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Will Green Cars Be Exciting To Drive And Enjoyable To Own?

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  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,994
    edited November 2013
    Last trip to LA I rode in a C or two. The taxi drivers liked them fine but the consensus was that they weren't good highway runners. The wind would blow them around too much. Made good cabs though.

    My target is the 2015 revised flavor, assuming Fukushima Daiichi doesn't shut down the whole country before then.

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  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,859
    Fine for speeds under 45, probably. And you'll get amazing mileage in the city, but at the trade of a weird layout, materials of sketchy quality, and a numb driving experience. Fine for 90% of the population, of course.

    Revised flavor - wintergreen or imitation vanilla? ;)
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,116
    "Fun" is subjective but primal fear when you hit a curve too fast on poofy tires and mattress-like suspension is generally a universal emotion. :)

    I may not know what a "fun car is, but I do know what an "un-fun" one is.

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  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,035
    Third Tesla Model S Fire In Past 5 Weeks Breaks Out After Accident (Updated – Collision With Tow Hitch)

    Having recently gone through two “fire incidents” after an accident in the past 5 weeks, a third fire Model S has caught fire under potentially a similar condition.

    And while the first two fires happened after the Tesla plug-in sedan had taken some serious damage, this Model S looks to have suffered less damage before the occurrence – although we would stress patience in jumping to any conclusions before an official investigation report has been released as this is BREAKING NEWS - that we will update as new information becomes available.

    UPDATE (Nov 7th 10:39 EST): The Tesla Model S in question reportedly struck a tow hitch on the road, and ”hit the undercarriage of the vehicle causing an electrical fire.”


    http://insideevs.com/third-tesla-model-s-fire-in-past-5-weeks-breaks-out-after-a- ccident/
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,116
    My two cents? There is a design defect here. 3 fires with only 19,000 cars on the road is a lot. Might be time for a recall and more armor. Must be flimsy underneath---do you think a regular car could have its floorpan penetrated by running over a tow hitch?

    The only time I ever saw a modern car gets its floor punched, was by a driveshaft breaking--that's not just impact, that's horsepower driving it into the floor.

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  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,859
    Don't tell that to the fanboys - they'll counter with someone's 2001 A8 catching fire last year.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,116
    edited November 2013
    Yeah, okay, but one has to compare the # of fires with the # of that model on the road.

    I'm also sure that insurance companies are going to take note of all this. If your Tesla ends up costing you 2X as much for insurance as a comparable Lexus, don't you think that pretty much negates the rationale for buying the Tesla?

    I know one might counter with "well, that doesn't stop Ferrari or Porsche owners"--but they are a different breed of buyer entirely. They are in for the total visceral experience---not for listening to the car go EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE all day long.

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  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,035
    I thought the Tesla would be whisper quiet out on the highway at 75 MPH. Less then 62 db at speed. Where you can hear the quiet passages in the 1812 Overture. Has anyone here ridden in one yet?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,116
    edited November 2013
    Nope but I've listened to them. They are pretty quiet (the newer ones). I had heard that the earlier S was a bit noisy. I'd love to drive one!

    I heard that Jay Leno bought a CD of engine sounds to play whenever he drives his Tesla.

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  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,859
    It really only should be compared with current model year luxobarges, not old ones or Ferraris or Camrys. Many seem unwilling to do so regarding the fires.

    I've thought about these events and if they could have an insurance impact, too. Maybe the gubbamint will issue an insurance subsidy so people buying a 90K toy can get another gift?
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,035
    The vehicle is able to accelerate from 0 to 62 mph in 2.8 seconds and offers an average standard fuel consumption of between 94 mpg and 85 mpg. The 918 Spyder also allows a combustion engine to be combined with an electric motor-based drive to generate new functions that further optimise the dynamic performance.

    Quiet and elegant: ‘E-Power’

    When the vehicle is started up, ‘E-Power’ mode is selected as the default operating mode, provided that the battery is sufficiently charged. Depending on load, the 918 Spyder can cover between 10 and 20 miles purely on electric power. Even in pure electric mode, the 918 Spyder accelerates from 0 – 62 mph in under seven seconds and can reach speeds of up to 93 mph. In this mode, the combustion engine is used only when needed. If the battery charging condition drops below a set minimum level, the vehicle automatically switches to hybrid mode.


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qlBUB9RqY_I

    image
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,116
    But alas, the price of it all....

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  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,035
    I think the 918 is one of those vehicles if you have to ask the price you can't afford it. Leno should be able to swing one. My guess is under $300k.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,116
    I'm thinkin' $400K and up.

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  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,035
    edited November 2013
    YIKES, I guess that means the Jetta Hybrid at the Post office is probably not running the same hybrid system ;-)

    Leno can afford it.

    PS
    I would buy the 918 over a Veyron. Better looking.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,035
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,209
    edited November 2013
    I agree with you about the Prius. Regarding BMW, however, I question whether it still deserves to call itself "The Ultimate Driving Machine" because, from what I've read, most of its cars have gone soft. Steering was one area where BMW set the standard, but some testers have complained that the steering on the newer models feels numb, or at least not nearly as communicative and satisfying as older models. You don't read that about Mazda or Ford Fiesta, Focus or Fusion, for example. I realize I may be comparing apples and oranges, since the Mazdas and Fords I cited are FWD.

    Some testers have rated the Cadillac ATS above the 3-Series, and the new CTS above the 5-Series, in terms of driving experience.

    Maybe the 2015 Mustang will surpass the BMW 3 and 4-Series in driving dynamics. With the next 1-Series going to FWD we'll see how it compares with the mass market Mazdas and Fords.

