It's funny because they still haven't contacted me, nor did they contact anyone else I know who placed the reservation. Worked out fine for me, I've been mostly in Japan, and now that I'll be back in Seattle I'm planning to contact them and really curious what they say.
Everyone else got their car eventually but had to call and check multiple times. To each person they apologized and said it must be an oversight.
The whole thing leaves a really bad impression of the company. I wonder how they account for the money on their books over the past four years.
Here in nl the law is pretty strict about downpayments, if you accept a downpayment you have to keep the item in reserve for that particular customer. That's easy enough to check with a vehicle (they have a VIN after all).
At a minimum you should get some compensation for financing them to the tune of $5K over a longer period of time.
I'd bet that if Tesla took reservations in NL at all that they complied with the local law. For example, in the US it doesn't turn into a firm order until you go through the final feature pick right before production. Before that either side can cancel for any reason. That might make it not a downpayment in NL.
Have to keep "assets = liabilities + equity" balanced!
It wouldn't surprise me if this becomes the norm in any 'place in line' list with high value items. Companies would love the ability to offer the chance to consumers to put a down payment for a place in line while at the same time removing any liability in case they have to break that agreement.
I'm baffled at why anyone would think it should be otherwise. Guaranteeing a strict order would be essentially impossible, and it would mean that a problem with a single unit would delay the entire group of people behind it.
Since this flexibility goes both ways (you can cancel at any time for any reason and get a refund), I don't see what's so weird or upsetting about this.
But that said - there's been 70Ds been showing up for a while, so I suspect it was just just done for the initial rush of orders.
Anyone ordering this has to be careful what they say online about Tesla using their real name. Tesla has historically gone after critics pretty heavily (both professionals, and random members of the public).
In particular if it is delayed and you call them out, expect to be removed.
It is just a company (and a CEO) that doesn't like criticism and doesn't handle it at all well. They overreact and you don't want to be on the receiving end of that.
And let's talk about the specific case: Tesla started an event either 1.5 hours late or 1 hour late (depending on who you believe), didn't apologise, and then when someone criticizes them for it the CEO cancelled their pre-order and "banned" them from owning a Tesla.
All of the Tesla fans love to blame all of this stuff on everyone else (the person who got banned, Top Gear, NYT, etc) but ultimately the point still stands that Tesla actively goes after people who offend them. My only point was that it could happen to YOU or ME if we're not careful.
Considering Top Gear scripted it out to make the car seem shitty why would you be surprised that they tried to sue?
> had a massive battle with the New York Times, because the NYT instead of publishing a puff piece published an article critical of Tesla's Model S.
Um, yeah, the review wasn't good from a review-standing-on-its-own standpoint. There was much back and forth but ultimately the review was inaccurate / imprecise in many areas.
> All of the Tesla fans love to blame all of this stuff on everyone else (the person who got banned, Top Gear, NYT, etc) but ultimately the point still stands that Tesla actively goes after people who offend them. My only point was that it could happen to YOU or ME if we're not careful.
Yup, fair enough. But also keep in mind that, as an owner of a company, you have the right to "fire the customer". After working in retail there were plenty of times when a customer, even rightly so, criticized things you do but ultimately you can't just keep them around because they're disrupting others (one reason among many, many reasons). I'm not sure if there was ever more to the story than was published or not (I've seen plenty of people tell a completely different story after leaving our store to other people). It didn't seem like a nice thing to do but I also don't care that much that Musk did it.
Top Gear is a scripted comedy show. Tesla thought (and you seem to think) that Top Gear is a serious car review program, it hasn't been that for at least twenty years.
Of course Top Gear are going to make a joke about an electric car running out of juice, that's the obvious go to joke to make. You cannot sue someone because you don't find them funny.
It just comes across as petty or out of touch on Tesla's part.
> Um, yeah, the review wasn't good from a review-standing-on-its-own standpoint. There was much back and forth but ultimately the review was inaccurate / imprecise in many areas.
