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  #701  
Old 02-10-2018, 06:33 PM
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All this stuff is about the Gigafactory, which produces both cells and assembled packs. The cell production is fine--it's assembling them into packs that is the difficulty. And pack production is the current limiting factor in Model 3 production.

They are not currently limited by anything at Fremont, but will be somewhat past the 2500/wk level, where they start running into internal transport problems. They're working on that, too, which will be necessary to get to 5k/wk. It may never show up as a constraint if the German line takes a while to get to full speed, but if it works out of the box then they'll hit this as a limit.
  #702  
Old 02-10-2018, 06:49 PM
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yeah, fuck, they've missed every estimate so far, but this one they'll make. Because you say so.
To be fair, my Taurus that was supposed to be delivered in Dec to Jan was finally built on February 8th. Not a Tesla-style delay, but still has me a bit peeved.
  #703  
Old 02-10-2018, 07:10 PM
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To be fair, my Taurus that was supposed to be delivered in Dec to Jan was finally built on February 8th. Not a Tesla-style delay, but still has me a bit peeved.
To be fairer you could go out to a lot and buy a Taurus already made. You ordered one to specifications. Ford is not involved in production problems with the car.
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  #704  
Old 02-10-2018, 07:11 PM
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I'm confused. from your cite the German assembly line is destined for the gigafactory which only builds batteries.
if battery production is the bottleneck, then there you go.
  #705  
Old 02-11-2018, 12:54 AM
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if battery production is the bottleneck, then there you go.
yes but they're saying they can make 2,500 without the replacement equipment. And they're not. So.......

And is this just for the battery pack for the model 3 or does it include the powerwall battery pack too? They're different batteries.
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  #706  
Old 02-11-2018, 06:54 PM
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To be fairer you could go out to a lot and buy a Taurus already made. You ordered one to specifications. Ford is not involved in production problems with the car.
I won't get into it, but they're all ordered to specification for those in my circumstances. No choice in the matter. I actually, literally mean no choice in the matter. Not a want-vs-need thing, either. Quite plainly and simply, built to order is the only choice. And to boot, I can't even build every option. No performance package for me.
  #707  
Old 02-11-2018, 07:48 PM
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I won't get into it, but they're all ordered to specification for those in my circumstances. No choice in the matter. I actually, literally mean no choice in the matter. Not a want-vs-need thing, either. Quite plainly and simply, built to order is the only choice. And to boot, I can't even build every option. No performance package for me.
OK, a bit of a hijack but I'd like to hear about it if you're willing. Don't want to pry.
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  #708  
Old 02-11-2018, 08:45 PM
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To be fair, my Taurus that was supposed to be delivered in Dec to Jan was finally built on February 8th. Not a Tesla-style delay, but still has me a bit peeved.
yeah, but that's most likely a delay in your order being entered. you're not just Joe Schmoe putting in a retail custom order. my previous manager ran into the same thing when he selected a Fusion hybrid; it kept getting shuffled back in favor of retail orders. if I was to put in a retail order for your car, I'm pretty sure it would be the standard 6-8 weeks.

though I'd wonder why there'd be any kind of delay on a Taurus. Who the hell is buying those anymore?

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  #709  
Old 02-12-2018, 09:31 PM
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OK, a bit of a hijack but I'd like to hear about it if you're willing. Don't want to pry.
It's a company benefit, kind of. I have to pay, but it includes maintenance and insurance. If you choose the right car, it comes in below market. If you choose the wrong car, it comes in about the same as market. I actually love the Taurus, but the market hates the Taurus, so I get it below market. The catch is, the company builds these for us on demand, because they don't come through dealerships, and retains title.

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my previous manager ran into the same thing when he selected a Fusion hybrid; it kept getting shuffled back in favor of retail orders. …
though I'd wonder why there'd be any kind of delay on a Taurus. Who the hell is buying those anymore?
My Fusion Energi arrived without delay (I miss that car!), but probably the Hybrid was more popular. I have no idea who's ordering the Taurus, and given I'm in manufacturing, I happen to know that there are no production problems, and the 2018 launch has no issues (there's no MCA in body, so not really a "launch"). Or, if there are issues, no one cares about them because it's not the Explorer, which is all anyone cares about.

