Tesla Model S 60-kWh Delayed To Jan: Bye-Bye, 2012 Tax Credit

2013 Tesla Model S

2013 Tesla Model S

Enlarge Photo

Well, it looks like there won't be a Tesla Model S under my Christmas tree after all.

Even more annoying, that means I'll have to wait until April 15, 2014, to take advantage of my $7,500 electric-car tax credit.

As Model S reservation holder P717, I'd hoped to take delivery of my car this month, after the initial batch of 1,200 premium-priced Signature cars were completed by Tesla Motors [NSDQ:TSLA].

When I signed the purchase agreement back in August, I was told I'd get my car--a metallic green 60-kWh model--in November or December, in time for the 2012 tax credit.

But with production slippages and a delay in the EPA certification of the 60-kWh battery version, delivery by the December 31 deadline began to look dicey.

Tesla has now officially delivered the bad news in a note to its reservation holders: production of 60-kWh cars won't begin until January, with initial deliveries in "January/early February."

With perhaps a couple of hundred 60-kWh buyers in line ahead of me, and the one- to two-week delivery time from California to my place in New York, it now looks like I'll get my hands on the car in mid- or late February.

Oh, well. At least I'll be missing a lot of cold weather, in which electric cars typically lose substantial range.

Tesla also announced new delivery dates for certain other options not available at the start of production.

Production of the base 40-kWh Model S will begin in March 2013, with deliveries starting in "March/early April."

Cars with the standard coil suspension will also now start production in March. (So far, cars have been built only with the optional $1,500 air suspension.)

2012 Tesla Model S, brief test drive, New York City, July 2012

2012 Tesla Model S, brief test drive, New York City, July 2012

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The one option whose start date hasn't been pushed back is the new multi-coat Red paint color, which will come on line in March, as originally scheduled.

Tesla promises to send Model S buyers regular updates as each option gets closer to production.

"We have not done a great job at all in the past regarding communication on these items," conceded Tesla VP George Blankenship. "I fully acknowledge our shortfall in this area."

Going forward, he promised, the company will do "a much better job."

David Noland is a Tesla Model S reservation holder and freelance writer who lives north of New York City.


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Comments (11)
  1. I spotted a black Tesla Model S in the wild in Cambridge, MA today. It is the first one I have seen on the streets.

  2. I have seen a white/pearl color one, red one, black one and a silverish one.

    None close up though... I guess a lot of the Tesla owners visit the "wine country" often...

  3. I understand anticipation is killer, but relax your car will arrive and you dont need to freak out and write an article or anything.

  4. Writing an article about it is a good thing. We like to hear any news about Tesla, and its delivery policies.

    Unfortunately building a new car involves all sorts of issues and unforeseen problems that will affect delivery times. At least Tesla is trying very hard to do the right thing and not compromise quality to meet a delivery schedule.

  5. Hey David Noland, you are still in better situation then we, EU citizens :-) We don't even know the price yet, not mentioning delivery dates... First deliveries for EU was planed for early 2013 if I remember correctly... Well, that is not going to happen, so we can hope for late March or later delivery ;-)

  6. And you, EU guys, are in much better situation than we here in Russia. The only plug-in car we can buy is MITSUBISHI i-MiEV for about 58000 USD. Also, cold weather and relatively inexpensive fossil fuel makes using EV absolutely unpractical. So, you are lucky to be able to drive a car of the future very soon.

  7. Same in Bulgaria, of course... Yes, some people's getting EVs earlier - just enjoy guys, delays are not a happy face maker, but still c'mon

  8. @ David, chin up maybe you'll get lucky and miss the snow and ice so you can take that first drive and keep the car clean.

  9. Look on the brighter side, who knows if Obama can get the credit up to $10k....

  10. Whats' wrong with Tesla.

    They should Deliver Every 60 KWH vehicle they can, and then immediately take them back for Warranty service issues :-)

    Lots of computer companies will haul crap to the loading dock, issue a freight ticket and then recall the product for "Issues"

  11. David,

    I have a P200 with a 60kwh battery, you have to wait till I get mine:-) I asked the Tesla adviser where my car is in the 60khw orders, he said he cannot share that info but its high in the list. My feeling is that there are probably 20-30 Pxxx reservation holders before me.

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