By on March 29, 2014

concrete block

It’s always wonderful to see life imitate art, particularly when the “art” is an Ayn Rand book. Remember that part in Atlas Shrugged where Hank and Dagny ride the first locomotive over the Rearden Metal bridge? (Um, that was a spoiler, sorry about that.) Now we have the real-life Hank Rearden (or is that Howard Roark?) in the form of Elon Musk, showing the world how his technological ideas are stronger than the media’s ability to destroy them.

You can read the whole story on Tesla’s website, but it boils down to this: To address concerns about impact-related battery fires in the Tesla Model S, the company will be fitting (and retrofitting, to existing models) titanium underbody plates to the vehicles.

During the course of 152 vehicle level tests, the shields prevented any damage that could cause a fire or penetrate the existing quarter inch of ballistic grade aluminum armor plate that already protects the battery pack. We have tried every worst case debris impact we can think of, including hardened steel structures set in the ideal position for a piking event, essentially equivalent to driving a car at highway speed into a steel spear braced on the tarmac.

We believe these changes will also help prevent a fire resulting from an extremely high speed impact that tears the wheels off the car, like the other Model S impact fire, which occurred last year in Mexico. This happened after the vehicle impacted a roundabout at 110 mph, shearing off 15 feet of concrete curbwall and tearing off the left front wheel, then smashing through an eight foot tall buttressed concrete wall on the other side of the road and tearing off the right front wheel, before crashing into a tree. The driver stepped out and walked away with no permanent injuries and a fire, again limited to the front section of the vehicle, started several minutes later. The underbody shields will help prevent a fire even in such a scenario.

The final paragraph is the best part:

As the empirical evidence suggests, the underbody shields are not needed for a high level of safety. However, there is significant value to minimizing owner inconvenience in the event of an impact and addressing any lingering public misperception about electric vehicle safety. With a track record of zero deaths or serious, permanent injuries since our vehicles went into production six years ago, there is no safer car on the road than a Tesla. The addition of the underbody shields simply takes it a step further.

Brilliant, really — and stupid. Given that this happened at the same time that revelations about GM’s concerted efforts to deny responsibility for the Cobalt ignition switches, this out-in-front response to potential issues is refreshing. But the fact that Mr. Musk allows his withering contempt for the media, and the general public it serves, to shine through undisguised doesn’t bode well for the company’s future. Remember all the misery that Ayn Rand’s heroes suffer, when the media-governmental complex decides to lean on them?

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170 Comments on “Tesla Tries An Engineering Solution To An Emotional Problem...”


  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    I remember when he was the darling of the business media. Things always get ugly when the media turns. He loved the attn too, not sure he’ll be able to manage that attn turning negative

  • avatar

    As a shareholder, I truly have to appreciate how TESLA responds to media criticism and how quickly they are to release news showing how they are working on any and every problem that arises.

    Last thing I want is for them to be bought out by GM or Ford. I’m not on the electric vehicle bandwagon yet but I do like to see a. MURICAN’ company rising to power – despite all odds.

    Just hurry up with the model X and the model E so you can feather my nest.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    “there is significant value to minimizing owner inconvenience in the event of an impact”

    It’s such an inconvenience when upon impact my car bursts into flames. Oh the trials an tribulations of first world luxury car owners

    • 0 avatar
      Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

      If you want a car that bursts into flames, get a Porsche.

      If you want a car that alerts you to a malfunction and gives you time to pull over and safely exit the vehicle, and _then_ catches fire after you’ve gotten well clear, get a Tesla.

      Incidentally, what internal-combustion car could you have a 110+ mph collision, then another collision, then hit a tree, and walk away? F1 doesn’t count.

      • 0 avatar
        stryker1

        +1
        I consider myself to be a Tesla skeptic (A rolling iPad for $100k? Tell me more…), but I can’t see how these batteries could be more dangerous than hurling containers of gasoline around at highway speeds.

      • 0 avatar
        stuki

        From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stefan_Eriksson:

        “On February 21, 2006, Eriksson lost control of an Enzo Ferrari sports car, valued at over USD2,000,000, while allegedly driving at a high speed and intoxicated along Pacific Coast Highway in California. The car careened off an embankment outside Malibu and hit a pole at about 162 miles per hour (261 km/h).[7] The impact of the crash was so violent, it split the car in half.[8]

        Investigators confirmed the existence of the videotape of the accident shot from inside the car. The video showed the speedometer giving the 199 mph (320 km/h) reading right before it malfunctioned due to the crash. The tape is believed to be with Karney.[7]

        Eriksson brandished a business card claiming to be a deputy police commissioner with the San Gabriel Valley Transit Authority (whose founder was later arrested for perjury in connection with the case),[9] and Karney borrowed a phone in a passerby’s car where he tucked away a magazine for a Glock pistol.[10] Two men showed up to speak with Eriksson, claiming to be from the Department of Homeland Security.[11]“

  • avatar
    Felis Concolor

    Ti skid plates? Suddenly, we’re back in the 80s!

    Is that too obscure?

    • 0 avatar
      psychoboy

      dunno about the 80s, but once the Bags and Billets scene started in the minitruckin’ crowd, it was titanium drag blocks for everyone!

      http://i95.photobucket.com/albums/l126/redngreedy/4%20Door/DSC02134.jpg
      http://i43.tinypic.com/m8ipae.jpg

      • 0 avatar
        Kenmore

        Did a quick google of drag blocks; didn’t know what they were.

        I pray that at least one wet-lipped, road damaging slimeball has self-ignited using them.

      • 0 avatar
        Felis Concolor

        Those who remember how exciting F1 races appeared in the mid 80s through early 90s may also recall the titanium skid plates, which sent up huge showers of sparks whenever the chassis bottomed out on the pavement, a frequent occurrence then.

        When a rule change was announced to set suspension heights higher in order to prevent the phenomenon, teams instead substituted non sparking steels for the skid plate and left the ride height the same.

        I learned about Ti’s special property when I ordered a set of Speed Sparks from ACS shortly before the skateboarding industry collapse several decades ago. It replaced the pivot bushing washer and trailed 2 long spring steel twisting coil clamps, into which were inserted cylinders of the metal. The trails they left behind were impressive albeit worrisome as laminated hardwoods were the material of choice for skate decks then, and we were justifiably concerned about exposure to a steady stream of high temperature sparks eventually igniting our boards.

  • avatar
    WheelMcCoy

    It could be worse. Elon could have sold the shields as an option — the “stupid”, I mean “safety” driver tech package.

  • avatar
    Kenmore

    Tesla’s boasting/exculpation is nicely written so now I like Elon.

    If you’re really a smart person you need to have a Tesla.

