The Truth About Cars » Tesla Birth Watch http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Thu, 11 Sep 2014 17:31:41 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » Tesla Birth Watch http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/category/news-blog/tesla-birth-watch/ Tesla’s Q3 Losses Widen http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/11/teslas-q3-losses-widen/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/11/teslas-q3-losses-widen/#comments Mon, 05 Nov 2012 15:39:47 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=465899 Tesla recorded a third-quarter loss of $110.8 million, versus a $65.1 million loss in the third-quarter of 2011. While anaylsts had expected lower losses (in the 90 cent/share range, versus $1.05/share recorded by Tesla), revenues exceeded projections as well, with $50 million booked in this quarter, versus projections of $48 million. Production of the Model […]

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Tesla recorded a third-quarter loss of $110.8 million, versus a $65.1 million loss in the third-quarter of 2011.

While anaylsts had expected lower losses (in the 90 cent/share range, versus $1.05/share recorded by Tesla), revenues exceeded projections as well, with $50 million booked in this quarter, versus projections of $48 million.

Production of the Model S has been coming online slowly but surely. Reuters reports that

The company said in a letter to shareholders posted on its website that weekly Model S production had risen to 100 cars by the end of the quarter and was now up to 200. By December, it will be making 400 cars per week, Tesla said.

While we’re still waiting on a proper review of the Model S, our initial impressions were much better than Tesla’s results this quarter.

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Tesla To Go Public; Kill The Roadster http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/01/tesla-to-go-public-kill-the-roadster/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/01/tesla-to-go-public-kill-the-roadster/#comments Sat, 30 Jan 2010 02:10:44 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=343491 Here’s some gutsy news from one of the gutsier companies around. Tesla filed papers for an initial public offering (IPO) today, hoping to raise up to $100 million. In its Form S-1 registration statement with the SEC, the Silicon Valley start up said the stock would be issued “as soon as possible”. That part is […]

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Here’s some gutsy news from one of the gutsier companies around. Tesla filed papers for an initial public offering (IPO) today, hoping to raise up to $100 million. In its Form S-1 registration statement with the SEC, the Silicon Valley start up said the stock would be issued “as soon as possible”. That part is not very surprising, coming on the heels of securing a $465 million loan from the DOE to help build the Model S. But deeper in the that filing comes a couple of juicier facts: Tesla has lost some $236 million so far, and plans to kill the Roadster, its only product on sale, in 2011.

Tesla has been selling the Roadster profitably in the past year, so why kill the EV? Because there’s no one to build it after next year. Apparently Lotus is shutting down production of the current generation Elise, on which the Roadster is heavily based. Them’s the the breaks when you outsource production of your car. According to a report in Autopia/Wired:

“We do not plan to sell our current generation Tesla Roadster after 2011 due to planned tooling changes at a supplier for the Tesla Roadster,” the company wrote in the filing.” The Roadster is built by Lotus, so presumably Tesla is talking about changes at the British automaker’s factory in Hethel, England, but we can’t confirm that because Tesla spokesman Ricardo Reyes declined to comment.

Tesla plans to replace the Roadster, but not “until at least one year after the launch of the Model S, which is not expected to be in production until 2012.”

That represent a major risk factor in Tesla’s income stream, or lack of it. If there are any hitches and delays in the start-up of the Model S, Tesla would face an extended dry spell without any income to speak of. From their filing:

“As a result, we anticipate that we may generate limited, if any, revenue from selling electric vehicles after 2011 until the launch of the planned model S…The launch of the Model S could be delayed for a number of reasons and any such delays may be significant and would extend the period in which we would generate limited, if any, revenues from sales of our electric vehicles.”

And speaking of the Roadster, the SEC filing contains an intriguing detail regarding its profitability: In the financial data summary Tesla says it had a profit margin of 8 percent — not anemic but not good. However, that entire margin seems dependent on zero-emission-vehicle credits, which will not be available by the time the Model S is commercially available.

Since the Roadster was arguably unprofitable even at a drive-away price of between $125,000 and $140,000, it would seem that some unspecified efficiencies would have to be part of the success story for a vehicle with an MSRP touted to be half that — $57,000 before the federal tax credit.

Elon Musk is a risk taker and likes to live on the edge. Tesla’s precarious state should keep things from letting life get dull for him, as well as us. The only remaining question is, do we file this under the Tesla Birth Watch, or revive the Tesla Death Watch?

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Tesla Birth Watch 42: NPR Hearts Rich People… Third Model! http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/03/tesla-birth-watch-42-npr-hearts-rich-people-third-model/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/03/tesla-birth-watch-42-npr-hearts-rich-people-third-model/#comments Tue, 17 Mar 2009 11:20:15 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=285132 There are a lot of places you’d expect to find a defense of trickle down economics (the idea that wealthy people create jobs for people further down the food chain). National Public Radio is not one of them. And yet there it is: the publicly-funded [via rich people] bastion of liberalism ran a piece thanking […]

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There are a lot of places you’d expect to find a defense of trickle down economics (the idea that wealthy people create jobs for people further down the food chain). National Public Radio is not one of them. And yet there it is: the publicly-funded [via rich people] bastion of liberalism ran a piece thanking Mr. and Mrs. Moneybags for . . . buying the Tesla Roadster. Otherwise, Tesla wouldn’t have the capital to build cheaper Teslas for the rest of us (providing you exclude their applications for federal funding, paid for by rich people). “Using money from rich customers to fuel mass-market production is a fairly common business model,” NPR’s reporter reports. “Think of the Tesla Roadster as the $2000 cell phone of 1985,” Tesla spinmeister, Diarmuid O’Connell, suggests helpfully. Is it a coincidence that the DeLorean-lauding movie Back to the Future came out that year? Probably. Anyway, “O’Connell says we take for granted our easy access to cheap products, and forget the role of the rich in making it happen. He says we wouldn’t enjoy such low airfares today if it weren’t for the initial wealthy travelers.” Me, I worship first class passengers. Anyway, big news! New car!

DIARMUID O’CONNELL: We’ll be shortly introducing what we call the Model S, which is a four-door, five-passenger sedan, which will retail — after a federal tax credit — for $49,000.

The Model S is being unveiled next week. But O’Connell says there’s a less expensive, zero-emissions car in the works.

O’CONNELL: We’re already looking at our third vehicle, which is targeted at a $30,000 price point. And building in the hundreds of thousands.

