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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)

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I think it was actually Bill Gates who said that success is a lousy teacher because it seduces smart people into thinking they can't lose.

I'm a software developer by profession. People think my job is really hard, and you need to be super-smart to do it. That's because they can't open up software and look at it in the same way you can with a car, and because once software is written, it can be duplicated for free with zero variation, and these days, with web-hosted systems, if an error is discovered with the design, it can be silently replaced before the customers have even noticed.

Tesla is a mechanical engineering company that's being run by someone whose background was in web-hosted software systems. There's a fundamental mismatch between the way these industries operate: the typical web cycle of "ship, learn, fix, repeat" doesn't wash when your product is a physical object that costs tens of thousands of dollars.

My main objection to Tesla's products isn't the shoddy build, it's that they constantly track the movements of their customers, and make it very difficult for an owner to stop them doing so. That's an appalling invasion of personal privacy that Google or Facebook would be excoriated for, but for some reason it gets a pass because it's Tesla doing it.

( Ironically, my day-job does involve tracking drivers, but the drivers in question at least get a direct benefit from this, and they can easily turn on or off the collection of location data whenever they want to... )
 

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Never been a [person who likes a particular brand] of Tesla. I do give credit for moving the electric vehicle needle forward. I am a gear head and have had my objections to an electric vehicle only from a performance / range standpoint. Those days a slipping fast and would say Tesla's days are numbered as being the leader. Many companies are making huge gains and the next 5 years will be very exciting to see unfold. The wife and I just made the leap to a plug in Hybrid that gives us a huge boost in mileage while still giving me the performance I crave. It's used so my entry cost was WAY lower than a new purchase. very happy and all I can say is keep an eye on Porsche. Tesla may need to start moving over into the right lane now.
 

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I've always expected Tesla to be bought out by another OEM, but now I'm not so sure. The other big automakers are making strides in their electric vehicle development and the promise of autonomous driving is getting smacked in the face with reality. I wonder if FCA would pull an Eagle with Tesla; buy the brand, run it for a few years while shuttling the technology around the rest of the company, then close it down.
 
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I've always expected Tesla to be bought out by another OEM, but now I'm not so sure. The other big automakers are making strides in their electric vehicle development and the promise of autonomous driving is getting smacked in the face with reality. I wonder if FCA would pull an Eagle with Tesla; buy the brand, run it for a few years while shuttling the technology around the rest of the company, then close it down.
Problem is—whoever buys Tesla will be overpaying for the tech because of the name attached.
 

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Teslas aren't only the car I'd want if I were buying an electric car, they have cars I just want. No electric requirement attached.

I wouldn't touch a Bolt with a 10-foot pole. GM may have better build quality than FCA, but I don't trust an established automaker to groundbreaking electric vehicles...at least not right now. They have too many ideas and cost saving procedures that they aren't going to be willing to let go of to build a truly innovative electric vehicle. Personally, I think new ideas need to be applied to electric cars which is where I think Tesla will succeed. People have been predicting their downfall for years. Would it really be so bad to have a fourth major American automaker, or are we so closed-minded that we have to stick with three known entities? I almost always root for startups over established brands. Competition is healthy.

I would place an order for a Model 3 right now if I didn't owe anything on my car, especially with the performance AWD version details being released this week.
 

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Cost saving? Tesla is the king of cheap. There are no physical controls in the Model 3 cockpit because it costs money to develop these. There's no instrument binnacle because Tesla didn't want to spend money on two different dashboard mouldings (Left- and Right-hand drive) or a second display screen. Those are horrible ergonomic choices, and they're there purely for cost reasons. This isn't a Model S: only thing premium in a Model 3 is the price-tag.

The reason other automakers continue to spend big money on tooling for physical controls is for driver safety. A control system that needs your eyes on it is more dangerous than one you can operate by touch alone.

If you think it's okay to have to look at a screen and navigate a menu tree to turn down the A/C, you have never driven on a European freeway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·

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I do give credit for moving the electric vehicle needle forward.
Not so much anymore, I'd say. EVs still have drawbacks with regards to charging time and range (not only Teslas), these issues should have been fixed a long time ago. (And by fixed, I do mean fixed. E.g. charging the EV at night doesn't help solve the problem of long charging times - it might be a decent workaround in certain cases, sure, but the issue still remains unaddressed, the workaround should not be used as an excuse for not fixing the underlying problem.)
 

