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The Tesla Roadster - Electric Car



  • tpetpe Posts: 2,342
    And why are you being so negative about someone who doesn't even exist?

    What are you talking about. My comment was that I hope Eberhard's successor has the same level of enthusiasm. How is that interpreted as negative.

    A lot of Tesla's engineering has gone into designing this battery pack. I don't see them suddenly changing to a different Li-ion chemistry with significantly different characteristic. And if they chose to do this it would not be as trivial as you make it sound. A lot of new testing would have to take place. So I believe Tesla will stick with what they've got even though, IMO, it is not the best for an automotive application.

    I don't know if you've noticed but Tesla is seriously dragging their feet on opening a manufacturing facility in Albuquerque, NM for their White Star sedan. This was supposed to happen some time ago. Their excuse is that they are still in the design phase. My guess is that they're in the need cash phase. I applaud Tesla for what they're trying to do and I sincerely hope for their success but I'm starting to see it as a long shot. Their best chance would have been to get out of the gate early. That's slipping away.
  • tpetpe Posts: 2,342
    it will force the hand of the Big Three in Detroit to stop dragging their feet

    GM's program to produce the Chevy Volt definitely seems to be on the fast track, no feet dragging. This is an EV and in many ways more significant than the Tesla since it will be affordable to a far bigger segment of the population. The Tesla Roadsters significance is primarily as a high profile showpiece that generates a lot of awareness for EVs and what they are capable of.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,178
    I'm with you on this one. Tesla has a lot more to worry about than the Big 3 buying and burying them. The EPA will put them through financial hell with expensive crash tests etc. A small car company will have a hard time making it in this country. That ZENN company in Canada is a good example. They are being blocked by the Canadian government at every step. I think that is why Eberhard got out. He spent a lot of money, time and energy and it was going no where. The batteries he chose were doomed from the start. You cannot take a chance on batteries that can explode under charge. Ask Sony that recalled a million of their laptop batteries of that same design. EPA, NHTSA and CARB will do more to stop the advent of an Electric vehicle than the Big 3 and oil companies combined. They will regulate them into oblivion.
  • What are you talking about. My comment was that I hope Eberhard's successor has the same level of enthusiasm. How is that interpreted as negative.

    You had it listed as a "misstep" in your post. I figure if something is a misstep, it couldn't be positive.
  • tpetpe Posts: 2,342
    Well Tesla's finally found a new CEO, his name is Ze'ev Drori. Eberhard has removed himself from the board of directors and given up his executive management duties. I just see it as a bad sign when the founder of a company decides to jump ship. Tesla's website states that he will still have a role in an advisory capacity but as far as I'm concerned that's just spin.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,178
    I think his heart was in the right place. I just do not see how anyone would take the Tesla seriously. With its 6000 AA batteries or whatever the huge count was. It would be a maintenance nightmare. Battery cells go bad individually. Keeping track of which ones need to be replaced sent my mind into overload. For some no brains actor it would be NO problem. They drive it and when it stops they get AAA to tow it back to the shop. I look for a company like Mitsubishi or Nissan to give us a practical EV in the next 5 years. No one else has the deep pockets to R&D the batteries. Toyota is disallusioned with hybrids.
  • tpetpe Posts: 2,342
    Apparently Eberhard didn't quit, he was basically fired.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,178
    Wow, that is not good news for Tesla. It reminds me of Apple, when they forced Steve Jobs out. They headed right for the toilet and stayed there till he came back and gave them a second chance. I think that Eberhard could go to several places and be productive. Maybe Lutz will hire him to head up the Volt program.
  • tpetpe Posts: 2,342
    One of the biggest delays Tesla has encountered has been due to it's two-speed transmission. They've already gone through a couple suppliers and still haven't found one that's reliable. I'm reading reports that Tesla may consider just offering the Roadster with a single speed transmission. The impact on performance will be that instead of a 4 sec. 0-60 time it will be 5.7 sec. Still very fast but not the Ferrari like number that helped justify the $98k price tag.

    tesla delays
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  • coolrunningcoolrunning Posts: 117
    The motors are not actually on the wheels. Instead, they are tucked up into the frame and have drivelines extending out to the wheels for the AWD to work. Teh weight of the cars is actually less than gasoline powered equivilents, and the weight is distributed almost 50/50 front to rear. Technology is great, but much like Tucker and DeLorean found out, a small company with great ideas will always be fighting to survive from day one. I hope Tesla shows the rest of the industry the path to our future vehicles soon enough to make a difference in our lifetimes. We need changes like this now, more than ever, and cannot wait 25 years for it to happen! ;)
  • The impact on performance will be that instead of a 4 sec. 0-60 time it will be 5.7 sec. Still very fast but not the Ferrari like number that helped justify the $98k price tag.

