Another day, another Tesla, Inc. (TSLA) car delayed. The electric car maker, which is running behind schedule on several product deadlines, announced yet another postponement to one of its much-anticipated products—the Tesla Roadster—recently.

Originally scheduled to be delivered sometime last year, the Tesla Roadster will now be available to customers only in 2023, according to tweet by company CEO Elon Musk. The Roadster joins a growing list of Tesla products that have been delayed due to various issues. Some of those issues were generated by the pandemic, while others are related to the car maker's operations.

Key Takeaways

  • Tesla has delayed launch of the second generation of Tesla Roadster to 2023.
  • The sports car was initially scheduled to be shipped last year.
  • The Roadster delay is part of a list of other cars delayed by Tesla this year.

A Delayed Second Generation

With a range of 244 miles on a single charge and an acceleration time of between 3.7 seconds to 3.9 seconds for 0-60 miles per hour, the Roadster's first generation sports car won several awards for its design and helped bring Tesla to mainstream media attention after it was launched. It also helped fund Tesla's foray into mainstream car manufacturing. 

The company's CEO Elon Musk announced a second generation of the Roadster in 2017, promising even better performance statistics. According to its page on the company's website, the Tesla Roadster is the "quickest car in the world, with record-setting acceleration, range, and performance."

Based on the specifications made public at its launch, the second generation of Roadster will accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in just 1.9 seconds and a top speed up to 250 mph. To achieve these figures, the vehicle will be outfitted with rocket thrusters. The 2017 concept also promised a range of 620 miles on a single charge. At a base price of $200,000, that performance will not come cheap. The company has also charged a $50,000 booking amount for the car after launch.

Four years after the concept was unveiled and multiple production delays later, there is still no sign of the Roadster. At the start of this year, Musk said production on the car would begin in 2022. Earlier this week, in response to a question, he said the car would begin shipping only in 2023 if "2022 is not mega drama." Even that date may not be set in stone since Tesla already has a packed of schedule of products to deliver to a market that is set to explode in the future. Meanwhile, a prototype of its body is already installed at the Petersen Automobile Museum in Los Angeles.

A Slate of Delays

Tesla has already postponed two other vehicles in as many months. It pushed the delivery date for Tesla Semi, a commercial electric vehicle, to 2022 in July. A month later, it delayed production of the Cybertruck, which was scheduled to begin this year, to next year. It is likely that the vehicle will have a delivery timeline similar to that of the Tesla Semi.

The company has offered several reasons for the lengthening slate of delays. These range from the operational issues due to the pandemic shutdown to a global chip shortage that has hobbled manufacturing at most car companies.

Unlike its counterparts in the automobile industry, Tesla also has to deal with significant operational issues. Among these issues are ramping up production capacity at a brand new Gigafactory in Austin and tackling regulatory issues across multiple geographies. The performance of Tesla's latest batch of vehicles also depends on the capabilities of its batteries. But the company's operations at its battery manufacturing plant have their own set of problems, such as low yields and production delays.