So much for champagne dreams and caviar cars, then.

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Tesla Birth Watch 41: “The Tesla Roadster is more about what it is than what it does” http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/02/the-tesla-roadster-is-more-about-what-it-is-than-what-it-does/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/02/the-tesla-roadster-is-more-about-what-it-is-than-what-it-does/#comments Tue, 24 Feb 2009 12:14:22 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=262271 Christ symbolism optional, presumably.

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Christ symbolism optional, presumably.

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Tesla Death Watch 40: A Million Here, A Million There… http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2008/12/tesla-death-watch-40-a-million-here-a-million-there/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2008/12/tesla-death-watch-40-a-million-here-a-million-there/#comments Tue, 09 Dec 2008 01:50:09 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=180291 Saturday’s San Jose Mercury News carried a short piece on the swift conclusion of the Tesla v. Fisker arbitration hearings. “Tesla had alleged that Fisker stole trade secrets to create his Fisker Karma while working under contract to design a car for Tesla.”Somehow the notion that a bunch of automotive neophytes were generating significant trade secrets […]

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Saturday’s San Jose Mercury News carried a short piece on the swift conclusion of the Tesla v. Fisker arbitration hearings. “Tesla had alleged that Fisker stole trade secrets to create his Fisker Karma while working under contract to design a car for Tesla.”Somehow the notion that a bunch of automotive neophytes were generating significant trade secrets and that said secrets were whisked out the back door by industry veteran Fisker never did smell right. Sure enough, “retired Judge William McDonald found in November that Tesla’s case was ‘baseless.’” Tesla says it will pay up, someday. Not that Fisker needs the cash. In September, Fisker closed a $65 million investment round led by the Qatar Investment Authority on top of two previous Kleiner-Perkins led venture investment rounds.

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Tesla Death Watch 28: WhiteElephant’s Rump Revealed http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2008/10/tesla-death-watch-28-tesla-lost-40k-per-roadster-reveals-whiteelephants-rump/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2008/10/tesla-death-watch-28-tesla-lost-40k-per-roadster-reveals-whiteelephants-rump/#comments Fri, 24 Oct 2008 11:48:29 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=122611 Now that the economic downturn has liberated Tesla Motors’ inner Curly– we’re a victim of coimcumstance!– CEO Elon Musk has finally admitted what TTAC said all along: they’re not making a dime on the $109k Tesla Roadster. OK, the self-annointed CEO says they weren’t making a profit. In fact, Musk tells BusinessWeek that the EV […]

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Now that the economic downturn has liberated Tesla Motors’ inner Curly– we’re a victim of coimcumstance!– CEO Elon Musk has finally admitted what TTAC said all along: they’re not making a dime on the $109k Tesla Roadster. OK, the self-annointed CEO says they weren’t making a profit. In fact, Musk tells BusinessWeek that the EV maker was $40k over budget per vehicle. Which would make it a break-even proposition. Yes, “Tesla had to delay the launch by six months while it looked for a way to make the car profitably. Musk fired founding CEO Martin Eberhard and brought in as interim chief Michael Marks, an executive at electronics maker Flextronics International.” And now Musk is busy re-writing recent history. “A few weeks ago, Tesla seemed to be on the road to making that [world domination] happen. Musk had verbal commitments for $100 million in private capital, federal loan guarantees geared at jump-starting development of alternative vehicles, and thoughts of going public next year.” OK, that brings up to Musk’s favorite time period: the future!

“Our sedan will crush everything out there,” Musk says. What sedan you ask? Good question. “Musk insists Tesla’s next models will be irresistible. The Model S will go up against formidable competition—cars such as the Lexus GS 450h hybrid, the diesel Mercedes E-class, and the Chevrolet Volt. Not that those cars feature Tesla’s neck-snapping acceleration and running cost of 4 cents a mile.” That’s assuming of course, a) Tesla builds an EV, I mean hybrid sedan and b) it has neck-snapping acceleration and running costs of four cents a mile. Anyway, TTAC has one piece of advise for Tesla; the same advice we gave them at the beginning: raise the price of the Roadster. If that works out, can we test one, as Daryl Siry promised? No, I didn’t think so. Corporate culture eats strategy for lunch.

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Tesla Death Watch 27: Elon Musk Talks IPO http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2008/10/elon-musk-talks-tesla-ipo/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2008/10/elon-musk-talks-tesla-ipo/#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2008 18:54:59 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=119391 In this breathless interview by an adoring newswoman, Elon Musk says that the Tesla Roadster is doing great! And that Tesla’s OEM supply business is doing great! And that the Silicon Valley electric vehicle maker (retrofitter? is slowing down on WhiteElephant sedan development because it’s the fiscally prudent thing to do so. Musk anticipates some cheap […]

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In this breathless interview by an adoring newswoman, Elon Musk says that the Tesla Roadster is doing great! And that Tesla’s OEM supply business is doing great! And that the Silicon Valley electric vehicle maker (retrofitter? is slowing down on WhiteElephant sedan development because it’s the fiscally prudent thing to do so. Musk anticipates some cheap government capital in six months (courtesy of tax payers just like you), so why raise more money now? In other words of wisdom, Tesla’ self-appointed CEO says falling gas prices aren’t a concern for the company’s business plan because gas prices “aren’t the main reason” for buying a hot sports car which is “environmentally friendly.” (Hint: it’s all about green cred.) Officially, Musk has “no comment” about specific time frames for an IPO, but says it’s “within the realm of possibilities” that Tesla will fleece more investors let outsiders buy a piece of the automaker’s mean, green dream sometime next year. Meanwhile, if your idea of great reporting is a newsbabe hanging on every word of a sanctimonious rich guy, today’s your lucky day.

