Tesla Birth Watch 40: European Sales! Customer Deliveries! Maybe.

tesla birth watch 40 european sales customer deliveries maybe

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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  • David C. Holzman David C. Holzman on Mar 24, 2008

    Penguins could tell the dif. They just wouldn't care.

  • David Dennis David Dennis on Mar 24, 2008

    The car Jay Leno drove is obviously Elon Musk's "P1" car. You will note it's the same color as Musk's car and you can see him watching over it like a hawk during the interview. I'm impressed that he allowed Jay to drive it without a minder inside. I was disappointed to notice that Elon and Jay really tried their best to blur this issue, with it being described as a production model and not the only one in the world. He seemed to be trying to imply to the world that there were plenty of production models to be found, and this was just one of them, even though that is not the case. I, too, was a little surprised by Musk's pronouncement about being able to plug it in and go after three hours. That seems perilously close to fraud on his part, and it's not even necessary - the target audience for the car will be more than happy to set up special power arrangements for it, including solar panels. Since these lies are so obvious and trivial to prove wrong, it seems amazing that he would attempt to make them. I miss Martin Eberhard. As far as I know he has never lied to us and always tried to be as honest and transparent as he could be. The Musk era's use of transparent untruths in publicity about the car has me genuinely worried. As I have said before, delivery times don't particularly worry me, because anything this complex is going to have delays and unanticipated problems. As long as you are straight about delivery problems, most people stick with you. I have confidence that the cars will eventually be delivered and that they will please their customers. But somehow I sense that a lot of the life and enthusiasm left the effort when Martin Eberhard was pushed out. I think Elon and Martin should have patched up their differences somehow. And I hope someone writes a book about this. The whole story deserves to be told. On the other hand, I'm happy to see that Jay Leno genuinely was having a blast. The car looks like it was genuinely great. I look forward to hearing what Martin has to say about it on his blog. D

  • Skid Skid on Mar 26, 2008

    David Dennis, I don't understand why Elon's claims were close to fraud. You plug it in and after three hours it is charged and you go? It is a pity that Martin is not there but Tesla will continue regardless. I think it is amazing that a startup can do what it has done. There will always be someone to shout them down no matter how many cars they make. These people will complain no matter what.

  • David Dennis David Dennis on Mar 31, 2008

    Skid, in answer to your question, he said that you just had to plug it in to a standard outlet. To get the three hour time you actually have to plug it into a range-style (220 volt) outlet, which few people will have available in their garage. The real problem in making this claim is not the garage outlet, which can be obtained at basically trivial cost. The problem is that if you are elsewhere (say a hotel), you almost certainly cannot plug into the kind of power needed to recharge the car fully by the time you need to continue your journey. By the way, what happened to Birth Watch 41? We lept straight from 40 to 42, which makes me wonder ... D