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The Tesla Roadster Sport offers superior performance to the base model Roadster and will begin production in 2011.  (Source: Tesla Motors)
Roadster Sport debuts, merges performance with green-tech

Tesla Motors made news late last year when a number of its Michigan employees discovered they were to be laid off through a posting on a business site in which company representatives discussed the closing of their plant and release of its employees.  While the end of the year brought bad news, 2008 was still a good year in Tesla for some respects as it saw production of its Roadster vehicle begin in March.

A leaner, more consolidated Tesla Motors greeted the press at the North American International Auto Show this week.  The company had big news, announcing a new vehicle, the Tesla Roadster Sport.

The Roadster Sport melds the environmental performance of an all-electric, zero on-car emissions vehicle with the on-road performance of a high-end sports car, and achieves impressive results.  The Roadster Sport can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in a mere 3.7 seconds, two tenths of a second faster than the standard Roadster.

In order to speed up the Sport, Tesla created a hand-wound stator and increased winding density for lower resistance and higher peak torque.  The stator is the stationary coil in an electric motor in which the rotor, attached to the drive shaft spins.  The Roadster Sport also adds Yokohama’s Ultra High Performance tires, and an improved tunable suspension with adjustable dampers and anti-roll bars. 

In the U.S. the Roadster Sport will have a base model price of $128,500, and it will also sell in Europe where it will retail for €112,000 (excluding VAT). 

Michael van der Sande, Tesla’s senior vice president of global sales, service and marketing touted the Roadster Sports performance, stating, "This car can beat nearly anything in its price class – yet it is twice as efficient as compact hybrid sedans.  If you refuse to compromise on performance or the environment, the Roadster Sport is your only option."

CEO, Chairman and Product Architect Elon Musk lauds, "The Roadster Sport embodies Tesla’s spirit of continuous improvement.  The Roadster has been a great success, but no one at this company remains satisfied with the status quo."

The Roadster Sport uses Tesla Motors' patented powertrain.  It seats two passengers and production is planned to begin in 2011.

Tesla Motors says that it has shipped 150 Roadsters, thus far, and that 1,100 people are still on a waiting list.  However, the wait may be a fortunate one, as waiting customers now have the option of upgrading to a Roadster Sport.

The Roadster and Roadster Sport will go head to head next year with GM's Chevy Volt, which will debut at a much lower price point (around $40,000 before tax credit).



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Hmmm.....
By FITCamaro on 1/13/2009 9:23:56 AM , Rating: 1
Corvette Z06 with 0-60 in 3.7 for $75,000 (so $35,000 to spend on gas and anything else) or all electric car which only goes so far before needing to be recharged and requires a $10,000+ battery pack every so often.

And I'd love to know how that car pictured seats 5. Do they mean two adults and 3 newborns in the trunk?




RE: Hmmm.....
By Aloonatic on 1/13/2009 9:43:47 AM , Rating: 2
The "seats 5" claim makes no sense.

As you point out, there is clearly no room in the back from the photo. Some car manufacturers try to convince people that their cars can seat 4, such a Porsche. There's no way that 4 adults could fit in many of these cars comfortably for any real journey but at least they are not silly enough to claim that it seats 5.

Isn't a "roadster" defined as being a 2 seat convertible sports car anyway?


RE: Hmmm.....
By FITCamaro on 1/13/2009 9:50:51 AM , Rating: 2
I don't even see how there could be a backseat


RE: Hmmm.....
By quiksilvr on 1/13/2009 10:30:15 PM , Rating: 2
I don't even see why they made this car in the first place. Why don't they come out with the sedan for the much more reasonable (though still high) price of $60k? And on top of that, why aren't they implementing the new lithium ion battery technology that triples the battery life and in turn triples the range? I applaud Tesla for their amazing electric technology, but I scold them for not coming out with more realistic vehicles.


