Tesla 2021 Fix for Cold Weather EV Range

Tesla new 2021 Model 3 will only lose about 13-19% range in cold weather versus 40% range reduction in older models. This will help Tesla increase sales in Canada and Northern Europe.

There is further speculation that legacy automakers will try to get a deal to purchase Tesla skateboards. Skateboards are all functional parts in an electric car except the body and the seats.

A skateboard deal might look like VW or GM paying Tesla $4 billion in upfront licensing and providing cap expenditure of $10 billion to co-build five Gigafactories and then paying 10,000 per skateboard produced. They might also split the fee for the FSD autopilot.

SOURCES- Sandy Munro, Solving the Money Problem, Brian Wang analysis
Written by Brian Wang, Nextbigfuture.com (Brian owns shares of Tesla)

34 thoughts on “Tesla 2021 Fix for Cold Weather EV Range”

  1. I know with some older EVs, they were using straight electric power to keep the cabin warm which is a direct drain on the battery.

    Using waste heat from the drivetrain was always going to be the way to solve that problem. After all, that's how ICVs have done it since forever.

  2. I understand that. I was just wondering why the range would be affected by cold weather if the batteries eventually get up to normal operating temperatures.

  3. Old fashioned internal combustion engines have both issues.

    • Problems starting and getting up to temperature when the weather is too cold
    • An entire system for getting rid of all the heat, and in many cases overheating problems under some (not that rare) circumstances.

    Given that, I'm not too surprised that the new technology also has both problems.

  4. I myself have serious reservations about the robo-taxi story.
    But to just dismiss it with an insult is the sort of comment that should have stayed back in highschool.

  5. Sure, an industry analyst who knows what they are doing can get numbers they can compare to each other.
    My point was to be cautious when you are pulling numbers released by different companies, from different press releases, using who knows what methodology. And then comparing those numbers to each other.

  6. Do the batteries not get up to normal operating temps even in cold weather? I'm having trouble with the idea of the batteries being too cold and also the need for good battery heat dissipation.

  7. Of course it is difficult, but it should be possible to get a "ball park" cost. Take a companys investments, subtract that which is for ICE-vehicles and the rest would be for BEVs. Divide the total EV production investments after 3 years with the total EV production capacity, and you have a rough estimate.

    Note that it is not impossible to get a corresponding number for new ICE-capacity. Ark invest claims that the industry average is 14000 USD per vehicle-year-capacity. Either Ark invest is lying – there is no "industry average" – or it is possible to estimate it, and furthermore, there is an agreement that this estimate is correct.

    Ark Invest also claims that there is an industry consensus that BEVs will be require a low capex of about 7000 USD per vehicle-per-year-capacity.

    Why is this interesting?

    Well, if it cost the legacy automakers more per convert their capacity per vehicle-per-year-capacity than it costs Tesla to build new capacity, then it's unlikely that the competition will be able to ramp as quickly as Tesla. If the opposite is true, then the legacy automakers should be able to ramp faster than Tesla. So, depending on the capex for converting capacity, we may see either an increaseing or decreasing market share for Tesla. I assume that since the BEV market is far from saturated, neither Tesla nor legacy automakers will have much trouble selling their BEVs….

  8. The windows example is very good. But look at it from the other side.
    It is widely acknowledged that IBM gave the home computer market to Microsoft because they weren't that interested in the project, and so didn't notice they were handing over the critical tech control to a small outside company that would turn that control into a $trillion.
    If VAG finds itself just building a body that sits on top of a Tesla skateboard, they've abandoned being a car company, and are now just a coachbuilder like Bertone or someone. Many (not all) of the big car companies seem away of this risk and are pouring big money into not handing over control to an upstart.
    They may not succeed. Car companies crash and burn on a fairly regular basis. (A risk with a business run on fashion, with a fairly rapid technological development, and near zero switching costs.)

  9. It's been said that Ford bought Jaguar so that upper level Ford executives could drive nice cars without being criticised.
    That would apply even more to Tata.

  10. The problem with looking up reported costs for converting a factory is that there is such a huge number of expenditures where someone has to ask:
    Does this count as the EV conversion? Does it count as normal maintenance? Does it count as a cost for introducing a new model? Does it count as R&D? Does it…..

