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Ads which illustrate why I am so pissed about Tesla's marketing of the 160

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by jimbakker666, Dec 22, 2011.

  1. jimbakker666

    jimbakker666 Member

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    #1 jimbakker666, Dec 22, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2011
    As you all know, I'm pretty upset about what I feel was misleading advertising by Tesla for their 160 Model S. A forum member sent me a link to an archived version of Tesla's website, pre-option pricing. The link to the archived page is here: http://webarchive.teslamotors.com/models/ I don't know how old the archived page is, but it is a good example of what I'm talking about. I haven't had a chance to review their Model S pamphlet from two months ago, but at this point do I really need to?

    I've attached three images. I had to crop them to remove my email header and didn't have time to make them prettier, sorry about that. However, you can clearly see that Tesla marketed the $49,900 Model S as having a 0-60 time of 5.6 seconds and a 45-minute Quick Charge. One page indicates, correctly, that the range is 'Up to 300 Miles', while the other simply states '300 mile range'. On every page, the price is listed at $49,900.
    tesla.jpg
    tesla2.jpg

    But wait, you say, there is an asterisk next to the price! Obviously that indicates that these specs apply only to the more expensive models? Nope. If you look at the last picture, I included the note pertaining to the asterisk: That the $49,900 price was after a federal tax credit. Wow, nice of them to let us know!
    tesla3.jpg

    If Tesla did not deliver on these claims, it wouldn't be too big an issue. However, they did deliver. They just delivered it for the higher-end Model S. I find it very hard to believe that they have technical limitations which prevented them from delivering QC to the 160, and I find it equally hard to imagine they wouldn't know that the 0-60 performance wouldn't apply to the 160. Even posters here state that they knew the battery size would limit the 160 from achieving that 0-60 time. If forum posters familiar w/ EVs understood that, Tesla must have.

    Again, the issue is that Tesla misrepresented their product to reservation holders like myself. There may even be non-reservation holders who heard about the performance and filed it in their mental archives for the day that the vehicle actually comes out. When they hear that the car is out and meets those specs, they'll excitedly head right on down to a Tesla store and ask to see it...only to be shown the more expensive models.

    "But I thought it was only $49k?" Oh yeah, well we have that model but it doesn't meet those specs.
    "So you're telling me that you did indeed meet those specs, but they're only for the more expensive car? Yes sir, very good sir!

    "But that's kinda shady, ain't it?


    And before someone says, 'But you don't know, maybe they will offer a 45-minute Quick Charge!', let me preempt you with a question:

    If they do not offer it, then will you agree that they misrepresented it?
     
  2. Lloyd

    Lloyd Active Member

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    #2 Lloyd, Dec 22, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2011
    Jim, Right now the charge time to 50% is one hour with the 2nd onboard charger, and you can do it at home without finding a supercharger and waiting in line. This allows you charging to 20kw. Not that much different from the quick charge claimed above.
     
  3. Dennisf

    Dennisf Member

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    I understand that you are upset. But at the same time we didn't get the 1 minute battery swap (that would have been awesome). And it does say base price 49,900. So with that in mind I see the site pictures you posted more as something to give us an idea what to expect. To be honest, the car looks a lot different too..

    But that 1 minute battery swap....
     
  4. dpeilow

    dpeilow Moderator

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    Surely it's 100% different?
     
  5. AnOutsider

    AnOutsider S532 # XS27

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    I also looked at the flyer I got from Tesla at the Model S event back in 2009. It also says "Base Price", which I think is more than enough to illustrate (as most car manufacturers do) that the car starts at $X and can be optioned up from there. It would also lead me to believe that the options and specs shown may or may not be included in the base car.
     
  6. Lloyd

    Lloyd Active Member

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    Just order two Big Macs instead of one while you are waiting!

    If they allow Chademo connection there will be no difference.
     
