Tesla is the undisputed leader in the world of electric vehicles, and will likely continue to dominate the space selling more full battery electric vehicles than any other company. But, if you step outside the EV marketplace and look at the greater automobile industry as a whole, well, Tesla is just a small fish in a very big ocean.
The world’s largest automaker is a whale by comparison selling almost 10x Tesla’s unit volume. That behemoth would be, of course, Toyota. And, you could say, after decades of experience and many millions of vehicles sold of all types, they might know a thing or two that they could teach the much younger EV startup.
However, it seems that in reality, in order to dominate the emerging electric vehicle market, Toyota should take a page from the Tesla playbook.
According to a report from Automotive News, Toyota's engineers have conducted a teardown study of the Tesla Model Y (which currently outsells Toyota vehicles in some markets), as the company strives to learn what Tesla is doing so well. Impressed by the Model Y's simple yet efficient vehicle design, created using advanced manufacturing techniques, they had glowing things to say.
"Taking the skin off the Model Y, it was truly a work of art. It's unbelievable," said one Toyota executive.
We fell in love with the Model Y when we tested the dual-motor Performance model in 2020. So much so that we featured it in the August issue of the EV Resource Magazine.But while that car may look the same as the newest versions of the vehicle... under the skin it's dramatically different! Even still, if you're curious to see what we thought about it then, go ahead and click on the photo:
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Details are still scarce, but close analysis reveals potential to disrupt the entire industry... again.
During Tesla's recent Investor Day 2023, the company made a subtle but significant announcement about its upcoming Next-Generation vehicle, which is expected to be priced at $25,000. This vehicle will be built in Mexico and is set to be Tesla's most affordable offering yet.
In a recent interview with Tom Narayan, analyst at RBC Capital Markets, he discussed the potential impact of this new vehicle on the market. Narayan believes that the vehicle could help Tesla expand its market share and increase adoption of electric vehicles worldwide.
“That's going to have huge implications on the rest of the industry,” Narayan said. “[Tesla] can come in, undercut the rest of the market. And this could be a global vehicle. It's not just penetrating the US. Now you can go after Europe, of course, China. So I actually think when you really dive into the details, ability to cut costs on chips, right, the silicon carbide by 75%. Overall manufacturing, you showed how you can change the way you make the car and cut the cost in general by 50%. I actually don't think that it was as negative. And I think people can rewatch it and come to the conclusion, yeah, a $25,000 car is coming.”
The drive unit for the future vehicle will cost around $1,000 and contain no rare earth minerals, unlike the current motor used in the Tesla Model Y. All the controllers will be designed in-house, compared to the mere 20% of the original Model S.
These updates are expected to improve performance, efficiency, and sustainability while reducing costs for Tesla. With its new, more affordable vehicle and continued innovation in technology and manufacturing, Tesla appears poised to remain a dominant force in the electric vehicle market. As Narayan notes, "Again, this $25,000 car is going to be game changing.”
Tesla's Next-Generation Vehicle: What We Know So Far
The Next-Generation vehicle, slated to arrive in 2024 (maybe...), will be the most affordable Tesla to date. Elon Musk, Tesla CEO, announced that the company has achieved significant cost reductions in battery production, which will help bring the price of this vehicle down.
While specific details on the vehicle have yet to be revealed, it is expected to have a unique design, different from the existing Tesla vehicles. The new car is expected to be a major step forward for Tesla and electric vehicles in general. The lower price point and increased accessibility could help bring electric vehicles to a wider audience, making them a more feasible and attractive option for many drivers.
The Future of Electric Vehicles
Tesla's continued innovation in the electric vehicle market is helping to drive progress in the industry as a whole. As more consumers adopt electric vehicles, other automakers are following suit, investing in new technology and expanding their electric vehicle offerings.
In recent years, several major automakers have announced plans to invest heavily in electric vehicles. It's no secret that Tesla has been the leader in the electric vehicle market for years, but competition is increasing as more automakers enter the EV space. However, with its strong brand, cutting-edge technology, and loyal cult-like following, Tesla appears poised to continue leading the way in the electric vehicle market for the foreseeable future.
What do you think? Will the $25,000 Tesla EV be the next major catalyst in the automotive market? Leave a comment below with your thoughts!
On February 28, Tesla announced on its official charging account on Twitter that it had equipped select Superchargers with CCS (Combined Charging System) charging adapters, which are compatible with other electric vehicle (EV) brands. While Tesla did not disclose the exact number of chargers that have been opened to other brands, several locations in California and Buffalo, N.Y. (where the Superchargers are produced) are shown as available in the Tesla app.
To use these Superchargers, non-Tesla EV owners will need to download the Tesla app and select the CCS adapter. Through the app, they can monitor the charging rate, total charge given, and total cost of charging in real-time. However, it is important to note that not all Tesla Superchargers have been equipped with CCS adapters, and the program is still in the pilot phase with limited access.
