Archives for July 13th, 2013

2012 Tesla Model S Update: 100 Built, 74 For Delivery

2012 Tesla Model S

2012 Tesla Model S

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Tesla Motors may have been initially cagey about its production figures while the first few cars were being delivered, but as production gathers pace the company is revealing more details on Model S deliveries.

In one of his regular Inside Tesla features on the Tesla Blog, Tesla vice president of sales and ownership George Blankenship confirms production and delivery numbers, two months on from the first car reaching its owner.

Blankenship says that the 100th production Model S has now left the line, of which 74 are for delivery to the first reservation holders.

The other vehicles are being used for test drives–such as on Tesla’s ‘Get Amped’ tour–as well as in-store displays, engineering tests and service team training.

He also confirms that Tesla is still on course to increase production over the coming weeks, to meet the target of 5,000 vehicles by the end of the year.

And as CEO Elon Musk confirmed less than a week ago, this period is critical for the future success of Tesla–cars leaving the line really must be perfect.

While cars are trickling out of the factory, Blankenship also makes time to comment on the Model S’s impressive figures during Edmunds track testing, as well as the continuing Get Amped tour, where more than 5,000 people have got behind the wheel of a Model S, racking up over 38,000 miles.

We look forward to hearing more production numbers from Tesla–and seeing if they can meet that 5,000 car target by the end of this year.


By Antony Ingram

Judge Dismisses Massachusetts Dealer Suit Against Tesla

Judge Dismisses Massachusetts Dealer Suit Against Tesla

Tesla and Space-X founder Elon Musk has a well-deserved reputation for being somewhat of an iconoclast, doing things his own way, and not being constrained by convention or tradition. That approach to business also extends to his model of selling cars, taking a factory-owned store approach with Tesla, a relative rarity in the U.S. market, and in some states may be illegal, at least according to car dealer trade associations. The Massachusetts State Automobile Dealers Association was so incensed at the building of a Tesla showroom in the Natick Mall, that it filed a suit against the electric car maker.

But Massachusetts Judge Kenneth J. Fishman dismissed the suit, stating “The court is unconvinced that the 2002 amendment to Chapter 93B expanded the purpose of the statute to protect the motor vehicle franchise system,” according to a Bloomberg report.

Musk addressed the legal victory by Tesla in a statement: “We are delighted by the outright dismissal of this case, and the validation that we are operating our business in compliance with the laws and expectations of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.”

But the dealer association hasn’t given up its fight entirely, saying it is considering an appeal. “It’s just another bump in the road we have to address,” Robert O’Koniewski, executive vice president of the state dealer association said.

Source: Bloomberg

By Edward A. Sanchez

Tesla Dealer License Rejected in Virginia

Some say the State of Virginia isn’t that friendly when it comes to electric cars. Given the fact that EVs have arrived a little late in the “Old Dominion”, that might be true but for obvious reasons we wouldn’t want to wager on that.

However, one particular electric car manufacturer just got a big “NO!” from the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) after placing a bid for a dealership license. Since Fisker has other things to worry about, the specific company we’re talking about is Tesla, who, according to Automotive News, was denied by the DMV to open up its own dealership in Tysons Corner, Virginia.

“We welcome Tesla to Virginia, but they too must abide by the laws like all other manufacturers and Virginia new car and truck dealers," said Don Hall, president of the dealer association, who argued that giving Tesla license for a company-owned dealership would violate Virginia franchise law.

In short, the law states that an automaker can open a factory-owned store only if no independent dealer is available to operate the franchise “in a manner consistent with the public interest”.

Meanwhile, Tesla Motors is “still figuring out next steps” and whether to take Virginia DMV to Court, with the successful Boston case in mind. The company has 33 days to appeal the decision.

Story via Automotive News

By Ciprian Florea

Tesla Model X Crossover Coming on February 9

The Tesla Model X crossover, a vehicle that has gathered a lot of attention ever since the first unofficial report linked to it surfaced, is now getting closer to its arrival, with the vehicle set to be unveiled on February 9.

However, the vehicle will not make its debut at the Chicago Auto Show. According to Auto Guide, Tesla will unveil the crossover at its California-based design studio. While the reveal date is certain, we’ll take the location info with a grain of salt.

The Model X will be underpinned by a modified version of the Model S sedan and should come with a luxury topping, which means that, for example, the interior will be flooded with premium goodies. The announced date for the launch of the Model X is approaching fast and we can be pretty sure that more info on the vehicle will make its way online meanwhile.