There was a lot of back and forth, follow up articles, a rebuttal, a Tesla piece. But even after all of that a lot of the issues still remain. The way Tesla reacted to the article was completely over the top however, that was more the issue, they could have issued a rebuttal but instead they went nuclear right out of the gate.
> It didn't seem like a nice thing to do but I also don't care that much that Musk did it.
I don't care either, I just don't like what it represents. Tesla does something wrong (which even they admit they did), someone criticizes them, and they're banned from buying a Tesla.
You can argue there is more to the story, but Musk/Tesla never said there was and the blogger directly said there wasn't. They just said they got a call notifying them to the ban/cancellation out of the blue. Boom, done. Musk hasn't gone on record saying he was rude on the call, or whatever, people just make that up to justify why Tesla/Musk is right.
Yes, and the rebuttal, and the follow up. Have you?
> They flat out lied about a ton of things(which is why Tesla added logging after the TopGear incident).
I suggest you go back and look at it. It isn't as black and white as you seem to believe. Tesla muddied the water, in particular as few read the rebuttal or follow up, but ultimately the original article is still an interesting look at what owning a Tesla was like in 2013.
Plus the Top Gear thing was OBVIOUSLY comical. Since Top Gear is a comedy show after all. Tesla just had an incredibly thin skin about it or didn't understand what Top Gear was, the segment was entirely predictable.
This is not obvious to a casual viewer of the show. I've watched a few episodes from time to time and it seemed like a show about reviewing cars to me.
According to the NYT themselves they were imprecise and made mistakes. Considering that I don't know why a flawed review from 2013 would be a good indicator of anything.
It is the classical "let me nitpit tiny details and then claim your entire point is wrong" arguing technique. Go look at the original NYT article, then read this rebuttal, and tell me that most of the major complaints in the NYT article don't stand.
There's a huge difference between 60,70 and 80 mph when it comes to efficiency. I can drop from 60-70 and see a 30% increase in my range due to v^2.
Again, as far as I know that happened exactly once. Are there more examples, or not?
That has happened more than once, yes.
First off, they're not a public figure, they were privately buying a Tesla vehicle for private use and posted on a personal Twitter account.
Secondly, that's a really weak line. Why is there even one rule for mistreating "public figures" and another line for everyone else? Why do you assume someone with less social power will be treated better?
Honestly all you just did was admit that Tesla was in the wrong. Claiming they are allowed to act badly because "public figure something something" is nonsensical.
It's pretty obvious from the conversation here that you don't really care about Tesla canceling reservations, you just have an axe to grind, and saw the cancelled reservation as a wedge you could use to insert yourself into the conversation. You posted under the guise of warning people not to be critical in public, but you don't care about that, you just want to point out Tesla's bad behavior towards the New York Times and Top Gear.
Note: I'm not defending Tesla's behavior towards NYT and Top Gear. I just don't see any justification for your claim that it's "more likely" you'll lose your spot because of public criticism on Twitter, and that you should "expect to be removed" if you complain about delays.
I do. They have previously done exactly that. That's my only point, Tesla has a history of attacking critics including cancelling pre-orders.
My only "axe to grind" is for Tesla to stop attacking critics and to instead go after their argument. If Tesla disagrees with a negative review/experience, that's fine, but don't try to punish people for raising issues.
I get your overall point, I just think you're going too far with it and being rather disingenuous when you warn people that their reservations will be cancelled if they complain.
They were acting as a private individual who turned up at a Tesla event, it started late, they complained and got banned.
Their job happens to be venture capitalist but they weren't acting in that capacity. The vehicle was private purchase for private use, and they complained on a personal twitter account.
Do you have a source on that? Considering how many BMW dealerships there are I am highly skeptical.
Would genuinely love to hear about companies that don't require this deposit.
No rental car reservations in the US require a deposit while reserving a car.
If you want a Model 3 the $1000 deposit is the fastest way to accomplish that goal.
Existing customers will get priority. I have to say, I did lol when reading that but it makes sense to give a little goodie to your existing customers.
