Tesla Death Watch 16: Number Five is Alive!

Justin Berkowitz
by Justin Berkowitz
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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]

Justin Berkowitz
Justin Berkowitz

Immensely bored law student. I've also got 3 dogs.

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4 of 14 comments
  • Shaker Shaker on Aug 14, 2008

    You can't deny the "cool" factor of flooring the pedal and getting a smooth whine and an "Oh Jesus" from your passenger. It's probably the same "O.J." that comes from the mouths of first-time Shuttle Astronauts at lift-off... Thanks, Early Adopter! Maybe I'll get a chance to drive something like this before shuffling off the Mortal Coil.

  • Domestic Hearse Domestic Hearse on Aug 14, 2008

    Could this be Tesla wagging the media dog? "Our statements of future and current success aren't fooling anyone. Team, I need your ideas." "Boss, what if we made a video?" "We've spent lots of money on videos..." "No, I mean, we make a video that looks like a customer made it. We hire a few actors, do a lot of shaky cam, do a patch-work edit, and put it out there on YouTube. It'll look like an authentic delivery." "Can't hurt. Line it up."

  • Doug Doug on Aug 14, 2008

    This car is Founders' Series #16 (F16) as it states clearly at the start of the video. You can see a bunch of (sadly blurry) photos of it here. Car number 5 went to Kimbal Musk as he showed on his blog here. That would have been a better time to use the Johnny Five reference. At this point over 12 cars have been delivered to paying customers (though, these people are also significant investors in the company). Usta Bee : August 13th, 2008 at 10:45 pm 7500 lithium batteries ?!!!. And they’re good for what, probabably around 500-1000 (at most) recharging cycles unless they’ve come up with some new super technology cells. It's actually 6831 cells in the battery pack. Guess what, 500 cycles times 200 or so miles per full charge is over 100,000 miles. How long did you want it to last? This is why it's actually harder to get a shorter range (40 mile) battery like in the GM Volt to have a reasonable lifetime.

  • David Dennis David Dennis on Aug 14, 2008

    The owner appears to be Mark Templeton, CEO of Citrix Systems. I thought the video was well done. I was particularly entertained by the window sticker "32kwh/100 miles". Where I live, that means it would cost $2.40 to go 100 miles. Even in California, where electric rates are absurd, it's looking like under $5. That name was in the me.com URL he was using to share the pictures, and his appearance seems to match well with the corporate picture: http://www.citrix.com/English/aboutCitrix/leadership/leader.asp?contentID=679450 Oddly enough, I don't see anything about him and Tesla other than this video, but it does look like they are shipping cars, since I don't think if they did a fake it would be with an easily identifiable individual. D