How did Tesla get it so right? I'm in awe.

How did Tesla get it so right? I'm in awe.

I'm not saying the car is perfect. Every car has 'quirks' and can be improved. I can point out things in my 911 4S cab that are still logically wrong and the 911 has been in evolution since the mid 1960s!

What I'm saying is that Tesla has delivered the most significant automobile ever and made it fantastic in nearly every way. I took delivery recently and here's what 'blows me away'.

If you would have asked me a few years ago, "How far do you think a car can run on just battery power?". My experience with dead flashlights, cell phones, laptops, tablets and transistor radios would have me answer 50- maybe 100 miles but it would look like an armoured car filled with batteries in the back. How on earth did Tesla sell me a car that allows me to drive all week, hundreds of miles, on a single charge? I'm in awe.

How did Tesla design such a beautiful car on their first try? People I meet who are unaware of the brand think it's a Jag or Maserati. That's some incredible company to be in. I don't think I could more attention and 'gorgeous' related compliments if I drove around in my Lexus with a nude supermodel on the hood! I'm in awe.

How did they get it to drive like it does? The smooth, quiet power controlled by elegant electronics was best described by my niece... "it's like a roller coaster controlled by an iPad". I'm in awe.

How were they able to integrate the technology so well with the feedback and controls on the touch-screen. It's all simple, clean and logical. If you have a door open or single flashing, any graphic of the car on the screens reflects what is going on in real-time. It like an Apple product while everyone else is using PC DOS from the 80s. (Example: Toyota sells millions of Prius', but does anyone know why it beeps on the inside when you are in reverse?) Telsa integrates the car with the world of internet, navigation, and music (very complex each on their own), with perfect harmony. How did they do that in just a few years time on their first try? I'm in awe.

I very much look forward to receiving new software updates that continue to make my car better over time. And I also look forward to seeing what Tesla will do on their next few models. I'm in the market for a supercar in the next few years...

GeekEV | 27. März 2013


As you said, quite elegantly, there are a few quirks - but wow. They've done a hell of a job and all the accolades they've been getting reflect that. I think it all boils down to Elon's prior comments about wanting to build the best car in the world. Shoot for the moon and even if you don't make it, you're still out of this world...

July10Models | 27. März 2013

+11 Tesla motors has definitely raised the bar. I can't even imagine driving anything else. I don't want to take my car to service to get my glass replace because I don't want to drive anything else for two days.

models60 | 27. März 2013


Yes, the car is a awesome and so is Tesla team from sales to delivery to service and everyone else at Tesla. I mean they built a great car in such a short time but also assembled a team of professionals - three cheers for the car and entire Tesla workforce!

Captain_Zap | 27. März 2013

They did it by building a great team.

Once upon a time, there was a choice that had to be made.

A choice between the red pill and the blue pill...

mikhaila | 27. März 2013

It looks like Tesla also followed Apple example. Instead of creating yet another city car (or, in Apple case yet another cheap phone) instead they decided to create a real nice car, object of envy and admire. As did Apple with iPhone. Initial iPhone market was very small and companies like Motorola/RiM/Nokia laughed at it. But device was so elegant so people wanted it. Since it was fairly expensive, few could initially afford it. But it also made it status symbol which fueled other people desire to have it. How many cars and devices were created "cheap" and for "masses" only to see "masses" rejecting them? People don't desire cheap - they get it for financial reasons and get rid of cheap as soon as they can afford better. So cheap does not create the following. One may say Prius was cheap and it created following. But it was only cheap because Toyota sold it at a low price subsidizing by other cars. And still, Prius had unique look and some of that "desire" driven by people wanting get "green".

Brian H | 27. März 2013

@Geek EV;
After some negative responses, Elon modified his statement a bit: "The best car in the world -- in all the dimensions that matter." Safety, performance, etc.

lolachampcar | 27. März 2013

No real engineer has gone down in Detroit (or other major mfgs) for a very long time. Elon got his share of engineers from the industry but he also must have pull a bunch of non industry types as well.

You stick a bunch of bright engineers in a room and say "now if you could do XYZ all over again and get it right, what would you do?" MS will likely be the result.

