What About These Tesla Timing Forecasts & Promises From Elon Musk?

Tesla CEO Elon Musk

JUL 30 2018 BY EVANNEX 51


How many times have we read the phrase “Elon promised [x number of Model 3s by date; a house on Mars; a car powered by unicorn farts, etc] and he hasn’t delivered?” Media depictions of Elon Musk as a promise-breaking con man have reached ridiculous proportions – to give just one example, the New York Post recently said in a horrendous hit piece that Musk “has yet to succeed at anything but somehow spins every failure into proof of imminent success.”

*This article comes to us courtesy of EVANNEX (which also makes aftermarket Tesla accessories). Authored by Charles Morris. The opinions expressed in these articles are not necessarily our own at InsideEVs.

Above: Tesla’s Model S (Flickr: jurvetson)

Zachary Shahan (among many others), is sick and tired of it. In a recent article in CleanTechnica, he points out that Musk has gone out of his way many times to explain that forecasts are not promises. Most of the claims about “false promises” have to do with production and delivery targets, which are obviously not promises – if they were, Elon and Tesla could be sued by investors, which is why corporate lawyers subject us to those tedious disclaimers at the end of every press release.

Furthermore, for the benefit of those who don’t understand that a young company producing a completely unprecedented product is likely to experience some delays, Elon has repeatedly explained the uncertainty of production ramp timelines, how bottlenecks with individual components can slow things down, etc, and he has been doing so for years. What warning could have been more stark than Musk’s prediction of “production hell?” At the June shareholders’ meeting, Musk went so far as to admit that he has a weakness for making over-optimistic forecasts, and all but warned us not to trust his timelines.

Above: Tesla’s standard note about “Forward-Looking Statements” accompanies press releases, investor relations materials, etc. (Source: Tesla)

Be all that as it may, Mr. Shahan, along with all supporters of Tesla and its mission to electrify the world’s transportation system, fervently hope that Mr. Musk will fulfill his pledge (or assertion, assurance, or whatever we dare to call it) of a profit by the end of 2018. Elon has undeniably indicated that Tesla would show a profit in Q3 or Q4 of this year, and such an accomplishment would be a huge leap forward for the company. As Mr. Galileo Russell has eloquently explained, if Tesla can achieve positive cash flow, it will be able to finance its ongoing innovations without depending on the capital markets, a state of affairs which would remove much of the motivation for the short-sellers and allied prophets of doom, and perhaps lessen the fearsome flood of FUD we’ve been subjected to in the media.

It’s also true that long delays in delivering the $35,000 entry-level Model 3 are damaging the company’s reputation. Producing an EV for the mass market has been Tesla’s goal from the beginning. Now that end game is in sight, but it seems to remain tantalizingly out of reach. Shahan believes that the bad karma from making Joe Average wait even longer for his car could do more harm to Tesla than the financial challenges of posting a profit.

Above: Hang in there, the elusive base trim $35,000 Model 3 is coming (Image: Tesla)

Will Tesla get better at making predictions about future production? Probably not, but those who value things like excellent automobiles, lower levels of air pollution and the global leadership of American business will continue to excuse the missed forecasts, even as croakers continue to prate about “broken promises.”  As Trent Eady, writing on Seeking Alpha, put it, “If Musk promises you the moon in six months and delivers it in three years, keep things in perspective: you’ve got the moon.”


Written by: Charles Morris; Source: CleanTechnica

*Editor’s Note: EVANNEX, which also sells aftermarket gear for Teslas, has kindly allowed us to share some of its content with our readers, free of charge. Our thanks go out to EVANNEX. Check out the site here.

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51 Comments on "What About These Tesla Timing Forecasts & Promises From Elon Musk?"

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In fact, Tesla has been sued by investors for these very statements, claiming that Elon knew they were false at the time they were made.


So you are one of the “prophets of doom”, and among the “croakers”, whom seek to “prate” Tesla, for its “Broken Promises”?

