Tesla Motors Announces 2008 Roadster Production Schedule and Achievement of Critical Milestones on Crash Tests and Range Testing
Official testing achieves 245 miles range on EPA combined cycle
- Michael Marks, CEO of Tesla Motors, has established a production goal of 50 cars in the first quarter of 2008, followed by an additional 600 cars for the remainder of the year.
- Tesla has been engaging in intensive durability and validation testing of final prototype cars (known as “validation prototypes.”)
- This production schedule provides the opportunity to ensure that the all aspects of the production cars meet the level of quality and reliability that is expected when shipped to customers.
- As part of this final testing, a Tesla Roadster ran for 245 miles on the combined EPA cycle on a single charge (235 on the EPA highway cycle, 255 on the EPA city cycle.)
- Separately, a validation prototype Tesla Roadster successfully passed static and dynamic side-intrusion crash tests, the only tests that were not passed in the earlier prototype phase.
- In other performance testing, a validation prototype Tesla Roadster accelerated consistently from 0 to 60 mph in under 4 seconds.
- Tesla Motors has initiated a unique program, inviting customers to participate in durability and validation testing by road-testing our validation prototypes and providing feedback to marketing and engineering teams. Customers have shared their feedback on the Tesla Motors blog and with other customers in a members-only online forum.
- Tesla will stop taking reservations for 2008 Roadsters in the near future and initiate a traditional waiting list. Customers who sign up for the waiting list will pay $5,000 for their place in line for additional 2008 Roadsters if and when an increase in production is announced. Alternatively, customers on the waiting list will be first in line for the 2009 model year Roadster (pricing and specifications for 2009 Roadsters is not yet announced.)
- The announcement of this production schedule represents a change from the previously stated goal of fall 2007. In the last letter to customers in August, former CEO Martin Eberhard indicated that the production schedule was subject to successful completion of crash testing and durability testing. This new schedule represents the decision to continue with additional durability and validation testing prior to start of production and shipping of cars to customers.
- In an announcement earlier this year, Tesla notified customers that the EPA range of the car was not likely to reach the original goal of 250, and instead would be closer to 200 miles based on progress at that time. Since then, Tesla engineers have worked diligently to improve on this critical performance metric, and the results of the effort over the last months have been extraordinary.
- The EPA cycle test result was observed by CARB (California Air Resources Board) staff and is expected to be formally certified by EPA in the near future, as is standard procedure.
- The range of the Tesla Roadster is by far the highest range ever achieved by a production EV. The next closest was the 1999 EV1 using nickel metal-hydride batteries, which achieved a 140 mile range rating. No other EV currently being developed has completed an official test for range using the EPA standard protocols.
- Acceleration testing was performed by Tesla staff using GPS instrumentation with traction control on. Additional testing is planned with third parties in the near future.