[FoRK] Tesla -- Forget the Model 3, here's where the real money is

Gregory Alan Bolcer greg at bolcer.org
Fri Apr 1 10:42:43 PDT 2016

Tesla Gas Conversion Kits announced: release set for 2017, price starts at
less than a year's worth of gas

Here's what you need to know: Kits for Honda, Toyota, and Nissan; Combines
Battery Walls with Tesla's own Charging and Engine in drop-in replacement,
Apple's in-Car technology, SpaceX self-driving technology

   - By Elon Musk
   - on April 1, 2016 11:58 pm
   - Email <jordan.golson at theverge.com>
   - @ <https://twitter.com/intent/user?screen_name=jlgolson>
   therealelonmusk @elonmusk

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After ten years of waiting, Tesla has revealed the Model 3, the vehicle
that CEO Elon Musk hopes will take the electric car to the masses.  While
exciting, the actual car is a sideshow compared to what he let slip this
morning while discussing the car off the record.   Tesla is launching in
2017 a complete drop-in system based on their Battery Wall, their
self-driving software, and Tesla's own charging and motor system for any
2000-2017 Honda, Toyota, and Nissan.  While some of these automotive
vendors do have their own competitive offerings for electric or hybrid
motors, the the compatibility, performance, and standardization of a single
motor brings more power and better charging to each of these vehicles and
older ones that still run on traditional gasoline.

After the unveiling of the Model 3 last evening at the company's design
studio in Hawthorne, California, Tesla CEO Elon Musk turned to talking
about his latest project: retroactive conversion using Tesla technology.
According to him, the converted cars will deliver at least 215 miles of
range with conversions beginning at just the cost of 1 year's worth of
gasoline — that's a bold claim, and an important one for Tesla to meet.
Musk is "fairly confident" that deliveries will begin by the end of 2017,
and "other automakers will not be able to design a better car, new or used,
without their technologies"  Converting older vehicles is, according to
Musk, not where the other manufacturers have been placing their bets.

If you missed Elon Musk's Tesla Model 3 reveal, watch the full video here
See More: Tesla Model 3 in photos

*Tesla says they expect more than 130,000 preorders
<http://www.theverge.com/2016/4/1/11343294/tesla-model-3-115000-preorders> —
buyers need to put $1,000 down — have been placed, and that number will
continue to rise.*

Older Hondas, Toyotas, and Nissans continue to be valuable in the
marketplace.  All three of the brands combined make up over 65% of all cars
on the road since 2000.  The blackmarket for these vehicle parts has
continued to rise the past decade and a half also with these cars
dominating the 'most stolen cars
rankings every year.  Elon was quoted as saying, "The plan is simple,
practical, and make mincemeat out of the problem overnight."

215 MILES OF RANGE, PLUS SUPERCHARGER SUPPORT In a 10 year old honda for
less than a year's worth of gasoline? What's not to like about that?

Ass an additional feature, upgraded conversion kits will include both a  a
15-inch landscape touchscreen inside or a 17-inch portrait touchscreen.
Both screens will be provided by Apple, though Apple spokesmen declined to
go on record. Autopilot hardware is standard and borrowed from their SpaceX
division, and all safety features will be upgraded automatically.
Converting older vehicles to become standardized — "affordably is the
important part here," says Musk.

*Watch:* *4k race footage of the Tesla Model 3*

STARTS AT $35,000

The two current Tesla vehicles, the Model S and Model X, are both extremely
expensive. Even with tax incentives, both cars easily push $100,000. In
order for Tesla to sell ten times as many cars as it does now, it needs a
much cheaper automobile. That's the main reason Tesla is looking to go down
market. First with its Model 3, but more importantly with it's existing car
conversion.  It's the future of the company.

[image: Tesla Model 3 Interior]

In reaction to the news, the used car spot market on Ebay Motors and Carmax
spiked overnight with gasoline-based Honda, Toyota, and Nissan cars having
the largest rise in prices even though conversion kits aren't expected to
begin production until late 2017, more than 18 months from now. Tesla will
happily take your preorder
a modest $1,000 down payment or even have a gasoline rebate plan where you
can make payments on a Tesla owned and financed credit card which takes a
portion of your gas purchases and puts it into a Tesla VC fund. Tesla plans
to more than double the size of its dealership and service network by the
end of next year, to sell and take care of all these new and used cars.

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