I'm hoping I love this car enough to buy it (and that the B price isn't outrageous). Transitioning back from China, it's been kind of nice to have a car available, but long term, I'm not the type of guy that loves paying for something forever (a lot of other managers and tech. specialists fall into that trap). House is in order, job is in order, so would like to have a car in order, too.

I miss the B car lot. Not sure if that was before your time or not. If we still had it, I'd not waste my time trying to find my "forever car."
  #710  
Old 02-13-2018, 06:21 AM
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The only thing I can think of is CAP is running slow due to retooling.
  #711  
Old 02-16-2018, 12:45 PM
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Here is a brief video review of a Model 3 conducted by a company that tears apart cars. The guy being interviewed is totally baffled at various points on a few things, such as how occupants can be expected to get out of the car in a major crash and the fit and finish issues that have been commented on for some time. As for panel gaps, the reviewer said at different points that he hasn't seen issues like this since the 1970s, or that it reminds him of Kia from the 1990s.

My impression is that this guy isn't some rabid Tesla hater, but more like, "Wait.. this is supposed to be a luxury car??"
Some further behind-the-wheel impressions from the same guy (Munro) here, which seem to be almost a polar opposite from his earlier cabin and exterior fit & finish criticisms:
  • Loved the handling and acceleration, good braking impressions.
  • Seems particularly impressed with the quality of some of the drive platform components (multi-link suspension, transmission).
  #712  
Old 02-16-2018, 06:36 PM
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Some further behind-the-wheel impressions from the same guy (Munro) here, which seem to be almost a polar opposite from his earlier cabin and exterior fit & finish criticisms:
  • Loved the handling and acceleration, good braking impressions.
  • Seems particularly impressed with the quality of some of the drive platform components (multi-link suspension, transmission).
Ok? and is it somehow not possible to think some aspects of the car are bad and others are good?

cripes. I can't stand this notion we have in our society that we must all take an "all or nothing" approach to everything.
  #713  
Old 02-16-2018, 07:57 PM
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Ok? and is it somehow not possible to think some aspects of the car are bad and others are good?

cripes. I can't stand this notion we have in our society that we must all take an "all or nothing" approach to everything.
No kidding. I went to a Michelin star restaurant a little while back, and I didnít like one of the dishes. In this thread, Iíd be viewed as hating the restaurant and calling it a failure.

Then I liked the other dishes. In this thread, Iíd be declared as seeing the light as coming around to the best restaurant ever.
  #714  
Old 02-17-2018, 12:41 AM
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Some pretty neat "teardown" videos of the Model 3:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dxPDT843nOw
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RGzwnPgow8U

It's very pretty on the inside. I don't know enough to evaluate the quality, but it doesn't look janky. The fiber-reinforced plastic suspension component is interesting, but clearly the forces on that component are pretty low due to the overall linkage.

Kinda funny (though not surprising) that there's just a giant internal cavity where the second motor would go. Almost makes me think it could be retrofitted in. Battery connections and mounting brackets are right there.
  #715  
Old 02-17-2018, 01:22 AM
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Kinda funny (though not surprising) that there's just a giant internal cavity where the second motor would go. Almost makes me think it could be retrofitted in. Battery connections and mounting brackets are right there.
The actual battery connections are to the other side. They shows a tunnel - the wires in that tunnel would be the 3 phase variable frequency AC that actually drives the motor, and that would have to be generated by a second motor driver in the back under the rear seat. There is no doubt a cavity for it.

I think you're sort of right. You could buy a motor that would work off the shelf. You could buy an EV motor driver that even has a water block, and use the existing cooling system. Could probably figure out the CAN code or whatever for an acceleration command, it's not encrypted, that would be straightforward.

Hard part would be the mechanicals. The 3 doesn't ship with the transmission you'd need.
  #716  
Old 02-17-2018, 01:36 AM
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They shows a tunnel - the wires in that tunnel would be the 3 phase variable frequency AC that actually drives the motor, and that would have to be generated by a second motor driver in the back under the rear seat.
The DC->AC conversion happens in the (integrated) motor unit--it's all one assembly. So it just needs the DC input. You may be right that holes shown are just a tunnel, but there could be contactors in there; I can't tell.

I wasn't thinking about a third-party solution; just an official front drive unit, either bought or pulled from a wreck.

