Tesla Model 3 turns tech enthusiasts into skeptics
Tesla, Inc. has received huge free publicity over the years in the tech world. The company’s forward-thinking approach to automotive design won him many fans among journalists more accustomed to the iPhone. That may change with the Tesla Model 3, however. The design of the car received huge praise at first, but now there has been a little backlash.
Critics from the tech world about the Tesla Model 3 are mostly about decisions putting too much new technology in its cars, rather than too little. Commitment to electric drives is definitely a big plus among tech writers, but some of the other choices the company is making put the cart before the horse.
If you care about the Tesla Model 3 as an investment rather than a car, these reviews may not mean much to you. Despite this, however, they could have a real effect on the demand for electric vehicles in the years to come and could require expensive repair. This makes them well worth listening to.
Will the Tesla Model 3 fail?
There are going to be flaws in the Tesla Model 3. Almost all of the car’s controls are electronically driven. Anyone who has ever dealt with irregular wiring in a car already knows why this could be a problem. At this stage, the criticism is purely anguish, nobody has had the opportunity to really test the EV yet.
Andrew Liptak of The Verge captures this idea perfectly in an article he published on Monday morning. Title “The Tesla Model 3 reminds me of all the times electronics failed in my first car” he captured a concern that is sure to stay on the minds of thousands of reservation holders.
It’s really important to be clear that Liptak, admittedly, doesn’t really know what he’s talking about. It is not necessarily a question of experience, however, it is a question of feeling. Liptak says the design of the Tesla Model 3 “looks like a recipe for trouble.”
The car could suffer from two major problems. The first is in the field of physical electronics. Corrosion does occur, and we don’t know how much redundancy Elon Musk has built in to fend off it. The second is a purely software problem. What if a new software update contains a bug that prevents people from accessing their cars? It is certainly not outside the realm of the possible.
Speaking of software issues …
Tesla designers might need help
Another major criticism concerns the Tesla Model 3 software itself. Jason Torchinsky is editor-in-chief at Jalopnik. The site is all about cars, but it often focuses on the more tech side of the industry. He writes extensively on electric vehicles, and therefore Tesla, Inc., and he’s not a fan of what he’s seen on the car user interface.
Torchinsky wrote a long article on the air conditioning controls he saw in a Tesla Model 3Videa. From a UI perspective, in his opinion, there isn’t much right about the car controls on board. The problem here, according to Torchinsky, is putting technology ahead of UI design.
He says the business could have been better by simply copying the physical controls on all of the other cars. Torchinsky actually sings the praises of this type of physical control, saying that they are easy to understand. They just work, and that’s something everyone who’s been in a car knows how to use.
The designers at Fremont, however, decided to go for something else. If the rest of the Tesla Model 3 software changes paradigm, it may take some time for new buyers to learn to drive it. This, unfortunately, could limit the positivity of early reviews.
Tesla can always go back to the drawing board
The advantage of UI design issues, and especially with the Tesla Model 3, is that it can always be changed. The company is able to update its cars over the air, while they remain in the owners’ homes. It means it can change any problem in air conditioning UI after release.
Tesla, Inc. is certainly more flexible than any other automaker in this regard. Making all controls flexible arguably makes it more adept at adapting to customer demands.
The problem, however, is still in the hardware. Tesla, Inc. is not very good at mass manufacturing, and the company has tried to make its latest design as simple as possible to reduce the risk of error. She found out, according to CEO Elon Musk, after the the company’s inability to get Model X on the road in a reasonable time and condition.
While all of the software choices it makes can reasonably be changed in an OTA update, the company won’t be able to change physical issues as easily. Adding physical door latches or climate controls cannot be done over the air. Going back and adding physical components will make the car more difficult to craft.
It’s a delicate balance for Tesla. So far, he seems to have decided to run in one direction. He puts gentle controls on everything. The results of this philosophical choice are still unknown.
Tesla, Inc.’s stock is based on this car
If you don’t care about the tech world and are a Tesla shareholder, it’s probably worth giving these opinions a fair hearing. Tech journalists are taste makers, and Tesla, Inc. has benefited immensely from their previous opinions. It is their ideas on the Tesla Model 3 that will help drive or reduce demand as more and more car information comes in.
There hasn’t been an overwhelming consensus that the Tesla Model 3 is poorly designed. This kind of article is still very much in the minority. It is even likely that this is only a reaction to the positivity of the first responses. That’s not to say it’s something to ignore, however.
The Tesla Model 3 will leave the field of the idea, and in a space where it’s a real car with real problems. The number and magnitude of these problems, as exaggerated and highlighted by the reviewers, will have a real and substantial effect on demand. If you really care about Tesla’s stock, you need to keep an eye out for these reviews, and these thought-provoking articles provide some guidance on where the fault lines are.
The gist of these reviews is that there may be some issues due to the difference in the car. This is also something that hampered the success of the Model S, and probably always.
With hundreds of thousands of people waiting for the Tesla Model 3, there’s reason to think this time could be different. This path is however still dark and difficult to delimit. These risks are definitely worth exploring, especially if Tesla stock is one of your biggest holdings.