With all of the praise being heaped on the Tesla Model S by the automotive press, it’s not difficult to see why a long waiting list is forming for the forthcoming electric car. But Tesla is still quite a small company, and with a waiting list now 14,000 names long, it will take the better part of a year before they can deliver to all those eager customers, especially at current production capacity. But some people, people with money, don’t feel like waiting that long, and some of those a bit higher up on the list are seeing this as an opportunity to make a few bucks.
People are now selling their slots on eBay, and these are going for many thousands of dollars, but there is one little problem with this, the reservations aren’t transferable. As Green Car Reports tells it, the Tesla reservation agreement is very specific about this, saying in Paragraph 6 “If you do not wish to enter into a Purchase Agreement at the time that you are contacted by Tesla, you have the option to relinquish your reservation sequence position and defer to a later position to be determined by us (only one deferral is permitted). If you do not communicate your decision to us within ten (10) days of notification under paragraph 4, you will automatically be granted such a deferral. This Agreement is not transferable or assignable to another party without the prior written approval of a Tesla authorized representative.” Tesla is reportedly not giving out said written approval.
This makes those expensive reservation slots that people are buying somewhat complicated. Since you cannot transfer the reservation, these eBay sellers are instead offering to sell their Model S as soon as they receive it, most likely for the sticker price plus whatever the auction comes to. But this isn’t necessarily straightforward either, as some states don’t allow you sell a car as used when it only has a couple miles on the odometer. So not only are you not really bidding on what you think you are, but there is the potential for you to end up in a horribly complicated situation. Most sellers don’t to have any kind of plan for this at all, and even if it’s legally possible, it could be that Tesla won’t look too favorably on these kinds of actions. Ferrari, for example, is famous for discouraging buyers from flipping cars, and those that do are frequently banned from ever buying another Ferrari again. Tesla probably won’t do this to you, but for those who want a Model S, it’s probably best to just wait your turn.
By Jacob Joseph
It seems that when Tesla first announced the performance numbers for the Model S, they were rather pessimistic with their claimed 4.4 second 0-62 mph or 0-100 km/h time. Several tests have been carried out, and the car has been timed anywhere from 4 seconds dead to around 4.2 seconds.
Now, in this latest onboard video by DragTimes, the Model S yet again does the benchmark sprint in four seconds and no more. This means the all-electric Sedan is seriously quick off the line, and up to around 80-90 mph, and there are genuinely very few cars of any type on the road which could keep up with it.
We are really impressed by the car's performance, in this video, and it just makes us appreciate the Model S even more.
Check out the video above, and be prepared to be amazed by the seamless surge of power the car`s electric motor. Proof of its performance is this video, where the car is put up against a Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG, with 518 hp.
2013 Tesla Model S
Well, it looks like there won’t be a Tesla Model S under my Christmas tree after all.
Even more annoying, that means I’ll have to wait until April 15, 2014, to take advantage of my $7,500 electric-car tax credit.
As Model S reservation holder P717, I’d hoped to take delivery of my car this month, after the initial batch of 1,200 premium-priced Signature cars were completed by Tesla Motors [NSDQ:TSLA].
When I signed the purchase agreement back in August, I was told I’d get my car–a metallic green 60-kWh model–in November or December, in time for the 2012 tax credit.
But with production slippages and a delay in the EPA certification of the 60-kWh battery version, delivery by the December 31 deadline began to look dicey.
Tesla has now officially delivered the bad news in a note to its reservation holders: production of 60-kWh cars won’t begin until January, with initial deliveries in “January/early February.”
With perhaps a couple of hundred 60-kWh buyers in line ahead of me, and the one- to two-week delivery time from California to my place in New York, it now looks like I’ll get my hands on the car in mid- or late February.
Oh, well. At least I’ll be missing a lot of cold weather, in which electric cars typically lose substantial range.
Tesla also announced new delivery dates for certain other options not available at the start of production.
Production of the base 40-kWh Model S will begin in March 2013, with deliveries starting in “March/early April.”
Cars with the standard coil suspension will also now start production in March. (So far, cars have been built only with the optional $1,500 air suspension.)
2012 Tesla Model S, brief test drive, New York City, July 2012
The one option whose start date hasn’t been pushed back is the new multi-coat Red paint color, which will come on line in March, as originally scheduled.
Tesla promises to send Model S buyers regular updates as each option gets closer to production.
“We have not done a great job at all in the past regarding communication on these items,” conceded Tesla VP George Blankenship. “I fully acknowledge our shortfall in this area.”
Going forward, he promised, the company will do “a much better job.”
David Noland is a Tesla Model S reservation holder and freelance writer who lives north of New York City.
By David Noland
It’s almost impossible to imagine what goes through the mind of someone who simultaneously runs a space exploration and electric car company, but the editors at Automobile recently interviewed CEO Elon Musk to get an insightful look at his two ventures, Tesla Motors and SpaceX.
