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2 factual errors in Feb 10th press release on Tesla & SpaceX event in DC

I'm a fan of everything Tesla and SpaceX are working on, but is anyone fact-checking your press releases before publishing them?

The press release is this one: http://www.teslamotors.com/about/press/releases/tesla-motors-and-spacex-... (SpaceX also posted the same thing with the same following errors)

First, "the first time both companies’ technologies have been displayed together" - not exactly. At the 2009 Art Center Car Classic event at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena CA, which had a theme of "By Air, Land, and Sea," Tesla brought a bright orange Roadster and a silver Model S prototype, and SpaceX displayed a Dragon capsule prototype right next to the Tesla cars. You can see these in the background here: http://www.artcenter.edu/carclassic/cc09/PhotoGallery/5HVK.jpg.

Second, "the Model S premium sedan will be the first vehicle built from the ground up as an electric car"? Really? What about the GM EV1 (don't some of those engineers work for you now?), or you could even go back to the early history of the automobile, for example the early land speed record car La Jamais Contente.

Keep up the good work on the cars, but could you try to only claim true things in your press releases?

"Second, "the Model S premium sedan will be the first vehicle built from the ground up as an electric car"? Really? What about the GM EV1 (don't some of those engineers work for you now?), or you could even go back to the early history of the automobile, for example the early land speed record car La Jamais Contente."

Elon has said that all of the previous mass-produced electric cars were basically just converted ICE cars. I have to agree with that sentiment. There has been other EV:s before, but not "build from ground up as electric car".

There could be "mass produced" somewhere in that sentence though.

Timo, the GM EV1 was definitely not a converted ICE car. It was designed from the ground up to be an EV. The prototype work was done by Aerovironment for GM. But it was not mass produced (only about 1000 were made) and never for sale, only lease. So if Tesla worked those terms into their statement, their statement would have more foundation.

It depends on what you interpret into "will be the first vehicle built from the ground up".

some reflections on that:

  • we talk about BEV not PHEV like, e.g. the Volt. Even if GM claims it to be an EV.
  • we do not talk about ICE conversions, as mentioned above. This should rule out Toyota RAV EV, Renault Fluence Z.E., Daimler Electric Smart, and so on.
  • TESLA refers to the Model S production car. We all saw the prototypes driving around. Of course, there are a lot of EV prototypes built earlier by other car makers that were not ICE conversions.
  • TESLA refers to the cars that you can buy today or in the (well not so near) future. This drops Detroit Electric cars built in early 1900 from the competition.

I think that's a rather longish list that puts this TESLAs press release in a dubious light. More of that stuff will make life harder for all of us who support TESLA and promote the EV revolution.

You are correct, Steve. I had an impression that GM EV1 was based on some ICE platform, but checked my facts after posting. Turns out it wasn't.

"The Model S premium sedan will be the first..."
probably should have been:
"The Model S will be the first premium sedan..."
The EV1 was a 2 seater sports car. That's the difference that hit me.

The EV1 was also not a premium sedan I would think. I've never seen it though.

I think what Tesla is trying to convey is that the fundamental structure of the vehicle was designed with the battery and electric motor in mind, and that the battery is an integral part of the structure of the vehicle.

Of course that takes too long to say so they just put it in terms of "first vehicle built from the ground up as an EV" for simplicities sake.


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