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All that really says about the state of EVs is that people want them to look like normal vehicles, not some kind of alien pod.
Don't underestimate the power of virtue signalling, facilitated by a distinctive EV design... (though an EV looking like an alien pod may be a bit too much.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
I've always expected Tesla to be bought out by another OEM, but now I'm not so sure. The other big automakers are making strides in their electric vehicle development and the promise of autonomous driving is getting smacked in the face with reality. I wonder if FCA would pull an Eagle with Tesla; buy the brand, run it for a few years while shuttling the technology around the rest of the company, then close it down.
That's how it was supposed to play out. Elon Musk said he had no interest in getting into automaking. The only reason he would was to show OEMs how to build a viable EV. Once he did that, his mission was accomplished. At that point he would have been happy selling Tesla to whomever he felt would do something with it.

But I think he underestimated how much time and capital it took to get Tesla Motors off the ground. Once he started raising capital through IPOs, his motivation shifted from personal altruism to a financial responsibility towards his investors, derailing his original plan.

He is now stuck in this awkward position where he has to deliver financial results well after having shown the competition how to build a viable EV. And Tesla has to learn the intricacies of volume manufacturing; its competitors don't.
 

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Our plug in Hybrid only has about a 15-19 mile range in full electric mode but is more than enough for the trips to the local stores and back. The ability to switch from full electric to full on sport plus mode was what I like the most. That gets me past the range issue and the long charge time like @Lampredi noted. The charge times are coming down and the range is going up. I just feel that sometimes it is a lot harder to be the leader than to be coming up from behind. Tesla should always be looking in the rear view mirror and try not to get to confident. As for styling..... the interiors do nothing for me. Not even bothering to give some type of shape to the giant tablet is just wrong. I'm not sure the total lack of physical knob interaction will ever take hold. It's like e-books and the enjoyment of reading. In the end there is something satisfying about holding and reading a real book. for me the same applies to vehicle interaction. I'm in my late 40's and like to think I am open to progressive designs but I also don't think pitching the baby with the bath water is smart either.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
Not so much anymore, I'd say. EVs still have drawbacks with regards to charging time and range (not only Teslas), these issues should have been fixed a long time ago. (And by fixed, I do mean fixed. E.g. charging the EV at night doesn't help solve the problem of long charging times - it might be a decent workaround in certain cases, sure, but the issue still remains unaddressed, the workaround should not be used as an excuse for not fixing the underlying problem.)
Tesla has tried to address this by selling home charging stations that can recharge a car in 25 mins, and by building those massive charging stations, like the one between Los Angeles and Las Vegas.



But your point remains: the difficulty of charging and storing electricity has been reduced, not eliminated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Our plug in Hybrid only has about a 15-19 mile range in full electric mode but is more than enough for the trips to the local stores and back. The ability to switch from full electric to full on sport plus mode was what I like the most. That gets me past the range issue and the long charge time like @Lampredi noted. The charge times are coming down and the range is going up. I just feel that sometimes it is a lot harder to be the leader than to be coming up from behind. Tesla should always be looking in the rear view mirror and try not to get to confident. As for styling..... the interiors do nothing for me. Not even bothering to give some type of shape to the giant tablet is just wrong. I'm not sure the total lack of physical knob interaction will ever take hold. It's like e-books and the enjoyment of reading. In the end there is something satisfying about holding and reading a real book. for me the same applies to vehicle interaction. I'm in my late 40's and like to think I am open to progressive designs but I also don't think pitching the baby with the bath water is smart either.
The common thread I find across my friends who want a Tesla: if they had their way, they rather not drive at all.

That has to say something about at whom those stark Tesla interiors are aimed.
 

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Tesla has tried to address this by selling home charging stations that can recharge a car in 25 mins, and by building those massive charging stations, like the one between Los Angeles and Las Vegas.



But your point remains: the difficulty of charging and storing electricity has been reduced, not eliminated.
There are trade-offs for sure, but instant acceleration, silent operation, and no emissions are all positives, at least in my opinion. Although I guess liking the silent operation would be a controversial opinion.

The common thread I find across my friends who want a Tesla: if they had their way, they rather not drive at all.

That has to say something about to whom those stark Tesla interiors are aimed.
I don't like the idea of fully autonomous driving and I still want a Tesla. :)
 

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There are trade-offs for sure, but instant acceleration, silent operation, and no emissions are all positives, at least in my opinion. Although I guess liking the silent operation would be a controversial opinion.


I don't like the idea of fully autonomous driving and I still want a Tesla. :)
also the HUGE reduction in moving parts when you go 100% electric.
 

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