Therefore, the fastest way to buy a Model S is to live in the US, immigrating as necessary, buy a Model S and order the most expensive Model 3 you can configure ;)
But in 95% of cases, it works out such that you have a slow but working internet connection. So even though you are not guaranteed a spot, chances are you will still get it sooner than someone who didn't reserve at all.
I'd be expecting another 50-100k S/X delivered between now and 2017-12-31 when I predict Model 3 will start shipping. Probably every Model 3 shipped in 2018 will be to either an existing Tesla owner, or someone who does an in-person deposit on 3/31. I would be amazed if they don't do 200k units on 4/1 alone.
Maybe they'll be awesome and as soon as they start shipping, allow anyone with a valid deposit to immediately pay the full amount? Or does it go by delivery?
Ultimately it's not really worth doing too much over $3750 one-time in 2 years, but I'm still willing to wake up slightly early for it.
They've probably sold around 60-70,000 in the US so far. I think the current rate is around 50,000/year (they project 100,000 in 2016, and the US is roughly 50%). Even if 2017 is a substantial increase, it seems unlikely that they'll hit the 200,000 mark before 2018.
Seems worth sitting outside with an iPad for a few hours in a week to maximize my chances of $7500 vs. $3750 in 2 years, though.
It is by quarter when purchased, not by ordinal.
If they hit 200k in first quarter of 2018, you are fine as long as you purchase during that quarter (or the next I believe).
The next two quarters it goes down to 50% and down to 25% for the next two.
If California is getting them in late 2017, it'll be years before I might be able to buy one in Pennsylvania. Bummer.
Looks like it'll be a Chevrolet Bolt replacing my Leaf later this year. Same price tag, same 200+ mile range, can't be too upset.
I loved the test drive and love the idea of going electric for 95% of my use (and possibly just renting a car for longer road trips).
But I would definitely not buy a Leaf unless you're a 2-car home and have something else for a backup and long trips.
If you have any fun with your car, as opposed to driving in eco-mode all the time, never accelerating hard, coasting down hills... you won't get the rated range. If it's cold out, you won't get the rated range. If you like to blast the heat and A/C, you won't get the rated range. Which means you will limit yourself to a 20-30 mile radius to feel safe, which is much less than the 80-100+ miles the sticker says you'll get.
The battery also degrades pretty fast. You can't tell what you're buying used unless you buy a copy of Leaf Spy Pro for your phone and hook up a bluetooth OBDII scanner to the car to actually find out how much of its battery life is usable. My 2012 model has 16kWh of the original 24kWh available for driving, though the dashboard shows 11/12 battery life "pips" remaining. That means I get a max of 70-some miles driving conservatively in good weather. It'll only go down the longer I own it, which is why I'm looking forward to that Chevy Bolt, hopefully before winter when my usable range drops even more.
But from what you're saying, it sounds even worse!
We really aren't expecting to do any road trips with the car, instead opting to rent a car for that occasional weekend trip. Seems like a good balance. Why choose a car for the 3 road trips you take every year?
I already didn't expect the Model 3 to really ship to 2018, and since I'm in Massachusetts, if/when we get them they will be maybe a year later than the west coast.
I have the option of extending my lease a bit, but I don't think it will go out far enough to include the Model 3. If the Bolt arrives and is as good as the Volt has been, I will likely get that instead.
FWIW, driving electric has been incredible. Quiet, smooth, and really get acceleration (100% torque when you step on the accelerator). We've got a dozen charging stations at work so I do almost all my charging there. There's been no maintenance cost on the car so far; $0 total in almost 2 years.
My normal commute is 16 miles round trip, and I regularly get 4 days out of a charge in the summer and 3 in the winter before deciding (not "needing") to charge.
We also have my wife's 11 year-old CR-V, so I've never felt really "stuck" with the range. The one day I needed the 90 mile range for 2 factory tours, I drove carefully and extra-economically, but also had several charging stations picked out to bail out to.
I'm happy with mine, but would be less so if it was our only car.