    Is it that important? Is there any practical use to have a car that can go 0-60 in four seconds? The only thing I can think of is drag racing.
  • tpetpe Posts: 2,342
    Is it that important? Is there any practical use to have a car that can go 0-60 in four seconds?

    I agree, there is no practical use for having a car that goes 0-60 in four seconds. Obviously anyone thinking about plunking down $98k for a roadster is making a decision that isn't driven by practicality. If I paid this much for a Tesla and the average pimply faced high school kid with his Mustang GT could wax me off the line I'd be a little embarrassed. I'm not a big fan of cars who's design implies better performance than they can deliver. An exotic looking car with an exotic price tag should be capable of performance that matches regardless of whether there is any practical use for it.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,456
    I think the idea was that the roadster would be the "halo car" for the company, attracting the $$$ necessary to keep a car company afloat (translation: a mind-boggling amount of money) so that it might create more affordable mainstream products.

    After reading the Fortune article, I'm starting to get a queasy feeling about the Tesla company because it's exhibiting the danger signs we are all familiar with -- big personnel shake-ups, delays in launch, and perhaps a diminished final product in order to "get something" to market.

    Preston Tucker might have had the last laugh (his cars sell for ten times the price of a 1948 Buick) but he didn't die happy.

    From a historical point of view, it seems that if a car company starts humbly and then builds more sophisticated machines, this works better than starting out on the expensive end and working down. Consider the first humble Benz, the BMW micro car, the VW bug, the Model T. Pioneers into new territory seem to end up with arrows in their backs.

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  • tpetpe Posts: 2,342
    From a historical point of view, it seems that if a car company starts humbly and then builds more sophisticated machines,

    I also have my doubts about Tesla's survival. However I'm not sure it's possible to start humbly with an EV. The people buying $15k cars are typically looking for maximum value out of their their vehicles. Just due to the cost of the battery pack there's no way an EV today can be competitive in terms of price and utility with something like a Honda Fit or Toyota Yaris. People buying $100k roadsters are clearly not too concerned with value. I look at EVs like flat panel TVs. The early adopters will be the more affluent and hopefully the price will work it's way down to where the mainstream can afford it.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,178
    Looks like further delays on the Tesla. I thought they were already being delivered?

    Tesla sales begin in UK, Damon Hill to drive Roadster through London
    Posted July 28 2008 12:19 PM

    While most enthusiast car owners face a hefty congestion charge when driving into certain areas of London, owners of the all-electric Tesla Roadster will not have that problem. European customers can now make their reservation for one of 250 Signature Edition Tesla Roadsters, which the automaker says will be delivered in May 2009 (unless more delays set that date back). These 250 cars, priced at 99,000 euros (currently about $156,000) will come fully loaded, while standard Tesla Roadsters will be available in 2010.

    Formula One World Champion Damon Hill will drive the first Euro-spec Tesla Roadster at the GreenFleet Capital Arrive 'N' Drive 08 event, which promotes various technologies that may help reduce emissions and improve air quality in London.

    On Thursday, July 31, Hill's Tesla Roadster will join other public and private sector drivers in the 33-mile course. The Tesla Roadster will have a tracking device allowing interested onlookers to keep track of the car as it makes its way through London's streets.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    They ARE being delivered and ARE on the road:

    more than a dozen on the road now

    Tesla Delivers More Than a Dozen Roadsters
    The startup says it's delivered more than a dozen of the sporty electric cars and has 15 awaiting batteries and powertrains.
    by: Jennifer Kho
    Bullet Arrow August 21, 2008

    Tesla Motors has now delivered more than a dozen of its sporty electric Roadsters, the company said in a newsletter this week.

