As part of our European sales launch, Tesla Motors participated as an exhibitor at Top Marques Monaco April 24th - 27th where we met many of our first EU customers and many potential future customers. We have a blog in the works, but meanwhile we wanted to give you a glimpse of some photos.
par David N
Looking foreward to your blog. So, you've already sold several Roadsters in Europe. Were these before the show or new customers at the show? Please tell us in the blog how many of each. Whose car is that? Was the show car running or without batteries? Congratulations on your European introduction!
Darryl - Looks like a lot of fun, name dropper! hahahah. Bono is so damn cool, and he doesn't have to try. Tesla rules - keep tearing it up in Europe!
Looking forward to your blog as well.
How was the European show? Is the white car a VP, or is it a production car?
Uh...that's it? Two pictures of Bono, one of which happens to show half a Roadster? Come on Darryl, is the Casino de Monte-Carlo really that distracting? And while I'm at it, what happened to the two postings full of electric unicycle links I made on the other blog? The post you let through doesn't make sense without at least one of them.
I'd just love to see an actual blog around here. Especially if it were to deal with either Roadster deliveries or Whitestar details.
Gimme a break...the Euro day ends just as the US work day begins! I barely have time to sleep a bit. As soon as I can I will write something to recap all of our trip. Really exciting stuff. - Darryl
We have sold a number of cars from all over Europe. I don't really distinguish between at the show or before the show because some people are interested in the car and then come to the show to see the car before finalizing their decision. One observation is that the early EU customers remind me of the SIg100 customers in that they are passionate about the progress that the Roadster represents and are not just buying a beautiful, zero-emissions car - they are buying into the vision of the company.
The two cars at the show were VIN F004 (the silver car in the pictures) and VP12 (black on black) which we used for test drives. Incidentally, the test drive route was the Monaco Grand Prix route. Very cool.
and there is an nice youtube video of that testdrive: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bF8nAv6AFm4
Tesla Sales and Marketing Strategy: Screw all the Americans that want our cars... Let's sell them in Europe!!!
Sorry Darryl, on a reread that doesn't sound quite as good-natured-kidding as I had intended when I wrote it. Looking forward to the blog.
Kasei, that video makes me nervous! Driving a nice sports car in a busy city does not look like fun. Just takes one knucklehead an your car is toast. Maybe everyone in Monaco is a great driver. But if you are Bono, maybe a Tesla is disposable. But that wouldn't be very green of him.
did any of your new Euro customers (or potential customers) ask about TM's ability to actually deliver any of the cars that you've sold?
You know, I really love the car, but I'm kinda wondering what sort of company TM has become...
Please, prove me wrong.
Chris - it's just a matter of time. We are in production and delivering cars. There is no question we will deliver the cars we have already sold. We are now in a place where it is just a matter of execution, which is not to say it's a piece of cake. - Darryl
did you mean to say you "are in production and delivering car_"? As far as I'm aware P2 has not yet been delivered, and let's be honest, P1 was a one-off for Elon, and not part of the regular production run.
I would really like to see TM be a successful manufacturer and bring EVs to the masses, but you do a disservice to your company and your customers when you try to pull the wool over our eyes. Just be honest, people will have far more respect for you.
Chris - where have I been dishonest? We are in the process of delivering cars to customers. You will hear about it in the near future. To be honest I find your comments in the second paragraph really patronizing. - Darryl
Great to see that Tesla is making strides overseas with the roadster. I genuinely hope you can build a company that is integrated well enough to do business across multiple continents - I know from experience it is a challenge. More pressing to me, though, is the progress of Whitestar. There has been no recognition on your site of the litigation relative to the Whitestar program and Fisker Automotive and any information around how this may impact Whitestar? I must have seating for 4, which eliminates the roadster from consideration, and I'm keen to buy an electric, but Tesla certainly hasn't been communicating any messages that would make me sit up and consider them. My targeted year for that purchase is around 2010. Tesla, what's your pitch? Is anyone there listening to communicating to potential Whitestar customers?
Monaco Video => UK Plates! Woohoo! :)
Darryl, it is much appreciated that you took the time to post those photos in spite of sleep deprivation. I completely agree with Tesla's strategy, it's all about ramping revenue as fast as possible so that there may actually be a viable company to do the R&D necessary for the cars for "the rest of us".
