First 2012 Tesla Model S Delivered To Earliest Depositor Steve Jurvetson (Video)

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Deliveries of the 2012 Tesla Model S electric sedan will officially begin on June 22.

But the very first production Model S off the line has already been handed over to its new owner.

It went to none other than venture capitalist and Tesla board member Steve Jurvetson, who is now driving it around Silicon Valley--complete with a telltale personalized "TSLA S1" California license plate.

The delivery took place last weekend, according to our sources, as soon as the Model S had been fully certified and homologated by all relevant U.S. government agencies.

As noted last night by Business Insider, the 2012 Model S with the telltale plate was snapped by Twitter user Evan Moore at Stanford University's business school.

While Moore's Twitter account is protected (as is his Instagram account), the photo was reproduced on Business Insider (and we've used a small portion of it below).

High Gear Media reached out to Jurvetson, a managing director of Draper Fisher Jurvetson, earlier this week.

Through an intermediary, he responded that he was unable to help with our questions because he is still on the Tesla board and comments were "against the policy."

First production 2012 Tesla Model S [detail from photo by evancharlesmoore on instagram]

First production 2012 Tesla Model S [detail from photo by evancharlesmoore on instagram]

Enlarge Photo

But Jurvetson has long been known to be the first Model S buyer.

Three years ago, as the San Jose Mercury-News related in a July 2010 story, Jurvetson stunned an early 2009 Tesla board meeting by pulling a blank check from his wallet and filling it out on the spot to reserve the very first Model S to come off the line.

Doing so, he even beat Tesla CEO Elon Musk to the punch. Musk drives the first production Tesla Roadster, but he is apparently relegated to Model S # 002--which we understand he's driving around Los Angeles this week as well.

Tesla Motors is now building Model S vehicles on its assembly line in Fremont, California, and the first 2012 Tesla Model S will be officially delivered to a civilian buyer on Friday, June 22.

The company is planning a great deal of (justified) publicity around that event, and even has a countdown clock--showing not only days, but hours, minutes, and even seconds until that first delivery--on its weekly "Inside Tesla" blog posts about the Model S.

Meanwhile, the more than 10,000 buyers who've put down deposits for a Model S will have to spend the next 15 days envying Jurvetson and Musk.

The two men are driving high-end "Signature Series" cars, fitted with the largest 85-kilowatt-hour battery pack. Depending on other options, it will give the car a range of up to 320 miles (when measured at a steady 55 mph, which we suspect is not how they drive).

We'll be eagerly waiting for the official EPA range and efficiency ratings for the various Model S variants, which we trust Tesla will release before the launch event.


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Comments (30)
  1. A very proud moment for Tesla owners.

    I suspect that a lot of auto industry execs will be calling early morning wtf meetings as 'that Silicon Valley startup joke' delivers its first no-compromise EV.

  2. I suspect the release of the Tesla Model S sport sedan to usher in a massive change of paradigm about how EV’s will now be seen the auto industry. No longer will an EV have to be unusual looking or very small or underpowered or that we will have to advertise them like medicine that’s good for you. Tesla can proudly say that we have a great car here that will exceed the performance abilities of ordinary gasoline powered cars come and test drive the Model S during the Get Amped test drive tour being held across America.

  3. actually the many thousands of folks who paid their reservation fee and will never see their car when Tesla cannot deliver will say WTF and will then ask Steve to give the car to Zip Car so it can be shared.

  4. Amazing. Thanks for keeping us up to date.

  5. John Voelcker wrote: "We'll be eagerly waiting for the official EPA range and efficiency ratings"

    @john: Tesla has already released range and efficiency ratings for the Model S on this website:

    Congrats to Tesla for manufacturing the by far most efficient luxury sedan and exceeding the range of any other EV on the market by far as well.

    Because they'll plan to manufacture the 85kWh cars first, I doubt, that TM will release detailed numbers on the smaller battery packs, before they start producing them.

  6. @Sven: Tesla's estimates are not the same as the ratings released by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which are the standard used to compare cars from different makers.

    Also, note that the article links to a note that says that Tesla's estimates are for range at a steady 55 mph. Do you truly expect Model S owners to drive only at 55 mph? :)

  7. AFAIK Tesla's estimates actually are the same as the EPA numbers since EPA relies on carmakers to do the testing for it and provide it with the numbers (or maybe EVs get a different treatment?). Since Tesla tested the Model S/85 at 265 miles of range in the new 5 cycle test I reckon that's the number they will submit to the EPA.

  8. @john: Yes, but on the same article they're also saying: "5-cycle range of 265 miles."

    In this case, TM is referring to the new harder EPA tests, which "include a cold driving cycle that requires heater use, a hot weather cycle with air conditioning operation, and a high-speed cycle (reaching 80mph) with rapid accelerations." (Quote from the same article)

    So as far as I get it, this is the number, we can expect as the 2012 EPA-Range.

    And to compare it to other cars, you have to look up the same new 5-cycle numbers, as they differ from the tests in previous years. For example, the Nissan LEAF gets 73 miles under these testing conditions.

  9. @Sven: Yes, and the 73-mile range is what Nissan quotes for the Leaf, per EPA-approved tests. If in fact EPA certifies that 265-mile range estimate for the 2012 Model S (with the largest pack), I'll be happy to quote it.

