Monday, July 28, 2008

First degree battery

I've been intrigued by the Tesla Motors eponymous electric car since the project was announced ages ago.

In case you've been living in your mother's basement for the last five years, the Tesla is an all-electric car that essentially runs off of power supplied by laptop computer batteries.

And while the knock on all-electric cars had been that they're underpowered and unsexy, the Tesla Roadster is based on a Lotus Elise chassis and can go from 0-60 in about five seconds.

Here's a little more info from my good friend Jay Leno:

So anyway, the point is that the car is cool. Not sure about the feasibility of driving it around KC in the dead of winter. Seems like the batteries might not survive the minus 10 ba-billion degrees average temperature. Ah well, room for improvement I guess.

What I really wanted to pass on (in case you haven't read) is that over the weekend the Tesla hit another milestone in that all American cars face -- it's first road accident.

Evidently, the driver was out for a spin when he was rear ended (since it was an electric car, it may have been the shocker) by another vehicle, thus causing a reaction whereby the Tesla hit the car in front of it (a Mercedes, I think).

And I gotta say, judging from the pictures, it appears the Tesla Roadster came through it in pretty good shape.

It's a good sign for the future of transportation. As soon as I make my third million dollars, I'll buy a Tesla and let you guys drive it around and see for yourself.

Until then, Tesla continues to rule.

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  1. Nice, what can I say. How much?

  2. I haven't been following the Tesla too closely, as it doesn't seem like a mass consumer product yet. Price tag, and the failings of that kind of battery etc. It does however show some promise.

  3. Nuke,

    Good points. At $109,000 (for the 2009 model), the Tesla isn't the next Fort Taurus or Toyota Corolla. But it's not a crazy, hyper-expensive car either. A new Ferrari, for example, is going to set you back $180k minimum.

    The way I see it, the nouveau riche Silicon Valley status seekers are the ones who, by buying the first Teslas, are financing the technology for the rest of us. In the not-too-distant future, we'll see Tesla sedans coming in at around the $70k-$80k range.

    As the technology gets better (and perhaps licensed to other auto makers) and economies of scale are reached, feasible all-electric technology will make its way to your average joe.

  4. As stated on my blog, they will be opening new stores this year in Chicago, and Miami. They opened a second store 2 weeks ago. To tell you the demand for these, the first 2 that were bought were by the co-owners of Google.

    I have been following these guys for about 5 years. They know about the cold weather battery issues, but, for anyone who has been up north. You get battery warmers.Granted you need to plug them in when you park but if I can drop a 100k on a car, battery life in winter is not an issue for me.

  5. I was going to mention that Smed had done a post on the car that was pretty informative. I was also going to say that while the car is very cool, tesla the "band" blows, always have, always will.

  6. I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that the Chinese man is the Mercedes driver and the guy in the plaid hat and sneakers is the Tesla driver.

    I'd love to be wrong - it's cool when people defy stereotypes. But I'm probably not.

    Also the Chevy Volt, to be released 2010/2011, will be a mass-market electric hybrid. They're not too far away.

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