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Why did Tesla not capitalize on myfastladys first SC only cross-country travel?

Why did Tesla not capitalize on myfastladys first SC only cross-country travel?

I like many followed myfastladys truly historic first of crossing the continental US using only SC. A true milestone in the history of sustainable transport.

So why did Tesla appear to largely ignore this trip. Why were Tesla PR people not at Hawthorne to welcome myfastlady? Why did Tesla not ensure that the local/national news media was aware/present to cover their arrival at Hawthorne?

I am truly baffled. Tesla should have been all over this historic trip. To me it is a major opportunity lost to get the message out.

jai9001 | 26 January 2014

I think the most logical answer is that it will steal the thunder of his spring break cross-country trip with his kids.

Tesla has spent the last few months placing superchargers in sparsely populated parts of the northern US all in preparation of Elon's trip. I bet there will be the press following his entire trip. He will tweet every stop, charge, etc.

I understand their position. The CEO cross-country trip is quite the publicity stunt, and it destroys range anxiety for the general public. On the other hand, my wife thought I was nuts as I was close to shedding a tear reading John and Jill's thread.

NKYTA | 26 January 2014

I agree, both a missed opportunity and not wanting to out-hype Elon's trip.

In any case, I think the community came out and applauded J&J sufficiently - and they deserved it!

Docrob | 26 January 2014

I don't think Tesla wants to encourage coast to coast trips until the current few gaps are filled. Sure it is currently possible for even minimally experienced Model S drivers to do the trip. However once they declare the route complete then reporters with no experience will try to follow in Mr Broder's lofty footsteps and end up on a flatbed in Pennsylvania or Arizona which is the last thing Tesla needs.

mclary | 26 January 2014

They are too busy building cars!

Dont steal Elons thunder.

JoeFee | 26 January 2014

Earnings are soon....I bet they want to announce the CCSC.s at that event !

Roamer@AZ USA | 26 January 2014

History being made. Everyone is part of it. Every owner of a Tesla product participated in the creation of an entirely new way to travel.

Voting your own dollars is a much more powerful way to get things done than anything any politician can do. Power to the Tesla People.

jordanrichard | 26 January 2014

The national media doesn't know who John and Jill are, but they know who Elon is. He was the one who proclaimed the future ability to cross the country via SCs. So in the national media's eye's, his trip will the the "ribbon cutting" of the SC connection between the coasts.

Now, it will be truly messed up if he proclaims that he was the first, but that's not going to happen.

Pungoteague_Dave | 26 January 2014

While interesting, I believe that Tesla had two issues here. First, the trip wasn't announced until underway, and PR efforts take more than a few days to gear up. Yes, they could have mobilized fats enough to do a meet and greet at the end, but it wasn't on their schedule.

Second, this isn't the earth-shattering thing that fanbois here seem to think. I don't think that John and Jill thought it was a big deal either. They just got in their car and drove, and happened to make a post, which went viral, mostly due to fanboi over-reaction. Tesla may have simply concluded what I did - that this was what they have been saying all along and that it would not help their case to act as though it was a big deal. From their perspective: Just one more day in Tesla-ville.

If you make this a big deal, you are just pointing out that our cars can finally do, in 2014, what ICE cars can do everyday and have done for 100 years. Making it a big deal borders on embarrassing.

J.T. | 26 January 2014

@PD How many times did myfastlady reach into his pocket to pay for fuel? Admit it's a little bit of a deal, if not a big one.

SCCRENDO | 26 January 2014

Tesla missed a great PR opportunity. Too bad

kenj | 26 January 2014

The think this post from "Heading West" says it best

@hsadler | JANUARY 26, 2014
Thanks to Elon for letting someone else take the Thunder (was inevitable if everything will be in place for 2 months before his trip).

This event actually helps the cause - an ordinary person can do it, with no help from a PR staff, Tesla support team on location, and cameras being directed to catch specific information. And in adverse conditions.

Elon is a little slyer than we give him credit for.

Al1 | 26 January 2014

I guess there is distinction between who first did it and who first made it possible. And that distinction should not be lost.

Elon was still the first one, who made it possible for thousands of Johns and Jills.

Unless somebody wants to make a case that those who built them didn't know what they were doing.

Tâm | 26 January 2014

You didn't see nationwide news outlets at the finishing line because don't you remember a trip started on January 23, 2013 at 11:00 AM? Just a year ago?

It was reported by New York Times that its loaner Tesla Model S ran out of battery and could not even finish a 61 mile trip from Norwich to Milford, Conn.

