Five models doesn't quite equal GM, but it's pretty impressive for a startup.

And five models is exactly what Tesla Motors chief Elon Musk is shooting for. Musk says the battery-electric luxury vehicle maker will have five models by 2016, when Tesla will add a small crossover and a sports car to the mix at around the same time, according to Wired. Of course, we've heard similar predictions over the years (remember when there were hints that the next-gen Roadster would be coming in 2013?), but it appears that Musk is getting ready to talk about his four-year plan.

Having debuted the Model S sedan in June, Tesla will add the Model X crossover in 2014 and an "entry level" $30,000 sedan the following year (we knew this). That model will be similar in design to the Model S, but about 25 percent smaller, according to Musk. Also, it will not be called the Model E, as that was just a joke he made online recently. The smaller crossover will compete with models such as the BMW X3 while the sports car will be a successor of sorts to the convertible Roadster.

Musk, who has long forecast deliveries of 5,000 Model S vehicles for this year, told Automotive News in June that Tesla will boost sales to 20,000 units next year and to 35,000 in 2014.

Tesla said in July that its second-quarter loss widened by 84 percent to $106.5 million because expenses revenue fell and expenses surged in advance of the debut of the Model S, whose first deliveries were made in June.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 41 Comments
      markrogo
      • 2 Years Ago
      Musk just "Osborned" my Model X pre-order. :) I'd like the smaller vehicle, but only if I can still get the 85 kw/hr pack. Please, Tesla, tell us if that's possible. :) :)
        Anne
        • 2 Years Ago
        @markrogo
        But you won't need the 85 kWh pack to have a 250 mile range. Or do you want a 350 mile range?
        Grendal
        • 2 Years Ago
        @markrogo
        Smaller car = smaller pack Given battery improvements you might just get the same range but I wouldn't count on it. Newer more improved batteries will cost more and the Gen III crossover will be all about kepping the price down - say $50Kish for a max pack.
      Giza Plateau
      • 2 Years Ago
      How do you figure that?
      Tysto
      • 2 Years Ago
      I do hope Tesla produces a new sports car. A convertible sports car designed from the ground up as an EV, like the Model S, would be amazing. New, lighter batteries loaded flat near the ground would make for amazing handling, and the quickness could be blistering. Plus there could be an actual trunk. It doesn't need to be a supercar, Elon. Just something able to eat Boxsters and Z4s.
        Grendal
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Tysto
        I agree. Using the same principles as the Model S they should make an everyday version to rival the 911 for around $50K to a super high performance version with a $100K+ price point. At this point it's all speculation based on what we know. Tesla needs to focus on the Model S for now and reaching full production and maximizing profits.
      brotherkenny4
      • 2 Years Ago
      So, I think it has been revealed previously that the S will make them money beyond 7K in sales, and that to me is the most interesting number or estimate that could be talk about. When will they reach the 7K units sold mark? Secondly, do they still expect to get 5K sold this year? The importance of profitability can not be overstated. They can make all kinds of great thing, but profits will secure a long term future and guarantee that this industry, that many of us hope will succeed, will in fact be sustainable. I actually believe it will be, but that's not a fact. Remember, a belief is not a fact no matter how many people believe or how deeply you feel it.
