Tesla Birth Watch 5: Tesla Amps-Up The Hype. Again. Still.
Now that Tesla's delayed the delivery of their $100k lithium-ion-powered Roadster for the third time, and lowered production expectations again, you'd think that the automotive media would begin to share TTAC's skepticism about this Silicon Valley venture. Not so. Perhaps that's because A) The media really want it to happen and B) Tesla's wrapped the delay in [increasingly familiar] hyperbole. In a letter to Tesla Club Members ($50k and you're in!), Tesla's freshly-minted CEO apologizes for the delay and resets customers' expectations. "While we expect to produce a limited number of production cars in the fourth quarter," Michael E. Marks writes. "I have set a production goal of shipping fifty cars in the first quarter of 2008, with an additional 600 cars in the 2008 model year." (In case you're not a lawyer, "expect" and "goal" are not legally binding terms.) And then the really good news: "Range: 245 miles on the EPA combined cycle, confirmed!" Confirmed by… Tesla! Although the company feels free to use the term "EPA" in their claims, nothing about the Roadster is government certfied. And there is still no independent confirmation of the Roadster's safety, range or recharge time. Yet the press continue to repeat Tesla's claims as if they were gospel. Rest assured, the Devil's Advocate will keep you posted.