Tag archives for tesla model s

Watch Tesla Model S get assembled, painted; find details of ‘opportunity console’

Tesla Model S in paint shop



Tesla Motors is just a few days away from handing over Model S key fobs to the first batch of customers. Yes, the company already gave investor and board member Steve Jurvetson and CEO Elon Musk their Founder Series cars, but this time it’s for reals.



While we wait to watch the sleek sedans, painted in the ten four colors of the company’s current palette Signature series, passed to their new owners – the big event will be broadcast on Tesla’s website Friday at 3:30 PDT – we can now see more of what goes into the manufacturing of this truly innovative electric car. We’ve already watched the massive metal stamping that begins the process, now we can view the whole assembly and paint application operation. Scroll below for three more videos from the Inside Tesla! series.



In other Model S news, Tesla has revealed what’s going to be so special about the area between the front seats, a space Tesla is calling the “Opportunity Console.” Based on buyer preferences, this customizable space should one day be able to be outfitted with “compartments, shelves or phone holders to make this area more organized.” Tesla will reveal prototypes of the consoles this weekend and will listen to customer input on how the final versions develop.













By Domenick Yoney

Tesla Model S Software Update Boosts Range by 8 Miles

A software update to the Tesla Model S will add a few extra miles of range according to the brand.

The update will bring a few changes, the largest of which is a new “sleep” setting. When in use, the new “sleep” setting will power down the cars display and vehicle electronics when the owner exits the vehicle,  which will add about 8 miles of range a day. The trade off is that now the screens will take longer to power up when the car is started, though Tesla says it is only a ”modest increase” in wait time.

SEE ALSO: Tesla Model S Gets $2,500 Price Increase

Along with the new screen sleep function, owners will get enhanced synchronized door handles, new voice commands, enhanced throttle response and a few other small changes.

as an interesting side note, the best part about Tesla’s software updates is that they happen over a 3G connection with minimal effort by the owner.

By Stephen Elmer

Tesla stock still climbing, despite federal subpoena asking about executive share trading

tesla motors logo



In recent days, Tesla Motors stock (TSLA) has been climbing and climbing, hitting a high of $58.18 earlier today before closing at a respectable $53.99. The rise comes amid a string of headline-making events – higher-than-expected sales, franchise dealer fights and a new warranty program, to name just three – but under all of the good news lies a potential problem. The Wall Street Journal revealed today that Tesla was served subpoenas from US federal prosecutors over details on the company’s trading plan for executives. There has been no hint of wrongdoing, the feds just want information, Reuters reports. A similar subpoena was sent to Cardiovascular Systems, which makes medical implements.



The question is how the executives can trade their shares. Reuters reports that it is fine by Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rules for executives to use something called a 10b5-1 plan to trade their own stock, “even when they have access to private information.” The subpoena does not seem to have anything to do with questions over whether Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s recent “overzealous” Tweet was in any way illegal.



This week, analysts at Longboard Asset Management said they believe Tesla common stock will hit $100 in the next 18 months on the way to $200 per share within five years. In any case, we’ll have more information ammunition for the debate when Tesla releases first quarter results May 8th.

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By Sebastian Blanco

Tesla to earn $250 million from sales of California environmental credits

Tesla Model S



Tesla Motors is expected to release quarterly earnings figures within the next few days, and the Silicon Valley automaker is thought to have attained profitability for the first time ever. As it turns out, a good bit of that profit will reportedly come from the State of California.



According to an article from the LA Times, Tesla, which is reportedly on pace to sell 20,000 vehicles in 2013, receives as much as $35,000 in environmental credits from California for each Model S it sells. These credits can then be sold to other automakers that do business in the state but don’t sell zero-emission vehicles of their own. Some experts believe Tesla could earn up to $250 million from such ZEV credits.



While profits from ZEV credits equals good news for Tesla, some experts and rival automakers aren’t very pleased with California’s strong-arm tactics when it comes to the sales of electric vehicles. “At the end of the day, other carmakers are subsidizing Tesla,” said Thilo Koslowski, an analyst at Gartner Inc.



Mary Nichols, chairwoman of the California Air Resources Board, counters by saying, “We are in the air pollution business, not the car business… There is some jealously of Tesla going on here.” Check out the entire article from the LA Times here, it’s an interesting look into the inner-workings of the business side of the eco-friendly automotive marketplace.

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By Jeremy Korzeniewski

Tesla’s small cells helped solve big battery issues of range, cost

Tesla Model S



Tesla Motors turned the “penny wise, dollar foolish” axiom on its head by staking its lithium-ion battery technology on a more expensive and more complex layout than its competitors, according to Tesla Chief Technology Officer JB Straubel in an interview with Bloomberg News.



Instead of using battery packs with hundreds of larger cells for its Roaster, Tesla deployed thousands of smaller lithium-ion cells for its inaugural model in 2006. This made the battery pack more expensive to produce, but this costlier architecture was considered safer and less prone to breakdowns. Straubel said. Since then, Tesla has cut the cost of its battery packs in half during the past seven years while avoiding any recalls or reports of breakdowns due to the packs.



Earlier this month, Tesla said it delivered its first quarterly profit during the first quarter, boosting its sales 83 percent from a year earlier to $562 million and selling 4,900 Model S EVs, which was more than what the Chevrolet Volt extended-range plug-in and Nissan Leaf battery-electric achieved.

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By Danny King

Tesla customers drive the Model S, love it!

tesla model s customers test drive



We’ve heard initial reviews of the Tesla Model S from the media as the “Get Amped” tour – a multi-city test-drive opportunity for reservation holders – kicked off at the company’s Fremont, CA factory. But what about the people who really matter? You know, the folks who’ve been waiting for as long as two years, having plunked down as much as $40,000 for a place in line. What did they think of the shiny new machines?