  • avatar
    jpolicke

    Well at least the bottom of the car will be tough enough to withstand anything short of an IED. Too bad they can’t harden the rest of the vehicle the same way; it might make an interesting statement for the President to use an electric vehicle instead of a truck with a Cadillac body.

  • avatar
    thx_zetec

    Musk is a modern PT Barnum. See sells expensive eco-toys for the 1% that are subsidized by the 99%.

    It is disingenuous to imply that the only fire incident was the case of a car hitting median at 110mph, there have been other fire incidents at regular speeds without accident. Like gas tanks batteries hold large amounts of energy. Protecting battery pack this large and this low to ground is possible, but the giant titanium shield adds much cost to a car that is already very expensive.

    Call me back when you have a car that costs 20k and can travel between cities without having to be hauled on a flatbed.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      Musk is an arrogant, narcissistic jackwad, and I await the next Tesla-on-fire, titanium underguard intact.

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        Do you base all of your purchases on whether or not you like the CEO of the mfr?

        Also, what is the point of hoping one of his customers suffers a car fire so Mr Musk can be humiliated?

      • 0 avatar
        stuki

        In Dystopia, that’s how one gets ahead. As in, obtain (at least nominal) control over enough resources to possibly facilitate some change.

        At least Musk is engaged in efforts that could potentially prove useful. Instead of being as obviously destructive as the vanity driven masturbation engaged in by the remainder of Bernanke/Yellen beneficiaries.

  • avatar
    dwford

    Sadly we live in a fear driven emotional society with little patience for logic and reason. So businesses and government take actions to make people “feel” better, regardless of the effectiveness or necessity of the actions. Tesla just wasted a lot of time and money to get that “they fixed it!” story into the media. So potential customers, shareholders, and politicians can pat themselves on the back that they got Tesla to “solve” the “problem” and we can all get back to our lives.

    • 0 avatar
      Kenmore

      “Sadly we live in a fear driven emotional society”

      Except for Lie2me. The only thing he has to fear is inconvenience.
      The merest whiff of inconvenience and he sics the sharks on you.

      In my mind he’s Thurston Howell the 3rd.

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        Thurston Howell III never would have set foot on that dingy much less go on a three hour cruise. He would have taken his own yacht…

        …that made the whole show unbelievable and so inconvenient

        • 0 avatar
          Kenmore

          He was slumming to appease Lovey’s urge to “understand the little people”.

          Insisting on rigorous verisimilitude in popular entertainment is an inconvenient way to go through life.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            Ha, another unbelievable storyline, not only would Thurston Howell III have taken his own yacht, he would have taken Ginger AND Mary Ann and told Lovey it was a business trip

            …and that’s the inconvenient truth

          • 0 avatar
            Kenmore

            Well, if you’re going to be that versimilitudinous, imagine Thurston’s inconvenience when he discovered Ginger was really Gene.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            If we’re getting real here it’s spelled *verisimilitudinous*

          • 0 avatar
            Kenmore

            Dammit!

            You’ve made me spill claret on my keffiyeh.

            How inconvenient.

    • 0 avatar
      05lgt

      DW; if you find Ti plate expensive, how do you sleep while all that treasure is burned at our airports to ease perceptions?

  • avatar
    chuckrs

    Replace “to minimizing owner inconvenience in the event of an impact and” with “in” in the final paragraph and it reads much better. I can understand Musk’s frustration dealing with the techno-dimbulbs of the media. Withering contempt has been earned, but its never a good idea to extend it to customers.
    I wonder what a 1/4″ thick sheet of Grade 5 Titanium goes for these days?

  • avatar
    Master Baiter

    Me wonders, how much does it weigh and what’s the impact on range?

    • 0 avatar

      Probably a wash. Model S already had an aluminum-alloy armor tray. If titanium tub replaces it, then it may not add any weight. Cost is going to be eye-watering, however.

      • 0 avatar
        CRConrad

        From the article: “During the course of 152 vehicle level tests, the shields prevented any damage that could cause a fire or penetrate the existing quarter inch of ballistic grade aluminum armor plate that already protects the battery pack. [...] The addition of the underbody shields simply takes it a step further.”

        To me that reads as if they’re adding the titanium to the aluminium, not replacing the aluminium with titanium.

    • 0 avatar
      jpolicke

      I found a .250×36″x72″ sheet of Grade 4 online for $3500, weighs 106 lb. According to the Tesla statement it has a .1% impact on range, which sounds believable. If it were I that was buying the car, I would have more heartburn with the increase in price, which I personally find unnecessary. I’m comfortable driving around now with 20 gallons of gasoline in a sheet metal container; the lack of a third layer of ballistic armor is not what’s keeping me out of a Tesla.

  • avatar
    Beerboy12

    Mr. Musk is pointing out a simple truth. The “media” is not the “truth”. The media needs to be taken with a pinch of salt because of that old expression “don’t believe everything you read”. That may apply to Mr. Musk to but the press did not sink billions of their own dollars into the Model S, did they?

  • avatar
    Zekele Ibo

    >> Remember that part in Atlas Shrugged where Hank and Dagny ride the first locomotive over the Rearden Metal bridge? (Um, that was a spoiler, sorry about that.)

    Don’t worry, it’s not as if we’re going to read it.

    :)

    • 0 avatar

      > Don’t worry, it’s not as if we’re going to read it.

      I’ve always found it funny AR fanbois don’t bother to read what she plagiarized from to figure out why she largely treats them with contempt.

    • 0 avatar
      WheelMcCoy

      I tried to read Ayn Rand to understand what the big deal was. I honestly could not get through the book. I jumped to the sex scenes, then called it quits.

      • 0 avatar
        3Deuce27

        SEX scenes? Never got that far. I was about ten when I tried to read that POC. It was the first book I ever through across the room. Would have ‘BURNED IT’ if it hadn’t been a borrowed copy and I don’t believe in burning books, even that a unmitigated pile of crap.

        • 0 avatar

          Ayn Rand basically wrote Nietzsche popup books for those too dim to digest the real thing, with all the contextual accuracy inherent to material dumbed down for children.

          Rand’s lasting legacy is American mass market elitism which believes genius is a matter of personal faith without any need for concrete distinction.

        • 0 avatar
          WheelMcCoy

          >> SEX scenes? Never got that far.

          The one I read was in “The FountainHead” which takes place before “Atlas Shrugged.” Google “Ayn Rand Sex Scenes” — there seems to be considerable discussion about it.

          The book was a loaner, so I couldn’t burn it either. :)

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”

        • 0 avatar
          WheelMcCoy

          The Lord of the Rings — those books, unlike Ayn Rand’s books, I was able to get through! Along with the prelude, The Hobbit.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            I have read The Fountainhead. It makes for a fine doorstop.

