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Old 01-16-2019, 05:01 PM   #181 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by jamesqf View Post
Then along came the IBM PC with its completely open architecture, C64 sales tank and disappear completely by 1994, while PC clones were selling around 100 million units per year: http://www.retrocomputing.net/info/s...tal_share.html
The PC was a great success... except for IBM. They cornered themselves in with the PS2 line.
But so did the others. Commodore (with the Amiga). Atari, Apple, Sinclair, all had models that were superior to the early PCs but then failed to invest and expand timely. They all lost out to the PC clone builders.
In the end, the hardware wasn't profitable anymore.

What made the Commodore 64 great at first, and the PC later, was the software that ran on them.
Novell NetWare was instrumental in office automation and put the PC in the forefront more than anything else.
Only to get squashed by Windows Server later on...

Anyway, Tesla does not need competitors cloning their models, modular or not.

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Old 01-16-2019, 10:21 PM   #182 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by RedDevil View Post
Tesla now has more than one production line making identical battery packs. Like the C64, there's no reason to make the parts of those packs interchangeable. That would only make them more expensive.
Using interchangeable modules makes battery packs cheaper not more expensive. Let me explain:

Say a company has 3 different battery packs. They could make 3 individual lines with one dedicated to each pack. The assembly line itself would be less expensive but also very inefficient. The problem is volume and changes in volume. Say the volume are:

Pack 1 - 25,000
Pack 2 - 70,000
Pack 3 - 5,000

The assembly lines for the low volume packs likely wouldn't even run 1 shift. The company could design the low volume lines to be slower and use less people but that is very risky. What if the volume changes or wasn't what the sales guy projected. What if pack 1 actually sells 10,000 and pack 3 15,000. Now the slow line can't keep up and you are running weekends paying time and a half and double time. With dedicated lines you are always as risk that the volume is lower than expected or higher than expected. In either case it destroys efficiency and adds cost. If you aren't running 80% capacity you are throwing away money.

With flexible lines a company could make 2 lines with capacity for 60,000 packs each. As the product mix changes the blend on the line seamlessly changes. Each line is a bit more expensive but fewer lines are needed because each is run near capacity.

This is what pretty much every automaker does with their assembly lines. They make flexible lines that can run multiple vehicles on the same line. They don't batch vehicles they build them as needed. The Honda plant in Alabama makes the Ridgeline truck, Pilot CUV, and Odyssey van. They don't run trucks, then switch to vans, then switch to CUVs. You'll see something like Ridgeline, CUV, Odyssey, Odyssey, CUV, Ridgeline....

Established auto manufacturers are doing the same thing with batteries. They are using modules and assembling packs on flexible lines. They are doing this because flexible assembly, just in time, and just in sequence is second nature. They have been doing it for decades.

Then there is the service side of things. A battery pack that is bolted together and made up of modules is repairable. A tech can open it up, find the wire or module that is bad, and then replace it. Tesla's glued together battery pack is not serviceable. If it fails then Tesla or the customer has to shell out $10,000 for a complete replacement pack. (Tesla's cost not dealer cost to the customer)
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Old 01-17-2019, 04:39 AM   #183 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedDevil View Post
The PC was a great success... except for IBM. They cornered themselves in with the PS2 line.
But so did the others. Commodore (with the Amiga). Atari, Apple, Sinclair, all had models that were superior to the early PCs but then failed to invest and expand timely. They all lost out to the PC clone builders.
In the end, the hardware wasn't profitable anymore.

What made the Commodore 64 great at first, and the PC later, was the software that ran on them.
Novell NetWare was instrumental in office automation and put the PC in the forefront more than anything else.
Only to get squashed by Windows Server later on...

Anyway, Tesla does not need competitors cloning their models, modular or not.
I don't know if comparing sales is the same as comparing building costs. The air cooled VW Beetle was cheap to build. They used many of the same engines on multiple vehicles. Engines were very interchangeable. That doesn't mean that the Beetle didn't lose sales in the end when the next best thing came out.
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Old 01-17-2019, 04:56 AM   #184 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSH View Post
Using interchangeable modules makes battery packs cheaper not more expensive. Let me explain:

Say a company has 3 different battery packs. They could make 3 individual lines with one dedicated to each pack. The assembly line itself would be less expensive but also very inefficient. The problem is volume and changes in volume. Say the volume are:

Pack 1 - 25,000
Pack 2 - 70,000
Pack 3 - 5,000

The assembly lines for the low volume packs likely wouldn't even run 1 shift. The company could design the low volume lines to be slower and use less people but that is very risky. What if the volume changes or wasn't what the sales guy projected. What if pack 1 actually sells 10,000 and pack 3 15,000. Now the slow line can't keep up and you are running weekends paying time and a half and double time. With dedicated lines you are always as risk that the volume is lower than expected or higher than expected. In either case it destroys efficiency and adds cost. If you aren't running 80% capacity you are throwing away money.

