, and Nissan commits to making lower-priced
electric cars alongside longer-range ones. These stories and more, coming up next, on
TEN. Enjoying today’s show on Youtube and want
to read the stories we’re referring to today? Just head to our website at Transport Evolved
dot com forward slash TEN, where you’ll find today’s show notes — as well as links
to the latest future car news, buying guides, tech primers, and car reviews. It’s Friday, April 29 twenty sixteen, I’m
Nikki Gordon-Bloomfield, and we’re here thanks to the wonderful donations of our Patreon
patrons. So far, we’re raising close to one thousand dollars per month, which not
only helps us keep the site up and running but also ensures there’s not a single ad
on our site or in our YouTube stream. And that’s the way we like it. We start today’s show with news on the highly-anticipated,
super-hyped Tesla Model 3, namely information pertaining to its battery pack and vehicle
construction. What’s more, this morsel of information doesn’t come from the usual
source — Tesla CEO Elon Musk — but Tesla’s Vice President of Investor Relations, Jeff
Evanson. As we explained mid-week, Evanson called in
to the Q&A session following a UBS analysts call with former GM EV expert jon Bereisa
and industry analyst Colin Langan, who had predicted that Tesla’s mass-market $35,000
sedan wouldn’t make the California automaker a profit due to high battery and construction
costs. The analysis was based on conjecture and best-guesses
for Model 3 technical specifications, and thus, said Evanson, didn’t correctly represent
true factory variable cost (or FVC for short). Setting the record straight, Evanson said
that Tesla’s entry level Model 3 would come with a battery pack less than 60 kilowatt-hours
in size and will make use of aluminium plus other materials for its construction. These
two facts should reduce total build costs for the car, which has already secured more
than 400,000 pre-reservations deposits and won’t even enter production until late next
year. Will it turn a profit? Tesla thinks so, but
it seems analysts have yet to be convinced. What they might be convinced of however, is
the continuing upward tick in range of Tesla’s high-end luxury Model S electric sedan, thanks
to the news this week that the U.S. EPA has now approved range estimates for the recently-refreshed
Tesla Model S 90D. As detailed on Monday, the new range estimate
for the dual-motor, 90 kilowatt-hour Model S — but not the high-end performance variant
— sits at 294 miles on the combined EPA test cycle. On the highway test cycle however,
that figure is actually 303 miles, making the current Model S 90D the first mass-produced
electric car to top the 300-mile barrier. Of course, there are some caveats here. That
303-EPA rating comes with some very specific circumstances, namely that you drive at a
fairly constant speed on the highway with few hills, sudden acceleration or bad weather.
Given modern EPA tests are far more accurate at predicting real-world range than they used
to be however, we think those with a light right foot may be able to push that range
far higher in perfect conditions, while those with a lead foot should expect to get far
less per charge. Still, if you’re planning to make a long-distance
trip in a Model S on a regular basis, it pays to know that the Model S 90D is the one you
should buy. As that last story categorically proves, no
other electric automaker is currently coming anywhere close to the range offered by a Tesla
electric car, but late last week Japanese automaker Nissan launched a very cheeky attack
on the amount of time customers will likely have to wait to get their hands on a Tesla
Model 3. In an ad that appeared in various print publications
as well as online, Nissan cheekily asked “why wait when you can drive an all-electric LEAF
now?,” highlighting its $4,000 cash back deal on its popular electric hatchback and
suggesting that those who paid a $1,000 refundable deposit in order to stand in line to eventually
order a Tesla Model 3 should rethink their priorities. As various sites note, Nissan’s ad certainly
makes a valid point: buying a Nissan LEAF electric car — or indeed any electric car
— will get you off fossil fuels today. And unless you’re one of the very lucky few
to be at the head of the Model 3 queue, it’ll probably put you in an electric car two years
before your Model 3 rolls off the production line. But here’s the thing. The current-generation
LEAF — however good — can’t compete with the Model 3 in terms of claimed range. Nor
can it compete that competitively with price. And while we do think people should make the
switch to electric sooner rather than later, we can’t help but think Nissan’s ad is
a bit of an own goal right now and perhaps should have been saved for the next-generation
Nissan LEAF — which we think will compete far more effectively against Model 3 based
on the various rumors we’ve heard thus far. And we sincerely mean that. In a few years,