It would probably need some kind of firmware update to enable the new motor, though maybe not--could be that in the interest of simplicity, they kept everything "plug and play" and it just uses a new acceleration/regen/stability control/etc. program if it detects the second motor.
  #717  
Old 02-17-2018, 06:45 AM
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Some pretty neat "teardown" videos of the Model 3:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dxPDT843nOw
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RGzwnPgow8U

It's very pretty on the inside.
*shrug* it looks like pretty much every other car on the market, save for the lack of ICE. the design and assembly doesn't look like anything special. though I'm wondering about the body sealer applied after dip/paint (the pink goo on seams under the frunk); typically sealer is applied first to protect steel in seams where the anti-corrosion dip can't reach.

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I don't know enough to evaluate the quality, but it doesn't look janky. The fiber-reinforced plastic suspension component is interesting, but clearly the forces on that component are pretty low due to the overall linkage.
that is the upper control arm (UCA.) the UCA in this setup is not bearing any of the car's weight; the weight is carried by the coil-over spring/shock which connects the lower control arm (LCA) to the body. the UCA is only there to locate the top of the hub/knuckle. most of the force it will carry is lateral (tension or compression,) no bending stresses. Ford was doing composite stabilizer bar links in the '80s.
  #718  
Old 02-17-2018, 02:52 PM
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*shrug* it looks like pretty much every other car on the market, save for the lack of ICE.
Well, it helps that it's super-clean, which I don't get to see often. And simple enough that you can see what's going on.

But the big thing is the drive unit. It's just a really nice looking cast aluminum piece with all the important stuff on the inside. Just a few cables going in and a mechanical shaft going out. Older (and cleaned up) ICE engines also look good, again due to their simplicity. But modern ones are just a blob of wires and tubes and you'd never know how they look underneath. The Tesla unit reminds me a lot of the giant blowers my dad had on his dragsters.

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most of the force it will carry is lateral (tension or compression,) no bending stresses. Ford was doing composite stabilizer bar links in the '80s.
Yeah, and even those lateral forces are only a small fraction of those on the wheel due to the lever arm.

Why aren't FRP or other composites used more in suspensions? Corvette I see has a FRP leaf spring. But given that unsprung weight is a big deal and it can obviously be used for the less-stressed components, I'd think it would be more common. Is it more expensive than stamped steel?
  #719  
Old 02-17-2018, 04:37 PM
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But the big thing is the drive unit. It's just a really nice looking cast aluminum piece with all the important stuff on the inside.
it's a high-pressure die casting, I can tell by the surface finish. you could say the same thing about pretty much any automatic transmission being made. it's how most aluminum engine blocks and transmission cases are made these days since it reduces the occurrence of porosity and inclusions. sand casting aluminum lets the surfaces of the molten metal oxidize as it flows into the mold cavity, bringing in potential leak sources and weakened areas.

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Why aren't FRP or other composites used more in suspensions? Corvette I see has a FRP leaf spring. But given that unsprung weight is a big deal and it can obviously be used for the less-stressed components, I'd think it would be more common. Is it more expensive than stamped steel?
a lot of vehicles have MacPherson struts, which have no upper control arm. the lower control arm gets pounded like hell in normal usage and a plastic one would not be nearly robust enough. stabilizer bars undergo too much torsion, though as I said composites can be used for end links since those only really ever experience straight tension/compression. there are CFRP sub-frames being developed, but they're going to be limited to applications where the weight save is the most important thing. otherwise the cost hit vs. steel will be prohibitive.
  #720  
Old 02-18-2018, 07:40 PM
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The only thing I can think of is CAP is running slow due to retooling.
It's more likely that they just don't give a crap about Taurus. I'm always facing issues with Explorer, making me think that Taurus is perfect!

Retooling isn't happening yet (that's my part of the business).
  #721  
Old 02-18-2018, 08:09 PM
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It's more likely that they just don't give a crap about Taurus. I'm always facing issues with Explorer, making me think that Taurus is perfect!

