By on January 12, 2010

Er, cover it back up again...

Speaking to MarketWatch at the Detroit Auto Show, Tesla Chairman Elon Musk apparently just revealed that the Tesla Model S sedan will be released “within two and a half years.” Which is interesting considering Musk claimed that production would start in 2011 at the Model S launch last March. But then, Tesla is still trying to decide on a factory location, apparently waffling between former aeronautical manufacturing locations in Downey and Long Beach. And apparently Tesla’s mere consideration of a brownfield site in Downey has drawn protests from a group calling themselves The Raging Grannies.

Meanwhile Tesla’s main claim to fame, a system of interconnected battery cells, has been somewhat undermined by news of a deal between Tesla and Panasonic. Though Tesla admits it will use Panasonic’s battery cells in its newest battery packs, it insists that its “current battery strategy incorporates proprietary packaging using cells from multiple battery suppliers.”

Further on, we still haven’t heard a peep out of Tesla in regards to one of the biggest questions surrounding Model S development: the allegedly in-house designed platform. Rumors have flown about that the platform might be based on a Mercedes architecture, given the battery cooperation agreement between Tesla and Daimler. If that’s the case, nobody from either side has confirmed it. And developing new platforms isn’t easy or cheap. Unless Tesla announces a factory and a chassis partner soon, this could be just the first of several Model S delays.

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27 Comments on “Wild Ass Rumor Of The Day: Tesla Model S Delayed...”

  • avatar
    Justin Berkowitz

    “Wild Ass Rumor of the Day: Tesla Model S to be Built on Time”
    Fixed that for you.

  • avatar

    Q inspired by the photo – those wheels are fantastic. Anyone know if those are off the shelf or Tesla spec? If those are 3rd party wheels I’d love to know what they are. That turbine look is great.

  • avatar

    Tesla = vaporware

  • avatar

    Telsa = Tucker

  • avatar

    BEAUTIFUL car. I’d buy one if I could afford it. And if it was being built. And being sold. Yeah – the wheels are amazing.

  • avatar

    Why does TTAC have to pick on Tesla for every little thing? OK, so there are snags and delays. Finally here is a company trying to build cars of the future (electric) that actually LOOK futuristic and handsome (and practical to boot in the case of the Model S). I’m excited that this is happening in the US. I’ve waited many, many years for these kind of cars.

    • 0 avatar

      And you’re going to keep waiting. Electric cars themselves, as opposed to gas or diesel, are hard enough to put into production on their own. Starting a new car company is a series of pitfalls, ambushed by engineering problems (all car makers go through with each and every new car they develop), topped off by financial problems.
      Top it off by Elon Musk’s arrogant comments, and it invites criticism. More likely than not, TTAC is correct in it’s guess of even more delays. My bet is on one of two likelihoods – either it never gets off the ground, or the company crashes and burns from financial problems before they get into their second model year of this new car(and that assumes a first model year).

  • avatar
    Rod Panhard

    What’s the environmental impact of vaporware?

  • avatar

    As cynical as I am about EVs–I fill my tank when I have roughly the same # of miles to go as an EV with a charged battery–I am somewhat in sympathy with Tosh (directly above) on this. If they can produce and sell this thing, more power to them, and more of the magic fuel left for ICE.

  • avatar

    What a stupid protest.  For one thing, it took place 400 miles away from the proposed site of the plant.  I don’t think anybody in Downey (or at Tesla) cares what eight old ladies living six hours away think about it.

  • avatar

    So, will they refund the deposits? or does the ‘S’ stand for ‘Sucker’?

  • avatar

    I think it may be more than just a rumor that Tesla couldn’t engineer its way out of a wet paper bag. What dot-coms were in the late 90s, Tesla is to green electric cars today: all talk of blue sky but  very little ability to actually deliver product. They take money today for cars that they may or may not deliver in two years – that simply isn’t a sustainable business model. Eventually the novelty of electric cars will wear off and as the choice increases from real car makers and then this venture will go the way of DMC.

  • avatar

    I like Tesla, and the Model S in particular.  I still think it’s exceptionally beautiful, and wish them success with it.
    But 2-1/2 years pushes the S dangerously close to irrelevance when it launches.

  • avatar

    Musk is a hack. Tesla is a joke. Wait for the 2nd gen of electric vehicles before making a jump

  • avatar

    Maybe wild ass rumor should be Tesla going under before making model S.

  • avatar

    Dang.  Beat me to the Tucker reference.  The wheels look nice and must be aftermarket, there ‘s no way Tesla can cast wheels, let alone make a car or two.  I still cringe every time I use Paypal because of Musk.  He strikes me as a huge ego, someone who is insufferable.  I can only imagine what it is like to work there and bask in all his Musky glory.

  • avatar
    John Horner

    Tesla has yet to actually design a motor vehicle. Their one product starts as a Lotus, adds third party electric propulsion and control systems and is largely assembled by contractors. Much of the engineering work was also done by contractors.
    Tesla itself has brought precious little to the party other than to be a massive PR machine.

    • 0 avatar

      Which is why I don’t believe they’ll ever get an in-house design off the ground. Just crash testing for NHTSA, and durability testing for warranty purposes, is going to cost a kings ransom.

    • 0 avatar

      Yes, designing an actual car chassis is not for zealous pretenders.  If they are serious about chassis design, it will cost more time and money than they have.

      On the other hand, maybe they don’t need to engineer the whole car.  Their current plan works pretty well; nobody else actually does what they do, but lots of people talk about how easy it is to do.  The next closest – Karma – has sold nothing to date, and Tesla’s already on their way to their second offering.

  • avatar

    Who started this striptease thing where car designers bring out a new car covered with a tarp and show parts of it? Is that recent? Or have they been doing it for decades?

    Bugs the hell out of me.

  • avatar
    Corky Boyd

    If Tesla wants to compete with the big boys, they need to do better than a 3 year 36k mile warranty on the battery pack.  Replacing an out of warranty $30,000 battery pack before the car is paid for can be an painful experience.  Anyway who even knows if Tesla will be around to honor it before it expires.

  • avatar

    Wow, so much snark for Musk and Tesla among y’all.

    Yes, it’s a troubled enterprise, and Musk seems to be a dick, but why not cheer on the boldness of the whole venture? I, for one, will do so, if only because the cars are unusually beautiful for this day and age. Fast, too — which is nice.

    • 0 avatar

      My main problem with Tesla now is that I, along with every other American taxpayer, loaned them money. That’s our money they are spending. That’s the shame of it.

  • avatar

    According to a contact who knows him from his days at Chrysler, Mike Donoughe has left Tesla in the last 30-45 days.  Didn’t like the direction of the company and maybe with where the owner was taking it.  Strangely coincidental and a total sidebar, but I believe Mr Donoughe rents or owns a condo in the same complex as a buddy of mine (and another ex-Chrysler guy) on Bryant St in Mountain View, CA 94041.  Always was parking his tesla in the underground garage. 

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