By Andrei Tutu

2012 Tesla Model S: Electric Luxury Sedan Ultimate Guide

Tesla Model S Alpha build

Tesla Model S Alpha build

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Finally, after several years of teaser images, videos, clips, auto show appearances and more, there are finally production examples of the 2012 Tesla Model S driving around on the streets

Tesla Motors [NSDQ:TSLA] has been working tirelessly to put the Model S on the market, and CEO Elon Musk even won his $1,000 bet with journalist Dan Neil for keeping promises he made about the car way back in 2009–impressive, given the struggles young companies normally face.

But what lies beneath the Silicon Valley hype? What is the Model S like to drive, what goes on behind the scenes and what can you do to buy one?

Before you get any further, read our first drive review of the 2012 Tesla Model S, and then check out our brief drive video. Were we glad to finally get behind the wheel? You bet.


The basics

If you’ve been following Tesla’s progress as closely as we have here at GreenCarReports, you’ll be able to relay Model S details without a moment’s thought.

That includes details like its EPA-rated 89 MPGe efficiency and 265-mile range (with the largest battery), with a projected range of up to 300 miles on the highway. Elon is even thinking up a prize for the first verified 400-mile run on one charge. When you’re not conserving range, a 0-60mph run of under 4.5 seconds is for the taking.

  • 2012 Tesla Model S: Yes, It Really Does Perform That Well (New!)
  • 2012 Tesla Model S To Get One-Hour Recharging Next Year?
  • 2012 Tesla Model S Tests: 1 Hour Or Less Is Not A Review
  • How Much Space IS There Inside A 2012 Tesla Model S Anyway?
  • Why Is Tesla Scared To Release Its Electric-Car Sales Data?
  • So How Many 2012 Model S Electric Cars Can Tesla Really Sell?
  • 2012 Tesla Model S All-Electric Sedan: Drive Reviews Roundup
  • 2012 Fisker Karma Vs. 2012 Tesla Model S: Video Debate
  • 2012 Tesla Model S: Would YOU Drive It At Just 55 MPH?
  • 2012 Tesla Model S Electric Sedan: Industry Analyst Weighs In
  • 2012 Tesla Model S: Photo Gallery
  • 2012 Tesla Model S: First Ride Report
  • 2012 Tesla Model S Prototype Spy Shots: Exclusive
  • Tesla Model S Electric Sedan Closer To Launch, Gets Facelift
  • 2012 Tesla Model S Prototype Workshop: Photo Gallery
  • Tesla Model S Update: Alpha Testing On Track, Deliveries Mid-2012
  • 2012 Tesla Model S All-Electric Sedan: Progress And Schedule
  • 2012 Tesla Model S: Reader Asks Why It’s Different, We Reply
  • Tesla Model S: Technical Specs
  • 2012 Tesla Model S Prices, Options, Specifications Released
  • 2012 Tesla Model S: Video Preview
  • Tesla Model S Electric Sports Sedan: Video From Detroit Auto Show
  • 2012 Tesla Model S Electric Sedan: New Teaser Video

2012 Tesla Model S display screen [Photo: Flickr user jurvetson]

2012 Tesla Model S display screen [Photo: Flickr user jurvetson]

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The technology 

This is a car that’s selling on the back of its technology. The whole car is something of a gadget, but with a crystal-clear display screen in the center of the car and support for third-party apps, the spec list reads like a wheeled iPod. Even the manufacturing process is suitably advanced.

  • Tesla Model S Gets First Direct TuneIn Internet Radio Integration (New!)
  • 2012 Tesla Model S: Will Winter Weather Ruin Its Range?
  • 2012 Tesla Model S: Is Aluminum Its Secret Weapon?
  • 2012 Tesla Model S Factory Secret: Bargain Price, Ikea Furniture
  • 2012 Tesla Model S To Benefit From Supercharging…Of A Sort
  • 2012 Tesla Model S To Use Panasonic Lithium-Ion Battery Cells
  • Tesla’s 2012 Model S Charging Equipment. Redesign For Redesign’s Sake?
  • How Much Does A Tesla Model S Battery Pack Cost You? We Do The Math
  • Tegra For Tesla: 2012 Model S To Use NVIDIA Graphics Tech
  • Tesla Considers Software Application To Re-Skin Interior Of Model S
  • Tesla Model S: The Biggest Battery Pack On The Market?

2012 Tesla Model S body-in-white

2012 Tesla Model S body-in-white

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The history

We’ve been running stories on the Model S since 2008, and each new morsel of information has whetted our appetite for more. Here, you can read about Tesla’s $42 million investment in its Fremont plant, information from the first running of its Model S Alpha prototype, and catch Toyota CEO and gearhead Akio Toyoda checking out the Model S at the 2011 Detroit Auto Show.

