Tearing Down Tesla Segment 2: Tesla Model 3 vs. BMW i3 with REx System

What costs more? An electric vehicle with an extended range system or a full electric vehicle? How does OEM assembly time factor in?

Background: The supplier component costs for a full battery electric vehicle, like the Tesla Model 3, are often more expensive than an electric vehicle with a range extender, like the BMW i3. However, for the OEM, an electric vehicle with a range extender (or any type of hybrid vehicle) will drive more OEM assembly costs. Additional assembly workstations are required to build a range extender system (often in a spur line), then more stations must be added to the main final assembly line in the vehicle assembly plant.

Side note: this does not include the cost to assemble the engine, which could be supplier or OEM assembly costs.

Data: The BMW i3 REx system can be estimated to drive approximately $45.61 in OEM assembly costs for installation and assembly of the system components into the REx module. This drives the need for approximately 35-40 more workstations in the assembly plant.

Methodology: Munro’s Design Profit® software has a built-in scoring system that allows users to analyze handling and interaction times when assembling parts. Munro uses this scoring system, along with a library of industry standard fastening and operation times, to generate an estimated time and motion study for the assembled parts and work cells that are required. Then, in order to generate assembly costs, that assembly time is matched with a work cell rate for the require operator and equipment.