This came sooner than perhaps even prophetic JB Straubel-san had imagined. The EV tipping point about which we’ve been hearing, writing and pondering for the last few years, wondering when it would arrive — has arrived, despite low gas prices. The problem is, Tesla can build ’em only so fast. As problems go, this ranks among the best, but it’s still a problem.
Quality control again at the fore
Tesla managed to retard Model X production while holding back a river of some 30,000 orders. People complained. Journalists and financial analysts made much of it. But Tesla did the right thing by building a sea wall and taking its time. Well, this time around, the river of orders is more like the Pacific Ocean. Can Tesla hold it back long enough to ensure a quality product but not so long that everyone throws their hands up and boos the company? Model ☰ was designed with easy manufacturing in mind. How easy? Lego easy? Hope so, because we’re demanding Lego volume.
Second reveal promises bigger kicks
Tesla wisely decided to hold some cards close to the vest. A deluge of orders arrived without Tesla detailing much of anything, really. Livestream viewers complained of Elon’s abrupt Exit Stage Left. We received no data about packages, specs, features , prices etc. That’s quite a void. To boot, Elon is now tweeting about spaceship steering controls that totally differ from the prototype. Speculation points to a novel driver interface. A heads-up display? A retractable steering wheel that goes away when the car is driving itself? We’re hungry for Part II. It will probably add superfluous orders, but it also might set Tesla apart from the rest of the auto world more than any other event so far. Part II will probably unveil something so shocking that Model S and X, so recently the vanguard of auto technology, will suddenly seem traditionalist. Such is the pace of Silicon Valley. We’d better get used to it.
UPDATE: 325,000 orders announced April 7.