This move by Tesla to open up its Supercharger network to other brands marks a significant shift in the EV market, as it allows non-Tesla EV owners to access one of the most extensive and fastest charging networks available. With the Superchargers' fast charging speeds of up to 250 kW, non-Tesla EV owners will be able to add hundreds of miles of range in just a few minutes of charging, making long-distance travel in EVs more feasible and convenient.
That being said, they have only announced plans to retrofit and build new sites for a total of 3,500 chargers with the "Magic Dock" CCS adapter by the end of 2024, and not the entirety of the more than 17,000 superchargers in North America.
Non-Tesla EV owners who wish to use the Tesla Supercharger network can do so, but they will be charged a higher price per charge compared to Tesla owners. As an alternative, they can opt to sign up for a membership through the Tesla app. The monthly fee for the membership is $12.99, but it grants them access to the same lowest price per kWh offered to Tesla owners (who don't have to pay the monthly subscription).
It remains to be seen how this change will affect the nearly perfect rating that Tesla has regarding the Supercharger Network user experience. As other public fast charging networks have been plagued with issues such as broken or inoperable chargers and bandwidth problems, according to user complaints, Tesla continually ranks at the top with its seamless charging process. A 2022 survey by Plug In America revealed that the most commonly reported issue by EV owners was broken or non-working chargers. In contrast, the Tesla Supercharger network scored "significantly better than its competitors on every metric."
However, some experts have raised concerns that opening up the Supercharger network to other EV brands could negatively impact its reputation for reliable and fast charging. Guidehouse Insights analyst Sam Abuelsamid has stated that "there is a strong likelihood that if they open the Supercharger network to other vehicles, their current excellent reliability rate will decline significantly," as quoted by Reuters.
By adding CCS compatibility to its proprietary hardware and software, Tesla could potentially encounter new technical issues and challenges. Nonetheless, Tesla's decision to open up its Supercharger network to other brands shows a commitment to advancing the growth of the EV market and providing a more accessible charging infrastructure for all EV owners.
Earlier this week, the Biden-Harris Administration unveiled its most recent plans designed to establish reliable, user-friendly electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure, with the ultimate goal of electrifying the iconic American road trip.
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, proposed by President Biden, includes significant investments of $7.5 billion towards EV charging infrastructure, $10 billion towards clean transportation, and over $7 billion towards EV battery components, critical minerals, and materials. These flagship initiatives complement the Inflation Reduction Act's pivotal backing for advanced batteries and newly enhanced tax credits that encourage the purchase of EVs and the further buildout charging infrastructure. Additionally, dozens of other federal initiatives have been created to promote domestic manufacturing and construct a nationwide network of EV charging.
Growing the network of electric vehicle chargers along American highways and in local communities is a necessary step to meet the goal of having EVs make up 50% of all new car sales by 2030. Additionally, this proposal by the Administration will advance a strategy for further development of the domestic electric vehicle and EV charging industries, while simultaneously creating well-paying employment opportunities in manufacturing and installation, all of which contribute to the United States achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 with limited reliance on foreign entities.
After meeting with Tesla CEO Elon Musk last month, the Administration announced that they have reached an agreement with the company to make a portion of it's Supercharger Network available to non-Tesla vehicles in exchange for a cut of the total funding available.
"We do understand that Tesla is looking to tweak their system to be more open access. So, if they do reach that point and meet those eligibility requirements, they certainly will be eligible for funding," Stuart Anderson, head of Iowa's transportation development division, told Reuters.
As of the end of last year, there were a total of 11,479 non-Tesla DC Fast chargers installed across the country and 17,248 Tesla Superchargers. However, not all Tesla's network will be available to every electric vehicle.
The deal between Tesla and the Administration resulted in Tesla agreeing to open up 3,500 new or existing superchargers to non-Tesla customers and double the total count of Supercharger stalls by the by the end of 2024.
The impact for non-Tesla vehicles will likely be minimal. According to Executive Analyst Karl Brauer at iSeeCars, "It’s worth noting that Tesla’s Supercharger network is both vast and advanced, with more Level 3 fast chargers than all other EV charging networks, including Electrify America and ChargePoint, combined. If Tesla opened its entire network up to non-Tesla vehicles it would immediately and substantially improve the EV infrastructure. Tesla could more than double the number of nationwide fast chargers available to electric vehicle drivers if the entire network was opened up. But Tesla has only committed to 3,500 Level 3 chargers becoming available by the end of 2024, or about 20 percent of its fast-charging network. Of course every little bit counts when trying to solve the EV infrastructure problem… but it’s disappointing to see this little bit coming from the nation’s largest fast charger network.”
The likely reason that Tesla decided not to open the entire Supercharger Network, at least initially, is the expected effect to existing and future Tesla owners. At times, the existing supercharger network already sees heavy usage with demand for charging exceeding the available stalls.
Opening the Supercharger Network to all electric vehicles from any manufacturer would also eliminate one of the biggest advantages Tesla has over its competitors as the reliability of non-Tesla fast charging networks can be finicky and frustrating and Tesla's charging experience is smooth and usually flawless. Many people point this out as a reason to buy Tesla vehicles over others.