It's basically just a game to bump up quarterly numbers. If you're delivering cars that only take a day or two in transit before delivery, your numbers look better than if they spend days or weeks on a truck or train making their way to the other side of the country. This game doesn't pay off as much if you're making people wait years.
Admittedly, if completely locked out of the control system, what Tesla is doing may be more effective at blocking the aftermarket. But at some point, someone will just rip out the whole processing unit and replace it with a homegrown solution. The refrain has been "oh, all these sensors and who knows and ...". But the aftermarket keeps getting smarter.
People are starting to learn and there are still a lot of hold outs who believe charging Lithium-ions will burn your boat/RV/car down unless you are super, extra cautious.
Electric cars are easily very lethal just by touching the wrong thing, or accidentally piercing a battery pack.
Someone accidentally steps on the brake pedal while your near a HV line(400V can jump a bit) to one of the two motors? Yikes.
Besides, a lot of the failures are in low-voltage systems like door handles that are covered by a much shorter warranty than the drivetrain and HV.
But if you haven't cut those loops and you're taking the car apart and haven't isolated things yourself, there's nothing preventing the car from closing those contactors and energizing the high-voltage system while you're elbow-deep in it.
When you step on the brake(with weight in the seat) you can hear the HV contactor engage(it's a soft thunk). In the case of emergency workers there's one of 3 specific places they must cut through in order to close the contact, otherwise the car is live.
I think the chances of some random joe forgetting to safe the system are higher(I'm just doing a door repair, I don't need to safe the system).
I'm surprised we haven't seen someone killed yet with a few of the battery pack teardowns that's happened.
As for people getting killed, I think the pack is hard enough to get into that people who don't know what they're doing are mostly discouraged before they get to the dangerous part. Maybe.
People shouldn't be allowed to go under vehicles to repair them. In fact changing a tire with a jack is very dangerous too.
Your car doesn't go from weighing light as a feather to 4000lbs at the speed of light when two pieces of metal that you can't see connect.
There's a reason you should have a healthy respect of high voltage lines, there's no visual indicator that they are energized. At 400V anything that's unshielded will also jump a non-trivial distance.
Do you also watch an old Bakelite valve operated UHF television because Samsung says you can't open up their 70" OLED Flatscreen without voiding the warranty? Valve TVs were always burning out and needing repair. Much like internal combustion engine vehicles.
If its a hobby, sure, buy a '66 Mustang. Otherwise "I buy internal combustion engines and transmissions, rather than electric cars, so that I can save money on repairs and maintenance" seems somewhat problematic.
Now...which store? Burlingame is probably the most convenient for me, but driving down to the Fremont factory seems maybe more appropriate. Not sure which locations would be most amenable to "arrive hours early" -- probably not Stanford Shopping Center. There's a 24h Safeway a couple blocks from the El Camino Palo Alto location.
It would be entertaining to have some kind of HN meetup in line at a Tesla store.
Maybe I'll trade in my 15 year old SUV for a Tesla Model 3 when they hit used car lots.
I guess you could argue that Tesla will try to do the Apple thing and not support older versions of devices, but 50000$ cars and 500$ phones are different beasts.
Generally speaking, highly integrated ICE cars are quickly approaching the complexity of Teslas anyway.
On the other hand, a tesla is basically 1-2 motors and a big battery bank. No engines, crankshafts, pistons, sparkplugs, radiators, alternators, exhaust pipes and sensors, catalytic convertors, oil pans... I still have some faith that the fundamental simplification of electric drivetrains will result in longer lived vehicles.
A car is network of serious computing, including proprietary API's, busses, and signed firmware. You might change the tires yourself but you won't be putting a third-party sensor in there. The talk of bricking your car is no joke.
See also John Deere giving its farmer customers a hard time about self servicing big tractors.
The only question is, does the customer have the right to tinker?
If Tesla keeps their cars as draconian DRMed as they have been, then you never actually own the Tesla in the exact same thought process that you don't own an iphone.
