Tesla Ready to Open Shop in European After Winning Regulatory Approval

This comes after months of controversial behavior by Tesla head Elon Musk—including smoking marijuana on a live podcast with Joe Rogan—has …

This week, Tesla won approval from Dutch auto regulators to sell the Tesla Model 3 to the European market which many hope will begin to turn things around for Elon Musk’s electric vehicle manufacturer after a string of bad news for the company.

Tesla Model 3’s Are Coming to Europe

According to MarketWatch, the Netherlands Vehicle Authority (NVA) approved the sales of Tesla Model 3’s to the European Market after Tesla satisfied regulators that the Model 3 met the requirements for cars in the European Union. The NVA has governing regulatory authority over cars sold in the European Union as a whole.

Tesla had been expecting approval and has been getting ready by opening pre-orders for European customers last month. Electrek reported last week that Tesla has already begun shipping Model 3’s overseas.

A Good Time For Good News

In recent weeks, Tesla has been dogged by negative press and company restructuring that has spooked some investors.

Recently announcing that they would be laying off 7% of its workforce as a cost control measure has not reassured investors who have been waiting for Tesla to break out in a big way. Layoffs are not usually a healthy sign for a company.

This comes after months of controversial behavior by Tesla head Elon Musk—including smoking marijuana on a live podcast with Joe Rogan—has given investors concerns about the leadership at the top of the company.

Production challenges have come to define the Model 3, fairly or unfairly, so add all of this together and Tesla has had a very rough year, all things considered.

High Expectations for Tesla Sales in European Market

Recently, plug-in electric vehicle sales in Europe have soared 24% over 2018. With the phase-out of some hybrid vehicles and more options for a customer base that has long suffered under high gas prices, the surge in electric vehicles is to be expected and shouldn’t be overstated, but Tesla has high expectations for the European market.

Already, Tesla expects to sell 100,000 Model 3’s in Europe this year alone. Pre-orders have been high since Tesla began taking them last month and they expect to ship 3,000 Model 3’s to Europe every week through February.

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Analysts are predicting that Tesla may break with the trend of other automakers who are anticipating a rough 2019. Jeffries analyst Philippe Houchois says that “Tesla is one of the few [manufacturers] likely to grow earnings in 2019-20.”

Morgan Stanley’s Adam Jonas adds “[Tesla] sees Europe as a very significant market opportunity given the premium market is twice the size of the U.S. one. [Tesla] believes consumer awareness in Europe has significant headroom to improve and sees Germany as the most likely location for a local production facility,”

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Tesla’s Model 3 EV Cleared For European Deliveries As Supercharger Pricing Amps Up

Then, Elon Musk announced that the company would be cutting its workforce by 7 percent in order to increase probability – this came after the …
model 3 2model 3 2

There’s been a rash of negativity swirling around Tesla in the past week. First, the company announced that it was killing its referral program, which gave Model S, Model X, and Model 3 owners sweet prizes (including free Tesla Roadsters). Then, Elon Musk announced that the company would be cutting its workforce by 7 percent in order to increase probability – this came after the company increased its headcount by 30 percent in 2018.

But in a bit of good news for company, Tesla says that its Model 3 has now been given the go-ahead for sales in Europe. Now that the initial rush of buyers in the United States has died down a bit (customers in the U.S. can now get a new custom-ordered Model 3 in a matter of weeks instead of months), opening up the floodgates in Europe is another potential big source of revenue for the company.

model 3 1model 3 1

By expanding its footprint, Elon Musk is bringing his company’s sleek electric sedan right on the doorstep of the big German three: BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi. All three German automakers have announced rival electric vehicles to counter Tesla, but none have the breadth of models, long-range capacity or widespread availably of fast chargers (a la Superchargers).

Interestingly enough, with over 115,000 units sold during 2018, the Model 3 was the best-selling “luxury” vehicle in the U.S. It outsold perennial best-sellers like the BMW 3-Series, Mercedes C-Class and Lexus ES.

“[Elon Musk] is creating an entirely new segment of vehicles. And by that, I don’t view Tesla products as luxury products,” said Toyota Motor North America CEO Jim Lentz earlier this month. “Those of us who only separate the world between luxury and non-luxury, we’re missing the point. Tesla has created this new category of a technology-driven product.”

