Tesla Birth Watch 46: AutoblogGreen Hearts Roadster, Bathroom

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

OK, let's start with this: we're not jealous that Tesla tossed the keys to a prototype Roadster to AutoblogGreen scribe Sebastian Blanco during his recent visit to Tesla's new LA dealership. We're furious. Lest we forget (and we don't), Tesla Spokesmouth Darrel Siry promised TTAC a drive back when they didn't have any cars– I mean "prototypes." And then DS wimped-out rescinded his offer. Yet this fanboy gets an unsupervised spin just by showing up? We challenge Tesla to face the music, to lend TTAC a Roadster so that we can arrange independent testing of the two critical variables– which still remain unverified– range and recharge time. Meanwhile, Blanco liked Tesla's two "wonderfully decorated bathrooms" and the car is "simply too much fun to drive." Oh, and "During our drive, we happened upon an electric vehicle charging station and stopped for a little photo shoot. Sure, the connectors are all wrong, but for our pictures little details like that didn't matter." Tesla and AutoblogGreen; a match made in Heaven.

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

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  • Anonymous Anonymous on May 12, 2008

    "too fun to drive" !? Oh, that makes a lot of sense.

  • Dean Dean on May 12, 2008

    @BuckD: I'm glad I'm not the only one that is growing increasingly disenchanted with the way that media has become the lapdog of advertisers. Scratch that: disenchanted is too mild a word. It is fucking disgusting. It's somewhat ironic: the advent of blogging and so-called "citizen journalism" was supposed to reduce the chokehold that corporate media had on information. But it seems all we get is radical political rantings and fanboy ass-kissing. Kudos to RF for his integrity. Even if it means TTAC has trouble getting cars to review.

  • Pfingst Pfingst on May 12, 2008

    Tesla knows its car can't bring the goods, otherwise they would be falling all over themselves to allow the skeptics at TTAC to become believers. Not surprising at all, just a bit disappointing. The reality is that many (most?) of us would love to see Tesla succeed - we just prefer actual results over vague promises and PR whitewash.

  • Doug Doug on May 13, 2008

    The reviews by the major car mags were generally positive, and I'd hope they were being objective. I doubt Tesla would lend you a car long enough to test the range and the charge time. But, I don't really see what the big deal is about those two figures. The range has been 3rd party tested at an EPA certified location to be to 220 miles on the combined EPA cycle. I take that for what it's worth. You can do a little bit better if you drive gently and a lot worse if you drive hard. I suppose they'll have to get retested with the new drivetrain on a production model. The charge time is just a simple math problem. The battery pack holds about 53 kWh of energy. So if all you've got is a wall outlet, say 120 Volts at 15 Amps (which gives 1.8k Watts), it will take about 30 hours to fully charge the pack from a state of depletion. To get a full charge in 3.5 hours, Tesla's home charging unit would have to provide about 15kW of power. At 240 Volts, that's less than 70 Amps, which is perfectly reasonable for a unit that's professionally installed by an electrician. Of course if you're using the car for your daily commute of say 50 miles, you'd rarely be charging from empty. I'd be skeptical of companies that claim 5 or 10 minute charge times. The equipment (cables, electrical isolation, safety interlocks, feed from the power plant, etc) you'd need to safely carry electrical energy at that rate is impractical in a home setting.