A Short History Of Tesla Critics’ Claims

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As time goes on, some things become clear, and some urban legends grow in scope and popularity. I’ve found it pretty interesting to go back in time and compare Tesla critics’ forecasts and predictions to what actually happened. But I just realized I’ve never done a really short and simple summary of that pessimistic history. There’s surely more that could be added, but here’s my summary of Tesla critics’ claims over the years:

  1. Tesla can’t build 100 Roadsters — haha, what a joke!
  2. Tesla will be dead any day. We’ll start a countdown death watch for it.
  3. World headquarters in California? Hahahahaha — how hilarious!
  4. “Just because Tesla has succeeded in making an expensive electric sports car does not mean that it will be able to make a moderately priced five-seat sedan. The latter is a quantum leap more difficult.” (That one came from the New York Times. Also from that Times article: “‘Lithium batteries are going to change the world,’ [David Cole, chairman of the Center for Automotive Research] said, ‘but they are not ready for prime time.’ Tesla’s solution in the Roadster — tying together thousands of small batteries into one giant one — is ‘suboptimal.’”)
  5. Tesla can’t manufacture the Model S (a.k.a. WhiteStar), doesn’t have a factory to produce it in, can’t actually create an electric car with those specs, and is probably committing fraud by taking reservation deposits.
  6. The real deal is the Fisker Karma. Forget the Model S.
  7. Nobody’s going to want to buy a Model S, or very few people will. This is a tough market segment and the Model S just doesn’t compete with the iconic Mercedes S-Class, BMW 7 Series, and others.
  8. Look, see, Tesla can’t produce the Model S! The company will collapse any day.
  9. Okay, so Tesla sold some cars, but demand for the Model S is dropping and will fatally dwindle now that the reservation backlog has been filled.
  10. Panel gaps!
  11. Cupholders!
  12. Disaster!
  13. You can’t take a Tesla on a road trip. People will wake up soon and Tesla will be dead. This not a practical car.
  14. Fire!
  15. Fire!
  16. There’s no way in hell Tesla can produce the Model X. It’s absolutely impossible.
  17. See, I told you, Tesla can’t produce the Model X and it will never be able to do so.
  18. Panel gaps!
  19. Doors!
  20. Okay, so Tesla figured out how to mass produce the Model X, but demand will soon drop as the reservation backlog is cleared and as people discover what a disaster the panel gaps and falcon-wing doors are.
  21. Okay, so Tesla is selling more Model Ss and Model Xs than it initially expected it would sell. Whatever. Nonetheless, there’s no way the company will ever produce the Model 3.
  22. $35,000 Model 3? Absolutely impossible. Will never happen.
  23. Those are fake reservations anyway. There’s not really that much demand for the Model 3. This is fraud.
  24. These are just handmade Model 3s. It’s all a show, a hoax. Tesla will never mass produce the Model 3.
  25. Tesla doesn’t know how to really build cars.
  26. See, we told you — Tesla is stuck in production hell and will stay there.
  27. Tesla will need more financing to stay alive. No doubt about it. Ignore Elon — he’s wrong. $TSLAQ
  28. Tesla’s so dead. Dead company walking. It will all end soon. This is fraud! $TSLAQ
  29. The Tesla Model 3 actually sucks. (Don’t believe your lyin’ eyes and brain.)
  30. Parking lots!!
  31. Tesla is going bankwupt. Short the stock immediately!
  32. Elon Musk is a liar, a tweet, a fraud — we finally got him!
  33. Tesla definitely will not show a profit in the 3rd quarter. How could it? No one wants the Model 3 and Tesla can’t produce it anyway.
  34. Ignore that 3rd quarter profit. It was a magic trick. It won’t happen again.
  35. Demand is drying up now. Ignore that we said this for years regarding the Model S and Model X. Demand is really drying up this time.
  36. Ha — Tesla unveiled the $35,000 Model 3! Its 13 year plan is complete. It’s clearly so desperate. This is definitely where Tesla falls apart.
  37. Now there’s no doubt about it. Stores are closing and Tesla will finally, really, truly, honestly go bankrupt. Should we restart the Death Watch?

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Zachary Shahan

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA], NIO [NIO], Xpeng [XPEV], Ford [F], ChargePoint [CHPT], Amazon [AMZN], Piedmont Lithium [PLL], Lithium Americas [LAC], Albemarle Corporation [ALB], Nouveau Monde Graphite [NMGRF], Talon Metals [TLOFF], Arclight Clean Transition Corp [ACTC], and Starbucks [SBUX]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.

Zachary Shahan has 7361 posts and counting. See all posts by Zachary Shahan