Re: P1 Arriving Now! :)

On Friday, February 1, 2008 at 12:56 P.M., an email was sent to all San Carlos based employees of Tesla Motors: “P1 Arriving Now! :).”

This simple email signified the moment we had been working toward for the last few years. You see, “P1” is the internal designation for the first production unit to be produced by Tesla Motors. This is the anticipated ‘first car’ that was built for Chairman, Elon Musk. So what was it like to be a part of the arrival of P1?

The day started with great anticipation. We all knew the car was planning to arrive on Friday at about 1:00 P.M. We knew that select media would be in attendance to witness the event. We knew there would be a party at the end of the day. Many of us also knew that P1 was stuck in customs in Los Angeles and there were no guarantees that it would be released on time. A few well placed phone calls improved the odds.

When the email arrived that announced the arrival of P1 nearly all Tesla employees gathered behind the shop to watch the delivery truck arrive. When the rear door of the trailer opened and P1 was inside there was a collective sigh of relief from the team and we broke into applause. The team pushed P1 from the trailer and into the shop. Oh right, the car was shipped without an ESS (Energy Storage System, aka “battery”). Our service team would need to install an ESS before Elon could take his first drive.

For the next couple hours we waited with anticipation as the service team installed the ESS in P1. These guys have done this job many times, but never in front of so many people, and never on a production car. While we waited for the ESS to be installed Elon addressed the crowd. He thanked everyone for their hard work and reiterated the importance of this first production car. We will not only build thousands of Tesla Roadsters, we will build tens of thousands of Whitestars, our next vehicle.

Once the ESS was in and all other necessary parts reassembled and checked out, the car was lowered to the ground for its maiden voyage on U.S. soil. The key was turned and the car started right up. For all the risk involved in shipping the car, clearing customs, and installing a key component of the car in plain view, everything went exactly as planned. Very cool!

What do you do in Silicon Valley when you receive delivery of your very first, highly anticipated product? You take a victory lap down University Avenue in Palo Alto of course. To me this is the Silicon Valley version of John Travolta going for a strut at the end of the movie “Staying Alive.” Elon jumped in his car for the first time and led the way. Four Tesla Roadster prototypes followed packed full of engineers. It wasn’t exactly roadster weather on Friday, but nobody cared. Tops off and lights on, five Tesla Roadsters drove in formation down highway 101 and up University Avenue. What a sight to see. I wish the whole world was there to see this achievement, but they weren’t, so we took pictures and a few videos.

I think you will see from the pictures, anticipation quickly turned to elation as the day progressed. We are all proud of this achievement and are now working hard to build and deliver the remaining first year Tesla Roadsters.


Employees and media await the arrival of P1

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Mac Powell explains the significance of P1

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The car sits high without the ESS installed

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P1's ESS signed by the ESS team

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Service prepares P1 for ESS installation

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ESS in position to be lifted into place

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It's alive

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Elon leads the way to Palo Alto

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On the open road

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Victory lap in Palo Alto

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Roadster prototypes driven by
engineers follow Elon and JB in P1


Premium seats, Rally 1,
Black/Red, Black head restraint

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Comments

samuel licon

wonderful saw one in pasadena great job congadulations to you and the team elon! question when is it going to run on free electrons?

Ian Fulford

Dear Tesla

Before you get the pat on the back you richly deserve could you please answer the following comments. For little effort you could increase performance with minimal energy compromise.

Have followed your product way before Ian W left your establishment. WHY WHY WHY have you not incorporated super capacitors into your design and passive bank alternators. This would give you another 20% range and the WOW factor would cost peanuts in comparison to the additional 80-100 miles per charge.

The additional Power without massive battery drain seem almost mandatory to have super capacitors. The mechanical energy lost through wind resistance could be partially captured by alternating regenerative energy. For Pete's sake you are driving into the wind anyhow, why not take a cheap option without creating any real additional wind drag or rolling resistance.

For every mechanical obsticle we have found an Electrical Solution.

With these significant improvements I would buy your product NOW.

Regards and with admiration your Australian colleague

Ian Fulford C.E.O. A.T.C.S. (N.S.W.)

Jim Firenze

Hmmm, the first "production" car, eh? And to the primary investor in the company? So the car is now "in production" is it? hehe. When is car number 2 going to be ready? July? August? Car number 3? How many "production" cars are going to owners and former CEOs of the company before an actual customer gets one?

And why is everyone going along with this PR ride?