Tesla Model S owner David Metcalf after covering more than 400 miles [photo: Gene Kruckemyer]Enlarge Photo
Tesla has announced that 60-kWh production will begin this month, and 40-kWh production in March. The company seems to be in no particular hurry to do so, and who can blame them?
They'd prefer to sell as many of the more expensive 85-kWh cars as possible, as they try to overcome the cash crunch of production start-up.
Tesla Motors remains mum about the proportion of the various battery options in the order book, so it's unknown how many 40- and 60-kWh depositors have been passed over as 85-kWh production continues.
But there have been numerous non-sequential deliveries of 85-kWh P cars as well. The reasons behind this seeming "delivery roulette" are a frustrating mystery for many owners.
Through it all, Tesla has been characteristically obtuse about the reasons for its out-of-order deliveries of production models.
There were similar problems with out-of-order Signature deliveries that spurred much grumbling among impatient owners. At the time, Tesla VP George Blankenship responded with an e-mail explaining that the problem was due to vendor delays and changes or shortages of certain interior decors and options.
"In some weeks," Blankenship wrote, "it meant we had to reach forward in the sequence order to find cars that were not impacted by a particular decor or option, and in some case the absence of a decor or option pushed cars back."
In his note to Signature owners, Blankenship acknowledged the importance of the sequence numbers.
"Many Model S reservation holders I have met during the last two years introduce themselves by name and then follow their introduction by giving me their....reservation sequence number," he wrote. "Their sequence number is...very important to them, and is very important to us."
Blankenship characterized Tesla's customer communication on the subject as "weak at best," and promised to do better.
But so far, Tesla has sent no such explanation to us production owners. (Or at least P 717 has not received one.)
David Noland is a Tesla Model S reservation holder and freelance writer who lives north of New York City.