we’re hopeful that we’ll see 200 plus mile, similarly-priced electric cars from
Tesla, Nissan, GM, Hyundai and others. And what a wonderful world we’ll be living in,
because there’s nothing like some healthy competition to drive innovation. I can’t
wait. We’re off to Germany now, where the German
Federal Government has finally approved its first-ever electric car incentive program
this week. Worth an estimated 1.2 billion euro (1.4 billion dollars) the plug-in car
incentive program will help an estimated 400,000 Germans receive a €4,000 discount off the
sticker price of a new electric car, or €3,000 off the sticker price of a plug-in hybrid
car. But what makes this program special isn’t
the sixty-thousand euro cut-off price after which incentives won’t be available — meaning
luxury electric cars like the Tesla Model S, Model X and high-end plug-in hybrids like
the BMW i8 or Mercedes-Benz S Class Plug-in hybrid won’t be eligible for a discount.
It’s the fact that rather than fund the scheme on its own, the German government is
asking the auto industry to pay half of the incentive costs itself. Why? Well, historically, Germany has argued
that incentives only benefit the automakers, because automakers put up their sticker prices
in order to make extra money. But by asking automakers to pony up half of the discounts
offered, it ensures that the incentive program encourages automakers to continually drive
down the cost of plug-in cars and ensures its citizens can benefit too. There’s also a new investment in charging
points as well as more commitment from the German government to buy plug-in cars for
fleet use, so here’s to a cleaner, more electrified nation in the near future. Staying in Europe, our next story focuses
on the UK, where Swedish automaker Volvo announced this week that London will be home to the
latest chapter in its Drive Me autonomous vehicle project. As anyone who has driven in London will tell
you — and I actually learned to drive in London — piloting an automobile in the UK’s
capital is a brutal assault on the senses. Aside from all those tiny side streets, congested
streets and lemming-like tourists, there are those big double-decker busses, pushy taxi
drivers and death-wish motorcycle couriers. Which is probably why London makes the perfect
place for Volvo to prove its autonomous drive technology has what it takes to be used by
everyday people in everyday situations without any accidents, injuries or mishaps. Selecting real families for the trial — which
will expand in 2018 after a soft-start in 2017 — Volvo will send up to 100 XC90 plug-in
hybrids fitted with Volvo’s autonomous drive technology out onto the roads to see how the
technology fares. And unlike other pilot projects, this one involves everyday drivers, not specially-trained
engineers. We’ll be keeping our eyes on this one, so
we’ll let you know how the project progresses as time passes. Switching gears now, our next story is about
the latest chapter in the ongoing Volkswagen dieslegate scandal. And while some viewers
are getting annoyed with our covering this story in our show, we think it’s important
because deiselgate is the antithesis of our editorial remit to bring you news about cleaner,
greener safer and smarter transportation. Anyway, this week we learned that Volkswagen
CEO Matthias Müller personally telephoned the President of the United States of America,
firstly to apologize for the dieselgate scandal and secondly to try and… essentially beg
for mercy. The reason? The ever-increasing bill that
Volkswagen is facing as a consequence of the dieselgate scandal which could see Volkswagen
sell off some of its assets in order to afford the billions of dollars of fines it now faces. Noting that he hoped Volkswagen could continue
to provide employment to all of its U.S. staff post dieselgate, Müller doesn’t appear
to have exactly asked for time off for good behavior. But he certainly took time to note
what a negative impact the loss of jobs would have on the U.S. economy should Volkswagen’s
fines be impossible to pay. It’s a little like the well-known fact that
a guilty plea usually gets you a more lenient sentence in prison — but in this particular
case we suspect Müller’s presidential telephone call will be too little, too late. Essentially,
if you did the crime, you have to do the time. I just hope the U.S. government is ready to
step in to help any VW workers displaced by cutbacks as a consequence because for most
employees, they haven’t done a single thing wrong. Watch this space. Volkswagen may be worrying about making ends
meet in order to pay all those fines for cheating in emissions tests — something it really
does deserve — but elsewhere in the automotive industry, we’ve been discussing affordability
of a different sort this week, namely how affordable electric cars really are. That’s because while cars like the Nissan
LEAF, Tesla Model S and upcoming Tesla Model 3 and Chevrolet Bolt are great ways to dump