With flexible lines a company could make 2 lines with capacity for 60,000 packs each. As the product mix changes the blend on the line seamlessly changes. Each line is a bit more expensive but fewer lines are needed because each is run near capacity.

This is what pretty much every automaker does with their assembly lines. They make flexible lines that can run multiple vehicles on the same line. They don't batch vehicles they build them as needed. The Honda plant in Alabama makes the Ridgeline truck, Pilot CUV, and Odyssey van. They don't run trucks, then switch to vans, then switch to CUVs. You'll see something like Ridgeline, CUV, Odyssey, Odyssey, CUV, Ridgeline....

Established auto manufacturers are doing the same thing with batteries. They are using modules and assembling packs on flexible lines. They are doing this because flexible assembly, just in time, and just in sequence is second nature. They have been doing it for decades.

Then there is the service side of things. A battery pack that is bolted together and made up of modules is repairable. A tech can open it up, find the wire or module that is bad, and then replace it. Tesla's glued together battery pack is not serviceable. If it fails then Tesla or the customer has to shell out $10,000 for a complete replacement pack. (Tesla's cost not dealer cost to the customer)
But we already established that Tesla runs multiple lines producing the same pack. Any modularity is completely redundant.
There is no recent Tesla battery pack type with only a 5,000 unit run.

Also, Tesla does not make their packs serviceable for a reason.
They make them as reliable as possible, and indeed they seldom fail.
If more than 90% of packs survive the expected life of the car then it would be a bad idea to add 10% to the cost of a battery to make them serviceable.
Just changing them out for a new pack would be both cheaper and more reliable.
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Old 01-17-2019, 04:57 PM   #185 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedDevil View Post
The PC was a great success... except for IBM. They cornered themselves in with the PS2 line.
Temporarily, but the PS/2 was an aberration that proves my point. Later on they went back to making regular PCs and laptops (e.g. ThinkPad) until they sold that business to Lenovo. Invented and made the technology for high-capacity disk drives, before selling off that business...

Quote:
But so did the others. Commodore (with the Amiga). Atari, Apple, Sinclair, all had models that were superior to the early PCs but then failed to invest and expand timely. They all lost out to the PC clone builders.
In the end, the hardware wasn't profitable anymore.
IDK that those others were superior to the PC. The only one I had any experience with was Apple, and they were crap. Likewise with hardware not being profitable: it may not have been for IBM (but that was due to trying to get back to a closed architecture), but there were and are any number of hardware manufacturers that make decent profits. (NVidia, anyone?) It's just that hardware makers had to concentrate on generic/compatible components that almost anyone could use to assemble a system. And that brought the price of systems down.

Quote:
Anyway, Tesla does not need competitors cloning their models, modular or not.
So they can become to the electric car business what IBM was to the personal computer business? Or perhaps they'll be the Apple instead: overpriced and underperforming hardware that survives because of fanboys and a percieved "coolness" factor.
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Old 01-17-2019, 05:37 PM   #186 (permalink)
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Overpriced, yeah. Underperforming? I dunno every one of them think they are faster than my ranger at a stoplight. Fanboys, coolness factor: yup they got that covered. Im still underwhelmed. They do catch fire nicely when they take out the stoplight pole down the street in the snow. Btw the pole is fine and back up.
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Old 01-18-2019, 03:44 AM   #187 (permalink)
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Overpriced and underperforming. Phew.
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Old 01-18-2019, 01:17 PM   #188 (permalink)
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EVs and fire shouldn't be mentioned in the same sentence because it isn't a relevant concern. ICE vehicles catch fire at a much higher rate than EVs; like 11 times more frequently.

A Tesla catches fire every 188 million miles driven. One of those 40 fires was caused by a guy shooting the battery with a 9mm handgun from within the vehicle while it was being driven.
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Old 01-18-2019, 03:12 PM   #189 (permalink)
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That's one of the reasons I don't carry Mt 9mm or 357mag in the leaf. And I thought I was just being paranoid about the possibility of accidentally putting one in the battery pack.
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Old 01-18-2019, 09:39 PM   #190 (permalink)
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Yes, shooting your battery is bad. LOL.

So this discussion of modularity is certainly interesting. I think it presents questions about the long term practicality from a maintenance and replacement standpoint when applied to a single platform. The i3 for example uses 8 individually replaceable modules with their own BMS to make up the larger pack. BMW does provision replacement modules for when one fails or under-performs.

This has me wondering about the long term practicality of that strategy however. I.e., as whole pack capacity declines, when one module goes bad, are the rest likely soon to follow?

Interestingly, unlike a lot of BMW stuff, prices for the individual modules are relatively reasonable. Entire packs however are significantly more painful for out of warranty replacement.

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