By on August 9, 2007

tesla-roadster.jpgYou may recall that TTAC took Tesla to task over its range claims for their all-electric Roadster– which the company stoutly defended, then revised downwards from 250 miles to 200. We also warned that Tesla wasn't likely to meet their already once-postponed summer delivery date– which they didn't. And now the erstwhile automaker has announced that they'll start releasing cars to customers in October. Or November. Forbes reports that Tesla CEO and co-founder Martin Eberhard is adamant: "We will definitely ship in that time frame." Eberhard attributes the company's third delay to a "late change in the transmission vendor." No word yet on whether the Tesla Roadster has passed federal crash tests. And you'd kinda think the company would have a working press car by now, less than three months from its [alleged] launch. Rest assured that we'll be following this developing story as it develops. Or not. 

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8 Comments on “Tesla Birth Watch 1: Tesla Threatens to Deliver Cars...”

  • avatar

    No big deal. Any young company working on a new technology in the spotlight is bound to have some hiccups and delays.

    Hey, if people want to spend $40K ripping a perfectly fine Toyota motor out of an Elise and replacing it with an electric one, let them have at it.

  • avatar

    I understand the ‘I told you so…’ but in my opinion, it is better for them to release a product with as few problems as possible rather than pushit out the door and have a garbage product. This car needs to succeed to move things in the right direction.

  • avatar

    What the Steorn is going on over at Tesla?

  • avatar

    Bob – my press car is being shipped over as we speak. We will be organizing first drives shortly thereafter. It is a validation prototype but very close to production intent. We have successfully completed crash testing with the EP cars, and have no reason to believe things will be different with the VP cars. Final crash testing has commenced and we will be reporting on it soon. I never revised the range down to 200 – I said it would be over 200. I wanted to avoid having to guess it specifically and then revise it again. It will be over 200, and we will announce that as soon as we do the actual EPA test soon.

    cgraham has it right – we are less eager to appease skeptics by pushing a car out the door quickly than we are eager to make sure the car is a great product. We have VP cars on the durability track right now and are taking care of the myriad little things any car company does before releasing a car to the public.

    In your last piece on Tesla you mentioned that no third party had verified the safety of the battery. We just did a release on the battery passing UN and DOT protocols for safety when whipping, which can actually be harsher than safety when in a car.

  • avatar

    No big deal. Any young company working on a new technology in the spotlight is bound to have some hiccups and delays.

    I believe that Mr. Farago’s underlying criticism is that this has too many shades of the Vector and a whole host of other electric car companies that never produced more than a lot of hype.

    In the IT world, they refer to these sorts of products as “vaporware.” The history of car making is littered with boutique makers who bilked a lot of would-be buyers and investors out of cash for cars that were never produced. The Tesla may be real, but so far, it appears to be following an eerily similar pattern — a lot of wonderful promises…but oops, another delay…and then another slight delay…and then another setback…

    A basic premise of good business is to underpromise but overdeliver. If this is legit, it would have been better to have a spring 2008 launch and bring it out three months early than it would be to have a date and continually push it back.

  • avatar

    This morning, NPR broadcast an interview with Elon Musk, who has invested $37m in Telsa.

    He’s also started a company (SpaceX) that builds rockets: “SpaceX has customers for 11 upcoming launches and a contract with NASA which is hoping that a startup like SpaceX will be able to one day take astronauts to the Space Station.”

    Interesting guy, to say the least.

    NPR transcript: “Making a Mark with Rockets and Roadsters.”

  • avatar

    oops – I meant “safety when shipping” not “safety when whipping” – freudian slip?

  • avatar

    This is the location of the Tesla Store in Menlo Park.,-58.710937&sspn=99.6111,158.203125&ie=UTF8&ll=37.453568,-122.175007&spn=0.011277,0.019312&z=15&om=0

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