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Tesla Says Model 3 Had 'Biggest One-Week Launch of Any Product Ever' (theverge.com) 270

An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Verge: Tesla announced Thursday that it has received 325,000 preorders for its recently unveiled Model 3. If it sells every car that's been reserved, the company says it will earn enough revenue to make this the "biggest one-week launch of any product ever." A few days ago, the electric car company was saying it had received twice the number of preorders it originally expected to get. Now it's quickly approaching three times that number, which raises questions about the company's ability to meet its increasingly complex production goals. If it can, it stands to make a boatload of money. Tesla says the number of preorders it has received so far corresponds to $14 billion in implied future sales.
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Tesla Says Model 3 Had 'Biggest One-Week Launch of Any Product Ever'

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  • by Dorianny ( 1847922 ) on Thursday April 07, 2016 @05:24PM (#51863757) Journal
    Have any other manufacturers done a $1000 deposit, cancel at any time for a full refund pre-launch before? It is hard to know how many paid the fully refundable deposit just so they can have reserve a spot in the line if they decide to get one or even trying just in case they might profit from selling the spot.
  • My one question is durability?

    I mean, 8 years and your battery is almost a brick right?

    A gas car you can keep going for 15 to 20 years.

    OTH, maybe battery prices will drop by 90% over the next 8 years. In which case, no problem.

    • by Jeremi ( 14640 ) on Thursday April 07, 2016 @05:55PM (#51864027) Homepage

      I mean, 8 years and your battery is almost a brick right?

      No. It will have reduced capacity [quora.com], but it will still be functional. The quoted estimate is around a 30% reduction in capacity after 8 years.

      If the reduced capacity is great enough to be covered by the warranty, then Tesla will replace the battery for you. If not, you will have the option of either using the battery as-is, or purchasing a better replacement yourself (which will probably be expensive, but less expensive in 8 years than it is now since battery prices keep decreasing).

      A gas car you can keep going for 15 to 20 years.

      Modulo maintenance, gas, and the various parts you will have to repair or replace, or course.

      • by AlanBDee ( 2261976 ) on Thursday April 07, 2016 @07:02PM (#51864497)

        I keep fairly detailed records of the maintenance cost of my cars. My 2000 Toyota 4Runner, purchased in 2003, has cost me $13,479 in maintenance. I've put 140,000 miles on it. My 2007 Honda Accord has cost me $5174 with 95,000 miles put on it. This is excluding the purchase price and gas.

        Purchase plus maintenance plus gas on the Accord comes out to about $0.37/mile. The 4Runner is $0.43/mile.

        In theory the EV won't require nearly as much in maintenance cost and would save in gas so even if I had to buy a new battery for $8,000 every 8 years it would probably make sense.

        • by afidel ( 530433 )

          Holy hell, how are you spending so much on maintenance? I buy used cars with ~65k miles on them (best tradeoff between depreciation and reliability IME) and run then to 150-200k and they only cost me a few thousand dollars in maintenance, the second time a car costs me over $500 I seriously consider if it's time to scrap it and get a 'new' one.

          • by kuzb ( 724081 )

            Probably because he's doing preventative maintenance by replacing key components before they fail instead of after/during - something most people don't do. This is the smart move if you want your vehicle to retain as much of its value as possible.

            • by afidel ( 530433 )

              He's spent more on maintenance for his 4runner that I spent for purchase + maintenance of my current vehicle, hardly seems like a smart move to me. In fact I just checked Fulio and my cost per mile excluding purchase but including insurance, gas, and maintenance has been $.17 over the last 30 months. If I get only 90,000 miles out of my car the full cost per mile will be ~$.26 which is about 50% below his figures. It's not like I'm giving up reliability either, my car has probably spent less time in the sho

              • Maybe he's kept it immaculate, in which case, the question becomes why. But actually, I find the amount somewhat shocking as well. That's a lot for a Toy.

      • A gas car you can keep going for 15 to 20 years.

        Modulo maintenance, gas, and the various parts you will have to repair or replace, or course.

        And the Tesla's only maintenance item is tires.

        • by afidel ( 530433 )

          And replacement motors, batteries, coolant pumps, radiators, wheel bearing, suspension, differential, battery control electronics, charging electronics, HVAC system, seat heaters, dash computer, dash display. Yup, there's nothing that will ever need maintenance in a Tesla...

        • And the Tesla's only maintenance item is tires.

          I think this sentence best describes the "informed Tesla-buyer" demographic. They're clueless, and they don't know it.

      • I can't believe how naive people are being. Batteries are expensive. Tesla is a megamillion-dollar corporation. They're a car company, for Pete's sake. They'll find a way to weasel out of the warranty, you can count on it. The founder won't live forever.
      • Well I saw lower figures but also found this while discussing this post.

        http://www.hybridcars.com/stud... [hybridcars.com]

        Summary is 20% loss after a little less than 3 years (like losing 5mpg to 10mpg in a gasoline car).
        Also, a substantial group losing 30% in 800 days.
        And with a dozen losing 40% in only 800 days.