I'm ready for a White Star in my California garage.
Looking forward to hearing news from the Roadster production.
I dont know what TM is up to these days, But I HAVE FAITH in you guys, and I know you will deliver and become a succesful company.
It is hard not to worry about TM these days, since we have not heard any news in quite a while, and I know some fans are starting to get mad about it, but I think we just need to be patient, We need to trust in TM, they are not dumb, and I know they know better than we do, and I know they know when to make the best moves.
Just do it right!
The fact that there are 15 posts to a blog with absolutely no content should tell you how desperate we are for information on both P2 and the Whitestar. Roadster has now been "in production" for 6 weeks and we have seen no additional cars and TM told us that we would have an announcement in the 2nd 1/4 of this year on the Whitestar and that quarter is now almost half over. Hopefully you can see our concern. But I would like to reiterate the comments from Ronald. WE, or at least I, do still have faith and are hoping for the best. Please post soon. Hope that you had a great trip to Monoco !! :)
I think part of the problem is that people get used to instant gratification. The blogs satisfy people's need for news and to feel involved. A lot of people think of this as their dream car which gives them an emotional stake in its success or failure. When the people at Tesla get overwhelmed with other tasks and the blogs so down the mob at the other end of the line can get restless.
For me I would like to see a blog on the kinds of challenges a production ramp up entails. How does one progress from hand building a couple at a time to an assembly line? What puzzles and quandries come out of such a challenge? What kind of delay does each of these introduce? At the very least it would give you something to point to and say "hey it isn't easy"
Nice to see you in Europe ;) How long it will take you to deliver real car in UK? Take your time ;-) WE HAVE FAITH in you guys :)
Excellent post - my thoughts exactly. I am sure that Darryl is doing this all day every day so most of it is old hat to him. To us we only hear what he tells us. I am sure it is not intentional - well most of the time anyway. And I totally understand that some of it NEEDS to be intentional and I am sure he walks a fine line which is hard to do well. And BTW Darryl you do indeed do it pretty well. I too would love to hear more about the ongoings at TM without disclosing anything they can't. Even the little stuff would be great !!! It keeps the thoughts moving and changing. Which keeps interest going. I realize that blogs are actually a lot of work to write. But more of them to follow and more often would be GREAT. Even if they were just little things or thoughts about new ideas or possibilities. Maybe even an open ended question to the masses to envoke thought and response.
To everybody who is *still* complaining that "we haven't seen any more cars" ...YOU ARE LOOKING AT P4 RIGHT NOW!
Seriously. It's been six weeks since the beginning of production. Darryl has said elsewhere that the boat ride itself takes 6 weeks, and that cars will be coming in batches rather than one at a time for obvious reasons. There are pictures of Bono in a finished production car that isn't Elon's. So where on earth do you guys get off accusing them not only of dishonesty with respect to the schedule, but of actually having no intention (or ability) to produce cars? There's no evidence at all that Tesla is doing anything other than what they say, so can we just give the fraud allegations a rest?
Of course, I wouldn't turn my nose up at a blog with a picture of cars waiting to get on a boat, and maybe some in-progess shots. Might quiet down the peanut gallery a bit. But if it's one or the other, I'd rather have the Whitestar details.
Others have posted a little more distrust than I have but I have to say it would be nice to hear from TM that say 20 cars are completed and waiting to be shipped or something to that effect. And we did not know that we were looking at P4 in the pictures until today when the new pictures were posted (with captions). I imagine that the owner of P4 might be a little upset that his or her car is sitting in Monaco instead of their driveway. Mine is not so much distrust as a feeling of I want to know what the progress is. Why is it so hard for TM to tell us that X # of cars have been built and/or an expected ship date ?
Just for comparison-sake, here is the current production information from one of Tesla's (~$108,000) competitors:
http://www.commutercars.com/ (click on "ordering").
Based on this, if our assumption is that at least four working vehicles are off the assembly line (P1-P4), I'd say Tesla's doing "okay" by comparison.
Also, I don't think anyone ever let Tesla know their expectation for how often Blogs should appear. Obviously, its hard for them to live up to our expectation if we, the community, do not make it known. Speaking for myself, I'd prefer to see a new one about every two weeks--it gives the thread enough time to play itself out, and enough time for the writers to churn out a new topic (doesn't have to be press quality, either).