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Tesla Death Watch 20: California Dreamin’ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2008/09/tesla-death-watch-2-california-dreamin/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2008/09/tesla-death-watch-2-california-dreamin/#comments Wed, 17 Sep 2008 19:15:05 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=80351 Tesla Motors says it’s secured 90 acres between San Jose and Santa Clara, CA to build its world headquarters. Oh, and production facilities for its (supposedly) upcoming Model S (nee White Star) sedan. The announcement is creating all kinds of excitement among the kind of people who use terms like “green collar jobs” and “cleantech.” […]

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Tesla Motors says it’s secured 90 acres between San Jose and Santa Clara, CA to build its world headquarters. Oh, and production facilities for its (supposedly) upcoming Model S (nee White Star) sedan. The announcement is creating all kinds of excitement among the kind of people who use terms like “green collar jobs” and “cleantech.” “It’s not just another solar company,” says San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed. “It’s an electric car, which has tremendous upside for us, and a whole new area of job potential.” And of course that excitement translates into taxpayer handout. The San Jose Mercury reports that the City of San Jose will sign a 40-year lease with Tesla for the land, providing the first 10 years rent-free. “In years 11 to 20, Tesla will pay $1.5 million a year for the property, and then see rent increases of 2 percent a year in years 21 to 40. Tesla will pay the usual development fees… but the city will look for a way to rebate them over time once tax revenues start flowing in from the company.” Governator Schwarzenegger has already offered to waive sales taxes on the first $100m of equipment purchased for the factory (angering not a few non-automotive manufacturers). And the plant is being built using a $150m federal Department of Energy loan guarantee. Hey, what happened to the whole Tesla in New Mexico deal? Nothing.

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Tesla Death Watch 16: Number Five is Alive! http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2008/08/tesla-lives-video-to-prove-it/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2008/08/tesla-lives-video-to-prove-it/#comments Wed, 13 Aug 2008 21:13:19 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=63192 Actually, we're not sure what number Tesla Roadster is chronicled here. But a private and likely very well off citizen in California has procured one and put a video of himself driving it on Ye Olde YouTube. What we can see from the video is: (1) The carbon fiber hood is very light and (2) […]

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Actually, we're not sure what number Tesla Roadster is chronicled here. But a private and likely very well off citizen in California has procured one and put a video of himself driving it on Ye Olde YouTube. What we can see from the video is: (1) The carbon fiber hood is very light and (2) mother of god, it's quick. A confidential source confirms that the customer paid sticker ($120k) for his lithium-ion-powered automotive trinket. No word on recharge time or range in the video. (As this guy's stable probably includes a fleet of slick cars, I doubt it's of very much consequence.) Now, if Tesla can just amp-up production, not "fad out," keep costs under control (have you seen that showroom?), raise more money, build a more profitable product and fend off competitors, we can take them off the Death Watch. [hat tip to Jonny Lieberman]

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Tesla Birth Watch 48: Done. http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2008/05/tesla-birth-watch-48-done/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2008/05/tesla-birth-watch-48-done/#comments Thu, 15 May 2008 13:26:57 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/tesla-birth-watch-48-done/ 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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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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Tesla Birth Watch 47: Scandal-Tainted Shark to Help Tesla Prepare for IPO http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2008/05/tesla-birth-watch-47-scandal-tainted-shark-to-help-tesla-prepare-for-ipo/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2008/05/tesla-birth-watch-47-scandal-tainted-shark-to-help-tesla-prepare-for-ipo/#comments Wed, 14 May 2008 15:16:19 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/tesla-birth-watch-47-scandal-tainted-shark-to-help-tesla-prepare-for-ipo/ 340x.jpgAutoblogGreen sets 'em up. We knock 'em down. This time, Tesla's cheerleaders are hailing the fact that Larry Sonsini has joined Tesla's Board of Directors. "The presence of Sonsini as a member of the Tesla team is of particular importance moving forward because of his area of expertise. Sonsini is Chairman of Silicon Valley law firm Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati and a specialist in IPOs and mergers and acquisitions. This is important because Tesla chairman Elon Musk has previously declared that the company will be going public, likely sometime in 2009." So the car company that's allegedly delivered two car to a single paying customer, a Silicon Valley start-up that's lighting cigars with $100 bills, wants some more cash to burn. Some more of someone else's cash to burn. And Sonsini, a man hauled in front of the House for investing in whilst advising companies who backdated options, is just the shark they need to find and devour the whales. You know, as "Tesla Motors drives forward the electric transport revolution and grows to become one of the great car companies of the 21st century." Call me cynical, but Silicon star IPO guy or no, how can anyone trust a lawyer who says his "yardstick of success" is "inner peace?"

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340x.jpgAutoblogGreen sets 'em up. We knock 'em down. This time, Tesla's cheerleaders are hailing the fact that Larry Sonsini has joined Tesla's Board of Directors. "The presence of Sonsini as a member of the Tesla team is of particular importance moving forward because of his area of expertise. Sonsini is Chairman of Silicon Valley law firm Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati and a specialist in IPOs and mergers and acquisitions. This is important because Tesla chairman Elon Musk has previously declared that the company will be going public, likely sometime in 2009." So the car company that's allegedly delivered two car to a single paying customer, a Silicon Valley start-up that's lighting cigars with $100 bills, wants some more cash to burn. Some more of someone else's cash to burn. And Sonsini, a man hauled in front of the House for investing in whilst advising companies who backdated options, is just the shark they need to find and devour the whales. You know, as "Tesla Motors drives forward the electric transport revolution and grows to become one of the great car companies of the 21st century." Call me cynical, but Silicon star IPO guy or no, how can anyone trust a lawyer who says his "yardstick of success" is "inner peace?"

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Tesla Birth Watch 46: Eberhard Cat Fight Obscures Customer Delivery http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2008/05/tesla-birth-watch-46-eberhard-cat-fight-obscures-customer-delivery/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2008/05/tesla-birth-watch-46-eberhard-cat-fight-obscures-customer-delivery/#comments Tue, 13 May 2008 12:04:27 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/tesla-birth-watch-46-eberhard-cat-fight-obscures-customer-delivery/ tesla_roadster_crash_test02.jpgAuoblogGreen is at it again, doing whatever it can to support Tesla Motors in this, their decade of need. This time 'round, the tree hugger's favorite automotive website is trying to referee what the Brits call a "slanging match" between ousted Tesla founder Martin Eberhard and Tesla mouthpiece Darryl Siry re: Eberhard's Roadster. As in where the Hell is it? Is Eberhard's Roadster VIN number 2 or the second car produced or both or neither? What did the company promise him? Why did Tesla build VIN 3 and 4 first? Feel free to click over and get the "he said, she said" version. Suffice it to say, I couldn't give a shit. And I have a very hard time understanding why anyone would. The reason I'm blogging this: we still don't know whether or not to end this Birth Watch (and convert to Death Watch). Hard to believe, but Tesla hasn't announced a single "real" customer delivery. We've heard unconfirmed reports that Autoblog founder Jason Calacanis got his (so to speak). Tesla should either promote this fact or tell Calacanis to shut up, while Autobloggreen should focus on what's really going on (or not) at Tesla. IMHO.