the pump for good, they’re still not really affordable for everyone. Even at $35,000 before
incentives, the Tesla Model 3 will be way too expensive for many families. Which is why Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn
reaffirmed Nissan’s goal of producing more affordable electric cars this week, initially
for the Chinese market. In an interview with Bloomberg this week,
Ghosn reiterated the need for Renault-Nissan to develop both high-spec, long-range electric
cars like the next-generation Nissan LEAF as well as lower-spec, small-range cars for
use by those who just couldn’t afford a more expensive model. And while I’ve been
personally talking to many readers this week who religiously say that EVs need at least
200 miles to be useful, I’ve got to agree with Ghosn: For many low-income families,
an affordable 100-mile electric car would not only revolutionise their daily lives but
also save them a lot of money too. The challenge? Producing an electric car that
can compete on price with entry-level vehicles like the Nissan Versa or Chevy Spark with
enough power to keep up with traffic while retaining a real-world 100 miles of range.
I’m hopeful someone will figure it out, because all these longe-range $30k cars have
to drop the price of batteries for lesser-specced models too. Someone who doesn’t have to worry about
the price of cars is fictional spy James Bond, if only because Her Majesty is the one fitting
the bill for his high-tech, tricked out rides. Traditionally — with the exception of that
BMW 7-series that could be driven remotely — James Bond has favoured gas-guzzling Aston
Martin sports cars, but this week we learned that Aston Martin may be giving James Bond
a new electric car to play with. We’re gleaming this from a new interview
aired at the end of last week with Andy Palmer, boss of Aston Martin and former Nissan executive
known for his love of electric cars. Telling CNBC this week that electric cars were almost
as inevitable as death and tax, Palmer said that the phenomenal acceleration, instant
torque and zero lag would be perfect for the secret-service agent on his next big adventure. While he hinted that Bond may find himself
transitioning to full electric via a plug-in hybrid, Palmer seemed convinced that Aston
Martin would be giving 007 a fully-plug-in car to play with at some point in the future.
I can’t wait. And finally, If we’re talking about high-tech gadgets,
there’s perhaps no car quite so worthy of the title than a Tesla Model S or Model X,
thanks in part to the autopilot hardware included as standard in each and every example since
October 2014. Well, this week, a video surfaced showing
the wonderful union of Amazon Echo and the Tesla Autopilot API — with a little matchmaking
from a special third-party library called Tesla Golang — which makes it possible for
you to tell your Amazon Echo to pull your Tesla out of the garage and meet you by the
door. Ok, so this isn’t the first time we’ve
seen a voice-activated Tesla video, but this one is super cool and unlike Apple’s Siri
implementation, seems a whole lot more personable. I want. I really do. Sadly, I can’t afford a Tesla Model S or
even a Model 3 right now, but I do at least get to play with my remote-controlled Roomba.
That’s actually more within my price range and is super handy because I don’t have
to vacuum the house any more. As you might have guessed, that’s your lot
for this week — but I’ll be back next week at the usual time with another episode of
TEN. In the meantime you can find all the news that’s fit to print at our website
at transport evolved dot com, catch up with us on twitter at transport Evolve, or check
out our latest shows on our usual YouTube channel. And if you liked what you saw today, please
consider keeping us independent and impartial by supporting our Patreon crowdfunding campaign
over at Patreon dot com forward slash transportevolved. We’ve got a few days until the end of the
month and it would be super-great to get us to the $1,000 per month mark by then (We’re
only 27 bucks short right now). As I’ve said before, patreon is our only source of
income and, aside from the great work put in by our wonderful volunteers, is the only
way we can actually grow our site. Right now, we’re trying to raise $7,500 in funds to
buy a new editing machine that will mean we can make more videos with higher quality than
we can currently manage. So go on, help us out. As always, there’s a lot we haven’t managed
to fit into today’s show, including Hyundai’s plans to bring a 200-mile SUV to market for
2018, a Hotel that will lend you a Tesla Model S for your stay, Samsung SDI pulls out of
the fuel cell business, and how some Tesla Fans aren’t helping Tesla deal with its
Model X quality control issues. So when we’re done, be sure to head to our
site to read them all. Thanks for watching, I’m Nikki Gordon-Bloomfield, have a great
weekend, and until next time, keep evolving!

