"Delivery of cars with the 40 kWh battery pack is expected to begin later this summer."

"Delivery of cars with the 40 kWh battery pack is expected to begin later this summer."

BarryQ | February 22, 2013


Wow, didn't know power was so expensive in HI!!

Brian H | February 22, 2013

Actually, in total contrast to all the other EV mfrs., it seems TM is having a hard time making a car battery as small as 40kWh, their maximum. A bit amusing.

But they managed it for the RAV4 EV. I wonder what the critical difference is.

murraypetera | February 22, 2013

+ trydesky

I agree 100%

Tesla throw us a bone. I think most of us 40s would upgrade to the 60 if incentivized. Speaking for myself, the only reason I'm a 40 and not 60 is $. Make us an offer that i cannot walk away from, stop taking orders for the 40, save your time and money to develop the smaller battery in your gen 3 or when you have sufficient resources.

mbergman | February 22, 2013

Realize that Tesla has still not communicated with 40kwh reservation holders regarding this delay. Those who do not frequent this forum (there must be at least one or two) may still be expecting a call any day to arrange for delivery in a few weeks. I had been told my car would be one of the first 40kwh's built and that I should have it in March.

This lack of communication, from my perspective, is simply inexcusable.

We still do not know the reason for the delay. Instead we have one report from a reservation holder regarding his conversation with one Tesla rep. Given previous reports of incorrect and conflicting info given by reps, this is worthless.

We also have a bunch of pontificating from amateur financial analysts explaining why Tesla just can't afford to build these cars yet. Which is silly because, again, we still do not know the reason for the delay. (And if Tesla is delaying production to increase short term profits, that too would be inexcusable. In my world, ethics and morality and honoring commitments is still important .)

We also don't know the anticipated length of the delay. The shareholder report, as I recall, states "later this summer". Maybe it is just me, but I don't know what that means. If it were the summer now, I would understand that. Does it really mean late this summer or later this year? Damned if I know. And of course, we haven't heard anything directly from Tesla.

What would go a long way towards appeasing me, would be the following. I consider all of this to be reasonable, but, unfortunately, expect none of it to happen.

1. An apology for the appalling lack of communication and courtesy displayed towards reservation holders.
2. An explanation for the delay.
3. A current projection for the start of production.
4. Monthly status reports sent to reservation holders with updates regarding (2) and (3).
5. Production sequence number for each reservation holder. For example, I am p2748, but I do not know how many 40's are ahead of me.

I ain't holding my breath.

Longhorn92 | February 22, 2013

mbergman: Great post. I would also add a #6:

6. If delayed again as suggested in Q4 shareholder letter, what our options are at this point: wait, cancel (with deposit refund?), upgrade to 60 kWh (with or without some discount).

djm12 | February 22, 2013

I feel really bad about folks that finalized on their 40 thinking production would start in March. The right thing for Tesla to do is to provide all of them with a revised expected delivery date and 30 days to decide if they want to cancel their order and receive a full refund. Tesla should also allow these reservation holders with the option of upgrading to the 60/85.

Communication can be massively improved. It shouldn't be a state secret when the 40s, multi-color reds, or standard suspensions will start delivery. Monthly updates with brief explanation for changes would be very helpful.

I don't think any of us can speak to the delayed production being an issue of profit margins. Batteries are a very expensive component and we simply do not know the cost difference between a 40, 60 and 85kWhr battery pack.

mbergman | February 22, 2013

Actually, djm12, I'm pretty sure my signed mvpa has an estimated delivery date of December/January (2012-2013, not 2013-2014).

mpottinger | February 22, 2013

I signed an MVPA for a 40 about a month ago. Earlier this week I signed a new MVPA for a 60. I still have pre-January base pricing.

Chuck Lusin | February 22, 2013

+1 mbergman!!!!

Brian10 | February 22, 2013

mbergman +1. How hard can it be for Tesla to hire a team of 2-3 PR people to put out mbergman's suggestions? I'm in sales and learned long ago that communication with the client is the most important factor in gaining good will and closing a sale. If I have bad news or even no news for a client, I communicate the news quickly. Clients appreciate that. Blankenship has admitted in the past to having done a terrible job in communication and promised to improve. It is not hard for Tesla to keep this promise but just like the promises to deliver the 40kWh by Dec and then by March, Tesla has failed.

tshock | February 22, 2013

mbergman +1

I asked questions 1, 2 and 3 when I spoke to the Tesla employee last night. He had very little information to share. I'll send an E-mail to George this weekend and post it to this thread. That said, I'm not going to hold my breathe waiting for his response.

The fact that he communicated poorly in the Fall, acknowledged that, apologized and promised to do better only to repeat the same mistake 3 months later tells me everything I need to know.

We have a term for people like that in my organization. It's called 'gone'.

Mark K | February 22, 2013

Fix it quick guys, and turn it around.

