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."
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.