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Sunday, January 6, 2019

Tesla: What to Expect in 2019



What does Tesla have in store for us in 2019? We had a list of things to expect for 2018, here are a few from the list that they delivered:
  • Ramping Model 3 production to 5,000+ per week
  • Dual motor Model 3 deliveries
  • Sneak peeks of the Roadster 2020 and Semi as they start road testing
  • New Tesla mobile app with several new features
  • Performance Model 3 deliveries
  • Navigation route following for AutoPilot
  • Announcing locations and perhaps even breaking ground on one or two new Gigafactory locations (They delivered on one of these in Shanghai, China)
  • Delivering their 200,000 US vehicle in July of 2018 triggering the countdown to the start of the tax credit phase-out (They delivered in July, just as we forecasted) 
Tesla delivered the above and more such as when they surprised everyone with the introduction of the Model 3 Mid-Range in 2018.

There were also a few things on our list for last year that they did not deliver:
  • Standard range Model 3 ($35k variant) deliveries 
  • Coast to coast autonomous drive demo
  • Solar roof tile high volume deliveries
  • Megacharger (for Semi) deployments
  • Stop sign \ Traffic light recognition
  • HUD option for Model 3
Should we expect to see any of these leftovers in 2019? I think most of these are have a good chance of occurring this year. The HUD seems to be off the table since we have not heard any mention of it recently. 

What can we add to the list for this year? For this, I'll also borrow from last year's long-range view of ideas:
  • Reveal event for Model Y (where the Tesla pickup might be the surprise "one more thing")
  • Model S and X interior redesign to bring it up to snuff with the Model 3 minimalist design 
  • Model S and X moving to the 2170 cell architecture 
  • If Model S and X move to 2170 cells, this could bring more range, faster 0-60, & faster charging 
  • Improved voice commands that reduce the need to use the touchscreen for many settings
  • First deliveries of the Tesla Semi (low volume/beta) 
For our 2018 list, these were listed as coming in 2019 or later. Will they happen in 2019? Tesla has to bring Model Y, Pickup, Semi, & Roadster to market, bring Giga 3 online, locate Giga 4, all while growing the Supercharger network. That is a lot on their plate. Redesigning the battery and interior of the Model S & X effectively makes them new vehicles. They may want to stick with the current 18650 and interior for one more year.

As a side note: When the Model S and X move to the 2170 cell, do you think they will move to the "Standard Range/Long Range" badging, or do you think they'll stay with the kWh nomenclature?



A few new things to add to the list that we may see in 2019: 
  • When the standard range Model 3 is introduced, initially you'll only be able to order it with the premium interior and glass roof; this will keep the average selling price up and allow them to be sold profitably
  • AutoPilot Hardware 3
  • Model 3 leasing (This is one of Tesla's primary demand levers)
  • Supercharger V3 (and we find out that under ideal conditions the Model 3 can charge faster than 120kW)  
  • Another US price reduction in July 2019 as the tax credit halves again (perhaps $1000 this time)
  • Model 3 orders/deliveries start in Europe and China
  • European Gigafactory location announced / groundbreaking
  • The mid-range Model 3 discontinued soon after the standard range is introduced (after all it is called the Lemar (LEMR) b/c it is a limited edition)
For completeness, I'll include a few things I don't expect to see from Tesla in 2019:
  • Full self-driving
  • TeslaTunes streaming music service
  • Tesla Network ridesharing service
Following Tesla, there are always surprises. You never know when Elon Musk is going to launch a car into space, tweet about drilling tunnels, sell (not a) flamethrowers, or build a 50s style diner with food delivery via roller skates.

What surprises do you expect from Tesla in 2019?

http://ts.la/patrick7819