Would love it if some of you chimed in on the "What's Tesla's Biggest Challenge?" poll that is currently running on CleanTechnica.
I think it will be battery production. It will be difficult to increase battery production enough to handle the Model S/X demand, much less the GEN III....
The other big worry is the amount of powerful political and corporate interest that desperately want Tesla to fail. I do not think we have seen the worst of what they are willing to do...
Looked around the site, no sign of it. Links if you actually want people to respond, please.
Here's an "awareness graph" I found in one of their write-ups:
Image didn't transfer. One more try:
Nope, .PNGs won't post. Have a look; Volt, Leaf, Model S, Energi, i3.
Looks like Zach's poll is here:
cleantechnica DOT com SLASH 2013/12/30/whats-teslas-biggest-challenge/
(combine the above two lines)
The status quo and FUD would be my only choice.
I have confidence that the brain trust will figure out all the technical stuff they need to to move the company forward, however, as witnessed in the battery A, battery B discussion they're woefully lacking in preemptive transparency and communication.
That isn't to say that other car makers are any better but continually using other car makers as a comparison diminishes what Tesla is trying to do.
Many of us owners feel emotionally attached to the company. Lolachampcar had a thread a few months ago when he accused Tesla of "gambling with MY company." It was about poor response and quality control.
Under promise and over deliver is how you win loyalty. They do a very good job, but it's one area I've experienced where they could do a lot better.
I think keeping up good quality service in the new markets they are expanding would be one of their big and noticeable challenges. I have seen in this forum and on their Facebook page reports of some pretty bad problems from Europe. There have been cars delivered with noticeable problems that should have been corrected beforehand, bad service, lack of communication, non-delivery of required winter tires, etc. Most of the U.S. customers' replies aren't too helpful because it seems to be pretty uniformly fantastic here. I hope that as they open service centers and hire more workforce there, they can keep good customer service locally and support it well from the mothership.
Scalability. They're going to need to build more factories across the world to keep up with the demand. Especially when they start building Model X and eventually whatever the next model is for mainstream consumption.
No fear of technical problems derailing company, obviously Tesla has already proven they can do it starting from scratch, but do strongly believe that quick and convenient charging is going to be required for mass adoption by people who will simply not buy if there are issues with this.
Tesla's biggest challenge will be whether to stay pure EV or go hybrid with a fuel cell range extender. For example, the Model S can go 300 miles, however with a fuel cell and a few pounds of hydrogen, that range could be extended over 500 miles and give the MS and the larger MX insurance for getting thru areas without superchargers. Think LA to SF or Vegas without stopping and no anxiety about making it there.
Fuel cell as system has way worse energy density than pure BEV.
Tesla will not do any compromises.
Elon will NOT add a Fool Cell. Evah.
This is all still new to you, isn't it you little grammar nazi, though I do agree that Tesla will never utilize fuel cells?!
Ever is a long time. Maybe if/when
a) there is ready hydrogen distribution network for very large vehicles which would need unacceptable costly large battery packs.
b) they make such vehicles.
c) there is no way that those vehicles can be charged fast enough with pure electricity if cost of a) is no issue.
but not sooner.
Tesla would instantly use fuel cells if they began to make sense quickly, due to any unexpected technological breakthroughs. They'd be foolish not to. Absolute claims about never, will not, etc. are all pointless.
Currently however, they see more advantages in lithium batteries.
They don't stand tests of time. Also, depends on what kind of fuel
cell one talks about. A zinc air battery is a fuel cell. If it
managed to provide higher density and C draws, it would be
perfect. Fuel cells tend to be able to use ambient atmosphere
for reactants, which means they don't need to have them built
into the battery itself.
It is why only 1l of diesel has some 10kwh of energy in it.
8.5l has the energy density of the Tesla S battery.
If you could have a battery with those specs, it sure would be fun.
But it wouldn't technically be a battery, but a fuel cell.
And stop making ideologies out of little bits of technology,
especially if you don't even really understand the bits.