Redeem your goodwill.

See "40's Need a Fix"

Pungoteague_Dave | February 23, 2013

I think that TM is trying to figure out how to get out of building the 40 kw cars. They don't want to be embarrassed but may have concluded that a 40 kw battery just isn't enough. The S turns out to be way too big and heavy to get the hoped range in normal use. It turns out the 60 is more like the original range hopes for the 40, and the 85 is behaving like they had hoped the 60 would.

We are all learning how these cars function in real life, including TM. It would be nice if TM communicated better, but they are in a tight spot with the 40 kw pre-orders. Elon Musk has made clear comments in recent interviews that he would not order a car without (1) air suspension, and (2) a battery bigger than 40 kw. He appears to believe these are inferior cars and below his high personal standards, using words like "it is really worth the upgrade.". On the one hand, this seems unfair and capricious treatment to the 40 kw reservation holders. On the other hand, TM doesn't want to disappoint or alienate anyone at this sensitive point in their public relations history.

TM and the 40 kw reservation holders need a graceful way out of this bind, and the best result is probably to offer the 60 kw upgrade at a substantial discount, and abandon the commuter car version of the S. As an alternative, TM could offer deferral to Gen III. This may seem like rough treatment to people with longstanding deposits, but isn't intentional, so mitigation is the way to go.

mbergman | February 23, 2013

Pungoteague_Dave -

Could you point me to a link where Elon says this? I hadn't seen this. Thanks.

"Elon Musk has made clear comments in recent interviews that he would not order a car without (1) air suspension, and (2) a battery bigger than 40 kw."

Kleist | February 23, 2013

P_D +1

Vawlkus | February 24, 2013

I'm actually not all that surprised that Tesla is having trouble with the 40 kwh battery. I mean, pulling it as an option for EU customers was a pretty clear sign that there was an issue there. I had thought it was adapting three phase charging to the smaller battery that was the issue, but I can easily see it just being the battery itself.
Given that the components in the car have to handle the larger batteries, it's probable that the same components can't perform adaquitely with the smaller battery AND meet the production requirements for the completed car (like only being able to regularly get 75 miles per charge, or the 0-60 time being 9 seconds, or something of that nature).

Brian H | February 24, 2013

If you think anyone is taking you as a source of worldly wisdom, you are quite delusional.

ChasF | February 24, 2013

Fight! Fight!

Brian H | February 24, 2013

Tesla has vastly more credibility than a probable troll. What did you say your and your "brother's" reservation sequence numbers were? Oh, that's right, you didn't. Just a pile, heaping ever higher.

tshock | February 24, 2013

As promised, here's a copy if the E-mail I sent to George Blankenship tonight. I'll post any response I receive on this thread.


I am a 40 kWh reservation holder (P613, RN005384) with a fully executed MVPA (signed 08/08/12). Last week, I read the investor newsletter dated February 20, 2013 that indicated production of 40 kWh battery pack is expected to begin later this summer.

In a December 3, 2012 E-mail regarding production start dates, you wrote:

"We will continue to provide regular updates regarding these options as each gets closer to phasing into production. We have not done a great job at all in the past regarding communication on these items. I fully acknowledge our shortfall in this area. We now have a much better understanding of what it will take to bring each of these options into production and will do a much better job of communicating about them going forward."

And yet, less than three months later, I learn of a production delay through an investor letter. That is abhorrent, atrocious and abysmal. I suggest you re-double your efforts regarding customer communication or assign that responsibility to someone better suited to the task.

Regarding the delay in the delivery of my vehicle, I am not prepared to wait until sometime this summer - approximately one year after I signed my MVPA - to find out if it will actually enter production. I am currently driving a 2001 Honda Odyssey with 187K miles. Its entirely possible that I will encounter a life ending problem with that car in the next few months.

In light of that, I would like Tesla to offer the option to terminate my MVPA and refund my deposit so that I use that $5,000 towards the purchase of another vehicle.

As an alternative to the termination of my MVPA, I would consider upgrading to a 60 kWh vehicle provided Tesla were willing to participate in the $10K up charge. I would be willing to cover half of the up charge, leaving $5K for Tesla's account.

In both of the scenarios outlined above, Tesla is out $5K. However, in one scenario there is a early reservation holder driving a 60kWh Model S, while in the other scenario there is not.

Almost four years ago, I took a leap of faith and remitted $5,000 to a relatively unknown company that promised to deliver an attractive, functional and affordable electric car. I would very much like to see that reservation through to fruition. However, in order to do that, I'll need your help. Please help me to realize my dream; please help me to acquire the car I've been waiting to purchase since April 22, 2009.

