Debunking Tesla-Killers journalism

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Debunking Tesla-Killers journalism

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Accused “Tesla Killers” Cleared Of All Charges
January 5th, 2019  Charles Morris

Audi e-tron Quattro concept on display at the Frankfurt Auto Show (Image via
(charts)  Between January and October of this year, Bloomberg reports that
Tesla’s “Model 3 is now more popular than the entry-level luxury offerings
of Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz combined.” (Source: Bloomberg, via InsideEVs)

video  dated
Let's Talk About Tesla "Killers!"
Marques Brownlee  Published on Nov 30, 2018

The myth of the “Tesla Killer” is a tempting one for mainstream journalists,
who have learned that any article with the word “Tesla” in the headline,
especially a negative one, is a sure-fire click generator.

On the face of it, the thesis is sound: any major automaker that decided to
get serious about selling (not just producing) EVs could use its advantages
in economies of scale and access to capital to bury tiny Tesla. However,
those of us who follow the EV market closely have never considered this a
serious threat to the California carmaker. The would-be killers may have the
weapons and the opportunity, but they lack the motive.

Tesla exists only to sell EVs, whereas legacy brands are producing EVs
mainly because of pressure from government regulators (and increasingly, in
response to competition from Tesla), and have shown a notable lack of
interest in selling them in volume. The reasons for this are becoming
apparent, as one carmaker after another concedes that it expects
electrification to take a huge bite out of the record profits the industry
has been enjoying for the past several years. The companies understand that
the transition is inevitable, but it’s one that they’re in no hurry to make,
and this fact is starting to sink in with auto analysts and the media.

As Simon Alvarez, writing in Teslarati, puts it, “With legacy automakers
revealing their highly-anticipated Tesla competitors, and with each company
running into challenges of their own, analysts are starting to retire the
myth of the Tesla Killer.” Alvarez cites the examples of Toni Sacconaghi of
Bernstein, a known Tesla skeptic, who recently stated that Model 3 faces “no
credible competition” from legacy auto until at least 2020; and Berenberg
Analyst Alexander Haissl, who reiterated a Buy rating on TSLA with a $500
price target, saying that fears of competition are “overblown.” Another
convert is Andrew Left of Citron Research, formerly an outspoken TSLA short
seller, who recently said, “there is NO Tesla killer. Competition is nowhere
to be found, and no electric vehicle is slated to launch at the Model 3
price point until 2021.”

Editor’s note: We here at CleanTechnica reported on the Tesla Model 3
surpassing the luxury car competition before anyone else — though, I’m sure
others had their eyes on the inevitability.

Additional evidence of the Tesla Killers’ innocence was presented in a
recent report from Hamburg-based Berenberg Bank (via Forbes). “Tesla Inc
will shrug off what was once thought to be the existential competitive
electric car threat from the Germans because of its lead in range, design,
engineering, and cost,” wrote Berenberg analyst Alexander Haissl. “Tesla has
already demonstrated its ability to outcompete incumbents and their ICE
vehicles despite a higher price, as consumers are willing to pay a premium
for a better product.”

Berenberg thinks the German and British EV-makers will face a pricing
problem. “Newly launched EVs by traditional [manufacturers] will come to the
market at a close to 80% purchase price premium before subsidies compared to
their ICE counterparts, without offering meaningful incremental benefits to
the consumer. Consumers’ willingness to pay such a premium could turn out to
be limited, which puts the competitive position of these EVs at risk,”
Haissl said.

The unfavorable market dynamic isn’t the only oil slick in Big Auto’s lane.
Other attempts to take on Tesla have undergone a few unforeseen

 - Mercedes recently announced that the EQC, intended to be a competitor for
Model X, will have a gradual rollout thanks to concerns over the vehicle’s
battery and other electric powertrain components.

 - Audi has also had to delay the release of its new e-tron, due to issues
with the vehicle’s software and with battery provider LG Chem, which may be
getting ready to raise its prices (as reported by German news magazine
Bild). Audi also lost face when it revealed that it plans to make the e-tron
a special order in the US.

 - Reviews of Jaguar’s I-PACE are coming in, and most agree that it’s a fine
vehicle, but that it falls short of Model X in terms of efficiency, range
and charging speed.

 - GM has decided to completely shut down production of its acclaimed Chevy
Volt as of March 2019.