Posts created 40998

22 thoughts on “Tesla Model 3 Battery, Volvo Drive Me, Affordable EVs, T.E.N. Future Car News 29th April 2016

  1. What most forget about , is that it wasn't just VW who's guilty of diesel gate. Pretty much every automaker out there, producing diesel cars was bending rules beyond belief.

  2. 80 to 100 mile EV range easily meets the daily driving needs of most Americans, who drive 40 miles a day or less. Longer range is nice, and helps facilitate long road trips along with fast charging, but isn't really needed for most of the driving people actually do every day. Many people don't seem to understand how little they actually drive. For most people existing EVs have enough range to be highly practical daily drivers. People who own both a combustion car and an EV find that they use the EV a large majority of the time since it meets their daily needs so well, and the combustion car gets very little use. That's been the experience of many people so far.

    BTW punishments are decided in courts, not prisons.

  3. My guess why Volvo chose London for its SelfDriving project is because it's the closest Megacity to Sweden that that speaks English. We Swedes know English much better than we know French or German 😉

  4. I leased a 2016 Leaf over a month ago to tide me over until my expected Model 3 reservation turns into a vehicle.

    Leasing a dead cheap Leaf now, in favor of trading in on a Model 3, is certainly a valid option.

    Building cheaper 100 mile range BEVs is a fine goal, but not only do you need to compete with cheaper ICE vehicles…your demographic would need to be able to charge the vehicle at home. Many people that cannot afford the current crop of BEVs also can't charge them conveniently. I'm just not sure how big the market would be for 100 mile BEVs that can compete in the lower price range.

  5. I wouldn't discourage people from buying a Nissan Leaf now – those that can afford it can buy it, still put their $1,000 deposit on a Model 3 and then sell on their Leaf to all those people who can't afford a new EV.

  6. Used car market for the Nissan LEAF already makes it extremely attractive for households on a $15K or less car budget. Source: we bought one used.

  7. It is to be hoped that Nissan/Renault will actually wake up and small the coffee (or tea, in UK) by listing normal-price evs for the masses. We live in hope. £35,000 for a car is taking the mickey a little bit.

  8. Great work as always. We will be discussing Tesla in our next podcast and I am pretty certain we're going to reference T.E.N.. 😉

  9. I really don't think it would be sacrificial to your impartiality if you guys just got sponsors. Look at how Testtube news do it. They make videos about airplanes and get sponsored by Boeing, but never boast about their specific products or things they've invented. I think since all your videos are made in English, you could get sponsored by companies Like Canada, Australia, New Zealand United Kingdom, South Africa and Singapore. I think those are all great potential markets. I bring up other countries because I remember you briefly brought up New Zealand and Australia when Nissan rolled out a new update and the customers there, at first, didn't receive it. At that point I knew you were trying to cater to all people, not just in america. Let me know what you think of it.

  10. Range on other electric cars (like the Nissan Leaf) can't compete with tesla even if the ranges are comparable (like 200+ mi) because Tesla has far superior long distance charging infrastructure with the super chargers. I give the other companies 5-10 years to come up with an electric car that can truly compete with Tesla.

  11. Tía eres más fea que un bocado el la polla. Posiblemente la mujer más fea que he visto en mi vida. ¿Por que no te escodes? ¿Es una nueva estrategia poner la mujer más fea del mundo en youtube?

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