Keep your FUD factory going, today it seems to be working!

If only Elon had a Crystal Ball .. All his future predictions might turn out to be correct …lmao …

7 is not FUDing Elon right now. He is simply stating a fact. Nothing more, nothing less.
What FUD is there in tell the truth?
Elon has been sued and is being sued again. Nothing FUD about that.

Can I get some legal advice? I bought GM stocks based on them saying the Volt would cost 29K and they would sell 50K to 60K units a year and then ramp up sales from there. They have never hit those promises and GM knew they would lose money at $29k.

How much should I sue for?


Again, you struggle with basic logic: look up the definition of “ad hominem,” then stop using them.

“ad hominem”? I do not think it means what you think it means.

Now your own post….

No, it means exactly what I think it means. So again, ignore the soudness of an argument by pointing out an irrelevant flaw in something unrelated to that argument (i.e, rebut the posit that Tesla makes promises it doesn’t keep by pointing out that other car companies also make promises they don’t keep).

I think the answer to this question for GM is different than in Tesla’s case. In GM’s case the question to ask was GM capable of producing that many Volts? If they were and the market didn’t materialize that’s not their fault. You could only argue their market research was wrong. But if you were following the Volt back then it had a lot of detractors at the time. I’m surprised it survived at all with the negative press.

For Tesla the case is different because the market is there and Tesla gave out what many thought were target capacity capabilities, but they aren’t capable of producing as many as they said by a rather large margin.

Please provide what principle in the law you believe cuts this line between the two.

Both are examples of the companies making forward looking statements to the best of their ability that they would both be able to build and sell a certain number of units. Both missed due to risks they both documented in SEC filings as risks. They simply hit two different risk factors.

To be clear, I am pointing out how BOTH are covered under their disclaimers for forward looking statements, and are both the same under the law. Both are well within the law.

So hasn’t been sued then. No court found in against Tesla. Unless you can provide some proof.

And how many lawsuits have succeeded?

none. But that is not the point. The point is, that he is being sued.
Elon is CONSTANTLY being sued by the shorters. They desperately want him to fail.
OTOH, those shorters are about to take it in the shorts.

Plenty of time that I have seen 7/el modded down. Why would anybody mod him down for telling the truth?
Elon Has and is again, being sued with false investors claiming that he is lying about ‘promises’. That IS a fact that he has and is again, being sued. That is all that 7 claimed. To mod him down would indicate that you are not thinking about what 7 is saying.

I can’t believe this needs to be said, but Elon has a history of making libelous statements against others, most recently calling a Thai cave rescue worker a pedophile. Tell me, was that a forecast, or a promise? Or is it simply evidence that Elon has problems with the truth? To me, it’s evidence that some of this other statements could also be knowing lies.

Musk only made that insult (not a libelous statement, as nobody believed it was a serious accusation and Musk backed it up in no way) after the diver made a similar sexual comment about Musk, in a totally unprovoked attack.

Musk apologized for his retaliation. How’d the diver react? Not only did he refuse to apologize for his (reminder: totally unprovoked) insult, he decided to try suing Musk.

He told Musk to stick his sub where it Hurts ! What a Pervert!

If he called him a “pervy dude” instead of a “pedo dude” I think Elon would’ve been fine… It actually describes the preceding behavior

What if Musk is an alien from Mars who while 47 years of age on earth, by mars standards is considered a minor. Thus making the statement true!

“As nobody believed it” – so you polled the hundreds of millions of people who read it and they all told you they knew it was just a disgusting, purile attack by a megalomaniac against an actual hero?

I don’t think 100 million read it and even if you did poll it, I’m pretty confident no one would take it seriously considering the context it was used.

Tesla trolls have made slanderous statements against Tesla right here on this site.

You know what the difference is? At least Elon admitted his mistakes, retracted his comments and apologised.