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tesla_roadster_crash_test02.jpgAuoblogGreen is at it again, doing whatever it can to support Tesla Motors in this, their decade of need. This time 'round, the tree hugger's favorite automotive website is trying to referee what the Brits call a "slanging match" between ousted Tesla founder Martin Eberhard and Tesla mouthpiece Darryl Siry re: Eberhard's Roadster. As in where the Hell is it? Is Eberhard's Roadster VIN number 2 or the second car produced or both or neither? What did the company promise him? Why did Tesla build VIN 3 and 4 first? Feel free to click over and get the "he said, she said" version. Suffice it to say, I couldn't give a shit. And I have a very hard time understanding why anyone would. The reason I'm blogging this: we still don't know whether or not to end this Birth Watch (and convert to Death Watch). Hard to believe, but Tesla hasn't announced a single "real" customer delivery. We've heard unconfirmed reports that Autoblog founder Jason Calacanis got his (so to speak). Tesla should either promote this fact or tell Calacanis to shut up, while Autobloggreen should focus on what's really going on (or not) at Tesla. IMHO.

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Tesla Birthwatch 45: LA Dealership Opens! So, Uh, Where Are the Cars? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2008/05/tesla-birthwatch-45-la-dealership-opens-so-uh-where-are-the-cars/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2008/05/tesla-birthwatch-45-la-dealership-opens-so-uh-where-are-the-cars/#comments Sat, 03 May 2008 01:02:00 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/tesla-birthwatch-45-la-dealership-opens-so-uh-where-are-the-cars/ not-for-sale.jpgI know it's a small point, but it's worth making. Of course, first you gotta party like its 1999! Automotive News [sub] follows the Tesla-friendly PR template, kicking-off their coverage by putting the Silicon start-up's failure to deliver ONE customer car into its improper context. "Close to the crawling 405 freeway and the congested corner of Santa Monica and Sepulveda boulevards, the Tesla factory store makes a potent statement for gridlocked Angelenos to buy an electric car. Of course, Tesla needs to get its two-seat roadster into serial production to give its dealership something to sell. The company has 600 sold orders and a waiting list for 400 more, but only four production cars have been built. A development glitch with the Magna two-speed transmission has forced a rapid redesign of a one-speed transmission in collaboration with Ricardo UK Ltd." Not so rapid, Mr. Bond. But that's OK. Ish. "By December, Tesla hopes to have 300 cars built. At that time, serial production of 150 cars a month should begin, said Darryl Siry, Tesla vice president of sales, marketing and service." [emphasis added]. Meanwhile, you want to hear something funny, in a "we're not entirely drunk on Tesla Kool-Aid" kind of way? "The sales staff is salaried," Mark Rechtin reports. "Not commissioned."

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not-for-sale.jpgI know it's a small point, but it's worth making. Of course, first you gotta party like its 1999! Automotive News [sub] follows the Tesla-friendly PR template, kicking-off their coverage by putting the Silicon start-up's failure to deliver ONE customer car into its improper context. "Close to the crawling 405 freeway and the congested corner of Santa Monica and Sepulveda boulevards, the Tesla factory store makes a potent statement for gridlocked Angelenos to buy an electric car. Of course, Tesla needs to get its two-seat roadster into serial production to give its dealership something to sell. The company has 600 sold orders and a waiting list for 400 more, but only four production cars have been built. A development glitch with the Magna two-speed transmission has forced a rapid redesign of a one-speed transmission in collaboration with Ricardo UK Ltd." Not so rapid, Mr. Bond. But that's OK. Ish. "By December, Tesla hopes to have 300 cars built. At that time, serial production of 150 cars a month should begin, said Darryl Siry, Tesla vice president of sales, marketing and service." [emphasis added]. Meanwhile, you want to hear something funny, in a "we're not entirely drunk on Tesla Kool-Aid" kind of way? "The sales staff is salaried," Mark Rechtin reports. "Not commissioned."

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Tesla Birth Watch 44: Tesla Talks Transmission Troubles to TTAC http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2008/04/tesla-birth-watch-44-tesla-talks-transmission-troubles-to-ttac/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2008/04/tesla-birth-watch-44-tesla-talks-transmission-troubles-to-ttac/#comments Thu, 17 Apr 2008 14:03:37 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/tesla-birth-watch-44-tesla-talks-transmission-troubles-to-ttac/ tesla.jpgIn a comment on Tesla Birth Watch 43, Tesla flackmeister Daryl Siry addressed some of the questions about Tesla's tranny problems. "The Xtrac transmission never had reliability issues. It has proven rock solid over the years and for that reason we are using an Xtrac box for our interim transmission. The reason we moved away from that design was that we had originally tried to design the gearbox to have clutchless shifting and to accomplish the shifts entirely through motor control but this proved difficult on our end due in part to the time it takes to spin down a heavy rotor that is rotating very quickly." Gotcha. So what precipitated the Magna lawsuit? "We’ve established the fact that the units delivered were not working well so that led to a disagreement between the parties as to what was owed on the contract. These types of disagreements sometimes end up in court." Siry also mentioned that he'll be in Monaco next week, showing production car number four before it's shipped to the states and placed in the loving arms of its more-than-patient owner. This led us to wonder: if car number four will be ready to show off next week, what happened to Tesla Roadsters two and three? Have they been delivered yet? If not, where are they in the pipeline? And how long before they'll be on the streets? Over to you, Daryl...

