Video: Elon Musk Chimes in on Coast-to-Coast Model S Rally, Tesla Fires, Model S Price and More

FEB 5 2014 BY ERIC LOVEDAY 22

In this video, you’ll hear what Tesla CEO Elon Musk has to say of the Model S fires, Model S safety, Tesla’s coast-to-coast US road rally, pricing of the Model S and oh so much more.

Elon Musk Hits the Airwaves to Discuss Coast-to-Coast Model S Road Rally

Elon Musk Hits the Airwaves to Discuss Coast-to-Coast Model S Road Rally

Musk appeared on “CBS This Morning” to apparently discuss the recently completed US road rally, but the conversation immediately turned to fires.

As Musk notes, all automobiles have “some propensity to catch on fire, but our car is eight times less likely than a gasoline car.”

He adds:

“When a fire has occurred, it only occurs after high-speed impact and there’s never been any injuries. Our car is, I believe…certainly unique in that no one has ever had a serious injury in our cars, under any circumstance.”

In regards to the road rally, Musk states:

“They completed the journey despite multiple road closures and blizzards and, in some cases, traversing 12 inches of snow…”

“The gasoline support van…broke down, but otherwise, it was great.”

“This is an important, historic milestone — to be able to travel across the country, essentially as conveniently as one can do with a gasoline car.”

Then there’s some Model S price talk, in which Musk admits the Model S is too expensive and says Gen III will be half the price.

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22 Comments on "Video: Elon Musk Chimes in on Coast-to-Coast Model S Rally, Tesla Fires, Model S Price and More"

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I still don’t buy the “half the price” figure.. Now, if he means half the price of a fully loaded model-S, I could believe that. But half the price of a Model-S is basically $35,000, which puts it in the same territory as the Chevy Volt.

Well, hehe thats the little game Musk plays. I accepted it since I really wanted the Roadster and even though it was $20,000 more than originally ‘promised’, I did buy a stripped model (zero options ).

I think he was talking about the GEN 3 model, but don’t be surprised if it ends up being much more expensive than he’s currently stating. I also noticed there will be no price decrease on the S, even though its been out for a few years now. Its already had an increase in price.

The Model S has had several price increases as well as large increases on several options.

Did you know you can also pay over $120,000 for a Model S? I haven’t seen the video, but unless he qualified “half the base 60kwh version”, he’s got LOTS of room.

There is no reason to doubt that the 2017 Model E will have 200 miles of EPA combined range and a base price, after incentives, of ~$35k.

They have the cells (4.1Ah 18650, which are almost certainly below $200/kWh based on articles from last Summer on this site and on Green Car Reports). As time passes and production ramps up, that cost will drop further.

Remember, the base price of the Model S 60kWh (including destination charge) is currently $63,570 after the $7,500 tax credit. Before incentives, the base price is $71,070.

I think a safe bet would be that the base price of the Model E, after incentives, will be about half of the Model S, after incentives. Currently, that means:

$62,400 / 2 = $31,200 (removed the $1,170 destination charge before calculating).

Add back the Federal tax incentive and the destination charge, and you have a base price of $39,870 due at purchase.

That seems reasonable to me.

With options, the average sale price will be closer to $50k.

Sorry, launch in 2017, which would mean (in model years) a 2018 Model E…

Statements about price in the automotive world are to be taken with a grain of salt anyways. For example, we always hear the price without any options, yet only 2% of cars get built for the US market without any options at all. 98% get at least 1 or more options. So the prices we hear are mostly a mirage.

Even worse when delivery isn’t included in prices quoted by car makers, yet you still have to pay it even if you pick it up at the factory floor itself.

Same for dealers who advertise their cars with every single rebate and incentive (including fed. gov’t tax rebates) already included in the price of the car — even though hardly anyone qualifies for all the rebates at the same time.

The price of the Gen III will be what it will be, and we will either be able to afford it or not.