RE: Hmmm.....
By CZroe on 1/13/2009 1:19:19 PM , Rating: 2
"Roadster" is usually a 2-seater open-top; not convertable. Well, you could say that a convertible "converts" between a standard "roofed" car and a roadster rather than being defined as either. :D


RE: Hmmm.....
By Gul Westfale on 1/13/2009 9:44:52 AM , Rating: 5
yes, it runs on babies rather than electricity. that way it also helps with overpopulation... what a brilliant car!


RE: Hmmm.....
By austinag on 1/13/2009 9:59:53 AM , Rating: 5
It's the Fatbastard of the car world:
I want your wee babies. Get in my gas tank!


RE: Hmmm.....
By quiksilvr on 1/13/2009 10:32:30 PM , Rating: 2
Chris Hansen: What are you doing?
Fat Bastard: Wha?
Chris Hansen: ...Did you just put three infants in the back of your car?
Fat Bastard: Uh...I...
Chris Hansen: Why don't you take a seat?
Fat Bastard: But I--
Chris Hansen: Take a seat, right over there.
Fat Bastard: *sits* How does he DO that?


RE: Hmmm.....
By bhieb on 1/13/2009 9:57:58 AM , Rating: 2
Or a four door $60K 09 CTS-V with 0-60 in 4.3, and truly seats 5 with a large trunk. Slower yes, but only by a blink or so and much more car.


RE: Hmmm.....
By FITCamaro on 1/13/2009 10:32:12 AM , Rating: 3
.6 seconds is a lot. But it doesn't take much to get more horsepower out of a CTS-V. A $6600 Magnacharger kit will get you 120hp/120tq and barely affect fuel economy. If at all. In fact many GTOs running Magnacharger are getting much BETTER fuel economy than stock. 30 mpg highway.


RE: Hmmm.....
By Gzus666 on 1/13/2009 10:44:01 AM , Rating: 1
Magnachargers are lame. Roots blowers are way to inefficient. Turbo or a Rotrex centrifugal supercharger is the way to go.


RE: Hmmm.....
By FITCamaro on 1/13/2009 12:49:15 PM , Rating: 2
New magnachargers use about .6 horsepower. The good thing about them is that the installation is simple and doesn't require a ton of expensive and heavy custom piping. You literally just bolt it on, put on the belt, retune, and go (plus fuel system upgrades which you need for a turbo as well).


RE: Hmmm.....
By Spuke on 1/13/2009 1:55:48 PM , Rating: 2
Custom piping isn't that expensive nor very heavy especially for a $60k, nearly 4000 lb car. I understand that there are marketing issues with selling a fast American car with turbochargers (although the Solstice and Sky does/did well) but that doesn't mean they're crap especially today. They could've easily met power requirements and even got a torque boost with a couple of small, dual ball bearing units. On a 6.2L, there's no such thing as turbo lag or even waiting to get into the meat of the turbo's efficiency range. Hey could run a couple of Disco Potato's on there.


RE: Hmmm.....
By FITCamaro on 1/13/2009 2:03:34 PM , Rating: 2
I've nothing against turbos either. Just saying that either's solution to making power works. With a turbocharger you have potentially higher peak horsepower. With a supercharger you have gobs of instant lowend torque. With modern superchargers, the argument of "the supercharger robs power" is essentially moot.

But there is simplicity in the implementation of a roots type blower. No tubing. Nice clean, uncluttered engine bay. Engine bays of cars today hardly need to have even less space than they already do. Of course a STS kit eliminates this problem but then you have the issue of turbo lag (not something a V8 really has to worry about though) and extremely long tubing. Not to mention the inherent issues of putting an extremely hot turbo underneath your car (rain).


RE: Hmmm.....
By Spuke on 1/13/2009 2:14:10 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
With a turbocharger you have potentially higher peak horsepower.
Depends on the size and design of the turbo's. There's no hard fast rule on where they make power. Most OEM turbo's are small and spool quickly making their power in lower rpm ranges. The turbo in my car (OEM) makes max power as low as 1700 rpm and putters out at 5000 rpm (4 cyl). It just depends on what the manufacturer and the target consumer wants/expects.