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tesla.jpgIn a comment on Tesla Birth Watch 43, Tesla flackmeister Daryl Siry addressed some of the questions about Tesla's tranny problems. "The Xtrac transmission never had reliability issues. It has proven rock solid over the years and for that reason we are using an Xtrac box for our interim transmission. The reason we moved away from that design was that we had originally tried to design the gearbox to have clutchless shifting and to accomplish the shifts entirely through motor control but this proved difficult on our end due in part to the time it takes to spin down a heavy rotor that is rotating very quickly." Gotcha. So what precipitated the Magna lawsuit? "We’ve established the fact that the units delivered were not working well so that led to a disagreement between the parties as to what was owed on the contract. These types of disagreements sometimes end up in court." Siry also mentioned that he'll be in Monaco next week, showing production car number four before it's shipped to the states and placed in the loving arms of its more-than-patient owner. This led us to wonder: if car number four will be ready to show off next week, what happened to Tesla Roadsters two and three? Have they been delivered yet? If not, where are they in the pipeline? And how long before they'll be on the streets? Over to you, Daryl…

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Tesla Birth Watch 43: Magna Sues Tesla Over Transmission http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2008/04/tesla-birth-watch-43-magna-sues-tesla-over-transmission/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2008/04/tesla-birth-watch-43-magna-sues-tesla-over-transmission/#comments Wed, 16 Apr 2008 15:16:01 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/tesla-birth-watch-43-magna-sues-tesla-over-transmission/ 720tesla-071_550×267.jpgThe EV game is getting nasty. We've heard about Tesla suing Fisker, now Earth2Tech reports that Tesla is being sued by Canadian supplier Magna for breach of contract. The suit alleges that Tesla failed to pay Magna for development work on its troubled transmission system. Transmission woes have long been the Achilles heel of the Tesla Roadster's development. Initial plans called for a two-speed transmission to be supplied by X-Trac, That unit was quickly proven incapable of reliably handling the EV's zero-RPM grunt. Tesla then went to Magna for a replacement two-speed-- which proved equally unsuccessful. After attempting an in-house development, Tesla has given-up on the whole multiple gears thing in favor of the golf-cart elegance of a single-speed box. But wait, says Magna, we told you to try a single-speed solution in the first place. Not only did Tesla not listen, but according to the suit filed California, they didn't pay some $5.6m in development fees that Magna claims it was owed under the development contract. Oops. Better collect quickly guys, before you have to squabble for it in, dare I say it, bankruptcy court.

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720tesla-071_550×267.jpgThe EV game is getting nasty. We've heard about Tesla suing Fisker, now Earth2Tech reports that Tesla is being sued by Canadian supplier Magna for breach of contract. The suit alleges that Tesla failed to pay Magna for development work on its troubled transmission system. Transmission woes have long been the Achilles heel of the Tesla Roadster's development. Initial plans called for a two-speed transmission to be supplied by X-Trac, That unit was quickly proven incapable of reliably handling the EV's zero-RPM grunt. Tesla then went to Magna for a replacement two-speed– which proved equally unsuccessful. After attempting an in-house development, Tesla has given-up on the whole multiple gears thing in favor of the golf-cart elegance of a single-speed box. But wait, says Magna, we told you to try a single-speed solution in the first place. Not only did Tesla not listen, but according to the suit filed California, they didn't pay some $5.6m in development fees that Magna claims it was owed under the development contract. Oops. Better collect quickly guys, before you have to squabble for it in, dare I say it, bankruptcy court.

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Tesla Motors Sues Fisker for Stealing EV Secrets http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2008/04/tesla-motors-sues-fisker-for-stealing-ev-secrets/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2008/04/tesla-motors-sues-fisker-for-stealing-ev-secrets/#comments Tue, 15 Apr 2008 15:05:21 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/tesla-motors-sues-fisker-for-stealing-ev-secrets/ eye-keyhole.jpgIt's hard to keep track of what's going on between Tesla and Fisker. But if you've got the time... First, Tesla mouthpiece Daryl Siry trash talks Fisker's range-extended vehicle, the Karma. After Fisker unveils their EV prototype at the Detroit Auto Show, Siry wonders if his rival's got what it takes to make it so. Next, Tesla's hires Henrik Fisker to design Tesla's Whitestar sedan. And now CNet News reports that Tesla is taking Fisker to court for stealing trade secrets and copying design ideas. Tesla's suit alleges that Fisker accepted the design contract "to gain access to confidential design information and trade secrets, then announced a competing vehicle." Fisker's brief had no comment on the case, other than "the firm's policy [is] not to comment on litigation." Meanwhile, Tesla says they've scrapped Fisker's design for the Whitestar in a fit of pique favor of... something else. On the positive side, this intra-vaporware legal contretemps will provide Tesla for a convenient excuse when the Whitestar doesn't appear as promised. And for us, the case could expose the reality behind Tesla's endless hype. [Props to JT for the link]

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eye-keyhole.jpgIt's hard to keep track of what's going on between Tesla and Fisker. But if you've got the time… First, Tesla mouthpiece Daryl Siry trash talks Fisker's range-extended vehicle, the Karma. After Fisker unveils their EV prototype at the Detroit Auto Show, Siry wonders if his rival's got what it takes to make it so. Next, Tesla's hires Henrik Fisker to design Tesla's Whitestar sedan. And now CNet News reports that Tesla is taking Fisker to court for stealing trade secrets and copying design ideas. Tesla's suit alleges that Fisker accepted the design contract "to gain access to confidential design information and trade secrets, then announced a competing vehicle." Fisker's brief had no comment on the case, other than "the firm's policy [is] not to comment on litigation." Meanwhile, Tesla says they've scrapped Fisker's design for the Whitestar in a fit of pique favor of… something else. On the positive side, this intra-vaporware legal contretemps will provide Tesla for a convenient excuse when the Whitestar doesn't appear as promised. And for us, the case could expose the reality behind Tesla's endless hype. [Props to JT for the link]

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Tesla Birth Watch 42: European Dreams http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2008/04/tesla-birth-watch-42-headed-overseas/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2008/04/tesla-birth-watch-42-headed-overseas/#comments Mon, 14 Apr 2008 21:41:22 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/tesla-birth-watch-42-headed-overseas/ carmageddon804.jpgNow that Tesla's started production on their all-electric Roadster (although there's been no indication that they've delivered a single car to single paying customer), the Silicon Valley start-up is expanding their "sales territory" into Europe. The San Jose Business Journal reports that Tesla's started taking orders across the pond as of last week. Tesla's promising to deliver 250 Elise-based, lithium-ion electric sports cars into the Eurozone as of spring 2009. And here's the kicker: Tesla is asking European buyers to pay 160 percent of the U.S. price. That's $156,630 for a car that sells for $98k here in The Land of the Free. If I was an American customer who'd paid the deposit, I'd raise holy Hell if Tesla sent even one car to Europe before satisfying its aspiring American customers.

