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Tesla Model 3 Gets Its Harshest Criticism Yet

Tesla Model 3 TSLA Autopilot NASDAQ:TSLA
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Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)  is getting the Model 3 ready for mass production, and everything depends on the first reviews of the car. So far so good, then. After the big launch on July 28th, a few select reporters got a chance to drive around in the affordable EV. By and large their experiences were very positive. With some distance from the spectacle, however, some of the commentary is turning slightly sour.

Jason Torchinsky over at Jalopnik reckons he has spotted a big fault in the Tesla Model 3. The car’s interior is minimal to say the least. There aren’t any buttons or dials. All of the information comes from a single touch screen mounted in the center of the car. That sounds like a great idea for a vehicle that can drive itself, but Elon Musk’s affordable EV isn’t quite there yet. Instead, according to Torchinsky, it’s an annoyance that makes the car worse.

Tesla Model 3 gets panned

The big issue, he says, is the air conditioner controls. From a user interface standpoint the design is pretty wrong according to the piece. For a good run down of the issues you should read the full article, but the major UI problem boils down to a lack of clear guidance. The screen revealed in the Tesla video is hard to work out, and its benefits over an ordinary air conditioning system just aren’t clear.

Tesla Inc TSLA Autopilot NASDAQ:TSLA
Model 3 Design. Source: Tesla Motors

It’s not just the design of the user interface of the touch screen that’s the problem. Both the position and the lack of redundancy are also named as big issues with the layout of the Tesla Model 3. You need to see the screen in order to work the air conditioning in the Tesla Model 3. That’s not something a solo driver should really be spending their time at.

Mr. Torchinksy concludes that, in his opinion the Tesla Model 3 solution is “less effective in every possible way.” He adds, bitingly, that it’s “a weird idea of “genius,” if you ask me.”

Can Tesla, Inc. secure good reviews?

The firm has been run ragged over the last twelve months getting the Tesla Model 3 ready for mass production. The company’s efforts on that front appears to have met with success. It now has a design that it thinks it can mass produce successfully. The question is whether or not the compromises it made along the way will allow the car to capture the imagination.

To date Tesla, Inc. (NASDAQ:TSLA)  has lived off of financing from Wall Street, but the firm is adamant that will change with the affordable EV. In order for that to work, it needs to sell at least 500,000 units of the car per year according to its own statements. The firm’s first big challenge on the road there will be initial reviews.

Opinion pieces like the one from Jalopnik depress the future value of Telsa stock by an unimaginably small amount. If there’s more overwhelming praise, nobody will remember Torchinksy’s problems imagining how to work the air conditioning. If, on the other hand, the car becomes a “love it or hate it” type of vehicle there may be trouble ahead for Tesla, and the Jalopnik piece may turn out to have been prescient.

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Aaron McLeish

1 Comments

  1. The author of this article, Mr. McLeish, instead of uncritically repeating someone else’s critical opinion should have taken the time to do his job and research what others have said of the exact same thing. “Instead, according to Torchinsky, it’s an annoyance that makes the car worse.” Almost all mobile devices have almost entirely dispensed of buttons. Why haven’t our vehicles’ changed with the times? I agree with with USA Today: “it’s all rather simply and ingeniously controlled by touching your fingers to the screen and swiping over the part of the car where you want most of the AC or heat to be directed.” Here is what Bloomberg said: “The forward field of vision—uninterrupted by knobs, lights, and levers—is expansive.” Peter Holley of The Washington Post gave a sense of the Model 3 as the car of the future, writing that “from the moment you sit inside the Model 3, you do sense that you have entered uncharted territory […] I attribute that feeling to the intuitive nature of the Model 3’s minimalist design [and] the way the car seamlessly incorporates technology that is already second nature in many people’s everyday lives.” “It’s not so much that Tesla is ushering in the future,” Holley argued. “After riding in the Model 3, I’m more inclined to think that Tesla is single-handedly pulling the automotive industry into the present – the way anyone born before the Internet thought 2017 would look like decades earlier.”

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