Rare Glimpse Into Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA) Unspoken History; Model X Starts Off On Wrong in China

Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA) Model S Update

Tesla Motors Inc continues to awe, impress, and inspire both its fans and critics; yet, very people know the full story of the firm’s origins. JB Straubel, Tesla’s co-founder and CTO gave a rare expository into the origins of the firm while delivering the keynote speech at Ontario Centers for Excellence Discovery 16 Conference. It would come as a surprise to many people that Tesla has its earliest roots in Stanford’s Solar Car Project.

Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA) Model S Update

From solar cars to EV, Tesla’s cool story

Many people erroneously assume that Tesla Motors Inc CEO, Elon Musk is the brain behind the firm – this assumption can be forgiven because Elon Musk’s larger than life personality and charisma somewhat makes it hard to think otherwise.

However, the fact is that Tesla is the brainchild of JB Straubel. Straubel says, “The old Tesla dream evolved from me actually, from something called Solar Car Racing, it’s a sport where universities compete in… And got me thinking about how we could make a much better all electric car: they didn’t need to have solar on the roof, but could take advantage of battery improvements, could offer same efficiency and benefits that solar cars have.”

Straubel could not go it alone and he enlisted Harold Rosen in his dream to build EVs. The duo didn’t have money to turn their dreams into a reality and they were soon on the streets looking for investors to fund their idea. At about the time that Straubel and Rosen were looking for money, Elon Musk had just cashed out from selling PayPal and he had the financial resources to fund a radical idea.

Interestingly, Elon Musk provided direction, guidance and money that gave birth to Tesla; otherwise, Straubel and Rosen might have gone on a wild goose chase in trying to build electric airplanes. Straubel notes that “Elon and I first met at Lunch in LA… And ironically I was trying to pitch him the idea to build an electric airplane. It was a passion of mine as well to actually start a separate company before Tesla. Elon wasn’t particularly interested in that concept… but we realized we both had incredible passion for electric cars.”

Tesla’s history in China might not be so cool

The story of Tesla Motors Inc humble beginnings is very interesting but the firm’s history in China might not be a great tale to tell unless Elon Musk makes a concerted effort to change the narrative. One of the key events that might turn out to be a dark spot on Tesla’s history in China is the issue of Model X deliveries. Tesla designed the Model X to be the best SUV on the roads but the firm strangely finds it hard to translate it lofty design ideals into functional SUV – at least not as fast as buyers want.

Model X was plagued by a seemingly endless stream of delays and U.S. buyers had to wait for more than 2 years before the first deliveries began. Now, Chinese buyers might need to wait much longer before they get their hands on the Model X even though an earlier report indicated that mid-year deliveries was possible.

An hopeful Model X owner by the name of “Festerfeet” created a thread on a forum about how Model X deliveries in China might to begin until the end of the year even though Tesla had earlier told him to expect the car in June.

He says, “I got to see a Model X in the flesh today… I explained when I had ordered and confirmed and gave him my vin – ends 61XX… I explained that I was aware that production had slowed to fine tune production and was hoping to see it in maybe July or August  It was at this point the sales guy laughed nervously and asked whether my DS had been in touch and I said he had been elusive and may actually be dead for all I knew… He then told me that I was unlikely to see my car until the end of the year.”

Until Tesla gives as official statement, Model X deliveries in China will be subject to speculation. However, the fact that Festerfeet’s DS has been avoiding communication with him suggests that Chinese buyers won’t be seeing their Model X anytime soon.

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Victor Alagbe is a seasoned business and finance writer with a specialty in writing about how to invest for the long-term in healthcare, pharmacology, energy and tech stocks. His long-term focus is on stocks that provide a nice mix of growth and income. For the short term, he passionately writes about trading stock options for the excitement and leverage that stock options offer.

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