• Sep 25th 2007 at 5:56PM
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click above image for more pics of the Tesla Roadster

New Tesla Motors CEO Michael Marks sent out a letter to all their customers yesterday confirming both some good and bad news. The good news is that the efforts of Tesla's engineers over the last several months have resulted in the recovery of most of the range that had been lost to weight increases and other engineering changes. The Roadster has now been validated on the EPA combined cycle with a range of 245 miles (252 city and 236 highway). Your mileage will of course vary. They have also made structural improvements and one of the validation prototypes has now passed the side impact test that caused problems for an earlier version.

On the downside, prospective buyers will have to wait longer for their cars. Tesla's revised production schedule now has them only building a small number of production cars by the end of this year with the first fifty being delivered in the first quarter of 2008. Once production ramps up a bit they plan to turn out another 600 cars by the end of the 2008 model year. You can read Marks' letter to buyers here.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      I bought a calculator for $375 thirty years ago, today you get the same capabillity for $25. An IBM PC was $3500 at first, so I bought a Commodore 64 for $275. I got a GPS 8 years ago for $275 now similiar for $98.
      Take a $50K sports car add a $20K battery pack and some carbon fiber and you got a $100K Tesla Roadster.
      Thank Heavens for those who can afford it, so I can buy a $20K sports car with a $5K battery pack for $25K in a few years. Skip the oil change, air filter, & tune up, just 45KW-h please.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I believe comparing the Tesla with the Volt or Prius you guys are missing one big factor:

      Tesla can only make about 600 a year.

      In the world of suppy and demand, that means that they will sell every car they can.

      10's of thousands of Volts and Prius, and other hybrids will be sold each year.

      You are comparing Apples and Oranges to a single Pomengrante seed. The sales of the Tesla will only be affected by anything except a similar type of car. And some of you missed that.

      The Lighting Car company is making a very similar car. Battery only, high range, high performance Electric car in the $100,000 range. The Prius and Volt are a different league. Like worrying that the new Honda Accord is going to cut into Porshe' sales. :)

        • 8 Years Ago
        Tesla are planning to make 650 cars the first year, but once they get production ramped up they could make as many as 2,000 Roadsters per year.

        Which is still, of course, next to nothing in auto industry terms.

        The car that will really define Tesla is going to be the "White Star" sedan. It'll be their own design from the ground up (not derived from a Lotus), assembled in their own Tesla factory, with volume up to 10,000 per year. That's assuming they can pull it off. Getting it into production is going to be a huge challenge.

        The White Star will also be a better platform to compare with the Chevy Volt or the PHEV Prius.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I love what Tesla is doing as far as good quality electric cars. I love the idea of moving away for the dependence of gasoline, but the price of this car is outrageous. However, they do plan on releasing the "Whitestar" and the "Bluestar" later on. Both are going to be more reasonable in pricing.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Absolutely positively will be released in 2007. Now 2008. 2009 will be next. Looks like Tesla has been studiying Zap's vaporware press release playbook.
      • 8 Years Ago
      i'm sort of happy to see both coming to market...and i drive a V8 sports car...haha
      • 8 Years Ago
      I hope manufacturers succeed in making electric cars, I would love to own one! I think they will within the next 10 years, and I'm optimistic that plug-in hybrids will be an excellent solution for most drivers.

      My point is that for the last 50 years people have been making all kinds of ridiculous allegations that Big Oil is holding back electric cars, and it's absurd. Making an electric car with the range and affordability of a gasoline car is technologically difficult There were also allegations that Big Oil killed a carburetor that got 100 mpg!

      Oil companies want to sell oil, but car companies want to sell cars, and they don't take their orders from oil companies. And who exactly is this mysterious "Big Oil"? Is it just American oil companies, or is it OPEC, or is it the numerous state-owned oil companies around the world? Are they all in on it? That's a lot of people involved!

      If a car company could make a practical and affordable electric car that consumers want, they will manufacture it, and no oil company will stop them.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I really hope they learn from the roadster and then get it right first time around when it comes the Whitestar. Id love to make it my next car in 2010. They plan a 2009 debut as a 2010. Just hope they can keep that promise as well as delivery quality product.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Yeah! Bring on the electric cars! Because electricity is free, environmentally pure and comes out of that plug in the wall!

      I'm also excited about the continuing progress on ethanol and biodiesel. Because vegetables grow from the ground, they're also free and environmentally pure!

      Who says TANSTAAFL? That's old thinking!

      • 8 Years Ago
      Last I read, the Volt's electric-only range was only 40 miles. That will only take me one way on my commute. Yes, it has the gasoline backup to get me home, but I'm tired of being held hostage by the middle-east. I don't want to buy another drop of gasoline. I want 100% electric, and I want it now. The 200+ mile range the Tesla offers is more than enough for me. The only problem is... I can't afford it. If they can make one that is closer to the Volt's target price range (sub-30K), I'll sign up immediately. I don't mind giving up some of that 4 second 0-60 performance if they can make it less expensive. I'm hoping that will eventually come as a result of the economies of scale that come with mass production. This car is the future. I can't wait!
        • 8 Years Ago
        For electric vehicles you need batteries with three characteristics, low cost, light weight, and large energy capacity. Unfortunately for at least next few years you can have any two of those in a battery. If you want capacity in a reasonable size it's going to cost you. The Tesla battery is reported to account for as much as $40,000 of the cost of the car. For an affordable battery powered car in the near term you will have limited battery range and a range extender.
      • 8 Years Ago
      GM has 500 engineers working on getting the production line up and running for the Volt.

      Toyota is no doubt working furiously too.

      This delay will KILL tesla. By the time Tesla gets a sedan out, GM and toyota (ford too) will have all sorts of nice electric and maybe hydrogen options.

      Tesla is going to be stomped into the ground. Too bad.
        • 8 Years Ago
        No. . . I don't think Tesla will get stomped. The car makers that get stomped will be the ones who aren't even working on electric cars today.
        • 8 Years Ago
        2008 is next year.

        Are you telling me Generally Malevolent's 500 mad scientists will have released an electric car by then?
        • 8 Years Ago
        I agree with Tony... anyways... the people waiting for the Tesla right now probably have already paid-up, and if not I'm pretty sure they are not the type of users that are going to commit otherwise. And I'm also sure that more people will want one after th first wave of cars. If I had the money I would.
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