Tesla announced today that the very first production Model S would be delivered to a customer on Friday, June 22nd. This event will serve notice to the world that long range electric vehicles are now a reality; albeit a very expensive one. (Think $100,000+ in this case, as the first Model S to be delivered is of the 85kWh/300 mile, signature variety).
George Blankenship, Vice President, Worldwide Sales and Ownership Experience said of the coming occasion:
"The excitement is really starting to build as we count down the days to our first Model S deliveries. We are ahead of schedule and can’t wait to put our first Reservation Holders behind the wheel! We’ve been looking forward to this day for over three years, and the buzz around the office and the factory is escalating every day."
Tesla plans to hold a large celebration, not only for the lucky customer who receives the first car, but for the employees of company. Tesla also promises to hold a webcast of the event for those interested at Teslamotors.com.
Also included with first deliver announcement, was some update on the car itself, and some details on new features:
- Regen(erative) braking - Not only will the car have it, but due to customer feedback on the subject, it will be adjustable, so "...you can adjust Regen to suit your driving style"
- Adjustable Steering - "One of the many benefits of driving a Tesla is that almost everything can be adjusted. Even the steering on Model S is adjustable, which allows you to change the resistance required to turn the steering wheel. You’ll be able to choose between Comfort, Standard, and Sport steering."
- Personalized Suspension - programmable preference for suspension and ride height. "A car set a little lower to the ground will reduce aero drag. You may choose to raise the suspension a few inches when faced with pesky speed bumps or very high when loading up the Frunk with groceries and supplies for a summer BBQ."
No official word on who the first car will be going to, but our money is on board member (for both Tesla and SpaceX) and Elon Musk's friend/business partner, Steve Jurvetson. CEO Musk had said perviously that he will not be receiving the first car of the line.
And then there is this. According to the Columbus Dispatch (on July 29, 2010), sometime in early 2009, just after the car was put on sale, Jurvetson said that:
"They (Tesla) were about to open the meeting, so without saying a word I whip out my wallet, where I always keep one check, fill it out for the full price of the car, and then toss it across the table. Everyone was stunned. Elon looked surprised, then he said, 'Well, I guess you get the first car.'"