            (The writing itself is pretty light, but there’s a lot of it.)

          • 0 avatar

            Yech. Philosophical matters aside, I couldn’t finish either of Rand’s books. Some of the most obnoxious prose I’ve ever read.

          • 0 avatar

            > (The writing itself is pretty light, but there’s a lot of it.)

            This is how Atlas Shrugged went for me:

            1. From the very start it sure is repetitive even for a kid’s book.

            2. Switching to cliff notes makes the repetition more bearable and there’s little prose or subtext to miss out on. Recommended.

            3. Speed reading to the bitter end feels like a B action movie script.

            Should’ve waited for the actual movies instead, but a 2hr cliff notes cut.

    • 0 avatar

      If Ayn Rand hadn’t existed prog totalitarians would have invented a caricature strawman just like her just so they could avoid having to deal with Hayek’s knowledge problem. I see a lot of mockery of Rand and Randians, not so much when it comes to Hayek and his students.

      • 0 avatar
        3Deuce27

        ‘Progressive totalitarians’ Oxymoron, if ever.

        Comparing Rand to Hayek? Seems there is something else going on here, Ronnie, I probably don’t dare venture a guess, but there does seem to be a thread contained in some of your posts and comments.

        • 0 avatar

          Discriminating between them, not comparing. I noticed that Rand and her acolytes get mocked by sinistral types, Hayekians far less so.

          It’s not oxymoronic if one sees the desire to control others behind many if not most prog agendas.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            “It’s not oxymoronic if one sees the desire to control others behind many if not most prog agendas.”

            This is the sort of rhetoric that appeals to those of a certain bent who know nothing about politics. Time to up your game.

          • 0 avatar
            Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

            Progressive totalitarians = commies.

            70+ years isn’t enough for you to figure that out, Pch? Methinks it’s not Ronnie that needs edumucation…

          • 0 avatar

            > Progressive totalitarians = commies. 70+ years isn’t enough for you to figure that out, Pch?

            I suspect someone like Pch actually understood Animal Farm in contrast to the rest of Murica.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Thanks for confirming that there are more than one of you who needs to improve his game.

            Anyone who believes that mockery of Ayn Rand is limited to totalitarians is a fool. Her work was long-winded and redundant; it just wasn’t very good. Go find yourself a better hero, preferably one who can say twice as much in a quarter of the space.

        • 0 avatar

          > If Ayn Rand hadn’t existed prog totalitarians would have invented a caricature strawman just like her just so they could avoid having to deal with Hayek’s knowledge problem.

          Ironic considering Hayek’s open support of totalitarian governments.

          > I noticed that Rand and her acolytes get mocked by sinistral types, Hayekians far less so.

          Pseudoscience and children’s lit aren’t in the same dept, and thus tend to be mocked for different reasons.

        • 0 avatar
          stuki

          Redundancy, not oxymoron.

  • avatar

    @ Jack – Tesla is to be commended for a variety of things, in particular for getting out in front of the fire issue.

    RE: “But the fact that Mr. Musk allows his withering contempt for the media, and the general public it serves, to shine through undisguised doesn’t bode well for the company’s future.”

    You are so correct in this statement. I think Musk is paranoid. The media is, in fact, quite favorable to Tesla overall. But Musk pouts when some in the media question him on his bull shit. He wants to use them as a PR tool. I’m associated with an automotive conference that is held yearly in NYC. There is no pro or con agenda one way or the other, although it is an automotive and finance conference. A typical panel might include discussion of forward looking residual value predictions. Another might be a discussion of the state of the BHPH business or ongoing economic predictions. We extended an invitation to Tesla to give them the opportunity to be the keynote speaker. They declined rather rudely, saying, “We don’t participate in that kind of stuff.”

    We made it clear to them that myself and everyone involved in the conference are in favor of Tesla having the right to own its own sales points as long as they own all of them and that our conference precedes a JD Power/NADA conference the next day. We thought giving Tesla the opportunity to lead would be greeted by them with at least a thank you for thinking of them. But no.

    • 0 avatar
      CapVandal

      He has had incredible luck with the media. Getting the Car Dealers Associations to attack him — and with so many states, that one won’t go away.

      Consumer Reports Best Car Ever or whatever.

      No one bats 1000.

      • 0 avatar

        > He has had incredible luck with the media.

        Tesla hit the perfect storm of political favor. Its electrics has green cred, yet priced out of reach of dirty plebs.

        Now all Musk has to do is buy some black turtlenecks and join toastmasters.

        • 0 avatar
          wolfinator

          > Now all Musk has to do is buy some black turtlenecks and join toastmasters.

          Hahaha! You made me spit out my coffee with that last line!

          I wish Musk no ill, but he sure does seem to love the media limelight…

  • avatar
    jpolicke

    With all the hype about how advanced and safe the Tesla S is supposed to be, I find it curious that a car this pricy lacks so many features that are relatively common today. Where is the adaptive cruise control, cross path detection, blind spot coverage, etc? They make a point of traction and stability control – big deal, they’re mandatory and I can get them on a Yaris. Tesla shot its bolt on the powertrain; when one compares the rest of the available technology with similarly priced cars, it’s stripped.

  • avatar
    Z71_Silvy

    Anyone that believes what they are seeing in these videos needs to have their head examined.

    There’s no way that a little shield crushed concrete and an alternator. There’s no proof that the vehicle in the test is a Tesla POS.

    And this really makes Elon the baboon look bad when he was chastising and blaming everyone for the fires saying it couldn’t be the car.

    Tesla is a despicable company with a dishonest fraud as a CEO

    • 0 avatar
      chuckrs

      Lemme know when GM launches a Z71 into space.

      • 0 avatar
        sitting@home

        GM had to recall all their space rockets when it was discovered they would switch themselves off in flight. It turned out you needed a wrench to hold the ignition switch down, but in zero G the wrench floated away. They’d known about the problem for years and had actually substituted a magnetic wrench for the same part # a while back but had neglected to tell any of their customers.

      • 0 avatar
        Z71_Silvy

        Huh? What does that have to do with anything Chuckrs?

      • 0 avatar

        Actually, GM and the other domestic auto companies had key roles in the U.S. space effort. The U.S. likely would not have been able to land a man on the moon without the assistance of GM, Ford and Chrysler.

        The Lunar Rover, though built by Boeing, was designed by GM. GM also designed, developed and delivered the inertial guidance and navigation systems for the entire Apollo program.

        The control panels at Mission Control at NASA HQ in Houston were supplied by Philco, a Ford subsidiary.