Elon deserves all the praise and then some. To get it sooooo right on the first try is simply amazing.

lolachampcar | 27. März 2013


BYT | 27. März 2013

I didn't spend more then a years salary on my Model S if I didn't believe the above either!! :)

Sudre_ | 27. März 2013

hmmm. I wonder if the reporters will read this post and write about it?

Great to hear from other satisfied Tesla customers.

portia | 27. März 2013

It's the car worthy of the 21st century, a future car for us now.
Thank you, Tesla, Elon Musk, and
Franz Von Holzhausen, Tesla Motors chief designer (I had to look up his name, he should be more famous for designing the Model S), see interview

pilotSteve | 27. März 2013

+11 lolachampcar. +11 Captain_Zap. You said it all!

jjs | 28. März 2013

+1 dstiavnicky

For me the awe continues on the business side. To get the technology right is amazing by itself. To couple that with the right business strategy is just as amazing. (There are a lot of very well established and innovative car companies world wide that have not done as well.)

Tesla understood they had to go after the high-end market and complete with BMW, MB, Audi, etc. They understood that the more cost sensitive market (Volt, Leaf) would be much more difficult to succeed in. They turned away from "auto-grade" batteries and stayed with consumer grade lith-ion cells. (Yes, a technology decision, but clearly also a business decision based upon cost and stability of suppliers.) They put in an unparallelled battery management system. They enabled/invented remote updates, which has a significant impact on qualify and cost of maintenance. (My car was not delivered with voice activation, but I have it now. My car's door handles did not work as well as I would have like, they do now. My car did not allow me to select between Creep mode and no Creep mode, it does now. etc.) They spend peanuts on sales/marketing and yet have developed a market for high-end EVs where none existed before, championed by one of the most enthusiastic and engaged (in part because of periodic updates that make your car better) customer bases I have ever seen.

Hmm..I guess that is why I'm long TLSA and long for a short squeeze.

Filipe Portugal | 28. März 2013

nice comment :)

akikiki | 28. März 2013

How did Tesla do it? Simple. Take the smartest, most brilliant people on the planet with the passion to listen and do some right. They build a car; followed by the best and smartest customers in this world that recognize the product for what it is and they buy it.

(Too bad we can't bottle this and make Congress drink it.)

RedShift | 28. März 2013

Today, while at the Tesla service center to get my TMS fixed for a few minor issues, I spoke with the service manager and we got talking about how Tesla created such a fantastic automobile. I remarked to him that Elon must have said I MUST have a,b,c and d etc. No compromises.

I thank Tesla, Elon, and everyone who worked hard and did not compromise. Build it, and they will come. I have found my dream car. Never going back to ICE again.

KarlB | 13. Juli 2013

+1 dstiavnicky

"it's like a roller coaster controlled by an iPad".

My new favorite quote.

Can't wait to check out the Frankfurt, Germany Tesla store and then order mine for when I get back to the states.

Fred O | 13. Juli 2013

Can you please stop writing posts like these. It is killing the people who are still waiting for their car, like me ;-)

phat78boy | 13. Juli 2013

If they continue their support as shown, it only makes this car that much better. I mean, who has had a BMW or Lexus and come out to the car in the morning to see new software was added overnight? Adding functionality after purchase is unheard of and is another reason I happily went all in on Tesla.

Tomas | 13. Juli 2013

It's all Musk. Sure, great engineers and technical support is a critical component, but ultimately it's the vision and leadership from the one man with the driving force at the top.

Many of you may not be familiar with the company's history. Musk did not start Tesla. He took it over from the founder, Martin Eberhard. I new Martin's brother and from his stories and stories in the press, Musk invested in the start-up company (not called "Tesla" then) that was developing the roadster. It soon became clear that Musk and Eberhard had a different vision. Musk was a relentless asshole (I mean that in a good way) pushing the car be the best it could be; price be damned. Eberhard was more of an engineering geek who was into the mechanical side and was more focused on developing an inexpensive EV. They faught other everything that added cost to the car. The carbon fiber fight is legendary.

Musk saw the bigger picture and viewed (rightly so) that the losses incurred in the Roadster's development where simply start-up lossess and,as such, an investment in the company's future.

Sound familiar: Steve Jobs

Also, while we're spreading the accolades around, some credit has to go to the Federal government for the start- up loans (in spite of what the republicans say, the government can help push things in the right direction).

