Tesla Motors Announces Extension of Model S Drive Unit Warranty

Tesla Motors announced today that the Model S drive unit warranty has been increased to match that of the battery pack. That means the 85 kWh Model S now has an 8 year, infinite mile warranty on both the battery pack and drive unit. Moreover, the warranty extension will apply retroactively to all 85 kWh Model S vehicles ever produced.
No other changes have been made to the warranty.
Tesla Motors logo
Here’s what CEO Elon Musk wrote about the new policy in a blog post today:

Infinite Mile Warranty

The Tesla Model S drive unit warranty has been increased to match that of the battery pack. That means the 85 kWh Model S, our most popular model by far, now has an 8 year, infinite mile warranty on both the battery pack and drive unit. There is also no limit on the number of owners during the warranty period.

Moreover, the warranty extension will apply retroactively to all Model S vehicles ever produced. In hindsight, this should have been our policy from the beginning of the Model S program. If we truly believe that electric motors are fundamentally more reliable than gasoline engines, with far fewer moving parts and no oily residue or combustion byproducts to gum up the works, then our warranty policy should reflect that.

To investors in Tesla, I must acknowledge that this will have a moderately negative effect on Tesla earnings in the short term, as our warranty reserves will necessarily have to increase above current levels. This is amplified by the fact that we are doing so retroactively, not just for new customers. However, by doing the right thing for Tesla vehicle owners at this early stage of our company, I am confident that it will work out well in the long term.

Mike’s Tesla Motors Model S on Display at Exotics at Redmond Town Center Auto Show

This morning while riding my bike home from the gym in Redmond, I came across a really cool car show in the parking lot at Redmond Town Center.  There were all kinds of awesome cars there, many that would make most car buffs drool.  I walked around the parking lot looking at and taking pictures of cars from Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati, Lotus, Bentley, Rolls Royce, Porsche, Jaguar, BMW and more.  There were also some classic cars and a fully electric Harley Davidson motorcycle.
Even though there were a lot of cool exotic cars, I still had an empty, unfulfilled feeling.  These were all highly desirable cars, but the one car that is in my future was not there.  But as luck would have it, just as I was about to leave, I happened to notice it – a shiny, white Tesla Model S!  Easily the best car on the lot (at least in my mind) – and the least expensive to operate, but not even close to the most expensive in the show.
Mike's Tesla Model S
I went to talk to the owner, a really nice guy named Mike.  As all Tesla owners I have ever spoken to, Mike was very enthusiastic about his car. I asked him if it was fun every time he drove it, and with a huge smile said “it really is”. He said he’d had it for about 16 months, but it was in mint condition.  I asked if he’d taken any road trips and he said, not really – except for an excursion to Bellingham.
Gas X Tesla Model S

After sharing some Tesla driving

stories, Mike admitted that he only drives the car 2-3 days a week because he wants to keep it in the best of condition.  His power bill at home has increased about $30 a month since he bought the car – which is a small drop in the bucket compared to paying today’s gas prices.

Even though I really appreciated being able to meet Mike and him being there to show his Model S –  and we both share a passion for Teslas, when I get my Tesla, I can guarantee it will go on A LOT of road trips – and probably look a lot more lived in …
Thank you Mike for being at the Exotics at Redmond Town Center and showing your super cool Tesla Model S!
Exotics@RTC is an informal weekly gathering of exotic car owners and enthusiasts, and has grown to become the largest weekly car gathering north of Los Angeles.
Hours are 9-11 AM. Be sure to get there about 8:30 if you’re bringing a car to show.

Tesla Motors Opens New Super Charger in The Dalles Oregon

Tesla Supercharger The Dalles Oregon
Tesla Motors has just announced that they’ve opened their latest Supercharger in The Dalles Oregon.  This Supercharger will support travel between Portland, the Columbia River Gorge, Eastern Washington and Idaho.  And as Tesla is fond of saying “For free, for life!”
I cannot wait to charge up at The Dalles Tesla Supercharger after I get my Tesla Model S P85!!!  So stoked!
The Dalles Tesla Supercharger
2114 W 6th Street
The Dalles, OR  97058
Located at Cousins’ Country Inn, open 24/7 with 5 charging stalls