“…Elon has a history of making libelous statements…”

This coming from a troll like you? Someone who post lies on a daily basis?

If hypocrisy ever becomes an Olympic sport, the gold will certainly be taken by a Tesla Hater Cultist!

A history? Name one other.

well, he called some other guy (can not recall whom) a douche bag. Of course, I think that it was rather accurate. But technically, that is libel since the guy is not one. he is a person.

That is for the idiot lawyers types that are trying to FUD tesla.

Actually, other than POSSIBLY the thai cave guy, he has NOT been libelous.
In plain truth, you personally have been far more libelous just on this site than elon has on any of the others.

As to the Thai cave guy, we do not know if Elon has some insider info that YOU would not have. However, the fact that an English guy is living RIGHT in the heart of where pedophilia is the most concentrated in the entire world, does tend to lend some suspicions.
And let me tell you that the fact that he has NOT sued Elon, when it should have been a trivial case, makes me wonder.

In addition, Elon is WELL known for giving timelines that he HOPES to make. He is no different than any C. S. guy out there. No real sense of time. OTOH, he has delivered over and over what he said he would do. Just not on the timeline. Finally, those timelines that he gives are not legal forecast or anything close to it.
Only idiots would put any amount of faith in Elon’s timelines.

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

Where’s my Flying car?!?!?!?

You obviously have suffered debilitating emotional distress, from patiently waiting for your FC delivery, as you are well aware, St. Elon is responsible for the delay.

Hopefully, you have already contacted Legal Council, or the Seven Electrics referral link, see above!

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

“you know St. Elon is responsible for the delay.”

Yeah, I figured he’s getting all the blame so I added one in.
The FC needs to take me to the new planet “Elonia”……..LMAO

Mars is the nearest it’s been in 17 years, Tonight, livestream EVent.


“Elonia” may also come into view as well!

I have a different opinion on that… Yes, mentioning something is not the same as promising it. Other automakers do this as well (the e-tron concept had 3 motors and motorized aerodynamic elements for example). But the way it is presented makes it look as if it’s a certainty sometimes. Mocking the 350 kW charge rate when they say that 250 kW is the max later; saying that FSD is basically a formality when the system clearly has eminent flaws; time and time again saying that they won’t need any more loans or become cash flow positive. This all eats into your reputation, even if it’s no leagally binding statement.

My most favorite of all is the following. I really think he will have to own up to that one, though, admittedly, there’s still time to achieve it. But this is so strongly worded that this can’t be seen as a vague guess about the future.

“What people should absolutely have zero concern about, and I mean 0, is that Tesla will achieve a 10,000 unit production week by the end of next year [2018].”

Yawn. And what big deal would it be if Tesla were at 8,000/week production at the end of Q4, and didn’t hit that 10K/week target until early 2019?

In a single week Tesla would STILL have outsold the first 6 month’s worth of total sales of the 2nd leading pure BEV brand in the US.

When it comes to sales/production numbers, it isn’t Tesla that needs to step up. We need to get all the other car makers to step up with their pure EV offerings, because it is hurting their reputation as laggards.


The number doesn’t matter as much as the fact Elon felt the need to even make the statement in the first place. He basically placed a stake in the ground were it wasn’t needed. In addition given they are basically working around the clock to produce at the rate they are now and had to build a tent. I don’t know how they would increase capacity much more. That’s not even talking about the strain on their logistics which apparently wasn’t thought about until they actually started selling more.

Please let us know when the PROMISED Coast to Coast Autonomous Drive Will Begin

Tesla Still Planning Coast-To-Coast Autonomous Drive

In 2016, Tesla promised to undertake a coast-to-coast autonomous drive in 2017. During the announcement of its 2017 financial results, Tesla confirmed the drive never happened, but the company plans to do it this year.

Will you sue?

Will you acknowledge that Tesla promised to do something, then didn’t?

Sadly you still don’t understand the difference between a target and a promise. They missed a target because they had to refocus on getting the Model 3 ramp up successfully off the ground. Which they did.

