250 miles of bullshit

Contrary to today’s headlines, Tesla has not “confirmed” anything about Model III driving range. Sigh. When will reporters stop peeking over each other’s shoulders in class and repeating the wrong answers? Journalism 101: Always go to the source material for the truth instead of assuming other reporters know what they’re talking about. Tesla did not “confirm” anything to anybody in any interview. Here’s the source material. Skip to 34:00 for Elon’s mention of range and 36:00 for JB Straubel’s mention.

Musk’s comment was wrongly paraphrased in this article. Then came the re-blogging etc. and suddenly we have a tall tale about Model III range, yet without any direct quote. There’s your first sign of trouble.

“Confirming” the Model III’s range in June 2015 is tantamount to confirming how many angels fit on the head of a pin, or how many holes it takes to fill the Albert Hall. Tesla wouldn’t do such a thing.

However . . .

It sure seems that electric car cost and range are about to move quickly downward and upward respectively. Even Tesla’s guesstimations might prove conservative. The tipping point might prove violent indeed, and gas prices be damned. As stated before on these pages, Tesla sells excitement first, ROI formulae second. But when the ROI math suddenly falls within the not-stupid zone? Look out. Here comes the next Prius, except handsome and fun to drive. Confirmed! Uh, probably.

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3 thoughts on “250 miles of bullshit

  1. vfxx says:

    That Jennifer Nola quote was all there was till the you tube posted much later. Was thee even assurances there would be a video released? Either way, the race to be first trumps the patience for the horse’s mouth to be heard (herd?)

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  2. Thank you for this article. I bit on the ‘rumor’ and spread it on a site, I think Autobloggreen. Dumb dumb dumb. I edited it and apologized.
    As to the idea that the Model3 price may comer down I have to say that from the first day the GF was official as was the line ‘30% off battery cost’ I was convinced Elon/Tesla/Panasonic believed they could reasonably get to 50% cheaper. Most everything Elon has said and done as CEO/be-all of Tesla Motors makes me believe he is purposefully underestimating the publicized numbers and figures that the company is shooting for, when possible. I think there are numerous reasons to think Tesla do this when it is to their advantage in cases where overestimating helps they’ll do that too. I don’t think it is being misleading as much as it is giving yourself a bit of wiggle room that always tilts towards making it likely the company will look better than the initial figure would make them look. For example quarterly financial numbers. They almost never disappoint. I think it is strictly due to careful management that is always striving to make the company look better.
    I believe this was done perfectly early on to the point that I think their deft handling in this manner was the majority of the reason the stock took off. Only the excellent quality of the car was another large reason to back Tesla. The constant and consistent pilling up of good news bit after good news, better sales numbers than forecast, better revenue than forecast, made it so the stock never really went down due to lack of excitement or news.
    I can’t say how proud I am of them for doing this so very well. I know this conversation may be turned on its ear to claim Tesla have manipulated the market and the public to make gains they don’t deserve but I reject that contention. Everyone has the right/duty to portray themselves honestly but 100% is never the ideal, companies and people need to have their secrets and they need to have some wiggle room for things to not be either all-black or all-white.
    Elon/Tesla execs/board members have done their duty to the company and society while presenting this strategy to the world and every other company tries to or wants to be part of telling their own story. Tesla have just done this better than any other company I can think of.
    They’re even keeping some patents to themselves, at least for a time, unless I’m mistaken. Which would fit nicely with the theme, looking almost as good as possible by opening up patents to anyone to use for free and without permission or partnership. Except for the most current ones that are being used to build the next product. The ModelS stuff is out there because they’ve moved on. If I’m mistaken about the patent issue I’ll gladly defer, I’m not certain I know this for sure. It wouldn’t shock me if they kept some secret while it would be shocking to know they just publish everything as soon as they possibly can.

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  3. I didn’t complete the thought. I bet that the secret, internal goal for the Model3 IS 250 mile range from the EPA. So this is probably ironic (a funny idea itself).

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