Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk said he’s optimistic that the company can produce a $35,000 car with a 200-mile range in a few years. “I feel pretty good about it,” he said. It will take “a huge amount of work,” he said. “But no miracles are required.”
Tesla is building a nationwide network of supercharging stations—and battery swap stations it will install later this year—this could make electric cars far more practical than they are now.
One challenge to mass market electric vehicles: selling half a million cars will require more batteries than the entire laptop industry, Musk says. So we’ll need more battery factories. Tesla already uses millions of battery cells a week at its factory, which produces just under 500 cars a week.
By most estimates, the battery for the Model S cost between $42,500 and $55,250, or half the cost of the car. But Straubel indicated that it is already much lower. “They’re way less than half, actually,” he says. “Less than a quarter in most cases.” Straubel says more can be done to lower batter costs. He’s working with cell and materials suppliers to increase energy density more, and he’s changing the shape of the cells in ways that make manufacturing them easier.
A third of the vehicles delivered in the second quarter took advantage of Tesla’s new leasing/financing program
Tesla is “hard at work” on the Model X (SUV), refining the design, and it expects to deliver small numbers at end of 2014, with volume production in 2015.
Between the Model S, Model X, and the GEN III, Tesla will achieve the threshold of 500,000 cars a year in a reasonable timeframe and capture about 9% of the global luxury (S and X) and mid-luxury (GEN III) car market.
500,000 units would represent about 36% of BMW’s global sales. If we compare model for model, in 2012, BMW sold 406.752 3 Series (future non-electric competitor to the GEN III), 149,853 X3 (future non-electric competitor to the Model X) and 337,929 5 Series (non-electric competitor to the Model S).
BMW is the leader of the mid-luxury and luxury car market with a market cap of 61 billion. It currently trades at a P/E of 9.4, which is cheap compared to Tesla’s forward P/E of 133, but Tesla is in a great position to steal some of BMW’s market share and continue its phenomenal growth.
Tesla current market cap is $15.5 billion.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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