        And this is a pro electric car site using actual data.

        I'm skeptical. My battery powered electric devices have shorter lifespans.

        If it's as good as they say, I'd want an extended warranty from the manufacturer bac

        • by AaronW ( 33736 )

          I haven't noticed much loss in my Model S after over 3 years and almost 40K miles. My previous car, a Prius, had no loss in mileage after 100K miles. The losses in the other cars are going to be much higher because of the much smaller batteries. The loss of capacity is due to cycling of the battery. For my P85, 1000 cycles on the battery is around 200K miles. The batteries should be good for longer than that. These are automotive grade batteries, not the crappy ones they put in most consumer devices.

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        30% after 8 years seems rather pessimistic. Tesla tested a Model S 85kW pack up to 750,000 miles with 16% capacity loss. That's in line with what the battery manufacturer (Panasonic) rates the cells at. 3000 cycles to 80% remaining capacity. 300 miles range per cycle, for a total of 900,000 miles to 20% loss.

        That's with constant supercharging too. Supercharging isn't actually that hard on the cells, as they are actively cooled and 120kW is only about 1.4C, not particularly high for lithium.

    • by Sean Dunn ( 2861499 ) on Thursday April 07, 2016 @06:00PM (#51864087)
      Turns out Lithium Ion batteries, if you keep them the right temperature, last a very long time.

      At a high level, the battery is damaged just a little bit each time it's charged. The amount of damage caused during charging is based on the temperature and how full the battery is. This means the longevity of a lithium ion battery is basically a function of how many times they are charged, the temperature, and if you charge it to 100% or only to 70%.

      In the real world, with the Model S, people are reporting under a 20% degradation after 100k miles. It should last somewhere between 300k-500k before it's half dead.

      As I understand it, as the battery capacity decreased, there should be a plan would be to install a new fresh battery pack, with the old one reused in a role for stationary storage, before finally being recycled.

    • by Alomex ( 148003 )

      A gas car you can keep going for 15 to 20 years.

      ..and a lottery ticket might be worth a million dollars.

      Back here in planet Earth the average car life expectancy in the US is 12 years and outside the dry snowless southern states very few cars last past 15 years.

      • You're just thinking of people who drive 10,000+ miles a year -- those of us who do less driving naturally have cars that last a lot longer. My current car is 18, my previous car was 17 when it died, both below 100K miles.

        • by Alomex ( 148003 )

          In other words, I'm thinking about the average driver which according to statistics drives 15K miles a year. Additionally in Northern climes the limiting factor is often the number of winters, not the total number of miles.

      • by afidel ( 530433 )

        No, the average AGE of car on the road today in the US is 11.5 years, the average age at destruction is 18 years which means the vast majority will make 15+ years.

      • A) Many people DO keep gasoline cars going for 15 to 20 years.


        B) a gas car CAN (it is POSSIBLE) keep going for 15 to 20 years.

        Lots of people
        a) Get into accidents (Huge affect on "average" car life expectancy).
        b) Don't do proper maintenance
        c) Drive the car to death
        d) Choose not to repair it when a $2,000 repair could keep the car going another 100,000 miles.

        so applying these factors to the tesla
        a) Get into accidents (Huge affect on "average" car life expectancy). (Yup)
        b) Don't do proper maintenanc

    • I mean, 8 years and your battery is almost a brick right?

      Is that an assertion of fact, or a question? It looks like a question, with that question mark there and everything, but then you keep going as if it's a fact.

  • Doesn't mean anything at all unless you account for inflation.
  • If I had a better job I'd have lined up too. One of the few (only??) benefits of living in Quebec is the hydro power. But I remain carless for now, Montreal is not a very large city and I can still bike around at my august age.

    But from all comments, the Teslas seem like quality cars, good for Musk! Shake up the establishment!

  • by misnohmer ( 1636461 ) on Thursday April 07, 2016 @05:55PM (#51864035)

    There are a lot of reasons to put the deposit down:
    1. Low risk - fully refundable until actually placing configured order. The only risk is Tesla going under.
    2. Early Model 3 car still qualify for up to $7,500 US government tax credit. After Tesla has produced 200K cars for US market (including all Model S and X) the rebate drops off fast.
    3. With this strong demand, those who put the deposit down will get their cars up to 2 years earlier. First releases of a new model car tend to hold higher residuals as there are no older alternatives.
    4. Some may hope to speculate, buy an early car and sell it for profit to those who will pay an extra couple of thousand for not waiting 2 years for the new, trendy car. Once the $7.5K rebate drops off, that's an extra $7.5K value for the person who did get it and is reselling the car to those who can no longer get it.

    So, rather that collect 0.25% in a savings account, place a $1000 deposit, with low risk, but lots of potential upside. Why do people think that's crazy?

