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Future Tesla Models, Company Details, Revealed in IPO Road Show Presentation

Future Tesla Models, Company Details, Revealed in IPO Road Show Presentation

During a presentation for his company’s upcoming Initial Public Offering, Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk revealed that Tesla is working on three new models based on the Model S architecture, including a convertible, a van, and a crossover.

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The new models will use the Model S’ underlying platform and powertrain with new bodies on top. Sketches revealed in the Road Show presentation to potential Wall Street investors included a two-door Cabriolet that bears a strong resemblance to the Model S, but with more aggressive styling; a van similar to the Ford Transit Connect; and a crossover that looks like a beefed-up Model S wagon. Tesla is also working on liquid-cooled batteries and electronics for the Model S to boost efficiency and component life.

Along with the Road Show, Tesla’s complete IPO filing with the SEC is available now and reveals some interesting facts about the company and its products. As we learned last week, Tesla has been losing money since its inception, and its IPO shows that the company is heavily dependent on selling carbon credits to other automakers, a $450 million loan from the U.S. Department of Energy, and the money it hopes to raise in its IPO. The company also receives funds from a deal to supply batteries to Daimler’s Smart brand, but will lose that income when Daimler brings its battery development in-house. Further, the company expects to continue losing money until the Model S actually starts selling in significant quantities.

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The company is also dependent on its unfinished agreement with Toyota to buy a portion of the closed NUMMI plant in California for production of the Model S. Should the deal fail to germinate by December 31, 2011, it is null and void. Even if it goes through, it only covers the building, not the equipment, which Tesla will have to secure on its own.

Tesla’s concerns run deeper than that. As of March 31, the company had only 110 outstanding orders for its Roadster model, of which 1063 had been sold to that date. Most of Tesla’s sales have been fulfilling orders that have been on the books for months or even years. Despite the limited orders, the company has an agreement with Lotus to purchase 2400 Roadster chassis. The company currently has 2200 non-binding reservations for the Model S as well, a car that the company says won’t see production until at least 2012 with deliveries following months later.

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Some experts have questioned that timeline, given that the IPO also notes that the company has only a driveable prototype built at this point, not a production-intent car, and has not selected its suppliers yet. The filing also reveals that Tesla acknowledges having no experience with designing or using a common platform, and design of the Model S platform isn’t even complete yet. Other technical limitations include an admission that no facility yet exists that can swap out the Model S’ battery pack as the company has suggested in the past, and that the company realizes its current Roadster battery pack will lose up to 40 percent of its capacity, and therefore the vehicle’s range, after 100,000 miles, or about seven years.

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On the non-technical side, Tesla also faces pressure from regulators, customers, and competitors. Tesla’s model of company-owned retail outlets and Internet sales is unproven and could run afoul of dealer franchise laws in some U.S. states and European countries. Its service program, with its mobile service technicians, is also unproven. Any new crash, safety or other regulations could slow development of the Model S and its mainstream competitors are better equipped financially to face the burden of developing an all-new car.

If the company has overestimated the market for its expensive, high-end models, it will make it harder to turn a profit and invest in more affordable models. And of course, the company will be without a source of revenue after 2011 when the first-generation Roadster ceases production along with the Lotus Elise it’s based on. Production of a second-generation car won’t begin until after the Model S is on sale.

While Tesla is clearly optimistic as it continues to expand its brick-and-mortar stores and product, there’s no telling how Wall Street will react. The company is hoping to pull in $178 million in its IPO in the next few weeks, but even if it’s successful in that endeavor, it still faces a number of challenges over the next several years as it struggles to reach financial stability on the backs of its products rather than temporary deals like carbon credit swaps.

What do think will happen?

Source: RetailRoadshow

By Scott Evans

Tesla Model S Named 2013 World Green Car of the Year

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Luxurious, powerful and laden with cool technology, the Tesla Model S adds yet another accolade to its crowded mantel today by winning the World Green Car of the Year Award at during the New York Auto Show.

Equipped with an 85 kWh battery — the largest available — it is supposed to offer up to 265 miles of range. Power is sent to the rear wheels with up to 443 lb-ft of instantly delivered torque in the performance model.

Aside from its luxury interior appointments and relatively understated style, standout features include its massive touch screen infotainment system the size of two iPads and the ability to update its system through a 3G connection.

2013 New York Auto Show Complete Coverage

That’s especially important with the Model S because it means the company can affect how the car behaves without requiring owners to bring their cars in for service.

