back to article Tesla pre-sells all 2012 Model S output

If you've been dithering about whether you should pre-order Tesla Motors' Model S sedan, you've dithered too long. "We've actually sold out of all of next year's production in advance," Tesla CEO Elon Musk told Bloomberg's Betty Liu in a video interview. That would be "over 6,500" of the Model S, which will start at $49,900 …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I think Elon needs to learn the difference between irony and co-incidence.

  2. BitDr
    Thumb Up

    Nice looking ride

    Nissans leaf is waaay too expensive compared to this, and the Tesla is gorgeous in comparison.

  3. me n u
    Thumb Down

    Don't hold your breath

    If Spacex is going to replace Orion, why not cancel Orion and let all the workers know it's coming? We don't need two space capsules.

    And $50k is more than I'll pay for any car. Maybe when my salary doubles (at least) and gas stations become electric stations.

  4. badger31
    Thumb Up

    " ... all modes of transport will go fully electric ... "

    Yes. I'm looking forward to the electric jumbo jet.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Yes and how long will it take to charge off your electric grid?

      Or how about what happens when you're in mid flight and you run out of 'juice' because of a short or something?

      1. Geoff Mackenzie

        A bit silly (@AC 09:11)

        First off I thought I detected a whiff of sarcasm in the first post there anyway, but even if not, conventional airliners are also perfectly capable of dropping out of the sky because of 'a short or something'.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

  5. Keith Smith 1

    calorie storage

    Until electrics can store the energy of liquid volatiles in the same space and weight with the same speed and convenience of replenishment it ain't happenin'

    1. Stratman

      When the liquids run out or become too scarce to waste on personal transpor,t it most certainly will happen, decent range or otherwise.

      Get used to it.

      1. hayseed


        Nah. There are many types of liquid, and many ways of producing them (butanol, etc.) - and they ALL have the energy density, ease-of-distribution (especially to sparsely populated areas), and rapid refueling advantages.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Model S is a nice car

    Having very recently had the fortune of being taken for a spin in a Tesla roadster, I really hope the S is a great car. The roadster is amazingly quick. The first car I've been in with a G meter!

    Keep improving the range and lowering the price and these will be the future!

  7. mraak

    The only

    The only good looking car designed in USA these days. Germans are de facto #1 for car design, although I much preferred the good ol' Americans until 1995 - ish.

    1. Eddy Ito Silver badge

      Uhhh.... yeah?

      You mean the era of Ford Pintos, AMC Gremlins, Dodge K-cars, Chevy Citations and the early GM (did we tap the holes for the main cap screws deep enough) diesels? Oh wait, were you a garage mechanic back then, weren't you? Me too, cheers!

      1. Mike Flugennock

        re: uhhh.... yeah?

        "You mean the era of Ford Pintos, AMC Gremlins, Dodge K-cars, Chevy Citations..."

        Eeeewwwwwww. Actually, while things hadn't gotten quite so bad, the early '70s -- now that I think back -- sort of presaged the Dark And Ugly Times of the mid '70s through early '90s. The early '70s did give us the Pinto, the Maverick, and the Gremlin, not to mention being the era where the Camaro and Mustang went from being nice, tight little muscle coupes to absurdly stretched-out bloated boulevard cruisemobiles. On the upside, though, I thought the '72 Barracuda was pretty slick:

        I remember once, right after getting my license, getting to drive a friend's mother's '72 Mustang "Grandé" (for some reason, I forget). Driving that damn' thing scared the hell out of me. The hood seemed to go on forever. I couldn't tell where the front wheels were. It was a total drag, having learned to drive on a '69 Austin America which my parents bought while we were stationed in Germany and had shipped home with us. I couldn't think of a more fun car to learn to drive on... nice acceleration off the light, handled really tight -- a real curve hugger -- and just fun as hell to drive, the closest I ever got to driving a real British sports car.

        But, anyway... jeezus... K-Cars, the GM X-Body models like the Chevrolet Citation... kee-RIST. Now you're talking about cars that were _made_ of ugly -- cars so ugly the sight of 'em made me want to gouge my own eyes out. For American cars at least, it was The Ugly Eighties.

    2. Mat Child

      "Germans are de facto #1 for car design"

      Are you kidding? I will give the Germans this - their cars are solid and reliable, but in the main their styling is so boring these days.

      Merc do some nice looking cars, but then they have their foot operated "handbrake"

      Now the Italians make some lovely looking cars, it's a pity they not as reliable (and I speak as the owner of one)

      Citroen DS range are also good looking (and have more than a passing resemblance to the Tesla IMO).