    It also is accelerating production. According to the newsletter released Wednesday night, 15 so-called "gliders" - cars equipped with everything but the battery and powertrain - have been completed at the Lotus assembly plant in Hethel, England, and are ready to be shipped to the Tesla offices in Menlo Park, Calif., where they will be finished.

    The company in May said its production had been slower than expected, with only five of the $100,000 Roadsters completed in two months, instead of the one per week initially expected (see Tesla Production Slower Than Expected). The company said then that it planned to ramp up to 100 cars per month by November.

    In July, after the company announced plans to build its second model in California, CEO Ze'ev Drori wrote in Tesla's blog that nine Roadsters had already arrived in the state, with another three expected within a few days, and added that 27 Roadsters were in various stages of assembly.

    "In large measure we deliberately limit the production until we install our own born-and-bred final transmission by mid-September, at which time production will start to ramp up leading toward a monthly rate of over 100 cars in December," he wrote.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    more on the battery. Still looking for specific info on how easy it will be (or how necessary) to replace individual failed cells.

    Tesla Roadster Battery System
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,178
    DId you notice that your [non-permissible content removed] buddies at CARB are pulling the same kind of crap that got the EV-1 scrapped in the late 1990s. Further evidence in my mind they are a bunch of worthless worms.

    On March 27th, the Board met in Sacramento to consider CARB Staff recommendations for changes to the Mandate. During the open hearing, the Board directed the staff to lower the minimum number of pure ZEV’s that the six largest automotive manufacturers are required to deliver in the period from 2012 to 2015 (known as Phase III) by 70% – from 25,000 to a mere 7,500! This is an absurdly low number given the emerging developments in the EV space, not to mention the progress we’ve demonstrated at Tesla Motors specifically.

    They also cut funding that was needed by Tesla to get the EV sedan going. Tesla was not happy with the way they get people excited about ZEVs then pull the rug out.

    In stark contrast, the proposed modification will unfairly and severely discriminate against Tesla, the only car maker based in California and the world’s only car maker that actually develops and is committed exclusively to zero emission vehicles. How? Since Telsa makes only zero emission vehicles we sell our gold ZEV credits to LVMs. The monies received defray in part some of the large R &D costs incurred in pioneering the development of the zero emission electric cars
  • I agree, you are correct. It makes no sense to "upgrade" a computer when you can do a total replacement instead for under $1000.00, and have the latest hardware, software and have the reliability of new equipment. Since the bottom fell out of the computer market, due mostly to overproduction and the off-shore (cheap) production of silicon chips, the only ones who still bother to tinker with PC upgrades are those self-proclaimed "gamers".

    By the way, gamers are not the same geeky nerds that used to build PC's from the ground up back in the 80's, because they couldn't buy computers as powerful as they could build. The gamers of today are making hot rods out of the computers they use, just for playing games. It isn't uncommon for them to spend thousands of dollars in parts just to get the fastest or most HD view of the games they love to play. Are they the majority? Of course not! They think they are, but then again they live in a dark room with thousands of dollars worth of oversized computers and don't get out much. Dell recently released a marketing study in which they detailed the typical use of the personal computer in the home. A full 87% of PC's are family computers, used primarily by several members of the same family, for everything you can imagine (besides gaming), and have become more than a universal appliance that a computer. Gamers are a slim fragmented category of their own, and there even more studies expressing concern over their obsessive/compulsive behavior and the effect the violent and sometimes evil content of these games have on young developing teen minds. The whole connotation of "gamer" takes on a whole new meaning. You don't just play a few games. You ARE a member of the game. Very defensive and often aggressive, they limit their social skills to the internet with those of their kind. This is a very sad twisted spin-off resulting from a technology that has gradually replaced such social activities as "hanging out with friends" or "making new friends" outside on a bright sunny day.
  • jrb10jrb10 Posts: 1
    Looks like the Model S will be coming in 2011. But $49K is a lot. Think they can come up with a 4-seat coupe with the same range and recharge time, but around $25K-$30K? :confuse:
    The Chinese are coming in 2011 with an all electric sub-compact as well, they are attempting to now to conform to US Safety regs.
  • easym1easym1 Posts: 218
    Isn't there a government rebate for this car in the USA? I believe we have one in place in Canada.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
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