Supercharger Announcement Pushed Back. Again.

Supercharger Announcement Pushed Back. Again.

Elon has tweeted that this week's announcement will now be the loan repayment, so supercharger announcement pushed back. Again. Urgh.

shop | 20. Mai 2013


Sudre_ | 20. Mai 2013

I really think he is waiting for a large batch of SCs to be ready. I know it was just a couple of weeks ago they got approval from the Twin cities council in IL to install the chargers.

Thumper | 20. Mai 2013

The full extent of this wave of superchargers may depend on the funds available from this round of share sales. Elon should know the exact figures this week.

riceuguy | 21. Mai 2013

@Thumper, my guess is that Tesla PR is equipped for about 1 big announcement per week, and this week it's the loan repayment. What's really killing me is that this probably means the mystery announcement is also pushed back. :-(

Kleist | 21. Mai 2013

But that is bad planing... weekend is memorial day weekend and folks need to know travel options.

Elon you fooled me once, fooled me twice - super charger announcement is of no importance to me any more. You had your chance and you wasted it.

riceuguy | 21. Mai 2013

@Kleist, no argument there...I am taking my first ever "out of range" trip and have plans to use public chargers, but a supercharger sure would be nice (esp. since I've been told they're building one on this route!).

Kleist | 21. Mai 2013

@riceuguy - I had to call what it is. This week would have been perfect, next week... YAWN.

I love my MS and I love my company in my backyard - but this just bad, bad, bad PR.

Mike C | 21. Mai 2013

Definitely annoying 5 weeks after first announcing this announcement, and especially because of Memorial Day. I suspect that the longer they wait, the more Supercharger locations can be officially announced. Once they are, all will be well and us early adopters can remember about how things were "in the days before Superchargers".

Mike C | 21. Mai 2013

Or they'rewaiting for gas prices to go up and make the publicity that much sweeter.

Kleist | 21. Mai 2013

Sorry I have to vent a little more...
If Elon is busy with loan repayment (very important) this week, why can't some one else e.g. J.B.Straubel make the supercharger announcement. Tesla has to grow up from a one man show to a company.
One annoucement per week is all what a $10 Billion company can handle... give me a break.

hamer | 21. Mai 2013

I am disappointed because although the Tesla Model S is a great local car, and I, like most others, do the vast majority of my driving locally, driving it longer distances (I've done this twice; one a 500 mile each way trip) without Superchargers is a tedious pain in the butt. One has to sit around with a thumb up one's nose for 6 hours or so at an RV park and drive much more slowly than one would like.

wheatcraft | 21. Mai 2013

I too am disappointed. I regularly travel between Reno/Sacramento/San Francisco. I have been hoping for a new SC along the I-80 corridor; Roseville Galleria would be the perfect place. Also I am eager to plan other trips and just want to know where they are going.

I suspect that they could easily handle more than one PR announcement per week, but they want to maximize PR by spreading it out. I guess I can't blame them for that. So why not delay the loan repayment by a week?

Still, I think we are spoiled. No other car owner can expect free gas, much less free electrons!!

hsadler | 21. Mai 2013


"Roseville Galleria would be the perfect place. "

The Folsom SuperCharger is about 7 miles out of the way. From Sac, take 50 to the SC, then Hazel Ave / Sierra College Blvd back to I 80

jbunn | 21. Mai 2013

Geeze folks. I don't think the announcement was about rolling out superchargers for everyone in time for Memorial day.

Tesla can make as many announcements as it has. The reason they pace them is because of the news cycle. It's not how fast Tesla can pump them out. It's how fast the press and the public can absorb them. If you release everything at once, you get a one time blip and that's it. Space it out, and you can keep in the news, and on the public's mind for as long as you have stuff to report.

lolachampcar | 21. Mai 2013

The more important take away for me from this thread is the move from early adopter acceptance of travel related charging issues to owner realization of the actual impediments to EV usage. I'm still a local driver and happy as a clam. That's me and some others I would think but if I were Tesla, I'd have my finger tight on the pulse of this one as it is truly a deep rooted seed of possible discontent.