Retooling isn't happening yet (that's my part of the business).
yeah, makes sense. too early yet.
  #722  
Old 02-19-2018, 08:35 AM
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Ok? and is it somehow not possible to think some aspects of the car are bad and others are good?

cripes. I can't stand this notion we have in our society that we must all take an "all or nothing" approach to everything.
I'm not sure where this comment is coming from, it seems like you're reading intentions into my post that aren't there, and then using that as a springboard to launch into some sort of cultural commentary based on strawmen that you've erected.

I thought it was an interesting followup to the earlier video of Munro's criticisms of some of the exterior QC and door & emergency responder access engineering, most of which I completely agreed with. Obviously the two videos are focused on two completely separate parts of the vehicle.
  #723  
Old 02-19-2018, 09:10 AM
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No kidding. I went to a Michelin star restaurant a little while back, and I didnít like one of the dishes. In this thread, Iíd be viewed as hating the restaurant and calling it a failure.

Then I liked the other dishes. In this thread, Iíd be declared as seeing the light as coming around to the best restaurant ever.
Then in this thread, I point out both portions of the dining review for balance, after previously making multiple attempts in this same thread at pointing out both the good and the bad dishes that other reviewers have mentioned, and somehow my effort get used as evidence for some sort of societal disease. Sheesh.
  #724  
Old 02-22-2018, 11:20 PM
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Production seems to be speeding up--the first batch of invites to non-owners has gone out:
Tesla Begins Taking Model 3 Orders From First-Time Reservation Holders

I still haven't gotten my invite yet, but I'd guess it's a matter of weeks at this point.

In other news, some guy put a Model 3 on a dyno and it got 393 hp. Previous estimates were mid-200s, but it looks like the peak power is rather higher. Subjectively, people have said that the 3 is punchier than expected at 30+ mph, which implies that it's traction or current limited at low RPM, and only becomes power or thermal limited at a relatively higher speed. Makes sense to me: passing (say, from 60 to 80 mph) is one place where's it's nice to have a ton of power, but this doesn't increase costs by much as compared to increasing low-end torque (which requires a much beefier motor controller, and possibly some means of increased traction like AWD or stickier tires).
  #725  
Old 02-28-2018, 10:11 PM
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Woot!

They say 3-6 weeks for delivery, so there's still a bit of a wait, but it's coming...
  #726  
Old 03-01-2018, 04:03 PM
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Woot!

They say 3-6 weeks for delivery, so there's still a bit of a wait, but it's coming...
Congratulations, I'm looking forward to hearing about the delivery process, and such. I really wish I could justify buying the long range premium edition, but it looks like I'm stuck waiting.

Are you installing a charging station at home? My current plan is to put a 240V outlet in the garage.
  #727  
Old 03-01-2018, 04:11 PM
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I'll keep you posted!

The configuration process is already somewhat interesting. They wanted proof of having a drivers license, so their online system accepted a photo upload. Same thing for insurance. Definitely seems like Tesla wants to keep the in-person stuff to as minimal a level as possible.

I'll install a home charger, but I honestly haven't looked into it yet. It's not a huge priority since my daily needs are met with a basic 110 outlet (around 4 miles/hr charging, and I only drive 8 miles on a typical day). But the fast charger is more efficient and there will be times when it will mean I can avoid a Supercharger stop, so I'll install one at some point.
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Old 03-01-2018, 08:18 PM
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They wanted proof of having a drivers license, so their online system accepted a photo upload. Same thing for insurance.
Why do you need proof of insurance for a car you don't own yet? Typically I wouldn't expect to insure a car until it were delivered.
  #729  
Old 03-01-2018, 08:24 PM
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I'll keep you posted!

The configuration process is already somewhat interesting. They wanted proof of having a drivers license, so their online system accepted a photo upload. Same thing for insurance. Definitely seems like Tesla wants to keep the in-person stuff to as minimal a level as possible.