    And depending on why you are calculating the number, you decisions as to what counts or not will be quite different.

    So one person, calculating it for tax purposes under German law would get $X billion. And a different person calculating it for project planning reasons under US project planning theory, would get $Y billion. And a third person calculating it for a press release under Japanese investing culture would calculate $Z billion. Where X, Y and Z might cover a range of a factor of 10 or so. Even though they are both telling the truth and working with exactly the same numbers.

  11. NIH, (not invented here), syndrome will prevent this.
    Auto makers are some of the most stubborn backward thinking prehistoric stuck in the past dinosaur gearheads on earth.

    If they didn’t invent it, it can’t possible be any good.
    All people really want is more power and that’s what they’re gonna build.

  12. Ah, what a bit of googling can do!

    Apparently, it will cost GM 2.2 billion USD to convert the Detroit-Hamtrack plant to EV production. The initial capacity will be 100k units, i.e. 22 000 USD conversion cost per unit-per-year capacity [1]

    I.e. looking at this one data point, it would seem that it's as expensive or more expensive to convert capacity as building from scratch.


  13. It would certainly be interesting in getting more information about the state of the other car manufacturers transition to EV's.

    For instance, we know that the Freemont factory that Tesla bought as a "starter", was not optimal for their production and that they prefer to make factories from scratch. Yet, it would seem that VW can use their Zwickau factory to make EV's efficiently. Or do they?

    You can estimate that Tesla has build a new model Y line and the original model 3 line in Shanghai for 12000 USD and 8000 USD per unit of year production capacity respectively. As they add production lines, that number drops.

    But how does that compare to converting existing production lines of, say, VW from producing ICE-vehicles to BEVs? Are we talking about investments of 1000, 5000, 10000 or 15000 USD per unit of yearly production capacity to convert a production line? And how efficient is a converted line compared to one that is made "from scratch"?

    We know these number for Tesla, but we have no idea for VW, Ford or indeed any of the "old" automakers….

  14. Well, we can discuss if selling skateboards would be the faster way of reducing fosil fuel dependency or not, but being an OEM for other car manufacturers is *not* the way to make money.

  15. As a shareholder of Tesla, I sure hope that Tesla will not go into selling EV-platforms. It would be a sure way of ensuring that they never get to 20 million cars per year, and with that, it would reduce the amount of robo taxis that Tesla can make. After all, it's not the style which is Teslas selling point for HW, it's the range, performance, reliability, price, over-the-air updates etc.

    If they give that away for a meager profit, then it would block them from making the larger profit through sales of their own vehicles, and by extension, their own future robo taxi network. Need I say that almost all the future value of Tesla is in the robo taxi network?

  16. Selling skateboards to other car makers would make Tesla's future dependent on them – and Big Auto has hardly presented as 'future oriented', let alone 'green'. If Ford or GM cut back purchases, Tesla would be left with excess manufacturing capacity for skateboards and insufficient capacity for making bodies to use them AND they'd likely have turned away customers to get to that point if they did it in the next 2 or 3 years.

    Maybe when Tesla can't sell every car they can make, they'll consider it? But Tesla will soon branch out – trucks, a compact car designed in China, maybe something from Berlin. That should increase unit demand.

    Besides – Tesla already makes money selling renewable energy credits to the old car makers – selling skateboards would have to be very profitable to make up for losing that even a couple years sooner.

  17. We had an article several months ago that linked to an hour-long podcast by a bunch of car industry analysts that went into some detail.
    No I can't remember which article or the link, but if someone wants to search the archives…

    IIRC, most of the big players have already sunk $billions into developing their own platform.
    VAG are well on their way and were in the process of announcing the actual EV products.
    GM, Ford, Chrysler-Fiat all had EV platforms underway.
    Toyota was doing so based on all their hybrid experience and would be tech sharing with most of the other Japanese producers.
    Hyunda-Kia likewise.
    Joint venture between Mercedes and BMW

    But there were definitely brands that appeared to be out in the cold.
    Jaguar (Tata) springs to mind. Prestigious Euro brand, definitely the market that will need an EV product, but don't have the tech base to make their own.