Benz | 21. Mai 2013


That's how it's done.

And I must say that I like the way Elon is handling all these announcements. I don't mind the delay of an extra week or two. As long as he keeps sending his tweets on a weekly basis, it's ok with me.

These are exiting times, enjoy it.

Things that weren't possible before are possible now. Think about that.

hfcolvin | 21. Mai 2013

For me, all these other announcements are fluff/nice to haves. I want Superchargers! Summer is almost here!

riceuguy | 21. Mai 2013

@Lola, yeah, I could totally take the ICE on my out of town trip, and I'm happy as a clam as a 95% local driver. I just want to brag to friends and neighbors about the trip being free and super convenient, not just cheap and less inconvenient than you'd expect!

scaesare | 21. Mai 2013

It is an embarrassment of riches that good news is coming at such a pace that Elon has to juggle time to get them all announced. This is good for Tesla, and in turn good for us. The financial health of the company is important, as that will help guarantee Tesla is around to keep building out the SC network. I understand why the loan repayment announcement is a priority.

A delay of a couple of weeks regarding in a progress announcement in a several year plan is not a big deal. If that's all it takes for some of you to have lost faith or to feel that Elon has "wasted his chance" on you regarding his timing for this... that seem pretty short sighted.

I say, keep 'em rolling, Elon... each week the ride is getting even more fun... and I don't get my car til Friday!


William9 | 21. Mai 2013

I completely agree with Kleist. As I said in another post, this entire process has the appearance of the BUSH LEAGUE! Having a CEO randomly tweet, in an almost offhand way, gives the impression of not having any sort of plan. The previous master of this process, Steve Jobs, managed to build anticipation and adhere to a schedule. But this pattern of poor communication goes back to the very beginning and involves most all facets of the enterprise.

I'm also interested/concerned that George Blankenship appears to have gone undercover. Come'on man!

jk2014 | 21. Mai 2013

The impact of announcement of paying off the doe loan might have a wider impact then the supercharger would this week. Especially if the president will be involved.

More media will cover it, write about it. Need to give it a week to get digested. Result move MS purchases, more money to build more SCs quicker.

Might turn out instead of only one SC along your route, you'll get two.

It is frustrating the announcement is pushed back, but this doe payoff is good for Tesla and good for the MS owner. Acceptable delay, IMO.

G. | 21. Mai 2013

The first day of summer is Friday, June 21. Plenty of time to get the 2013 Supercharger lineup set, and the perfect day both to make the Supercharger announcement and to have a number of high-profile new locations up and running.

Captain_Zap | 21. Mai 2013

Does anyone know how long it takes to install a supercharger once the permit is issued? Or how long installation takes after groundbreaking?

We found a couple Supercharger sites with electrical permits by poking around. No ground broken yet, but the underground utilities were located and marked.

elguapo | 21. Mai 2013

As others have said, it's a several year plan. I don't think they've got 20 superchargers "hiding" throughout the US and Elon's going to make an announcement and, voila, they'll pull the cover off of a ton of superchargers. It's probably just going to be an update on when and where they'll open them. Remember, most of the announcements have been underwhelming.

Contrary to what others say, I think this is all very well choreographed. Elon's on again / off again announcements build the hype - the man knows what he's doing and making the most out of his ability to get media coverage.

gt1485a | 21. Mai 2013



Announcing the superchargers is one thing, getting them built is another. I'm sure construction and permitting are ongoing (based on elec WA permits) they'll be ready at the same time regardless of the announcements.

jjs | 21. Mai 2013

Wow. I thought I was hard to please.

I have my share of frustrations with Tesla regarding communication. Elon's tweets, announcement and/or delayed announcements are not among them. I find it entertaining and brilliant marketing. Look at the tremendous amount of free press Tesla has gotten.

