By on August 21, 2008

And counting... (courtesy Media reports that Tesla's "accelerating production" of their lithium-ion powered sports car. They're heading for their promised 100 cars per month. You know; once they get their transmission shit together. in October. Or thereabouts. Or later. Meanwhile, according to a Tesla newsletter released Wednesday night, the Lotus assembly plant in Hethel, England has fifteen cars "ready to be shipped" to CA sans battery and powertrain. I'll admit it: fifteen cars is fourteen more than I've built (don't ask). But have you seen Tesla's showroom? These Silicon Valley boys are not exactly Scrooge McDuck when it comes to overheads. Even if you figure each customer car at the new price of $120k, that's only $1.8m gross income. What's the bet that each of those cars will end up costing Tesla money (a la David Brown's Aston Martin era)? Never mind. Saving the planet is a tough job, but someone's got to do it. 


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8 Comments on “Tesla Death Watch 17: Fifteen Cars?...”

  • avatar

    Fifteen cars represents, what, TEN YEARS worth of inventory for Tesla, at its current rate of production? Maybe my math is off a little, but I hope Lotus isn’t expecting another order soon.

    RF has had the goods on Tesla all along.

  • avatar

    do we know how much they have tied up in this little project? I mean if someone has the money to bring this to the table.. if they only lose a little on their first project and have money or investors behind them i’d say they have an okay chance.. better odds than the volt anyway at only 3 times the cost!

  • avatar


    Maybe I’m misremembering, but wasn’t the whole point of the Roadster to raise enough cash to build a “regular” car?

  • avatar

    Actually I have seen their showroom (and fit all 6’3″ of me in the car). The interior decorating was definitely fit for a startup…complete with free cake! The 3 employees and 2 prototypes didn’t really fill up the couple thousand square feet (or the 3 repair bays) but I’m sure it was good feng shui and the saleswoman had some interesting info. Apparently they sold 4 cars that day despite the 12 month lead time. Hopes and dreams of LA’s green status seekers is apparently a fine way to fund development of the next Tesla.

  • avatar

    I saw one today! Here in San Francisco, where all the offices are. It was a boring dark green color, the taillights were ugly, the mesh grilles reveals too many inelegant mechanical bits inside, and the gas filler cap is awkwardly located (why’d they have to make it look like a normal one?). Looks good besides those little details, but TTAC had convinced me that they don’t exist in the wild and clearly they do.

  • avatar

    I thought Nancy Pelosi was saving the planet this month.

  • avatar
    healthy skeptic


    Shouldn’t you call it something besides the “gas filler cap”?

    Wish I’d seen it. I work in SF’s Financial District.

  • avatar

    @ Frantz:

    I haven’t been keeping a tally but I know the initial round of funding was something on the order of $100M, last year they raised another $140M, and Elon Musk has kicked in a bunch of his money so they must have burned around $300M by now.

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