I'll install a home charger, but I honestly haven't looked into it yet. It's not a huge priority since my daily needs are met with a basic 110 outlet (around 4 miles/hr charging, and I only drive 8 miles on a typical day). But the fast charger is more efficient and there will be times when it will mean I can avoid a Supercharger stop, so I'll install one at some point.
Congratulations. How do you prove you have insurance on a car you don't own yet?
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Old 03-01-2018, 08:26 PM
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I suspect you could get away with not filling it out until delivery. I don't have that part filled out yet, but they took my deposit and don't make it seem like they're waiting on it. I think it's just to speed up the delivery process. I remember waiting 15 minutes or so at the BMW dealer waiting for them to call my insurance and confirm coverage (and 5 minutes arguing with them that, because I was paying cash, I didn't need comprehensive coverage). Just a small thing to make the process smoother.
  #731  
Old 03-01-2018, 08:29 PM
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Congratulations. How do you prove you have insurance on a car you don't own yet?
I'll probably wait until I have a solid delivery date, call up my insurance company saying I want coverage starting on X, and then offer a picture of the plan. I suspect they can also do it the traditional way if something gets delayed for whatever reason.
  #732  
Old 03-01-2018, 08:35 PM
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The reason I ask is that I've tried to ensure a model on the way to pick it up and they insisted on the vehicle ID number before issuing a policy.
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  #733  
Old 03-01-2018, 08:47 PM
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I know that Tesla will tell you the VIN somewhere fairly early in the build process--they don't show mine yet, but I know they typically get there weeks before delivery. So yeah, I'm sure I'll have to wait for that to happen if nothing else.
  #734  
Old 03-01-2018, 08:56 PM
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Incidentally--they require a $2500 extra deposit ("order payment") to start the build. Not a great surprise; most automakers require some kind of deposit for orders, but something to keep in mind. It's really $3500 but $1000 comes from the pre-order deposit.
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Old 03-01-2018, 09:08 PM
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I'm actually quite exited for you. I know how long you've waited and it will be all the more fun for you when it arrives.

Since it appears they've built it to upgrade to a 2 motor version I wonder what that will do to the lineup of their cars. If every car comes with a 10 second 1/4 mile rocket ship option then sports cars as we know will cease to be expensive beasts. what's stopping them from installing an 800 hp motor instead of 2 400 hp motors.
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Old 03-01-2018, 10:50 PM
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Thanks! Yeah, I'm pretty excited too. I'll definitely keep everyone updated on the process and give a mini-review when it arrives.

It's been a long time but it's actually coming right on schedule. I reserved on 3/31/16 and knew it would be about two years. I told myself that I'd be pretty pleased if I got it around my 40th b-day--3/28/18. It looks like I'll get it almost exactly then. The dates might have moved back and forth a few times in the past couple of years but they pretty much averaged out to what I hoped for.

It looks like Tesla's strategy for motors is to start with a highly refined motor and then put more of them in and/or make the motor longer/shorter. For instance, the Tesla Semi just has four Model 3 motors. The Roadster 2.0 has three. And the Model 3 AWD model has two, but the front motor is about 2/3 the length and so (probably) proportionally less power. Electric motors give a lot of flexibility in this regard (though the motor length thing reminds me a little of the Ford Modular 4.6, where it could be extended to a V10 or [potentially] shortened to a V6).
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Old 03-15-2018, 09:37 AM
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Any updates on delivery?

On another topic, I saw some comments on some EV articles and I just have to ask if this is in any way correct. It was asserted that in 2006, the NUMMI plant had about 4,500 employees and made something more than 400,000 cars that year. (I think mostly Corollas.) In 2016, Tesla had 6,000 employees in Fremont, and produced about 80,000 cars.

If this is right, why? Is there something about EVs or luxury cars that take so much more touch labor? Or should we not assume that the 6,000 employees arenít mostly involved in manufacturing? Or maybe those numbers are just bogus?
  #738  
Old 03-15-2018, 11:16 AM
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I'm actually quite exited for you. I know how long you've waited and it will be all the more fun for you when it arrives.

Since it appears they've built it to upgrade to a 2 motor version I wonder what that will do to the lineup of their cars. If every car comes with a 10 second 1/4 mile rocket ship option then sports cars as we know will cease to be expensive beasts. what's stopping them from installing an 800 hp motor instead of 2 400 hp motors.
$$$$$$. A 10 second 1/4 mile Tesla is the province of the S top end model right now. An equivalent 3 model would cause the price to soar, I'd guess into the 70k range.

Plus, sports cars are generally meant to be more visceral. Hearing the roar of a normally aspirated V-8 or V-12, rowing your own gears, etc.

Watching 1/4 mile runs in a Tesla S is weird because it's so eerily silent.
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Old 03-15-2018, 11:36 AM
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Any updates on delivery?

