Tesla trademarks "Model E" and changes its name to “Tuosule” in China
Double-barrel newsThere's so much Tesla news these days (what can I say, the company moves fast and is interesting), I thought we could combine a couple of minor ones into a single article: First, Tesla is apparently incapable of getting the rights to its name in China. They've been trying to get "Tesla" in the Middle Kingdom since 2009, but a man named Zhan Baosheng has had those rights registered since 2006 and he's playing hard to get. The company has apparently offered him $326,000 for the name, but he wants $32 million. Kind of hard to meet in the middle when the gap is this large... You'd probably need a GPS to navigate that space.
Tesla is now arguing with China's courts that because Mr. Zhan has no plans to use the name, he should be forced to give it up. It's a bit like domain name squatters in the early days of the internet, registering the .com names of companies hoping for a big payoff... In the meantime, the company will use the name "Tuosule" in the Chinese market, a transliteration of "Tesla".
In other news, Tesla has registered a trademark for "Model E". This could be the name of a new electric vehicle based on their second generation Model S platform, like the Model X, or it could be the name of their mass-market third-generation platform that should come to market in 3-4 years and be sold for around $30k-40k (which is cheaper than it seems if you factor in fuel savings). Or maybe Tesla is just trademarking names to avoid name-squatters getting them first...