Tesla S deliveries start today, 6/22/2012!

Friday, 6/22/2012

Tesla starts delivering their Sedan S today from their Fremont, CA factory (the one they bought from GM/Toyota for $42 million). Tesla plans to deliver 5,000 this year and 20,000 in 2013. For comparison the Nissan Leaf has sold 30,000 units since its
release in 2010.

There are 3 starting price points for the S: $50,000 for a battery with 150 mile range, $60,000 for a 225 mile range and $70,000 for a 300 mile range.
You can add options up to another $20,000.

What struck me when I entered the cockpit was the glass console down the middle of the dashboard. One screen is for music, navigation, heating and cooling, etc.
The second screen is for an internet browser. I thought to myself “finally a car that gets it!” These glass screens will make getting distracted while driving even more alluring.

Seeing the chassis alone makes you think how simple the design of an all electric car is compared to a traditional car with an engine, transmission, axle, rear differential. The S
only has a motor that’s maybe 1 foot wide by 3 feet long. The battery pack is in the belly of the chassis. I thought with this simplicity there must not be very much to service. I wondered what the warranty will cover.

There are two seats in the rear trunk area. I know Elon Musk wanted to make this a seven seat car but this is ridiculous. I would never put my kids back there!

Tesla has 10,000 reservations for the S. You can reserve yours today for $5,000. I reserved mine yesterday at their Menlo Park Dealership. Deposits can be refunded at anytime and go firm once you’ve
test driven the S and decided how you want yours built. Tesla has 14 Dealers in the United States. There will be 12 test drive events around the country this summer.

I looked at Tesla’s financials last night to get a feel for their viability. Today with only electric drive sales to Toyota and Daimler AG it loses $30 million a month. If it sells 1,000 units a month that’ll bring in $60,000,000 of sales a month.
We’ll have to see what their margins are to determine what cash flow falls through but it won’t be 50% or $30,000,000 to shore up their current monthly loses.