Another potential reason behind the decision is potentially the cost and time associated with retrofitting the Magic Dock CCS adapter to every single Supercharger station could be more than the company wants to take on at the moment. Who knows?
What we do know, is that Tesla has a strong incentive to make changes if they want to access a part of that $7.5 Billion in funding. The exact amount of funding that Tesla will receive from the program was not disclosed by the company or by the White House; however, it is likely substantial.
What do you think? Leave a comment below with your thoughts!
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Tesla published their 2022 results showing record production and deliveries... sales growth that any other automaker would dream of having. In 2022, vehicle deliveries grew 40% YoY to 1.31 million while production grew 47% YoY to 1.37 million. Here's how it was broken down:
These results should come as no surprise to anyone who has been following the activities of the company. In 2022, Tesla opened two new factories, one in Berlin and the other in Texas, and has started to show significant production numbers from both locations.
The growth was so strong last year that the number of deliveries nearly surpassed the total number of deliveries the company had from 2012-2020. And, we can expect to see further growth from the company this year as well.
During the recent Q4 earnings call Tesla CEO Elon Musk shared that he expects Tesla to be able to produce 1.8 million vehicles or more.
“We’re saying 1.8 because there always seems to be some friggin’ force majeure thing that happens somewhere on Earth." Musk said, "We don’t control if there’s earthquakes, tsunamis, wars, pandemics, etc. If it’s a smooth year, without some big supply chain interruption or massive problem we have the potential to do 2 million cars this year. I think there would be demand for that, too.”
While Cybertruck production won't likely contribute significantly to the overall number, it is expected that production will start this year at the factory in Austin, Texas. The larger expectation will be that Tesla continues to ramp production of the Model Y, already selling so many that it has become the 4th best selling vehicle in 2022, trailing only behind the Toyota Corolla, Toyota RAV4, and the Ford F-Series.
During their fourth quarter earnings call this past Wednesday, Tesla had a number of good things to celebrate: Record production and deliveries, an increase in profits, and a significant increase in revenue. However, if you are a Cybertruck reservation holder, not everything was sunshine and rainbows.
Since the unveiling of the Cybertruck in 2019, Tesla has given a significant number of updates to the expected start of production, delaying the original expectation by years. More recently, the company has guided that production will start this year, likely in the summer or early fall.
During the earnings call, when asked directly about the Cybertruck’s expected start of production, Tesla CEO Elon Musk responded:
“We do expect production to start, I don't know, maybe sometime this summer. But I always like to try to downplay the start of production because the start of production is always very slow. It increases exponentially, but it's always very slow at first. So I wouldn't put too much thought in start of production. It’s kind of when does volume production actually happen, and that’s next year.”
So the name of the game for those in line for their cybertruck is waiting… but that isn’t something new. While we expect to see record overall production numbers in 2023 (like we saw in 2022), there likely won’t be more than a few thousand Cybertrucks produced. On to 2024 it would seem…
Tesla might be close to opening up access of the North American Supercharger Network to non-Tesla vehicles.
With the launch of their non-Tesla Supercharger Pilot program in Europe, Tesla also added a filter to it’s ‘Find Us’ webpage map to display superchargers that were open to non-Tesla Vehicles. Earlier this month, Tesla also added the same filter to the US map… however only one supercharger was displayed, the one in Hawthorne, CA, which is conveniently located close to their design studio.
In addition to adding the filter to the map on the website, Tesla also added the Hawthorne location as an option under the ‘charge your non-tesla’ menu in the mobile app. Selecting the stall revealed a rendering of a supercharger with Tesla’s Magic Dock. The ‘Magic Dock’ is a special CCS adapter that will be built into the existing Supercharger equipment and will unlock (but lock to the charging cable) for use with non-Tesla vehicles.
At this time, both the filter and the image have been removed from the website and the mobile app, but thanks to twitter users Hayden Sawyer (@haydensawyer14) and Branden Flasch (@brandenflash) we have the images saved.
So while we can’t see them now, it does appear that these accidental reveals indicated that Tesla is getting closer to opening up the Supercharger network here in North America and it’s likely that they first location will be the Hawthorne, CA site.
Unfortunately, like many things regarding Tesla’s future plans, we don’t have further details. However, the change to allow non-Tesla vehicles to use the Supercharger Network is likely to start this year and it will shake up the EV charging experience for owners of CCS equipped vehicles.
With only one manufacturer (Aptera) currently planning to adopt Tesla’s NACS plug, it will be important for CCS equipped vehicles to be able to use the Supercharger units even if they haven’t invested in an adapter themselves… and it looks like the ‘Magic Dock’ might just be the answer to that problem.
In order to roll out this change, Tesla will need to retrofit the ‘Magic Dock’ to the existing Supercharger equipment, so it should be fairly easy to recognize when access to the network is imminent.
I, for one, am super excited about this. I look forward to seeing the charging experience for CCS equipped vehicles improve. And, one of the best ways to do that is giving them access to Tesla’s network because it is one of the most reliable charging networks here in North America.