Tesla electric supercar may be delayed

'Not yet fully within our grasp', says ex-CEO


Tesla Motors, the widely-lauded California company behind the Roadster high-performance electric car, may have run into problems.

promo shot of redTesla Roadster

The Roadster - possible teething troubles?

The Tesla Roadster is planned to be one of the world's first true all-electric cars for consumer users, as opposed to specialist machinery such as milk floats or forklifts.

The $100,000 Roadster is powered by a Li-ion battery pack, delivering supercar acceleration, distinctly ordinary top speed, and normal range. Its main snag - assuming it achieves the projected specs - is that it will take hours to charge up again once the battery runs flat, which will seriously limit its usability.

But the Roadster itself emits no pollution whatsoever into the atmosphere. If charged up using cleanly-generated electricity (somehow) it is completely green, and yet fun to drive and sexy to look at. This has led to a large number of pre-production reservations being placed with Tesla. Wannabe Roadster-drivers include the Governator, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and the founders of Google.

The first cars are supposed to be delivered this autumn. However, car-crazy news site Jalopnik yesterday posted an email it had obtained, sent out by Tesla founder Martin Eberhard to the various wealthy would-be owners who have stumped up large sums for a place on the delivery list.

"Naturally, the question on many Tesla customers' minds is 'When will I get my car?'" writes Eberhard.

"The short answer is: We are still planning to start production of the Roadster by the end of next month... We have a good chance of meeting this goal, but to be fully transparent, I want you to know that while it is within our reach, it is not yet fully within our grasp."

Not actually a very short answer.

Eberhard goes on to say that crash testing and durability testing are the only remaining things to be accomplished. He is "confident" about the crash testing, having carried it out on previous prototypes.

He then expounds briefly on durability testing, which "includes both the mechanical components of the Roadster and also the software that controls everything from door latches to battery cooling... we will soon enter the next phase of durability testing that incorporates all previous fixes. The results of this testing are critical to the schedule".

This could lead one to speculate that there are issues with the lifespan or reliability of the battery pack, which Eberhard hopes - but isn't sure - his team has fixed. That was always going to be one of the main hurdles Tesla had to jump.

He also reveals that he is no longer CEO of Tesla, the company which he has personally grown "from two people in a tiny office in Menlo Park to 250 people spread around the world".

Eberhard will now become "president of technology". In this role he will "focus on the final details of the Roadster and on advancing Tesla's leadership in our core technology. I will also be able to spend more time with you, our customers".

The Tesla board has yet to find anyone suitable to become the new CEO, but Michael Marks, former Flextronic chief, has agreed to act in the interim. Marks is down to get one of the first Roadsters, and is a Tesla investor.

The full text is at Jalopnik, here. ®


Other stories you might like

  • Cheers ransomware hits VMware ESXi systems
    Now we can say extortionware has jumped the shark

    Another ransomware strain is targeting VMware ESXi servers, which have been the focus of extortionists and other miscreants in recent months.

    ESXi, a bare-metal hypervisor used by a broad range of organizations throughout the world, has become the target of such ransomware families as LockBit, Hive, and RansomEXX. The ubiquitous use of the technology, and the size of some companies that use it has made it an efficient way for crooks to infect large numbers of virtualized systems and connected devices and equipment, according to researchers with Trend Micro.

    "ESXi is widely used in enterprise settings for server virtualization," Trend Micro noted in a write-up this week. "It is therefore a popular target for ransomware attacks … Compromising ESXi servers has been a scheme used by some notorious cybercriminal groups because it is a means to swiftly spread the ransomware to many devices."

    Continue reading
  • Twitter founder Dorsey beats hasty retweet from the board
    As shareholders sue the social network amid Elon Musk's takeover scramble

    Twitter has officially entered the post-Dorsey age: its founder and two-time CEO's board term expired Wednesday, marking the first time the social media company hasn't had him around in some capacity.

    Jack Dorsey announced his resignation as Twitter chief exec in November 2021, and passed the baton to Parag Agrawal while remaining on the board. Now that board term has ended, and Dorsey has stepped down as expected. Agrawal has taken Dorsey's board seat; Salesforce co-CEO Bret Taylor has assumed the role of Twitter's board chair. 

    In his resignation announcement, Dorsey – who co-founded and is CEO of Block (formerly Square) – said having founders leading the companies they created can be severely limiting for an organization and can serve as a single point of failure. "I believe it's critical a company can stand on its own, free of its founder's influence or direction," Dorsey said. He didn't respond to a request for further comment today. 

    Continue reading
  • Snowflake stock drops as some top customers cut usage
    You might say its valuation is melting away

    IPO darling Snowflake's share price took a beating in an already bearish market for tech stocks after filing weaker than expected financial guidance amid a slowdown in orders from some of its largest customers.

    For its first quarter of fiscal 2023, ended April 30, Snowflake's revenue grew 85 percent year-on-year to $422.4 million. The company made an operating loss of $188.8 million, albeit down from $205.6 million a year ago.

    Although surpassing revenue expectations, the cloud-based data warehousing business saw its valuation tumble 16 percent in extended trading on Wednesday. Its stock price dived from $133 apiece to $117 in after-hours trading, and today is cruising back at $127. That stumble arrived amid a general tech stock sell-off some observers said was overdue.

    Continue reading
  • Amazon investors nuke proposed ethics overhaul and say yes to $212m CEO pay
    Workplace safety, labor organizing, sustainability and, um, wage 'fairness' all struck down in vote

    Amazon CEO Andy Jassy's first shareholder meeting was a rousing success for Amazon leadership and Jassy's bank account. But for activist investors intent on making Amazon more open and transparent, it was nothing short of a disaster.

    While actual voting results haven't been released yet, Amazon general counsel David Zapolsky told Reuters that stock owners voted down fifteen shareholder resolutions addressing topics including workplace safety, labor organizing, sustainability, and pay fairness. Amazon's board recommended voting no on all of the proposals.

    Jassy and the board scored additional victories in the form of shareholder approval for board appointments, executive compensation and a 20-for-1 stock split. Jassy's executive compensation package, which is tied to Amazon stock price and mostly delivered as stock awards over a multi-year period, was $212 million in 2021. 

    Continue reading
  • Confirmed: Broadcom, VMware agree to $61b merger
    Unless anyone out there can make a better offer. Oh, Elon?

    Broadcom has confirmed it intends to acquire VMware in a deal that looks set to be worth $61 billion, if it goes ahead: the agreement provides for a “go-shop” provision under which the virtualization giant may solicit alternative offers.

    Rumors of the proposed merger emerged earlier this week, amid much speculation, but neither of the companies was prepared to comment on the deal before today, when it was disclosed that the boards of directors of both organizations have unanimously approved the agreement.

    Michael Dell and Silver Lake investors, which own just over half of the outstanding shares in VMware between both, have apparently signed support agreements to vote in favor of the transaction, so long as the VMware board continues to recommend the proposed transaction with chip designer Broadcom.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022