Tesla Model 3 To Be Mostly New Technology (JB Straubel Presentation)

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Originally published on EV Obsession.

Tesla’s Chief Technology Officer, JB Straubel, recently revealed that the Model 3 will make use of mostly new technology — rather than simply reusing many of the technologies used in the Model S sedan and the Model X SUV.

The interesting comments came during a recent presentation (October 11th) at the University of Nevada – Reno — where he stated that new motor technology would be used, as well as new battery technology, etc. (Thanks to “aronth5” on the Tesla Motors Club forum for this.)

A transcription of the comments in question was provided (for those not wanting to watch the video) by “AudubonB” on the forum: “We’re inventing a whole new platform: it’s a new battery architecture, it’s a new motor technology — brand new vehicle structure…so it’s a lot of work. This is something we started on even a few years ago. But it is a brand new vehicle — and it has to be.”

Presumably some of the basics of the Tesla interface will be reused, despite the change in functional technology — though I could be wrong.

Considering the need to trim manufacturing costs as much as possible in order to meet the pricing goals set by the company’s execs, the move makes quite a lot of sense — how else to profitably sell Model 3s at the price that we have been told it will retail for?

A final note here, “tonybelding” caught this humorous line from Straubel concerning the Model X: “This is a sport utility vehicle that we’ve built on the same platform as Model S, so we were able to do it relatively quickly….”

Relatively quickly, huh? I’m not gonna complain here, because the quality standards that the company holds itself to are clearly a good thing, but one wonders how he could say that about the Model X development. I wonder if we should take this as a sign with regard to Model 3 deadlines?

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James Ayre

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

James Ayre has 4830 posts and counting. See all posts by James Ayre

10 thoughts on “Tesla Model 3 To Be Mostly New Technology (JB Straubel Presentation)

  • Another great talk by JB. I’m surprised they are building the 3 from the ground up from scratch. Seems like it would be more cost effective to reuse as much as possible but hey, they are the experts, not me 🙂

    • There’s nothing to really re-use. They are creating a supply chain from nothing. They ARE the supply chain for EVs.

      When other car makers want to make an EV, they go talk to Tesla Motors about parts sourcing.

      Elon is a master of sourcing parts and creating supply chains. Creating a supply chain for a rocket company from the ground up is harder and you get to share components with your EV company.

      People always forget about SpaceX being nearly 100% vertically integrated.

      • I bet they are reusing some of the engineers. 😉 Batteries are still expensive, so an efficient design is very important This car is going to be smaller, and less expensive, so the design criteria will be very different. And, Elon is always looking to do something cool, and different, which also has to be designed in. It’s my dream car, which is stupid, cause I haven’t even seen it yet.

  • One thing I found very interesting, is that they didn’t run a gas line, and then just figured it out. That reexamination especially before construction, allows interesting, and sometimes better solutions to be put into place.

    • Yes! He said they purposefully put themselves in the no-gas box (for giga factory) so they’d be forced to come up with other solutions.. That kind of forward thinking just blows my mind.

  • Let’s get the date clear. The lecture was given on October 11, 2015.

    If someone wants to understand what Tesla is doing this is a good source. What might be nice is an edited down version that wouldn’t take so long to watch.

    • I think it gives the best over view of Tesla, where it came from, where it’s going, and why that I have seen. It’s a must see video – you won’t be bored. And for those who find Elon too much of a showman, Straubel isn’t. He’s direct and plain spoken – but the passion for what he’s doing comes through clearly.

  • The pricing, functionality, and release year are aspirations. We have no idea how close Tesla will get to them. Maybe they’ll overshoot. The car will arrive next year, be $20,000, and have a 500 mile range.

    • I wish them well and plan to buy one but If you’re taking bets on those numbers, I’m in 🙂

  • So hoping to get a model 3. Glad to hear progress is marching on. Start at 25 mins for info on the Model 3

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