• Jan 20, 2009
Click above for high-res image gallery of the Tesla Roadster

There's a firestorm of controversy surrounding the Tesla Roadster and its most recent set of options and pricing details. Apparently, a number of Roadster reservation holders who had already placed hefty deposits (as much as $50,000 dollars) on the Tesla, had locked in their orders and picked their options recently received letters and phone calls informing them that they were unlocked from their orders and their spot in the line was in jeopardy if they didn't re-option their rides. What's more, the new set of choices included many pricey bits that had previously been standard, along with a price increase for options that were already available. After all is said and done, a new Tesla Roadster with the same set of features that had previously been standard is now $6,700 more expensive than before.

Perhaps the biggest omission from the current base set of specifications is the High Performance Charger that allows the electric car to be quickly recharged in as little as 3.5-hours. Without the optional HPC, which now costs a whopping $3,000, it could take all night to replenish the Roadster's battery pack. Another previously standard component that is newly optional are the set of forged alloy wheels, which are now a $2,300 upgrade. Tesla claims that the extra money is necessary to become instantly profitable. Regardless, many owners are understandably upset with the extra surcharge, especially after receiving notification that their orders had been locked for production. Thanks for the tip, Ron!


[Source: Tom Saxton's Blog]


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  • 30 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      Whoever figures out how to sell a comparable charger on a Tesla specific accessories site (think smart42parts.com) is going to make BANK. I'm sure Tesla justifies these price increases because they consider themselves a "premium" automaker.
      • 6 Years Ago
      A sign of the times. I'm not surprised - are they currently actually selling anything yet even? In other words, do they have a consistent cash flow from actual products being sold, or is their income as of now based on deposits? While I wouldn't be happy about the price increase, I would like to see Tesla survive, and that seems like what they're simply trying to do.
      http://www.woopid.com/
      • 6 Years Ago
      That's a good metaphor for how shocking, and annoying this incident is, while also a good metaphor for the beauty of the car.

      That IS where you were going with that, right?
      • 6 Years Ago
      what a good way to piss off customers.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I couldn't have said it better!
      • 6 Years Ago
      "....the extra money is necessary to become instantly profitable"

      Sounds more like insanely profitable.

      I would imagine that you would have signed a contract for this car.

      If so, see you in court.
      • 6 Years Ago
      To everyone smirking about people "whining" about having to spend more money on these cars, remember that their deposits helped keep the company going. The company set the prices, if it was not enough that's the companies fault, not the customers. This company took peoples money and used it to run their business, I smell justified lawsuits. Which, ironically, will mean this move to bring about "instant profitiability" will actually cost them money.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Wait, people who had $50,000 in cash to put down on a car they had to wait a year for are mad they will have to spend $6,700 + more when they make their final payment of $50,000+?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Well then, so you're saying it's okay if there just happens to be *another* price hike before delivery? The question is where you draw the line, and the line should be drawn when you pre-order.
        • 6 Years Ago
        They have had my $50,000 deposit for over 2 years, my car is in production, and I just was informed of the price increase today. Is that any way to run a business?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Rick, I think more people are upset about the principle of the matter and how it was presented more then a 6.7% increase in price. If you had an agreement to purchase something at a set price and that price was suddenly changed I'm sure you would not be happy about it. Also the fact that they justified the need to increase the price as "necessary to become instantly profitable." Guess what Tesla, you got your cost estimate wrong and that's a business decision that you should have to live with. Those that agreed to your original price should get what they agreed to at the agreed upon price. Only the new buyers that do not have such agreements/deposits should have to pay the higher price or chose not to buy one at all.
        • 6 Years Ago
        kal326- I totally understand the principle argument which would apply to any item at any price for any pay scale. But I still think, when attached to a startup company producing a first of it's kind item one at a time in the middle of a depression/recession while the major car companies are nose diving, I don't think it's really a big surprise to see an increase of costs added onto $110K +. Buyers should be lucky that Tesla hasn't filed for bankruptcy. They are price adjusting in the way the Big 3 are price adjusting by closing plants and laying off workers.

        They can get their deposit back I believe as well. At that price point, I'd cross my fingers that I'd take actual delivery of the car, before I stressed the price increases.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Maybe Chrysler could take over Tesla and use their technology for their Dodge Circuit.
      • 6 Years Ago
      That's just plain bad business.

      Fair's fair, and you whiners with no sympathy for the 'rich' should be ashamed.
      • 6 Years Ago
      If auto start-ups have taught us one thing it’s this: NEVER (even partially)fund development with deposits on the purchase of the very product you are developing. You should not be taking customers money until you have a product that ready Is go (there may be a waiting list, but the product should be fully “baked”). Investors in the company should provide your startup capital.

      That said I still like the Tesla. Will it look silly compared to electric cars in 10-15 years? Probably. But it still represents a big step forward for the technology.
      • 6 Years Ago
      If the story is exactly like AB is reporting then its Tesla fault and they shouldn't charge current deposited customers more. These cost and option changes can be passed on to new customer, unless they state in the contracts that Tesla can change things without prior notice. If customers get into a contract like that then they have to accept any additional charges or changes that may happen.
      • 6 Years Ago
      "Tesla claims that the extra money is necessary to become instantly profitable."

      Depends on how many people keep their deposit in Tesla's accounts; could also make the company, 'instantly filing for chapter 11'. They've got to be using deposit money to pay Lotus for manufacturing. Enough people walk with their deposits, Telsa won't be able to actual deliver any cars.
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