I love how little the Roadster is in the last shot, waiting for the pit area. Does anyone know what height range it can comfortably sit (for driving)?
Many of those that have test driven the Roadster have been well over 6 feet - some i think said they were were like 6'4" or 6'5". All of whom said the car was comfortable for them.
# Hunter wrote on April 30th, 2008 at 11:10 am
# To everybody who is *still* complaining that “we haven’t seen any more cars”
# …YOU ARE LOOKING AT P4 RIGHT NOW!
While Bono appears to be sitting in P4, it seems like Martin is the one singing, "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For." I trust that you folks have approached Mr. Eberhard about making delivery arrangements for P2.
And thanks for the extra pix, Darryl. Between them and the Monaco test drive video on YouTube, I got my Roadster fix for the week.
There are sources of information other than just this blog. Some of us have known about P4 for a couple weeks now.
This thread has some links as well as comments by Darryl. http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/news-articles-events/1099-some-delivery-i...
By the way, besides P1-4, Tesla has made at least 27 prototypes. That plus the fantastic recently released specs for the Euro car... I'd say they're well on their way.
I don't think you can assume that the owner of P4 is unhappy to have the car shown in Monaco. Many of the first few cars are going to investors who naturally have a keen interest in promoting the company. Also, we don't know what sort of deal Tesla made with the owner. For instance, it's possible that P4 could be shown in Monaco, then flown directly to California, and arrive before P2 and P3 if they are traveling by boat. That would still be cheaper and easier for Tesla than to ship a car from CA to Monaco and back, so everyone comes out ahead, no?
Besides, how many people get to claim that Bono and Prince Albert II have fawned over their cars, and have photos to prove it?
Tesla released specs for the "250 Signature Edition Tesla Roadster" for sell in Europe in the 2009 here: http://www.ferdinand-motor.no/images/tesla/EuroSpec.pdf
Transmission is a single speed one and max power is stated as over 225kW or over 300HP (currently at 185kW or 247HP). Good move :)
Personally at this point in the life cycle, I would much rather see a blog about "a day in the life of the Tesla Roadster production facility", than a picture of Bono in a roadster.
Kevin, Doug: Yeah, I guess I didn't realize that there had been no mention on this particular blog about P4 being in Monaco. I read through all the stuff at the club as well, so it was old news to me. Still, I think the level of impatience we're seeing is unwarranted...it's not like you say "we're starting production" one day and cars start parachuting into people's driveways that afternoon.
Tesla: Sweet single speed specs! Can you confirm them? So far it's just some importer's word...
These delays demand immediate parachute-style delivery upgrades!
I wrote a blog about Europe while on the plane and perhaps it will go up tomorrow. I know everyone is just eager for more information but I can assure you the quantity of info is directly related to the intensity of work going on. We knew April was going to be insane with the European launch, store opening (tonight) and various other things going on. Have some patience and I promise all of you that we will carve more time for sharing and writing. We are in the process of hiring more folks on the sales and marketing team in Europe and in the states so we will get better at keeping up. Several of my new European firends point out how out of date parts of our website are.
Will the european version have some details different to the american version? -> especially the rear body panel needs a modification to fit the longer european registraion plates (funny to see the plates behind the rear screen in Monaco *g*)!
Perhaps this has already been considered, but I'll bring it up anyway. I'm thinking that if I were to purchase a Tesla it would be nice to have a "portable" gas fueled generator that could be used as a back-up in an emergency situation. This generator would be light enough for the average person to place and remove without streneous effort. Such generator would be something like a small air cooled 2-cycle motorcycle engine that could sufficiently charge the battry pack in a short time to enable the car to travel several miles. Perhaps such engine could even provide enough power to move the car for the few needed miles. I'm not talking about making the Tesla a hybrid, only providing such as an option. I suppose the main difficulty would be engineering a space for such a generato, but such space could also be used for storage when the generator is not being carried. What think ye?
You said, "the quantity of info is directly related to the intensity of work going on." I think you meant inversely related. Directly related would mean that not much information means not much work going on, and I don't think you meant that. :)
@keith Hearn - yes, of course you are right...I must be tired!
Thanks for taking the time to communicate information.
