Don't make any improvements?
That is not Tesla.
Tesla’s next key car, Model Y, will be released soon, no surprise, this will be our last analysis of it before the release of Model Y.
For Tesla, Model Y is crucial.
If you are a car company, your annual sales volume will reach 100,000, 1 million and 10 million. The capacity scale, R&D strength and supply chain voice are completely different.
From 2012 to 2017, Tesla achieved annual sales of Model S and Model X at 100,000 units. With the addition of Model 3 in 2018, Tesla’s annual sales reached 300,000 units. Even so, the average price of Tesla products is high, and the Model 3 standard version has not been put into production. Tesla is still a standard luxury car manufacturer.
It is impossible to ensure that the luxury model can continue to lead. Tesla needs to achieve more sales, stronger research and development capabilities, greater scale effect, and a big gap with competitors. The first step in doing all this is to first achieve 1 million sales.
Model Y is the key car for Tesla to achieve 1 million annual sales.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk said at the 2018 earnings conference that the midsize SUV market is the most popular market worldwide. The market demand for Model Y may be 50% or even 100% higher than Model 3.
This sentence is supported by data. The following is the sales statistics of the US passenger car market in November 2018 organized by Cleantechnica.
It can be seen that Model 3, which sold 18,000 vehicles per month, ranked sixth, and was the only one in the top 20 with an average price of US$60,000.
Once the model is extended to the entire light vehicle market, the Model 3 ranking immediately fell to the 17th place, while the Top 5 was seen to be occupied by two pickups and three medium-sized SUVs. The first Ford F-series pickups were single-monthly. Sales have approached Tesla’s quarterly sales.
Here you can understand why, in the past year’s earnings conference, when it comes to Tesla electric pickups and Model Y, Elon will sweep away the haze of “capacity hell”, and the eyes will be brighter and the speech will be more stuttering. I guess he has been immersed in the joy of winning the light car sales champion two years ahead of schedule.
Not to mention the Chinese market, Model Y will undoubtedly be the most popular Tesla model for Chinese consumers. How big is the medium-sized SUV market in China? This problem needs to be seen like this. Except for Weilai and the car and the home, almost all the new car companies are getting together to make medium-sized SUVs, which is very telling.
In addition, the global SUV market is also the main SUV market for BBA to make money on a global scale.
Before laying out the details, first draw a rough outline of the Model Y. Tesla is the leader in the smart electric vehicle market and is responsible for defining the rules of the game. In the field of vehicle safety, three power, automatic assisted driving, and intelligent, it is the key to the intelligent electric SUV in Tesla’s eyes.
Of course, for Tesla’s traditional weaknesses, such as workmanship, quality control, reliability, even Model Y, I still don’t expect too much.
Therefore, Model Y will bring us many engineering innovations and technological innovations. This is Tesla’s masterpiece, but for the reliability, process quality and other indicators that require time and experience, it can be foreseen that it will be as difficult as ever. This is what I can think of as Model Y.
Elon has a famous saying: Engineering is true magic. In the Demy Model Y, we have talked a lot about Elon’s ideas about Model Y innovation. Now, I have a good news and a bad news to share.
Let’s start with the bad news, that is, in the past six months, Elon has never mentioned the innovation of Model Y and the excitement and excitement of the product details.
Let’s review Model 3. Around 2017, Q1, Tesla’s ambitious fully automated factory, Alien Dreadnought, has been in operation for some time, but Model 3 has not yet been put into production, and a lot of problems have not yet been revealed.
According to the original plan, the fully automatic production line of Model 3 is called Dreadnought 0.5, and the Model Y production line will be upgraded to Dreadnought 3.0. At the 2017 Q1 earnings meeting, the project progressed smoothly and Elon’s confidence in the fully automated factory expanded.
This will achieve "real crazy" efficiency gains, which can be very difficult for other automakers. If I am in their position, I don't know how to deal with it.
Also during that period, he sent a Twitter saying that the Model Y harness would drop to 100 meters, only 1/15 of Model 3.
What happened behind us, Bernstein Research assessed that Tesla had spent $2 billion on Model 3’s Dreadnought 0.5, and the final capacity was still far below expectations, and Tesla suffered a major failure.
Model Y’s product innovations and fully automated line upgrades are in line. At the 2017 Q1 earnings conference, Elon mentioned the need for technological innovation. Model Y will be built on a new platform and a new factory, both of which have now undergone major adjustments.
Model Y will be built on the Model 3 platform, but in stark contrast to Model S/X, Model 3/Y’s component reuse rate will be as high as 76%. Model X has a Falcon main control module, four door modules and three body control modules plus a large number of sensors to greatly reduce the overall component reuse rate even when the powertrain and chassis are basically the same. The Model S/X has only 30% component reuse.