Die Invasion beginnt. Tausende @Tesla Model 3 machen sich gerade auf den Weg nach Europa. Bald werden es zehntausende, hunderttausende, Millionen sein. Und die deutsche Automobilindustrie schaut hilflos zu. 🦕💥☠️ pic.twitter.com/ojHE5cRCdN

— Somehow, we lost. 💥🚙 (@somehowwelost) January 11, 2019

Tesla says that the first deliveries of Model 3 EVs will land in Europe in February. In the tweet above, you can see the initial shipment of vehicles being loaded into a cargo ship to make the long trip by sea. In the U.S., the Model 3 is priced from $44,000, but it will start at 58,800 euros ($66,800) in Europe.

In other Tesla news, Tesla is jacking up Supercharger pricing across the globe by as much a 33 percent. Electrek reports that Tesla used to set Supercharger pricing on a state or regional basis. Now, however, the company is setting prices individually per charging station, making for some wildly fluctuation rates for those seeking a “fuel up” during long-distance travel. The publication cites downtown NYC rates going from $0.24 per kWh to $0.32 per kWh. In some California locations, the rates went from $0.26 to as high as $0.36 per kWh.

model 3 3model 3 3

The higher prices make topping off your Tesla on-the-go more closely approach the cost of filling up your typical gasoline-ending vehicle (especially with average nationwide gasoline prices hovering around the $2.22 mark). However, Tesla is making this move to help improve margins and to help fund Supercharger expansion across the globe.

And Tesla would likely point out that most of its customers charge at home overnight where they would pay much lower rates from their power utility, while reserving Supercharging only for long-distance ventures.

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Tesla Model 3 vs. Honda Accord … Flying Tesla Roadster … Tesla 75D Vehicles vs …

… Tesla Model S = 37% of Large Luxury Car Sales in 2018 in USA* — #CleanTechnica Electric Car Sales Report · Elon Musk Is Giving My Generation …
Cars

Published on January 19th, 2019 | by Zachary Shahan

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January 19th, 2019 by


The top, most popular, most clicked stories of the past week here on CleanTechnica were about the Tesla Model 3, Tesla Roadster 2, Tesla Supercharging, Tesla Model S, other electric vehicles coming to invade Europe, the cost-competitiveness of solar + storage, and more. Scroll through the headlines and click the links to find out more and to read any stories you might have missed in the 100 articles we published last week.

  1. Comparing Tesla Model 3 To Honda Accord — From An Engineer’s Perspective — #CleanTechnica Review
  2. Elon Says Tesla Roadster Will Do ¼ Mile In Under 8 Seconds — #Plaid
  3. Tesla Supercharger V3 vs. Taycan Charging: 75D Retirement Suggests Battle Prep
  4. European Electric Vehicle Invasion — Winners, Big Winners, & Champions — #CleanTechnica Report
  5. Solar + Storage Half The Cost Of Gas Peaker Plants — 8MinuteEnergy
  6. Mullen Technologies Opens Reservations For Limited 300-Mile Qiantu K50
  7. More Tesla Model 3 Sales In 2018 Than All Plug-in Hybrids Combined (USA) — #CleanTechnica Electric Car Sales Report
  8. Trump Flips — Changes His Mind On Electric Vehicles (For The Moment). Now EVs Are “A Big Win!”
  9. A New Wave Of Electric Vehicles: The Startups Challenging The Status Quo
  10. Coming To America In 2019 — Compliance Cars Only — #CleanTechnica Report
  11. EV Charging Usage Patterns: Convenience, Accessibility, & Reliability — #CleanTechnica Report
  12. Researchers Create A 3D Printing Process That Is 100 Times Faster Than Normal
  13. Tesla Model S = 37% of Large Luxury Car Sales in 2018 in USA* — #CleanTechnica Electric Car Sales Report
  14. Elon Musk Is Giving My Generation Its Future Back. Let’s Not Lose It Again.
  15. All The Good News About Renewable Energy — From The US Department Of Energy
  16. The New Jack Rabbit Mobility eBike Provides A Compact Solution #CES2019
  17. Used Tesla Model 3 Prices … Big Oil vs. EVs … Model Y Rumors — #CleanTechnica Top 20
  18. Renault Zoe Pulls French EV Market To New Heights — #CleanTechnica Electric Car Sales Report
  19. Innovative Tesla Model 3 Seat Lock Aims To Reduce Break-Ins
  20. What Changed In The Solar Industry In December? — #CleanTechnica Report

Tags:, , , , ,

About the Author

Zach is tryin’ to help society help itself (and other species). He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor. He’s also the president of Important Media and the director/founder of EV Obsession and Solar Love. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, and Canada. Zach has long-term investments in TSLA, FSLR, SPWR, SEDG, & ABB — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in these particular companies and feels like they are good cleantech companies to invest in. But he offers no professional investment advice and would rather not be responsible for you losing money, so don’t jump to conclusions.

