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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-27-2013, 02:30 PM Thread Starter
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Look out Tesla, Here Comes Ford

Look out Tesla, Here Comes Ford
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Tesla's (NASDAQ: TSLA ) meteoric rise this year has been nothing short of impressive, up over 250% year to date. The company itself has a lot going for it: its Model S received a 99 out of 100 from Consumer Reports, the best score for an auto in the publication's history. Aside from a quality product, Tesla's visionary CEO Elon Musk can apparently take any far-fetched idea and turn it into business gold. Despite that, I still believe Tesla's valuation has risen too high too quickly and will face competition from auto giants like Ford (NYSE: F ) that could give Tesla trouble sooner than you think.

Electric vehicles
Ford's share of EVs in the U.S. has grown to nearly 16% this year through June, which is quadruple what it was last year. Ford's success in EVs is part of the reason that it has been able to fuel its overall market share growth in the U.S. by a full percentage point – the most by any full-line automaker, according to the company.

Ford's success derives from a slew of vehicle options, as shown above. Now I understand that Tesla's Model S shouldn't be directly compared to Ford's models because it isn't an apples-to-apples comparison. However, when Elon Musk brings out the mass-produced vehicle at perhaps half the cost of the Model S the lines of competition between Tesla products and Ford's hybrids and EVs will definitely begin to blur.

Those who think that Tesla is the future of the industry may be correct, but those same people often think that juggernauts like Ford, General Motors (NYSE: GM ) and Toyota (NYSE: TM ) will simply roll over and die – which I believe to be very foolish.

Ford will be expanding electrification engineering jobs by nearly 50% to have more than 500 salaried employees working on research and development. It's also investing $50 million in EV development centers to further strengthen its vehicle quality. In addition to all that, Ford is also doubling its electrification battery-testing capabilities this year helping to speed hybrid and EV development by as much as 25%.

"This investment in new engineers and expanded facilities helps us prepare for growth," said Raj Nair, group vice president, global product development in a Ford press release. "All of us at Ford remain absolutely committed to offering customers a choice of leading fuel-efficient vehicles – from EcoBoost-powered gasoline engines and hybrids to plug-in hybrids and electrified vehicles." Read More....
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-27-2013, 07:26 PM
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Re: Look out Tesla, Here Comes Ford

this article made me realize what my FAVORITE thing about the Tesla is...

...it's a LUXURY car

... it put a hugely expensive drivetrain where it belongs imho

...so far at least, it's also showing that's a valid segment for electrified vehicles

I'm so tired of Mfgs trying to do it on the 'cheap' ('small' is diff);
and have ranted many times that Volt shoulda been a Buick Electra. Imho even Cadillac would've benefited by having a higher calling due to an Electra already playing in the small-E-Lux niche.

I haven't been much happier with Ford's FocusElectric either ...make that the we-don't-really-want-to-sell-(m)any FocusEV. Imho, if that would've been too E-mphatic a move for Lincoln, posssibly leading to unrealistic expectations for more from them; and
barring the *natural* home for alternative vehicles ,
can't help but wonder if a corporate-badged car (cough*Neon*cough) might have worked?
and speaking of...

Wouldn't it be hilarious if Chrysler was the first of the Big 2½ to take on Tesla?

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-27-2013, 08:30 PM
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Re: Look out Tesla, Here Comes Ford

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2b2 View Post
...so far at least, it's also showing that's a valid segment for electrified vehicles
Electric only is still so limited in range and the recharge time isn't yet good enough. I think the Volt, Fisker, and the BMW iCars are doing it right with range extending engines. Nobody wants to go someplace only to realize their car doesn't have enough charge to get there, or that its fully charged but the trip is to long.

As for the luxury (read expensive) vs. small (read inexpensive (relatively)) debate I lean towards the small, less expensive option for the following reasons:

1. Unless your driving pattern perfectly fits electric spending Tesla Model S money is crazy, except if you have the kind of money for it to be a second car, maybe for commuting only.

2. If you have luxury car money you may be able to swing a second, less expensive car for those trips that fit the profile, but still want the real car for everything else.

3. Those who aren't in the luxury car market but can afford a Volt or Focus Electric and who's driving patterns fit can afford the cars, they wouldn't if electrics were all luxury market cars.

In short, the tech is still immature and having as many of them on the road will only allow the manufacturers to learn more about what works, and focus on that which doesn't. The 99 out of 100 is an absolute bullsh!t rating IMO, some environmentalist journalist or group of them simply wet their pants over a very good car all the while turning a blind eye to its shortcomings. Journalism in all areas of todays society is an absolute travesty and has been replaced by undisguised propaganda.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-27-2013, 09:19 PM
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Re: Look out Tesla, Here Comes Ford

The best value option today for normal driving and saving fuel is hybrid.
PHEV offers less value, by about $5-7K, but does save more fuel.
BEV has it's demographic as well, mostly as a secondary vehicle. Or in the case of my sister in law living in San Fran, who travels constantly and rarely drives more than a few miles, and certainly has no time for maintenance and oil changes and fuel, etc.
Heck, when my wife quits working in a couple years, I thought I would maybe get her a BEV. Love the idea.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-27-2013, 09:21 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Look out Tesla, Here Comes Ford

Clearly today the 80 - 200 mile full EV works as part of a home fleet of cars. Whether it's a $28k Leaf or a $80k Tesla. They are both in the same boat, just at different ends of the income scale.

But the plug-in hybrids like the C-MAX/Fusion Energi and Volt offer the EV range + 300 to 600 total range and can be an only vehicle in a household. Unlike the BMW i3 Hybrid version(if it has a gasoline engine, it's a hybrid. GM tried the 'extended range' concept and it didn't work for them either), with such a short total range of less than 200 miles, it's gonna be a second car.

But the next generation of EVs in the next couple years, will have a 200+ range, with the premium vehicles close to 400+ EV miles. Which means that there will be even less of a need for public charging in cities, as EV owners will be charging up at their own fueling station in their garage each night. And with 200 miles of range, most people could go about a week without charging.

But for longer trips, it's Tesla to the rescue. With Tesla installing their SuperStations along interstates nationwide, becoming the next Shell Stations, finding a quick 10 min charge along the way won't be an issue.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-27-2013, 09:34 PM
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Re: Look out Tesla, Here Comes Ford

^ Agree SPdude (mostly)

just 3 things

One explication - lately (post-attending the Barrett-Jackson auction maybe), when I think of moneyed customers, I don't think of them having non-collectible Chevy/Ford 'regular' car(s), rather otherS in the Tesla's price bracket too.
Tho I'm a poverty case, there's just way too many people with an easy 6-digits to 'burn' IF they ever want to...

& a qualification - might be a thing of my family but other than 'special' roadtrips, we all seem to practically stay in our NEIGHBORHOODS;
but admittedly my family is pretty weird (no surprise)

and
a philosphical thingie (sorry)
I question which would advance the state of the art more/quicker/better:
-- engineering the best they can
-- doing their best for the lowest pricepoint possible
Philosophically imho both are needed.

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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-27-2013, 09:44 PM
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Re: Look out Tesla, Here Comes Ford

Charging stations are popping up everywhere. In San Fran they will lure you to their coffee house or restaurant or whatever, by either offering free charging (not unlike WiFi) or at discounted cost. While you are enjoying your visit, your car is being charged.
Very cool. I see BEV taking off much quicker than some think. Again, these will mostly be secondary vehicles for some time, whereby you simply don't care about extended range if you don't need it.
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