    Jaguar would definitely be able to make a Tesla platform work. Their unique selling point is style, image, interiors, suspension… they have been using other people's (Ford) actual drivelines for years. OK, they might need to work out how to produce an oil leak from a battery pack…

  18. Using a Tesla skateboard and FSD technology might at first seem really a really dumb thing to do, but then they are so far behind that they have no choice. What I mean is, all the skateboards the traditional car manufacturers have made are either terrible in performance or very expensive to manufacture. Remember Elon Musk keeps repeating "the factory is the product." We know that Tesla's goal is to churn out these skateboards like they are soda cans or coke bottles. Tesla benefits from scale and volume manufacturing. How long will it take VW or GM to design and build a gigafactory equivalent? Do they even have the right organization structure and vision to do that? It is an enormous gamble and risk. In the meantime Tesla will be on Gigafactory 2.0 or Terafactory. It's clear. The safest and lowest risk bet for GM and VW is to use the Tesla skateboard with their own custom exterior and interior design. This is similar to ASUS, Dell, HP making PC's with Intel CPUs in it. Or even more relevant, think about the fact that Dell laptops use Microsoft Windows even though Microsoft even makes laptops that compete with Dell. In the case of an automobile, unlike with the Windows UI, you can make the car look and feel totally different on the inside and outside even if you use a skateboard from your competitor.

  19. I'm not the person saying that the established auto manufacturers are going to all ditch their drivetrain development for Tesla tech. Perhaps the people who advocate for this position could explain why say Toyota is going to go with Tesla drivetrains instead of their own.

    You know, put some meat on the bones of your wager.

  20. I think this article is simply trying to churn up the appearance of industry interest. If legacy automakers are reliant on Tesla in the future for what will like become their core technology, then they might as well pack it in now.

  21. I've been saying this for a long time.
    Elon Musk didn't necessarily get into the EV business to make EV cars. He did it to get us off of our oil dependency. If Tesla sells skateboards to everyone, Elon is still making money AND getting rid of the ICE engines.

    This is the way to go.

  22. Stock picker & newsletter writer Louis Navellier worries that Tesla alone might cause a first quarter correction in the S&P 500: https://navelliergrowth.investorplace.com/growthinvestor/weekly-updates/2021/01/20210115/
    "Tesla is ranked number-one in electric vehicle (EV) sales in the U.S.
    and number-two in China, but the company slipped to number-four in Europe. This is concerning since China and Europe are the biggest
    markets for EVs. I should add that Tesla doesn’t actually make any money from its cars; all its money is from tax credits. China recently cut their subsidies on EVs by 20%. In Europe, Tesla has received $1.18 billion from selling tax credits to Fiat Chrysler, and the company also plans to sell to Honda so that they can comply with the European Union’s emission guidelines.

    Now, I’m not exactly sure how the tax credits work. But with Tesla’s
    sales dropping in Europe, I’m worried about the company. Some of Tesla’s luster is starting to wear off, and if the company releases weak quarterly results, it could prick the stock—and, in turn, trigger a market correction since Tesla is now included in the S&P 500.

    Of course, there are other bubbles out there, too. There’s just a lot
    of froth in the market right now. So, if Tesla doesn’t negatively
    impact the stock market and trigger a correction, it could be another
    flagship stock that stumbles and ignites a correction."

  23. you make a good case but I believe every manufacturer other than VW is so far behind in development they will find it necessary to buy in. V W doesn't have much as of yet but they appear to realize there is a war. The other companies are still acting as if bev are not a thing.

  24. I believe the heat pump that acts as a battery cooler and heater depending on need is the largest percent contribution.

  25. "A skateboard deal might look like VW or GM paying Tesla $4 billion in upfront licensing"

    VW and GM have their own platforms. If it is anyone then it is an American car company that is far behind, e.g. Chrysler.

    (Japanese and German and Korean auto manufacturers aren't going to buy Tesla parts).

  26. "There is further speculation that legacy automakers will try to get a deal to purchase Tesla skateboards."

    Who? Name names. Maybe Chrysler? Everyone else is spoken for as far as I know.

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