Hello, TM calling.

Hello, TM calling.

When THE e-mail arrives from TM requesting the specifics you wish to order on your “S” -

What questions will you ask before you finalize your order?

ManuVince | 01. März 2012

I will have been lurking so much on this forum and the one at TMC, scraping google for any info about Tesla Motors, checking earning calls, reading and re-reading every single page of Tesla website for anything that has been added, harassing reps during auto shows, flooding the first owners with questions (I'm in Europe, will have lot of time to do that with the first US owner)... That I will have no questions apart from : Who do send the check to ? When do I get my car ? :-)

BYT | 01. März 2012

I've read a lot as well but unlike ManuVince, I still have a lot of questions and some of which can't be answered over the phone, I need to get into the car and punch the gas... :) Excuse me, the accelerator!...punching the gas would now be an obsolete term and one I would LOVE to retire!

space09 | 01. März 2012

I can tell you mine. For a Sig purchase, do I get option credit for returning the performance wheels and taking the aero ones instead? Because if they don't allow that, it is even more of a gap between Sig and standard price. Second question would be, when is projected delivery for standard production assuming I would get my original production spot in line back? I want Sig, and I know there is a waiting list for Sig so they probably don't care if I switch, but I'd have to weigh it heavily. Basically, is multi-$$$ worth getting the car earlier and getting Sig red? Tough decision.

#FirstWorldProblem. :-)

MandL | 01. März 2012

That's my problem too. I would be thrilled with a $70K 60kWh Model S, and I made a "regular" reservation in addition to my Sig reservation the day after the pricing came out just in case. But I am really hoping they throw enough options, etc. at us with the Sig so that I feel good about spending the extra $$$ - and not just to get it a few months earlier. I'm already a little annoyed I can't get blue or green.

Even if I decide I am definitely getting the 85kWh version, at this point it looks like for a pile of extra cash I have to take a color I like less, options I don't particularly care about, and tires I don't need and that cost me two or three times as much to own over the life of the car. In exchange I get perforated leather seats and a few months earlier delivery.

So the two main questions are:
EXACTLY what is buying signature getting me that standard won't?
How good an estimate can you make about the difference in delivery time between Sig #802 and standard #6372 if it's 85kWh? if it's 60kWh?

If they're going to make 2-3K 85kWh cars (incl Sigs) before they make the first 60kWh one, then I might be able to get my regular reservation filled pretty quickly. I figure of the 6371 before me, maybe 5K will actually buy, maybe 1/3 of those will buy 85kWh. With the SIG 1K that's still under 3K cars to mine if I get the 85kWh version. Almost certainly under 4500 in front of me if I get the 60kWh version.

MandL | 01. März 2012

If I had the money available I'd buy the Signature and drive it for a few months, then sell it when I take delivery of my regular Model S. Anyone want to commit to buying a slightly used, six month old Signature Model S for full price?

Jason S | 01. März 2012

@MandL: 'nappa leather' = perforated, from what I could tell on googling it when the options details came out. So there really isn't a difference for that. Sig is supposed to get more leather accents throughout, so maybe see that in design studio. I expect differences similar to executive vs regular roadster.

TikiMan | 01. März 2012

I am just praying that I get an early call telling me a bunch of lower number P reservations holders have opted to wait until the other lower watt battery Model S's come out, so I can move up the list!

P#3748 fully loaded performance.

Robert.Boston | 01. März 2012

@MandL: I agree with your analysis that your battery choice will not matter with P6372, or not noticeably. By the time that # is called, all three packs will be in production (or, certainly, both the 60 and the 85). They may be running cars in batches by battery sizes, but then its a crap-shoot whether you're better off with one or the other size.

mvbf | 01. März 2012

I'm with BYT most of my questions will be answered when I have a chance to drive it from seat comfort to feedback and handling around curves and over bumps. Not sure I will get to test that last one.

gagliardilou | 01. März 2012

My question will definitely be what is extra with the sig. One other thing to think about is Morgan Stanley agrees with all of TM forcast for 2012 EXCEPT the 5000 delivery number. They feel TM will only deliver 2000 cars in 2012. That would push things back.

Being a TM fan, I believe them over Morgan Stanley.

stevenmaifert | 01. März 2012

No questions really. I'm planning on getting the Nappa Leather option but before I finalize my order I want to:

1) HEAR the difference between the Standard Sound System and the Sound Studio Package.
2) SEE the difference the Tech Package offers.
3) FEEL the difference in driving experience with the Model S Performance.

TM ... Hope that's not too much to ask before I commit an additional $19,700 to the purchase.

Beaker | 01. März 2012

I would like to drive one with the panoramic roof with the sun streaming from the passenger side at about a 45 degree angle.

That and see a Signature Red and a Shasta Perl White in the sun to decide on color.

