First fleet of 100 Mercedes-Benz Vito E-Cell electric vans covers 650,000 km in customer use; more model variants planned
Two solar power/EV charging projects at California campuses

Tesla’s Musk “highly confident” about Model S

In a conference call held before market hours on 17 January, Tesla Motors Chairman, Product Architect and CEO Elon Musk and his executive team expressed confidence in the prospects for the upcoming Model S, Model X and the company. The call was held in response to market reaction to news on Friday that two senior Tesla engineers had left the company; Tesla shares dropped 19%.

Musk said that he was “highly confident” about three things:

  1. Tesla will meet or do better than the delivery date for the first Model S cars in July;
  2. The company will sell at least 20,000 cars next year; and
  3. It will see a gross margin of at least 25%.

Musk said that the news of the departures had been misconstrued, and that a “slightly positive” development therefore came across as a “slightly negative” development. As companies grow and mature, he said, different people are suited for changing roles.

The Tesla Motors executive team also said they were confident about each of their areas of responsibility.

Tesla received some 8,000 reservations for the Model S by the end of 2011; the limited-edition (1,000 units) Model S Signature is already fully reserved for the US, according to the company.

The Model S offers three battery options and starting prices for different ranges:

  • 40 kWh, $49,900 (after $7,500 Federal tax credit)
  • 60 kWh, $59,900 (after $7,500 Federal tax credit)
  • 85 kWh, $69,900 (after $7,500 Federal tax credit)
  • 85 kWh Performance, $84,900 (after $7,500 Federal tax credit)
  • >



Musk is highly confident in everything he does, so if he were not highly confident, then you would know there were major problems brewing.

Good to hear they are still on track.

People leave for various reasons - if you do a good job, you attract the interest of other companies that want to hire you away. Or you finished the developmental aspect of the job and the thought of mundane production doesn't excite you anymore.

And then there is the negative aspect - you lose faith in the product and think it will bomb and you get out while you can.

If they are truly on schedule, then it doesn't sound like this last possibility is the reason for the departures.


With the market dropping over two guys changing employment - no wonder the 2000's are a loss.

Nurturing a (esp. young) company through investment is meant to be long term(years). Now, everyone acts like the 600X average employee wage CEOs who raid US firms.


The possibility/option of three (3) battery size (and e-range) is an excellent idea that other PHEV/BEV manufacturers should copy.

Fully modular batteries could offer 2 to 8 (10 to 12 Kwh) plug-in modules to satisfy end user specific needs and pocket books.


Harvey and I have been on the modular incremental battery idea for a while now and this is the next best thing. Buy it from the factory in small, medium or large.

I would like to see commuters lease these and carpool. They would save so much on energy that it would help pay the lease.


The reason modular is a bit early for EVs is no one really knows how well these things will perform yet. The Tesla S battery is flat, like a table top and provides structural elements to the chassis. This is as close to modular as we'll see for a while.

Model S is already the leading EV as far as interest and public adoption - and they haven't shipped yet. A huge win for Tesla and for the EV industry. Silicon Valley continues to lead the electrification transition.

The comments to this entry are closed.