  • Tesla Model S: Production Must Be Perfect To Avoid Financial Failure (New!)
  • Tesla Buoyant After 2012 Model S Launch, Despite Losses (New!)
  • Tesla Cuts Model S Production Goal For Third Quarter To 500, Analyst Reports
  • 2012 Tesla Model S Winter Testing Video Mashup Released
  • 2012 Tesla Model S Electric Sedan: New Teaser Video
  • Two Tesla Execs Leave Before 2012 Model S Launch, Stock Falls
  • Last Tesla Roadster Built By Lotus: All Eyes Toward Model S
  • Tesla Profitable In 2012, Model S Sold Out: Elon Musk
  • Tesla Outlines Production Details For 2012 Model S
  • Raging Grannies Protest Tesla’s Possible Use of Toxic Dump Site For Future Model S Plant
  • Tesla Joins Tax-Incentive Trail For Not-Yet-Sited Model S Factory
  • Tesla Headhunting Top Auto Execs In Lead Up To Model S Launch
  • Tesla Reaffirms Plans for Model S-Based Crossover, Minivan
  • Video: Tesla Model S Electric Car
  • Tesla Will Use DOE Funding For Model S And Electric Drivetrain Factories
  • Tesla Model S: $49,900, 7(ish) seats, 0-60 in 5.6, 300 mile range
  • Tesla Planning Electric SUV And Coupe-Saloon Based On Upcoming Model S
  • Tesla Using Dodge Magnum Bodies To Disguise Model S Test Mules?

Buying a Model S

Some buyers are lucky enough to already have their Model S, but for those that don’t, there’s plenty of information available. Some buyers are still waiting on their cars, but already finding out little things they’d change. Others are listing plenty of things they love about their new Model S.

  • 2012 Tesla Model S: 50 Cars Built, 29 Delivered, Maker Says (New!)
  • Tesla Dodges Traditional Dealerships—And Questions Remain (New!)
  • 2012 Tesla Model S Electric-Car Deliveries To Start Today
  • First 2012 Tesla Model S Delivered To Earliest Depositor Steve Jurvetson (Video)
  • Want A 2013 Tesla Model S Signature Edition? Too Late, They’re All Gone
  • Buy Luxury House, Get Low Tesla Model S Reservation Number!
  • 2012 Tesla Model S Deliveries To Start June 22
  • Buying A 2012 Tesla Model S? Think Before Ordering The Battery Pack
  • Tesla Update: Model S On Track, Reservations Good, Don’t Worry
  • What Kind Of People Are Ordering The 2012 Tesla Model S?
  • Foolishness Or Faith: 3000 Buyers Pay $5,000 for Model S Reservation
  • Tesla Motors Surpasses 1000 Reservations For the Model S Electric Car
  • Tesla Takes 520 Reservations For The Model S, Exceeding Expectations


2012 Tesla Model S

2012 Tesla Model S

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Social media and marketing

While much of the goings-on inside Tesla have been kept relatively quiet, the Model S has still been on the news on occasion, with everything from appearances on Letterman to in-house videos of the sleek sedan and its sports car parent ripping up the asphalt.

Of course, Mr Musk has kept himself in the news too. Are predictions like “half of all new cars will be electric in 15-20 years” clever pieces of marketing by the Tesla CEO? Perhaps, but after Dan Neil lost that $1,000 bet, we’re not willing to do likewise with Mr Musk…

  • Tesla Model S ‘Get Amped’ Tour: 5,000 Test Drives In Sight (New!)
  • 2012 Tesla Model S: ‘Opportunity Console’ Details Revealed
  • Tesla Plans 5,000 Model S ‘Test Drives’ In 45 Days, Starting June 23
  • Tesla Motors Won’t Need More Money, Says CEO Musk
  • Tesla Releases Trio Test-Track Fun Model S Teaser Video
  • Objects May Not Be As Advertised: Tesla Model S Prototype Tour
  • Tesla Releases Pretty Video Of Model S Sedan Under Own Power
  • Tesla Motors To Showcase Roadster VIN1000 And Model S Concept At NAIAS
  • Tesla Releases New On-Road Shots of 2012 Model S
  • Official Tesla Model S Electric Sedan Teaser Photo


By Antony Ingram

2013 Tesla Model S: Now Available In Red, At Last

Red 2013 Tesla Model S cars roll down the production line (Photo: @elonmusk on Twitter)

Red 2013 Tesla Model S cars roll down the production line (Photo: @elonmusk on Twitter)

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If you want a red Tesla Model S and didn’t get in there with the Signature models, you’re in luck.

The photo above was revealed in a Tweet by Elon Musk on Tuesday, showing new red Model S cars heading down the line, prior to completion.

“New Tesla red going down assembly line for the first time. We spent a lot of time on this color!” tweeted Musk.

Red was initially available on the first run of Signature edition cars, but it’s taken some time for Tesla to introduce the color into regular Model S production.

The shade, called Multi Red, is different from that of Signature red cars, slightly lighter in hue and with a deep, non-metallic finish.