Model 3/Y’s 76% component reuse rate means that the previously rumored Eagle Wing door is no longer expected to appear on Model Y.
In addition, the plan to set up a new plant for Model Y has been cancelled and the Model Y line will be located directly in the Gigafactory 1 in Nevada.
The Gigafactory 1 features a Model 3/Y battery pack and powertrain production line. According to Elon, the vehicle production line is located next to the battery pack and powertrain production line. Enter the entire vehicle line to minimize project execution risk while reducing parts shipping costs from California to Nevada.
The target announced in the earnings report is that Model Y’s unit capacity expenditure will drop to 1/2 of Model 3, while Tesla’s internal target is to reduce it to 1/4 of Model 3’s unit capacity.
The background here is that Elon has been extremely tightly controlling Tesla’s capital expenditures since Q3’s profitability in 2018. A very key indicator in the 2019 guidance given at the earnings conference is that Tesla will continue its profitability in the second half of 2018 and achieve profitability and sustainable positive free cash flow in the four quarters of 2019.
This reflects Tesla’s management’s rethinking and disruption of the Model 3 automated production line.
We have previously put forward a point: The biggest difference between Tesla and China’s new car companies is that as the forerunner of the entire smart electric vehicle industry, Tesla has carried out research and development of a large number of cutting-edge basic technologies, while giving products super competitive. There are also costly sunk costs.
Taking Model 3 capacity as an example, the total investment of 2 billion US dollars has put Tesla’s finance under tremendous pressure, which directly led to two large-scale layoffs and a full contraction of service expenditure.
Therefore, Tesla’s product-centric, broad-based engineering and technological innovations have not changed, but in the future, all of this will go back to a reasonable cost structure.
If you look at it this way, considering the product positioning of the Affordable SUV (economical SUV), radical innovations such as the structure of the eagle-wing door and the interior of the instrument panel will be hard to appear on the Model Y. More likely, Ta is A Model 3 that pulls up the body and is taller and fatter.
Does this mean that Model Y is a model that lacks innovation? It depends on how you look at the problem.
To some extent, the slowdown in Model Y comes from Model 3 running too fast.
Believe it or not, Model 3’s product strength is already strong enough for consumers to give up on functionality. Below is the Model 3 owner replacement ratio announced in Tesla’s 2018 annual financial report.
We are seeing that a significant number of Model 3 buyers are trading down in size from a larger car or a SUV to a Model 3.
This table illustrates the market appeal of Model 3 as a midsize sedan. On the other hand, we can see that the replacement ratio of Van and Pick up to Model 3 in the figure is counted down, and the burden of transforming this part of the user falls on Model Y is on the body.
If you say that the advanced nature of the product is not convincing enough with strong market appeal, you can look at the Model 3 in the eyes of practitioners.
The German Manager Magazine reported that Audi and Porsche engineers reverse engineered Model 3.
The Porsche and Audi engineers have to change the PPE, because Tesla’s Model 3 has gotten better than they thought.
The so-called PPE, which is Premium Platform Electric, the pure electric platform developed by Porsche and Audi. The problem is that the first model under the PPE platform was put into production in 2020-2021, and the Model 3 has threatened the model for the next year?
In other words, the Model 3 innovation is so radical that Model Y has enough product strength even without any improvements.
Don’t make any improvements? That is not Tesla.
The three electric machines are divided into motor, battery and electric control.
Motors, following the rules of the Model S/X, Tesla does not differentiate between cars and SUVs in the powertrain layer. Coupled with the fact that the Model 3’s dual-motor power is not fully released, there is little pressure to meet the Model Y flagship’s 250km/h sustainable speed and the 3-second club’s 100km acceleration.
Therefore, Model Y will be equipped with the Model 3 new generation of permanent magnet & asynchronous motors.
In the battery section, Tesla is likely to put some really impressive technology into Model Y.
On February 5, 2019, Tesla announced the acquisition of Maxwell for a premium of $215 million.
It is worth noting that at the Tesla Annual General Meeting of Shares on June 5, 2018, Elon mentioned that Tesla had some breakthroughs in battery energy density and cost, and it is expected that battery costs will fall in the next two years. At $100/kWh, battery energy density will increase by 30% in the next 2-3 years.
Does “breakthrough progress” here mean that Tesla is already doing technical verification with Maxwell? If this guess is true, it means that Tesla is likely to commercialize dry electrode battery technology in the Model 3 Standard Edition battery. Even if the challenges in this process exceed expectations, by the time the Model Y of Q3 is put into production in 2020, there is no suspense in the implementation of dry battery electrode technology.
