Speaking to MarketWatch at the Detroit Auto Show, Tesla Chairman Elon Musk apparently just revealed that the Tesla Model S sedan will be released “within two and a half years.” Which is interesting considering Musk claimed that production would start in 2011 at the Model S launch last March. But then, Tesla is still trying to decide on a factory location, apparently waffling between former aeronautical manufacturing locations in Downey and Long Beach. And apparently Tesla’s mere consideration of a brownfield site in Downey has drawn protests from a group calling themselves The Raging Grannies.
Meanwhile Tesla’s main claim to fame, a system of interconnected battery cells, has been somewhat undermined by news of a deal between Tesla and Panasonic. Though Tesla admits it will use Panasonic’s battery cells in its newest battery packs, it insists that its “current battery strategy incorporates proprietary packaging using cells from multiple battery suppliers.”
Further on, we still haven’t heard a peep out of Tesla in regards to one of the biggest questions surrounding Model S development: the allegedly in-house designed platform. Rumors have flown about that the platform might be based on a Mercedes architecture, given the battery cooperation agreement between Tesla and Daimler. If that’s the case, nobody from either side has confirmed it. And developing new platforms isn’t easy or cheap. Unless Tesla announces a factory and a chassis partner soon, this could be just the first of several Model S delays.