Musk is not above playing fast and loose with figures.
The comparison which shows the Tesla, which are all pretty new, is against all ICE cars of whatever age.
Those mostly don’t catch fire due to crashes or road debris, but to inadequate maintenance as they age:

http://www.technologyreview.com/view/521916/update-early-data-suggests-collision-caused-fires-are-more-frequent-in-the-tesla-model-s/

That is not to say that the Tesla presents any great fire hazard, but OTOH his claims of being 8 times as safe from fire are as ill-founded as are those of people who automatically knock Tesla.

Well, there are those of us who still remember Musk’s “Hostile Takeover” of Tesla that Martin Eberhart really should have a part in, after all, it was his and the 3 engineeers who died’s creation. Maybe someday we’ll learn of the skuttlebut, but for now, I’m sure its too close to home for public viewing.

The story is from shortly after the debris incidents and its data is getting old in relative terms to Model S sales. Not sure why the author cherry picked only fires from collisions as the relevent comparison metric. I agree that Elon’s claims are misleading comparing to overall fleet fire incidents but not including non-collision fires in similarly aged ICE vehicles seems equally misleading. Why does it matter whether the car catches on fire from a collision or from other means. In context of the NHTSA, safety is the primary concern so that should be the basis of comparison. By this measure the Model S still has zero incidence. I know ICE vehicles are significantly higher, even when vehicle age is factored in.

Koz:
The point is that Musk does not compare against similarly aged ICE cars, but against all ICE cars, where most of the fires are due to their getting old and not being properly maintained.
I don’t know how many relatively new ICE cars catch fire, but it is going to be way less than the old ones.

A second issue is that the issue, which I agree is not a very major one, does not apply to electric cars, but to Teslas.

There are a lot more Leaf cars on the road, and no news of them hitting debris and catching fire.
The samples are very small, but it is disingenuous to dismiss it as ‘no problem’.

I know, we are not used to this disingenuous manipulation of information in this nation. Heck, GM, Ford and Chrysler never do anything like that. Our politicians and NEWS media should look into these blatant manipulations of truth so that we can have an honest nation once again. I am sure once our independent and free press get a hold of these fabrications they’ll ferret out the truth. I’ll be looking for the congress to act qyuickly to assure honesty in media too. Ha!

Small correction. The model S does not run on electricity. It runs on cash.

What is that supposed to mean? Did someone pee in your cornflakes this morning?

I gotta say, they are brave to let Elon publicly speak so much. Most companies won’t let their execs speak so freely for fear they’ll stick their foot in their mouth over something.

He is “they”.

This is one of the only auto CEOs I trust to know what his company is doing and he has the technical training to explain what the car and the company is really about. The model S is in competition with the large BMWs and the E and S model Mercedes cars. That’s the market he’s in right now. His Model E car will compete with the lesser models of the European Sedans, i.e., the 3 series BMW and C model Mercedes. I doubt Tesla will ever compete at the Nissan Leaf level. I see the Leaf as an entry level car much as the Nissan Versa Note is today in the ICE world. In fact Nissan’s new lower-price Model S and low-cost leases points in the direction they are taking.

Too bad the questions were so poorly presented and his time so short. The General Public lost an excellent chance to find out what EVs are about. C. Rose’s questions on Space X were off subject and a time waster. But then, he is fast to shine the light on himself whenever possible.

If nissan leaf manages to introduce 150 mile model…..the hankering for dirt cheap teslas will die down. Leading them to focus on middle and premium segments.

My guess would be that after due allowance is made for the usual ‘Musk inflation factor’ in his claims of what he can do, the Model E will be in the $45-50k range.
That is well below the S and X, but well above the projected sales price of a 150 mile Leaf, so there should not be too much conflict.

Whether a car at that price point will enable Tesla to reach Musk’s equally ambitious sales targets for the model, on which the current share price is predicated and which investors have apparently swallowed whole, is another issue.

Your just used to morons as leaders.

I hate the emphasis that is put on nobody having died in a Tesla. Because some day, someone will die in one. Probably while not wearing a seatbelt. And all the EV haters are going to mockingly post quotes of Elon saying nobody had been seriously injured in a Tesla. We will see that same willful ignorance re-posted over and over in every Tesla story for months, even years. Cuz Trollz gotz-ta trollz.