        Chrysler built Redstone, Jupiter and Saturn rocket boosters along with the telemetry systems used in the Apollo program.

        If you look at photos of Chrysler’s pavilion at the 1964-65 New York World’s Fair, you’ll see that they included a rocket mockup as part of their display.

        • 0 avatar
          chuckrs

          Six decades ago, they were different companies. A retired coworker always enjoyed his time in New Orleans working on the 1Bs at Chrysler Aero.
          Two decades after WWII, we were more likely to think outside the box than today. In the early 60’s, DSV-2 Alvin’s pressure hull was built by General Mills Electronics. A fair ways from cereal. In the 50s, Project Orion investigated nuclear bomb pulse propulsion. To dispense the bombs under the space ship’s inertial pusher plate, the government held discussions with the folks who best understood how to do it – the Coca Cola Company. Completely nuts, except much later model scale tests with conventional explosives showed it was feasible, except for the nasty by-products.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      @Z71:

      Do you really think Tesla is stupid enough to fake the video, hoping to maintain a conspiracy of silence, when there are plenty of detractors like you ready to expose the lie?

      I really don’t get the hatred.

      Using your standards, how would you qualify GM in their latest ignition switch debacle? I’ve been fairly defensive for them, but it would be easier to just say they’re ‘a despicable company with a dishonest fraud as a CEO’.

      • 0 avatar
        Kenmore

        One really can’t filter out income-envy from the more legitimate reasons to question the Tesla.

        A few of the haters here could probably easily afford one but they’re in the minority. Most of us really just hate brashly successful people, especially young ones.

        Personally and in my defense, I’ll be a snow-belter till the day I die and Teslas strike me as analogous to flashlights left outdoors in February. I wouldn’t expect much performance from either.

        • 0 avatar

          > One really can’t filter out income-envy from the more legitimate reasons to question the Tesla.

          It appears Ayn Rand managed to properly translate ressentiment. Perhaps they can update the books with pictures of a Tesla electric locomotive, but the “engineers” here will get flustered by why that’s better.

      • 0 avatar
        Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

        To be fair, why else would they hire a woman for the job? The men who knew better didn’t want to be anywhere near it..

        /sarc

  • avatar
    RogerB34

    Tesla did the right thing by addressing the problem and providing a solution. The rest is irrelevant.

  • avatar
    Kaosaur

    Reading the comments in the thread makes me feel like I suddenly fell into an alternate universe. This is the _only_ place where I’ve seen this much vitriol towards this product and the man behind it…It just seems really unreasonable.

    I’m sure upset I can’t afford one either but given the option I would be driving this over any other automobile. Car of the Year? More like Car of the Century.

    Change isn’t something to be afraid of. Change is good.

    • 0 avatar
      Kenmore

      “Change isn’t something to be afraid of. Change is good.”

      Like cancer. Like Detroit. Like what they did to Buster Bars.

      • 0 avatar
        Kaosaur

        Like vaccinations. Like Detroit. Like banning trans-fats.

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          Tesla is a fashion accessory to the MUCH better practicality/utility of a hybrid Prius. It’s a faster, prettier Nissan Leaf, crammed full of tens of thousands of laptop batteries, with not much more range to show for it (especially when very hot or very cold outside).

          Now that squeaks, rattles, reliability & safety issues are becoming widely known (inevitable once more than the dozens of company employees were the only ones providing survey feedback to CR & JD Powers), we will continue to see the septic wounds that really dot the skin of Tesla being reported in much greater numbers.

          To cap things off, even Panasonic, which was once claimed by Musk to be Tesla’s future partner in Tesla’s much hyped and fantastical megasuperdupergigabattery factory (that will allegedly produce enough lithium ion batteries to allow Tesla to produce 500,000 vehicles within a decade) has essentially come out this week and subtly suggested to Elon that he put his gigantic crack pipe down.

          • 0 avatar
            Kaosaur

            I have a much greater number of Tesla owners in my social circle than the general public/car-guy audience and every single one of their opinions of the car is _HUGELY POSITIVE_.

            If you want to know about real ownership experiences of these cars, just read the comments on Hacker News on any of the threads mentioning Tesla. Tons of owners talk about their experience owning the cars.

          • 0 avatar
            Kenmore

            “Tons of owners..”

            So, like 20 guys?

          • 0 avatar

            @Kaosaur

            the car owners who tend to be most positive about their cars are owners of cars that are special in some way–Prius owners, LEAF owners, and other green car owners; Corvette owners, Porsche owners, and other sports car owners etc.

            Given the large amount of money Tesla owners have to shell out, the fact that they probably have multiple cars so are not bothered by the limited range and recharging time, and the fact that–at least according to all the reviews, it’s a very nice car to drive, and the immense status that goes with owning the car, the enthusiasm even in the wake of problems beginning to crop up is not surprising.

          • 0 avatar
            Kaosaur

            @Kenmore

            Outside of enthusiast groups, do you seriously know more than 20 people who own the exact same make/model/year car?

            I’m pretty sure you’ve formed concensus opinions about cars from groups a hell of a lot smaller than that.

            @David C. Holzman

            Some, sure. But enough others have tried every other EV & Hybrid out there and are very vocal about what car they think is the best. It’s not like they don’t have perspective.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            @Kaosaur

            I would like to hear your experience with the car, what were your driving impressions? How does it compare with the hybrid you must be driving since you say you can’t afford a Tesla.

            Oh, this is of course based on the assumption that your social circle being so Tesla heavy has given you plenty of exposure and opportunity to interact with the car in various driving conditions. Tell us about that

          • 0 avatar
            Kaosaur

            @Lie2me

            What I drive is in my icon. A 10th Anniversary RX-7 — a gas-guzzler. I’ve considered the Prius c as the next car purchase but would prefer a plug-in hybrid or Tesla.

            I haven’t had a chance to drive one yet because I haven’t been home (NY) in about a year.

    • 0 avatar

      Change is a given, however, the results can be both positive and negative. Change is not a good unto itself.

      • 0 avatar
        Kaosaur

        Yes, but change is _inevitable_ and trying to buck it is nothing more than useless bellyaching.

        (Though of course the dealers’ lobbyists are trying to buy politicians. History will not look kindly towards them.)

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          Change is indeed inevitable.

          In 1900, electric cars were about 30% of the market. Things changed, apparently.

          • 0 avatar
            Kaosaur

            And the popularity of server hardware architectures has changed back and forth between CISC and RISC (and CISC w/ RISC features) a few times. So what?

            There isn’t actually a point being made there.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            The early adopters for EVs were buying them in 1899.

            The change that you’re describing already happened, more than 100 years ago. It happened for a reason, and there isn’t anything that is fundamentally different now to reverse it.

