Some interesting nuggets from the EV Iron Man. For example, it sounds like the falcon doors on the new all-electric SUV — the Model X — caused the big-time delays on getting the vehicle rolled out:
Getting that right and making sure it works really well and isn’t a gimmick but is a fundamental improvement in utility and aesthetics for the cars, is extremely difficult. There’s a reason other people haven’t done this. And then the second row seats on the Model X are a piece of sculptural beauty. They’re amazing. They’re the nicest second row seats you’ve ever seen in any car, ever. That actually might have been harder than the door. And there are some other things about the X that people don’t know about yet.
Now I’m curious about being a backseat driver in that car. And then Musk discusses the need to hurry up his mass-market EV, the $35,000 Model III that will go 200 miles on a charge but won’t be delivered until 2017 (if we’re lucky):
There are things we could do with the Model III platform that are really adventurous but would put the schedule at risk. So what we’re going to do is have something that’s going to be an amazing car but it won’t be the most adventurous version the Model III to being with. But we will then have the more different version of the Model III, on the Model III platform, following the initial version.
David Baker in the San Francisco Chronicle criticized Musk’s admission here that later models of the III will be better, arguing that it will scare people away from buying the first year’s model. But I disagree. There’s so much pent-up demand for a mass-market EV that Tesla won’t have any difficulty selling this model.
Finally, there’s Tesla’s play to be an energy storage provider: Musk promises to deliver home batteries in about six months, with an unveiling in another month or so.
All in all, lots happening at the company trying to change the world.