Hopefully some of the Ps will be delivered at the store opening tonight !!! That would be great press !!! Maybe P2-25 ?!?!?!?! That would be HUGE :) You could probably fit 40-50 in a C5 and fly them over cheaper than a boat trip I imagine.
Man the Tesla Store opening did not even make the Events log. What does it take to make that log an act of God LOL.
first, thank you very much for having the chance to drive the roadster in the streets of monaco - a absolutly fantastic feeling! We came from switzerland just to see and try the tesla. As expected by the british production background, everything convinced us at the technical side and by the engine. But maybe in the future you guys should also think of questions like - where to put the beautycase of the girl sitting beside you? Or - why not make the interior a little bit more bigger in the sense of having more comfort? Expecting for the future a more resonable price, we are pretty sure you will have a lot of clients like us!
Dani and Petra
Keith: Are you sure about that? Wouldn't it be big/high quantity of info = big/high amount of work going on. Hence directly related.
May I ask if you've found any Norwegians for the sales and marketing team for Europe ? Considering you seem to have made some deal with Ferdinand Motor in Bergen? A blog from your European trip sounds very interesting, though if some Whitestar info happens to slip through the cracks I promise not to complain.
#Charlie wrote on May 1st, 2008 at 9:49 am
#PI’m thinking that if I were to purchase a Tesla it would be nice to have a “portable” gas fueled generator that could be used as a back-up in an emergency situation.
This idea has been discussed several times. It seems TM and other car companies are headed in this direction -- you might google "Chevrolet Volt" or "range extended electric vehicle."
A portable generator for the Roadster probably wouldn't be all that useful, however, as something small enough to fit into the car's trunk would barely generate enough in a couple of hours to get the car a few miles. It would otherwise add a lot of dead weight for the batteries to push around.
I'm not sure that there has been much planning for emergency roadside charging. It's not really feasible, or not at least in the way that emergency services now might bring a bit of gasoline to get you to the next station. That said, the household electrical network is far more extensive than the gasoline network. You can probably find a dryer circuit not far from wherever you might be -- just hope for the kindness of strangers who might let you plug into it for an hour or two!
heeeeeeey. I wanted to go the tesla store opening!
Good to hear the news from Monaco, it seems the car is also well accepted in Europe. Unfortunately the Tesla is too expensive to attract the masses because they will never be able to afford it. To keep the momentum going more details about the Whitestar would probably help. EV enthusiasts are on the increase but they are mainly interested in a simple, highway-capable, dependable runner at an affordable price. Such a car would really make a difference. Bono sitting in a Tesla Roadster won't...
Anyway, good luck with the project...It probably did the image of EV's a lot more good than bad. Keep the good work up.
Both the EU and US 2009 spec sheets are now available in the "Reserve" section. Interesting that the EU one really is 300+ bhp while the US stays 247 bhp.
We need to update the site - all cars will be 300hp+ and 400 newton meters torque. - ed.
Brent and Charlie,
The idea of an extended range car is something that comes up here fairly frequently. I agree that it has some advantages, but it is, I think, not the right answer.
One of the beautiful things about the Roadster is its simplicity. By using an electric motor, Tesla can do away with literally hundreds of moving parts need to make the engine work. This makes the Roadster lighter, easier to maintain, and cheaper to build. Trying to add all the gas motor parts back in would be costly, difficult, and unnecessary. If you want to travel more than 250 miles in one day, use a different car.
Darin Ladd, the Tango is competition for the Roadster? Don't make me laugh.
The Tango is a motorcycle-sized, hard-topped, lead-acid powered "car" with an 80 mile range. Oh, and it's a KIT. For $108,000.
