Tesla delivers first Model S, starts test-drives

First car rolls off production line

By Farah Alkhalisi on June 8, 2012 10:41 AM

The first 2012 Tesla Model S pure-electric saloon has rolled off the production line and been delivered to its new owner: venture capitalist and Tesla board member Steve Jurvetson.

That’s what investment in a company gets you… along with whipping out your chequebook in a board meeting way back in 2009. Website Green Car Reports, recalling a 2010 story by the San Jose Mercury-News, revealed Jurvetson stunned colleagues in doing so, and even got the drop on Tesla CEO Elon Musk. Musk is now reportedly driving around in the second Tesla Model S off the production line.

As revealed in Jurvetson’s video below, his car has been registered with the rather appropriate California license plate ‘TSLA S1’:

Customer test drives

The first deliveries to other customers start on 22nd June, and Tesla is aiming to arrange 2,000 test-drives for potential buyers in North America in the subsequent two weekends. The ‘Get Amped Model S Tour’ will be launched at the Tesla factory in Fremont, California on 23rd and 24th June.

“Franz von Holzhausen, our chief designer, has created a great seven to eight minute test drive course that extends beyond the factory to nearby streets”, says George Blankenship, Vice President, Worldwide Sales and Ownership Experience. “The course offers a variety of experiences that include freeway driving, long sweepers, tight turns, smooth and rough roads, and general urban driving. It’s the perfect way to experience how Model S grips the road and loves to run. The Fremont event is just the beginning. Our second tour stop will be held the very next weekend in the Los Angeles area.”

Events will follow in Denver, New York, Seattle, Portland, Washington DC, Chicago, Scottsdale, Miami, Palo Alto and then Toronto; a full schedule can be found at the Get Amped web page.

For those of us who can’t make it across the Atlantic – or who haven’t got our names down on the list of Reservation Holders, who will get priority – Tesla is regularly updating its official blog with all the Model S news. The latest post includes video of the robots in action at the Body Assembly area of the factory, putting together a Model S for one of the lucky early customers.