Tesla Model 3 is possible
Debate Rounds (4)
Full resolution: it will technically be possible for Tesla to produce a full electric car by 2017 with 200 miles range for less then $35.000
Together with my contender I want to explore if the lower priced Model 3 car is technically possible by 2017.
Reasons why I think Model 3 can be a lot cheaper then Model S:
1) Tesla has more then 25% profit on the Model S, they will take less profit on Model 3.
2) The Model S has 200 miles range using a 60 KWh battery, the Model 3 car can have the same range with only 50KWh battery.
3) Battery cost per KWh can be reduced significantly.
4) Model 3 car will be smaller, use cheaper materials, less luxury and have the advantage of production on a bigger scale compared to Model S.
My contender may already point out his arguments in round 1.
Arguments and rebuttals in rounds 2 and 3.
No new arguments in round 4.
My main purpose is to have an interesting discussion with someone that has a different view and to learn from eachother, because I don't want to be a blind Tesla fan that doesn't see the problems. I'm not interested in winning the debate.
If you have questions about the definitions or anything else, ask them in the comments before accepting the debate.
Hi cha-the-politician and welcome to the debate!
Following up on the reasons I wrote in the first round, I will do a calculation of prices.
This calculation is ofcourse for the basic version of the Model 3, as I'm sure there will be versions that can do a lot more then 200 miles and other options.
Price of the battery
The singly reason why electric cars are currently more expensive then ICE cars is ofcourse the cost of the battery.
1) The Model S with 60KWh battery had an EPA range of 208 miles. This means the car was using 288Wh / mile.
Because the Model 3 will be smaller and lighter it will use less energy per mile. Let's estimate 15% less energy, this gives 245Wh / mile. To reach 200 miles, the car only needs a 50KWh battery.
2) Tesla is currently believed to get batteries from Panasonic with a cost of around $250 / KWh. 
Battery prices have come down steadily for many years now, so by 2017 the price will be a bit lower by itself without any gigafactory from Tesla.
Beyond this, the Tesla gigafactory will lower prices more/faster because of a much better integration of battery construction and economies of scale (the gigafactory alone will produce as much KWh's of battery as the whole world produced in 2013 ).
Elon Musk said the price of batteries will be reduced at least 30% . Using this 30% estimate, the battery price will be $175 / KWh.
Using these numbers, the Model S 60 battery price is 60 KWh * $ 250 / KWh = $15.000.
The Model 3 battery price comes down to 50 KWh * $ 175 / KWh = $8.750.
Remaining cost of the rest of the car
By using the $35.000 as the total price and $8.750 for the battery, there is $26.250 left for the remainder of the car and profits.
Let's compare this to other cars in the market.
1) A very popular car: Toyota Camry is sold for $23.000 
2) Tesla's goal for the Model 3: BMW 3 series is sold for $33.000 
Both cars have lots and lots of parts that the Tesla does not need. I'm ofcourse talking about the heavy and complicated ICE engine, it's cooling systems, it's lubricating systems to prevent to much friction in the moving parts, turbo's, filters, exhaust, ...
The electric engine is a lot easier and cheaper to produce and install into a car.
I can't find estimations for the production price of a "glider" car without all the needed things for the ICE engine.
Clearly a Toyota Camry glider is lower then $23.000 and thus also lower then $26.250 making a Camry EV with 200 mile range possible.
As for the BMW 3, if we use the same profit margin for Tesla and BMW, then the question is if the production price for the ICE engine and everything related to it (including stuff like filters and exhaust) is more then $6.750 ($33.000 - $26.250) + the price of the electric motor.
At this point I dont have any sources but I'm pretty sure this is the case, mainly because it is a huge amount of moving parts and systems that all have to work correctly together, while the electric engine is really basic stuff (static magnets and electric magnets and some housing).
Time for your arguments and rebuttals con!
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