What would it take to catch up to Tesla?

  • If you haven't taken delivery yet or plan on ordering you can still get the 6 months of FREE Supercharging only until December 17th all Model 3s now qualify! Call or email your Tesla delivery advisor and give them our code
Joined
Nov 5, 2016
Messages
864
Location
Jersey
Country
Country
#1
The automotive industry has no choice but to go electric or go extinct. We now know for sure because of the upcoming 2020 Tesla Roadster, and the fact that countries such as France and China will be banning gasoline powered cars in about a dozen years or so.

Despite what Tesla has been able to achieve thus far, the media continues to bombard the company with accusations of "burning cash" and "losing money", although that money is really being used towards growing the company, creating disruptive products, and going for world domination. So my basic question is how much would it take for another company, either startup or legacy automaker, to catch up to Tesla and how long would it take? (Let's strictly focus on manufacturing capacity of 500,000 cars per year, with no other factors such as scaling down the cost per kWh of batteries, supercharger network, autonomous capability, energy division, etc., in other words, all the other stuff that Tesla is spending on.)

Funny how casually the guys in the following video state about the Roadster's specs at around the 11 minute mark "You have a 200kWh battery, 0-60 in 1.9s, 620 miles of range... well those numbers are doable at some point..." Mind you, it has taken years of development and billions of dollars to achieve this. That severely understated "some point" is the big question.
According to Bosch's CEO it would take "10 years to manage the transformation process". The article in the link below states:

"A leading position in battery cells would mean about a 20-percent market share. We assume that approximately 1,000 gigawatt hours of battery capacity will be needed by 2030. This means that we would have to develop around 200 gigawatt hours of capacity by 2030, at a cost of roughly €20 billion."​

https://global.handelsblatt.com/mobility/dont-write-off-diesel-yet-865087

The above quote hints at the enormity, the massiveness, of such undertaking, even with a 2030 deadline. No wonder Tesla is "burning" cash at $8,000 USD per minute! (And no wonder the rest of the auto industry is secretly panicking.)

Has there been any research done to come up with the basic estimates of how long and how much? I wish to know the fantastic numbers, much like revealing the specs of the 2020 Roadster. Everyone needs to know loud and clear whether Tesla is a sound investment today and in the very near future, and hopefully to shut the mouths of naysayers "hardcore smackdown" style once and for all!

For more in depth:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/tesla-daily-tesla-news-analysis/id1273643094?mt=2#
https://cleantechnica.com/2017/06/23/far-behind-tesla-big-auto-long-till-catches/
 
Last edited:

garsh

Dis Member
Moderator
M3OC Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 4, 2016
Messages
8,064
Location
Pittsburgh PA
Tesla Owner
Model 3
Country
Country
#2
So my basic question is how much would it take for another company, either startup or legacy automaker, to catch up to Tesla and how long would it take? (Let's strictly focus on manufacturing capacity of 500,000 cars per year, with no other factors such as scaling down the cost per kWh of batteries...
The legacy automakers know manufacturing. They know how to retool a line to create half a million cars per year of a new model. This won't be a problem for them at all.

The problem that they're going to run into is one of the factors that you suggest ignoring - batteries. They can't make batteries. They can't make enough batteries. And, they can't make the batteries cheap enough. Electric motors aren't an issue - they're pretty cheap, and lots of companies can make them. Likewise, the control electronics - while important - shouldn't be a bottleneck. But as Tesla has pointed out, there currently isn't enough battery manufacturing capacity in the world to support building a mass-market electric car.
 
Joined
Nov 5, 2016
Messages
864
Location
Jersey
Country
Country
#3
The legacy automakers know manufacturing. They know how to retool a line to create half a million cars per year of a new model. This won't be a problem for them at all.

The problem that they're going to run into is one of the factors that you suggest ignoring - batteries. They can't make batteries. They can't make enough batteries. And, they can't make the batteries cheap enough. Electric motors aren't an issue - they're pretty cheap, and lots of companies can make them. Likewise, the control electronics - while important - shouldn't be a bottleneck. But as Tesla has pointed out, there currently isn't enough battery manufacturing capacity in the world to support building a mass-market electric car.
True. It’s all about the batteries. I should have excluded that from my list of exclusions. ;)
 
Joined
Nov 16, 2017
Messages
19
Location
Silicon Valley CA
Tesla Owner
Model 3
Country
Country
#4
True. It’s all about the batteries. I should have excluded that from my list of exclusions. ;)
Batteries are a critical piece of the puzzle and IMO the Bosch CEO's numbers significantly underestimate the volume needed to transition the world to EVs.

About 90M cars are expected to be sold worldwide this year. http://news.ihsmarkit.com/press-rel...illion-2017-risk-greater-ever-ihs-markit-says Let's assume that doesn't grow and an average EV battery is 60 kWh. That would require 5400 GWh, or more than 5 times his estimate for 2030.

Tesla has said that it eventually hopes to have 150 GWh pack production at Gigafactory 1 in Sparks. Guesstimating that 30 GWh are used for Powerpack and Powerwall, that leaves 120 GWh for cars. With those figures, you'd need 45 GFs the size of Gigafactory 1 to make the transition. And this doesn't include trucks and busses which are lower volume but require large batteries so you might need another 5-10 GFs so call it roughly 50 GFs.

Last year, Elon talked about Tesla eventually building 10-20 Gigafactories. https://electrek.co/2017/06/06/tesla-new-factory-gigafactories/ That's something like 10-15X the capacity that the Bosch CEO is predicting for Bosch for 2030, and possibly more if future Gigafactories have more capacity than GF1.

Given what Tesla has already said about its future Gigafactory plans, it wouldn't surprise me if Tesla alone exceeded the Bosch CEO's 2030 worldwide production estimate long before 2030. The rest of the industry is really going to need to pick up the pace if they want to try to catch up.:)
 
Last edited: