## Tesla Update on the Roadster

##### 27 March 2007

Tesla Motors has assembled the first Validation Prototype of the Tesla electric Roadster at the Hethel facility in the UK, which it then airlifted to the San Carlos, Calif., workshop to commence system testing.

Validation Prototypes (VPs) are the second generation of prototypes, succeeding the first generation Engineering Prototypes (EPs). Although many of the EPs are still undergoing testing, VPs incorporate many changes from EP learning.

Providing the update on the company’s site, Malcolm Powell, VP of Vehicle Integration, wrote:

Having been involved in previous vehicle programs, I often get comments from people who see the first prototype (family and friends included, although they should know better by now) along the lines of: “surely it’s nearly finished, so why does it take so long to get to production?” Despite the use of modern computer systems to design and predict the performance of the components, it isn’t until you actually build and test a vehicle that you find out many of the detailed tweaks required to meet the quality, reliability, and performance targets expected of today’s motor cars. Thus the need for both EPs and VPs.

From our photographs, the EP & VP cars will look pretty identical, but very few of the newly engineered parts remain unchanged, whether through detail-level physical change or manufacturing process. In fact, I’m struggling to think of one.

The major new technology systems have not escaped the process of evolution, either. Our Power Electronics Module (PEM), motor, and ESS have all gone through significant detailed design changes to improve performance, reliability, and manufacturability. Continued testing and refinement of these elements will occur through the VP phase.