 - Amid the scandal involving CEO Carlos Ghosn, Nissan has postponed the
much-anticipated launch of its long-range Leaf.

 - BMW’s board member in charge of development has admitted he expects 85%
of the company’s cars will still have internal combustion engines in 2030.

 - Porsche’s vaunted Taycan is expected to be a money-loser, and the company
expects line-level workers to share the pain. A Porsche exec recently said
employees at the Taycan’s planned factory would have to give up regular
salary increases for the next few years.

Along with legacy automakers, MKBHD also looks at some of the new, so-called
“Tesla Killers” getting a lot of buzz (YouTube: Marques Brownlee)

Tesla has a technical lead of several years on the legacy automakers, an
advantage Teslarati’s Alvarez ascribes to “Elon Musk’s long-term play on
electric car batteries and the company’s vertical integration.” Tesla’s
policy of producing its own battery cells with partner Panasonic spares it
the problems currently plaguing Audi and Mercedes. The Apple-like
integration of Tesla’s hardware and software creates a unified user
experience, and helps to avoid the sort of issues that Jaguar is facing with
the I-PACE.

[video  dated
Dear Tesla Killers...
Teslanomics with Ben Sullins
Published on Sep 18, 2018
The goal is to reduce carbon emissions. EVs do that anywhere from 40-85%
plus give you all kinds of remarkable benefits:
 - You can charge at home overnight
 - Instant torque, crazy fast acceleration

   - Batteries lasting over 500,000mi
   - Simple motors rated over 1M miles
   - Lower cost of ownership

Instead of using those as advantages, you try to build the car on the same
chassis as your other models. You give it a weird look versus making
something beautiful. You ignore the two most essential parts, batteries, and

Why is it taking so long - You talked shit to Tesla bout being slow, why
aren't you able to bring these to market until 2020 or later - Is it you are
half-assing it or is it that making these cars is harder than you thought
and your team can't do it?

Let me break it down for you -
    - You need 300mi+ to compete TODAY
    - in 2020 you'll need 350mi+

The cars need to be beautiful and not feel strange or futuristic
The software inside needs to be akin to a smartphone, same capabilities but

You need a fast charging network to enable long-distance travel. Elon has
said you can use theirs, so do it

And when you do a "launch" here are the three things you need to publish
 1 - Range
 2 - Price
 3 - Availability

People don't buy Tesla's because they want to save the planet, they buy them
because they're the best damn cars on the market. And you're in more trouble
than you know, the top 5 vehicles people are trading in for a 50K Tesla all
cost under 20K brand new.

No matter what you do, Tesla will survive, and you're helping them by
putting out high priced alternatives that are half as good. By you making
EVs mainstream and acceptable to those that may have been adverse to them in
the past, you're opening up your customers to the EV space and my guess is
once they start shopping around they'll realize Tesla is still the best game
in town.

So enough with the Tesla Killer bullshit, we all should be rooting for Tesla
to succeed.

They're forcing the industry to go electric, and as you've stated publicly
that's the future of transportation, so you can either be a part of that or
try to resist, but change will come. I sincerely hope you can do better and
make this market competitive because right now all I see are half-ass
attempts at this which are going to sell a lot of Teslas

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MKBHD: EV journalism

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% In the past I've posted my displeasure with some media outlets'
journalists reporting their EV-ignorance and biased opinions about EVs. So,
some might have mistakenly thought, 'Oh brucedp does like any of them'.

I am pleased to say that the video on
 (and below) produced by Marques Brownlee (MKBHD) was impressive.

Further viewing of MKBHD's other work (below) shows he can hold his own
either with a live interview with Musk, as well as a Tesla Factory walk
through. MKBHD is an EV owner and driver, but he is also into many other
'techie' topics (see his youtube link below).

Bottom line: I'm impressed with this astute young man. I feel good that
there are sharp young journalists like this that will be around to report
more of the EV truth after I'm gone/have-passed
(explore links below).

[videos  dated
Let's Talk About Tesla "Killers!"
Marques Brownlee  Published on Nov 30, 2018
The truth about Rivian, Faraday Future, Lucid Air, and the rest.
Talking Tech with Elon Musk!
Marques Brownlee  Published on Aug 17, 2018
Talking Tesla, tech and the future with Elon Musk.
Tesla Factory Tour with Elon Musk!
Marques Brownlee  Published on Aug 20, 2018
Walking and talking through the Tesla factory
Marques Brownlee


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