Tesla Birth Watch 4: CBS Hearts "Scrappy Little Tesla Motors"
CBS' Sunday Morning program has joined the caravan of love for Tesla Motors' not-ready-for-prime-time electric car and GM's not-ready-for-prime-time electric car. New York Times correspondent David Pogue's report leads with the usual "gas sucks" mantra, and then gets down to business: repeating Tesla's oft-repeated (never proven) claims for their LiIon-powered electric roadster. Ah, but doesn't the electric car simply shift the energy problem to powerplants? The recently demoted Martin Eberhard demures: "If you do the math, you'll find that an electric car, even if you use coal to make the electricity, produces less pollution per mile than burning gasoline in the best gasoline-powered car." After gasping at the Tesla's sticker, Pogue trots out GM Car Czar Maximum Bob Lutz, who promises a user-friendly price tag for the Volt: "My personal target still is to bring this car into the market at, you know, nicely below $30,000." Yeah, well what about the EV1? "Now, it turns out that from a PR standpoint probably the dumbest move we ever made," Lutz said. "It was done for all the right legal reasons, but PR-wise it was dumb. So, now I'm getting e-mails saying, 'I hope you rot in hell.'" After revealing that the first Teslas will hit the streets this fall and promoting the forthcoming film "Who Saved the Electric Car?" (really), Pogue gives Maximum Bob the last word. "…I think the future for electrics is absolutely unlimited." At least the PR is.