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Latest Tesla News: Recall, Layoffs, and More!

Elon Musk took to twitter to announce the end of the notorious Tesla referral program. While Tesla claims they have no marketing budget, they offered …

Welcome to our weekly Tesla news recap, where we discuss and share the latest Tesla news. If you don’t have the time to constantly monitor Tesla and their ever-changing company and products, this is for you. This week, Tesla announced 7% layoffs, a Model S recall, and more.


BREEV


Solution to ICEing

ICEing has become a common theme at Superchargers or EV chargers in general. It’s when a non-electric vehicle decides to take up or block a charging spot. Whether it’s due to lack of knowledge or hatred is a case by case basis but regardless, with such low amounts of infrastructure, this needs to be solved.

In a Chinese mall, Tesla has implemented a fix to the issue. A parking spot blocker that Tesla owners can lower from within an app. This solution is great for Tesla owners but the majority of Superchargers are placed on private property and would require owner input and approval. We actually do not know if this China case was implemented by Tesla or the mall itself.

While it’s nice that Tesla has taken the initiative, this technology isn’t new. Others such as MyPark have been using this very system for an automated valet experience.


Tesla Referral Program Ending

The Tesla customer referral program will end on Feb 1. If you want to refer a friend to buy a Tesla & give them 6 months of free Supercharging, please do so before then.

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 17, 2019

Elon Musk took to twitter to announce the end of the notorious Tesla referral program. While Tesla claims they have no marketing budget, they offered prizes worth thousands of dollars for referrals. There’s no accurate numbers to display as Tesla keeps referral numbers under wraps, but from sites where you can manually input your data, we can see Tesla has given away at least 80 next gen Roadsters. The Tesla roadster is set to start at $200,000.

Reddit user TeslaMecca compiled data with an estimated cost based on users signed up with top.teslastats.no.

This only shows data on 38,701 referrals. While there is no way to see how many referrals were actually used, Tesla offered free Supercharging if you used one. In 2018 alone, Tesla delivered a total of 245,240 vehicles. For comparison, in 2017, Ford spent $2.45 billion in U.S. marketing with 2.8 million vehicles sold. That’s approximately $875 in advertising per car sold. While we don’t know margins on the next gen roadster, we can estimate that each referral towards a next gen roadster was costing Tesla

For those that don’t know, each referral after five earned you 2% off the next gen Tesla Roadster. At 55, it was 100% off. You could earn a maximum of 2 Roadsters. Referrals under five had varying prizes from $0 – $6,000 that changed every few months.

Yes, ending on Feb 1. It’s adding too much cost to the cars, especially Model 3.

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 17, 2019

Originally, the program was only opened to high margin vehicles such as the S & X. Once opened up to the Model 3, referral stats started to take off. Some are speculating that the end of the program means the standard range Model 3 is near but if that were the case, why not just exclude the Model 3 from referrals like it was from the start?

How do you feel about this latest Tesla news and the program finally coming to an end? While it was expensive, Tesla has no actual marketing budget to make up the gap in sales that the system brought them. Sites and YouTube channels were formed around getting referrals. They pushed Tesla’s narrative to millions in hopes of earning a free car.


Tesla to Offer Premium Air Filter for Older Cars

One of the things Tesla is known for is their HEPA air filter and bioweapon defense mode. It originally came packaged in with the Premium Upgrade for ~$4,500 (Tesla pricing changes frequently). Since then, Tesla has made the Premium Upgrade package standard with all Model S & X’s. Some older Teslas without the package still have the slot for the air filter. Those who decided to save a few thousand dollars now have the opportunity to buy just the air filter for $500. Tesla claims the air filter to be 10x larger than a traditional car filter and removes “at least 99.97% of fine particulate matter and gaseous pollutants, as well as bacteria, viruses, pollen and mold spores.” It can be installed on any Tesla the newer front (post April 2016).


Tesla Recall of 14,123 Vehicles

As part of the Takata airbag fiasco, Tesla is recalling 14,123 Model Ss in China. The Takata airbag failure resulted in the largest recall in U.S. automotive history and affected nearly every mass auto manufacturer. If you’re in China with a Tesla Model S built in-between February 4, 2014 and December 9, 2016 , you’re most likely affected.