            Musk hasn’t fixed the downsides of batteries that caused EVs to fall out of favor more than a century ago.

          • 0 avatar
            Kaosaur

            Except battery technology has fundamentally changed and so has consumer demand. Even plug-in hybrids are seen as superior to regular hybrid.

            The new products and sales figures say the opposite of what you claim.

          • 0 avatar
            chuckrs

            Yep, Charles Kettering came up with the electric starter for IC engines. Among other things, although I’m not sure we should thank him for leaded gas.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            I must have missed the part about battery technology fundamentally changing. I seem to have missed it because it isn’t true.

            The sales figures are likewise a mystery. I compare Tesla global sales to total global sales, and come up with a very low percentage. For those who are familiar with “Crossing the Chasm,” that crossing has obviously not happened thus far.

          • 0 avatar

            > I must have missed the part about battery technology fundamentally changing.

            Definition of “fundamental” aside, the energy density of li-on’s are significantly better than what was used 100 years ago.

            Computers (or whatever)to mitigate drawbacks also influences the course of other technology. So does science such as understanding of pollution or the economics of diminishing resources.

            As convenient as it may be for historical narratives, the tipping point for change often cannot be accurately attributed to singular events.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Nothing much has changed.

            Tesla has shown that it’s possible to get more range out of an EV if one installs a very large, very heavy, very bulky battery and is willing to sell it at a loss.

            That changes nothing about the inherent flaws of a battery. The energy density is still poor, and the recharge time is still problematic (although it is somewhat encouraging to know that a battery can be charged in less than an hour if the owner is willing to shorten its life.)

            A business model predicated on selling bulky stuff at a loss is not particularly innovative, nor does it move the ball forward. Tesla isn’t doing anything that conventional automakers couldn’t have done if they had so chosen, and there are good reasons why they haven’t chosen that same approach.

          • 0 avatar

            > Tesla isn’t doing anything that conventional automakers couldn’t have done if they had so chosen…and there are good reasons why they haven’t chosen that same approach.

            This isn’t really an argument about Tesla per se. Their unique model is to position the EV as bourgeois luxury instead of prol penalty box. That’s why it’s loaded with computers while outdragging a corvette.

            The main reason why conventional automaker haven’t chosen that approach is because electric car infrastructure hasn’t been subsidized to anywhere near the same extent as fossil fuels.

            A half century ago the gap in energy density was far greater and gas far cheaper. Any changes here are only going in one direction for the foreseeable future.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            “The main reason why conventional automaker haven’t chosen that approach is because electric car infrastructure hasn’t been subsidized to anywhere near the same extent as fossil fuels.”

            I think that what you meant to say is that the conventional automakers prefer to make a profit by selling cars for more than they cost to make, something that Tesla hasn’t done.

          • 0 avatar

            > I think that what you meant to say is that the conventional automakers prefer to make a profit by selling cars for more than they cost to make, something that Tesla hasn’t done.

            Profit is irrelevant when you can build self-driving cars.

            http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/02/tesla-q4-fall-16-million-in-losses-annual-revenue-climbs-to-2-billion/#comment-2829905

            http://cleantechnica.com/2013/09/21/tesla-motors-aiming-build-self-driving-car-within-three-years-elon-musk-says/

            In any case, I’m not sure how your statement contradicts mine. Their costs likely drop with volume if gas-like infrastructure existed for them.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Businesses have to turn a profit. The inability to profit from the oversized, expensive, heavy battery is a fundamental business problem that dictates design for every automaker except for Tesla.

          • 0 avatar

            > Businesses have to turn a profit.

            It’s easier to turn a profit when the government helps to maintain stable supply of fuel, etc, and a long head start.

            > The inability to profit from the oversized, expensive, heavy battery is a fundamental business problem that dictates design for every automaker except for Tesla.

            Tesla’s immediate problem isn’t really the margins, but volume. 20k/yr with far fewer parts shared than the norm isn’t very much to amortizes costs over.

            In the longer term and greater perspective, range vs charger/swapping infrastructure is a chicken-egg problem. The latter also requires volume.

          • 0 avatar
            CRConrad

            @Kaosaur: “Except battery technology has fundamentally changed…”

            That depends on how you define “fundamentally”: A hundred years ago, people abandoned electric cars because filling up combustion-engine driven ones with fuel was so much faster than charging the batteries of electric ones, which only got a rather shortish range between charges.

            Now, people are staying away from electric cars in droves mainly because charging one, while admittedly somewhat faster than a few years ago, still takes several times — or usually many tens of times — as long as filling up the tank of a combustion-engine driven car. Well, that and the fact that the electric car still only gets a rather shortish range between charges.

            How is that “fundamentally changed”?

          • 0 avatar

            > A hundred years ago, people abandoned electric cars because filling up combustion-engine driven ones with fuel was so much faster than charging the batteries of electric ones,

            This is mostly due to the fact that charging is a fundamentally different process than displacement. This is somewhat confusing to those unfamiliar with science but recharging fossil/hydroC fuel takes much longer than batteries.

            http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/02/qotd-toyota-not-tesla-as-a-force-of-disruption/#comment-2881953

            If the stuff of batteries is similarly physically cycled just like gas then the “fillup” shouldn’t take any longer. The actual differentiator of note here is energy density, since it’s carried onboard the vehicle whose fundamental feature is momentary freedom from the grid.

            Also note the more apropos usage of “fundamental” here.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            The fact remains that batteries are bulky and costly, which necessarily raises the price of the vehicle, which compromises adoption. Combine that with the low energy density and long recharge times, and you end up with an inferior product.

            The issue isn’t with technological innovation per se — EV technology is over a century old. The issue is that the technology just isn’t that good, and the existence of a few outliers who are willing to buy one does not fix the problems that arise when using batteries to power motor vehicles.

          • 0 avatar

            > Combine that with the low energy density and long recharge times, and you end up with an inferior product.

            Wear and tear on battery materials is built into fuel costs, and low energy density only has direct relevance on range. Filling up (or cycling) more often is somewhat inconvenient but range between stopping at a station isn’t really a key buying point anyway.

            This is one of those cases where it helps to understand the underlying science & tech.

          • 0 avatar

            > This is one of those cases where it helps to understand the underlying science & tech.

            To illustrate, the concept I’m speaking of above is a liquid battery; 3rd hit on the googs:

            http://www.technologyreview.com/news/524781/a-battery-with-liquid-electrodes-can-be-recharged-or-refilled/

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            That wasn’t exactly much of a rebuttal.

            Let’s put it another way — there’s no mystery to making an electric car. Every automaker knows how to build one. They’ve known for over a hundred years.