It's a tautology: as technology becomes more complex to build, it becomes more complex to rebuild. Of course, a portion of the advancement of a technology should be dedicated to reducing that growth in difficulty – the constant self-inspection being one example.
Even if it seems a bit presumptive or shocking now, do we have any reason to believe that this isn't the inevitable future of hyperadvanced cars?
Whether by necessity or choice, U.S. motorists are holding onto their cars for longer than ever, with the age of the average vehicle on the road at a record-high 10.8 years, according to the research company R.L. Polk in Southfield Mich. By comparison, the average life expectancy of a new car in 1930 was a scant 6.75 years. Fortunately, today’s cars are more than up to the task of going the distance.
It doesn't actually argue that the Model S won't be able to have a longer lifetime than its predecessors (we don't know because there aren't any old ones).
The article says that the lack of DIY maintainability implies that the lifetime will be limited, but DIY maintainability has always been going down and the cost of service has always been going up – yet the lifespan of vehicles has also always been going up.
Edit: And as an aside, some of the stuff brought up here is pretty ridiculous sounding. Like the lack of diagnostics sent to the OBD-II.
I'm sorry but the article is a lot more than just DIY mechanics...
>According to the US DOT, the average age of cars on the road in 2015 was 11.4 years - and this has been steadily increasing over time. So the question shouldn't be, "How easy is it to maintain a Model S in 4 years" - it should be, "Can they be reasonably maintained to survive 20 or 30 years on the road?"
It is definitely more difficult to work on a new car than one from the 60s or 70s, and despite that the Average LifeSpan of a Vehicle has increased.
Plug in, pull the codes, replace a part, clear the codes is a lot easier than the old days of diagnosing carburetor issues, changing/adjusting points, etc.
Where it's harder is when you need something that is now locked down, but for regular maintenance activities (as opposed to modifications for more power), that is fairly rare in my experience, wrenching on my own cars for about 30 years.
It's more difficult and expensive to work on a new car than old ones, yet the lifespans have been increasing.
It's more difficult and expensive to work on a Tesla than a non-Tesla, therefore the lifespan will decrease? This is where I'm confused.
99% of the things that an OBD-II outputs(RPM, O2 sensor, timing, intake temp) just don't exist on a Tesla. Look at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OBD-II_PIDs there's about 3-4 that actually make sense.
I could see just not giving priority. As it is, they're rewarding customer loyalty, which is a pretty common thing to do.
In any case, I don't think it'll be a major factor. All current owners already have a car, after all. How many need another one? Out of ~120,000 current owners, how many head-of-line orders will that translate into? I'd think it would just be a couple thousand, which won't make a particularly big difference in the timeline for others.
The ones waiting for the 'affordable' model can still get one, just a little later on.
Most people don't buy cars on a whim - they buy them when they need them - and if your car is not available in the window where they need one they'll go somewhere else. Very few but the die-hard will buy a $900 beater to tide them over until their Model 3 reservation comes in.
Normal car-buying doesn't really apply when you're looking at a six-figure pricetag.
Most people that buy those cars, while they can afford to spend a little more than your average car buyer, cannot and do not buy cars on a whim. They buy them when their previous car is giving up the ghost and they need a new one. Paying $1,000 to be on a waiting list for two years behind those that can buy a car on a whim is not appealing to that crowd and does nothing to engage their demand, especially since they can go down to their local Nissan/Toyota dealership and drive off the lot with a Leaf/Prius today.
So expecting the enthusiasm of your Model S customers to spur demand for your Model 3 works if and only if the people the Model 3 is targeted at can get one, and if the Model S customers are ahead in the queue when the delivery target is over two years out then their evangelism won't mean anything if the target audience needs to replace their car in the short term (< 2 years) and medium term (> 2 years and < 5) because you're too busy prioritizing your customers for a car that is below their segment.
There are about 120,000 Tesla owners out there right now. Maybe 130,000 by now, my facts are slightly out of date.