  7. widodh

    widodh Model S R231 EU

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    In the beginning the Tesla website also stated that the Model S could charge from 480V, that is where I assumed it would charge with 3-phase power.. That disappeared as well.

    Anyway, I don't think there is a technical limitation with the 40kWh pack, you simply charge it with ~40kW of power instead of 90kW and it will also charge in 45 min to a 80% SoC.

    I do get the point why Jim feels mislead.
     
  8. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

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    Let's also be fair...

    That webarchive is from 2008/9 and it is amazing that Tesla stayed with a base price of $49,900 (after tax credit). If you want to get pedantic, then it's also fair to look at the FAQ's page:

    attachment.php?attachmentid=3744&d=1324591791.jpg
    faq page.jpg
     
  9. onlinespending

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    #9 onlinespending, Dec 22, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2011
    But lets face it. They certainly knew even then that the 40 kWh and 60 kWh would not go from 0-60 in 5.6 seconds. And they also probably knew that the 40 kWh would not be offered with Supercharge capability. Yet they made the decision not to disclose that information up front. They intentionally withheld limitations of the base models in an effort to drum up more down-payments. Remember, this is a company that needed all the money it could just to stay afloat.
     
  10. AnOutsider

    AnOutsider S532 # XS27

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    #10 AnOutsider, Dec 22, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2011
    I remember a post where someone said they were under the impression the pano roof was standard (I never was) as well, and right there it says it's an option. On the charging, it says it can charge up to 80% of its capacity in as little as 45 minutes... The "in as little as" is important.

    Also, wasn't the Supercharger thing a RECENT announcement (i.e. this year)? So surely people who have been holding long deposits didn't assume they would get access to Tesla's recently-announced super chargers?

    *edit* not sure if this is the best link, but:

    That was 11/4/2011. Nothing about it being standard or anything, though it also doesn't say anything about it being discriminatory either.
     
  11. richkae

    richkae VIN587

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    Could the website have been more clear that the base model may not hit all those bullets? Yes.
    Could the website have been more clear that the car is not yet fully designed and that those are targets? Yes.
    Were you baited and switched? No, your deposit is refundable at any time.
    Did you buy anything? No
    Did you give them a refundable deposit to let you have the option to buy this not yet fully designed or priced car ahead of others? Yes
    Did they give you updated more accurate information about the car more than 6 months before you could expect delivery so you could make a better decision? Yes

    Its fine to be disappointed that the base model doesn't have all the features you wanted. But I think being upset at being misled is silly.
     
  12. stopcrazypp

    stopcrazypp Well-Known Member

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    I completely agree on the acceleration part (there was no hint from Tesla at all that the different pack sizes will have different acceleration and they didn't use any term like "up to" that would indicate that).

    Not really on the 300 mile range part, because of the "up to" term and because if you looked at the second page it makes it clear there are the 160, 230, 300 pack options. No serious buyer would miss that.

    As for quick charge, that also is under the "up to" term. Just like how the base model doesn't have the 20kW onboard charger, but rather the 10kW version (a fact no one felt was deal-breaking), there wasn't any guarantee the 160 pack would support 45 minute (although most people assumed it would, including me). At this point it's still entirely possible for the 160 pack to support 45 minute charging (and not the 90kW "supercharger"). Again, this is from the ambiguity of the definition of "supercharger" and charging speeds (refering to time between SOC or refering to actual power in kW).

    And in the VERY early stages (March 2009) TEG got the indication (don't remember from where) that only the 300 pack would support 45 minute charges:
    http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/showthread.php/2497-45-Minute-quick-charge
     
  13. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

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    #13 NigelM, Dec 22, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2011
    Just looked through the brochure from 2 months ago and also that from early this year. There's nothing in there that contradicts the latest options and pricing announcements. You could argue that Tesla is no better than any other auto maker in that they talk about high-end features without stating explicitly that they are upgrade options, but they are no certainly no worse than any other auto maker either. That said, we all want a perfect world and I understand that it is frustrating when everything isn't perfect.