*shrug* It happens. Even to the best of companies like Apple.

It is like you think this is the first target ever missed by a company. Goto any financial website and search for the term “misses target”. Funny how none of those stories say “Company X lied” or “Company Y broke their promise”.

I think you could get a bazillion dollars if they don’t do it…

How dare Tesla reshift their focus from their original 2017 goals, to throwing everything they had into SUCCESSFULLY solving Model 3 ramp-up problems instead!!

The first EV to successfully ramp up into mass production numbers that beat ICE car sales in the same class, and still you complain. Boring.

Simple question #1: Did Tesla promise (during an earning s call, btw) an autonomous cross-country trip by the end of 2017? Yes or no?

Simple question #2: as of 7/2018, has Tesla conducted an autonomous cross-country trip? Yes or no?

Very simple to answer. No and No.

He made what is called a “Forward Looking Statement”, and ALL forward looking statements made by ALL companies are ALL subject to the risks detailed in their SEC statements. They don’t need to repeat in ad-nauseam pages of risks when answering every single question. Instead, they make the disclosure ONCE and it covers ALL statements made surrounding their SEC filing.

Read. Learn. Stop Trolling.


No and Irrelevant.
Musk said that HE would take one, but not Tesla.

“…the New York Post recently said in a horrendous hit piece that Musk ‘has yet to succeed at anything but somehow spins every failure into proof of imminent success’.”

Why do people feel compelled to publicize their almost insane jealousy of Elon Musk? Are they actually that blind to how much they’re embarrassing themselves?

Chills ran up and down my spine when I saw the video of twin SpaceX booster rockets descending in perfect synchronization to pin-point landings; a glorious ballistic ballet. I wonder what that almost insanely jealous NYP writer felt when he or she saw that? Or did he/she just ignore it?

We should really feel sorry for someone with such a low opinion of themselves that they cannot credit Elon Musk with even a single one of his many, often breathtaking achievements! That’s not to say that Elon doesn’t have his faults, but what kind of mean-spirited person would try to deny all of his brilliant and often spectacular successes, from Zip2 to X.com to PayPal to Tesla to SpaceX?

Wow. Always shocked at so overly slanted Evannex articles.

Are you going to sue?

Why would he? Unlike Tesla, there were no broken promises made.

Even when handed on a silver platter the definition of “Forward Looking Statements” and the disclaimers involved, you still blow it. Incredible.

Please read the story again for comprehension, and understand what this means:


what broken promises did Tesla make?

This is how you know that the Tesla fanbois are really a cult of personality. If they actually cared about furthering EV tech generally and Tesla products specifically, they would repudiate Musk’s behavior instead of defending it (and in doing so, enabling it), since no rational person can argue that the way he conducts himself benefits the company. His behavior benefits himself, in that it has made him a celebrity and got him dates with actresses and models (and his mom a cosmetics contract), but they do the company no good at all. This story is nothing new – history is full of CEOs who behave badly and end up being a drag on the company, and then the board replaces them and the company gets back on track. That is what is needed at Tesla.

When you erase 3% of your company’s market cap by calling someone a pedophile on Twitter, you probably shouldn’t be at the helm. I mean, that’s Trump-tier Twitter craziness, and if you guys were more about Tesla and less about Musk, we wouldn’t be seeing screeds like the one EVANNEX posted.


If you nutters would cry like babies about Elon less, and figure out that Tesla is spearheading the EV revolution and bringing EV’s mainstream, maybe somebody besides your own little circle-yurk of losers would care what you say.

Can’t wait for your response where you prove you are one of those “dish-it but can’t take-it” crybabies. Bring it on.

What a rational, well-reasoned argument – certainly doesn’t read like a zealot screeching “blasphemer!” I’ve got you Elon acolytes all wrong.

So, you want to be far more libelous than what you accuse musk of. Hmmm.