RE: Hmmm.....
By Gzus666 on 1/13/2009 2:18:34 PM , Rating: 2
Anymore with current turbo designs, the lag is unnoticeable. Short of the completely decked out race designs that are made to make power up top through cam tuning anyway, turbos are quite quick to make power and do so very efficiently.


RE: Hmmm.....
By Black69ta on 1/13/2009 5:45:06 PM , Rating: 2
Then it is tuned wrong or you misunderstand the specs, A turbo 4 banger usually redlines at 7k-9k and naturally makes peak hp around 1000-500rpm short of redline. If it really peters out at 5k then you are missing out on a lot. And all in at 1700rpm is ludacriss unless it is really, "way" too small. maybe the boost is coming in at 1700rom? Then again OEM, is like a government Uniform: You can have any suit you want as long as its plain black; you can have any power level you want as long as its weak. They are much better than 20 years ago, I drove a 1989 Dodge Daytona Turbo Z Whatever and it has so much lag I thought the turbo was shot, till it kicked in weakly. Good thing is from ebay bet you get a deal on an upgrade turbo that would probably, bolt on.


RE: Hmmm.....
By Spuke on 1/13/2009 7:26:24 PM , Rating: 2
The turbo in my car is definitely on the too small side and it's from the factory. I don't misunderstand the specs at all. It really does make max torque from 1700 to 5000 rpm. Then it takes a nose dive. The turbo in this is operated damn near outside its efficiency map under certain conditions. The redline on the car is 6500 rpm but it poops out totally by 5800. BTW, my car is also direct injected and has VVT.

In the aftermarket, it won't even break 300 whp and that's with supporting mods like "larger" intercooler, 3" exhaust and intake.


RE: Hmmm.....
By Spuke on 1/13/2009 7:31:18 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, the Ecotec LNF can take up 500 hp (crank) in stock configuration. So far we have people rocking 400 whp with just a turbo upgrade and some tuning. There are some issues with the stock ECU limiting boost to 255 kpa but GM's performance upgrade eliminates that limit (along with some other stuff like a CARB legal, warranty friendly 290 hp and 325 lb-ft of torque). Work is in progress on this engine!!!!


RE: Hmmm.....
By Gzus666 on 1/13/2009 2:28:49 PM , Rating: 2
The drive loss is not the only inefficiency unfortunately. That would be a problem with any supercharger. The problem is a roots design is naturally less efficient than a centrifugal design. Also, I believe the one you are speaking of is a twin screw, not a roots as I mistakenly said. While more efficient than roots, they are still a bit rough on the thermal efficiency side.

But, I will agree, they are easy as hell to put on. Custom piping is not really always required, plenty of companies make bolt on turbo and centrifugal kits. Many cost less than that supercharger as well, which is has a bad price to power ratio. Centrifugal supercharger kits are actually pretty damn simple for the most part, I would venture to say in some cases easier than the twin screw.


RE: Hmmm.....
By FITCamaro on 1/13/2009 2:54:29 PM , Rating: 2
ATI Prochargers are also good. However from what I've seen, Prochargers seem to be more prone to belts slipping than magnachargers. Another GTO guy I know though is making 650 rwhp with an ATI Procharger on his 402 ci LS engine. Still gets 25 mpg highway too. Nother guy has a pair of twins on his otherwise stock motor GTO. Not sure what he's making. But with him driving it ran a mid 11 in the 1/4 I think. And he can't drive for sh*t and he admits it. Was also on street tires.


RE: Hmmm.....
By Gzus666 on 1/13/2009 3:25:02 PM , Rating: 2
Yea, the Prochargers are pretty cool. Always good to run a ribbed belt with cogs so you don't get slippage. GTOs aren't the greatest for straight drags, just like Cobra Mustangs, independent rears hop pretty bad on hard launches for the most part, but they sure do make cornering sweet.

