Tesla proves that it is easier to deal with government of China than government of Michigan

Annals of free markets #7231… “Tesla Model 3 floodgates open in China next week” (CNET):

Now, with local production in Shanghai, Tesla can skirt the ongoing US-China trade war. The occasion is also monumental for a different reason — Tesla’s Chinese factory is one of the first solely owned by a foreign automaker.

How are things back here in the Land of the Free (market)? Wikipedia shows that Tesla is restricted or banned from selling its products in 20 out of 50 states. It is banned from servicing its vehicles in 5 out of 50. “Our Tesla Model 3 Suffered a Catastrophic Failure While Parked” (Car and Driver):

… he received an ominous push notification from the Tesla app that the car had “suffered a failure and will no longer drive.” … it’s also an extraordinarily rare case of any car leaving us stranded, something unacceptable for any new vehicle, particularly one that costs $57,690 and with merely 5286 miles on the odometer. … even on Christmas Day, Tesla roadside assistance got a tow truck to us in about a half hour, which brought the car to the closest service center: Toledo, Ohio, because Tesla isn’t allowed to operate company-owned service centers in Michigan.

After a two-day wait, we were informed that there are issues with the rear drive unit, the pyrotechnic battery disconnect, and the 12-volt battery and that they are waiting for parts.

Separately, another recent Car and Driver article has a calculation by Mazda that its own modest-range electric car only emits less CO2 than a diesel-powered version after the car is driven at least 50,000 miles. It looks like a Tesla with a big battery would have to go 200,000+ miles before there was a net reduction in CO2 emissions compared to an efficient petroleum-powered car.

4 thoughts on “Tesla proves that it is easier to deal with government of China than government of Michigan

  1. What the heck is a pyrotechnic battery disconnect? They use a miniature explosion to disconnect the battery pack? I had to look this up and found:


    “…wherein in said activated second state said pyrotechnic switch severs said conductive path and prevents said HV energy storage system from being electrically connected to said vehicle electrical system…”

    So it’s basically an explosive fuse that’s triggered by the vehicle management system, charging system, airbags, etc., in the event of thermal runaway, an accident, or a signal from the VMS. Well, at least it worked and the car didn’t catch fire in the driveway. That should give a lot of comfort to people who keep them in a garage. Since Tesla knew it blew and sent the push notification, does that also mean they can trigger it remotely (through some system that can be hacked) and shut your car down anywhere, at any time?

    How much intellectual property did Tesla have to surrender to the Chinese for the privilege of building the cars in Shanghai? They must be projecting a very robust market with a capacity for 250,000 cars per year. As for the Land of the Free (market) it looks as though legislators in a lot of states are protecting their dealers, it looks like the legacy trade groups are up in arms.

    • You have to at least respect Mazda and C&D for publishing that emissions analysis. That took some guts.

  2. On automotive technology, I would trust Sandy Munro’s opinion, since his company has taken apart many electric cars and analyzed them in detail. He also does tear-downs and manufacturing analysis of military airplanes and vehicles.

    On the Tesla Model 3

    On Tesla in China

    Gasoline car progress is finished, top of the S curve, the 4 cylinder turbo engine is the final resting place. The electric car progress is now going up the S curve. The electric motor is way more superior over a gasoline engine, the challenge is the battery. Tesla bought Maxwell Technologies for its solid state battery technology, once they get this to market, the gasoline engine is done. The electric car is more simpler than a gasoline car, and as the battery cost goes down, so will the cost of an electric car. Tesla is the company currently pushing automotive technology, everybody else is playing catch up, everybody wants to be the Tesla killer. Tesla does have some reliability issues, but this is due to manufacturing, not the design or the technology. The operating cost of any electric car is much lower than a gasoline car, it will also outlast any gasoline car. The electric car uses the most energy and materials during production at the start of its life, but the total life cycle cost of the electric car is only going down. At the end of the life of the electric car, the main challenge is the recycling of the battery, this infrastructure is being developed, but should be up and running in the next 5 to 10 years.

    Tesla drives 400k miles

    Cost of owning a Tesla after 200k miles

    Even with a coal powered plant the Tesla is cleaner

    Tesla and Maxwell battery

    Entire industries connected with the gasoline cars will fail in the next 10 years, and new industries will take over.

    At the end, who cares about the environmental benefits, its the economic benefits of the electric car that will win.

  3. Given so much protection of the auto industry that once existed in Michigan & the auto industry now entirely migrated to China, Mexico, & Calif*, do these laws even have any relevance to Michigan today?

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