Tesla competed against the Renault Zoe – a a five-door electric car – and the Volvo V60 Plug-In Hybrid for the title.

Discuss this story at GasStinks.com

By Luke Vandezande

For $25,000: New or Used? Latest Wide Open Throttle Discusses

For $25,000: New or Used? Latest Wide Open Throttle Discusses

Greg Emmerson of European Car joins the roundtable discussion on this episode of Wide Open Throttle to discuss his recent Head 2 Head comparison of the BMW E30 M3, Scion FR-S, and Volkswagen GTI. Jessi Lang, Jonny Lieberman, Angus MacKenzie, and Ron Kiino also discuss the crowded entry-luxury segment as well as the future of new and existing electric vehicle manufacturers.

Wide Open Throttle 62 25K Sports Cars Entry Luxury Future of EV Makers image 10 300x187 imageDespite the classic BMW’s high cost of entry when it was new and similar performance to the more affordable FR-S, Emmerson defends the E30 M3 and GTI against the rear-drive Scion sports car. Next, the conversation moves to the entry-luxury market with Scion and Mazda wanting to move up and Mercedes-Benz and Audi strengthening their entry-level presence with the CLA and A3 four-doors. After talking about Scion’s original purpose of bringing younger buyers into the Toyota fold and then move them into Toyota and Lexus products, Lieberman questions how the youth brand can move upmarket. The panel then debates what constitutes luxury.

Just a day after Fisker executives were questioned by a government committee about the company’s $529 million loan, the latest Wide Open Throttle video crew discuss the fate of struggling Fisker, profitable Tesla, and newcomer Detroit Electric. Emmerson notes that BMW will soon introduce the i3 and i8 electric vehicles, and wonders how it will affect other mainstream brands as well as the newer EV makers.

Check out the video below to hear the full discussion.

By Jason Udy

Tesla Flagship Store Opens in Canada

Luxury EV maker Tesla opened one of its boutique stores in Canada to the public today, marking the brand’s first location in the country.

The first official store in Canada, the outlet is located in the newly opened wing of the Yorkdale Shopping Center in Toronto, Ontario.

Following the same philosophy as its other 24 storefronts in North America, Tesla isn’t aiming to sell cars to those who happen to wander in during a shopping excursion. Instead, it aims to educate people on electric cars and what it, as an automaker, offers consumers.

A staff is always on hand take grazers through a series of tutorials designed to show what going electric is all about. Tesla sales vice president George Blankenship was on hand today to talk about the company’s current product and the brand’s goals for its flagship Canadian location.

SEE ALSO: Tesla CEO Hints at Electric Truck and Electric Supercar

What’s that goal? Building a brand identity. “95 percent of people don’t know who we are,” he said. That’s exactly what he said Tesla means to combat by opening these locations. “We’ll open another 25 stores this year,” he said. Currently, there are 24 locations in North America, which was the brand’s main focus this year.

“There’s a bit of lighting that happens when you talk to someone in person,” he said while smiling.

But that lightning is raising a few eyebrows in the U.S. where the brand’s primary focus was this year. Complains and lawsuits from the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) rose this year around Tesla’s small, independent storefront strategy. Laws exist in some states to prevent automakers from selling directly to consumers — primarily to protect dealer networks from being squeezed out.

But Tesla doesn’t have a dealer network, and therein lies the argument currently flaring between the two groups. Nevertheless, Blankenship said Tesla isn’t worried about the lawsuit, and quickly pointed out that it won’t be a struggle the brand will face with its new Canadian location.

GALLERY: Tesla Model S

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By Luke Vandezande

How many kindergarteners can you fit in a Tesla Model S?

Kindergarteners cram into a Tesla Model S



Details on where and when this video of a gaggle of kindergarteners packing themselves into a Tesla Model S was shot are slim – we think Phoenix, AZ, based the license plate and this Tesla Motors Club post. Of course, all of that is kind of secondary compared to the obvious fun these kids are having. It’s not a record-setting effort, which is why there’s so much room left over – it’s more of a chance to try and get an entire kindergarten class into one car. As a member posting on the Tesla Motors forum wrote, “We could have fit three more easily, without anyone sitting on top of someone else.”



In any case, it’s pretty adorable, and it has also given us our new favorite phrase: “Frunk Monkeys.” Hazard your own guess as to how many youngsters will fit, then watch the video below to see how many kids can cram into the benchmark electric hatchback below.



By Sebastian Blanco