When I was younger I worked for a coatings shop, we used to get all the turbos and superchargers off the Pro 5.0 Mustangs. 4:1 drive ratio superchargers are insane, I could make boost with my hand. Some of the turbo snails I saw were psychotic. 55+psi of boost is a beautiful thing!


RE: Hmmm.....
By FITCamaro on 1/13/2009 4:01:34 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah I'm going to an all GTO track day in Bradenton in a few weeks. Getting some drag bags to help with wheel hop and hopefully a new rear diff cover that will also help with wheel hop. As well as having a higher fluid capacity to provide better cooling.


RE: Hmmm.....
By Black69ta on 1/13/2009 5:47:40 PM , Rating: 2
Actually Screw Type Superchargers (Whipplecharger), are more thermally efficient than a Centrifugal Supercharger (Paxton).


RE: Hmmm.....
By Gzus666 on 1/13/2009 6:35:20 PM , Rating: 2
Varies by make, screw is usually 70-80%, centrifugal is 70-85% or so. Magnachargers are pretty low on that range. Rotrex is one of the higher end one, they approach turbo efficiencies because of the design. Some sweet ass chargers for sure.


RE: Hmmm.....
By joeindian1551 on 1/13/2009 4:46:40 PM , Rating: 2
So you would pull off the factory Eaton supercharger in favor of a Magnacharger?

Why not switch out the factory R1900 for the R2300 thats on the ZR1?


RE: Hmmm.....
By BZDTemp on 1/13/2009 7:24:11 PM , Rating: 2
There is more to life than straight line speed. Agility is what's really fun and you can't beat lightness in that area since it's about physics.

Something like the Lotus Elise the Tesla is based on would be a lot more fun than a CTS-V, a Corvette or the Tesla cars for that matter. And the light weight also makes for decent fuel economy (in sports car terms).


RE: Hmmm.....
By FITCamaro on 1/14/2009 7:58:30 AM , Rating: 2
The Corvette beats the Elise in highway mpg.

And last I checked, the Elise isn't involved in professional racing like the Rolex series. The Corvette and CTS-V are.


RE: Hmmm.....
By Spuke on 1/14/2009 12:51:44 PM , Rating: 2
The Elise is an awesome car to be sure and I would like to have one. I just don't like the engine. It has a weird power curve. The big cam engagement point is too high (I know it's lower on the Elise than the Celica's but it's still too high). A Honda engine would be WAY better but a NA version of GM's Ecotec LNF would be even better than that.


RE: Hmmm.....
By randomly on 1/13/2009 4:59:19 PM , Rating: 2
It's not just about 0-60 times. It's about the PEF, and the Tesla PEF is much larger than just another production Corvette.

They've only found 5 people that can squeeze into the tiny seats. If you're not one of those 5 you are out of luck.


RE: Hmmm.....
By Spuke on 1/14/2009 12:53:48 PM , Rating: 2
PEF?


RE: Hmmm.....
By randomly on 1/14/2009 2:03:26 PM , Rating: 2
Penis Extension Factor


RE: Hmmm.....
By Spuke on 1/14/2009 2:05:08 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Penis Extension Factor
LOL!


I thought...
By MrBlastman on 1/13/2009 9:59:33 AM , Rating: 2
They needed a bailout? I see...

Well, while a nice 0-60 time, what is the top end and how much more weight do all these "features" add to the car? I'm more concerned with how it handles in the end than how fast it can go in a straight line.




RE: I thought...
By kattanna on 1/13/2009 10:09:28 AM , Rating: 2
yeah i thought the last i had read that they didnt have enough cash to build existing orders.