Today, Tesla Motors appears to be in much better shape than it appeared when the Roadster was first hitting the streets. The automaker has partnered with Toyota for development on EVs and high demand is keeping its new plant in Northern California busy. But getting to this point has been anything but easy. During the interview, Musk discusses 2008, a critical period in Tesla’s timeline when he came close to shutting the doors for good.
He also has strong words about Henrick Fisker and why he thinks the company – and the Fisker Karma – is flawed. Musk suggests that Fisker prioritizes design too much over electric-car engineering. “He thinks the reason we don’t have electric cars is for lack of styling. This is not the reason. It’s fundamentally a technology problem.”
The interview includes a response from Fisker that reads, in part: “Obviously, Tesla and Fisker are appealing to two different customer bases with two totally different technologies. Tesla has pure EV and Fisker has a range-extended offering with no compromise on range.”
Musk also discusses Tesla’s extensive testing procedures and points out that none of his cars have caught fire, regardless if they were involved in an accident. Lastly, he discusses the possibility of a smaller sedan to slot below the Model S in terms of size and price.
Click here for the full interview at Automobile magazine and head here to read about our tour of a Tesla factory.
2013 Tesla Model S electric sport sedan [photo by owner David Noland]
I’ve been surprised and delighted by how efficiently my new 2013 Tesla Model S has been running at higher speeds.
Tesla Motors [NSDQ:TSLA] hammers home the message that high speeds can drastically reduce the range of any Model S.
It cautions that its original range figure of 230 miles for my 60-kWh car is based on a steady 55-mph speed, on level ground, and that higher speeds can significantly reduce this number.
(The official EPA range, based on a variety of speeds and conditions, is 208 miles.)
But who drives 55 mph? On multilane highways, certainly not me.
According to a range-vs-speed graph on the Tesla website, range of the 85-kWh Model S at a steady 55 mph is about 310 miles.
At a steady 70 mph, the graph shows a range of 240 miles–a reduction of 23 percent.
If we apply the same 23-percent range reduction to my 60-kWh car, it works out to a range of 178 miles at 70 mph.
Cool temperatures eat away at range as well. According to the range calculator at my local Tesla store, range declines by about 10 percent at 40 degrees. Now we’re down to 160 miles.
Knock off a few more miles for hills, and we’re looking at a projected real-world range–my real world at this time of year, at least–of maybe 150 miles.
But I actually did much better than that on a trip to New York City last week, under just those conditions.
No hypermiling here; I drove 65-75 mph over moderately hilly terrain, with the outside temperature at 40 degrees and the climate control on a comfortable setting (no shivering, either).
The 117.5-mile round trip consumed 39.2 kWh of juice, about two-thirds of the battery capacity. Average power consumption was 334 watt-hours per mile. That’s almost exactly 3 miles per kWh.
Extrapolate those numbers out to the full battery capacity of 60 kWh, and we get a max range of 180 miles. That’s a lot better than the 150 or so predicted by the graphs and calculators.
It’s a nice little bonus that makes up for a couple of days of “vampire” electrical power usage while the car is parked in my driveway
David Noland is a Tesla Model S owner and freelance writer who lives north of New York City.
By David Noland
It’s been about two weeks since Tesla’s Model S won Automobile Magazine’s Automobile of the Year, and the EV sedan added another trophy–Motor Trend’s Car of the Year title –to its case, which also includes Yahoo Autos’ Car of the Year. Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk is happy to see the awards rack up and hear the accolades, but is reportedly celebrating with the promise of more Tesla models.
That isn’t to say that Musk isn’t spending a minute or two just celebrating. “When I heard that the Model S had won Motor Trend‘s Car of the Year, I did a double-overhead high-five with George Blankenship [head of Tesla's retail efforts],” the CEO told Motor Trend Editor-in-Chief Ed Loh. “It’s going to be a huge shot in the arm to the whole Tesla team.”
But there aren’t many laurels for Musk to rest on: Tesla is still struggling a bit, amidst the financial hardship of starting a car company, creating a network of charging stations, and now fighting legal battles over its retail network. Keep in mind that Tesla has only built 1000 Model S bodies (which likely includes development models) at its Fremont, California plant through the end of last month. Tesla is hoping to ramp up production to 20,000 units a year by next year.
If Tesla is successful, there are still a few roadblocks between here and President Obama’s stated goal of having one million EVs, plug-in hybrids, and EREVs on the road by 2015, namely the charging infrastructure and initial cost of buying an electric car. Musk hopes to have both of those bases covered, too, and predicts that Obama’s reelection will help keep the pressure on from the government to promote greener, more electrified cars.
First up: the Supercharger network, a national grid of solar-powered electric car chargers along major thoroughfares that hopes to make interstate (or cross-country) driving possible with the Model S. Musk and Tesla recently opened a handful of Supercharger stations but hope to have all major intercity routes (like Boston to New York/Philadelphia/Washington D.C.) covered by 2014.