As for the delay. Albeit not button down corporate communication....I can happily live with it. I look at it this way. Stock skyrocketed. Tesla VERY WISELY decides to capitalize on this and initiate a second offering. This maximizes the amount of $ they get while minimizing the dilution effect. Very nice indeed. All of this happens in the middle of the trilogy of 5 announcements. New inflow of capital makes repayment of loan a reality. A reality that did not exist at the beginning of the 5 of 3 announcement thing! They capitalize on it, make things better for TMC, shareholders, AND the goal of ushering in a new age of personal transportation. For that, I gladly can both wait longer for the SC announcement and happily forgive the "clunky" method of deliver.

At the end of the day it has many of us talking about it, which is also a win for TMC.

Finally this is a guy who is in charge of Space X, Solar City and TMC. I would submit that is much more than Steve Jobs ever had on his plate. He is succeeding at all three. Unprecedented. If the price to pay for moving us all forward like this is a few delayed announcement then is that really that big of a price to pay?

Tweet on Elon, tweet on.

mdemetri | 21. Mai 2013

But why is the loan repayment announcement a priority for this week?????????? I see no reason why it could not be done next week, allowing the supercharger annoucement this week as promised. Whether they annouce this week or next week that the loan is payed off will make no difference in publicity. This is not true for the supercharger annoucement. Some of us need to make summer travel plans and are delaying this until we know if and when additional superchargers will be available.

C'mon Elon, just tell us when and where there will be more superchargers!!!

Neech | 21. Mai 2013

Elon seems to go by the under promise, over deliver mode of communication. I would rather he wait to make supercharger announcements until they are nearing completion. Many people I know are skeptical of EVs because of charging access. If more superchargers are soon to be up and running, it could spur many more sales to those on the fence.

noel.smyth | 21. Mai 2013

I actually like that he is managing to spead out the news on a weekly basis. He knows how to make the most of the free marketing which is what this all is. the SCs are builg build regardless, the annoucement does not change the construction schedule.

TeslaModelSOwner | 21. Mai 2013

Patience is a virtue folks

shop | 21. Mai 2013

Minor nit, but Elon is not in charge of Solar City - he is an early investor in that company and chairman of the board. Other people run it.

Actually, I hope all this no again/off again press release stuff gets Elon to realize that tweeting teasers only makes him look bad. Stuff always happens - imagine how dumb he would look if he pre-tweeted a major Tesla announcement for Friday and then one of his SpaceX rockets blows up tomorrow. Keep announcements under wraps until you actually make them. It isn't that hard a concept to grasp! Tesla is a hot public company - any official announcement it makes will be disseminated far and wide - there is no need to "build excitement" anymore. It's already there.

Pre-tweeting is a guerrilla marketing ploy and it made sense when Tesla was a pre-public company that only die hard enthusiasts followed. Tesla is bigger than that now.

jandkw | 21. Mai 2013

It is ironic to see the Californians complained about the lack of SC while 6 has been installed for some time. We are still waiting for the first one in North Carolina/Florida (I85/I95) region so I can travel more than 200+ miles using the SC.

Mark K | 21. Mai 2013

jjs captured it well.

Things are moving quickly. The offering and the loan payoff are fresh news, and need attention and press in real time.

The SuperCharger network is a long term, massive effort, and an upside created by TM. Picking the right date for their announcement is their prerogative.

That so many people are anxious to find out the new surprises is proof of efficacy.

While you can find imperfection in the work of any great artist, "masterful" is a fitting term for Elon's talent to engage his audience.