    P.S. Afterthought: I don't want to sound like a Tesla apologist, but I do think that some of the criticism in various threads is based on some unrealistic expectations; equally some things such as the UK/EU needs are perfectly understandable.

    P.P.S. I don't see anyone cheering that the battery warranty actually increased versus the expected life stated in those old webpages.
     
  14. dpeilow

    dpeilow Moderator

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    So, weasle words. It is in the section that applies to all versions.

    The supercharger thing being Tesla proprietary was recent, but Tesla always said they would have 100kW class charging. We just assumed it would be based on the open SAE standard back in the day.
     
  15. onlinespending

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    Sure, it was clear that things were not carved in stone and that things may change. That's to be understood with a product that was a work in progress. I fully expected to pay for virtually any additive feature (pano roof, navigation, etc.).

    However, it's clear they knew that the lower end models would not go from 0-60 in 5.6 seconds all along if they had nailed down the acceleration on the 85 kWh model that long ago. Do you think it's ethical to intentionally withhold these limitations of the base models, knowing that it only serves the purpose of enticing more people to make a down-payment? That's open for debate. But if the only information we had to go by was that the Model S would go from 0-60 in 5.6 seconds, and they most certainly knew that only the 300-mi range model would be capable of that, then how else are we supposed to feel when they conveniently decide to finally disclose that bit of information when the pricing was announced? That my friend is pretty much the very definition of being misled.
     
  16. stopcrazypp

    stopcrazypp Well-Known Member

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    #16 stopcrazypp, Dec 22, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2011
    That's a pretty serious allegation. I'm pretty sure it's simply because it's wasn't finalized (until now). If you looked at the early specs, there was only a few concrete numbers (and even those numbers were rough and not exact). Heck, even the car's design and looks (both interior and exterior) was not even close to finished (it's still not finished at this point either). I mean pretty much 99% of the information we know from the options page was unknown up to this point. Nothing was really cut in stone back then.
     
  17. AnOutsider

    AnOutsider S532 # XS27

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    Are "up to 300 miles" weasel words too?

    At the end of the day, like someone else said, they released this information more than 6 months ahead of delivery and no one is "locked in". So even if people were misled by earlier statements, how else could they have made it right other than releasing more solid information well ahead of purchase time? By just going "oh, did you think the pano roof was standard and that all models would get 5.6s 0-60? My bad guys, we'll just throw it in then."?
     
  18. onlinespending

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    No, Tesla could be considered worse than other auto-makers when it comes to the 0-60 times. Fully agreed that they are no worse on any extra options, as I fully expect to pay for additional features. But no one considers the 0-60 time an extra feature. They would consider it a baseline feature. Imagine BMW came out with three different M5's each with a different sized gas tank and upfront led you to believe that the 0-60 time was 4.5 seconds. But then two years later they conveniently tell you that in order to get the 4.5 second 0-60 time, you need to opt for the larger gas tank model. That would be absurd, but that's essentially what Tesla did by intentionally decided not to divulge those details upfront. That's far from commendable.
     
  19. onlinespending

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    #19 onlinespending, Dec 22, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2011
    Not a serious allegation by the least bit. They certainly nailed the 5.6 second 0-60 time of the 85 kWh option well in advance didn't they? As an electrical engineer, I can say with near certainty that these are the types of things they calculated, and the were accurate with their estimate of the 85 kWh optoin. They had already decided on the three different battery pack options at that time and knew of the implications they would each have on the 0-60 times, but decided not to divulge that. I'm sorry, but to think otherwise would be naive.
     
  20. stopcrazypp

    stopcrazypp Well-Known Member

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    That might very well be true (and they didn't really use weasel words in regards to acceleration), but that's the only spec that I agree Tesla may have mislead people on. But it seems most people don't really care about the acceleration part (probably because it doesn't really affect daily driving); the 45 minute charging is a much bigger sticking point.
     

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