Planning Continues for 2015 North America Tesla Living Green Tour

2015 North America Tesla Living Green Tour
I’m really starting to get into the planning for our tour of North America next year, tentatively called the “2015 North America Tesla Living Green Tour”.  I’m really looking forward to visiting all 48 of the contiguous United States, all ten provinces in Canada as well as the last frontier of Alaska in a Model S next year.  Heck, if all goes well, we may even have the Tesla Model S shipped over to Hawaii and end our tour there for New Years 2016 (Stacia and I have scheduled our wedding for sometime next year in Hawaii anyway).
To pull this off, we are going to need A LOT of support – but in return we are planning to add A LOT of VALUE for our sponsors.
Without question, Tesla Motors is the most obvious Title Sponsor, but we have not yet received a commitment from them.  I’m sure they will want to help support us in some big way, it just has not been decided yet.
There are several other ‘green and healthy companies’ that I plan to get involved.  It will also be beneficial for tourism boards across the country to get involved, get on our tour schedule and benefit from all the publicity and promotion that we are going to be doing.  I expect that there will be at least a couple of cities in each state that would like us to come and feature something great about their area – maybe even more from the five states that are reported to be in the running for the upcoming Tesla “Gigafactory” – Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico and Texas.
Do you have any suggestions on how I should be marketing this tour?  Any potential sponsors or people that I should be contacting?  I’d appreciate any comments or suggestions on this.  Although I am manifesting a Tesla Model S, I’m not just wishing for it and sitting around.  I’m learning it, working it and determined to add value to people, companies and organizations to get it.  I’ve dedicated myself to doing whatever it takes to get a Tesla Motors Model S – and with a lot of help, I’m Getting a Tesla …
Thank you for your support.
Joe “Tesla Manifestor” Kennedy
(424) 234-8590
JoeTesla@ImGettingATesla.com

Panasonic to Team with Tesla Motors on New ‘Gigafactory’

Artist rendering of the future Tesla Gigafactory
According to a story from the Associated Press, Japanese electronics company Panasonic is partnering with American electric car maker Tesla Motors to build a battery manufacturing plant in the U.S. expected to create 6,500 jobs.
The companies announced the deal Thursday, but they did not say where in the U.S. the so-called “gigafactory,” or large-scale plant, will be built. Financial terms weren’t disclosed for the $5 billion plant.  The states currently in the competition for becoming home to the gigafactory include Arizona (Tucson recently gave Tesla an advance building permit), California, Nevada, New Mexico, and Texas – all states where land can be purchased relatively inexpensively.  It is rumored that the plant will need take up at least 500 acres and could initially be built on at least 1,000 acres.
More news on where the gigafactory will be located today, after Tesla Motors reports it’s 2nd quarter earnings.  Could be another exciting day in the world of Tesla, or they could remain tight-lipped.  As a Tesla executive recently told me by email “A birthday is always more fun when you wait to unwrap your presents!”
The plant will produce cells, modules and packs for Tesla’s electric vehicles and for the stationary energy storage market, employing 6,500 people by 2020.
Under the agreement, Tesla, based in Palo Alto, California, will prepare, provide and manage the land and buildings, while Osaka-based Panasonic will manufacture and supply the lithium-ion battery cells and invest in equipment.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has said the factory will help Tesla reduce its battery costs by 30 percent. Tesla needs cheaper batteries in order to produce its mass-market Model 3, an electric car it’s developing that would cost around $35,000. Tesla hopes to have the Model 3 on the road by 2017. The company’s only current vehicle, the Model S sedan, starts at $70,000 and goes to over $100k for the premium model.
“The Gigafactory represents a fundamental change in the way large-scale battery production can be realized,” said Tesla Chief Technical Officer and co-founder JB Straubel, referring to the cost reductions.
Sales of zero-emission electric vehicles account for less than 1 percent of the global auto market. But worries about global warming and more stringent emissions regulations in many countries are expected to boost sales of electric and other green vehicles.
Yoshihiko Yamada, executive vice president of Panasonic, said the planned factory will help the electric vehicle market grow.
Panasonic, which makes great products, but has lost some of its strength in consumer electronics to a growing sea of low-balling competitors, is putting more focus on businesses that serve other industries, including batteries.
It remains powerful in Japan and some overseas markets in consumer products such as refrigerators, washing machines and batteries for gadgets.

Tesla Delivers First Right Hand Drive Model S Luxury Sedans to Hong Kong

Last week Tesla Motors delivered the first right hand drive Model S’s in Asia to eight owners at Hong Kong’s Kai Tak Cruise Terminal. Jerome Guillen, Tesla’s Vice President of Worldwide Sales and Service, also unveiled Hong Kong’s first Superchargers, which allow Model S drivers to charge for free. Please see the YouTube video from Tesla Motors below – and excuse the music which has been getting roasted in the comments.