As well, we, all of us in the Tesla community, share some of the credit. Many us bought the roadster site unseen (I'm in the low 500 VINs). We provided some financial support but we where also the early banner wavers for the new EV revolution back when few notified. Then, many us put down $40,000 deposits on the Model S without even driving it. And now, many of us are buying a car from a brand new company that, who knows, many not be around in 5 years (unlikely, but you never know.... oh man, i saw some dude drive by me yesterday in a Fisker.... i felt so bad for him. man, did he F-up) A bit risky. A bit nuts. But we did it because, in addition to drinking Élan's coolaid (another attribute of a great leader-- he can service coolaid), we believe in the revolution. Now we are all part of the (albeut small, but growing) army showing the would now great EVs are.

Viva la revolucion. Viva Élan's army!

Brian H | 13. Juli 2013

I read a rather different history. Martin's must-haves and costing lead to a $140K cost for a $89K selling price. The "We'll make it up on volume" joke comes to mind.

Elon imposed cost controls and raised the price so the Roadster sold at a (thin) profit. Martin was ejected during the process.

DarrellH | 12. August 2013

Brian H, your history is a bit off. Must-haves were not Martin's.

Captain_Zap | 24. November 2013

What a nice thread. It is short but it says it all.

brandtlings | 24. November 2013

Love this thread!

PJDoty | 24. November 2013


Groeneweg | 25. November 2013

I noticed that we are not talking about the REAL reason Elon's doing what he is doing. Tesla is about electric vehicle mobility and the building of an infrastructure that can support long distance travel. If you want AWE that is awe. Try to create anything when EVERYONE(big oil) is against you every step of the way.

Keep it up folks, we are making history and preserving our planet the best we can... and having hell of a time doing it!!

Thanks Elon

Jewsh | 25. November 2013

@Captain Zap:

"They did it by building a great team."

Precisely. No one person could've accomplished what the Tesla team did together. The single-minded vision also helps and is indicative of a strong leadership team.

Good on them and best of luck with the upcoming Model X and Model E.

Tesla-David | 25. November 2013

Great thread, thanks for bringing it back @Captain_Zap. Agree with @Tomas, Viva la revolucion. Viva Élan's army!

carolinagobo | 25. November 2013

When was the last time we were so proud of a non Military product made in the USA. "I love apple but is made in CHINA"

ccbldg | 02. Dezember 2013

+1 Great comments!

Low CG | 02. Dezember 2013

I don't know how they got it so right. A year ago when I took delivery of my P85, I figured it was going to be buggy since there were so many radically new things about the car. It's shocking that the engineering and manufacturing were so good, there were no "bugs" at all in my car. Sure can't say that about the Jag, BMW, Hondas, Cadillacs, and Fords I've bought. I appreciate what Tesla achieved. Truly remarkable.

MNGreene | 02. Dezember 2013

Nice to see this thread again!

JeffreyR | 03. Juni 2015

Thanks @Captain_Zap +1

I have added this post to the WHAT IS THE CAUSE OF THE T≡SLA GRIN? Post in the General section. Sorry @Fred O, but the love threads continue.

GAGSTESLA | 03. Juni 2015

I really like this thread.

I do not see too many from two years ago posting anymore. I wonder why?

renwo S alset | 03. Juni 2015


Emobile | 03. Juni 2015

Moved on to something new?

carlk | 03. Juni 2015

C_Z still couldn't find something new to do?

Chunky Jr. | 03. Juni 2015

I know someone who recently got an i8 and I'm not at all impressed. Unusable back seat, and the storage area is basically an oversized glove compartment. Very impractical. If this is the best BMW could do, with all their years and resources under their belt, it makes you appreciate what Tesla has done even more. Not only is Tesla an incredibly fun car to drive, but it is also very practical (seats 5, lots of storage, 4 doors).

renwo S alset | 03. Juni 2015

Carl. This forum reminds me of the 12th month in Vietnam, nothing left to do but harass the newbies.

Tstolz | 03. Juni 2015

I have to say I kept my Z4 because I thought I'd both need and want it. After having my 85D for just 3 months I can see that I'll never buy ICE again and I'll likely only buy Tesla ... the Z4 gathers dust. What the heck is in that kool-aid anyway.

