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Customers will need to pay more for their reserved Tesla Roadster or lose the vehicle

The sexy and all-electric Tesla Roadster was the poster child for the green car movement when first announced. This was despite the fact that the electric sports car was far outside the realm of affordability for the masses.

The struggling Tesla Motors has put its foot in another pothole on the road to green car salvation by raising the price of many of the options on its vehicle. The problem is that an unknown number of Tesla reservation holders have received letters and phone calls telling them that the deposits of up to $50,000 placed for their new electric sports cars would no longer hold their rides for them.

The problem is that the buyers who had placed deposits were told that they would need to pay more for the vehicles that they had already ordered and optioned to their liking. The price of a Roadster with the standard feature set has been increased by $6,700.

The cost of the High Performance Charger that allows owners to recharge the batteries in the Roadster in as little as 3.5-hours was increased in price to $3,000 according to Autoblog. The previously stock set of alloy wheels is now a $2,300 upgrade.

Tesla is reported to claim that the price increases on the options are needed for the company to become profitable faster. This is despite the fact that these owners had previously been told that their order was accepted and that their cars were locked for production.

There is no word on price increases for the new Tesla Roadster Sport that was recently announced.

Updated 1/21/2009

Tesla contacted DailyTech to provide an official statement on the price increase we reported yesterday.

Tesla announced a $40 million financing round in November and is not running out of cash. Rather, it is increasing options prices for at least 350 customers who have not yet taken delivery of 2008 model-year vehicles in order to improve margins on each car delivered. Healthy margins make the company more attractive to the next round of investors -- whether they're venture capitalists, shareholders or the federal government in the form of low-interest loans -- and thereby help ensure the long-term viability of the company.

Tesla is fortunate and rare among automakers today in that it has sold out its production run through October. Waiting to increase options pricing would have resulted in many months of lower margins. Fortunately, many of Tesla's early customers understand this and have been very outspoken in their support for this difficult but necessary decision. No one at Tesla made this decision lightly, and we provided customers in-depth data so they could understand why Tesla did it. Ultimately it will help keep the company viable for decades to come so we can keep longstanding customers happy and greatly expand the number of vehicles we sell.

Tesla announced a $40 million financing round in November and is not running out of cash. Rather, it is increasing options prices for at least 350 customers who have not yet taken delivery of 2008 model-year vehicles in order to improve margins on each car delivered. Healthy margins make the company more attractive to the next round of investors -- whether they're venture capitalists, shareholders or the federal government in the form of low-interest loans -- and thereby help ensure the long-term viability of the company.

Tesla is fortunate and rare among automakers today in that it has sold out its production run through October. Waiting to increase options pricing would have resulted in many months of lower margins. Fortunately, many of Tesla's early customers understand this and have been very outspoken in their support for this difficult but necessary decision. No one at Tesla made this decision lightly, and we provided customers in-depth data so they could understand why Tesla did it. Ultimately it will help keep the company viable for decades to come so we can keep longstanding customers happy and greatly expand the number of vehicles we sell.



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RE: how long...
By joemoedee on 1/20/2009 12:04:50 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, but there's one big problem...

Motorcycle != Car

The fuel consumption of Motorcycles is pretty low to begin with, so this doesn't offer up much in the lines of improving the whole fuel consumption issue on the whole.


RE: how long...
By Gul Westfale on 1/20/2009 12:54:15 PM , Rating: 3
there are four major differences in the idea/execution though:

1) the bike guys built their machine from scratch so it would be extremely light. their bike weighs only 140 pounds. the tesla people simply stuck batteries into an existing design, resulting in a 3000 pound tow-seater. how efficient is that?

2) the bike guys invented a way of packing the batteries so they don't need to be cooled, whereas tesla use a watercooling system (which is, obviously, also powered by the car and therefore wastes more energy).

3) the bike does what its creators say it does.

4) whereas the tesla is considerably more expensive than a two seat sports car (corvette, boxster), the bike only costs $7450... that is a bit more than a japanese motocrosser but it's not tragic... a street version is coming soon, btw.

here is a review:
http://www.motorcycle.com/manufacturer/2008-zero-x...


RE: how long...
By gstrickler on 1/21/2009 7:08:50 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
the tesla people simply stuck batteries into an existing design,
No, they designed it to be an electric from the start. They did purchase some components from other manufacturers and/or contract out some of the design/manufacture, but it's not an existing design.


RE: how long...
By Gul Westfale on 1/21/2009 10:49:37 PM , Rating: 2
yes it is... it's simply a lotus elise with batteries in it. that is precisely why top gear compared it to an elise and found hat the extra weight is quite bad for the handling.


RE: how long...
By Reclaimer77 on 1/20/2009 2:23:16 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The fuel consumption of Motorcycles is pretty low to begin with, so this doesn't offer up much in the lines of improving the whole fuel consumption issue on the whole.


And the goal of the $100k + Tesla was less fuel consumption "on the whole" ?


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