So on its commemorative week, it might be a dilemma for the press media to associate with an incomprehensible idea that John and Jill just did it from coast to coast, free of gas and free of cost for each refill? (They paid for their car once and own their fuel on road trips forever!)

JonathanL | 26 January 2014

The Customer Stories section would be a good place to commemorate J&J's epic trip.

redacted | 26 January 2014

@Pungoteague_Dave fanbois overreact?

As somebody who bought an MS a long four months ago when the only place I could supercharge was Normal, IL (WTF?) and who didn't have any idea how many years it would take to get out of Illinois with this thing, I can say that the coast-to-coast run is a BIG THING, the schedule was unimaginable just four month ago, and that superchargers, even though rarely used, are psychological blockbusters. I wasn't sobbing onto my keyboard but I certainly followed this closely and I don't think there was any overreaction.

Thom EM | 26 January 2014

JonathanL +1!

eddiemoy | 26 January 2014

Well, they have their own event to start this Friday. They aim to break the record for cross country time.

DTsea | 26 January 2014

@PD I read an article about two MIT students crossing the continent by car 100 years ago. no gas distribution, unpaved roads... they had to make parts, etc and took a couple months.

ICE transcontinental travel was been practical since the 30's not the 1910s.

tesla does say 'coast to coast enabled' so i dont think they dont want people to do it.

PorfirioR | 26 January 2014

I tend to agree with the points made by Pungoteague_Dave.

Although this is a wonderful achievement for John and Jill and I congratulate them for it, driving a Tesla cross-country is not new (http://gas2.org/2013/01/07/trio-of-ev-enthusiasts-driving-cross-country-...) and the only thing the trip proved is that the cross-country supercharger network is now in place (which was already national news).

Had this been over-publicized, it could have looked like showcasing the first guy in line to buy a new iphone.

As a father of a daughter who will eventually be driving cross-country with me when she is done with school, John and Jill's story warms my heart and I do agree that it deserves recognition in the customers story section of the Tesla blog as a story of what people do with their Tesla Model S.

Captain_Zap | 26 January 2014

I think that there was some very clever planning and investigation done to start the quest even before the Supercharger route was completed. To top it off, they kept on going through a polar storm. It was a sportsman thing, not a "fanboi" thing. People came to the forum to follow the progress that are not Tesla followers. That's awesome.

Pungoteague_Dave | 26 January 2014

+1 PorfirioR. This is important to us Tesla fans, but certainly not news, especially on a national level. Not taking anything away, but it wasn't a big personal accomplishment or hard to do - just using the Tesla-provided tools (THAT's the big accomplishment) to do what many of us expect to do many times in our cars in coming months and years. The first of many routine trips.

@DTsea - the cross-country Lincoln Highway route through 13 states was dedicated just over 100 years ago, on October 31, 1913. The U.S. Army undertook its first transcontinental motor convoy on the road in 1919, without incident. It had some gravel sections and was not completely paved until the 1930's, but cross-country auto travel was certainly possible in the teens.

Tâm | 26 January 2014

We had more than a dozen well wishers congratulated John and Jill at their finishing line yesterday, Saturday, 01/26/2014.

We didn't know how to post pictures onsite but the ones at home helped out so we had a successful live report on the forum, fully with pictures.

We called for major Los Angeles news vans but only 2 smaller organizations showed up: Plugshare.com and electric-car-insider.com.

We had 2 press coverage published on the web:

http://pulse2.com/2014/01/26/tesla-cross-country-trip-101935/

http://insideevs.com/first-ever-supercharged-tesla-model-s-coast-to-coas...

I thought it was a great celebration and decent coverage despite of deficient formal arrangement and despite of traveling through wobbly polar vortex winter in the East and arriving safely to us, in the hot dessert sun of the West.

Ok! So we want more coverage. That's understood!

At this point, I believe the blame game is non-productive.

What's done is done. It is now history!

What matter is now and tomorrow.

The car "My Fast Lady" is coming to Fremont supercharger, CA tomorrow, Monday, 01/27/2014.

What are you going to do about it?

Did anyone personally tell Elon about it? Complaining on this forum doesn't cut it!

Did anyone pick up the phone and talk to Tesla Public Relations about it?

Did anyone call up San Francisco/Fremont news about it?

Did anyone call up Fremont Mayor to be part of the EV history?

Did anyone call up elementary kids and ask their teachers for a field trip to see "My Fast Lady" arriving in Fremont?