Robert.Boston | 01. März 2012

I really would like to see a Model S without the pano roof. As far as I know, they haven't built one of those yet. How does it change the interior headroom? Details needed, esp. re the rear headroom.

ddruz | 01. März 2012

1. What are the real world ranges for the battery packs? Is the 40 kwh 160 mile range a real world range with climate control on in a mixture of city and highway driving or is it at 55 mph constant speed, flat roads, all windows rolled up, no lights, no stereo, no fan or climate control? If the latter, what is the real world range?

2. At 160/230/300 miles do you have the 5% reserve that the model S is not supposed to let the battery drop below or have you driven it to 0% charge?

3. By what percentage is climate control usage expected to drop range? For reference, it is significant on the Leaf, heat even more so than AC.

4. How much are the batteries expected to degrade per year in reality? I need to buy the battery pack that will still suit my needs as long as I own the car, not out the door. If I own the car 10 years that may be a significant drop in usable range.

5. What is expected to happen to the battery after 8 years when the warranty expires? Are we to expect a quick degradation of battery capacity/function after this point or is the battery expected to continue to work year after year, slowly degrading at a similar rate as before? Can we reasonably expect to drive on the original battery after 8 years and if so how much longer?

6. Will Tesla support new battery purchase & swapping on this car 10 years from now when battery technology will certainly be much different than today? What about 15 years? Will this car become obsolete?

7. What is the rear seat headroom like with and without the panoramic roof? Which gives you more?

8. Is there an option to purchase some type of closed-compartment small item holder for the open space console area?

9. What are the delivery charges? Do they vary by state or are they fixed across the country?

10. How long after I place my final order is the car expected to arrive?

stephen.kamichik | 01. März 2012 should email these questions to

ddruz | 01. März 2012

@stephen.kamichi Thanks, yes. I already have asked him a number of these questions and he does not have definitive answers yet.

11. What are the Internet connectivity charges and is there a choice of carriers? Is there a way to piggyback onto your cell phone plan to reduce charges?

12. What is the cost for annual service?

BYT | 02. März 2012

I wonder about the data as well, I already have 2 cell phones, one for work and a personal one with tethering enabled on my work one and would rather use that for data then to pay for a 3rd cell service!

Jason S | 02. März 2012

Think I'll get data service for the car just so I can use the remote AC / heat feature.

BYT | 02. März 2012

Do we know who will provide the data service? Is it AT&T? Can I just pop the SIM Card out of my phone and keep it in my Model S and pop it out when I don't need my car on the network? I hate giving the telco companies any more then I need to. I can see myself taking advantage of the remote features on my car, but then again, my work and home parking lots have wifi so can I just take advantage of that?

Sudre_ | 02. März 2012

@BYT If it's anything like my Tablet you can not just swap SIM cards. There is no removable SIM card in my tablet. (Samsung Galaxy S 7"). Once you've picked the carrier you are stuck with it too.
I do not know if this is how the Model S will work.
I think it will be AT&T which for me I think will mean just $6 more a month and it should be on my family shared plan. I haven't look into it that deep. I was going to just tether to my current collection of phones or Tablet but all major carriers have now starting charging extra for that stuff.

Robert.Boston | 03. März 2012

Think I'll get data service for the car just so I can use the remote AC / heat feature. - Jason S

The Tesla rep minding the beta in Boston stated that you won't need a cellular plan to use the smartphone app. The app uses the GSM chip of the car, not the (optional) 3G service.

Leofingal | 04. März 2012

R.B That's good news. Is the GSM service for that included (like on the Amazon Kindle whispernet)? That would definitely be a big upside for me.

BYT | 04. März 2012

This news pleases me as well! i still hope however it can connect to a WiFi network? Part of the Tech Package Tesla? ;)

Robert.Boston | 04. März 2012

Same guy at Boston said "and of course, the vehicle can always connect through Wifi while you're sitting outside your house or at Starbucks."

So, BYT, I think you're covered there, too, with or without the Tech Package.

MitchL | 04. März 2012

I would doubt that Wifi would be part of the tech package, or part of any extra-cost option. Tesla presumably gets valuable data from the logs (should you opt to provide it to them), so it's in their best interest to provide a way to automatically upload this data.

The wifi interface is also supposedly how music is loaded into the sound system, and how software updates will be delivered. They'll need it there in every car no matter what options you've selected.


JimBl | 04. März 2012

I will ask these questions before I commit to my Sig S:

1. When can I test drive the car? The ride last October was fun, but I need to have a very serious test drive. And where do i have to go to test drive the car?
2. I want to review the final warranty that comes with the car.
3. I need to see the ability to get over steep driveway entrances and speed bumps with the suspension system. (probably belongs in test drive)
4. What delivery date can be guaranteed? I have a reservation number of 294 and have been waiting a year.

prash.saka | 05. März 2012

@Jim, I am with you on the warranty point. As far as I have read, there is nothing much about the warranty (other than the battery's) that is provided with the Model S. I would like to know the warranty of the motor and the center console.