PorfirioR | 21. Mai 2013

These are not port-a-potty's we are talking about... lol

Bubba2000 | 21. Mai 2013

Tesla has priced the supercharger option at $2,000 with the 60 KW-hr battery, and it is included with the 85 KW-hr battery. Let us assume that Tesla is going to deploy 200 SC station nationwide- with 6 chargers each. Each station costs $250,000. Total cost over 2 years = $50M. In the next 2 years, Tesla could sell 50,000 Model S+X, though I think they will exceed that number.
Average Supercharger Capital Cost/Car = Total Cost of Superchargers/Number of cars sold in 2 years
= 50,000,000/50,000 = $1,000/car

If 3% of the cars use the SC/day in the highway, that is 50,000x3%= 1,500 cars. Each charge should be about 50 KW-hr on the average. At 12 cents/KW-hr that is $6/car or $9,000/day or $3.3M/year. Alternately, it would mean about $60/car/year or $600/10 years, approximately.

I posted this elsewhere:

The Supercharger deployment certainly makes economic sense and Tesla can add sites and chargers every year. It will also be marketing with the big Tesla signs at the Supercharger sites. Now that Tesla has $800M, I expect Tesla to deploy SCs in significant quantities. Yes, it is marketing tool as well, with big signs, etc.

The $50M is pittance compared to what the Standard Oil, and others had to spend in today's dollars to explore, produce, refine and transport oil as well as build gas stations all over the US and the world. Comparatively, every house has a "fueling station for the Model S. Just need an extension cord from the washing machine 240V supply to the garage. Hard wiring costs about $100 if you do it yourself. Natural gas is another mess too. Imagine having to compress NG to 5000 lbs, store in fueling stations. BIg trucks need Liquified Natural Gas. Need HAZMAT equipment and training. $Billions in investment. Hydrogen deployment would be nightmare costing $Bs.

Now that Tesla has $850M to deploy SC network in the US/Canada, Europe, China and Japan. Cost should not exceed $100M over 2 years. It will indeed drive demand for Model S and X. Once that happens, demand will be ramp up big time, may be at the rate of 200,000-250,000 worldwide for Model S and X. This is disruptive tech, especially the Supercharger.

Wall Street is still missing what is going on:

Adam S | 21. Mai 2013

I'm a bit embarrassed by the people complaining here. This is a FREE service that TMC doesn't have to provide, but they do. Nor do they have to keep you "in the loop", unless you're a board member, which I suspect you all are not. This complaining makes you look like petulant children who just can't wait until you get your ice cream, because you want it NOW.

I see absolutely nothing wrong with the way TMC and Musk are rolling out the announcements. It keeps interest high, which is nothing but good for the company.

jbunn | 21. Mai 2013

+1 Adam

SonomaDriver | 21. Mai 2013

The timing of the loan pay off is important for TMC. Elon is adding another offering of stock and he wants the "Street" to see that the company can sustain the initial profit report which was just issued. Its far more important versus making the SC announcement simply because the loan announcement and subsequent stock offering will PAY FOR the SC deployment.

TMC is in a way leading the charge to installing an EV infrastructure. That is a time consuming, expensive and permit intensive process. It also is the key to driving broader adoption of the technology. Remember we all have pre-conceived notions about a car's range and how long it should take to "recharge/refuel" said car. He's trying to change those notions which will take time but I think he's on the right track.

Whity Whiteman | 21. Mai 2013

if Elon wants to beat every criticism- and I think, this is the mission- the announcement will be something like

a) we paid the DOE-loan and we are nnow the only american carcompany without debt!

b) we use the complete ZEV-Revenues for building Supercharger... no costs for Tesla AND the people get back the precious tax-money.

Robin-Hood-Style. Go ahead Tesla!

Kleist | 21. Mai 2013

This thread is about bad PR not "I need more SC now".

In business you "say what your doing" and "do what you are saying". With the "next week" after "next week" after "next week" you loose your credibility.

Most start ups fail... and they fail because they can not manage growth. I see the danger that the TM organization is shrinking instead of growing - now TM seems even more Elon centric then a year ago and that could spell trouble.

jbunn | 21. Mai 2013

Kleinst, what makes you think this is bad PR?