Come on, Tesla Owners! You can do it :)

drax7 | 26 January 2014

Tesla missed an opportunity, this is clearly news worthy.

Elon has to reward them publicly to save face.

This positive publicity is priceless.

donaldmeacham1 | 26 January 2014

The message seems to be getting out without Tesla blowing its own horn. The car sells itself.

Al1 | 26 January 2014

Well they've certainly made it. And Tesla enabled them to do so. Elon can certainly thank them for their enthusiasm and dedication. Not sure what face saving has to do to this.

Robert22 | 26 January 2014

Feel free to use this mainstream media:

Jack and Jill went up the Hill.....actually they went up and came down many hills. :)

PBEndo | 26 January 2014

I think it is great the Tesla allowed somebody else to complete the trip before Elon. Many companies would have kept a couple of Superchargers "offline" until the CEO was ready to make the trip to maximize their press exposure.

kenj | 26 January 2014

+1 pbendo

What company would let members on a public forum, play SC treasure hunt .... check out sites ... post photos .... plug in and test SCs before they are open? J&J are awesome -- had worldwide Tesla fans (no, EV fans) cheering them on.

Reminds me of another company in the valley that people stand around the block for when a new product is released .... yep, Apple.

Go Tesla!

NKYTA | 26 January 2014

@Tam, my wife emailed a Tesla employee she met at the SD-->Vancover letting her know John is on his way...and that some of us would like to pop over to Fremont to meet him.

@PD, I really don't understand your lack of enthusiasm, though I get your points about it just works as it is supposed to.

The problem I have is this statement. "The first of many routine trips."

Yah you forgot something there. THE FIRST!

Credit to Elon and Tesla, but also credit to J&J.

petochok | 26 January 2014

Elon has retweeted a post from PlugShare about Jack & Jill.

petochok | 26 January 2014

John & Jill... Duh...

Rocky_H | 26 January 2014

Well, weighing in on this, @PD, I think the reason it's newsworthy is this. It seems boring and normal to us, right? Don't you realize most of the people in this country don't know that this is possible? What they have heard and have the impression of is that electric cars are restricted, incapable "city cars" that can't be used for travel. That one just did a coast to coast trip in about the same amount of TIME (not 15-20 hour charging stops) as a gas car is noteworthy because most people don't currently think that's possible for an electric car.

Anyway, I understand if Tesla doesn't want to promote it too much to the news because of their own upcoming event--fine. What I don't get is that they didn't even send ANYONE to thank and congratulate J & J. John and Jill just did something very good for the company in showing how good and capable Tesla's car and Supercharger network is for traveling, and Tesla didn't even bother to send one person to thank them for showing to other future Tesla buyers that this stuff really works.

jbunn | 26 January 2014

@redacted

Q - "Why did Tesla want supercharging to be in Normal?"
A - "Because they wanted it to be as close to Bloomington as possible."

I don't get Midwest humor.

Captain_Zap | 27 January 2014

I'll don my nomex underwear and balaclava because I might get flamed by some of my neighbors.

Those that believe that this is a Tesla thing or a "fanboi" thing certainly do not understand the depth of meaning of this to thousands of people.

Everyone around me is going bonkers about the Seahawks and the Superbowl. I turn on the news and they talk more about the weather in New York than in Seattle. Lots of stuff happened today but, how about those Seahawks?

For me, myfastlady's team of John, Jill and the Model S named Ivy is of far greater significance. It was an amazing accomplishment that was pulled off by thousands of people that never gave up on the EV concept, worked on thousands of projects and ventures with a big dream of a better tomorrow.

I won't be glued to the TV watching football next Sunday like I was glued to the forums yesterday while watching for myfastlady's status updates.

I can understand how people compared it to the first moon landing and Lindbergh's crossing of the Atlantic.

I'm a horseracing enthusiast, a motorsports enthusiast and I went through the experience of investing moonlight hours in a small BEV car charger design company that ended up being put to death when someone killed the electric car in the late 1990's. That dream was put to rest for us, but Tesla brought it back to life and we watched from a safe distance for a long time.

myfastlady's team's accomplishment was the triple crown for me and a huge victory for many others too. The it was giving a nod to all those that dedicated their entire education, careers, their personal free time and their last dollars to bring forth a viable, sustainable and practical electric transportation future.

John and Jill's trek was a heart felt grassroots event just like the EV started out. John & Jill's personal background and competitive tack took it to a whole 'nother level. I love the photo of using the Model S as a tractor to mow the Kentucky Bluegrass. Priceless!

