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Upcoming Q&A with Chief Designer Franz von Holzhausen - submit your questions!

Later this month we'll publish a blog post featuring a Q&A with Tesla Chief Designer Franz von Holzhausen about Model S design as we wrap up the Alpha phase. Have a question about Model S design, the process, or approach? Post your questions here for a chance to get them answered!

We know you have many Model S questions, and we will do our best to answer all of them in the coming months. For this Q&A, please tailor your questions to styling and design.

Hi Franz , LOVE the Model S Beautifully designed !!

1. Is there a chance to have a solar power panel roof to keep your car cool while parked in the sun with ac running as (I will not mention your competitor ) but having that option or standard solar power roof to run ac while one is eating or parked keeping car cool is a fantastic idea, this should be on all cars being made.

2.Are you going to change the vent behind the wheel?? The vent is such a great accent to your car...please do not change that look.

3. What options will the car have for radio, cruise control and so forth??

Thank you for your time !!

Hi Franz ,yes I too am concerned with the clearance of the auto seems too low for most states. your car is great for pristine road ways pot holes and clearance for door too curb seems like there is a design flaw??

Are you going to change the vent behind the wheel?? The vent is such a great accent to your car...please do not change that look. (stretchrunner)

I second that one.

Is there a chance to have a solar power panel roof... (stretchrunner)
I curious to Franz' reply, if he answers this one. In the mean time, you may want to read this thread:

(BTW, what competitor?? I am not aware of any... ;-)

Where is the charging port in the Model S?

I thought that there must be at least one picture where that charging port is visible, but no. I watched the Alpha hits the road videos, did go thru the Autobloggreen pictures (which are much more detailed than pictures here), pictures in here and not one of those reveal where that charging port is.

That's one well hidden charging port. I mean, it isn't small one, that connector is quite large and it needs a cover to prevent dirt from getting there, so it should be visible. Maybe alpha models do not have such thing as charging port, they might just have that connector inside the car, and beta model does then have it.

So again: where will it be? Front of the car? As close to PEM as possible as in rear of the car? If side, which side?

Hopefully we hear something on this soon. I'm dying to get more information about the sport version. I'd really like to know whether they will be releasing it next year or whether they will release it at a later date.

As there is no "sport version", unless you count the Sig models, it will NOT be coming out next year.

Tesla started this topic. We subscribers have every reason to believe Tesla is reading these replies. Many people have put down real money in anticipation of a car that does not yet exist. It is only reasonable that Tesla give some sort of message here.

Are you listening, Tesla?

If the legal or marketing department has decided that these questions cannot be answered, the proper thing to do is to simply tell us that with a short explanation. You'd be preaching to the choir, no worries. Answers to even a few of these questions would be welcome. How about it?

When there is no reply, it leaves those of us with "skin in the game" reasons to worry. Is everything alright inside Tesla? We have very good imaginations, that's why we're in this. Don't let these imaginations run wild when there are millions of dollars of investments that can evaporate like deposits at a depression-era bank.

Simultaneous with the above posting, I emailed Tesla a "wake up" message to marketing.

This is the reply I got:

"Thank you for the follow up and notification of the lack of response from us on the forums. I have passed your concern over to a few other folks in marketing who will work on getting this updated as soon as possible. As you can imagine Franz is a very busy individual, but we will do our best to get something up shortly.


Stephen Smith | Customer Advocate"

I wonder if he was busy when they made the original blog post. Anyway, I know it sounds silly, but my wife and I have decided to put off our reservation until after the Q&A is published.

Maybe I have an irrational fear of being taken for granted.

Will towbar be an option?

Range extending low rolling resistance helium tyres?

You can put helium in tires yourself. I believe USA is running low on this strategic element. We are wasting it on toy helium balloons. We need it for important things like the shielding gas for welding aluminum (your Tesla) and other metals. Tires inflated with helium need periodic topping off because the helium is such a small molecule that is goes through the rubber tire.

Another question: What kind of spare wheel/tire will it have and where will it be located?

Hi Everyone,

Thanks to all who've submitted questions. Franz von Holzhausen is working on his answers and we will have responses up soon. We're sorry for the delay.



Good news for all those who've been impatiently waiting.


And those impatiently waiting! :-)
Good news indeed.

Somehow, I had read David70's post as "Patiently waiting".
Good thing I never claimed to be smart!