There are also many worrisome statements on the website. For example, I'm mistrustful of anyone who casually says that their EV "can be built with a fuel cell or internal combustion engine." They also cite specs that are either speculative or future-based: the 0-60 they list is "estimated" and based on using racing slicks at a drag strip, and their charging times are based on a 200-amp off-board charging rig that they admit on the spec sheet has not been developed. The 0-60 in particular is hard to swallow, considering that the car is powered by two 28hp brushed DC motors (incidentally, the same model I have in my truck) and yet weighs more than the Tesla. They also claim the benefit of lane-splitting, like motorcycles...I'm not 100% on this, but don't the laws allowing lane-splitting apply specifically to two-wheeled vehicles? Then there's the matter of the car being a kit; they claim this is because they lack manufacturing capability, but they also claim that the purchaser (who presumably also lacks manufacturing capability) can finish one in a day...sounds to me like it's more likely that they can't sell the vehicle as a complete car because they haven't done the crash testing. The safety section claims that the car is *designed* to be safe, but makes no claims of any particular testing. As for the future models, they are listing prices and specs (including four 50kW hub motors in a $40k car or two in a $19k one...yeah right), but admit that the cars have not been designed. Seems backwards to me.
And let's not forget the business side. They apparently delivered the first kit to George Clooney in fall of 2005, and as of April '06 they were planning on delivering the second one in "about six months." So, about a year per kit...that six-week shipping schedule for Tesla is sounding better, no? Worse, they are taking deposits on all three vehicles, two of which as mentioned above haven't even been designed. But by far the most ridiculous part is that they are taking these deposits in the hope of convincing investors that there's a market...so far, it seems the 50 deposits they've received (all but 5 for the vapor models) aren't convincing enough. They say they expect production to start 2 years from whenever they get funded, which is to say, never.
It is also worth noting that nothing on their website seems to have changed since 2004 except the addition of a couple of news/press release items, the last of which is the April '06 article I mention above. Always a bad sign.
In summary, even if Commuter Cars Corp. was the real deal, the Tango would be no kind of competition for the roadster. But they aren't the real deal, so it's kind of a moot point.
Speaking of the Tesla Store opening, I saw a clip this morning on the news (CBS) with actress Jenny McCarthy interviewed. She is buying one because its 'electrical'. Kind of funny. I found a link for the video on the cbsnews.com site but it doesn't work. There are plenty of stills floating around of the opening.
I couldn't agree more. I was going to include some of the points you shared in my original post to show how absurdely superior Tesla's product--and delivery schedule--was to some of the "competition," but figured that a quick visit to the Commuter Car website would more than make the point. I see that it has!
At some point in the future would you consider hosting a web based secondary market for used Teslas? It would be nice to have one source to go to for new and used Tesla models. Maybe some of your first clients will be looking to flip their purchases right away. Why let Ebay take that business?
Today is 5/2/2008. I just finished watching Iron Man and saw the Tesal roadster in the garage of the main character. Now that was cool! I hope that one day I could really afford the roadster. Forget the Sedan that is sure around the corner.
hey they put info on the Roadster in the main page of Yahoo!...Its the first thing you see!
Tesla Motors Dealership
11163 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA
Hello Mr. Siry.
My name is David Lachance ( Aka. Aramax ) and I am currently working on a blog article on the Tesla Roadster. I have been speaking a lot about the Tesle Roadster to the people I know to gather all the questions people may ask concerning this car and you guys have done a great job answering them all... except for one.
How does the Tesla Roadster handle corrosion from salt? This may not be a problem outside of canada but it's a big deal for a lot of people I had the chance to talk to about the Tesla Roadster. A lot of worries about the battery getting damaged because of the corrosion... what can you tell me about this?
The batteries (they use something on the order of 6000 LI cells) are sealed - both from each other (to prevent a fire cascade) and from the outside elements. I'm not sure about many of the other electrical components, but I assume that the motor is also protected - since water and salt both would introduce corrosive elements.
And salt is a problem in lots of places - but not the southwest (including CA). But honestly? Canada probably isn't the best place for convertible/targa top, at least not most months of the year. And a sexy 'vert should always be topless.
"You can probably find a dryer circuit not far from wherever you might be — just hope for the kindness of strangers who might let you plug into it for an hour or two!"
This leads me to my proposal for cheap, easy range extension with *no gasoline*. Provide a charging cord with an *ELECTRIC METER* on it. Then you can ask the stranger, "May I plug my car in? I'll pay you for the electricity, see, I have an electric meter right here!" That would weigh a lot less than an engine, and could be thrown in the trunk with no trouble.
This being America, I think people who might not be willing to let you use their electricity for free *might* be more than willing to *sell* it to you. Hell, with a metered power cord, gas stations (or anyone else) could become recharging points *just by posting a per-kilowatt price*, nothing more. That might be a very easy incentive to get a network of recharging stations!
