Posted on March 11, 2016 by Matt Pressman
Limited information is available about the forthcoming Tesla Model 3. Some in the Tesla community believe it will be a "mini Model S" with many Tesla-family design traits. But, from what we've gathered thus far, there will be distinctive differences. It is projected to be 20% smaller than the Model S (about the size of an Audi A4) with 200 miles of range and a $35,000 price point. With incentives, the Model 3 price could drop as low as $25,000. Now, this week, commentary from Wall Street analyst Trip Chowdhry of Global Equities Research offers up some intriguing Tesla Model 3 predictions.
According to Benzinga*, "The official unveiling will be March 31, 2016, in Hawthorne, California, and according to recent research Chowdhry gathered after attending numerous Deep Learning Hackathons, the Autonomous Driving Symposium, the Material Science Symposium and the Battery Technology Summit, production and deliveries for the Model 3 are likely to be on schedule." And with Tesla Motors known to have a tendency to deliver behind schedule, why would he predict on-time deliveries for Model 3? Chowdhry explained that, "Since Tesla Model 3 will be built using steel instead of aluminum, the production and deliveries for late 2017 will very likely be on schedule."
Chowdhry elaborates that the Model 3 will have a, "completely different vehicle architecture – both the chassis and the battery chemistry – hence will have different power density and energy density trade off." And, unlike the: "Model S, the Model 3 body and chassis will be completely built of steel as opposed to aluminum. Chowdhry highlighted the key advantages of steel over aluminum as being the lower production equipment costs, the lower worker training/skill needed to work/operate steel, the lower compensation and cost savings of steel workers versus aluminum workers, and the lower repair costs.”
In contrast, according to this informative "raw materials" infographic (see below) released this week, the Tesla Model S uses mostly "Bauxite - the Model S body and chassis are built almost entirely of aluminum, which comes from bauxite ore... Total aluminum: 410 lbs (190kg)." The infographic does shows limited use of: "High-strength boron steel [that] is used to reinforce the aluminum at critical safety points... [and] the stationary piece of the engine, the stator, is [also] made from both copper and steel." It will be interesting to see how the balance/mix of raw materials differs for the forthcoming Model 3. What other raw materials go into a Tesla Model S? Be sure to check out this infographic; click the red button below to enlarge the infographic...