            If someone comes along tomorrow and invents a new battery or battery subtitute that cures what currently ails EVs, then the automakers won’t have any problem building new EVs that we will all want to buy.

            But I would not expect an automaker to make great advances in chemistry, just as I don’t expect automakers to find new ways to drill for oil. Those advances will happen in a lab, probably in academia, not at a manufacturer’s R&D facility.

          • 0 avatar

            > That wasn’t exactly much of a rebuttal. Those advances will happen in a lab, probably in academia, not at a manufacturer’s R&D facility.

            Just to be clear I’m not arguing for Tesla or their theatrics, just pointing out that focusing on their current products line as some kind of proxy for the idea of electric cars misses the point.

          • 0 avatar
            WheelMcCoy

            >> Combine that with the low energy density and long recharge times, and you end up with an inferior product.

            I can’t argue that battery tech isn’t a limiting factor. But I’d argue that Tesla is not necessarily an inferior product. Packaging is actually superior in the sense you have a trunk in the front and the back. Electric motors mean no oil and filter changes. There is no transmission that can break. You don’t need to go to gas stations (for gas anyway).

            The battery limitation can be ameliorated with a supercharger network, a battery pack swap station, and a recharger at home. The gigafactory, if successful, can produce less expensive replacement batteries. On board computer monitoring and lighter materials also help.

            Tesla can’t replace the ICE, but it can co-exist successfully.

            I do argue that other automakers can’t easily produce an electric vehicle because of their ties to existing manufacturing processes and their relationships to oil companies. It’s what they know and what they do best.

            The shape of the Nissan Leaf is a derivative of the Prius. Likewise the BMW i3. And I bet their battery packs intrude on cargo space, unlike Tesla. BMW’s i8 is still a concept, and it’s sexy, but I bet it was inspired by the Tesla S. I don’t expect other automakers to be as imaginative as Tesla because their bottom lines don’t depend on them being imaginative. Tesla’s very survival does.

          • 0 avatar

            > I do argue that other automakers can’t easily produce an electric vehicle because of their ties to existing manufacturing processes and their relationships to oil companies.

            They certainly have the technical expertise, just like Microsoft has all the talent to create new markets instead of follow after others do so, but fail for reasons well enumerated elsewhere.

            Similarly in (auto) production where it was the puny japanese who developed/implemented technically superior manufacturing during the D3 slumber.

    • 0 avatar
      WheelMcCoy

      I’m with you @Kaosaur. When I first heard of Elon Musk, he was developing PayPal. At the time, I wasn’t impressed and PayPal was making rookie mistakes. But he learned and improved.

      With Tesla, execution has been nearly flawless, and he has won me over. He’s a polarizing figure which, for now, is working in his favor. The vitriol here is a different emotional problem that no engineering solution can fix.

      • 0 avatar
        Kaosaur

        I should know this as a rotary owner but I forgot that most ‘car guys’ absolutely hate exotic power-plants.

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          Oh, I’d love to hear about your gas-sucking discontinued because it can’t meet Euro emissions Mazda

          • 0 avatar
            Kaosaur

            What about it? It’s awesome to drive.

            I don’t expect sports cars to get good mileage. Rotaries even less so.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            Kaosaur – We may agree to disagree on certain aspects of Tesla, its founder’s traits & its products’ merits & demerits, but ROTARY FOREVER, BRAH!!!

          • 0 avatar
            Sam P

            “ROTARY FOREVER, BRAH!!!”

            The Mazda rotary failed because it was hilariously uncompetitive, BRAH. Look at this test sheet.

            http://media.caranddriver.com/files/2009-mazda-rx-8-r3mazda-rx-8-r3.pdf

            MPG on par with a V8 Mustang with straight line performance inferior to the sedan that I drive.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            Don’t be cereal, Sam.

            The rotary is about more than raw stats.

            It has a certain je nais se quoi & joie de vivre that you either “get,” or not.

            And trust me, it churns like velvet all the way to 10k. I’ll wave hello to you in 3rd gear as I pass you on the apex.

          • 0 avatar
            FormerFF

            The rotary is lovely to drive, not so much to feed. Unfortunately, with that oddly shaped combustion chamber, it’s likely to remain inefficient.

          • 0 avatar
            Redshift

            Just chiming in for the Rotary love in. (I currently own 4).

            As you were.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            Take any RX-8 with a sticky set of shoes, with its super car (or better) 30,000 nm/degree chassis, Torsen rear wheel LSD, truly low COG (thanks to the position, configuration and low weight of the Renesis),ease the lever into third, hammer it without regard to how far & wide the RPM rises (because it sings at the top of its lungs), and stick it into a challenging corner, and all sin will be forgiven.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            Let’s not forget that it hums when it zoom-zooms until it sees a gas station then it gulps!

  • avatar

    “With a track record of zero deaths or serious, permanent injuries since our vehicles went into production six years ago, there is no safer car on the road than a Tesla.”

    I’m surprised that Musk’s lawyers let that superlative “no safer car” stay in the statement. Making categorical statements about safety seems to me to be asking to be sued later on down the line. I wonder if Tesla has really done the math on other ~20,000 sales/year cars to see if the Model S is the only model with that many examples on the road that hasn’t had a fatal or serious injury accident.

    It will be interesting to see how consumers react. I know that telling people that Pintos were statistically no more likely to have car fires than comparable Vegas and Gremlins doesn’t do anything to convince them that Pintos aren’t fire hazard death traps.

    • 0 avatar

      Good point about the “no safer car.” And notably, there aren’t yet that many Teslas on the road. Some quick googling suggests to me that there are less than 30,000 Teslas on the road, and that most of those were put on the road during 2013. My guess is that a lot of them aren’t used as daily drivers so that mileage is low.

      My recollection is that in the US there is one automotive death per 100 million miles. But given its size, weight, and engineering, the Tesla is probably a good deal safer than average–though probably not nearly enough to claim “no safer car”.

      I’m going to guess that the safer cars on the road may be twice as safe as average–one death per 200 million miles. The average Tesla may have as little as 5,000 miles on the clock, which would put total Tesla miles somewhere around 120 million.

      • 0 avatar
        fozone

        Statistics are funny things when small sample sizes are in play.

        For nearly 30 years, the Concorde was the safest passenger plane ever built. Until one day, it suddenly wasn’t — and in fact became the least safe passenger plane in service.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      >> I’m surprised that Musk’s lawyers let that superlative “no safer car” stay in the statement.

      What about the new M-Class demolition derby ad? They say “It’s almost like it couldn’t crash even if tried.” A reasonable person might interpret that as you can’t crash it even if you try. So when Muffy hits a big patch of black ice at 70 mph and the lane keeping feature succumbs to the classic laws of physics, there’s going to be a problem. I cringe every time I see that ad.

