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2021 3/4's Point EV Grades : Part 1 - Tesla

Updated: Sep 8

Our Look at How the EV Manufacturers are doing to this point in 2021


Follow me on Twitter@RobMcCammon1

2020 was a mess. We all know it, a pandemic, a weird election cycle, and so many other things including 'murder hornets' made us so very happy 2021 was here. The EV world was especially happy. Here at Charge Talk we know this sector and love to talk about it and nothing better to do than start by grading these guys.


We start with the company world known for EV's, Tesla. With a Cybertruck in 2021 coming out and the Tesla Semi also getting their finishing touches... wait...


Ahem, this just in, the Cybertruck will not be here until late 2022 with full production in 2023. (rattling the bulletin) says here that they are in chip shortage and the Giga Texas is still not done.


Enough of that. Guys, this company is ALSO suffering chip shortages and material shortages. I could throw stones but, this is to be expected. Across the world it seems only Toyota and Lexus were ready for the chip shortage and their EV is not quite around yet (I will cover them in a later part).


The Tesla Semi is also missing but it's absence is far more peculiar. California's zero emissions deadline is looming and with the self destruction of Nikola, there aren't many people filling a space that will be looking for product desperately in the coming years. The plant in Freemont has seen the prototypes driving about, but for the most part there is no sign of real life here.


Is it dead? Personally I don't think so, but it maybe delayed again and again. It could simply be a space that Elon really does not want to play in.


FSD (Full Self Driving) is still not out there. Tesla was exposed this year with the fact that not all Teslas are really 'just an activation away'. Tesla S owners were told their computer would have to be upgraded for $1,500, lowered to $1,000 after numerous complaints. These changes or more aptly described admissions are becoming a problem with legislators. Tesla has argued that you are buying a computer on wheels, rather than a car. This isn't just salesmanship, this is to avoid the expectations of being an OEM. You heard it here first, that will become an issue.


One thing I want to touch on is a known problem. Quality. On a recent visit to a new showroom I looked at a brand new model 3. The gaps were better but when I raised the trunk I was greeted with the bane of Tesla. The button you see below was not properly darkened. It should not be a big deal, it's a 15 cent part that is back lit, but it made it through. Worse, this is a demonstrator. For those of you thinking about a comparably priced Toyota or Honda, you would not see this. Where is the QA?


In the end, 2021 has seen a new Tesla Model S. It is impressive, but this is becoming more and more simply a 'halo' car. Great for headlines but not really profitable.


Our Grade:

My final grade is a C-. This is the fact under the circumstances of a difficult environment, they have performed as expected. QA is the problem here. This has to be fixed. Soon they aren't the ONLY EV company of record.


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