Best regard,

Tom Shock

vincent1001 | February 24, 2013

40kWh battery is not ready ? Maybe I am wrong but I hear that Toyota Rav4 EV uses Tesla's technology incluing battery setup. Is it correct ? If it is, why Tesla's 40kWh battery is not ready ? I am aware that Toyota Rav4 EV has 41.8 kWh battery and different range. Maybe they use the different battery set with Tesla ?

dudedog1 | February 24, 2013

Hi all,

Thanks for the various notes I received about our comment in the recent shareholder letter regarding delivery timing of 40 kWh battery cars.

The confusion is my fault. When I reviewed the shareholder letter, I read the portions related to my area and not the final summary at the end. In the summary it said we would be delivering 40 kWh battery cars "later this summer." That is correct for those who place a reservation now, but not for those who already have a reservation.

40 kWh battery modules are on schedule to start phasing into battery production in March. They will work their way to the vehicle production line in April and will begin final assembly into cars by the end of April. Customer deliveries will begin at the end of April or the first half of May...not "later this summer."

Sorry for the confusion. This is a few weeks after previously stated, but not a 3 to 4 month delay as shown in the shareholder letter.


nickjhowe | February 24, 2013

Thanks for the clarification George. Would be good if you had someone on 'social media triage' - a lot of folks been fretting over this one. Maybe you also got some unintended cancellations...

Brian H | February 25, 2013

Would that be as opposed to intended cancellations? |8-0

davidslagle | February 25, 2013

Dear George Blankenship, If the delay is 3-4 weeks not 3-4 months, that means the shareholder letter may be full of misleading information. As a share holder I feel misinformed about Tesla's real position. I also didn't get or see an apology by Tesla for yet - another delay. Has Tesla ever heard of communication with their customers to make sure they could feel good about their long term, interest free, high risk deposit? Lessons in leadership and honesty may be in order. We are people with feelings just like you. Treat us like it! David Slagle

davidslagle | February 25, 2013

In any business, people in charge of every department of that company make an everlasting impression on people. If Tesla moves forward with staff displaying poor performance, Tesla could acquire a poor reputation and company failure could result. Just a thought.

Brian H | February 25, 2013

Your pugnacious tone is uncalled-for. It was an inadvertent ambiguous phrasing. "Staff displaying poor performance" is OTT and insulting for the fun of it.

Chuck Lusin | February 25, 2013

Wishing that there was an ignore function!

davidslagle | February 25, 2013

George has never improved in the area of customer communication just continues to take the blame. He doesn't even share with other staff members that are taking incoming phone calls with updated information before the public has it. That's as cruel as the way he is treating eagerly awaiting and invested customers. There is no excuse for this type behavior in his position. Sucking up a poor performance rating would be better than losing your job. Change is imminent.

djm12 | February 25, 2013

I'd like to see a monthly newsletter from Tesla with a page dedicated to progress on deliveries and production forecasts. Maybe instead if blogging, one of us can create an "independent" newsletter.

nickjhowe | February 25, 2013

They just pulled the '40kwh' thread from the Bulletin Board. Hopefully they are updating it.

Longhorn92 | February 25, 2013

GeorgeB: thank you for letting us know.

Chuck Lusin | February 25, 2013


I was also looking for that thread, but could not find it.

davidslagle | February 26, 2013

I can't stress enough how canceling the Tesla S 40kWh will get me back to normal health and well being in my life. Cancellation initiated 2/26/13 11am ET with Raza in ownership experience. This eliminate anymore speculation. Now I'm positive what's in the future. I'm not getting a Tesla S 40kWh due to poor management.

Longhorn92 | February 26, 2013

@davidslagle: As one who shares your frustration with the continued lack of communication throughout the process (only 16 months of frustration for me so far vs. over 3.5 years for you), I have come incredibly close to cancelling three times in the past six months or so. I completely respect your decision, wish you well, and hope your decision is part of the wake-up call for Tesla to improve their customer service. I do think that, after they deliver cars to all the fanatics, they could have problems with future customers if they don't improve their customer service model.

That being said, I am currently sticking with my reservation simply because I cannot find a car (ICE or EV) that I would rather have. Simple as that. In fact, if I did cancel prior to production, I would probably just try to squeeze many more years out of my existing car (currently going on 10 years) given what is currently available at a gas-equivalent price range. I very much look forward to my 40 kWh Model S and very much hope the frustration level is less between now and production.

mbergman | February 26, 2013

@davidslagle -

Congratulations. I would absolutely do the same if there were a suitable ev alternative.

davidslagle | February 26, 2013

My financial well being is also being restored. Thanks for your comments and I wish you well in your pursuit of a really cool car. It was hard but I got it right.

NaderA | March 25, 2013

We selected the 40 kwh and already commited. I know this is going to sound odd, but I for one am glad that our car is delayed. We had some unplanned expenses to handle first and this delay gives us enough time to get our finances in order. I do feel like Tesla should give us the interest on our $5k loans though....

Maybe they should give us free 4 (or 8) year service plan packs.

Brian H | March 25, 2013

At current bank rates, why bother?