The Long Wait For The Tesla Roadster
Tesla has not yet canceled the project, nor has it announced that it is going to take it to production soon; the only tangible thing done so far has been to put an end to the reservations on the website. Does it mean we are we closer to production - launch yet?
The truth is that it is very difficult to know exactly where Tesla engineers are now as regarding the project. We do not know if there are hordes of designers working hard on it or if there is only one person in charge of the whole development (which I think would be rather difficult). There is a high level of secrecy. The little information available has always been posted on the website, so far. Since 2017 the company has been accepting orders, but now suddenly that stage is closed, at least in the United States.
If you enter Tesla´s website right now you will see that the Roadster continues to appear on its list of future production. If you want one, you will have to pay a first amount of 5,000 dollars as a down payment, and 10 days later you will have to add another 45,000 dollars to the company's account. From that moment on, only divine providence will know when and how your precious electric sports car will arrive.
Admittedly, Tesla has currently focused on its more commercial range. With almost a million units manufactured a year, the Tesla Model 3 and Tesla Model Y pull the sales band very strongly. The Model S and Model X represent only a fraction of sales. In that situation, and with a serious component crisis in the industry, the Tesla Cybertruck and Tesla Semi projects are at the starting point, both delayed until 2023 (Hopefully I am wrong, but that is what it seems).
It is not surprising that Elon Musk's company does not regularly meet deadlines, but the lack of information has set off some alarms as regarding the Roadster, specifically. According to Electrek, the fact that the Roadster "Founders" special series has been discontinued may mean that its limited production is already out of stock. Let´s remember that Tesla asks for $ 250,000 per unit, and that production was limited to only 1,000 units.
That means that if you are still thinking about joining the Tesla Roadster very exclusive club (again, it is not precisely what you can call an affordable car..), you can only do so in its base version, which by the way, is not bad at all either: top speed of more than 250 miles/hour, 10,000 Nm of torque, 620 miles of range and 0 – 60 mph in 1.9 seconds, at a $200,000 price tag. The schedule of deliveries is totally unknown; in 2017 it was announced for 2020, in 2020 it was postponed for 2022, and in 2021 it was again postponed for 2023. Following that progression and logic - and hopefully I am wrong again - maybe we should not expect it before 2025.
More info about the Tesla Roadster can be found here.
All images courtesy of Tesla Inc.
Nico Caballero is the VP of Finance of Cogency Power, specializing in solar energy. He also holds a Diploma in Electric Cars from Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, and enjoys doing research about Tesla and EV batteries. He can be reached at @NicoTorqueNews on Twitter. Nico covers Tesla and electric vehicle latest happenings at Torque News.