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carmageddon804.jpgNow that Tesla's started production on their all-electric Roadster (although there's been no indication that they've delivered a single car to single paying customer), the Silicon Valley start-up is expanding their "sales territory" into Europe. The San Jose Business Journal reports that Tesla's started taking orders across the pond as of last week. Tesla's promising to deliver 250 Elise-based, lithium-ion electric sports cars into the Eurozone as of spring 2009. And here's the kicker: Tesla is asking European buyers to pay 160 percent of the U.S. price. That's $156,630 for a car that sells for $98k here in The Land of the Free. If I was an American customer who'd paid the deposit, I'd raise holy Hell if Tesla sent even one car to Europe before satisfying its aspiring American customers.

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Tesla Birth Watch 42: “It depends what you call production” http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2008/03/tesla-birth-watch-42-it-depends-what-you-call-production/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2008/03/tesla-birth-watch-42-it-depends-what-you-call-production/#comments Thu, 27 Mar 2008 23:51:42 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/tesla-birth-watch-42-it-depends-what-you-call-production/ corkertesla-roadster.jpgThose of you familiar with our coverage of Tesla Motors' struggle to produce a lithium-ion powered sports car know that we believe that they believe every word they're saying, regardless of which side of their mouth their words emanate. But you've got to wonder when the erstwhile automaker's VP of Vehicle Integration [via Just-auto, sub] answers the straightforward question "So when does series production start then?" with the above. (And there I was thinking production meant building cars for customers.) And what about this quote? "There is a danger when you ramp that you keep an eye on the big balls," Malcom Powell proclaims. "But it needs all the balls to build the car; it's no good having just 99% of the parts because you can't build it. So we will control our ramp rate carefully. We will start producing the cars this quarter and we will monitor and ramp as quickly as we can, but under control." So, uh, how many cars, then? "It will be some hundreds of cars this calendar year - we should be running at around 600 for the Model Year." You heard it here, folks: Tesla is [not] fully committed to producing 600 '08 Roadsters-- whatever that means.  

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corkertesla-roadster.jpgThose of you familiar with our coverage of Tesla Motors' struggle to produce a lithium-ion powered sports car know that we believe that they believe every word they're saying, regardless of which side of their mouth their words emanate. But you've got to wonder when the erstwhile automaker's VP of Vehicle Integration [via Just-auto, sub] answers the straightforward question "So when does series production start then?" with the above. (And there I was thinking production meant building cars for customers.) And what about this quote? "There is a danger when you ramp that you keep an eye on the big balls," Malcom Powell proclaims. "But it needs all the balls to build the car; it's no good having just 99% of the parts because you can't build it. So we will control our ramp rate carefully. We will start producing the cars this quarter and we will monitor and ramp as quickly as we can, but under control." So, uh, how many cars, then? "It will be some hundreds of cars this calendar year – we should be running at around 600 for the Model Year." You heard it here, folks: Tesla is [not] fully committed to producing 600 '08 Roadsters– whatever that means.  

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Tesla Birth Watch 40: European Sales! Customer Deliveries! Maybe. http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2008/03/tesla-birth-watch-40-european-sales-customer-deliveries-maybe/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2008/03/tesla-birth-watch-40-european-sales-customer-deliveries-maybe/#comments Sun, 23 Mar 2008 12:45:41 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/tesla-birth-watch-40-european-sales-customer-deliveries-maybe/ tesla-roadster.jpg Whatever else you can say about the aspiring electric vehicle (EV) maker-- and we've said plenty during the previous thirty-nine installments-- you can never accuse Tesla Motors of humility. Before they've delivered a single car to a single paying customer, Tesla is now talking about European sales. Innovation Beat carries the glad tidings. "We have always wanted to distribute in Europe, but with the low dollar we are going to move quicker,” says Darryl Siry, Vice President of Sales, Marketing and Service at Tesla. “The introduction date for the Roadster in Europe will be announced in a couple of months.” Will that be that before or after the White Star sedan EV prototype hits the streets? Meanwhile, Wired reports that Siry was equally vague about the delivery date for the second "production" Tesla Roadster. "The factory turns out 'gliders,' or rolling chassis without drivetrains. The cars will be shipped -- Siry said he imagines [Tesla founder Martin] Eberhard's car will be flown -- to San Francisco for final assembly. Every Roadster will have its battery pack, transmission and motor installed in San Carlos. 'The whole process before they're passed to sales takes a couple of weeks,' Siry said, and Eberhard will probably get his car in April.'" Probably? 

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tesla-roadster.jpg Whatever else you can say about the aspiring electric vehicle (EV) maker– and we've said plenty during the previous thirty-nine installments– you can never accuse Tesla Motors of humility. Before they've delivered a single car to a single paying customer, Tesla is now talking about European sales. Innovation Beat carries the glad tidings. "We have always wanted to distribute in Europe, but with the low dollar we are going to move quicker,” says Darryl Siry, Vice President of Sales, Marketing and Service at Tesla. “The introduction date for the Roadster in Europe will be announced in a couple of months.” Will that be that before or after the White Star sedan EV prototype hits the streets? Meanwhile, Wired reports that Siry was equally vague about the delivery date for the second "production" Tesla Roadster. "The factory turns out 'gliders,' or rolling chassis without drivetrains. The cars will be shipped — Siry said he imagines [Tesla founder Martin] Eberhard's car will be flown — to San Francisco for final assembly. Every Roadster will have its battery pack, transmission and motor installed in San Carlos. 'The whole process before they're passed to sales takes a couple of weeks,' Siry said, and Eberhard will probably get his car in April.'" Probably? 

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Tesla Birth Watch 39: Boil Some Hot Water http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2008/03/tesla-birth-watch-39-boil-some-hot-water/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2008/03/tesla-birth-watch-39-boil-some-hot-water/#comments Tue, 18 Mar 2008 11:51:58 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/news-blog/tesla-birth-watch-39-boil-some-hot-water/ wm2533126765.jpg"Tesla Starts Full-Scale Production!" "Stop the Presses, The Tesla Factory is Cranking" "Tesla Begins 'Regular' Production of Roadsters" Reading the ever-credulous press, you'd be forgiven for thinking investors who've been waiting two years for their $98k battery-powered Roadster will have one in their garage in the next few weeks. Not so fast (literally). First, we await independent confirmation that Tesla hit the "start" button on the production line. Second, there's many a slip between the cup and the lip. We await the first customer delivery (real customers, not Tesla execs). And third, by its own admission, Tesla will build Roadsters at the rate of "one or two per week." On Tesla's blog, CEO Ze'ev Drori stated his employer would gradually ramp-up production, heading for "over 100 Roadsters per month early next year." Ignoring the existence of the REVA, the ZAP Xebra and several million golf carts, Drori also proudly proclaims "the Tesla Roadster is the only zero emission electric vehicle in production today." At least the Tesla hype factory is [still] in full swing.