So, I'm on cloud nine. A trip to the Kentucky Derby has been on my bucket list. Now I think I am going to drive!

DonS | 27 January 2014

While it is a major milestone to be able to cross the country just using Superchargers, the trip is not that great yet. Between the convoluted route, stretches of bad weather, and long distance between some chargers, it took 2 or 3 days longer than with an ICE.

A summer sightseeing trip is reasonable, but anyone trying to just get across the country quickly is not going to be happy with the current status. Tesla's reputation is to really impress folks, and this is only impressive to EV enthusiasts. It is not not going to help win any converts from the ICE camp. I'm curious as to how Tesla is going to spin the message for Elon's trip.

DTsea | 27 January 2014

Hey now Captain Zap, I am excited about he superchargers, but I had confidence they would get it done. It's money and engineering but not an improbability. The Seahawks winning the superbowl, that would be AWESOME!

logicalthinker | 27 January 2014

+1 Captain Zap.

Yes, it's no big deal for a gas car, bit that's the whole point: EVs actually have NOT been as viable as gas cars until now.

The Supercharger network changes EV POTENTIAL to near-equivalency for long trips, and combined with the superior convenience of EVs for day-to-day driving, EVs are now a really attractive alternative to gas cars.

The main hold back now for the general public is price.

So in the sense of letting the general public know EVs have caught up with gas for long trips, yes, that's major news. Not news to a Tesla-knowledgeable person, but a very exciting step forward to see a plan becoming a reality.

DTsea | 27 January 2014

@PD on the Lincoln Highway... here is a quote from Wikipedia. Doesnt sound like it was exactly ROUTINE- took a month, they had to hypermile due to spotty gasoline availability, and the cars broke down frequently. They had guidance for rescue by horse or mule teams... sound like a tow truck?

Anyway.... routine, convenient cross country travel came later. Congress passed the US Highway system plan in October 1925, and the paved transcontinental routes like Routes 30, 6, 20, and 66 weren't completed until the 1930s. Then in the 1950s, as most of us know, the Eisenhower administration approved the Interstate system, which was mostly constructed in the 60s- although there are are still a few incomplete bits!

Here's the quote:

According to the Association's 1916 Official Road Guide a trip from the Atlantic to the Pacific on the Lincoln Highway was "something of a sporting proposition" and might take 20 to 30 days. To make it in 30 days the motorist would need to average 18 miles (29 km) an hour for 6 hours per day, and driving was only done during daylight hours. The trip was thought to cost no more than $5 a day per person, including food, gas, oil, and even "five or six meals in hotels." Car repairs would, of course, increase the cost.

Since gasoline stations were still rare in many parts of the country, motorists were urged to top off their gasoline at every opportunity, even if they had done so recently. Motorists should wade through water before driving through to verify the depth. The list of recommended equipment included chains, a shovel, axe, jacks, tire casings and inner tubes, tools, and (of course) a pair of Lincoln Highway pennants. And, the guide offered this sage advice: "Don't wear new shoes."

Firearms were not necessary, but west of Omaha full camping equipment was recommended, and the guide warned against drinking alkali water that could cause serious cramps. In certain areas, advice was offered on getting help, for example near Fish Springs, Utah, "If trouble is experienced, build a sagebrush fire. Mr. Thomas will come with a team. He can see you 20 miles off." Later editions omitted Mr. Thomas, but westbound travelers were advised to stop at the Orr's Ranch for advice, and eastbound motorists were to c

logicalthinker | 27 January 2014

I.e. now you can tell Joe Average, "yeah, actually now I can drive across the US with my family in my EV in about the same time as we could with a gas car. Oh, and in the EV, it's free, forever."

Trust me, to Joe Average this would be shocking news. SHOCKING. Consider that only about 22℅ of the general public realizes Tesla EXISTS. And if you ask the average person, they almost entirely all say "EVs are cool, but just not practical yet... too range limited."

http://cleantechnica.com/2013/11/29/wow-22-people-know-tesla-model-s-31-...

So to the general public, this would be massive news.

Mark Z | 27 January 2014

Elon's trip probably won't be a race across country. IMHO, he will be taking a leisurely trip and seeing the sights. Undoubtedly he will stop at every Supercharger and won't skip any. John and Jill proved the system works. Elon should expand the vision and highlight the pleasures along the SuperCharger highway.

Rocky_H | 27 January 2014

@Don S: “A summer sightseeing trip is reasonable, but anyone trying to just get across the country quickly is not going to be happy with the current status.” Um, really? If you’re trying to get across the country quickly, why would you EVER drive it at all? That’s what planes are for—to get there in hours instead of several days.