        oktrader
        • 2 Years Ago
        @brotherkenny4
        TSLA will not be anywhere close to breakeven with 8000 S Models/ann. I know I am basically Satan (or maybe just Hitler) on this site, so I recommend you read this article by Nick Butcher on Seeking Alpha: http://seekingalpha.com/article/855661-tesla-profit-point Nick is a well-known TSLA long on SA, and therefore he is trustworthy. In case you STILL don't want to read it, I'll summarize: 8000 units per year equals a Gross Margin break point (revenue roughly equal to CoGS). But it doesn't cover one dime of expenses, interest, or depreciation. Tesla needs to build AT LEAST 20,000 at $80k each to be profitable. BTW: The announcement in Wired has just provided you the rationale for the imminent secondary announcement.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 2 Years Ago
          @oktrader
          Giza Plateau - "Tesla has built its 100th Model S sedan." "But it's a long way from the company's current production rate to its goals. Tesla has said it plans to make 500 Model S vehicles by the end of the third quarter. Over the next 40 days or so, it needs to make 400 vehicles - or about 10 a day - to reach that target. Tesla expects to make 4,500 Model S's in the fourth quarter. To hit that, it will have to make 50 a day on average in that period." http://phys.org/news/2012-09-tesla-100th-sedan-steep-production.html
          PR
          • 2 Years Ago
          @oktrader
          Giza -- The Q3 report will probably be made public in mid-November. I wouldn't be surprised if there was some negative impact of a poor quarterly report. But any negative impact will be limited if Tesla is building at least 50 cars a day by mid-November, and still growing. Some short-term or low information investors might freak out and bail. But if Tesla is executing successfully by then, the long-term investors will be perfectly happy to accumulate on any dip as long as there is a reasonable path forward to long-term success. It might make for a very good buying opportunity for long term investors though! It all comes down to how many Model S units Tesla can BUILD (not deliver) each week by mid-November.
          PR
          • 2 Years Ago
          @oktrader
          The Seeking Alpha story is fairly good. But it fails on some of it's assumptions. Not the least of which is that it assumes that 100% of the R&D costs, 100% of the payroll costs, and 100% of the factory costs are all 100% on the shoulders of the Model S. We know that simply isn't true, since we've already seen Model X prototypes being shown off, and they have been talking about new Roadster and Model E vehicles already being under development. They also have R&D and employment and factory costs that go towards their programs that provide drive trains for other companies. It is also crazy to assign the entire cost of buying a factory on one single model, when right here in this story we are being told that the factory is planned to be used to build 5 different models of Tesla's. This reminds me of the Volt stories where they tried to put 100% of the cost of the bailout on the shoulders of 6,000 Volts. Well, not quite that bad, but it is the same basic problem. They are failing to distribute costs across multiple model lines, and just assigning them all to the Model S. I guess a better example would be repeating the same mistake of trying to calculate the profitability of the Roadster by dividing in the cost of developing the Model S onto every Roadster sold!! People with a solid understanding of finance understand that the Roadster was profitable as a line of cars, even while at the same time Tesla was not profitable because they were spending all their Roadster profits plus more developing the Model S. So I understand where they are coming from in saying that the 8000 break-even number doesn't include lots of costs that it likely should, the 20,000 unit number includes costs that only make sense if you assume Tesla shuts down after 20,000 units and never builds another single model of vehicle.
          Grendal
          • 2 Years Ago
          @oktrader
          I like your input. Please continue to bring it to this site. You back your opinions with cogent data that you share with the rest of us. So thanks. It's a lot different than those that pop in here with nothing and spout off "Tesla makes electric cars and those things will never work!"
          Letstakeawalk
          • 2 Years Ago
          @oktrader
          I too appreciate your comments, oktrader.
          Giza Plateau
          • 2 Years Ago
          @oktrader
          oktrader, The Tesla forum where buyers chime in indicates that Tesla hasn't yet delivered 100 cars, more than 2½ months after launch. Yet the stock price just jumped today. There is a curious disparity between reality and stock market enthusiasm for TSLA. Q3 might be brutal. All things being equal shorting looks pretty good.
        Grendal
        • 2 Years Ago
        @brotherkenny4
        Tesla has certainly ramped up their production. It's still not at maximum. Will they hit 5K by the end of the year? They haven't said they won't, yet. They have notified the first 1000 customers and given them a delivery date. At their current rate they should be able to pull off 3000 by the end of the year easy. Simple logistics of moving around the 5000 cars seems to be their current biggest problem.
