Tesla makes Robotaxis Economic

Tesla makes robotaxis economic

I listened to a video on the “napkin” maths of Tesla Full Self Driving and Robotaxis one by Lee and James Douma

Will Teslas make Robotaxis economic? If one was to take out a commercial lease at say 10% interest, then over the 10 years the return on investment if over a million dollars, and that is lowering the price of a taxi or rideshare by 30% lower than what is currently charged.

Tony Seba in his research from RethinkX in a report Rethinking Transportation 2020 to 2030 proposes that a change from individual ownership to “Transport as a Service” or TaaS” will one of the major disruptions in the decade. You can read the report on Rethinkx.com website, or read my blog here. Autonomous electric cars will displace individually owned internal combustion engine cars. Many see the EV displacing ICE cars, but not individual car ownership to TaaS. But it seems that this is a business AND social opportunity so I see an opportunity for everyone.

Why Tesla makes Robotaxis Economic

  • Tesla makes about 20% GP on its cars – a bit higher than BWM or Ford or on a car about $10,000 per sale so the ability to earn hundreds of thousands more will be top of their mind. It turns the industry from auto making to a software business with margins over 50%.
  • Tesla would be tempted to stop sales to private customers, and just use them as robotaxis, with a huge increase in profits. They could make hundreds of thousands over 10 years.
  • There will be no supply – demand pressure until the existing taxis and ride share are displaced and as the price comes down the reason to own your own car drops – which increases the market size.
  • I.e. The price to consumers dropped by 50% (say) then more people would move to robotaxis
  • There appears to be a business opportunity to either own the vehicle yourself or for the Fleet Operator.
  • When will this happen? 2023 / 2025? Hard to see how this will not happen due to economic and technology? But politics
The average cost of taxi or rideshare$4.00Gazetted Brisbane taxi costs 2021
Driving distance lifetime1,600,000Tesla warrants 1 million miles
Robotaxi expected km per year160,000Private vehicles have 4% utilisation (12,500 km per year – RACQ data). Robotaxis to be 40% utilisation
Lifetime of vehicle10This figure from Tony Seba on robotaxis
Capital Cost of Vehicle106,000Tesla $US80k which includes FSD on website
Lease – interest & repayment over 5 years$32,000Per year lease costs (based on 10% interest, 5 years repayment).
Therefore total money to be shared among all parties over 10 years.$6.4mGross revenue. Does not include licensing, operating costs or a lower cost to the consumer.
Annual shared value. $640,000Who benefits from this?
How is that split – AssumptionsPercentageWhat’s is that benefit per year?
Maybe the passenger has a 30% cheaper ride30%Gets a ride for $2.33, not $4.00
Tesla (for their software)20%$106,000
Fleet operator – maintains, cleans, charges20%$106,000
Owner (owns, leases) 30%$160,000
For the owner, So over 10 years, that is $1.44m return over 10 yearsFor the robot taxi manufacturer
this increases their net profit
Download the Google Sheet, and make your own assumptions

How Much is Full Self Driving Worth to Tesla

Brian Lee with James Douma meander through this video talking about Teslas and robotaxis. The discussion on robotaxis starts about 1:04:17 – but if you can stick to the whole video it may be worth your while.

How to Start

Want a foot in the door. Go to tesla.com/cybertruck and put down a deposit on the Cybertruck . Make sure you select the Full Self Driving option to lock in the price at $US10,000

It costs $150 and full refundable if you change your mind.

Want to know more about Electric Vehicles. Check out my post here

View the Google Sheet Here and if you want to download it to play with it yourself. Let me know what you think.

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