    Business wise, BMW is doing great, repeatedly setting new sales records, which is at odds with their trending toward average, in terms of product. Maybe most luxury vehicle buyers assign more importance to the brand's prestige value than to the driving experience. Or, maybe long-standing perceptions are lagging behind reality.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,116
    I read one wag from an automobile blog complaining that "BMW has changed the sex of their cars".

    Kinda funny, kinda true.

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  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,209
    edited November 2013
    Becoming more ordinary, less positively differentiated, is usually a recipe for diminishing the brand and losing market share, but the opposite is happening with BMW. It'll be interesting to see whether it's a case of perception lagging reality, or whether the BMW marketing folks and strategists know something that the car guys are missing. Maybe getting into more and more segments is the primary reason for BMW's increasing success in the marketplace, and that the mag wags overrate attributes that are unessential to most BMW customers.

    Maybe BMW has become "The Ultimate Marketing Machine." Hmm, wasn't that what GM was from Alfred Sloan's time through the 1970s?
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,994
    That's a perk with an EV and your own outlet.

    "A decade ago, 33 gas stations were listed as in business in Manhattan south of 96th Street, according to city records. Today, 11 remain, with two of those scheduled to close next year and one on the market.

    Drivers say the reduced competition has led to occasional long lines to fill up." (There's about 220,000 cars registered in Manhattan).

    Filling Up Is Hard to Do (WSJ)

    But that's just another benefit that people miss - "While much has been written about the existing federal consumer tax credits of as much as $7,500, subsidized installation of recharging stations, and numerous state and local financial incentives, along with favored access to high-occupancy vehicle lanes and city parking, consumers are in the dark."

    Consumers Blind to Electric Vehicles' Cost Savings, Study Reveals

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  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,035
    Why would anyone keep a car in Manhattan? Parking fees can be as much as many people pay rent. My only friend from Manhattan leaves his car two hours away in CT at a friends home. Takes the train when he wants to use it. EV still will cost a fortune to park. Let alone plug in.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,859
    Just what rich Manhattanites need - subsidies for toys.

    I don't disagree with subsidizing EVs to an extent, but IMO their should be an MSRP and/or income limit.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,035
    What percentage of the US population pay $7500 or more in Federal Income tax? You cannot spread it out over several years. My guess is less than 20% could take full advantage of the tax credit. Purely pork for the wealthy.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,116
    In the best EV, the Tesla, every 10 miles you drive takes you one minute of waiting to "fill"; over time, as the batteries degrade, that'll become 2 minutes for every 10 miles you drive.

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  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,035
    Lead foot uses 165 miles of electricity to go 100 miles on I-35

    A couple of weeks ago, I strapped into the seat of a $100,000 green roller coaster streaking for the future. It was not a bad way to spend a workday.

    Actually, videographer Brian Elledge and I had climbed into a Tesla Model S, a low, long, slinky electric sedan striving to forever change the perception of alternative-fuel cars.

    We wanted to test the high-tech Tesla’s range claims, always a concern with electric cars, and see whether the company’s new supercharger stations worked as advertised.

    Tesla says it can get more range from its array of lithium-ion batteries beneath the floor of the S than any other electric vehicle — an impressive 265 miles with the optional battery pack.

    Moreover, in a costly effort to expand the ways in which electric cars can be used, Tesla is building a network of supercharging stations throughout the U.S. to allow its electric cars to make long road trips.

    Three of the $150,000 stations are already in place in Texas — in Waco, San Marcos and Columbus.

    Tesla owners can get a full, free recharge in an hour at one of the stations or 150 miles of additional range in about 30 minutes. The stations are open 24 hours but only to Tesla owners.

    We pulled out of downtown Dallas with 231 miles of range showing on the high-tech instrument panel, bound for the nearest supercharger station at the Collin Street Bakery in Waco, 100 or so miles away.

    My heavy foot cut deeply into our reserve of power, as did the time we spent shooting video: drive-bys in which Brian stood along a road and shot video of the car and me flying by.

    We also lost 10 miles of range stuck in a maddening two-hour traffic jam south of Waxahachie, apparently caused by some Texas Department of Transportation project. Thanks, TxDOT.

    By the time we got to Waco, we had 66 miles of range on the meter, having burned through 165 miles of electricity to go roughly 100 miles.

    Ready for a recharge

    We pulled into the Collin Street Bakery parking lot on the east side of I-35, where eight Tesla supercharging stations awaited us on the north side of the lot.

    Once I got the electric lifeline from the supercharger hooked into the Tesla’s charging port, we were free to go inside the bakery for a sandwich or coffee or whatever to kill an hour.

    “Most of us don’t even like to stop for gas, so I don’t know how many people would accept a 30-minute or one-hour delay,” he said.

    After an hour, we left Waco with 255 miles of range crackling in the batteries. This time, I somehow managed to stay under 80.

    As a result, we arrived at the newspaper in downtown Dallas with 144 miles left on the range meter.

    That’s pretty impressive for an electric car. But Tesla will need to do more, Nerad believes.

    http://res.dallasnews.com/interactives/2013_November/teslatest/
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,035
    So if Tesla were to have charging stations strategically located every 150 miles across the USA, it would only add about two days driving time to the cross country trip. I'll stick to filling once a day driving 550-650 miles. Also you won't find decent sized cities located every 150 miles any direction you decide to go.

    I see the Tesla relegated to an Urban Look at ME car.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,116
    Well that's true...there is the SMUG factor. But unlike Segways, Smart cars, Toyota IQ and some EVs, you don't look dorky driving a Tesla.

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  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,035
    The Tesla is a beautiful car. It would lose it's glamour for me parked along an interstate with a depleted battery. The computer said I had two more miles.
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