Musk: Stretching US Wait Times To Make 7,000 Model S Deliveries For Europe in 2013, Plus 3-Phase And CHAdeMO Info

MAR 12 2013 BY JAY COLE 11

It Is Refreshing To See A CEO Have Such Incredible Depth Of Knowledge About His Products

It Is Refreshing To See A CEO Have Such Incredible Depth Of Knowledge About His Products (via Cars21)

Give GM CEO Dan Akerson, or Akio Toyoda from Toyota a microphone, and prepare for a snooze-fest that you will most likely come away from with no more knowledge than what you started out with.  But give the mic to rockstar CEOs like Carlos Ghosn from Nissan, or Elon Musk from Tesla…and you are always going to learn something.

You can almost see their handlers sweating when they talk in public.

Last week at the Geneva Motor Show, Tesla boss Elon Musk casually took to the floor to talk all things Model S (and X) in Europe, and to field questions from the unwashed masses.

In an effort to please the Euro-crowd, Mr. Musk promised to get the delayed Model S electric sedans into European driver’s hands as quickly as possible…at the expense of waiting US customers.  You can almost hear Tesla PR man George Blankenship sigh.

“We are going to end up stretching the waiting time for US cars in order to ensure that the European demand can be met, because we know we were a bit late on European deliveries, and we want to make up for that.”

Musk On NY Time Reporter Broder:  "The writer claimed he was cold and didn't travel fast.  This is false.  He travelled fast and he was warm.  The car says (he's) false."

Musk On NY Times’ Reporter John Broder’s Famous Test Drive: “The writer claimed he was cold and didn’t travel fast. This is false. He travelled fast and he was warm. The car says (he’s) false.”

Other additional information we learned (in convienient bullet form) thanks to a Cars21 videotaping (below) of the CEO’s walk and talk:

  • Confirmed for European deliveries in July
  • Tesla will start actual Euro-zone production in California in June
  • Model S will meet the European 3-phase charging standard
  • Tesla will be establishing its Supercharging network throughout Europe, emphasizing that like in the US, “it will provide free charging.   So you will be able to have free long distance travel anywhere in Europe”
  • Reservations made now in Europe have Musk’s guarantee that those orders will be filled by Tesla before year’s end

Highlights from the Q&A portion of the CEO’s speech (more video of that below):

Q:  How many cars will be available for European deliveries in 2013:
A: “Probably in the roughly, 5,000-7,000 unit level, maybe a little more”

Q: Status of EU approval for the Model S
A: “We have actually gone through almost all of the EU  homologation work already, so its not really a question of timing of approval as the gating factor.  The gating factor for us is the completion of the tooling, and the getting into production with the 3 phase charging.  So that is the real time critical factor.”

Q:  Is Tesla Going To Offer CHAdeMO charging on the Model S?
A: “We have multiple adapters for the Model S, so you can actually plug the Model S into almost anything. It really just needs to know what current and voltage its getting.  It (the Model S) will take any input current and voltage that any system can provide it, and it will automatically take it at whatever the highest rate that it can take it at.”

Mr. Musk then explains (below) how the interior and battery heating system works, as well as to once again clarify the situation behind the NY Times “false-review” of the Model S by quoting some Dr. Suess “Green Eggs And Ham”.   Priceless.

Video source: Cars21, and our thanks to Kane over at Samochodye Elektryczne  (PL)

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11 Comments on "Musk: Stretching US Wait Times To Make 7,000 Model S Deliveries For Europe in 2013, Plus 3-Phase And CHAdeMO Info"

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Wow.. WIshed I could have afforded to go to Geneva, I would have loved to be there!

This is why Carlos Ghosn and Elon Musk are modern day heroes. I don’t know how Carlos will ultimately fare working for a large corporation but Elon will ultimately be successful much to his handlers surprise. Great article Jay.

Elon is ALWAYS informative. As an engineer, whenever he’s in a real long interview, I am disappointed when he starts to dive into the awesome deep technical details, and the interviewer gets him back onto more general audience information. I don’t know if there’s a lawyer or handler sweating about him sharing vital IP, or whether he’s very cognizant of that himself (likely), or whether it just happens that he never gets too far into details. Always disappointing.

Yeah, most of us would have a beer and shoot the breeze with Mr. Musk in a heartbeat. There is so much to learn. In reality I get the sense that Tesla Motors and SpaceX are very challenging places to work, and one needs to be borderline crazy to be able to sustain it.

Sounds like early Apple years. A little “crazy” never hurt anyone….

Very interesting interview. Close observers will notice Musk is saying there is no issue with the Model S. I’m not sure Bob Lutz would talk like this, but that’s why I enjoy listening to Lutz. Obviously Musk and I disagree on the meaning of Tesla’s own charts, but I’ve rehashed that before so I won’t go into it now. Specifically, its good for Europeans that he is using their standardized connector. To me, this is doing things the really hard way. Doing it this way means he will have to enlarge the tailight opeing, design a new compatible connector, plus design new 3 – phase chargers in the car. That to me is doing it the hard way. If they only sold the 60 and 85 kwh models in Europe, they could insist on ‘supercharger capability’. Then, they could take the existing american car with the single charger, and offer the US style UMC with single phase cord for slower charging (up to around 6 kw ) and then offer as an option a ‘mini supercharger in a box’ that would have the european connector on its inlet and the ‘tesla connector’ on its outlet, supplying the DC. Im assuming… Read more »

Our guess is that they built the European version around Supercharger, which will start to be implemented in 2013.

To do so, they needed to have a EU-wide standardised plug. Looking at current options, Tesla took the Mennekes-style plug, improved it so it can be “Supercharger-proof”.

They might have done it the “hard” way, but that was the only way to go.

Regarding Nissan’s Carlos Ghosn…here’s a video I just put out with him being interviewed about Nissan’s EV future etc….


In the second film one person ask why if there could be a possibility for a range extender on the Model S (at time 3’32s). Unfortunately Elon apparently did not understand it that way and though it was a question about the fake Model S test.

Perhaps someone could re-ask later if there could be a possibility for a range extender on the model S.

A range extender on a 45 KWh version would be a very interesting combination indeed.

Hi, we were recording the videos you see in this article. Musk was clearly saying no to range-extenders, I do not remember if it was on record or not though!

A complete non-answer on the CHAdeMO question.

Yes, they have lots of adapters now…. but not yet a CHAdeMO adapter.