TwinMaTesla | 03. Juni 2015

The kool-aid is strong. We just ordered our second S because we couldn't both drive the first at the same time. We've never spent even $30k on a car before Tesla (due to our fiscally conservative natures, not finances). My only concern is that we're going to be tempted by the next Elon magical act (e.g., a 400 mile SUV in five years), but have no excuse to get another car because both of ours are already perfect.

seth | 04. Juni 2015

Maybe if we could all work to reverse engineer brilliant vision and design in our own vocations rather than struggle to maintain organizational status quo and a crumbling power structure as the rest of the US car industry has.... I say now more bailouts.... Let the dinosaurs go extinct because they deserve it so that true innovation can continue to emerge.... Maybe the same disruption will happen to big oil as well! One can only dream.

carlk | 04. Juni 2015

@renwo S alset

nothing left to do but harass the newbies.

Only to those sillier ones.

CraigW | 04. Juni 2015

" but harass the newbies."

You had to be there to understand that.

ticobird | 04. Juni 2015

You've brought up a great point dstiavnicky.
How did Tesla get their first designed-in-house Model S so correct for a start up automobile manufacturer? I don't know but like you I'm in awe. Sure there are a few things that could be executed better but we probably agree that whatever is improved in the future will just make the Model S a better vehicle. I for one will not begrudge any future Model S buyer who takes delivery of a version with a more luxurious interior or better ergonomics or performance. That's the nature of the game. I've owned many vehicles over the years most of which were special to me in some way but I must say my Model S85 continues to delight me after 3 months. I know that isn't long but let me fill in those 3 months with a little context. Since I am retired but not independently wealthy I worried incessantly for at least 3 months prior to committing to my decision to purchase my Tesla. I had to sell both my 2013 Ford Escape Titanium, which Tesla painlessly took in trade, and my coveted, head-turning Imola Red 2004 BMW M3 6-speed, which found a loving new home with a life-long BMW enthusiast in Edmonton Canada. Oh yeah, I almost forgot to state I had to kick in several thousand dollars as well. Anyway, I guess the point I'm trying to make is that I have yet to regret my momentous choice. I do not miss my M3 as much as I thought I would. I sure do not miss the expensive out-of-warranty maintenance and repair costs. I absolutely love the driving change of switching to a vehicle with no transmission. When people ask about my Tesla and I mention this aspect of driving dynamics they get a puzzled look on their face that I can only presume translates into a thought they just cannot wrap their head around but are trying real hard to do so anyway. The guy who bought my oil extractor (hey I sure didn't need it anymore) was a mechanic who immediately and completely understood the dynamics of a one speed, no transmission vehicle propelled by an electric motor whose maximum designed torque was immediately available at 0 mph. He voiced his understanding as he placed the oil extractor in the bed of his pickup.

Now I've committing to having a solar PV system installed which will basically fuel my Tesla with a little left over for my electric utility company. BTW, if you can afford a PV system and can design it so the aesthetics (curb appeal) of your home is not impacted, you should look into it. The federal government presently has a generous 30% total cost (material and labor) tax credit much like the federal EV tax credit. While researching the matter in depth it appears a PV system will also add approximately 20x the cost of electricity saved in one year to the value of your home. Some states have really generous incentives in addition to the federal tax credit which should help make the purchase decision even easier. Think of the federal PV tax credit as a second year of Tesla ownership benefit.

Brian H | 04. Juni 2015

What's in the Kool-Aid? The instant response. It reprograms the brain so that anything else feels "lagged", like long-distance walkie-talkie. "Over, out". In a Tesla, think it and it happens - right now!

Pollux | 04. Juni 2015

@GAGTESLA wrote:

I really like this thread.

I do not see too many from two years ago posting anymore. I wonder why?

Many of us are over at the forum. (I've had my P85+ since August, 2013, and still loving it!)


Bighorn | 04. Juni 2015

I think you meant

Roamer@AZ USA | 04. Juni 2015

They started from scratch and did not have to try to change a hundred year old internal combustion engineering culture.

I get a little chuckle whenever a legacy company tries to go full electric. They just have to cram an engine and transmission into the mix and build a electric over the top of the gas engine and transmission. Engineering cultures are very hard to reinvent or change.

If it wasn't invented here we can't do it.

Pollux | 05. Juni 2015


Thanks for catching that: yes, I did indeed mean