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Print 22 comment(s) - last by lagomorpha.. on Apr 3 at 11:10 AM

Tesla said only 5 percent of customers chose the small battery option of 40 kWh, which is not enough to enter it into production

Tesla Motors may not have had the easiest time with its Model S sedan, the vehicle has exceeded sales targets and the company is now profitable. 

Tesla announced today that Model S sales reached 4,750, exceeding the sales outlook of 4,500 posted in the February shareholder letter. 

This has led to a change in Tesla's first quarter guidance, where the company has announced full profitability in both GAAP and non-GAAP. 

"I am incredibly proud of the Tesla team for their outstanding work. There have been many car startups over the past several decades, but profitability is what makes a company real. Tesla is here to stay and keep fighting for the electric car revolution," said Elon Musk, Tesla Motors co-founder and CEO. "I would also like to thank our customers for their passionate support of the company and the car. Without them, we would not be here."


Tesla Model S

Tesla made another Model S announcement today regarding the battery pack. According to the automaker, only 5 percent of customers chose the small battery option of 40 kWh, which is not enough to enter it into production. 

Hence, these customers will receive the 60 kWh version that has been “software limited” to 40 kWh. While capacity will be limited to 40 kWh, customers will still be able to take advantage of the quicker acceleration and higher top speed afforded by the larger battery pack.

In addition, Tesla said all 60 kWh vehicles have been built with Supercharger hardware included, meaning that customers can drive longer distances by stopping at a Supercharger recharging station.

Tesla encountered some rough patches earlier this year, such as when a journalist from The New York Times took a test drive this winter and reported a horrific venture. More specifically, he said that the Model S didn't have the range Tesla said it did, and ended up on a flatbed truck at the end of the trip. Musk and the NYT journalist (John Broder) ended up feuding over the matter, with most people siding with Musk.

Tesla also recently announced that there would be a delay to production of the Model X. Tesla had hoped to begin production of the vehicle this year, but those plans have been put off until late 2014 (meaning deliveries will likely be pushed to 2015). 

However, Tesla also has much to celebrate. Not only is the Model S taking off and the company is now profitable, but it recently announced that it will be able to pay off its $465 million government loan within five years. 

Just last month, Tesla said it was shipping over 500 Model S EVs weekly. 

Source: Tesla Motors



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Jailbreak
By jr9k on 4/1/2013 11:51:42 AM , Rating: 2
How long will it take to jailbreak that battery?




RE: Jailbreak
By monomer on 4/1/2013 11:56:16 AM , Rating: 2
Voiding the warranty on your car is a different story than voiding the warranty on your phone.


RE: Jailbreak
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 4/1/2013 12:03:48 PM , Rating: 2
I was thinking that myself... but given how much monitoring/logging software is on the Model S (as witnessed by the NYT incident) Tesla could find out pretty quickly if you hacked the software to enable what is essentially a $10,000 battery upgrade.

You probably could do it, but as monomer said, your warranty would be shot to hell. And with something relatively "new/untested" like the Model S, that would be incredibly foolish.


RE: Jailbreak
By Spuke on 4/1/2013 1:01:22 PM , Rating: 2
So it's cheaper to limit the 60kWh battery to 40kWh than to produce a 40kWh battery? Why didn't they do that from the get go?


RE: Jailbreak
By Mint on 4/1/2013 1:38:38 PM , Rating: 2
Only because of the low volume (5% is about 1000 cars). The cost of making modifications to the assembly process would take a big bite out of the battery savings.

On top of that, if they built it, they need new EPA certification for range/efficiency, they dilute the brand a bit (the "slowest" one would be 6.5s instead of the current 5.9s for the 60kWh), they need another model for documentation, the smaller battery would go through more cycles for the same range and thus could affect model reliability scores, etc.

Personally, I think they should instead seriously consider building a 30kWh PHEV with a tiny generator in the frunk, maybe even natural gas if they insist on being gasoline free. They'll sell every EV they can build for a while, so they don't need it right now, but it really is the next step for going mass market.


RE: Jailbreak
By CharonPDX on 4/1/2013 3:13:33 PM , Rating: 2
In addition, it will allow for paid software upgrades to the full capacity.

If/when they start their "quick battery swap" program, it will allow for more regularity across the line (take in the limited-to-40 battery and perform the firmware swap to make it a full 60, etc.)


RE: Jailbreak
By lagomorpha on 4/2/2013 11:56:42 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
it will allow for paid software upgrades to the full capacity.


BRILLIANT!

Tesla Owner calls Tesla dealership: "My battery is empty again, I'm stuck on the side of the road!"
Dealer: "You know, for a mere $10,000 we can remotely enable the extra battery capacity"


RE: Jailbreak
By btc909 on 4/1/2013 3:20:16 PM , Rating: 2
Totally agree. For lower end models offer a generator with no connection to the drive wheels to recharge the battery. I'm sure Tesla can figure out how to make it very quiet as well.


RE: Jailbreak
By ritualm on 4/1/2013 2:14:12 PM , Rating: 2
Considering the amount of bureaucratic red tape involved, and considering there's a slightly larger version that already has all of that stuff out of the way, why not? Besides, the chances of the customer "jailbreaking" their 40kWh Model S to operate as a bona fide 60kWh model without tipping off Tesla's support folks are very slim.

Chip companies do that all the time.


RE: Jailbreak
By Dr. Kenneth Noisewater on 4/1/2013 1:06:57 PM , Rating: 2
And will there be a legal unlock process?

Me, I want to know if the battery is upgradable for future tech, and if so, will those upgrades unlock performance in the motor as the voltage goes up..


RE: Jailbreak
By Mint on 4/1/2013 1:41:31 PM , Rating: 2
According to the article they'll already get the faster performance of the 60kWh model.


"If they're going to pirate somebody, we want it to be us rather than somebody else." -- Microsoft Business Group President Jeff Raikes














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