Former Chevy Volt chief engineer, Jon Bereisa, estimates Tesla Motors is going to lose money on every Model 3 sold.
In a chat with UBS analyst Colin Langan, Bereisa said the 2018 Model 3’s production costs will amount to $1,500 more than the electric sedan’s starting price of $35,000. He also did the math for the Bolt’s factory variable cost (FVC) and came to the conclusion it will cost Chevy $4,980 less than the car’s $37,500 sticker price.
Bereisa went on to specify the analysis regarding the Model 3’s FVC was made assuming the car will have a 60 kWh battery, just like the Bolt. He estimated Tesla Motors is going to target a cost of around $190 / kWh compared to the current battery pack cost of $260 / kWh, also estimated.
It was at that point in the conversation when Tesla’s Vice-President of Investor Relations, Jeff Evanson, decided to jump on the call and make some corrections regarding the analysis. He said Tesla Motors has already managed to achieve a battery cost below $190 / kWh, thus 26% less compared to the current estimation made by Bereisa.
Interestingly, Evanson revealed the base version of the Model 3 will have a battery pack with a capacity of less than 60 kWh. When the all-electric sedan was revealed at the beginning of the month, Tesla Motors said it’s going to have enough juice to provide a range of at least 215 miles (346 km), more than the Bolt’s 200+ mile (322+ km) rating.
Getting more than 215 miles of range from a battery with less than 60 kWh seems a bit difficult to achieve, but keep in mind the much heavier Model S original had a 60-kWh battery rated at a 208-mile range.