    • So, rather that collect 0.25% in a savings account, place a $1000 deposit, with low risk, but lots of potential upside. Why do people think that's crazy?

      It isn't, you are likely correct.

      That, and I don't expect more than half of the deposits to turn into orders.

      There is a decent chance the $35K price doesn't hold either, or it will be really bare bones and the ASP (average selling price) will be closer to $45K.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      I thought about putting a deposit down, but the long wait for UK residents put me off. We aren't likely to see cars before 2019, and by the time the queue starts to clear 2020.

      I really hope that the Model 3 spurs other manufacturers to take their EVs further.

  • Let's do the math (Score:3, Insightful)

    by wwalker ( 159341 ) on Thursday April 07, 2016 @06:00PM (#51864097) Journal

    So much for the $35,000 price tag. $14B / 325,000 = $43,000. Even if we assume that half the sales will be for the basic configuration at the bottom price, then the other half would have to sell for $51,000 to make the average price they are projecting. Sounds to me like the $35K version will be completely bare-bones, and you'll have to pay a *lot* for things that come standard in other cars (the Porsche way). Personally, I was excited to get a nicely equipped electric car for $35K. $51K? Not so much.

    • It's a Tesla not a BMW. Musk has gone on record as stating that even the base model will be quite generously equipped. This includes the autopilot hardware with safety features turned on (find that in any other car of that segment), supercharger capable, 215+mi range, 6s 0-60MPH. Interior features are yet to be revealed so we'll have to wait for specifics. At this point however, I see no reason not to take Musk at his word. The $14B is probably based upon his belief that the average buyer of the car w
    • Enthusiastic early pre-order fans who stand in line are unlikely to be bargain shoppers and more likely to go for premium options.

    • by ranton ( 36917 )

      If you look at current Tesla cars as a guideline, the biggest option will probably be a $10-12k performance option that gets closer to 4.5s 0-60. There will be a $3k premium interior option. A few $500-$2000 paint colors and tire options. A few $1000-$3000 options like high fidelity sound, smart air suspension, and autopilot features.

      All together most cars without the performance option will cost around $40k, and $50-55k with the performance option. There will certainly be some people getting the base model

      • Which is nothing if you're an urbanite living in a major US city. But there's the additional cost of getting the charger purchased and installed, no?

  • by argStyopa ( 232550 ) on Thursday April 07, 2016 @06:35PM (#51864323) Journal

    "...If it sells every car that's been reserved..."

    I'm going to call it here, that less than 100,000 - maybe even less than 50k - actually turn into real orders.

    • by jandrese ( 485 ) <kensama@vt.edu> on Thursday April 07, 2016 @06:43PM (#51864375) Homepage Journal
      Based on what? Pent-up interest in transitioning away from fossil fuels? The incredible price point? Tesla's good safety and reliability record? I don't see what's so hard to believe about these numbers.
      • Most likely based on Tesla's inability to deliver in a timely fashion, given the enormous leap in production capacity required. (Five times their total deliveries to date, thirty times their largest year to date.) Buyer's remorse when it comes time to pony up the balance and actually order the car will also play a factor.

      • Pent-up interest in transitioning away from fossil fuels?

        If there was, there exist options at this price point already.

        The incredible price point?

        I continue to be amused at what people consider to be a good price point. The $35k is the base model, much like $70K is the base price of the Model S, but almost no Model S go for anywhere near that, $100k is closer to the average.

        I expect most Model 3 to be closer to $50K than $35K.

        Tesla's good safety and reliability record?

        They don't have enough of a record to call it that. People buying $100K cars aren't the normal public and they aren't driven the same way.

    • by Brannon ( 221550 ) on Thursday April 07, 2016 @09:43PM (#51865329)

      ...that I've ever seen on Slashdot. And I clearly remember "No wifi, less space than a Nomad, lame".

      I will meet you back here in 4 years and then stalk you through every thread reminding you of this prediction. This god awful, hilariously stupid fucking prediction.

      Tesla sold more that 50K Model S's last year--and that's a car with an ASP north of $85K. This year they are selling more than 80K Model S's + Model X's (the ASP on Model X's is even higher). And you think they won't manage 50K of a car that starts at $35K? You sir, are an idiot.

      Not like an everyday "noone is going to buy iPads" kind of idiot, but like a platinum-level "noone is going to buy these stupid Model T Fords" kind of idiot--the kind that only comes around once every 100 years or so.

      • lol.

        That is all. I just needed to let you know that I was literally laughing-out-loud at this.

        Absolutely spot on. It felt great to see one of these asshats with the ridiculous negative hyperboles around here get called out.

        Well done.

  • People WANT a car manufacturer to make quality products they stand behind and are (relatively) cheap to own and operate as well. GM/VW/Honda could learn something about what the consumer wants. We don't want expensive mechanical hybrids or miniature cars with 50 mile range.

Science is to computer science as hydrodynamics is to plumbing.