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wm2533126765.jpg"Tesla Starts Full-Scale Production!" "Stop the Presses, The Tesla Factory is Cranking" "Tesla Begins 'Regular' Production of Roadsters" Reading the ever-credulous press, you'd be forgiven for thinking investors who've been waiting two years for their $98k battery-powered Roadster will have one in their garage in the next few weeks. Not so fast (literally). First, we await independent confirmation that Tesla hit the "start" button on the production line. Second, there's many a slip between the cup and the lip. We await the first customer delivery (real customers, not Tesla execs). And third, by its own admission, Tesla will build Roadsters at the rate of "one or two per week." On Tesla's blog, CEO Ze'ev Drori stated his employer would gradually ramp-up production, heading for "over 100 Roadsters per month early next year." Ignoring the existence of the REVA, the ZAP Xebra and several million golf carts, Drori also proudly proclaims "the Tesla Roadster is the only zero emission electric vehicle in production today." At least the Tesla hype factory is [still] in full swing.

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Tesla Birth Watch 38: PR Assault on Battery Recyling http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2008/03/tesla-birth-watch-37-pr-assault-on-battery-recyling/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2008/03/tesla-birth-watch-37-pr-assault-on-battery-recyling/#comments Thu, 13 Mar 2008 13:11:35 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/news-blog/tesla-birth-watch-37-pr-assault-on-battery-recyling/ fluff.jpgIn the latest installment of Tesla Motor's Mythbusters, the erstwhile EV maker's Director of Energy Storage Technologies says that Tesla's lithium-ion batteries are eco-friendly. That's because they're "manufactured in Japan, a country with very strict environmental laws." Kelty then lists all the nasty stuff their battery pack doesn't contain (leaving out dead kittens and powdered rhinoceros horn). In short, Tesla's Li-ion cells contain no toxic materials and "by law, could be disposed of by putting them in a landfill." Before that, Kelty recommends using the efficiency-challenged batteries "as a power source for off-grid backup or load leveling." Once the cells die, they'll be shipped off to Toxco's recycling plant in British Columbia. The copper cobalt will be sold for recovery, the slurry "sent off as non hazardous effluent for proper disposal" and the "fluff" (mostly plastic) "trucked back to the U.S. border and properly disposed" (in landfills). Kelty proudly points out that Tesla's disposal process "does not involve any smelters." He doesn't say how much smelting is needed to produce the battery pack but hey, we appreciate the info.

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fluff.jpgIn the latest installment of Tesla Motor's Mythbusters, the erstwhile EV maker's Director of Energy Storage Technologies says that Tesla's lithium-ion batteries are eco-friendly. That's because they're "manufactured in Japan, a country with very strict environmental laws." Kelty then lists all the nasty stuff their battery pack doesn't contain (leaving out dead kittens and powdered rhinoceros horn). In short, Tesla's Li-ion cells contain no toxic materials and "by law, could be disposed of by putting them in a landfill." Before that, Kelty recommends using the efficiency-challenged batteries "as a power source for off-grid backup or load leveling." Once the cells die, they'll be shipped off to Toxco's recycling plant in British Columbia. The copper cobalt will be sold for recovery, the slurry "sent off as non hazardous effluent for proper disposal" and the "fluff" (mostly plastic) "trucked back to the U.S. border and properly disposed" (in landfills). Kelty proudly points out that Tesla's disposal process "does not involve any smelters." He doesn't say how much smelting is needed to produce the battery pack but hey, we appreciate the info.

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Tesla Birth Watch 37: We Ain’t Afraid of No Myths http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2008/03/tesla-birth-watch-36-we-aint-afraid-of-no-myths/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2008/03/tesla-birth-watch-36-we-aint-afraid-of-no-myths/#comments Tue, 04 Mar 2008 14:24:24 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/news-blog/tesla-birth-watch-36-we-aint-afraid-of-no-myths/ mythbusters.jpgTesla's Spitfire Spinmeister wants to set the record straight on all the "myths" surrounding the Tesla Roadster. To that end, Daryl Siry has started a "Mythbusters" section on the company's web site blogs (no word on what Discovery Channel thinks about this). The first myth exposed: the Roadster won't have airbags. The second myth: the Roadster is a converted Elise. Daryl points out that the Roadster shares about seven percent of its parts with the Elise, while Lamborghinis share up to 10 percent with Audi. [NB: Lambo and Audi are all part of the same company, while Lotus and Tesla are separate entities.] The third myth is... wait a minute... there is no third myth. So Siry would "love to hear your thoughts on other myths to address in future installments." How about it, folks? Since we know Daryl reads us, he'll see any Tesla myths you list here. Hell, he might even respond (in his own special way). And just to show how fair-minded we are, we won't mention the myth that TTAC would get a test drive (started by Siry on this very site) or The Mother of All Tesla myths: production will start in summer 2007.

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mythbusters.jpgTesla's Spitfire Spinmeister wants to set the record straight on all the "myths" surrounding the Tesla Roadster. To that end, Daryl Siry has started a "Mythbusters" section on the company's web site blogs (no word on what Discovery Channel thinks about this). The first myth exposed: the Roadster won't have airbags. The second myth: the Roadster is a converted Elise. Daryl points out that the Roadster shares about seven percent of its parts with the Elise, while Lamborghinis share up to 10 percent with Audi. [NB: Lambo and Audi are all part of the same company, while Lotus and Tesla are separate entities.] The third myth is… wait a minute… there is no third myth. So Siry would "love to hear your thoughts on other myths to address in future installments." How about it, folks? Since we know Daryl reads us, he'll see any Tesla myths you list here. Hell, he might even respond (in his own special way). And just to show how fair-minded we are, we won't mention the myth that TTAC would get a test drive (started by Siry on this very site, posted March 26, 2007 at 3:56 ) or The Mother of All Tesla myths: production will start in summer 2007.