MaxEntropy | 27 January 2014

I don't think a convoluted route is really going to have as much of a historical weight put on the trip itself when we look back on this in future years. Of more importance is the fact that an EV actually crossed the country using only the SC network. Does anyone care about the starting and ending points of the first solo trans-Atlantic flight, or do they just remember that Charles Lindbergh did it and that it, in fact, was possible?
This trip establishes the precedent and proves Mr. Musk's assertion that it can be done. Now Tesla can focus on expanding the network to make these trans-continental trips more mileage efficient and start quashing all of the other naysayers who said it could not be done.

MacDaddyDude | 27 January 2014

Did Tesla miss a wonderful PR opportunity? On one level, sure.

On another level, did Elon build the model S for himself? Is he building the SC network for himself? Is he selling the Model S in China as the same price as the U.S. out of selfishness?

He did this so customers would use it...and we are. It's working.

Yes, the vast majority of the U.S. wants to here about the super bowl and who is talking trash. They don't see this as the incredible accomplishment that it is. No matter how many news stories get published, they won't see this as relevant until they do... That's life.

Captain_Zap | 27 January 2014

Some of the greatest artists, scientists and explorers were not recognized or appreciated for their accomplishments or contributions until they were long gone.

Many were rebels, simply misunderstood or just taken advantage of.

Nikola Tesla, Galileo, Edgar Allen Poe, Thoreau, Emily Dickenson, Bach, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Vermeer, Cezanne... The list goes on and on.

The list is even longer for the nameless individuals and teams that will never be recognized for their selfless contributions to culture, civilization and the survival of man.

Tâm | 27 January 2014

May be the title "capitalize" is a strong word.

Tesla has a relationship with its owners and in a special way that you wouldn't be able to scream.

@NKYTA

Please send thanks to your wife for lobbying Tesla for such a surprise warm appreciation to celebrate the first ever all supercharger coast to coast drive!

Thanks to all those who spent part of your life to greet John Glenney at Fremont supercharger.

Thanks every one for your great report.

And thanks Tesla for proving again that you are the industry's superiority that makes EV works so powerfully and seamlessly in its beauty!

The picture from Jack Brown said it all:

ohn Glenney parade through hundreds of cheering and clapping Tesla employees filing on both sides at the Powertrain manufacturing area:

A job well done every body!!!!

And that means YOU!

Pungoteague_Dave | 27 January 2014

Wow. Get a grip. Comparisons to the moon landing? Where were you when you heard....? Seriously folks, this is business as usual, impressive only to fanbois. Great, we've caught up with everyday life in ICE-world, except slower and with more range anxiety/planning. No one except us Tesla-ites really cares. I mentioned it to a few friends and family. Big yawns. They humor me on the EV and solar thing, but just barely. That's the real world.

RedShift | 27 January 2014

PD,

If it was business as usual, Elon would not have publicized his upcoming trip. Nor would Tesla feel the need to take John around the factory with workers cheering.

Sometimes, the world is less cynical than you perceive.

EV Quorum | 27 January 2014

@P_Dave > what ICE cars can do everyday and have done for 100 years. Making it a big deal borders on embarrassing

With all due respect, you've completely missed the point, P_Dave.

Sure, anyone could pull an ICE up to a gas pump, fill up, and drive cross country. With all the unpaid externalities that it entails: tailpipe emissions, that in the aggregate, cause premature death due to COPD, asthma, heart attack and stroke among other ailments. A foreign trade imbalance that no less than Warren Buffett describes as one of the most serious problems facing the country. Global political instability and a perpetual war machine to keep the sea lanes open and the oil flowing. Hundreds of thousands of lives lost, just in the last decade.

So while that driver can conveniently gas up and blithely drive down the highway into the sunset, it's not without those costs. We just don't price those in at the pump, or anywhere else in the value chain. To compare the two trips without any further comment on the actual achievement is willfully ignorant.

No, it's not a moon shot. But it's certainly a large symbolic stride forward on the path to eliminating the negative environmental, financial and societal consequences of burning fossil fuels that you'd apparently like to ignore.

PorfirioR | 28 January 2014

It is possible to find fault in any news article but this is perhaps one of the best written articles about this trip and about Tesla: http://www.chicagotribune.com/classified/automotive/chi-tesla-first-coas...

Kudos to Robert Duffer from the Chicago Tribune.

Captain_Zap | 28 January 2014

Thank you, PorfirioR.
Thanks to Chicago too!

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