After reading many first-person accounts and watching a good number of in-car videos, we think it’s fair to say they absolutely love it. The sexy fastback looks, the smooth, rocket-like acceleration, the comfortable ride, and confident handling. Love, love, love, and love!



But don’t take our word for it. Scroll down for a handful of videos, starting with a relatively short one from Tesla Motors featuring footage from the official launch and customer test-drive reactions (the last in the Tesla Tuesday series), followed by full length (12-13 minutes) clips from individuals.

















By Domenick Yoney

Elon Musk explains why Tesla has its own stores, defends service program





Elon Musk is taking his argument for a different kind of customer-dealer relationship directly to the people. In this case, the Tesla Motors CEO writes on his company’s blog to list the reasons why the luxury electric-vehicle maker decided to own all of its dealerships instead of offering franchises.



Musk, who said the Tesla Model S sedan aspires to be “the best car of any kind” in his new post, says that using the traditional dealer franchise model would have created conflicts of interest withing the salespeople. The reason is that any energy used to educate the public about electric vehicles would detract from conventional-vehicle sales. “It is impossible for them to explain the advantages of going electric without simultaneously undermining their traditional business,” Musk writes.



Additionally, most buyers purchase the same make as their previous vehicle, which means there are few buyers who would walk into a multi-brand dealership and be willing to take the time to learn about Tesla. Musk added that Tesla would have 19 dealership stores in the US by the end of the year, up from 10 at the beginning of the year.



While the Model S has been universally praised, its pricey service program has not. Earlier this month, David Noland, a Model S reservation holder, wrote that Tesla’s $600-a-year service program is more than 10 times the cost of the service program for the Chevrolet Volt extended-range plug-in hybrid. Tesla has argued that its service plan is more comprehensive than usual because it includes an inspection, replacement parts such as brakes and windshield wipers, roadside assistance, system monitoring, remote diagnostics and software updates.



Finally, Musk addresses the recent lawsuits over Tesla’s stores. As you might expect, Musk doesn’t back down:

Regrettably, two lawsuits have nonetheless been filed against Tesla that we believe are starkly contrary to the spirit and the letter of the law. This is supported by the nature of the plaintiffs, where one is a Fisker dealer and the other is an auto group that has repeatedly demanded that it be granted a Tesla franchise. They will have considerable difficulty explaining to the court why Tesla opening a store in Boston is somehow contrary to the best interests of fair commerce or the public.

We’re sure the case will be made, though, and we’ll see how well it’s delivered.

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By Danny King

Tesla Model S Named to TIME Magazine’s Best Inventions of 2012 List

By all accounts, the Tesla Model S is a formidable offering in the electric vehicle world, a market that’s still considered to be in its infant stage.

Recently, the American automaker’s newest sedan landed on TIME Magazine‘s Best Invention of the Year 2012 list. The publication went so far as to say that the Tesla “has the lines of a Jaguar” but was mostly impressed by its range of 200-plus miles.

Of course, we loved the fact that the Model S delivers 362 hp and 325 lb-ft of torque and in our review commented that; “This might not just be the future of the electric car. The Tesla Model S could be the future of the American auto industry.”

By Jason Siu

Tesla selling new stock, debt worth $830m in order to pay off DOE loan





Anyone paying attention to the electric vehicle scene for the last few weeks knows that the stock value of Tesla Motors has been climbing faster than a SpaceX rocket. As of this writing, TSLA is sitting pretty at $92 a share. Three weeks ago, it was at a then-record-high of $53.



In light of all the commotion, Tesla is going to make some money and pay back the government. The company announced yesterday it will sell 2.7 million shares (with a value of $229 million given the closing price of $84.84 yesterday) and $450 million in convertible senior notes. All told, Tesla will sell up to $830 million in shares and debt and use the money to pay back its $465-million Department of Energy loan. The DOE has agreed to let Tesla modify the terms of its loan and repay the money early., but the exact timeline of the repayment was not specified. As Tesla CEO Elon Musk put it to Bloomberg earlier this month, “Of all the car companies that got government funding, we got the least, and we’re going to pay it off first. That’s not bad.” Musk will also buy $100 million worth of shares, $45 million in common stock and $55 million to be be “purchased directly from Tesla in a subsequent private placement.”



The DOE handed out four loans through the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program: along with Tesla, Ford got $5.9 billion, Nissan got $1.6 billion and Fisker got $529 million. Tesla’s press release is available below.

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By Sebastian Blanco

Tesla confirms production of 100 Model S vehicles, 74 for customers

white tesla model s



In the latest official Tesla blog post, George Blankenship, Tesla’s vice president of worldwide sales and ownership experience has got some fresh Model S numbers for us. Specifically, the company has now made 100 production Model S vehicles, with 74 of those destined for reservation holders. The rest, Blankenship writes, are “being used for test drive cars, in-store displays, engineering tests and for service team training. We plan to continue to increase production in the upcoming weeks.”



That increased production target for the rest of the year is 5,000, with 20-30,000 in 2013.

To put all these numbers in perspective, in early August, Tesla had only made 50 Model S vehicles, 29 for customers.



Blankenship was one of the people who is now driving a new Model S. He writes, “And for those of you who are wondering, yes, my wife and I got our Model S on Saturday! It was delivered to our house at 10 a.m. sharp by one of our Tesla Delivery Experience Specialists. Some things really are priceless.”

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By Sebastian Blanco

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