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Model S alpha to be released

Discussion in 'News' started by efusco, Nov 10, 2010.

  1. efusco

    efusco Moderator - Model S & X forums

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    This might be posted, but I looked and couldn't find it.
    http://www.smartplanet.com/business/blog/smart-takes/tesla-model-s-on-track/12228/

     
  2. Todd Burch

    Todd Burch Electron Pilot

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    Great news! Although a profit would be better, I think losses are expected with a young auto company on the bleeding edge and undergoing such extensive expansion and development. Looking forward to the pace of Model S news picking up over the remaining months until the production S hits the roadways.
     
  3. gg_got_a_tesla

    gg_got_a_tesla Model S: VIN P65513, Model 3 Res Holder

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    Indeed good news. TSLA stock's surging up! Good for those Roadster owners who got dibs at the IPO price :)
     
  4. efusco

    efusco Moderator - Model S & X forums

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    BTW, can someone explain exactly what an "alpha" model is, as opposed to the prototypes they're driving now?
     
  5. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    Tesla has a tendency to use Silicon Valley style release version names/numbers for their products.
    For instance having Roadster 1.0, 1.5, 2.0, 2.5...

    Alpha is another computer industry term used to mean a test release. Different companies may have different definitions of alpha & beta releases... In some cases it means for internal testing only, in other cases it means to release to selected 3rd parties for evaluation. The usual idea with an alpha is that the product is getting close to production ready... Well past a "concept" or a "demo" release. The red Model S (formerly painted gray) that we have seen driven around over the past year or so is really just a prototype/concept car not production ready nor even very close to the final design. I don't want to speculate too much what alpha might mean, but I would guess it means it is a lot closer to production intent design, and they may be building a bunch of them, not just 1. Given that the Tesla Factory (formerly NUMMI) isn't ready for production yet, I would guess that they might have contracted with a 3rd party manufacturer to make a limited run of evaluation vehicles so they can make sure the design is sound before they actually start assembling all the mass production factory equipment. One question I have about the "alpha" would be is it a fully Tesla designed chassis, or still based off of some other production car chassis like the original concept car?
     
  6. Albern

    Albern Member

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    What about EP and VP from the Roadster Program? Or does alpha and beta come before the two?
     
  7. tdelta1000

    tdelta1000 Active Member

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    #7 tdelta1000, Nov 10, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2010
    That's great news! What a suprise that Tesla Motors has been able to pull off the "alpha" build of the Model S without any leaks. I look forward to seeing the first images of the "alpha" S. Way to go Tesla Motors.

    P.S. Could that new Model S powertrain be the one in the test Rav 4?...Hmmmmm
     
  8. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    Well, that is curious. EP and VP were (as far as I know) auto industry terms that Tesla used based on their early partnership with Lotus.
    Perhaps they are saying "alpha" instead of "EP" now to differentiate themselves further and say we are independent from the legacies of the traditional auto industry?

    I dunno. Maybe "alpha" is already used in the auto industry, and I just didn't know that.

    Actually doing a bit of Google search, I find that it is part of the "Six Sigma" lingo which spans a lot of industries.
    "Design for Six Sigma: A Roadmap for Product Development By Kai Yang, Basem S. EI-Haik, Basem El-Haik"
    So, if you view the original concept as an "Experimental Prototype", and the Alpha as a "performance validation prototype", then we may still be looking forward to "beta prototypes" later, and then some pre-production prototypes after that.

    By the way, the Nissan Leaf cars being driven around on the test drive tour are pre-production prototypes...
     
  9. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    #9 TEG, Nov 10, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2010
    Software prototype terms from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prototype :
    Loosely trying to relate these terms to what Tesla has made, I would stretch to say:
    The white foam model S we saw first at Space-X and now in the Autodesk museum could be called a "Concept".
    The drivable model S we have seen in gray then red could be called a "Proof of concept".
    Tesla plans to have an Alpha version soon.
    We might see some "Work in Progress" versions next year which could be Alpha versions with retrofit improvements.
    Then we might see some Beta versions which I might equate to "Evaluation Prototypes"
    Then the "Release Candidate" which I might equate to "Validation Prototypes".
    Then we have Final Product which goes into production.

    Yet another way to look at it, is I bet the Alpha versions may only get driven by VIPs at press events and some very controlled testing.
    The eventual Beta versions or "Evaluation Prototypes" probably get a lot of miles put on them by test engineers working out reliability and drive-train issues.
    The "Release Candidate" or "Validation Prototypes" might be the first that actually get used for customer test drives, and are used to provide feedback through marketing for fit-and-finish and interior tweaks.