RE: I thought...
By TheSpaniard on 1/13/2009 10:10:29 AM , Rating: 2
its not that they needed a bailout....

its that why not get a slice of the free money when its being passed out.

what would you do if I offered everyone who asked a 0% loan for $10b and said pay it back when you can


RE: I thought...
By Tsuwamono on 1/13/09, Rating: 0
RE: I thought...
By MrBlastman on 1/13/09, Rating: 0
RE: I thought...
By mmcdonalataocdotgov on 1/13/09, Rating: 0
RE: I thought...
By MrBlastman on 1/13/09, Rating: 0
RE: I thought...
By JonnyDough on 1/13/2009 2:20:33 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, in the LONG term it HELPS the economy when big businesses go under.


RE: I thought...
By FITCamaro on 1/13/2009 3:10:28 PM , Rating: 1
I would love to see an explanation how the economy did better when a company like Enron went under? At least in a way related to Enron's fall.


RE: I thought...
By JonnyDough on 1/13/2009 11:11:08 PM , Rating: 1
Easily explained with another question. How the hell is it good to have an Enron in business? Big business falling opens up the market for small business. Small business does more for local economy because the money STAYS THERE. Economics 101. Wal-Mart is BAD for America. Why? Because when you buy cheap Chinese made crap a portion of that money goes to foreign investors, China and a lot of it goes into the bank accounts of the three Walton kids who all happen to be multi-billionaires. With small business, you have more business owners who live LOCALLY and those billions are divided up among them instead. They spend money on each other's businesses LOCALLY. Get it yet? If you want to send your money to Abu Dallah in Saudi Arabia who owns a large portion of Wal-Mart stores, go right on ahead. But I prefer that my cash stay here and I would rather be earning a bigger paycheck and work for MYSELF than work for $8 an hour for the Waltons.

/end rant


RE: I thought...
By FITCamaro on 1/13/2009 10:32:57 AM , Rating: 2
Read the article. It failed in cornering. And you only had 55 miles of fun before you were done for the day.


RE: I thought...
By MrBlastman on 1/13/2009 11:40:33 AM , Rating: 3
I read the DT article - nothing at all is mentioned about its cornering ability, just an upgrade to tires/suspension/sway bars.


RE: I thought...
By FITCamaro on 1/13/2009 12:50:32 PM , Rating: 2
I meant the one linked to by the article.


RE: I thought...
By Spuke on 1/13/2009 2:09:39 PM , Rating: 2
I didn't see anything mentioned about testing in the linked article. Can you post a link?


RE: I thought...
By Spuke on 1/13/2009 2:56:22 PM , Rating: 2
Nevermind, I saw it posted below.


This is Vaporware
By Sunrise089 on 1/13/2009 10:45:14 AM , Rating: 2
For all the hatred directed at Madoff these days, Tesla is almost as bad. They licensed an existing Lotus chassis, added a very media-friendly powertrain, and have coasted by on goodwill vaporware announcements from then on. The entire business model of selling a 911-Turbo-priced car with glaring deficiencies (like terrible performance from anything other than a dead stop to 100mph or so and very limited range) as a new start-up is risky when you have established automotive engineers - see the experiences of Panoz, Shelby (new cars like the Series 1, not badge jobs), and more or less every British sports car maker. Trying to do the same while essentially redesigning the automobile demonstrates that Tesla is nothing better than some PR guys spouting off automotive words they picked up on message boards.

This "new model" contains (drum roll)...new tires and a single changed part. At best, this is a "sport package," hardly worthy of an official introduction.




RE: This is Vaporware
By RandomUsername3463 on 1/13/2009 11:35:30 AM , Rating: 3
"goodwill vaporware announcements"????
They have sold units, and their cars are being tested by popular auto magazines. Do you consider that vaporware?

You are pretty clueless on the purpose of this car. It isn't suppose to compete with a Porche or Corvette, it is a useable all-electric car that has sporty performance. Who cares about performance above 100mph in a car like this -- it's completely unsuited to the track due to it's weight and range. This is a toy for the rich who want an electric car that goes fast.