(Of course, in the long run some electricity supply stations might prefer to use their own electric meters rather than trusting that the customer hasn't jimmied his. But seriously, how expensive could a metered cord be? It should be cheap enough that places could comfortably afford to invest in it.)
And to follow up on that "extended range" point, the number of people who want to go a vast distance without access to the electrical grid is pretty minimal. It's really lack of "out-of-town recharging" which is the problem; if you can drive a few hours, stop and recharge during lunch, drive a few more hours, stop and recharge during dinner, etc., you solve most of the "range extension" problem.
Darry; "I can assure you the quantity of info is directly related to the intensity of work going on." Don't you mean "inversely related"? It seems the busier you and Tesla get, the less info comes out! :D :) ;)
Nathanael Nerode, the good news is that there's already a meter, though not on the cord. It's in the car...the state-of-charge indicator. The car keeps track of the kWhrs in the pack during driving and charging. Figuring the power draw should be easy if you know the charger efficiency (which I don't have on hand). Unfortunately, there's bad news as well: that dryer plug is going to take an awful long time to charge the Roadster. You aren't going to "stop and recharge during lunch" as you put it...figuring a one-hour lunch break and a 50A240V hookup (and forgetting efficiency losses), you'll only get about 12kWhrs, or 50 miles worth of charging done. If you really want people to be able to be on the road all day, you're going to need a much bigger circuit than we're used to seeing around here.
Looking good... once again proving Tesla has the best plan for making a successful EV company.
Tesla Monaco... has a ring to it. Perhaps that's a good name for the sedan?
Hello there, I would like to congradulate u on the success and progress you have made... I have been following your progress with great interest. I would like very much to be able to purchase one of these fine vehicles, but.... I AM IN AUSTRALIA.... and i don't have the funds yet.... ... But i am entering the local lottery every week, to enable...one day... to purchase one of these magnificent vehicles. do you need another operation, to build Bodies/motors, chassis...??? Australia has a great industry, that could require a boost.... and ... if we bring more opportunity for EV manufacture to Aus, we could be one of your biggest markets... for a family vehicle. Of course, I would benefit from the fact that u are now allowing ... production/export to Australia... and i might finally get my hands on one.... Love your work.. TM... Don't forget, mine needs "Right hand Drive"
Nha...Tesla Monaco is just a good name. We need a better name!
Hunter, maybe the best solution would be the one Renault and DONG in Denmark is aiming for. Licensed modulebased batterypacks replaced in 2 or 3 minutes at "gas"stations across the contry, owned and serviced by DONG, while the "user" only pay the electrical bill + renting battery. In Denmark, it makes a Renault Laguna drop to approx. 30-40% of the prize of an gaspowered Laguna(due to taxes)
Congrats and keep the goo job!
Hansen, battery replacement stations sound like a good idea, but there are two problems that make it very difficult for them to successfully allow widespread EV adoption. The first is that the station still needs to have a massive electrical hookup; it has to recharge the dead batteries after it pulls them from the cars, and assuming it intends to be open every day that means it needs enough power to handle its average charging load. For a current gas station with 8-10 pumps, where there's almost always 2 or 3 in use, that's a staggering amount of power. Add to that the storage and logistics involved with that number of large/heavy batteries, and things get really tricky for our would-be service station. But by far the bigger problem is that the market will evaporate out from under these operators because they now have to compete with home charging. Consider that right now every person who drives has to fill up at a gas station. Now consider that with EVs (even with a 40-mile range) only about 1 in 10 people will need to get their pack swapped. Suddenly there's not nearly as much business available for the service-stations. That ends up leading to firms exiting the market in droves, which lowers the density of charge stations, which means there's no longer a swap station on every corner.
These aren't necessarily insurmountable problems. But they are very difficult ones. In my opinion if it's to work it will be through drastically downsizing a "station" (probably all the way down to one car at a time) and automating everything. But at that point I'm not sure that swapping the packs is the way to go...it may make more sense to just use some of the newer fast charging chemistries and either a heck of a utility hookup or a battery/capacitor/flywheel on the charger.
You should go and take a look at the Project Better Place website. That is what Hansen is talking about.
All the best,
Tesla Roadster Store opening made Slashdot's home page. :)