As for the products, Musk hopes to introduce new products to expand Tesla’s reach while the technology’s costs naturally come down. “I think we’ve got some really good products coming down the pipeline,” he said. “We’ve got the Model X, which is really trying to apply some major innovation to the SUV and Minivan segment, and we’ve got our third-generation car, which is a mass-market electric car–that’s actually the one that I’m most keen to bring to the market.” Lest you think that Teslas are only going to be passenger-focused vehicles like SUVs and sedans, Musk did slip a little fun into his conversation with Motor Trend. “We have this idea for an electric truck that could really be a big improvement in truck technology…[and] we’d like to do an electric supercar.”
With that said, the truck and supercar’s future (and the saleability of the Model X) do depend on the ability of the Model S to make money. So if you’re hoping for a California-built, all-electric truck in your future driveway, keep your fingers crossed.
Sources: Reuters, Motor Trend
By Ben Timmins
If you needed even more proof that the Tesla Model S is properly quick, by any standards, we highly recommend you check out the video above. The car was recently put up against a previous-generation 2004 Dodge Viper SRT-10, which features an 8.3-liter V10 engine, with over 500 hp.
The Dodge has a claimed 0-62 mph or 0-100km/h time of just under four seconds, so it is comparable to the claimed time of the 414 hp all-electric Model S, which Tesla claims completes the benchmark sprint in just over 4 seconds (they say 4.4, but the actual figure is actually lower).
The video, courtesy of DragTimes, shows the two cars being put head to head on a smooth and even drag strip, so it`s all down to which car is quicker, and there are no exterior factors which could corrupt the result.
The electric car sprints off the line much quicker than the Viper, which actually looks and feels very sluggish. The EV pulls a comfortable lead on the V10 car, and despite the fact that by the end of the quarter-mile, it is beginning to gain ground, the Tesla still nails it in the end.
While the fate of the Atlantic is still unsure, Fisker have secured a deal with BMW, which allows them to use the new 2.0-liter turbocharged unit, as fitted to the new 3-Series, and a few other smaller models from the Bavarian automaker’s range.
The information comes from Fisker CEO, Tony Posawats, who reportedly was also very optimistic about the future of the car. The next step for the company is the transition to being a publicly-owned firm, able to trade stocks, in a similar manner to what Tesla have done. This BMW collaboration is probably the first, as the company plans on multiple partnerships of the sort, as well as a competent lease plan.
The only hurdle standing between the new Atlantic and the Delaware assembly line is, of course, a financial one. Fisker is currently $150-million short, but with half of the Department of Energy (DOE) loan, of $529 still to come, perhaps the money issue will be solved.
Story via autonews.com
Electrons are small. You may think that dead pixel on your computer screen is small, but it’s a city block compared to an electron. This may be why many people don’t understand how hard it is to store enough of them to power a car. Two companies with an intimate knowledge of the problem are electric car pioneer Tesla, and electronics giant Panasonic.
This week, the Japanese tech company announced it was investing $30 Million into Tesla to jointly develop new battery technology for its upcoming electric sedan and to be licensed by other manufacturers. Tesla currently uses Panasonic cells to power its Lotus-based Roadster and is working with Toyota on developing their next generation of hybrid and all-electric vehicles. The infusion of cash came in the form of Panasonic acquiring a 2-percent ownership stake in Tesla.
Panasonic recently announced its own joint-venture with Toyota, dubbed Primearth EV Energy Co. The goal is to develop more efficient nickel-metal hydride and lithium-ion batteries. Future plans involve the merger of Panasonic and current rival Sanyo to become a battery development powerhouse for the quickly expanding electric car market.
Factoid: Lithium-ion batteries are currently the most efficient type being used in electric vehicles and are roughly 64 times less energy dense than good ole gasoline. The best Li-ion cells are currently capable of roughly 0.72 MJ/Kg while gasoline is roughly 46.4 MJ/Kg.
Source: Automotive News (Subscription required)
While everybody thought that Tesla would not be touching the Model S in any way, at least for a few years, the CEO and founder of the company, Elon Musk has other plans… He spoke during a recent meeting to discuss the company’s third quarter financial results, where he also let slip a little bit more information.
He said: “There are a few other variants of the Model S that we'll come out with next year that I think are going to be pretty exciting, in addition to, of course, really getting into the Model X and starting the initial design work of the 3rd generation mass market vehicle.”
The part about the Model X was known and predictable, but the “other variants” of the Model S have gotten our imagination going. An entry-level version may be what they have in store, which will feature the smallest battery pack available, but do away with leather, the 17-inch touch screen and other useless luxuries that some people just wouldn’t want.
Things could go as far as them making an estate version of the car, as Fisker have done by taking the Karma and turning it into the Surf. We hope to have more details soon, because the Model S is a unique and very interesting car about which we want to know all there is to.
Story via autoblog.com