  • avatar
    Zykotec

    So, he made a bulletproof underbody basically IED proof, because some ******* think that having a car catch fire after a 110mph crash is anything out of the ordinary…and he dares to have an attitude when telling about it. Yup, I almost kinda love the dude tbh…
    Calling it the safest car out there seems quite correct so far,and most tests seem to prove him right too.
    But with such a small production it is obviously statistically less likely that there would be any fatal accidents so far.
    So far he has been more succesful than Preston Tucker was, and I hope he can keep it going for a while.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      There were other crashes, and other fires. The problem is pretty obvious — lithium ion batteries have their hazards, and the engineers missed the mark with the original design. Those batteries need to be protected from intrusion, and the Model S battteries are located along the bottom of the car.

      It’s odd how Musk can tell half-truths to the press without getting called on them. Journalists should be asking hard questions, but those who are sent to cover these types of topics can’t or won’t.

      • 0 avatar

        > It’s odd how Musk can tell half-truths to the press without getting called on it. Journalists should be asking hard questions, but those who are sent to cover these types of topics can’t or won’t.

        In a way it’s irrelevant since their audience won’t understand the answer anyway if they don’t already.

        The Li-Co’s Tesla uses instead of (somewhat safer) Li-Mn of their competitors also happen to be in every consumer electronics device. Their characteristics are generally well understood. It’s inherently explosively flammable stuff not unlike gasoline but the risks are evidently manageable and tolerable.

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          It is relevant that Musk acts as if there was only one fire, yet the press fails to correct that inaccurate claim.

          • 0 avatar

            > It is relevant that Musk acts as if there was only one fire, yet the press fails to correct that inaccurate claim.

            Correcting the cardinal number doesn’t affect the underlying issue of understanding. Musk is just mocking them, where hyperbole may take precedence over technical accuracy.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Musk is trying to conceal a design flaw by claiming that it was a one-time fluke caused by driver error.

            That’s obviously a lie to anyone who is paying attention, as there was more than one incident and it was necessary to make changes in order to appease NHTSA. That should make it clear that (a) Musk isn’t exactly trustworthy and (b) the media is asleep on the job.

          • 0 avatar

            > Musk is trying to conceal a design flaw by claiming that it was a one-time fluke caused by driver error.

            The dangers of li-on in a car, or gas in a car, or li-on in that phone pressed against your family jewels are fairly known quantities.

            Frankly, if he were speaking to me or perhaps you instead of the media the standards would be different. As it stands it doesn’t really matter what he says.

          • 0 avatar
            WheelMcCoy

            >> It is relevant that Musk acts as if there was only one fire, yet the press fails to correct that inaccurate claim.

            It only appears that way from TTAC’s excerpt above. From the Tesla website, the article opens with:

            “In 2013, two extremely unusual Model S collisions resulted in underbody damage that led to car fires.”

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Fair enough about the frequency. But the glib descriptions that are otherwise coming out of Tesla PR are obviously full of it.

  • avatar
    sparc

    Sounds like great news to me.

    It still irritates me that Musk compares the Tesla problems to regular gasoline vehicles. It makes it sound like they’re doing this only to appease the media rather than improving safety.

    They should always be looking at improving safety or risk falling into the same trap as GM and Toyota. Just because you may have zero fatalities today, doesn’t mean you can’t have serious issues 5 years from now that cause deaths.

  • avatar
    05lgt

    I’m not clear, is the Ti replacing or supplementing the Al?

  • avatar

    The amusing part of this debacle is that the risks of Li-Co chemistries are largely internal, ie electrochemical rather than mechanical. But the media or the public are far too stupid to grasp anything at that level so they latch onto the simplest “explanations” same as every other nuanced safety issue whether TMC or GM.

    It’s really no wonder why someone like Musk acts the way he does around them.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Quite true, although the car-buying public has always chosen to be naïve, which is why car ads are so ridiculously stupid.

      The Leaf is sometimes criticized for its range issues, but at least it appears to be a safe chemistry:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jz37WycW-7E

      And the Leaf benefits from a different packaging layout which places the battery far inboard from the sides of the car, and north of the ground.

      Besides, nobody can crash a Leaf doing 110 mph. :)

  • avatar
    wmba

    You have to acknowledge Musk as an entrepreneur. Certainly nobody writing or commenting here has accomplished anything like what he has. Thus the constant flow of sour grapes and belittlement from the envious. Normal. Typical.

    But not all genius entrepreneurs have the reflexive defense temperament of Musk. He will not take criticism of any kind, and is a blowhard promoting his product. Titanium underguard, yup that’ll do it.

    Case 1. Musk blows a gasket over Top Gear’s review of the roadster and sues the BBC. Case lost. Musk in bitter resentment mode, everyone’s against him.

    Case 2. George Clooney is not happy with the constant breakdowns of his roadster, tells Musk to fix it, and when they don’t flogs it at a charity auction. Musk, defensive as usual, asks if Clooney expected perfection with his first iPhone in 2007. Classic apples and oranges defense – phones don’t carry passengers on highways. How would you like to be passenger 5 on Virgin Galactic/Elon Musk’s spacecraft? Waiting for an update?

    Case 3. NY Times journalist has problems getting a decent charge on his long trip from somewhere to Connecticut. Musk goes apesht and demands an apology from paper. He even gets one when he reveals the electronics were spying on the drive, but it’s all low grade BS to maintain the godly status of King Elon.

    Case 4. Musk proclaims the Tesla scores 5.4 on a 5 scale in NHTSA crash tests. Of course, the car is pure genius, he invented it! NHTSA tells Musk to pound sand and advises that it will pursue prosecution if advertising suggests more than 5 stars. Kind of ironic in the wake of accident fires.

    Case 5. NHTSA issues a recall on Tesla home chargers that catch fire. Musk denies it is a recall, since no cars have to visit a service center. No, email software updates and a new part in the mail is Tesla’s response. What?! I made a mistake? No, I didn’t. The definition of the word “recall” must be changed instead to satisfy the Muskian ego.

    In other words, the man is completely unable to accept criticism, and thinks his way is the only right way.

    I’d avoid having anything to do with the man or his products.

    • 0 avatar

      > In other words, the man is completely unable to accept criticism, and thinks his way is the only right way.

      It’s also possible the critics are wrong. For example, the Top Gear piece was typical TG selective editing, and it’s just a matter of fact the roadster was a beta product.

      The issue here is the modern consumer’s used to a certain level of public relations compliance (see: unintended acceleration), and instinctively pulls the righteous indignation act when it’s brought to bare that they are in fact too dimwitted to understand the world as it is.