The supercharger openings are not being pushed back from this week to next week to week after next. That WOULD be bad. I believe in Elon's tweet, he stated that the supercharger rollout was continuing as his announcement was being delayed. No big deal for some of us that waited 2 years for this car.

SamO | 21. Mai 2013


I disagree on principle that this is "bad" PR. Other than it annoys you.

The reason for the delay is totally understandable i.e. there were significant changes in Tesla's business outlook

First, profits caused the share price going from $50-$90,
Which triggered another round of funding,
Which in turn was significantly increased due to high demand,
Which then allows Tesla to pay off it's loans,
Which delayed the Supercharger announcement.

This is NOT bad PR. This is an overabundance of riches. Get used to it Tesla owners and stockholders.

Mark K | 21. Mai 2013

All of this is seriously good PR.

Elon's sense of timing his messages is extraordinary.

shs | 21. Mai 2013

To add to Whity comments, I have read that Tesla is the second oldest auto company in America (since two of the big three went through bankruptcy.

JZ13 | 21. Mai 2013

@whity - actually Tesla will have debt. The convertible offering is debt.

Brian H | 21. Mai 2013


Good one.

As for deferring announcements, in the near term the loan announcement is more important, so it gets priority.

shop | 21. Mai 2013

@JZ13 - good catch. For most companies, having debt isn't a bad thing, it is fact a very good thing. These days, debt costs like 2-3% interest per year. If the company can grow profits faster than that by investing the debt into company operations, then you'd be stupid not to have debt. And Tesla certainly has lots of untapped opportunity in front of it. Corporate debt is completely different from personal debt. Usually people incur debt to buy optional things sooner. A company incurs debt to allow it to expand faster and deliver more products to customers. Big difference.

All Tesla is doing is swapping out one form of debt with another. All debt comes with restrictions (covenants), so I suspect Tesla is gaining by getting rid of the government's covenants. The interest rate may very well be lower too. And it is great PR.

mdemetri | 21. Mai 2013


+1. The supercharger annoucement has been pushed back multiple times and it is bad form to repeatedly do this.

@Adam S

Your statement is incorrect: the superchargers are not "free". The 60's payed $2,000 and this cost is built into the S85 and P85 pricing. Moreover, as Bubba2000 pointed out the superchargers are likely only costing Tesla $1000, making Tesla a $1000 profit per car. Superchargers are also a key selling point for the car and essential to wider adoption. Thus, it is not unreasonable for customers who have paid $2000 upfront for a service not widely available to expect that an annoucement on the service not be delayed multiple times.


The street already knows that Tesla is paying off the loan early; it is detailed in the offering. The annoucement is not for the street, it for the larger public and therefore doing it this week or next week makes zero difference.

Kleist | 21. Mai 2013

@SamoSam - it does not annoy me, I don't need a single SC ( we have plenty )... so I am not waiting and hope for one in my part of the world. It is just bad business. And we can disagree on that.

Bubba2000 | 21. Mai 2013

Given limited human and financiai resources, and pent-up demand, Superchargers were not a priority. Focussing on 2013Q1 quarter profits really paid off. Burnt the shorts and made it easier for Tesla to raise $1.1B in capital cheap. To top it off, Elon buys $100M worth of TSLA, some of it in the open market. No other car company has come up with a brand new model and got 99/100 from those martinets at Consumer Reports. They built in house, not some outsourced product. That is genius.

The Supercharger deployment is part of Elon's grand strategy. It will eliminate the range anxiety in the 3% of the cases where folks take a long trip. It will certainly drive demand for cars priced in the $75-100k price range. Now he has $850M in cash after paying off the DOE loan. He will not be standing still.

The big challenge now is to optimize the design of the Model S and X to make automated robotic assembly precise and efficient. Reduce supply chain costs. Same with the Superchargers. I think costs will drop significantly especially as the battery tech matures. Then there is the 500 mile battery.

I suspect the delay is because Elon is getting things lined up for a big move in Superchargers.