The Tessla is not a success, unless you consider the Spruce Goose an aviation success. These are $100k+ toys that are not competing in the same markets as GM et al. These vehicles and all the concept cars in the world are going to have minimal green impact. Let's not waste any more time and effort on them and get back to the real world. Let's see, they've created a car company out of nothing in a market notorious for squished startups. They have a product which most doubters would have said was impossible if you just published the specs. They've got a lot of attention for electric cars. They've gone a long way in dispelling the golf cart image. They've done it without government handouts. They are planning on moving down market within two years. At this rate they'll have the "white star" out before the Volt sees the light of day. If nothing else they help to embarrass the big companies into doing something. So far I'd call that success. I agree with the people who say that GM or Ford simply do not want to go into this direction unless someone will take them there kicking and screaming. I dont think they can, it is simply not in their system. For them, a car is something w an engine that growls, something mechanical with lots of moving parts. That is how they think, they simply are not capable to move out of that box. Very few companies can actually reinvent themselves, go beyond what they were originally created for. They will wither and ultimately be absorbed into the ones that will have gone the more revolutionary way and once encapsulated there, they will gradually die. Kudos to the early adopters whom embrace this "reverse transformation" of the ICE vehicle back to the EV. It was the old wink, wink, nod, nod, that kept this, business as usual model, rolling from the outset of the last century. Kind of a perpetual motion bussiness model on a dead end street. If the Big Three, on their OPEC tanker floating down their oil revenue stream, get stranded on one of these startups electric sandbars, just watch how fast their suppliers jump ship to embrace the paradigm shift. The longer ICE vehicle suppliers, stay the course, the better the near term revenue extraction will be, to bolster their profit margins on Large inefficient vehicle designs that are already in the pipeline to manufacture and sell. But, when oil spikes to$80+barrel & $5.00/gal. this summer, after another escallation in the mideast conflict, those guzzlers will stick to dealer lots like the US is stuck in the Middle East. Tar Baby still needs his bottle and it is buried under the "Sands of Time", a half a world away. More US taxpayer bailouts are comming to a US auto maker near you! Time to batten down the hatches, suck in the gut and weather this looming storm out. Kudos to the early adopters whom embrace this "reverse transformation" of the ICE vehicle back to the EV. It was the old wink, wink, nod, nod, that kept this, business as usual model, rolling from the outset of the last century. Kind of a perpetual motion bussiness model on a dead end street. If the Big Three, on their OPEC tanker floating down their oil revenue stream, get stranded on one of these startups electric sandbars, just watch how fast their suppliers jump ship to embrace the paradigm shift. The longer ICE vehicle suppliers, stay the course, the better the near term revenue extraction will be, to bolster their profit margins on Large inefficient vehicle designs that are already in the pipeline to manufacture and sell. But, when oil spikes to$80+barrel & $5.00/gal. this summer, after another escallation in the mideast conflict, those guzzlers will stick to dealer lots like the US is stuck in the Middle East. Tar Baby still needs his bottle and it is buried under the "Sands of Time", a half a world away. More US taxpayer bailouts are comming to a US auto maker near you! Time to batten down the hatches, suck in the gut and weather this looming storm out. Floatplane: Have you been following the developement of the Tesla at all? They appear to me at least to have a vaild business plan for the vehicle, and seem to be doing most, if not all things right. Where is your criticism stemming from? Joe: I pose the same question to you as I did to Floatplane: Where is your criticism stemming from? GM and Ford have a bigger audience to entertain than Tesla. GM has publicly announced they are working on a Plug-in EV range extender with the Volt. Ford has a similar EV range extender in the works based on the Airstream concept. It may be true that Tesla helped to open their eyes again to the mass market EV, but I don't subscribe to the notion they are all in bed with big oil. If that is the case, then ALL of the automakers would be in bed with Big Oil since NONE of them offer an All-EV. That would mean that everyone's darling, Toyota, whom we all know can do no wrong, would be buddy-buddy with Big Oil too. I don't think any of that is the case. Schmeltz. I think you just hit the nail on its head ! Tesla is as proven a seller as the Delorean.Continued testing and refinement after virtually every original part of the prototype has been changed,redesigned,reengineered.This is a niche car and it sounds like success is giving them a run for the money. God bless them and I wish success on every independent pursuing innovative electric propulsion.Their struggles and the fact that others start with buses,work trucks,garbage trucks, and Jay Lenomobiles seems to indicate to me that a mass produced,reliable Volt type vehicle is a major undertaking. If Gm or Ford produce 30 or 40 mile electric range I will beat a path to their door.If freds garage and sewing machine repair shop delivers the goods then i am their customer. Electrification will eventually lead to a broader variety of manufacturers.You may be able to pick a Toyota or dodge frame and select a sanyo,phoenix or Guangdong electric propulsion system on line and have it shipped to dealer or direct to home.I dont know where this all ends but Im willing to bet the industry of today will be revamped and commoditized just as the old IBM,Apple computer industry was.Dell mini coupe anyone?Lenovo sedan mebbe? I have seen nothing here or elsewhere that says this is going to be a mass-produced car. I have seen nothing that says any of these vehicles are intended for anyone other than millionaires who don't even ask the price. It may be a wonderful car, it may be a green car, but in this form it can't have any appreciable impact on the environment at large. It's not really even a stepping stone to such a product. As such it is a distraction of "something bright and shiny" (as Dory would say). Go ahead and pat yourselves on the back, I'll be trying to figure how to build a better world for the other 99.9999% of the population. float: The roadster will be the first stepping stone to a larger solution if the "white star" (itself another stepping stone) is successful. They are actually doing something. Massive car companies aren't built in a day. Any pat on the back is for them, not for us. You keep on figuring. Floatplane: Are we talking about the same car? I'm talking about Tesla, the new EV start-up from Silicon Valley, California. Have you visited www.teslamotors.com? Have you visited any green car websites over the past year and a half? I think if you had done any one of those things, you would see the Roadster, is figured to be the first product in a line-up of a series of different all electric vehicles, one of which is a sedan for the masses. The people at Tesla have been very forthright with this aspect of their business plan. Yes, the car shown above is an expensive sports car, but it is a necessary component to raise capital, as well as awareness of the modern EV, to set-up the world for reception of mass market products. Does that help clear things up a little? What is impressive about tesla is the reasonable price (yes, 90k is reasonable) great performance and 200-250 mile range. I don't understand why other electrics are stuck with 25-50 mph limits and 50-100 mile ranges. In germany you can spend 25-38 thousand on an electric tricycle that goes 50mph and has about 60 mile range. But if you get into an accident you are meat. Once we see sustained fuel prices above$80 / barrel, the market will boom. Especially if the dollar keeps falling.