Let’s share some details of dry electrode technology. Maxeu material scientist and DBE (Dry Battery Electrode) R&D director Hieu Duong published a paper in 2018 detailing the basic application and validation of dry electrode technology in existing lithium-ion batteries.
Simply put, the DBE coated electrode technology has three advantages over the wet-coated electrodes of conventional slurry casting.
The first part of the thesis is not developed. It mainly introduces the three major aspects of DBE technology, including solvent-free powder, film manufacturing process and partial basic technology. But there is one sentence that is very critical: this report applies a large number of mainstream battery anode materials such as lithium titanate (LTO) cathode material nickel cobalt manganese (NCM) nickel cobalt aluminum (NCA) lithium iron phosphate (LFP) and various sulfur / The carbon-silicon composite demonstrates the robustness and scalability of the dry cell electrode process.
The following is the discharge voltage curve of the NCM 811 dry electrode and the silicon carbon negative electrode. The silicon carbon negative electrode exhibits unique electrochemical characteristics at about 0.5V, and the battery energy density is significantly improved.
Comparative test of NCM111 cathode, conventional wet coated electrode of graphite anode and Maxwell dry electrode: The dry electrode exhibits higher discharge power at the same 105mah battery capacity.
The 100% charge and discharge cycle test was performed at a rate of 0.5 C/1 C charge/discharge: after 2000 cycles, the capacity of the battery was still as high as nearly 90% of the initial value.
In a word, the dry electrode battery has a 15-50% improvement over the various indicators of the Model 2’s 2170 battery. The above is the key information of the paper. In the Maxwell Investor Report on January 16, 2019, the technical breakthrough based on this paper was organized into more specific technical indicators.
Why do we have an optimistic attitude towards Tesla’s production of dry electrode battery technology for Model Y, because once the dry electrode technology of the mainstream positive and negative materials on the market is almost put into production, the advanced technology is not exclusive to Model Y. All energy storage products under Tesla’s full range of models and energy businesses will benefit.
From this perspective, even if Elon is fully contracted in terms of sunk costs for sustainable profitability, it will not be easy to invest in reasonable R&D.
From the past product rules of Tesla, it can be seen that if the Model S flagship can be upgraded from P85 RWD in 2012 to P100D in August 2016, the battery specification of Model 3/Y Performance will be difficult to stay forever. Available capacity is 75 kWh.
Considering that the 100-kilometer acceleration of a pure electric vehicle is directly related to the discharge power of the battery pack, and the motor power of the Model 3/Y matched with the current battery pack is excessive, the acceleration of the two models in the future will enter the club of 3 seconds or even 2 seconds. Not impossible.
Always believe that good things are about to happen.
Tesla’s vehicle safety is nothing to say, but if you open the revised Tesla US official website, you will find that the first product introduction page of the three cars is safe for the whole car. This is the Tesla team. Do what the product pays the most attention to.
Then let’s talk briefly
On October 7, 2018, the Tesla team released a blog: Model 3 is the highest safety and lowest probability of injury among the 943 five-star safety models tested by NHTSA (National Highway Administration) since 2011. The second and third are Model S and Model X, respectively.
In the 2018 Q3 earnings conference call, Tesla Chief Security Engineer Madan Gopal elaborated on Tesla’s understanding of security.
I want to say a little more, how do we view driving safety? This has always been Elon's biggest concern. You can see how the Model 3 responds to a positive center impact, which was not part of the new car crash test rating. What I want to say is that we will go beyond the new car crash test standards to ensure the safety of the car, which is very important to us.
For Model Y, some of the previous experience, including infinitely close to 50:50 weight ratio, ultra-low center of gravity design, and specially designed airbag layout will be used on Model Y for a high probability. Therefore, the five-star safety model, There is no need to worry about the performance of Model Y.
In terms of active security, Autopilot is a topic that cannot be avoided. Although all of Elon’s public statements today tend to be conservative, AP’s promised features are always on the bounce, but since the AP 2.0 model was launched in October 2016, its progress over the past two years has been obvious to all. Model Y will undoubtedly come standard with AP 3.0. In addition to the AI chip without suspense, it is more likely to expect an update of the sensor kit.
Based on the past improvement efficiency, and then give the AP team 18 months, when Model Y goes into production, we have reason to believe that Tesla can handle full-time automatic driving in high-speed scenes (not that policies and regulations are in place). ).
Having said that, I still have to look at the appearance of Model Y.
As mentioned earlier, Model Y is the first product under the new strategy, and will not make big radical design and engineering innovation. On the one hand, it is for cost control, on the other hand, it is also due to Model 3 being sufficiently advanced.
Without a surprise, the final form of Ta and these imaginary maps will not be much different.
This is Tesla Model Y, goodbye at our release conference.