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



  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I doubt they ever marketed it as "safest". Greenest, quickest, coolest, etc., sure, but safest?
  • texasestexases Posts: 5,424
    Yep, safest, too, it scored the highest ever on one of those crash tests.

    The battery fire issue isn't Tesla's fault - Li-ion batteries have a HUGE amount of chemical energy stored in a compact size. If something goes wrong (just as it does with gasoline tanks) a fire can easily follow, and be difficult to extinguish, because the chemical energy is still there, flame or no flame.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    But not unlike a fuel tank that gets hit and leaks.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,909
    edited October 2013
    I wonder how many new S-class or LS etc caught fire yesterday. A dozen Italian cars probably did though.

    And the media is still on the 70K slant, maybe to tone down the offensiveness of the tax break given to a car that probably has an average unsubsidized MSRP a bit higher.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    edited October 2013
    The battery is at the bottom, so they probably have the lowest CoG of any sedan. That probably helped rollover scores.

    I disagree, though, some debris was hit and the fire happened after the passengers exited the car. All the passengers were safe. It's not like it exploded and injured people inside.

    The 2nd article merely says they did not want Tesla using the information in a way that they didn't intend. But what they claimed wasn't inaccurate.

    In fact after reading it, to me it seems like Tesla had a point!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Did a little more reading....

    Not only did they exit the car, a built-in alert system discovered the problem and alerted them to do so.

    Plus the fire never spread to the inside of the cabin.

    People will react to news like this, but I don't see how it's unsafe. The driver collided with debris. I'm sure temp sensors found the problem before the condition became unsafe.

    My dad was once a passenger in a car that caught fire. Other cars told them to stop, and he got out just in time. No alert system in that car-B-Q.
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,644
    edited October 2013
    THey did make the "safest" claim but were slammed by NHTSA for fudging the facts---in reality, none of the Tesla' competitors were ever crash tested, and, worse yet, Tesla reported a score of "5.4 rating", which doesn't even exist.

    Putting a fire alarm in a building doesn't make it "safer". A fire-suppression system makes it safer (as in race cars).

    And, as the only car to warn you to exit the is tempted to ask---why did they feel such a warning necessary?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    edited October 2013
    Li-ion batteries store a lot of energy, so they added the safety alert.

    Would be nice if fuel tanks had an alert if the fuel level suddenly dropped, indicating a fuel leak, but gas cars are not as safe.


    Tesla should be compared to sedans, not race cars. That's not really fair - look at the million dollar price tags those race-prepped cars carry.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,676
    Bottom line, the cops could NOT find any metal object that was hit by the Tesla. We don't know what happened. We do know it took fire fighters over two hours to put out the fire. How much pollution does burning that many Li-ion batteries produce. Did that completely eradicate any kind of saving of the environment the Tesla may or may not provide?

    Hopefully the NHTSA get to look over the car before Tesla destroys any evidence.
  • Oh I wasn't comparing the Tesla to a race car (hardly). I was only commenting on how a "safe" car shouldn't need a "Bail Out" warning. No other car I know of feels the need for this--nor any building or airplane for that matter. There's an "exit" sign but no direct order to punch out.

    A full tank of gas has as much or more energy than those batteries, and no, don't ask me to do the math. Miles driven is how I came up with that.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,676
    An EV will NOT be practical until they have at least a 500 mile range and as many charging stations as we have gas stations. I don't think it will be in my lifetime. EVs are just more corporate welfare at the rest of our expense.
  • I actually plotted out a typical month's routine in my vehicle and I could live with a 300 mile range, if it was an actual, dependable 300 miles without caveats for temperature, accessories used, speed limit adherence, etc.

    My figures show that only perhaps 2 times month would the car's range totally screw me up, not meaning getting stranded, but meaning that I'd have to change my plans so as to re-charge.

    I absolutely could not live with 100 miles, so a Leaf is out.

    A Tesla simply isn't practical as a "second car"---it's not enough of a "toy" to justify it like you might an exotic that you take to track days, you can't off-road with it, so it's not "recreational", and you can't haul gravel with it, as with a spare pickup.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Would a 22 gallon fuel tank leaking and burning away have been any cleaner? I doubt it.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Maybe Tesla was asking for it by declaring victory, but you're both holding them to a higher standard than its competitors.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,676
    Tesla should be held to a much higher standard. They got $85 million in zero emission credits the first quarter of this year. That was from all the other automakers. So every vehicle sold that is not ZEV kicks into the Tesla pot. Not to mention the $7500 we kick in on each car sold. Those credits are the only thing keeping Tesla afloat.

    I just don't see how selling $100k cars to the rich helps me and the rest of the Middle class tax payers. Tesla has already dropped the entry level model off the list. When will we see the Tesla for the rest of the buying public?
  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,909
    edited October 2013
    I do have to wonder how it would sell without the crazy tax break, and if it would exist without the other help.

    I don't see any different standard. If MB marketed an expensive electric that exists with tons of outside aid and then it caught fire for reasons still unknown, I'd be pretty inquisitive, too.
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,644
    edited October 2013
    Absolutely they should be held to a higher standard, if for no other reason than to justify a stock price which is overpriced by about $130 a share.

    I noticed something else---there is no longer a waiting list for a Tesla even though production hasn't ramped up.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    edited October 2013
    The federal rebate amounts to less than 10% of the purchase price, that's peanuts to the rich.

    And we import about 20 fewer barrels of oil per year for each one, per the EPA. Set those on fire and see how much damage that would do....

    20 barrels, the emissions warranty means the batteries have to last 10 years, that's up to 200 barrels, Brent Crude is around $110 per, that's over $20 grand.

    Realistically I don't see them being driven as many miles as a 7 series, but still.
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,952
    edited October 2013
    Bottom line, the cops could NOT find any metal object that was hit by the Tesla.

    That's not what Tesla is saying on their blog:

    "A curved section that fell off a semi-trailer was recovered from the roadway near where the accident occurred and, according to the road crew that was on the scene, appears to be the culprit."
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