Tesla to Reduce Workforce by 7%

In an email sent to employees and the SEC, Elon mentioned the need to cut expenses in order to meet the $35,000 price point for the Model 3. Tesla just increased their workforce by 30% last year. They’re now building more cars than ever but have now decided they’ve overemployed. Elon also mentioned that Q4 was not as profitable as Q3. In Q3, Tesla reported their first ever profit of 4% or $312 million.

January 18, 2019

This morning, the following email was sent to all Tesla employees:

As we all experienced first-hand, last year was the most challenging in Tesla’s history. However, thanks to your efforts, 2018 was also the most successful year in Tesla’s history: we delivered almost as many cars as we did in all of 2017 in the last quarter alone and nearly as many cars last year as we did in all the prior years of Tesla’s existence combined! Model 3 also became the best-selling premium vehicle of 2018 in the US. This is truly remarkable and something that few thought possible just a short time ago.

Looking ahead at our mission of accelerating the advent of sustainable transport and energy, which is important for all life on Earth, we face an extremely difficult challenge: making our cars, batteries and solar products cost-competitive with fossil fuels. While we have made great progress, our products are still too expensive for most people. Tesla has only been producing cars for about a decade and we’re up against massive, entrenched competitors. The net effect is that Tesla must work much harder than other manufacturers to survive while building affordable, sustainable products.

In Q3 last year, we were able to make a 4% profit. While small by most standards, I would still consider this our first meaningful profit in the 15 years since we created Tesla. However, that was in part the result of preferentially selling higher priced Model 3 variants in North America. In [TSLA] Q4, preliminary, unaudited results indicate that we again made a GAAP profit, but less than Q3. This quarter, as with Q3, shipment of higher priced Model 3 variants (this time to Europe and Asia) will hopefully allow us, with great difficulty, effort and some luck, to target a tiny profit.

However, starting around May, we will need to deliver at least the mid-range Model 3 variant in all markets, as we need to reach more customers who can afford our vehicles. Moreover, we need to continue making progress towards lower priced variants of Model 3. Right now, our most affordable offering is the mid-range (264 mile) Model 3 with premium sound and interior at $44k. The need for a lower priced variants of Model 3 becomes even greater on July 1, when the US tax credit again drops in half, making our car $1,875 more expensive, and again at the end of the year when it goes away entirely.

Sorry for all these numbers, but I want to make sure that you know all the facts and figures and understand that the road ahead is very difficult. This is not new for us – we have always faced significant challenges – but it is the reality we face. There are many companies that can offer a better work-life balance, because they are larger and more mature or in industries that are not so voraciously competitive. Attempting to build affordable clean energy products at scale necessarily requires extreme effort and relentless creativity, but succeeding in our mission is essential to ensure that the future is good, so we must do everything we can to advance the cause.

As a result of the above, we unfortunately have no choice but to reduce full-time employee headcount by approximately 7% (we grew by 30% last year, which is more than we can support) and retain only the most critical temps and contractors. Tesla will need to make these cuts while increasing the Model 3 production rate and making many manufacturing engineering improvements in the coming months. Higher volume and manufacturing design improvements are crucial for Tesla to achieve the economies of scale required to manufacture the standard range (220 mile), standard interior Model 3 at $35k and still be a viable company. There isn’t any other way.

To those departing, thank you for everything you have done to advance our mission. I am deeply grateful for your contributions to Tesla. We would not be where we are today without you.

For those remaining, although there are many challenges ahead, I believe we have the most exciting product roadmap of any consumer product company in the world. Full self-driving, Model Y, Semi, Truck and Roadster on the vehicle side and Powerwall/pack and Solar Roof on the energy side are only the start.


I am honored to work alongside you.

Thanks for everything,

Elon


Tesla has Increased the Price of Superchargers

Tesla has been attempting to phase out free Supercharging for quite some time now. With the end of the referral program, every new car being sold thereafter will have to pay for Supercharging. With the growing amount of Teslas on the road, the Supercharger network becomes utilized more and more. To adjust for this growing demand, Tesla has changed the pricing of Supercharging. While the cost of Supercharging per kWh was determined by what state you were in, it is now set on a charger by charger basis for more fine-tuned energy needs. For example New York state had a $0.24 per kWh rate state-wide. However downtown New York has a charger that charges $0.34 per kWh after this price adjustment. Overall it seems like the nationwide average is now $0.31 per kWh according to Tesla Overall it would seem that your local Supercharger has gotten a price increase. As always Tesla reminds us that they do not view the Supercharger network as a price center and are just using to funds to maintain and expand the network. In a statement to Electrek, they wrote:

“We’re adjusting Supercharging pricing to better reflect differences in local electricity costs and site usage. As our fleet grows, we continue to open new Supercharger locations weekly so more drivers can travel long distances at a fraction of the cost of gasoline and with zero emissions. As has always been the case, Supercharging is not meant to be a profit center for Tesla.”