      PR
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'm tried of calling it bluestar, so since they haven't put out an official name yet for it, I'm going to unappologetically start calling their next-generation smaller sedan the Model E from now on. So, let's talk about the Model E! At 25% smaller, let's have some fun at taking that number literally. Model S: Wheelbase, 116.5 in -- Width, 77.3 in 25% smaller would be: Model E: Wheelbase, 87 in -- Width, 58 in And a guess on the new SUV that is based on the S: Model X: Wheelbase, 116.5 in -- Width, 77.3 in Obviously taking the 25% number and applying it literally to these dimensions is just for fun. But that would put the Model E at around the same size as a Fiat 500, with it's 90 inch wheelbase, and 64 inch width. Somehow I don't think that is where they are going?
        viatierra
        • 2 Years Ago
        @PR
        Reducing each dimension by 25% will yield a car that only has 42% of the volume.
          PR
          • 2 Years Ago
          @viatierra
          Viatierra -- Yea, I wasn't actually being serious about reducing each dimension by 25%. It was just a pretty funny mental image of a model S being shrunk in each dimension that I was playing off of... But that is a very good point that 25% less volume would require much less reduction in dimensions.
          PeterScott
          • 2 Years Ago
          @viatierra
          Yep. Giving each dimension a size of 91% will leave you with a car abour 75% the volume.
        Grendal
        • 2 Years Ago
        @PR
        Elon said in a recent interview that he was just joking when he called the GenIII the Model E. He did say that it was going to be a similar design to the Model S - sport hatchback.
          PR
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Grendal
          Yea, he made a joke, and now I'm going to stick with that punch line out of pure sardonic pleasure until they come up with a real name. ;} Did you like how the table I made came out when read vertically? I can foresee many more posts comparing Model S, Model E, and Model X statistics in my future.
          Grendal
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Grendal
          I think they should call the new Roadster the Model Y to complete the package.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Grendal
          Very Freudian.
      Anne
      • 2 Years Ago
      Just for fun. 20,000 Model S per year with 8000 cells each is 150 million 18650 cells per year. How big a customer is that? A country like Germany sells roughly 20 million laptops per year. 6 cells per laptop make for a total of 120 million cells per year. I am not aware of many other uses for 18650 cell, but perhaps your're looking at 200 million. So, as customer a for 18650 cells, Tesla is roughly the same size as the fifth economy of the world.
        Chris M
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Anne
        At that purchase volume, Panasonic might go to mass producing a larger format cell, which would reduce the cell count, reduce costs, and increase profitability. Larger cells should improve energy density, too - less packaging for the same amount of active ingredients.
        Grendal
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Anne
        Tesla's contract with Panasonic is deep and significant. They are each tied to each other pretty heavily.
      Christian Baumann
      • 2 Years Ago
      @Spec: As Anne already pointed out - TESLA does have Magic - they are buying more 18650 Cellos than anyone else - so TESLA has better economies of scale regarding battery-electrics than any of Nissan, GM, Mitsubishi etc ... and those others are all having "automotive grade special cells" - tesla is at least sticking to the 18650 formfactor to use those economics of scale - musk made that pretty clear in one of his last interviews ... I love how TESLA is executing this right now - let's see how far this company can reach out in a few years
      JakeY
      • 2 Years Ago
      Typo: "In 4 years, kWh prices" should read "In 3 years, kWh prices"
      PR
      • 2 Years Ago
      JakeY The 8% number is fairly conservative. It might be a good estimate for large format batteries. But the historic rate for price per kWh for commodity 18650 cells has been 14% per year for more than a decade.
      Grendal
      • 2 Years Ago
      http://www.forbes.com/sites/greatspeculations/2011/10/18/tesla-cuts-cushy-battery-deal-with-panasonic-for-sedan-model-stock-cruising-to-39/ And: http://gigaom.com/cleantech/why-tesla-and-panasonic-teamed-up/ Panasonic invested $30 million into Tesla early on. Tesla buys their batteries primarily from Panasonic.
      Spec
      • 2 Years Ago
      Bold plans. I hope they can pull it off. They might need to slow things down a bit and make sure higher-end luxury models keep paying the bills while waiting for battery prices to drop and gas prices to rise.
      mikeybyte1
      • 2 Years Ago
      It will be interesting to see if the $30k cars can keep ranges close to 200 miles or more. The Model S is impressive, but you have to get close to six figures to get a car that can do 300 miles on a charge. If the $30k cars are saddled to 100 miles or so they will not be a success. Hoping for a winner. Personally I would seriously consider a $30k smaller crossover that got close to 300 miles on a charge.