This company is easily as bad as a guy who ran a scam to steal billions from a bunch of investors!!!one11!oneone


RE: This is Vaporware
By Runiteshark on 1/13/09, Rating: 0
RE: This is Vaporware
By RandomUsername3463 on 1/13/2009 4:37:35 PM , Rating: 2
Newsflash, 0-60 in < 4 seconds is fast.

Thanks.


RE: This is Vaporware
By Totally on 1/15/2009 7:19:09 AM , Rating: 2
improper word usage:

Acceleration is a measurement of quickness.
0-60 in <4 seconds therefore is quick not fast

imagine if it topped out at 75mph, not fast but it gets there pretty quickly.


RE: This is Vaporware
By Runiteshark on 1/13/09, Rating: 0
RE: This is Vaporware
By Sunrise089 on 1/13/2009 2:25:20 PM , Rating: 3
This is almost the definition of vaporware. They built a few loss-leader examples to send to magazines (newsflash: the early magazine cars were an outright scam - they had them perform performance tests, and then announced the transmission was being redesigned immediately afterwords) and to a few well-connected buyers, with no business case for being able to turn a profit with reasonable volumes. While I don't like any bailouts, at least Ford and GM can claim that the market/their competitors changed. Tesla is asking for a bailout from day 1. There lesson is IF YOU NEED GOVERNMENT HELP BEFORE YOU'VE SOLD A YEAR'S WORTH OF UNITS, YOUR BUSINESS PLAN ISN'T SOUND. :)

A great comparison is some of the prices thrown around in the Very Light Jet market. Some companies promised prices much lower than established players thought possible, and had a business case that only made sense if they could achieve impossible economics of scale. The market for light jets just wasn't large enough, and neither is the market for slow, expensive electric cars.

As for the purpose of the car - let's see - $120,000, 2-seater, and every advertisement focuses on the performance (of course only at lower speeds). To me, that makes it a competitor to other fast, expensive 2-seaters.

I think the comparison with Madoff is valid (though of course he caused more total harm) in as much that both parties had no intention of ever being able to deliver on their promises. Both just hoped to ride the wave of false success until things caught up with them. The fawning press Tesla gets is merely prolonging the inevitable.


RE: This is Vaporware
By Spuke on 1/13/2009 2:55:53 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The fawning press Tesla gets is merely prolonging the inevitable.
I like your analysis but you know someone's going to call you a hater. I've even said that Tesla is a startup carmaker and are more likely to fail than to succeed. The car biz is tough to enter even with a slam dunk product. And I don't consider the Roadster a slam dunk.


RE: This is Vaporware
By noirsoft on 1/13/2009 3:13:56 PM , Rating: 2
Vaporware is announcements without a real product. Tesla has shipped cars to customers, and has a showroom full of real, working cars (most of which are sold) -- I make no claims about their viability as a company long-term, but the product is not vapor.


RE: This is Vaporware
By kontorotsui on 1/14/2009 6:24:07 AM , Rating: 2
Since I've done a test drive on one when I've been in California this summer, I suppose I'm like Aladdin genius since I floated on vapor.


RE: This is Vaporware
By Spuke on 1/14/2009 12:58:33 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Since I've done a test drive on one when I've been in California this summer, I suppose I'm like Aladdin genius since I floated on vapor.
Nice that you test drove one but that doesn't mean it's not vaporware. That just means they had a car for ONE PERSON to test. I'm sure any manufacturing company could manage to build one product. That said, Tesla has shipped cars to customers so I wouldn't exactly call the Roadster vaporware but their future as a viable company remains to be seen. Best of luck to them.