On another topic, I saw some comments on some EV articles and I just have to ask if this is in any way correct. It was asserted that in 2006, the NUMMI plant had about 4,500 employees and made something more than 400,000 cars that year. (I think mostly Corollas.) In 2016, Tesla had 6,000 employees in Fremont, and produced about 80,000 cars.
Because- while it was a GM-Toyota joint venture and UAW-represented- they implemented the Toyota production system wholesale. And their systems are very disciplined and well-tuned over decades. The design of the vehicle is complete before the production tooling is finalized, and when you get to pre-production/pilot builds, at the worst things need minor tweaks.

Tesla, on the other hand, looks rather undisciplined, trying to rush everything, and trying to build unfinished vehicles with unfinished production line tooling. Constant design changes are being made to the car while others are trying to build the production tooling. all the while their CEO boasts about how they're going to show the car companies a thing or two.

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If this is right, why? Is there something about EVs or luxury cars that take so much more touch labor? Or should we not assume that the 6,000 employees arenít mostly involved in manufacturing? Or maybe those numbers are just bogus?
there's practically nothing different about assembling an EV like the Model 3 vs. any other unibody car. The stuff I've seen of Model Ss being built in Fremont looks no different than anything I've seen in Sterling Heights Assembly, Dearborn Truck, or Flat Rock Assembly.
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Old 03-15-2018, 03:22 PM
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Any updates on delivery?
No updates yet. Still haven't gotten a VIN. Wouldn't necessarily expect it yet; it's been two weeks and they gave a 3-6 week delivery estimate.

A couple of people at work have Model 3s now. Looking pretty good. Only angle I don't particularly like is directly head-on, but from most other angles it looks great. And I'm really digging the interior, though I haven't had a chance to actually sit in one yet.

I don't really know how to do the math on employee counts, but remember that Tesla has huge chunks of their engineering team at the plant. I don't get the impression that that was true of the old NUMMI. Also, I don't know if those numbers include other suppliers at the same location. When I toured there, they had a section carved out for Tesla's seat manufacturer.
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Old 03-15-2018, 06:21 PM
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I don't really know how to do the math on employee counts, but remember that Tesla has huge chunks of their engineering team at the plant.
so does everyone else. my company calls them "PVT" (Plant Vehicle Team) engineers.

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I don't get the impression that that was true of the old NUMMI. Also, I don't know if those numbers include other suppliers at the same location. When I toured there, they had a section carved out for Tesla's seat manufacturer.
yes, it's normal for suppliers to have one or more resident engineers/production reps on site, especially at launch. but they're employed by the supplier, not the car company, so they shouldn't be included in company headcount.

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Old 03-15-2018, 07:17 PM
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so does everyone else. my company calls them "PVT" (Plant Vehicle Team) engineers.
That sounds like a pretty specialized job, though. Tesla has more typical engineering jobs in the same building.

I couldn't tell you exactly what fraction of Tesla's engineers are at NUMMI. I know that for SpaceX, essentially 100% of their engineering is in the same building as their rocket production. Musk has an obsession with putting engineering close to production and so for SpaceX they've embraced that fully. For practical reasons I'm sure Tesla hasn't been able to achieve the same level of integration but the trend is there at least.

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yes, it's normal for suppliers to have one or more resident engineers/production reps on site, especially at launch. but they're employed by the supplier, not the car company, so they shouldn't be included in company headcount.
Not just reps/engineers, and not temporary. They were actually manufacturing the seats (or part of them) on site. At least prior to the Model 3, they had so much extra space at NUMMI that they could get away with this. I'm not sure if this was done for any other component, but they literally had a big cordoned-off area that was a different company.
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Old 03-15-2018, 07:24 PM
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but they're employed by the supplier, not the car company, so they shouldn't be included in company headcount.
Also: "shouldn't", sure. But a random number from a random article from a random journalist? Not saying it's right or wrong, but color me skeptical if the journalist put in the effort to verify the specifics of that 6000 number. On topics that I know a great deal about, it's rare that I see that even the better journalists get this kind of detail right.
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Old 03-15-2018, 08:00 PM
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Also: "shouldn't", sure. But a random number from a random article from a random journalist? Not saying it's right or wrong, but color me skeptical if the journalist put in the effort to verify the specifics of that 6000 number. On topics that I know a great deal about, it's rare that I see that even the better journalists get this kind of detail right.
But if the 6,000 total employees at Fremont that was reported is accurate, to be as productive as Toyota/GM was ten years prior, roughy 1,000 of those workers would be doing final assembly and 5,000 would be doing other stuff. I find that hard to believe. Not to mention that apparently line workers for Tesla routinely work substantially more than 40 hours/week, whereas I’d have a hard time believing a union shop in 2006 would allow that.