        Grendal
        • 2 Years Ago
        @mikeybyte1
        Spec is correct. The $30K model will likely have a 36 to 40 kWh pack and will get around 120-150 miles on a charge. It will, similar to the Model S, have larger pack sizes available for more money. I'd expect the 300 mile pack to cost $15K to $20K more. At this point it's all guess work.
        Spec
        • 2 Years Ago
        @mikeybyte1
        No, a $30K car won't have a 200 mile range. Tesla does not have any magic that is not available to Nissan, GM, Mitsubishi, etc.
          Christian Baumann
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Spec
          @Spec: As Anne already pointed out - TESLA does have Magic - they are buying more 18650 Cellos than anyone else - so TESLA has better economies of scale regarding battery-electrics than any of Nissan, GM, Mitsubishi etc ... and those others are all having "automotive grade special cells" - tesla is at least sticking to the 18650 formfactor to use those economics of scale - musk made that pretty clear in one of his last interviews ... I love how TESLA is executing this right now - let's see how far this company can reach out in a few years
          Actionable Mango
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Spec
          @Spec: As Anne already pointed out - TESLA does have Magic - they are buying more 18650 Cellos than anyone else - so TESLA has better economies of scale regarding battery-electrics than any of Nissan, GM, Mitsubishi etc ... and those others are all having "automotive grade special cells" - tesla is at least sticking to the 18650 formfactor to use those economics of scale - musk made that pretty clear in one of his last interviews ... I love how TESLA is executing this right now - let's see how far this company can reach out in a few years
          Christian Baumann
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Spec
          @Spec: As Anne already pointed out - TESLA does have Magic - they are buying more 18650 Cellos than anyone else - so TESLA has better economies of scale regarding battery-electrics than any of Nissan, GM, Mitsubishi etc ... and those others are all having "automotive grade special cells" - tesla is at least sticking to the 18650 formfactor to use those economics of scale - musk made that pretty clear in one of his last interviews ... I love how TESLA is executing this right now - let's see how far this company can reach out in a few years
          PR
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Spec
          Spec, The beautiful thing about 18650's is that you don't have to rely only upon your own car's sales for economies of scale to be achieved. In fact, historically 18650 cells have been improving in cost per kWh at an average rate of 14% each year for more than a decade. Tesla has to do nothing, and if history repeats itself for another 5 years, the cost per kWh for 18650 cells will be cut in half. So from 2011 when the Leaf was introduced, to the 2016 date mentioned in the article, there would be a 50% cut in price, or they might be able to double range for the same price. Considering that Tesla has said publicly that they already pay less for their batteries than Nissan or GM, there is a decent chance of a 200 mile range Leaf-like car from Tesla. If history repeats itself for another 5 years.....
          Spec
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Spec
          I don't find that argument very persuasive. Yeah, Tesla buys more of that type of battery size . . . but others buy far more raw cells. Heck, GM sold more Volts last month than Tesla has sold cars in its entire lifetime. I really doubt a car company that is just trying to get out a 100 cars out a month right now has the economies of scale that GM has.
        paulwesterberg
        • 2 Years Ago
        @mikeybyte1
        Tesla's drive train is adaptable to many different vehicle types as demonstrated by the new Toyota Rav4 EV. It has 41.8kWh, good for 125-150 miles and costs 50k before tax credits: https://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/02/automobiles/autoreviews/with-jolt-from-tesla-a-more-electrifying-utility.html
        JakeY
        • 2 Years Ago
        @mikeybyte1
        Unlikely. The base model $57k ($50k after credit) Model S will get about 125 miles of combined EPA range. It's pretty clear the $30k model will at most get around that much. 3 years isn't enough to drop battery prices that much. In 4 years, kWh prices be about 80% of today's prices (assuming 8% compounded improvement in density and a static per cell price). Tesla is charging a pack price of $400/kWh (40kWh pack would cost $16k), so that will drop to about $320/kWh by 2015 (40kWh pack would cost $12.8k, saving $3.2k).
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