Economic direction
By Screwballl on 1/13/2009 10:43:30 AM , Rating: 2
With the economic trends around the world in the crapper, they need to concentrate on a much lower end basic model to compete with the Prius, Volt and other hybrids and electric cars for the general public. There are more sales of the lower end models (such as the Prius) around the globe than sales of any models over US$50K.
I hope for '11 or '12 they release a US$30K basic model that can help catapult them to a major player. As the technology comes more readily available, this should be a very doable goal and timeframe.




RE: Economic direction
By mmcdonalataocdotgov on 1/13/2009 12:17:23 PM , Rating: 2
Battery Maxim: Long Distance, High Speed, Low Cost - Choose any two.

Tesla didn't choose low cost. So I don't think we will be seeing a low cost player from this manufacturer.

Tesla banked on the continued profligacy of rich consumers, whom no longer have the means to support their old habits. Tesla is a done deal.


RE: Economic direction
By RMTimeKill on 1/13/2009 3:09:45 PM , Rating: 2
I dont totally agree with what you say. The few rich people I know personally (house hold incomes in the mid six figures+ is rich to me) have not really been phased by this recession at all. They are still buying toys like the Tesla just as fast and often as before because once your out of the middle class pay bracket, it seems that business is still going good...


RE: Economic direction
By goinginstyle on 1/13/2009 4:01:05 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I dont totally agree with what you say. The few rich people I know personally (house hold incomes in the mid six figures+ is rich to me) have not really been phased by this recession at all. They are still buying toys like the Tesla just as fast and often as before because once your out of the middle class pay bracket, it seems that business is still going good...


It's because the majority of those people have chosen to layoff the majority of middle class workers below them in order to continue their current standard of living... Fortunately the company I work for decided to axe 53% of upper management to meet cost reduction requirements instead of the other way around. Guess what, the company is actually posting improved profits now, in fact, better than we were during the 2004~2006 boom years.


RE: Economic direction
By Spuke on 1/13/2009 4:16:11 PM , Rating: 2
Rich people remain rich. You can look at household income statistics and see that once you're past about $90k, you income steadily increase as time goes by. The higher the income, the higher the percentage of increase. Think about it simpler terms. If your income is $1 million gross and the current recession cuts your income to $700k, you're still making $700k. To the average American, there's no difference in income there.


RE: Economic direction
By foolsgambit11 on 1/13/2009 3:54:04 PM , Rating: 2
What's the battery setup that allows for long distance, low cost? I haven't seen any long-distance (150 miles or more), low cost solutions. Could you direct me to something? Even high-speed, low cost is something of a stretch, depending on what you call a high speed, and what you call a low cost.

I'm not saying it can't be done, but I do think Tesla chose the most viable business model achievable with current technology.


Hmmm....
By KingConker on 1/13/2009 9:23:53 AM , Rating: 2
RE: Hmmm....
By FITCamaro on 1/13/2009 9:31:55 AM , Rating: 2
55 miles when pushing the car. Great.


RE: Hmmm....
By foolsgambit11 on 1/13/2009 3:42:55 PM , Rating: 2
Not just pushing the car. Racing the car. We all assume the range numbers were overblown, but I think, also, that it is clear that 55 miles is a worst-case number based on all-out manic driving.

To be clear, I'm not arguing that from a performance standpoint, the Tesla warrants the price tag. It was always clear that the weight was going to impact driving performance. Of course, American drivers are less concerned with sprightly cornering than Top Gear is. But still, it doesn't perform on par with its price. But price/performance isn't the only reason people want this car. And people do want this car. As a toy for the rich, not as a practical vehicle.

In that vein, as a use of money, which is better - $200,000 for a few minutes in space on a Virgin Galactic flight, or $100,000 for a Tesla Roadster (or $125,000 for the Sport)?

The Tesla Roadster is a a toe in the water - is there a real market right now for a full variety of electric cars, or is current technology not up to the task? For the foreseeable future, will the only practical electric vehicles be golf carts, or are we on the road to electric vehicles (eventually) being a viable portion of the transportation industry?


