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Tesla Charges Forward Despite Bumps

Tesla Roadster
Source: Teslamotors.com
Tesla Roadster

Which Tesla has your attention right now?

I’m not talking about a particular model…I’m talking about which Tesla corporation is the one that you think represents the future for the electric car industry.

Is it the company that unveiled its supercharger network and promised a coast to coast set of charging stations so Tesla owners can drive anywhere in the country and always have a place to get juice? Or is it the company that warned Wall Street to expect lower revenues this year?

If you ask me, I think it’s somewhere in the middle.

The revenue warningis not a surprise. There have been small indications over the last month and half that Tesla is taking longer than expected ramping up Model S production. Those bullish on Tesla say the company is just “making sure the first Model S sedans are perfect.” In reality, Tesla is going through the learning curve and growing pains of going from a niche manufacturer to mass production firm. If it was easy, the barrier to entry in the auto business would be a heck of a lot lower. (Read More:Why Analysts Are Wrong About Tesla: Pro)

Tesla has yet to change its guidance for how many Model S deliveries will happen this year. Officially it is still saying 5,000. Few in the industry expect that to happen. That’s not an indictment of Tesla as being a poorly run company. It’s a reflection of the complexity and difficulty of scaling up auto manufacturing. It beat the deadline for rolling out the first Model S, now the challenge is meeting its own production targets. (Read More:Tesla Delivers the Model S, Will It Live Up to Expectations?)

CEO Elon Musk (creator of SpaceX and co-founder of PayPal) doesn’t mind throwing out big ambitions to the public. He’s been doubted in the past and has proven people wrong. Which is why so many people buy into his latest vision: the Tesla Supercharger Network.These are solar powered charging stations that will be set up around the country so Tesla owners can pull in, get a free charge in under an hour and be on their way. So far, there are 6 charging stations already running in California.

This could turn out to be another innovative idea by Musk that pays off. Solving the problem of people feeling range bound is a huge deal for electric car companies. In theory, as these charging stations pop up in more places people will feel more comfortable buying an electric car because they’ll be able to drive it virtually anywhere in the country. (Read More:Toyota Unplugs Electric Car Hype)

It’s another example of why many people are bullish on Tesla. But if the Model S rollout has shown us anything, it’s clear we should temper our expectations with a developing technology. (Read More:The Chevy Volt Is a Money-Loser, … For Now)


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___________________________ Questions? Comments? BehindTheWheel@cnbc.comand Follow me on Twitter @LeBeauCarNews

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