      1. Gordon 10 Silver badge

        I love the foot operated handbrake

        Its a little weird at first but once you get used to it it's fine.

        Makes a lot of sense in an auto - which is most mercs.

        Ok so handbrake turns and rally cornering are out ;).

    3. Mike Flugennock

      only good-looking American cars?

      1995? That's being a bit charitable, if you ask me; seems as if most of the halfway-attractive American cars these days look vaguely like knock-offs of European models.

      American cars were pretty much made of ugly between 1976 and 1990, when the computers in Detroit finally learned how to render body styles with actual curves in them (1978 Monte Carlo, anyone?).

  8. Mike Flugennock

    is it just me, or...

    ...does the Model S suspiciously resemble a Jaguar XJ series?

  9. Elmer Phud


    Sorry, Jeremy, it didn't work .

    People seem to like them.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Until electrics can store the energy of liquid volatiles in the same space and weight with the same speed and convenience of replenishment it ain't happenin"

    Well that's just crap - it's not only space and weight that matters - it's cost. At the moment electric is best suited to applications where the daily range is known - for instance a bus - typically same route each day and a nice central place to charge them at night. You can provision a battery pack based on that known route + 20%.

    The problem with electric for cars is that they have erratic daily usage - most days you will drive 40 miles or less - but some days you want to drive 200+. Provisioning a battery pack for 200 miles when that range is used a few times per month would be very expensive.

    As battery prices come down and oil goes up it will reach a tipping point.

    1. TomDM

      "Until electrics can store the energy of liquid volatiles in the same space and weight with the same speed and convenience of replenishment it ain't happenin"

      Yeah, I suspect hydrogen will be slowly replacing oil.

    2. peter_dtm

      It is space and weight - it' called energy density and it is of key importance when designing motive power. If your fuel energy density is not high enough then your vehicle will never be efficient or viable. See for an energy density comparison between different fuels - note the disclaimer at the top...

      be nice if battery prices were coming down - other than at a linear crawl; about the same as usable battery capacity is going up - slowly.

      From the Tesla web site the sports version will draw 40A at 220 Volts if your house (most UK houses have this) has a 50A main breaker. That leaves you 10 amps to run heating/washing machines/dishwashers/lights/TVs/Computers. It also takes 6 hours to charge.

      This gives us a demand of 8800 watts (220V times 40Amps).

      This gives us a figure of some 52.8KW/hours capacity (8800 watts times 6 hours) when new.

      No figures appear available for how the battery ages - but if we are kind we can assume it is no worse than a loss of 20% capacity after 5 years - ie 20% less range

      The domestic grid in the UK is planned around a concept called 'Diversity'. i.e. not everyone will draw 50 Amps at once. The Coronation Street adverse effect is I presume known - the National Grid puts another power station on line when the adverts come on and people make a cuppa ?

      I wonder what is going to happen when a few hundred Electric cars start drawing 40 amps each from the same sub-station ?

      If we already have so many people in fuel poverty how are they supposed to handle this; they can't afford to put a 1KW electric heater on; never mind 8.8 KW so they can use personal transport.

      Problems to solve before an electric fleet is viable :

      Grid Infrastructure - how to supply DOMESTIC premise with enough current capacity to charge cars

      Grid Infrastructure - how to generate all the extra KW needed ?

      Battery - better energy/weight (energy density)- currently coming down slowly has achieved an energy density about 10 times worse than petrol.

      Battery - cost

      Battery - manufacture of toxic device

      Battery - disposal of toxic substances

      Note just under 19 cars require a MW of power - one 1MW capacity wind turbine in the UK provides on average 24% of capacity. - so 19 cars need provision of FOUR medium sized Wind Turbines (and a conventional power station to have 1MW excess capacity for when the wind don't blow/blows too hard)

      At the moment the whole schema does not stack up; and we need some pretty major advances before it does.

      1. Chemist

        Nice analysis

        I can only add that our (UK) house which is moderately large and uses electric cooking averages a consumption over the year of 4 amps - any significant numbers of electric cars are going to swamp the grid with demand

        1. GettinSadda

          "I can only add that our (UK) house which is moderately large and uses electric cooking averages a consumption over the year of 4 amps - any significant numbers of electric cars are going to swamp the grid with demand"

          From a report on EVs by the Royal Academy of Engineering:

          "With or without EVs, the HV grid will need radical changes to cope with the

          planned increase in renewable generation and the different geographic location

          of supplies and loads. In addition, there may need to be some reinforcement

          specifically to cope with EVs, particularly under Scenario 3, but as they will be

          spread evenly across populated areas, the widespread use of EVs is unlikely to

          require major changes."