RE: Hmmm....
By Sunrise089 on 1/13/2009 4:06:40 PM , Rating: 2
"In that vein, as a use of money, which is better - $200,000 for a few minutes in space on a Virgin Galactic flight, or $100,000 for a Tesla Roadster?"

The space flight, easy. Virgin doesn't have competitors who offer more performance for less money, and they're (I would think considering the founder and his past success) much better capitalized, making me much more confident that they can deliver on their long-term promises.


Tesla?
By spikedbanana on 1/14/2009 1:27:23 AM , Rating: 2
scenario:lets take your Tesla for a spin!
sure! Oh, no, no. It's charging right now.

if you want to see the Tesla "perform" or perhaps a different perspective on the Tesla, watch BBC's Top Gear. They will also explain why battery electric cars are currently not a viable alternative.

paraphrasing: "The whole point of a car is so we can just get in, drive it, "refuel" the car in a few minutes and just go on with our day. Not charge it half a day so we can hope to get where we need to go and back."

It's not what you drive but how you drive it.




RE: Tesla?
By kontorotsui on 1/14/2009 6:30:29 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
if you want to see the Tesla "perform" or perhaps a different perspective on the Tesla, watch BBC's Top Gear. They will also explain why battery electric cars are currently not a viable alternative.


You forgot to add a "yet" at the end of the sentence.
If research gives us better batteries, say half weight and double capacity (supercapacitors maybe?), a battery electric cars becomes a very viable alternative.

Since you have to sleep eventually, charging it while you don't use it around is no problem at all. You do that with your mobile phone already.

If supercapacitors become commercially viable, you'll be able to charge a car (maybe a less powerful one, but not all people need a sportscar) in few minutes at home. Considering the time to reach a gas station, the queue and the refueling, probably you end SAVING time to refuel it at home.

What ANY electric car desperately need is a better way to charge than a stupid cable. A platform with magnetic current transfer is a must. You park the car on the platform at home, and it charges up.


RE: Tesla?
By Penti on 1/14/2009 9:33:41 AM , Rating: 2
I see no problems charging a BEV pretty much anywhere, here in Sweden today there are a lot of parking lots with outlets for block heaters, replacing those with more suitable outlets for charging shouldn't cost much or much more when building new lots. Meaning even people living in flats should have no problem charging their car. Of course it will always take a long time if your not charging with a circuit that has higher amps. A quick charge does not take long. The problem is when you run out of electricity on the road, portable charging stations on trucks that can come and help you?

Batteries mostly need to get cheaper, sure it weights a lot, but so does an automatic gearbox. And an electric car needs no gearbox at all. I'm sure super capacitors has their place too. Any ways fuel cell cars need a battery pack too. As you can't get the power when you need it from a fuel cell like with a battery.


RE: Tesla?
By spikedbanana on 1/14/2009 2:32:41 PM , Rating: 2
"yet" would be correct and I don't disagree with what you say but the fact is a car right now that can only be charged by plugging in to a wall socket then wait half a day just isn't viable alternative for the masses. Then of course the cost for the Tesla isn't exactly for the masses either....


Woohoo
By IcePickFreak on 1/13/2009 7:36:59 PM , Rating: 2
Now if only the government would listen to the genius at Tesla that wanted them to hold gas at $5/gal or somewhere's around there, everyone would be lining up to buy these things. bwahahaha

Oh wait no they wouldn't, they'd remember that's the same douche that fired a huge chunk of their work force via a company blog over the weekend.

Oh wait, they'd just figure out that it would still be a rip off even if gas was $5/gal. I look forward to the day this company goes under so the engineers working there move on to someplace where the managements head isn't quite so far up it's own ass and they can produce some automobiles based a bit more in reality.




The new age of grease monkey
By scrapsma54 on 1/13/2009 10:43:20 PM , Rating: 2
the new age of grease monkey is going to go to the geeks and the electronics engineer who will tune the onboard computers software for efficiency in the motors.




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