And test drive is something that I am very eagerly awaiting. Based on the recent Boston event, we can expect that late Spring/early Summer.

BYT | 05. März 2012

Thanks again Robert! I had always planned on getting the Tech Package anyway... :)

Robert.Boston | 05. März 2012

I was told in Boston that the Model S will have a 4-year / 50,000 mile bumper-to-bumper warranty (in addition to the specific battery warranty). Not other details, though, about the warranty.

Leofingal | 05. März 2012

Hopefully they go farther than that, though I guess that's not far off from typical, but like Hyundai demonstrated, offering long warranties really makes people more comfortable buying a car from a new player.

Brian H | 05. März 2012

With zero real-world experience/data to work with, I assume it was the best TM could do with the reinsurance sellers. I doubt TM is carrying the insurance risk itself.

prash.saka | 10. März 2012

Thanks Robert. Good to know about the warranty. I was hoping a better warranty as there aren't very many moving parts. I am guessing that includes warranty on the infotainment console as well and includes regular software updates, as and when necessary.

That got me thinking, how can the infotainment console be protected? Since it is a touchscreen, how much of a hit can it take without damaging itself? What happens, if something hits the console and cracks/breaks it? How much of an effort, for both Tesla service and me, to get it fixed?

~ Prash.

BYT | 10. März 2012

Does it use Gorilla Glass from Corning? I also wonder how much it can take because I can see myself hitting the brakes hard while getting used to driving a much more powerful car then I'm used to in the Model S and having something fly right into it!

discoducky | 13. März 2012

Anyone who has a smartphone with Gorilla glass is hoping for the same on Model S. I hope we find out in 4 days.

prash.saka | 14. März 2012

@BYT, it is not only about something flying into the screen but also about something spilling on it. If we plan to keep the model S for at least 10 years, this is an important think to know.

Would Gorilla glass help in these cases?

~ Prash.

BYT | 14. März 2012

Liquide is a killer to tech like this and I don't think Gorilla Glass will help, however, I do hope that the base of the screen doesn't have exposure to the electronics and that it would instead sit higher inside the dash, that way if something did spill and seep into and behind the screen that you wouldn't brick that 17" display.

Brian H | 14. März 2012

Spray the whole thing, including lower seams, with RainX??

BYT | 14. März 2012

@Brian, LOL, I was thinking that we can buy a large sheet of the stuff that they cover the iPad with and have a few inches extra off the sides to wrap around the screen and therefore keeping any liquid from getting in and behind the screen.

mwu | 14. März 2012

Just the screen with this stuff

mwu | 14. März 2012

uhm... add "coat" after "Just" (s/^(Just)/\1 coat/)

BYT | 14. März 2012

Cool, but the video was pulled!

Mycroft | 14. März 2012

Just keep the entire dash wrapped in Saran Wrap for 10 years.

prash.saka | 14. März 2012

Or, close the shut the entire thing up in a enclosure, create a smartphone app that talks with the infotainment console, and use the smartphone app instead.

~ Prash.

Brian H | 16. März 2012

The Never Wet home page has the video, and other pages have others on the site. Incredible stuff; even mention sidings, clothing, shoes, counters, etc.

Brian H | 16. März 2012

Not yet available on retail market, however (per 1-866 phone line). Perhaps dealers could get it.

steven.maes | 16. März 2012

Cool. I wonder how you wash the fleece shirt ... With water ?

petero | 16. März 2012

Thanks guys, I am convinced. I am not using the cup holders for drinks. Drinking and driving is dangerous.

What could be worse? What about the car wash guy who uses a bottle of Windex to clean our 17” screen? Or the little dog sitting in the front seat when you slam on the brakes!

Brian H | 16. März 2012

Maybe TM has made it water-resistant in the factory? Sounds like a reasonable precaution.

Sudre_ | 16. März 2012

Little dog! My Black Lab/mix was sitting in the back seat with her head looking forward between the two front seats. When I had to slam on my brakes she got an introduction to the car stereo the hard way. The dog now knows why my wife always tells her to "sit back!"

petero | 16. März 2012

One last non sequitur. The Lord forbid. you slam on the brakes, your latte splashes on the 17” screen… all goes black. What is going to p_ss you off most?

a. The $2,500 repair bill (or whatever the expense is).
b. Your insurance agent’s finding a reason to tell you why you are not covered.
c. Not having your “S” for 4-8 weeks while it is being repaired.
d. Driving the lame, rental, car.
e. Your wife saying, how could you.
f. Your kids saying, …
g. You telling yourself, …
h. The dog…