Hey, you don't have to claim to be smart to be smart. And of course vice versa.

And don't feel bad. I typed "visa versa". Versa was flagged as in error, so I googled it to see that vice versa is correct.

We read what we expect.

You don't have to claim to be smart to be smart is my phrase of the day. I like it.

Thanks to EdG for pestering the good folks at Tesla.

Something tells me the conversation went a little like this:

Marketing: "Franz, we think it would be great if you answered a few questions from those folks on the forums who are so interested in the Model S."

Franz: "Well, Musk has me designing some sort of sexy mini van / all terrain vehicle, which is even harder than it sounds, can it wait?"

Marketing: "These geeks spend way too much of their free time posting on our forums. We feel we should throw them a bone."

6 weeks later

Marketing: "Franz, the interwebs are getting grouchy. How bout those responses?"

Franz: "Grrr...stupid marketing intern. Leave me alone!"

+2 jfeister ... very funny

Hello Franz,
I am told that RV parks have 440Vac facilities. If so is anyone at Tesla been tasked with contacting this/these organization(s) and conveying the opportunity of refueling EVs.

Mark Vranckaert
Vancouver, B.C.

Franz - Will Tesla Motors be accepting trade-in vehicles with a Model S purchase? This would help to make the purchase experience very smooth. It would also help to reduce the tax the buyer has to pay. In Florida, you only pay sales tax on the (cost of your new car MINUS the negotiated trade-in value). So if your Model S cost $70K, and your ICE trade-in value is $12K, you only pay sales tax on $58K, and you don't have to make a special trip to Carmax.

Also, I'm anxious to know when we (Reservation Holders) will get to actually look at a Model S Beta. I figure sometime in the next 3 to 4 months? I'm hoping to actually drive one before the end of this year.

And, how exactly will this 3G, or 4G capability work? Will it work independently of a cell phone? And, will we be having internet radio and Pandora "for sure" in the Model S??

Look forward to receiving some information from you real soon. Thx.

David M.: I'm pretty sure all you have to do to get the sales tax on the difference is to collect the sales tax when you sell your car and file the appropriate forms. In essence, a typical car dealer is doing the equivalent. So if you sell your old car for $10000, you'd have to collect something like $10600 (6% sales tax rate?). I don't know if you just pocket the sales tax ($600) and file a form with Florida showing the sales tax paid on the new Tesla and that collected when you sold your car, or what. But, basically, that's what happens.

So you don't need Tesla to do the transaction for you, but it would make for less paperwork. Tesla could probably just do this as a service, and some car dealer would take your car off Tesla's hands, and you might just end up getting that much less for your car for the convenience.

I don't know what the procedure is in Florida or elsewhere, but in Washington the purchaser of a used car pays the sales tax when getting the car licensed in their name.

Would Tesla offer window tint as an option for Model S? I would like high quality tint to be put in by the manufacturer (Tesla).

@David M: I highly doubt Tesla will be taking trade-ins. Too risky for them--they have neither the parking space nor the money to accept trade-ins. Maybe once they've developed more as a company (5-10 years down the road?)

I am going to put in a 220 Volt outlet in my garage. Should I plan on it being near the front of the vehicle or the rear, or one side or the other?


Chris P 641

Oh sorry, I see Timo already asked about the charging port. I also see we only have a "chance" at getting our questions answered, but I will appreciate it if we can get an answer on this issue soon.


Tesla, Franz, you can be REALLY proud of your loyal, understanding customers. Seems like we are a REALLY patient crowd. Your promised blog post is 17 days overdue, that's more than two weeks, or 50% over the original deadline. We were very happy about your announcement, and we did not ask for a precise deadline. You suggested the deadline, and we were happy with it.

During the last 17 days, only very few posts popped up here and there, some asking for the promised reply to the questions in this ever-growing thread, but most just asking for an explanation or a sign of life at least. A few people were a little stunned, some were moderately upset by the fact that you -- seemingly -- completely and silently ignored your self-chosen, publicly announced deadline. But all in all, you have to admit, we have been extremely calm, quiet and patient, just waiting and trusting.

There has been a sign of life. Thank you for that short note, anyway. Now, PLEASE, don't tax our patience even more. We'll need every bit of it to hold out until the Model S becomes available. Put up that blog post now. Or a detailed explanation why you can't.


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