Tesla Birth Watch 30: No Road Trips for Now

Frank Williams
by Frank Williams
tesla birth watch 30 no road trips for now

Some people think TTAC has been/is being overly critical of the Tesla Roadster, particularly when it comes to their claims for driving range and recharge time. We're not the only ones expressing concern. Autobloggreen's ace scribe Sam Abuelsamid reports their experience with the range while test driving the roadster:

Driven sedately, the Tesla Roadster very likely could achieve somewhere around 220 miles or more. Perhaps even as much 250 miles in city driving with lots of regenerative braking. The problem is that this little demon doesn't really want to be driven in that manner… [Based on the readings on the charge indicator gauge] the range with the driving I did [is] somewhere between 105 and 120 miles…. According to some of the print magazine reviews, they got significantly less. Autoweek only managed 93 miles… For now, drivers of the Roadster will have to choose, exceptional performance or exceptional range, but probably not both.

So there you have it. It's a sports car you can drive like a sports car for about 100 miles, or a sports car you can drive like a Prius for about 200 miles. Either way, it's a sports car that no one will be driving until after March 17. That is, if they can get it to the airport on time.

Correction: Under the headline "Tesla Roadster Misses Production Date," TTAC stated that the date when the first production Tesla Roadster was scheduled to be released to a customer had changed to March 26. Our report was based on information posted on another site. Darryl Siry from Tesla contacted us and insisted that the production date has not changed; it's still March 17. We look forward to seeing a California-registered, fully-functional Tesla Roadster in a private customer's hands on that date. As stated previously, if so, we will discontinue the Tesla Birth Watch.

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  • Joeaverage Joeaverage on Feb 08, 2008

    I'm not going to worry about $50 worth of gas if I can afford a nearly $100K car... GRIN! I do however agree that the range argument is dumb. People will either stay close to home (same county) or they will trailer their car to the resort/tourist area they want to ride around in with their Tesla just like alot of the motorcyclists do when they take their motorcycles to the beach or the mountains. Trailer it up, leave the truck at the hotel, ride the backroads, come back to the hotel. I am anxious to see this car collectively soak up some miles b/c it will help drive the EV technology forward. I have heard so many comments over the past decade that EVs will NEVER work for a laundry list of reasons. They DO work right now if a person is realistic about what they want to do with an EV. For starters a person has to leave behind that one vehicle that does everything mindset that some folks use to justify driving a 6K lb vehicle for trips big and small (mostly small) or a 8-9 passenger vehicle when they generally need space for 3-4 people. If Tesla manages to create an EV or even a plug-in hybrid equivalent to the Rabbit/Corolla/Civic/Focus/Cobalt with even a 50 mile EV range and a small ICE to keep the batteries charged for $25K I'd buy one. 50 miles represents several days of commuting for me and 1 round trip for my wife. If that car could reach production then with the march of technology within a decade I think we'd see range improve many magnitudes just like computers have gotten SO much better in 20 years, just like Linux has gotten so much better in the past few years, just like cellphones and other small devices have gotten SO much better too. We can DO anything. All it takes is a real need and some capital. I don't necessarily think that what GM is doing with the Volt is really trying hard. I think they are hoping we'll lose interest and go back to buying their SUVs and trucks. I think other automakers are either taking a "wait and see" approach or ignoring the issue completely.

  • Joeaverage Joeaverage on Feb 08, 2008

    Oh, and FWIW I think some of us could make arrangements with our employers to charge while we are at work. I think at some point in the future there could be employers who would offer this as a perk. A solar cell on the roof of these EVs wouldn't be enough to make much difference in 8 hours BUT a whole line of carport style covered parking spaces covered with solar cells could make a real difference for the cars parked underneath. First you're car is cooler in the summer, second your windows might be almost snow free in the winter, and thirdly your battery would be 100% charged for the drive home. With our enregy consumption style as it stands in 2008 an EV is going to require a few compromises. With some investment and creative problem solving we can be oil import free if we truly want to. Frankly I would have rather Bush spent the billions and billions of dollars on infrastructure for EVs than on the twin wars we have been fighting for - how many years??? Funny - no, sad - how we'll put up with a friggin' war - deaths, families torn apart for months or years at a time, fatherless/motherless children, the pollution all that war equipment creates, etc etc but we won't alter the way we consume what and how we consume here at home to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, to reduce the pollution we create, and to leave a better USA for our children - hell, a better WORLD for our children. I won't be buying a Tesla as it's pricetag is beyond my grasp and I need a small car with at least a backseat (VW Cabrio at minimum which is what I drive) but I applaud their efforts. I know it is likely as much about making lots of money as anything else but they may give our world the first real EV of the 21st century. Toyota did it with the RAV4-EV and quit. GM did it with the EV1 and then gave a list of reasons that it can't work while they were crushing cars people were begging to buy no strings attached. GO TESLA! GO!!! (anxiously awaiting an EV I can afford while considering building my own)

  • Stuart de Baker I don't speak to Jeeps and I don't approve of driving off road, especially in places like Utah where the vegetation won't come back for years.
  • Kanu Actually, I think this makes a certain amount of sense.The average age of light vehicles in operation in the US is now 12.2 years. This means that the typical useful life of a light vehicle is around 25 years.The big virtue of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is that the infotainment system in your car uses the relatively up-to-date technology of your smartphone rather than the vintage technology that existed when your car was built.But the useful life of EVs is nowhere near 25 years. It’s more like 8 years. That’s when the battery needs to be replaced, and that’s when you discover that the price of the new battery is more than the market value of your eight-year-old car with a new battery.So if your EV has built-in infotainment technology, that technology will still be relatively up-to-date when your EV goes to the scrap yard.
  • Deanst I like most things Peugeot recently, along with Skoda wagons and, for practicality’s sake, a Toyota Corolla hybrid wagon. And the Honda e.
  • DenverMike Why do I need any of it? With a Bluetooth 3-way electronic crossover, it avoids the dash altogether. And a Garmin backs up the phone. There’s also a wide selection of BT amps and sound processors. Tell automakers where they can stick their overpriced low-fi Fender, B&O, Bozo, etc, systems too.
  • Oberkanone M-715 Five-Quarter is my favorite. It's not from this year. WABAC to 2019 2019 Easter Jeep Safari concepts: All Gladiator, all the time - CNET