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Tesla Birth Watch 36: Maybe They Should Have a Bake Sale http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2008/02/tesla-birth-watch-36-maybe-they-should-have-a-bake-sale/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2008/02/tesla-birth-watch-36-maybe-they-should-have-a-bake-sale/#comments Wed, 20 Feb 2008 17:14:48 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/news-blog/tesla-birth-watch-36-maybe-they-should-have-a-bake-sale/ bakesale-picture-one.jpgTesla sent out a press release yesterday bragging that they'd raised $40m in "bridge financing" that was "co-led by Valor Equity Partners and [Tesla chairman] Elon Musk." They're really going to have to stretch that $40m; Tesla plans to use it "for the continued development of a 4 door, five passenger sports sedan planned for introduction in 2010, the establishment of company-owned sales and service infrastructure, and the continued production of the Tesla Roadster, a stylish, high-performance, zero emissions car." The use of the singular in describing the Roadster is appropriate, given they've only produced one Roadster, despite describing the company as "a manufacturer of high-performance production electric cars" in the opening paragraph. So let's see... that's $40m down and only $210m to go.

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bakesale-picture-one.jpgTesla sent out a press release yesterday bragging that they'd raised $40m in "bridge financing" that was "co-led by Valor Equity Partners and [Tesla chairman] Elon Musk." They're really going to have to stretch that $40m; Tesla plans to use it "for the continued development of a 4 door, five passenger sports sedan planned for introduction in 2010, the establishment of company-owned sales and service infrastructure, and the continued production of the Tesla Roadster, a stylish, high-performance, zero emissions car." The use of the singular in describing the Roadster is appropriate, given they've only produced one Roadster, despite describing the company as "a manufacturer of high-performance production electric cars" in the opening paragraph. So let's see… that's $40m down and only $210m to go.

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Tesla Birth Watch 35: Redefining Chutzpah http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2008/02/tesla-motors-redefines-chutzpah/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2008/02/tesla-motors-redefines-chutzpah/#comments Tue, 19 Feb 2008 15:11:25 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/news-blog/tesla-motors-redefines-chutzpah/ Tesla Motors has apparently run out of toilet paper again. Valleywag reports that they're off in search of another $250m to keep the lights on fund development of the "Whitestar" electric sedan. That's right, if you have a quarter of a billion dollars burning a hole in your pocket, you too can invest in a company that has produced exactly one working "production" car (delivered to the company's CEO) in five years, in exchange for over $145m and Federal regulatory exemptions. I'm not an expert, but this strikes me as a particularly optimistic investment. Oh, and Tesla also wants a guaranteed loan from the Department of Energy to build a factory for these new electric sedans. To quote President Bush, "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me - you can't fool me again." [NB: I know we're a little late to this story, but that's kind of appropriate don't you think? And here's an old video for potential investors that shows the critical coverage given Tesla by our blogging pals. Driving range of 250 miles. Yeah, right.]  

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Tesla Motors has apparently run out of toilet paper again. Valleywag reports that they're off in search of another $250m to keep the lights on fund development of the "Whitestar" electric sedan. That's right, if you have a quarter of a billion dollars burning a hole in your pocket, you too can invest in a company that has produced exactly one working "production" car (delivered to the company's CEO) in five years, in exchange for over $145m and Federal regulatory exemptions. I'm not an expert, but this strikes me as a particularly optimistic investment. Oh, and Tesla also wants a guaranteed loan from the Department of Energy to build a factory for these new electric sedans. To quote President Bush, "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me – you can't fool me again." [NB: I know we're a little late to this story, but that's kind of appropriate don't you think? And here's an old video for potential investors that shows the critical coverage given Tesla by our blogging pals. Driving range of 250 miles. Those were the days...]  

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Tesla Birth Watch 34: Where’s Number 2? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2008/02/tesla-birth-watch-34-family-feud/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2008/02/tesla-birth-watch-34-family-feud/#comments Fri, 15 Feb 2008 12:18:23 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/news-blog/tesla-birth-watch-34-family-feud/ cropped-newsweek-photo.jpgAfter Tesla Motors chairman Elon Musk got the first production Roadster earlier this month, Tesla Founders Blog reader Pete asked the ex-jeffe when he'd receive his (he's supposed to get Roadster number two if/when they ever get it built). Martin's response:

I don't yet have a date for my car, Founders Series number 2, though they say the next cars will be delivered in March. I was the second person to deposit $100K, well over a year ago, and I have a certificate signed by Elon stating that the second production car is mine. As of today, I am a bit worried that they will pull something on me. I hope I am wrong, but I recently got a very bad signal from them.

Musk asked a reader to inquire into the delivery date for his car. No such answer was forthcoming. On February 10, "Yanquetino" wondered if Tesla was muzzling Musk:

I am fairly confident in my ability to read between the lines of previous posts, but now I'm just going to ask point blank: is Tesla suing you? Only a negative answer is warranted, i.e., "NO, Telsa is NOT suing me." If, after a couple of days, you still haven't given said reply, or have removed this post from the blog, well... then we'll know how to call a spade a shovel.

As of today, Martin has not responded, even though he has replied to other comments posted after that date and the post is still on the blog.

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cropped-newsweek-photo.jpgAfter Tesla Motors chairman Elon Musk got the first production Roadster earlier this month, Tesla Founders Blog reader Pete asked ex-jeffe Martin Everhard when he'd receive his (he's supposed to get Roadster number two if/when they ever get it built). Martin's response:

I don't yet have a date for my car, Founders Series number 2, though they say the next cars will be delivered in March. I was the second person to deposit $100K, well over a year ago, and I have a certificate signed by Elon stating that the second production car is mine. As of today, I am a bit worried that they will pull something on me. I hope I am wrong, but I recently got a very bad signal from them.

When another reader asked about the delivery date, Eberhard requested him to inquire on the Tesla Motors blog for him. No such answer was forthcoming. On February 10, "Yanquetino" wondered if Tesla was muzzling Musk:

I am fairly confident in my ability to read between the lines of previous posts, but now I'm just going to ask point blank: is Tesla suing you? Only a negative answer is warranted, i.e., "NO, Telsa is NOT suing me." If, after a couple of days, you still haven't given said reply, or have removed this post from the blog, well… then we'll know how to call a spade a shovel.

As of today, Martin has not responded, even though he has replied to other comments posted after that date and the post is still on the blog.

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