      2. Chemist

        "Note just under 19 cars require a MW of power"

        I think you need to check your figures - at ~9 kW I make it 111 cars/MW - I think you might have divided by the six hour charge time which isn't relevant.

        The power they require is ~1MW for 111 cars. The energy consumption is ~1MW.h for 19 cars if the charge time is 6 hrs

        1. peter_dtm

          oops - yes; silly of me - it 'felt' a bit low; should have triple checked...

          113.6 cars for a 220V supply.

          which gives us on average 27 cars per 1MW wind turbine (@ 24% capacity average)

          which is still a lot of wind turbines !

      3. GettinSadda

        A few points...

        "...if your house (most UK houses have this) has a 50A main breaker."

        This is news to me (as a qualified electrician). The most common rating for the "service fuse" is 100A, though some smaller properties such as flats do have 60A.

        "The Coronation Street adverse effect is I presume known..."

        Indeed - the electricity distributors are quite interested in the bonus they will get with electric cars. When smart metering is rolled out, there is likely to be a provision added to temporarily turn off the charging for your electric car. What this is used for is when there is a demand surge (or a drop in supply such as a station shutting down without warning or a dip in renewables) a number of car chargers will be turned off for a few minutes while fast-reacting generators are started up. At the moment companies sign special contracts to allow some of their systems to be turned off for up to 20 minutes for this purpose. There is also serious talk about building systems where you can sell back some of the power in your car when the grid needs extra (you could have a switch that allows this to drain you down to 80% or something).

        "Note just under 19 cars require a MW of power - one 1MW capacity wind turbine in the UK provides on average 24% of capacity. - so 19 cars need provision of FOUR medium sized Wind Turbines"

        This would be true... if those 19 cars are being charged 24/7. Chances are that you could charge significantly more than 19 cars with the output of one 1MW wind turbine. And as stated above, the electric cars are perfect for smoothing the uneven generation wind turbines can give.

        1. peter_dtm

          well my 1982 house has a 50 amp mains fuse; as did my previous house in the UK - a 1930s house - even when the Electricity supply had to replace the meter; they left the fuse alone and assured me that 50 Amps was still standard.

          I think you will find most cars will get charged overnight - 12/7 or perhaps 12/5. and have a look here : to see that the sort of smoothing wind poser needs may not be best met by intermittent overnight loads. You can't do a good job of smoothing a randomly varied supply with a possibly pseudo randomly varied load.

          How do you decide which car charger to turn off ? My job for one has a fair amount of travel involved at irregular times; on demand at that; so I will need (as will many other service providers) to keep the battery topped up. And once you allow one person NOT to be controlled -; well every man and his dog will want the same 'privilege' as well

      4. Mips

        That is an excellent point

        I used to work in the electricity supply industry and when we worked out the demand on a housing estate we used the equation AN+12=ADMD (after diversity maximum demand). A is usually in the range 1.5 - 3kW, N is the number of houses connected to the system and 12 is the size of largest appliance in use (usually a cooker). So for one house the demand might be 14kW for one house, for 2 it would be16kW, for three 18kW and so on. This was ok for houses with gas central heating but for electric storage heating (did I say this was a looong time ago?) we had to use a different range for A (up to 10 actually).

        The thing is that all over the country the electrical network supplying most of the housing is designed on a low value of A. If you buy an electric car with a 10kw demand the electrical system will be ok but if your neighbour and his neighbour buys one that the electrical supply system will soon be in BIG trouble.

        To put a scale on this, the supply network to electrically heated houses required larger cables and because of voltage drop could only distribute to half the length: you have four times the number of sub-stations. So this is what you might face: rip up the street to install new cables and give up space in your garden for a new sub-station.

        On the up side the supply to your house will probably be ok.

    3. Your Retarded

      Interchangeable standard battery packs

      have got to be the way forward. Similar to how you pay once for a calor gas bottle and then you swap empty ones for full ones in return for a small(er) top-up fee.

      Then you can just take a fresh one out of a charging rack at the filling station, rinse and repeat to achieve desired range.

      Shock, this might actually require some co-operation between different mfrs and filling stations...

      Finally, to temper demand caused by home charging, a charging station could load capacitors at a slow rate at non-peak times / over the course of the day. Then use the capacitors to rapid-charge the battery.

      1. peter_dtm

        Let's look at that a minute.

        Your car battery is probably around 45AH capacity and weighs some 12Kg

        a look at leisure batteries gives us 100AH @ 20Kg

        the power density table in the link gives a range of 25WH per KG for lead acid to 110WH/kg for Lion (AFAIK the light weight polymer batteries are not available or suitable for motive service).