How many of those will be reserving a Model 3? These are people who 1) already have a car 2) which is still pretty new, since most Teslas on the road have been sold in the past couple of years 3) are now used to driving a large, powerful, luxurious car.
Why would they be buying a Model 3? It'll either be because some other car needs replacing at the right time, or they need an extra car, or they don't like the Model S and want something smaller. I don't think that's going to make up a huge proportion of the current owners.
I'd guess a few thousand at most will be reserving a Model 3. That's going to push other people's deliveries back by, what, a month or two? When the wait time is already a year and a half for the first person in line, I don't see this making much of a difference.
The car is coming out 2017 in California, and will be rolled out for the next 2-3 years afterwards nationwide.
For people who live in say Virginia, that means you might wait till 2019 to get the car.
I'm not sure what audience of people exists that (a) can only afford a Leaf/Prius and (b) are willing to wait perhaps 3-4 years to have a car.
If this audience exists, Tesla absolutely should give them affordances because they are die-hard, potential evangelists who have never owned a Tesla before.
However, I wouldn't count on their numbers being that big.
It also may push some more Model S and X's out the door?
Going out of business cause you treat customers like crap won't get more people driving EVs either.
Edit: they also accept PayPal, of course. ;)
I'm in the latter category and to this day I can't safely drive in most cars with a sunroof. Things have improved a lot over the last 20 years or so: it used to be I couldn't fit into any sedan less than full-size, whereas now many sedans other than subcompact are okay.
Though that person claims to have managed to have found a "comfortable" position with the seat moved entirely back: that doesn't fix the safety issues. I can also feel comfortable, but if I rock my head even slightly to the left it slams into the frame of the car, as the only reason my head fits is because some of the models have a divot in the top of the car.
I have a friend with a Tesla S (who is a major major fan of the company) who adamantly didn't believe me until we finally had an opportunity to go out to his car and have me sit in the driver's seat: he shut up pretty quick ;P. (He had wanted me to drive us to our destination, so as to fall in love with the car, but instead I ended up in the passenger seat with the seat extremely reclined, feeling only slightly claustrophobic.)
I'm 5'6. My wife is 5'1. When I test drove the Model S I found there was nearly 3' of foot room behind the driver seat. That doesn't really bother me, but it told me the car was made for taller people.
When my wife test drove the Model S, after adjusting the seat so she could reach the peddles, the drivers should belt went right across her neck. After 15 minutes of driving she had a noticeable red mark there. She was unhappy to say the least. We went to adjust the seat belt anchor to make the belt not cross her neck.
We were surprised that an $80,000 car doesn't have adjustable seat belt anchors. ($80K as we would have configured it)
The "salesperson" (are they called that?) in the Tesla store suggested we get some kind of cover for the shoulder belt to avoid it irritating my wife's neck. My wife was "you mean I need to jury-rig something to make this $80K car comfortable to drive?"
We've never bought expensive cars; a Honda minivan was the most we'd ever paid for a car. That was comfortable and cost 1/3 the Model S. My wanting to buy one was already stretching reasonable limits. The seat belt issue made the Model S a non-option as far as my wife was concerned.
I am very pessimistic I will fit into a Model 3 though, especially with a car seat in back. My hope is to find a used S in a couple years.
But aren't they leaving money on the table with such a long wait list? (Granted - creating artificial shortages can work if you have a monopoly)
This is because they don't have a dealer network. If you don't like their price you can't go down the block and make an offer to the next dealer. Probably necessary because dealers normally make their money on maintenance and there just isn't much to do for Tesla vehicles.
I'm all for Tesla, but I don't think this is true.
- Nike selling less shoes than would sell in the market.
- Nintendo selling less of the latest game console.
The shortage (as defined by needing a waiting list) is artificial if the seller can either raise the price or increase the amount provided. (Tesla is probably more the former than the latter)
In the steady state a market 'naturally' balances supply and demand through pricing. If you choose not to do that, the effects you create are 'artificial'.
Elon Musk has joked several times that 'Ford killed off SEX'