There’s been a little confusion as to whether it’s the same shade as cars doing the rounds at various shows over the last few months known as Sunset Red.

Both shades are apparently the same, as confirmed by Tesla’s George Blankenship in an email with one Tesla Motors Club forum member .

It’s been available to order for several months now on Tesla’s configurator, but with the first red models now rolling down the line it shouldn’t be long until owners get their hands on the new cars.

And of course, other shades are still available…


By Antony Ingram

Tesla Opens First East Coast ‘Supercharger’ Charging Stations

Tesla Motors really seems to be very serious about covering the whole of the US with their Supercharger fast charging stations, so that the owners of their cars will be able to drive anywhere they please, without the risk of running out of juice in the middle of nowhere.

Now, they have announced the opening of the first such stations on the East Coast. The first is located in Wilmington, DE, which is located around 30 minutes outside of Philadelphia, while the second is in Milford, CT, which is situated around the halfway point between New York City and Boston – both are located along the I-95 interstate.

Furthermore, owners of the Tesla Model S (the only model ‘supported’ by the fast chargers), benefits from a high-voltage output of 480 volts, which gives the car another 150 miles of range, from a half-hour charge. Also factoring in the fact that charging is completely free, it is a really important incentive for those looking to buy an EV in order to reduce motoring costs, along with being green – people who would buy the most basic version of the Model S, which should arrive in 2013.

By Andrei Nedelea

Tesla Model S Does The Quietest Burnout Ever [Video]

We already knew that the Tesla Model S had easily enough power and torque to do an effortless burnout, yet we had not seen the phenomenon, until now. Road&Track have released a short video, in which a silver Model S leaves masses of tire smoke in its wake – the burnout is quite spectacular.

However, as we are normally used to associate the idea of a burnout with a petrol or diesel engine being revved hard, the complete lack of noise will definitely make this one of the strangest burnouts you’ve ever seen. The EV’s 600 Nm of constant peak torque really make their mark here, and this car would have no problem spinning its rears until the tires gave in.

Still, we hope to see the Model S put to the test, compared against conventional rivals, and just acknowledged as a fun car, and not a boring EV – it is ‘new school’ thinking, and one of the best examples of it.

By Andrei Nedelea

Tesla Shares Hit Record High

While Fisker Automotive in on the verge of bankruptcy, Tesla Motors seems to be doing just fine, with shares reaching a record high earlier this week.

The company’s stock hit a record high Tuesday morning, when a share reached $52.92 in NASDAQ trading, before sliding back to $51 a piece. The growth comes just a few weeks after Tesla revealed that Q1 2013 was its first ever quarter to bring profit.

Tesla Motors sold 4,750 examples of its Model S from January through March 2013, 250 more than initially forecasted, and its expected that the original estimate of 20,000 units sales until the end of the year to go up as well.

The automaker’s shares went public in June 2010 for only $17, and reports say they have jumped more than 50 percent during the past year.

Story via Autoblog

By Ciprian Florea

Report: Elon Musk Comments on Aluminum Ford F-150 – Rumor Central

Report: Elon Musk Comments on Aluminum Ford F-150

Rumors have abounded regarding the next-generation Ford F-150, due for 2015. Word is that the new truck will heavily utilize aluminum to help boost fuel economy and decrease curb weight. Now, according to our colleagues at Motor Trend, Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk is adding some fuel to the fire.

Speaking with MT during the Detroit auto show earlier this year, Musk pontificated on the type of aluminum Ford may be using for the new F-150. “From what I’ve heard, they’re using 7000-series aluminum, which is the right step. It’s very strong and light—it’s the same alloy we use to build rockets. There are many different alloys you can use, and a lot of manufacturers use 5000-series aluminum, but 7000 is twice as strong. It can’t be traditionally welded; it must be bonded or mechanically joined or friction welded.”

Interesting is Musk’s note that the 7000-series aluminum would need a new bonding method versus being traditionally welded. While the F-150 does sell in huge numbers – at 645,316 copies were sold of the F-Series last year, it remained the country’s best-selling vehicle – we’re not sure if Ford would be willing to cut into the profitable truck’s bottom line so substantially. However, better efficiency for the F-150 could translate to even more sales, and using such a high-selling model to pioneer aluminum construction could help with economies of scale.

We do know that Ford will draw on the Atlas Concept from this year’s Detroit show (pictured) to inspire the design of the 2015 F-150. Expect the new truck to use active aerodynamic features and to drop roughly 700 lbs from the new construction methods. This weight loss piqued Musk’s interest, too: “I’m very curious about how Ford is going about [the new F-150]. Honestly, we may have something to learn. Our chassis is a bit heavy; it could stand to lose a little weight.”

Source: Motor Trend

By Donny Nordlicht