        Lets go with 150WH/kg - for a sports car battery we needed 52.8 KWH or 52800WH thats 350 odd kg

        So - to swap a battery pack - either

        its going to be made of lots of sub-units


        it will require special lifting & handling equipment (don't forget batteries are HAZADOUS materials)

        Why lots of sub units - any idea what a 1/3rd of a tonne is going to do to the handling of the vehicle if it's in the wrong place ? That's a hell of design constraint. We can't even standardise lap top batteries for heavens sake. As you say


        Shock, this might actually require some co-operation between different mfrs and filling stations...

        /end quote

        But they did manage to standardise fuel filling pipes; battery connectors; fuses and one or two other things so they may surprise us all..

        Having said all that - it would be a neat solution - if you could change out (& pay for) a battery pack in less than 10 minutes; it may even be acceptable to most people

        Ask someone how to get the battery out of a Prius. Tesla say nothing about battery change. The Leaf has apparently taken battery change every 5 years into account; so it is do-able; but indications are that it is NOT a 'pack' nor any easy job.

      2. peter_dtm

        @ Yor Retarded

        (el reg is not odering the replies to the posts correctly ...)


        Finally, to temper demand caused by home charging, a charging station could load capacitors at a slow rate at non-peak times / over the course of the day. Then use the capacitors to rapid-charge the battery.

        end quote

        You'd need a battery; it would need to be big enough to charge how many cars ? - See the weight (size I'll leave to you) calculation in another (out of order) reply. Thumb suck - battery would need to be at least 50% the AH capacity of the car's battery

        And that is a maintenance overhead; a capital expense over head; a hazmat overhead (look up the commercial requirements for having a big battery - not to mention the further loss in efficiency.

        We are; don't forget; supposed to be thinking in terms of 10 of 1000s of EVs. Go get the costing for a 25KWH back up battery system; which would reflect only a part of the price - how are you going to deliver that current into the EV ?

        Try this with your car battery - let it go to 20% charge; now put it in parallel with a fully charged battery of same AH capacity; and a suitable battery charger; measure charge current; battery temperature (both) Battery charger temperature. Make sure the area is well vented (H2 and O2 are given of in a 2:1 ratio and the gas mixture is highly explosive)

        1. Your Retarded

          One doesn't just connect two batteries together!

          There needs to be some charging control, of course - just like there is in one of those little booster/charger thingies.

          In the idea I suggested though, the vehicle sees no difference from a normal charge. You use the standard cable and charge at the same rate; just the impact on the grid for this is spread out.

          The main idea here is to distribute the demand for EV charging power so that it is smoother throughout the day. The charging stations could possibly even be made "smart" like the new fridges which don't switch on during short periods of high demand. Charging faster might be a bonus if possible, but a thicker cable would probably be needed.

          I have seen capacitor arrays in use in industry that could meet these requirements for handling charge. The weight is of course not a crucial consideration and neither is leakage particularly important due to the fact that the array is permanently connected to the supply. Ideally, the array could be charged primarily from local renewable sources, e.g. micro wind/hydro and solar PV.

  11. Jon Smit
    Paris Hilton

    How many ?

    600 - 1,800 - 6,500. Whatever, that's a lot of poseurs paying a lot for a runaround (the block) toy.

  12. JDX Gold badge

    "I actually think the entire industry is going to go fully electric,"

    I really hope someone running a company knows that is marketing drivel, and doesn't really believe it.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What suckers

    At least if they ever get their car they can say they owned a piece of history back when the U.S. government and charlatans duped the public.

  14. Alex King


    Really frustrated by this. Tesla are missing a golden opportunity here - there are lots of perfectly competent comapanies that build cars. Tesla needs to concentrate on the differentiator - good battery technology. If they concentrated their efforts on the "Tesla Standard Interchangeable Battery Pack", or somesuch, then we'd have a de-facto standard for these essential parts of any successful implementation of battery vehicles before you knew it.

    I really like the Model S, but it's a flawed dead-end, and global sales of 6500 is hardly the second coming, nor the sort of thing which will justify the necessary expenditure in infrastructure.

    For a mass market product, people will not accept a reduction in utility over what they have now. Home-charged cars represent a reduction in utility, regardless of their full-charge range.

  15. Chazmon

    assumptions make an ass out of u and mptions

    I feel the following statement is a gross assumption:

    He also pointed out that only "600 or so Roadster buyers have bought Model S sedans," emphasizing that the vast majority of Model S buyers are new to the electric car market.

    What about all of us looking for a viable upgrade to our milk floats?

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