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Elon Musk Announces Layoffs to Boost Tesla Model 3 Production

Following a 9% staff reduction in June 2018, Tesla Motors Company CEO Elon Musk announced in an open letter to staff on Thursday, January 18th …

Following a 9% staff reduction in June 2018, Tesla Motors Company CEO Elon Musk announced in an open letter to staff on Thursday, January 18th that an additional 7% of workers would be shed to help streamline production efficiency.

Amounting to 3,000 people, the news of layoffs comes at a time when the company is struggling to capitalize on the traction it was able to muster with its seemingly strong finish in 2018.

Last year, Tesla sold roughly as many cars as it had in its entire previous production history, clearly a positive step in a year that featured a lot of drama for the company and its often-embattled CEO.

The Tesla Model 3 Sedan has alternately been described as “the best selling plug-in car in the United States” and the “best-selling luxury vehicle of the world” by various media outlets.

View this post on Instagram

Follow @elonrmuskk

A post shared by Elon Musk® (@elonrmuskk) on Jan 13, 2019 at 5:55am PST

“Starting around May, we will need to deliver at least the mid-range Model 3 variance in all markets, as we need to reach more customers who can afford our vehicles,” Musk said. “Moreover, we need to continue making progress toward lower-priced variants of Model 3.

In 2019, Tesla Motors will look to solidify its success and continue to forge ahead on its mission of disrupting global transportation with zero-emission vehicles, self-driving technologies, and forward looking cars that offer something tangibly different from competitors.

This is becoming increasingly difficult even for the largest and most established names in the automotive industry.

“Higher volume and manufacturing design improvements are crucial for Tesla to achieve the economies of scale required to manufacture the standard range (220 mile), standard interior Model 3 at $35K and still be a viable company,” Musk said. “There isn’t any other way.”

In late 2018, Ford and General Motors both announced they would stop building sedans to sell to Americans instead deciding to focus their attentions on the more profitable Truck and SUV categories.

GM announced it would close three production plants and layoff up to 14,000 workers. Morgan Stanley has suggested that Ford’s job losses could be even more significant.

“To those departing, thank you for everything you have done to advance our mission,” Musk wrote in his farewell letter. “I am deeply grateful for your contributions to Tesla. We would not be where we are today without you.”

In his letter, Musk said that to grow, Tesla has to shift its focus away from the luxury market:“While we have made great progress, our products are still too expensive for most people,” he wrote. That includes the Model 3, whose base price runs between $44,000 and $70,500, depending on the version and options. Those prices have allowed Tesla to make a profit even while slogging through “production hell.”

While Tesla CEO Elon Musk has been adamant about his desire to compete against major players such as Ford, Toyota, and General Motors, this is extremely difficult due to the price of battery components necessary to run its all-electric product line.

This is a big part of why the company’s closest competitors come from the luxury segment of the automotive industry with cars like the Jaguar I-Pace, Audi e-tron SUV, and Mercedes EQC.

To support the staff reduction, Tesla is also ending a program which rewarded customers who referred new buyers with chargers and free cars. The program was such as success as many as 40 individuals are due a $250,000 Tesla Roadster and 20 are actually waiting for two each.

Tesla Motors also just decided to raise the prices of its SuperCharger power stations. Ending any type of free-charging plan, the company has raised prices by as much as 33% in key markets such as New York City.

Tesla currently operates 1,422 Supercharger Stations with 12,011 Superchargers around the world and it wants to roughly double this year.

Fulfilling promises has not been easy for Tesla CEO Elon Musk. When announced, the Model 3 was projected to cost $35,000, a price it has never been able to deliver based on the economy of scale:

“The need for a lower priced variant of Model 3 becomes even greater on July 1, when the US tax credit again drops in half, making our car $1,875 more expensive, and again at the end of the year when it goes away entirely.”

Ending his letter with typical enthusiasm, Musk drew attention to Tesla innovations set to come in the near term future: “Full self-driving, Model Y, Semi, Truck and Roadster on the vehicle side and Powerwall/pack and Solar Roof on the energy side are only the start.”

Source: CNBC, Electrek

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