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Old 03-15-2018, 08:01 PM
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That sounds like a pretty specialized job, though. Tesla has more typical engineering jobs in the same building.

I couldn't tell you exactly what fraction of Tesla's engineers are at NUMMI. I know that for SpaceX, essentially 100% of their engineering is in the same building as their rocket production. Musk has an obsession with putting engineering close to production and so for SpaceX they've embraced that fully. For practical reasons I'm sure Tesla hasn't been able to achieve the same level of integration but the trend is there at least.
this is nothing but conjecture on your part, and you need to stop presenting it as fact.
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Old 03-15-2018, 08:19 PM
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this is nothing but conjecture on your part, and you need to stop presenting it as fact.
Exactly what do you think is conjecture? I've toured both the SpaceX and Tesla facilities. I got a more comprehensive tour of SpaceX, and it was easy to see that all of engineering was deeply integrated with the rest. They have, essentially, a 3-story office tower inside the factory that's visible from everywhere. And rows upon rows of cubicles as one might expect.

I didn't get quite as comprehensive a tour of Tesla, and didn't see much of the office portion, so I can't tell you exactly how integrated they are in comparison. I suspect it's somewhat less, but if one is constructing a narrative around that 6000 number, it matters quite a lot exactly how much less. There is enough obvious uncertainty that there's no reason to believe it's even within a factor of 2 of the "real" number.
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Old 03-15-2018, 08:32 PM
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But if the 6,000 total employees at Fremont that was reported is accurate, to be as productive as Toyota/GM was ten years prior, roughy 1,000 of those workers would be doing final assembly and 5,000 would be doing other stuff. I find that hard to believe.
Sure--agreed. 1000 isn't believable. But if 4000 were on final assembly, and there's a 2x "natural" labor difference between a 2006 Corolla and a large luxury sedan/SUV, then we're down to a 2x efficiency difference. Not great, but not 6x either. In 2017, they shipped 103k cars without a great expansion. If Tesla is to be believed, they actually improved efficiency by >50% somewhere in that timeframe, so perhaps we're down to a 1.5x ratio.

I honestly don't know--there's just not enough information out there. Just pointing out that the details matter.
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Old 03-15-2018, 10:53 PM
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Well it's suppose to have a lot fewer parts than an ICE powered car so it should be easier to build.

The rumors of quality issues have not gone away.

The recent CNBC story centers on reports from former and current workers that many Tesla parts are below acceptable standards and are being sent to an offsite remanufacturing facility 50 miles away to be brought up to snuff.
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Old 03-15-2018, 11:32 PM
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Well it's suppose to have a lot fewer parts than an ICE powered car so it should be easier to build.
I got no dog in this fight, but must point out that the part count difference is all in the drivetrain, and for most (all?) ICE vehicles the engines and transmissions are not manufactured in the vehicle assembly plants. This particular point is a red herring.
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Old 03-16-2018, 01:41 AM
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Exactly what do you think is conjecture?
most of it. you got a tour. great. that doesn't mean you know exactly who everyone is or what their job responsibilities are.

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I've toured both the SpaceX and Tesla facilities. I got a more comprehensive tour of SpaceX, and it was easy to see that all of engineering was deeply integrated with the rest. They have, essentially, a 3-story office tower inside the factory that's visible from everywhere. And rows upon rows of cubicles as one might expect.
SpaceX is not Tesla.
SpaceX is not Tesla.
SpaceX is not Tesla.

they're two separate companies (one private, one public) who do two almost completely different things, with different goals, and different processes.

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I didn't get quite as comprehensive a tour of Tesla, and didn't see much of the office portion, so I can't tell you exactly how integrated they are in comparison.
you can't tell anyone "exactly" anything just from a tour.
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