  10. @John. I believe it will be like that Sammy Hagar song. I can't drive 55!lol

  11. There are more comments in this thread
  12. Doesn't this mean that Dan Neil has lost his bet with Elon Musk? Anyway, congratulations Tesla on not only meeting your deadline but getting there early! Finally there is an electric car out there that will show the world what a real electric car is like. It's not a conversion, it's not slow, it's range is not severely limited, it's not a subcompact ecobox, it the first real electric car built to be the best rather then just something that works. Again, congratulations Tesla!

  13. @CDspeed: Let's just say I'm planning a followup to that story. :)

  14. I'll look forward to it. ; )

  15. I am impressed. The videos released are also impressive, but they all show no production line filled with more product. Tesla can build and sell anything but can they make money at it? It probably helps to have buyers with more money than brains, but with early ones going for about 100 grand that will help Tesla some. To build 20,000 units per year is 10 finished cars per hour. It will be interesting to see their ramp up to speed. Also, in automotive a lot of the tooling and equipment costs will be due once it is proven to run at rate.
    If this is being handled like prototype, which I suspect, their deliveries will be slow while they try to hide their non-readiness. Time will tell!

  16. I think you read to many Tesla skeptic blog articles. So far Tesla delivers as promised. Let's start the howling once there is real evidence that the company can't deliver as promised. Until then: let's give them a break!

  17. Chris, with all due respect, questioning whether or not Tesla will make it long term is not "howling," it's a legitimate question. Nobody generally questions the delivery, but there are strong legitimate doubts about whether or not Tesla will make it. Profitability is different than just making vehicles, isn't it?

    Nobody wishes Tesla more luck than me, but why can't you acknowledge that Tesla isn't profitable yet & there are still some questions? Is that too difficult, even for a fan? Don't take it so personally when T isn't profitable and has yet to spend billions yet on warranty claims, new dealers and advertising, which it will eventually need to do.

    Again, I think T is doing great now but that doesn't guarantee long term success yet.

  18. Robok, There is armies of armchair critics out there telling us Tesla stands no chance based on their own ill informed speculations like mistakenly supposing Tesla is dependent on rare earth elements and that will do them in (sounds familiar?).

    If somebody has real facts that prove that there are serious issues with Tesla's viability I would be interested in hearing about it but I really don't care about idle speculation from people who have already made up their minds about Tesla and confuse their own speculations with facts.

    And the only thing we know for sure about the long term is that we'll all be dead...

  19. Let's put it this way, Chris, since absolutely any criticism of Tesla is clearly unacceptable in fan boy world; when will Tesla show a profit? How will it pay for the dealers? How will it sell in states that won't allow OEMs to sell directly? How will people in states with no dealers and service buy and then service the vehicles?

    Where is the money Tesla will need to pay major warranty claims when they inevitable occur? Oh, that's right, Tesla is my newest, bestest friend and nothing will ever go wrong, etc...? Sound familiar?

    As far as me allegedly making up my mind, learn to read. I've stated dozens of times I hope I'm wrong but obviously, your magic fairy dust will make Tesla the only new OEM to make it since... when exactly?

  20. Yeah, your rare earth theory was a bit of a fiasco wasn't it... Cheer up though, maybe one of the new disasters you have though up for Tesla will pan out better for you. Maybe the dealer conundrum will get them down. Or maybe they haven't learned anything form the Roadster and will their *second* car have a lot of teething problems too and are they totally unprepared for this sort of thing. And maybe ICE vehicle history really is useful to predict the fate of a company doing something completely different. BTW did you know that Tesla only needs to sell 8000 units world wide to have a positive cashflow? With that sort a facts in mind I feel confident that speculations about Tesla's imminent demise should be taken with a grain of salt.

  21. @Chris: To be fair, though, positive cashflow is a very different condition from generating enough surplus cash year in and year out to invest in a continual stream of updates and new products. Any car company has to spend roughly $1 billion per new platform every 7 years. Even if Tesla has only a single mid-size platform, from which it derives a sedan, a drophead coupe, a sport-utility, and a new Roadster, the company still has to be able to replace that car in the fall of 2018.

    But, hey, *if* that calculation of 8,000 cars to break even is true, positive cashflow will be a good contributor toward making the company attractive for its backers to sell to a large global automaker.

  22. There are more comments in this thread
  23. Fantastic moment! Congratulations to the whole Tesla team. Keep them coming!

  24. @John Here is the image you should be using in this article:

    In the comments I link to an audio recording of a chat I had with Steve back at the Model S premiere. He had just finished the first test-ride in their prototype after it was announced he'd get the first car.

  25. Great article, please keep them coming.

    I would love to hear about other Model S's which have already been delivered (prior to the 6/22/12 date). I saw that TM may have also delivered Elon's as well...are there others?

    Thanks again -

  26. Notice that Steve was a bit surprised by the instant response of the Tesla Model S electric drive train. I suspected that he pressed the accelerator pedal much like you do on a gasoline vehicle and was a bit surprised by the instant response since electric motors are able to produce all of their torque right away from a dead start unlike a gasoline powered car. Great day for Tesla for after today electric vehicles will no longer be looked at as glorified golf carts again. I am looking forward to the "Get Amped test drive tour” that Tesla will be sponsoring through out America after the Model S general release date of 06/22/2012. Hopefully Tesla will be able to show all the doubting Thomas’s out there how good the Model S really is.

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