Elon Musk Talks Tesla, SpaceX and Future of Travel with Stephen Colbert

Founder of Tesla Motors, PayPal and SpaceX Elon Musk appeared on the Cobert Report last night with Stephen Colbert.  Apparently Colbert in the past had doubted Elon could make an electric vehicle that people would buy – now he drives a Tesla Model S himself.  Colbert said “it’s the best damn golf cart I’ve ever driven, but my golf club won’t let me take it on the links”.

(apologies, but apparently the YouTube video was taken down for copyright infringement).

Tesla Motors Confirms Lower Priced Model 3 Due Out in 2017

According to a post by Gregory McNeal at Forbes.com, Tesla Motors has confirmed that a new, lower priced Tesla, the Model 3 will be sold in 2017.
The next gen of Tesla is a smaller vehicle and will be marketed with a price point of around $35,000 to compete with the BMW 3 series vehicles.  It was previously reported that it would be called the Tesla Model E (presumably for Economy?), but apparently that has changed.  Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors has said on numerous occasions that a lower price point will be made possible by the Tesla Gigafactory that is going to be mass producing batteries for the entire Tesla line of vehicles.
A leading article at Auto Express from the UK has photos of the future Tesla Model 3, but a tweet from the official Tesla Motors twitter account says that the images were ‘mock-ups based on their own speculation’.  Take a look and let me know what you think.

Tesla Crash at Tesla Motors’ Fremont Store and Delivery Center Leaves Questions

Tesla Model S Crash Fremont Factory

Apparently yesterday there was a strange crash at the Tesla Motors’ store and delivery center in Fremont California.  There have been conflicting reports as to what caused the accident, but as you can see from the photos, it did not end well for the unfortunate Tesla owner.

While some were speculating that the crash was caused by someone celebrating with too much champagne before picking up their new Tesla Model S, there is some evidence that the car was not just being picked up – and that the driver may have simply hit the wrong pedal when attempting to brake.

According to a couple of reports at Jalopnik, a witness reported that the driver did hit the wrong pedal when attempting to brake.  They also said that the car already had California HOV lane stickers attached, which would show that the car was at least a couple of months old.

Regardless, it is a shame to crash the best car on the planet – the Tesla Model S has also been called “The Magic Car”.

7 Reasons I am Excited About Getting a Tesla

Grey Tesla Model S
Ever since I first drove the Tesla Model S P85, I’ve known that I HAVE to have one.  Not owning one is not an option.  Not only is it a good looking and fully functional vehicle – it is super fun to drive and if you have seen the video of our kids in the back seat, you can see how happy it made them.  There are a lot of reasons that I am excited about getting a Tesla – gray Model S P85 and here are 7 of them:
1. Teslas are far more environmentally friendly than cars with combustible engines …  We’ve all done way too much to harm our precious Mother Earth and it is time that we all do whatever we can to help preserve and repair her.
2. Once I own my Tesla, I will never have to buy gasoline again.  This does relate to reason #1, but it also helps reduce dependence on a commodity that wars are continually fought for.  When there is no dependence on oil, there is no need to start or fight wars to be able to get it.
3.  Having a Tesla means being able to take more road trips.  Not having to pay for expensive gasoline will enable us to show our kids more of our great country.  We will get to see Mt. Rushmore, the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, the Liberty Bell, the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Sedona, Yosemite, Niagra Falls, the Lincoln Memorial, and so many other wonderful places.  Since Stacia and I are avid video journalists and bloggers, we will also be able to share these experiences with thousands of readers and viewers.
4. Having a Tesla will enable us to discover more cool people and businesses to write about and report on.  Since we will no longer be limited to where we can go by our fuel budget, we will be able to get out and discover and share more.
5.  Owning a Tesla means that we will be able to share our Tesla.  We are committed to sharing the Tesla experience wherever we go.  While some people can go to a Tesla dealership and test drive one, many across our great country do not live close enough and we want to be able to help people experience driving a Tesla first hand.
6.  Tesla vehicles have superior design.  Not only are Teslas designed with the best aerodynamics and range of miles per charge, but they are super functional, equipped with full internet, 17″ touch screen computers with navigation, back up camera – and they not only have room for cargo in the trunk of the car, but also in the ‘frunk” or the front trunk (where the engine of most oil burning cars sits).  Teslas are road trip ready!
7. Tesla Motors is continually installing more Super Chargers across the country.  A Tesla can get a full charge in around 30 minutes at a Super Charger – and use of the Super Charger is FREE!!!
BONUS:  Did I mention that driving a Tesla is FUN?  It’s the most fun that I’ve had in a long time and if you check out the video, you will see that the kids enjoyed it too.