Tesla Model S: "90% There on the Outside and About 40% There on the Inside"
And that’s just the prototype. The LA Times‘ Dan Neil (the automotive journalist’s automotive journalist) got an exclusive first up-close look at Tesla’s Model S and comes away with some healthy skepticism. What did he learn? “Tesla has already had to walk back a claim regarding the Model S’ recharge capacity. The car will not have the capacity to accept 440-volt current, which would allow it to be charged in 45 minutes,” for one thing. The prototype “is just barely ambulatory,” writes Neil. “More like a glorified golf cart than a harbinger of tomorrow tech.” Also, “the car’s signature design flourish—a 17-inch, touch-screen control panel with haptic feedback in the center console —may not even make it to production.” And Neil’s skepticism is contagious: The Business Insider concludes that “There’s No Way Tesla’s Model S Will Cost $57,400” even after hefty government incentives. Ouch.
I'm scratching my head here. I watched "Who Killed the Electric Car?" last week for the first time and although I don't necessarily buy into all the controversy of these types of docu-dramas I found the info on the EV1 very interesting. My overall thought was that it didn't seem so complicated to make an electric car. Many people owned the EV1, liked the EV1, the performance was there, the range didn't seem to be a huge issue, etc, etc. Why is it now that we have all these "pioneers" creating the electric car? It's possible that the EV1 came at the wrong time I can see that, but shouldn't it have been easy to just pick up that torch and run with it again without the $100,000 price tag?
[...] it just needs a little more time in the oven. Send [...]
Kyle, it's true that the people who bought the EV1 loved it, but the problem is that few people bought it. When you have a self-selected group who knew of the poor range before they bought it, you have a group that doesn't care about range. Unfortunately for electric car developers, the general public does care about range. I think EV1s cost about $100k each to make and the EV1 program therefore lost enormous amounts of money. I do think they should have allowed customers to retain the cars at the end of the leases, however. The fanatical owners would have figured out a way to keep them running, with or without GM. D
Range anxiety could be reduced with GPS. Set a coordinate for your house and have the car tell you it's time to turn back by comparing your distance from home and battery remaining. The buying group for electric cars should naturally be inclined to understand the principles of limited range. Have we not all used a cordless phone or an electric shaver before? I don't think GM's reverse-hybrid Volt concept makes as much sense as the current realm of 'full' hybrids. Why not just actively market EVs as having a limited range but cheap to run and environmentally friendly (whether that's really true or not) and Hybrids as long range, almost as cheap to run and still relatively environmentally friendly? People in that market can decide which compromise they're willing to make.