    But I am just making a lot of speculation here, and trying to read a bunch into some vague terminology. "Alpha" could really mean all sorts of things. And I really don't know how many more iterations will happen between "Alpha" and "FCS" (First Customer Shipment).
     
  10. efusco

    efusco Moderator - Model S & X forums

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    Thanks Teg, the Sigma Six definitions seem the most likely to be applicable here.
     
  11. PopSmith

    PopSmith Saving for a Model 3

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    #11 PopSmith, Nov 10, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2010
    This is pure speculation on my part but knowing that a Alpha Model S is coming might have been part of the reason for the nearly-20-percent stock jump today.

    As cool as a profitable quarter would be the lack of one is not hindering their stock at all for now. Wall street seems to "get" that Tesla is heading into bigger, better things with Model S and the new RAV4 EV. Tesla is also planning, according to this thread and the "Model X" video, to show an alpha Model S and RAV4 EV by the end of the year.

    The cool thing, to me, is that news of an Alpha Model S (and RAV4 EV) gives Tesla more ammunition against the "Vaporware" crowd.
     
  12. mattjs33

    mattjs33 Member

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    I would say this is the real reason for the rush to put out an "Alpha" Model S at this time.

    To hear some tell it, you would think Tesla invented the electric car. Yet here they are being beat to market by the majors (and at least one start up) in their efforts to release a fully electric sedan, by nearly two full years in some cases.

    To me this seems like an attempt by Tesla to gain back a bit of its thunder that everyone else is stealing right now. The vast majority of the public isn't even aware of Telsa's existence; only the harcore industry followers know of the plans for the Model S.

    Roadster production is set to end sometime in 2011, and Model S production now isn't scheduled until late 2012. Regardless of how the Model S might stack up against whatever else is on the market by then, it might be too late to matter.
     
  13. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    You make some good points but I think there still won't be anything like the Model S when it launches in 2012. All of the upcoming or planned EVs in 2011 or 2012 are smaller, limited range cars like the Nissan Leaf, Ford Focus and others. As far as I know, BMW or Audi isn't launching an EV with a 160-300 mile range before or around the Model S launch.

    I think Tesla can still survive as a smaller automaker. Much in the sense Apple did with it's brand recognition, loyal following, and great industrial design. Not an exact comparison of course but the could survive as a premium automaker.
     
  14. roblab

    roblab Active Member

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    Awwwww. I was thinking in terms of Alpha Male, like Tesla's Alpha prototype it SOOOO much better than the competition's prototypes!
     
  15. qwk

    qwk Model S P2681

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    ^^ that too. Lol
     
  16. Jaff

    Jaff Active Member

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    #16 Jaff, Nov 11, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2010
    Matt, TM was not beaten to the market for a high performance EV...they are the high performance EV market to date.

    Yes, the majors have beaten TM to the entry level EV market, but remember TM's marketing strategy is top (quality & performance) down, not bottom (entry level) up with respect to their product development.
    If TM had built an entry level EV rather than the Roadster, they would have been first...regardless, it is a moot point as TM is a niche marketer at this point.

    You speak of TM's defense of "thunder stealing" on the EV stage as if it's a bad thing...on the contrary, it is smart PR & marketing by TM.





     
  17. Cobos

    Cobos S60 owner since 2013

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    Huh? If we exclude the Leaf and the MiEV for a moment, what other major carmaker will beat Tesla to the market by 2012? The Focus EV supposedly comes in 2012, the Renault cars will be more generally available in 2012 and still not in the US. The Karma, Volt, BMW whatsitsname are all hybrids and not EVs and none of those will be generally available until late 2011 or 2012 anyway.

    Also keen in mind the Leaf will f.inst. only be available in Norway in summer 2011, and that's an extremely favourable market for the Leaf. So I can't see what EVs you are talking about that will beat the Model S? If you are talking Bluestar the you've got a point when that one comes in 2014 or 2015 the market will be crowded.

    Cobos
     
  18. mattjs33

    mattjs33 Member

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    Points taken, but for the record the Focus EV is due in late 2011 as a 2012 model; the Model S is due in late 2012, I assume as a 2013?

    And as far as the general populace is concerned, the Volt and Karma are electric cars. I still talk to people in the business who refer to the Prius as "one of them electric cars".
     
  19. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    Sounds like Tesla will have to advertise it as a "pure electric" to distinguish it from hybrids...
     
  20. Jaff

    Jaff Active Member

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    But the Ford Focus is still entry level Matt.

    I would agree with you that even though the Volt & the Karma are not true EV's the overwhelming majority of the general public percieves them as such...because of this, the Karma will be legitmate competition for the Model S...I'm not sure I would put the volt in the Model S / Karma league though...



     

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