      This isn’t to say that Musk is right, but rather those beneath him are not in a position to offer worthwhile criticism.

    • 0 avatar
      jpolicke

      While I’m not disputing anything you’ve written, I still admire what he’s accomplished so far. Henry Ford and Thomas Edison were apparently also nasty arrogant SOBs, maybe it comes with the territory.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      From what I can tell Musk is the Ray Kroc or Asa Candler of Tesla. That’s not to say he isn’t important, but the company would not exist without Wright, Tarpenning, Straubel and Eberhard.

      Pretty soon the popular narrative about Tesla’s beginnings will be Musk retrofitting an Elise in his garage.

      • 0 avatar

        > From what I can tell Musk is the Ray Kroc or Asa Candler of Tesla. That’s not to say he isn’t important, but the company would not exist without Wright, Tarpenning, Straubel and Eberhard.

        This is generally true from a technical perspective, but business demands are a unfortunate reality in the current world. Force of personality is a useful characteristic in that social context.

        The problem is “going into business” which Musk/Jobs do is mostly administrating & socializing, the sort of stuff people with talent and creativity *shouldn’t* be stuck in.

        It’s a shame that our society uses an economic framework where the best & brightness need to waste their life on people-pleasing and paper pushing to get anything done.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      “How would you like to be passenger 5 on Virgin Galactic/Elon Musk’s spacecraft?”

      Musk’s other company is SpaceX. Virgin Galactic is run by Richard Branson.

      SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft has already visited the ISS several times for resupply, and this same platform is being fitted and man-rated to carry humans someday. Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo is on track to carry passengers on brief sub-orbital hops.

      Personally, I’d sign up to fly on either of these entrepreneur’s spacecraft.

    • 0 avatar
      WheelMcCoy

      >> Case 4. Musk proclaims the Tesla scores 5.4 on a 5 scale in NHTSA crash tests.

      I believe the 5.4 came from the Tesla beating the roof crush test. Turns out the strength of the Tesla exceeded what the crush machine could put out. Of course Musk took advantage and claimed the Model S broke their machine. :)

      It’s a smart move, and entertaining too.

  • avatar
    VenomV12

    I like the idea of Tesla more than I actually like the Tesla itself. After driving it I still think it needs a lot of work and it needs a price chop of at least $25,000 and a minimum range of 350 miles on a charge. The stock price is just laughably and insanely overvalued. Personally I think the car is safe and just fine.

    • 0 avatar
      3Deuce27

      I have spent about 10 hours in a Tesla-S, including some track time and not found anything about it, wanting. But, then I’m a simple type, if a car goes _ stops _ and defrosts the windows, I’m good to go.

      I don’t need all the fooferaw that some of the spoiled on this site think they need. Automatic adjusting mirrors and seats, heated and air conditioned seats, defrosting mirrors, jeezus, does it ever end with this inane material nonsense. And then the spoiled brats complain about the MSRP. Manufacturers just can’t win.

      I’m grateful to the first adopters for paying the price Tesla needs to keep this car in production. We ‘all’ need for it to succeed. Its derivatives are going to be important to the future of viable personal transportation, as are BMW’s ‘I’ cars. And that future, is probably coming hell bent at our heels.

      • 0 avatar
        shaker

        +10
        If Rockefeller hadn’t needed to be rid of an undesired byproduct of his lamp oil (gasoline), we’d probably have EV’s with a 500-mile range that could be recharged in 5 minutes.
        Now the descendants of Rockefeller’s empire have some long overdue competition, and they don’t like it – fossil fuels are now being advertised and promoted like never before, because they know that the writing is on the wall. Musk has powerful entrenched economic and political forces aligned against his dream; I can understand his defensive attitude. I just wish I could afford to join his quest – maybe he’ll read this and give me a discount on the cheaper upcoming version… :-)

        • 0 avatar
          Kaosaur

          There’s a lot of complaining about price with no acceptance of the fact that car manufacturing benefits from economies of scale and Tesla is an independent car company.

          They’re not banking massively inflated profits.

          Musk has already done something near-impossible in this business and it’s only going to get better over time. So many others have failed to get even near this far.

          At least they’re doing the sensible thing and not pulling a Bugatti and losing $6 million dollars per car sold.

          • 0 avatar
            VenomV12

            The way economies of scale works is that when you sell more cars, your costs would go down and you would pass that on to your customers, Musk and Tesla have made no such indication this will ever happen and the Tesla salesman even went so far as to tell me Tesla will never lower the price of the Model S. The average Model S sold is about $95,000 nicely loaded and as far as I am concerned it is not a $95,000 car, it is barely a $75,000 car. At $95,000 or even $75,000, saving $2,000 or so on fuel costs is nominal, especially when you lose content, features and convenience.

            In reality you could buy a fully loaded Accord Hybrid, get great gas mileage, tons of features and save yourself almost $50,000 if saving money is really your thing.

          • 0 avatar
            Kaosaur

            A fully loaded Accord Hybrid won’t out-drag a Corvette.

          • 0 avatar

            > The average Model S sold is about $95,000 nicely loaded and as far as I am concerned it is not a $95,000 car, it is barely a $75,000 car.

            Funny someone called “VenomV12″ makes this sort of argument.

          • 0 avatar
            WheelMcCoy

            >> The way economies of scale works is that when you sell more cars, your costs would go down and you would pass that on to your customers, Musk and Tesla have made no such indication this will ever happen …

            The Model X (CUV) is due out this year. And a smaller, less expensive sedan — no designation yet, but based on the Model S — is in the pipeline. Speculated price would be around $40,000.

            There’s a tongue-in-cheek article circulating the internet distinguishing Tesla buyers from Leaf buyers. All I can remember is that Leaf drivers are more likely to hug trees while Tesla drivers are more likely to go to strip clubs.

            Tesla is less about being green, saving money, or saving the whales. It’s more about a luxury car that’s different, distinctive, and happens to be clean.

          • 0 avatar
            mcs

            >> The average Model S sold is about $95,000 nicely loaded and as far as I am concerned it is not a $95,000 car, it is barely a $75,000 car.

            Correct pricing is determined by supply and demand. If you’re running a 2 – 3 month order backlog, then your product is not overpriced.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    For those following along, the first Tesla fire in the wild happened just days after Tesla “created” it’s NHSTA rating of a 5.3 (or was it 5.6) and said no other car was rated safer – ever – an then in a dig to other electric and series hybrid makers went on to say, no Tesla has ever had a fire in an accident.

    It couldn’t have been a week after the first Tesla burned.

    The Maginot line will never be breached.

    The Titanic is unsinkable.

    A DC-10 can never have a triple hydraulic system failure.


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