Quoted from DCFAN:
How many years do you think Toyota has until they are not making decent profits? I don't see EVs taking the majority of the automobile (cars/trucks/SUVs combined) market for at least 15 years (likely many more years than that unless the battery technology significantly improves).
Big auto is very competitive by how long it has been a mature industry with not many more corners that can be cut, and profit margins that are in the low single digit percentages on their automobiles. Additionally, they have giant factories with tons of employees, and so a small drop in sales could significantly materially hurt the auto industry. And this isn't some outlandish EV thing, this is the same thing that happened with a relatively small downturn in 2008ish that led to the collapse of the entire industry.
If EV sales take away market share from traditional auto makers by, say, 10% and they don't have products ready to go to compete, that is easily enough to send them into a bankruptcy tailspin. Right now, we're having the US auto industry shut down tons of their smaller sedans, which is what they were making the least money on. Could it be because the Model 3 soaked up a bunch of that demand and some people are willing to wait longer to replace a car so they can do it with an electric option (I know of multiple people that are doing this now)? Seems reasonable.
At the same time, bringing a new car to market is not as simple as Toyota just going, "Oh hey, an EV! Buy it!" To create a new vehicle platform costs billions of dollars, and legacy auto's offerings of cars that look and feel like their other offerings, just more expensive and electric aren't cutting it. When Tesla starts rolling out the $35,000 Model 3, comparing that car to a Bolt or Leaf is extremely difficult. The Leaf, and again I own one and love it, feels like a Nissan Versa that happens to be electric. It has performance to more or less match. Essentially, Nissan said hey, let's do the hybrid "green tax", sell these to all the tree huggers and call it a day.
And that makes sense for them. If the Leaf was an absolute killer product, Nissan could destroy *their own* business if it sells too strongly. They need the transition to be slow and orderly so they can survive it.
They have the problem though that Tesla came along and made a car that isn't just for tree huggers. It happens to be the top performing, safest, and most fun. If the Model 3 was in the Nissan showroom at $35,000, it would dominate their line up and there would be huge trouble with the other 10 or so model lines that create gas cars.
The lack of huge amounts of production means prices stay high on the components and the economy of scale is tougher for them to make. Tesla can afford to shave $2000 off all of their cars and still make more than enough money to weather the tax credit phase out.
Ultimately, if you believe that the world will eventually transition to electric cars, whether that is five years from now or 100 years from now, that transition with these hugely built up businesses whenever it happens will be really rough. If they had no new competitors that were unencumbered by their past, they would probably all survive and it would take 100 years. Instead, we have a very ambitious company leading in insurrection instead, forcing them to do things they don't feel ready for, but the understanding is there that without it, they won't survive. They're killing the credibility of these companies that are saying they simply can't produce (or afford to produce) EVs in a mass market way in the near term because they are already doing it, and the more that those companies don't get on board, the more dangerous it is.
Remember, Williams closed and sold their pinball division not because it was losing money, but because investors were having a hard time trying to figure out how to value the company when they had an old legacy business potentially weighing them down and holding them back. The same valuation issues are starting to be asked about legacy auto. It's why Tesla is generally in the third largest market cap position in the world. Investors are starting to believe that those legacy ICE lines are more of a drag than a benefit, and the more cars that Tesla sells, the tougher all of legacy's position gets.
Quoted from DCFAN:
Unfortunately, since WW2 the Japanese tech companies have been the best at taking other’s ideas and refining them. I seriously doubt the Germans will be better at EVs than the Japanese. That is why companies like Sony/Matsushita/Panasonic/Toyota/Honda have been so successful. Refining things to work properly and reliably without over-engineering them is what engineering should strive to achieve. The German manufacturers have not been so good at that.
The Japanese love of fuel cell technology shows that they can change. Fuel cells are absolutely stupid for a whole slew of reasons, but the most simple one being that you have to create the infrastructure from scratch (we all have electric plugs for cars, they work) and the cheapest fuel cell technology is still light years more expensive than the fastest chargers right now.
The more they invest in that, the more behind they get. Right now, Germany is far ahead of Japan, and German automakers have barely started to notice EVs.
Quoted from Darscot:
Yeah, I guess the debate is more about infrastructure than it is battery tech. 120 volt is basically pointless, I have a wall charger at home but never use it.
I beg to disagree. In three months and two weeks with my car, I have almost exclusively used the wall outlet for it. I have used super chargers three times, only once for a "needed" charge on a trip, and that was for only about 15 minutes. My odometer reads 5671 miles, which means in a day I have averaged about 55 ish miles.
While I charged it a few times on our faster charger right after getting it (mostly to try to coax it into updating the computer as the fast charger is closer to the WiFi signal), it's been happy getting the Wifi signal in the garage lately. I'm not doing any "tricks" to try to keep it on the 120v, but I have now gone since the start of December without plugging it in on the fast charger once. While it rarely gets up to all 267 miles that I have it cut off at overnight during the week (right now, it's charging but at 157 miles), on the weekends when it tends to be plugged in longer, I tend to get it all the way back.
I have been kind of entertaining getting the fast charger just to mount it in the garage and be able to keep the 120v charger with me, but at this time I see no point in spending the money.