CarTalk.com Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Tesla's challenger

:thinking:

Just another player in the running. Almost every manufacturer is making or designing an electric car these days.

The big changer in electric cars is going to be batteries. Technology has improved drastically in the past 4 years…but still needs improvement. That’s why Musk has invested heavily in battery technology. And then there’s the new Solid State batteries…or Graphene batteries.

https://www.graphene-info.com/graphene-batteries

Yeah, but very few of them are making cars that can keep up with a Tesla in speed and range. If Lucid adds build quality to that formula, Tesla might find itself in a lot of trouble.

For now. It’s changing almost daily. Competition is good. I love what Tesla has done. Glad to see there’s good competition.

From the standpoint that they singlehandedly moved public perception of electric cars from crappy little slow glorified golf carts that would strand you if you needed to go to the grocery store on the way home from work, to fully modern vehicles with few compromises to utility and convenience that are cool and, oh yeah, not slow at all, I agree.

But they like to cut corners, and that’s problematic. They’re having an issue with the central touch screen in the Model S turning yellow over time because they decided to use non-auto-grade displays. There are body panel alignment issues across the models. The Model 3 has a significant design flaw which causes it to accumulate 50+ pounds of road debris, including salt, in the rear bumper. And Jalopnik just ran a story showing what is apparently wood quarter round trim from a hardware store functioning as battery hold-down clamps.

And what I really dislike about Tesla is that in the best tradition of Darth Vader, they like to alter the deal. There was a big blowup several months ago where people bought used Model S’s from Tesla itself. The cars would be advertised as being equipped with various things like software-based performance upgrades. Then after they took delivery of the car, Tesla decided that the original owner had paid for the upgrade, not the second buyer, so they remotely disabled the upgrade.

I’m all for OTA updates for cars, but it has to be entirely in favor of the customer. If you flash an OTA update to my car, and I suddenly have Android Auto functionality where I didn’t before, that’s great. If you flash an OTA update to my car and I’m now 2 seconds slower 0-60, that is not. Tesla doesn’t seem to understand that once a customer buys a product, the only acceptable aftermarket changes that can be involuntarily applied to the product are ones that make the product better, not worse.

That’s where I’m hoping that Lucid learns from Tesla’s stumbles. If they come out with a car that’s as good looking, fast, and has the same or better range as the Model S, but it’s reliable and you don’t have to wonder what underhanded shenanigans they’re going to pull on you this week? I think they’ll wipe the floor with Tesla and move electric cars even farther toward the mainstream.

A friend who’s been driving EV’s long before the Nissan Leaf and the others came out is getting a Kia Niro EV within the next couple weeks (would prefer a soul EV but it’s not coming here), won’t touch a Tesla with a 10ft pole after talking with several owners. Tesla’s range is impressive but they’re far from the only game in town.

That was a really crappy move on Tesla’s part.
Very disappointing!!

1 Like

Goody! Another car that’s way toO expensive for most, if not all, of us. I’ll be interested at half the price, maybe. I hope Lucid succeeds, though. All successes could lead to more reliable and attractively priced vehicles.

I test drove a Chevy Bolt a few weeks ago- very nice little car. Almost pulled the trigger and bought it, until i called my insurance.
Before I decided to get rid of my Mustang, my insurance for both the GT and CX-7 was roughly $800 for 6 months. Dropping the Mustang, keeping the CX-7 and adding the Bolt, my insurance would go up by $800, so just over $1000 every 6 months. Deal killer right there.

Right now Chevy is practically giving those things away. With a $44k fully loaded Premium package sticker price, with incentives from Chevy and the dealerships, you’re looking at about 8-12 grand off in some cases- $31k for a brand new EV. Even cheaper if you go for the LT package- $27k.

While Chevy might not have the build quality Tesla has, I can think of a lot of things to buy with the price difference between the Model X(Tesla’s SUV) and the Bolt

I had no idea that EVs were high insurance vehicles. I currently know two Tesla owners, one of them had an accident recently and it totaled the car, because it resulted in a battery fire. I saw photos of it and the smoke billowing out of the car was almost as bad as a stack of tires on fire. The interior of the car was completely burned out.
Now she drives a Honda CRV.

The insurance price just might be because the Bolt is a newer vehicle . Did you ask the agent why the premium was higher ?

We have a few Bolts in our fleet . . . I’m also quite impressed. It’s definitely a lot better than the earlier Volt, which is a hybrid as far as I’m concerned

Did you get some kind of explanation?

I’m just curious . . . is it because the Bolt is EV, and the Mustang was a regular internal combustion car?

Do you spend time on the Jalopnik website?

I love it when they expose Tesla’s cost-cutting practices, which directly relates to build quality . . .

I acknowledge Elon Musk’s genius . . . but I can’t stand the man himself

I personally would be happier if he dropped Tesla and just stuck to Space-X

1 Like

The Mustang was a 2018 GT and the Bolt was a 2020, so not all that much newer.

I didn’t think to ask why the premium was so much higher, I was just so shocked at how much the price went up. But my(and a few others) guess would be because of what BLE mentioned.

db4690: I see some articles they post on FB every so often, which, sadly, is becoming more and more political, as is Gizmodo. So, I guess maybe replace “build quality” with “sticker price”?

Chevrolet said the Volt was a first serious move towards an electric car and that it was intended as an interim model that would lead to a fully electric model. They were concerned enough about it that they offered exceptionally low priced leases at first. This would allow them to take back malfunctioning Volts and replace them with properly functioning units, since they owned the cars anyway.

My guess is that the replacement value of the Bolt is much higher than the Mustang, maybe 70% more.

My understanding is that Tesla has poor build quality, and they sometimes can’t even provide the exact car the buyer ordered. You can take a Tesla that is sorta like the one you ordered, or you can wait forever to get the car you actually ordered. But maybe not. They blew it once. All that is why a friend at work would never buy a Tesla. He spent a lot of time investigating full electrics and hybrids last year and has a low opinion of them as a result.