By on May 15, 2008

tesla2.jpgWhen we started the Tesla Birth Watch last August, we said "we'll be following this developing story as it develops." Then, in January, we stated "we're obliged to quit carping under this title when one- count it ONE- Roadster enters its owner's climate-controlled garage." Well, it's happened. After several false starts, revised delivery dates and lots of PR tap dancing, the first Tesla is in the hands of a paying customer. (We know Tesla CEO Elon Musk got his Roadster three months ago, and supposedly paid full price for the honor, but we don't see that as a "real" delivery.) According to Tesla Comms Veep Darryl Siry, "Car #3 was delivered to someone (who prefers not to be named) who is not associated with the company on a day to day basis, but whose investment fund put money into Tesla very early." Of course, RF is grumbling, asking for independent verification of Siry's assertion. But I've convinced him it's time to call it a day. The Tesla Birth Watch is officially over. The Tesla Death Watch begins. 

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27 Comments on “Tesla Birth Watch 48: Done....”


  • avatar

    The Tesla Birth Watch is officially over. The Tesla Death Watch begins.

    Not exactly a prediction for a long life, eh?

  • avatar
    thalter

    Now we just need to wrap up the Debt 3 Death Watch series. Death Pool anyone?

  • avatar
    jthorner

    ” …. delivered to someone (who prefers not to be named) who is not associated with the company on a day to day basis ….”

    Sounds like pre-production unit #3. But hey, Corbin pushed almost 300 Sparrows out of the nest before going under.

  • avatar
    Juniper

    You guys are really mean. Give them at least a week to bask in their glory.

  • avatar

    Yay delivery. Starting a Death Watch is a little harsh, though it’s a very real possibility, considering how the company has been run to this point. I hope they do well, you know, for the sake of humanity.

  • avatar

    this is a sad day indeed

  • avatar
    RayH

    The Tesla Birth Watch is officially over. The Tesla Death Watch begins.
    If they met your target of 1 car delivered to a customer, give them some props, at least at first! A lot of people thought that wouldn’t even happen. I know we may not know the full story behind true independent verification, but I’d advise toning back that language in the name of goodwill.

  • avatar
    guyincognito

    I disagree. According to Eberhard’s story, Roadster 3 is a refurb of a prototype and not a real production unit. Until a ground up production unit reaches a paying customers hands the car has yet to be born, IMHO.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    In my opinion, delivering one car doesn’t mean much.

    A fully functioning production line that is fulfilling orders, yes. One vehicle? A bit early to say.

    Even Vector delivered one vehicle. Technically, they’re still in business. It remains one of our oldest and best known vaporware companies.

  • avatar

    RayH:

    I know we may not know the full story behind true independent verification, but I’d advise toning back that language in the name of goodwill.

    In case you hadn’t noticed, we are not in the goodwill business.

  • avatar
    RayH

    In case you hadn’t noticed, we are not in the goodwill business.

    Point taken and understood.

  • avatar
    jkross22

    Goodwill? This site’s in the business of the truth. Rock on.

  • avatar
    dean

    I agree with others that it is too early to give up on a “birth” watch. It also strikes me as more than a little cynical (even for me, and I’m a pretty cynical guy) and pessimistic to go straight to a “death” watch.

    How about a Credibility Watch? Then once the company demonstrates a lack thereof, bring on the Death Watch. And if they succeed, more power to them.

  • avatar
    SunnyvaleCA

    Did this car have the 2-speed transmission or the 1-speed? If it is the 1-speed, I wouldn’t quite consider it done, as people don’t normally spend $100k for a “sports car” that doesn’t even keep up with the Lotus from which it is based.

  • avatar
    Robert Schwartz

    You are giving up to easy Frank. Call me when a buyer who is not looking for an opportunity to pump and dump his stock takes delivery.

    P.S. Can someone explain why an electric car needs a transmission?

  • avatar
    Jeff G

    Even though an electric motor makes maximum torque at 0 rpm, gearing allows that torque to be multiplied.

  • avatar
    Roger Hislop

    If it’s a little premature on the Death Watch, how about “Spin Watch”… at least keep ‘em honest as they madly wiggle around putting lipstick on it.

    And who knows, maybe the spin will turn into some straight torque.

    Ah ha ha…sorry.

  • avatar

    I’m with PCH101 and Roger Hislop. But rooting for Tesla.

  • avatar
    AGR

    Could he be the 3rd owner…Click

  • avatar
    geggamoya

    The driver in the video says that car is Tesla CEOs car. Or something, it’s not his car, he’s still waiting for his.

  • avatar
    Samir

    An important (if un-verifiable) milestone, to be sure. But what about the other investors, Siry? Can you tell us if

    1. They’ve been given delivery dates
    2. Their cars are at least in production
    3. The transmission issues have been resolved to the point where cars are sold with production transmissions

    I know it seems cruel and harsh and what not, but after 2.5 deliveries, at least one of which we know for a fact was not made to an Arm’s Length Party, Tesla is still operating on OPM. In other words… show me the money!

  • avatar
    doug

    A full update was given here:
    http://www.teslamotors.com/blog2/?p=59

    Their production plan:
    VIN# Planned Production Month
    Founders’ Series March-June 2008
    Signature 100 #1 July 2008
    Signature 100 #100 October 2008
    VIN #200 November 2008
    VIN #300 December 2008
    VIN #400 February 2009
    VIN #500 March 2009

  • avatar
    charleywhiskey

    Hmm, maximum torque at 0 RPM; that must be fun to drive on icy roads.

  • avatar
    Mullholland

    Kudos on the caption.

  • avatar
    doug

    #charleywhiskey :May 15th, 2008 at 7:43 pm

    Hmm, maximum torque at 0 RPM; that must be fun to drive on icy roads.

    It’s called traction control. See vid here:
    http://www.autobloggreen.com/2008/03/03/video-tesla-engineer-talks-about-developing-ev-traction-control/

  • avatar
    GS650G

    I’ll wait for i to be on Barrett-Jackson someday with a huge starting price.”Look, only a few remain and this is the first one delivered!”

  • avatar
    Potemkin

    Check out Jay Leno’s garage. He claims to have the first production Tesla. He also has a vid of him driving it on the streets.


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